Google’s Eric Schmidt Wants H-1B Cap Lifted

Last September,  in attending a research conference on the MIT campus, I was startled to see that Google had recently opened a major new office near the university. Since I am a big fan of both the school and the company, I was pleased to see this; in fact, Google is located right across the street from my favorite Cambridge hotel.

That pleasant image, though, is now somewhat marred by remarks made last week at MIT by Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. CNN Money reports that Schmidt said, “The single stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas.”

Again, I am a big fan of Google. I use it many times per day, still the best search engine out there for me, not only in general but also for Google Scholar, Google Books, Google Maps and so on. I greatly admired the company for taking its financially risky but principled and courageous stand in refusing to censor the Web in China.

But whenever one sees a company with an audacious motto like “Don’t be evil,” one must suspect that it cannot be completely true. The firm has been accused of age discrimination at various times, and as many readers of this blog know, the H-1B visa is in large part motivated by a desire hire young foreign workers in lieu of older U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  In this post, I’ll discuss both the age issue and H-1B, with regard to Google.

The firm fired one of its directors, Brian Reid, right before its IPO, depriving him of a multi-million dollar windfall. Claiming that he had regularly been subject to ageist remarks, Reid sued the company for age discrimination. Among other things, according to a New York Times article,

…[Reid’s] supervisors, including the company’s vice president for engineering operations, allegedly called him a poor “cultural fit,” an “old guy” and a “fuddy-duddy” with ideas “too old to matter.”

In addition, a report on the case by a law firm stated,

According to Reid, during his two years at Google, an executive to whom Reid occasionally reported (then aged 38) made age-related comments to Reid “every few weeks,” telling him that his ideas were “obsolete” and “too old to matter,” and that Reid was “slow,” “fuzzy,” “sluggish,” and “lack[ed] energy.”

Reid’s counsel retained me as an expert witness in the case. The case was eventually settled. I must make a disclaimer: I don’t know the terms of the settlement, and of course could not divulge them even if I did. I was asked to perform statistical analysis, which I did, but that was the extent of my involvement. I never even met Dr. Reid. However, for those who are interested, the appellate court’s decision is a matter of public record, and some of my findings are cited there, as well as Google’s criticism.

If Google had been engaging in age discrimination before, did they adopt more equitable policies afterwords? There are those who claim otherwise. Fortune reports there is another age discrimination suit currently in progress against the firm, and I do believe that ageism is rampant in the industry. The above NYT article paints a disturbing picture of the situation at Facebook (whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said that young people are the best programmers, though he later apologized):

Lori Goler, the head of human resources and recruiting efforts at Facebook, said her company was looking for the “college student who built a company on the side, or an iPhone app over the weekend.” The company also hires more-experienced workers, if “they are results-focused and can deliver again.”

Regardless of age, Ms. Goler said, “We ask: Are they going to get to do what they love to do for fun at work?”

Some observers say much of this language is just code for age discrimination.

The judge in the current litigation against Google seems to suspect this. According to the Fortune piece,

…U.S. District Judge Beth Freeman asked how age factors into a person’s “Googleyness” (a word used to describe the intangible factors that someone a good fit at Google)…

Keep all that in mind as we turn to H-1B, and Schmidt’s call for eliminating the cap on the visa. Again, there are two main senses in which employers abuse the visa.:

  • Younger workers are cheaper than older workers, and most H-1Bs are young.
  • If an H-1B is being sponsored for a green card, she becomes effectively immobile, tethered to the employer. This is a huge advantage to many employers. (Most of the firm’s green card sponsorees are H-1Bs, so for simplicity I will simply refer to them as H-1Bs.)

Let’s take the second of these points first. Google admitted, actually volunteered, to a group of us researchers in 2012 that they view the tethered nature of the green card process as a major reason to hire H-1Bs. Note that Google and Schmidt were found guilty of colluding with Apple and others to not “poach” each other’s engineers.

Concerning age, as I wrote in my recent Fortune op-ed, 96.1% of Google’s green card sponsorees are at Levels I and II. (The Facebook figure was 91.1%.) Level III represents the 50th percentile of wages for a given occupation and region, so Levels I and II represent below-median salaries. But my focus here is not on the wages in those levels, but rather that the levels represent experience levels, a proxy for age.

Like most Silicon Valley firms, Google tends to hire its H-1Bs as foreign students studying at U.S. universities, typically with a Master’s degree. Holders of that degree are generally considered Level II rather than I, since the degree takes one or two years to complete, time taken to be equivalent to that amount of experience.

In other words:

  • Virtually all (96%!) of Google’s H-1Bs are young.
  • If the company is indeed engaging in ageism, the H-1B visa program is the firm’s enabler for this.

Google may pay more than, say, the Bank of America, for the same job. But the relevant comparison is Google to Google. Young workers at Google of course generally make less than older Googlers. Data compiled by Payscale, while rough, shows the point: For Google’s Mountain View campus, workers with less than a year of experience have a median salary of $89,665; for the 5-9 years range, the figure is $112,478; and for 10-19 years the median is $134,426. So Google saves a ton of money by hiring young H-1Bs (who also will be even cheaper than young Americans).

In addition to the wage savings and the tethering, another attraction of the visa to employers is convenience of hiring. Students at university campuses are almost all young, and plenty of them are foreigners who hope to acquire green cards. In other words, the universities have exactly what the employers want — and thus there is no incentive to beat the bushes for Americans, especially those in the dreaded over-35 crowd.

I am certainly am not saying Google is hiring the “wrong” workers. The Google interviewing process is quite rigorous (though again, some say, either consciously or unconsciously aimed at the young), and the workers they hire are first-rate. They’ve hired excellent foreign students from my department. But I do submit that in most cases they could have hired an excellent American instead.

As I have said so often, reform of the H-1B visa program is impossible without addressing the age issue. It’s not just Google and Facebook. The much-publicized hiring of H-1Bs at Disney, Southern California Edison and so on also involved young foreign workers, much younger than the Americans they replaced. The notion, popular in some quarters, that we should protect American workers at Disney but not American applicants to Google, is just plain wrong.

Schmidt is wrong too. The H-1B cap should be cut, not lifted.

 

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103 thoughts on “Google’s Eric Schmidt Wants H-1B Cap Lifted

  1. Your point is right on target, Norm. If it was really a matter of importing the “best” in a particular field, then the age distribution of H1-B’s should mirror that of society, not that of a college campus. How could Google or anyone else possibly know that an H1-B is one of the “best”, with zero track record and only a college transcript??

    Notice the performance bar is set higher for Americans than for foreigners, too. Nobody asks an H1-B to “build a company on the side” or “write an app over the weekend”. But these are considered key ingredients for an American to get hired. So why do Americans have to be entrepreneurial or innovative, but not H1-B’s?

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  2. Do any of these guys push for expansion of the number of green cards? For a lifting of per country caps? For quicker processing? All we seem to hear about from industry is more H1-Bs, but of course, they benefit from the green card process as it exists.

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    • Yes, they do suggest a green card stapled to every foreign students’ graduation diploma. Schmidt, in his CNN interview said – to avoid having foreign students return home/start business competition. A few flaws in his proposal:
      – foreign students come to take a class or for a certificate program. Attending a class or certificate program is not sensible to use for the definition of US immigration policy.
      – myth that foreign students are in US colleges because they’re top talent on the planet. Universities accept foreign students for “diversity”, to fill unnecessary degree programs and money, not because all or most are “top talent”. University admittance policies are not sensible to use for the definition of US immigration policy.
      – to avoid competition from foreign countries. Most absurd, as a) the majority of H-1Bs are Indian and Chinese, and given their populations of billions, this wouldn’t stop overseas competition, and b) unrealistic tech international monopoly is not sensible use of US immigration policies.

      If his goal is stop international competition due to returning foreign students, the answer would be: stop university admittance _preference_ given to foreign students.

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  3. IMO if the H-1B cap is eliminated as was suggested by some, there will be hundreds of thousands of H-1B workers in the country for jobs not only in STEM but also in the business, education and medical professions. Soon there will be the demand to allow dependents work; the would likely be allowed to work in any position.

    In addition to the basic issue of jobs comes along the problems of the use of social support programs, “visiting” parents, and periods of illegal presence including long term overstay.

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    • Education and medical professions are already getting hammered by H-1B.
      Lowest approved LCA in the 2016 database: teacher, @$7.25 an hour.
      PhD glut at colleges also reflected in the 2016 database: $21 an hour, at universities.
      Medical, I’ve not particularly looked at in the database but nearby nurses (neighbors) tell me they’re getting wiped out by it.

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      • In addition, the educational requirements for medical fields are less than those in the US. When a foreign trained physician is able to do the equivalent of undergraduate, medical school and internship in 5.5 years; our US trained physicians generally take 9 years.

        The medical groups in my area have many foreign trained physicians. One of the key qualifications I look for is whether they are now Board Certified. I am amazed at the number who have been in practice in the US for over 20 years who are not.

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  4. I wonder how you came up with the number of 96.1% of Google’s green card sponsorees being hired under median wage, which I find very hard to believe from personal experience as well as summaries available on h1bdata.info. If you could elaborate that would be great. Thanks.

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    • Short answer: As I explained in replying to your other post today, my use of Levels I and II in my posting last night was focused on AGE, not WAGE.

      Long answer: The prevailing wage issue is tricky. It does not take into account the fact that the employers claim the H-1Bs are of higher-than-average quality, either because they possess rare skill sets or because they are “geniuses.” For either one of those traits, one would have to pay a premium on the open market, which the prevailing wage scales do NOT take into account. Now, if you believe Glassdoor, go there, plug in San Jose for the region, Google for the employer, Software Engineer for the job title, and then try various levels of experience. Needless to say, workers with low levels of experience, i.e. the YOUNGER ones, get much lower salaries.

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      • And yet H-1B violates its own assertions: flooding the labor market with more H-1Bs drives down the prevailing wage due to oversupply, which then allows companies to pay the (new) prevailing wage which is now lower. By very definition, H1B lowers the prevailing wage – which is exactly what companies want.

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  5. I meant… h1bdata.info doesn’t show wage levels relative to prevailing wages, but the wages seem quite high for Google employees and usually the green card sponsorees’ wages are even higher than H1-Bs according to myvisajobs.com. BTW great books on R programming from a computer scientist’s perspective!

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    • Thanks for the compliment.

      Concerning prevailing wage levels, please note my statement that no matter what, the fact that Google is hiring almost exclusively at Levels I and II tells us they are hiring YOUNG people.

      Green card wages should be higher than for the H-1Bs, since the GC wage can be set at what the worker will be making at the future date when his green card comes through.

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      • Hi Norm,

        1. How is it possible to find the “real” wages H1-b’s are being paid while they “wait for GC”? That would expose the industry’s claim of ‘we are sponsoring our H1-b’s at good wages (and the hidden part: we only promise to pay those wages when they get their GC in 10 years and we have no liability whatsoever to retain that employee after he/she gets their GC)’.

        2. Related to the above point, I have learned from your past posts that the H1-b’s (not all, but maybe a sizeable chunk of them), will be in the same boat as Citizens after they get their GC.
        (Citizens’ boat meaning unemployed/underemployed)

        So, do companies use the H1-b’s for the “indentured period” and then fire them when get more expensive?
        (Maybe not all companies but is there a trend with this hiring H1-b’s and firing them after they get GC?)
        Have you heard about any of the Intel’s firing their just GC’ed H1-b’s?

        3. Businesses always find a way to maintain their competitive edge and Google with all the resources they have, can’t they bring the people they want with L1 visa / something else. The Infosyses are bringing a lot of people on those visas and this claim from Google as if H1-b is the only door in is kind of hard to believe especially since Google probably has equal or more resources than the Infosyses and their immigration lawyers can find creative ways to bring people in. All they would need to do is recruit the genius they want in their India / China / other global office and move them here.

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        • One always try the Freedom of Information Act. George W. Bush made it harder to get FOIA, and Obama continued that harsher policy. But even with such data (I do have it for one year), you only know what the H-1B was making at the time of hire, not during employment.

          Once an H-1B gets a green card, they have the option to leave. If the employer thinks this worker has outlived his usefulness, they won’t give him the raise he deserves, and he will lave on his own.

          Google etc. definitely make use of L-1, as a way around the H-1B cap. They hire someone, park her in an overseas branch of the company, then bring her back on L-1 after a year.

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        • Mr. came as an F1, on “scholarship” for Masters. How flattering. Except his min wage bachelor degree’d labor as “research assistant”, billed out as university research for big bucks, paid for that “free” scholarship many times over.
          Next up, H-1B. Now with a Masters, paid what an average new grad with a Bachelors was paid 3 years earlier.
          Next up, working as H-1B with GC pending, complaints, ignored by manager. Upon GC arriving, same manager/same complaints, “Who do you think you are, now that you have a green card?”, and he was laid off.

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          • >> Upon GC arriving, same manager/same complaints, “Who do you think you are, now that you have a green card?”, and he was laid off.

            That’s true for all non-backlogged nationalities. While backlogged nationals will never get the pink slip as they are indentured for life. What more does the employer want?

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        • “How is it possible to find the “real” wages H1-b’s are being paid”
          It isn’t possible. There is nothing that tracks that. Best case they could eval W2 versus LCA (which they don’t) but even that there were just Turkish teacher H-1Bs on TV complaining their employer made them give some of their salary back, and some others in Louisiana complaining agent who placed them in teacher jobs charged them a percentage of their salary and placed them in housing and took “rent” from them claiming it was for their housing.
          This congressman, Issa, says it’s perfectly legal to change salary paid an H-1B, though I doubt the DOL would agree with him.

          $2M in wage theft just in the first few years of this visa spinning up and that is only the number who complained to the DOL.
          pg 22, underpaid, over $2M, within 4.5 years, by 2000
          http://www.gao.gov/archive/2000/he00157.pdf

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  6. Mr. Matloff – I’m a data scientist, and I’m slightly confused by your assertion that 96.1% Google’s green card sponsorees are paid below median wages. I did find out (from the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center site) that Level 3 represents the *mean* wage. Here’s an example:

    http://www.flcdatacenter.com/OesQuickResults.aspx?code=15-1132&area=41884&year=17&source=1

    Could you provide the source saying that Level 3 is indeed the median wage (thereby supporting your oft repeated assertion that “Levels I and II represent below-median salaries”)? I’m guessing I don’t need to explain the potential issues arising out of equating means with medians, especially for right skewed distributions like salaries.

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      • Mr Matloff,
        The link you provided also presents a fundamental misunderstanding of how percentiles and medians work. I’m hoping you did not draw your conclusions based on this.

        “Level 1 is the mean of the lowest-paid 1/3, or approximately the 17th percentile; Level 2 is approximately the 34th percentile; Level 3 is approximately the 50th percentile; and Level 4 is the mean of
        the highest-paid 2/3, or approximately the 67th percentile.”

        Allowing for the “*mean* of the lowest paid 1/3 is approximately 17th percentile” – how is the mean of the highest-paid 2/3 “approximately 67th percentile”????

        The document you sent repeatedly references OES as it’s source of data – and OES sets Level 3 as the mean – not the median.

        Quoting from your Fortune article – “For software developers, the most common type of foreign tech worker, the green card data show the following percentages of foreign workers at Levels I or II making below-median wages: Amazon 91%; Facebook 91%; and Google 96%. These firms, putatively in the vanguard of advanced technology and certainly in the vanguard in Capitol Hill lobbying regarding H-1B, are paying almost all of the foreign workers wages below the median for the given region”

        I understand the need to fit data to narrative, but this feels like disappointingly bad analysis, in the least. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

        MJ

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        • You are correct that they take the mean within the given level. and you are correct that one cannot go into such minutiae in an op-ed or for that matter a blog post.

          In fact, there are tons of these things. I could, for instance, have noted that in the green card application, the employer can state the salary that the foreign worker is expected to be making when the green card comes through, years from now — a figure that would likely be considerably higher than what the worker is making currently. I could have talked about the games that employers and their lawyers play with job titles, in order to get a lower prevailing wage rating.

          Subject to those constraints, I believe my post accurately conveys the gravity of the situation. It is absolutely clear that the vast majority of Google’s foreign workers in software development are young. I assume you don’t dispute that.

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          • Mr. Matloff – as a fellow statistician, I think you fully understand what I’m getting at here. Op-eds (and certainly blog entries) can easily have footnotes explaining the assumptions made, but in this case, that would have given you away.

            Conveying the gravity of a tumultuous situation is great, but deliberately fudging numbers (that’s precisely what you’re doing here) to further your case while wearing the cloak of “statistical analysis” and “unbiased thinking” is willful deception. In fact, these are the exact kind of confirmation-bias oriented arguments that you actively protest in many of your posts.

            The impressive sounding 96% et al falsehoods represent crucial evidence of your argument in your Fortune op-ed – I’m surprised and disappointed that you haven’t been called out for a retraction on them.

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          • You apparently have no idea what an op-ed is. Footnotes?!

            96.1% of Google’s GC sponsorees are at the lowest two levels for their occupation and region. That is a FACT, which you can verify for yourself. And yes, that FACT is indeed crucial evidence in my argument.

            As I said yesterday, I would have loved to write a more detailed op-ed, and explain for example that it is legal for the employer to write a higher salary in the GC application than what he is currently making. In other words, the situation is even worse than what I described in the op-ed. But I was already about their word count limit, and had the settle for less detail. All op-ed writers must deal with this. One thing I do regret is not having a link to my detailed research papers.

            I hope you continue this conversation. But as I did with RH67, I will impose a condition on my allowing you to keep posting here. Just answer one simple question: Do you believe in the laws of economics, and their implication for salaries made by immobile workers? You don’t have to have an economics degree for this.

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  7. > That pleasant image, though, is now somewhat marred by remarks made last week at MIT by Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. CNN Money reports that Schmidt said, “The single stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas.”

    Agreed. That comment is essentially saying, “I, the great Eric Schmidt, have surveyed all policies in the entire American political system and have concluded that the limit on H-1B visas is the stupidest”. It also suggests that there are no problems or abuses of H-1B visas and that the best policy is to just remove all limits on them. Schmidt’s comment is about as thoughtful as my saying, “The single stupidest businessman in all of America is Eric Schmidt.” You really can’t take people who make such incredibly broad statements seriously.

    > Virtually all (96%!) of Google’s H-1Bs are young.

    Yes, this is true of all H-1Bs. As can be seen in the third graph and table at http://econdataus.com/h1binfo.htm , over 80 percent of H-1Bs are under 35 at the time of their initial approval. The latest percentages can be seen in Table 5 at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/H-1B/H-1B-FY15.pdf .

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    • Once again I will make the point that under US H-1Bs are both legally and economically only to be used when there is no SURPLUS of workers. If there is a SURPLUS of US workers, then US law REQUIRES that Americans be hired first. Period. H-1B was and always has been a LIMITED SHORTAGE visa. Since there is clearly no shortage now, H-1B cannot be legal.

      Hence Dr Schmidt’s assertion is both advocating breaking Federal law, AND using H-1B as it was no intended to be used. If there should be no limit on H-1Bs, then isn’t that in reality just saying we should have open borders since no limit means anyone can come in?

      Given all the fraud already in the H1B program, it seems likely a no-limit H-1B would attract every fraudster from every country on earth.

      Is that what an educated, intelligent American with a PhD should be advocating?

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    • Schmidt is is in fact possibly the stupidest businessman in all of the USA.

      He spent $700 MILLION of Novell’s money in the 90s to acquire Wordperfect – a move that almost drove Novell into oblivion as it ran out of cash after that.

      Genius. Amazing the sorts of people they will give PhDs to these days.

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  8. From the CNN link:

    “Schmidt made it clear that when it came to H-1B reform, he was speaking from a business perspective: “I’m not going to make the moral argument because that’s pretty obvious,” he added.”

    What is “the moral argument”?

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    • > “Schmidt made it clear that when it came to H-1B reform, he was speaking from a business perspective: “I’m not going to make the moral argument because that’s pretty obvious,” he added.”

      > What is “the moral argument”?

      I would bet that the moral argument is that we should help workers who face obstacles from living in the third world to reach their dreams. This points to the fact that arguments should always be made publicly, regardless of how obvious its holders thinks they are. I would, in fact, agree that those of us who are better off may have some moral obligation to help those who are not. But the solution is not to say:

      “Look at that poor person who cannot find a job to achieve their potential and fulfill their dreams. Let’s give him your job (speaking to an older American programmer) and let’s have Google accept the burden of higher profits and have Eric Schmidt accept the burden of a higher salary”.

      Of course, if the argument were made publicly, the suggested burden-sharing would be much more equitable. Unfortunately, it seems that some people who are paid high salaries become very arrogant and start to think that they are brilliant in every field, including public policy. That seems to be the case with Eric Schmidt.

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      • My moral argument is HIRE AMERICANS FIRST. Why should an ethnic minority here on a guest worker visa have priority over an equally well or better qualified American simply because of their ethnicity? Why should a foreign national be able to displace a US citizen male simply because she is female?

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        • My guess is that Schmidt meant that there is a moral imperative to hire “the best and the brightest,” regardless of where there is from. This is good for the company and good for the nation. I agree, except that the vast majority of H-1Bs just aren’t in that league.

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          • If they are the best and brightest, why are they going to school here?

            And if they went to school in India, why does quartz india say they are doing so bad?

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          • I continue to believe that taking “the best and brightest” from third world countries is immoral since these are the very people needed to bring that country into the twenty-first century. This is especially the case when the individual has been educated in the US. I believe that the intent of the student visa programs, especially since it is expected that the participants not have immigrant intent, was that the participants were to return home where their new knowledge and skills are, in many cases, desperately needed to assist in the development of the graduates’ countries.

            I believe that the world of today is very different than the world of the prior periods of immigration surges and that the immigrants are very different due to changes in US immigration law and the ease of travel compared to that of even 50 years ago. The world will benefit from an individuals contributions no matter where they are made. US immigration law supports family reunification; this should also mean that it also supports that US citizens should not have to leave the US to find work as is now the case when H-1Bs replace citizens or current permanent residents to the point that there are no available positions for the US worker. If the neighborhood is a mess, one can either fix the neighborhood or flee. Running away is a lot easier than staying for the fight.

            This reference is one of my favorite on immigration: http://www.businessinsider.com/animated-map-shows-history-us-immigration-2015-12. What is most informative is not the numbers of immigrants from the various regions but the reasons for the immigration.

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          • Cathy:

            The best and the brightest usually don’t achieve much in stultifying environments, which is why many of them try to leave their countries and seek out greener pastures.

            And your comment about people needing to stay on and fight instead of running away makes superficial sense until you consider the fact that any real improvement in their home countries will only come about with sea changes in cultures, something that won’t occur within the lifetimes of these peoples.

            Unless, of course, you are asking people to fight in their home (or ancestral) countries Bolshevik-style (or, to take an extreme example, ISIS-style.)

            If some kid in a poor country is fascinated by rocket science and shows aptitude for it, is it so bad for him/her to seek out employment opportunities at NASA instead of forcing them to hunker down and build toilets, or become activists and fight corruption, etc. Or wait until their country gets rich enough to build its own space program, something that will likely not happen within their lifetimes?

            Prof. Matloff,

            A general comment: I have read enough of your blog and others like it to understand the (justified) angst that immigration and guest worker programs cause among ordinary Americans. But in their comments I see virtually no empathy, no understanding of the predicament that people in poorer countries find themselves in. Is such lack of empathy the hallmark of the “America First” ethos?

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          • Actually, I have made many of your same arguments myself over the years. Developing countries need worker bees for technology, not brilliant innovators, and cannot provide opportunities that will make good use of the latter group’s talents. I’ve stated this many times. Hence my constant support for actually liberalizing our policies for bringing in “the best and the brightest.”

            I share your empathy for the poor in the developing world. It is the reason I originally went into the statistics field (perhaps misguidedly) as a math student, and it is the reason that I oppose elitist immigration policies.

            Yet, having said that, I cannot consider the major H-1B sending countries to still be quite in the Third World category. Certainly in the case of China, everyone, even in rural areas, has fairly good access to food, clothing, education and medical care. China is still not nearly as well off as the U.S., but people there are doing OK. India, sadly, is well behind China in this regard, but even in its case there are good opportunities for “the best and the brightest” to make good use of their talents.

            As to “American First,” I have to say that the phrasing makes me wince but the concept itself does not. Trade and immigration policies are being set without the consent of the governed, and generally not to their benefit.

            The H-1B issue has brought mild harm to a great many Americans, and catastrophic harm to a few, including at least one very public suicide. I do believe you should have more empathy for the victims.

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          • Professor,

            Thanks for taking the time to respond. It was not your opinions (which are well-researched and nuanced) that I was reacting to, but those of your blog’s commenters (or at least some of them.)

            In my earlier comment, I did say that I found Americans’ angst over immigration and guest workers to be justified, but let me now clearly state that I fully empathize with Americans who have been hard done by this program. I, for one, would not want to have to train my replacement as a condition for getting severance benefits after being fired. Corporate America (corporates anywhere really) is rather brutal, and thinks of employees as little more than expensive machinery. (I am well aware of your studies on foreigners getting hired in lieu of Americans, and the age issue, but I just picked the most egregious abuse.)

            Can I offer an alternative explanation for the simultaneous existence of unemployed American software engineers (or employed in different professions) and the never-ending demand for guest workers? An explanation that does not involve ageism, cheap labor, or immobile labor. This is drawn both from my personal (albeit limited) interview experiences and from extensive reading of online message boards on the subject. There is this impression among professionals (techies as well as managers) that talent, productivity, and contributions are sort-of normally distributed, even among CS graduates. Therefore, a top programmer is 10x (or 100x) more valuable than the average programmer. So even if an interview candidate seems “qualified”, companies reject them as they want to hold out for so-called superstars. Couple this with the complete lack of interest of such companies in training their new employees; they want every hire to hit the ground running. The profile they seek seems to fit mid-to-high-ranked graduate CS programs, which are (as you know) dominated by foreign students (mainly Indians and Chinese.) Hence the demographic make-up of these companies’ guest workers.

            When you conduct studies showing that these companies reject perfectly qualified candidates, and statistical studies show a correlation of rejection with age and nationality (being a US citizen), perhaps the disconnect is that you have one bar, whereas many of these companies have two: “qualified” and “superstar” (or potential superstar.)

            Anyway, I’ve prattled on for too long. Perhaps you have already discussed (and rejected) this theory. If so, perhaps you can provide a link? Otherwise, can you critique it?

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          • Certainly there is a huge range of programming skill, and yes, I have written extensively about this. I would not want most CS graduates, foreign or domestic, designing the software that runs the airplanes I ride on.

            But I have seen many, many American job applicants who have stellar CVs but don’t even get a phone interview.

            The foreign students in CS and STEM in general are NOT concentrated in the upper-rank schools. It’s actually just the opposite. See my EPI paper.

            I’ve also mentioned many times that a big attraction of hiring H-1Bs among many employers is that the foreign worker becomes essentially immobile, especially if the employer is sponsoring her for a green card. Given two job applicants of equal quality, the foreign one is more attractive, and Google has explicitly stated this.

            Liked by 1 person

        • “he (Eric) was speaking from a business perspective: “I’m not going to make the moral argument because that’s pretty obvious,”

          I think what Eric means is that he and Google have a moral duty to do what is best for the company and its investors. Remember, he is “speaking from a business perspective”. According to one source, the only moral duty a company has towards society is to obey the law.

          Eric said, “We want them to work for us and not our competitors — we want 100% market share of all those people! ” Clearly a selfish view that favors Google and its investors and not US workers.

          Like

          • Numinous wrote:

            > But in their comments I see virtually no empathy, no understanding of the predicament that people in poorer countries find themselves in. Is such lack of empathy the hallmark of the “America First” ethos?

            > When you conduct studies showing that these companies reject perfectly qualified candidates, and statistical studies show a correlation of rejection with age and nationality (being a US citizen), perhaps the disconnect is that you have one bar, whereas many of these companies have two: “qualified” and “superstar” (or potential superstar.)

            You seem to be making two different arguments. Regarding the first, I have developed a good bit of empathy for people from poorer countries, having worked with many of them. My complaint is that tech companies make the false claim that the their actions are driven simply by a lack of qualified candidates. As I stated in my message above, if they made the argument that we should all do what we can to help those from poorer countries, then we could come up with a more equitable sharing of the burden. Tech companies could do their part by supporting programs or lower-paying jobs that older native programmers could move into and those older native programmers could accept their somewhat lower pay or some help from safety nets. Instead, tech companies claim that those older native programmers who were perfectly qualified a decade ago have now become unqualified to do anything technical and should be dumped. As their part of the burden, the tech companies accept their higher profits and the CEO’s accept their higher salaries.

            Your second argument is that the tech companies have discovered that there are a large number of superstars in the world who are willing to come the this country because they can find better opportunties here and/or they desire U.S. citizenship. Perhaps they believe that are enough such superstars that tech companies can effectively dump all native programmers who are in the lower 90 percent of skill level and replace them with foreign programmers from the top 10 percent. Once again, if they were to openly make that argument, we would be much better off. Then we could properly tell American students that they would do well not to go into programming unless they truly show the promise of being superstars. We could tell all programmers that they should likely save more of their earnings because there a fair chance that they will fall from superstar status when they turn 50. Those who are not superstars would know to go into another line of work and we could develop programs for those who need to make the transition. Instead, tech companies push the lie that there is a large shortage of qualified, or even trainable, candidates. I have people tell me that, with over 15 years of C++ and Java, it should be simple for me to find a job. Yet I can hardly get any companies to even look at my resume. If tech companies would openly admit to one or both of these arguments – that we need to help people from the poor countries and/or that they only want to hire superstars, we would all be better off. Instead, I suspect that they will continue to push the shortage of qualified STEM workers argument. That avoids having to admit that any of those unemployed native workers are being treated unfairly or deserve any assistance. After all, if they are unemployed, they must be unqualified.

            Like

    • I believe “the moral argument” according to industry is that the US and its citizenry is obligated to compensate H-1B and other immigrant labor with LPR/citizenry for their cheap labor donation to the record profit industry.
      This is similar to Clinton’s discerning amnesty for illegal immigrants who’ve donated 4 years or more to illegal employer in the form of labor for suppressed or no wages.
      I generally refer to this as all privilege, no responsibilities (we, the 1%, get the profits, you, the public, get the bill).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I question the quality of content of this h1bdatainfo web site’s data, which they claim on their site is the federal LCA database.

    I have a copy of the federal 2016 database and it says: Google’s lowest salary for certified LCA is $32552
    At the web site you listed above, Google’s 2016 lowest salary certified, $67,900.
    Similar disparity for Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Intel, Wipro, JPMorgan, and Bloomberg, all of which show a higher bottom salary at h1bdatainfo than in the actual LCA federal database.

    Cisco and Yahoo are the only matches of lowest salary for certified LCA, of my hasty sampling.

    Furthermore, they post a median salary, and given this data they display contains LCAs that are denied and withdrawn, I question the median.

    Next, “the wages seem quite high for Google employees”
    – for their profession? No.
    – for their location? No.
    – for H-1B’s purported expertise? No.
    Their wage levels, in comparison with the above, are not “quite high”.

    I have the PERM databases but haven’t run salary numbers on them.

    Like

  10. Either eliminate the H1-B program entirely or proscecute CEOs for breaking federal law and imprison them. Only a few will be needed before the rest get with the program.

    Like

  11. Mr. Matloff,
    Thank you for the opportunity to continue the conversation. To answer your question – yes, I absolutely believe in the laws of economics, and their implication for salaries made by immobile workers. I haven’t questioned either in my comments.

    Here’s a simple yes/no question for you in response – do you stand by the following assertion and numbers in your Fortune op-ed (including the asterisk points), even after acknowledging the fatal flaw above?

    “Those critics point out that the Infosyses tend to pay below-average wages. But so do U.S. firms. The wage rules for H-1B and green card sponsorship are broken down into Levels I, I, III and IV, *with Level III being the median*. For software developers, the most common type of foreign tech worker, the green card data show the following percentages of foreign workers at Levels I or II *making below-median wages* : Amazon 91%; Facebook 91%; and Google 96%. These firms, putatively in the vanguard of advanced technology and certainly in the vanguard in Capitol Hill lobbying regarding H-1B, are paying almost all of the foreign workers wages below the median for the given region”

    MJ

    Like

    • MJ, forgive me, but you are attempting to claim expertise based on seeing a very brief part of a complex issue that you do not understand. For example, the OES data include both means and medians, contrary to your statement.

      To answer your question, yes, absolutely, I stand by what I wrote. It was a fair analysis, and the DOL does take Level III to be approximately the 50th percentile, i.e. the median. It’s right there in black and white for all to see. I would write the same again.

      Your talk of “a fatal flaw” reminds me of a class I took when I was an undergraduate. The professor found a typo in the textbook, and he said, “You can rip that page out of your book and throw it away!”, a comment that makes me chuckle, many years later.

      The industry lobbyists love to do pounce upon “flaws” whenever they see research that has results critical of H-1B. I’m proud to say they’ve never done so with me, not even once, even though they criticized other researchers.

      Now, just to be clear: I take it that you agree that the tethering of the foreign workers means that, on average, they will be paid less than what they would get on the open market?

      Like

      • Mr Matloff,
        You’re taking an inductive leap in criticizing my understanding – if you look through my comments, I have not expressed any subjective belief regarding this complex issue. I absolutely agree with your statement that “the tethering of the foreign workers means that, on average, they will be paid less than what they would get on the open market”.

        I simply disagree with the assertion that Amazon, Facebook and Google pay more than 90% of their H1B employees below median wage.

        I do not see how one implies the other.

        MJ

        Like

  12. The issue is that money chases money and businesses will cheat to get more money. Voters need to vote for those with a track record to regulate in favor of people. Businesses are users of people and, therefore, they should be paying for students to go to school, because, in the end they will use those students after graduation for their own benefit, They will use those students either to buy their product or to work for them.

    Like

  13. Thank you. Such unbridled greed. It’s not like Zuckerberg is struggling to buy his first house.

    And how many cases have there been of foreign high tech workers selling our trade secrets?

    Like

  14. All those Google salaries are higher than the same H-1B could get in Los Angeles. If Google promises to empty Los Angeles of H-1Bs, I’m all for it.

    Like

  15. Another take on the H1B visa system, for a company like Google, is that the program allows them to train and acclimate an entire population of overseas workers at HQ. They can bring them here, teach them American work habits and systems, then send them home already prepared for the eventual expansion of the company in their native country. They are creating an installed base of workers for an overseas expansion.

    Like

  16. Unfortunately, it is not just corporate trade secrets being misappropriated by foreign nationals. University funded research in the interest of national defense and homeland security is being transferred by both faculty and students/post docs to foreign institutions and governments. To add insult to injury, federally funded travel budgets are financing some of the travel of individuals doing the sensitive research to countries known to be involved in espionage.

    Like

  17. You seem to talk a lot about h1b in tech mostly but not sure if you know a large percentage of management consulting is also run by h1b as well, wonder what your thoughts are?

    Like

    • H-1B is abused in all the fields I’ve seen. I talk about software developers because they are the most numerous, but for example it’s just as bad in statistics/data science.

      Like

    • McKinsey comes to mind, which back in the day was CEO’ed by an H1B from India. McKinsey was one of the first companies adovocating offshoring – not surprisingly. Delloite currently has an Indian national originally on H1B. Much of the offshoring hype we hear in fact comes from foreign CEOs and the paid PR firms their companies hire.

      At one smaller software company I was a dev at in 2004, the (Indian H1B) VP of Dev told me “We need to have control so we can make the hiring and offshoring decisions”.

      Like

  18. Haha, professor I see you’re a bit of a Google fanboy ;). I loved Google too, has always been my dream company but never mustered up the courage to interview. The process is too random and it depends a lot on luck (what kind of interviewer is on your loop). The tech industries recruiting overall is a crapshoot these days.

    Like

    • I use Google every day, and find their products quite useful. However, in view of the fact that I served as an expert witness for the plaintiff in a well-publicized lawsuit against Google, I don’t think they consider me a fanboy at all. I use the firm as an example a lot, because their behavior in H-1B makes them an obvious target. 🙂

      Like

  19. I received an email from Sara Blackwell. She and ProtectUSWorkers.org are organizing a “You’re Fired” Rally in front of White House on Monday June 26 at 11 am.

    http://protectusworkers.org/youre-fired-rally-front-white-house-june-26-11/


    “Recently, President Trump and several others met with Tech CEOs to discuss H1B and other issues. The tech CEOs are the specific individuals who most benefit from outsourcing, offshoring, and visas. On June 26, the president is meeting with India’s Prime Minister Modi to discuss H1B and other issues. The only group not speaking to the president about H1B are American workers or any immigrant affected by outsourcing/offshoring. We will not sit aside quietly and let the lies prevail. We will stand for truth.

    On June 26, while the president is meeting with India’s PM Modi, we are rallying in front of White House at 11 am. We are rallying to remind President Trump that he was elected to learn the truth and stand for American rights and workers. We want him to know the truth.

    Please join us. Many people are traveling from all over the nation to attend. Please see the rally mention in Breitbart at http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/06/20/americans-laid-off-h-1b-outsourcing-rally-white-house/

    Follow details on social media and contact Sara Blackwell at sara@theblackwellfirm.com and 941-961-3046 if you have questions about the rally. Hope to see you there!”

    Here’s the flyer:

    I watched the coverage of Trump’s meeting with the tech CEOs yesterday and there was no talk of tamping down on H1B. Even when Satya Nadella and Tim Cook mentioned immigration and skills, Trump just kept nodding. I’m disappointed. Today I hear that there’s been more H1B workers brought in this year. It is under Trump’s watch but I realize these visas were approved last year under Obama.

    With Trump meeting with Modi, ProtectUSWorkers.org and Sara are doing the right thing by getting up front and saying we want a voice in this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Modi seems to be under the impression that H1B is a mass immigration program. H1B is a SURPLUS worker program NOT a mass immigration program. WE ask YOU to come here, YOU don’t TELL US who will come here.

      Like

  20. I just saw this news release from earlier this month (June 6) on the Department of Labor’s website:

    US Secretary of Labor protects Americans, directs agencies to aggressively confront visa program fraud and abuse

    https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/opa/opa20170606


    After a thorough review of the U.S. Department of Labor’s foreign worker visa programs, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced actions to increase protections of American workers while more aggressively confronting entities committing visa program fraud and abuse.

    “Entities who engage in visa program fraud and abuse are breaking our laws and are harming American workers, negatively affecting Americans’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. We will enforce vigorously those laws, including heightened use of criminal referrals,” said Secretary Acosta. “The U.S. Department of Labor will focus on preventing visa program abuse and take every available legal action against those who abuse these programs.”

    The secretary determined that it is now the policy of the department to enforce vigorously all laws within its jurisdiction governing the administration and enforcement of non-immigrant visa programs, including:

    Directing the department’s Wage and Hour Division to use all its tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor protections provided by the visa programs.
    Directing the department’s Employment and Training Administration to develop proposed changes to the Labor Condition Application, and for the division to review their investigatory forms, to better identify systematic violations and potential fraud, and provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers and the general public.
    Directing the division, ETA and the Office of the Solicitor to coordinate the administration and enforcement activities of the visa programs and make referrals of criminal fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.
    Establishing a working group made up of senior leadership from ETA, the division and Solicitor’s office to supervise this effort and coordinate enforcement to avoid duplication of efforts and maximize the efficiency of the department’s activities regarding the visa programs. The working group shall invite OIG to send representatives to participate in its efforts.

    The department will also continue to work with the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to further investigate and detect visa program fraud and abuse.

    In addition, work has already begun on promoting the hiring of Americans and safeguarding working conditions in the U.S. The department has begun to prioritize and publicize the investigation and prosecution of entities in violation of visa programs. For example, in the first successful legal action of its kind by the department, the department obtained a preliminary injunction under the H-2A visa program from the U.S. District Court for Arizona against G Farms for illegal and life-threatening housing provided to agricultural workers. The department continues to investigate the violations at G Farms and has also been in contact with the OIG on this matter.

    The department’s OIG has focused substantial investigative resources towards combating visa-related fraud schemes. Their sustained efforts have led to significant results, including convictions of attorneys, employers, recruiters, corrupt government employees and labor brokers. Highlights of some of OIG’s recent successes combating fraud in the H-1B program, for example, are available here: https://www.oig.dol.gov/OIGBrief-H1B.pdf
    OPA News Release:
    06/06/2017

    I think that the Labor Condition Application (LCA) is really the key to a visa application getting approved or denied but I’m getting conflicting info about whether or not an American worker should be considered or hired before hiring a foreign worker. Prof. Matloff – you say that it’s not a requirement while another commenter/user (perhaps Glob) said that by law, it is illegal to put a foreign worker first over an American. Which is it and what will the DOL news release changes affect?

    Like

    • The DOL has no legal basis to deny an LCA based on criteria that you probably have mind, e.g. giving Americans hiring priority. The law was written by the industry and its allies, totally in their favor. THERE IS NOTHING TO ENFORCE. Yes, glob claims otherwise, but the statute that he cites is vague and is interpreted as being covered by prevailing wage requirements etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, so we’re back to looking to Congress to make any significant changes to these alphabet soup immigration programs, unless somehow Pres. Trump can write an EO that can make a dent. I was just made aware of the EB-2 program for highly-skilled, unique ability immigrants. Seems like its bar is lower than the O-1 program and this has also been abused by corporations. H1B, F1 OPT, and now EB-2, it’s an assault on many fronts.

        Like

        • All those “letters” may be in the same “soup,” but there are important differences. O-1 is a temporary work visa, while EB-2 is sponsorship for a green card, i.e. permanent residence.

          Like

          • What abuses, if any, of the EB-2 program have you seen? Seems like if it’s a perm resident program, there’s much less abuse since the worker isn’t that indentured? Or are the workers still abused since it’s still a sponsorship?

            Like

        • Wait….. unique ability…… I thought all the corporations were telling us that “no one is replacable” and that all workers are just commodities, and that IT was being “commoditized”. How can you have a “unique ability” visa when there is no such thing as a “unique worker”? Unless of courses they are lying to us, which I am SURE they would never do, right?

          Like

  21. I’m starting to see anti-H1B people JUST start to mention that H1B also hurts immigrants who are now green card holders, legal permanent residents or US citizens. It’s been mentioned here – including from me – that older Indian-Americans are also getting shut out in favor of their younger counterparts fresh from India. Not to mention African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans. Found the comment from Sara Blackwell here:

    Iowa IT Firm Caught Posting ‘No Americans’ Job Listing
    Company apologizes after placing ‘H-1B only’ ad on recruiting site, blames third-party vendor
    http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/san-diego-it-firm-caught-posting-no-americans-job-listing/

    Like

    • EEOC is not doing it’s job – it’s that simple. It should be defunded and closed down.

      And we are not “anti-H1B” we merely want the original agreement enforced – that H1Bs would be Y2K temporary workers and go home after Y2K was over as agreed. And we just want the laws enforced and illegal foreign staffing companies prosecuted for breaking those laws. And Americans just want returned what was taken from them by foreign powers. After all, we worked to build it and they didn’t. Nickle-sniffing foreign powers aren’t entitled to something we built.

      Like

        • I stand corrected. I should have said “we merely want the original 1998 and 2001 agreements enforced – that the workers coming in on the 1998 and 2001 increases would go home when Y2K was over”.

          Instead the opposite has happened – not only did they not leave, they moved in and setup their own staffing agencies – now know as “India Incs” – to bring millions more in.

          The American people NEVER agreed to allow large foreign corporations such as the InfoSyses to move in and set up shop – along with 1000s of smaller India Incs. But that is what has happened.

          Like

          • >> The American people NEVER agreed to allow large foreign corporations such as the InfoSyses to move in and set up shop

            Ironically, the same Americans either voted for the politicians to create laws/regulations that let these Indian shops to walk over them or chose not to exercise their right to franchise!

            Like

    • >> that older Indian-Americans are also getting shut out in favor of their younger counterparts fresh from India.

      Sorry, but older “Indians” who are now LPRs or otherwise are no better deserving than their young/fresh “counterparts” — if these older indians lose their jobs, they always have the option of going back to their home land and still continue to live over there just like their younger counterparts – and the same cannot be said about “american”-americans.

      Majority of these so called older indians that are here on LPRs etc do not deserve what they have – They are here through L-1A/EB1C route (high school or less educated that are on “einstein” visa), mom-and-pop body shops sponsoring them at a “cost” and so on…

      Like

        • >> I’m not sure the immigrant Indian-Americans even CAN go back to India

          Dont think so. The original poster was comparing “older” indians to “younger” indians. Both of these categories have been born and brought up over there – So even if it takes longer, they should be able to go back. But, the children of these “older” or “younger” Indians may have an “cultural”/”assimilation” issue by going back.

          On the other hand, “American”-Americans cant go anywhere once they lose their jobs in their own country. There is a difference.

          Like

        • None of them want to stay in US. They love their homeland, just not the poverty. Once they have our $ and are set for life, they are out. Most of them do go back – before age 35. And they retire in luxury. Have you seen the massive luxury condos they are building in India with our remitted $?

          Like

          • Life is hard in the third word. No rational Chinese, Indian or Pinoy wants to go back to their homeland. At least in my own case, the civic discipline and infrastructure of roads, water, internet, electricity etc will be dearly missed – I look at USA as stable, meritocratic and law abiding society.

            I am skeptical about $ remittances to buy property back home. In fact many of the hopeful immigrants save nickel and dime to invest in property in USA because it helps (in some way I cannot remember how) in their GC processing + usual tax breaks. I just wanted to introduce this angle to you Glob.

            Another interesting note.
            People I know from nationalities other than the backlogged GC ones have enlisted in the forces after getting PR’ed to shave 5 years and a tonne of uncertainty off their citizenship process. Unfortunately many Indians, Pinoys and Chinese will be too old to serve once they get their PRs. There should be an alternate channel for those willing to enlist while in the GC pipeline, I would jump right in.

            As an individual I want to migrate to places where I can live a fuller and happier life, USA is at the top of my list for many reasons. My ambition is not to suck the welfare teat but to have peaceful existence – To have a police force that responds in a few minutes, functioning courts of law, low crime and freedoms as guaranteed by the American constitution are enough luxuries for me.

            Like

          • International Student,

            This is the problem that our world has – third world countries with major internal problems – and their citizens who want to leave for the US to get away from their problems. And with the US with this insatiable appetite for immigrants – and more with the Dems, liberal elites with their self-righteousness and their crazy view on immigration – it’s unsustainable.

            Just like socialism is not the answer, mass migration from these third world countries to the US is also not the answer. The problem with socialism is its rewarding of people for not being productive and therefore lowering the GDP, instead of encouraging citizens to get off their ass to serve themselves and be rewarded for their efforts, increasing GDP.

            I think the solution is at the international community level or perhaps the US telling the ‘leaders’ of these third world countries to get their country’s situation into shape. As I’ve said here 1-2 years ago, it’s the high levels of corruption and political structure that’s keeping these countries at the third world level.

            Just like the US and the int’l community established the constitution, government & economy of Japan, Germany and the Balkans – which are now stable and productive countries – this should be the approach to all these third world countries that are the source of the instability in our world. But with the mess that Obummer and Dubya caused to our country, this will have to wait for Pres. Trump to turn around.

            Like

        • If the evaluation/assessment currently being done by the DOL, Sessions and USCIS come back saying that 3 million skilled American IT workers are unemployed right now and they recommend to revoke the 1 million H1B visas and 2 million green card holders who were former H1Bs, I am all for it. But we all know that that’s not going to happen.

          I was just watching IBM’s Ginny Rometty on Cramer’s Mad Money, and she’s talking all about these ‘new collar’ jobs and apprenticeships going to millennials, which she says makes up 50% of IBMs workforce, it’s obvious that they want younger workers and pushing out older workers.

          Like

      • I don’t have nationwide stats, just anecdotes. That guy I met, he was brought here in the 70s when he was 5-6 yrs old by his parents via his Dad who was a doctor. The ones that are the newly minted LPRs would probably fit this profile better. On another example, over 10 ago I worked with this Indian who was a Systems Analyst. He’s a US citizen now but strangely, he’s working in India as a financial advisor. Not sure if he couldn’t get a job here in the US now that he’s older. Also, the switch to a lower standing job was surprising.

        I’ve also noticed – when I was in the Orlando and Tampa Bay/St. Pete area, I saw several hotels/motels with Indians at the front desk. I wondered if this was becoming a trend as years prior I saw Indians running Subway sandwich shops in Southern California.

        Like

        • Yes, as I have said before, today’s H-1B is tomorrow’s victim of the H-1B program. Aga discrimination has no racial boundaries.

          Yes, immigrants tend to go into niche sectors, the “Patel motels” being one example. I once saw a statistic that 30% of our small motels are run by Indians, probably more now. Paul Theroux was rather harsh on them in his recent best-selling book, Deep South — but then Theroux is harsh on EVERYBODY. Rent the old movie Mississippi Masala for a more sympathetic view.

          Like

    • Ah yes, the usual “LOOK, OVER THERE!” response they give when they are caught keeping Americans out of the workforce. We all know exactly what they are doing: waging systematic silent economic warfare on Americans to keep us out of the workforce. They can’t hide it much longer as the InfoSys TX suit is now showing.

      Like

  22. Glob, you may want to look into an economic term known as “carry trade”. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rate at close to 0% for more than 10 years, while interest rate is quite high in emerging markets. Trillions of dollars have been invested in the emerging markets, while the American taxpayer guarantees the risk. With all that discussion regarding Wall-street corruption, why does the government still have faith in the financial markets without much regulation or the reinstatement of Glass Steagall Act etc.? It’s also one of the causes of inequality in the US. I am not an economics expert, but you may still want to look into trade agreements of the US with these emerging economies & laws to hold borrowing investors accountable. As for how the US & emerging markets’ govt., companies & people justify such kind of activities is unknown to me. I don’t think that people involved expect severe harm to the US economy as they could easily have done so by taking in millions of refugees (UNHCR).

    The reason for posting this comment is to inform you that remittances, outsourcing & FDI are not the only reason why emerging economies have grown so fast. There are hidden markets through which tons of money flows into these countries & the US policy regarding such trade practices can be found in trade agreements (which may be hidden like TPP) or perhaps by enquiring economic research institutes.

    Like

  23. The fact that Pres. Trump can change the regulations on the H4 and the OPT programs with an executive order but hasn’t – not even a mention of either – is unsettling. For the coal miners and apprenticeship program he has high media profile events but for STEM and high tech jobs – nada, zilch. Disappointing.

    Like

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