2009 April

1st month of the 2nd quarter of the 20th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub-Obummer economic depression

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updated: 2019-12-19

  "Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital & labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each.   The pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the universal good of the whole.   By stimulating industry, by rewarding ingenuity, & by using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature, it distributes labour most effectively & most economically; while, by increasing the general mass of productions, it diffuses great benefit, & binds together, by one common tie of interest & intercourse, the universal society of nations throughout the civilized world." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 81  

2009 April
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  "In proportion as the capital of a country is diminished, its productions will be necessarily diminished; &, therefore, if the same unproductive expenditure on the part of the people & of the gov't continue, with a constantly diminishing annual reproduction, the resources of the people & the state will fall away with increasing rapidity, & distress & ruin will follow." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 95  




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

2009 April

1st month of the 2nd quarter of the 10th year of the Clinton-Bush-Obama economic depression



2009-04-01 12:43PDT (15:43EDT) (19:43GMT)
John Letzing _MarketWatch_
Another firm that had great products disappears: SGI sold to Rackable Systems

James Carlini _MidWest Business Technology News_
Government stimulus thinking stuck in 1930s

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1998
Wachovia forcing employees to train Indian replacements

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
The H-1B visa as a job replacement tool

John Miano _Center for Immigration Studies_
H-1B Season!

Dice Report: 51,003 job ads

body shop22,825
full-time temp32,169
part-time temp1,140


2009-04-01 (5769 Nisan 07)
Dion Nissenbaum _Jewish World Review_
Bibi Netanyahu returns

2009-04-01 (5769 Nisan 07)
Emily Kaiser _Reuters_
Timothy Geithner: ousting bailed-out USA bank CEOs is an option

2009-04-01 (5769 Nisan 07)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Our problem is immorality

  "[T]he great evil of taxation is to be found, not so much in any selection of its objects, as in the general amount of its effects taken collectively." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 95  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
WSJ asks researchers for opinions of "1 H-1B creates 5 jobs"
There was a column in the Wall Street Journal today by "Numbers Guy", Carl Bialik, concerning the claim by NFAP/Stuart Anderson that each H-1B worker creates 5 new jobs, oft-repeated by the industry lobbyists.   It's amazing that an assertion as obviously flawed as this one, with text-book statistical errors, has gotten so much attention.   But then that's why the lobbyists are paid the big bucks.
Bialik has done a generally excellent job here, but I do have a few comments.   (I have excerpted the article here, and included the full blog posting.)
First, I wish the Numbers Guy had gotten numbers on Stuart Anderson -- where does his funding come from? Anderson has been making a living promoting H-1B for 15 years, and he literally wrote the H-1B legislation that expanded the program in 1998 and 2000, when working as a Senate staffer.   Given that he is cited by the immigration lawyers so much, I've long believed that his NFAP organization receives funding from the AILF, which is the research arm of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.   The AILA sells a tape of featuring Anderson speaking on behalf of the AILF, together with 2 other speakers, including Dan Siciliano, who is an AILF official.
Now, concerning Bialik's own comments, let's start with this one:
With the filing period for employers beginning April 1, immigration advocates argue that granting more H-1B visas to foreign nationals creates jobs for Americans.   Critics dispute that notion and say that financial firms receiving bailout funds have been hiring foreign workers while laying off tens of thousands of Americans.   Both sides are playing fast and loose with the numbers.
That last sentence is very unfortunate.   The only "critics" that Bialik finds wanting in terms of quality of analysis are the AP and senator Bernie Sanders.   Putting aside the question of whether these two sources are accurate in their criticism, it must be pointed out -- and Bialik should have pointed out -- that neither the AP nor senator Sanders are professional researchers, and that Bialik's article does not take issue with the analysis done by the three professional researchers he cites on the H-1B-critic side, namely Ron Hira, John Miano and me.
I've found all the ruckus about the AP study to be an unfortunate distraction to the H-1B debate.   The real issue is the banks' past (and by the way current, as seen in the last few days with Wachovia) poor track record regarding foreign workers.   Details. 
Anyway, Bialik gets right to the heart of the matter, both in his blog,
I sent the study -- which has been cited by MSFT chairman Bill Gates, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire -- to several statisticians, and most questioned the findings.
and in the article
MSFT Chairman Bill Gates, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire all have cited a study they claim shows that each one of these visas awarded to technology companies creates five jobs.   Mr. Gates interpreted the study in testimony to Congress last year as finding that "for every H-1B holder that technology companies hire, 5 additional jobs are created around that person".
But the study shows nothing of the kind.   Instead, it finds a positive correlation between these visas and job growth.   These visas could be an indicator of broader hiring at the company, rather than the cause.
Some think the claim that the study, conducted by the pro-immigration National Foundation for American Policy, demonstrates awarding visas boosts hiring is way off base. It "has all the scientific sense of cold fusion", says Harvard University economist Richard B. Freeman, "though of course it could be we have discovered the perpetual employment expansion elixir."

The middle paragraph is the key.   It's a very famous statistical error, often called Simpson's Paradox, in which the relation between two variables is very misleading, due to their mutual relation to a third variable.   (For details, consult a statistics text-book or see the Wikipedia entry on this topic.) &nbp; [I recall that criminologist Gary Kleck pointed this out in his graduate class on statistical methods.]
Now this one really intrigued me:
Some researchers find the general premise of the study persuasive, even if the study didn't prove it.   Duke University statistician David Banks said correlation can't prove causation, but he did think the study "corroborates the idea that H-1B visas support job creation".   It does so, he says, by contradicting the theory that companies seek foreign workers to replace domestic ones.
In reading this, I wondered, "Who is this guy Banks, and why was he interviewed by Bialik, out of the literally thousands of statistics professors in the nation?   What in the world does he have to do with H-1B?"   Well, it turns out that he works with outspoken immigration attorney Bruce Hake!   In fact, Banks has coauthored chapters with Hake in AILA publications.   So Banks is certainly not the impartial observer ("finds the study persuasive"!) that Bialik apparently thought him to be.
Bialik then cites Vivek Wadhwa, but though Vivek has done some excellent work on H-1B, he had to withdraw his patent study due to data problems, and he has explicitly stated that he never found that immigrants are more innovative than Americans.   The point is that we cannot conclude that the demonstrated displacement of U.S. citizens and permanent residents by foreign workers has led to a net increase in patenting, a point made by Anthony Hayter in the blog.
Finally, in the blog Bialik refers to me as "Ratloff".   I hope that wasn't a Freudian slip. :-)
Carl Bialik/TheNumbers Guy: Wall Street Journal: Work-Visa Numbers Get Squishy -- and Get Played: Both Sides in the Debate Over Employee Immigration Policies Misuse Data to Advance Their Positions on the Issue

2009-04-02 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 594,464 in the week ending March 28, an increase of 4,397 from the previous week.   There were 341,846 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.8% during the week ending March 21, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,369,289, a decrease of 71,241 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,235,768.   Extended benefits were available in Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin during the week ending March 14."
more graphs

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1999
J-1 doctors abused in Nevada: ObummerDoesn'tCare
The Las Vegas Sun has been doing an on-going investigation about the exploitation of J-1 doctors.
Before I go further lets talk briefly about what a J-1 visa is, and they are used by foreign doctors.   If you don't want to slog through the technical stuff just jump to the article.   What is going on in Nevada will make a lot more sense if you read everything because the article doesn't have enough detail to make sense.   Another alternative is to read the article and then come back to read the technical details.
The J-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign students to study at a university in the U.S.A. and it authorizes them to work in their field of study.   It also allows their big families and numerous relatives into the U.S.A. so that they too can hold jobs.   Their length of stay in the U.S.A. is somewhat undefined because the visa can last for whatever time period their program lasts, and J-1 visa holders can ask for extensions of the visa to stay longer.   In the case of graduate medical students, they usually stay in the U.S.A. for their residency, which can be for several years.
There is a catch to J-1.   If the visa holders want to get an H-1B visa or a green card so they can stay in the U.S. they must go back to their home country for 2 years before they can apply.   BUT, THERE IS A LOOP-HOLE!
For foreign doctors, there are ways to get waivers so that they don't have to go back home.   These waivers allow them to stay in the U.S. with their J-1 visa while they apply for an H-1B or green card.   The only catch is that they will have to work in designated rural areas.   The rationale behind all of this is that there is a shortage of doctors who will work in these areas so a carrot and stick approach is necessary to entice foreign doctors to work in places that are considered undesirable (like Briarwood, NY and Phoenix, AZ).
Foreign doctors get waivers by using the following programs:
* Conrad -- up to 30 foreign doctors per state per year can get a waiver.
* Veterans Administration -- there is no limit on foreign doctors. Another enticement to work at the VA is that they are exempted from the H-1B visa cap of 85K per year.   Foreign doctors who want to stay in the U.S. and work at the VA can do so as long as they pay their dues, like working long hours for low pay -- and kissing the rear end of their mean American bosses.
* The Delta Region Authority -- this area covers 252 counties and parishes in parts of 8 southern states.   They can give an unlimited number of waivers and like the VA they are exempt from the H-1B cap.
* Appalachian Region -- this area follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.   They can give an unlimited number of waivers and they are exempt from the H-1B cap.
As you can see, there is no shortage of exemptions for J-1 foreign doctors.   The list above is far from complete, and there are also many other exemption programs for J-1s; like for instance the Dept. of Defense exemption for J-1 scientists.   It might be argued that many of these areas are rural, but with enough searching exceptions are easy to find.   One thing for sure, J-1 visa waivers are used for big city hospitals and clinics as well as rural areas.   Their common denominator is that they don't want to pay enough to interest American doctors.
J-1 doctors are used as slaves.   Of course it's a well known fact that all medical graduates are used as slaves until they fulfill their residency requirements, so it would probably be more accurate to say that J-1 doctors are lower cost slaves than American doctors.   There is even a blog devoted to trying to convince themselves that they aren't slaves:
J1 Physicians are not Slaves
The first thing you must understand is that designated rural areas are often not rural.   More often than not they are a hospital or clinic that lobbied to get themselves designated as rural because they want to hire low cost doctors.   Even when they are rural the reason they can't find medical graduates is because they don't want to pay enough, and the working and living conditions are usually so bad an American doctor wouldn't tolerate working there.
To find out what areas of the country are qualified for J-1 doctors, you can use one of these two web sites.   There is almost nowhere in the country that J-1 doctors can't work!
Shortage Designation: HPSAs, MUAs & MUPs
J-1 waivers for physician
A quick search of their data-bases rendered 2 results that can be used as case examples:
Phoenix Children's Hospital
1919 E Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Project Samaritan Health Services
13802 Queens Blvd
Briarwood, New York, NY
I produced these results after just a couple of searches in counties with large cities.   Many more examples could be found for those that know their local areas.
These locations are hardly rural.   The Phoenix location is right in the middle of downtown.   The Briarwood location is next to a huge freeway system with buildings all around it -- except for the large park just to the west on the other side of the expressway, which might seem rural if you can block out the vehicle noise (LOL!).   See for yourself and have some fun by searching in your own area by using the data-bases above and google maps satellite view.   Plug the two addresses above into google view to get an idea what "rural" looks like from above.
Demand for J-1 doctors is likely to increase because of President Obama's economic stimulus package [PL111-5].   That's because billions of dollars will be made available for Community Health Centers throughout the United States.   Those types of institutions have voracious appetites for cheap doctors so they love to hire J-1 doctors.   Fortunately for these institutions there is nothing in the stimulus package requiring that American doctors should be favored.
OK, now to that Nevada news article.
A lengthy Sun investigation in 2007 showed that many employers in Nevada were abusing the J-1 program by hiring doctors under the pretense of employing them in clinics in underserved areas, and instead assigning them to hospitals, where they could bring in more money for the boss.
As previously demonstrated, there is no pretense of hiring J-1 doctors exclusively in rural areas -- they are hired all over the place and especially by big urban hospitals.   The Sun is correct on the money thing though.   Greedy bosses just love cheap labor!
In the article, foreign born doctors like El Salibi complain of working 100 hours a week and of having to see too many patients.   Hmmmmmmm!   I have talked to many a doctor that said they did the same thing when they graduated from medical school.   All of that is just part of the initiation for medical careers.
El Salibi, who now works on his own, said he can speak freely about his J-1 experience now because his immigration status is secure.
Looks like Dr. Salibi got his green card, so he no longer will be called Dr. Slaveboy.

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1997
NY legislator calls for investigation of Ill-Begotten Monstrosities lay-offs

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
LA Times article
A few comments on the enclosed article:
1. John Miano tells me he was misquoted.   What he likely meant is the point I've always made, which is that the under-payment of H-1Bs is done in full compliance with the law, exploiting loop-holes.
2. Concerning the statement,
At MSFT Corp., for example, 35% of the patent applications the firm filed last year were the result of work by H-1B and green-card holders, according to a blog post Tuesday by the firm's general counsel, Brad Smith.
But the fact is that MSFT R&D people consist of even more than 35% H-1Bs and green card holders, in which case it proves nothing.
MSFT has a poor track record with truth on the H-1B topic.
3. If these MSFT H-1Bs are indeed that talented, surely they should not mind Senator Grassley's proposals for reforming the visa.   The industry lobbyists have referred to these as "extra hoops to jump", but MSFT shouldn't mind a couple of hoops in order to get what they claim is top talent.   MSFT could go a long way to fixing its credibility problem on H-1B (see above) by supporting the Grassley/Durbin bill.   But that's not going to happen.
Teresa Watanabe: LA Times: Visa program for skilled workers under attack

2009-04-02 07:04PDT (10:04EDT) (14:04GMT)
Andrew Ciccocioppo _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Glass to rebuild WTC will come from Red China, not PPG in PA
"the contract was awarded to Solera Construction/DCM Erectors of New York...   However, Solera/DCM hired a sub-contractor, Zetian Systems of Las Vegas, which in turn hired China Beijing Glass to produce the patented glass, which it will produce under the PPG license...   'Starphire' glass is patented and Beijing Glass is a licensee of the PPG technology...   He said PPG put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the project -- including upgrades to the South Middleton Township plant -- and had worked with the Port Authority, the architect and others to develop the glass for the project."

2009-04-02 14:00PDT (17:00EDT) (21:00GMT)
Ron Hira _Business Week_
It's Time to Overhaul H-1B Visa Program

2009-04-02 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
over 1.5M admitted on work visas in the last year
"In the midst of all this, some good economic news, factory orders moving higher, durable goods orders rising higher and pending home sales rising.   But new jobless claims rose sharply last week -- 669K people filing their first claims for unemployment benefits, the highest weekly total in 26 years; the number of laid-off employees now receiving benefits rising to 5.75M people...   The H-1b program is only 1 of 12 worker visa programs into this country or guest worker programs.   More than 1.5M people were admitted to the United States last year on those visas that allowed them to work.   Another 1.1M people were given permanent resident status last year, allowing them to work and to live in the United States."

2009-04-02 (5769 Nisan 08)
Jonathan Rosenblum _Jewish World Review_
Reflections after 30 years of marriage

2009-04-02 (5769 Nisan 08)
David Lawder _Reuters_
US House backs new pay curbs at bailed-out banks
"...AIG's March 15 payment of $165M in retention bonuses to employees of its AIG Financial Products unit, which made bad bets on credit default swaps and complex mortgage-backed securities..."

2009-04-02 (5769 Nisan 08)
Dion Nissenbaum _Jewish World Review_
Israeli foreign minister Lieberman disavows US-led negotiations

  "A tax on [production] by raising the wages of labour & lowering profits,... acts unequally, as it affects the income of the farmer, trader, & manufacturer, & leaves untaxed the income of the land-lord, stock-holder, & others enjoying fixed incomes -- it may be answered that if the operation of the tax be unequal it is for the legislature to make it equal, by taxing directly the rent of land & the dividends from stock.   By so doing, all the objects of an income tax would be obtained without the inconvenience of having recourse to the obnoxious measure of prying into every man's concerns, & arming commissioners with powers repugnant to the habits & feelings of a free country." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 101  



2009-04-03 06:25PDT (09:25EDT) (13:25GMT)
Chris Oliver _MarketWatch_
Red Chinese exporters likely to benefit from socialist G-20 scheme

2009-04-03 07:39PDT (10:39EDT) (14:39GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
ISM services index fell to 40.8

Roy Beck _Numbers USA_
663K U.S. Jobs Lost in March -- 138K More Foreign Workers Given Work Permits: Are the White House & Media Noticing?

2009-04-03 08:56PDT (11:56EDT) (15:56GMT)
Angry British villagers stop Google Street View car for violating their privacy
"'What I have a problem with is the invasion of privacy, taking pictures directly into the home.', Jacobs said."

_US News & World Report_
GE and Intel plan massive $250M privacy violation scheme
NY Times
Wall Street Journal
Michelle Fleury: BBC
Dana Blankenhorn: Ziff Davis/CNET/CBS

2009-04-03 08:57PDT (11:57EDT) (15:57GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
5.1M jobs lost so far in 2nd recession of Clinton-Bush-Obama depression

Alfred Hendrickson _Billings MT Gazette_
Public must stop the radical leftists in government

Diane Morse _Billings MT Gazette_
Why not mine our coal, drill for our oil & gas, harvest our timber, and mine our gold?

William Kates _AP_
Dumped Ill-Begotten Monstrosities worker, Jiverly Voong a.k.a. Linh Phat Yoong, went postal on immigration aid center: 14 dead, 4 critical
Gainesville FL Sun
Hans Pennink: Conde Nast Portfolio/Reuters
Chicago Tribune
WHAM Rochester, NY

Patrick J. Buchanan _Human Events_
We should have shut down the Fed 80 years ago

_Motley Fools_
Challenger, Gray & Christmas say lay-off announcements fell
Ron Scherer: Christian Science Monitor
Bob Willis: Calgary Herald/Bloomberg
Arizona Daily Star
Tierney Plumb: San Jose Business Journal
Erik Sherman: BNET/CBS
Rodrigo Campos: Reuters
Lay-off announcements by U.S. employers declined 19.3% from February's 186,350 job cuts to 150,411 in March.
Employers in the government and non-profit sector had 25,324 announced job cuts.
The pharmaceutical industry planned to slash 17,796 jobs.
The financial industry had 8,651 job cuts in March, down 36% from February's 13,550 cuts and below last year's average of 21,676 announced cuts per month.
High tech saw 46,436 in January, 20,691 in February, and 17,040 in March; with 11,050 electronics cuts announced in January, 11,065 in February, 11,500 in March; 22,330 computer cuts announced in January, 3,960 in February and 5,290 in March; 13,056 telecomm cuts in January, 5,666 in February, and 250 in March.
There were over 15K cuts in aerospace and defense.
Automotive and retail sectors each shed more than 76K jobs over the quarter.

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Arizona congress-critter Jeff Flake proposed giving green cards to every PhD grad from US colleges and universities

Patrick Thibodeau _IT World_/_Computer World_/_IDG_
White House tries feebly to justify the unjustifiable OPT extension

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
Barrack Obama/Rahm Emanuel census plan: No illegal alien left behind

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Whoopee! Patriots Have Same Old Nightmare Act Amnesty To Kick Around Again
"The Dream Act is back!   Let the battle begin!"

2009-04-03 (5769 Nisan 09)
Rabbi Avraham Pam _Jewish World Review_
Lemons for Oranges

2009-04-03 (5769 Nisan 09)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Ending Israel's conditional legitimacy

S&P 500842.50
10-year US T-Bond2.89%
crude oil$52.51/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "Taxes under every form presents but a choice of evils..." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 106  



2009-04-04 18:45:05PDT (2009-04-04 21:45:05EDT) (2009-04-05 01:45:05GMT)
Michael Rubinkam _Columbus NE Telegram_
As man's life unraveled, he took others'

  "[A] nation cannot be exhausted of its money, for after a certain quantity has left it, the value of the remainder will rise, & such a price of commodities will be the consequence that they will again be capable of being profitably exported." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 108  



2009-04-05 10:10PDT (13:10EDT) (17:10GMT)
Andy Ostroy _Huffington Post_
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac lost $100G in bad loans, but handing out $210G in bonuses
Patrick Rucker: Reuters
Christine Seib: Times of London
James R. Hagerty: Wall Street Journal
"And now comes the news that failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which own or insure more than half of the nation's mortgages -- are about to hand out $210M in bonuses of their own, also to 'retain' the high-priced failures who've nearly destroyed them, and who for some reason they can't seem to live without.   The bonuses will cover 7,600 employees and are as high as $1.5M.   Yes, these are the same 2 behemoths who combined lost $100G last year."

Patrick Thibodeau _Network World_/_Computer World_/_IDG_
Cognizant agreed to pay H-1B guest-workers $509,607 in back wages

Peggy Hatton _Billings MT Gazette_
Democrats most at fault for financial services industry collapse
"This whole financial crisis falls back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac run by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and all Democrats pushing for home ownership for people who could not afford them. By pushing the sub-prime loans..."

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
How Freedom Is Still Being Lost

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Banking take-over is basic socialism
Stuart Varney: Wall Street Journal: Obama's aim is to control banking
Geithner says government would remove bank chiefs

  "[I]t is from the net income of a country that all taxes are ultimately paid... A tax increasing with the gross income, & falling on the net income, must necessarily be a very burdensome & a very intolerable tax.   Tithes are a tenth of the gross & not of the net produce of the land, & therefore as society improves in wealth, they must, though the same proportion of the gross produce, become a larger & larger proportion of the net produce.   Tithes, however, may be considered as injurious to land-lords, in as much as they act as a bounty on importation, by taxing the growth of home corn while the importation of foreign corn remains unfettered." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 113-114  



_Billings MT Gazette_
Montana poised to buck federa arms control: HB246 sailed through legislature

Crystal Kang _Daily Illini_
Economy gives University's graduate programs a boost in applicants
"At least 75,158 individuals have applied to law schools nationally as of March 20, according the Law School Admissions Council."

2009-04-06 08:06PDT (11:06EDT) (15:06GMT)
Sumeet Chatterjee _Reuters_
3 more Satyam executives arrested as fraud probe widens

2009-04-06 08:40PDT (11:40EDT) (15:40GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _MarketWatch_
CGC: High-tech lay-offs climb in first quarter
"high-tech companies announced job cuts totaling 84,217 in the first quarter -- the steepest reduction since 133,511 lay-offs were disclosed in last 3 months of 2002.   The latest decline follows 66,312 reported lay-offs in the 2008 fourth quarter...   In 2001 and 2002, for example, Challenger Gray said lay-off announcements totaled 1.16M, or an average of 145,467 per quarter.

_Conference Board_
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI)™ Shows Strong but Moderating Decline in March

_Electronic Design_
2009Q1 Engineering Unemployment worse than other sectors

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Even if we take all of the ill-gotten gains, even if we soak all of the rich, there won't be enough revenues to pay for all of the promised or proposed federal spending

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Graduate School Admissions, Race, And The White Status Game

Richard Olivastro _Hawaii Reporter_
When is your Tax Freedom Day?
"The states where taxpayers must work the longest before reaching Tax Freedom Day this year are: MD (April 19), WA (April 29), CA (April 20), NY (April 25), NJ (April 29) and CT (April 30)."

Jonathan Hill _America First Party_
Debunking Free-Trade Propaganda: Smoot-Hawley Not to Blame for Great Depression
"In 1930, GDP was $91.2G, already down 12% from pre-depression levels the year before.   Smoot-Hawley was enacted in June of 1930.   At that time, the trend in GDP was sharply lower, with the lowest level reached in 1933 -- down 46% from 1930 levels.   But to understand the impact of tariffs on GDP, we must first determine the percentage of GDP then due to imports.   According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, imports totaled $3.1G in 1930, amounting to only 3.4% of U.S. GDP.   Smoot-Hawley added to already existing tariffs.   According to The Economist, the result was an increase in the 'average rate on dutiable goods' from 40% to 48%, an increase of only 8%.   Therefore, at the time of its enactment, only 8% of the 3.4% portion of GDP related to imports was influenced by Smoot-Hawley -- a paltry 0.3% of the overall GDP!   Some might say that the tariff's impact was greater, because it spawned trade wars.   If this is the case, we should look at the maximum effect that it could have had on exports as well.   Exports, at $3.8G in 1930, were roughly equal to imports, and amounted to 4.2% of GDP.   Exports and imports therefore amounted to 7.6% of the domestic economy.   At the most, Smoot-Hawley influenced, on average, 8% of this 7.6%.   So in the worst case, it reduced GDP by only 0.6%.   In comparison, the GDP plummeted a massive 46% during the worst years of the depression, more than 75 times the maximum possible impact of Smoot-Hawley!   Regarding the effect of all tariffs, these could have caused a 48% reduction in 7.6% of the economy, reducing GDP by a maximum of only 3.6%.   In comparison, the depression caused GDP to fall by an amount more than 12 times greater than the maximum possible impact of all then-existing tariffs."

2009-04-06 (5769 Nisan 12)
Rabbi Elazar Meisels _Jewish World Review_
PassOver in 60 Minutes or Less

  "Every thing which raises the exchangeable value of commodities of any kind which are in very general demand tends to discourage... production; but this is an evil inseparable from all taxation, & is not confined to the particular taxes of which we are now speaking.   This may be considered, indeed, as the unavoidable disadvantage attending all taxes received & expended by the state.   Every new tax becomes a new charge on production, & raises natural price.   A portion of the labour of the country which was at the disposal of the contributor to the tax is placed at the disposal of the state, & cannot therefore be employed productively.   This portion may become so large that sufficient surplus produce may not be left to stimulate the exertions of those who usually augment by their savings the capital of the state.   Taxation has happily never yet in any free country been carried so far as constantly from year to year to diminish its capital.   Such a state of taxation could not be long endured; or if endured, it would be constantly absorbing so much of the annual produce of the country as to occasion the most extensive sceme of misery, famine, & depopulation." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 117-118  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
Stuart Anderson on C-SPAN

Stuart Anderson was on C-SPAN today.
This was Anderson at his slickest.   For example, one caller asked about cases in which Americans were laid off and forced to train their H-1B replacements.   Anderson said (this is not verbatim), "It's illegal to lay off an American and pay the H-1B less than the prevailing wage."
Slick!   It's illegal to pay less than the "prevailing wage", period; the lay-off is irrelevant.   But Anderson was able to use this juxtaposition to make it sound like it is illegal to lay off an American and replace him/her with an H-1B.
And of course the key point about prevailing wage law is that it is full of loop-holes, so that the legal prevailing wage is well below the real market wage.   Several callers brought up the issue of H-1Bs as cheap labor, but unfortunately they didn't know it's a loop-hole issue, which allowed Anderson to say, as usual, that the solution is better enforcement of the law.   He's been through this hundreds of times, and he knows exactly how to make it all sound so reasonable; the poor callers just aren't ready for him.
2000-04-24: Joel Stewart _Immigration Daily_ Legal Rejection of US Workers: "even in a depressed economy, Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply."
US Department of Labor's Strategic Plan on page 35 states:
"H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker."
DoL strategic plan pdf
2007: Programmers Guild

Patrick Thibodeau _IT World_/_Computer World_/_IDG_
Feds counting H-1B applications as unemployment spikes

2009-04-07 07:47PDT (10:47EDT) (14:47GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Europe's economy got worse

2009-04-07 16:31PDT (19:31EDT) (23:31GMT)
Marla Brill _MarketWatch_
More student going through jucos to save money
"In California, in-state tuition at Santa Monica College for the most recent academic year was around $600 for full-time students, compared to $7,551 at the University of California, Los Angeles.   Add in room and board charges and the savings increases another $25K or so if the student lives at home for those first 2 years of school."

_Wall Street Journal_
Obama's International Relations Unreality Tour

Brenda Walker _V Dare_
Washington's Weakness Invites Mexican "Refugee" Invasion

2009-04-07 14:20PDT (17:20EDT) (21:20GMT)
_Wall Street Journal_
The Nuclear Illusionist: Obama's "moral authority" won't deter Tehran or Pyongyang

C.J. Maloney _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
1819: America's First Housing Bubble

2009-04-07 (5769 Nisan 13)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Appeasing child killers

2009-04-07 (5769 Nisan 13)
Rabbi Nosson Scherman _Jewish World Review_
Of Beginning and Purpose: Bircas HaChammah

2009-04-07 (5769 Nisan 13)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Random Thoughts

  "[F]or money, the demand is exactly proportioned to its value." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 123  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
possible immigration reform, including H-1B, in the works
The idea of a board to set the number of guest workers does have potential.   (Actually, I made such a proposal years ago, 1996 I believe.)   However, its efficacy would depend on how vigorously labor groups fought for American programmers and engineers.
The AFL-CIO has consistently criticized the H-1B program, but it has never put any real resources into opposing H-1B cap increases and supporting reform.   In 2000, they even toyed with with idea of actively supporting an H-1B INCREASE, in exchange for industry's supporting the AFL-CIO's request that Congress grant amnesty to illegal aliens.
IEEE-USA has had, let's say, a "checkered" history on the H-1B issue.
For details on the history, see my University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform article (pdf).
Peter Wallsten: A risky new push for immigration legislation

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #2003
Stuart Anderson embarrassed himself on C-SPAN
Stuart Anderson appeared on C-SPAN.
Watch the program for Tuesday the 7th
The show probably didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped.   After giving his standard propaganda pitch, callers were allowed to call in.   Every single caller was skeptical of H-1B and had some very stinging questions -- including the one hard to understand H-1B that called.
C-SPAN set up shop at a high school, and at first it looked like they were going to stack the deck with naive kids to ask softball questions.   If that was the intention, C-SPAN made a big mistake!   There were two high school girls that looked like they were going to be patsies but much to Anderson's surprise, and to his dismay, were little lionesses.   I would guess that there are some parents in that high school that have been burned by H-1B!
Anderson had one big advantage -- there were no follow up questions, so he could basically B.S. his way out of some very awkward situations.
Here is my unofficial analysis and transcript of what transpired.
2:37:00 The Anderson interview begins.   The on-line video is a total of 3 hours with the last half hour going to Anderson.
He ranted that the yearly cap isn't big enough.   He then used some irrelevant statistics to show that H-1B isn't significant compared to the entire U.S. work-force.   What he failed to mention is that H-1B doesn't affect the entire work-force nearly as much as STEMs, so his argument was logically flawed.
2:43:00 Dominique Hunter, a high school student from Susquehanna High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania asked a good question about whether the importation of these foreign workers will increase unemployment and poverty in the United States.   Unfortunately the video glitched during her question so it's difficult to understand.   Anderson used a surprising argument that the children of H-1Bs add to our talent pool.   Anderson's answer contained quite a bit of unproved geneticism because he assumed that H-1Bs have superior genes compared to Americans, and he seemed to imply that the genes are passed on to their kids.   The girl asking the question was African American, so it's probably very lucky for Anderson that she wasn't allowed a follow up because she didn't look too happy that Anderson was arguing that H-1Bs are genetically superior.   LOL!
2:45:00 A male caller claimed that the H-1B program is harming America by turning us into a beggar nation. Anderson used another standard line -- if you don't let companies hire H-1Bs the companies will off-shore the jobs.   He talks about the lack of education of Americans and then claims that H-1B fees help train Americans.   He made a claim that H-1Bs help Americans get more skills.   Huh???   Did he think that H-1Bs come here and train Americans?
2:48:00 An angry female caller is not happy the way companies force Americans to train their replacements.   Anderson answers that there are protections in the law so companies can't replace Americans, which is of course a crock.   He blows off the story about workers being replaced as being nothing more than companies changing contractors, which can be misconstrued.
2:51:00 A man calls in that claims he has been here on an H-1B for 11 years (that's a long time!). He is angry that he can't get a green card.   He claims it should be easy to get citizenship since his wife is an American citizen who doesn't want to leave the U.S.A.   Anderson makes a pitch to handle his case, and then agrees that the wait for green cards is way to long.
2:53:00 Nicole Weaver, another African American female student from the same high school asked what kind of training Americans need to compete.   Superficially her question seemed like a softball but there were plenty of traps for Anderson to stub his toes on and it showed the way he danced around the question.   Anderson said that most American companies are not avoiding hiring Americans, and he said once a foreigner comes here to work they become American so there is no difference.   Predictably he called for more technology schools.
2;55:00 A man calls who gave a much better answer to the high school girl's question than Anderson did.   If you listen to anything in the video fast forward to listen to this guy.   Anderson couldn't help but crack a smile when he lied big time to answer the caller.
2:58:00 The last caller was an engineer who agreed with the previous caller but added that H-1Bs are under-paid.   Ooops!   Anderson's answer was so loopy he started to get spacey.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If anybody can record this video I would like to get a copy on VHS, DVD, or CD.   We need to get this on youtube with better quality, and because CSPAN doesn't necessarily archive these things long term.   Right now I don't have cable TV so I can't record it, but I have the tools to put it on-line.

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
UC Davis Magazine profile
I've always been grateful to my university for allowing me to speak freely on the H-1B issue, and even giving me an award for it.   The cover story of this month's issue of the UC Davis alumni magazine has the following theme:
Informed Dissent: Six outspoken UC Davis experts talk about why they put themselves on the front lines of debates on tough topics: California water, obesity, aerial spraying in the Bay Area, visas for foreign computer programmers and making room for women corporate leaders.
Their profile of me is enclosed below.
UC Davis Magazine Informed Dissent: Norm Matloff: Speaking Up for America's High-Tech Workers
Professor Norm Matloff's research areas include parallel processing, computer communication networks and data security -- traditional computer science fields not unlike those of his colleagues in the UC Davis Department of Computer Science.   But it's his active involvement in issues of immigration and employment, age discrimination and affirmative action that in 2002 earned him the Academic Senate's Public Service Award.
He is a critic of increasing the numbers of short-term visas, known as H1-Bs, issued to foreign, usually young, workers in the computer industry.   Matloff maintains that such jobs ought to be filled by American programmers, many of whom are victims of age discrimination or are recent computer science graduates from U.S. universities.   He believes that high-tech companies hire H1-B workers instead because they can pay them less.   He maintains a web site consisting of links to articles on various aspects of immigration written by specialists in the field.   And he produces an electronic newsletter devoted to H1-B, off-shoring and age discrimination issues (which he says are "all the same") for subscribers who range from programmers and engineers to academics, researchers and policy analysts in Washington, D.C.
The e-mail messages Matloff receives from many of his subscribers make clear "they feel as long as they can explain to people in Congress what the situation really is with H1-B, then Congress will do the right thing.", he says. "And that's not true."   Matloff says he was "a little naive" when he first began talking with Washington policymakers about the issue.   "I'd been keenly interested in politics since I was a kid, but I didn't realize how the political world works" -- how much power vested interests have on Capitol Hill.   "And", he says, "I didn't expect it."
Matloff says the original H1 visa program was specifically intended to enable "the best and the brightest" foreign nationals to be employed in the United States on a temporary basis while awaiting permanent residency (a "green card").   "And I highly support that.", he says.   But vested interests -- meaning, in this case, Matloff says, the tech industry, academia and immigration lawyers -- have lobbied Congress to raise the numbers of H1-B visas issued because it's to their economic benefit to build a work-force that's willing to earn less.
"Academia has a huge vested interest in H1-B.", Matloff says.   Universities hire many foreign nationals as post-doctoral researchers and then sponsor them for a green card, a process that can take several years.   The H-1B visa allows them to work legally in the United States during that period.   This can result in a graduate student pool that is willing to work for less money, thus keeping research assistant salaries low and driving away domestic students.
"Less obvious", says Matloff, is that universities have a "huge incentive" to support the tech industry's push for H1-Bs because it is to their mutual benefit -- good relationships with industry can translate into donations of equipment and research funding, or even whole buildings.   Matloff cites Stanford as an example, with its Bill Gates Hall, "a beautiful new computer science building" whose lobby features a donor list that's "a who's who", Matloff says, of major high-tech companies.   Across the street?   "Hewlett Hall and Packard Hall."
Matloff gives "high credit" to UC Davis and the College of Engineering for supporting his activities, citing the Academic Senate's Public Service Award he received for his work.

Vivek Wadhwa, Norm Matloff, Guillermina Jasso, Ron Hira, Mark Heesen, & John Miano _NY Times_
Foreign Tech Workers
National Research Council
GAO (pdf)
Eric Weinstein: How & Why Government, Universities, and Industry Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers
Matloff: Impact on older US workers (pdf)
H-1B recipients are still not the best or brightest
Lowell & Salzman: Americans are doing fine in science and math
Ron Hira: How Guest-Work Visas Promote Off-Shoring
John Miano: Most H-1B recipients receive low salaries and are not highly-skilled
"Michael Rothschild"
From 1970 [1947, actually] to 1990, American technical workers made the United States the computing center of the world.   How did we get so stupid so fast?   Actually American IT workers didn't get stupid at all.   This is what happened: For years the corporations wanted inexpensive white collar labor much the same way that agribusiness wanted cheap farm labor.   They looked to the Whitehouse for help.   In 1990 Bush 41 delivered.   The H-1B guest worker program was born.   It was not to be audited, the jobs need not be advertised to the American public and the H-1Bs would be tethered to their visa sponsors who rent them out to the corporations.   In the absence of equal opportunity enforcement, American free labor doesn't have a chance."

Harichandan Arakali _Bloomberg_
9 Satyam executives charged with fraud
Nandini Lakshman: BusinessWeek

2009-04-08 09:04PDT (12:04EDT) (16:04GMT)
David Goldman _CNN_/_Yahoo!_
8K tech jobs have been slashed this year including 4,100 in March

ComputerWorld IT lay-off tracker

Larry Dignan _Ziff Davis_/_CNET_/_CBS_
US electricity transmission and distribution control systems cracked and malware installed by Red Chinese and Russian cyber-spies
Siobhan Gorman: Wall Street Journal

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #2004
Machinations heretofore behind the scenes: Unions and the Coalition for the Future American Worker
In February, a TV ad campaign was run on Fox and CNN that was critical of the H-1B visa.   It was sponsored by the Coalition for the Future American Worker (CFAW).   Most of the funding for the campaign came from the Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
The video takes place in an elevator that gets very crowded with unemployed Americans who have been displaced by foreign labor.   It's a hard hitting 30 second ad that is targeted at H-1B and other types of guest worker visas.
You can still see the video ad by going to either of these 2 web pages:
Coalition for the Future American Worker (CFAW)
Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS)
On the CFAW web site there is a list of supporters at the bottom of the page.   ZaZona.com, which is the LLC for this news-letter and the JobDestruction web site, is proud to be one of those supporters.   Until recently, there were three labor unions that were listed as supporters: Steelworkers Union, AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees (AFL-CIO DPE), and Communications Workers of America Local 4250 (CWALocal4250).   Now there is only one: CWALocal4250.
The other 2 labor unions requested to be removed from the list.   To find out why this happened continue reading.
This story begins with representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).   In February, he embarked on a five-week tour, visiting 16 American cities to "document the harm" caused by the lack of "comprehensive immigration reform".   He called the campaign a "Family Unity Immigration Outreach Tour".   As you all know by now, Guitierrez's real agenda is to put pressure on Congress and the President to pass amnesty and to allow unlimited immigration of Mexicans and Hispanics into the U.S.A.
At some point of time around the beginning of the Gutierrez propadanda tour, he contacted the CWA District 4 Illinois office in order to pressure them to get CWA off the list of CFAW supporters.   Specifically Gutierrez wanted CWA Local 4250 removed.
NOTE: Sorry about acronyms folks, but it's going to get worse.
It didn't take long after Gutierrez contaced the CWA that a staff representative for the Illinois union office gave a call to CWA Local 4250 to talk to Steve Tisza, who is the president of the Chicago union chapter.   Tisza was informed that Gutierrez contacted the Illinois CWA regarding Local 4250's alliance with CFAW.   Tisza was asked what his differences were with Gutierrez, as if that mattered.   Tisza gave a simple and straightforward answer -- he explained that he differed with Gutierrez's views on the H-1B and illegal immigration issues.   Furthermore, Tisza said he is not going to remove his chapter from the CFAW list.
At that point it was obvious that Steve Tisza wasn't going to rescind his endorsement of the CFAW videos, but this story doesn't end yet because the union bosses didn't give up.
Fast forward to Miami, Florida, where the AFL-CIO Executive Council Meeting was held on 2009 March 2.   The meeting was attended by Larry Cohen, President CWA; Leo Gerard, President USW; Paul Almeida, President of AFL-CIO DPE, and the AFL-CIO's general counsel's office to discuss the CFAW.   They concluded that it would harm their agendas if they were associated with the CFAW.   The meeting was behind closed doors so nothing more is known about what was said.   They were no doubt pressured by Hilda Solis who attended the meeting.   If you recall, Hilda Solis had a very short term as President Obama's Labor Secretary until she got into trouble with taxes.   Before that she was a U.S. House Representative from Los Angeles, California and a member of La Raza (the Race).
It was probably at this meeting that the Steelworkers agreed to capitulate to the union bosses by pulling out of the CFAW.   The AFL-CIO DPE followed suit.   Their problems weren't over though, because there was still a renegade that was still on the list of supporters to deal with -- CWA Local 4250.
To deal with the Tisza problem, the Executive Council decided to use Almeida as their hatchet man. His job was to contact Steve Tisza to urge him to remove the 4250 Local chapter from the list of supporters.
Almeida never tried to order Tisza to pull out.   Instead he used an oblique approach by telling Tisza that the CFAW supports an extremist anti-immigrant position.   Tisza respectfully disagreed and therefore saw no need to withdraw.
Almeida told Tisza that the CFAW is against the H-1B visa program but their opposition is not based on the same grounds as the AFL-CIO. An assertion was made that the CFAW's motives are driven by racism and fear, while the AFL-CIO answers to a higher moral authority.   It's not clear who that moral authority is, but it's safe to say that Luis Gutierrez and Hilda Solis answer to the same one.
Let's clarify a few things before going further.
The AFL-CIO's official position is not to oppose the H-1B program as much as to make weak reforms to it.   They support amnesty and instant green card programs, which are potentially more harmful to labor than H-1B.
The CFAW, in contrast, opposes the entire H-1B program, instant green cards, and amnesty, which is why they are considered extremist by the labor unions and the liberal oligarchs in elected offices.
The fact that FAIR and CAPS supported the video campaign doesn't mean that the CFAW is extremist anymore than it means that FAIR and CAPS are looney fringe groups.   FAIR and CAPS are main-stream immigration reform organizations that Gutierrez and the Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC) prefer to characterize as "extremist", and by corollary they like to tarnish anybody and any organization like the CFAW that is associated with them.   It's the old guilt by association trick that is based on a false assumption that FAIR and CAPS are extremist.   Unfortunately it seems that everybody in the unions but Steve Tisza is listening to these boobs!
It's very disturbing that the AFL-CIO DPE is taking such a hard line position on an organization that used to be willing to reach out and work with unions to help American workers.   Previously, when Mike Gildea was running the DPE they were very supportive of organizations like the CFAW, which went a long way towards helping to unite many high tech workers with unions.   The DPE built a lot of bridges between the union world and non-unionized high tech workers.   Now the DPE seems willing to torpedo whatever bridges were built just to appease the far left faction of the AFL-CIO.
In the past the Steelworkers made overtures to unite their brothers and sisters in high tech in order to protect all jobs in the U.S. For awhile the Steelworkers were making some very good moves to heal the wounds between blue and white collar workers.   In the past the Steelworkers ran an associate membership program to enlist white collar workers.   Several years ago the Steelworkers merged with RescueAmericanJobs but they let the web site deteriorate and the activism fade from memory.   The RescueAmericanJobs web site morphed into a Steelworkers associate web site with a murky mission.   That Steelworkers associate program has lost a lot of legitimacy and the incident with CFAW won't help their cause.   It's a real pity to see this happen after all the work dedicated activists in and out of the Steelworkers union devoted to expanding their scope.
TechsUnite and CWA/WashTech were notably absent from the list of supporters, and considering they are part of the CWA and AFL-CIO it's not likely they ever will endorse the CFAW videos despite their claim to support high-tech workers.   Many of us have been suspicious of WashTech's relationship with the AFL-CIO and this is doing nothing to allay those feelings of mistrust.   Personally I hope I'm wrong and they eventually sign up, but I won't hold my breath.
It appears that the unions are returning to the same old class warfare that made it so difficult to unite disparate labor groups. Leftie union leaders seem far too eager to ignore their core members, and to ignite animosity with white collar workers.   This is not the way to build a new labor movement!
Steve Tisza will soon retire from the union, and odds are that Local 4250 under new leadership will knuckle under to the Gutierrez goons.   Sadly he might be the last union leader who is a flag waving, Harley riding, patriot.   Is there any other union leader who is willing to step up to the plate and sign on as a supporter?   Could it be that Steve Tisza the only union guy left with balls and integrity?   The answer is probably self evident, but it's worth asking anyway.
Press Release -- Gutierrez Expands "Family Unity" Immigration Out-Reach Tour: 16 Cities in 5 Weeks
Congressman Luis Gutierrez Travels on National Amnesty Tour While U.S. Workers Stand in Unemployment Lines
Communications Workers of America -- Local 4250
Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, Communications Workers of America, Local 37083, AFL-CIO
Department for Professional Employees (DPE)
United Steelworkers Associate Member Program
What is the SPLC?
Southern Poverty Law Center: Hate Group Map
We Tried to Rescue American Jobs
NOTE: This is an e-mail sent by Steve Tisza to Paul Almeida.   Almeida declined to give me permission to make public the e-mail that prompted Tisza's reply.   So far, the questions raised in this e-mail have yet to be answered.
From: Steve Tisza [mailto:istvantisza@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:33 PM
To: palmeida@...
Subject: Re: H1b visa issues
Thank you for your views on the "Coalition for the American Worker".   I was asked to support this group by a well known, respected activist to reform/repeal the H-1B Visa program, Dr. Gene A. Nelson.   He too has lobbied/testified to Congress many times over the years and I respect and admire his never ending work on this issue.   Rob Sanchez is also a tireless advocate to reform/repeal the H-1B Visa program and a supporter of the "Coalition for the American Worker" who I also respect and admire.
You said: "CFAW has supported an extremist anti-immigrant position for a long time.   While they are against the H1B visa program their opposition is not based on the same grounds as ours."
What specifically is their "extremist anti-immigrant position?"
What grounds do they base their opposition to the H-1B Visa Program that differ from the AFL-CIO?
I would like a copy of the AFL-CIO "Ray Marshall Report" AND answers to the above questions before making a decision on submitting a proposal to our Local Executive Board to withdraw CWA Local 4250's support for the "Coalition for the American Worker".
In Unity-Strength & Solidarity:
Steve Tisza, President
CWA Local 4250

Wladimir Kraus _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Austrian Theory for Everyone: Thomas E. Woods looks at the _Melt-Down_
"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, of the notorious 'government-sponsored enterprises' (GSEs) fame, are institutions whose only practical significance seems to have consisted in devising and promoting schemes to socialize losses while privatizing profits...   the main culprit -- the Fed and its policy of aggressive credit expansion."

Andrea Koncz & Mimi Collins _NACE_
Salary Offers to College Class of 2009 Dip
"Computer science majors didn't fare as well, losing 3.6% off their average, bringing their current starting salary offer to $57,693.   One reason for the tumble: There were fewer offers for software design and development positions reported in 2009 Spring than in 2008 Spring, and the average offer to computer science grads for these positions fell 11% from $65,379 in Spring 2008 to $58,837 currently."

_Central Florida News_
PassOver Begins at SunDown

Sewert Weis _Torah.org_
The Seder Guest

Rabbi Berel Wein _Torah.org_

Rabbi Label Lam _Torah.org_
Good 'Til the Last Drop
"''And you should tell your child on that day, 'Because of this HaShem did for me when I went out of Egypt!'   Not our ancestors alone did the Holy One, blessed is He, redeem but even us he redeemed with them!''...   OT1H, each individual in every generation has an obligation to see themselves as if they had gone out of Egypt and then immediately the Haggada tells us that we too actually were redeemed when our ancestors exited Egypt 3321 years ago."

Jon Erlbaum _Torah.org_
4 Seder Cups & 1 Yiddishe Kopf: Using wisdom for kindness


2009-04-08 (5769 Nisan 14)
Richard Z. Chesnoff _Jewish World Review_
Caryl Churchill: Loving to hate Israel

2009-04-08 (5769 Nisan 14)
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo _Jewish World Review_
Plato and the Art of Reading: The Haggada and the People of the Ear

2009-04-08 (5769 Nisan 14)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Mind-Changing Books

2009-04-08 (5769 Nisan 14)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Government Deception

  "The discovery of machinery, which materially improves home manufactures, always tends to raise the relative value of money, & therefore to encourage its importation.   All taxation, all increased impediments, either to the manufacturer or the grower of commodities, tend, on the contrary, to lower the relative value of money, & therefore to encourage its exportation." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 139  



2009-04-09 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 618,451 in the week ending April 4, an increase of 19,149 from the previous week.   There were 357,206 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.8% during the week ending March 28, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,441,315, an increase of 52,545 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,200,533.   Extended benefits were available in AK, CA, CT, ID, IN, MI, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, WA, and WI during the week ending March 21.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
correction re my comments on the WSJ column
A couple of weeks ago the Wall Street Journal Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, did a column on the NFAP claim that each H-1B worker creates 5 new jobs.   I reviewed that piece here in my e-news-letter.
One aspect Bialik brought up was patent applications by immigrant inventors.   In response to Bialik's citing the patent study by Vivek Wadhwa, I wrote that Vivek had withdrawn his study, and that Vivek "has explicitly stated that he never found that immigrants are more innovative than Americans."   Vivek agrees that the second half of my comment was correct, but he has asked me to correct the first half.
Here is the background.   After Vivek released his patent study, I noted that the apparently precipitous rise in immigrant patent applications in the short time time of just eight years sounded highly suspect; things just don't change so much in such a short time span.   Come on, immigrant engineers didn't suddenly become much more creative than they used to be, and their numbers in the industry didn't undergo a sudden sharp increase.   So it just didn't make sense.   Moreover, Vivek's report itself noted that 60% of the data was missing at the beginning of the eight-year period of the study.   That really means that all bets are off; no experienced academic would touch such data.   See this earlier article on one of Vivek Wadhwa's reports.
Then last July, Vivek wrote that he had found an apparent explanation.   Basically it was an accounting issue, stemming from the back-log of applications for green cards.   He wrote that as a result many workers had not yet changed from the "immigrant" to "American" category.   In my review of that article, I expressed doubt that Vivek's theory was the best explanation for the data anomaly (the sudden sharp increase in patent applications), but that at least he does now agree with me that the observed data pattern was not valid.   See another article on Vivek Wadhwa's work.
That's why I wrote in my review of Bialik's column that Vivek had "withdrawn" his study.   That language was arguably too strong to begin with, but Vivek feels that it was flatly incorrect.   He wrote (I'm quoting his e-mail message with his permission):
What I have said is that I was baffled or confused or concerned about the fact that foreign nationals contributing to WIPO PCT applications increased 337% over an 8 year period (1998-2006).   And this was explained by the increases in temporary workers without a corresponding increase in green-card numbers.   So they are coming in on temporary visas and may be leaving.   My view is that either we bring them in on the right visas or don't bring them in.   (I know that option 2 is preferred by many!).
This seems a bit different from what he wrote originally (see the above URL), and one would think that an exodus of the foreign workers would deflate the number of patent applications, counter to the sharp increase that Vivek had found.
Thus I still don't think the offered explanation is correct, but the main point is Vivek did NOT withdraw his study, and still stands by it.   Vivek writes:
I had this triple checked by other academics and it was rock solid.   We examined every single record in several years of WIPO filings and double checked the nationality information.   This was not a random sample, but an examination of the entire data-base for certain years.
Vivek also says:
You took Bill Kerr on, but didn't respond to his rebuttal.   And you didn't comment on Jenny Hunt's work.
Vivek is of course referring to the recent working paper by Harvard professor Bill Kerr on immigrant patenting.   I had written a critical review of that paper, which Bill Kerr responded to in an eight-page letter to me.   I've said that I will post the letter (with his permission) and my comments as soon as I get time to do it.   Unfortunately, unlike Vivek and Bill, my "day job" is not to do analysis of the immigrant tech labor force, and I just haven't had time to devote to this yet.   But I definitely will do so, and will discuss the Hunt paper too.
In the meantime, I do want to emphasize that all 3 researchers -- Wadhwa, Kerr and Hunt -- make no claims that immigrant engineers are more creative or patent-prone than natives.   All 3 have made specific disclaimers in that regard.   In the Hunt paper (pdf), for example, the authors state in the abstract (emphasis added) "The 2003 National Survey of College Graduates shows that immigrants patent at double the native rate, and that this is entirely accounted for by their disproportionately holding degrees in science and engineering"; IOW, there are more immigrant techies, thus more immigrant patents.

2009-04-09 07:11PDT (10:11EDT) (14:11GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit narrowed to $26G: Imports down 29% in the last year: Exports up last month
BEA pres release

Paul Blumenthal _SunLight Foundation_
Return on Lobbying/Bribery 22,000%
"a University of Kansas study, to be released today, will show that firms pushing for a 'tax holiday' in 2004 received a 22,000% return on their lobbying investment."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
NYT blog aftermath
The NYT blog on H-1B yesterday drew 398 reader comments, far more than any other topic among the other 5 or 6 currently on the site.   My guess is that the Times was taken aback by the quantity of reader responses on this topic.   BTW, I read or at least skimmed every single one.
Interestingly, the panel of 6 experts, including several familiar to readers of this e-news-letter (Ron Hira, John Miano, Vivek Wadhwa and me), were pretty much ignored in the reader comments.   Readers had their own prior points of view on the topic, and expressed them -- sometimes elegantly, sometimes crudely -- but they rarely drew upon the statements of us "experts".   Still, I assume that those not familiar with the topic found the experts' statements informative.
To me the most interesting aspect was the consensus that the H-1B program does indeed have very deep problems.   Except for the occasional immigration lawyer who wrote that employers must pay H-1Bs "prevailing wage" (ignoring my point that the legal definition of "prevailing wage" is full of loop-holes, rendering legal prevailing wage well below true market wage), there seemed to be rather general agreement that the program is widely abused.   Many of the current and former H-1Bs who wrote reader responses admitted that H-1Bs are typically underpaid (as one put it, "at the lower end of the range"), and even the most pro-H-1B panelist, venture capitalist Mark Heeson said the program has "serious issues".   (I was a bit surprised that Vivek Wadhwa said nothing negative about H-1B here, though he frequently writes about about the widespread under-payment of H-1Bs, even admitting to engaging in such practice himself back in his CEO days.)
The Times will be running an article on H-1B over the weekend, and commentary from the same expert panel will appear next week.

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
On Good Friday: Looking Back At America's Past -- And A Prayer For America's Future

USCIS Updated Count of FY2010 H-1B Petition Filings
"USCIS has received approximately 42K H-1B petitions...   Additionally, the agency has received approximately 20K petitions for aliens with advanced degrees; however, we continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable."

Clyde Tippets _Billings MT Gazette_
Politicians ignoring Constitution and hence violating their oaths/affirmations of office

S&P 500856.56
10-year US T-Bond2.93%
crude oil$52.24/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "[O]thers offer plans of finance, & propose means for filling the coffers of the sovereign, without any charge to his subjects.   But unless a plan of finance is of the nature of a commercial undertaking, it cannot give to gov't more than it takes away either from individuals or from gov't itself, under some other form.   Something cannot be made out of nothing by the stroke of a wand.   In whatever way an operation may be disguised, whatever forms we may constrain a value to take, whatever metamorphosis we may make it undergo, we can only have a value by creating it, or by taking it from others.   The very best of all plans of finance is to spend little, & the best of all taxes is that which is the least amount." --- M. Say (quoted in David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 154)  



Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_
Grocery prices seem to be falling

2009-04-10 11:07PDT (14:07EDT) (18:07GMT) Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Official federal budget deficit tripled to $957G: March deficit $192G as receipts fell 28% and spending increased 41%

2009-04-10 12:00PDT (15:00EDT) (19:00GMT)
Andria Cheng _MarketWatch_
Same-store sales still falling, but not as much

2009-04-10 12:20PDT (15:20EDT) (19:20GMT)
John C. Dvorak _MarketWatch_
Cable cuts in Bay Area look like someone's testing network

_Florida Courier_
Tax Freedom Day arrived in Florida on April 9
"Because of their modest incomes and extremely low state-and-local tax burden, we estimate Alaska 's Tax Freedom Day for 2009 to be March 23. LA, MS, SD and WV round out the five states that we project will experience Tax Freedom Day earliest in 2009."

Scott Ott _DC Examiner_
Piracy spurs Obama calls for cargo-ship reductions!?!?!?

  "Every man has some standard in his own mind by which he estimates the value of his enjoyments, but that standard is as various as the human character." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 159  



Scott Short, assistant professor of mechanical engineering _Chicago Tribune_
High-Tech Jobs
"The idea that America continues to have a short-fall of workers capable of handling high-tech jobs is nonsense.   Such hogwash is merely an attempt by higher education and corporations to dupe the public and deflect the growing concern of many who are finally questioning the real driving force behind our controversial H-1B and F-1 Immigration programs that 'in-source' foreign workers for high-tech jobs.   We need to focus on educating, and then employing, our own."

  "A country whose financial situation has become extremely artificial, by the mischievous policy of accumulating a large national debt, & a consequently enormous taxation, is particularly exposed to the inconvenience attendant on this mode of raising taxes.   After visiting with a tax the whole round of luxuries; after laying horses, carriages, wine, servants, & all the other enjoyments of the rich under contribution a minister is indused to have recourse to more direct taxes, such as income & property taxes..." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 159  



Diane Cochran _Billings MT Gazette_
culture and health care clash: ObummerDoesn'tCare

2009-04-12 10:05PDT (13:05EDT) (17:05GMT)
Siobhan Chapman _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
out-sourcing and off-shoring not the big savings executives expect

Rebecca Cole _Baltimore MD Sun_
Applications for guest-work visas tumble

_NY Times_
Older workers need not apply

  "Melon says that the debts of a nation are debts due from the right hand to the left, by which the body is not weakened.   It is true that the general wealth is not diminished by the payment of the interest on arrears of the debt: The dividends are a value which passes from the hand of the contributor to the national creditor: Whether it be the national creditor or the contributor who accumulates or consumes it is, I agree, of little importance to the society; but the principal of the debt -- what has become of that?   It exists no more.   The consumption which has followed the loan has annihilated a capital which will never yield any further revenue.   The society is deprived not of the amount of interest, since that passes from one hand to the other, but of the revenue from a destroyed capital.   This capital, if it had been employe productively by him who lent it to the state, would equally have yielded him an income, but that income would have been derived from a real production, & would not have been furnished from the pocket of a fellow citizen." --- M. Say vol2 pg 357 (quoted in David Ricardo _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 161)  



_Tax Foundation_
Tax Freedom Day

Edward O. Hoem _Billings MT Gazette_
Why does anyone believe in bail-outs?: ObummerDoesn'tCare
"What in the world would lead you to believe that the U.S. government should manage, run, oversee, let alone get involved in the likes of banks, insurance, business, health care, etc.?"

Patrick Thibodeau _Info World_/_Computer World_/_IDG_
H-1B demand follows the economy down

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
excellent Miano find -- "best and brightest" myth unmasked!
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a piece whose theme, roughly stated, was "Here is a brilliant H-1B hired by Google whom the firm (and the U.S.A.) will lose due to overly restrictive immigration laws."   The piece seemed to be so extreme that a friend of mine, a Chinese-VietNamese Australian who doesn't live in the U.S.A. but keenly follows American politics, wrote to me to ask why the Times would run such an obviously biased article.
I must say it's hard for me to escape the conclusion that the author set out to write a pro-industry article.   OTOH, I must strongly commend the Times for giving us 5 panelists from last week's blog a chance to comment on the article.   Ms. Terry Tang, who put the blog together, deserves special credit for all of this.
The panelists' commentary on the article is [linked] below, and last week's blog.
The most important of the 5 panelists' write-ups is that of John Miano.   I consider it to be ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT STATEMENTS ABOUT H-1B TO APPEAR IN QUITE A WHILE.   Here's why:
I've stated many times that although I support bringing in "the best and the brightest" from around the world, only a tiny percentage of H-1Bs are in the league.   On occasion, I've even challenged the industry's claims that certain of its "poster children" are indeed of that caliber.   But in this case, I wanted to keep my commentary on the broader H-1B issue, so I didn't pay much attention to the current poster child, Sanjay Mavinkurve.   Fortunately, John Miano looked more closely at Mavinkurve than I did.   John points out (emphasis added):
One particular item in the article leapt out at me.   The article describes the problem of slow down-loads of maps to cellular phones at Google.   No one at Google was able to solve the problem until Mr. Mavinkurve came up with the idea of reducing the number of colors.
This standard technique, known "color quantization", has been used for years to reduce images' size and speed up the drawing of images.   That solution would come immediately to anyone with experience working with images.   It's hard to believe that no one at Google, other than Mr. Mavinkurve, could come up with this tried and true method.   This suggests that Google is ignoring the vast pool of experienced workers who have the knowledge Google needs, while it claims it must have H-1B workers.

This is huge!   Here the industry comes up with what at first looks like a perfect illustration of the good side of the H-1B program, the "foreign genius", and yet he turns out to be ignorant of a standard technique.
Granted, one can't know everything, but the technique is actually an example of a general computer science principle.   Any good under-graduate could come up with it.   Really, it's not more than the fact, known even to non-techie readers of this e-news-letter, that you can make an image's storage space needs smaller by reducing the resolution.   And yet Mavinkurve is presented as a genius, a hero at Google, for this "insight".
Mind you, this doesn't disprove the claim that Mavinkurve has special talent in user interface design (which is more art or psychology than technology).   I'm willing to believe that he does.   I personally enjoy the Google user interface, and if they say he'll contribute to more of the same, that's great.   And I can tell you for sure that Google has indeed hired some H-1Bs that really are "the best and the brightest".
But I'm can equally say that there are many Google H-1Bs who are not brilliant.   (Of course, this is not picking on Google; I'd make the same statement for any employer.)   And most importantly, I strongly agree with John's point that GOOGLE PROBABLY COULD HAVE HIRED AN AMERICAN AS GOOD AS, OR BETTER THAN, MAVINKURVE.
Hence the title of my posting here, "`BEST AND BRIGHTEST' MYTH UNMASKED".   Again, I consider John's point here to be of the utmost significance.
Concerning the other panelists' remarks:
Yes, professor Jasso is correct in saying that the immigration system places lots of emotional stresses on people, including on marriages.   Many improvements should be made.   But Jasso might also do some research on the impact on U.S. citizens and permanent residents whose marriages have been strained by the displacement of an engineer husband and/or wife from the job market by the employers' hiring of H-1Bs.   One programmer who was replaced from his job with the [Bank of India] by H-1Bs even committed suicide in the bank parking lot.
Mr. Heesen should read John Miano's blog from last week.   Heesen apparently claims we're going to lose top foreign engineers who tire of waiting in the long green card line.   John pointed readers to the State Dept.'s Visa Bulletin, which shows that there is essentially no wait for those in the EB-1 class, called Extraorinary Ability.   We're NOT losing "the best and the brightest" due to long waits.
Vivek Wadhwa's statement on entrepreneurship is answered by my own write-up below, where I point out that immigrant engineers and native engineers have the same rates of founding start-ups.   A similar statement holds for patents; if you follow his link to professor Hunt's paper, you will see that she makes an explicit disclaimer that she is not claiming that immigrant engineers are more patent-prone than native engineers.
I must again thank the Times and especially Ms. Tang for running last week's blog and today's further panelist commentary.   The Times had some good coverage of H-1B during 1998-2000, but for some reason has not addressed the topic in recent years.
NYTimes: Skilled Guest Workers, American Jobs

Karen DeMarco _Bergen NJ Now_
Red Chinese national arrested in Lodi, NJ for theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, wire fraud, and theft of honest services fraud
Taipei Times
South Jersey Courier Post
Morristown NJ Daily Record
Centre for CounterIntelligence and Security Studies

2009-04-13 12:07PDT (15:07EDT) (19:07GMT)
Florida Studies Reveal Huge Increase in Cost of Illegal Immigration and Widespread Voter Dissatisfaction

Michael Krasny _KQED_
Declining demand for cheap H-1B guest-workers: a panel stacked for the abusing executives

Mel Beckman _Computer World_/_IDG_
iPhone jail-breakig still going strong

2009-04-13 (5768 Nisan 19)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Surviving in a post-American world

  "It is only by saving from income, and retrenching expenditure, that the national capital can be increased; & neither the income would be increased nor the expenditure diminished by the annihilation of the national debt.   It is by the profuse expenditure of gov't & of individuals, & by loans, that the country is impoverished; every measure, therefore, which is calculated to promote public & private economy will relieve the public distress; but it is error & delusion to suppose that a real national difficulty can be removed by shifting it from the shoulders of one class of the community, who justly ought to bear it, to the shoulders of another class, who, upon every principle of equity, ought to bear no more than their share...   [I]t must not be inferred that I consider the system of borrowing as the best calculated to defray the extraordinary expenses of the state.   It is a system which tends to make us less thrifty -- to blind us to our real situation...   A country which has accumulated a large debt is placed in a most artificial situation... it becomes the interest of every contributor to withdraw his shoulder from the burthen, & to shift this payment from himself to another; & the temptation to remove himself & his capital to another country, where he will be exempted from such burthens, becomes at last irresistible, & overcomes the natural reluctance which every man feels to quit the place of his birth & the scene of his early associations.   A country which has involved itself in the difficulties attending this artificial system would act wisely by ransoming itself from them at the sacrifice of any portion of its property which might be necessary to redeem its debt.   That which is wise in an individual is wise also in a nation." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 162-163  



Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales down 1.1% in March according to Commerce department

_Rasmussen Reports_
On Immigration Large Gap Remains Between Main-Stream America and Politicians

_The NewsPaper_
Steubenville, OH judge orders that lawyer should receive 20% of settlement in successful challenge to about 3K "red light" camera tickets

2009-04-14 (5768 Nisan 20)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Iran's Western enablers

2009-04-14 (5768 Nisan 20)
Jonathan Turley _Jewish World Review_
Free World Is Barring Free Speech

2009-04-14 (5768 Nisan 20)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Magic words in politics

  "A man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, & amusements of human life." --- Adam Smith (quoted in David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 182)  



Edenton Tea Party
Olathe KS Tea Party
Keith Burton: Gulf Coast News: Tea Party in Gulfport
Michael Shedlock: Global Economic Analysis: Tea Party Signs and the Road to Statism

John Hilton _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Harrisburg Area Commmunity College executives want to raise tuition
"Harrisburg Area Community College is seeking permission to raise tuition by 6.5% for the 2009-10 school year.   The increase would raise tuition by $6 per credit hour, to $98.50 per credit, for students in the 22 school districts that sponsor the college.   Students from non-sponsoring districts would be charged $177 per credit."

Robin Sidel _Wall Street Journal_
Wall Street still finding plenty of ways to pass over US citizens and hire foreigners

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #2005
USCIS still Accepting H-1B Petitions for 2010

_Immigration Reform Law Institute_
Abused H-1B guest-worker wins compensation for abuse by Miracle Software

Jim Hightower
J.P. Morgan Chase creating jobs in India: US public is outraged

Robert Hoffman vs. Alan Tonelson on whether there should be a moratorium on H-1B visas

Patrick Graham _Walton Tribune_
Tax Freedom Day nears
"the Tax Foundation estimates this year Tax Freedom Day for Americans occurred April 13...   Here in Georgia, our taxes have gone up slightly compared to the rest of the country, moving the Peach State from 23 on the list last year to 17 this year.   The Tax Freedom Day for GA this year is coming on April 20, a day later than last year...   FL is ranked 21 in terms of overall tax burden, TN is ranked 36, SC is ranked 37 and AL is ranked 44."

2009-04-15 (5768 Nisan 21)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Democracy, Majority Rule, and Tyranny


_Daily Illini_
About 300 citizens gathered in West Side Park in Champaign to protest stimulus package, bail-out plan

Laura Tode _Billings MT Gazette_
About 500 rallied at the Yellowstone County court-house, objecting to excessive government spending and power

_Billings MT Gazette_/_AP_
About 300 joined Tea Party protests at Cheyenne, WY

2009-04-16 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 607,971 in the week ending April 11, a decrease of 18,892 from the previous week.   There were 370,949 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.7% during the week ending April 4, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,305,445, a decrease of 146,611 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 3,088,902.   Extended benefits were available in AK, CA, CT, ID, IN, MA, MI, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OR, PQ, PR, RI, SC, VT, WA, and WI during the week ending March 28.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

Henry Sanderson _Cumberland County PA Sentinel_
Red China gearing up for huge navy expansion, tech upgrade

Louis Uchitelle _NY Times_
Steel pipe made in India being used to run oil through town with shut-down steel mill
Gadsden AL Times
Gainesville FL Sun
"That observation has made him a Paul Revere in the eyes of many towns-people.   Hundreds of sections of imported steel pipe have been moving into Granite City for use in an oil pipe-line.   The steel mill, meanwhile, has been shut since December for lack of orders -- the first time in its 130-year history -- and nearly 2K workers are on furlough...   before Mr. Rains made his discovery -- 5K people marched through the streets of this steel town in support of a strong 'Buy America' clause in the $787G stimulus bill then before Congress...   The union filed an anti-dumping law-suit in Washington last Wednesday against tubular and pipe steel imported from China.   A day earlier, Local 1899 staged a rally here, drawing more than 500 people to the same field where the lengths of 'Indian pipe', as the people here call them, have been stacked...   'Other countries point the finger at the U.S. and say we are protectionist', said Nancy Gravatt, a spokeswoman for the American Iron and Steel Institute, representing mill owners, 'and then you look at the details in the other countries, and they are not playing by the rules at all.'"

_Reuters_/_Engineering News_
Steel-makers want Red China to end steel subsidies

2009-04-16 13:31PDT (16:31EDT) (20:31GMT)
Kate Gibson _MarketWatch_
Rosetta Stone's first public stock sale went well

  "Price is the measure of the value of things, & their value is the measure of their utility." --- M. Say vol2 pg 4 (quoted in David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 188)  



We the People Stimulus Package (video)

_Seattle Times_
Tea Parties: 5K people rallied in Olympia Wednesday in opposition to more taxes
Julie Farby: All HeadLine News: BreakAway Texans
Andy Sutton: Market Oracle
WikiNews: Organizers indicated that Tax Parties took place at more than 850 locations with anywhere from 750K to over 1M attendees. The Americans for Tax Reform [ATR] has tallied 242 locations with around 299,071 attendees.
USA Today/Gannett: As part of the nationwide "Tax Day Tea Party", outside the White House, an estimated 1K to 2K demonstrators protested taxes, the federal government and deficit spending.
KHNL Honolulu
KHNL Honolulu: Younger generation at tea party
Go San Angelo: A firmer line needs to be drawn in the sand
Go San Angelo: A message was sent
Pahrump joins tea parties
Seeking Alpha: Some at CNN intentionally miss the point of tea parties
Tampa FL Tribune: Hundreds turn out in New Port Richey
MarketWatch: Boston
Lee's Summit Journal: Tea for a few hundred
Orange county Indy: hundreds gathered in Hillsborouth
Ames Tribune: Some demonstrated in both Des Moines and Ames
Stony Brook Statesman
Gather: 4K attend Cincinnati Tea Party
Panama City FL
Wayne Root does the tea parties
pix from around the country
Amerindians join tea party at Rapid City SD
Lake county FL
7,500 at St. Paul MN
about 2K turn out in Arkansas
Milford, MA
Longstreet: Wednesday's tea parties were just the beginning
Kevin Williamson: National Review: Tea parties were a success, but was it conservative? No
Tuscaloosa AL
SAnta Clarita Valley Sentinel
Birmingham AL: 1K turned out in Trussville, and 5K in Hoover
pix of Alabama tea parties
Scott Nicholson: Watauga Democrat: Tea Parties at Boone and Appalachian State U

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
H-1B guest-work visas cut US programmer/software engineer compensation by up to 6%
IT World
"A draft of the 32-page paper was posted this week on the Social Science Research Network [SSRN].   A study released last year by Tambe and Hitt found that as many as 8% of IT workers have been displaced by off-shore out-sourcing, either through job loss or job transfer...   In 2004, the then Information Technology Association of America (now called the Technology Association of America), an industry group that supports off-shore out-sourcing and increasing the H-1B cap, hired IHS Global Insight to study the issue.   IHS Global, an independent economic forecasting firm, found that off-shore out-sourcing could cause some workers to take a job that pays less, which would result in 'wage compression'."

Denise Dubie _Network World_/_InfoWorld_/_IDG_
H-1B demand falls short of supply

2009-04-17 (5768 Nisan 23)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Magic numbers in politics

2009-04-17 07:44PDT (10:44EDT) (14:44GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index from 57.3 in March to 61.9

_Gold Seek_
A strategy for prevailing despite the outrages

2009-04-17 (5769 Nisan 23)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
The Pakistani Dilemma

2009-04-17 (5769 Nisan 23)
Rabbi Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
Religions of relativism: Le havdil

2009-04-17 (5769 Nisan 23)
Rabbi David Fohrman _Jewish World Review_
Exodus from Egypt: The Hidden Agenda

2009-04-17 (5769 Nisan 23)
Rabbi Yonason Goldson _Jewish World Review_
The Illusion of Freedom

S&P 500869.60
10-year US T-Bond2.945%
crude oil$50.33/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "Exchanges made freely show at the time, in the place, & in the state of society in which we are the value which men attach to the things exchanged." --- M. Say vol2 pg 466 (quoted in David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 188)  



Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
JackBoots at home, olive branches abroad
editor of Die Zeit agrees

Mary Jane Credeur _Bloomberg_
Delta brings telephone support back to the USA in response to customer complaints
Wall Street Journal

Pat Kelley _Phoenix Examiner_
Hasmukh Patel, DSH employee, convicted on 12 counts including alien harboring, taking a bribe and computer intrusion
DoJ press release (pdf)
DHS press release (pdf)
Jason A. Smith: Henry GA Herald

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
California GOP aiming at their own feet (again) with excessive immigration enthusiasts Whitman and Fiorina, but what about Chuck deVore?
"California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is also in the hunt for Boxer's Senate seat.   DeVore once challenged Vicente Fox on the Mexican president's support of illegal immigration, led a Republican Taskforce on Illegal Immigration that concluded it costs the state $10G annually and co-authored a bill to end in-state tuition for aliens."

Allan Holmes _Next Gov_
Obama named Aneesh Chopra of US India PAC to be CTO

Tim Colebatch _The Age_
Steel dumpers threaten local jobs and industry says AWU secretary

_I Hate the Media_
latest radio ratings
"Talkers Magazine says Limbaugh has 'a minimum' of 14.75M listeners who tune in at least once per week.   Hannity comes in a close second with 13.75M..8Ed Schultz has 2.4M listeners..."

  "To produce, is to create value, by giving or increasing the utility of a thing, & thereby establishing a demand for it, which is the first cause of its value." --- M. Say vol2 pg 487 (quoted in David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 188)  


2009-04-19: Patriots' Day

EyeWitness to History
Jimbo Wales's WikiPedia on Lexington Battle Green
Liberty Ride
Worcester Polytechnic Intitute: Battle of Lexington and Concord
U.S. History: Battle of Lexington
National Park Service
Mohican Press: Lexington Green
Boston 1775
Lexington Historical Society tours
Doctor Samuel Prescott, William Dawes & Paul Revere
American Revolution: Midnight Ride: Paul Revere and the "mechanics"
Wikipedia on Paul Revere
Wikipedia on Samuel Prescott
Wikipedia on Longfellow's poem
Color Pro: William Dawes
US History
Rense on Samuel Prescott
Concord MA: The Love Story
captain John Parker
Wikipedia on captain John Parker
EyeWitness Account of the Skirmish
Captain Parker
American Revolutionary War
Patriot Resource
The American Revolution
Library of Congress

Jackie DiGiovanni _Examiner_
State of the economy in Michigan
"And if people in Michigan get the impression that this Congress and this Administration do not care much for Michigan, it is because that is what they keep telling us."

Andrea Tantaros _Pittsburgh PA Tribune-Review_
Arlen Specter is the case for Pat Toomey
"Former Pennsylvania Congressman Pat Toomey almost inched out a victory against long-term Washington fixture and faux Republican Arlen Specter in 2004.   It was one of the most expensive primary campaigns in U.S. history...   Specter consistently has voted for increased government spending and a liberal agenda on social, labor, immigration and national security policies.   In just the past few months, Specter voted in favor of the unprecedented and outrageous Wall Street and auto company bail-outs and the massive 'stimulus' bill better characterized as 'spendulus'."

Olivia Eielson _San Francisco CA Chronicle_
Protect US Jobs
"Yes, H-1B visas take jobs Americans would otherwise have.   As for the American jobs to be provided by the federal stimulus package: When the legislation got to the Senate, it required employers who received stimulus money to use E-Verify, the highly accurate system that verifies that the job applicant is a legal U.S. worker; and it authorized funding to continue E-Verify for four years.   The legislation went into a closed-door conference committee with a handful of members of both houses of Congress, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.   When the legislation emerged, it had been stripped of these essential E-Verify provisions.   This is the bill that is now law.   So it seems that our leaders, Democrats supposedly in support of working Americans, reserve their tenderest concern for business interests, who want endless supplies of ever-cheaper labor.   Legal American workers can move in with relatives, or go on the street; and our taxpayer money will go to foreign countries as remittances, instead of nourishing our economy here at home.   Thanks, Pelosi and Reid."

  "Utility being created, constitutes a product.   The exchangeable value which results is only the measure of this utility, the measure of the production which has taken place." --- M. Say vol2 pg 490 (quoted in David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 188)  



Cathy Shive _CocoHeads_
[MEET] Amsterdam CocoaHeads Wed, April 22
"The next meeting of the Amsterdam CocoaHeads will be this Wednesday, April 22 from 19:00 to 21:00.   Location and presentation info.   Hope to see you there!"

Larry Dignan _Ziff Davis_/_CNET_/_CBS_
Privacy haters Sun and Oracle merge in $5.6G deal

Mary Pickett _Billings MT Gazette_
As economy dives, more students spend first 2 years in, or return to jucos

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
SF NPR radio debate, April 14
Michael Krazny, an English professor at San Francisco State University, has been the host for many years of Forum, a talk show on KQED-FM in San Francisco.   This past Monday, his topic was H-1B.
I was one of the guests, as were Robert Hoffman, a prominent industry lobbyist, venture capitalist and former tech entrepreneu Vish Mishra, and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Tom Abate.   Hoffman made the usual industry claims, and Mishra, a pleasant man without an apparent axe to grind, didn't say much.   I was quite surprised, though, to see Abate make a number of statements, in a very authoritative tone, that were quite counter to the facts.   I will devote the majority of my commentary here to this point.
Abate is an asture veteran journalist.   He covered H-1B for a while around 1998, but except for one piece in 2007, to my knowledge he has not been writing about the subject in recent years.   Thus I was quite surprised by his comments.
He made two main assertions:
1.   He claimed that abuse of the H-1B program consists mainly of fraud by the Indian bodyshops, with the large mainstream firms using the program legitimately.
2.   He also asserted that the large main-stream firms are legitimately rejecting older American applicants, as they lack crucial new skills.
Both of these statements are false.
Though the large mainstream firms in some cases hire a higher class of worker, i.e. Masters vs. Bachelors (PhDs are much less numerous in the computer industry) compared to the bodyshops, the main-stream firms are quite culpable in abusing both H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards.   For example:
* Until 2000, it was permissible to pay 5% below prevailing wage.   Note that the prevailing wage itself is well below market wage, so that 5% is nickel-and-dime savings, but Intel LCAs of the late 1990s show that Intel was aware of this loop-hole and did use it.
* Last year Cisco was running "U.S. citizen/permanent resident" job ads -- but routing them to its immigration lawyer.   It should be clear to anyone that Cisco was doing this to circumvent the green card requirement that U.S. applicants be given priority over foreign workers.   The law has tons of loopholes to enable this; recall that Joel Stewart, one of the most prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S.A., has stated that "An employer who wants to hire a foreign national has an arsenal of legal means to reject any U.S. applicant."
* The infamous YouTube videos, shot by an immigration law firm, show various loop-holes the firm uses to reduce prevailing wage, by attorney Jennifer Pack's own words, "$10K to $15K" below the market.   This is again a prominent law firm, with very main-stream clients, e.g. Marconi and Westinghouse.

As I've said before, no one would be shocked to hear that Intel, for instance, aggressively takes advantage of loopholes in the tax code.   So no one should be shocked by the mainstream firms' exploiting loop-holes in the H-1B and green card code.  
Ironically, Mishra brought up the analogy to loop-holes in the tax code himself, but as a way to dismiss the whole issue.   Yes, there are loop-holes in H-1B, he said (possibly because he had used them himself in his CEO days), but there are also loop-holes in the tax code and even in the motor vehicle code.   Thus, he said, pursuing this argument would be "going down a rat-hole".
Krazny seemed rather interested in the loop-holes issue, but ironically did not notice it when it arose.   A listener from an immigration law firm sent him an e-mail message during the show, saying that the system includes strong guarantees that the legal prevailing wage is paid.   Krazny commented, "Well, maybe so, but it doesn't seem to work that way in practice."   He missed the point that the legal prevailing wage itself is full of loop-holes that render that wage to be well below real market wage, so the "guarantees" are worthless.
Abate's second claim is incorrect too. This is a very complex issue, which I've analyzed in depth in my University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform article (pdf), but to give you a quick sound bite, I will cite the fact that a number of firms (again, in the main-stream) have laid off U.S. citizens and permanent residents, replaced them by H-1Bs or L-1s, and then forced the American workers to train their foreign replacements.   That the Americans were training the imported workers shows that it was the foreigners who lacked the skills, not the Americans.   There are plenty of older (age 35+) Americans who could fill the jobs taken by H-1Bs, but HR screens them out.   And again, that's why hiring managers may never see the CVs [or resumes] of the older workers, leading the managers to mistakenly believe no one out there is qualified.
And for those older workers who do lack current skills, training in new ones does not help.   Why hire a 40-year-old programmer who has learned XYZ technology on his own or via a course, when one can hire a 22-year-old who has learned XYZ technology on his own or via a course?   Yes, experience should count, but HR and upper management see programmers and engineers as commodities.
Abate also stated that the retraining program associated with the H-1B user fees is "inadequately funded".   Again, this is way off the mark.   The program was established by the 1998 legislation that raised the H-1B cap.   I pointed out at the time that the retraining funds would not reduce the usage of H-1Bs one whit, and sure enough, this is what happened.   A Dept. of Commerce study confirmed this, and most importantly, Sun Microsystems publicly admitted that they had never expected retraining to reduce H-1B usage in the first place.   ("Failing Grades: H-1B Fees Fail to Lessen Reliance on Imported IT Skills" eWeek, 2000 September 18.)
Sun said that it was impossible to retrain older programmers and engineers for these jobs, and that the H-1B retraining funds were never intended for such usage.   But of course Congress did have that intention, especially since Sun had stated in its 1998 testimony to the Senate, "H-1B workers [are a] stop-gap measure to help carry Sun through an interim period while we work to educate and train U.S. workers so they can fill needed positions."
A few years ago, the California Labor and Employment Report, a publication of the California State Bar Association, asked me to write about the connection between H-1B and the age issue.   I went into the skills issue in more depth there (pdf), but here is an especially relevant excerpt:
In fact, the industry's claim that the older workers' problems were due to skills deficits can be seen to be disingenuous in other ways.   Consider a report by the Information Technology Association of America [now the Technology Association of America, TAA], one of the leading organizations lobbying for H-1B increases.   The report complained that, while older programmers and engineers could be retrained, this made them flight risks:
"You take a $45K asset, spend some time and money training him, and suddenly he's turned into an $80K asset.", says Mary Kay Cosmetics CIO Trey Bradley... [the problem being that the retrained workers] become highly marketable individuals... attractive to other employers.
It is clear that Bradley was not willing to pay the salaries paid by other firms.   The real issue was money, not skills.

That last point sums it up: The real issue was money, not skills.

"John Fuex" _Improving Software_
age discrimination and programming jobs

Gebe Martinez _Politico_
"Americans First" is gaining traction

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #2007
Rush Limbaugh's slumdog remark has created a tempest in a tea-pot in India
"Rush Limbaugh recently raised the hackles of many Indians with his remark about out-sourcing.   The brouhaha began when Limbaugh told a caller that it is futile to wait for out-sourced jobs to come back if the job is being done by a slumdog in India.
Not only is the Indian media assailing Limbaugh for saying this, the Indian community in the U.S.A. is also at Limbaugh's throat.   Take for instance the Indian American Republican Council (IARC).   Their vice chairman Dr. Sambhu Banik described Limbaugh as a leader of millions of loyal right wing conservatives and as a "demagogue" for making "outright insulting" statements about Indian workers.   An article making the rounds of Indian web sites is even shriller -- it claims that the Limbaugh statement could trigger violence against Indians by right wing extremists.
Of course this news-letter prefers to take the high road by remaining neutral in controversies of this type, but after looking at the facts it's not obvious why the Indian's are raising such a stink about this.   For one thing, the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" is now considered to the pride of India.   Take this statement for example:
"They have done India proud," said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a message congratulating the "entire 'Slumdog Millionaire' team."
Rush Limbaugh would get the impression that it's an honor to be called a slumdog if he saw that statement by the Prime Minister but that probably isn't what caused Limbaugh's confusion.   More likely Rush Limbaugh is a closet PBS viewer (ROFL!).   He probably saw this Frontline story:
In an arrangement that is apparently fairly common in Delhi, NIIT's corporate offices are located next to a fetid slum, where people live in what can only charitably be called shacks, with little access to sanitation and health care.   A high, thick boundary wall separates the two worlds.   It's the wall -- or more precisely, what's inside it -- that has brought me to NIIT.
Addendum: I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and enjoyed it.   The first half of the movie was the best part because it so accurately portrayed what living in the slums of India is like.   The second half of the movie got progressively sillier until it was more like a farce.   Americans should watch this movie to see what the future of the U.S.A. will be like if we continue our insane free trade policies with India.
Overall the movie had a preposterous plot, and at its core it was a rather corny Bollywood "love conquers all" and "rags to riches" theme.   There is no question in my mind that the movie would win all of those awards like the Golden Globe and the 8 Academies, and I was certain of this despite the rather low quality of the movie and despite its competition with American movies that were better in every way conceivable.   It was quite a sight to watch the Academies being handed out for the movie by a bunch of politically correct Hollywood dunderheads that are too stupid to understand that they were rewarding the demise of their own home grown movie industry.   Their livelihoods are being out-sourced to Bollywood but they were probably too busy snorting coke to realize that giving out those undeserved rewards will legitimize and accelerate the drive to shove aside American movie production.
Slumdog Millionaire was one of the most off-shored movies ever, and it was very cheap to make -- and therefore very profitable.   Bye! Bye! to Hollywood's latte sipping billionaires, and hello to curry slurping Bollywood millionaires!
India -- "Hole in the Wall", 2002
2009-04-10 Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh: Terry in Dublin, Ohio, I'm glad you waited. You're next on the EIB Network.   Hello.
caller: Ah, I feel like I hit the lottery, I've been trying for two weeks to get through.
Rush Limbaugh: Thank you, sir, very much.
caller: Perseverance.   America, you have to persevere, you have to be patient.   Just because your web page doesn't load as fast as you want it, the economy isn't going to be as fast as the web page.   What really irks me is with corporate America, people saying, "Rush, can I get my job back?   Are you going to be able to get my job back from something that's been out-sourced and the corporations are going all over, out of the country."   Why don't these people invest in America, invest in corporate America, become stock-holders.   The CEOs and the boards of directors pay lip service to their share-holders.   Invest in America and invest in yourself by investing in corporate America. Wouldn't that help?
Rush Limbaugh: It might.   No question about it.   But the whole thing about out-sourcing, even President Obama slipped up.   I love this, 'cause the teleprompter, that teleprompter sometimes sneaks things in there that are not in Obama's best interests to say, but the teleprompter nevertheless makes him say them.   Obama got a call during his virtual town meeting about out-sourcing jobs, he said, "Look, those jobs aren't coming back."   There's a reason they aren't coming back.   They're out-sourced for a reason, an economic reason, and they're not coming back.   If you're sitting out there waiting for a job that's now being done by a slumdog in India, and you're waiting for that job to be canceled, for the slumdog to be thrown out of work, and you to get the job, it ain't going to happen.   It's not the way economics works.   Even Obama's teleprompter got him to admit that.
Now, as for slow loading web pages, I haven't had that problem in I don't know how long.   I use Safari Beta 4 with a T3.   I mean it's just there.   If your web page is loading slow, and it bothers you that much, go get a T3, or band a bunch of cable modems together or what have you.   There's no reason to sit up there and tolerate a slow-loading web page.

Siobhan Gorman, August Cole & Yochi Dreazen _Wall Street Journal_
Pentagon planning "Cyber Command": Spies hack terabytes of data from Joint Strike Fighter systems: Lockheed Martin says they didn't get any classified data
Larry Greenmeier: Scientific American
David A. Fulghum: Aviation Week
Sumner Lemon: IDG/ComputerWorld
Lolita C. Baldor: Los Angeles Daily News
Thomas Gnau: Dayton OH Daily News
MIT Technology Review
Security Info Watch
Defense Industry Daily
USA Today
Top Tech News
Jacob Ward: Popular Science

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
High Class Greed: Money changing hands in relation to government employee pension plans and politicians
Wall Street Journal: Public Pension Shake-Down

_Dyersburg TN State Gazette_
ERMCO announces lay-off of nearly 90

John Boudreau _Silicon Beat_
H-1B application limit has yet to be reached
New Hampshire Business Review/McLean Media
USCIS press release

_Right Side News_
US Legislative Update on Immigration
"Obama Discusses Amnesty in Mexico, Delays E-Verify Rule in United States.   Polls Show Washington Out-of-Touch with the American People on Amnesty, Border Security.   Colorado Judge Ends Illegal Alien Identity Theft Investigation.   Pew Study Shows Illegal Aliens Uneducated and a Burden to America's Health Care System.   Labor Coalitions Agree on Amnesty Bill Outline; Business Groups Express Concern.   Grassley-Durbin Poised to Introduce Bill to Protect American Workers, Curb H-1B Abuses."

2009-04-20 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Off-shore out-sourcing decreases the wages of IT workers and managers by 2% to 3%
"Off-shore out-sourcing decreases the wages of IT workers and managers by 2% to 3%.   The study is a joint project between New York University Stern School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.   A spokesman for the Stern School says the report was taken down after being posted for 5 days because they were not prepared for the media attention.   And a decision was made to instead put the paper up for peer review, not public scrutiny.   The researchers say the research was undertaken because the policy-makers need to understand the importance and the impact of the H-1B visa program.   And Lou, we should point out that one of the researchers, Prasanna Tambe, from the Stern School of Business has in fact done a meeting interview and appeared in Computer World..."
Patrick Thibodeau: ComputerWorld/IDG: H-1B visa use cuts U.S. programmer, software engineer wages by up to 6%: Prasanna Tambe, an assistant professor of information, operations and management sciences at the Stern School, and Lorin Hitt, a professor of operations and information management at Wharton
Patrick Thibodeau: ComputerWorld/IDG: IT workers hit hardest by off-shore out-sourcing
Prasanna B. Tambe & Lorin M. Hitt: SSRN: H-1B Visas, Off-Shoring, and the Wages of US Information Technology Workers

Something to TeaParty about: Lack of employment growth
Jimbo Wales's WikiPedia on Jobless Recovery

  "No man produces but with a view to consume or sell, & he never sells but with an intention to purchase some other commodity, which may be immediately useful to him, or which may contribute to future producation.   By producing, then, he necessarily becomes the consumer of his own goods, or the purchaser & consumer of the goods of some other person.   It is not to be supposed that he should, for any length of time, be ill-informed of the commodities which he can most advantageously produce, to attain the object which he has in view, namely, the possession of other goods; &, therefore, it is not probable that he will continually produce a commodity for which there is no demand." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 192-193  



_Billings MT Gazette_
Analysts look to 1970s, 1990s agricultural economics to study farming markets

Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_
Farmers react to lower prices by shifting from wheat

Hal G.P. Colebatch _Australian_
Tought police muscle up in the UK

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Government-Imposed Uncertainty Deepens the Recession

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #2008
Law-suit to end OPT extension continues
"One premise of the law-suit is that the OPT extension is a de-facto H-1B increase.   The USCIS even admits the connection, but denies that H-1B affects American workers.   In the first lawsuit attempt the judge didn't argue the fact that OPT is a backdoor H-1B increase but instead argued that there is no evidence that H-1B affects American workers.   One provision of the rule applies to F-1 students who are the beneficiaries of a pending or approved H-1B petition that is subject to the annual cap.   The IFR automatically extends the F-1 status and, for students in a period of approved post-completion OPT when the H-1B petition is filed, the OPT employment authorization."

2009-04-21 (5769 Nisan 26)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Are You an "Extremist"?
Town Hall

  "There cannot, then, be accumulated in a country any amount of capital which cannot be employed productively until wages rise so high in consequence of the rise of necessaries, & so little consequently remains for the profits of stock, that the motive for accumulation ceases.   While the profits of stock are high, men will have a motive to accumulate.   Whilst a man has any wished-for gratification unsupplied, he will have a demand for more commodities; & it will be an effectual demand while he has any new value to offer in exchange for them." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 193  



Diane Cochran _Billings MT Gazette_
WWAMI multi-state med school program gives varied experience and keeps doctor in less over-crowded areas of the country

Mary Beth Versaci _Daily Illini_
Finances, advanced placement, result in liberal arts graduations with fewer semesters at university

Kelly Wilson _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Area colleges reach 2-year/4-year merit-based scholarship agreement
"The option gives students a more affordable way to get into the liberal arts college, which will carry a price tag of $50,194 next year for tuition, room and board."

H-1B and L-1 visas used to displace millions of Americans

doctor Robin McFee _Family Security Matters_
Is Janet Napolitano Up to the Task of Keeping Americans Safe?

Rush Limbaugh
Earth Day morning update
"Charles and Frank Duryea.   On 1893 September 20 they constructed and tested the first gasoline-powered automobile.   They were also the first to incorporate into an American automobile business."
Jimibo Wales's Wikipedia on Charles Edgar Duryea
Library of Congress
"At 1895 November 28 08:55, six 'motocycles' left Chicago's Jackson Park for a 54 mile race to Evanston, Illinois and back through the snow.   Number 5, piloted by inventor J. Frank Duryea, won the race in just over 10 hours at an average speed of about 7.3 miles per hour!...   Only two years earlier in Springfield, Massachusetts, brothers Charles and J. Frank Duryea had built and driven what they claimed to be the first American gasoline-powered automobile.   Yet, as if by spontaneous combustion, over 70 entries were filed for the Times-Herald race, a response so overwhelming that President Cleveland asked the War Department to oversee the event...   As early as 1826, Samuel Morey filed a patent, bearing the signatures of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, for an internal combustion engine.   George Brayton, Stephania Reese, Henry Nadig, and Wallis Harris all produced self-propelled machines.   Charles Black developed an 18 horsepower 'chug buggy' in 1891—the same year John Lambert developed a three wheel motor buggy.   After seeing the 1895 Times-Herald race, Lambert went on to produce four wheel vehicles at his Buckeye Manufacturing plant.   The Stanley twins built a steam-powered vehicle in 1897...   In 1911 the Indianapolis 500 was born.   This famous race fostered the development of innovations such as the rear view mirror. By the time Berna Eli 'Barney' Oldfield sped to the top of Pike's Peak in 1915, motor car production was booming and automobile racing a well-established sport."
Library of Congress: Karl Benz
Student's Encyclopedia Brittanica on Charles E. Duryea (1861–1938) & J. Frank Duryea (1869–1967)
Automotive Hall of Fame
"Charles Duryea was a visionary, predicting 'the advent of the automobile' in his 1882 college thesis.   His younger brother Frank was a talented mechanic.   After brief careers in the bicycle business, the brothers collaborated on the development and production of a gasoline-powered vehicle.   Their 1895 Motor Wagon won the now legendary Chicago Times-Herald Race, completing the 54-mile round trip from Chicago to Evanston, Illinois with a winning time of 10 hours and 23 minutes.   The car out-performed 3 German-made Benz models and 2 American electric cars.   The publicity surrounding the Duryea victory inspired other mechanics and engineers to create and sell their own vehicles."
Smithsonian Institution: 1893 Duryea automobile
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot172518041769steam tractorFrance
Robert Anderson  1832-1839electric carriageScotland
Nicholaus A. Otto1832189118672 stroke engineGermany
Eugen Langen1833189518672 stroke engineGermany
Nicholaus A. Otto1832189118774 stroke engineGermany
Karl Friedrich Benz184419291885-18864 cycle gasolineGermany
Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler1834190018864 stroke gasoline "Cannstatt-Daimler"Germany
Wilhelm Maybach1846192918864 stroke gasoline "Cannstatt-Daimler"Germany
Charles Edgar Duryea1862193818931st successful auto; 4HP, 2-strokeUSA
J. Frank Duryea1870196718931st successful auto; 4HP, 2-strokeUSA

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
What a New New Deal means for you

Dorothy Rabinowitz _Wall Street Journal_
Obama Blames America

Hiroko Tabuchi _NY Times_
Japan Pays Foreign Workers to Go Home And Not Come Back

Scott Mayerowitz _abc_
1,400 apply for meter reader job in Tacoma, WA

Nicholas Ballasy _Cybercast News Service_
U.S. Educationism Secretary Signs Partnership with Red Chinese Who Put Dissidents in Re-Education Camps
Guest-Worker Fraud
"The Laogai Research Foundation estimates there are at least 1K laogai prisons ['re-education' camps] functioning in Communist China today, holding more than 6M prisoners.   The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press) estimates that at least 65M people have been killed or died as a result of China's Communist policies."

2009-04-22 (5769 Nisan 27)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Words versus realities

2009-04-22 (5769 Nisan 27)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Parting company: States, Powers, Rights & the Federal Government

  "Productions are always bought by productions, or by services; money is only the medium by which the exchange is effected." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 194  



Joel Norvell _CocoaHeads_
[MEET] Silicon Valley CocoaHeads Thursday, April 23 19:00
"Silicon Valley CocoaHeads is meeting Thursday, April 23 at 19:00 (sharp).   Apple Building 4 — Garage 1 Meeting Room.   As announced on Theocacao: 'Our featured speaker is Wil Shipley of Delicious Monster, who will share what he's learned while writing his first iPhone app.'"

2009-04-23 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 591,952 in the week ending April 18, a decrease of 18,601 from the previous week.   There were 328,346 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.8% during the week ending April 11, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,406,964, an increase of 78,746 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 3,054,853.   Extended benefits were available in AK, CA, CT, ID, IN, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, VT, WA, and WI during the week ending April 4.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_
State to sell investment in bio-fuel company to pay farmers $1.2M owed to oil-seed farmers

Becky Shay _Billings MT Gazette_
Hardin jail bidding on detainees from Club Gitmo to fill 460-bed facility

_National Society of Professional Engineers_
Where are the jobs?
"According to a study by [bodyshopper and job ad site] Monster, from 2008 January–November total engineering job postings declined 8%.   Monster calls this drop 'minor' compared to those in other industries.   But what makes the slow-down in hiring particularly difficult for entry-level candidates is that over the period Monster studied, entry-level and student roles made up 26% of candidates but just 8% of job postings.   The vast majority of positions available -- 77%—required experience...   companies down-sizing, Dell Orto explains, but also firms freezing hiring and giving current staff any work they can to preserve jobs, even if it's below the employees' skill sets...   According to job search web site Simply Hired, since 2007 job postings have declined as follows: Civil engineer: -19%; Electrical engineer: -5%; Environmental engineer: -19%; Industrial engineer: -29%. (The only area in which job postings increased was software engineering, by +7%.)"

2009-04-23 07:00PDT (10:00EDT) (14:00GMT)
2,191 Mass Lay-Offs Dumped 228,387 Workers in 2009 March

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Two U.S. senators say H-1B visas allow 'legal discrimination' against capable US workers
Durbin, Grassley introduce legislation to reform H-1B visa program

_Daily Illini_
Champaign-Urbana unemployment rate up from 4.9% in 2008 March to 6.9% in 2009 March
Alisa Groeninger: Illinois lost 39,600 jobs in March

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Inflation, increased oil consumption in Red China, followed by oil price adjustments seem to be main recesion culprits

Thomas E. Brewton & Joby Warrick _View from 1776_/_Washington Post_
Pelosi was aware of interrogations and techniques used as far back as 2002

_Chino Hills_
Sun belt regions hit hardest by foreclosures
"Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report for 2009Q1, which shows cities in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona accounted for the 26 highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter among metro areas with a population of 200K or more.   Las Vegas posted the highest metro rate, with 4.48% of its housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the quarter (one in every 22)..."
Michael Barone: Washington Examiner
"What do these states have in common?   First of all, high population growth through most of this decade...   Second, large numbers of Hispanic immigrants.   Lending institutions had incentives under our laws to lend to minorities, and they had a ready market to offload those mortgages in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   Third, local economies that became overdependent on construction and real estate, so that when the bubble burst there was not much to fall back on."
Luke Mullins: US News & World Report (table)

"Intellpuke" _Free Internet Press_
Financial Crisis Plunges US Middle Class Into Poverty
Gregor Peter Schmitz & Gabor Steingart: Der Spiegel

Dan Frommer _Business Insider_
Former Googler Doug Edwards Still Planning a Tell-All Book

Scott Ott _Washington Examiner_
Obama orders CIA to use hindsight first

Hal Salzman, Gary Phillips & Kathleen Kennedy Manzo _Education Week_
The role of international tests in US education

  "[T]here is no limit to demand -- no limit to the employment of capital while it yields any profit..." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 197  



Kevin McLoughlin _Daily Illini_
Students discuss immigration law perversion

Erika Kinetz _Daily Illini_
Did father attempt to traffick "Slumdog" star's sister?: Indian police end investigation, dismissing mother's accusation
"Police questioned Qureshi but were unable to track down the 3 journalists who carried out the alleged sting...   Police traced 2 mobile phone numbers the trio gave the hotel to local Vodafone SIM cards, which were activated on April 16 and deactivated on April 19...   'The matter is closed.   No money changed hands.   Rubina is here.   There is no crime.', he said."

Sam Roberts & Jeff Kunerth _Orlando Sentinel_/_NY Times_
Moves hit lowest level since 1962
"The bureau found that the number of people who changed residences declined to 35.2M last year, the lowest number since 1962, when the nation had 120M fewer people...   Florida, for the first time since 1940, had more people move out of the state than move into it.   From 2007 July to 2008 July, the state lost a net of nearly 9,300 residents, according to the latest census migration data...   Florida's net 'out-migration' [emigration] came as no surprise to Rayer, who has watched Florida's population growth slow from a net gain of 265K residents from other states in 2005 to 38K in 2007...   its overall population still grew from 2007 to 2008 because of moves here from abroad...   Americans' mobility rate... fell [from 13.2% in 2007 to 11.9% in 2008]."

Moira Herbst _Business Week_
Senators Dick Durbin and Charles Grassley plan to reintroduce legislation aimed at curbing some abuses of the H-1B visa program
Donna Conroy
Next Gov
Daphne Eviatar: Iowa Independent
Z Wire/Storm Lake Pilot Tribune

Nicholas Johnston _Bloomberg_
As excessive guest-workers and immigration drive economy doen Obama may have to abandon plan to increase guest-workers and immigration, and give amnesty to illegal aliens

Ilana Mercer _World Net Daily_
To bug or not to bug Zubaydah's cage
"when it comes to breaching the public's interests, the government's track record is [terrible]...   If it comes down to Urdu versus English in the class-room, the sounds of India (and the H-1B Visa) will trump the language of Washington and Jefferson."

Joe Sudbay _America Web Log_
Arlen Specter is getting crushed by Pat Toomey in PA's GOP Senate primary
John Gizzi: Human Events: Specter on the Ropes
Real Clear Politics: PA Senate Poll: Specter Down by 21

Jim Hightower
senator Bob Corker chokes on his own hypocrisy

Mack Sperling _North Carolina Business Litigation Report_
threats and secret promises: Bank of India's merger with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
When the government tries to run the economy, truth and openness are lost

S&P 500866.23
10-year US T-Bond2.97%
crude oil$51.55/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "Against... panics banks have no security *on any system*; from their very nature they are subject to them, as at no time can there be a bank, or in a country, so much specie or bullion as the moneyed individuals of such country have a right to demand.   Should every man withdraw his balance from his banker on the same day, many times the quantity of bank notes now in circulation would be insufficient to answer such a demand.   A panic of this kind was the cause of the crisis in 1797; & not, as has been supposed, the large advances which the Bank had then made to gov't...   If the Bank had continued paying in cash, probably the panic would have subsided before their coin had been exhausted." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 242-243  



2009-04-24 17:28:13PDT (2009-04-24 20:28:13EDT) (2009-04-25 00:28:13GMT)
Pete Carey _San Jose CA Mercury News_
Bankruptcies Soar (with graph)
"Overall filings were up 50% to 2,399 in the first 3 months of this year over the first quarter of 2008, according to records of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Jose.   The court covers Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties...   Charles B. Green, a San Jose bankruptcy lawyer for 36 years, said he's seeing more high-tech professionals, 'people in their mid-50s, formerly with Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Intel and Applied Materials'.   'They've been with these employers, in some cases, for decades.   They are engineers, highly skilled people, and now they're being laid off...'"

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
H-1B study withdrawn from public, authors not talking
(Note to readers:  This will be a long posting, but I believe you will find it well worth reading in its entirety.)
Last week two researchers, Prasanna Tambe of the NYU Stern School of Business and Lorin Hitt of Penn's Wharton School, released a working paper that found that the presence of H-1Bs lowered wages for Americans by as much as 6%.   (The phrasing here is misleading and not what was intended by the authors.   More on this below.)  Computerworld picked it up, with an article.
But then things were suddenly shut down.   According to the CNN broadcast transcript below, the paper was suddenly withdrawn from public access at the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com), and the authors are no longer giving interviews.
I will give my analysis of the paper below and it will be the bulk of this message, but first, what about the question raised by the Dobbs show?   Was the paper suppressed due to pressure from the vested interests (industry, the American Immigration Lawyers Assocation [AILA]) on the authors and/or their institutions?
Subjecting the paper to academic peer review is of course the proper thing to do, as review will uncover flaws, produce improvements, and so on.   But this can take a year or more (I once had one languish for 3 years), so it is customary to share the work informally in the mean time.   In the social sciences, this is done through "working papers", informal drafts.
The authors apparently placed their work on SSRN as a working paper for just that purpose.   It is indeed quite odd that they suddenly withdrew it from the site, leaving only the abstract.
The Dobbs show was correct to ask about the funding of the research, but pernicious influences can be more subtle than that.   Universities, especially schools of engineering and business, want to keep good relations with industry and the business world.   It's no accident that at Stanford the computer science building is named Bill Gates Hall (I noticed one at MIT last week too), with Hewlett Hall and Packard Hall across the street.   I'm proud of the support my own university has given me for my rabble-rousing on the H-1B issue, even profiling me (and 5 other faculty) in a magazine article, cleverly titled "Informed Dissent".   But other universities, especially private ones, may not be so tolerant.   And Dr. Tambe, as an untenured assistant professor, could be especially vulnerable.
So the sudden withdrawal of the paper -- and its authors -- from public access is troubling.   There could be innocent explanations, such as the authors realizing that some aspects of the paper need major reworking, but it does seem odd.
Now, what about the content of the paper itself?   I was given a copy by someone who had the foresight to down-load it immediately upon its release, and do have some comments. 
You might ask why the authors would even study the topic in the first place.   Isn't it a simple matter of supply and demand, with a larger supply causing lower price?   As a general principle, yes.   The 2000/2001 congressionally-commissioned National Research Council report, whose authors included several labor economists, stated
...economic theory implies that an increase in the supply of IT workers, including temporary non-immigrant workers, will cause the corresponding IT wage rates to be lower than they otherwise would have been.   Theory alone does not imply any particular numerical magnitude of this effect.   It is the committee's judgment that the current size of the H-1B work-force relative to the overall Category 1 IT work-force is large enough to exert a non-negligible moderating force that keeps wages from rising as fast as might be expected in a tight labor market.
Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan told Bloomberg News on 2007 March 14, that he was worried that IT workers' high salaries (which aren't that high) would be resented by the rest of the populace, creating social unrest, and recommended raising the H-1B cap:
Our skilled wages are higher than anywhere in the world.   If we open up a significant window for skilled workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income.
The Fed has over the years consistently called for expansion of the H-1B program. 
And as I often mention, the National Science Foundation [NSF] advocated bringing in a lot of foreign students to U.S. university PhD programs, for the express purpose of holding down PhD salaries, as the students flood the market when they graduate (and become H-1Bs).
So government experts do believe that H-1B brings down overall wages in the fields in which the foreign workers are numerous.   But it would be nice to quantify the effect, which the Tambe/Hitt paper attempts to do.
(Note carefully, and keep in mind, that the 5-6% gap they found, in addition to meaning something different from what showed up in the press, to be explained later, does not mean that that is the amount by which H-1Bs are under-paid, which is a different kind of number.   My analyses have shown a 15%-20% under-payment for H-1Bs having the same age and experience level as Americans, more when various ages are considered, and other studies have found similar, and in some cases larger, gaps.)
Furthermore, an NFAP [Stuart Anderson] study claimed that H-1Bs have a job-creation effect, which might actually raise overall wages by increasing demand.   As I explained at the time, the NFAP study was statistical nonsense, and recently a Wall Street Journal analysis essentially agreed.   But still, the authors here do have to allow for the possibility that there is such a job-creation effect in spite of the NFAP study's flaws, so the goal of the Tambe/Hitt study makes sense.
One major issue I have with Tambe and Hitt's paper doesn't directly involve their analysis, but instead has to do with a related point they make a couple of times.   In asking the question as to whether American tech workers are harmed by the H-1B program, they pair this with a presumed benefit to the program, in the form of supposedly increased innovation and entrepreneurship.   On page 3 they write
Recent work has demonstrated that guest workers and skilled immigration have positive effects on both innovation levels (Kerr & Lincoln, 2008; Hunt & Gauthier-Loiselle, 2009) and entrepreneurship (Saxenian, 2002; Wadhwa et al, 2008)...
They make this presumed loss/gain pairing even more explicit (though with a somewhat milder word, "suggest" rather instead of "demonstrated") in their Conclusions section, on page 21:
Although our findings suggest that the negative effects of globalization may be substantial for some workers, it is critical that policy makers weigh these effects carefully against the macro-level economic effects.   Off-shoring will most likely remain a necessary and important part of the global economy, and there is substantial evidence that H-1B admissions appear to directly improve levels of innovation and entrepreneurship, which in the long term should create new jobs and raise demand for technology workers in other areas.
I've used the word "presumed" above twice because the authors' presumption is false.   None of the 4 papers they cite claims that H-1B or immigration has produced a net gain in innovation or entrepreneurship.   Indeed, they could not have made such a conclusion, as they did not have the type of data needed to address that kind of question.
The H-1B program has squeezed many U.S. citizens and permanent residents out of this field, and has discouraged many of our top young people from even entering the field.   Thus one cannot tell, without analyzing this aspect, whether H-1B/immigration has produced a net loss or a net gain in innovation and entrepreneurship.   So, I must say I found Tambe and Hitt's statements above to be disturbing.
Concerning the main analysis of the paper, in many respects the authors are more careful than most.   For example, they break their analysis down to the firm level, allowing them to correlate wages paid by a firm with the percentage of H-1Bs at the firm; this turns out to be very important.   In the end, they run regressions of wages against H-1B share, off-shoring share, education, experience, job title, industry, specific firm, etc.
Accordingly, the interpretation given to their pay-impact figures in the press, and indeed in the paper's abstract, is incorrect.   Instead, the figures correspond to a 10% increase in the share of H-1Bs in a firm (or in an occupation).   For example, their statement on page 5,
...the introduction of firm-effects into our models indicates that H-1B employment decreases wages by about 5-6%, primarily for computer programmers and systems analysts...
is intended to refer to what would happen if percentage of H-1Bs among IT workers of this type at a firm were go to from, say, 20% to 30%, i.e. this would produce a 5-6% reduction in wages at the firm.
Imagine, then, the scale of the impact of the doubling, then tripling, of the H-1B cap that Congress enacted in 1998 and 2000, sun-setting in 2004.   For lots of reasons, one cannot apply the Tambe/Hitt figures directly, but it should be very clear that those 2 pieces of legislation caused a major suppression of IT wages.   (See also the Lemieux paper linked below.)
The authors make one error common to many previous works, a potentially very serious flaw related to job titles.   This is a key point, so please bear with me while I explain.
Most computer-related H-1Bs are programmers, with job titles typically being Programmer or Software Engineer, occasionally System Analyst.   (I will use capital letters for job titles here, with the term "programmer" being broader, i.e. one who does programming.)   Failure to understand this has led to badly flawed research analyses.
I'll start with the 2003 Zavodny paper, cited by Tambe and Hitt.  (My more detailed analysis.)   Zavodny, a researcher with the Fed, came up with mixed results.   She found a possible positive relationship between the number of H-1Bs and overall IT wages (statistically significant under one set of assumptions though not under another), but also found a positive relationship between the number of H-1Bs and IT unemployment.   (Note that Zavodny looked at the number of H-1Bs in a region, as opposed to the percentage of H-1Bs at a given firm.)   Though as I will explain below, Zavodny's study was fatally flawed, it is worth quoting from her final conclusions at the end of her paper:
The results provide little support for claims that the program has a negative impact on wages.   However, some results do suggest a positive relationship between the number of LCA applications and the unemployment rate a year later.   The failure to find an adverse wage effect does not necessarily indicate that H-1B workers do not depress wages but perhaps that any effect is difficult to find, as concluded by previous studies.
This is quite different Tambe and Hitt's unequivocal phrasing that Zavodny "found that an influx of guest workers improves wages and employment levels for the native IT work-force".   Sadly, often researchers do not read the papers they cite, which may be the case here.   I was also disappointed to see Tambe and Hitt describe my paper in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform as merely "anecdotal".
In any event, that is not the major issue with Zavodny's paper.   Instead, the real trouble is that Zavodny states that her analysis involves "computer systems analysts and scientists and operations and systems researchers and analysts".   That wording is a bit odd, but the point is that she is for the most part not picking up the programmers.   In other words, her "H-1B" study is not about H-1Bs, which renders it irrelevant to the H-1B debate.
Unfortunately, Tambe and Hitt look only at Computer Programmers and System Analyst, and the 5-6% reduction in wages they find resulting from the (10%) swelling of the labor market by H-1Bs is for those job titles.   They thus exclude a large, and even more important category, Computer Software Engineers [and the effects of reclassification of some practitioners and jobs from being Programmers or Analysts to Software Engineers].
Around the mid-1980s, the title Programmer began to be replaced by the fancier name Software Engineer.   That newer title became standard in firms that produce computer hardware or software, but many employers (including my university) continue to use the Programmer title.   Either way, it's still programming.   A worker could switch from company A to company B, doing work of the same level of sophistication, and yet have the title Software Engineer at A but be called a Programmer at B.   And indeed, the same person might do the same work as a System Analyst at company C.
On the other hand, those with Software Engineer titles tend to be paid more than Programmers, for various reasons, such as working with newer technologies and being employed by firms that spend more freely on IT.
Lack of awareness of this point, and other problems with job titles, has led to much flawed research.   The 2003 GAO study had such problems.   Though their employer survey showed some actually admitting to under-paying H-1Bs, the statistical section of the study had mixed results, an error stemming in part from not distinguishing between Programmer and Software Engineer titles.
The question then arises at to what effects, if any, Tambe's and Hitt's omission of Software Engineers had on their analysis.   As I said, in terms of work done, Programmers and Software Engineers do the same kind of work, giving rise to a loophole: An employer can give an H-1B a Programmer title, quite legally, while giving his American workers Software Engineer titles -- and thus pay the H-1B less, again fully legally.  See the case study for a detailed look at how job titles can be used to legally under-pay H-1Bs.
As I've explained before, this is just one of many loop-holes employers use to legally employ H-1Bs as cheap labor.   Yet it suggests that in this kind of scenario, the gap between H-1Bs and their American Software Engineer co-workers would tend to be larger than the 5%-6% found by Tambe and Hitt for American Programmers.   And this job title issue may seriously compromise the goals the authors describe at the top of page 5:
...differences across firms, our estimates are identified through variation among the wages of workers within the firm, under different assumptions about the degree of substitution among domestic and foreign workers based on the job titles listed in H-1B applications or reported by off-shore workers.   For example, we assume that domestic computer programmers are closer substitutes to H-1B and off-shore IT workers that describe themselves as computer programmers in their job titles.   In some regressions, we also explore whether the wages of IT workers in an incoming cohort are more sensitive to supply shocks than the wages of existing employees...
OTOH, if the industry lobbyists' claims are correct that the H-1Bs are doing work for which qualified Americans are not available, i.e. in Tambe/Hitt's economist language "complementarities exist between domestic and foreign workers", then it may be useful to redo their analysis, this time for H-1Bs and Americans with Software Engineer titles.   Again, I consider the evidence against the "complementarities" argument to be over-whelming, but this other job title would be something worth considering.
The authors address the H-1B under-payment issue on page 14:
To begin exploring how H-1B employment and off-shoring affect the wages of domestic IT workers, in Figure 4 we overlay the wages of our domestic IT work-force sample against the distribution of wages reported in H-1B applications.   Although the "prevailing wage" may not be an accurate reflection of the amount H-1B workers are paid by employers, the average wage listed in the H-1B application appears to be substantially less than the average wage paid to the American IT worker.   This comparison does not control for job classification, education, or experience, and therefore provides little evidence about whether H-1B workers are paid less than their American counterparts, or whether H-1B admissions depress wages for American workers. Comparing the two distributions, however, indicates that unless employers are generally paying significantly more than the prevailing wage for H-1B workers, H-1B employees are either 1) primarily hired to fill positions towards the bottom of the IT wage distribution, or 2) are paid less than their domestic counterparts for the same positions.
What are the authors referring to here?   As they note, their data source here is only the Labor Condition Applications (LCAs).   The LCAs are only applications for permission to hire an H-1B, whether the employer has a specific person ready or not.   And in some cases the employer is asking for permission to hire multiple foreign workers.   Thus the wage listed that will be paid can only be taken as a lower bound; when the employer finally hires someone, it could be at a higher wage.   Stuart Anderson, who is the "NFAP" referred to several times by Tambe and Hitt and who, as I've shown before, is closely tied to the immigration lawyers, has often criticized John Miano's [studies which examined the LCA data] on this basis.
Anderson even claims that the actual wage is "usually" (his exact word, in his 2006 March press release) substantially higher than what is stated in the LCA.   As with many of his statements, he offers no supporting evidence for that claim, and the data show otherwise.   I've looked at the distribution of wages stated in the LCAs and compared them to corresponding percentiles in the INS/USCIS H-1B data (which are for real people, not just applications to hire as-yet-unknown individuals) and found that the 2 track quite well.   Tambe and Hitt report good tracking for numbers of H-1Bs hired as well (page 9).
I make this point in the last paragraph simply to support Miano's and Tambe/Hitt's use of the LCAs.   My own research has not used the LCAs.   Instead, I have used the Census data, the INS/USCIS H-1B data, and the DoL green card (PERM) data, all of which are for real individual workers.   In all cases I have found a pattern in which the H-1Bs are paid less than the Americans.   The same holds for Ong and Blumenthal's analysis of the Census data.   In addition, there are the NRC and GAO employer surveys mentioned earlier, in which employers actually admitted to paying the H-1Bs less.   Furthermore, economic theory (or, really, common sense) says that the relative immobility of the H-1Bs means they will be under-paid on average; if you can't shop around among employers for the best deal, you will likely not get as high a salary as you could if you were a free agent.
IOW, the evidence is overwhelming that the H-1Bs are generally under-paid (again, quite legally in most cases).   Tambe and Hitt's Figure 3 (which they erroneously refer to as Figure 4 above) really shows that quite dramatically, with the distribution of H-1B salaries being substantially to the left of that of their domestic counterparts.   The authors are correct to caution against over-interpretation of the figure, for many reasons, but it certainly is striking.
Also striking, though not mentioned by Tambe and Hitt, is that H-1B is by far the strongest factor in overall wage levels.   For their regression (3), for example, their coefficient -0.758 for H-1B share is about 20 times larger than the one for education.   IOW, amount of education just doesn't play much role in wages.
This is greatly at odds with the industry lobbyists' claim that the industry needs to hire H-1Bs because they have graduate degrees.   Though it might be worth adding an interaction term for H-1B share and education, the reality is that although having a graduate degree does indeed give one a boost in salary at the time of graduation and for a few years afterward, it does not do so after this time.   Hence the relatively small coefficient for education.
I should mention here the recent work by Thomas Lemieux of UBC (but for U.S. labor), "The Changing Nature of Wage Inequality" [pdf].   He analyzed the growth in wage variation within an occupation over time, roughly speaking, comparing what the top earners made in an occupation relative to the bottom earners, during the last two decades.   He found that the variation grew a lot for doctors and lawyers, but was puzzled about the computer professions:
Occupations at the higher end of the skill distribution (doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists, etc.) almost all do better than average.   It is also highly plausible to argue that workers in these occupations mostly perform non-routine work.   A more disturbing pattern is that among high-skill occupations, the only ones that experience negative relative wage changes are precisely the ones most closely linked to the computer revolution.   In particular computer programmers and engineers both experience negative relative wage changes, despite the fact indicated by the regression line -- that occupations with similar skills generally experience a large positive relative wage change.
The case of computer programmers is particularly striking since this is the two-digit occupation that experienced by far the largest increase in "relative demand" as measured by its employment share that more than tripled (from 0.7% to 2.2%) over this period.   So while Figure 8 shows that high skill occupations where workers perform non-routine work did very well in terms of relative wages, it is difficult to understand why occupations at the core of the computer/technological revolution did relatively badly compared to occupations like lawyers or even professors that are relatively more peripheral to the computer revolution.   One possible explanation for this phenomenon discussed below in Section 5c is off-shoring.

It's interesting that he didn't think of H-1B as a factor.   Granted, he is in Canada but that nation has its own H-1B program.   He may have dismissed the idea on the grounds that physicians can come to the U.S.A. on an H-1B visa too.
My own explanation for this latter point involves the age issue.   As I've written extensively, in the computer field H-1B is largely used as a tool for avoiding hiring the older (age 35+) workers.   As a result, programmers have much shorter careers than do, for instance, civil engineers.   (See my University of Michigan paper for details.)   Physicians do not have short careers, and thus H-1B has less of an impact on them.
Finally, a couple of quick points.   First, they dichotomize the situation in natives and foreign-born, which is incorrect and would be offensive to some.   Many Americans were born abroad but became naturalized citizens.   Some came to the U.S.A. as kids, while other came as adults (some of whom came originally as H-1Bs).  But ALL are potential victims of the H-1B program.
Second, with such a large sample, the calculation of statistical p-values is rather meaningless; almost anything will be "significant."
All in all, it's a very interesting paper.
2009-04-20: Lou Dobbs
Lou Dobbs: This broadcast has reported literally for years on the problems and the abuses with the H-1B visa program, that's the federal government program that allows tens of thousands of foreign workers into this country each year.   The H-1B program benefits corporate America at -- without question at the expense of middle class jobs.   Tonight a new study from two respected universities confirms what we have been reporting here, that the H-1B visa program not only cost American jobs, but it depresses American wages as well.   Bill Tucker joins me now and has the story for us - Bill.
Bill Tucker: Well, Lou, there's a hitch to this report tonight.   That report is no longer available on-line.   All that is left is the abstract.   The researchers declined our interview request, but a copy of the draft report obtained by Lou Dobbs Tonight, the researchers found that the use of H-1B visa workers decreases the wages of computer programmers, system analysts and software engineers by up to 6%...

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Hillary Clinton lets slip a touch of racism

Leo Cendrowicz _Time_/_Yahoo!_
Red China, VietNam, & Taiwan accused of dumping steel below cost... again: India sets penalty tariffs
alternate link
Arpan Mukherjee & Prasanta Sahu: Wall Street Journal: EU, India impose tariffs
Steel Guru
Steel Guru
Fox Austin
Christy van der Merwe: Engineering News
Bloomberg: India imposed an anti-dumping duty on some stainless steel goods from countries including the U.S.A., Red China, Japan and nations of the European Union
Your Industry News: EU recently dropped threat of anti-dumping penalties on Red China, Korea and Taiwan
Robert Guy Matthews: Wall Street Journal

  "[N]o commodity can possess fixed & intrinsic value..." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 194  



Ben Smith & Jonathan Martin _NH Union Leader_
The GOP base is angry, and still conservative
"In Pennsylvania, former congressman Pat Toomey, a down-the-line economic and social conservative, is running against senator Arlen Specter, attacking his 'liberal agenda on social, labor, immigration and national security policies'.   In Arizona, Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Project, a group that mounted armed opposition to illegal immigration at the border, announced this week that he's running against McCain."

  "To alter the value of commodities, by altering the value of money, & yet to raise the same money amount by taxes, is then undoubtedly to increase the burthens of society." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 288  



Ben Shiva _Express Buzz_
22K "green" jobs off-shored from USA to India alone since beginning of year

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Fed plans deliberately to steal your savings
"The Federal Reserve's policy target of 2% annual inflation, recently proclaimed by Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, will reduce the purchasing-power value of your savings 15% every decade."

Roy Mark _eWeek_
Grassley & Durbin introduced new bill to reform H-1B and L visa programs

Tuhina Pandey _NDTV_
H-1B visa reforms may induce TCS to hire more locals in USA
"India's largest software exporter TCS is brain-storming to figure a way out of the H-1B visa trap and may be forced to raise the count of its overseas employees especially Americans...   More over-seas [US, UK, European] employees would mean more pressure on the bottom line of the IT companies who earn more than 60% of their revenues from the USA..."

Greg Avery _Denver CO Business Journal_
Colorado companies cut use and abuse of H-1Bs
"When the economy was stronger, companies earmarked thousands of jobs annually in Colorado for foreign workers... and sought to get new or to renew H-1B visas for them."

  "We may appeal to every page of history we have hitherto turned over, for proofs irrefragable, that the people, when they have been unchecked, have been as unjust, tyrannical, brutal, barbarous & cruel as any king or senate possessed of uncontrollable power." --- Philip M. Crane 1976 _The Sum of Good Gov't_ pg 3  



Trip Jennings _New Mexico Independent_/_AP_
Arlen Spector, co-author of 2007 Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion switching to Leftist party
"Specter is facing a stiff challenge in his re-election effort from a more conservative candidate."
David Brody: Christian Broadcasting Network
Don Durber: Daily Mail
Katherine Skiba: US News & World Report
"I am unwilling to have my 29-year senate record judged by the Pennsylvania primary electorate..."

Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_
Culbertson-area producers, residents dismayed at seed crushing/oil extraction plant's demise

2009-04-28 07:49PDT (10:49EDT) (14:49GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Conference Board: Consumers' confidence surges in April
"The consumer confidence index jumped to a reading of 39.2 in April from 26.9 in March, the Conference Board reported...   the expectations index, which surged from 30.2 in March to 49.5 in April...   The present situation index improved from 21.9 in March to 23.7 in April, still a very weak reading...   Indeed, survey respondents saying jobs are hard to get fell modestly, from 48.8% to 47.9%, while the percentage saying jobs are easy to get also fell, dropping from 4.7% to 4.5%, and pointing to further job losses."

Jarron Farmby _Daily Illini_
More students turn to grad school in grim job market

Jason Scott _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Unemployment rate for area hits 7%

Phyllis Schlafly _Human Events_
How scientists, engineers and our economy are betrayed
Bend Weekly
"now attracts about 200K student-competitors and nearly 100K volunteers...   Obviously, there is no shortage of teenage interest and aptitude in engineering.   But their prospects for good American jobs are very limited.   Large corporations prefer to use H-1B visas to hire foreign engineers and computer technicians.   H-1B workers increased threefold during the Clinton administration, and CEOs are constantly demanding that the number be raised or even unlimited.   Large corporations prefer H-1B foreigners because they work for lower wages [and put up with more abuse]...   President Obama has already named Indian Americans to two positions that will make decisions about which government jobs are filled by H-1Bs or out-sourced to India: Aneesh Chopra as chief technology officer and Vivek Kundra as chief information officer...   The large corporations that demand H-1B visas do not really want future Thomas Edisons or Wright Brothers because they will bring competition..."

Tawnell Hobbs _Dallas TX Morning News_
Some teachers in Dallas on H-1B visas are unhappy with the district board
"Five foreign citizens who teach in DISD under H-1B visas took the district to task at a recent board meeting.   They say the district hasn't followed through on a commitment to help them become permanent residents (i.e. green-card holders).   I've covered DISD for a while, and it's the first time I'd ever seen H-1B holders address the school board.   Typically, visa holders aren't ones to complain publicly.   But apparently, the teachers have had it.   They say they've spent thousands to get their green cards but that DISD's immigration attorney is dragging his heels, not doing the required paper-work, and holding up everything."

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Grassley/Durbin H-1B reform legislation alarms India's government

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
miscellaneous H-1B news items
1.   Representative Mike Honda from Silicon Valley was interviewed on C-SPAN the other day.   They did discuss H-1B for a while.   Though he did say that H-1Bs are often cheaper to hire than Americans, and this is the first time I've ever heard any Silicon Valley congress-person say this, unfortunately he stated that only the ones hired directly from over-seas are cheaper.   He followed what has become a standard line that those hired as foreign students on U.S. campuses -- which is the most common type of H-1B hired by Silicon Valley firms -- are fine, no problem, no under-payment.   This is highly incorrect, as I've shown before.   But it's an appealing dichotomy for politicians, who like things simple and who don't want to offend their industrial patrons.   I might add, as I have before, that some of the organizations critical of H-1B, notably the Programmers Guild, have unwittingly fostered this incorrect "Wipro bad, Intel good" perception.
2.   Senators Grassley and Durbin have apparently introduced an H-1B reform bill.   It's not on the web yet, so I don't know the contents.   Reportedly it is similar to the one they introduced last year, but the Grassley press release's description of the bill does not mention anything about reforming prevailing wage determination.   That aspect was by far the most important one in last year's Durbin/Grassley bill, so I hope it's in this year's bill too.   Omission of this provision would be a huge disappointment.
3.   Two new academic papers have been reported in the press in the last few days, one by Hunt of McGill and the other by Mithas and Smith of the University of Maryland.   I have quite a bit to say about both papers (about the misreporting of their contents by the press), and will do so within the next few days.
Tata median salaries by city
Wipro median salaries by city
Infosys median salaries by city

2009-04-28 (5769 Iyar 04)
Ian Johnson _Wall Street Journal_
non-Chinese business say that Red China is growing more protectionist
"[Red China's] state-owned railway system... isn't allowed to use foreign technology.   The reason is a desire to build up Chinese companies into national champions...   The restrictions go beyond internal regulations.   Last week, [Red China] passed a new postal law that bans foreign companies from delivering express mail inside [Red China], a blow to FedEx Corp. of the USA and Germany's DHL Worldwide Express Inc., which have lobbied for years against the new rules.   [Red China] also maintains rules open limiting foreign investment in key sectors, such as autos, chemicals and information technologies."

2009-04-28 (5769 Iyar 04)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Survival optional

  "Hoover was a genuine student of the business cycle, & probably better informed about the intricacies of the economy than any other world leader of this century.   Contrary to song & fable, Hoover did not sit on his hands as the economy imploded.   He sought vainly to reverse the collapse, using every method available to the Japanese today, including pouring concrete...   Hoover organized the equivalent of an $80G stimulus package in today's terms.   He started putting it together within a month of the stock market crash in 1929.   Ironically, news in 1992 August that Japan will pour more than 10T Yen into infrastructure spending provided another haunting example of history repeating itself.   10T Yen is roughly equivalent to $80G.   The attempt by the Japanese authorities to suppress the earth-quake of depression has led them to follow, almost pace for pace, in Herbert Hoover's foot-steps.   But note that they are about 2 years slower off the mark than Hoover was.   As Christopher Wood, Japan Finance Editor of The Economist, put it, 'The Japanese make Herbert Hoover look like a 100 metre sprinter.'" --- James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg 1994 _The Great Reckoning_ pg 163 (from conversations in 1992 summer & fall)  



Kelly Wilson _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
School super going to Red China to be told how to teach; Fund-raiser for college scholarships for poor Indian students

Jason Scott _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
More on Specter's coat turning

Paul Cruse III _Daily Illini_
Beware of political parties and mass media

_Billings MT Gazette_
State government's computer crime expert honored

Matt Brown _Billings MT Gazette_/_AP_
Industry study declares camelina seed oil makes better jet fuel

Lisa Mataloni _BEA_
Inflation-adjused GDP down 6.1% in 2009Q1, after falling 6.3% in 2008Q4

Michael Armstrong _Homer AK News_
How to grow greatness: Daniel Coyle's _The Talent Code_ shatters stereotypes
New Scientist
"Why are some people in certain places really, really good at soccer, tennis, skate-boarding, music or baseball almost anything?   Why have there been times in history where incredible art, science or literature happen?...   Practice, but not just endless repetition.   He calls it 'deep practice', focused, deliberate practice where the player learns from mistakes.   Coyle said deep practice puts people in a zone, a sweet spot, identifiable by a scrunched up facial expression where they look like Clint Eastwood.   Motivation or ignition.   For some reason, people get excited by a certain skill or art.   One way to tell: watch what children stare at or are fascinated by.   'Ignition is mysterious precisely because you can't force it.', Coyle said.   'You can't hope it.   You can't do much until that moment happens.'   Master coaching.   Among the coaches he interviews, Coyle talks to Mary Epperson, the Homer music teacher who has taught generations of students, including Jewel Kilcher.   Epperson's a good example: coaches with a wealth of experience almost all are older than 50 and compassion and love for their students.   They give little instructions in short bursts.   They inspire.   They even bribe and they're always funny."

2009-04-29 (5769 Iyar 05)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
The housing boom and bust

2009-04-29 (5769 Iyar 05)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Laws vs. Moral Values

  "A careful reading of a mass of contemporary literature & an analysis of economic & financial developments in 1930 yield little or no support for the views (a) that Federal Reserve policy in that year was open to serious criticism, or (b) that flooding of the money supply by the Federal Reserve System would have effectively checked the contraction or moderated the current & ensuing collapse.   With enterprise 'collapsed', the forces making for contraction were too strong to be overcome by the stimulus of artificially reducing short-term money rates below the very low levels actually reached." --- Joseph W. Davis (quoted in James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg 1994 _The Great Reckoning_ pg 350)  



2009-04-30 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 576,605 in the week ending April 25, a decrease of 19,959 from the previous week.   There were 337,858 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.7% during the week ending April 18, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,277,186, a decrease of 130,405 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,987,428.   Extended benefits were available in AK, CA, CT, DC, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NJ, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, VT, WA, and WI during the week ending April 11.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_
Spurred by customers, soft-drink makers switching from corn syrup to beet sugar

_Billings MT Gazette_/_AP_
Montana fires a warning shot over 2nd & 10th amendments and inter-state commerce clause (originally the 4th & 12th)

Emily Bazar _USA Today_
Demand for guest-work visas is down

Steven A. Camarota & Karen Jensenius _Center for Immigration Studies_
Trends in immigration and native employment: Immigrant unemploymet at 9.7%
"Among immigrants who arrived in 2006 or later unemployment is 13.3%."

Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Consumer spending dropped 0.2% after inflation adjustment in March
BEA press release

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Greenspan: Reasonable H-1B cap would make US workers a "privileged elite", wants to maintain under-priced visas and depress compensation

_Herald Sun_/_News Corp._
UK to reduce work visas to fight unemployment
"Its Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) says more than 100K skilled construction jobs, including managers and quantity surveyors, on large property projects should immediately be closed to foreign applicants...   MAC chairman David Metcalf said the new shortage list took account of the impact of the global recession on Britain, cutting the number of jobs open to skilled workers from outside the EU from 800K to 530K...   Home secretary Jacqui Smith was expected to implement the recommendations, which form part of the new points-based immigration system."

Eileen Sullivan _Minneapolis MN Star Tribune_/_McClatchy_/_AP_
Obama attempts Clintonian triangulation on immigration policy, changing course to say he'll focus on enforcement against employers of illegal aliens after all
"In 2008, ICE brought criminal charges against 135 employers and 968 workers."

_Atlas Shrugs 2000_
Geert Wildersin response to CAIR's attack on Florida House of Representatives majority-leader Adam Hasner: "I will not be bullied by Islamic thugs who want to use our freedoms to destroy those very same freedoms. And I will not stand by as they seek to do it to others"
Investigative Project: CAIR-Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood links
Discover the Networks: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Discover the Networks: Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

_Mad in America_
hard workers to jobs off-shored

  "It is the [transcendent] person who combines harmoniously these opposite tendencies: he or she is original yet systematic, independent yet responsible, bold yet disciplined, intuitive yet rational.   He balances a healthy pride in his uniqueness with a deep interest & concern for others... only when the apparent antinomy of these 2 processes is resolved can a self fully participate in the flow of evolution." --- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 1993 _The Evolving Self_ pg 238  


2009 April
_Electronic Freedom Foundation_
report on the Investigative Data WareHouse

  "Whether an opportunity for action exists or not, & whether it is a daunting obstacle or a stimulating challenge, depends more on the mental preparation of the person confronting it than on objective material conditions." --- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 1993 _The Evolving Self_ pg 245  


Proposed Bills 2009

Congressional candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
  "Being in the right place at the right time is clearly important.   But many people never realize that they are standing in a propitious space/time convergence, & even fewer know what to do when the realization hits them." --- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 1996 _Creativity_ pg 47  

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