2006 July

1st month of the 3rd quarter of the 17th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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captain William Scott's flag for the Republic of Texas.
Batman Begins
Batman Begins

2006 July

First month of the 3rd quarter of the 7th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression

  "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must... undergo the fatigue of supporting it." --- Thomas Paine  

2006-07-01 - 129 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-01 14:17PDT (17:17EDT) (21:17GMT)
Matt Crenson _AP_/_Yahoo!_
The branches of the human family tree are short, though the roots are deep
"Whoever it was probably lived a few thousand years ago, somewhere in East Asia -- Taiwan, Malaysia and Siberia all are likely locations.   He -- or she -- did nothing more remarkable than be born, live, have children and die.   Yet this was the ancestor of every person now living on Earth -- the last person in history whose family tree branches out to touch all 6.5G people on the planet today.   That means everybody on Earth descends from somebody who was around as recently as the reign of Tutankhamen, maybe even during the Golden Age of ancient Greece.   There's even a chance that our last shared ancestor lived at the time of Christ.   'It's a mathematical certainty that that person existed.', said Steve Olson, whose 2002 book _Mapping Human History_ traces the history of the species since its origins in Africa more than 100K years ago...  
few people realize just how intricately that web connects them not just to people living on the planet today, but to everyone who ever lived.   With the help of a statistician, a computer scientist and a supercomputer, Olson has calculated just how interconnected the human family tree is.   You would have to go back in time only 2K to 5K years -- and probably on the low side of that range -- to find somebody who could count every person alive today as a descendant.   Furthermore, Olson and his colleagues have found that if you go back a little farther -- about 5K to 7K years ago -- everybody living today has exactly the same set of ancestors.   IOW, every person who was alive at that time is either an ancestor to all 6G people living today, or their line died out and they have no remaining descendants...  
Every Palestinian suicide bomber has Jews in his past.   Every Sunni Muslim in Iraq is descended from at least one Shiite.   And every Klansman's family has African roots...  
Every person has 2 parents, 4 grand-parents and 8 great-grand-parents.   Keep doubling back through the generations -- 16, 32, 64, 128 -- and within a few hundred years you have thousands of ancestors.   It's nothing more than exponential growth combined with the facts of life.   By the 15th century you've got a million [2^20] ancestors.   By the 13th you've got a billion.   Sometime around the 9th century -- just 40 generations ago -- the number tops a trillion...  
In fact, most of the people who lived 1,200 years ago appear not twice, but thousands of times on our family trees, because there were only 200M people on Earth back then.   Simple division -- a trillion divided by 200M -- shows that on average each person back then would appear 5K times on the family tree of every single individual living today.   But things are never average.   Many of the people who were alive in the year 800 never had children; they don't appear on anybody's family tree.   Meanwhile, more prolific members of society would show up many more than 5K times on a lot of people's trees.   Keep going back in time, and there are fewer and fewer people available to put on more and more branches of the 6.5G family trees of people living today.   It is mathematically inevitable that at some point, there will be a person who appears at least once on everybody's tree...  
When you walk through an exhibit of Ancient Egyptian art from the time of the pyramids, everything there was very likely created by one of your ancestors -- every statue, every hieroglyph, every gold necklace.   If there is a mummy lying in the center of the room, that person was almost certainly your ancestor, too.   It means when Muslims, Jews or Christians claim to be children of Abraham, they are all bound to be right...  
In a paper published by the journal Advances in Applied Probability Joseph Chang showed that there is a mathematical relationship between the size of a population and the number of generations back to a common ancestor.   Plugging the planet's current population into his equation, he came up with just over 32 generations, or about 900 years.   Chang knew that answer was wrong...  
people have to select their partners from the pool of individuals they have actually met, unless they are entering into an arranged marriage.   But even then, they are much more likely to mate with partners who live nearby.   And that means that geography can't be ignored if you are going to determine the relatedness of the world's population...  
Douglas Rohde, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuro-scientist and computer expert who now works for Google...   They decided to build a massive computer simulation that would essentially re-enact the history of humanity as people were born, moved from one place to another, reproduced and died.   Rohde created a program that put an initial population on a map of the world at some date in the past, ranging from 7K to 20K years ago.   Then the program allowed those initial inhabitants to go about their business.   He allowed them to expand in number according to accepted estimates of past population growth, but had to cap the expansion at 55M people due to computing limitations.   Although unrealistic in some respects -- 55M is a lot less than the 6.5G people who actually live on Earth today -- he found through trial and error that the limitation did not significantly change the outcome with regard to common ancestry...  
Rohde, Chang and Olson chose a range of migration rates, from a low level where almost nobody left their native home to a much higher one where up to 20% of the population reproduced in a town other than the one where they were born, and one person in 400 moved to a foreign country.   Allowing very little migration, Rohde's simulation produced a date of about 5K BC [Hebrew-1240] for humanity's most recent common ancestor.   Assuming a higher, but still realistic, migration rate produced a shockingly recent date of around 1 AD [Hebrew 3761].   Some people even suspect that the most recent common ancestor could have lived later than that...  
Take Alexander the Great, who conquered every country between Greece and northern India, siring 2 sons along the way by Persian mothers.   Consider Prince Abd Al-Rahman, son of a Syrian father and a Berber mother, who escaped Damascus after the overthrow of his family's dynasty and started a new one in Spain.   The Vikings, the Mongols, and the Huns all traveled thousands of miles to burn, pillage and -- most pertinent to genealogical considerations -- rape more settled populations...   [The Goths left Sweden in AD50, traveling to present-day Poland and Turkey, then West to Spain by AD500=Hebrew4260.]   During the Middle Ages, the Gypsies traveled in stages from northern India to Europe.   In the New World, the Navaho moved from western Canada to their current home in the American Southwest.   People from East Asia fanned out into the South Pacific Islands, and Eskimos frequently traveled back and forth across the Bering Sea from Siberia to Alaska."

"dallaschumley" _American Workers Coalition_
Searching for work with Tata
"I have decided to continue my career in IT, I need to go to work for a known global IT firm, perhaps like Tata Consulting Services.   Per [Tata's] archived web page:
  52% of their staff have 2 years or less experience, I have triple that much experience, so I'm sure they would be interested in hiring a person with 6 years experience.
  Only 5% of their staff has that much experience, and only 7% have more than 2 years experience.   But I'm having a hard time finding where they post their openings.   I searched the following places:
Computerjobs.com: 0
Monster: 15
[Tata's] home page: 0
America's Job Bank: 0
I know there must be Tata jobs listed someplace I'm not looking; I just can't find it.   I think they must be hiring, as there are 370 entries in the 2005 LCA data-base for 3,140 visas.   Unless: they aren't recruiting Americans for these jobs :O ...   Next spring when the 2006 LCA comes out, I want to compare my DB with the LCA to prove that the jobs weren't advertised to Americans.   Of the 15 job listings I've found so far, only 4 of them were for programmers.   This should mean Tata will only file for 4 programmer visas :)   Any more than that and I'll have basis to file a complaint that Tata doesn't make a 'good faith effort' to hire Americans."
To which "ihatefleet" responded
"There are very few jobs or possibly even no jobs listed for Americans.   Tata generally advertises in India for high caste well-educated single men in their 20s."

2006-07-02 - 128 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-02 14:50PDT (17:50EDT) (21:50GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _MarketWatch_
Buck Institute researches disease and aging

Dave Gibson _Phoenix AZ American Daily_
The USA is being over-thrown by politicians
"A description on the Smart Port web-site reads: 'For those who live in Kansas City, the idea of receiving containers non-stop from the Far East by way of Mexico may sound unlikely, but later this month that seemingly far-fetched notion will become a reality.'   NASCO (North American Super Corridor Coalition) is building the NAFTA ten-lane highway.   NASCO is a collection of government agencies and private business organizations.   NASCO has officially been given $2.5M by the U.S. Department of Transportation.   So how can private groups pay for a public highway?...   On 1992 April 30, President George H.W. Bush issued Executive Order #12803, which allows private investment in U.S. infrastructure.   While only $2.5M in federal dollars is reported to have been spent on this venture, considering the more than 6K ear-marks in the last $300G Highway Bill, it is really impossible to know the exact amount of [tax-victim] money being used on the project."

2006-07-03 - 127 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-03 08:26PDT (11:26EDT) (15:26GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM factory index fell from 54.4% in May to 53.8% in June

2006-07-03 08:26PDT (11:26EDT) (15:26GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US construction spending down 0.4% in May

S&P 5001,280.19
10-year US T-Bond5.15%
crude oil73.93

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-04 Independence Day126 Days Until Congressional Election

Declaration of Independence
Indiana University
US History.org
Library of Congress
USA National Archives

Robert Sanchez _PHX News_
John Shadegg declared war on the USA's middle class
Shadegg's web page

"The special interest groups that want large increases in the number of employment based visas have made a major move forward towards that goal, thanks to John Shadegg (R-AZ) who just introduced a House version of the
SKIL Bill (HR5744). The text of the bill isn't even on-line at the time of this writing and yet it's picking up co-sponsors very rapidly. I often call the Senate version of this horrendous excuse to replace American workers 'Bill's SKIL Bill' because of Bill Gates's role in lobbying for the original legislation. The legislation was first put into senator Arlen Specter's comprehensive immigration bill now known as S2611. The Skil Bill morphed from S2611 and became a separate and smaller bill called S2691."

2006-07-05 - 125 Days Until Congressional Election

_Orlando Sentinel_
H-1B: the fashion model visa!? Say it aint so
"So, I'm perusing the government's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] web site trying to be a faithful servant and not just some babbling blogger, you know, looking for something actual useful to tell you about.   And, there, I find some need-to-know info on the ever-popular H-1B visa.   They've filled their cap for [FY] 2007, but mark your calenders because starting 2007 April 1, you can make your petition for one for an employment start date of October 1, 2007.   In case you don't know, the H-1B visa is the one for workers that we really, really, really need in the United States.   Engineers, computer programmers, high-tech workers, some college professors and, of course, FASHION MODELS!!!!!!!!!!!...   So, if you really want to come to the U.S., you can   1. Go to college and study real hard topics like science and math; or   2. Stop eating all those toast soldiers (!!!).   Can you really believe we are giving H-1B visas to fashion models?   I'm sure some American sack of bones in the Big Apple is very upset by this."

2006-07-05 06:30PDT (09:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Paul McDougall _Information Week_
India's refusal to open domestic markets could put international out-sourcing industry at risk
"When Indian commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath walked out of the WTO's Doha Round trade talks over the weekend in Geneva, the moment symbolized for many the country's refusal to budge on the issue of granting foreign companies wider access to its agricultural, services, and retail markets.   When Indian commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath walked out of the WTO's Doha Round trade talks over the weekend in Geneva, the moment symbolized for many the country's refusal to budge on the issue of granting foreign companies wider access to its agricultural, services, and retail markets.   India argues that the U.S.A. and other Western countries must first cut the big subsidies they give to their farmers before it makes any meaningful trade concessions.   That may be a fair point, but both U.S. and Indian tech services and BPO firms fear that a trade war over manufactured and agricultural products could spill over to their turf...   The stakes are high.   Congress thus far has resisted the many cries from within the U.S.A. by unions and some media commentators to impose limits on off-shore out-sourcing.   But for how long can it keep up that resistance if India itself continues to ignore U.S. requests for greater market access?   I recently spoke with an IT exec at Continental Airlines who was frustrated by India's burdensome trade regulations.   Continental wanted to route customer calls to its Delhi base made from within India to a service center in the U.S.A. -- kind of a reverse BPO.   No can do, said the Indian government.   Customer calls originating from within India must be handled by Indian workers.   Meanwhile, Indian BPO staffers handle millions of calls per day that originate in the U.S.A.   That doesn't sound like fair trade, does it?"

2006-07-05 09:12PDT (12:12EDT) (16:12GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ADP's pay-roll survey shows net gain of 368K since last year: Largest increase since survey started a couple years after the beginning of the on-going Clinton-Bush depression
"U.S. private-sector non-farm pay-rolls increased by about 368K in June, ADP said.   This is the largest monthly increase in employment since the ADP index was created 5 years ago...   In May, the ADP report showed 122K net new jobs, while the Labor Department's survey indicated 67K new jobs in the private sector."
ADP's report (with graphs)

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
LA Times article fails to delve
"Readers of this e-news-letter can be broken down into 'techies' (engineers and programmers) and 'newsies' (journalists, university and government researchers, political staffers, etc.).   I constantly hear from the techies that the press is highly biased in favor of the industry [executives] on the H-1B issue...   the [LA Times article by Anna Gorman] is unbalanced, whether deliberately or not.   I actually decided to quantify it, by counting lines of text.   Turns out that there are 93 lines which quote advocates of increasing the H-1B cap and liberalizing the green card process, but only 24 lines quoting the critics of these programs.   It's not just a question of line counts.   I'm more worried about omission of centrally relevant information...   One interesting aspect of the article is the quotes in which H-1Bs (A and D) present themselves as being such wonderful assets to the U.S.A... the vast majority of H-1Bs are ordinary people doing ordinary work, apparently including those profiled here.   I couldn't find A and B on the web, but I did find one of the others highlighted in the article, C.   [What seemed to be C's CV but is now a dead link which I retain here for historical reasons.]   (This should be the same person, as the CV gives a birth date of 1978, matching the article's statement that she is age 28.)...   There is nothing wrong with C's CV, but it definitely is far below the 'best and brightest' level.   She did not attend one of the top universities in India, or even second-tier.   I think university 'pedigree' tends to be over-rated, but certainly there is nothing special in her CV, either in education or work experience."
I'll go further.   C's objective is contentless and demonstrates aimlessness and lack of creativity.   There's no special depth, but that would be OK for a recent graduate if she were not claiming to be among "the best and brightest".   Her CV shows no especially good programming languages and operating systems, not very many of them, and no great experience.   COBOL, Windoze and DOS are negatives, so she's a little behind the curve.   Rational Rose is a small plus, but nothing to compete with an old pro who's read a couple books.   And she seems proud to have been bodyshopped but that's balanced by the Grameen Bank gig (if it's the Grameen bank covered by some of the news programs a couple decades ago for its micro-loans and enterprise circles).   I'm not so sure about those percentages ("board marks"); I'm used to 65% to 75% being a nearly failing mark (D or 1.0 to 1.99), and 75% to 80% being merely "average" (C or 2.0 to 2.99) and these days (and by "these days" I mean since she was born, certainly) an American student needs to be making an average of 95% or better (A or 3.5 or better) to get into the next grad school and have decent job offers...jgo
2010-12-14: After several harrassing contacts from Mark Bartosik, an Immigration Voice activist, apparently calling from Long Island (but C has never tried to contact me) I add this note.   Mark Bartosik alleges that the resume mentioned is not that of the C mentioned in the article.   Since the resume is no longer available that may be.   In any case, no evidence has been presented that the C mentioned in the article has or has ever had above-average skills, or rare skills not widely available among US citizen STEM workers...jgo
2010-12-21: A person claiming to be the C mentioned in the article has allegedly said to the aforementioned Immigration Voice activist, Mark Bartosik that "She did not claim to be the best or the brightest.   She has never claimed to know COBOL.   She has never claimed to have had an association with Gramin Bank.   She did not get the examination marks that you have quoted" from the posted resume, but got 3.95 in her graduate work.

2006-07-05 09:16PDT (12:16EDT) (16:16GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US factory orders were up 0.7% in May
"Factory orders fell a revised 2.0% in April, down from the initial estimate of a 1.8% decline."

Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
NASCO has altered Super-Corridor message
"NASCO has altered the organization's web site home-page, apparently in direct response to the North American Union series we have published here, including discussion of NASCO and NAFTA Super-Highways.   NASCO appears to be reacting from recent publicity deriving from our argument that NASCO actively supports the goals of their members, including the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Kansas City SmartPort.   TxDOT plans to start the first segment of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) as early as next year and the Kansas City SmartPort plans to house a Mexican customs operation within their Inland Port design.   These are new infrastructure developments along the North American NAFTA Super-Corridor that NASCO as a trade organization was created to support...   NASCO appears engaged in a public relations marketing effort to defuse concerns that the organization supports any new NAFTA Super-Highway development that would include TTC features...   Perhaps NASCO would be well advised to review the Trans-Texas Corridor website of its member TxDOT agency.   There the 4K page Environmental Impact Study (EIS) clearly describes the 1,200 foot new Super-Highway that TxDOT plans to build parallel to I-35.   Page 4 of the EIS Executive Summary shows an artist's rendition of the full build-out of the TTC-35 concept, an automobile-truck-railroad corridor with a utility space for energy pipe-lines and electronic circuits, along with tower electricity strung out on the perimeter.   No artist's conception of the TTC drawn by the TxDOT bears any resemblance to the current I-35 in Texas or anywhere else...   George Blackwood, NASCO President, attended the January 10-11 meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, held by the Council of the Americas and the North American Business Committee to conduct a 'Public/Private Sector Dialogue' on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.   A key finding of this meeting was that associations in the U.S. organized to promote particular corridors needed since the dawning of SPP in Waco, Texas, on 2005 March 23, to coordinate their efforts in a less provincial style, more reflective of the North American regional orientation of SPP itself..."

Travis Loller _Tennessean_
SPLC law-suit claims guest-workers under-paid
"Not only were living and working conditions difficult, but Rosiles-Perez believes he was constantly under-paid...   Rosiles-Perez is among about 40 Mexican workers being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] in a law-suit against their former employer, Arkansas-based Superior Forestry Service Inc.   Because some of the forestry work took place around Columbia, TN, the suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville earlier this year...   Because he could make more money planting and fumigating pine trees here than working in agriculture at home, Rosiles-Perez said he kept coming back.   He decided to call it quits and return to Mexico last year.   Rosiles-Perez was recruited by Superior Forestry Service Inc., which secured an H-2B guest worker visa for him.   These visas are reserved for temporary and seasonal jobs...   The Tennessee suit is one of four filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center involving forestry workers.   All allege underpayment by contractors.   Workers are required to receive the prevailing wage for their industry and geographic area.   This ensures that the foreign workers do not undercut the wages of American workers.   Turner, speaking of the industry in general, said forestry workers are paid an hourly wage for some tasks, but for tree planting, they tend to be paid per bag of 1,000 pine trees planted.   A usual wage is $25-$28 per bag.   Some forestry companies use the per bag payments to conceal the fact that they are not paying workers prevailing wages, Turner said...   The prevailing wage is determined by the U.S. Department of Labor and changes from state to state and year to year, but attorneys for both sides agreed that a prevailing wage for this work during the time period of the law-suit is in the range of $7-$8 an hour.   Another point of contention is whether workers should have been paid for hours they weren't able to work because of weather conditions.   For instance, they could not fumigate when there were strong winds and could not plant trees when the ground was frozen.   Stine maintains that the company rightfully does not pay for hours that are not worked.   Turner, the Southern Poverty Law Center attorney, disagrees.   'The question is, are they being retained for work?   If they're in the field, waiting for the wind to die down, they're not on their own time, free to use as they may.'   The 2 sides also disagree whether workers should have been reimbursed for expenses such as transportation and work visas and for supplies such as boots...   In recent weeks, the court denied class-action status for the suit, but attorneys for the plaintiffs will have the chance to prove their case for a class action again in a few months.   [And why are they planting only pines instead of hard-woods native to the area?...jgo]"

almost everyone on earth is descended from a king, queen, emperor, or empress
"Actress Brooke Shields has a pretty impressive pedigree -- hanging from her family tree are Catherine de Medici and Lucrezia Borgia, Charlemagne and el Cid, William the conqueror and king Harold, vanquished at the battle of Hastings...   'Millions of people have provable descents from medieval monarchs.', said Mark Humphrys, a genealogy enthusiast and professor of computer science at Dublin City University in Ireland..."

S&P 5001,270.91
10-year US T-Bond5.23%
crude oil75.19

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-06 - 124 Days Until Congressional Election

Kim Berry Programmers Guild
H-1B "Prevailing" Wage Is Substantially Below the Median Wage of US Workers
"While several bills, such as the "SKIL Act of 2006" [Senate version S2691], aim to nearly double the annual H-1B quota, all such bills provide for the legal displacement of U.S. workers by under-paid foreign workers under a flawed prevailing wage provision.   The H-1B 'prevailing wage' is a sham that allows employers to pay H-1B workers 25% below market wages while claiming full compliance with the law...   The General Accountability Office (GAO) reports that the Department of Labor (DoL) had approved thousands of H-1B applications, in spite of clear prevailing wage violations within the applications.   But GAO did not consider whether the prevailing wages themselves were flawed.   Had GAO evaluated the DoL's prevailing wages against actual U.S. wages, the number of violations might have exceeded one hundred thousand.   In the Silicon Valley, California region, the median wage in 2004 for the occupation 'computer programmer' was $83,500.   This median represents the wages for U.S. workers with average skills and experience.   But of the 9721 LCAs (Labor Condition Applications) for H-1B computer programmer in the region in fiscal year 2005, 2877 (29%) were for a salary of $57K or less, and fully 8193 (84%) paid less than the median wage of $83,500...   The Programmers Guild calls on Congress to set the base 'Prevailing Wage' for H-1B and L-1 workers as the median wage earned by U.S. workers within the classification for the region.   Currently Congress and DoL are creating a financial incentive for corporations to lay off their skilled U.S. staff and replacing them with foreign workers on H-1B and L-1 visas."

2006-07-05 20:27PDT (2006-07-05 23:27EDT) (2006-07-06 03:27GMT)
Richard Willing _USA Today_
While US governments continue to declare personal private information to be "public", they also want to declare public date to be secret
Privacy links

Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
Documents reveal plan for Mexican trucks in the USA: Internal e-mail messages belie public statement, suggest aim is to expand quietly

2006-07-06 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 303,265 in the week ending July 1, an increase of 15,545 from the previous week.   There were 327,268 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8% during the week ending June 24, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,268,509, an increase of 48,460 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,415,224."

2006-07-06 11:51PDT (14:51EDT) (18:51GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index fell from 60.1 in May to 57, lowest since January
"The employment index, which has tracked trends in employment growth pretty well according to economists, [fell from 58 in May to 52 in June]."

2006-07-06 13:00PDT (16:00EDT) (20:00GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K...   4,558 Beneficiaries Approved...   9,129 [Applications Pending] 13,687 Date of Last Count 2006-06-30 [leaving 14,552 left to be awarded, and if all pending applications were approved would leave 6,313]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap.   The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year.   Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006.   The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [Thus demonstrating that the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor does USCIS expect it to be exhausted during the remainder of FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

2006-07-07 - 123 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-07 13:43PDT (16:43EDT) (20:43GMT)
Mark Cotton & Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
Stocks took a loss for the week

2006-07-07 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
only lower-end service sector jobs being created
"Auggie Tantillo of the American Trade and Manufacturing Coalition:   'You have to look at the type of jobs that are being created.   Most of them are in lower-end, service sector areas., often-times paying minimum wage or slightly above.   And in almost all cases, with limited to no health benefits and limited to no pension plans associated with those jobs.'"

S&P 5001,265.48
10-year US T-Bond5.13%
crude oil74.09

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-08 - 122 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-08 07:42PDT (10:42EDT) (14:42GMT)
George W. Bush _MarketWatch_
Bush urges congress to force tax-victims to increase subsidies to wealthy tech executives

David Fried _North San Diego County Times_
Escondido council-woman proposed banning rentals to illegal aliens
"Waldron said last week that she wants the city to look into drafting a law that would fine landlords $1,000 for renting or leasing property to [illegal aliens; about the cost of a month's rent for a 1 bed-room apartment], and possibly include arrest for extreme violators.   'I don't want it (the ordinance) to be a slap on the wrist.', Waldron said.   Waldron, who has regularly pushed for cracking down on illegal immigration, said that prohibiting undocumented immigrants from renting in the city was a response to federal border control efforts, which she believes have failed.   'It's something every city needs to consider.', Waldron said of her proposal, which would follow a Pennsylvania city's tentative approval of a similar measure.   'It's just a matter of having the political will.'   A rental ordinance would place Escondido square in the middle of an ongoing national debate over illegal immigration, and potentially put the city and landlords in a costly position.   City Manager Clay Phillips said he is not sure the city can legally restrict rental agreements.   But even if it can, any resulting ordinance would require additional spending and employee time to enforce it for each of the 20,500 rental units in the city...   Public housing agencies regularly -- and legally -- demand proof of citizenship or legal residency from applicants for government-subsidized housing programs, according to officials with the Fair Housing Council of San Diego...   Last month, Hazleton, PA, passed its own ordinance aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration in the town of 31K residents.   In addition to fining landlords who rent to undocumented immigrants, the law also would deny business licenses to companies that hire illegal immigrants and establishes English as the city's official language.   Hazleton's council is scheduled to vote on the measure for its second, and final, reading, this week.   Some residents in San Bernardino have proposed a similar voter initiative for their city.   But their efforts were put on hold last month, after a Superior Court judge said supporters needed to gather more signatures in order to place the proposed law on the November ballot.   Other cities have passed measures taking on different issues related to illegal immigration.   Just down the road from Escondido, Vista's City Council unanimously passed an ordinance last month requiring employers who hire day laborers to register with the city."

2006-07-09 - 121 Days Until Congressional Election

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Where in Congressional Debate Is Discussion of Legal Immigration?
"As it turns out Bakr, a sexual predator, should have been subjected to an intense background check with the hope that information about him would have kept him out.   Supposedly, the Department of Homeland Security does a security check through the local consulate.   But the paucity of rejected visa applications indicates such checks must be random [or, as USCIS has confessed, mere data-base look-ups rather than actual investigations].   When you add Bakr's case to Lodi's experience last summer with the R-1 visas granted to imams Shabbir Ahmed and Muhammad Adil Khan, many Lodians conclude that legal immigration, with its layers of loop-holes, presents as much of a threat as illegal immigration.   The House of Representatives (HR4437) and the U.S. Senate (S2611) are hotly debating whether the nation should adopt a security first approach to immigration or grant amnesty to illegal aliens.   Meanwhile the risk the Senate creates by adding more legal immigrants through increases in H-1B visas and establishing new categories of work and student visas is ignored." pending immigration proposals in congress:
Frist's S2454
Hagel's S2612
Tancredo's HR1325
Tancredo's HR1450
Tancredo's HR1587
Tancredo's HR3333
Tancredo's HR3700
Pascrell's HR4378
Sensenbrenner's HR4437
Shadegg's HR5744
Specter's S2611
Cornyn's S2691

Barbara Rose _Chicago Tribune_
Tech workers plugging back in, but for some jobs power and hope has faded
"A growing economy is producing the first sustained high-tech hiring surge since the dot-com stock boom's collapse threw hundreds of thousands of technology professionals out of work 5 years ago [over the last 7 years].   Yet even though a cyclical recovery is creating good opportunities for many workers as employers scramble to fill openings, trends such as outsourcing are making it harder for others to find work.   The varying fortunes of tech workers in a healthy economy illustrate the paradox of an era in which highly skilled workers in a fast growing industry face challenges staying fully employed even in good times.   Nowhere is this more apparent than in technology, where rapid change is constant.   'Even when companies are adding labor they're also hedging their future.', said Gartner Inc. senior adviser Howard Rubin.   'They've learned the economy doesn't always go up.   They're only hiring specialized skills close to home' that are essential...   'I'm simply not getting responses.', said the [former systems support manager and] Villa Park resident, who averages one interview a month."

_Matt Dattilo's Today in History_
Braddock's Expedition

2006-07-10 - 120 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-10 12:44PDT (15:44EDT) (19:44GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US consumer debt rose 2.4% in May: Revolving debt up 10%

Tom Daschle & Leo Hindery _Chicago Sun-Times_
Immigration reforms proposed will not give the average American more job security
"With millions of [aliens illegally] entering the United States each year, law-makers are under pressure to stop the flow and determine how best to deal with [8M to 24M] illegal workers in the country today.   Unfortunately, no amount of immigration reform will give average Americans what they want and need most: a secure, good-paying job.   Despite the best intentions of both political parties, Congress cannot effectively address illegal immigration -- or any other major domestic economic issue -- without first finding ways to strengthen and protect America's middle-class jobs, the backbone of our economy.   Much has been written about how the influx of low-wage immigrants has made it more difficult for struggling native-born Americans to find employment.   This is true...   However, the far more serious threat to America's economic well-being is the ongoing, systematic pressure to eliminate jobs, reduce wages and cut benefits.   Nearly 5M American jobs have moved off-shore since 2000.   If this trend continues, a staggering 18M positions in manufacturing, services and information technology will move over-seas by 2015.   No economy in the world can sustain that kind of loss in all 3 sectors and hope to remain productive and prosperous.   Although the U.S. economy is creating new jobs, most of these positions are not symmetrical in numbers and quality with those being lost to off-shoring.   Domestic service jobs paying on average $9K or less a year are not an acceptable offset to the loss of high-quality manufacturing, service and IT positions.   An honest accounting of the nation's true unemployment rate would show as many as 10% to 12% of Americans are currently out of work.   In addition, there are several million more people who are under-employed, having accepted jobs with fewer hours and benefits and lower wages...   Tom Daschle was Senate majority leader in 2001-02.   Leo Hindery is the managing partner of InterMedia Partners, former CEO of TCI, AT&T Broadband and the YES Network, and author of It Takes a CEO: It's Time to Lead With Integrity."

Don Tennant _Computer World_
Older IT Pros have been Worn Down by Decades of Employer Abuse
"Clearly, these findings won't sit well with a lot of un-employed or under-employed IT workers who have been unsuccessful in matching their skills with the needs of employers that claim there's a scarcity of good IT talent.   We've already gotten an earful from readers who responded to Management editor Kathleen Melymuka's interview last week with the author of a book that warns of a coming IT talent crunch ('Work-Force Crisis' 2006-07-03).   'Kathleen Melymuka has been drinking at the Kool-Aid trough of the tech executives and their lobbyists again.', wrote one.   'Are you kidding me?', asked another.   'The only shortage of computer professionals [is] for the jobs that don't pay enough to raise a family on.'   A third reader was more succinct in his assessment of the article: 'Total crap.'"

Vivek Wadhwa _Business Week_
Engineering Gap?   Fact and Fiction: USA should hone our own strengths

  1. Shortages usually lead to price increases.   If there were a shortage of engineers, salaries should have risen.   Yet in real terms, engineering salaries have actually dropped (2005/09/15 Good Time to Learn Accounting).
  2. 25% to 40% of engineering graduates don't become engineers.   At Duke, I noted that 40% of our Masters of Engineering Management students were accepting jobs in fields such as investment banking and management consulting.   Our researchers called other engineering schools and found this was common.   Don Giddens, dean of engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says that this is by design -- U.S. schools provide a broad education that prepares students for careers other than "strictly" engineering.
  3. Quantity usually comes at the cost of quality.   [Red China] has increased the number of engineers it graduates by a staggering 126% over the last 5 years with a factory-like approach to education.   Degree quality can't be maintained unless academic staff and facilities grow with student populations.   According to the [Red Chinese] Ministry of Education, from 1999 to 2004 the number of technical schools in [Red China] actually fell from 4,098 to 2,884.   During that same period, the number of teachers and staff at these institutions fell 24%.
  4. Graduate too many and you'll create unemployment.   [Red China's] National Development and Reform Commission recently reported that job openings in [Red China] have dropped 22% over the last year and that 60% of [Red China's] upcoming university graduates will be unable to find work.   Media reports say that in an effort to "fight" unemployment, some universities in [Red China's] Anhui Province are refusing to grant diplomas until potential graduates show proof of employment.   And Premier Wen Jiabao announced that [Red China] would be cutting university enrollment levels.
  5. We've got enough qualified computer programmers.   The Wall Street Journal reported that MSFT received resumes from about 100K graduating students in 2004, screened 15K [15%] of them, interviewed 3,500 [3.5%], and hired 1K [1%].   It said that MSFT receives about 60K resumes a month for its 2K open positions.
  6. The vast majority of engineering under-graduates aren't foreign nationals.   According to the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), the percentage of under-graduate engineering degrees awarded to students with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency has remained close to 92% for the past 7 years.
  7. U.S. students don't gain enough financial benefit from post-graduate engineering education.   The proportion of domestic to foreign students completing graduate degrees in engineering dropped from 60.3% in 1999 to 57.4% in 2005, and doctoral degrees from 54.4% to 40.4% in the same period, according to the ASEE.   In a National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER] working paper, Harvard economist Richard Freeman says this is because salaries for scientists and engineers are lower than for other professions, and the investment that students have to make in higher degrees isn't cost-justified.
    Doctoral graduate students typically spend 7 to 8 years earning a PhD, during which time they are paid stipends.   These stipends are usually less than what a bachelor's degree-holder makes.   Some students never make up for this financial loss.   Foreign students typically have fewer opportunities and see a U.S. education as their ticket to the U.S. job market and citizenship.
  8. The majority of foreign engineering students come here to stay.   A report prepared for the National Science Foundation [NSF] showed that the number of foreign-born doctorates who chose to stay in the U.S increased from 49% to 71% from 1989 to 2003.   While these numbers are likely to decline, I'd bet Friedman that they don't decline to 1989 levels.
If researcher salaries were at market levels, we wouldn't be dependent on foreigners to fill our graduate programs.   And if we paid scientists as well as we pay investment bankers, we would see students tripping over each other to study math and science.   We could also be doing a lot more to encourage U.S. companies to expand U.S.-based research, to provide ongoing education and training for their employees, and to work more closely with universities in commercializing research.
Norm Matloff commented: "Yes, and it's not just MSFT or the other big firms.   And it's not just now.   Firms have never lacked for applicants (and never lacked for qualified applicants).   The only thing they've lacked is enough CHEAP applicants.   I've got lots of data like that above in my [Michigan Journal of Law Reform] article (pdf)."
more Matloff articles on the subject:
High-Tech Industry Can Blame Itself for Alleged "Shortage of Talent": Lots of capable programmers are brushed aside
Innovation Is Not the Answer
Why Silicon Valley Executives Love Thomas Friedman
The Myth of Post-Graduate Degrees
International Higher Education
these and more articles

Jeff Johnson _Cybercast News Service_
Barney Frank legislation opened immigration door to whose activities would be prejudicial to the public interest or safety

_Ocala Star-Banner_
Florida cities tackle illegal immigration

S&P 5001,267.34
10-year US T-Bond5.13%
crude oil73.61

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2006-07-11 - 119 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-10 22:00PDT (2006-07-11 01:00EDT) (2006-07-11 05:00GMT)
John Sweeney & Rick Bender _News Tribune_
NLRB poised to disqualify many from union membership
"The cases involve charge nurses in a hospital and nursing home and lead workers in a manufacturing plant, but they represent just the tip of the iceberg.   The rulings will affect construction workers, painters, welders, electricians -- potentially millions of workers in every industry.   At the heart of the issue is an effort to reclassify employees as 'supervisors', who do not have protected rights under federal labor law to form and join unions.   Any skilled or experienced worker who occasionally or incidentally over-sees or assigns the work of those less skilled and experienced is vulnerable under a broader interpretation of 'supervisor'."

2006-07-11 13:04PDT (16:04EDT) (20:04GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K...   4,881 Beneficiaries Approved...   9,368 [Applications Pending]... Total 14,249... Date of Last Count 2006-07-06 [leaving 15,119 yet to be awarded, and if all pending applications were approved would leave 5,751]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap.   The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year.   Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006.   The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [Thus demonstrating that the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor does USCIS expect it to be exhausted during the remainder of FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

Charlie Savage _Boston Globe_
DHS investigation found fraud in visa program for religious workers
"The probe found numerous instances in which groups in the United States falsely claimed to be churches, and visa applicants lied about their religious vocations in order to get into the country.   More than a third of the visas examined by investigators were based on fraudulent information...   instances of fraud were particularly high among applicants from predominantly Muslim countries, and the report raised concerns about potential terrorism risks...   The US government issues several thousand religious worker visas each year.   There are 2 types: temporary 3-year visas, and 'green cards' that allow foreigners to become permanent residents.   The Homeland Security study looked only at petitions for green cards, but the report noted that the 3-year visa program faces identical fraud risks...   In 1999, for example, the General Accounting Office found that many applicants for temporary religious worker visas were unqualified for the positions they were coming to fill...   The internal investigation was completed in 2005 August, but it has not been made public.   The Globe obtained a a redacted version with several pages missing.   Stewart Baker, assistant secretary of homeland security for policy, said in an interview that the department is still wrestling with how to crack down on fraud in the program without hurting the benefits it provides to legitimate churches."

S&P 5001,272.52
10-year US T-Bond5.10%
crude oil73.61

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2006-07-12 - 118 Days Until Congressional Election

_Numbers USA_
Principles for Immigration Reform

2006-07-12 05:27PDT (08:27EDT) (12:27GMT)
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
MSFT fined $357M by European regulator: Still not in compliance with anti-trust rulings
"The 280.5M euro fine imposed was less than the regulator could've fined the world's largest [defective] software maker, as it amounts to 1.5M euros a day starting from a Dec. 16 deadline it gave MSFT to comply with a ruling to make source code more readily available...   The commission said MSFT hasn't disclosed complete and accurate interface documentation that would allow non-MSFT work group servers to achieve full interoperability with [Windoze] PCs and servers...   The European Commission fined MSFT 497M euros 2 years ago and ordered it to sell a version of [Windoze] without a video and music player."

Andrea Koncz and Mimi Collins _National Association of Colleges & Employers_
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE
"The average offer to accounting grads is $45,656 -- up 5.5% from last year at this time.   Business administration/management graduates also fared well; their average salary offer jumped by 6.3% to $42,048.   A large number of offers made to these graduates came from investment banking firms, who offered on average, salaries of $53,277, well in excess of the overall average.   The average salary offer to economics/finance graduates rose to $45,112, a solid 5.1% increase...   The average offer to MIS grads rose by 2.9% to $45,724, while the average offer to marketing graduates inched up 0.9% to $37,851...   The average offer to computer science graduates rose just 1% to a healthy $51,305.   Information sciences and systems graduates saw a more substantial increase, gaining 8.5% to bring their average offer to $48,593...   Chemical engineering majors posted a solid 4.7% increase to their average salary offer, raising it to $56,335.   Petroleum and coal products manufacturers made the largest number of offers to these grads and were willing to pay them top dollar-an average of $58,456.   The average offer to civil engineering grads rose 5.4% to $46,023, while salaries to computer engineering graduates rose 2.3% to $53,651.   Electrical engineering graduates saw their average salary offer increase by 3.2% to $53,552.   Mechanical engineering grads saw a similar increase: Their average offer rose 3% to $51,732...   as a group, liberal arts majors posted just a 0.2% increase over last year...   History majors saw their average offer rise 3.1% to $32,697.   Conversely, English majors experienced a 4.1% decrease, dropping their average offer to $30,906.   Sociology majors also lost ground; their average offer fell 2.7% to $30,944.   Psychology majors, on the other hand, posted a small increase of 1.2%, bringing their average salary offer to $30,218."

2006-07-12 05:42PDT (08:42EDT) (12:42GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Trade deficit widened to $63.8G in May

2006-07-12 06:30PDT (09:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Bush and his Senate lackey reach a new low
"The Bush White House and its lackeys in the Senate have reached a new low in their quest to bestow amnesty on 11M to 20M illegal immigrants, while doing as little as possible to secure our nation's borders and ports...   The senators and the White House demonstrated that they have no shame in continuing to try to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration...   The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 called for at least 2K more Border Patrol agents per year along our border with Mexico to stop the unrelenting flow of people and illegal drugs into this country.   But the Bush administration provided funding for only around 200 additional agents.   President Bush then promised to deploy by August 6K National Guard troops to support the U.S. Border Patrol on the border with Mexico. Now, in mid-July, having already missed a June deadline, fewer than 900 have moved into place along the border...   27 state governments have passed some sort of legislation cracking down on illegal immigration.   Many of these efforts are focused on employers and landlords who are hiring and housing illegal aliens and demanding proof of citizenship before granting unfettered access to social and health services.   Just this week, Colorado set the highest standard to date.   Both houses of Colorado's Democrat-controlled state government approved a plan that will deny most non-emergency state benefits to illegal aliens.   Colorado governor Bill Owens, a Republican, said an estimated 50K illegal immigrants may be affected by the measure, which will free up Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance funds for legal state residents.   Inaction at the federal level is also inspiring some cities and counties around the country to enact laws to deal with this illegal influx.   Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Avon Park, Florida, are set to vote on important ordinances intended to fight the problems created by illegal immigration in their communities."

Oracle to hire 2000 more in India by December
"In 2005 the company's head-count [in India] grew from 2K to 8K...   At present the company has 9,500 employees in India.   [The company said it has many more privacy violation projects in the works.]"

Arab-Israeli War Has Broken Out Again
Evening Times of London
Globe and Mail

Joe Hanel _Durango Herald_
Colorado legislators moved to restrict aid to illegal aliens, but measures leave much to be desired
Amherst NY Times
Chicago Tribune
Pueblo Chieftain
Composite: "Legislators wrapped up their special session on immigration at 23:17 Monday, with House members voting 48-15 for the Democrats' major bill.   Governor Bill Owens promised to sign a bill in a deal reached earlier in the day...   People who apply for government benefits will have to show a Colorado drivers' license or military or tribal ID.   They also will have to sign an affidavit affirming their legal U.S. residency.   Their names will then be run through the federal SAVE program, which confirms legal residency.   The benefits include welfare, retirement, disability, public housing, college education, food stamps and unemployment.   These benefits already are limited by federal law to legal residents, but HB1023 adds verification.   A second law passed Monday requires all employers in the state to certify that each new hire is a legal resident.   Under business lobbying, the wording was softened so employers can be sanctioned only if they show 'reckless disregard' about an employee's background."

Geov Parrish _Seattle Weekly_
Show-down at Virginia Mason Medical Center as directors attempt to reclasify nurses as supervisors
"But a series of decisions expected this summer from the Bush-appointed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could nullify the union memberships of millions of people in the United States and prevent any future unionization attempts by tens of millions more.   And one of the most closely watched harbingers in the nation of how these rulings might play out is here in Seattle.   Under 1947's... Taft-Hartley Act, supervisors in the U.S. work-force are considered 'management' and therefore have no legal right to unionize.   The anticipated NLRB rulings, of 3 disputes collectively known as the Kentucky River cases, would allow employers in a wide array of industries to reclassify as 'supervisors' any employee who has any type of oversight -- no matter how inconsequential -- over a lower-ranked or less-senior co-worker.   Workers who take on apprentices.   Lead men in manufacturing crews.   Nurses who direct nursing aides...   A nurse, for example, has no power to hire or fire, doesn't set schedules, can't mete out discipline.   Yet under these rulings, she or he would be considered management.   And in anticipation of such a ruling, Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle is quietly hoping to have all 600 of its registered nurses reclassified as supervisors, so as to break the VM nurses union, the Washington State Nurses Association, and win a legal dispute with them."

S&P 5001,258.60
10-year US T-Bond5.10%
crude oil74.95

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2006-07-13 - 117 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-13 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Carolyn Lochhead _San Francisco Chronicle_
House GOP may stick to their moderate line on immigration despite Senate's extremist proposals
AP/Sky Valley Journal
"House Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio cited as evidence phone calls, constituent reaction and 'the number of conversations I've found myself in with Democrats and Republicans on the Senate side.', which he said 'have made it clear to me that there's some movement toward the House bill'.   The reaction came after a week of hearings across the country in which House law-makers focused on illegal immigration and its possible links to terrorism.   Boehner announced Wednesday 7 new hearings for July that will highlight the perceived flaws of the Senate's immigration bill, which would create [two new] guest-worker [programs] and offer a path to legalization for the estimated [8M to 20M] illegal [aliens] now in the country, in addition to cracking down on enforcement."

2006-07-13 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted [not seasonally adjusted], totaled 416,542 in the week ending July 8, an increase of 112,799 from the previous week.   There were 427,323 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending July 1, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,219,848, a decrease of 41,466 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,410,697."

2006-07-13 07:07PDT (10:07EDT) (14:07GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum futures reach $76.30 per barrel

2006-07-13 11:01PDT (14:01EDT) (18:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Federal budget surplus fell to $20G in June
Monthly Treasury Statement

2006-07-13 12:07PDT (14:07EDT) (18:07GMT)
_USA Today_
Intel to cut 1K management jobs
Seattle Times

Charles Hurt & Jeffrey Sparshott _Washington Times_
Senate bill would pay guest-workers more
"The bill 'would guarantee wages to some foreign workers that could be higher than those paid to American workers at the same work site.', says a policy paper released this week by the Senate's Republican Policy Committee.   'This is unfair to U.S. workers, inappropriate, and unnecessary.'...   Though the bill was supported by Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, it was opposed by the rest of the Senate Republican leadership and a majority of Republicans in the chamber.   And despite the support of Mr. Frist and Mr. McConnell, this week's policy paper critical of the wage guarantees for foreign workers marks the official stance of the Republican Policy Committee, which formulates and implements the policies of the caucus...   House Republicans are so critical of the Senate bill that they can't bring themselves to call it by the name of any of the several Republicans who played a larger role in passing it..."

2006-07-13 11:50PDT (14:50EDT) (18:50GMT)
Polya Lesova _MarketWatch_
Middle East tensions push gold prices higher

2006-07-13 14:10PDT (17:10EDT) (21:10GMT)
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_
Doing H-1B Math, in Dollars and Sense
"[H-1B guest-workers are paid significantly less than] American workers with the same skills, according to the Programmers Guild, an advocate organization for U.S. tech professionals.   And the guild's president, Kim Berry, is hoping that Congress will 'correct' current wage rules that are supposed to keep the pay playing field level between American professionals and H-1B visa holders, but aren't.   Current regulations have loop-holes that allow employers to hire H-1B workers at wages 25% or more lower than Americans earn for the same jobs, says Berry.   And that's one of the big factors that make hiring H-1B workers so attractive, he says...   For instance, while the Dept. of Labor has four pay levels considered 'prevailing wages' for programmers in San Jose, CA, employers can get away with paying H-1B workers the lowest wage level by watering down the position's required skills, education, experience, etc., says Berry.   More specifically, in San Jose, the Dept of Labor's 4 levels of 'prevailing wages' for programmers range from $57,762 for level 1; $72,800 for level 2; $87,838 for level 3; and $102,877 for level 4.   The 4 different levels are based on 'skills', years of experience, education, and a few other things.   So, for instance, the loop-holes in DoL rules allow employers to hire foreign workers with PhDs in jobs paying the lowest wages as long as the position's job description doesn't require an advanced degree or 'more than average experience', says Berry...   For employers in San Jose, that would mean paying an H-1B programmer a minimum of $83,500 annually—which is the median wage earned by American programmers in that occupation in that city—instead of finagling to pay only $57,762, the lowest wage allowed today.   That would make employers think twice about whether they really 'need' twice as many H-1B tech workers allowed into the U.S. each year, he says."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Re: Article on Programmers Guild press release

"Nice article, important topic that goes to the heart of the H-1B issue.   One point I've often made, but is often forgotten, is that H-1B provides employers with a means to avoid older American workers.   If they run out of young Americans to hire, they can avoid turning to older (age 35+) Americans by hiring young H-1Bs.   As the Guild points out, the prevailing wage law is defined by the job, not by the qualifications of the worker.   This means that an employer could even hire an older H-1B as long as the job only requires a few years of experience...   The vast majority of programming jobs are defined to require somewhere between 3 and 7 years of experience.   So what they H-1B program does is expand the supply of younger workers.   And the proposed new F-4 program in the Senate bill and in the House SKIL bill, would make things even worse, since by definition it deals with new graduates.   However, the fact that the prevailing wage is defined by the job and not the worker is very big for employers in a different way.   As the Guild points out, the employer can hire an H-1B who has a PhD for a job requiring only a Bachelor's degree.   The legal prevailing wage then is set at the Bachelor's level.   The employer gets the PhD education of the worker as a bonus...   Virtually no software development job requires a PhD.   The PhD should have a better overview, sharper insights and so on, but it's only a plus, not a necessity.   So, no fraud here either, just... old fashioned aggressive use of loop-holes...   it's already been written up in a bill (by representative Pascrell).   The language in that bill could be copied verbatim into whatever bill Congress passes on H-1B this year.   Now, WILL they enact something on H-1B and F-4 this year?   As I said yesterday, I'd be shocked if they didn't.   Interestingly, the July 14 issue of Immigration Daily suggests that the bill will be passed during the 'lame duck session' after the November elections
[this is also the time of year and election cycle when they enacted automatic raises for themselves just before a constitutional amendment was ratified prohibiting them from enacting raises without an intervening election, a time when congress-critters believe they need not pay attention to constituents because what they have done will not be remembered when they vote the next time, 2 years later...jgo].   This is very possible.   The last H-1B legislation, in 2004, was also enacted at that time.   It added a new 20K-visa category for foreign grads of U.S. universities, and implemented that 4-level prevailing wage system (formerly only 2) referred to in the article, a measure that immigration attorneys had been requesting.   BTW, in today's San Francisco Chronicle, senator Specter [erroneously and, perhaps, dishonestly...jgo] stated that critics of the H-1B program are motivated by racism.   By implication, he seems to feel that programmers don't mind losing their jobs to H-1Bs as long as the H-1Bs are 'white'.   When someone loses his job and can't pay the mortgage, they don't care what color the replacement worker is."
Matt Crenson _AP_/_Yahoo!_
The branches of the human family tree are short, though the roots are deep
immigration proposals pending in congress:
Frist's S2454
Hagel's S2612
Tancredo's HR1325
Tancredo's HR1450
Tancredo's HR1587
Tancredo's HR3333
Tancredo's HR3700
Pascrell's HR4378
Sensenbrenner's HR4437
Shadegg's HR5744
Specter's S2611
Cornyn's S2691

2006-07-13 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Tara Weiss _Forbes_
Computer workers are a dime a dozen
"In the late 1990s, software engineers and other IT specialists were in demand.   Now, immigration lawyers say, they're a dime a dozen..."

Jim Stroud _Recruiters Lounge_
H-1B workers work cheaper than American workers

S&P 5001,242.29
10-year US T-Bond5.07%
crude oil76.70

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2006-07-14 - 116 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-13 17:10:13PDT (2006-07-13 20:10:13EDT) (2006-07-14 00:10:13GMT)
_Orlando Sentinel_
Americans need not apply?

2006-07-14 08:18PDT (11:18EDT) (15:18GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales fell 0.1% in June: autos down 1.4%, other sales up 0.3%
"Retail sales are up 5.9% in the past year."
census bureau report

2006-07-14 08:22PDT (11:22EDT) (15:22GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
June import prices were up 0.1%, non-fuel prices up 0.7%
BLS import/export price indices

2006-07-14 08:41PDT (11:41EDT) (15:41GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 84.9 in June to 83.0 in July

Robert Klein Engler _American Daily_
Unrestricted Immigration vs. a More Perfect Union
"Why have Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary Gutierrez all of a sudden become Marxists and economic determinists?   Why has the discussion of illegal immigration turned into a discussion of money and workers but not laws?   Unfortunately, many have forgotten that it is not the economy that makes the U.S. Constitution possible, but it is the U.S. Constitution that makes the economy possible...   What is more just, law enforcement or 20M illegal immigrants.   What is more desirable, guest worker programs or domestic tranquility?   What is more needed, open borders or the establishment of a common defense?   What is of more concern to our elected officials, Mexicans, or the general welfare of United States citizens?   You know our senators or those employers of illegal immigrant workers would run to the police if something were stolen from them.   But they don't care if someone sneaks into the country, breaks our laws and steals citizenship by an act of amnesty...   When the light of freedom passes through it, the Constitution focuses on the individual citizen.   The flame in the heart of a citizen by this focused light was called patriotism.   Today, illegal immigrant workers, like water, have already put out the flame of patriotism in the heart of many corporate executives.   These executives have become the calculating, Marxist bureaucrats of capitalism who rest assured we have the best senators money can buy...   Those who favor deportation and oppose 'comprehensive immigration reform' support the U.S. Constitution.   They support the Constitution not because they want markets to be free but because they want MEN to be free."

_You Don't Speak for Me_/_PR News Wire_
American Hispanics bring border sheriffs to Washington DC to demand that congress deal with border crisis and immigration law enforcement
"You Don't Speak for Me! a coalition of American Hispanics, accompanied by 2 Texas border sheriffs will arrive on Capitol Hill next Tuesday to counter a lobbying effort by illegal aliens and their supporters pressing for a sweeping amnesty.   They will be carrying a simple message for Congress and the Bush Administration: Secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.   Sheriffs Arvin West of Hudspeth County and Sigifredo Gonzalez of Zapata County, and You Don't Speak for Me!, will join Representatives Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Virgil Goode (R-VA) and other House members for a Capitol Hill news conference to discuss the urgent need for immediate enactment of immigration enforcement and border security legislation.   The news conference will take place on [Tuesday] July 18 in Room 2456, Rayburn House Office Building at 11:00...   Colonel Al Rodriguez, chairman of YDSFM and the organizer of the new conference.   'Last week, another border sheriff, testifying at a congressional hearing held in San Diego, described the 'war' that is raging along our southern border.   We believe that the first and only order of business for Congress must be to address this security crisis, not a massive amnesty and guest worker program to satisfy the demands of illegal aliens and their employers.'   Sheriff West, whose deputies battle organized crime gangs and even incursions by Mexican military personnel believed to providing support to cross border smugglers, will describe conditions along the border and provide photographic documentation of the crisis his department is dealing with.   Sheriff Gonzalez will detail the violence and crime in Zapata County and the threat to national security resulting from the border crisis along the border.   The 2 law enforcement officials represent the 16-member Border Sheriffs Coalition, which was formed as a result of the federal government's failure to protect the borders.   'America's security is being compromised, our citizens along the border live in a state of fear, and our law enforcement personnel are under assault.   It's time for action, not talk; enforcement, not amnesty.', said Claudia Spencer, vice chair of YDSFM."

_World Net Daily_
al-Qaida American was poster-boy for USC Muslim Student Association

S&P 5001,236.20
10-year US T-Bond5.06%
crude oil76.70

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-15 - 115 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-15 11:44PDT (14:44EDT) (18:44GMT)
Leslie Miller _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Foreign companies lease roads and bridges in the USA
"On a single day in June, an Australian-Spanish partnership paid $3.8G to lease the Indiana Toll Road.   An Australian company bought a 99-year lease on Virginia's Pocahontas Parkway, and Texas officials decided to let a Spanish-American partnership build and run a toll road from Austin to Seguin for 50 years.   Few people know that the tolls from the U.S. side of the tunnel between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, go to a subsidiary of an Australian company — which also owns a bridge in Alabama.   Some experts welcome the trend.   Robert Poole, transportation director for the [libertarian-leaning] think tank Reason Foundation, said private investors can raise more money than politicians to build new roads because these kind of owners are willing to raise tolls.   [Earlier research by Reason showed that toll bridges and roads were better maintained.]...   Gas taxes and user fees have fueled the expansion of the nation's highway system.   Thousands of miles of roads built since the 1950s changed the landscape, accelerating the growth of suburbia and creating a reliance on motor vehicles to move freight, get to work and take vacations.   In 1956, President Eisenhower pushed to create the interstate highway system for a different [purpose]: to move troops and tanks and evacuate civilians...   Last year, [Chicago] sold a 99-year lease on the eight-mile Chicago Skyway for $1.83G.   The buyer was the same consortium that leased the Indiana Toll Road — Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Sydney, Australia, and Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte of Madrid, Spain.   Chicago used the money to pay off debt and fund road projects.   Skyway tolls rose 50 cents, to $2.50; By 2017, they will reach $5...   Between 1980 and 2004, people drove 94% more highway miles, according to Federal Highway Administration statistics.   But the number of new highway lane miles rose by only 6%...   The federal highway fund — which will have a balance of about $16G by the end of 2006 — will run out in 2009 or 2010, according to White House and congressional estimates...   Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, who championed his state's toll road deal, now wants investors to build and operate a toll road from Indianapolis to Evansville.   Patrick Bauer, the Indiana House's Democratic leader, says such deals are taxpayer rip-offs.   Bauer believes Macquarie-Cintra could make $133G over the 75-year life of the Indiana Toll Road lease — for which Indiana got $3.8G.   'In 5, maybe 10 years, all that money is gone, and the tolls keep rising and the money keeps flowing into the foreign coffers.', Bauer said."

Wendy Wurtele _On-Line Legal Marketing_
ADP sued for over-time pay for programmers in California
"California Labor Code 515.5 applies to computer programmers and code writers who were not paid at least $99,445 per year in 2006...   Federal labor laws require over-time pay for eligible employees who work more than 40 hours a week, but in California over-time pay must be calculated on a daily basis – requiring companies to pay for over-time after an eligible employee has worked more than 8 hours in any single day.Computer programmers and code writers who are working, or have worked, for ADP, are alleging the company is trying to avoid paying legitimate over-time claims by not correctly calculating employees’ over-time hours, based on California labor laws.   Case No. RG06268889, Reynov v. ADP, has been filed in Alameda Superior Court.   Lawyer Walter Haines..."

2006-07-15 12:25PST (15:25EST) (18:25GMT)
Aaron Klein _World Net Daily_
Multiple sources confirm Iranian troops working with Hizbollah to fire katyusha rockets into Israel

  "The Privacy Act, if enforced would be a pretty good thing. But the government doesn't like it. Government has an insatiable appetite for power, and it will not stop usurping power unless it is restrained by laws they cannot repeal or nullify. There are mighty few laws they cannot nullify." --- senator Sam Ervin  

2006-07-16 - 114 Days Until Congressional Election

_Bradenton Herald_
Immigration Irony: Fruit-growers obstinacy against raising compensation highlights changing immigration picture
"Sam Udani of Immigration Daily, an on-line immigration information portal, recently noted Congress is unlikely to focus on immigration reform before September.   But he optimistically predicted that there is a good chance for successful compromise on comprehensive immigration reform.   And even if comprehensive immigration reform is not adopted this year, 'significant immigration benefits ([reduced] H-1B numbers, [reduced] Schedule A numbers, and perhaps retrogression relief for employment-based beneficiaries) will come down the pike, no later than early 2nd quarter 2007.'...   many [illegal alien] migrant workers are joining better-paid construction crews in lieu of the fields...   First, our farmers may finally be forced to modernize, improving efficiency and productivity and eliminating much of the current archaic living conditions for migrant workers.   Second, national security could be improved if Congress can get a handle on illegal immigration, with legislation making it easier for workers to register and work legally in the United States, instead of the current system that seems to promote an underground, undocumented flood of illegal immigration.   Finally, we might all become better educated on the true nature of most of the people who seek to come to our country to better their lives and the lives of their families."

Angie C. Marek _US News & World Report_
States and localities legislate while congress-critters hold propaganda meetings
"So he crafted a bill allowing local authorities to issue $200 tickets to companies for each nonlegal worker they employ, and then, if that doesn't work, forbid them to do business in Palm Bay for a minimum of 2 years.   He expects the bill will pass in August...   State legislators have introduced more than 500 immigration-related bills this year, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures...   the rush to pass laws at the state and local levels is only growing more intense...   In Colorado, legislators meeting in emergency session passed a massive package of legislation that will deny illegal immigrants older than 18 most state benefits, a move that will very likely take up to 50K people off state benefit rolls.   Meanwhile, the town of Hazleton, PA, approved legislation fining landlords $1K for each illegal immigrant found renting on their property..."

George Avalos _Contra Costa Times_
Pay dips in jobs held by immigrants
"The surge of immigrants in recent years appears to have depressed the pay-checks of East Bay workers in jobs with a big share of foreign-born employees...   'Any time you have a large number of workers who are available in a particular occupation, it is going to depress wages.', said Jack Martin, special projects director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform.   FAIR endorses a crack-down on illegal immigration and curbs on all immigration.   'It's simple supply and demand.'...   the data do show a consistent pattern of wage gaps in occupations with large numbers of foreign-born immigrants.   The average pay of people in those occupations is well below the average of all workers in the East Bay, according to a Times analysis of data supplied by the state's Employment Development Department.   These occupations were chosen because they were identified by the Pew Hispanic Center as having a large share of foreign-born Latinos, who make up the bulk of recent California immigrants.   What's more, these paycheck trends have worsened in recent years.   In the third quarter of 2001, the average East Bay wage for 20 occupations identified by Pew as having the largest share of foreign-born Latinos was $32,099 a year.   That was 22% below the average wage for all jobs in the East Bay at that time.   By the third quarter of 2005, the average East Bay wage for the same 20 occupations was $34,638 -- but that was 27% below the average East Bay wage...   The average wage for these occupations did rise over the 4 years, by 8%.   But that was roughly half the pace of the overall wage gains for all East Bay workers during the same period, 15%...   'Immigration is having a depressing effect on wages and jobs.', said Peter Brimelow, author of the best-selling book _Alien Nation: Common Sense about America's Immigration Disaster_ and editor of Vdare.com, an on-line [site with articles] about immigration issues.   'That is why businesses are so keen to have immigrants here.   They are a source of cheap labor.'   The total foreign-born population in California in mid-2005 was 10.3M residents -- or about 28% of California's total population, according to estimates calculated using Census Bureau data.   That's up from 8.9M in 2000...   'The [executives are] getting addicted to cheap labor, and the cheap labor here in part because it is being subsidized by the [tax-victims].', Brimelow said.   'Illegal immigration is imposing a heavier and heavier burden on the [tax-victims].   The economy and the nation are being transformed for nothing.'"

2006-07-17 - 113 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-16 (2006-07-17 02:14GMT)
Grant Gross _News Forge_
Fair use advocates silenced at digital rights management "public" meeting
"Advocates trying to speak for regular Internet users were basically told to sit down and shut up during a 'public' work-shop on digital rights management dominated by IT heavyweights and Big Hollywood at the U.S. Department of Commerce Wednesday.   Members of NYLXS and NY for Fair Use mostly had to settle for interjecting comments from the back of the room and distributing a pamphlet called 'We are the Stake-holders' and buttons saying 'DRM is theft'.   The meeting's purpose was to discuss the progress of digital rights management -- the process by which record and movie companies control how you use the products you've purchased from them -- and how the government can help grease the wheels of DRM.   The fair use advocates argued that digital rights management allows Big Hollywood to steal fair use copying rights [the 'right' to violate copyrights] from the public and steal several current uses of computers away from the public...   Robin Gross, intellectual property lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said her organization was disappointed that it wasn't invited to be part of the digital rights management work-shop.   She later said the EFF was invited to comment in writing."

2006-07-17 08:47PDT (11:47EDT) (15:47GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Industrial production up 0.8% in June: Capacity utilization rose to 6-year high of 82.4%
Federal Reserve data

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_
Why Aren't Business Executives Making a Good-Faith Effort To Attract IT Workers
"Internships aren't enough.   IT-dependent businesses need to take the talent pipe-line as seriously as they do other critical industry risks...   'Many companies look at talent like it's raw material.', says Michael Hignite, MBA director and professor at Missouri State University's [B-school].   'I'll buy it when I need it.'   That won't work...   During the dot-com boom, Missouri State University worked with about 50 employers that were recruiting students and offering internships to computer science majors, Hignite says.   That's fallen by about half, and enrollment in computer science majors at Missouri State's business school has dropped precipitously, from 1,100 students several years ago to 200 today.   The companies that recruit best get ahead of their staffing needs.   'If you're going to need talent 4 or 5 years from now, you need to be at our campus now.', Hignite says."

2006-07-17 11:29PDT (14:29EDT) (18:29GMT)
Bonnie Erbe _Scripps Howard_/_Modesto Bee_
Communities are stepping in to tighten immigration control in face of federal weakness
Scripps Howard

Bush tells Fox that US immigration law reform is unlikely soon

Steven Malanga _City Journal_
How Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy
"as many Americans sense and so much research has demonstrated. America does not have a vast labor shortage that requires waves of low-wage immigrants to alleviate; in fact, unemployment among unskilled workers is high—about 30%.   Moreover, many of the unskilled, uneducated workers now journeying here labor, like Velasquez, in shrinking industries, where they force out native workers, and many others work in industries where the availability of cheap workers has led businesses to suspend investment in new technologies that would make them less labor-intensive.   Yet while these workers add little to our economy, they come at great cost, because they are not economic abstractions but human beings, with their own culture and ideas—often at odds with our own.   Increasing numbers of them arrive with little education and none of the skills necessary to succeed in a modern economy...   In 1965, a new immigration act eliminated the old system of national quotas, which critics saw as racist because it greatly favored European nations.   Lawmakers created a set of broader immigration quotas for each hemisphere, and they added a new visa preference category for family members to join their relatives here...   But, in fact, the law had an immediate, dramatic effect, increasing immigration by 60% in its first 10 years.   Sojourners from poorer countries around the rest of the world arrived in ever-greater numbers, so that whereas half of immigrants in the 1950s had originated from Europe, 75% by the 1970s were from Asia and Latin America.   And as the influx of immigrants grew, the special-preferences rule for family unification intensified it further, as the pool of eligible family members around the world also increased.   Legal immigration to the U.S. soared from 2.5 M in the 1950s to 4.5 M in the 1970s to 7.3 M in the 1980s to about 10 M in the 1990s.   As the floodgates of legal immigration opened, the widening economic gap between the United States and many of its neighbors also pushed illegal immigration to levels that America had never seen.   In particular, when Mexico's move to a more centralized, state-run economy in the 1970s produced hyperinflation, the disparity between its stagnant economy and U.S. prosperity yawned wide.   Mexico's per-capita gross domestic product, 37% of the United States' in the early 1980s, was only 27% of it by the end of the decade—and is now just 25% of it.   With Mexican farmworkers able to earn seven to ten times as much in the United States as at home, by the 1980s illegals were pouring across our border at the rate of about 225K a year, and U.S. sentiment rose for slowing the flow.   But an unusual coalition of business groups, unions, civil rights activists, and church leaders thwarted the call for restrictions with passage of the inaptly named 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which legalized some 2.7M unauthorized aliens already here, supposedly in exchange for tougher penalties and controls against employers who hired illegals.   The law proved no deterrent, however, because supporters, in subsequent legislation and court cases argued on civil rights grounds, weakened the employer sanctions.   Meanwhile, more illegals flooded here in the hope of future amnesties from Congress, while the newly legalized sneaked their wives and children into the country rather than have them wait for family-preference visas.   The flow of illegals into the country rose to between 300K and 500K per year in the 1990s, so that a decade after the legislation that had supposedly solved the undocumented alien problem by reclassifying them as legal, the number of illegals living in the United States was back up to about 5M, while today it's estimated at between [8M and 20M]."

Mary Brandel _ComputerWorld_
"it's not economically sensible to hire high-wage U.S. workers to do jobs involving basic programming, tech support, quality assurance and testing.   [A few bottom rungs have been removed from the USA IT career ladder for beginners, and the last few rungs have been removed for older, more experienced IT workers.]...   Armed with an economics degree, she has been working with the U.S. Department of State to implement ERP systems in places such as Zambia, Mali, Bolivia and Bosnia.   In all, she has traveled to 7 Third World countries to do training and support.   [So, she's not doing high-wage work that stretches her abilities in software and/or hardware development, but low-wage work outside the USA.]...   Some observers, like Edward Gordon, author of The 2010 Meltdown_ (Praeger Publishers, 2005) and president of Imperial Consulting Corp. in Chicago, see a worldwide IT skills crisis on the horizon.   'I'm aware of older engineers who are out of work, either because they didn't know the latest software or their companies were looking to bring in cheap foreign labor.', he says.   'But those companies will regret it...'...   With 20% to 30% growth among Indian-based IT [bodyshops], including Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Wipro Ltd., U.S. [bodyshops] such as IBM, Accenture Ltd. and Electronic Data Systems Corp. are facing some ferocious competitors, and it's not clear yet which companies will prevail [but tech workers are losing].   [Corrupt US bodyshops are investing heavily in India.]...   According to neoIT, wages for Indian engineers rose 10% to 15% during 2004 and will continue on an upward trend of 8.7% annually through 2010.   This narrowing wage gap could discourage some companies from Indian-based off-shoring...   He points to the 18% illiteracy rate in [Red China] and the 42% rate in India, plus the countries' high percentages of people living in poverty with little or no access to education...   Foreign nationals are returning to their places of birth, where there economic opportunities are increasing; enrollments in computer science and math programs are decreasing in the U.S.; and employers are [adamantly opposed] to invest in worker retraining...   There will also be strong demand for project managers and business analysts, Carter says.   'I'm telling my managers if they've got an opening, those are the skills I'm looking for, and that if they need a developer, get a contractor [i.e. bodyshop], not an employee.'...   And that requires action, Corbett says.   'We have to invest in our people and our infrastructure and have a strong focus on really understanding where the U.S. companies can create a unique advantage for themselves.', he says.   'We have to believe we can win.'"

_Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
Specter and illegal aliens: A national disgrace
"Anyone familiar with the indifference of the upper house and White House about stopping illegal aliens knows the recently passed Senate immigration bill -- all but promising illegals amnesty, citizenship, 40 acres and a mule -- for the absolute capitulation to lawlessness that it is."

2006-07-18 - 112 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-18 05:46PDT (08:46EDT) (12:46GMT)
Sarah Turner _MarketWatch_
Fund managers foresee weaker global economy

2006-07-18 06:21PDT (09:21EDT) (13:21GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
PPI up only 0.5% in June, core up 0.2%
BLS site

2006-07-18 06:50PDT (09:50EDT) (13:50GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Capital flows into USA rose to $69.6G in May: April in-flow revised up to $51.1G

2006-07-18 11:54PDT (14:54EDT) (18:54GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Home-Builders' confidence index fell to 15-year low (with graph)
National Association of Home-Builders

Michelle Malkin
our open doors for Hezbollah

Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
Red China Opens NAFTA Ports in Mexico
"The Port Authority of San Antonio has been working actively with the Communist Chinese to open and develop NAFTA shipping ports in Mexico.   The plan is to ship containers of cheap goods produced by under-market labor in China and the Far East into North America via Mexican ports.   From the Mexican ports, Mexican truck drivers and railroad workers will transport the goods across the Mexican border with Texas.   Once in the U.S.A., the routes will proceed north to Kansas City along the NAFTA Super-Highway, ready to be expanded by the Trans-Texas Corridor, and NAFTA railroad routes being put in place by Kansas City Southern.   Kansas City Southern's Mexican railroads has positioned the company to become the 'NAFTA Railroad'.   Right now, the cost of shipping and ground transportation can nearly double the total cost of cheap goods produced by Chinese and Far Eastern under-market labor.   The plan is to reduce those transportation costs by as much as 50% by using Mexican ports."

Phyllis Schlafly
Statement to House Judiciary committee, sub-committee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims
"Americans are basically a fair-minded people, and the continued entry of thousands of illegal aliens offends our ideals of fairness.   Failure to stop the entry of illegal aliens is unfair to those who don=t have health insurance but see illegal aliens given costly treatment at U.S. hospitals for which U.S. [tax-victims] have to pay the bill.   It is unfair to the legal immigrants who stand in line and wait their turn to comply with our laws.   It is unfair to our friends in Arizona who are afraid to go out of their homes without a gun and a cell phone.   It's unfair to small businessmen who are trying to run an honest business, pay their taxes and benefits to employees, but can=t compete with their competitors whose costs are so much less because they hire illegal aliens in the underground economy.   It is unfair to American children in public schools who see their classrooms flooded with kids who can't speak English and cause a gross decline in the quality of education.   It's unfair to our own high school drop-outs who need those low-wage jobs to start building a life...   Americans think we are being lied to.   Everybody knows that the various plans called legalization or earned citizenship are euphemisms for amnesty...   Americans also feel lied to by the Senate bill's use of the term 'temporary guest-workers'.   We know the President and the Senators are not telling the truth when they imply that guest workers will go home after a few years.   The American people are thinking, we don't believe you -- and worse, we don't believe that you believe what you are saying because the evidence is so overwhelming that guest workers do not go home...   The reported that 18,207 illegal OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) were the beneficiaries of the Bush Administration's scandalous catch and release procedure in the 3 months since Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff promised to 'return ever single illegal entrant -- no exceptions'...   We currently have 37K U.S. troops guarding the 151-mile border between North and South Korea, but we have fewer than 12K agents to monitor 2K miles of our southern border...   A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research reported that the surge of immigration in the 1980s and 1990s lowered the wages of our own high school drop-outs by 8.2%.   The surge has accelerated since that report was issued."

2006-07-19 - 111 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-19 04:01PDT (07:01EDT) (11:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Mortgage applications fell 4.6% last week, 31.3% from a year ago

2006-07-19 05:32PDT (08:32EDT) (12:32GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Housing starts fell 5.3% in June to 1.85M
census brueau data

2006-07-19 09:50PDT (12:50EDT) (16:50GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
CPI up 0.2% in June, core up 0.3%
Fed chief Bernanke emphasized flexibility, expects economy to slow, easing inflation pressure

Major Owens _The Hill_
A Pension Catastrophe
"In the arena of private-sector defined-benefit pension plans, a huge conspiracy has been set in motion with a profitable bail-out at the end for [corporate executives].   Yet even the luckiest workers will get no more than half of the pension benefits they worked hard to earn.   And of course any large-scale eradication of private-sector pension plans will establish the necessary precedents for legislating similar cuts for public-sector employees.   An ugly model has already been established for this blatant misuse of public institutions to enrich corporate coffers, i.e. the savings-and-loan bail-out.   Although deliberately obscured, the total [tax-victim] cost of the bail-out was no less than $1T, according to informed estimates.   This colossal historic swindle required financing by 30-year floating bonds that carry enormously high interest costs...   The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), is buttressed by the dollars of American citizens.   According to the Center on Federal Financial Institutions (COFFI), a new invoice is about to be delivered."

2006-07-19 09:20PDT (12:20EDT) (16:20GMT)
Marianne Kolbasuk Mcgee _Information Week_
< a href="http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2006/07/group_wants_us.html"> Programmers want US government to reveal jobs for which companies have applied to bring in guest-workers
"Should the U.S. Dept. of Labor provide public access to a government database that purportedly contains information about employers planning to hire H-1B workers for fiscal 2007, which starts on 2006 Oct.1?   Kim Berry, president of advocate group Programmers Guild, says he wants U.S. tech workers to have the chance to more fairly compete for jobs that might otherwise go to foreigners.   U.S. workers should have the opportunity right now to look at requests employers have made to the DoL to fill IT positions with H-1B visa holders—before the foreign workers can legally begin the jobs starting on Oct. 1, says Berry.   If American workers can check out which employers are hiring for which jobs, and at which wages, well, then maybe some interested (or out of work) American techies have a shot to apply for those jobs before they're filled by foreigners...   Berry says he doesn't believe that information about H-1B requests for fiscal 2007 doesn't yet exist in a data-base -- the Labor Conditions Application info has to go somewhere once an employer hits the 'submit' button on its request, he says.   Indeed LCA information about employer requests for fiscal 2007 does exisit somewhere, however there's 'lag time' in making this data available to the public, says a spokesman from the DoL, who returned InformationWeek's phone calls to Carlson after this blog was orignally posted on July 19.   The lag time, which is usually at least 3 months, includes time for the DoL to 'scrub' the data and ensure privacy.   That scrubbing includes removing Social Security numbers and employer tax ID info, says the spokesman...   Besides, under government regulations, employers are the ones that are supposed to be informing the public of intent to hire foreign workers -- not the DoL, he says.   Employers are supposed to inform the public 30 days preceding the date when the LCA -- or request for H-1B workers -- is submitted to the DoL.   Postings can be done in one of two ways -- hard copy in a 'conspicuous' location [within their firm], or electronically, which means e-mail, posting on e-bulletin boards or home web pages -- whichever way an employer 'normally' communicates with employees."

James P. Hoffa _Huffington Post_
Oman Free Trade Agreement: Another Ports Sell-Out
Seattle Post Intelligencer/AP
The Hill
"But now, less than 6 months later, a new version of the deal is back, disguised deep inside the Oman Free Trade Agreement (OFTA), which the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on this week.   Imagine if Congress were slapped with a law-suit demanding payment of millions of our tax dollars because Congress protected our national security by denying a foreign corporation the right to run our U.S. ports.   That's exactly what's at stake.   The Oman agreement, based on the failed NAFTA model, contains a disturbing surprise: Foreign companies incorporated in Oman would be given the right to own and operate important and sensitive infrastructure in the United States, including the landside activities of our ports.   Simply put, if such rules had been applicable to Dubai, the United States would have had to pay the Emir of Dubai tens of millions of U.S. [tax-victims'] dollars for taking actions that undermined that company's 'right' to run our ports."

2006-07-19 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Carolyn Lochhead _San Francisco Chronicle_
House immigration hearing blasts extreme Senate measure
"Another sign that anti-illegal immigration forces may be gathering steam is the number of measures by state and local officials to deny public services to illegal [aliens] and crack down on landlords and employers who shelter and hire them.   Colorado recently enacted a law restricting benefits and employment for illegal immigrants; Georgia took such action in April; and the Pennsylvania Legislature is considering similar bills as are several small towns in that state...   The House bill would... increase fines on employers, build a 700-mile fence on the [nearly 2000-mile long] Mexico border and make it a felony to live in the country without proper immigration documents or to help those living here illegally [except in cases of emergency]...   Democrats also complained -- and Republicans agreed -- that enforcement of the 1986 employer sanctions dropped sharply under the Bush administration, with notices of intent to fine employers falling from 417 in 1999 to just 3 in 2004...   Newly legalized migrants, especially those who eventually gain citizenship, would be allowed to bring in family members legally, causing large chain migrations...   'Private industry would no doubt be happy to set up Ellis Island Centers in India, Pakistan and [Red China] to completely by-pass any limit on H-1B visas and bring in an unlimited number of lower-paid engineers and computer techies to replace Americans.', [Phyllis Schlafly] said in her written statement, as well as recruitment centers in the Philippines that 'would decimate the U.S. nursing profession'."

Richard W. Rahn _Washington Times_
Limiting UN's ability to destroy
"Properly concerned about these proposals, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last month, crafted by representative Ron Paul, Texas Republican, which prohibits the Treasury from paying dues to the U.N. if it attempts to implement or impose any kind of tax on U.S. citizens.   [Prohibition on United Nations Taxation Act of 2005 (PUNT or HR1017)]   The action has now shifted to the Senate.   Senators James Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, and Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, also seeing the threat to national sovereignty and global economic prosperity, have introduced a bipartisan bill known as the Protection Against United Nations Taxation Act of 2006 (PUNT or S3633).   As of this writing, the bill has 32 co-sponsors.   When enacted, the bill will require the U.S. government to withhold 20 percent of its subsidy to the U.N., the OECD and other international organizations if those organizations develop, advocate, endorse, promote, or publicize any proposal 'concerning the imposition of a tax or fee on any United States national or any income earned in the United States in order to raise revenue for the United Nations, any foreign government, or any international organization'."
see also S1689

S&P 5001,259.81
10-year US T-Bond5.06%
crude oil72.66

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-20 - 110 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-20 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 376,003 in the week ending July 15, a decrease of 42,252 from the previous week.   There were 374,665 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending July 8, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,525,395, an increase of 313,706 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,624,504."

2006-07-20 09:08PDT (12:08EDT) (16:08GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Conference Board's leading indicators rose 0.1% in June
Conference Board press release
"The leading index now stands at 138.1 (1996=100).   Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.6% in May and decreased 0.1% in April.   During the 6-month span through June, the leading index decreased 0.3%, with 5 out of 10 components advancing (diffusion index, 6-month span equals 50%)...   The coincident index now stands at 122.9 (1996=100).   Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1% in May and increased 0.2% in April.   During the 6-month period through June, the coincident index increased 1.1%...   The lagging index stands at 123.7 (1996=100) in June, with all seven components advancing.   The positive contributors to the index - beginning with the largest positive contributor - were average duration of unemployment (inverted), commercial and industrial loans outstanding*, change in CPI for services, change in labor cost per unit of output*, average prime rate charged by banks, ratio of consumer installment credit to personal income*, and ratio of manufacturing and trade inventories to sales*.   Based on revised data, the lagging index increased 0.2% in both May and April."

2006-07-20 09:30PDT (12:30EDT) (16:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Philadelphia Fed shows slower factory growth in July
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Board Business Outlook Survey

_St. Louis Post-Dispatch_
Unisys to cut 1,900 more
"Unisys Corp. on Wednesday said it is laying off 1,900 more people, bringing global job losses to 5,500 since October as the technology services and computer hardware firm struggles to revamp its business.   The company, based in Blue Bell, PA, said it would cut 1,900 more jobs in addition to 3,600 disclosed last October.   The lay-offs, constituting about 15 percent of total work force, would save Unisys at least $325M annually by the second half of next year.   Meanwhile, Unisys is beefing up its operations in countries where labor is less expensive, such as India, [Red China], Hungary and other central- and eastern-European countries.   Unisys has 1,800 workers in these low-cost countries, most of them in India.   The company expects to boost its work force in these areas to 6K by 2008."

Victor Manuel Ramos _Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Vote to control illegal immigration in Palm Bay is decisive
"Palm Bay, a city of more than 80K in southern Brevard County, is the first Florida municipality to consider such legislation.   Avon Park, in southwest Florida, is set to debate its immigration ordinance Monday.   It has drawn national attention because it proposes to penalize people 'that aid and abet illegal aliens'...   Mayor John Mazziotti also has criticized the ordinance.   But council member Andy Anderson, its proponent on the 5-member City Council, said he is not backing down.   He said illegal immigrants drive down wages and create unfair competition for small businesses that don't hire them.   Anderson is offering 2 versions of his ordinance.   One imposes civil fines of $200 to employers who hire illegal immigrants and bans them temporarily from work in the city.   The second version would authorize the filing of misdemeanor charges on top of those penalties."

Daniel J. Ikenson _Cato Institute_
USA trade policy in the wake of Doha Just look at the trends: there were only 23 original contracting parties to the GATT in 1947, but 127 members of the WTO in 1995 (that figure is now 149).   In 1995 there were about 70 bilateral and regional agreements in effect; today there are more than 225.   In the nearly 60 years since the original GATT, industrialized countries have lowered their tariffs from 40% to 4%...   the Schumer-Graham bill, which calls for a 27.5% tariff against all [Red Chinese] imports unless and until [Red China] revalues its currency to congress's liking...   Sure, average tariff is only 1.4%, which is relatively low.   And, about 70% of all U.S. imports entered the market duty-free in 2005.   But those averages obscure certain facts -- as averages tend to do.   The 1.4% average reflects the fact that products with low or no duties tend to be imported more than products subject to higher duties.   That skews the average lower.   The average nominal tariff, which is just a straight average of all the product-specific tariff lines is closer to 4.9%, reflecting a range of 0%-350%.   Many of the products subject to above-average tariffs are necessities, like clothing, footwear and food products (including ag products).   Products in Chapters 61 and 62 of the tariff schedule, which covers all imports of apparel and clothing accessories are the most heavily taxed at around 11.5%, which is a rate 8-times higher than the overall average.   While imports of apparel and clothing accessories accounted for only 4.3% of total import value in 2005, duties collected on these products accounted for nearly 35% of all duties collected by U.S. Customs."

S&P 5001,249.13
10-year US T-Bond5.03%
crude oil74.27

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-21 - 109 Days Until Congressional Election

Marcus Courtney _CNET_
High-tech jobs recovery?   Don't believe the hype
"The tech sector, most notably, is suffering from the longest jobless recovery since World War II, having lost more than 400K jobs since the start of the 2001 March recession.   The recession 'officially' ended in November that same year, but for thousands of American tech workers, such claims of a full-blown IT rebound are vastly exaggerated.   According to a recent study prepared by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development, only 76,300 new IT jobs were created nationwide during the last 3 years.   That's less than one quarter of the number of tech jobs lost earlier in the decade [and fewer than the number of graduates each year]...   large numbers of unemployed tech workers are being turned away outright or are forced to take temporary positions far below their skill level, with reduced pay levels adding insult to injury.   Worse yet, tens of thousands of manufacturing and call-center support jobs are being shipped over-seas to low-wage companies.   Projections for the next decade suggest that 3.3M U.S. industry jobs and $136G in wages will move off-shore to countries such as India, Russia, [Red China] and the Philippines...   Federal and state tax subsidies routinely encourage companies to move jobs off-shore, and the H-1B visa program allows businesses to essentially import foreign workers at lower costs [which, in turn, facilitate off-shoring], often leaving American workers with highly specialized technical skills out in the cold."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments on testimony of Federation for American Immigration Reform
"In fiscal year 2004 the federal government recorded more than 1.3M entries of foreigners with visas that allowed them to work in the United States.   This was two-and-one-half times as many entries as in 1995.   The 1995 entries more than doubled the number of work-related entries recorded in 1985.   So, it is clear that there is an on-going very large expansion of foreign temporary workers in the U.S. work-force who legally have been admitted into the country.   Temporary foreign workers and trainees (H visas) numbered 74,869 in FY1985.   They rose to 152,460 in FY1995 and to 506,337 in FY2004.   Those represented increases of 104% and 232% respectively - overall a 576% increase.   The number of entries is not the same as the number of visa holders.   One H-1B could, in principle, enter and exit the U.S. several times in a year, and OTOH, many visa holders might not exit (and thus not enter) at all.
BTW, make sure not to confuse the number of visas granted in a year with the number of visa holders in the U.S. in that year.   Since the visa is good for up to 6 years (and more), the number of H-1Bs in the U.S. at a given time is several times the number of new visas issued.   There is evidence that the L-1 visa is being used as a means to get around the H-1B numerical limit.   Because L-1 visas have no numerical limit, and because there is no prevailing wage test for these visas, they offer a means to a company head-quartered abroad or with foreign operations to circumvent the conditions in the H-1B visa program to protect American workers from unfair foreign competition.
I'm very surprised to see FAIR make such a statement, as it implies that the H-1B prevailing wage requirement protects American workers.   I've stressed repeatedly that the prevailing wage requirement is filled with gaping loop-holes that render the requirement useless.   It is NOT an issue of lack of enforcement.   This is an absolutely key point.   FAIR does allude to this point to some degree briefly later on, but then reverts to focusing on the enforcement issue.
While U.S. employers argue that the H-1B program is essential to their competitiveness by allowing them to hire the 'best and brightest' from wherever, their practices belie this claim.   If employers were truly hiring the 'best and brightest', they would be sponsoring them for immigrant visas rather than letting them go.   In FY2005, there were only about 19,500 professionals foreign workers holding advanced degrees -- out of the hundreds of thousands currently working in the country -- who changed status to permanent resident through sponsorship by an employer.   It appears that U.S. employers are content to discard their supposed 'best and brightest' foreign workers and hire new foreign workers at lower starting wages.
FAIR's point here about a 'revolving door' is quite insightful.   What the industry really wants is cheap workers, both American and foreign.   A foreign worker who gets a green card and becomes an American finds himself in the same boat as Americans: After age 35 or so, they become less and less attractive to employers, because they are viewed as more expensive than the 25-year-olds.   The only semblance of protection for American workers in the H-1B program is a requirement that employers pay the prevailing wage to their foreign workers.   However, a recent study found that the Department of Labor (DoL) was approving Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) even though the wage offers were below the prevailing wage.   In addition, according to the Programmers Guild, DoL uses as a standard for determining the prevailing wage the 17th percentile of the average U.S. worker.   It is obvious that such a standard allows employers to use the visa program as a way to hire foreign workers at lower wages than American workers.   The Programmer's Guild has assembled recent evidence of discrimination against U.S. high-tech workers by about employers who advertise jobs as 'H-1B only'.
This is a little better, but still very disappointing.   The point about the GAO study is easily refuted by the industry lobbyists.   The point about the Guild study is good (though not quite an accurate description of what the study found), but it falsely implies that it's DoL's fault.   The fact is that it's the LAW.   In fact, it's a recent law, enacted in 2004, which changed the number of wage levels from 2 to 4.   (This change had been sought by immigration attorneys for years.   To my knowledge, none of the organizations which want to reduce the scope of the H-1B program, including FAIR, opposed that law, and incredibly, IEEE-USA actually endorsed it [when they should have pushed for 10 or 20 compensation levels to better reflect reality].)   And of course even with the former 2-level system, it enabled employers to use H-1Bs as cheap labor.
the Bush administration has proposed and the Senate has passed legislation that would further increase the rate at which foreign temporary workers taking U.S. jobs.   S2611 would create a new temporary worker category (H-2C visas) that would annually admit an additional 200K foreign unskilled workers for stays up to 6 years.   It would increase the ceiling for professional foreign workers (H-1B visas) by 50K per year and expand it much further both by broadening the exemption from the ceiling to cover any foreigner with a university degree and by providing for a potential annual increase in the ceiling by 20%.   Increasing anything by 20% per year allows for a doubling in size in less than 4 years and an increase by 10-fold in less than 13 years.
Unless I have not seen the latest version, i.e. the version actually passed by the Senate, I believe that the phrase 'unskilled workers' is not accurate here.   If I recall correctly, it merely states that the workers not be in job categories covered by H-1B.   Well, H-1B requires that the job be a 'specialty occupation', defined as one that 'requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in the specific specialty (e.g., sciences, medicine and health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc).   IOW, a large number of white collar jobs, say insurance claims adjusters or hotel managers, would come under the bill's 'unskilled' worker program.   Even tech jobs now held by H-1Bs could qualify, say by hiring under a Junior Programmer title instead of Software Engineer (same work, different name).   As I've been saying ever since Bush first made the guest worker proposal, the guest worker proposal is NOT about illegal immigration -- the same employers hiring illegals today would continue to do so, for the same reasons -- but is instead about opening most of the U.S. job market, including white collar, to the world.   The phrase 'any foreigner with a university degree' is badly inaccurate, and again will sadly open FAIR to charges that it just doesn't have its facts right.   I'll return to this point below.   The points about the potentially huge increases in the H-1B program in the coming years are accurate, though, and well stated.
The Senate bill would also expand the criteria for issuing visas for foreign athletes (P visas) and allow indefinite stays for intra-company foreign workers (L visas) if an employer has sponsored the worker for immigrant status.   Finally, the Senate bill would increase work opportunities for foreign students studying in the United States and for up to 2 years after graduating, and it would expand the NAFTA categories under which workers from neighboring countries are allowed to take U.S. jobs without limit.
I'm glad to see the point about jobs for foreign students, which is important for reasons I've given before.   However, I must say I'm exasperated to see that the bill's proposed F-4 visa, which I regard as harmful as the H-1B provisions, is not mentioned at all.
The test of a need for temporary foreign workers should be based on market forces.   Only if the wages offered are rising significantly faster than inflation, can it be assumed that a shortage exists.   Rising wages are the signal that employers are attempting to encourage more Americans to enter that job field....
starting salaries for new college graduates in computer science, adjusted for inflation, have been flat since 1999.   But if you look at overall wages in the field, they've been going up.   What is this discrepancy due to?   The answer is that many of the lower-level jobs have been off-shored.   By sending the lowest-paying jobs abroad, the overall wage of the jobs remaining here rises -- even if none of the workers here has his salary raised a nickel.   So use of rising wages [alone] as the trigger for H-1B expansion would be an unworkable mess, one which as I said the industry lobbyists would deftly exploit.
Numerous studies have documented that the 'comparable wage' criteria in the H-1B visa program is violated on a wide-scale basis.   This is possible because of the lack of any systematic follow-up monitoring by the Department of Labor to assure that employers are abiding by the terms of the Labor Certification Application that led to the issuance of the visa.   Employers of temporary foreign workers should be required to submit periodic reports to the DoL that identify the wages paid to such workers as they are reported to the [Socialist Insecurity Abomination] and to the IRS.   Those reports should then be compared by the DoL with the LCA to assure that employers are in compliance with the approved employment conditions....
The vast majority of employers who under-pay H-1Bs do so IN FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE [current] LAW.   The problem is the LOOP-HOLES, not lack of enforcement...
Temporary foreign workers should be laid off before U.S. workers are laid off during any company down-sizing.   The foreign workers should not be available to employers to use as a means to lower U.S. wages and working conditions.   While it is possible that reforms might lead to some employers off-shoring jobs, the U.S. should compete internationally on the basis of productivity rather than depressing wages in the United States towards Third-World levels....
H-1B and L-1 are (among other things) used to facilitate off-shoring, not to prevent it.
Temporary foreign workers should be admitted only to take temporary jobs.   Visas should not allow entry for multi-year periods - those jobs are not temporary jobs, and they should be reserved for U.S. workers.   Temporary foreign workers should not be allowed to bring accompanying family members, thereby under-scoring their temporary nature.
Actually, I don't disagree with the last statement, but it sounds like an endorsement of IEEE-USA's 'green cards not work visas' argument, whether it was intended as such or not.   It does make me wonder if that's why FAIR chose not to mention F-4 here, a very unfortunate omission.   The author of the testimony is Jack Martin, is a long-time specialist in immigration issues, whom I've known to be always on top of the details of pending legislation.   Unfortunately, that was not the case here, and I think I know why: The overwhelming focus of organizations like FAIR this year has been on the illegal immigration issue, allowing only very limited time to look at H-1B.   Again, the industry lobbyists have hoped that the illegals issue would allow their H-1B wish list to be enacted without much scrutiny.   Sadly, that seems to be occurring."
congressional testimony of Federation for American Immigration Reform

2006-07-21 13:45PDT (16:45EDT) (20:45GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K...   5,943 Beneficiaries Approved...   11,505 [Applications Pending]... Total 16,991... Date of Last Count 2006-07-18 [leaving 14,057 yet to be awarded, and if all pending applications were approved would leave 2,552]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap.   The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year.   Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006.   The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [So, adding up all of the remaining visas for all sub-categories of H-1B visas, 14,057 + 6,800 + 6,100 = 26,957 H-1B visas remain for FY2007.   And the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor does USCIS expect it to be exhausted during the remainder of FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

James Corsi _World Net Daily_
American long-haul company recruiting drivers from India
"The Teamsters Union strongly opposes the plan by Gagan Global LLC of Garnerville, NY.   Teamsters Union spokesman Galen Munroe told WND the plan 'is yet another example of corporations exploiting a visa program to replace highly trained, hard-working Americans with cheap labor from over-seas'.   Gagan Global has contracted with the Indian state government of Andra Pradesh and its Overseas Manpower Consultancy to run a training school in the Asian country.   Gagan Global CEO Philip Gagan told WND a first batch of 200 Indian truck drivers has been recruited to attend the school in preparation for work in the U.S.A."

S&P 5001,240.29
10-year US T-Bond5.05%
crude oil74.43

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-22 - 108 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments on Information Week article about IT students
"in the bills pending in Congress now regarding H-1B, one of the little-known provisions would be to allow foreign students more access to internships, thereby further decreasing the number open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents...   [McGee refers to] the former Westinghouse contest.   I am no fan is the contest, but my point here is that very few of the winners go on to careers in IT or science.   Once again, THEY GO FOR THE MONEY, i.e. medical school and careers as physicians.   IOW, no matter what schemes these schools use to attract more students to CS, it will remain the case that it is literally the bottom line that counts.   If students perceive that careers in software development are unstable, due to off-shoring and H-1B, they will vote with their feet and choose another major.   The article includes a lot of quotes to the effect that students need to develop more of an appreciation of business issues, as opposed to learning only technology.   While that is true, if the students perceive that careers in the field are mainly non-technical, they won't be attracted to the field.   As I've mentioned before, one of my students put it quite succintcly: 'If I'm going to end up with an Econ-type job, I might as well major in Econ.'   The reporter is only hearing from people who have a vested interest in painting a rosy picture of careers in the field.   Businesses like MSFT [which is to say their executives] benefit from having a surplus of workers in the field, and academics need students (in academia, numbers are power).   In this light, one aspect which would have been nice to include in the article is the fact that many parents who are themeslves in the software field are urging their kids to avoid majoring in CS.   That speaks volumes."

Gina Vergel _Home Town News Tribune_
Immigration battle rumbling out of peaceful Poconos
"Employers who hire illegals will have their business permits taken away for 5 years on a first offense. Landlords who rent to them will pay a minimum $1K fine. Illegal tenants will also have to come up with $1K."

206-07-22 10:24:05PDT (13:24:05EDT) (17:24:05GMT)
Bob Mims _Salt Lake Tribune_
Visas key to driving down opportunity and compensation of US science & tech workers: Glut triggers political fight over cheap foreign temp workers
"[American Engineering Association] President Richard Tax says his board is nearing approval of a position paper opposing both the importation of engineers, scientists, computer programmers and high-tech workers in general, and the H-1B visa program in particular.   'We believe H-1B and other legislation to import cheap foreign workers should be rescinded and these programs be abandoned.', a draft of the paper states.   The association suggests tax dollars could be better spent encouraging American students to pursue science."

2006-07-23 - 107 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Mary Brandel's article is required reading for those interested in IT job market
"[Mary Brandel's July 17 ComputerWorld article] should be required reading for anyone interested in the job market for college graduates in the IT industry.   (Again, I'm excluding jobs like call center operators, PC technicians and the like, which are not intended for people with computer science degrees and are often done by people with no degrees at all.)   It really illustrates the theme that I've been emphasizing for some time now concerning the impact of off-shoring and the H-1B work visa program: Today and increasingly in the coming years, the main IT jobs left for Americans will be of the 'talking', non-technical/semi-technical variety.   Let me begin by again citing my student's quote: 'If I'm going to end up with an Econ-type job, I might as well major in Econ.'   Well, sure enough, in the ComputerWorld article the success story involves an IT worker who is in fact a young Economics graduate.   Her young Computer Engineering graduate brother is urged by their classical-IT role father to begin moving toward the 'talking' jobs.   With this family example the reporter has perfectly captured the state of the profession, which is the move to the 'talking' jobs.   A typical example would be work which involves talking to clients and proposing some kind of of software system to be set up for them.   The IT worker here may have technological training but he'll never touch a computer except when he writes up his PowerPoint slides...   in the old days, managers would come up the ranks from the technical side...   First of all, this growth in the 'talking' jobs won't induce those students who abandoned Computer Science majors to return, as the professors quoted here hope.   Once again, keep in mind the student's comment, 'If I'm going to end up with an Econ-type job...'   That's fine with a lot of us CS professors, as the exodus from the major has brought classes down to decent size, but it has department chairs and deans in a panic, because in academia numbers are power.   But more importantly, there is the broader implication for the U.S. economy.   Technology has been sold to us as the key to a strong economy.   Can it really work this way if the actual technological work is being done abroad, and all we do is talk about it?   Surely we are not the only nation in the world that can talk.   As I have pointed out ([in] my CACM article (pdf)), the industry's own study showed that the impact of globalization is that the U.S. loses jobs requiring a more sophisticated level of education, and in return gains some jobs requiring less education.   You don't have to be a rocket economist to see that this is a net loss for the U.S.A.   As mentioned, all parties agree that the declining numbers of computer science majors [enrollments] in U.S. universities stem from fears of off-shoring, and this has panicked the administrators.   The latter are rushing to assure potential students that there are good career opportunities in the field, though in a new form, namely that of the 'talking' jobs.   That panic produced the highly biased ACM report cited in the enclosed article.   One member of the ACM study team even contacted me, saying that the atmosphere was such that anyone dissenting from the pro-out-sourcing line was marginalized.   (See my analysis of the study, especially its data.)   ACM, dominated by academics, produced the report as a means of reassuring potential CS majors that the job market is good after all, so that enrollment levels would rise.   Then-ACM President David Patterson stated this explicitly in the 2006 May issue of the Communcications of the ACM, though this motivation is not mentioned anywhere in the report itself.   But as noted, that 'solution' won't work...   Of course he's right on the issue of cheap H-1B labor, but this standard industry line about not knowing the latest software has been shown to be just that, an industry line.   I go into this in detail in my [University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform article (pdf) but a quick way to counter the industry's argument is to simply note the many cases (admitted to by the employers involved) in which Americans have been laid off and forced to train their foreign replacements.   Clearly it was the foreign workers who needed a skills update, not the Americans.   Gordon also says that off-shoring will not be as cheap in the future, and that there are problems with it.   These are the same points I made in my CACM article, but mine were in the context of saying that this is why the employers are so anxious to bring foreign workers to the U.S.A.   They want the workers here to avoid problems such as time zone and communications issue, but they still want the cheap labor.   The H-1B program gives them that.   Right now Congress is on the verge of enacting the most liberal expansion of H-1B in the program's history (already passed in the Senate).   So again, it's the 'talking' jobs for the U.S. citizens and permanent residents...   Those web projects [mentioned in the article] won't generate that many jobs either, and the ones they do generate will go largely to H-1Bs.   And most significantly, innovation is serendipitous; you can't just sit people down and order them to innovate.   The whole innovation argument is based on the premise that innovation is America's comparative advantage.   Fine, but that implies that if you decimate the American IT work-force who do technical work (not 'talking'), you decimate innovation."

Rex W. Huppke _Chicago Tribune_
Truth has value, even without justice
"The truth about acts of torture in the Chicago Police Department, laid out over 290 pages, was there for all to see -- those who wanted the facts, and perhaps more important, those who didn't.   It took special prosecutor Edward Egan and Robert Boyle, the chief deputy special prosecutor, four years and more than $6M in [tax-victim] money to investigate the atrocities that went down behind the doors of police interrogation rooms on the South Side in the 1970s and 1980s...   And yet the truth comes too late.   Statutes of limitation have long since passed.   None of the perpetrators of these malevolent acts will be prosecuted...   Flint Taylor, a plaintiffs' attorney who has spent more than a decade investigating the torture charges, said the report doesn't go far enough in explaining the cruel acts that were committed, and he said the argument that statutes of limitation have expired is a sham.   But, he said, better to see an insufficient acknowledgment of what happened than no acknowledgment at all."

Wolfgang Gruener & Scott M. Fulton _Tom's Guide Daily_
Intel announced lay-off of 1K managers, more may follow

2006-07-24 - 106 Days Until Congressional Election

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
Ecnomic "perfect storm" brewing
"[In 2004] Colorado [tax-victims] forked over $564.1M to educate illegal alien children, $38.4M in medical anchor baby costs and $40M in prison costs for convicted illegal alien felons.   At that time, 3 people suffered death at the hands of illegals residing in Colorado...   I sobered the audience with the consequences of adding four to six million people to Colorado in the coming decades.   I spoke on water shortages, loss of 4.1M of acres of farmland, consequences of air pollution, horrific gridlock and the inability to keep cramming cars into limited mountain roads like our already gridlocked I-70 on weekends...   Griswald touted America's thriving economy as the best ever.   He prattled on about GNP, immigrants filling jobs, exports and Americans living at the highest standard of living in decades.   I sat there wanting to reach across the table to wring his neck, but maintained my decorum.   I said, 'If it's so great, how come, according to Brian Williams at NBC News, the average American credit card suffers a $9,240.00 balance (debt)?   How about the national debt of $8T?   Consumer debt exceeds $2T.   We suffer a $700 annual trade deficit.   What about the fact that we've gone from the world's largest creditor nation in 1965 to the world's largest debtor nation in 2006?   How about California's state debt of $38G with an illegal alien load exceeding 3M?   How about GM and Ford dying in Michigan with 30K employees to be laid off this year?   Is anyone looking at how America's middle class is being executed with off-shoring, in-sourcing and off-shoring of manufacturing jobs, IT and other high tech jobs?'   Since 2000, the U.S. economy lost 2.9M manufacturing jobs which is 17% of the work-force in that arena.   Not a single manufacturing pay-roll created a new job.   More than 40K manufacturing establishments closed with declines at 48% in textiles, 30% in electronics and 23% in machinery.   Real wages declined...   We need to re-create our manufacturing base for our citizens instead of giving jobs to the [Red Chinese].   We must enforce balance of trade instead of allowing $700G annual trade deficits."

Bart Gordon _House of Representatives, Democrat Caucus, Committee on Science_
Commerce Department report on off-shoring confirms US job losses may accelerate
Manufacturing News
"data compiled in 2004 by analysts at the Technology Administration (TA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce.   Their report, entitled 'An Overview of Work-Force Globalization in the U.S. IT Services and Software, U.S. Semiconductor and the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Industries', provided an in-depth analysis of the ongoing loss of U.S. high tech jobs (semiconductors, information technology and software, and pharmaceuticals) and represents the most complete analysis to date on offshoring of U.S. jobs.   Until today, the full form of their report has never been publicly released...   In April of this year, Science Committee Democrats and Republicans jointly requested the Department turn over the valuable data...   The draft chapters reveal a far more sophisticated understanding of what has been happening with corporate investment and employment patterns in particular industries than any other publicly released document from the Bush Administration...   The message of the original work is that off-shoring is happening at significant levels in some industrial sectors and the phenomenon will continue and is likely to accelerate...   the original report observed: 'U.S. [based] companies have the leading share of global semiconductor revenues.   Highly skilled workers within the U.S. semiconductor industry -- including engineers in manufacturing, design, and R&D -- remain mostly in the United States.   The U.S. semiconductor industry has an established history of outsourcing and off-shoring.   50% of the industry’s employees and 30% of its engineers were in offshore locations in 2003.'   In the publicly released copy the italicized sentences above were dropped from the summary.   Entire observations were also dropped from the public summary that indicated offshoring appeared to be a problem.   The following statements disappeared from the draft summary: 'Venture capitalists are now encouraging U.S. IT start-ups to use lower cost off-shore destinations for software development to reduce the cash-burn rate.'   'The present driver of off-shoring in semiconductor design is to reduce labor costs and shorten the time to market.'   'Present out-sourcing and off-shoring trends have the potential to affect the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing work-force.'"

Michelle Malkin
Hezbollah in the USA

Molly Hennessy-Fiske _Los Angeles Times_
Compensation for college grads has been stagnant
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram
St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Wage stagnation, long the bane of blue-collar workers, is now hitting people with bachelor's degrees for the first time in 30 years.   Earnings for workers with four-year degrees fell 5.2% from 2000 to 2004 when adjusted for inflation, according to White House economists.   It is a remarkable setback for workers who thought they were well-positioned to win some of the benefits of the nation's economic growth, and it may help explain why surveys show that many Americans think President Bush has not managed the economy well.   Not since the 1970s have workers with bachelor's degrees seen a prolonged slump in earnings during a time of economic growth.   These workers did well during the last period of economic growth, 1995 to 2000, with inflation-adjusted average wages rising 12%, according to an analysis by the [left-leaning] Economic Policy Institute...   About 30M Americans age 20 to 59 have a four-year degree and no advanced degree, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.   The White House economists did not lay out wage trends for people with master's and other advanced degrees.   But other studies have found that their inflation-adjusted wages were essentially flat between 2000 and 2004, and the studies have confirmed a decline for people with 4-year degrees.   When wages for people with bachelor's degrees declined in the 1970s, the cause was a flood of baby boomers entering the job market.   This time, economists say, much of the blame goes to trends familiar to workers with less education, who are now creeping up the wage ladder.   Off-shoring, which has shifted manufacturing and call-center jobs to such nations as Mexico and India, is increasingly affecting white-collar sectors such as engineering and software design.   And companies have continued their long effort to replace salaried positions with lower-paid, nonsalaried jobs, including part-time and freelance positions without benefits.   Those contingent positions make up nearly half of the 6.5M jobs created since 2001, said Paul Harrington, a labor economist at Northeastern University in Boston.   Harrington said the number of salaried jobs increased an average of 11.5% during the last 5 economic recoveries, compared with 2.5% during the current recovery...   Employment recruiter Alan Guarino has seen a similar change in his work.   He says about 15% of workers with 4-year college degrees are working at 'gray-collar' jobs below their skill level, such as in retail, mainly because they cannot find better-paying jobs; before 2001, the figure was about 10%...   'The administration is saying the only reason people are not sharing in the recovery is they don't have the right skills.', said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute.   But if college graduates are not doing well, Mishel said, 'what does that say?'...   Bush's advisors say graduates are earning less because their ranks are swelling and they face tougher competition for better-paying jobs [while science and tech and academic executives whine that there are not enough]...   wage erosion is likely only to intensify as the number of college graduates rises in [Red China], India and other offshoring hubs.   [Red China] alone expects the number of college graduates to increase by 22% this year, with 4.13M job candidates entering a domestic market with only 1.66M jobs available, according to a [Red Chinese] government report released in May.   Still, a college education remains a ticket to higher-paying jobs.   According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, college graduates earned an average of $51,206 last year, whereas high school graduates earned $27,915 and those with no high school diploma earned $18,734...   [4-year college grads in 2000 averaged $54,396 and in 2004 $51,568, down 5.2%; high school grads in 2000 averaged $28,179 and in 2004 $28,631, up 1.6%."

2006-07-25 - 105 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments on Los Angeles Times editorial
"Only a tiny percentage of H-1Bs are 'the best and the brightest'...   very few of the major technological advances in the field have been made by immigrants...   Most H-1Bs are not PhDs, but of those who are, the vast majority are concentrated in the lower-ranked universities...   We have no shortage of engineers with graduate degrees.   On the contrary, many are being laid off.   Starting salaries for new Master's grads in engineering, adjusted for inflation, have been flat since 1999, clearly showing that we have no shortage...   The original purpose of OPT was to give the foreign student a chance to supplement his school learning with some practical work experience before returning home.   However, its actual use by students is exactly as described in the editorial, as a 'grace period' so that the student does not fall out of legal status while looking for a job after graduation.   This gives the student up to a year to find an employer who is willing to sponsor him for an H-1B visa.   (OPT does not require a job offer.   The student merely must be in the process of looking for a job in his field.)   So, the current bill would extend that "grace period" from one year to two.   Of the tens of thousands of LAT readers who read this editorial, no more than a handful will catch the glaring contradiction here: If there really is such a labor shortage, if these students really are 'the best and the brightest', if the industry is so anxious to hire them -- then why would it take TWO YEARS for them to find a job????...   The authors of the legislation know full well that there is no labor shortage...   What this does is give AILA members even more business, as it will allow even the weakest foreign students a chance to eventually find some job and thus generate more visa business for the lawyers...   It enables employers to treat the foreign workers as indentured servants for an even longer period of time than under the present system."

2006-07-25 07:46PDT (10:46EDT) (14:46GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Conference Board Consumer Confidence index rose from a revised 105.4 in June to 106.5 in July
Conference Board press release

2006-07-25 09:40PDT (12:40EDT) (16:40GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Existing-home sales fell 1.3% in June (with graph)
"The median price has risen 0.9% in the past year to $231K.   It's the weakest price growth in 10 years.   Price appreciation peaked at 16.8% last October."

John Ribeiro _ComputerWorld_
Indian bodyshop Satyam reports $322.5M revenues and $75.5 profits for 2006Q2

2006-07-25 (5766 Tamuz 29)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Then and Now: A WW2 POV
"It so happens that World War II had the biggest cease fire in history.   It was called 'the phony war' because, although France was officially at war with Germany, the French did very little fighting for months, while the bulk of the German army was in Poland and France had overwhelming military superiority on the western front...   Did this de facto cease fire lead to peace?   No.   Like other cease fires, it helped the aggressor.   It gave Hitler time to move his divisions from the eastern front, after they had conquered Poland, to the western front, facing France.   Now that military superiority along the Rhine had shifted in favor of the German armies, the war suddenly went from being phony to being devastatingly real.   Hitler attacked and France collapsed in 6 weeks."

Jim Gilchrist & Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
21st Century Slave Trade: Guest-Workers

Rob Braun _Active-State Programmer Network_
OpenDarwin shutting down

David Sirota _Huffington Post_
Caught on tape: Thomas Friedman admits he doesn't know much about trade agreements he supports
"In a CNBC interview with Tim Russert this weekend, Friedman said: 'We got this free market, and I admit, I was speaking out in Minnesota -- my hometown, in fact, and guy stood up in the audience, said, ''Mr. Friedman, is there any free trade agreement you'd oppose?''   I said, ''No, absolutely not.''   I said, ''You know what, sir?   I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative.   I didn't even know what was in it.   I just knew 2 words: free trade.''' Not surprisingly, Russert didn't challenge Friedman, or even ask a follow-up question.   He didn't ask how Tom Friedman, the deity whom D.C. bows down to on trade, could be so uninformed he would call the Central American Free Trade Agreement the 'Carribbean' Free Trade Agreement?   He didn't ask Friedman why he didn't even bother to consider the widespread concerns about the pact's lack of labor, human rights, environmental provisions.   Similarly, he didn't ask Friedman whether, if he's such an advocate for truly 'free' trade, why Friedman didn't bother to protest the brazenly protectionist provisions in the deal that make sure the drug industry is allowed to artificially inflate drug prices in Central American countries..."

2006-07-26 - 104 Days Until Congressional Election

Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
More Amnesty Fraud
"Every gesture that the Senate has made toward controlling the border is one that they have backed into under pressure from an outraged public.   The Senators' whole focus has been on what they could do for the illegal aliens, in order to win Hispanic votes -- and how they could camouflage it in order not to lose other votes.   Businesses that want cheap labor are also in favor of amnesty, under whatever name.   So are citizen-of-the-world intellectuals, for whom national borders are just unfortunate relics of the past and illegal aliens are just like everyone else except for not having legal documents...   Some of the more doctrinaire free trade advocates see the free movement of people across national borders as being just like the free movement of goods.   But, when you buy a Toyota, it doesn't issue demands that our automobile laws be in Japanese and it doesn't have little Toyotas that add to the crime rate or to the burdens of our school system.   Moreover, when a Toyota needs repair, it doesn't go to an emergency room and expect the [tax-victims] to pay for parts and labor.   Whoever buys a Toyota is expected to pay the full price of the car and its upkeep.   But employers of illegal immigrants get the benefit of cheap labor and leave it to the [tax-victims] to cover the costs of their health care, imprisonment and everything else."

2006-07-26 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Mortgage applications fell 1.3%
Homes for sale rose to 9-year high

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Department of Commerce report on off-shoring released after 2 years, but not to public
""Phil Bond, who was in charge of the Technology Administration at the time, said he had nothing to do with re-writing the report.   He has since been named president and CEO of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), an organization that took the lead in Washington in defending the practice of off-shore out-sourcing of IT jobs.   So Bond went from DoC (where he was the boss of the 2 researchers [who produced the report]) to the ITAA, a classic case of a government official going to a lucrative position in the private sector where his job is to exploit his government connections...   Back in 2002, Bond had originally implied that there was a tech labor shortage, but later reaffirmed that DoC's position was that there never had been data confirming a shortage.   But then in 2004, he was again talking like there was a shortage."
DoC report article 1
DoC report article 2
DoC report article 3
DoC report article 4
Hillary 1
Hillary 2
Hillary 3
Hillary 4
Hillary 5
Hillary 6
Kerry 1
Kerry 4
Kerry 5
Kerry 6
Norm Matloff post-script
"It was pointed out to me today that the new Undersecretary, Robert Cresanti, is former Vice President and General Counsel for the ITAA.   As my source pointed out, 'Talk about a revolving door!'.   This former ITAAer Cresanti's duties at DoC include, according to the above web page, 'carrying forward President Bush's vision to grow the economy through the American Competitiveness Initiative'.   That initiative, as many of you know, includes a drive to facilitate the immigration of foreign scientists and engineers.   His duties also include serving 'as a one-stop-shop for U.S. industry representatives to discuss and resolve critical issues that challenge their ability to thrive'.   IOW, the lobbyists come here.   That presumably includes the ITAA, now headed by Cresanti's predecessor at the DoC.   How cozy.   The press will never notice, and will quote Cresanti as a skilled bureaucrat who has the good of the citizenry in mind."

Jim Gilchrist & Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
Crisis in Social Services: Taxing the Middle

2006-07-26 09:21PDT (12:21EDT) (16:21GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
SEC backs executive-pay disclosure rules: Demand more reporting on stock options
"Provide total compensation figures for top 5 officers.   Show a dollar value and grant date for stock options.   Show officers' perquisites valued at more than $10K.   Disclose retirement benefits."

2006-07-26 09:40PDT (12:40EDT) (16:40GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K...   6,604 Beneficiaries Approved...   12,254 [Applications Pending]... Total 18,368 [the last I checked 6604+12254=18,858 but I suppose 18,368 was close enough for government work]... Date of Last Count 2006-07-23 [leaving 13,396 yet to be awarded, and if all pending applications were approved would leave 1,142]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap.   The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year.   Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006.   The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [So, adding up all of the remaining visas for all sub-categories of H-1B visas, 13,396 + 6,800 + 6,100 = 26,296 H-1B visas remain for FY2007.   And the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor does USCIS expect it to be exhausted during the remainder of FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

Alfred Robert Casimiro _Weymouth News_
Amnesty for illegal aliens is brain-dead, brain-washed and corrupt

_Federal Reserve Board_
Beige Book
"[Body Shopping] Agents in Richmond, VA, and Raleigh, NC, reported ongoing demand for direct-placement hires; the Raleigh agent expressed optimism that continued strengthening in his local economy would continue to underpin demand for workers in coming months.   Computer skills, sales and administrative support skills remained highly sought by employers...   Florida builders continued to report shortages of qualified workers in all trades, and a Tennessee temporary help agency [bodyshop] reported that business was strong for high-skilled positions...   Overall labor market conditions were little changed, with small gains in employment on net...   A temporary staffing agency survey of Minneapolis-St. Paul companies showed that 33% of respondents expect to increase staffing levels during the third quarter, while 13% expect declines.   A medical device manufacturer plans to transfer 300 jobs to Minneapolis over the next 2 years...   Temporary service firms [bodyshops] say pay rates have finally increased -- as much as 5% to 10% -- and it has become harder to find workers.   Some contacts, particularly those in the restaurant industry, expressed concern that tightening immigration enforcement will make it even more difficult to find and retain workers, pushing up employment costs."

2006-07-27 - 103 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-07-27 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 287,747 in the week ending July 22, a decrease of 89,903 from the previous week.   There were 295,026 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending July 15, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,509,781, a decrease of 8,103 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,634,714."

2006-07-27 09:27PDT (12:27EDT) (16:27GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders rose 3.1% in June

2006-07-27 10:20PDT (13:20EDT) (17:20GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New home sales fell 3% to 1.13M in June (with graph)

2006-07-27 07:39PDT (10:39EDT) (14:39GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted weekly initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 298K

S&P 5001,263.20
10-year US T-Bond5.04%
crude oil74.54

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-28 - 102 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Abuse of guest-worker visas to suppress compensation hidden in plain sight
"The 2006 March issue of Workforce Management, an HR publication, ran an article title Visa Limits Fuel Frustration in Efforts to Fill High-skill Jobs, by Fay Hansen.   A key passage in the article is: Steve Swanson recruits technology workers for the semiconductor industry as part of the Princeton Search Group...   The visa cap has put Swanson under enormous pressure...   'Without the ability to look abroad, a U.S. company that wants to fill a position in 30 days will have to settle for a less experienced worker or make a substantial increase in the starting offer.'   He notes that companies are facing dramatic labor cost increases because less experienced candidates may require six months of training.   Swanson is admitting what the industry lobbyists keep denying: The purpose of hiring H-1Bs is to save on labor costs.   For example, the H-1B program enables employers to avoid paying 'a substantial increase in the starting offer'.   They don't want to pay market prices.   This is a simple point.   Even a 10-year-old could see it.   But I'll bet you could show this article to 1K Capitol Hill staffers (and their politician bosses) and not one would see this simple point.   And it's certainly not the first time something like this has been hidden in plain sight.   Consider, for instance, the 1997 report by the ITAA lobbying group, which Congress used as the reason for its first H-1B increase.   The report said, Training employees in IT would seem to be a win-win for both worker and employer.   And often that is the case.   However, extensive training creates other issues.   'You take a $45K asset, spend some time and money training him, and suddenly he's turned into an $80K asset.', says Mary Kay Cosmetics CIO Trey Bradley.   That can lead to another problem.   New graduates trained in cutting edge technologies become highly marketable individuals and, therefore, are attractive to other employers.   It is clear that Bradley is not willing to pay the salaries paid by other firms.   By the way, the (unsigned) author of the ITAA report was Stuart Anderson, who has been especially vocal recently in denying that H-1B is about cheap labor.   The same HR magazine, under a previous name, stated in 1999: The problem companies face with training [in a new skill] is that as soon as old technology programmers are trained in particularly popular software, they become very valuable and become the targets of head-hunters.   Companies either prolong their agony by refusing to train -- thus continuing the shortage -- or they train and watch some of their newly trained employees leave.   (John Wentworth, 'Stop-gap Measures for the IT Staffing Crunch' Workforce Magazine 1999 May.)   Once again, the employers just don't want to pay market prices.   Note too that Bradley and the employers cited by Wentworth aren't even worried about the cost of training, or the delay (Swanson's 6 months figure is a gross exaggeration).   They're just worried about the fact that after training the person they'll have to raise his salary to retain him.   In 2 congressionally-commissioned surveys of employers (NRC in 2000, GAO in 2003), employers actually admitted to paying H-1Bs less than Americans.   You won't find anyone on the Hill who knows about this either, though.   You want data, I got data.   I've got various statistical analyses of H-1B salaries in my writings.   But it's a lot simpler just to listen to the employers themselves saying it -- hiring H-1Bs is about saving labor costs, pure and simple."

2006-07-28 05:47PDT (08:47EDT) (12:47GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Wage growth was weaker than previously believed for 2003-2005
"In its annual bench-mark revisions to gross domestic product and gross domestic income, the government said employee compensation actually totaled $7.03T in 2005, about $83G or 1.2% lower than previous estimates of $7.11T.   Rather than growing at a 2.9% annual pace in inflation-adjusted dollars, compensation instead grew 2.3% between 2003 and the end of 2005.   Wages grew at a 1.8% real annual pace, revised from 2.2% earlier.   With the work-force growing about 1.3% per year, real wages per worker were up about 0.5% per year, about half the previous estimate.   Benefits also grew slower than previously assumed, rising at an inflation-adjusted 4.9% annual rate rather than 6.0% pace originally reported...   High productivity and small wage gains have allowed firms to reap record profits, even as their input costs rise.   Intense competition has, so far, reduced the ability of companies to pass along their higher costs to their customers."

2006-07-28 05:48PDT (08:48EDT) (12:48GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US employment costs up 0.9% in 2006Q2
BLS data

2006-06-28 06:03PDT (09:03EDT) (13:03GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
GDP growth slowed from 5.6% in 2006Q1 to 2.5% in 2006Q2
"core consumer prices rose 2.9% annualized, the fastest pace in 12 years, keeping the pressure on the Federal Reserve to stay on top of inflation.   Core consumer prices have risen 2.3% in the past year, the fastest growth since 1995.   The GDP price index, which covers all prices in the economy, increased 3.3% for the third straight quarter.   Consumer prices including food and energy increased at a 4.1% pace...   Exports increased 3.3%, while imports grew 0.2%.   Net exports added 0.3 percentage points to growth."

2006-07-28 07:45PDT (10:45EDT) (14:45GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index down from 84.9 in June to to 83.0 in early Julty to 84.7 in late July

James Carlini _Wisconsin Technology_
Fiber-optic infrastructure is spurring city economic development
"While some municipalities are fighting AT&T about Project Lightspeed and others are looking at Wi-Fi applications, others are looking at major fiber-optic investments.   While these fiber investments have paid off in Utah as we mentioned in last week's column, there are others that we don't hear much about in the Midwest...   One study, which was funded by Verizon, contends it would add $400G to the U.S. economy if every city deployed broadband services.   BTW, let's be clear that broadband is defined as 1Gbps and beyond.   It's not 1.5Mbps...   Jacksonville has realized the potential of providing a state-of-the-art network infrastructure that provides multiple carriers as well as access to the National LambdaRail (NLR), which is a very high-capacity fiber network.   JAXMAN is the city's MAN and has become a vehicle for helping deliver economic growth.   This translates into jobs...   In a related area of network development, the development of the Florida LambdaRail (FLR) -- a 1,540-mile compliment to the NLR -- makes all of Florida's universities more connected at a multi-gigabit rate."

Manjeet Kripalani, Louise Lee & Nichola Saminather _Business Week_
Higher costs cause Indian off-shore out-sourcing shops to try to reach into higher margin operations
"India's leading out-sourcing shops say their U.S. corporate clients continually try to ratchet down prices, which inevitably drives down the quality of service they can provide.   So lately, Indian out-sourcers have begun turning down call center contracts, preferring better-paying deals for processing mortgages, handling insurance claims, over-seeing pay-rolls, and more."

2006-07-28 13:41PDT (16:41EDT) (20:41GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
S&P 500 has best week in over 3 years: Dow has best week since 2004 November

S&P 5001,278.55
10-year US T-Bond4.99%
crude oil73.24

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-07-29 - 101 Days Until Congressional Election

Victor Manuel Ramos, Jim Leusner, Gary Taylor, Rich McKay, Willoughby Mariano and Ludmilla Lelis _Orlando Sentinel_
Palm Bay ordinance against illegal immigration to be reheard
"The revised ordinance increased fines for employers who hire [illegal aliens] from $200 to $500, but it does not include the more controversial provision of attaching misdemeanor charges to the penalties."

Jim Gilchrist & Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
Crime Is Mexico's #1 Export
"the all-volunteer Minuteman Project was founded in 2004 by decorated Marine veteran Jim Gilchrist.   Armed with only binoculars and cell phones, Gilchrist and his fellow patriots proved that America's porous borders could be successfully guarded, and in the process set off a national debate on an issue the Federal government had long ignored.   Here is an exclusive excerpt from Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America's Borders by Jim Gilchrist and Jerome Corsi.   The efforts of law enforcement officials to bring criminal illegal immigrants to justice have been hamstrung by lax and lenient sanctuary laws.   Governments pandering to the huge numbers involved in the 'Trojan Horse invasion' have taken the deceptively easy path of political correctness.   Today, across the United States, police officers risk heavy penalties if they dare directly ask an illegal immigrant how they got here in the United States...   The FBI estimates that today there are approximately thirty thousand violent gangs in the United States, with 800K members impacting 2,500 communities.   The growth in Hispanic gangs dominates the gang underground in America today.   MS-13, one of the most notorious Hispanic gangs, operates in some 34 different states and the District of Columbia.   Even more frightening, the Hispanic gangs in the U.S.A. have connected with counterparts in Mexico, Central America, and South America.   The large Hispanic gangs in the U.S.A. are in the process of morphing into truly international gangs, causing legitimate concern for the international law enforcement and intelligence communities.   The development of MS-13 in the U.S.A. represents a new phenomenon in U.S. crime history.   MS-13 is no longer just a Hispanic street gang of tattooed delinquents.   It has become an international organized crime syndicate.   In El Salvador, the country from which MS-13 originated, MS-13 is a political force of sufficient wealth and violence that the gang actually threatens to topple the El Salvadorian government...   The origin of MS-13 dates back to the 1980s.   Formally, the name of the group is 'La Mara Salvatrucha', which has since become slang for 'The Salvadoran Gang'.   This derives from 'Salva', which is short for 'El Salvador', and 'trucha', meaning 'wise guy', much like the New Jersey working-class Italian mobs have typically designated gangsters."

2006-07-30 - 100 Days Until Congressional Election

Dick Durbin _Chicago Tribune_
Illegal Alien Students
"In 2005, the U.S. issued nearly 266K H-1B visas."

2006-07-30 14:00PDT (17:00EDT) (21:00GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K...   7,258 Beneficiaries Approved...   12,132 [Applications Pending]... Total 19,390... Date of Last Count 2006-07-26 [leaving 12,742 yet to be awarded, and if all pending applications were approved would leave 610]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap.   The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year.   Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006.   The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [So, adding up all of the remaining visas for all sub-categories of H-1B visas, 12,742 + 6,800 + 6,100 = 25,642 H-1B visas remain for FY2007.   And the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor does USCIS expect it to be exhausted during the remainder of FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

2006-07-31 - 99 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments on OPT and Salt Lake Tribune article by Bob Mims
"One of those provisions would extend OPT from 1 year to 2.   IOW, the foreign student would have 2 full years in which to look for a job.   Given that the rationale for the bills is that the foreign students possess skills which are in short supply in the American work-force, it's absurd to say that the student would need 2 years to find a job.   IOW, the authors of these bills -- who are in reality the American Immigration Lawyers Association rather than congressional staffers -- know full well that there is no labor shortage.   Instead, the real reason for these bills is to give immigration lawyers more business and to give employers cheap labor.   Note how Antonacci says that a green card is 'almost automatic'.   He is correct, but it is not supposed to be that way, as the green card process contains so-called 'U.S. worker protections'.   The green card process requires employers to certify that no U.S. citizen or permanent resident [is able and willing to do the work], but this is easily -- and legally -- circumvented by, for example, tailoring the job description to match the foreign worker...   we are not using the [mathematicians, scientists, engineers and computer programmers] we have.   Age discrimination is rampant in the tech field, with people being forced out of the field starting as young as 35 (and when they leave the field, they don't count in the tech unemployment statistics, the industry lobbyists' most-cited data)...   an NSF paper in 1989 complained that PhD salaries were to high, and recommended as a remedy to this 'problem' bringing in foreign students.   (See Eric Weinstein, 'How and Why Government, Universities, and Industry Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers', NBER, MIT, 1998.   See also Daniel S. Greenberg 'A Shortage of Scientists and Engineers' Washington Post 1991 August 18.)   The NSF paper not only noted that the foreign influx would hold down salaries, but also conceded that this lid on salaries would dissuade domestic students from pursuing a doctorate: A growing influx of foreign PhDs into U.S. labor markets will hold down the level of PhD salaries to the extent that foreign students are attracted to U.S. doctoral programs as a way of immigrating to the U.S.A...   [If] doctoral studies are failing to appeal to a large (or growing) percentage of the best citizen baccalaureates, then a key issue is pay...   A number of [the Americans] will select alternative career paths...   For these baccalaureates, the effective premium for acquiring a PhD may actually be negative....   Of course, the NSF's prediction came true...   Not only do the foreign students keep PhD salaries low by increasing the labor supply, they also are willing to work for less money, as they generally get non-monetary compensation in the form of green card sponsorship by the employer...   Whether foreign or domestic, there is no shortage of engineers with Master's degrees and PhDs.   On the contrary, many are being laid off.   And as with the Bachelor's level, starting salaries at the Master's level have been flat since 1991...   Bennett admitted that the real reason for Congress' rush to increase the H-1B cap is the industry's campaign fund contributions.   Bennett said, 'Once it's clear (the visa bill) is going to get through, everybody signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech.   There were, in fact, a whole lot of folks against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public...' (Carolyn Lochhead 'Bill to Boost Tech Visas Sails Through Congress: Clinton Expected to Sign Popular Measure' San Francisco Chronicle 2000 October 4).   A major supporter of pending legislation which would increase the H-1B quota, representative Tom Davis (R-VA), said, 'This is not a popular bill with the public.   It's popular with the CEOs...   This is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money.'   ('Committee To Address Bill Eliminating H-1B Cap' National Journal Technology Daily 2000 May 5 and Lars-Erik Nelson 'Pols Are Going Overboard On Visa Program' New York Daily News 2000 May 3)...   Bennett's term 'market-based approach' flies in the face of the fact that the H-1Bs, especially those being sponsored for green cards, are de facto indentured servants.   They are NOT free to move about in the market-place; they legally could change employers, but doing so would mean starting the multi-year green card process all over again, unthinkable for most.   As the congressionally-commissioned NRC report put it, 'Foreign nationals dislike [labor certification, one of the stages in obtaining a green card] because the process is so lengthy (often 3 years or longer in some areas of the country) and prevents them (on pain of having to begin the process all over again) from changing employers...' (National Research Council 'Building a Work-Force for the Information Economy' National Academies Press, 2001, p.171.   See also Skilled Immigrants Turn to K Street: High-Tech Workers Awaiting Green Cards Hire Lobbyists, Hit the Hill S. Mitra Kalita Washington Post 2006 April 26; p.D01)...   the legally required wage is less than the market wage...   Here you can really see how the legally required prevailing wage is well below the market wage.   The DoL data for Merit Medical, available at, indeed show entries for 3 workers, one with the title Engineer III and the other 2 with titles Senior Engineer I Plastics.   Merit Medical's listed prevailing wages for these workers are $49,150, $64,126 and $67,205.   Yet the government wage figures for the state of Utah show a mean wage of $82,730 for chemical engineers."

John Shinal _MarketWatch_
Back-dating options
"More than 50 U.S. companies have already said they're being investigated for altering the dates of stock options granted to executives and other employees...   the more-recent scandal seems like just another example of board-room avarice that ends up costing share-holders."

2006-07-31 13:30PDT (16:30EDT) (20:30GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K...   7,258 Beneficiaries Approved...   12,132 [Applications Pending]... Total 19,390... Date of Last Count 2006-07-26 [leaving 12,742 yet to be awarded, and if all pending applications were approved would leave 610]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap.   The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year.   Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006.   The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [So, adding up all of the remaining visas for all sub-categories of H-1B visas, 12,742 + 6,800 + 6,100 = 25,642 H-1B visas remain for FY2007.   And the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor does USCIS expect it to be exhausted during the remainder of FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

Louise Uchitelle & David Leonhardt & Amanda Cox _NY Times_/_Gainesville Sun_
Millions Leave Work-Force
Lakeland Ledger
Amherst Times
"Laid off as a steel-worker at 48, he taught math for a while at a community college.   But when that ended, he could not find a job that, in his view, was neither demeaning nor under-paid...   Millions of men like AB -- men in the prime of their lives, between 30 and 55 -- have dropped out of regular work...   About 13% of American men in this age group are not working, up from 5% in the late 1960s.   The difference represents 4M men who would be working today if the employment rate had remained where it was in the 1950s and 1960s...   their ranks are growing at all education and income levels.   Refugees of failed Internet businesses have spent years out of work during their 30s, while former managers in their late 40s are trying to stretch severance packages and savings all the way to retirement...   CP, who is 54 and has not had steady work since he lost a job with a 6-figure income as an electrical engineer at Xerox in 2002...   'I've been down the road where I did all the things I was supposed to do, and the end result of that is nil.'...   The missing men are also more likely to live alone.   Nearly 60% are divorced, separated, widowed or never married, up from 50% a decade earlier, the census bureau reports."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments on suit against ADP for over-time pay
"This case is apparently not about H-1B, but there is a connection.   I've mentioned many times that in addition to saving labor costs via the H-1B program, employers are often equally interested in the fact that H-1Bs are typically de facto indentured servants.   This enables the employers to make the H-1Bs work long hours.   U.S. citizen and permanent resident programmers are often reluctant to work evenings and weekends, due to (a) time conflicts such as child care and (b) the fact that most employers classify programmers as 'exempt' workers, meaning that they are not subject to over-time laws.   However, I've heard claims that in fact many programmers ARE subject to over-time law in California, and that employers are simply disregarding the law.   Some of you in the San Francisco Bay Area may have heard the radio talk show lawyer Len Tillem; even he went on about this topic on one show a couple of years ago, apparently outraged.   But I hadn't heard anyone challenging this until the case described in the enclosed press release arose."
ADP sued for not paying programmers for over-time

K. Raghu _DNA India_
Body shop Infosys hires liberal arts majors in USA, trains then in India
"Alexis Elaine Heintz is a liberal arts student.   In 6 months, she will be ready to write software codes [while hundreds of thousands of Americans perfectly capable of developing software, today, are passed over by US & Indian firms].   The transformation for this 21-year old graduate in international studies to a code jockey is underway in Mysore, at the sprawling campus of software major Infosys.   Heintz did a major on Latin America, but it was 'double opportunity' when Infosys went to hire people on campus from University of North Carolina...   Heintz, who joined the first batch of 126 graduates, from 82 US colleges as part of the Infosys Global Talent Programme.   If Heintz joined Infosys due to the opportunities in the Indian company, the plain speak of its chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy had an influence on Syed Imran Haider to join the country's new economy brand...   Haider and Heintz will join others to get trained in technical and client facing skills, besides a two months rigorous practice on writing codes in the six month session in India, before they are deployed on various projects in the US.   Infosys plans to hire 300 graduates from the US next year and about 25 youngsters from universities in the UK."
"At the same time that U.S. companies are offshoring tech work to India -- to companies like Infosys -- on the grounds that the U.S.A. is not graduating enough 'scientists', Indian companies finds they are able to fill those positions with liberal arts majors.   Unlike U.S. companies, Infosys provides 6 months on the job training -- only 2 of which is in programming.   The need for H-1b workers would nearly vanish if U.S. employers would make the same investment in the U.S. work-force.   But it's cheaper to lobby Congress to sell us out: BS degree and 15 years experience, training in Java and .NET?   Sorry, you don't have 1-3 experience in our precise environment...  
If liberal arts majors with no programming background can be trained to be developers in 2 months, then so can experienced US programmers who are being passed over because their last job was not using the [specific] development environment [for the current temporary gig]...   certainly the industry claim that the U.S.A. needs to spend 'decades reforming the K-12 system' in order to train sufficient U.S. programmers is a lie and diversion.   There are plenty of recently laid of U.S. workers that could be filling the [85K] U.S. jobs that the DoL is reserving exclusively for foreign workers.   But DoL refuses to release the job list [from companies' LCAs] so that Americans can apply."

2006-07-31 13:59PDT (16:59EDT) (20:59GMT)
John D. Stoll _MarketWatch_
About 1,500 IUE-CWA workers opt to leave Delphi

Stephen Smith _Boston Globe_
Measles epidemic nearly exploded in Boston

Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
NASDAQ down for 4th month running

S&P 5001,276.66
10-year US T-Bond4.99%
crude oil74.40

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006 July
_Government Technology_
ITAA lobbyist was sworn in 2006-03-20 as under secretary of commerce for technology

2006 July
Phyllis Schlafly _Eagle Forum_
Guest-Workers Are Expensive
"President Bush entered the White House in 2001 hoping he would be known in history books as the education president who improved public school standards with 'No child left behind'.   It now looks like his legacy will really be 'No illegal alien left behind.'...   why, oh why, is Bush so stubbornly rejecting the advice of his supporters even though that advice is consistent with the thunderous message from public opinion surveys?...   Bush's dogmatic statement that we can't stop aliens from illegally entering our country unless legislation is packaged 'together' with a guest-worker program is a non sequitur, nonsense, and untrue.   So what's the explanation?...   Adopting a guest-worker program would turn the United States into a boarding house for the world's poor, enable employers to import an unlimited number of 'willing workers' at low wage-levels, and wipe out what's left of the American middle class.   Bush lives in a White House well protected by a fence and security guards (and he associates with rich people who live in gated communities).   Yet for five years he has refused to protect the property and children of ordinary Arizona citizens from trespassers and criminals...   The Senate bill would make 25% of our population foreign born within 20 years (most of them high school drop-outs), and the United States as we know it would no longer exist.   It is impossible in so short a time to assimilate 66M people whose native culture does not respect the Rule of Law, self-government, private property, or the sanctity of contracts, and where they are accustomed to an economy based on bribery and controlled by corrupt police and a small, rich ruling class that keeps most of the people in dire poverty...   we know we'll be cheated on border security if Congress passes a 'comprehensive' bill...   We currently have 37K troops guarding the 151-mile border between North and South Korea, but we have fewer than 12K agents to monitor 2K miles of our southern border [AND 3,300 miles of our northern border].   Bush seems to think that we will be comforted by 6K National Guardsmen sent to the southern border for one year — not to guard the border, but merely to 'assist' our Border Patrol.   This has the ring of a political photo op.   A month after his speech, only 100 Guardsmen had reached the border...   In 1986, Congress passed comprehensive immigration reform called the Simpson-Mazzoli Act: amnesty for 3M+ promises of border security and sanctions on employers who hired illegal aliens.   It didn't happen.   If we couldn't trust President Reagan to see that the law was faithfully executed, we surely are not going to trust Bush's promises.   Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.   All proposals except the House Sensenbrenner bill simply repeat the Simpson-Mazzoli mistakes."

  "The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else." --- Frederic Bastiat  

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