2007 May 20 Sunday
Corporations Want To Retain More Control Over Immigrants

Some of the big corporate employers of tech workers do not like certain provisions of the latest US Senate illegal immigrant amnesty bill. Why? The big businesses claim they are best equipped to decide which types of labor the US labor market needs.

Robert P. Hoffman, a vice president of Oracle, the business software company, endorsed that goal but said the bill would not achieve it.

“A merit-based system for allocating green cards may sound good for business,” said Mr. Hoffman, who is co-chairman of Compete America, a coalition of technology companies. “But after reviewing the proposal, we have concluded that it is the wrong approach and will not solve the talent crisis facing many U.S. businesses. In fact, in some ways, it could leave American employers in a worse position.

“Under the current system,” Mr. Hoffman said, “you need an employer to sponsor you for a green card. Under the point system, you would not need an employer as a sponsor. An individual would get points for special skills, but those skills may not match the demand. You can’t hire a chemical engineer to do the work of a software engineer.”

Sounds like a fair objection at first glance. But no. A dirty little secret of current work visas is that they lock Indian and other foreign programmers into single employers for years. No need for those employers to pay competitive wages when the indentured servants have to stay with their sponsoring company to wait for their green card application to reach a fairly advanced stage of approval.

If we are to bring in technical workers they should be the smartest ones we can find, not the ones that save corporations the most dollars. A points system should use IQ scores to set a minimum threshold. Also, corporations should compete for slots by either paying for the slots in an auction or by offering higher salaries for positions. If a foreign import is only worth, say, $40k then the corp offering to pay for that position doesn't need the foreign import all that badly.

The corporations tell lies about labor economics and do so without shame.

Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, explained the reason for employers’ keen interest in the issue: “We do not have enough workers to support a growing economy. We have members who pay good wages but face worker shortages every day.”

Good wages? How about paying wages at rates where the supply and demand of labor equal? There are no shortages of labor. There are only the prices at which demand drops and supply rises to the point where supply and demand equal. The US Secretary of Commerce repeats the same sorts of economic fallacies that the US Chamber of Commerce dishes out.

Carlos M. Gutierrez, the secretary of commerce, said immigration was essential to economic growth because “without it, we will have significant labor shortages in key occupations.”

I figure these men are smart enough to know what they are saying is dumb. So I figure they are lying as part of a general propaganda drive to fool American citizens. Our elites attempt to deceive us. Sometimes they succeed. Be aware: If high government officials and business interests are trying to convince you to support something that is in their interest at least part of what they are telling you is a lie. It is not like they have high moral scruples.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 May 20 09:51 PM  Immigration Elites Versus Masses

John S Bolton said at May 21, 2007 12:51 AM:

One obvious fallacy in Guttierez' line is the 'without it, we will have' some negative result,
as if only two alternatives existed: mass indiscriminate immigration, or no immigration at all.
That is a very obvious attempted deception, especially when the
present issue is all about different classes of immigrants,
illegals versus others, etc.
Another way of looking at it, is to point out the straw man aspect.
Restrictionists don't say let's have zero immigration,
yet the alternatives offered were mendaciously constrained.
If rational arguments were available,
for mass immigration of undesirables
at the cost of the net taxpayer,
they would now be used. Instead were given fallacies, mischaracterizations of the restrictionists'
positions and the usual new left smears.
These people hate America, and will tell any lie that stands a chance of destroying it.

Kenelm Digby said at May 21, 2007 5:05 AM:

Just why is the private interest of profit-making corporations and their shareholders elevated above what is perceived (by some Whites)as being the national interest?
I am fully aware of the need to nuture industry, BUT, traditionally in societies what is deemed a 'national interest' is always given the highest priority - even if this means death and destruction in warfare.
Money-making by a few priveleged businessmen surely is the epitome of a vested private interest.
Saying all that, the inability of American Whites to think in trems of 'Ethnic Genetic Interest (vide Salter) as at the root of all of this.

Ned said at May 21, 2007 8:05 AM:

I am always amused whenever I hear about "shortages" in capitalist economies (of course, under socialism/Marxism/communism, shortages are expected and permanent). Under capitalism, there are no shortages, only prices. If something is highly demanded, its price will naturally rise, but you can have all you want if you can afford to pay for it. I could greatly improve the appearance of my driveway by paving it with gold bricks, and probably cut down on maintenance too, but I just can't afford it, although I probably could if I were Bill Gates. So I find it amusing (and more than a little disgusting) when these hypercapitalist types from the Chamber of Commerce and Big Business talk about "labor shortages." There are no true labor shortages in the US - only a lack of Americans willing to work for what they are willing to pay. Hell, you can get Ivy League MBA's to pick your apples if you pay them $150,000 per year and throw in a BMW and some chardonnay. What these sharp business types are really saying is this: "We want to fatten our bottom lines by bringing in lots of foreigners who will work for cheap. By the way, we like them nice and docile so we can keep them on a short leash and not have to hear any guff about unions or wage and hour violations. If they make trouble, ship 'em back! And if this screws ordinary American workers - too bad! Of course, like all business, we like government subsidies, so just send the bills to Uncle Sam for these foreigners' health care, education and criminal activity. What do we care? Profits über alles!"

What ever happened to patriotism?

Roger said at May 21, 2007 8:36 PM:

I'm a tech support manager at a Major Silicon Valley tech company. I've hired more than a few engineers from India here on H1B visas. Most of them work for "Body Shops" and are contracted out to the main employers. If I want to convert an H1B from contractor to permenant its only a minor hassel to transfer the H1B. While working for the Body Shop, we pay through the nose, and the Body Shop boss takes a HUGE cut. We'll pay about 180K annual, and the engineer sees maybe $60K. I want to convert these guys as soon as I can get headcount. HR tells me overhead is about 1.5x salary, so if I can bring them in at 90K, it cuts our cost to 135K. We're Happy. The Worker is happy. The Body Shop owner isn't, but we won't do business with them unless they allow the conversion to perm after 6 months. I've tried to bring kids in at 65-70K, but they wouldn't bite, unless we paid them the same salary in North Carolina (these guys learn quick). One kid got pissed, went back to the body shop who contracted him out to Cisco. Maybe he can latch on there at 90K.

The problem is the Dollar. The Dollar MUST implode, and foreign currancies need to rise. If currancies aren't allowed to float, US labor will have a tough time competing. We've open up a support center in Banglore, and are planning to greatly expand it. Its cheaper.

Quequeg said at May 21, 2007 11:58 PM:

Recently, the dollar has fallen sharply (relative to the Indian rupee).

I wrote a blog entry, in which I argued that at the rate the dollar is falling, outsourcing to India will stop being profitable in 2.3 years.

Irish Savant said at May 22, 2007 4:24 AM:

The only problem with focusing on high IQ immigrants is - who will be the hewers of wood and drawers of water? In Ireland now it seems that low level as distinct from high level jobs are occupied by immigrants. This will apply much more strongly in those countries with low (non-immigrant) population growth.

Mensarefugee said at May 22, 2007 5:21 AM:

I definitely fit the bill as a High IQ immigrant. But I spent 6 months working the graveyard shift in a seedy downtown area at a fast food joint. It was not a safe job, and it was definitely a dirty one. Some people (overwhelmingly black) if allowed to use the toilet would smear their feces around the toilet rim to take a particularly repellent example.

Point is, high IQ types can do the hewer of wood work if need be. In fact many hewer of wood type jobs lose a large chunk of their unattractiveness if Low IQ types werent around.

Bob Badour said at May 22, 2007 9:29 AM:

One doesn't have to look far to find hewers of wood and drawers of water.

One doesn't need to import millions of ignorant (and often stupid) peasants to do these chores.

D Flinchum said at May 24, 2007 3:18 PM:

A lot of this is also that US businesses don't want to spend money on training. I learned my first programming language at 20 and my last in my 50's. However US businesses don't want to spend the money for training their employees. They'd rather spend it on big bucks for their CEO's.

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