Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Facebook wants cheap labor

Facebook billionare founder Mark Zuckerberg writes in a Wash. Post op-ed:
The middle-school students ... His family is from Mexico, and they moved here when he was a baby. Many students in my community are in the same situation; they moved to the United States so early in their lives that they have no memories of living anywhere else. ...

Why do we offer so few H-1B visas for talented specialists that the supply runs out within days of becoming available each year, even though we know each of these jobs will create two or three more American jobs in return? Why don’t we let entrepreneurs move here when they have what it takes to start companies that will create even more jobs?

We need a new approach, including:

* Comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born.

* Higher standards and accountability in schools, support for good teachers and a much greater focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math.

* Investment in breakthrough discoveries in scientific research and assurance that the benefits of the inventions belong to the public and not just to the few.
In other words, he wants to import cheap labor, overpay teachers, and abolish patents.

Reuters reports:
The 200,000-member U.S. chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers rejects the claim of a broad shortage of tech workers and opposes more H-1Bs.

"What these companies are doing is to replace Americans with lower-cost foreign workers," says Russ Harrison, senior legislative representative at the IEEE. ...

But wages in the tech industry are rising more slowly than those in the economy as a whole. For example, pay for applications software developers, a specialty in high demand, have risen just 8.9 percent in the five years through mid-2012, compared with a 12.5 percent increase for all occupations in the U.S. economy.

"It is extraordinarily unlikely for a severe shortage to happen in a way that doesn't result in very large wage increases," said Kirk Doran, an economist at the University of Notre Dame who studies immigration and labor.

"We know what a labor shortage looks like: there should be both much lower unemployment than other professions and much higher wage growth. If either of these are not present, then I don't buy the shortage hypothesis."

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