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[P]
H-1B Visas Up 14% During Tech Downturn

By Baldrson in Culture
Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:11:46 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

The Associated Press reports that "U.S. companies and other groups applied for 342,035 H-1B work visas in 2001, up 14 percent from 2000, before the economy tumbled.", "The number accepted also rose by 40 percent..." and "About half ... are for computer related jobs." The article cites research by UC Davis Professor Norman Matloff saying that "wages of computer programmers and engineers working in the U.S. on the visas are 15 percent to 33 percent lower than those of U.S. citizens".


Mark Shevitz of VisaNow is quoted as saying, "I think it surprised everyone. All that you hear about in the media is these huge layoffs and the tech industry is just shedding workers."

Finally, the article reports "Bay Area companies Oracle, Cisco Systems, Intel and Sun Microsystems were among the top users of the program in 2000, as were universities such as Harvard and Yale. The INS did not have numbers available on how many applications the companies filed last year amid layoffs."

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H-1B Visas Up 14% During Tech Downturn | 76 comments (76 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
here's one for all you techno-capitalists (4.00 / 6) (#1)
by Arkady on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:20:58 AM EST

Just in case you were wondering on whose side government and business have been all along, here's a nice demonstration of how much your boss and your government care for you. ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


On the other hand (4.75 / 4) (#3)
by Delirium on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:45:00 AM EST

If you're an Indian or Pakistani programmer, you might be quite pleased at the doings of all these techno-capitalists.

[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#4)
by Arkady on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 06:02:08 AM EST

That's certainly true; thanks for the laugh. ;-)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Good thing.Let markets sort out themselves. (3.77 / 9) (#2)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:30:48 AM EST

I am sorry for the geeks in the US that are having a hard time, but in all honesty their salaries are far too high and in a liberalized global economic environment this is sorted out somehow, if the visa restrictions were too stringent then US based companies would choose to relocate to where people are cheaper to hire.

So I think the US is having the least bad outcome: they get brilliant people, 30% cheaper than the local talent, they will spend a good amount of their salaries in the US economy while at the same time puting presure to bring salaries to a more realistic level.

If capitalism is the better economic system Homo Sapiens has invented, better we get used to its ways of working (if one is paid loads of money get one should get ready for the trip downhill when everybody will want a piece of the action and your talent becomes a comodity).




---
Those who sleep can't sin.
Those who sin, sleep well.

I don't think so... (4.60 / 5) (#5)
by Cheerio Boy on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 07:18:58 AM EST

I am sorry for the geeks in the US that are having a hard time, but in all honesty their salaries are far too high and in a liberalized global economic environment this is sorted out somehow, if the visa restrictions were too stringent then US based companies would choose to relocate to where people are cheaper to hire.

Personally, I know you're wrong from direct experience.

Until recently I have been out of work since April of last year. I was getting paid $50k to do all of the following tasks and more:

Re-configure the network regularly to reflect corporate policy.

Teach users the basics on how to use the new systems and be available to answer questions.

Repair/Replace hardware.

String network cable.

Integrate Solaris and Windows networks seamlessly.

Explain purchases to corporate beancounters and suits so that our division wouldn't get our spending frozen for buying RAM for our server.

Re-utilize older equipment.

Take and edit digital photos because no one else could do so properly.

Do maintenance on all laser printers because no one bought a maintenance contract.

Setup/modify the ADT computer card system.

Apply patches and service packs on all systems regularly - patches about once a week, service packs whenever Micro$oft came out with them.

Burn sales presentation CDs for the salesmen to give to customers.

Continually re-justify having a foreign platform - Unix - in the Windows network.


This list may seem fairly short but add in the fact that to get all this done on the corporate timetable I had to often work 12 - 14 hour days, come in on weekends, work during lunch, deal with upper-level corporate managers that didn't have a clue, and you have a great ball of stressful situations around you constantly.
That causes, among other things, weight problems - anxiety problems - insomnia - job performance problems due to interruptions - and a multitude of other little things that have to be handled.
Often the insurance provided by the company doesn't cover stress related issues unless a chemical imbalance is found. Add to that no free time because you can't leave for any length of time, partly because you have too much to do, and partly because you know something will break while you're gone - often because the corporate office won't pay for a properly working replacement system or part. Add the leash or on-call status to it and you effectively never leave work.


Many people doing IT work get paid too little...

Now on top of anything else - you have to be worried about making face time with the suits so that they know who you are and that you are performing up to their performance requirements so that you don't get replaced by someone doing the work for less money!

I have nothing against foreign employees - some in fact are much better than their US counterparts - however most don't last that long from what I've seen and if they do they're actually in a worse position because they have even less money to compensate for the same types of problems. How some of them keep from cracking under the strain I don't know.


So I think the US is having the least bad outcome: they get brilliant people, 30% cheaper than the local talent, they will spend a good amount of their salaries in the US economy while at the same time puting presure to bring salaries to a more realistic level.

What do you think is a realistic level? I personally find from people I know online around the country that even at $50k it is often not enough to get by especially if you've suffered any previous type of financial hardship and have any serious bills. Sure $50k in most places, and in most situations, is more than enough money to survive.

Often though the person has things like large student loans, an extended family, an inflated car payment, an inflated rent or mortgage payment, extra insurance to cover what the company insurance doesn't handle, large credit card debt, higher income tax, having to buy equipment to support your work because the company won't pay for it, etc.

These things often suck the money out of anything that you might be making and leave you with effectively nothing. I've seen the money go back out just for necessary things and seen the bank account empty just after paying bills.


If capitalism is the better economic system Homo Sapiens has invented, better we get used to its ways of working (if one is paid loads of money get one should get ready for the trip downhill when everybody will want a piece of the action and your talent becomes a comodity).

I'm of the opinion that capitalism doesn't work properly and that something else needs to be created. Without going treckish I think that part of the solution would eventually be an automated way of making most things for people, food, clothes, computers, etc. This would get rid of the pressure to make money to survive. I know this leads in the direction of communism but I'm still naieve enough to believe that somewhere down the road we can be free of having to worry about our day-to-day living arrangements unless we want to.

After all, besides personal power trips which should be handled as treatment for meglomania, the majority of people today are only doing what they have to do because of money. If money wasn't an issue they would be doing what they want instead of having to overly fight for their survival every day. I'm sure you'd rather be doing something you love to do rather than work you have to do right? ;-)

Incidentally I am now working for my former employer on a consultant rate basis and about to start a short-term contract today. The money is more than what I was previously getting paid because the need for all my services is there and because they can't find someone with my level of experience to fill it for less money and they most likely won't. Once you've been in the tech community for more than 5 - 10 years it's often hard to find a replacement for you with the same level of experience. That's part of what companies are paying so much for.



[ Parent ]
Markets are impersonal. (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 07:58:17 AM EST

It would be interesting if you point out why do you think my initial assesment is wrong.

I can confidently say that US salaries for the same work tend to be bigger in absolute terms than salaries of other people around the world. In reltive terms (what you can buy were you live with that money) the differences are even starker. Just ask any US IT guy that has moved to Europe, they will most probably tell you how salries can't buy the same amount of stuff.


I know that it surely feels that one is paid little when the burden of work is too much, unfortunately the economic forces don't recognize that, economic forces are amoral by nature and unfortunately they could not care less about human feelings. I guess the guy that makes a living in a gold mine in Brazil and gets paid 10 cents per hour (guessing here) surely feels it is too little, but market forces say that is the right ammount: if he walks away there are hundreds of others that will gladly do the same.

It certainly feels like that is not good, that we should do better organizing our economic efforts, while we try to invent something better the reality is that economic processes recognize mainly two facts: supply and demand.

During the higest point of the .com craze most IT people could expect to fetch big salaries that had nothing to do with their expertise, knowledge or workload. Demand was high supply was low, thus the product (IT skills) became highly valuable. I (and most probably other IT people) could expect to earn as much as people with 10 or 15 years experience in other fields with only basic expertise (that very often was confined to get some training, either at home or in school). We even got told by pundits (*Time magazine*cough*cough) that the new economy recognized that experience counted for nothing as long as one was bold and imaginative.

Came the slum and several things conspire: as I said everybody wants a piece of the action because if became realtively easy to make good money with less effort, thus you eventualy get excess of geeks. Comes the crisis and every single company cuts people. So you have now all the ones that were rushing to become IT experts plus the ones downsized in a contracting market. Low demand and high supply. Recipe for lower wages.

Now you have companies that can't pay as much as before, thus they either contract cheap workers or move abroad.

The ones that escaped all this crap? People with real expertise. They became even more valuable because in general terms they can solve problems faster and cheaper.

Anyway, there is nothing you, I or anybody else can do about this. Put fences in the borders and people will find a way to sneak in. Make it absolutely impossible for people to migrate and companies will relocate. Forbid companies to relocate and you get the USSR were on top of being paid little one could buy nothing because not enough was produced.
---
Those who sleep can't sin.
Those who sin, sleep well.

[ Parent ]
Damn neo-liberal market populist tools... (4.33 / 3) (#29)
by 0xdeadbeef on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:10:37 PM EST

Anyway, there is nothing you, I or anybody else can do about this. Put fences in the borders and people will find a way to sneak in.
Indeed, just this morning I went down to that corner and hired a few for the day to design a some database schemas and write a few JSP pages. All that, on the cheap, and no taxes to deal with.

You seem cured of the delusion that borders are good, but seem to have remarkably little understanding that H1-B visas are a separate issue. They are an even more unnatural manipulation of the market forces you worship, highly dependant on those annoying borders. The restrictions placed on immigrant workers puts downward pressure on their salaries, which ends up screwing all of us.

[ Parent ]

Re: Markets are impersonal (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by khallow on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:21:03 PM EST

It would be interesting if you point out why do you think my initial assesment is wrong.

I can confidently say that US salaries for the same work tend to be bigger in absolute terms than salaries of other people around the world. In reltive terms (what you can buy were you live with that money) the differences are even starker. Just ask any US IT guy that has moved to Europe, they will most probably tell you how salries can't buy the same amount of stuff.

I know that it surely feels that one is paid little when the burden of work is too much, unfortunately the economic forces don't recognize that, economic forces are amoral by nature and unfortunately they could not care less about human feelings. I guess the guy that makes a living in a gold mine in Brazil and gets paid 10 cents per hour (guessing here) surely feels it is too little, but market forces say that is the right ammount: if he walks away there are hundreds of others that will gladly do the same.

Hmmm, I think you are in turn giving "market forces" more substance (and personality?) than really exists there. The agents participating in markets make decisions (often very personal) not the markets which (by definition) just indicate the presence of certain types of transactions (ie, a "job market" is a place, physical location or not, where job transactions occur). Incidentally, gold mining in Brazil seems to be a poor choice for an example since many nonmarket influences (political and physical power of employers and government backed social programs) are distorting this market.

It certainly feels like that is not good, that we should do better organizing our economic efforts, while we try to invent something better the reality is that economic processes recognize mainly two facts: supply and demand.

During the higest point of the .com craze most IT people could expect to fetch big salaries that had nothing to do with their expertise, knowledge or workload. Demand was high supply was low, thus the product (IT skills) became highly valuable. I (and most probably other IT people) could expect to earn as much as people with 10 or 15 years experience in other fields with only basic expertise (that very often was confined to get some training, either at home or in school). We even got told by pundits (*Time magazine*cough*cough) that the new economy recognized that experience counted for nothing as long as one was bold and imaginative.

If you look at the parties organizing the high tech bubble, you see that they did quite well. Perhaps the problem isn't how to organize the economy, but rather who gets to organize the economy?

Came the slum and several things conspire: as I said everybody wants a piece of the action because if became realtively easy to make good money with less effort, thus you eventualy get excess of geeks. Comes the crisis and every single company cuts people. So you have now all the ones that were rushing to become IT experts plus the ones downsized in a contracting market. Low demand and high supply. Recipe for lower wages.

Now you have companies that can't pay as much as before, thus they either contract cheap workers or move abroad.

Here's the question that didn't get asked. Is it the job of the US government to distort job markets in a way disadvantageous to US employees?

The ones that escaped all this crap? People with real expertise. They became even more valuable because in general terms they can solve problems faster and cheaper.

Anyway, there is nothing you, I or anybody else can do about this. Put fences in the borders and people will find a way to sneak in. Make it absolutely impossible for people to migrate and companies will relocate. Forbid companies to relocate and you get the USSR were on top of being paid little one could buy nothing because not enough was produced.

This argument is weak. First, the main issue here is a government subsidized supply of high tech and other educated workers (with limited job mobility). Also the argument that nothing can be done is wrong. I can see a solution that would more actually allow for immigration of educated workers and gauge the true demand for employees in effected industries. I have a couple of recommendations.

First, give H1-B's more power. I've seen a couple of suggestions here. Ie, make the companies pay more when an H1-B is sent back home, and allow the H1-B more opportunity to switch jobs while in the US. Second, auction off H1-B slots. If a company really needs to import workers, then they should be willing to pay for the slots (say for one year or mulitple years). A reasonable gauge for determining whether supply of H1-B's is too small or large is by examining at the cost of bidding on an H1-B. Ie, a firm should be willing to bid 5-10% of the job salary. This provides a good mechanism for determining true need for H1-B' s. Further, H1-B visas are allocated in a fairer market-driven way than the current process.

[ Parent ]

Re: Markets are impersonal (none / 0) (#55)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:59:11 AM EST

Hmmm, I think you are in turn giving "market forces" more substance (and personality?) than really exists there. The agents participating in markets make decisions (often very personal) not the markets which (by definition) just indicate the presence of certain types of transactions (ie, a "job market" is a place, physical location or not, where job transactions occur). Incidentally, gold mining in Brazil seems to be a poor choice for an example since many nonmarket influences (political and physical power of employers and government backed social programs) are distorting this market.

I'd like it if you elaborated on this. How are political, physical(?) and social programs are affecting gold miners' salaries in brazil?

If you look at the parties organizing the high tech bubble, you see that they did quite well. Perhaps the problem isn't how to organize the economy, but rather who gets to organize the economy?

I don't think bubble was "organized". But even if it were, people who have the money did it. Inventors invented new things, people with money bid on it. At some point they realized they bid too much and backed out. What exactly was wrong with that 'organization'? Should someone else have bid peoples' money for them? Should someone else have decided *for* them not to back out?

Here's the question that didn't get asked. Is it the job of the US government to distort job markets in a way disadvantageous to US employees?

Gov't organizes markets to be most efficient, which is good for population in general, sometimes at a cost to some particular profession. When gov't allows cars to be bought in Japan or Europe, that is bad for Ford and GM employees, but it's good for population in general. Importing a tech guy from india is not economically different from importing a BMW, in this context.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

indian dude may be worse off? (2.00 / 7) (#8)
by Rainy on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 10:31:53 AM EST

My impression is that dudes from china, india or russia will do the same work for 20k and be thankful 'cause back there they'd be getting 1/5th of that and work even harder. Here's the thing, there are two possible economic principles, one of free market of workforce and one of closed market. We're living in a mixed environment now. If we were living in a purely free job market, someone from Honolulu could come here and take your job at any time, without any paperwork or beaurocracy. If we lived in a purely closed market, you wouldn't get your job unless you were in a tech support guild, and you'd inherit that position because your dad was in it, like artisans in medieval europe. There's a sliding scale, going from absolutely closed guilds to absolutely free market. Note that we had been moving toward free job market because it's a more efficient scheme. Consider that when you go to a store to buy you some milk, that milk is fairly cheap because milk farm business is an open job market. If it weren't, they'd have to pay more wages to people working there and you milk would cost more. Same thing goes for your house, your car, your computer, tv, furniture and so on. We all instinctively feel that it'd be better for us if our job market was as closed as possible while all other job markets were as open as possible, because then we'd have high salary but pay little for things we buy. This instinct is destructive because other trades won't allow you to do that, so if you push your own job market to close (say by writing your representatives and voting respectively, other trades would also push to close their job markets, so you'll get twice or salary but pay thrice (or something) for your shopping. Now, as for car loans, family, college loands, etc.. That's your problem. When you took a loan, there was no point in contract that said "I'll pay it back IF you don't let tech support from india in US.". You had a choice, you could have passed on it. You made a wrong judgement and now you have to make amends, decrease spending, buy a cheaper car, rent a smaller appartment, stop paying for the ISP, etc. NOT push your country to put an iron curtain down.

Sorry if I sound harsh, that's my opinion.

I don't know much about economics, I may be totally wrong here. All of this just seems obvious and logical to me.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Geography Lesson (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by mcherm on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:19:56 PM EST

If we were living in a purely free job market, someone from Honolulu[sic] could come here and take your job at any time, without any paperwork or beaurocracy[sic].
I feel the need to point out that the US constitution pretty-much guarantees that someone from Honolulu[sic] CAN come "here" (anywhere else in the US) at any time.

I am not really sure if they'd have to deal with "beaurocracy".

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]

Yeah (1.50 / 2) (#19)
by Rainy on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:37:53 PM EST

Sorry, my mistake. Why put sic there, though? That's how it's spelled. Incidentally, isn't it a bit harsh to score a post down to 3 for one nitpick?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
RTFM plz tks (none / 0) (#34)
by zantispam on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:34:04 PM EST

Incidentally, isn't it a bit harsh to score a post down to 3 for one nitpick?

I think he did the right thing.



Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
Do elaborate! (none / 0) (#50)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:23:21 AM EST

It don't say a word there about nitpicks! In my opinion, if there's an error in a post that is not essential to the point the post is trying to make, it shouldn't lose more than 1 point. If he didn't reply, I'd assume he found some things about the post were wrong, but since he did reply and correct 2 spelling errors (one of them wasn't an error at all) and correct one mistake that wasn't essential to the point I was making, I just have to ask, what's wrong?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Subject (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by zantispam on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 10:49:10 AM EST

From the FAQ:

There are several factors that can determine your subjective perception of a comment's quality:
  • Is it well-written and structured? Has a lot of effort gone into its creation?
  • Is it of importance because it is true (to your knowledge)?
  • Is it of importance because it is a common fallacy which should be more visibly refuted?
  • Is it funny?
  • Does it give a lot of new information which you were not previously aware of, but find convincing?

Which of these attributes you find more important in determining a high or low rating from 1-5 is completely subject of your discretion. Low ratings (1-2) are generally intended for posts of lower quality, but there is an important difference to high ratings: Like school grades, low ratings can make an author feel bad. Nobody will stop you from overusing them, but don't be surprised if some people you rate down react emotionally.

It's generally accepted that a three rating is average. Not a great comment, but not an awful one by any stretch of the imagination. Fours are for well written, well thought out posts, and fives are generally reserved for extremely well done posts. For instance, I pretty much automatically give fives to iGrrrl when the subject of molecular nuerobiology comes up - considering that she is a doctor in the field and all that. Ones go to inflammitory posts that add nothing to the conversation. Twos and fours go to posts somewhere between the extremes.

Looking through your comment history, I see that you're a fairly prolific poster who tends to be moderated fairly high. I imagine that you received a score somewhat lower than what you thought you deserved. IMHO, he gave you a higher score than you deserved, simply due to your ignorance of geography and lack of formatting in your post. Ah, I see it's at two right now - that seems about right.

It don't say a word there about nitpicks!

Nitpicks are covered in the 'lower quality' bit. Again, Honolulu is a part of the US. Since you live in the US (at least you appear to, given the use of 'here' in your original post), it would behoove you to at least learn which lands are a part of the country you live in! The US isn't like the Baltics - We've been just like this since the fiftys.

if there's an error in a post that is not essential to the point the post is trying to make, it shouldn't lose more than 1 point. (emphasis mine)

Ah, the crux of the matter. See, the thing is, you didn't lose a thing. This isn't /. You're not losing karma. Mojo is not the sum of moderation, it's a weighted average over time. Taking into account how much you post and where the post in question corrently site, you may have lost, at the outside, a tenth of a point of mojo - max.

Again, I stand by the moderation of the post in question. It's not flamebait and it does have a point, but it's quite difficult to read and the Honolulu error calls into question whether or not you're actually in any manner qualified to speak about H-1B visa applications and their effect in the US (of which, Hawaii is a part)

HTH

Resources to help you avoid this problemin the future:
Map of Hawaii
US Map Index
Basic introduction to HTML



Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
Re: Subject (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 11:23:58 PM EST

I believe there are basic principles of argumentation that supercede these guidelines. It is intellectually dishonest to imply that one tangential mistake and one spelling mistake devalue an argument. In my year or so on k5 I've seen 1 used for spam, 2 for obscene/flaming/redundant stuff and 3 when something is wrong with the main theme of the comment in question, and 4 is used when you agree with the main point, but feel the post is not polished well enough for a 5. Wouldn't you agree? OTOH that's how grades were given in my juniour/high school so I may have some preconceptions here.. Anyway, that's how I always rate comments here, do you think I should be a bit more ruthless? At any rate, if you're answering to a comment you rated 3, it is a matter of politeness to address the main point of a post.

By the way, I still don't see how bad geographical knowledge affects my ability to discuss economic issues of H1-B visas. I bet if you think about it for a bit, you'll agree it don't.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Your errors.. (2.00 / 1) (#74)
by Rainy on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 12:13:06 AM EST

It's fifties, not fiftys. And it's currently, not corrently. I leave it to you to determine whether these call into question your ability to come up with worthwhile posts.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
look(1) (none / 0) (#45)
by Alistair on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 01:55:54 AM EST

Why put sic there, though? That's how it's spelled.
Not.
---
GOT WANG?
[ Parent ]
Honolulu (none / 0) (#49)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:16:11 AM EST

I was talking about Honolulu. Afaik, it is the correct spelling.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
No offense (3.50 / 4) (#10)
by core10k on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:03:42 PM EST

But when we're talking about high demand and low supply, we don't have Sys Admins in mind.

You guys are a dime a dozen, and as one Sys Admin I know said "A monkey could do my job". You're a new breed of janitors.



[ Parent ]
Unions are the key. (4.33 / 3) (#12)
by dram on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:18:23 PM EST

Do you want better working conditions? Do you want some time off? How about a vacation? Less stress? More people to do your job? Do you want these things? Then unionise.

When a group of workers doesn't like their conditions they can either fight their companies, one on one, or in groups. Groups are a lot easier. I know that there are a lot of sys admins that do not like the idea of unions. Unions are for the poor, blue collar working types, not well educated sys admins. Well, I think somebody already said it, or something along the sames lines, sys admins are the new janitor of the tech industry. Unions are the key.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]

Re: Unions are the key. (none / 0) (#27)
by khallow on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:17:52 PM EST

Pardon my incredulousness, but unions have at best a mixed history in the US. They curbed serious employer abuses in the early 20th century, but in turn were subordinated by organized crime. If you look at current union trends, you find that the unions do best in public employer situations where the employers are particularly compliant. I.e., I see the modern union as more of a extortion racket that pays lip service to the employers it supposedly represents.

There is no credible substitute for job mobility.

[ Parent ]

Some perspective (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by ucblockhead on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:18:43 PM EST

I was getting paid $50k to do all of the following tasks and more:
A first year teacher gets $25k. Rookie cops and firefighters get about the same.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Northern NJ living costs (none / 0) (#54)
by JonesBoy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:45:33 AM EST

For the teacher, that is only 180 three-quarter days of work a year! After a few years, they usually get a contract and start making better money.

Round here, teacher and cop are the best occupations one can have. They both pay 70-100k for very little effort, excellent benefits, and pensions. (how many jobs give you a pension!) Not to mention job security. Firefighters are volunteer, usually consisting of contractors. They give you their card as they walk out of your torn up home. They never have a lack of work.

Then again, a small house will run you 250k, a larger 3bed 2 bath will run about 500k. Thats not even in the "good" towns. It only gives you a 50x100 foot lot, too. Car insurance (full) is about $3500/yr. Commuting in to NYC by train is about $10 a day. Taxes are humorously high too. Apartments run from $900 (1 bed, economy) to $2000+ (>1 bed, nice area) per month. Then you add in student loans. My private ones have competitive rates, but some of my federal ones are locked in at 9.25!!! (yes, i am refinancing)

If you aren't making the <ahem> inflated wages, you can't afford the inflated cost of living. Salaries have dropped, but real estate, transportation, insurance and food certainly has not.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]
Bingo! (none / 0) (#48)
by greenrd on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 07:31:07 AM EST

I'm of the opinion that capitalism doesn't work properly and that something else needs to be created. Without going treckish I think that part of the solution would eventually be an automated way of making most things for people, food, clothes, computers, etc. This would get rid of the pressure to make money to survive. I know this leads in the direction of communism but I'm still naieve enough to believe that somewhere down the road we can be free of having to worry about our day-to-day living arrangements unless we want to.

I agree. And the concept you are looking for is: Molecular Nanotechnology


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

[sarcasm]Yes! Absolutely![/sarcasm] (2.75 / 4) (#7)
by jabber on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:49:31 AM EST

Lets also make tissue-paper thin automobile bumbers, and lets toss FDA requirments for new drugs.. After all, rushed-to-market medicines will only kill the weak, improving the human race in the process..

Yes, it's a hyperbole, but I've had the [double sarcasm] pleasure [/double sarcasm] of working with some of these H1-B hires.. I categorically do not want to have anything to do with any code (too often krufty and goto-riddled VB) that someone learned ON THE PLANE COMING HERE. Especially if they can not speach Engrish goodly well enought to reading specification requirement paperworks.

Now, I know.. There are good developers overseas. They're willing to work very hard for lower pay, and deserve a chance at a better life for themselves and their family. These people deserve the H1-B, no doubt. But...

Most company sponsired workers are brought here underqualified, on a penny-wise but pound-foolish basis. They're cheaper, and they get the job hacked out in short order.. (nevermind maintenance.. That's not part of the development contract, let the customer do it) Forthermore, the recipients of these visas are easily abused by the companies that sponsor them.. They have to put up with whatever treatment they get, else they lose employment, and the visa..

H1-B visas dillute the quality of work done, since the price of labor prevails over education and the knowledge of English.. Not to say that H1-B workers are patently uneducated, but they are less likely to be AS educated (in my experience at least - I may be wrong here.. ) and English IS a problem in many cases.

Not only do H1-B's make for messy, ill-designed and difficult to maintain code, they also breed a new share-cropper class of developers who are at the mercy of their corporate masters. Bad karma.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Absolutely? (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by quartz on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:07:02 PM EST

Not to say that H1-B workers are patently uneducated, but they are less likely to be AS educated (in my experience at least - I may be wrong here.. )

As educated as what? I know for a fact that in order to qualify for an H1-B, one has to have at least a BS or equivalent degree. Are Americans required by law to produce a college diploma in order to be employed as tech workers?

And second, H1-Bs is not for tech workers only. It also applies to nurses, teachers and other types of highly qualified workers that the US appears to be in short supply of (and yes, proof of profficiency in English is required for employment in most of those other professions). How does your "bad karma" reasoning apply to them?



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
As someone who used to place H1B workers (4.50 / 2) (#23)
by Karmakaze on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:54:58 PM EST

I can attest that English language skills are freqently a problem. And while they may have the requisite BS degrees, they frequently do not have the specific training and experience listed on their resumes. (One of the reasons I left that job was the level of blatant falsification going on).
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
Sneaking accounting-H1-B is liquidation of assets (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:05:29 AM EST

The admission of H1-B immigrants is really just a transfer of substantial territory from the existing US population to a new immigrant group. Now if a company can't become profitable in the short term doling out immigration rights given freely, that company is really, really sick. The sad fact is that lots of companies like HP, Cisco, Oracle would likely be posting losses/having their lunches eaten by smaller American companies and overseas competition were it not for H1-B. Personally, I see this as a good thing. If it weren't for the H1-B program, the people running major corporations would have to inspire and appeal to their technical staff--and we would be rid of the present branch of political animals that change the rules when they are loosing the game.

[ Parent ]
Why don't we just auction off US Citizenship? (5.00 / 3) (#22)
by shelikestobite on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:48:03 PM EST

If the market is the answer to everything, why not just auction of US citizenship? H1-B Visas, Green Cards? Why should these be given for free for corporations to dole out as they see fit? If there was a market in place, would it really be programmers that were targeted here?

H1-B is just a revival of old, robber baron tactics targeted at one specific group. Just FYI,the drop in wages for the higher end devlopers has been far more than 30%. The Indian imports are generally young and single, which means that they don't have things like mortgage payments in the US to worry about.

[ Parent ]

Non sequitor.. (none / 0) (#53)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:43:55 AM EST

Why not auction off visas? They want people with knowledge and skills to get in the country, not people with money. (To be more precise, people who have substantial fortunes can get in easily.) How is this related to robber barons? Were they also trying to hire bright people from india? Am I missing something?

Last time I checked, salaries are fixed not on basis on how much a person's mortgage is, but in a manner that makes the company more efficient. Otherwise, everybody would buy the most expensive cars, biggest houses and yachts because, hey, the employer will just have to pay us more to let you pay for all of that. Reality check. There's not enough yachts, houses and cars for that scheme to work. Yes, I wish it could work, too. No, unfortunately it does not. We're in our little boring "do a better job for less" world.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Not a non sequitor (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:45:23 PM EST

>Why not auction off visas? They want people with
>knowledge and skills to get in the country, not
>people with money.

People with money might be competion for _them_. IMHO the corporate elites have a very poor track record at assessing what skills will be needed in the future--if they had such ability, they would have been training their staff years ahead of time.

>(To be more precise, people who have substantial
>fortunes can get in easily.)
The bar could be lowered. If markets are such a good thing, maybe these people would be more valuable than techies.

>How is this related
>to robber barons? Were they also trying to hire
>bright people from india? Am I missing
>something?

Robber Barons frequently brought in immigrant groups to break strikes. Carnegie did it as did others. You sound like you aren't familiar with US history beyond what is published in sanitized textbooks. I don't mean that as an insult.

>Last time I checked, salaries are fixed not on
>basis on how much a person's mortgage is,
>but in a manner that makes the company more
>efficient.

And public policy has a broader range of objectives. In this case, the property rights of one small group were grossly abrogated. At a certain level, US citizenship is like a share in a condo complex. In this case, those shares were diluted and the benefits of diluation were monopolized by a few shareholders. This is really just an accounting trick. The government gave a valuable, publicly held property right(ability to get folks into the US) to a few corporations-and those corporations showed a paper profit longer than they could have otherwise-and in the process those corporate elites liquidated some credibilty.



[ Parent ]

Re: Not a non sequitor (none / 0) (#70)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 10:50:20 PM EST

>Why not auction off visas? They want people with >knowledge and skills to get in the country, not >people with money. People with money might be competion for _them_. IMHO the corporate elites have a very poor track record at assessing what skills will be needed in the future--if they had such ability, they would have been training their staff years ahead of time.

Why should we only let in bright people who have money? Nobody can predict market evolution perfectly. If you can do this better than heads of ms, ibm, hp, you might wanna consider starting a company and making a few billion dollars. Keep in mind it's always much easier to say post-factum "oh why didn't they see it's going to happen this way!".

The bar could be lowered. If markets are such a good thing, maybe these people would be more valuable than techies.

bar should be lowered for rich people and raised for the smart? Think long term.

Robber Barons frequently brought in immigrant groups to break strikes. Carnegie did it as did others. You sound like you aren't familiar with US history beyond what is published in sanitized textbooks. I don't mean that as an insult.

But now we're importing smart people and not to break strikes. Yumm what a tasty applorange!

And public policy has a broader range of objectives. In this case, the property rights of one small group were grossly abrogated. At a certain level, US citizenship is like a share in a condo complex. In this case, those shares were diluted and the benefits of diluation were monopolized by a few shareholders. This is really just an accounting trick. The government gave a valuable, publicly held property right(ability to get folks into the US) to a few corporations-and those corporations showed a paper profit longer than they could have otherwise-and in the process those corporate elites liquidated some credibilty.

What property rights? Nobody took their wallets, or cars, or houses. I worked as a web designer and casual programmer among other things and I never felt that my employer owes me more than he owes unfed les miserables from china. I did not feel cheated (well, actually I quit myself). But the point is, this has nothign to do with property rights. Freely elected representatives think that making this market freer is good for all, and I happen to agree. Condominium examples fires back I'm afraid as an agreement there is fixed and it is precisely regulated how new members are accepted, etc and when you get in on one, you read the agreement and sign it. I know that you mean that one appartment's wall got busted to make additional garages for the others, and in a way that's true but in another way one could argue that a person who say works in construction may work harder than a sys admin but get less money because it's a settled down stable occupation, whereas in tech sector salaries are higher because sector is newer. From the point of view of construction guy this is unfair and gov't is merely balancing out the situation.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

What would you expect ? (3.20 / 5) (#9)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:02:16 PM EST

Hiring H1-Bs is exactly what you would expect companies to do during a downturn. Look at it from the perspective of a middle manager in a medium sized company: you need to cut costs; you also cannot stop or risk the quality operations critical to your business just because there's a downturn. On the one hand you have your boss demanding that you reduce your budget, on the other you have the people below you crying out for resources, especially since you laid off 25 percent of your staff last month.

During the tech boom, everyone in the industry was being overpayed. We all, and especially you Yanks, have had our salary expectations inflated. People who, frankly, were bloody awful at their jobs were being promoted to senior technical posts and paid a small fortune just to make them stay. We still haven't entirely gotten over the expectations thus generated, and rightly so, since at least comparable terms and conditions will probably return with the next upswing of the economic cycle.

So, what is our middle manager to do ? Hire expensive Americans ? Some chance. While they may be pleading that they'll work for food right now, come the next boom, they'll be off like a shot. He'd rather try to persuade his remaining staff to work harder. So H1-Bs become more attractive. Not only do they demand lower salaries, but they're much less mobile, since any change in employer means they have to change their visa.

Its basic ecomics: while there may be no demand for $100,000 software developers, if the price drops to $60,000, our middle manager will take 3.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
Using H1-B Visas for cost cutting is illegal (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by shelikestobite on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:01:27 PM EST

What this means in practice, is that if your boss uses H1-B labor for cost cutting and you don't like him you can report him to the INS.

[ Parent ]
How do you distinguish ? (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:07:45 PM EST

How is the distinction made between cost cutting and not cost cutting ? Here, at least, the rule is that if you can fill the position with a Brit, you cannot employ a foreigner, but noone actually ever checks that this uncheckable condition has been filled, so its widely ignored (and, indeed, mocked). Is it similar with H1-Bs ?

The rule is daft anyway, to be honest. The fact someone will employ a foreigner for 15,000 does not been you'd be prepared to emply a Brit for 35,000, even if they had superior skills.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Re: How do you distinguish ? (none / 0) (#20)
by shelikestobite on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:39:37 PM EST

Well, it is pretty easy for the government folks to look at how many folks are unemployed or working at lower wages that were working in the tech sector. It is hard to pin down cases of actual-though I have personally seen/reported such cases. One man I know was given the following offer by a general manager at a US Fortune 50 tech company: he could have his own team of programmers, and could hire as many H1-B candidates as he liked-but not one American. He threatened to resign, and got to hire one key American developer-but lost his ability to build a bigger team.

>The rule is daft anyway, to be honest. The fact >someone will employ a foreigner for 15,000 does >not been you'd be prepared to emply a Brit for >35,000, even if they had superior skills. Yes, but imported labor competes in the US for a pool of capital and other resources. Many H1-B Visa holders eventually get green cards. Is it really a good idea for large corporations to effectively be the ones determining US immigration policy?



[ Parent ]

Massive Criminal Fraud? (4.50 / 4) (#16)
by Baldrson on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:08:12 PM EST

During the tech boom, everyone in the industry was being overpayed. We all, and especially you Yanks, have had our salary expectations inflated.

On average, I'm seeing people getting paid 1/2 the rates they were getting paid before the start of the internet frenzy (around 1996-1997).

So, what is our middle manager to do ? Hire expensive Americans ?

Actually, if "expensive" means the prevailing market rate in the absence of the H-1B visa workers -- that's the law. The H-1B visa is prohibited by law from being used to lower the prevailing market rate and clearly salaries having dipped below their 1997 levels while H-1B visas are rising by 40% indicates that massive criminal fraud may have become a structural feature of the computer industry -- under cover of the tech hysteria and its aftermath.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

What's your field ? (2.00 / 1) (#17)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:17:00 PM EST

<P><I>On average, I'm seeing people getting paid 1/2 the rates they were getting paid before the start of the internet frenzy (around 1996-1997). </I>

<P>What field are you in ? I can believe that for some contract types, especially in IP networking or web design. However, for permanent developers it seems excessive.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Across the Board (4.50 / 4) (#24)
by Baldrson on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:57:26 PM EST

What field are you in ? I can believe that for some contract types, especially in IP networking or web design. However, for permanent developers it seems excessive.

I've been seeing this drop to well-below pre-internet frenzy levels outside my specialty, in traditional areas such as relational database management administrators. As you say, the permanent position rates have not dropped as much as contracting rates, but they are all below the 996 levels -- particularly when you take into account the ratchet effect of real estate prices in areas hardest hit by the frenzy.

As for my personal agenda -- I've personally been hit less seriously than most but that's because I've been doing my own thing with technology for some time now -- saved the inflated consulting income from the internet-frenzy and have reinvested it in my own startups rather than buying stock-options and alternative-minimum-tax penalties from the IRS. I could theoretically, according to your analysis, benefit quite handsomely from the cheaper labor available under the H-1B visa abuses. I've traveled to remote parts of the world to seek out foreign contractors who were talented and cheaper than available in the US. I'm not saying close down international trade but I am saying criminal fraud is just that. Furthermore, H-1B visa labor, even when legal, is subject to all manner of abuse along the lines of indentured servitude. Employers should at the very least be required to put up a deposit for the return travel expenses for any H-1B visa employee who decides they don't like the US.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Harris Poll 80% of American public opposed H1-B (5.00 / 3) (#13)
by shelikestobite on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:53:16 PM EST

80% of the US public opposed H1-B expansion. Part of what makes the bill increasing H1-B Visas so unusual is that it was so unpopular and was passed with very, very little debate.

Zazona is the most comprehensive site on the H1-B issue. Corrective legislation is now in a US congressional Committee. The philosophy of HR 3222 has been supported by a diverse group that includes Buchanan Supporters, Nader Supporters, and the National Urban League. HR 3222 is a compromise-it roles the level of new H1-B Visas back to 1998 levels and puts in place an unemployment adjustment mechanism.

H1-B Visa expansion was advocated by the ITAA. Organized opposition to H1-B includes:the AEA and the Programmers Guild.

You can Look at H1-B applications by company,state,city. You can write your Congressional representatives if you have a problem with the current H1-B situation. You can also write your state representatives. The only aspect of the H1-B issue that is in state jurisdiction is use of H1-B labor at state institutions. However, state representatives are influential in their parties-if your state representative writes a letter to congress it could mean a lot.

not unusual (none / 0) (#26)
by Arkady on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:16:16 PM EST

Unpopular stuff tends to get passed with little public debate, and it happens more often than you seem to think. The vast majority of Americans polled on NAFTA, GATT and MAI opposed the "free trade" agreements, so naturally they tend to get passed under the table.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
H1-B == endentured servant (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by gps on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:44:41 PM EST

People who come to the US on H1-B visas are often treated as endentured servants. They do not have the freedom to change jobs when conditions are bad nearly as easily as a regular citizen; employers know this.

Protecting H1-B workers (none / 0) (#32)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:40:16 PM EST

Anyone brought over on an H1-B Visa should be able to get a free ticket home, provided by their employer, and enough cash to get started again back home, any time they want. This might curb some of the more extreme abuses(though some employers might still blackmail these guys holding their relatives back home hostage).

[ Parent ]
Hear me out before you call for Godwin (3.57 / 7) (#25)
by decaf_dude on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:02:19 PM EST

Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been a member^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H an H1-B employee in USA. I have nothing against H1-B's, in fact some of my best friends are H1-B's. Really. No, I mean it...

Of course, to post comment on k5, knowledge on the actual subject can only hinder you. At least that's the impression I get from reading the preceding posts.

Why, you ask? Well, if you knew what does it take for a firm to obtain an H1-B, you'd refrain from using your keyboard (orginally I wrote here "you'd shut your pie hole). First of all, not every company is eligible for H1-B sponsorship. Second, it has to prove to the INS that the employee it is "importing" (for want of a better word) possesses skills not available in the local workforce. Third, it has to prove that it pays the employee wages equivalent to or better than the local average (published by the gov't, calculated according to many factors). Fourth, the employee has to have at least a University degree in a related discipline (attested to be equivalent of a US program) and a certain amount of experience in the particular field he/she is being hired for. Fifth, the process of sponsorship takes couple of months, is complicated enough to be handled by lawyers only - and thus costs pretty penny. Sixth, the sponsoring company has obligations towards this person on several legal levels and is liable for many of his/her actions in a US court of law - you brought him/her, you take care of him/her principle. Finally, every company is aware that an employee brought from outside the country will inevitably need more time to adjust to the corporate environment than a locally-hired employee - because no matter where you come from you're bound to suffer from the culture shock.

I have a friend in Silicon Valley, who is in the midst of it all. According to him, a majority of hi-tech workers there, especially in the electronics/telecom sector, are foreigners. Wanna know why? Because most of the locally available people are VB or HTML monkeys, when these companies need people with PhD's in Electronics, Physics, Math, or whatever.

I know that with the following I will have the Godwin Law invoked on me, but let me remind you that Hitler's Third Reich explained Germany's recession and overall poor economic situation with "It's the Jews who have all the money and the good, hardworking Germans are left without jobs." Of course, it's always easier to blame somebody else for your own shortcomings.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


How the Computer Industry Really Got Built (3.00 / 1) (#31)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:36:05 PM EST

The world's first supercomputer was built on a farm by 34 guys with one Ph.D. between them.

flash forward]

From The Supermen by Charles Murray.

Word of the team's success buzzed through the computer industry with extraordinary speed. Within days the Business Week article found its way to the highest office in IBM, prompting a scathing memo from company president Thomas Watson:

Last week Control Data had a press conference during which they officially announced their 6600 system. I understand that in the laboratory developing this system there are only 34 people, including the janitor. Of these 14 are engineers and 4 are programmers, and only one person has a Ph.D., a relatively junior programmer. Constrasting this modest effort with our own vast development activities, I fail to understand why we have lost our industry leadership position by letting someone else offer the world's most powerful computer.

[flash back]

As soon as they arrived at the new facility, the crew began to realize just how detached they were. After ambling through the building's tiny lobby and sitting down in their labs every morning, they suddenly realized that they had no interruptions. It was a strange sensation, somewhat like sitting next to a piece of humming machinery for days on end, then having someone turn it off. The newfound peace was striking.

The advantages were even greater for Cray. He had a beautiful Praire-style home built on the sixty-five-acre site, only a couple hundred yards from the new facility. Cray design the home himself, and it was an extraordinary piece of construction -- no one in Chippewa had ever seen anything quite like it. From the outset Cray had considered what he would need in the event of a nuclear blast, and had designed the lower level of the home as a fallout shelter. Joists in the spacious first floor were made from cold rolled steel, then topped with four-inch-thick concrete slab. Block walls in the basement were also filled with concrete; doors between lower level rooms were fireproof. A six-foot-deep pool in the basement doubled as a potential source of potable water and ten-thousand-gallon underground tank held enough oil to last through four winters. Construction workers were in awe of the building, saying that the basement contained more steel reinforcing than the new bank that was being built downtown. Cray also added his own inventive touch, designing an air-conditioning system that would spray water on the roof and cool the house through an evaporative process.

The best part for Cray, however, was the new home's proximity to the Chippewa lab. With the lab only about eight hundred feet away, he could work any hours he wanted. He simply shuttled back and forth by walking through the forest that separated the two buildings.

After Cray and the other engineers moved into the new facility, management intervention ground to a halt. Most of the corporate directors felt that it was too far to drive. Long-distance calling was considered more trouble than it was worth in 1962 because it required operator assistance...

To maintain privacy Cray set up strict rules regarding visitors: no sales calls, no management meetings, no visits of any kind without his permission. In the Wisconsin woods, the engineers had a pure, blissful, bare-bones isolation. No one -- not even Bill Norris -- could walk in without an appointment...

Despite the isolation, word of their impending success began to trickle out of Chippewa Falls. Something unusual was happening up there in the north woods of Wisconsin, and the rest of the industry wanted to know what it was. At the time -- mid-1963 -- the computer industry was so small that it was nearly impossible to keep secrets. Cray's self-imposed isolation slowed the normal buzz of information, but word still traveled quickly. Programmers at the Livermore lab were already anxious to buy the Chippewa crew's first machine. Word quickly spread to Los Alamos and to the National Security Agency in Washington. Everyone in the community, it seemed, had a problem that needed the speed of a CDC 6600.

In August 1963 Control Data opened the lab to selected members of the press, including the Wall Street Journal and Business Week magazine. At the unveiling, Cray sat in front of the machine's television like console, describing its processor, memories and cooling system. He quietly explained the marketing strategies and the logic behind the move to Chippewa Falls. The press was stunned, not by the computer itself, but by the apparent incongruity of this high-tech machine emerging from such a low-tech setting. A Business Week article prominently mentioned the fact that there was "salt lick for the deer" outside the Chippewa Falls lab, then it followed by saying that the 6600 "is several times as fast and powerful as any other computing machine in existence. In fact, nothing quite like it has ever appeared on the market before." But the article saved its highest praise for the small-team effort, saying that "Cray's staff numbers 34, including the night janitor."

Source: The Supermen by Charles J. Murray



[ Parent ]

Cray != Computer industry (none / 0) (#33)
by decaf_dude on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:15:05 PM EST

At least not from my perspective.

The Grads vs. Drop-outs debate has been raging for too long and I have no intention to participate. All I know is that for every successful drop-out I can show you 1,000 who live in a cardboard box. Perhaps in your world exceptions make a rule, in my they don't - they're just exceptions. Otherwise, we'd have more than just one Oracle Corporation...

Last but not least, I think you've shown your maturity and your objectivity on the subject with your nickname, and further clarified that with your rating of my post. I shall not stoop down to your level. Have a nice day!

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
Your 'knowledge' contradicts the article (4.33 / 3) (#46)
by Secret Coward on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 05:27:23 AM EST

You imply that H1B's are difficult to get, and thus they will only be used as a last resort. You further point out that the H1B's must make at least the industry average in the surrounding area. That is a nice theory, but your theory is mute for two reasons:

  1. The article indicates that 40% more H1B's were issued last year, than in 2000. The red tape did little to deter large companies from hiring H1B's.
  2. The article points out that H1B's make 15 to 33 percent less than their U.S. counterparts.

If you wish to challenge the article, you should post a link to back up your assertions.

Furthermore, the law of supply and demand drives the average wages of U.S. workers down. As more talent becomes available, companies can find that talent for less, and thus American salaries will drop. To claim that H1B's must earn the industry average is meaningless when their very presense lowers the industry average.

Finally, using H1B's is the wrong solution to a tech worker shortage. If we need more tech workers, we should invest in our schools, rather than hiring people from outside the country (thereby investing in foreign schools).

[ Parent ]

Close. The Real Solution-Innovation (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 01:08:07 PM EST

>Finally, using H1B's is the wrong solution to a
>tech worker shortage. If we need more tech
>workers, we should invest in our schools, rather
>than hiring people from outside the country
>(thereby investing in foreign schools).

What created the computer industry was innovation It is far from clear that education==innovation-lots of folks that have played key roles in the computer business were in fact drop-outs.

I would suggest that the real thing the US needs is greater incentives for extreme innovation. The US has a real problem in this respect now. The creator of the most valuable patent in US history was Kary Mullis. His patent for PCR sold for $150 Million. His reward: a $20,000 bonus. Mullis was recognized by the Japan Medal and the Nobel prize before he got any significant reward from the US establishment. Mullis has virtually created an entire industry-his invention was that key. Frankly, guys like Mullis are the ones that ought to be running the show, not today's corporate sociopaths.

Education isn't a bad thing, but there also need to be more financial rewards that aren't tied to ability to function politically in corporate environments. Plastics, longitudinal calculations are both key technologies that were driven be prize awards. In this case we need to ask ourselves: what kinds of new technologies would create the kind of society/world we really want? Rather small amounts of money spent in this direction would have enormous rewards. Why shouldn't we have 30 something Nobel prize winners driving Porshe's? Have the contributions of folks like Gates, Ellison, McNealy et al. really been that great?

One nice thing about prizes, these can be awarded with rather minimal risk to the public.

As it is, some of the folks that made major contributions to building the worlds computer business seem like they are going to wind up on the street. What kind of signal does that send?



[ Parent ]

The foreigners are better off without HB1s, too. (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by Apuleius on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 05:03:39 PM EST

Without this visa program, companies would set more up workplaces in these guys' home countries, where the indentured servitude rules behind the program would be inapplicable, leaving the employees in a better bargaining position.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Other other big looser-small town America (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:13:52 AM EST

Most H1-B's are located in major metropolitian areas-places that the original American population was tending to leave for outlying areas-and in which corporate managers were attached to staying. If the H1-B program hadn't been introduced, it is likely we would have seen both more software done overseas AND more software done in small American towns.

The money that now pays H1-B serfs could pay homeowners in India and small town America. Frankly, I think more actual work would get done-though it would require building a new kind of corporate infrastructure-and most likely requiring many corporations to choose far different kinds of managers/management practices than they have now.

[ Parent ]

Lousy logic (none / 0) (#52)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:35:54 AM EST

People who work for western companies in their own countries get much less than H1B workers here in US. They aren't better off unless you believe that money is the root of all evil and the less they have, the better off they are. But that's not what you meant, eh?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Both have a point (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 11:53:44 AM EST

Basically, Rainy is correct salaries in India are quite a bit lower than in the US-however, still, where would the money now being speant on H1-B's go if the program no longer existed?



[ Parent ]

to US! (none / 0) (#71)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 10:54:25 PM EST

Quite simple - many small companies would instead hire US citizens for higher price. Large ones would move some operations to india etc but some portion would again go to US citizens because it's more comfortable to hire someone right here than down there. For instance, let's say there's a department in IBM that has 500 people but they need 100 more there. Right now they hire 100 H1B's, but if H1Bs would go out they would not destroy all dept and recreate it in India, they'd instead hire 100 US citizens for 30% or 40% higher wages.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced H1-Bs are hurting us, really (3.50 / 6) (#36)
by webwench on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 05:18:37 PM EST

On the one hand, I can see why companies are scaling up requests for H1-Bs. You know and I know that they have had to overpay for domestic talent for some time. You and I also know that hiring has been very tough for the last few years. How pissed would you be if you couldn't find any competent DBAs on the market you could afford, and had to pay top dollar for a guy who has trouble putting together a valid SQL statement? As a hirer, you might see this economic time as comeuppance. I've seen enough of this sentiment in various places: "You GUI monkeys have been suckin' us dry: now it's time for you to see the real world!" Blah blah blah.

In any market, companies wouldn't pull in outside labor unless they saw financial benefit from it. If it was vastly more expensive to hire someone under H1-B than a US programmer *with equivalent skills*, as a previous poster stated, they wouldn't do it. It wouldn't make sense. No matter how you cut it, the H1-B guy is simply (1) more available, (2) less mobile (he won't leave after sucking up $15,000 in training classes in six months), and (3) offers more bang for the buck. It's still true even now. Apparently we aren't in quite bad enough straits, even now, to lower our salary requirements enough.

It surprises me somewhat that in an economic downturn, the H1-B cap isn't being force-lowered legislatively, especially given the rise of nonspecific suspicion of darker-hued people. I would have expected legislators to use patriotism as their rallying cry with which to suggest that more 'American boys' be trained up and hired.

This isn't happening because of money, in my opinion. Big business does big hiring, and you can bet they're pumping money into legislators to prevent the lowering of that cap. Apparently money trumps the appearance of patriotism.

Is this a bad thing (that H1-B caps aren't being lowered)? I'm not sure. I think commerce is getting globalized, whether American tech employees like it or not. Trying to tighten the H1-B quota, or trying to prevent outsourcing of coding to other countries, is swimming against the tide.

The only way the tide can be stalled or reversed fairly is to make sure we can compete, and that we do offer equal value for the money. It all comes down to the market, which is becoming more free internationally all the time; if we (domestic workers) can't fit the bill, companies will go elsewhere, and it will be our own fault.

I'd rather have it this way, where we are forced to compete and stay a tiny bit lean, than the alternative. You can call the alternative to mind by recalling the American auto industry in the 70s and early 80s.



Jeez (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by webwench on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 08:36:04 PM EST

Jeez, I got rated '1' by someone called 'nomoreh1b'. I wonder why he rated me so low? ::eyeroll::

[ Parent ]
Why I rated this article so low (2.25 / 4) (#39)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:12:11 PM EST

There are simple rules of supply and demand. How could the market for IT help not decrease when it gets flooded by aliens brought in by special interest legislation? In my case I happen to be a DBA-and I've also been a hiring manager. My own experience is it is easy for human beings to find qualified help-even in a boom. It is hard for jerks to find good technical people. The formula is simple: accurately assess market rates, locate in a region of the country technical people like, hire the best people you can possibly find-they are probably underpriced compared to trainees if they are really are good, choose a project that people can identify with.

Relative to what was produced-the rare American industry that really was competitive in the global marketplace-American programmers were a bargain-enough of a bargain to feed lots of parasites-like the CEO's of the ITAA, their attorneys and stock analysts.



[ Parent ]

Ratings (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by ucblockhead on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:54:18 PM EST

It is generally considered "not nice" to give people low ratings merely for disagreement. In theory, you should rate a comment highly if you disagree with the statements, but it is well written, polite and brings stuff to the discussion.

A '1' is generally for posts completely off-topic (like ratings whines, or this post) or stuff that is deliberately insulting and content free.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

How could it harm the US? (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by SIGFPE on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:08:08 PM EST

In my company we frequently employ H1-B's because they are often the best person for the job. By hiring the best person for the job we ensure that we are producing the best results possible which in turn generates more revenue which, all round, is better for the US economy.

I couldn't imagine deliberately hiring someone less good for the job because they were foreign and could be paid less. At the very least the loss of revenue due to having to wait 3 months for a visa (this talk about speeding up H1-B's appears, to me, to be founded in untruth) and the cost of paying a lawyer to make the application (2 weeks-1 month salary typically I'd guess) would argue against it, besides the fact that you'd be getting a less good worker.
SIGFPE

How H1-B hurts the US Public (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 11:55:07 PM EST

A country is something similar to a condominium. Citizenship is like a property right which gives one access to common properties(i.e. national park system, roads etc.). With H1-B program, certain residents of the condominium are given ability to let folks of their choosing share in the common property(in this case the H1-B program is a snap for larger companies and a barrier to smaller ones). Now, H1-B is _supposed_ to be a "non-immigrant" visa-but a big chunk of these folks will in fact become permanent residents or citizens. The roads will become a little more crowded as will other public resources.

The real measure here is not whether this benefits the people that employee H1-B's or the the H1-B themselves, but does it benefit the people that were in the U.S. to start with. Over 80% of them say no(according the a Harris Poll).

Here we have a valuable asset, citizenship, which is being doled out effectively as perk by corporations. I wouldn't choose a roommate on the basis on how much money they have--and I don't value citizenship in a country that awards citizenship largely on the basis of corporate service.

The H1-B program denigrates the investment made by those of us that invested in technical skills in the 80's and early 90's. Essentially, the corporations didn't like how they were faring in the game and thus changed the rules. Frankly, it is these people that should be making major economic decisions-not those that have climbed the corporate/managerial hierarchy-and this would be much more the case were it not for H1-B.



[ Parent ]

Yes, but... (none / 0) (#63)
by SIGFPE on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 02:18:51 PM EST

Many of these technologies, and hence industries employing Americans, simply wouldn't exist if it weren't for the skills that have been imported via H1-B's. Certainly my company wouldn't exist and be employing >100 people if it weren't for the contributions of former key H1-B holders. In my experience these people are being employed because they have abilities that Americans lack, or at least don't have in the numbers required.

and I don't value citizenship in a country that awards citizenship largely on the basis of corporate service
It's not easy to acquire citizenship and you certainly can't get it in the US based purely on corporate service. Just to get a green card you have to either prove that no American can do your job or satisfy a particularly stringent set of criteria.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Come on (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 05:56:42 PM EST

>Many of these technologies, and hence industries
>employing Americans, simply wouldn't exist
>if it weren't for the skills that have been
>imported via H1-B's.

America had a track record of extreme inventiveness long before the recent waves of mass immigration(in 1900, over 60% of the US was of British descent compared to less than 20% today).

One big question: what has been lost here by recent mass immigration? I don't think that question has been adequately examined.


>In my experience these people are being
>employed because they have abilities that
>Americans lack, or at least don't have
>in the numbers required.

As far as supply,the issue is simple, if the incentives are there, over time, the supply will increase. Right now, the H1-B program has meant that my wife and I probably won't be able to afford to have another child-the H1-B program has impacted our family income that much.

>>and I don't value citizenship in a country that
>>awards citizenship largely on the basis of
>>corporate service
>It's not easy to acquire citizenship and you
>certainly can't get it in the US based
>purely on corporate service.

What you get through corporate service is H1-B status-one you are in the US, it is much, much easier to get citizenship(though being continuously employeed by a name company makes the whole process a lot easier).


>Just to get a
>green card you have to either prove that no
>American can do your job or satisfy a
>particularly stringent set of criteria.

Once you are physically in the US, all you have to do is get married or have a kid. That doesn't strike me as horribly stringent criteria-looser by far than many countries.

As far as the criteria: this is a joke. My own ancestors had to fight in the Revolutionary War to get citizenship. The criteria in your link were including things like a B.A. degree. I'm not saying this is nothing, but it isn't the kind of club that I personally value-and many of the criteria are easily faked.



[ Parent ]

You make some interesting points (none / 0) (#67)
by SIGFPE on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 06:36:33 PM EST

America had a track record of extreme inventiveness long before the recent waves of mass immigration
Well that's certainly true. I'm not sure it has a bearing on today's situation where the US is probably more inventive than at any other time in its history and many of those inventions are produced by Americans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Indians, Canadians, Britons and so on. When the US accepts immigrants it's skimming the creme de la creme from nations across the world and I find it hard to imagine that doing so doesn't result in a concentration of skills that could never appear in any population just by chance. This is helping to drive whole industries today well beyond the situation in the early 1900s.
As far as supply,the issue is simple, if the incentives are there, over time, the supply will increase
Probably. But it hasn't happened yet. And I doubt that the education system of any country could produce the results of picking the best from every nation across the world. One of the reasons the US is so successful at so many things is that it can pick experts from anywhere it wants whether we're talking about von Braun helping to get Americans into space or something more mundane like an immigrant today making ASIC fabrication a little more efficient.
Once you are physically in the US, all you have to do is get married
Well that's true of most nations. You can meet someone in another country just by having a vacation there so I think this is a red herring and not relevant to the subject of H1-Bs.
The criteria in your link were including things like a B.A. degree
That's one of many requirements. Getting a BA does not qualify you for citizenship. It gets you an H1-B but it's years more work to get a green card. As I say you have to prove that they're the only person who can do the job or satisy much more stringent criteria, like those of the E3 visa, most of which revolve around providing great benefits to the US (intellectual and artistic ones as well as financial ones).
My own ancestors had to fight in the Revolutionary War to get citizenship
Well it sounds like you didn't even have to get a BA to earn citizenship. You just had to be born in the USA.
but it isn't the kind of club that I personally value
Well this appears to me to be the crux of the matter for you. But without you saying what those values are it's hard to comment. We all value different things and it's only right that the values of members of a nation are reflected in its policies. You need to make clear what those values are - as far as I can tell from your comments they include valuing fighting the British but not valuing generating jobs for US citizens.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Who is really benefiting here? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:59:58 PM EST


>>America had a track record of extreme
>>inventiveness long before the recent waves
>>of mass immigration
>Well that's certainly true. I'm not sure it
>has a bearing on today's situation where the
>US is probably more inventive than at any
>other time in its history

Yes, but what of the population that founded the US? In my own case, most of my ancestry is rooted in the very earliest British settlers of the US(as well as Native Americans). I still see some men that reflect the "Old America"-men like Kary Mullis. I do not however see leaders like Jefferson or Franklin today assuming any prominence.

and many of those
>inventions are produced by Americans, Iraqis,
>Pakistanis, Indians, Canadians, Britons and
>so on. When the US accepts immigrants it's
>skimming the creme de la creme from nations

Yes, but skimming is being done by corporate leaders. I simply don't trust the kind of sociopath that tends to rise in that world to make this kind of decision.


>across the world and I find it hard to
>imagine that doing so doesn't result in a
>concentration of skills that could never
>appear in any population just by chance.

Agreed. Now what it will really do here-and to what extent it is stable is a real question.


This
>is helping to drive whole industries today
>well beyond the situation in the early 1900s.

I think you underestimate what happened between 1776 and 1910(when the big immigrations started in earnest). I also think you miscalculate how long the technical backlog is in some key areas. In computers, new advances get adopted fast-in places like construction, it can take decades.


>>As far as supply,the issue is simple, if the
>>incentives are there, over time, the supply
>>will increase
>Probably. But it hasn't happened yet. And
>I doubt that the education system of any
>country could produce the results of picking
>the best from every nation across the world.

Well, that is an interesting experiment-one I think that should be tried someplace. There are some carribean countries that seem to pick up the slack if the US cuts back on tech immigration BTW.

That said, as a parent, I don't want to experiment with my children's future too much-and that it what has been done here.


>One of the reasons the US is so successful at
>so many things is that it can pick experts
>from anywhere it wants whether we're talking
>about von Braun helping to get Americans into
>space or something more mundane like an
>immigrant today making ASIC fabrication a
>little more efficient.

The elites in the US have been quite successful-it isn't clear to me what connection those elites have to the groups that founded the US. My honest sense is that we are in fact poorer, fewer in numbers, and not as good of people in many respects as our ancestors were 100 years ago. That bothers me-and I don't see immigration as making that situation better.


>>My own ancestors had to fight in the
>>Revolutionary War to get citizenship
>Well it sounds like you didn't even have to
>get a BA to earn citizenship.

This is a consequence of having ancestors that got here early on. Heinlein has some suggestion here that would correct the issue: he suggested in his novel starship troopers that citizenship be limited to those that have done serious service(usually military service or something similarly life threatening).


>We all value different things and it's
>only right that the values of members of a
>nation are reflected in its policies.

Over 80% of the US public opposed H1-B expansion. I think you'd find that was much, much heavier in some areas of the US.


>You need to make clear what those values are -
> as far as I can tell from your comments they
>include valuing fighting the British

Largely because they insisted on supporting those silly German pretenders to the English throne. We Scots had a much different process of choosing leaders(Shakespeare talks about this in MacBeth). :) :)


> but not valuing generating jobs for US citizens.

Well, I don't see that satisfying jobs for those of us that were hear originally have in fact been created in greater numbers than had there been no immigration-or wealth in excess of the costs of immigration here. It has been much more expensive/difficult for me to buy a house and raise a family that it was for my parents-and I'm one of the Americans that "did what I was supposed to"-got an education, stayed drug free-and worked 60 plus hour weeks. Part of my "reward" was to work in places where people would talk about how lazy and stupid americans were(and the only image of someone of my own background came from watching stuff like "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Deliverance" or "HeeHaw"). I got a decent hourly rate by some folks standards, but I can't say it was really enough overall for the headaches and heartaches involved.

It didn't take mass immigration to sustain the US economy 100 years ago. The groups that most supported mass immigration in early 20th century were always a narrow elite-as it is now. My ancestors 100 years ago opposed mass immigration and so do I. I expect my children will also learn to oppose mass immigration as they mature. Sooner or later the process will slow down or be otherwise contained and/or we'll find someplace to go where we won't be as troubled by this phenomena and can be left in peace.



[ Parent ]

H1B == slavary of 21st centure (3.25 / 4) (#44)
by panserg on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 01:06:41 AM EST

Face it: I worked 3 years for Californian Start-up. All our H1Bs worked more than 10 hours every day, often 14 hours and often at weekends. And we did not see the same from americans.

Then the management screwd their business up. Where are all americans? They still work in other companies.There are most of H1B? They've got the standard for recession answer from every potential employer and recruiter: "we don't do H1B now - INS won't approve it".

In fact, after all layoffs, California's unemployment rate mostly the same as before. Why? Because H1Bs don't go to register themselves as unemployed - there is no such thing in US laws as unemployed H1B. You are here only because there is no americans for your job. That's the law.

Notice: all H1Bs paid taxes based on same formula as americans paid. What we've got for those taxes? The pointer to the door from the country. And 80% of americans now want to protect the job market from H1B pressure.

The conclusion: H1B is a hidden and modern form of the slavary and of the nazism at the same time. Nothing changed in America since Marten Luter King. And nothing going to be changed. Until globalization will break the political borders between countries. But that's not gonna happen anytime soon.

Nazism? (none / 0) (#47)
by greenrd on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 07:17:59 AM EST

The conclusion: H1B is a hidden and modern form of the slavary and of the nazism at the same time.

And you were doing so well - until you Godwined.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

How is that slavery? (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:30:46 AM EST

H1B may look like a bad deal from POV of an american. Then again, they aren't for americans. For foreign folks, H1B is a *break*, sort of like if you won $5mil in a lottery. They get 1. much more money than at home 2. learn english language in native environment 3. experience that will look great and improve their opportunities even if they have to go back. None of them are tricked into this - they know they get a temp visa, they know they may be able to stay or may not. I find highly improbably that tech folks, who are usually quite smart, can miss such obvious facts - it seems to me that in the back of their heads, they're more worried about their own salaries going down than about "poor foreign guy who'd be better off left at home".
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
The H1-B Gold Ring-Green Card (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 11:34:07 AM EST

I've known H1-B folks that from day 1 were angling to get a green card.

That said, I do think there are people that are grossly mislead about their prospects for getting a green card and the conditions they will encounter in America. Some of these folks don't speak English well, don't understand the US legal system, have vulnerable family members back home. We're seeing things like bodyshops that take people's takehome pay under the table.

I think there is a wide range of experience going on here.

[ Parent ]

Point taken.. (none / 0) (#72)
by Rainy on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 10:58:31 PM EST

But.. in that case, let's explain H1-Bs up front! That's easier to do than tearing down the system. As for guys who are angling to get green card, well, most probably hope for that, but that's kidn of like buying a lottery ticket and hoping to win millions. It may happen, but if it does not, you don't cry foul.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
US public didn't want H1-B in the first place (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 11:45:18 AM EST

>And 80% of americans now want to protect the job >market from H1B pressure That poll is an old poll. 80% of the US public didn't want H1-B in the first place. The H1-B program was put in place because the US government is not a democracy or a republic, but plutocracy.

Now, as far as hard working H1-B's. I've been in shops where the _only_ folks there were H1-B's and co-nationals (with citizenship or green cards) and a few non-co-national contractors. The simple fact is this:

A shop that starts hiring H1-B help will find that all but the most very mercenary and politically correct members of the older American populations will leave, when the opportunity presents itself. One long term employee of the major corporation where I was working said "I'm leaving, there is no-one left here but slaves and whores"(whores referring to the contractors--I personally far prefer the term "mercenary"-though the term "whore" may be appropriate to those that are good at massaging managerial egos).



[ Parent ]

detailed reply (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:28:41 PM EST

>Face it: I worked 3 years for Californian Start->up. All our H1Bs worked more than 10 hours every >day, often 14 hours and often at weekends. And >we did not see the same from americans. Few shops that hires H1-B's is going to get any dedication from their American staff. The signal to American's that comes when the H1-B's show up: you are scheduled for replacement-start looking for work someplace else--or become completely mercenary and demand cash on the barrelhead. >They've got the standard for recession answer >from every potential employer and recruiter: "we >don't do H1B now - INS won't approve it". H1-B's Visas increased in 2001. >In fact, after all layoffs, California's >unemployment rate mostly the same as before. >Why? Unemployed American's can't afford to stay in California for very long. The place is _expensive_. >You are here only because there is no americans >for your job. That's the law. The law means nothing to these corporate sociopaths-except as a means to an end. >Notice: all H1Bs paid taxes based on same >formula as americans paid. What we've got for >those taxes? Green cards/citizenship rights worth quite a bit. My ancestors had to risk death to get that for their descendents. The sacrifices H1-B folks are making are nothing by comparison-which means I for one take US citizenship far less seriously than my parents did/do. >The pointer to the door from the country. H1-B's are still being brought in. There has been no slowdown-I'm not sure of the churn here though. >And 80% of americans now want to protect the job >market from H1B pressure. 80% didn't want it in the first place. I suspect more don't want it now. >The conclusion: H1B is a hidden and modern form >of the slavary and of the nazism at the same >time. Nazi's _did_ use a more extreme version of something like H1-B--only the Nazi's had the good sense not to use such programs for strategic technology development. Obviously, the American sociopaths that engineered H1-B weren't nearly at good at being Nazi's as the Germans were--and the Nazi's _lost_. >Nothing changed in America since Marten Luter >King. Oh a lot has changed. But has it changed for the better? A Tim McVeigh, Unabomber or WTC would have been unthinkable in the early 60's. Yet, the culture in America has become more slavishly PC. >And nothing going to be changed. Until >globalization will break the political borders >between countries. I find the prospect of a nuclear war and collapse of all national governments about as appealing.

[ Parent ]
tough, deal with it. (2.00 / 1) (#64)
by techwolf on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 03:00:34 PM EST

Anyone who applies for an H1B visa should or does know what they are getting into. there are too many accounts for what happens to an H1B for someone who is educated NOT to have readat least a few. All I can say, is tough. you knew what you where getting into in the first place, deal with it. YOU (the H1B applicant) made the decision to come here to work and YOU are the one who read the laws and rules governering such. yet YOU still came here. I have no piuty for them, If I went to another country and knew I was going to betreated badly, but still went then I deserve what I asked for. Period.
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]
This can be handled much more gently (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 06:03:26 PM EST

If all companies applying for H1-B Visas for employees simply had to put substantial severence pay in escrow to be delivered when the employee went home-for any reason. This would rather dramatically limit the more extreme abuse-which I don't want to be part of directly or indirectly. The US is rich enough it doesn't need slave labor-or to participate in nasty con-jobs.



[ Parent ]

InformationWeek article (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by jsather on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 07:11:52 PM EST

Just got this weeks copy of Information Week and this article was the cover story.

-J

INS cannot regulate H1-B program (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:55:05 PM EST

"Officials say they could do more if they could subpoena business records and respond to leads beyond workers' complaints." SiliconValley.com - Special Reports Under pressure from the tech industry, Congress raised the limit on H-1B visas to 195,000 per year from 115,000. But Mercury News reporting nationwide and in India found that underlying vulnerabilities remain: Some U.S. labor contractors intimidate and underpay H-1B workers, yet the Department of Labor lacks broad investigative powers. The Department of Labor has recovered more than $1 million in back wages due more than 300 information technology workers. Officials say they could do more if they could subpoena business records and respond to leads beyond workers' complaints. H-1B visa fraud is not uncommon, ranging from academic degrees faked overseas to phony job offers in the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has only 40 staffers at its service centers nationwide to investigate fraud in H-1B and all other visa applications. INS processing of H-1B visas has repeatedly stalled under months-long backlogs, causing uncertainty and disruption for workers, their families and companies. By raising the cap, the INS will have tens of thousands more applications to process, and officials say that, at best, the backlogs will run into next year. Although the new legislation raises fees, that won't be enough to upgrade systems, including a computer system so outmoded that the agency literally lost count and issued an extra 20,000 visas by mistake last year...



INS cannot regulate H1-B program (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:55:36 PM EST

"Officials say they could do more if they could subpoena business records and respond to leads beyond workers' complaints." SiliconValley.com - Special Reports Under pressure from the tech industry, Congress raised the limit on H-1B visas to 195,000 per year from 115,000. But Mercury News reporting nationwide and in India found that underlying vulnerabilities remain: Some U.S. labor contractors intimidate and underpay H-1B workers, yet the Department of Labor lacks broad investigative powers. The Department of Labor has recovered more than $1 million in back wages due more than 300 information technology workers. Officials say they could do more if they could subpoena business records and respond to leads beyond workers' complaints. H-1B visa fraud is not uncommon, ranging from academic degrees faked overseas to phony job offers in the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has only 40 staffers at its service centers nationwide to investigate fraud in H-1B and all other visa applications. INS processing of H-1B visas has repeatedly stalled under months-long backlogs, causing uncertainty and disruption for workers, their families and companies. By raising the cap, the INS will have tens of thousands more applications to process, and officials say that, at best, the backlogs will run into next year. Although the new legislation raises fees, that won't be enough to upgrade systems, including a computer system so outmoded that the agency literally lost count and issued an extra 20,000 visas by mistake last year...



H-1B Visas Up 14% During Tech Downturn | 76 comments (76 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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