American engineering and IT workers are being sold out: How this affects YOU

by 1389 on October 15, 2007

in China, immigration, India, Islam, IT profession, outsourcing, tech industry, U.S. law

Another organization that should be defending our interests becomes corrupt…

The IEEE, an organization that should be defending the interests of professional engineering workers, has betrayed its constituency and has sold out to the “body shops” that are importing de facto indentured servants to the US.

From the 10/14/07 Sunday Overnight Open thread on Little Green Footballs:

re: #14 itellu3times

IEEE-USA is writing a letter to Congress that USA citizens should no longer have preference over green-card holders in getting US jobs.

[Link: www.ieeeusa.org…]

I have no will power to further explain or excuse this, one more depressing event in the selling-out of the American people.

Even the f*****n Kos has a poll up on it, if you’re so inclined:

[Link: www.dailykos.com…]

And the Programmers Guild requests the honor of your signature:

[Link: www.programmersguild.org…]

Go to Programmers Guild and sign the document TODAY!

I have signed this, and you should too!

It is time to end the irredeemably corrupt H-1b visa program once and for all. There is NO shortage of American IT and engineering workers who are qualified and are ready, willing, and able to do good work!

The H-1b program supposedly has restrictions to prevent the displacement of American workers, but those restrictions are flouted across the board. Vast numbers of foreign workers, primarily (though not exclusively) from India and Islamic countries, and often with severely limited English-language communication skills, are being imported to the U.S. to work at lower wages and to displace older and more qualified American professionals. These foreign workers are de facto indentured servants.

The upshot is that it has become all but impossible for qualified, hard-working, reputable, and experienced U.S. citizens to find any permanent employment in the IT and engineering fields. Established professionals who once held what seemed to be secure jobs are now traveling around the country to do contract work for a few months at a time. They seldom, if ever, are offered regular, full-time employment with benefits.

Consequences for homeland security – and our future

We are outsourcing the expertise that we need to defend our country. Do we really want key portions of the US technical and communications infrastructure to be in the hands of foreigners whose loyalties are elsewhere? (See Engineer indicted on spying for China.

No wonder American college students are no longer interested in studying these subjects – the jobs simply don’t exist!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Foehammer October 17, 2007 at 9:24 am

Americans are being sold out at an alarming pace by the elites. I don’t generally go in for conspiracy theories, but I can’t help but believe that the Middle Class is under attack. At once it might actually seem to be racially motivated on some levels and justly so, but I see that it goes beyond just a matter of culture and ethnicity — this is class warfare.

2 Richard October 17, 2007 at 6:56 pm

I wanted to highlight the following quote pulled from the Daily Kos’ post.

IEEE-USA is asking Congress to remove this requirement, and instead make the green card an entitlement to foreign engineering and tech students upon graduation.

The thing that makes international students indentured servants is the fact that currently they are trained (in the same way that Americans are trained) and often are just as experienced. However the current rules means with an H1-B visa, they cannot stay in the country unless they have an employer who is willing to spend the money to sponsor them.

These employers are rare. Thus you find students who will take a job that pays less than they are worth (although the H1-B visa will not be granted unless the pay is proven to be of industry standard in the area that they are working in, but they are regularly on the low end), and will have to endure more than they would normally because of the restrictions.

Loosening those restrictions means that there is no longer an incentive to undersell oneself, and no need to endure jobs or working conditions that are less than ideal. If international students actually go for jobs that pay what they are worth (because of the training and experience they’ve had in American schools and at American internships), then the problem of American techies losing their jobs because of the availability of cheaper labor disappears.

3 1389 October 17, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Richard,

Clearly, you read the daily dose of evil-minded drivel from Daily Kos, but you never bothered to read and understand the material at the Programmer’s Guild link, which provides a sound rebuttal to that line of thinking.

FTA:

“Once obtaining a BS degree becomes a path to U.S. citizenship, U.S. universities and subsequently the U.S. tech professions will be overrun by foreign-born workers seeking any means to enter the US to escape the low living standards that pervade most of the world. This deluge will continue regardless of whether a labor shortage exists in the United States.”

Daily Kos and its denizens are motivated by the desire to destroy the hard-working, honest American middle class. They will use anything and everything to accomplish that end.

Nor did you read what I had to say. The supposed safeguards in the H-1b and other visa programs that are intended to prevent the displacement of American workers are routinely flouted and are completely unenforceable.

There is not now, and never has been, any shortage of hard-working, dedicated, honest, loyal, and eminently competent American knowledge workers. Trouble is, they expect to be paid a living wage and to be treated with respect where respect is due.

The same is not true of those who were born and raised in an atmosphere of Third World corruption and squalor, who would avail themselves of our prosperity without absorbing any of the values that made that prosperity possible, and who have nothing but contempt for us and for our way of life.

Everyone from Bill Gates to the bean counters at the major banks and insurance companies wants an endless supply of tech workers, knowing full well that they will never need that many! This vast oversupply provides the managers with the luxury of a buyers’ market. It drives down the wages of all tech workers, so that managers can afford to order them up from “body shops” by the dozen or the hundred at the drop of a hat.

Since there will always be plenty more knowledge workers available in the future, surplus workers can be disposed of as easily as toilet paper if it turns out that the managers overestimated the current need and rented too many.

I will conclude by saying that there is no excuse to import any IT or engineering workers whatsoever – not a single one! We already have more than enough American workers to do the jobs, and if we stop importing unneeded foreign workers, American college students will once again be willing to study these subjects. On the other hand, if we continue importing foreign workers, our IT, communications, and engineering infrastructure will be in the hands of foreign workers whose loyalties are elsewhere, and the US will be impossible to defend. But then, if you read Kos, that’s obviously what you want, is it not?

On another topic, I am most unimpressed by the name you entered as an email address (which I assume is not a genuine address). Even as a joke, why name yourself after a living synonym for corruption and/or his equally corrupt (albeit reputedly less stupid) father?

1389

4 Richard October 18, 2007 at 1:21 am

Firstly, you should try emailing me first before you assume my email is false. I was born with that name quite independently of the mayor.

Secondly, with regards to this.

Nor did you read what I had to say. The supposed safeguards in the H-1b and other visa programs that are intended to prevent the displacement of American workers are routinely flouted and are completely unenforceable.

My experience with H1-B visas contradicts this statement. However, I’m assuming that you have experience that supports it, in which case the argument becomes experience vs. experience which, unless one of us has statistics to back it up is sort of pointless.

Thirdly, I don’t regularly read the daily Kos, you linked to it. I have no idea what the reputation of the blog and the posters are, I was going off of the information that you pointed to that said what the letter was about. However, looking at the comments there, most people disagree with me so obviously I’m not toeing their line.

So let’s talk about the other quote you posted.

“Once obtaining a BS degree becomes a path to U.S. citizenship, U.S. universities and subsequently the U.S. tech professions will be overrun by foreign-born workers seeking any means to enter the US to escape the low living standards that pervade most of the world. This deluge will continue regardless of whether a labor shortage exists in the United States.”

I would agree with that, except it doesn’t address the problem that you bring up, namely that there are American Techs losing jobs to cheaper H1-B workers.

There is truth in the assertion that several people move here to get a higher standard of living. Under the current system, foreign students who graduate, either have to get a job with a company that will sponsor them for an H1-B, or leave the country. You can’t get an H1-B and then find a job, also, if you switch jobs while on an H1-B visa, you have to reapply.

Put yourself in the place of the student who desperately wants to stay in the country. You are applying for jobs and at some point you will have to tell your employer that he or she will have to spend around $5000 and likely hire an immigration lawyer in order to hire you. Employers don’t like to hear that. Therefore, in order to get a job with an employer who will consider that, you decide to settle on a lower wage, because at least you will stay. This is why H1-B workers are cheaper now.

So the best solution is to remove the motivation for H1-B workers to undersell. If you allow H1-B workers to stay in the country while looking for a job, and to even take temporary and contract work, or even to wait tables in between tech jobs, then they will not be so desperate to get the jobs that will sponsor visas as to undersell. Instead they will attempt to get a job that pays according to their education and experience.

Finally I did want to clarify the following statement

There is not now, and never has been, any shortage of hard-working, dedicated, honest, loyal, and eminently competent American knowledge workers. Trouble is, they expect to be paid a living wage and to be treated with respect where respect is due.

The same is not true of those who were born and raised in an atmosphere of Third World corruption and squalor, who would avail themselves of our prosperity without absorbing any of the values that made that prosperity possible, and who have nothing but contempt for us and for our way of life.

Are you saying that the qualities of hard-working, dedicated, honest, loyal, and eminently competent are particularly American qualities and are generally not present among people from the third world?

5 1389 October 18, 2007 at 9:20 am

1) Regarding your email addy, I’ll take your word for it. I value my privacy and had no need to contact you directly rather than reply via the comments.

2) Maybe your experiences have not revealed the total failure of the “safeguards” in the H-1b program, but everybody else seems to know about it by now. Employers go to great lengths to work the system at the expense of American workers. There’s a whole cottage industry of lawyers who specialize in facilitating the mass immigration of foreign tech workers at the expense of MORE qualified American workers.

For your viewing pleasure: Fake Job Ads defraud Americans to secure green cards for foreign workers

3) Daily Kos is a hard-left website that regularly provides a venue for foulmouthed, anti-Semitic, anti-American, and pro-jihadist ranting and raving. I provided the link only because I was quoting a conversation on LGF that used Kos as an example of how the left is allying itself with the enemies of the American tech worker.

4) Regarding your assertion that removing the need for H-1b would end the displacement of American tech workers:

I would agree that the need to find one particular employer to sponsor an H-1b visa holder does put foreign tech workers in a poorer bargaining position with regard to wages. But once an employer has absorbed the cost of sponsoring the H-1b worker, when it is time to decide whom to let go, the employer will keep the H-1b worker, so as not to lose that investment, but will instead discard the US citizen worker, who is being paid at a slightly higher rate anyway.

On the other hand, scrapping the already dysfunctional H-1b program in favor of allowing an unlimited influx of foreign H-1b workers would only drive wages even further down for all tech workers. This glut of knowledge workers would make it even less likely that a US citizen tech worker will find a permanent job. The upshot is that any employer can order up an unlimited number of contractors for a pittance, the very instant they are needed, and dump them out on the street the very instant they are not needed. How could you possibly know so little about economics that you would not understand this?

5) “Are you saying that the qualities of hard-working, dedicated, honest, loyal, and eminently competent are particularly American qualities and are generally not present among people from the third world?”

Not unique to America, but unique to the developed world. Poor countries are poor and remain poor because
they lack the rule of law (which NOT mean shari’a!) and instead are mired in a culture of corruption. Culture is embodied in the belief systems and the behavior of individual people. Immigrants from poor countries have been indoctrinated with ideologies, such as socialism and/or Islam, that are incompatible with the US Constitution and that can never form the basis for a viable civil society.

Third-world poverty myths

Make the Rule of Law a Necessary Condition for the Millenium Challenge Account

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE: Global Poverty and the World Bank

Muslim Poverty, Response to Nuray

Islam and Economic Development

People arriving en masse from poor countries retain their old mindset unless given strong incentives to do otherwise. At present, with the multiculturalist propaganda in the US and other western nations, we no
longer put any pressure on immigrants to adopt our world view and to fit in. You can see the results in western Europe right now – they have imported hordes of jihadists who make no secret of their intentions to undermine the societies that have so foolishly allowed them to settle there.

6) By far the most important point is one that you refused to address: There is NO shortage of American engineering and IT workers, and never has been! Hence, there is NO justification for allowing even one foreign tech worker to come to US shores, and there is NO justification for allowing any noncitizen tech workers already here to remain any longer. End the visa program NOW, send them ALL home without delay, and watch the economic revival of the US begin to happen!

6 Richard October 18, 2007 at 10:48 am

Regarding point 6. Do you have official statistics (preferably not from a second hand article) that compares the number of Americans graduating in IT and engineering to the number of new jobs being created?

Regarding point 5. I understand that this blog is specifically anti-islam, but not all foreign nationals are islamic/socialist. Quite frankly, those articles are quite surface level and don’t seem to be making much more of a study/argument beyond a single correlation, when there are several other correlation and factors that should be examined, if only so they can be dismissed. The rest talk about foreign aid, and are interesting discussions but wasn’t a part of the discussion we were having.

How could you possibly know so little about economics that you would not understand this?

The principles of economics would imply that although there would be this problem at first, supply and demand means that the system would adjust itself so that the workers get equitable wages.

Anyway, I do want to get back to point 5 for a bit.

Not unique to America, but unique to the developed world.

This statement is in the same vein as saying that all Jews are dishonest, or all Southeners are stupid, or all black people are violent. It’s both patently untrue, and borders on bigotry. Ironically, it’s also exactly the same way that radical Islam portrays America. Are you comfortable in making a statement that has such pristine company?

7 1389 October 18, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Regarding point 6, I have indeed seen such statistics, and they are indeed convincing, but I don’t have them at my fingertips, and there is a limit to the amount of time that I care to spend debating with one individual rather than continuing with other tasks.

Be that as it may, I sense such a tremendous degree of stubborn ill will from you that I have begun to suspect that you have some personal ax to grind in this matter. No matter which documents or statistics I present here, you will make some disparaging remark, such as calling the articles “surface level,” without actually refuting anything in the articles themselves. Those articles DO make a valid point – it is that you are strongly motivated not to acknowledge that point!

No, not all foreign nationals are Islamic/socialist. Some are merely one or the other, and some are neither. But the fact is that we don’t need any of them here, and it is impossible to do a good enough background check to pick out the good ones from the others.

And yes, you are bad at economics.

The principles of economics would imply that although there would be this problem at first, supply and demand means that the system would adjust itself so that the workers get equitable wages.

“Equitable” at what level? You are saying that the US is obligated to take in everybody who wants to flee from dysfunctional economies throughout the world, so that our wages and those of the Third World will meet at some “equitable” level – that would not represent what anybody in the US would now consider to be a living wage. As much as I don’t like to think such thoughts, I find myself hoping that you will very soon get to experience for yourself the joys of living at such an “equitable” wage, so that you will finally comprehend the situation that you insist that I am obligated to accept as normal!

Typical of people like you, as soon as you run out of viable arguments, you play the “racism” card:

This statement is in the same vein as saying that all Jews are dishonest, or all Southeners are stupid, or all black people are violent. It’s both patently untrue, and borders on bigotry. Ironically, it’s also exactly the same way that radical Islam portrays America. Are you comfortable in making a statement that has such pristine company?

The answer is yes – I do feel perfectly comfortable in making such a statement. Radical Islamists make remarks like that about us, but except for where temporary oil wealth obscures the real lack of productivity, their countries provide such a subhuman standard of living that it’s a complete joke. Like the Communists, the Islamists try to claim that their “utopia” will take hold after they conquer the whole world and impose their system on it, but I’m not buying it. On the other hand, the developed countries of the world have the rule of law and a certain level of social trust that makes civil society possible. I want to live among people who have been brought up to believe in the rule of law, not among those who consider kleptocracy, endless bureaucratic cronyism and corruption, endemic tribal warfare, or ongoing brigandage to be the normal state of affairs!

It is extremely reprehensible of you to play the “racism” card when you run out of arguments on an issue that has nothing to do with race. Socialism is not a race. Communism is not a race. Islam is not a race. Those are all IDEOLOGIES. People of all races are deluded by them!

Ideologies, for good or for ill, are belief systems that are embodied in the attitudes and behavior of the individuals who subscribe to them. Each individual has the CHOICE whether to believe in an ideology, or to go on looking for something closer to the truth.

But you keep ignoring the most important point! There is NO shortage of American tech workers, and foreign workers in those fields present an unacceptable security risk. There is NO reason why any more foreign workers, especially tech workers, should be allowed into the US. There is NO reason to allow those who are already here to remain any longer!

8 Richard October 18, 2007 at 11:12 pm

with regards to your most important point. I asked you for statistics to support it, you said you don’t have them on hand. Without statistics, it basically becomes a shouting match between you and I whether there is a shortage of American workers or not, and that’s not productive.

The ideology part of the statement is not what borders on bigotry (I didn’t say racism). It’s the implication that there is no honesty, no hard working people, none who are loyal, and none who are competent outside of those countries considered first world is the part that is bordering on bigotry. This is why I asked you to clarify that statement. You could have clarified it with regards to ideology, but you clarified it by country. And yet when challenged you attempt to justify it by talking about ideology.

Your statement about ideology is true, people of all races are deceived by them. Which also means that people of all races are liberated by good ideologies. You cannot truthfully, claim that all foreigners embrace bad ideologies any more than you can claim that all natives embrace good ones.

But like you said, you are perfectly comfortable making a statement that is as false as the ones jihadists and radical islamists make about the west. The fact that you are comfortable doing that speaks of a fundamental disagreement between you and I that colors all future discussion

So here we stand, fundamentally disagreeing and having the “most important point” unsupported by any visible statistics. And while I do understand that you may not wish to spend the time finding it for one individual, I hope that you eventually do find some first-hand statistics and post them in these comments so that anyone who stumbles across this post like I did could see the empirical basis upon which you are making your argument.
In the meantime I will be bowing out. It’s been interesting debating with you. If you ever feel the desire to contact me, to continue this conversation or for some other reason, you have my email address.
Good night, and God bless.

9 d. October 19, 2007 at 2:06 am

you are all peasants. you are all thinking like peasants.
So long as somebody else owns your work you remain peasants. Not only is it true that somebody else owns your job, but that job can be moved to wherever they feel like. You might find yourself trying to find work in some programmer town in India or China soon.
How do you get to own your employment again?
I honestly doubt if you can.
In the 1920s independant farmers tried co-ops. They became peasants even faster.
In the 1930 factory workers tried Unions. Simple serfs.
In the 1960s young Hippies wanted to turn their Gov’t back into a democracy. They all ended up working as slaves paying the bankers for the right to retire, someday.

So your employers are giving their work, their jobs (theirs, not yours because they own them, you don’t) to other people instead of you. Whether they bring the people to your country or whether they send the jobs out to be done makes only minor differences.

10 Doctor Bulldog October 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm

d. & Richard

Your deductions are based on complete fallacies. You’ve very adroitly rationalized the entire affair to your own satisfaction.

Having worked with foreign electronic engineers in the past, I can assure you that they do not hold a candle to American engineers, nor can they write coherent standard operational procedures, as English is not their primary language – leaving the poor test technicians scratching their heads as to the true course of action in testing the operation of a poorly developed piece of electronic apparatus.

But, be that as it may, the real concern here is not foreigners taking American jobs, but rather foreign spies compromising sensitive trade secrets.

In the 1990’s, I worked on satellites at Space Systems / Loral in Palo Alto, California. Bubba (Pres. Bill Clinton) cozied up with China, facilitating the working relationship between China and Space Systems / Loral (Bernard Schwartz was the CEO SS/L). On numerous occasions, I personally witnessed the Chinese making copious notes on sensitive information. I relayed my concerns to upper management and was promptly “blacklisted.” Suffice to say, I quit my job over that scandal. Bernard Schwartz was investigated a few years later, but nothing really came of that.

Now, China has our technology and is actively building and launching satellites of their own, based on the information they obtained from espionage activities at Space Systems/Loral and the launch facilities at the cape in Florida and Kourou in South America. But, again that is not the main problem. The main problem is that they also used that technology to build Satellite Killers and to blind our satellites when they fly over China – giving them a significant military advantage should we ever (heaven forbid) be forced to wage war with them.

Espionage and criminal activity, not a fear of job loss – for there is a copious supply of jobs out there for everyone, are the key poins of contention with hiring foreigners and placing them in sensitive areas.

Cheers

11 Doctor Bulldog October 19, 2007 at 2:20 pm

P.S.- errata – that should read, “key points of contention.”

Cheers

12 Cao October 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Supply and demand works …only in an economy where there isn’t something going on such as outsourcing.

Let’s take a look at some statistics.

About the Engineering Gap – from Businessweek.

Quoting a Duke report, the U.S. was graduating 222,335 engineers, vs. 215,000 from India. The closest comparable number reported by China is 644,106, but it includes additional majors. Looking strictly at four-year degrees and without considering accreditation or quality, the U.S. graduated 137,437 engineers, vs. 112,000 from India. China reported 351,537 under a broader category. All of these numbers include information technology and related majors (click here to read the full Duke report).

The question that needs to be answered is: How many of the 200K + engineering graduates are American and how many are aliens, returning to their home country after graduation??

Business Week’s Michael Mandel (September 15, 2005: ) compared starting salaries in 2005 with those in 2001 and discovered a 12.7% decline in computer science pay, a 12% decline in computer engineering pay, and a 10.2% decline in electrical engineering pay. Marketing salaries experienced a 6.5% decline and business administration salaries fell 5.7%. Despite Sarbanes-Oxley, a make-work law for accountants, even accounting majors were offered 2.3% less.

Using the same sources as the Business Week article (salary data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers and BLS data for inflation adjustment), Professor Norm Matloff at the University of California, Davis, made the same comparison for master degree graduates. He found that between 2001 and 2005 starting pay for master degrees in computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering fell 6.6%, 13.7%, and 9.4% respectively.

How many jobs are being created? That’s an interesting question. But what we DO know is that salaries for professionals in these areas are not increasing, as they should….if ‘supply and demand’ were in fact working.

So the question is…why isn’t it working? What are these lower salaries due to or a result of? Could it possibly be that jobs that are offshored are comparably expensive to American science and engineering graduates and so they are not being paid what they would have been?

Certainly the decreases aren’t a result of inflation…!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) payroll jobs data , over the past half-decade (January 2001—January 2006) the US economy created 1,050,000 net new private sector jobs and 1,009,000 net new government jobs for a total five-year figure of 2,059,000. That is seven million jobs short of keeping up with population growth, definitely a serious job shortfall.

And we don’t know if the majority of those jobs are McDonald’s and Starbucks. What percentage of new jobs are related to science and engineering?

Maybe our friends who are so knowledgeable here can shed some light on the answers to some of these questions. The statistics that I’ve been able to find are outlining a frightening picture for college graduates in the technical areas.

13 Cao October 19, 2007 at 8:32 pm

That should have read comparably inexpensive…the market is going to adjust; and will naturally adjust when they can find technicians in India, Northern Ireland, etc., that will work for cheaper wages as contractors (and serves as an additional cost savings on benefits).

14 Carolyn Hileman October 19, 2007 at 8:49 pm

I think that until they have made the Visas fool proof we should stop allowing any new ones in. Until they can track these Visas and tell us when one has expired and where the person is that has it we will not be protected from terrorists who are here with expired visas and ready to strike…

15 Ogre October 20, 2007 at 8:28 am

There’s honestly no need to import workers from any country for any industry in America today. Seriously. As mentioned, we have lots and lots of technical workers that are currently unemployed. We have lots of other workers who are unemployed. Any industry that claims they cannot find enough workers is just outright lying.

Since you’re only convinced with numbers, the National Statistics Office said that unemployment rates for technical/professional jobs is at 13% FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS. There, all the proof you needed.

16 Cao October 20, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Even then, they won’t believe us because they’re taking the “media matters” view of things; which is no matter what we say, we’re lying. If we provide the source, they try to discredit or debunk the source; there is no reasoning with the irrational mind.

Particularly the irrational mind that is in DENIAL.

That ain’t just a river in egypt, lol

17 thomas December 18, 2007 at 11:55 am

Just a little logic will tell you what the H1B program does.

The law of supply and demand applies to labor.

When supply increases or demand decreases the price of a commodity(like labor) goes down. Producers make less, supply decreases and the price reaches a balance. It’s a nice feedback system that works well, It’s called Capitalism and Free trade.

When Government interferes in the Free market that is socialism or Communism.

These Cheap visa indentured servants who lack the rights of Americans to change jobs, join unions, negotiate salaries, and who are baited with the Carrot of U.S. citizenship and the favorable exchange rate do nothing to help this country.

More Visas = greater supply of engineers= lower wages = less Americans entering field = lobbying for more cheap labor H1B’s…..

Less visas = increased wages for engineers = Americans entering field = Less visas needed.

The companies who whine about the lack of engineers are the same ones who glorify free trade with country’s that have lower standards of living, and few if any enforced labor or environmental laws.

For the PC crowd: does anyone know the proportion of male to female visas? I see very few women getting these, shouldn’t it be around %50 or is the program deliberately sexist?

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