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|"Mean peak life-time creativity was significantly higher in the index group than in the controls, with the highest levels of creativity being not in the manic-depressives but in the cyclo-thymes & in the normal relatives of people with mood disorders. In interpreting the findings, Richards & her colleagues suggest that some of the normal relatives in question may have been hyper-thymic, or otherwise mildly affected with mood problems at the soft end of the bi-polar spectrum. Not normalcy alone, but normalcy in the relatives of bi-polar patients, predicted greater creativity." --- Melvin Konner "Art of Darkness" _Why the Reckless Survive_|
|"'Good story' means something worth telling that the world wants to hear. Finding this is your lonely task. It begins with talent. You must be born with the creative power to put things together in a way no one has ever dreamed. Then you must bring to the work a vision that's driven by fresh insights into human nature & society, coupled with in-depth knowledge of your characters & your world. All that... and... a lot of love." --- Robert McKee 1997 _Story_ pp 20-21|
_San Francisco Chronicle_
interview with Umang Gupta: IIT alumni hold reunion in SF, CA: Hillary Clinton to speak
"The 7 IITs in India have probably graduated more than 100K alumni over the last 20 years... IITians (graduates of IIT) are not just in business. Lots are in academia...
No 1, to galvanize and network alumni to help each other, like any other alumni organization would do.
No. 2, to help strengthen our alma mater, the IITs, through faculty recruitment, research projects, donating back.
No. 3 is contributing to both the local communities that you're part of, or back to India to the extent that you can help in connecting between India and the communities that you're part of...
Previously the river could only flow one way. You could send smart Indian guys out of college over here, and you could get a job but there were limits. But with the Internet, you could actually send the work over that made sense to do over there... There's no place like it on Earth. It is a combination of an amazing academic setup -- Stanford and Berkeley and others -- combined with venture capital that has over time grown up here, so it's an institutional knowledge of how to invest, combined with companies that are at the center of their industries, whether it's the Internet or enterprise software or the semiconductor or hardware industries. A spirit has emerged over time, like the wild-cat spirit emerged in Texas when oil was discovered. Do similar ingredients exist elsewhere? Absolutely. Bangalore certainly has that entrepreneurial spirit, along with a fairly good set of technology companies there in the context of India. But when you combine all of that with the presence of a local home market and venture capital and all those other things, we're still talking of a big difference. Austin certainly has a combination of venture capital and universities. Massachusetts has those, but somehow Silicon Valley here seems to definitely have a surfeit of everything... [Why are only 2K students admitted to the IIT system each year?] Many people believe there should be more IITs. Within India there is a movement to add more IITs. Others say there should not be more IITs if you want to keep them to extremely high standards. My kids who go to school here, Ivy Leagues, and so there is absolutely no question that we produce an amazing set of elite kids in some of our Ivy Leagues today. I think ultimately the real question is: Are we lifting up the large majority of Americans to those levels required to compete in the global world? We do a pretty good job of educating the broad majority of our citizens compared to most other countries. However, we could and we should do a better job... By and large, any immigration reform that helps to increase H-1B visas, any immigration reform that helps to improve the likelihood of IITians and other graduates like IITians entering America and doing well for America, as well as for themselves, is something that IIT supports. I think that has more to do with the nature of the out-sourcing industry than the H-1B program. A very large part of IT out-sourcing is from India. The industry didn't even exist 15 years ago, and as it started, much of that work has gone to Indian companies like Infosys and Wipro and Satyam. However, I think as the world starts to add other countries for IT out-sourcing whether they be Bulgaria, Russia or China, the H-1B system will automatically start to become appropriate for different countries."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
IIT alumni head views H-1B as "the off-shoring visa"
It's the industry lobbyists' favorite threat to Congress: "If you don't give us more H-1Bs, we'll have to send the work off-shore." Congress, in addition to being plied with lots of big campaign donations from the industry, also doesn't want to be remembered as having "lost" the tech industry. So the industry lobbyists know that their threat will work, even though it doesn't make sense when viewed rationally. Consider:
Here I will focus on Point 3 above.
Firms that do off-shore work told the congressionally-mandated National Research Council commission in 2000 that H-1B (and L-1) workers form an integral part of the off-shoring process. H-1Bs are needed as liaisons with the on-shore clients, and the visa is used to bring in workers temporarily to train for the off-shore work. Later professor Ron Hira quantified the process, finding that the typical ratio is that a project will place 1 worker on-shore (holding an H-1B or L-1 visa) for every 2 people who are working on that project in the off-shore location (Ronil Hira, U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2004).
H-1B plays such a central role in off-shoring that recently Indian Minister of Commerce Kamal Nath called it "the out-sourcing visa".
PLEASE NOTE CAREFULLY: The problems with the H-1B visa are not limited to their connection to off-shoring -- far from it. The vast majority of the clients of the Cohen & Grigsby law firm are NOT off-shoring companies, and they are NOT owned by Indian-Americans. Congress could ban all use of H-1Bs and L-1s in off-shoring tomorrow, and we'd still have a huge H-1B/L-1 problem. But still, off-shoring is a big problem too, and this usage of the visas dramatically counters the lobbyists' "Give us the H-1Bs or the jobs are going off-shore" threat. With this view in mind, let's continue.
What is most interesting about this article, to me, is that you have the head of the alumni organization of the Indian Institutes of Technology -- the IITs, India's premier technical universities -- taking this same point of view: H-1B is "the off-shoring visa":
Q: Is the H-1B program overly weighted to take advantage of Indian immigrants?
A: I think that has more to do with the nature of the out-sourcing industry than the H-1B program. A very large part of IT out-sourcing is from India. The industry didn't even exist 15 years ago, and as it started, much of that work has gone to Indian companies like Infosys and Wipro and Satyam. However, I think as the world starts to add other countries for IT out-sourcing whether they be Bulgaria, Russia or [Red China], the H-1B system will automatically start to become appropriate for different countries.
[Notice that he didn't really answer the question asked...jgo]
The other important issue here is the IITs themselves. The Indian government, and many Indian-immigrant businesspeople in the U.S.A., have been engaged in an effort to promote Indian interests in the U.S.A. for some time now. Of course, every country does this, but in the case of India, the key to these activities is the H-1B visa -- and the IITs. Back in 2003, they launched a "Brand IIT" PR campaign, which portrayed the IITs as world class universities whose graduates were doing wonderful things for the U.S.A. (See Big Guns Come Together to Promote Brand IIT, Harihar Narayanswamy Times of India 2002 December 26.)
As I said at the time, I am the first one to be pleased by the emergence of India as a respected player in the tech world. I have also interacted with many fine graduates of the IITs, several of whom are my own faculty colleagues. But the IITs are not the sensational institutions that the PR people are portraying. It is certainly not the case that most, or even many, IIT students are geniuses. A few are indeed brilliant, but most are comparable to top students in U.S. schools such as those in the UC system. As noted in the interview here, the IITs take the top 2% of India's students. Those who score in the top 2% on the SAT in the U.S. might be considered very good, but no one would think of that American group as being necessary genius level; why does a 2% figure in India, a country which still has an illiteracy rate of 40%, command such attention? [Because they actively promote it as such.]
And the institution itself is merely good, not world-class. Its faculty have not produced the seminal research papers, the patents, the standard-setting text-books and so on which are needed for world-class status. It suffices to point out that it is the IIT graduates who come to the U.S.A. for advanced study, rather than American students going to IIT.
(And BTW, Vivek Wadhwa's U.S. patent study, much heralded by the industry lobbyists, shows that the per capita rate of patent awards are the same for the natives and immigrants; IOW, it's not the case that the immigrants are producing more patents than natives would in their place if we didn't have immigration.)
So while IIT is an excellent institution, it is not world-beating. Yet they manage to convey this aura of greatness. The PR people got 60 Minutes [and CNBC] to run a puff piece on IIT; Leslie Stahl was positively gushing over them.
Gupta plays this perception well here:
By and large, any immigration reform that helps to increase H-1B visas, any immigration reform that helps to improve the likelihood of IITians and other graduates like IITians entering America and doing well for America, as well as for themselves, is something that IIT supports.
But there's more: In that passage above, Gupta talks about "doing well for America... and themselves". He is of course omitting his own main purpose as head of this group -- to help India. His group PanIIT's web page features a headline, "I-Day pledge: IIT Students to Put India First", followed up by "The students of the institute have decided to celebrate the country's 60th Independence Day by making a unique pledge -- to spend rest of their lives in the service of the nation."
Once again, there is nothing wrong with that. We in the U.S.A. have no right to keep the tech industry to ourselves. But at the same time, we certainly want to continue as a player, and our allowing the H-1B visa to be used to ship our tech jobs abroad is just plain foolish.
Gupta gives the standard line, which is that innovation will still be the province of the U.S.A. If so, why has every major firm set up R&D shops in India and [Red China]? If you think that the U.S.A. can simply keep "moving up the food chain", think again; I would suggest reading my previous pieces Up the Food Chain NOT and Cisco Move Off-Shore.
Barbara Rose _Chicago Tribune_
College education and affluence are no protection against lay-offs in era of executives addicted to body-shopping
"Good skills and a good attitude no longer ensure steady employment, even when the economy is humming... 86% of greater Barrington's employed adults work as managers and professionals, or in sales and office jobs. The median household income tops $110K... Residents seem to be losing jobs at a faster clip. They land back on their feet but not necessarily at the kind of salaries to which they had become accustomed. 'There's more recycling going on, faster cycling.', said retired consultant Philip Roussel, who sits on the board of the Barrington Career Center, which helps job seekers in the northwest suburbs. Despite low unemployment, attendance at a weekly networking meeting is up 37%... By 2005, 'involuntary job loss due to down-sizing or other reason' topped the list, followed closely by 'difficulty paying bills' and 'put off health care' because of cost or lack of insurance. By comparison, child care had become a minor issue. The 2005 survey, the latest one, came as a shock because 16% of residents who responded said someone in their household had lost a job within the previous 12 months -- more than 8 times the 1996 rate [which, nationwide, is much higher than the 1980 rate]... Employers in the north and northwest suburbs shed more than 3,600 jobs that year because of shut-downs or restructuring, according to state data... 'The information that comes out from the Department of Labor makes it look like it's a really rosy picture, but that's not what we see at all.', says Monica Keane, the center's director... But college-educated workers lose jobs more often now than they did 20 years ago... Income loss is greater too. The average earnings decline including lost raises was 21% for workers forced to find new full-time jobs between 2001 and 2003, four times the mid-1990s rate, Farber found. Ray Ercoli heads a career ministry at Barrington's Willow Creek Community Church. He added volunteers and services in 2001 to help unemployed high-tech workers, but people kept coming after the economy [supposedly] recovered. 'The need we see now are older workers losing their jobs after being employed 15 to 20 years, usually at one company.', he says... Richard H. Price... research professor at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research [said,] 'If they're a 50-year-old person who was moderately successful, their chance of landing another comparable job can be very low.'"
clear sky blogspot
The Economic Fallacies of Claims of a Desperate Foreign Labor Shortage
Richard Winger _Ballot Access News_
Ballot Access News for 2007-07-01
Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Leter to Sacramento Bee editors
David R. Francis _Christian Science Monitor_
The vanishing American computer programmer
"A popular video recently posted on the Internet's YouTube shows an immigration lawyer talking to a group of business people in May about the process of hiring foreigners for their companies. 'Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified US worker.', says the attorney in the video, an immigration lawyer at Cohen & Grigsby, a firm in Pittsburgh... To Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis, such efforts to use loop-holes in immigration laws that were supposed to give Americans and legal residents first crack at high-tech and other jobs is 'absolutely outrageous' [a remark he made mimicking Lou Dobbs]. The real goal is to hire cheap labor, charges Dr. Matloff. High-tech executives had backed a provision in the comprehensive immigration bill that failed in the Senate last Thursday to boost the number of H-1B or other temporary visas for highly educated foreign workers. Now, the focus will shift to stand-alone bills already before Congress that would accomplish the same goal, notes a spokesman for the Software & Information Industry Association... 'There is nothing new in this video.', he says. He recalls getting a document years ago in which a proponent of H-1B visas referred to the arsenal of tools companies can use to legally reject any American applicant for a job in favor of a foreign worker. But now that those tactics are on video, 'everything changes', Matloff says. Viewers can see and hear with their own eyes and ears the words of this immigration lawyer and 'his utter lack of scruples'... To Matloff, the H-1B dispute is an example of how ruthless some businesses have become in their effort to get what they want from Congress... John Miano, who runs his own programming firm, says such off-shoring is 'the latest fad'. He notes that nearly all the world's software was developed in the United States. American culture makes programmers here efficient and innovative, he says, and off-shoring over the past decade hasn't saved US firms any money. In addition, claims by high-tech firms that they pay prevailing wages to H-1B workers are false, Mr. Miano says. In fact, their pay is about $12K a year less than American citizens would get for the same job, according to a new study by Miano for the Center for Immigration Studies, in Washington, DC."
Norm Matloff H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter
concerning today's CSM article
The enclosed article doesn't contain any new information, but since it misquotes me and is being widely circulated among activists who are critics of the H-1B program, I did want to correct things.
Supporters of the measure say the visas are necessary to fill positions because of a shortage of Americans skilled in computer or other sciences. Matloff rejects those arguments and has been fighting to preserve computer jobs for native-born Americans and his students for years.
I didn't use the word "natives", and avoid it except in a couple of very specialized circumstances. I explain to reporters who interview me that the foreign worker programs are harming U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as the writer here did recognize elsewhere in his piece:
To Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis, such efforts to use loop-holes in immigration laws that were supposed to give Americans and legal residents first crack at high-tech and other jobs is "absolutely outrageous".
This is very important. Non-natives who are naturalized U.S. citizens or green card holders are just as vulnerable to displacement by H-1Bs as the natives are.
A new study by the National Venture Capital Association finds that 1 in 4 US public firms backed by venture capital and created in the past 15 years were founded by immigrants. Most of those immigrants, however, were not in the country on H-1B visas, Matloff says. Many were among several American co-founders. Considering the high proportion of foreign-born Americans in the US today, the role of foreign founders is not disproportionately high, he notes.
I believe that the writer and I did not discuss this subject at all. It appears that he may have read material on my web page. In any event, though, I did NOT claim that most immigrant entrepreneurs in the field did not come to the U.S.A. originally as H-1Bs. But he is correct in saying that I have pointed to the fact that the percentage of immigrant-founded firms is not greater than the percentage of immigrants in the field.
Larry Barrett _Ziff Davis_/_CIO Insight_
Executives' efforts to increase numbers of cheap guest-workers are not dead yet
"Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California-Davis, says the death of the immigration reform bill will only delay an inevitable increase in the number of H-1B visas and green cards, giving high-tech companies the opportunity to further exploit the system. 'There's no shortage of American workers for these jobs.', Matloff says. 'I don't like being lied to and the tech industry is lying to us. They simply want access to cheap labor.' Matloff and other opponents support a proposal submitted by senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) that would overhaul the visa program to give priority to American workers. Under current law, only companies that employ H-1B visa holders as a large percentage of their U.S. work-force are required to [do so much as] pledge that they have attempted to find American workers before hiring foreign workers. The Durbin-Grassley bill requires all employers to make a good-faith effort to hire American workers first, and that H-1B visa holders will not displace American workers... Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild, a Summit, NJ-based advocacy organization for computer programmers and technology workers, says high-tech companies are overstating the dearth of qualified American workers needed to fill job openings. 'The biggest proponents of raising the H-1B caps are Oracle, M$ and Google.', he says. 'Are you kidding? It is very competitive [among those with low ethical standards] getting hired at these places.'"
Gene A. Nelson, PhD _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
On the Seminar for Weasels
2007-07-02 08:19PDT (11:19EDT) (15:19GMT)
Rex Nutting & Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM factory index rose from 55.0 in May to 56.0 in June
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments on Dean Takahashi's expanded column on H-1B
I'll address Hoffman's claim presently, but first let me give the data that I referred to. Michael Mandel, BusinessWeek's chief economist, studied the starting salaries for new Bachelor's degree graduates in various fields, publishing his findings on 2005 Sept. 15. He got his data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which is the main organization to track salaries of new graduates. As any good ecnomist would, HE ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, and found the following:
|Computer software engineers, applications||$70,630||$74,350||$78,240||$81,270||$85,570||$95,180||$94,760|
|Computer software engineers, systems software||$70,150||$76,130||$81,180||-||-||$91,430||$92,030|
|Computer hardware engineers||$74,880||$78,760||$83,940||$82,820||$96,540||$96,980||$94,690|
|Electronics engineers, except computer||$68,920||$70,940||$75,580||$76,930||$81,320||$85,270||$86,330|
|Computer software engineers, applications||34%|
|Computer software engineers, systems software||31%|
|Computer hardware engineers||29%|
|Electronics engineers, except computer||25%|
|Computer software engineers, applications||17%|
|Computer software engineers, systems software||14%|
|Computer hardware engineers||12%|
|Electronics engineers, except computer||8%|
2007-07-02 14:27PDT (17:27EDT) (21:27GMT)
Bob Hardcastle _KMOV_
"There has been a lot of out-sourcing going on throughout the United States for the last 5 or 6 years... Since 2001, the nation has lost more than 800K jobs to [off-shore] out-sourcing... Out-sourcing can be a big negative to many American employees. More than 3M manufacturing jobs have disappeared since 1998. Goldman Sachs estimates 400K to 600K professional services and information jobs moved over-seas in the past few years. A Deloitte Research survey found one-third of all major financial institutions are already sending work off-shore. Guess what that means for the future -- more and more out-sourcing... Global Insights, a pro-out-sourcing consulting firm, estimates that the U.S.A. has lost 104K information technology jobs to off-shore out-sourcing since 2000... The Economic Policy Institute found that employment in U.S. software-producing industries fell by 128K jobs from the year 2000 to early 2004, while about 100K new jobs were created in India to produce software for export to the U.S. over the same period of time. A U.C. Berkeley study reported that 25K to 30K new out-sourcing-related jobs were advertised in India by U.S. firms in just one month in 2003. Forrester Research Inc. predicts that U.S. employers will move 3.4M white-collar jobs and $136G in wages over-seas by 2015. Challenger, Gray and Christmas, an out-placement firm, estimates that we will be moving 588K service-sector jobs over-seas each year. When this happens, Americans lose their jobs, their benefits and their pensions. They lose their future source of income and their ability to cover their expenses. The company gains from out-sourcing by having less over-head..."
Jacques Billeaud _11AZ_
Arizona governor signed bill banning hiring of illegal immigrants
"Arizona governor Janet Napolitano on Monday signed into law a proposal that prohibits people from hiring illegal immigrants and requires all businesses to verify the employment eligibility of workers through a federal data-base... The Democratic governor said she signed the bill because the federal government has failed to overhaul the country's broken immigration policies, though she believes the new state law contains flaws that should be fixed before it takes effect on Jan. 1. 'I signed it, too, out of the realization that the flow of illegal immigration into our state is due to the constant demand of some employers for cheap, undocumented labor.', Napolitano wrote in a letter to lawmakers, suggesting the Legislature tweak the new law in a special session during the Fall. The law should have provided exceptions for hospitals, nursing homes and power plants to prevent them from closing as a result of violations, Napolitano said. It also lacks an anti-discrimination clause to ensure fair enforcement, and its overly broad punishments could lead to the closure of multiple locations of a business based on a violation at a single location, Napolitano said... The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that illegal immigrants account for 1 in 10 workers in the Arizona economy... Under the new law, employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants could face a business license suspension lasting up to 10 days. They also would face a 3-year probationary period during which they would be required to report new hires to prosecutors. Businesses that take steps to get around the ban would have gotten a mandatory 10-day licenses suspension and 5 years of probation. Second-time violators would have their business licenses revoked permanently."
Moira Herbst _Business Week_
Americans Need Not Apply
Ephraim Schwartz _Info World_/_IDG_
Multi-nationals show true colors
"What conjures [the words 'Abandon hope all ye who enter.'] to mind for me is a story in The New York Times from Saturday, June 30, and how it applies to high tech CEOs who insist that their call for more H-1B visas has nothing to do with wanting to pay lower wages. My point here is that human nature is pretty nasty and we should not expect much in the way of truth or fairness if money is at stake. The Times story relates that unrest and fear of unrest among tens of millions workers who are being exploited by their employers has led the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in [Red China] to pass legislation to strengthen protections for workers... 'The law, enacted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress over the objections of foreign investors...'... it does quote one Andreas W. Lauffs, head of Baker & McKenzie's employment law group, 'which represents many of America's biggest corporations in [Red China]. 'It will be more difficult to run a company here.', said Lauffs. It seems companies have even threatened that if labor costs were substantially increased due to this legislation 'they would have little choice but to move their operations out of [Red China] if the provisions were enacted'... On the more local level, my point is if this is the nature of business people, worldwide and in the States, then can we really believe them when they say they want to increase the availability of foreign labor simply because there is a technology shortage? I, for one, don't believe it. If these foreign investors are willing to look the other way when it comes to inhuman treatment of workers how much easier is it for them to look the other way if it causes just a bit of unemployment?"
GFI, Fujitsu, Bull
"The acquisition of GFI may bring scale. Nevertheless, Fujitsu Services would still have to complete the repositioning of GFI away from application-centric bodyshopping into solutions and value-added services, industrialisation and the creation of expertise and near-shore centres. [Body shopping by any other name...]"
Marcus Epstein _V Dare_
Now that the amnesty/immigration surge bill is dead, what's next?
"It cannot be ignored that despite our victory there are still: Somewhere between 12M and 20M illegal aliens in this country who aren't going anywhere. Approximately 2,750 illegals coming across the border every day. Over 1M legal immigrants coming to this country a year. Until something is done to change this, America will continue to decay. While the vote on Thursday certainly kept the problem from getting much worse, it does not create any positive reform. Unless the groundswell of opposition actually turns into a serious political movement, then it will have been for naught... Among all the presidential candidates in both parties, there are only three who have any serious credentials -- Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Ron Paul. Tancredo and Hunter have yet to show up in the polls. Paul has managed to garner a great deal of momentum, but this is legitimately seen more because of the war in Iraq."
2007-07-02 22:35PDT (2007-07-03 01:35EDT) (2007-07-03 05:35GMT)
Ron Paul using iPhones in campaign
Ron Paul audio
2007-07-03 01:01PDT (04:01EDT) (08:01GMT)
Dean Takahashi _San Jose Mercury News_
A tough day at work
"On Monday, the Merc laid off 31 of my colleagues. Another 15 or so left of their own volition in the past few weeks. Our news-room has about 200 journalists left, about half the size of its peak in 2000. We knew this was coming for some time. Our new editor warned us. Still, when the hammer dropped this morning, it was painful. They were all good people and I wish them well. You'll miss reading their stories in the paper or on our web site. Nicole Wong, for instance, wrote about commuters who flew to work. She kept HP honest and told us about the Super Happy Dev coding parties that occurred when people like me are asleep. Michele Chandler... Connie Loizos... Steve Zuckerman... Jimmy [Jimbo] Wales, the man who co-founded Wikipedia in 1999 and started the revolution in audience-participation on the Internet, sat down with me to talk about that very issue recently..."
2007-07-03 03:12PDT (06:12EDT) (10:12GMT)
Rick Smith _WRAL Local Tech Wire_
Pharmaceutical firms are investing in Red China
Michael Gisick _Albuquerque Tribune_
NM supporters passionately back presidential hopeful Ron Paul
2007-07-03 06:27PDT (09:27EDT) (13:27GMT)
Cognizant to Set Up New Center in India
"Cognizant is headquartered in Teaneck, NJ, but the company is run by Indians and offers most of its services from centers in India, where it employs some 33K people. It plans to hire 7,700 additional engineers in India in 2007, Chandrasekaran said. 'We plan to hire 11K employees this year globally and nearly 70% of them will be in India.', Chandrasekaran said."
2007-07-03 06:30PDT (09:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Hudson Highland bodyshoppers say worker confidence fell in June
"U.S. workers' confidence weakened in June to the lowest level in nine months, according to a monthly survey by a top recruiting company released Tuesday. The Hudson employment index fell to 101.2 from a May reading of 106.9, said Hudson Highland Group Inc., citing reduced expectations for hiring combined with heightened financial worries. The 2006 June index was at 102.4... The percentage of workers surveyed who said their company is hiring fell to 30% from 32%, while 19% of workers said they were worried about their own job security. Workers were more pessimistic about their own finances, with 43% rating their financial condition favorably, compared with 45% the previous month. Meanwhile, 41% of workers said their finances are getting worse. It's the first time since last August that more workers were pessimistic than optimistic. Confidence among workers making more than $75K declined..."
Kim Sengupta, Ian Herbert & Cahal Milmo _Independent_
Terrorist plot was hatched in British hospitals
"The alleged arrival of teams from abroad to carry out attacks, their identities unknown to the domestic law agencies, adds another dimension to the terrorist threat being faced in the United Kingdom."
Katherine Leitzell _US News & World Report_
Stress makes a high calorie diet more fattening
"Zukowska and her colleagues focused on a brain chemical called neuropeptide-Y. Researchers knew that high levels of NPY can stimulate appetite and contribute to weight gain, but they didn't know whether it directly affected the growth of fat tissue. The new study shows that the combination of chronic stress and a high-calorie diet increases the amounts of NPY in abdominal fat and promotes the growth of new fat cells. An injection that blocked NPY's activity in the mice prevented the growth of the extra fat cells, proving that NPY was the linch-pin in the process... 'Our brains are hard wired to seek fat when we're stressed.', says Elissa Epel, an obesity researcher at the University of California-San Francisco, who was not affiliated with the study."
2007-07-03 08:35PDT (11:35EDT) (15:35GMT)
_New York Resident_
Good Bye to Wall Street?
"New York's share of global stock market value has dropped 10% since the late 1990s, statistics from the World Federation of Exchanges show. Foreign companies that once would have jumped for a listing on the NYSE now look over-seas. According to a recent study, U.S. exchanges in the first 10 months of 2006 attracted barely a third of the share of IPOs they secured in 2001... London's stock exchange is thriving, hedge funds are growing... Earnings and bonuses in London increased by as much as 22% last year, compared to 15% in New York. And it's not just London: regional markets like Hong Kong, Tokyo and even relative newcomers like Dubai are taking off... There are 328K people employed by the city's financial services industry... Financial services pitch in more than a third of the city's business income taxes. A mass of red tape is clogging New York's financial arteries, critics say. 'It is the regulatory environment, where the SEC has been more an advocate for share-holders than for American business.', said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the business development group Partnership for New York City. 'It's post-9/11 homeland security policies that have restricted visas and therefore had an effect on business travel.' The single biggest piece of red tape is Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which requires that a costly evaluation of public companies' internal controls and procedures for financial reporting be submitted to the SEC. 'In the case of foreign companies, ones that would have considered a public offering in the U.S.A. now do the same thing in Europe.', said George Boychuk, an attorney at the New York firm Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates, which represents depository banks and meets with their foreign business clients, advising them on how to comply with securities laws. A study commissioned by Mayor Bloomberg and senator Chuck Schumer in January honed in on Sarbanes-Oxley and recommended a softening of its provisions to make it less cost-prohibitive. Asserting that $15G-$30G in annual financial services revenue could be lost by 2011 if the tide doesn't turn and focusing on London's emergent prowess, it also recommended that Congress reform securities laws to reduce frivolous litigation by shareholders and raise the cap on H-1B [3-year, 6-year or more] visas for professional workers -- currently set at [over 85K] -- to attract the most talented minds from abroad. To facilitate business travel and make it less odious for foreign CEOs to hold meetings in New York and elsewhere in the U.S.A., it recommended defining standards for visitor visas -- which currently allow for length of stay to be determined on a discretionary basis by immigration officers... Released last month, the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index, an analysis of the desirability of conducting business in 63 cities, ranks London number 1 based on 6 dimensions including the ease of doing business, financial flow -- in which it trounces New York in the categories of bond trading and derivatives contracts -- and economic stability."
2007-07-03 08:47PDT (11:47EDT) (15:47GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US factory orders fell 0.5% in May
"After 3 straight gains, orders for U.S.-made factory goods fell 0.5% in May, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday... Factory orders are up 17.5% over the past 3 months at an annual rate, they noted... Orders for durable goods, such as airplanes, computers and washing machines, did not fall as sharply as first estimated. Durable goods orders fell a revised 2.4% in May, up from the initial estimate of a 2.8% decline. Durables were pushed lower by a 22.6% drop in orders for new civilian aircraft."
census bureau report
2007-07-03 09:07PDT (12:07EDT) (16:07GMT)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and DoL continue to divert H-1B displacement retraining fund to trades training
"At part of the U.S. Department of Labor H-1B Pathways to Construction grant, training is offered in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, general construction and OSHA Safety. Other H-1B High Growth training is also available in phlebotomy, practical nursing, commercial truck driving, and customer service."
Phyllis Schlafly _American Chronicle_
Time to stand up for America: Bill Haymin
related abc news article
"They will not vote for the party of big business, but they will vote for leaders who stand up for American jobs. The Middle Class is hurting today because so many have lost jobs from the out-sourcing of U.S. plants over-seas. Some of these Americans have seen their good jobs just vanish as their plants closed. 3M good manufacturing jobs have gone to foreign countries. Our government has failed to do anything to protect American workers from the way that foreign governments bribe U.S. companies to relocate over-seas, cheat us with their anti-American tax policies, and steal our technology and intellectual property. 200K American jobs were lost in Pennsylvania and another 200K jobs in Ohio. No wonder Republicans were wiped out in both states in 2006. Other Americans have lost their jobs because of the in-sourcing of foreigners to take jobs in our country. Some jobs were taken by low-wage illegal aliens and so-called guest workers. Other jobs were taken by skilled workers coming in from Asia on H-1B or student visas. Our government has failed to secure our borders and has positively encouraged the insourcing of Asian engineers and computer technicians. The law of supply and demand really works -- a bigger supply of cheap labor inevitably depresses wages... Department of Commerce figures show that U.S. wheat exports to [Red China] are less today than before PNTR was passed... [Red China's] food exports to the U.S.A. have become a $2.1G industry. We are now importing 13% of the food Americans eat... [Red China] simply doesn't have health, sanitary or safety standards that Americans expect for our food supply... Because melamine is high in nitrogen, the [Red Chinese] were putting it into wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate in order to trick Americans into thinking they were buying feed with higher protein content... As this scandal unfolded, we also learned that the [Red Chinese] have been putting cyanuric acid, a chemical related to melamine that is used in chlorination during pool cleaning, into wheat gluten products sold to the U.S.A... our regulators have blocked all [Red Chinese] imports of wheat gluten and warned importers to screen every kind of food and feed additive coming from [Red China]... The FDA inspects only 1.3% of imported food, but even that small amount reveals plenty that would cause Americans to lose their appetite. [Red Chinese] foods detained by the FDA in March alone included frozen catfish, [and basa fish and dace fish] tainted with illegal veterinary drugs, fresh ginger polluted with pesticides, melon seeds contaminated with a cancer-causing toxin, and filthy dried dates... the [Red Chinese] put diethylene glycol, a prime ingredient used in anti-freeze, into many varieties of medicines including cough syrup, fever medication, injectable drugs, and even tooth-paste. This poison was substituted for glycerin, a sweet-tasting solvent safely used in drugs but more expensive than diethylene glycol... the U.S.A. is importing large amounts of catfish from [Red China], and that [Red China] has treated the catfish with [banned antibiotics called fluoroquinolones and notrofuran, antifungals malachite green and gentian violet]. In one test, 14 out of 20 catfish from [Red China] contained the banned chemical. The U.S.A. has had to recall numerous children's items with high levels of lead including [wooden train cars,] necklaces, bracelets, rings, and baby bibs."
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
US senator Chuck Grassley talks about H-1B reform
"Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is the chief architect, along with his colleague senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), in that proposed H-1B and L-1 anti-fraud and anti-abuse legislation.
Grassley: I support an increase in legal immigration as long as we have the need in our country, but I need to be convinced that the number of H-1B and L-1 visas we're giving out are indeed necessary for our businesses. Simply raising the numerical cap is not true reform, as some would suggest. I would support an increase if and only if the loop-holes in the programs are fixed.
InformationWeek: The recent YouTube video showing a law firm's officials giving advice to others on how to avoid hiring American IT workers seems to have greatly angered you. Why? Have you or representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) received any replies yet from the U.S. Department of Labor or from the law firm regarding the letters you sent them requesting follow-up on the matter? Has the law firm complied with the your request for providing an H-1B client list or any other information he requested?
Grassley: I have not yet received a response from the law firm. The Department of Labor has indicated that they are looking into the video. The law firm may or may not be breaking the law, but they are certainly breaking the spirit of the law. The law firm and the clients it represents are saying to heck with the American worker. My response is companies had better get their heart in America or get their rear ends out."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
InformationWeek: Various bills in Congress are aiming to raise the H-1B cap. Would you support a compromise bill that raised the cap while adding new anti-fraud, anti-abuse provisions? And if so, which particular anti-fraud, anti-abuse provisions do you feel most strongly about needing to pass?
I'm glad to see InformationWeek phrase this as 'anti-abuse' in addition to 'anti-fraud'. In fact, I wish they would not mention the latter at all, as the former is the main problem. The law is full of loop-holes, and these loop-holes are exploited by all the employers, large and small.
[The fraud is in how the H-1B visa is promoted, and the requirements of the statutes, and the regulations, and the actual practices. The H-1B propaganda bear little resemblance to reality. The "shortage" claims of the H-1B program boosters are false. The "best and brightest" and "pre-eminent" claims are patently false. The "we pay guest-workers the same as US citizens" claims are glaringly false. The "we tried very hard to recruit US citizens" claims are false. The claims are made with the goal of increasing personal remuneration for the executives in business and academe and their lobbyists. Hence, they are fraud...jgo]
InformationWeek: There's been speculation that pro-H-1B lobbyists will try to get the cap raised via an appropriations bill. Would you be opposed to that?
This is a key point. If it is done that way -- and it has been done that way on occasion in the past -- there would be no public debate about the visa issues, which would be anti-democratic.
InformationWeek: How widespread do you think abuses in the H-1B and L-1 programs are? For instance, are the abuses mostly by foreign-owned firms (i.e. Indian out-sourcing firms) or do you think American companies also have gone too far in their reliance on foreign-born tech talent?
Grassley: We're looking into these programs because we just don't know the extent of the abuse. I don't know if companies have gone too far, but it's evident that some are trying their best to find the loop-holes. I do think that there is potential for the abuse to be wide-spread, by both foreign and domestic companies.
It is absolutely widespread in both foreign and domestic firms. Just look at the clients of the law firm in the YouTube video. Most are NOT Indian.
InformationWeek: Do you think lower-wages is the main driver for companies seeking to hire H-1B and L-1? What are the other key factors?
Grassley: Lower wages are obviously a main factor. But they may also be hiring foreign workers to get around protections afforded to Americans.
The second sentence is not really right. One must ask WHY they want to get around those protections? They answer is that they want to hire labor that is cheaper than that of American workers. So the lower wages are key. Granted, there is also a problem of some managers hiring only their coethnics, but this is secondary.
2007-07-03 11:54PDT (14:54EDT) (18:54GMT)
_Port Lavaca WAVE_
Two veterans honored
Nick Corcodilos _Info World_/_IDG_
Patrick Lee _Sci Fi_
Transformers was a bargain shot in Los Angeles
Keep eye on plans for NAFTA super high-way
2007-07-03 12:54PDT (15:54EDT) (19:54GMT)
Gary Beach _CIO_/_IDG_
Memo to Congress: Cut H-1B visas by at least 50%
"Those wishing to keep the cap at 65K say increasing it would cost jobs for American workers. A recent video posted on YouTube by a Pittsburgh law firm provides vivid documentation of that 'here's how not to hire Americans' strategy in action... a recent CIO Magazine Tech Poll study reports almost 40% of CIOs claim IT labor is 'hard to find and keep'... Both sides are dead wrong in this debate. My solution: starting with this upcoming fiscal [year] Congress should CUT the H-1B visa cap by 50% to 32,500 and then sunset the entire misguided program by fiscal year 2014. Here's my reasoning. Look at the big picture. The People's Republic of China, with 1.2G people, produces about 370K science/math/engineering degrees each year. Put another way, about 0.00032% of its population. Go west to India, a nation of 900M residents, and they produce about 317K such degrees... or about exactly the same percentage as the PRC. Go further west to the United States. Out of a population of 300M we annually produce about 58K science/math/engineering degrees. Forget about the raw numbers...we will never catch [Red China] or India. Look at the percentages. Our 58K degrees is about 0.00019% of our population. That's a loooooooong way -- 70% -- behind [Red China] and India. As a starting point for America we need to put in place a national technology/education policy that aims to match that 0.00032% within a decade... To match [Red China] and India we need to produce about 40K additional science/ math/ engineering degrees a year. The 57K home-grown degrees plus the 32,500 H-1B visa's almost gets us there... The real teeth of the idea is sunsetting it within 6 years. Facing that reality, I do believe firms in America would be more open to hiring skilled, experienced -- and yes -- more expensive tech talent in America... and possibly most important is this... it says to all those young Americans in middle school, high school and college 'study math/ engineering/ science... when you graduate there will be jobs for you in America.' We need to wean our country off the addiction of H-1B visas... and we need to do it now."
Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
Assimilation: The forgotten A word
"[Even after decades of excesssive immigration] 85% of the residents currently in the United States were born here... And if the open-borders advocates would actually read American history instead of revising it, they would see that the founding fathers were emphatically insistent on protecting the country against indiscriminate mass immigration. They insisted on assimilation as a pre-condition, not an after-thought. Historian John Fonte assembled their wisdom: George Washington, in a letter to John Adams, stated that immigrants should be absorbed into American life so that 'by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, laws: in a word soon become one people.' In a 1790 speech to Congress on the naturalization of immigrants, James Madison stated that America should welcome the immigrant who could assimilate, but exclude the immigrant who could not readily 'incorporate himself into our society'. Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1802: 'The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.' Hamilton further warned that: 'The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.' The survival of the American republic, Hamilton maintained, depends upon 'the preservation of a national spirit and a national character'. 'To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.'"
James Fulford _V Dare_
Time to declare independence from 5G potential immigrants
"The day after the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, John Adams said this: 'The fourth of July, 1776, will be a memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations this from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.' The late Robert A. Heinlein, whose centenary is on July 7, had a small brass cannon that he'd fire off (carefully) on the Fourth of July."
2007-07-03 (5767 Tamuz 17)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Friends of Israel in congress, Bush administraion, and USA's policy community must work to counteract Rice's failed policies
Fake job ads: Scammers grabbing up some H-1B visas
2007-07-04 02:59PDT (05:59EDT) (09:59GMT)
US national anthem is a daily noon ritual at Charles Town diner
"Customers at the Liberty Street Diner don't sing for their supper. They sing for their country. Every day at noon, customers join waitress Judy Hawkins in a sing-along with a local radio station's broadcast of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'."
2007-07-04 09:08PDT (12:08EDT) (16:08GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US consumers are struggling
"Prices are rising, but incomes and wealth aren't. With most households already over-burdened with debt, consumers are being squeezed... Realtors are feeling it, retailers are feeling it, and so are auto-makers and bankers... Consumer prices rose 0.5% in May, the fastest monthly increase in 17 months. Real take-home income (that is, adjusted for inflation) has fallen two months in a row, after a big boost in the first quarter that mostly went to the ultra-rich who received mammoth bonuses and stock options. For the rest of us, the picture is a well-known story around kitchen tables: The median hourly wage, adjusted for inflation, has fallen 4 months in a row through May and was up just 1.1% in the past year."
Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
H-1B must see follow-up about outfits in India who scam H-1B applicants
"This article is a follow-up to the youtube [IBN video] link I sent yesterday. Also read the feedback being posted by Indian readers. This article [published in Rediff] portrays Infosys, Satyam, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy as 'genuine Indian companies that depend on [H-1b workers] for their manpower requirements', pointing out that 9 such 'genuine companies' received 20K of the [85K+] 2007 H-1b visa allocation. A KPMG rep says that the business model of these Indian consulting firms won't work without the H-1b visa. That's true, since their 'business model' is to, with rare exception, refuse to hire American workers, and then pay 25% below market rates to their Indian workers, as Tata admitted here. (In the case of their thousands of L-1 workers, it's more like 80% below market wages.) The article states how the U.S. consulate is increasing manpower at its 'fraud investigation team' and uses the term 'fraud' many times. But it uses the term 'genuine' when referring to the large Indian consulting firms. This creates the mistaken impression that the key problem with the H-1b and L-1 is 'fraud'. This is false. Overwhelmingly these 'genuine Indian consulting firms', along with U.S. employers, are overlooking qualified Americans -- often with the assistance of expensive law firms -- to bring in cheaper and indentured H-1b and L-1 labor. (And regarding the fraud, throwing tax money at the problem would only make a dent. The U.S. cannot even find and deport bona-fide illegal immigrants. http://classifieds.sulekha.com/ has been advertising 'H-1b and green cards for sale' for years. If you shut one down another will take its place. ONLY SOLUTION: Suspend the H-1b/L-1 programs and let the free market control labor supply/demand.) The article also hints that the 'H-1b visa crunch' is driving the demand for these entries -- similar to how guest-worker proponents claim that the solution to illegal immigration is to issue enough guestworker visas to fill the 'demand'. The article cites that these Indian consulting firms received only 20% of the H-1b workers that they petitioned for. Clearly if the H-1b cap were unlimited, as Bill Gates advocates, it would further undermine U.S. workers and U.S. consulting companies, and increase the rate that jobs are off-shored to India."
class action against Tata
2K slots in H-1B visa category still available
"The United States immigration authorities have announced that 2K slots in the H-1B visa category are still available..."
Mark Goedken _Des Moines Register_
High guest-worker visa quotas will make the USA a third-world country
A couple small pieces of dark chocolate each day provide enough bioflavonoids to lower blood pressure without weight gain
2007-07-04 (5767 Tamuz 18)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Taking America for granted
"There is nothing automatic about the way of life achieved in this country. It is very unusual among the nations of the world today and rarer than four-leaf clovers in the long view of history. It didn't just happen. People made it happen -- and they and those who came after them paid a price in blood and treasure to create and preserve this nation that we now take for granted. More important, this country's survival is not automatic. What we do will determine that."
Bruce Younglove _Wall Street Journal_
No Shortage of Engineers, Despite Executives' Claims to Contrary
"I've worked for more than 25 years in the industry and I can state that no such shortage exists, despite a long history of such assertions from corporate leaders, government agencies, industry lobbyists, and the like. It's a particularly bold claim in today's environment with massive out-sourcing, chronic engineering unemployment and falling wages. Notwithstanding claims of unfilled tech jobs, any large technology company can obtain, from a pool of several million workers, as many employees as it wishes by offering competitive wages, benefits and working conditions. This might have the disadvantage of increased costs. As an alternative they can persuade Congress to import large numbers of foreign workers who will work longer hours for less pay. Guess which choice is preferred by our corporate elite? Workers with H-1B job visas offer companies one other advantage not mentioned by advocates of increased quotas for foreign tech workers: Their visas are tied to their jobs. If they fail to please their employers they have to leave the U.S.A., making them the modern equivalent of indentured servants."
2007-07-05 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 298,156 in the week ending June 30, an increase of 6,847 from the previous week. There were 304,638 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8% during the week ending June 23, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,360,918, an increase of 82,116 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,261,568. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 16."
Miriam Jordan _Wall Street Journal_
Double Reversal Frustrates Green-Card Applicants
"The problem began June 12 when the government seemed to open the door for thousands of foreign workers and their families to end the long wait to apply for a green card. That is when the State Department published a Visa Bulletin, which is a monthly notice closely watched by immigration attorneys and their clients because it determines who is eligible to file a green-card application the next month. The June bulletin announced that practically all skilled foreign workers who had been previously deemed eligible for an employer-sponsored visa could now take the final step of applying for a green card. By law, the U.S. can issue about 140K employment-based green cards each year. Last year, the government fell short by about 10K, despite the long waiting list; left-over visas can't be rolled over to the next year. The June announcement aimed to prevent the visa slot from going to waste, according to a State Department spokeswoman...
[Graphs show about 900K green cards issued in 1996, about 790K in 1997, about 620K in 1998, 610K in 1999, 820K in 2000 as the depression hit, 1.02M in 2001, 1.02M in 2002, 680K in 2003, 950K in 2004, 1.1M in 2005, 1.23M in 2006. In 2006, 63% were chain migraion, 13% employment-based, 4% 'diversity' programs, and 21% other, and 173,753 were from Mexico, 87,345 from Red China, 74,607 from Philippines, 61,369 from India, 45,614 from Cuba.]
Then, on July 2, the State Department issued an "update" that reversed the previous bulletin. It stated, effective immediately, there would be no further authorizations for employment-based cases. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS], which processes the applications, said it would instead simply process existing applications to meet this year's quota. 'We already had sufficient applications pending without new applicants.', an agency spokesman said. Mike Aytes, head of domestic operations for the USCIS, said all 147,141 employment-based green cards have now been issued for the year. 'We are very sympathetic to the fact that people really had expectations... Folks spent a lot of time and effort, but it turned out they couldn't file, after all.', he said. In the July 2 announcement, USCIS said it was 'rejecting applications' to secure green cards, and the agency spokesman said it would return the paper-work of all the applicants. New cases will be entertained again in the government's next fiscal year, starting October 1. However, applicants must wait their turn again, which might not happen for years. News of the revocation of the previously announced bulletin dashed the hopes of thousands of foreign workers, many of them currently on an H-1B professional visa normally valid for [an initial 3 years, with a chance at renewal for another 3 years, and indefinite one-year extensions there-after]. These workers face the possibility of being forced to return home if their visa expires before they get the chance to apply for a green card."
Todd Bishop _Seattle Post-Intelligencer_
M$ opening shop in Vancouver: Anything to avoid hiring US citizens
Nick Corcodilos _InfoWorld_
Retention of Engineers Is Not Rocket Science
2007-07-05 04:41PDT (07:41EDT) (11:41GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Challenger says announced lay-off plans are down 22%
"U.S. corporations announced 55,726 lay-offs last month, down 22% from May's figure and 17% below the figure from 2006 June, according to an unscientific monthly tally compiled by out-placement firm Challenger Grey & Christmas... June's traditionally a slow month for job-cutting announcements, Challenger Grey noted. For the first half of the year, lay-off announcements have totaled 393,499, down 10% compared with a year ago. Of the top 5 industries, only the financial sector cut more jobs in the first half compared with the same period last year. 'The financial sector is clearly affected by the significant housing slow-down and subsequent collapse in the subprime lending market.', said John Challenger, CEO of the employment firm, in statement. Cuts in the financial sector doubled in June to 9,800 compared with May and were up 131% in the first 6 months of the year to 64,825. The automotive sector, by contrast, has cut 46% fewer jobs this year than last: 37,246 to 69,334. In all of 2006, Challenger Gray tallied 839,822 job reductions. In April, for instance, a total of 1.5M workers were discharged from their jobs involuntarily [in mass lay-offs from large firms], representing about 1.1% of total employment, according to the latest available data from the Labor Department. By comparison, 2.5M people quit their jobs voluntarily in April."
2007-07-05 08:02PDT (11:02EDT) (15:02GMT)
Kim Berry, Armstrong & Getty _KSTE_
companies placing fake employment ads all the while knowing they're gonna hire a cheaper H-1B visa immigrant
2007-07-05 09:37PDT (12:37EDT) (16:37GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM services index rose from 59.7 to 60.7
ISM press release
James Carlini _Wisconsin Technology Network_
A disgusting video: U.S. companies sell out Americans
"If you thought some of the CEOs caught up in the scandals of WorldCom, ENRON, and TYCO were heartless and greedy, watch this video from Cohen & Grigsby. The people on this video make [those guys] look like saints. Why? Because the people on the video have no regard for people trying to make a living to support their families. Think about all the average Joes and Janes out there in the last couple of years that have not been able to find a good job in information technology, finance, and many other disciplines when they had skills, a degree or two and had all the experience and certifications that supposedly are what companies look for. They were told that they were overqualified. They were told they were not right for the job. They were told they were not experienced in a certain area and many other lame HR excuses that they knew something wasn't right, but they couldn't prove that their concerns were valid. This left many people concerned about their future as well as their financial well-being..."
Allan Wall _V Dare_
Is "reconquista" for real?
_National Journal_/_The Gate_
Take heart, Ron Paul!
"Take heart, Ron Paul! A new Zogby poll shows 9 in 10 Americans believe the U.S. Constitution is still relevant in today's world, and most believe the Founding Fathers would frown upon recent attempts to clamp down on civil liberties, from driving without a seat belt to smoking marijuana. The nationwide poll conducted to coincide with the Independence Day holiday reveals an American public strongly in favor of states' rights on issues like abortion and drug policy and distrustful of government attempts to regulate Internet usage and certain types of speech. That may explain why Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman vying for the Republican nomination for president on a platform of strictly small government, has such a vocal if tiny base of support."
Andrea Koncz & Pattie Giordani _NACE_
survey of starting salaries to new college grads
"Employers continue to offer higher starting salaries to new college graduates across many disciplines, according to the Summer 2007 issue of Salary Survey, a quarterly report published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)... Competition for new college grads fuels higher starting salary offers in many curriculum areas. Nearly all the business disciplines saw increases to their average salary offers. Accounting grads’ average offer rose 2.3%, bringing their average offer to $46,718, and business administration/management graduates saw their average rise 3.9% to $43,701. The average offer to economics (business/managerial) grads was $48,483 and the average offer to finance grads was $47,239. (Note: Until this year, these disciplines were reported as one; therefore, there is no historical data for comparison.) Management information systems/business data processing grads also fared well, posting a 4.2% increase to their average starting salary offer, raising it to $47,648. Marketing graduates saw increases in both the Winter and Spring issues of Salary Survey, and this trend continues. Their average offer is up 6.1% to $40,161. The computer science disciplines posted increases across the board. Computer science grads saw an increase of 4.1%, brining their average offer to $53,396. Information sciences and systems graduates’ average offer rose to $50,852, a 4.6% increase. Engineering majors also posted increases across the board. Chemical and civil engineering grads saw a 5.4% increase, bringing their average offers to $59,361 and $48,509, respectively. Computer engineering grads posted a 4.8% increase, boosting their average offer to $56,201. The average offer to mechanical engineering graduates rose 4.6% to $54,128, and electrical engineering grads' offer increased by 3.2%, bringing their average offer to $55,292."
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Do people care?
"Back in the late 1960s, during graduate study at UCLA, I had a casual conversation with professor Armen Alchian, one of my tenacious mentors. Professor Alchian is among the top 20th-century contributors to economic knowledge. During our graduate student/faculty coffee hour conversation, I was trying to impress professor Alchian with my knowledge of type I and type II statistical errors. I told him that my wife assumes that everybody is her friend until they prove differently. While such an assumption maximizes the number of friends that she will have, it also maximizes her chances of being betrayed. Unlike my wife, my assumption is everyone is my enemy until they prove they're a friend. That assumption minimizes my number of friends but minimizes the chances of betrayal. Professor Alchian, donning a mischievous smile, asked, 'Williams, have you considered a third alternative, namely, that people don't give a damn about you one way or another?' Initially, I felt a bit insulted, and our conversation didn't go much further. That was typical of professor Alchian -- to say something profound and maybe controversial, without much comment, and let you think about it."
Jim Novak _Human Events_
McCain's futures contract has plummeted in just one week from around $12 to $4. He led representative Ron Paul (R-TX) by just 70 cents on July 3.
Devvy _News with Views_
It's the People vs. the Government
"the American people by a margin of some 68-72% were demanding its defeat... It goes without saying that Congress -- unless Ron Paul gets elected -- will never touch getting rid of the FED, the IRS and the withholding scam. However, the states themselves can and must adopt a sound money bill; see link below. We must continue to go for the jugular, expose the players and be relentless until we drive these America haters out of our political arena and control of our state and federal governments. We must continue demanding the state legislatures get rid of ALL electronic ballot machines and return to paper ballots, hand counted in the precincts in front of the general public or we will NEVER get rid of these traitors who have we the people by the throat -- and that includes the mayors in this country selling US out."
2007-07-05 (5767 Tamuz 19)
Marvin Hier & Abraham Cooper _Jewish World Review_
Op-ed freebies for Hamas: Can Osama be far behind?
_New Zealand Herald_
Work visa numbers reduced to ease inflation pressures
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill deserved defeat
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
Out-source US security
"The Department of Homeland Security whimpers that it's all but powerless to reduce the flood of illegal aliens from the Mexican border while U.S. senator Arlen Specter, R-Philadelphia, concedes that illegals include many dangerous undesirables such as criminals and possibly terrorists... Catching illegals and deporting them to their homeland will unite them with the families they left behind. And for those captured whose families are here, they are free to become whole by moving back home with the deported ones. The federal government is more than capable of identifying illegals. The Internal Revenue Service and the [Socialist Insecurity Abomination] each have millions of names and numbers they could cross-check to identify the aliens [and are permitted by current law to do so for law enforcement purposes]. But the Bush administration refuses to tell the agencies to do it... Bangladesh is India's Mexico. In the past 7 years, India has built about 1,550 miles of a planned 2,050 mile fence along its border with Bangladesh, reports The Associated Press... Total cost $1.2G."
Ronald Souze _SouthCoast Massachusetts Today_
Quaker Fabrics workers losing American dream
Natasha Altamirano _Washington Times_
Prince William county mulling policy on police checks of immigration status
2007-07-05 21:22PDT (2007-07-06 00:22EDT) (2007-07-06 04:22GMT)
Shift the dollars to students and away from lenders
"The size of an average loan has doubled in a decade. And every week, it seems, some college financial aid officer gets the boot for accepting discounted stock, golf outings or boozy lunches from deep-pocketed lenders seeking preferred positions... The first is the rapidly rising cost of college. Over the past 20 years, tuitions have risen 385%, roughly double the rise in health care costs, according to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. At the same time, federal financial aid has stagnated. 20 years ago, the federal Pell grant for poor students (maximum: $4,300 a year) paid 80% of the cost of going to a public university. Today it pays only 40%. Unwilling to increase funding for Pell grants, Congress seized upon an alternative: Give students fewer grants but more loans. 35 years ago, federal college aid consisted of 60% grants, 40% loans. Today, that ratio has flipped. To attract loan companies, Congress offered loan guarantees, but the lenders demanded subsidies as well. In a deal greased with campaign contributions, Congress obliged. Over recent years, some of the biggest college-loan companies have out-contributed the oil and drug lobbies."
2007-07-06 01:34:36PDT (04:34:35EDT) (08:34:36GMT)
Mary Anne Ostrom _San Jose Mercury News_
Off-Shore Out-Sourcing: Presidential candidates try to make both sides believe they're with them
Contra Costa Times
"The subject will almost certainly come up today when senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, speaks to a powerful group of alumni of India's most prestigious technology school, the India Institute of Technology, including many whose businesses use or supply [off-shore] out-sourcing services... Also, just before last month's death of immigration legislation that would have increased the number of highly sought after H-1B visas -- designated for [workers with specialized skills] -- came an embarrassing video. Made by a Pittsburgh law firm for would-be visa users and posted on YouTube, it instructed how to skirt the law that requires Americans be given preference in hiring... Business leaders argue there is a severe shortage of skilled worker visas required to keep U.S. businesses competitive. On the contrary, labor and U.S. engineer groups claim the system [has already] cost Americans millions of jobs."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Air travel is a disgrace
"Air travel is a disgrace. And for those of us who remember it when it could be called fun, it is particularly painful."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Black voices being heard in immigration reform fray at last!
"We welcome them as allies to our cause. Black conservative talk show hosts have hammered away at illegal immigration for sometime with modest success. They are aware of the danger posed to blacks by the illegal alien invasion."
2007-07-06 (5767 Tamuz 20)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Don't worry. Be happy.
"Any doubt that Hamas is an Iranian proxy was dispelled this week by a little snippet on the Middle East Media Research Institute's blog. MEMRI reported: 'An article in the Iranian weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, circulated among the Revolutionary Guards, states that Fatah documents captured by Hamas have revealed that Egypt played a role in instigating the clashes which led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza. The article added that this is the second time Egypt has betrayed the Palestinians, the first being [the slain Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat's betrayal at the Camp David summit.' So Hamas is sharing the treasure trove of intelligence it captured during the course of its takeover of Gaza with Iran. In the greatest intelligence victory ever accomplished by a jihadist organization, Hamas (and Iran) now possesses the files of all of the Palestinian security apparatuses, and the personal papers of Fatah leaders such as Yassir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas and Muhammad Dahlan."
2007-07-06 (5767 Tamuz 20)
Rabbi Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
Keeping the peace
|10-year US T-Bond||5.20%|
|unleadedgasoline||NYMEX no longer trading|
Gary Endelman _Immigration Daily_
Where do we go from here? After Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion
"Most observers expect Congress to move aggressively against employers through adoption of electronic employment verification and more aggressive I-9 enforcement. Any such strategy is bound to elicit the full-throated opposition of employers... Large scale increases in legal immigration are not going to be possible without legalization. All we can do is to tinker around the edges... From that time  to now, what have we asked Congress? Give us more H numbers, give us faster adjudications, allow for greater extensions of status, modernize labor certification, expand the green card choices... When Congress asked how things were going, we were quick to provide expert reassurance that all was well, that America's immigration problem was well on the way to a quick and lasting solution. It was not true and, at long last, to our deep sorrow, Congress now knows it. The charade is up. That is why Capitol Hill no longer believes us. That is why [Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion] lost. That is why Hs and Ls are now going to take it in the neck. THAT is where enforcement will come -- swift, soon and with a vengeance that will take our breath away... We can expect that all H-1B employers will have to prove the unavailability of qualified Americans. [Dream on!] We can expect that all H-1B employers will have to prove they did not displace US workers. [Dream on!] We can expect random audits without the need for specific complaints by DoL that simply does not believe what our labor condition applications say. We can expect that H-1Bs will become mini-labor certifications, that L employers will have to prove they pay a prevailing wage. For the first time since its creation in 1970, the L no longer flies under the radar. Even the blanket L is not safe. It is not out of the question for Congress to require that employers submit a separate application for each L-1 visa... the linkage of the L and H with out-sourcing to India is very much on Congress' radar screen. Any employer who sends white collar jobs out of the United States should not expect an easy time in using the H or L visa when they seek to bring foreign workers in. It does not matter that this is an anecdotal outrage limited to an unscrupulous few [millions]; Congress now believes it to be so and, given our credibility on the Hill and with the American public, will not hesitate to frame immigration policy on the basis of this belief. We do not face a choice between enforcement and no enforcement. Enforcement is going to come whether we like it or not. The only question is whether we can soften the blow and get something for it. How can we do that you ask? OK, I'll tell you how but you won't like it. It is to stop talking just with those who agree with us... If we want more Hs, what are we willing to give up? Is it worth taking on the burdens of recruitment and attestation? If we want to limit random audits, are we willing to agree that no H-1B dependent employer should be able to file a petition? If we want to get rid of the H cap, are we willing to accept a limit on the number of H petitions that any one employer can sponsor? If we want more employment immigration numbers, are we willing to let go of the extended family? If we want to save legal immigration, are we willing to advocate an employer sanctions regime with teeth so that the I-9 is more than a bad joke? If we really care about protecting the undocumented, are we willing to enlist in meaningful border enforcement efforts?..."
Immigration "reality tour" will air labor, legal issues
"Many more legal immigrants are taking steps to become U.S. citizens -- and some officials attribute this increase to fear and uncertainty due to the debate about illegal immigration."
_All American Patriots_
Ron Paul Won Big in First New Hampshire Straw Poll
Naushad K. Cherrayil _Gulf News_
Egypt wants to compete with India in off-shore out-sourcing
Gary Becker & Richard Posner
The International Market for Talent-Becker
_Pacific Free Press_
Diverting income of production workers into the hands of needy billionaires: Blue-print for the New American Feudal State
"IOW, come hell or high water, and contrary to the desire of the commoners, who want secure borders, the globalists are determined to have 'open borders', that is to say unhindered migration of slaves across borders, an effort designed to 'accelerate the implementation' of poverty and misery here in the United States, soon enough to be merely the middle slice of the North American Union. Recall Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve head honcho and one-time objectivist, stating in March of this year that skilled American workers earn too much. 'The hero of the corporatocrats and plutocrats wants to distribute your income into the hands of needy billionaires by using H-1B visa ''skilled workers'' to knock you off your haughty middle-class pedestal.', comments Dick Eastman of the Job Destruction Newsletter. 'Our skilled wages are higher than anywhere in the world.', said Greenspan. 'If we open up a significant window for skilled workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income [in the middle].' Greenspan, of course, is not talking about the 'concentration of income' held by transnational corporations and international bankers, but the mass of commoners who must be folded at all cost into the emerging corporatist global slave plantation."
Michael Kraft _Charlotte Conservative News_
Ron Paul polls rising
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Dueling statistics re: Hispanics and immigrants
2007-07-09 (5767 Tamuz 09)
Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
"Every sale is conditioned on a 'meeting of the minds', informed consent of buyer and seller regarding the terms of the sale. A seller may go beyond the letter of the law and allow the buyer to void the sale not only for an actual defect, but also for any characteristic the customer finds unsatisfactory. But the underlying principle is the same: the customer has reached the conclusion that his purchase was a mistake and he wants to nullify it. This is the exact opposite of someone who is making no mistake but on the contrary knows exactly what the item is, finds it satisfactory, and plans to enjoy and then return it."
2007-07-09 11:55PDT (14:55EDT) (18:55GMT)
Mark Weisbrot & Dean Baker _Huffington Post_
Globalization, Productivity, and Protectionism
_Free-Market News Network_
Ron Paul supporter threatened with arrest for handing out campaign literature at Independence Day event in Orlando
_Free-Market News Network_
Clinton advisor creates controversy by expressing bias in interview of Ron Paul
Jason Wharton _Op Ed News_
Open letter to Ron Paul supporters
2007-07-09 15:22PDT (18:22EDT) (22:22GMT)
Lee McGuire _KHOU_
Local presidential hopeful, Dr. Ron Paul, making millions on-line
2007-07-09 18:45:07PDT (2007-07-09 21:45:07EDT) (2007-07-10 01:45:07GMT)
Jennifer Bjorhus _St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Whip-sawing of applicants triggers plans for law-suit
Secondment: Body shopping by yet another name
_Micheloud & Cie_
2007-07-10 04:06PDT (07:06EDT) (11:06GMT)
_Buffalo NY News_
Crimmigration critic released from jail
"A 79-year-old Niagara County [former member of the Royalton- Hartland School Board] who is a critic of immigration policies is home after spending more than a month in jail... he still feels he was wrongly convicted in a non-jury trial before USA district judge Richard J. Arcara. He said he plans to continue being an out-spoken critic of the immigration policies of the USA government and New York State. Arcara convicted the Gasport man of a misdemeanor and sent him to jail May 25. He was convicted of harassing people whom he was specifically ordered not to contact in connection with an on-going law-suit. Perry said he was only trying to alert people about illegal immigration that he contends is rampant in Western New York farm communities. 'Crimmigration is what all this is about... It's the law of the land, and New York State provides sanctuary for illegal aliens.', Perry said Monday. He added that he continues to speak out about the issue and contact anyone he feels he needs to contact."
Jose Luis Jimenez _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Judge Michael Orfield temporarily halts release of names of registered employers of day laborers
"A Superior Court judge has temporarily blocked an anti-illegal immigration group's request to obtain the names of employers who registered under a controversial Vista ordinance regulating day laborers. Judge Michael Orfield ruled yesterday that the issue of balancing the public's right to know with an individual's right to privacy was important enough to warrant a temporary restraining order. Orfield scheduled a July 26 hearing to explore the issue further before deciding whether to make the ruling permanent... 111 employers registered with the city. The ordinance requires any person or business to register with the city before hiring someone from a public place for a short period of time... At yesterday's hearing, ACLU attorney David Blair-Loy argued that the names could be published on a web site and result in people being harassed for hiring day laborers. Because the employers registered with the city and broke no law, that information should not be released, Blair-Loy told the judge. The ACLU did not object to the disclosure of the names of businesses that hire day laborers. [Interestingly, the ACLU hasn't taken action to require enforcement of the Privacy Act of 1974, which limits government demands for disclosure of Socialist Insecurity numbers, e.g. to state universities.]"
David R. Butcher _ThomasNet Industrial Market Trends_
American Workers Not Wanted
H-1B visas have lately come under fire due to abuse stemming from loop-holes in the program's current form. Then there’s the commotion over whether firms are deliberately not posting jobs where U.S. workers can find them... Some people are mourning what they consider a set-back; others are celebrating, for the moment, at least... The H-1B visa program has come under fire recently because of the nature of its users, for one. While the program was originally set up to help U.S. companies hire workers with rare skills, out-sourcing companies (particularly from India) have become the most active participants in the program. Last year, 10 of the top 20 recipients of the visas were Indian tech out-sourcers, with Infosys and Wipro taking the top 2 spots, according to BusinessWeek... Wipro brings from its Indian operations many employees to work at client facilities and then rotates them back to India so they are more effective at providing tech support and other services to clients [and facilitate off-shoring of programming services]... 'There are 3 big flaws' in the H-1B program, according to Ron Hira, Ph.D., PE, coauthor of 'Out-sourcing America: What's Behind Our National Crisis and How We Can Reclaim American Jobs', and assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, in a recent interview with IT Business Edge: 'There are no labor market caps right now, prevailing wage legislation has so many loop-holes that employers can and do pay below the prevailing market wage, and there is essentially no oversight of the program. So even though you have all of these laws on the books, no one is looking at the program and doing audits, that kind of thing.' Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California-Davis, last week told CIO Insight that the inevitable increase in the number of H-1B visas and green cards will give high-tech companies the opportunity to exploit the system further. In a recent on-line video copied and posted to YouTube by an organization that's been tough on H-1B visas and off-shore out-sourcing, then spread virally, an attorney from law firm Cohen & Grigsby is shown advising attendees of an immigration-law conference on how to meet the minimum requirements of advertising a job to U.S candidates so that a foreign worker can more easily be hired. The firm's conference dealt with the U.S. government's labor certification requirement for foreign workers, the first step in helping them obtain green cards. The law requires that an employer prove there are no qualified U.S. citizens for a permanent job being offered before hiring a non-citizen. The existence of the recorded seminar suggests that a number of IT firms deliberately post available job positions in places where qualified, interested American workers won't find them so these firms can then have an excuse for hiring a foreign worker over a domestic one. In the video, the Programmers Guild accuses the firm of using fake job ads to fulfill the Program Electronic Review Management, or PERM, process..."
Frosty Wooldridge _American Chronicle_
America's death by a thousand cuts
Bb Carroll _Injury Board_
Farmer fined by US Department of Labor for under-paying US workers
"Specifically, Hyatt had failed to provide similar benefits to 307 U.S. workers that he allowed to foreign workers hired under H-2A certification, granted to foreign, seasonal temporary agricultural laborers. The administrative judge found that Hyatt failed to pay the 307 American workers comparative wages, and gave the foreign workers preferential treatment while they were working on his farms."
Caitlin Carpenter _Christian Science Monitor_
New Haven, CT, gives out ID cards to illegal aliens for local services
Alan Tignanelli _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
"The article about the YouTube video of a seminar held by the Pittsburgh law firm Cohen & Grigsby instructing companies how to get around the restrictions on getting a green card for a worker and hire foreign workers only confirms what many of us in the information technology field have suspected for a long time. The H-1B program is a scam perpetrated on thousands of unemployed U.S. workers. The program was started as a means to address a supposed shortage of programmers during the so-called dot.com boom. Whether it was legitimate at that time or not, it has turned into little more than a modern-day indentured servitude system, employing foreign workers at lower wages and legally tying them to a specific company for a given period of time. One of the criteria for granting an H-1B is that the hiring company must show that there are no American workers qualified for the job, and that a good-faith effort was made to find one. With thousands unemployed, it's always been difficult to believe that there were truly no American workers qualified for these positions. While some of us in the field have suspected that mere lip service has been paid to the 'good-faith' clause, the Cohen & Grigsby video confirms our suspicions. Cohen & Grigsby's actions are disgraceful, especially considering that this area knows all too well what financial devastation can be wreaked upon an area and an industry when cheap foreign labor is allowed to under-cut local workers and businesses. Have they already forgotten what foreign competition did to the steel industry here? The people of Cohen & Grigsby, and their clients, should be ashamed of the falsehoods they've perpetrated on American workers, but I'd be willing to bet they're not. I guess a few bucks are enough to soothe some souls."
Allan Wall _V Dare_
Cashing in on illegal immigration in the Sooner state
"in any sort of real debate over immigration, the fact that many lawyers profit heavily from it ought to be pointed out again and again—along with the fact that many ordinary Americans are hurt by immigration. El Nacional de Oklahoma also has automobile ads galore, as well as one placed by 'Byron's Liquor Warehouse'. That combination ensures there will still be a need for ambulance-chasing Okie lawyers to make some more money off auto accident and personal injury cases. No wonder the usual suspects are incensed over the new Oklahoma law. It could potentially cut into their profits."
Jim Snyder _The Hill_
Immigration interests look to new ways to satisfy their wishes
"the AgJobs Act, a compromise worked out by agribusiness and the United Farm Workers of America years ago that would 'stream-line' the visa process for farm workers and provide them a path to legal status. It is one piece of the 'grand bargain' that law-makers are now breaking up and promoting separately. Agribusinesses, farm labor unions, and the high-tech community in particular are at the forefront of the effort. Disappointment that the broader bill died isn't universal among businesses, which in general backed comprehensive immigration reform to ensure a steady labor supply. In some quarters, however, that support was under-cut by 'heavy lift' provisions such as the requirement that companies certify their workforce consists entirely of legal workers. 'The status quo is OK for some people in the business community.', said Ralph Hellmann, senior vice president of government relations at the Information Technology Institute Council. 'The high tech and agriculture communities are different. Status quo doesn't work for us.'... But the industry contends that the [excessive] total still isn't sufficient to meet demand. The industry is also pushing for a higher number of green cards, which grant permanent residency. Under current policy, trained workers on H-1B visas have to go home because the backlog for green cards is so extensive, Hellmann said... Some members of Congress believe that companies want cheaper foreign labor at the expense of American engineers and software designers. But increasing the number of high-tech workers enjoys support even among the most hardened opponents of comprehensive immigration reform. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), for example, introduced a bill yesterday to increase the number of H-1B visas to 195K in 2007. Agriculture groups, meanwhile, are encouraged by senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) stated intention of attaching AgJobs to the farm bill, which is up for reauthorization this year."
Vin Weber _The Hill_
Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion at temporary pause: Lobbying remains heavy
Carl F. Horowitz _V Dare_
The murder of Adrienne Shelly
Rabbi Daniel Travis _Torah.org_
Land Theft part 2
part 1 from 2006
2007-07-11 21:15PDT (2007-07-12 00:15EDT) (2007-07-12 04:15GMT)
Leonard Carrier _Asheville Citizen-Times_
For corporate executives, illegal immigration is big business
"The chief cause is that of corporations seeking cheap labor. Most of these people came here legally under guest-worker H-2A and H-2B programs. They not only got low wages but they also suffered other abuses. See the Southern Poverty Law Center's report, 'Close to Slavery', that outlines all this. When their visas ran out, many of them didn't go back to their countries but stayed in illegal status rather than work legally under deplorable conditions. The corporations then asked for more guest-workers, and the process continued. Big business has had a sweet deal. They pay lousy wages, treat the workers like indentured servants, and let the government (that's you and me) pick up the tab for social services. Then they ask for more cheap labor when the current crew has gone underground... I was glad to see this so-called 'reform' bill strangled in its crib. I think that the problem should be attacked at its root, which is corporate desire for an under-class of workers whom they can exploit. If the penalties are made severe enough for employers who hire illegals, then the ones already here won't be able to work and they won't stay. If the guest-worker programs are forced to pay a living wage and provide health benefits, then corporations will seek out citizens and legal immigrants to hire, instead."
2007-07-12 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 416,142 in the week ending July 7, an increase of 116,151 from the previous week. There were 418,363 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8% during the week ending June 30, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,306,379, a decrease of 44,377 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,211,698. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 23."
John O. Edwards _News Max_
Backers of increased immigration also support the North American Union
2007-07-12 07:19PDT (10:19EDT) (14:19GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit increased to $60G in May
BEA press releases
Touts using student visas to send people to USA to work
"Middlemen are using student visas to send people to the US to work. Close to 25K US student visas were issued to Indians last year. However, not all of them went to genuine students... Student visas do not have any quota like H-1B or temporary work visas. These visas are issued throughout the year. Once the term for student visa expires..."
alternate link to video
2007-07-12 09:02PDT (12:02EDT) (16:02GMT)
Washington's governor Chris Gregoire went to Mexico to stab Washingtonians in the back while benefiting executives
"The governor is leading a 50-member trade mission to Mexico City and Guadalajara this week. She hosted then-President Vicente Fox in Seattle and Yakima last year and is paying a return visit to one of the state's Top 10 trading partners..."
2007-07-12 09:16PDT (12:16EDT) (16:16GMT)
Tom Elias _RidgeCrest Daily Independent_
Look to H-1B and religious visas for immigration cheats
Whittier Daily News
Pasadena Star News
"When agents of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) stage round-ups of undocumented immigrants illegally employed around America, they almost never visit the likes of Cisco Systems, Intel, Qualcomm and other high-technology giants... a look at the applications filed last Spring for [over 85K] H-1B temporary worker visas indicates there's a whole lot of cheatin' goin' on. H1-Bs are supposed to go only to foreign workers whose employers sign sworn statements asserting that they cannot find any American citizen workers to do the same work. Organizations of American engineers and computer programmers have claimed for decades those declarations are lies. They say the H1-B visas are used by big companies as a way to get skilled labor more cheaply than they can by hiring Americans. That claim gained credibility in June, with Internet exposure of a marketing video showing a major Pennsylvania law firm advising companies how to fake a search for American workers while actually paving the way for low-wage foreign job-seekers. Plus, a look at the visa applications filed on the first day the government accepted them this year indicates the gripes of disgruntled out-of-work -- but highly qualified -- Americans are likely correct. For out of 132,182 applications received on that first day...just 12,989 were from workers with master's degrees or higher. So the vast bulk of the applications came from workers with bachelor's degrees or less. No one has ever claimed there is a shortage of American workers with those academic qualifications... Applicants with master's degrees or doctorates amounted to less than 10% of the workers seeking legal jobs in America... What's obvious here is that the high-tech industry isn't necessarily seeking better workers from abroad than it can hire domestically, but rather is looking for workers who will accept lower salaries for the same work just to get their foot in the immigration door. Meanwhile, CIS chief Emilio Gonzalez admits that his agency has found huge flaws in the special visa program allowing religious workers into America... Why don't CIS officials visit prospective employers of these immigrants, too, to determine whether they have a real need or are simply seeking to lower their pay-roll?... CIS might plead it lacks the man-power to conduct such investigations, but the real reason the immigration authorities remain willing to accept the word of large companies, but not the word of religious organizations, is that the big employers have more effective lobbying. And yet, until such investigations are conducted regularly, the suspicion that H1-B visas are just another form of corporate welfare and worker exploitation will remain credible."
Flake-Gutierrez proposal to vastly increase already-excessive immigration ignores impact on US population growth and environment
"The new FAIR study, Assessing the Population and Environmental Impact of the Flake-Gutierrez Bill, projects that if the STRIVE Act were to become law, U.S. population would grow by an additional 50M by 2050. Even if we were to maintain the immigration status quo, U.S. population is projected to increase by about 160M people by mid-century. 'Politicians who periodically come along with ''fixes'' for this nation's immigration policies, consistently fail to account for the impact their legislation would have on the size of the U.S. population in the future.', said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. 'Population growth on the magnitude that is being projected presents some very serious challenges for resource and energy consumption, and the environment down the line. The areas of the country projected to see the most significant population growth are already struggling to meet the resource needs of the population. It is simply irresponsible for anyone to suggest legislation that would significantly increase our population, without also providing a plan for meeting the needs of a rapidly growing population.'"
_Burlington Free Press_
Pico mountain to cut back
"Pico was bought by Powdr Corp. of Utah and SP Land of Killington in May. The new owners restructured the operations and jobs were cut, although the company would not say how many. In some cases, jobs were reclassified. For example, a ski instructor who worked on mountain bikes in the summer was changed from a year-round job to two seasonal jobs, which makes counting the job changes difficult, Horrocks said. The cuts prompted senator Bernie Sanders to ask the federal government to investigate whether the resort plans to use foreign guest-workers to replace full-time employees who lost their jobs."
Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_/_CMP_
Gartner advised India's CIOs to look off-shore for talent
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
H-1B law-suit unwittingly exposes loop-holes in the system
As some of you know, there has been a stir in the last week or so over an apparent miscommunication between the Dept. of State, which issues green card visas, and the USCIS (formerly INS), which processes applications for the visas. An H-1B worker has filed suit (details below), claiming that her wait for a green card is being unfairly lengthened, and a foundation sponsored by the immigration lawyers association is preparing to sue as well.
I suspect that there will be some resolution soon, and the law-suits will be dropped, but in any case, THE SUITS THEMSELVES ARE NOT IMPORTANT from the point of view of us critics of the H-1B and employer-sponsored green card programs. Instead, what is important is that THESE CASES EXPOSE THE LOOP-HOLES IN THE SYSTEM, similar to (albeit less dramatically than) what the YouTube videos did. This is what I will focus on this posting.
The plaintiff is Gabriela Ptasinska. She was hired as a land planner by Manhard Consulting on an H-1B visa. The employer also applied for a green card for her. Let's look at her entry for the latter on the Dept. of Labor web site for H-1B/green card application records. Here it is:
"PERM","05437158","V-IL53587-G",,,"07/26/04 00:00:00","Received Regional Office","07/26/04 00:00:00",5,"IL","199.167-014","Urban Planner",40000.000000,"A",37544.000000,,1,"Manhard Consulting, Ltd.","Vernon Hills","IL","Cole","Kris","AZULAY, HORN & SEIDEN, INC","Azulay","Y. Judd","Chicago","IL"
The information here shows that this was an applicant for permanent residency, i.e. a green card. It gives dates and ID numbers, the job title, salary, legally required prevailing wage, employer name/location, the name of the law firm (Azulay, Horn and Seiden) etc.
Now the industry and immigration lawyer lobbyists would note that Ms. Ptasinska's salary is above the prevailing wage, and then tell you, "See, we played by the rules." In fact, they say that to the press. But THE PROBLEM IS THE RULES. As I have explained here so often, the law and regulations are riddled with loop-holes. So, one can "follow the rules" and yet still use H-1Bs as cheap labor. And that's exactly what everyone does.
Just consider Ms. Ptasinska's salary of $40K. The government OES data show that in 2004, wage data for this occupation were:
|Occupation||H-1B pay||"prevailing wage"|
|Computer Programmer||$1050 per month||$1105 per month|
|Data Base Administrator||$31,003.25||$32,635|
Sharon Begley _NewsWeek_/_M$_
Scientists & Engineers Will Work 4 Food
2007-07-13 09:15PDT (12:15EDT) (16:15GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales fell 0.9% in June
census bureau data release
2007-07-13 10:26PDT (13:26EDT) (17:26GMT)
Juliana Barbasss _Forbes_
Skilled immigrants and Americans struggle to find jobs
"there remain tens of thousands of skilled immigrants [and hundreds of thousands of skilled Americans] who are here and authorized to work, but stuck in jobs where their experience is wasted."
Mark A. Mendlovitz _Los Angeles Times_
"Business leaders are always complaining that we have too many lawyers and not enough engineers, yet major law firms are now paying new grads $165K a year to start, while an engineer with a master's degree would be extremely lucky to earn even half that amount. If Bill Gates paid his software engineers at M$ like he does his army of lawyers or lobbyists for cheap labor, more Americans would be doing what it takes to get an engineering job at M$. The H-1B visa program, so beloved by Microsoft and many other companies, has morphed into a crass manipulation of what was once a fair high-tech labor market. Politicians use these visas as goodies to give to their corporate benefactors. Stagnant wages and job insecurity of American engineers and programmers are the collateral damage."
Rachel Patron _Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Immigration debate gets more complex
"Now suppose that every non-American who sneaks across the border decreases the profits of the large corporations. Also suppose that every such infiltrator ruins the output of companies such as Exxon Mobil, M$, or WM. And further suppose that each of these interlopers contributes to the shrinkage of shareholder dividends. How long do you think this illegal immigration would be allowed to continue? Not another night, my friends. Before you could say 'Ayman al-Zawahiri' -- our southern border would be hermetically sealed... Politicians on both sides claim to be shocked by the hatred and xenophobia exhibited during the immigration discourse. It brought bad memories to a friend of mine, a Holocaust survivor, who'd arrived here from Poland in 1947, but was denied entry and diverted to Cuba. He spent the next three years there, until his American brother was able to bring him over legally. Observes my friend with mordant humor: You mean I could have climbed over the fence, and become a 'guest' of the United States of America?... Americans now demand a priority reversal. First, border closure, and, second, a path to citizenship."
Paul Brubaker _Herald News_
Sponsor may not be held partially liable for murder
"Gabriel Romero Sanchez... faces murder, burglary, and weapons charges after the death of Angelina Costa. Costa, whose funeral is today, was discovered dead in her home at 246 Gaston Ave. by one of her 3 sons on Sunday. A trail of blood led investigators to Sanchez's apartment at 248 Gaston Ave., and he was arrested that night... Sanchez, 46, entered the United States through Newark on April 3 on an H-2B work visa that expires Dec. 14, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] spokesman Adam Puharic. An H-2B visa is issued to foreigners for non-agricultural temporary employment... Local immigration attorneys said employers cannot be held liable for their employee's actions outside of the work-place -- whether they are foreigners or U.S. citizens... Immigration attorney David Nachman of Ridgewood said that employers seeking to hire people under H-2B visas must submit an application with the number of workers needed to the state Department of Labor. When employers know the people they want to hire, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services [USCIS] conducts domestic background checks [data-base look-ups], he said. 'They are not checking foreign records.', Nachman said. The U.S. consulate in the worker's county conducts background checks and interviews the people there, Nachman said... Michael Wildes, an immigration lawyer who is also mayor of Englewood, said businesses that hire foreign guest workers have an implicit obligation to know who is on their pay-roll. 'Employers are asking for relief from the government and are in the position to protect other people from being harmed.', Wildes said. [School teachers and radio broadcasters often have ethics clauses in their contracts.]"
Leah Beth Ward _Yakima Herald-Republic_
Suit yielded $1.9M in damages
"A federal judge has awarded more than 600 Yakima Valley farm workers nearly $1.9M in damages in a class action lawsuit against two local growers and a national labor contractor... In a ruling issued Wednesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Alan McDonald found 'undisputed evidence' of 6 violations of federal farm labor laws by Los Angeles-based Global Horizons, the contractor; Valley Fruit Orchards of Wapato; and Green Acre Farms of Harrah. The farm workers' chief complaint was that the growers and the contractor illegally and intentionally displaced them in 2004 with foreign guest workers from Thailand. Specific violations included failing to disclose productivity requirements and then firing the local workers for not meeting them, failing to pay the promised piece rate for pear harvesting, and telling local workers they needed their own transportation to get a job while providing transportation to the Thai workers. The Thai workers were hired under the federal H-2A guest-worker program that allows employers to import foreign labor if they can demonstrate local workers aren't available... In the same order, McDonald ordered Global Horizons and its owner, Mordechai Orian, to pay immediately sanctions totaling $39,500 for failing to comply with court orders requiring discovery. For example, the company failed to turn over evidence such as e-mails as ordered by the court. An additional $500 a day in fines will accumulate until Orian pays, and if he doesn't, he will face criminal contempt charges before the court on July 24."
_HHS National Institutes of Health_
Report Shows Gains, Set-Backs for Nation's Children
"Secure parental employment helps to reduce the psychological toll on families, brought on by parental un-employment and under-employment."
2007-07-13 13:17PDT (16:17EDT) (20:17GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 85.3 in late June to 92.4 in early July
Steven Yates _John Birch Society_
SPP meetings to be held in secret
James R. Edwards _Front Page Magazine_
Immigration, Security, and Prosperity
"Today, 'NAFTA Plus', or the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership, is gaining more and more attention because it would move well beyond NAFTA and trade per se. Importantly, 'NAFTA was the first major trade pact signed by the United States to bring significant immigration consequences.' It set a precedent that moved this country down the path of equating 'free trade' with not only the free flow of goods across borders, but also trade in services and the borderless flow of people... Based on the experience of NAFTA and its progeny, the prospects under SPP do not bode well for American self-determination, economic and social stability, or sovereignty... This year's Senate bill, S1348 as amended, includes a section less sweeping than the 2006 Senate legislation with respect to SPP. Section 413 gives the sense of Congress...gives the appearance of its approval of SPP. Amnesty of current illegal aliens and liberal new guest-worker programs apparently serve as the lynchpin for the SPP and moving closer to a North American union. That is why the complicity of Republican Senators who have negotiated with the Bush administration to fashion their own amnesty-guest-worker bill is so harmful and troubling. Senate Republicans may have negotiated in good faith, looking for a compromise on the contentious immigration issue. But given the magnitude of effort the Bush administration has put into pushing forward the Security and Prosperity Partnership and mass amnesty, taking Bush officials (in fact, the same ones charged with implementing SPP) at their word requires a giant leap of blind faith. Any legalization or guest-worker programs will be co-opted and ultimately serve to erode U.S. sovereignty. The Council on Foreign Relations' report urged the United States, Canada, and Mexico to set as a 'long-range goal a common security perimeter for North America'. Using terrorism as the supposed common enemy, CFR stated that such a goal would require '[h]armonization of visa and asylum regulations, including convergence of the list of ''visa waiver'' countries; [h]armonization of entry screening and tracking procedures for people, goods, and vessels...; [and] [f]ull sharing of data about the exit and entry of foreign nationals...' The SPP appears to be following this plan closely."
|10-year US T-Bond||5.11%|
|unleadedgasoline||NYMEX no longer trading|
Norm Matloff, PhD _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
M$ goes near-shore: Disconnects, stunts, propaganda and reality
By now many of you must have read that M$ is opening a new R&D facility in Vancouver. That would be Vancouver, Canada, not Vancouver, WA, though either city would be about the same distance from Redmond.
M$ is claiming that the move is at least partially motivated by the failure of Congress, to date, to increase the H-1B cap. This has long been one of the industry's favorite threats, "If we can't bring H-1Bs to the U.S., we'll have to ship the work abroad!" Sure enough, the editorial writers -- always heavily lobbied by the industry PR experts -- have already begun putting that spin on the M$ move; see for instance the July 10 editorial by the LA Times.
Some of you may ask, "Well, isn't it true that M$ is now making good on its threat?" Yet the question itself is silly, because M$ has been off-shoring work all along. They have R&D centers in several major countries, and ran an internal slides show promotion with reading, "Pick something to move off-shore today".
The industry made the same threat in 2000, and though Congress acquiesced and increased the H-1B cap, the industry STILL increased the amount of work it sent abroad. A great rejoinder to that tired industry line was given by Eileen Appelbaum ("Searching for Skills", Lorraine Ash, Gannett News Service, in the Asbury Park Press, 2005-08-15):
But Eileen Appelbaum, an economist and member of a National Research Council committee that studied the impact of H-1Bs on the U.S. economy, does not accept the way the H-1B option is typically framed: One can have an H-1B worker in an American job, or lose that job to exportation.
"Industry said in 2001, 'Let us have the H-1B visas and we'll do the work here, or you can say no and we'll just move the work off-shore,'" she said. "Well, they got all the H-1Bs they wanted, and they still moved work off-shore. In 2005, that's an argument industry can't make with a straight face."
Well, indeed, they are still making that argument with a straight face today.
How about M$'s choosing this location which is abroad but not so far away? Isn't this new? No, certainly not. There's even a term for it: "near-shoring". Indeed, what really counts is being in the same time zone, and Silicon Valley firms have had out-sourcing operations in western Canada for some time now; in fact, I have a relative who hasbeen managing one such operations.
M$ announced that one virtue of the Vancouver location was its "diverse population". I presume that this is an allusion to the huge Chinese-Canada community in Vancouver, especially its nature as a Hong Kong emigre stronghold (with the self-chosen nickname "Hongcouver"). This in turn may refer to M$ localization software, a term meaning porting of software to non-English languages. If so, it's absurd; there are plenty of Chinese-Americans who can do that too.
M$'s move does highlight the fact that Canada's immigration policies, especially related to the tech employment, are much more liberal than ours. [The articles give] a valuable over-view of the specifics of Canadian policy, the best one I've seen. Needless to say, I don't agree with the Canadian policy -- nor do my Canadian readers of this e-news-letter -- but the biggest PR benefit M$ will get from all this will be to tell Congress, "Look, Canada's policies are much laxer, so surely we in the U.S. can afford to go further than we are. Otherwise we'll lose the best and the brightest to Canada and other nations!" It's yet another phony industry lobbyist argument, as I've explained before, but it works -- especially in conjunction with the industry's generous campaign contributions.
2007-07-13 21:54:23PDT (2007-07-14 00:54:23EDT) (2007-07-14 04:54:23GMT)
Senate leftists sneak "hate crimes" amendment into defense appropriations bill
Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Krugman, Keynes and Friedman
"Nothing in the history of economic theorizing is less carefully analyzed than Keynes's exposition of his theories. As Henry Hazlitt points out in The Failure of the 'New Economics', Keynes in his General Theory, gives no statistical or other evidence to back his conclusions. He merely asserts them, usually in sneering condescension of anyone who might cling to traditional economic analysis."
2007-07-14 04:50PDT (07:50EDT) (11:50GMT)
Susan Carroll _Houston Chronicle_
Immigration lawyer, conspirators sentenced to fines and prison for counterfeit green card scheme
Ron Paul _YouTube_
Mountain View, CA rally, part 2
Alice LaPlante _Information Week_/_CMP_
To H-1B or not to H-1B?
"DL laughs when you ask about the purported shortage of qualified IT workers. He has 35 years of senior-level IT experience under his belt, ranging from systems programming to systems engineering to business development. He's published a number of well-regarded books on storage technology, forged strategic alliances between multi-national vendors, and negotiated multi-million-dollars contracts... Or listen to SA's story. SA, like many former IT professionals, has simply stopped looking for work. She earned her master's in computer science from California State University in Northridge in 1988 with a 4.0 grade point average, and spent the next 12 years as a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs developing software -- first Unix kernel code and then data visualization applications using object-oriented technology and C++. In 2000, SA moved from California to New Hampshire to develop e-commerce applications for a start-up, and after the dot.com crash, she developed text-messaging systems for an international telecommunications company. In 2002 the Netherlands-based company closed its U.S. development facility. SA hasn't worked in IT since... SA got certified in J2EE by taking a Sun-sponsored course. Nothing came of that. 'Most of the people in the class had their master's degrees and decades of experience, yet were finding it difficult to get any response from employers advertising for IT workers. It was like sending our resumes into a black hole.' Countering claims that the United States is facing a critical shortage of skilled technologists, former IT professionals like DL and SA point to depressed wages and their inability to score even preliminary interviews as evidence that the market is already flooded. Yet at the same time, technology companies such as M$, Google, and Oracle, asserting that their ability to function at full capacity is being hampered by the lack of qualified technologists, are furiously pressing Congress to allow more temporary high-tech workers into the country by raising the cap on how many H-1B temporary foreign worker visas are issued. Indeed, on the first day in 2007 April that H-1B petitions could be filed, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was overwhelmed with more than 150K petitions from employers hoping to snag some of the 65K general visas [and 20K for those with master's or doctor's degrees] available for fiscal 2008... [SA said] 'there's no shortage of qualified American IT professionals'... Agreed DL... 'by talking to former colleagues, it seems clear that firms are hiring temporary foreign workers in large numbers while qualified American citizens are out of work.'... And it's not just U.S. workers who are suffering under the current broken H-1B system, said Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, who has long been an opponent of raising the H-1B cap. 'Because H-1B is an employer-sponsored visa, this effectively ties the visa holder to his or her employer.', said Matloff. 'This is about cheap labor, period, and H-1Bs are being exploited, even as U.S. workers are being displaced.' 'The H-1B program is deeply flawed. It's lose-lose for the U.S. economy and for the technology profession, and lose-lose for the H-1B workers themselves.', said Vivek Wadhwa, an executive-in-residence at Duke University's Pratt School of engineering, who in conjunction with Duke's Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness preformed a comparative study of how many American engineers were graduating each year compared to those produced by countries such as [Red China] and India. He also surveyed employers to see how long it was taking them to fill open engineering positions with U.S. workers. His conclusion: Although other countries, particularly [Red China], are surging ahead of the United States in graduating engineers with advanced degrees -- and that trend should be taken very seriously -- there's no indication of a shortage of engineers in the United States... TC estimates that she has sent out thousands of resumes in the last 4 years. 'You can't tell me that companies are having trouble finding good people.', TC said. 'I've talked to recruiters who say they get hundreds of resumes for a single position, and the window for applying for a particular job closes within an hour.'... Many of the people critical of the current H-1B program advocate curtailing it significantly, or doing away with it altogether, in favor of a plan that puts qualified foreign technology workers on a fast track for permanent residency without tying sponsorship to a particular employer. This would eliminate the possibility of exploitation of the visa holder, while making it more likely that wages would be competitive."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Re: detailed InformationWeek article on H-1B
This extensive article on H-1B is chock full of good examples. I should mention that the industry lobbyists tend to dismiss "anecdotes", but examples are in fact very important in order to better understand the statistics. And for the record, there are plenty of statistics that back up what we critics of the H-1B program say.
I'd like to highlight some of the points:
Or listen to SA's story. SA, like many former IT professionals, has simply stopped looking for work. She earned her master's in computer science from California State University in Northridge in 1988 with a 4.0 grade point average, and spent the next 12 years as a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs developing software -- first Unix kernel code and then data visualization applications using object-oriented technology and C++. In 2000, SA moved from California to New Hampshire to develop e-commerce applications for a startup, and after the dot.com crash, she developed text-messaging systems for an international telecommunications company. In 2002 the Netherlands-based company closed its U.S. development facility. SA hasn't worked in IT since.
"I even tried making my resume look less experienced, and I never mentioned my age.", said SA, adding that she applied for everything from entry-level positions to those that matched her actual level of expertise. While job hunting, she got certified in J2EE by taking a Sun-sponsored course. Nothing came of that. "Most of the people in the class had their master's degrees and decades of experience, yet were finding it difficult to get any response from employers advertising for IT workers.", said SA. "It was like sending our resumes into a black hole."
Let me point out that the position of a member of the technical staff at the old Bell Labs is very prestigious, and working on OS kernel code is considered to be one of the most challenging types of programming one can do. It is possible that if she had stayed in that type of work, she might still be getting job offers. Employers really like specialists, not people who've done several different kinds of work -- even if they are all interesting kinds of work, as in SA's case.
Lest the reader wrongly conclude that I'm saying SA is to blame for her plight, let me say clearly: There are tons of jobs that SA could fill and do quite well, and yet most of those employers wouldn't even give her an interview. Indeed, the fact that employers can afford to be so picky shows once again that there is a surplus of workers in the field, not a shortage.
Also, the fact that she and so many of her classmates in the J2EE course have master's degrees shows once again that the industry's claim that they need H-1Bs because not enough Americans pursue master's degrees is phony.
Pablo Chavez, Google's policy counsel, wrote that "over the last year alone, the artificially low cap on H-1B visas has prevented more than 70 Google candidates from receiving H-1B visas".
Note the mincing of words here. Chavez did NOT say that the low cap on visas prevented Google from filling 70 jobs. He did not even say that the cap prevented Google from hiring 70 foreign workers. He said that 70 Google APPLICANTS wound up NOT RECEIVING VISAS. In fact, in Google's testimony cited in the article, they explain that there are other ways that they have been using to hire the foreign nationals other than via H-1B. So, the H-1B cap is not preventing Google from hiring foreign workers, let alone workers in general. And BTW, Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently stated that Google's current drop in earnings was due to over-hiring! Quite a statement for a firm that is claiming it can't find enough workers.
...there aren't enough U.S. workers to fill those jobs. According to the report, less than 3% of U.S. computer systems designers are out of work, and less than 2% of engineers are actively looking for jobs.
Most people who are forced out of the field find jobs in other fields. So, they're employed, and don't count in unemployment data. Moreover, many software developers work as independent contractors, and are finding it more difficult to get contracts; that doesn't show up in unemployment data either.
And it's not just U.S. workers who are suffering under the current broken H-1B system, said Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, who has long been an opponent of raising the H-1B cap. "Because H-1B is an employer-sponsored visa, this effectively ties the visa holder to his or her employer.", said Matloff. "This is about cheap labor, period, and H-1Bs are being exploited, even as U.S. workers are being displaced."
That first sentence is a misquote. H-1Bs who are also being sponsored by their employers for green cards are effectively tied to their employers. Other H-1Bs have relative freedom of movement.
"Because U.S. firms simply can't compete if they don't use H-1B workers, in effect our economy is becoming addicted to these workers.", said Jessica Vaughan, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies...
This is an odd statement. What company in India is Google competing with?
Yet this argument seems somewhat disingenuous given government data. In fact, very few H-1B workers are ranked as highly skilled, or at level 4 of the Department of Labor's 4-level skill-based prevailing wage system. A full 56% of LCAs filed asked for H-1B workers with the lowest skill level (level 1). According to Miano, this means either that these workers aren't contributing substantially to America's ability to innovate and compete, or that employers are deliberately under-stating workers' skills in order to justify paying them less. Agreed Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, "It's difficult to say whether the people coming in are really less skilled, or whether firms are simply claiming they are to avoid paying them market salaries. Either way, it's an indictment of the system."
The point is a good one, an important one, but the interpretation is incorrect. Elsewhere in the article Miano is quoted as saying that the prevailing wage law is rife with loop-holes. That's absolutely true, and the discussion above shows one of the loop-holes. The legal definition of prevailing wage involves the JOB, not the WORKER. If, for example, the job simply requires a bachelor's degree and your foreign worker has a master's, the prevailing wage is legally set at the BACHELOR'S level. IOW, you get to hire someone with a master's degree for the price of a worker with only a bachelor's degree. And you do this FULLY LEGALLY. Let me state this again, as I have so many times: Prevailing wage is defined by the JOB, not by the WORKER. So you are NOT "under-stating workers' skills", because the definition of prevailing wage doesn't involve the worker's skills. BTW, this loop-hole was also discussed in the YouTube videos that the prominent law firm put on the web (though it's not in the excerpt later placed on the web by the Programmers Guild).
The technology industry points to the fact that fewer Americans are enrolling in technology programs at the university level, and that increasingly large percentages of those emerging from graduate programs are foreign born as further evidence that more H-1B visas are needed.
Indeed, almost 60% of engineering PhD degrees awarded annually are currently earned by foreign nationals, according to the American Society for Engineering Education [60.6% according to the most recent NCES data available]. Yet this could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"Due to both out-sourcing and in-sourcing, many young people are concluding that technology is a bad place to invest their time," said Mark Thoma, a professor of economics at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Thoma is on the right track, but he is a little late in his prediction, actually a lot late. The National Science Foundation, a government agency that played a key role in the establishment of the H-1B program, actually planned it this way. In 1989 they promoted bringing in large numbers of foreign students, for the explicit purpose of holding down PhD salaries. They noted that stagnant salaries would then make doctoral studies unattractive to American students. That is exactly how it turned out.
The PhD issue is a red herring in the first place. Very, very few jobs in industry require a PhD. Those that do require a PhD don't pay well when compared to other alternatives open to Americans. Bill Gates says M$ can't find enough PhDs, yet he pays his newly-graduated PhDs 2/3 of what he pays his newly-graduated lawyers. Again, you can see that the NSF has achieved its stated goal of using the H-1B program to hold down PhD salaries.
Many of the people critical of the current H-1B program advocate curtailing it significantly, or doing away with it altogether, in favor of a plan that puts qualified foreign technology workers on a fast track for permanent residency without tying sponsorship to a particular employer. This would eliminate the possibility of exploitation of the visa holder, while making it more likely that wages would be competitive.
I was really disappointed to see this paragraph. Very few critics of H-1B support fast track green cards. There are some who do support it because it protects them from the charge that they are anti-immigrant, but they are in the small minority.
Fast track green cards would indeed resolve most of the exploitation problem, but would not help most American programmers and engineers who are losing jobs to H-1Bs. A key factor in employers' preference for H-1Bs is that they are young (median age 27.4, according to government data). Younger workers cost less than older workers. So, the employers hire the 25-year-old foreign workers instead of the 40-year-old Americans. Those who would get fast track green cards would be young -- the proposal in Congress right now is to give the cards to new graduates chosen by employers, so most cards would go to the young -- and so all the Americans profiled in this article would still be losing jobs to the foreign workers. Really, very little would change.
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
highly-skilled immigrants and US citizens forced to take low-skilled jobs
I've had close personal connections to the Chinese immigrant community since the mid-1970s. Around 1979, I was taken aback when I met a man who had been a surgeon in [Red China] but was now working as a hospital orderly. Then I met a man who who been a laser physicist in [Red China] but now had a job washing San Francisco city buses. I met a mathematician who was very happy that he had managed to get into a program that trains machinists.
Anyone who is involved with immigrant communities is well aware of this problem. But I think many mainstream Americans, and especially members of Congress, will be shocked by the article enclosed below.
However, the article fails to explain the root cause of this problem. It blames things like weakness in English and lack of network connections, which I agree are factors but are not the MAIN factor. The main factor is in most cases AGE.
Age discrimination pervades our society, and as I've explained before, it is especially rampant in the tech sector. The reason why the tech sector is different is that the employers there have an extra pretext to reject the older workers -- "Technology is a fast-moving field, and the older workers just don't have their skills up to date." As I said, it's just a pretext; there are lots of age-45 tech people who have the latest skills and are shunned by employers. Indeed, there have been many much-publicized instances of major corporations laying off Americans, replacing them by H-1Bs or L-1s, and then forcing the Americans to train their foreign replacements; how can the Americans be the ones who lack the skills when they are the ones providing the training?
As I've said so often: THE H-1B ISSUE IS LARGELY A MATTER OF AGE DISCRIMINATION. Employers hire young H-1B to avoid hiring older Americans. Unfortunately even many critics of H-1B just don't get this.
2007-07-15 01:48:13PDT (04:48:13EDT) (08:48:13GMT)
Chris O'Brien _San Jose Mercury News_
How many H-1B workers? Counts vary. Reliable data scarce
"There's a startling lack of publicly available data about the program, which makes it almost impossible to know which companies are getting the controversial visas and why. And much of the data that does exist is disputed by one side or another... To get a clearer picture of the H-1B numbers, a Labor Department spokesman recommended contacting the Homeland Security Department... Initially, a Homeland Security spokeswoman said the department doesn't release figures on the number of visas awarded to individual companies... Last stop: the State Department. A spokeswoman said the department doesn't disclose detailed numbers regarding H-1B visas."
2007-07-15 22:25PDT (2007-07-16 01:25EDT) (2007-07-16 05:25GMT)
Eric Hughes _Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_
Foreign-born residents of Lancaster county saw much to dislike in senate's reprehensible immigration law perversion bill
"Most illegal immigrants are drawn here by the opportunity represented by the world's largest economy. 'That will always be a primary inducement.', said John Keeley, director of communications for the Wasington, DC-based Center of Immigration Studies. Per capita income in the U.S.A. was more than $44K in 2006, according to the Census Bureau. In Mexico, it was an estimated $10,700, adjusted for purchasing power parity, according to the CIA World Factbook. In Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, per capita income in 2006 was $1,800. 'Everybody comes to this country because they want to try to have a better future for them and their families.', said Claudia Duran, a native of El Salvador who married an American and became a citizen herself. She lives in Millersville and works at WLCH. 'That's the most important reason why everybody's coming into this country.', Duran said. However, according to Pedro Arocho, 50, a Puerto Rican now living in New Danville, the United States does little to help its immigrants assimilate. 'The U.S. receives immigrants to work, but doesn't reward them.', Arocho said. As a native of a U.S. territory, Arocho himself has always been an American citizen. City Council member Graupera was born in Cuba and came to the United States with his family at age 6. They came to Lancaster in the mid-1960s, where Graupera's father was a professor at Elizabethtown and Franklin & Marshall colleges. Graupera called the current immigration system 'broken'... More than 611K illegal aliens were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border by U.S. Border Patrol from January 1 to May 31 this year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, compared to just 3,922 at the U.S.-Canada border."
bisdemethoxycurcumin helps macrophages clear amyloid beta
"Using blood samples from Alzheimer's patients, they found that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosted immune cells called macrophages to clear a protein called amyloid beta, which clogs the brains of Alzheimer's patients and kills brain cells... Some studies have suggested that people who eat a lot of curry may be less prone to cancer and Alzheimer's, but whether curry is responsible is unclear."
2007-07-16 07:07PDT (10:07EDT) (14:07GMT)
Gordon Sawyer _Access North Georgia_
A well-documented source for immigration data
Marty Lich _Web Commentary_
Immigration of the illegal sort
"John Burnett, NPR News closed his talk show with this statement; 'American employers are hooked on cheap immigrant labor, both legal and illegal, but a long-time house-keeping supervisor in Vail offers a cautionary word to the backers of a new guest-worker program. She says back in 1986 when immigration reform granted amnesty to more than [2M illegal aliens], guess what was the first thing her Mexican hotel maids did when they got their papers? Many quit their jobs and looked for better ones. And what did the employer do? Rather than raise salaries, she replaced them with new immigrants who were, as she said, hungrier for the work.'... America does give out thousands of work visas. In fact, talking in blunt numbers here, we give out more guest-worker visas than anyone in the world. The 35.2M immigrants (legal and illegal) here in March of 2005 is the highest ever recorded -- two and a half times the 13.5M during the peak of the last great immigration wave in 1910 per the Washington, DC Center for Immigration Studies. These are indisputable facts. To me, the mathematical solution is simple. Until our local, state and federal agencies can tell Americans exactly the numbers we have residing here and of those people, who is entitled to walk on our streets and who is not and what will be done with those illegal aliens who are intercepted one way or the other during the course of everyday activities, until then, no amnesty, no new guest-worker plan, no additional guest-worker visas."
Employers and governments are both violators of privacy
more privacy links
"an economist" _V Dare_
Drumming up evidence on immigration's impact
"Models that show minimal wage losses from unskilled immigration are theoretical. The empirical data is vastly different and shows huge losses from immigration. Take the work of Giovanni Peri ('Immigrants' Complementarieties and Native Wages'). He claims, based on theory, that immigration has raised wages for even unskilled workers. However, his actual data (Figure 3) shows a 17.6% reduction in wages for unskilled workers in California and a 15.1% reduction nationwide."
2007-07-17 07:14PDT (10:14EDT) (14:14GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Industrial production rose 0.5% in June, capacity utilization at 81.7%
Federal Reserve data
2007-07-17 08:46PDT (11:46EDT) (15:46GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Capital flows into the USA rose to $105.9G in May
2007-07-17 12:47PDT (15:47EDT) (19:47GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
PPI down 0.2% in June, core up 0.3%: up 3.3% in last 12 months, core up 1.8%
Bob Powell _Exponential Improvement_
The Coming Economic Collapse from "Free Trade" and Off-Shoring
Ron Paul _Lew Rockwell_
Richard Dolan _Hilton Head Island Packet_
Foreigners' impact on wages is negative
"Gates wants H-1B visas unlimited since people holding these visas get $16K a year less in the computer field. Soros wants power and more billions. The Packet reports Pulte Home's CEO receives $12.43M a year, which equals to $34,045 a day, 365 days a year. A 30-year old man makes 12% less than his father did at his age. A roofer make 6% less, and wages have gone down in construction, landscape and service industries thanks to illegal immigrants. Circuit City's CEO fires 3,400 workers to reduce costs, then tells them to reapply at lower wages while he gets $46,563 a day."
Red Chinese censorship is interfering with cross-border projects
"Internet users and company officials in [Red China] on Wednesday blamed a series of disruptions to cross-border email traffic on adjustments to the country's vast Internet surveillance system... [Red China] is in the midst of a highly publicized campaign to rein in 'unhealthy content' in its rapidly growing Internet, whose rapid spread of information regarding incidents of government corruption and rural unrest not reported in conventional media has alarmed [Red China's] stability-obsessed [rulers]."
Ruth Morris _Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Feds flip again on green cards
"A congressional cap limits employment-based green cards to 140K a year, and the government has assigned visa numbers for 80K this fiscal year. The government decided to close the door on the remaining 60K petitions after what experts described as a communication break-down between the State Department and the Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] over the number of applications ready to be assigned a visa number. The State Department issues visa numbers so that green cards can be regulated, while the immigration agency processes applications. Tuesday's announcement does not mean the government will go above the cap, only that it will accept the applications it had promised to review."
2007-07-18 05:43PDT (08:43EDT) (12:43GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
CPI up 0.2% in June
2007-07-18 12:09PDT (15:09EDT) (19:09GMT)
US deportation of criminal immigrations is gentle and gracious
"Following changes to U.S. immigration law in 1996 authorities have deported more than 670K immigrants from the United States for criminal offenses, [but] an estimated 1.6M spouses and children [decided not to follow and keep the family united with the criminal]..."
2007-07-18 14:16PDT (17:16EDT) (21:16GMT)
Study of thousands of ancient skulls confirmed that we're all out of Africa
"An analysis of thousands of skulls shows modern humans originated from a single point in Africa and finally lays to rest the idea of multiple origins, British scientists said on Wednesday. Most researchers [had already agreed] that mankind spread out of Africa starting about 50K years ago, quickly establishing Stone Age cultures throughout Europe, Asia and Australia... The genetic evidence has always strongly supported the single origin theory, and now results from a study of more than 6K skulls held around the world in academic collections supports this case."
Chris Murphy _Information Week_/_CMP_
US tech employment reaches highest level since the deepest depths of the Clinton-Bush economic depression
"The 2% unemployment rate matches other professional categories and is a big improvement from 5.3% in 2004. The 2% unemployment rate matches other professional categories and is a big improvement from 5% in 2004... Total IT employment of 3.58M and the size of the available IT work-force -- 3.65M working or unemployed [and officially recognized as actively seeking work] -- are at their highest levels since the BLS started using these 8 computer-related job categories in 2000. At 2%, the tech unemployment rate matches that of the larger management and professional class measured by BLS. Employers added about 93K computer-related jobs from a year ago."
employment and unemployment graphs
Alfred Tella _Washington Times_
Currency and immigration
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Mexico's economy is falling further behind
2007-07-18 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Bll Tucker _CNN_
student visas abused to set up guest-workers (video)
"5.8M visas under 70 different programs were approved last year. USA can't track visa-holders."
2007-07-19 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 381,697 in the week ending July 14, a decrease of 35,760 from the previous week. There were 377,115 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending July 7, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,588,833, an increase of 285,426 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,517,917. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 30."
2007-07-19 07:28PDT (10:28EDT) (14:28GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Conference Board says leading indicators point to less growth
Operation WetBack needed now more than ever to remove illegal aliens from all places of origin
"Back during the early years of the Great Depression, then President Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of all illegal aliens in order to make the jobs available to American citizens that desperately needed work. Approximately 1M Mexicans were sent home during this endevor Once again in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower deported 1.3M Mexican nationals (called 'Operation Wetback') in order that returning American WWII and Korean veterans had a better chance at jobs. If America could deport the illegal invaders back then, they can sure do it today!"
HandBook of Texas on Operation WetBack
HandBook of Texas on William Scott
Warren Redlich _Freedom's Phoenix_
Ron Paul being suppressed on digg
Are H-1B guest-work visas evil or what?
Jerome Corsi _World Net Daily_
Globalists admit that American citizens are taking a beating
"The cover article in the current issue of the Council on Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs asserts globalism has harmed even well-educated workers in the U.S., creating a gap between the haves and have-nots greater than any time since the 1920s... With the Democrats now controlling Congress, Republican presidential candidates are going to be hard pressed to argue that the Security and Prosperity Partnership -- a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada -- and North American integration 'will benefit anyone but the CEOs, MBAs, and lawyers who manage and advise our multi-national corporations'... Scheve and Slaughter argue that under the globalization policies pursued by the Bush administration from 2000 to 2005, 'Even college graduates and workers with nonprofessional master's degrees saw their mean real money earnings decline.' They conclude average earnings for 96.6% of all U.S. workers fell between 2000 and 2005, due largely to globalism... 'trade adjustment assistance is too small and too narrowly targeted on specific industries to have much effect'... What the CFR article makes clear is that globalists will not give up easily. Rather than face head-on the reality that SPP, open borders and World Trade Organization globalism are a direct assault on the U.S. middle class, the CFR apologists for globalism suggest a tax gimmick to mollify the vast majority of Americans who are going to lose economically under their scheme."
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Indian body shop Wipro establishes 1K employee beach-head in Atlanta
"Although Bangalore, India-based Wipro has 6K employees in North America -- part of a work-force of more than 72,300 -- they are spread among some 90 locations and provide sales and support. Atlanta was selected because of its labor force and proximity to technical schools, said Sridhar Ramasubbu, Wipro's chief financial officer for the Americas and Europe. The center will be used for application development and maintenance, infrastructure support, and some research and development. The center is expected to be operating in about 3 months."
Michelle Andrews _Freedom's Phoenix_
In-store clinics give AMA heart-burn
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Does upwardly global mean downwardly mobile for American workers?
Thomas E. Woods jr _Human Events_
Founding Fathers Were Immigration Skeptics
Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
the real Compean & Ramos story is one of cancerous government arrogance
"However, we must admit that this White House does not have a monopoly on arrogance. It has spread like a cancer throughout the federal government and has even infected many in state and local government. If you doubt that, just ask any plumber, electrician, or general contractor what it's like to deal with their local code enforcement, planning and zoning, or licensing and permitting bureaucrats. Ask any merchant who sells firearms what it's like dealing with the BATFE. Ask any sportsman what it's like dealing with certain wild-life officials. Dealing with these government bureaucrats is not only costly, but it's also a giant pain in the neck (not to mention other places of the anatomy). More than that, the abusive attitudes that are commonly endured at the hands and tongues of these little Napoleons can, at times, be downright insulting and even degrading."
Chuck Morse _Front Page Magazine_
the Nazi connection to Islamic terrorism
book on Amazon
|10-year US T-Bond||4.96%|
|unleadedgasoline||NYMEX no longer trading|
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _TechWeb_/_Information Week_/_CMP_
Temporary guest-workers are uncertain
Alice LaPlante & Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Myths and myths about the H-1B program
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
InformationWeek tries to clarify the H-1B debate
Recently I reviewed a lengthy and valuable InformationWeek article on H-1B. Here I will critique a companion piece (which I'll refer to below as the "companion piece" for brevity), written in the classical myths-vs.-facts format. It's very good in some parts, but inconsistent and illogical in many others. I found it painful to read.
The emotion around the H-1B debate is as intense as ever. The facts and concerns about the U.S. guest worker program are changing, however, as demand for foreign-born talent soars, the IT job market improves...
It is a myth that the H-1B issue is one of natives versus the foreign born. Being foreign born is not the same as being a guest worker. Naturalized U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents (i.e. green card holders) are very different from guest workers. Indeed, the naturalized U.S. citizens and green card holders are just as vulnerable to competition from H-1Bs, L-1s etc. as natives are.
MYTH: H-1B visa abuse is obviously rampant...
FACT: H-1B abuse is happening.
This section was highly frustrating for me to read. The basic reporting is mostly good, but the conclusions are terribly inconsistent with the reporting. Instead of the above MYTH/FACT pair, the correct conclusion -- correct in the sense of logically following from the material presented -- should have been
FACT: H-1B visa abuse is rampant, though fraud is rare. [FACT: Both fraud and abuse are rampant in the H-1B visa program...jgo]
The authors apparently did not keep in mind the difference between abuse, i.e. using the program for inappropriate, though legal, purposes -- and fraud, i.e. unlawful actions [and legal dishonesty which is aimed at and results in unearned gains by the perpetrator].
The research presented in the article makes it clear that abuse is in fact rampant. The data presented on H-1B salaries, well below the median, show that most employers, not just a few, are abusing the program.
And the article has H-1B critics Miano and Hira saying, correctly, that this abuse is legal, by making use of loop-holes. In other words, it is usually not a matter of fraud. The article amplifies this latter point by quoting a supporter of H-1B, Yale-Loehr, as saying, correctly, that fraud is rare.
So again, the article's points lead to the conclusion, "FACT: H-1B visa abuse is rampant, though fraud is rare."
Unfortunately, this next one was just as frustrating to read:
MYTH: Off-shore out-sourcing and foreign visas have sunk U.S. tech employment, and wages have cratered.
Let's start with the last. I was shocked to see the authors setting up a straw man here. I don't know any H-1B critic who has said that salaries have "cratered". In this article's companion piece, the author quoted a critic as saying that wages have been "stagnant or declining", nothing like "cratering". I've made that same point myself, citing the BusinessWeek study that showed stagnant wages for new graduates.
Now, what about the notion that "foreign visas have sunk U.S. tech employment?" (I'll get to the off-shoring issue later.) The article here cites the number of tech jobs in the U.S.A. Come on, folks. Just pointing to the number of jobs says nothing about the impact of H-1Bs, since the data don't say how many of those jobs are held by H-1Bs and other visa holders. Using this kind of thinking, we could have 100% of the jobs being held by H-1Bs, but if there were a lot of these jobs, the authors would say the H-1Bs had no impact.
The article defines "tech" far too broadly. Most of the 3.8M jobs they point to are not the types of jobs taken by H-1Bs. Everyone knows what the main types of tech jobs taken by H-1Bs: programmers and engineers. To throw in positions such as network technicians, data entry clerks and so on is irrelevant to the H-1B discussion.
That point also goes to the article's "good news" that manager salaries are doing fairly well -- of course they are, since H-1Bs aren't normally hired as managers.
The article makes the by-now classic mistake of differentiating between programmers and software engineers, saying that though programmer jobs are dwindling, the good news is that software engineering jobs are increasing. These are 2 titles for the SAME job. It so happens that the Software Engineer title is the more modern one, and has gradually been replacing the older Programmer title for years now, but it's just a name. The sum of the job numbers for the two titles has been CONSTANT since 1999, so any upward trend is purely in the eyes of the industry lobbyists.
As to the article's point about low unemployment, once again this kind of statistic doesn't have much relevance, as people leave the field when they can't get work and thus don't show up in the data. The former programmer now working as a school bus driver counts in the government data as an employed driver, not an unemployed programmer.
Moreover, many programmers work as independent contractors, and have found contracts harder to get. Again, this doesn't show up in unemployment data. The companion article made this point about contractors quite well:
Toni Chester today commutes between 4 and 6 hours a day between her home in Bloomsbury, NJ, and her web development job in Manhattan. A life-long IT contractor with a double degree in applied mathematics and computer science from the University of Central Florida, Chester's career has spanned 20 years and included stints at a variety of Fortune 1000 firms, including AT&T, Price Waterhouse, and Lucent.
But Chester's work life has gotten progressively worse since 2003. The contracts have all but dried up. When she's lucky enough to score one, instead of it lasting two years, she feels fortunate if it's for more than 3 months. And salaries keep dropping. Her last major gig paid $25 less per hour than she'd gotten one year previously.
Ms. Chester counts in government data as employed, but obviously she is under-employed. There are tons of people like her. It's sad that the authors did not heed their own companion article.
It's irritating to see Stephen Yale-Loehr quoted here several times as a more or less neutral observer. He isn't. In the companion article, I am referred to "as a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, who has long been an opponent of raising the H-1B cap". That is fully accurate and proper, but Yale-Loehr is described as a "Cornell University law professor and lawyer who specializes in immigration issues." That makes it sound like he practices a little law on the side, and is mainly a professor, when in fact it's just the opposite: He's only an ADJUNCT professor there at the law school, a part-timer, not a regular member of the faculty. He makes his living practicing immigration law! He's just like Lawrence Lebowitz, the "star" of the YouTube video in which the law firm was teaching its client how to use the loopholes to avoid hiring Americans and to under-pay foreign workers; Lebowitz is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Yale-Loehr is no more a neutral observer than Lebowitz is. Yale-Loehr has got a huge vested financial interest in having a high H-1B cap, and he has urged Congress to raise the cap. He also edits a newsletter for immigration lawyers, a news source from which those attorneys can learn about the latest loop-holes.
BTW, it's funny how people forget that they leave a paper trail. In Yale-Loehr's testimony to the Senate earlier this year, he stridently contended that H-1Bs are not paid less than Americans. He went on at length on this issue, with it comprising close to half of his entire testimony. Yet in his 1996 book, _Balancing Interests: Rethinking U.S. Selection of Skilled Immigrants_, pg. 67, he reports on his study of wages paid to foreign nationals in various professions. In data from the labor certification applications in the process of sponsoring the foreign workers for green cards (the same process used to check wages of H-1Bs), the foreign applicants in Computer Programmer positions in New Jersey were being offered salaries which were on average 21% below the mean for that profession, with an 11% figure in Texas. In the Computer Systems Analysts and Scientists category, gaps of 30% and 21% were found in New Jersey and New York, respectively. Remember, this is all legal, due to the loop-holes, but it is completely at odds with his 2007 Senate testimony.
FACT: The U.S. tech industry is having trouble attracting new blood.
The technology industry points out that fewer Americans are enrolling in technology programs at the university level, and that increasingly large percentages of those emerging from graduate programs are foreign born.
Another logical non sequitur. It is correct that enrollment in these programs has declined, and professor Thoma is correct in pointing out that this is due to off-shoring and H-1B. But that doesn't mean that we don't have enough. In fact, even during the peak of the dot-com boom, only about 50% of computer science graduates were hired as programmers. The rest were hired into semitechnical and nontechnical jobs. That's still true today. So we are still graduating plenty today. Again, I point to the BusinessWeek study that found that starting salaries for new tech graduates, adjusted for inflation, have been flat since 1999. If there were a shortage, those salaries would be sky-rocketing. You don't have to be a rocket economist to understand this.
MYTH: Nearly all the H-1B visas go to foreign outsourcers, whose workers take their U.S.-learned skills back to India.
Just like the "cratered" remark, the authors are setting up another straw man here. I defy them to show me any claim made by the major critics of the H-1B program that nearly all, or even most, of the visas go to foreign out-sourcers. No one has said this.
I was profoundly disappointed by this piece, even if it does contain a considerable amount of material that supports the views of my side of the H-1B issue. People often ask me why I am so harsh on some reporters who write articles with substantial sympathetic content. My answer is that I'm not looking for sympathetic articles. All I want is good journalism, professionally researched and professionally assembled. It may or may not come down on my side, but I do expect them to do the job right.
Moreover, though it's one thing to make a couple of errors under the pressure of a one-day dead-line, it's inexcusable in the case of articles which have weeks of lead time, as was the case here. And if the errors came about at the editing stage, which is very possible, that does not absolve the authors of responsibility; when you are purporting to write a major article which dispels the myths on H-1B, you should make sure you aren't adding a few new myths of your own.
2007-07-21 14:55PDT (17:55EDT) (21:55GMT)
_World Net Daily_
Illegal aliens employed by Spring Valley, NY government
"Spring Valley, NY, mayor George Darden won't be facing state civil or criminal charges for hiring illegal aliens to work on an urban revitalization project in his village, but [NY] Department of Labor officials informed him yesterday that the $10 an hour he paid 10 men doesn't comply with the state's prevailing wage law and taxpayers will have to pay the illegals the difference of about $30 an hour... The man he dealt with, Felix Sandoval, is in the U.S. illegally from Guatemala. He identified Darden as the person who had approached him at the hiring site Sunday and asked him to bring nine other men to the job site the following 2 days. Sandoval had a business card from Darden in his possession... Hiring illegal aliens violates federal law."
2007-07-22 05:53PDT (08:53EDT) (12:53GMT)
Ammar Karim _AFP_/_Yahoo!_
Red Chinese missiles have been smuggled through Iran into Iraq
"The US military on Sunday said its troops had found Chinese-made missiles which they believe were smuggled into Iraq by groups in Iran in order to arm groups fighting US-led forces. 'We have seen ordnance and weapons that come from other places, but we assess that they have come through Iran.', US military spokesman Admiral Mark Fox told reporters. 'There are missiles that are actually manufactured in [Red China] that we assess come through Iran as well.' Fox also alleged Iranian agents continue to smuggle Iranian made armour piercing bombs -- explosively-formed penetrators (EFPs) -- to Iraqi extremist groups across the country's long border... 'They are distinctive... in particular mortars, mortar pins, some of the residue that you see from the mortar attacks that are distinctly and uniquely Iranian.', he said. 'Also the technologies associated with some of the improvised-explosive devices, some of the triggering mechanisms and also some of the techniques and also the technology associated with manufacture of EFPs are distinctly and uniquely Iranian.'"
Chris Giles _Financial Times_
Globalisation back-lash in rich nations according to Harris/FT poll (with graphs)
"A popular backlash against globalisation and the leaders of the world’s largest companies is sweeping all rich countries, an FT/Harris poll shows."
Brian Watson _Magic City Morning Star_
Indians taking Americans' jobs
"Barack Obama recently caused a stir when he [quoted] Hillary Clinton [declaring herself] the 'Senator from Punjab'. Not that Barack Obama himself is innocent; he supports the third-world (i.e. cheap labor) invasion of the U.S.A., and thus is no friend to middle-class Americans. But what he said does raise a point. It is no secret that big business is importing Indian workers to drive down American wages. It is a well-documented fact, and has become so widespread that many high-tech insiders have started to use the politically incorrect pejorative 'the macaca effect' to describe the situation. [Huh. This is the first I've seen it...jgo] Tom Stern recently had his company flooded with H-1Bs from India. 'Indians are generally nice people. But when your company starts hiring them. You know the end is near. It's like the early stages of cancer. Within one year, all of our wages were driven down by 45%.' Americans in high tech, engineering, nursing, medicine, hotel management, gas-station management have recently experienced their wages being pushed down -- largely because of Indian immigration. 'Big business is bringing over Indians for the sole purpose of pushing down American salaries.', says Mr. Stern. And it's not just via immigration, but also [off-shore] out-sourcing. Jason Howard, a computer programmer, recently had his job out-sourced to India. 'Yep', he said, 'one day they just told us to clean out our desks and go home. They were moving our entire company to India.' Cheryl Smith experienced something similar: 'My accounting firm recently fired most of American employees and relocated in India. As a result, almost all my friends are out jobs. Many had their homes foreclosed. Some have had to move in with relatives. And the few jobs that remained in the U.S.A. had the wages severely lowered because of the imported cheap labor from India.'... We can either stop it, or watch the U.S.A. become a Third World country."
Jim Webb campaign staffer wrote:
History of the "macaca" moment:
Allen referred to an American of Indian ethnicity [S.R.] that he was "Macaca".
I happened to have worked directly with S.R. because he was managing the phone banks [for Jim Webb] in the primary.
He [S.R.] was VERY concerned about H-1B and off-shore out-sourcing because he was studying ENGINEERING...
so this is quite the wrong thing...
to make matters more interesting:
Mr. "Macaca" Allen - promised more (unlimited) H-1B Visas to industry
Jim Webb - wanted to stop the use of the H-1B Visa to labor arbitrage US citizens.
S.R. worked for JIM WEBB!
So, please, this is a most interesting crux of this issue, we're talking about U.S. citizens getting labor arbitraged...
so the "Macaca" moment is about racist comments against a U.S. citizen...
So, "Macaca" really means racism against a U.S. citizen PLUS labor arbitraging U.S. citizens out of their jobs.
This is really dangerous because we all know the classic retort to anyone pointing out that US workers are getting labor arbitraged is to claim all of these workers are just a bunch of racist xenophobes...
of course if it's industry insiders, corporate CEOs claiming this derogatory term, that's probably another plus for US workers, showing their real colors on what their agenda is and how they look at their cheap labor force.
Panthic Weekly: Sikhs embraced at Capitol Hill
2007-07-23 06:00PST (09:00EST) (13:00GMT)
Judy Mottl _Tech Careers_
Facts about H-1B visas
2007-07-23 06:07PDT (09:07EDT) (13:07GMT)
Bill Horne _Hillsboro Times-Gazette_
Bankrupting Socialist Insecurity
"The term that our leaders and representatives are using is 'Bilateral Totalization Agreements'. This funny sounding set of agreements, which to this point includes more than 20 countries, was established to protect American workers whose employers had transferred them over-seas. It wasn't 'fair' to the worker to be taxed [extorted] for [Socialist Insecurity] purposes by both countries. So, what we did was have a written agreement, with Great Britain, for example, that the worker would be taxed by only the country where they were working... As far as the home countries are concerned, it is about an equal trade-off. IOW, there are about as many workers in the U.S.A. from each country, Germany for example, working here as there are Americans working in each of the foreign countries. In fact, many of the 20-plus countries that we have totalization agreements with pay [higher Socialist Insecurity] benefits than we do. Mexico is where the real problem for American workers lies. There is not an even balance of workers being traded between our country and Mexico. The totalization agreement has already been written, signed by Mexico, and has been waiting for the U.S. president's signature. This agreement with Mexico does not need the approval of our Congress because the original bill was written so that any future U.S. president could sign an additional country whenever it was necessary to do so. In this case, I am guessing that the powers that be are waiting for a time when they think we won't be paying attention. BTW, the money that was taken from them for [socialist insecurity] while they were working here under an assumed name and a false [socialist insecurity] number is waiting for then to claim in an account titled 'Earnings Suspense File'. Of course, this file will soon be empty. It only has $350G in it. When we cannot afford to pay for food and gas from a weekly pay-check, we get angry and frustrated and we look for someone to blame. That is when we look to undocumented foreign workers. And even if we decide to fix the problem by putting the people in jail who hire the foreign workers, our government has already established legal ways to bring the foreign workers right back into our country. We have guest-worker programs currently that allow foreign workers, by the millions, into our country legally. We have a visitors program that has been set up by Homeland Security that is titled 'Lasor Visas' and allows Canadians to stay in the U.S.A. for 6 months and Mexicans for 1 month. Of course, the Mexicans want the same treatment that the Canadians have. And I am sure that the World Trade Organization [WTO] will see to it that the Mexicans also get 6 months. We have something called an 'Expedited Removal Plan' for foreign undocumented people in our country but our Homeland Security department has exempted Mexicans. Right now it is all about what large corporations want. Some day soon we are going to have to consider what people want."
Robert Robb _Tucson Citizen_
Arizona has more illegal immigrants because it has a strong economy
Angie Chuang _Oregon Mail Tribune_/_AP_
Mild curtailment of illegal immigration drives harvest mechanization
"The New Holland Braud grape harvester can do the work of 40 hand-pickers in a fraction of the time... Oregonians for Immigration Reform, a restrictionist group, touted the European machine as a beacon of a future without illegal labor. 'As soon as word about this got out, the immigration issue was the first thing that came up.', Capps said. 'The bloggers are all over it. They're saying, ''Finally, see? We told you that you could get by without all this immigration.'''... It picked 3.5 tons of pinot noir grapes in 20 minutes with 3 workers, the Capital Press article said. Usually that would have taken 34 workers an hour... Wilhoit said Evergreen's primary motivation was to pick grapes at night, when they are cool and will not ferment. Because of the machine's speed, grapes spend little time sitting in bins before they're whisked off to refrigeration... Though many California vineyards have entire fleets of harvesters, it's unlikely Oregon will follow suit."
Lori Montgomery _Washington Post_
Government hand-outs to displaced workers instead of incentives to hire and retain US citizens
_i medi news_/_UPI_
Chili recall expanded
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the recall of various brands and varieties of foods made by the Castleberry Food Co. The second expansion of the nationwide recall involving possible botulism contamination includes all best buy dates and all product codes of the following brands of canned foods, including hot dog chili sauce, chili sauce with and without beans, corned beef hash, BBQ pork, sausage gravy, chip beef gravy and beef stew: Austex, Best Yet, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry's, Cattle Drive, Firefighter, Food Club, Food Lion, Georgia Hash, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time. Also recalled were various varieties of Natural Balance Eatables Dog Food in 15-ounce cans, including Irish stew with beef, Chinese takeout with sauce with vegetables and chicken, Southern style dumplings with gravy with chicken and vegetables and Hobo chili with chicken pasta. Connors Bros. said it will keep the plant in Augusta, GA, closed until given the all-clear by health officials."
USDA recall list
2007-07-23 (5767 Menachem-Av 09)
Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
"the seller has a responsibility to disclose any significant defects in the sale item. Furthermore, the disclosure must be effective, not evasive... In the end, the actual known defect comes as a surprise, and the sale is void because there is a lack of informed consent or 'meeting of the minds'... In Jewish law, every item is sold with an implied guarantee that it is free of material defects; in Maimonides' words, 'Any ordinary purchaser intends to buy only an item free of defects.' (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 228) If the item is defective, the presumption is the buyer never intended to acquire it and thus it may be returned for a full refund."
James Aiello _Crain's Detroit Business_
Greed is behind allegations of worker shortage
"I read the July 16 Opinion titled, 'M$ move tells much', and have to take exception. M$, and much of the information-technology industry, continues to propagate the myth that there is a shortage of talent in the U.S.A. They continue to press for unregulated immigration policies in the U.S.A. as the 'answer'. Their telling of a half-truth is still a lie. When position postings are listed at one-half, or less, of the U.S. salary range for a position, they will not get many U.S. citizens applying. I have worked on and managed multi-million-dollar IT projects awarded to Indian- and [Red Chinese-owned] companies where most, if not all, of the workers were brought over under immigrant worker policies. I have managed IT departments where a $28-per-hour employee had to be laid off, and the same job posting was issued the following week with a salary cap of $20 per hour. Corporate IT also selected the resumes forwarded to me for consideration. Almost every one was an H-1B immigrant. In many cases, immigrant worker expenses are subsidized to further lower their short-term salary rates. Immigration policies make it attractive for foreign workers to come to the U.S.A. and work for half the going salary for a short time to get their green card. The ever-growing number of displaced U.S. IT workers that are now working in other industries since they cannot live on half or less of what they used to earn in IT is proof enough. It's long past time for the truth to be told: There's no shortage of talent in the U.S.A., just [excess] corporate greed."
Victor Rozek _IT Jungle_
As I See It: Lawyers, Lies, and Statistics
"The huge populations of China and India have produced a correspondingly huge crop of offsprings -- 628M kids under the age of 15, give or take a village. That's a lot of young people who will soon (if they haven't already) enter the global labor market. Americans, on the other hand, have sired some 60M moppets... You'd hope our ruling oligarchy would care about the future employment prospects of those 60M children, but with few exceptions, it doesn't. Corporations and the government are joined at the wallet, fattened at the expense of the middle class. It's no coincidence that as the job market turns predatory, American workers have lost their teeth. The numbers tell the tale, and the story told by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of betrayal. Between 2000 and 2005, IT employment opportunities in the United States grew by about 332K jobs. If those opportunities escaped your notice, there's a good reason. During the same time period, the United States imported about 330K H1-B workers to fill many of those jobs. Engineers fared even worse. While 95K H1-B visas were issued for engineers, the Department of Labor reports that engineering employment shrank by almost 124K jobs... The trick for those hiring managers willing to circumvent the law is to find ways to "disqualify" qualified Americans. If that seems daunting, don't worry; there are law firms eager to teach corporate clients how to shaft their countrymen. Lawrence Lebowitz is vice president of marketing for Cohen & Grisby a law firm specializing in immigration and -- there's really no polite way to say this -- screwing American workers. The law firm offers seminars that show their clients how not to hire perfectly qualified Americans. During a conference in May of this year, Lebowitz, in a rare moment of corporate candidness, divulged to his audience: 'Our goal is clearly NOT to find a qualified U.S. worker.' Ponder the implications of that statement for a moment, and the character of the speaker. All pretense has been stripped away; the intent of the law means nothing; the welfare of Americans means nothing; greed justifies everything including collusion against people whose only crime is that they can not live on a fraction of their current wage. It just goes to show that integrity is not a prerequisite for honest disclosure, especially if you don't realize you're being filmed. You can see the tricks they recommend for excluding American workers on You Tube."
Chuck Muth _Cybercast News_
Remembering Barry Goldwater
Shelbia Brown _Go Upstate_
Supporters of Ron Paul pitch in to supply Spartanburg Children's Shelter
Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
One-world agenda dominates SPP summit
Nick Corcodilos _InfoWorld_
Salary history? No, no, no, I won't tell
Nina Bernstein _NY Times_
NYC following idiotic New Haven in creating local ID cards to give illegal aliens more access to privileges of citizens
Linda Schrock Taylor _Lew Rockwell_
My dream ticket would be Ron Paul for president and Cesar Millan for VP
"The Constitution must again become the 'Leader of the Pack' and everyone -- everyone -- must recognize and respect its Authority."
Ron Paul _Lew Rockwell_
Exposing the True Isolationists
2007-07-24 (5767 Menachem-Av 09)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"The Iranian leaders are not going to stop unless they get stopped. And, like Hitler, they don't think we have the guts to stop them."
see also _Dismantling America_
Rob Sanchez _V Dare_/_Job Destruction News-Letter_
Google's "talent shortage" claims are humbug: Google said so
Deborah Perelman _eWeek_
Bill aims to expand Trade Adjustment Assistance program
"Workers who have lost their jobs because the jobs were moved offshore or were lost to foreign workers might have a new chance to recover their losses through a Senate bill introduced July 23. Proposed by senators Max Baucus, D-MT, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Olympia Snowe, R-ME, the bill seeks expansion of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides retraining, health and cash benefits to workers whose jobs are eliminated as a direct result of international trade. In potentially the largest expansion of the TAA in its 45-year history, the program—which largely excludes IT professionals, focusing instead on blue-collar workers—will now include computer programmers, call center staff and other technology employees who make up the bulk of those who have been short-changed in [off-shore] out-sourcing relationships... Saying that he'd rather support an improved trade assistance program than impose limitations on international trade, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke encouraged Congress on July 18 to create a program that provides help to those who lose their job as a result of off-shoring."
John Hanbury _Hattiesburg American_
Let's hope Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion bill does not have 9 lives
"sometimes 'doing something' is not better than doing nothing... The biggest myth was that the bill did not grant 'amnesty' to illegal aliens because, in order to become citizens, they would have to pay a fine, return to their home country (the 'touch-back' provision), and apply for citizenship. In reality, only a handful of illegals would ever choose this route because they could get a 'Z visa' and achieve 'legal' status without jumping through all those hoops. To qualify for a Z visa, an illegal alien need only have a job (or be the parent, spouse, or child of someone with a job) and provide 2 documents suggesting that he or she was in the country before 2007 Jan. 1. The bill allowed 'Z visas' to be issued immediately and prohibited the government from waiting more than 180 days to begin issuing them. These visas gave the alien lawful status, protection from deportation, and authorization to work. But wait... the Z visa could be renewed every 4 years indefinitely! Thus, the bill granted immediate legal status to virtually all of the 12M to 20M illegal aliens currently in the country. The bill was also an open invitation for more illegal aliens to sneak in and present two fraudulent documents indicating that they were here before the beginning of the year."
2007-07-25 16:25PDT (19:25EDT) (23:25GMT)
Alex Viega _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Mortgage Woes May Worsen
"A surprising increase in late loan payments and defaults among home owners with good credit is so far coming from traditional woes, like divorces, job losses and unexpected medical bills. The next and biggest wave of problem loans could come as monthly payments soar for both prime and subprime borrowers who took out adjustable-rate loans with little or no documentation, or who used so-called piggyback loans on top of their first mortgages to make up for small down payments, analysts said. These exotic loans were the only way many borrowers -- even those with good incomes and sterling credit histories -- could afford to get into the housing market as home prices soared in the last decade. But now those decisions are looking suspect... More signs of the housing slow-down surfaced Wednesday as the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell by 3.8% in June to the slowest pace in more than 4 years."
Jerry Vieira _Industry Week_
Who's Really Responsible For Assuring The Growth Of Good New Jobs?
"Everyone knows that manufacturing jobs in the U.S. have been on a steady decline for decades. In 1980 they peaked at roughly 19.5M, representing one out of every 11.6 people. Today, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 14M manufacturing jobs equating to one out of every 21 people. This represents a drop in manufacturing jobs of nearly 30% in 27 years -- while the U.S. population has increased by 32% over the same time frame... all the improvements we made in manufacturing yields, automation gains and enhanced processes meant very little if the product did not have a fundamentally sound value proposition for our customers and it wasn't targeted at the best market."
2007-07-25 (5767 Menachem-Av 10)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Health Care: Government vs. Private
2007-07-25 17:00PDT (2007-07-25 20:00EDT) (2007-07-26 00:00GMT)
Laurie Gengenbach _Medical News Today_
"Immunoassays showed 100% inactivation of peanut allergens in whole roasted kernels, and the processed peanuts showed no reaction in tests on human serums from severely allergic individuals. The inventor, Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, is optimizing the process further to remove allergens from other foods... Peanut and tree nut allergies are the most severe of all food allergies, affecting approximately 3M Americans, and causing 100 - 150 deaths from anaphylactic shock annually and many more hospitalizations. In industrialized nations, the allergy has been rapidly increasing in children, for causes that are not entirely understood. One study showed that between 1997 and 2002, peanut allergies in children doubled in the United States. Today, an estimated 1% of all children suffer from the allergy... Ahmedna's work on peanuts has been funded through a United States Agency for International Development grant. During the course of the project, he has developed many other value-added products and processes for the benefit of the peanut industry worldwide, including a process to remove a common mold toxin from peanuts, a low-fat, high protein meat substitute, an infant formula, and antioxidants from red peanut skins. The allergy-free peanut is the first in a portfolio of peanut innovations to be available for commercialization from N.C. A&T... Peanuts are the 12th largest crop in the United States, with a farm value of close to $1G a year... Packed with proteins, healthy fats and a broad array of essential vitamins and minerals, they are considered an almost complete food."
2007-07-25 17:07PDT (2007-07-25 20:07EDT) (2007-07-26 00:07GMT)
Emily Chasan, Karey Wutkowski, Paritosh Bansal & Jim Finkle _EE Times_/_Reuters_/_CMP_
3 former executives charged for stock options hijinks
"U.S. prosecutors charged the former chief executive of Brooks Automation, Robert Therrien, with tax evasion related to a 1999 options grant, and brought securities fraud and conspiracy charges against the former chief financial officer of SafeNet Inc. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, charged the former chief executive of KLA-Tencor Corp. with fraud for his involvement in a stock options backdating scheme, and settled charges with the company... The regulatory agency said that since 1997, KLA-Tencor, an S&P 500 company, concealed more than $200M in stock-option compensation by secretly back-dating the grants to avoid reporting the expenses to investors. Former CEO Kenneth Schroeder repeatedly back-dated options between 1999 and 2002, and once in 2005, the SEC said... In New York, federal prosecutors charged SafeNet's former CFO, Carole Argo, with securities fraud and conspiracy related to stock option grant dates."
2007-07-25 21:49PDT (2007-07-26 00:49EDT) (2007-07-26 04:49GMT)
Patrick Burns _Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_
Sterling Financial executives secure in jobs with PNC after take-over: staffers may not be so fortunate
2007-07-25 22:00PDT (2007-07-26 01:00EDT) (2007-07-26 05:00GMT)
Jerone R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
OKC mayor has rescinded signature on Declaration of North American Integration
"WND has reported that the document was presented at the May 2004 summit meeting of the North American International Trade Corridor Partnership, or NAITCP. According to an Internet-archived summary report of the meeting, held in Kansas City, MO, the document was signed by 90 people."
2007-07-26 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 296,731 in the week ending July 21, a decrease of 87,655 from the previous week. There were 288,875 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending July 14, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,593,163, an increase of 11,669 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,499,741. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending July 7."
2007-07-26 13:21:50PDT (16:21:50EDT) (20:21:50GMT)
_San Jose Mercury News_
Grades for Cash ring busted
"The prosecutor described Julian Revilleza, who is a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, as 'the big heavy' and 'the mastermind' of the alleged cash-for-grades scheme. Revilleza will be arraigned on 23 counts of fraud and conspiracy and be held in lieu of $575K bail, Katague said. Katague said co-defendant Pawel Trybillo, a Polish citizen, also will be arraigned at 13:30. A third defendant, Nasreen Abdulla, was arraigned this morning and was released on $5K bail. Prosecutors allege that 34 Diablo Valley College students and former students paid from $200 up to $4K to have their grades changed or to have classes that they didn't take added to their transcripts over a 6-year period involving 3 separate operations. Katague estimated that between 2001, when the first scam began, and 2006, when all 3 scams finally were discovered, more than 400 grades were changed."
2007-07-26 13:26PDT (16:26EDT) (20:26GMT)
_Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_/_AP_
Hungary's Competition Authority raided M$
"According to the statement, M$ used sales conditions and offered software distributors incentives -- described as 'loyalty discounts' -- so they wouldn't offer clients anything but M$ Office products. Such behavior could lead to the exclusion of competitive products from the market and violate European Union rules, according to the authority known as the GVH."
Corrupt judge James Munley struck down Hazleton immigrant law
A federal judge struck down the city of Hazleton's tough crack-down on illegal immigrants today, ruling unconstitutional a law that has been emulated by towns and cities around the nation. The Illegal Immigration Relief Act, pushed by the city's Republican mayor last summer after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting, was voided by U.S. District Judge James Munley following a 9-day trial in March. The decision will almost certainly be appealed by the city. Hazleton had sought to impose fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. A companion measure would have required tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit. Mayor Lou Barletta, chief proponent of the crackdown, contends illegal immigrants have brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city of more than 30K, overwhelming police, schools and hospitals. In a 206-page opinion, Munley said the act was pre-empted by federal law and violated the plaintiffs' due process rights. The Hazleton ruling does not carry the weight of law with other cities and states. They can proceed with their own legislative efforts, though they may now face greater risks from legal challenges."
Marcia Dunn _Lakeland Dedger_/_AP_
NASA reports sabotage of computer destined for space station
"The computer is supposed to measure the strain on a space station beam and relay the information to flight controllers on Earth... Gerstenmaier did not identify the sub-contractor or where the damage took place. The sub-contractor notified NASA 1.5 weeks ago about the matter, as soon as it discovered the damage to the non-flying computer... The subcontractor supplies computer equipment and strain gauges for the international space station, as well as wing sensor systems for the shuttle. NASA has surveyed all the parts that were provided by the sub-contractor, Gerstenmaier said."
2007-07-26 (5767 Menachem-Av 11)
Victor Davis Hanson _Jewish World Review_
Back to the future in the Middle East?
"If general David Petraeus can't stabilize Iraq by Autumn -- or if Americans decide to pull out of Iraq before he gets a fair chance -- expect far worse chaos eventually to follow. We will see ethnic cleansing, mass murder of Iraqi reformers, Kurdistan threatened, emerging Turkish-, Iranian-, and Wahhabi-controlled rump states, and al-Qaida emboldened as American military prestige is ruined... we should at least recall the past record -- which may be best summed up as the ying of Democratic appeasement and the yang of Republican cynicism... Then came September 11, and we determined to get tougher than the Democrats by taking out the savage Taliban and Saddam Hussein — and more principled than the Republicans by staying on after our victories to foster something better. The jihadists are now fighting a desperate war against the new stick of American military power and carrot of American-inspired political reform. They want us, in defeat, to go back to turning a blind eye to both terrorism and corrupt dictatorships. That's the only way they got power in the first place and now desperately count on keeping it."
2007-07-26 16:18PDT (19:18EDT) (23:18GMT)
Gary Martin _San Antonio Express-News_
Senate approved token border security measure
"Less than a month after failing to pass an immigration [law perversion] bill, the Senate approved legislation Thursday to crack down on border security with $3G to add new agents and fully fund 700 miles of fence on the [nearly 2000 mile long] U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate voted 89-1 to add the Republican-backed border security language to a $38G spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security... Senator George Voinovich, R-OH, the lone law-maker to vote against the measure, called the whole $3G border security amendment in the homeland security bill a 'charade' by Congress to convince Americans that law-makers are serious about solving the immigration problem. 'This is the type of game playing that has caused our approval ratings to slump to all-time lows.', Voinovich said. President Bush has vowed to veto the homeland security spending bill, not because of the border security measures, but because it includes $5.2G more than his request to Congress... Specifically, the Senate bill would add 14,500 new Customs and Border Patrol agents through fiscal year 2012, increasing their numbers to about 30K agents overall [a mere 10K below estimates of necessary numbers several years ago]. It would prohibit cities from banning the practices of checking immigration status on criminal suspects by local law enforcement officials. The bill would deny immigration benefits to felons, gang members, terrorists, sex offenders and child abusers."
2007-07-26 19:07PDT (2007-07-26 22:07EDT) (2007-07-27 02:07GMT)
Alex Veiga _AP_/_Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_
Long Beach dock clerks reach a deal
"Port clerks and their employers at the nation's largest port complex tentatively agreed on a new contract Thursday, preventing a strike that could have crippled shipping and cost billions of dollars, a negotiator said... John Fageaux Jr., president of the union local, said he was satisfied with the tentative agreement... The 15K-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union had indicated that longshoremen would honor picket lines if the 750 clerical workers went on strike. Such a move would have effectively stopped the loading and unloading of cargo at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, a complex that accounts for more than 40% of all the cargo container traffic coming into the United States... The tentative agreement, however, only applies to contracts for between 600 and 850 full- and part-time workers at 14 companies. Their last contract, which expired June 30, gave full-time clerical workers about $37.50 an hour, or $78K a year, plus a pension, health care benefits free of premiums, and 20 paid holidays a year. Under the tentative deal reached Thursday, the workers will receive a wage increase of 7% over the 3-year contract. That includes a 50-cents-per-hour increase in the first year and $1-per-hour increase in each subsequent year. The employers also agreed to pay $3.4M to establish a trust fund to manage employees' health and welfare and pensions plans. Along with a raise, the port clerks gained an agreement that will allow monitoring of whether any of their job duties are being out-sourced."
2007-07-27 07:28PDT (10:28EDT) (14:28GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
GDP rose 3.4% in 2007Q2
2007-07-27 13:43PDT (16:43EDT) (20:43GMT)
Carol Giacomo & Y.P. Rajesh _Yahoo!_/_Reuters_
US and India negtiators announce completion of nuclear power deal
"The pact would give India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in 30 years, even though New Delhi refused to join nonproliferation pacts and tested nuclear weapons... Before cooperation can begin, India must negotiate an inspection regime for its civil nuclear facilities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and win approval from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group. Also, the U.S. Congress must approve it. Many lawmakers and non-proliferation experts are concerned about what they believe are concessions to the Indian nuclear establishment that undermine U.S. non-proliferation goals... To some critics, the Bush administration's willingness to let India reprocess U.S. origin nuclear fuel raises a question of inconsistency in its dealings with Iran. Unlike India, Iran is a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yet Washington has led a U.N. effort to force Tehran to abandon an enrichment program it hid for 18 years. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns played down recent U.S. sanctions against Indian companies for selling dangerous technology to Iran and insisted the accord proves that if countries 'behave responsibility' like India they will be invited to participate in international nuclear trade... Previously, the United States has only granted reprocessing rights to Japan and the European Union, key allies. Burns said the sale of U.S. reprocessing and enrichment equipment to India would require additional approvals."
_Inside Higher Education_
House committee on science and technology lobbied by academe
"Students avoid the subjects [science and technology] out of a fear that they won't be able to find jobs due to [off-shore] out-sourced jobs, forcing universities and employers to look abroad for the best applicants. Most members of the committee seemed interested in finding the right balance between bolstering American competitiveness and welcoming foreign students, although some panelists insisted it was a false dichotomy. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), however, rejected the premise that universities should embrace globalization and likened attracting foreign students to 'a public service to foreigners' [and foreign governments inimical to the USA] paid for by American [tax-victims]. He went further, questioning whether foreign students are 'being trained to take information back, which we have spent billions of dollars to develop in the United States, putting this into their human computer so they can go home' and potentially share the knowledge with a foreign military. 'Bringing in foreign students is a symbol of failure, not something we should be bragging about.', Rohrabacher said. (Representative David Wu, the Democratic chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, pointedly stood up during the comments and looked silently in Rohrabacher's direction -- but whether it was a response to the statements or a signal to an aide was not clear.)"
Marty Lich _Vail Daily_
Immigration: when the numbers add up
"I too have friends who complain bitterly about illegal immigrants and want them gone yesterday, and say build that wall now. And these friends of mine don’t hire workers without a second thought as is sometimes proclaimed. When these friends of mine hire new employees, they run the employees work eligibility information through the federal program titled Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements or 'SAVE'. The use of the Basic Pilot Program is free for employers, it is successful and it is utilized by those who do uphold the laws in our country based on Rule of the Law. As far as the border goes, we say build the fence as was already promised to the American people. Doing that in and of itself sends a strong psychological message. Much, in fact most, of this battle is mental, not physical. The illegal alien issue breaks down to simple math but adding 1 plus 1 does not equal 2 as editor Rogers writes, not for lawful American families anyway. Enforce the law and the problem would self-resolve... You ask, 'Why do illegals risk life and limb to come?'... Because we lay out the Welcome Mat with many rewards and little repercussions... The illegal alien households pay $16G in taxes. But they use $26.3G dollars a year in welfare services!... This so-called Cheap Labor doesn’t come cheap; it carries a costly Behind the Scenes price tag. Multiply this by the millions and the numbers compound. Middle-class America is strained almost to our breaking point... John Burnett, NPR News closed his talk show with this statement; 'American employers are hooked on cheap immigrant labor, both legal and illegal, but a longtime housekeeping supervisor in Vail offers a cautionary word to the backers of a new guest worker program. She says back in 1986 when immigration reform granted amnesty to more than 2M [illegal aliens], guess what was the first thing her Mexican hotel maids did when they got their papers? Many quit their jobs and looked for better ones. And what did the employer do? Rather than raise salaries, she replaced them with new immigrants who were, as she said, hungrier for the work.'... America does give out thousands of work visas. In fact, talking in blunt numbers here, we give out more guest-worker visas than anyone in the world. The 35.2M immigrants (legal and illegal) here in March of 2005 is the highest ever recorded -- two and a half times the 13.5M during the peak of the last great immigration wave in 1910 per the Center for Immigration Studies... Remove the enticements and rewards of illegal residency... References: March 22, 2005. The Pew Hispanic Center study (pdf) found that between 80% and 85% of Mexican-born people now in the United States came here illegally. The Financial Times, 2005 March 21, $16.6G of 2004 immigrant earnings in the United States was sent to Mexico. Economist Gary Hufbauer of the Institute for International Economics; Mexico has tax collections that amount to only 14% of the country's gross domestic profit, compared with the U.S. level of 25% to 28%. Mexico is the richest nation in Latin America when measured by GDP... Study: Illegal Immigrants Not Drawn by Jobs... The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Tax-Victim..."
Paul Nachman _V Dare_
Flood the Bureauctats: It works for vote fraud and amnesty for illegal aliens
|10-year US T-Bond||4.79%|
|unleadedgasoline||NYMEX no longer trading|
Rob Sanchez _Indy Bay_
Labor secretary Elaine Chao wrongly maligned US workers
Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
Near-shoring traffic ticket processing has created problems with miscommunication in addition to the fundamental privacy violation
"The Orange County Superior Court in California is out-sourcing the processing of traffic tickets to a California company that sends the information through a Nogales, Mexico, subsidiary, raising public concerns of identity theft and complaints of language problems that allegedly lead to months of administrative errors in processing paper-work. The controversy broke this week on KFI AM-640's popular John and Ken radio show when an unidentified law enforcement officer called the show and broke the news. Many listeners of the show were outraged to learn information from traffic citations was being sent to Mexico, where Mexican workers had complete access to a driver's personal information [which the corrupt California government has declared to be 'public']."
Rauf Naqishbendi _American Chronicle_
It Boils Down to Bribery
2007-07-29 15:30PDT (18:30EDT) (22:30GMT)
Pete Skiba & Terry Brady _News-Press_
Cape Coral economic development survey generated calls from India
"The caller, who had an Indian accent, also asked what businesses Tate wanted to attract to the city. 'It was difficult to understand his dialect. He didn’t seem to have a clear knowledge of the city.', Tate said. 'He asked the same questions we’ve been asking for years in the Cape.' Cape Coral's Economic Development Department has hired Evaluserve, a Delaware-registered corporation headquartered in California at $70K to research what kinds of businesses the city can attract... The city put out bid requests for the research through its usual process. Only Evaluserve responded, Jackson said."
Amazed at the depths of stupidity of our "leaders", but not really surprised anymore. It just goes on and on... I know someone (ahem) who for less than $70k, would have called a couple thousand Cape businesses to ask the same, or probably more insightful, questions. And he sure as hell speaks English better that those in Bangalore!
It's just another $70K -- down the drain!
Another Brilliant move by our City Administration in action! How many members of the city administration does it take to screw in a light bulb? Do they know what a light bulb is? What kind of company takes $70K and calls the customer to supply the survey answers. They should have given it to a business education class at Cape High and would have done far better. The article said that this is the only company that replied to his query. So, our head of economic development, Mr Jackson believes, therefore they were the most qualified of those who applied, and they came in under budget,too.. They came in first...and last. Is it any wonder we lack economic development?
This is just another example of how staff spends money without fully checking out the fact. The citizens are told to support the local economy and the city does business with someone who doesn't even hire Americans. Unbelievable?
ONE company? ONE response? NO OTHER bids? A CONVOLUTED "business" purpose? &nbnsp; Can you spell KICK-BACKS? PAR FOR THIS COURSE!
Michael J. Feeney _Bergen Record_
Heated debate over illegal immigration
"Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello challenged Governor Corzine and other state officials to crack down on undocumented workers during a rally Saturday on the steps of Town Hall. Cresitello has led his town into the national spotlight by asking the federal government, under a program known as 287G, to deputize 10 police officers as immigration agents... federal authorities have not used the full arsenal of immigration laws to stop illegal entries or find and deport people who are in the United States unlawfully... Janet Maluk of Dover -- wearing a T-shirt that read, 'One country, one flag, one language, America' -- was among those who said lax enforcement of immigration laws encouraged crime nationwide. 'I have no problem with immigration.', she said. 'The problem I have is with illegal immigrants.'"
Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Why the axes of immigration amnesty was defeated
Carolyn Casey _Rocky Mount Telegram_
Migrant children challenge schools
"Nash-Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County public schools both serve children under the federal Title I migrant education program. They offer academic support and cater to the demographic's barriers with isolation, transition and language... By definition, migrant students are between the ages of 3 and 21 and have not graduated from high school or received an equivalent degree, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Students must have moved in the previous 36 months to obtain temporary agricultural work, or they must be accompanied by a parent, spouse or guardian seeking agricultural work... The number of migrant students fluctuates with seasons. Nash-Rocky Mount enrolls about 250 students at the beginning of the year, but only about 100 by June. Edgecombe County has seen a significant decrease in its migrant enrollment, enrolling only 50 students throughout the year. While living in North Carolina, migrant students are held to the same state academic standards their fellow class-mates are. They learn the same curriculum and take the same state and federal standardized tests... North Carolina is the largest employer of guest workers in the country with about 10K, said Marisol Jimenez McGee, advocacy director of El Pueblo, a non-profit statewide advocacy and public policy organization. If workers cannot internally renew their H-2A visa with another employer, they must return to their home country before coming back to work. But for those looking to return, there's a waiting list of 5 to 20 years, depending on one's native country, to enter the United States. The decrease in the Twin Counties' migrant population stretches all the way back to Hurricane Floyd, said Maria El Faysal, Edgecombe County Public Schools' migrant recruiter. Most of the housing was destroyed in the flood, and it's easier for farmers to make living arrangements for men than whole families."
|"The fusion of elements into a unified pattern is the nature of creativity, a word devalued in latter years to the extent that [it] has come to mean a random gush of self-expression. God, perhaps, created out of the void; but in the world as we know it, all creativity... is a matter of selection & arrangement." --- Janet Burroway 1992 _Writing Fiction_ pg 305|
|"Anyway, the early pages [of 'The Princess Bride'] disappeared. As did the notion of writing something for my ladies. At least consciously. I don't understand the creative process. Actually, I make more than a concerted effort not to understand it. I don't know what it is or how it works, but I am terrified that one green morning it will decide not to work anymore, so I have always given it as wide a bypass as possible." --- William Goldman 1995 _William Goldman: 4 ScreenPlays_ pg 270|
_Sarasota Herald Tribune_
FIU study of immigration to Florida paints rosey scenario
"The numbers in the study are startling: Immigrants make up 23% of Florida's labor force, up from 19% in 2000. Florida's most critical sectors -- tourism, construction and agriculture -- are intensely reliant upon immigrant labor. The number of immigrants in construction alone has grown 49% in the last 4 years... In Sarasota County, where immigrants make up 6.3% of the population, they are 12.9% of the labor force. In Charlotte County, they are 8.4% of the work force. Though Manatee County was not included in the FIU study, its Latino population was 12.2% in 2006. It is expected to grow by 27.8% during the next five years, the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey showed. Manatee has twice the number of Latinos as Sarasota, which means its labor force is likely at least 24% immigrant. The concentration Immigrants are most heavily concentrated in agriculture, with 49% of total employment. In the state's service sector, they represent 30% of the work force. In construction it is 29.3%; wholesale trade, 27.6%; transportation and warehousing, 27.2%; manufacturing, 25% and recreation-accommodations-food services, 24.5%. Construction contributes $65.8G in direct economic activity, about 10% of the Sunshine State's economy, compared with 4% nationwide. The Florida agriculture sector has a statewide economic impact of $86G -- $15G of which comes from the landscaping and nursery industries... In 2000, 858,995 whites, 575,115 blacks and 490,553 Latinos were living below the poverty line in Florida. In 2005, about 1.352M whites, 624,913 blacks and 595,612 Latinos earned below poverty-level wages in Florida, Keeley said."
Jeffrey Breinholt _Family Security Matters_
Over-Looked History: Islam, Warrantless Wire-Taps, and Organized Violence
Joe Murray _Philadelphia Bulletin_
Immigration reform activists celebrate a pair of legislative victories while vowing to fight one loss in court
"While judge James Munley was telling Hazleton mayor Louis Barletta that his ordinances violated the Constitution, the Senate approved an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would earmark $3G to increasing manpower and technology on America's bleeding Southwest border. Representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, successfully added an amendment to an annual Justice and Commerce Department spending bill that prevents the use of federal funds to enforce the judgments and sentences of 2 jailed Border Patrol agents. In an 89-1 vote, the Senate passed an amendment that many immigration activists argue will provide the Border Patrol with the much-needed funds to combat the continual breach of America's southwest border by largely Hispanic immigrants."
Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
H.R. Clinton (D-Punjab)
"A new LA Times article exposes Hillary Clinton's chummy relationship with India. Hillary Clinton made a big deal about bringing the world's biggest body shop to Buffalo. Apparently the Indian special interests think it was a big deal too: The main lobbying organization for the Indian-American community, USINPAC, cites the Tata deal as one of Clinton's top 3 achievements as a senator -- and evidence of a turn-about, in its view, from her past criticism of out-sourcing. Clinton rolled out the red carpet for Tata and according to her 10 jobs were created. Wow! What a great achievement! Hillary helped to create 10 jobs for H-1Bs! In reality Tata imported nearly 500 H-1Bs for computer programming jobs in upstate New York. Perhaps the importation of 500 H-1Bs was one of her top 2 achievements -- so why didnt Hillary brag about that? Clinton regularly reinforces that view. When CNN anchor-man Lou Dobbs, an out-sourcing critic, pressed her on the Tata deal in 2004, Clinton responded: 'Well, of course I know that they out-source jobs, that they've actually brought jobs to Buffalo. They've created 10 jobs in Buffalo and have told me and the Buffalo community that they intend to be a source of new jobs in the area, because, you know, out-sourcing does work both ways.' The United States Inidia Political Action Committee (USINPAC) said that Hillary Clinton used to criticize out-sourcing but lately has softened her rhetoric. What they actually mean is that Clinton used to talk out of both sides of her mouth -- she would criticize out-sourcing while at the same time do everything in her power to export jobs to India and to expand the H-1B visa program. Clinton's volume on anti-out-sourcing talk has always been in inverse proportion to the cash building up in her bank account. Clinton's softened stance on outsourcing has a lot to do with money -- specifically money that her husband has been pocketing from Indian out-sourcers. Three weeks ago, her husband drew applause at a conference of 14K Indian Americans in Washington as he extolled the benefits of 'open borders, easy travel, easy immigration'. He said the out-sourcing debate bothered him because it failed to acknowledge the contributions of Indians who settled in the U.S.A. The same day, he head-lined a fund-raiser at the conference for his wife's campaign. Don't think Hillary Clinton is the only one who kowtows to India. This page by the Council on Foreign Relations lists the presidential candidates on U.S. policy towards India."
class action against Tata
Thomas Allen _V Dare_
Why does the USA continue to have more VietNamese refugees 30 years after the war?
"That's why the refugee contractors were meeting—to find ways to increase their share of the [tax-victim-provided] spoils... The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has been named the lead contractor in the federal government's anti–trafficking program (infelicitously named 'Anytime, Anywhere'). USCCB is one of the myriad of organizations through which the Catholic Church has turned charity into profit and is among the largest of the tax-eating contractors for whom ORR apparently thinks it works... Today, both the U.S. government and its refugee contractor clients have a vested interested in bringing in more refugees at [tax-victim] expense. It's a business where quarter-million dollar salaries for top jobs at the main refugee resettlement contractors are common—and concern of the national interest, let alone the refugees' interest, is non-existent"
Craig Covault _Aviation Week & Space Technology_
Invocon probed for sabotage of space station computer
"An employee of Invocon Inc., a Houston-based sub-contractor to Boeing and United Space Alliance, is the focus of an investigation by the FBI, NASA and other federal authorities for alleged sabotage of a small computer box planned for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on STS-118 Aug. 7."
2007-07-30 (5767 Menachem-Av 16)
Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Respect and Suspect
"trust thrives when there is a clear and mutual understanding of obligations. Once this foundation is achieved, the sides can be flexible and understanding, but there is a need for an underlying bedrock of agreed-upon commitments."
|"If you have standards, moral standards, you have to want to make them prevail, & at the very least you have to argue in their favor." --- Irving Kristol 1983 January _Reason_ (reprinted 1998 December "Voices of Reason: 30 Years of Interviews" _Reason_ pg 30)|
Timothy Prickett Morgan _IT Jungle_
IT job market is allegedly more competitive
"In last week's issue, Victor Rozek's 'As I See It: Lawyers, Lies, and Statistics' column laid it all out there pretty succinctly: 'It's no coincidence that as the job market turns predatory, American workers have lost their teeth. The numbers tell the tale, and the story told by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of betrayal. Between 2000 and 2005, IT employment opportunities in the United States grew by about 332K jobs. If those opportunities escaped your notice, there's a good reason. During the same time period, the United States imported about 330K H1-B workers to fill many of those jobs. Engineers fared even worse. While 95K H1-B visas were issued for engineers, the Department of Labor reports that engineering employment shrank by almost 124K jobs.' When you look at those numbers, it is not hard to figure out why and where the stats are being bent, and it goes a long way toward explaining that it is sometimes hard -- and maybe often hard -- to get a job in IT these days... In this year's survey, the median expected increase in IT salaries was between 3% and 4%... On average, the companies surveyed spent about 40% of their IT budget on salaries, incentives, and benefits for IT workers."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter
senator H.R. Clinton (D-Punjab)
Linked is an LA Times article, several weeks in the making, of Hillary Clinton's ties to some influential Indian immigrants who are heavily involved in the off-shoring business. As the article notes:
Clinton is successfully wooing wealthy Indian Americans, many of them business "leaders" with close ties to their native country and an interest in protecting out-sourcing laws and expanding access to worker visas. Her campaign has held 3 fund-raisers in the Indian American community recently, one of which raised close to $3M, its sponsor told an Indian news organization.
Before I make my comments on the article, I'd like to get a couple of issues out of the way.
I've pointed out before a fundamental issue which immigrants must face, and indeed our national immigration policy must deal with. OT1H, we cannot and should not expect immigrants to completely cut their ties -- emotional, family, economic and so on -- with their homelands. OTOH, I believe there is a general consensus that they should become Americans not only in the sense of naturalization, but also in terms of "loyalty". I put that word in quotation marks, as it is obviously such a slippery term. But if immigrants routinely work to help their homelands at the expense of their adopted nation, the system isn't working the way it should.
Of course, one must ask whether, in the case discussed here, off-shoring of tech work to India really does represent a loss for the U.S.A. To inform new readers of this e-news-letter and remind older ones, my personal view of trade is more an issue of quality than price. Obviously those 2 are intertwined to some degree, but my point is that, for instance, I've always driven Japanese cars, as I believe they are more reliable. And, of greater relevance here, I've stated repeatedly that I strongly believe in encouraging the immigration of "the best and the brightest" to the U.S.A. Mind you, only a small percentage of foreign tech workers are in that league, as I've demonstrated numerically before, but I believe that the outstanding ones should have their immigration facilitated.
However, again those cases are in the minority, and I've argued that on the whole we lose from off-shoring of tech work. It's possible that we might get a net gain in GDP (though, I suppose, ill distributed), but it should be clear that the ultimate result is that we lose jobs requiring a higher level of education, while we get an increase in jobs requiring less education. This, in fact, was more or less confirmed by an industry-sponsored study performed by Global Insight. And it should be clear that if this occurs, we lose in many ways besides pure GDP.
OK, now note this passage:
"It's just 2-faced.", said John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild, one of several high-tech worker organizations that have sprung up as out-sourcing has expanded. "We see her undermining U.S. workers and helping the off-shoring business, and then she comes back to the U.S.A. and says, 'I'm concerned about your pain.'"
Among Indian American activists, Clinton's work with Tata has been seen as a sign of her independence from out-sourcing skeptics within her party -- and a break from the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee, Massachusetts senator John Kerry, who lambasted "Benedict Arnold CEOs" for shipping jobs over-seas.
Kerry and his campaign later admitted that his famous quote was hot air, and that had he been elected, he would have done essentially nothing to address the problem. None of the major Democratic (or for that matter Republican) candidates for the 2008 presidential election would do anything either. (This, BTW, includes John Edwards, who, though much feared and reviled by Wall Street, would do nothing on these issues. See the San Francisco Chronicle, 2007 May 31.)
When CNN anchorman Lou Dobbs, an out-sourcing critic, pressed her on the Tata deal in 2004, Clinton responded: "Well, of course I know that they out-source jobs [off-shore], that they've actually brought jobs to Buffalo. They've created 10 jobs in Buffalo and have told me and the Buffalo community that they intend to be a source of new jobs in the area, because, you know, out-sourcing does work both ways."...
criticism of out-sourcing. "Even though she was against out-sourcing at the beginning of her political career", the USINPAC web site says, "she has since changed her position and now maintains that off-shoring brings as much economic value to the United States as to the country where services are out-sourced, especially India."
Actually, USINPAC's 2007 May news-letter went further concerning their influence, especially of the hoped-for future variety:
USINPAC is now involved in key planning and strategy sessions with senator Hillary Clinton... USINPAC members also attended a private reception at senator Clinton's home. At the meeting members engaged president and senator Clinton about the role of the Indian American community in her administration if she is elected.
Today, on the campaign trail, Clinton often strikes a different tone. Addressing union audiences and Democratic crowds, she does not highlight her support for expanding foreign-worker visas. Instead, Clinton often laments a system that, as she told a government workers union last month, rewards companies for "moving our jobs over-seas". "Out-sourcing is a problem, and it's one that I've dealt with as a senator from New York.", Clinton said during a Democratic candidates debate in June. She said she had tried "to stand against the tide of out-sourcing."
And now consider this passage from the article:
"There was a sense of excitement on the part of the community", said Anthony M. Masiello, Buffalo's mayor at the time, "to have a company like Tata that would not traditionally look at coming to western New York."
But soon the company faded from public view, said Andrew J. Rudnick, president and CEO of the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership, an economic development group in which Tata was initially active. "They told us their business strategy had changed.", he said. "The reality is that the number of people that Tata is employing here now doesn't seem to be significant."
At the University at Buffalo, Bruce A. Holm, director of a research center pursuing projects with Tata, conceded that the partnership had not played out as hoped. But he said that progress was still possible.
Well, maybe it is indeed too early to pass judgment. But given that 90% of TCS' workers are foreign, just what did the City of Buffalo, and the University of Buffalo, expect, besides window dressing?
Worse yet, the university could pay a price for its relationship. In a 2004 posting to this e-news-letter, I showed how TCS had set up a relationship with Carnegie Mellon University which features what appear to be very strong conflicts of interest.
Yet Clinton is proving to be a teflon candidate. At an Indian-American fund-raiser, Clinton had been jokingly introduced as the senator not only from New York but also from Punjab (pdf) [and she quipped that she was proud to be known as the senator from Punjab]. Barak Obama's campaign later seized upon this, sarcastistically referring to her as as "Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)", but Clinton turned it to her advantage, accusing Obama of being anti-Indian. Obama [chose] to back-track. Yet when Clinton's campaign made a far worse error, by excluding the Chinese-American media from her press conference in San Francisco on the outrageous grounds that they were "foreign press". Clinton got a free ride.
So don't expect unfavorable publicity like that in the linked article to have any impact on Clinton.
Hillary Clinton woos the off-shore bodyshoppers: The senator's efforts to bring an Indian firm to Buffalo, which yielded "about 10" jobs
class action against Tata
Hillary Clinton Lauds Role of Sikhs
Panthic Weekly: Sikhs embraced at Capitol Hill
Dan Shaw _Indianapolis Star_/_Lafayette Journal & Courier_
Representative Buyer told costs of invasion of illegal aliens
"The federal government has neglected its duty to help local institutions solve the problems that arise from illegal immigration. That's what a group of Frankfort and Clinton County leaders told U.S. representative Steve Buyer, R-4th District, on Monday. In a closed-door meeting, Buyer met with officials to learn about the pressures noncitizens put on schools, governments, jails and other institutions. Frankfort mayor Don Stock said many residents think the city should do more to prevent illegal immigrants from coming there... Stock said many illegal immigrants came to Frankfort to find honest work. But others have joined gangs and have contributed to the drug traffic in town... Frankfort has been forced to spend more money on law enforcement, he said. Meanwhile, the federal government hasn't recognized the city's troubles... Buyer agreed that the federal government should do more to help cities and towns deal with illegal immigrants. He called for strengthening the security at the border between the United States and Mexico and for stricter enforcement of current laws. He also said he opposes giving amnesty to any of the [12M to 20M] illegal immigrants believed to be in the United States. The government must instead find a 'practical compromise' and give those who want to perform honest work some sort of legal right to be in the country short of citizenship [i.e. amnesty], he said. Frankfort Community School Corp. superintendent Kevin Caress said the system annually spends a large amount of money teaching the children of immigrants to speak English. The federal government has placed two local schools -- Kyger and Suncrest -- on probation because they failed to meet the standards of the No Child Left Behind Act. Caress noted that Latinos comprise 90% of the students at Kyger, and their numbers are large at Suncrest as well. He said No Child Left Behind expects Spanish speakers to become proficient in English quickly and punishes schools that fail to meet those strict standards. The system would be better if the government simply rewarded those schools at which students had shown improvements in their mastery of the language, he said."
Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
NY Times can't recognize cause and effect when it comes to factory farming
Nick Corcodilos _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
"the North American brain drain is now flowing the other way... The Calgary Herald reports that, according to the executive director of the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, Jack Jedwab, 'The most educated class of immigrants we're getting right now is coming from the United States.' Is this some sort of Hoser-1B deal? 'Americans settling in Canada increasingly boast better education credentials. In 2006, 49.5% of American immigrants had a bachelor's degree or better, up from 46% in 2000.'"
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Currently, legal immigration is a bigger problem than illegal immigration
"The 1990 immigration law 'capped' legal immigration at 700K persons a year. Yet since 1990, there've been only 2 years in which legal immigration has been below that level. In 2006, 1,266,264 people were granted legal permanent resident status. That's a record if you exclude the post-IRCA amnesty spike of the early 1990s -- which reflected the 1986 amnestying of illegal aliens already here... There are about 26M legal immigrants in the country. Notoriously, the U.S. government doesn't know how many illegals are here. The official estimate is 12M, but it could be as high as 20M. This is certainly a scandalous situation. But, either way, there are still more legal immigrants -- and their numbers are growing faster. Why doesn't the 1990 'cap' on legal immigration work? Because it exempts 'immediate family' of U.S. citizens. Current immigration law allows both naturalized and U.S.–born citizens to bring in their spouses, children and parents without limit—a never-ending chain. Legal residents, (i.e. Green Card holders) may have to wait several years before bringing their families to America (legally). But of course, once they're here, they're here. The 'immediate family' loop-hole accounted for 580,483 immigrants in 2006, slightly less than half of all legal immigrants admitted that year... An estimated 300K 'anchor babies' are born in California each year... more than 80% of refugees have relatives already here... 216,454 refugees and asylees were admitted in 2006... the winners [of the 'diversity lottery'] are disproportionately from the Muslim world -- with several implicated in terrorism in the United States."
Arby Edward _Citizen_
We've deported millions of illegal aliens before
"As a retired U.S. Customs agent, I am aware of a program in 1954 in which President Dwight Eisenhower deported millions of Mexican nationals. The program was called 'Operation Wetback' and the purpose was to give WWII and Korean veterans a better chance at badly needed jobs. Go to the web and enter 'Operation Wetback' for verification of this fact. Again for those of you who don't know or remember your history, during the Great Depression President Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of all illegal aliens in order to make jobs available to American citizens. In both cases above the deportation of illegal aliens was carried out successfully. Once the program started, millions of the illegals fled back to Mexico on their own to avoid arrest. If it could be done in those days, it surely can be done today and it must be done. The fact that it is not being done confirms that there is a conspiracy in our government to overwhelm our culture with aliens, and then create a new North American state that owes its allegiance only to an oligarchy of the elite and does some lip service to a controlled United Nations."
Diane Allen _News Max_
Wage Stagnation + Cheap Foreign Labor + Rising Prices = Big Profits... for a while
"Work visas are a part of the NAFTA agreement; Bill Gates could, and probably will, side-step visa limits when he moves a division of M$ to Canada. Politically correct Canada allows unlimited numbers of foreign work visas demanded by multi-national corporations. This would allow Gates to ship foreign workers to the U.S. under the NAFTA 'agreement'... It is true; Americans are losing jobs to globalization and unrestricted immigration and they usually find new ones. The problem is the wage differential between jobs they lost and new jobs are significant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics average pay is 17% below what U.S. workers made in jobs that were lost to globalization. For white-collar workers, White House economists say earnings for college grads with 4-year degrees fell 5.2% from 2000 to 2004 when adjusted for inflation. Labor economist Paul Harrington and others conclude nearly half of the 6.5M jobs created since 2001, are jobs without benefits, part-time, or free lance. The Economic Research Institute reports half of all new jobs have gone to immigrants. From 2000 to 2006 the foreign-born work-force grew by 5.3M, or 31%. Over the same period the number of U.S.-born workers rose by 3.9M, or 3.3%. So some 57 of every 100 jobs created during the first 6 Bush years went to an immigrant... During Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress on 2007 July 18, it became clear wages are not keeping up with real life inflation. Member of the House Committee on Financial Affairs Ron Paul gave Bernanke the actual inflation picture. The Fed chairman did not disagree. Paul: 'But we have a lot of information today available to us to show that there's a lot of monetary inflation going on. For instance, if you look at MZM, it's growing at almost a 9% rate. M3, no longer available to us from the official sources, but private sources tell us it's growing at a 13% rate.' Of course we can reassure ourselves and say the CPI (Consumer Price Index) is growing at a 2.6% rate. But if you go back to the old method of calculating the CPI, closer to what the average person is suffering and one of the reasons why there's an inequality going on, is it's growing at over a 10% rate [while PPI growth is much lower]."
Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
Mr. President, release Compean and Ramos
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
National Socialist Radio (Marketplace) piece on H-1B and green cards
Marketplace ran a good piece on H-1B yesterday. A transcript is enclosed below. I do have to correct a fundamental premise of the piece, though.
The discussion here gives the impression that it is an abuse of the H-1B program to hire foreign workers as H-1Bs but not sponsor them for green cards. Abuse of the H-1B program is of course rampant, but it takes the form of hiring the foreign workers as cheap labor. There is nothing improper, either in the letter or the spirit of the H-1B law, in hiring a foreign worker without sponsoring her for a green card.
On the contrary, as the piece also states, many foreign workers don't want a green card anymore. What is not mentioned is the reason for this: The U.S. is just not the place for a lucrative tech career that it used to be in the 1980s and 1990s. And in turn the reason for that is the widespread use of H-1Bs and off-shoring. So we've come full circle, ironically.
The piece shows clearly how the H-1B and employer-sponsored green card programs have devastated long-term careers in programming in the U.S.:
It's a typical American work-place. Except almost all the employees are young Indian professionals, who come to the U.S. on H-1B visas...
Alam: We in I-Flex, we receive close to over 200 American nationals applying to us, willing to work with us in any part of the world. And this is 200 every month.
IOW, they're getting tons of resumes from Americans but they hire foreign H-1Bs almost exclusively.
Remember, most employers are NOT required to give hiring priority to Americans. There is an exception category, the "H-1B-dependent employers", but this category is tiny. I-Flex may be in this category, but even if it is, the law is full of loop-holes which enable employers to legally avoid hiring Americans. This was illustrated dramatically by the videos placed on YouTube (as a form of advertising) by an immigration law firm, in which they showed exactly how to avoid hiring Americans but still comply which green card law (which does require giving hiring priority to Americans).
The videos also showed how to under-pay the H-1Bs and green card sponsorees and yet still be fully compliant with the law.
National Socialist Radio MarketPlace
Legislation, Passports, Asylum, H-1B, Canada, UK, Eurasia, Latin America
Ray Tapajna _TapSearch_
American Nightmare Continues: Unemployment, Under-Employment and Uncounted Misery
|"For the psychotic or creative individual, the concept of relevance is itself broadened. For a writer, such looseness is an amazing asset." --- Susan K. Perry 1999 _Writing in Flow_ pg 89|
|"the creative impulse is quiet, quiet. It sees, it feels, it quietly hears; & now, in the present... It is when you are really living in the present that you are living spiritually, with the imagination." --- Brenda Ueland 1938, 1987 _If You Want to Write_ pg 52|
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