Is there an IT labor shortage in the USA that can only be solved with more H1B visas?

My recent series of columns on troubles at IBM brought me many sad stories from customers burned by Big Blue. I could write column after column just on that, but it wouldn’t be any fun so I haven’t. Only now a truly teachable lesson has emerged from a couple of these horror tales and it has to do with US IT labor economics and immigration policy. In short the IT service sector has been shoveling a lot of horseshit about H1B visas.

The story about H1B visas is simple. H1B’s are given for foreign workers to fill US positions that can’t be filled with qualified US citizens or by permanent US residents who hold green cards. H1Bs came into existence because there weren’t enough green cards and now we’re told there aren’t enough H1B’s, either. So there’s a move right now in Washington to increase the H1B limit above the current level of approximately 65,000 because we are told the alternative is IT paralysis without more foreign workers.

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Says who?

Who says there will be chaos without more foreign IT workers and are they correct?

Cynics like me point out that foreign workers are paid less and, more importantly, place much less of a total financial burden on employers because they get few, if any, long term benefits. I tend to think the issue isn’t finding good workers it’s finding cheap workers. But the H1B program isn’t supposed to be about saving money, so that argument can’t be used by organizations pushing for higher visa limits. All they can claim is a labor shortage that can only be corrected by issuing more H1Bs.

Big Blue goes Dark

To test this theory let’s look at Memphis, TN, where IBM has recently lost two big customers. One of them, Hilton Hotels, dumped IBM only this week. The other company is ServiceMaster. Hilton just announced they are canceling almost all of their contracts with IBM less than two years into a five-year contract.  This includes global IT helpdesk all data centers, and support of "global web" (hilton.com and all related systems).

According to my sources at Hilton, the IBM contract was a nightmare.  Big Blue couldn’t keep Hilton’s Exchange servers running. The SAN in the Raleigh data center hasn’t worked right since it supposedly came up in January, with some SAN outages lasting more than a day.  IBM couldn’t monitor Hilton’s servers in the IBM data center.  Hilton had to tell IBM when the servers were running low on disk space, for example.

Now IBM is gone, replaced by Dell, and Hilton has a new CIO.

If there’s one point I’d like you to keep in mind about this Hilton story it’s IBM’s apparent inability to monitor the Hilton servers. More about that below.

ServiceMaster is the other former IBM customer I know about in Memphis. Among its many beefs with Big Blue, ServiceMaster also had a server monitoring issue. In this case it was the company’s main database that was going unmonitored. IBM was supposed  to be monitoring the servers, they were paid for monitoring the servers, but in fact IBM didn’t really monitor anything and instead relied on help desk trouble tickets to tell it when there was a problem. If you think about it this is exactly the way IBM was handling server problems at Hilton, too.

Now to the part about labor economics.

When ServiceMaster announced its decision to cancel its contract with IBM and to in-source a new IT team, the company had to find 200 solid IT people immediately. Memphis is a small community and there can’t be that many skilled IT workers there, right?  ServiceMaster held a job fair one Saturday and over 1000 people attended.  They talked to them all, invited the best back for second interviews, and two weeks later ServiceMaster had a new IT department.  The company is reportedly happy with the new department, which workers are probably more skilled and more experienced than the IBMers they replace.

No Labor Shortage Here

Where, again, is that IT labor shortage? Apparently not in Memphis.

About that database monitoring problem, ServiceMaster hired DBADirect to provide their database support from that high-tech hotbed, Florence, KY.  The first thing DBADirect did was to install monitoring tools.  Remember IBM didn’t have any monitoring running on the ServiceMaster database.

How can a company 1/100,000th the size of IBM afford to have monitoring?  Well, it seems DBADirect has its own monitoring tools and they are included as part of their service.  It allows them to do a consistently good job with less labor.  DBADirect does not need to use the cheapest offshore labor to be competitive.  They’ve done what manufacturing companies have been doing for 100+ years -- automating!

Even today IBM is still in its billable hours mindset.  The more bodies it takes to do a job the better.  It views monitoring and automation tools as being a value added, extra cost option.  It has not occurred to them you could create a better, more profitable service with more tools and fewer people.  When you have good tools, the cost of the labor becomes less important.

Which brings us back to the H1B visa issue. Is there an IT labor shortage in the USA that can only be solved with more H1B visas? Not in Memphis and probably not anywhere else, either.

There’s certainly a shortage of imagination, absolutely a shortage of integrity, and neither shortage is saving anyone money.

Reprinted with permission

Photo Credit: Cory Thoman/Shutterstock

Robert X. Cringely has worked in and around the PC business for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Forbes, Upside, Success, Worth, and many other magazines and newspapers. Most recently, Cringely was the host and writer of the Maryland Public Television documentary "The Tranformation Age: Surviving a Technology Revolution with Robert X. Cringely".

122 Responses to Is there an IT labor shortage in the USA that can only be solved with more H1B visas?

  1. databaseben says:

    i think that giving employment to foreigners in our technical markets is suicidal.  

    these people will only take our technology back home.

    even if there are confidentiality agreements and other employee contracts to protect us from being cheated, countries will certainly do everything in their power to protect their expert citizens from the powers of America.

    on the flip side of that same coin, while manufacturer's can reduce costs in the short term by opening plants in other countries, ultimately America will pay for it, ie lose, in the long run.

    in any case, the solution for shortage of technicians is for silicon valley to build and open a university that teaches both the theories and offers vocational training to fill our shortages.

    • Bob Grant says:

       There isn't a shortage of workers, there is a shortage of jobs. This is proved by the fact that I've been doing IT work for 18 years, some of it even professionally, but have been unemployed for the past 6 years because everyone is switching to off-shore support centers and dropping most of their IT department employees. (the ones that haven't been around the company as managers for 10 years)

      Our technology isn't what we need to worry about losing, we need to worry about losing our IT professionals to other countries that are starting to pay better than the US now.

      • hoapres says:

        The IT wages have dropped so much in the US along with Indians having better job opportunities in India resulting in more and more Indians refusing to take H1B jobs.

  2. Sparxx2k7 says:

    It's not about not enough qualified people to fill positions (there are thousands, if not millions of people well qualified for IT positions) - it's about corporations not willing to spend the money to hire said qualified individuals.

    ...which then leads to the reason why the IT field is not a sought after field and is shrinking:  no one wants to work in a field where their job is going to be subsidized and sent off-shore.  Workers/Americans want stability in their jobs and to know their company stands behind them - not a company that will sellout and stab them in the back because of a cheaper labor force.

    • John Carroll says:

      Not exactly. Paying more money isn't going to change the fact that there are 6.5 billion people in the world (to the US' 310 million), and the best and brightest aren't all found in the US.

      If you are worried about companies trying to pay less, there are rules against that, but rules are useless if we make it hard for H1B visa holders to move from job to job once in the US.  Give them that flexibility, by essentially forcing employers to continue to compete for H1B laborers even after they are employed (just as happens with American workers), and you will see companies pay foreign workers just as much as they do American ones.

      • hoapres says:

        Simple solution.

        Hire an American or don't do the job.

        We have enough people in this country.

        STEM is just labor for the most part like flipping a cheeseburger.  If Mcdonalds can't find someone for $8 an hour to flip the burger either it pays more money or don't flip the burger.

      • Sparxx2k7 says:

        I will have to disagree on the point about not willing to pay out the money.  Too many times at the company I have worked for have they NOT hired someone because they were over-qualified or were scared the the potential hire will ask for the average salary of that position.

        The company I work for - granted I am glad I work there because stocking shelves at a grocery store was not helping my IT skills - will overlook EVERY TIME the guy that is a perfect fit for the job to hire the guy that isn't as well off as the first guy, just to save money.

        In the end, it's all about money:  less to pay out, more to partner bonus checks.

      • John Carroll says:

        @betanews-25e016f0840e4b586dcbc6cbba55961b:disqus The companies that will hire a sub-par developer just because they cost a bit less (and as I said elsewhere, they can't pay them much less, otherwise they can't afford to live in the US, and would obviously run afoul of the rules) isn't a company that is going to make America competitive globally.

        Companies want to compete.  You may find a few that focus on costs more than quality.  Those aren't the Apples, Microsofts or HPs. 

        Smart companies need smart people.  And as I said, smart people exist all over the world.  Cast your net the widest, and you catch the biggest fish.

      • John Carroll says:

        @hoapres:disqus Take that to its logical conclusion.  If you want to buy a car, only buy one that is made in the US.  If you want to buy shirts, only buy one made in the US. 

        If you want a computer, only buy one where all its parts are made in the US.  Thus, the IT industry collapses, because nobody can afford to buy the computers upon which the industry depends.

        Your fortress America mentality is a slippery slope to economic irrelevance.  Canada, Europe and other countries will benefit, to be sure, but I can't figure out why an American would talk that way (which probably means you aren't really thinking about America's economic relevance and competitiveness, so much as your own selfish interests).

      • hoapres says:

        @facebook-667632041:disqus The logical conclusion is that the work gets sent to the cheapest possible location most likely outside the US.
        I may have to compete against the rest of the world but I don't have to compete with the rest of the world coming to the US for work.

      • John Carroll says:

        @hoapres:disqus Not all software can be made remotely, especially the new sort (maintenance is a better candidate for outsourcing).  

        What your stance does is make America less competitive, as a place to put your company, than other countries (Canada being a good example, but also many European nations which have more liberal visa policies for skilled workers).

        That means you create fewer jobs for Americans to have all to themselves. 

        Purity has a cost.  Keeping all the jobs to yourself and holding at arms length the IT skills of 95% of the globe makes America less productive, competitive, and innovative.

        Like I said, cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      • hoapres says:

        @facebook-667632041:disqus 

        If the work can't be done remotely then simply raise the salary to obtain the qualified applicants.

        Problem solved.

        The vast majority of software can be done overseas and perhaps should be given that it is MUCH CHEAPER.  Much better to pay someone in India $40K a year versus bringing in someone from India to work in the US for $40K.

        You are wrong about Europe being more liberal.  Haven obtained a EU along with Swiss work permit then I assure you that it is a LOT HARDER than getting an H1B.

      • Edna_Bucket says:

        I understand the need for ZDNet bloggers to defend their sponsors, John, but why was Microsoft importing hundreds of non-Canadian H-1B and L1s from their British Columbia division when they were laying off 5000 Americans? 

        I only ask, because according to this article:
        http://www.sikhchic.com/article-detail.php?id=1013&cat=8 , these workers were low-grade testers, not Deep Blue's "Isaac Asimovs" or NASA's Shuttle Safety Team.

  3. Robert McKee says:

    I have to agree with you.  There really isn't a shortage of IT workers.  What I've seen is that in this economy, you have very skilled IT workers doing jobs far below their skill set for 60% of the pay they used to make because they can't find an IT job higher up the chain.  I can't count how many IT manager types I've interviewed that are now looking for programming positions because they can't find work as a manager, and willing to take a huge pay cut for it.

    Companies are crying they can't find workers when they are demanding people with huge skill sets and then offering to pay 70-80% of what that position really should pay.  It is those same companies that want more H1B's.  If the jobs come, and come at a reasonable price, I can guarantee you that they will be filled.  There are a great number of IT workers out there that can fill higher roles if they were available, but they simply aren't.  Of course, there are a lot of really bad programmers and IT managers out there too, but I don't really see that as being different than any other industry.

  4. Edna_Bucket says:

    Microsoft had its own offshore H-1B/L1 visa mill, in British Columbia. The Director of this division told reporters: "It's the guys without a turban who are the standouts".  They weren't interested in Canadians, only foreign workers they wanted in the US on a visa, just in time for the mass layoffs of 2009.One of their workers was a British PhD, who they brought to the US on H-1B.According to this government ruling, they violated H-1B law by forcing him to work for no pay part of the time and Canadian dollars the rest:http://tinyurl.com/7lhq6yc .He seems to have lost his job shortly after complaining about it.This illustrates the H-1B is not a "genius visa" bringing potential Nobel prize-winners. It is an indentured-worker visa that allows companies to replace unionized Americans with foreigners having little to no rights. For the first time, there is a net migration of Mexicans out of America, which is an indicator that the US is seen as a sinking ship and it's time to seek better opportunities at home.In a decade or two, when India and China have the same technological infrastructure as Japan, this endless supply of indentured workers and cheap outsourcing centers will cease and corporations shall have so betrayed home-grown engineers that they have neither cheap foreign labor nor qualified home-grown labor, as American students desert the sciences in favor of degrees in law or business that offer better job prospects.At that stage, Silicon Valley will shut down and the world economy shall revolve around chips made in Taiwan. Software firms will close down as the Indian workers who once supported Microsoft in droves start their own businesses in India, where local labor remains a more cost-effective option than emigrating to the US.Grassley has been good at playing the psuedo-race-card, "The beleaguered American under the yoke of the foreign menace", but he has failed to tackle the issue at its source. Give a company legalized slave labor and they won't give it up. All the Congressional rhetoric in the world won't help, since Microsoft has the same lobbying power as any tobacco company. Mr Cringely is partly correct. Foreign workers are cheaper, especially at Foxconn. However, this is not the primary motivation. The reason companies prefer indentured workers is that they no longer have to offer the same incentive needed to retain qualified American staff, which can market its skills freely. The indentured worker cannot say "I quit". The indentured worker cannot say "I want more pay". The indentured worker cannot say "I am not working weekends". This is why the H-1B is destroying American jobs.

  5. wicketr says:

    As a Memphian, it's odd seeing an article on here about my city. Especially considering it's about IT. I know in this city, the only serious company for IT workers is FedEx. Really glad more companies are hiring local instead of foreigners. I know with FedEx, their mo is to hire H1B guys as contractors, and if they are good enough, sign them on as full employees

  6. Edna_Bucket says:

    Microsoft had its own offshore H-1B/L1 visa mill, in British Columbia. The Director of this division told reporters: "It's the guys without a turban who are the standouts": http://www.sikhchic.com/article-detail.php?id=1013&cat=8 .

    One of their workers was a British PhD, who they brought to the US on H-1B.

    According to this government ruling, they violated H-1B law by forcing him to work for no pay part of the time and Canadian dollars the rest:

    http://tinyurl.com/7lhq6yc .

    He seems to have lost his job shortly after complaining about it.

    This illustrates the H-1B is not a "genius visa" bringing potential Nobel prize-winners. It is an indentured-worker visa that allows companies to replace unionized Americans with foreigners having little to no rights. For the first time, there is a net migration of Mexicans out of America, which is an indicator that the US is seen as a sinking ship and it's time to seek better opportunities at home.

    In a decade or two, when India and China have the same technological infrastructure as Japan, this endless supply of indentured workers and cheap outsourcing centers will cease and corporations shall have so betrayed home-grown engineers that they have neither cheap foreign labor nor qualified home-grown labor, as American students desert the sciences in favor of degrees in law or business that offer better job prospects.

    At that stage, Silicon Valley will shut down and the world economy shall revolve around chips made in Taiwan. Software firms will close down as the Indian workers who once supported Microsoft in droves start their own businesses in India, where local labor remains a more cost-effective option than emigrating to the US.

    Grassley has been good at playing the psuedo-race-card, "The beleaguered American under the yoke of the foreign menace", but he has failed to tackle the issue at its source. Give a company legalized slave labor and they won't give it up. All the Congressional rhetoric in the world won't help, since Microsoft has the same lobbying power as any tobacco company.

  7. Jobs4US says:

    Great article.  

    I just don't get it.   Anyone with a brain knows that there's no shortage of highly skilled American talent ready, willing and able to fix this debacle.

    Yet, paid off politicians refuse to look out their windows to see the truth that just across the street from the Capitol.     

    The Emperor has no clothes.  

    Nero (Obama) is fiddling with immigration policy while greedy corporations continue to pay off politicians on both sides of the aisle to buy into the the  "Big Lie" - we can't find American talent, no questions asked.  

    The only reason employers can't find American talent is because they don't want to.

    Thanks to  Bill Gates and convicted felon and sidekick, Jack Abramoff,  US Congress passed laws with egregious loopholes that legalize discrimination against Americans.

    Today, H-1b law makes it is 100% legal for employers to bypass American citizens and only hire offshore visa workers. 

    What's it going to take to over-throw the hostile corporate takeover of America?  

    How do we get heard? What does it take to influence change?

    • TechnologyRules says:

      It takes a population that appreciates what this country was which leads them to do some real research into our politicians instead of todays status quo where the average american gets ALL their political intelligence from mainstream media which is owned by the corporations that own our politicians.

      Ill say it again.... How is it possible that barrack obama appointed a former executive from monsanto to run the FDA but it was owhere to be seen or heard on cnn fox or msnbc..... PLEASE explain that to me?????

  8. Jake Leone says:

    Thanks for writing about this.  The shortage of intelligence and work-ethic is definitely at the top.  Right now IT companies are immensely profitable.  Yahoo, for example, is earning 90,000$/year profit per employee.  But this isn't good enough, hence the accountants plan to eliminate 2000 jobs. 

    Most telling, in your article, is the fact that Service Master was able to find 200 IT workers in just a two weeks.  Even in Silicon Valley, we have had no problem finding multiple candidates for almost all IT/Programming positions.  Often we will interview 5 or more, fully qualified candidates.

    The truth is, it takes engineering time to interview people, interviewing 5 candidates could be the equivalent of 3 man-weeks, and that is a huge expense.  Far cheaper to go with a fixed cost, and indenturement, that the H-1b visa gives companies.  And Companies that dangle the green card, sometimes for decades, in order to keep workers beholden to the company.

    Hey calling an agency, versus actually filtering candidates, is a huge time savings.

    Our companies have grown flabby because of the U.S. government visa handouts, and are afraid to add the cost of interviewing, paying, and sometimes training U.S. workers to their bottom lines.

    Temporary work visas are a government program.  They are not the traditional immigration that made capitalism great.  They are a government handout, of an indentured servant.  Our companies need to be strong, and learn to compete with real world economics, and shun dependence on these government programs.

    Hence, the reality, that cheap labor makes companies weak, and allows them to avoid automation and labor savings.

    The IT labor shortage is myth, created by corporate lobbyists and propaganda chiefs.   A few weeks ago, we saw a similar push stating there was a shortage of skilled machinists.  Completely untrue and an obvious industry trial balloon.

    • hoapres says:

      If it takes 3 man weeks to interview 5 people then you are doing something wrong.  And agencies are hardly a huge time saver.  The people looking for work in Silicon Valley are pounding the pavement and avoiding agencies.  Run an ad on Craigslist and you are swamped with qualified applicants willing to work for peanuts.

      Silicon Valley is about to have another big tech meltdown. Not only are companies canceling their hiring plans but a LOT of startups are in shutdown mode.  

      • Jake Leone says:

        6 reviewers * 5 candidates (usually more) * 2 hour interview * 2nd interview = 120 hours.

        Or 3-man weeks

        There is also resume review, at least 40 resumes reviewed and phone interview for any given job, which can take another man-week or more.

        There is also active recruiting which can take 2-days a month out of managers work schedule.

        Bear in mind there are usually more interviewers, as well as an HR
        interview.  Salary negotiation.  Any given candidate is in for 3 days of
        solid work before getting (and accepting) a job.

        If you really want A-players, that's the price you must pay.

        Versus

        Agency (or Outsourcer) Call - 10 man minutes.  Then 1 week on the job, no training.  If it doesn't work out, your fired.  Let the Agency (or Outsourcer) pay for the plane ride back.

        That versus gambling for 2 months for the hiring cycle to complete.

        Come on, there's no economic incentive to hire local, when the government gives huge numbers of visas to outsourcing companies, who have people ready on the spot.

        Visa fees should be fixed but in the tens-of-thousands dollars.  Only a significant monetary hurdle will shape up our flabby corporations, which love to jettison HR personnel for the sake of the bottom line. 

        This is why, Visas are a government handout, and they have made our corporations weak and useless at job creation.

      • hoapres says:

        @facebook-1380558892:disqus 
        You are spending too much time.

        6 reviewers * 5 candidates (usually more) * 2 hour interview * 2nd interview = 120 hours.

        1.  If you are interviewing more than 3 people then you are spending too much time.

        2.  You are spending too much time on resume interviews.  I can get that done with one person in a couple of hours.

        3.  You are spending too much time in recruiting.

        Getting A-players is trivial.  Simply run an Ad on Craigslist but be willing to PAY THE PRICE. 

        And I am not going to be working for "3 days of solid work" before getting a job offer.  If you want to hire me as a contractor for a couple of weeks at my hourly rate before hiring me permanent then that is reasonable.  If you expect people to just come in for "3 days of solid work" for minimal or no pay then that is unrealistic.

        It sounds like you are working at a LARGE Silicon Valley corporation.  If that is the case then Americans are prerejected from IT employment due to H1B infestation and offshoring.

        By the time you get a hiring decision done at a large corporation, the A-player who is assumed to be in demand is likely to be working for someone else.

        All of the above may be moot, because Silicon Valley companies just in the last couple of week have gone into a HIRING FREEZE.  The small startups are in shutdown mode and the large companies have written hiring off in 2012. 

      • Jake Leone says:

        Unfortunately it does take time to to hire permanent workers.  And I agree, it isn't because of a lack of candidates, it is often because of procedural requirements.  Having a permanent job at a reasonably sized, successful company, is desirable.  There are times when U.S. citizens are pre-rejected, and there are many documented cases of this. 

        What I have seen happen (and I believe it is more prevalent) is this, and this comes out of my experience at as a Software Engineer at a Medical Device manufacturers decades ago:

        I asked a hiring manager about a more advanced position, since they were conducting interviews.  The manager told me to not bother applying because they had already decided who was going to take the job.  After that talk, they spent 2 weeks interviewing candidates, before they selected the person mentioned initially to me.  Ridiculous waste of time, but doing the interviews was an HR requirement.  They interviewed some top-notch people, I was able to see some of the resumes, because I told the hiring manager I wouldn't be applying (since I already knew there was no chance). 

        Also, decades ago, I worked as a contractor at Stanford University for an IT department attached to their cardiac medical research division.  There was an open position, but there I was also told the same thing.  They needed to do 100 hours of interviews for any permanent position.  They already had a candidate in mind (not me), and that applying would be a waste of my time.

        This is what really happens at large companies/institutions.  I haven't seen it happen at my company.  At other companies HR knows this crap goes on, so they put in place rigid guidelines.  It does take time to find the A-players, and you cannot necessarily buy them with cash alone.

        When hiring managers can't find any more friends to hire, that's when HR starts hearing that they can't find any candidates.  Then HR translates that into, "There are not enough qualified engineers in the job market.".  And that's when companies start turning to agencies and visas.

        The start of the huge influx of Indian engineers, was about two common factors.  Friends hire friends,  and the agency(or outsourcer)-h1b visa mill.  It has morphed into the L-1, B-1 visa scam, where workers are brought from overseas divisions to replace permanent U.S. workers.  All 3 visas facilitate the removal of jobs, and are anathematic to any attempt by industry or government to help the U.S. economy develop more jobs.

        You can argue that is was the Y2K  "demand event"  My argument is that it could have been any "Demand Event" in the job market that could have started the phony rush for visas.  Precisely because of the behaviors of hiring managers and HR in the market place.  In many ways markets behave like cars on the freeway, if you can see where the cars are piling up you can see the "why" of the traffic jam.  Similarly if you can see where the waste is piling up in the hiring process, you can see the "why" of the mythical worker shortage.

      • hoapres says:

        @facebook-1380558892:disqus 

        I had the exact same experience at Stanford with regards to a full time position. 

        If HR is mandating an inordinate number of hours then it is an organizational burden getting someone hired.

        Small companies don't spend 3 man weeks of time in making a hiring decision.

        You really can get A-players with cash alone.  Start paying $300K+ for a software engineer and you can get anyone you want.

  9. John Crane says:

    Somebody finally said what the companies are afraid to say, but every IT professional knows. There is no shortage of IT labor. There is a shortage of IT labor at lower price that companies want to pay.

  10. rlawson says:

    I think you summarized the problem quite succinctly: horseshit. The only solution to their problem is more employer sponsored visas. Higher pay, investment in training, and other incentives to meet these "shortages" are simply not acceptable to them. So about once a year around now IT industry groups go into a horseshit shoveling frenzy.

  11. John Carroll says:

    The world is a big place, and the supposed champion of free trade now has one of the most restrictive immigration policies from the standpoint of skilled workers.  Canada is more competitive from a labor standpoint, and will attract the skilled workers that America refuses to (which is why Microsoft has a dev center in Vancouver).  

    Sorry, if a protected market for physical goods yields companies that lag internationally, then a protected market for LABOR makes an economy that is less competitive from a knowledge economy standpoint.  America is basically saying that only 5% of the world's brainpower - the ones who were, for the most part, accidentally American (as most current Americans no more chose to be born in the US than I did) are the only people likely to generate the innovations that will make the country in which they operate a leader in the space.  

    It's like trying to get lots of gold medals at the Olympics when you are Ireland.  A smaller pool from which to draw great athletes yields worse performance at Olympic games than is the case with countries - like China or the US - that have a much larger pool.

    Worried that foreign skilled laborers will drag costs down?  A starting point would be to change the H1B program so that they can start to shop around for work in other places shortly after they arrive.  Make companies actually continue to compete for their labor, and they will pay them what they pay other americans.

    • hoapres says:

      Solution is simple.

      Send the work overseas.

      • John Carroll says:

        Pretty counterproductive.  Send the work overseas, thus building HUGE organizations in OTHER COUNTRIES, where they pay taxes, and thus reduce a need to have any american operations.

        Cutting off your nose to spite your face is what your stance is called.

      • hoapres says:

        @facebook-667632041:disqus  That is exactly what is happening and It is far MORE preferable to send work overseas rather than bring more people to the US doing the work.

        Sorry

        Not all of us are enthused about "ethnic cleansing" of Silicon Valley who would have a population decrease except for the importation of CHEAP Asian labor. (Source : baycitizens dot org)

        You can't find a qualified American for the price you are willing to pay then simply send the work overseas.

        Problem solved.

      • Joe says:

         They tried that and even that failed miserably.  These H1b'ers are not more skilled than the workers they replaced nor do they really care about the finished product or service to go that "extra" mile that makes it worth having.  To prove it, contact and IBM, Cisco or other fortune 500 help desk that is overseas and public facing.  Good luch in getting that resolved efficiently and warmly.

      • They can't send the work overseas - India can't even keep the power on reliably.

    • joeblocks says:

       You saying India would let in 100,000 people every year to do IT work that their own grads can do? Never going to happen. Fact is. we don't need these workers to begin with.    And don't talk of 'brainpower'  - that's pathetic - the typical H1B or L1 is not a computer genius and does pretty basic stuff, which you'd know if you had a clue.

      • John Carroll says:

        Who is the IT center of the world, the US, or India?  Yes, India matters as an OUTSOURCING destination, but the major software companies that set the pulse of world computing are American.

        Frankly, India does lots of things wrong.  They have a country tied up in red tape that is strangling growth in a country that, by all rights, should grow as fast - if not faster - than china.  They don't because of bad policies.

        So, no, I don't look to India as a reference for what America should do from a work visa standpoint.

        The majority of H1b's I've worked with are quite competent, though I wouldn't know where to rank them on scale compared to other American workers.  Their problem, however, is that they are trapped working for the company who sponsored them.  Break that linkage, and H1b candidates would be higher quality because they would cost a heck of a lot more.

      • hoapres says:

        @facebook-667632041:disqus 

        India is the center of the IT world.

        Americans as a condition of receiving their severance working "proudly together" training their Indian H1B replacements to improve corporate profits by exporting jobs.

        India is starting to get too expensive so future offshoring destinations include Russia, China, Vietnam and Brazil.

        It will never happen but by sending H1Bs HOME then we reduce the IT labor supply which should result in at least temporary RISE in IT salaries. 

        IT is just labor like flipping a burger. No more and no less.  IT is not "rocket science" requiring special brains.

        You pay enough money to get an American to flip your burger or the burger doesn't get flipped.

        So simple is it.

  12. sjc1963 says:

    This is what is called "insourcing". Its the same as outsourcing to another country to get cheaper and lower qualified workers, but you import the workers instead. In other countries they call this slavery....... Corporate America wants to go back to the "good old days" of robber barons and "....in debt to the company store". 

    The Global Economy has nothing to do with it.

  13. twinsfan1100 says:

    Everybody in the industry knows that the H1B visa is a device to lower labor costs by replacing highly educated, well trained US STEM workers with cheap entry level workers from the third world, primarily India and Communist China.

    Corporations and their political shills in Congress and the White House tell us that these visas are for "highly skilled" workers but the evidence proves that claim to be false.  The GAO found that recipients of these H1B visas are not "highly skilled." The study can be viewed at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1126.pdf. Indeed the GAO found that 94% of the recipients of the H1B visa were not "Fully Competent."

    The GAO published a study in 2011 for Congress in which they found that only 6.0% of the recipients were "Fully Competent" a standard much lower than "highly skilled."  The chart of competencies of the H1b visa recipients can be viewed at http://techtalk.dice.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/918iBE2B98F5EE29FE1A/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1.

    The remaining 94% of the visa recipients were less qualified, judged to be NOT "Fully Competent."  Indeed 54% were judged be "Entry Level" workers.

    It is not enough for the corporations and their political sock puppets in Congress and the White House to destroy the jobs of US STEM workers.  They have to compound the torment of US STEM workers by mocking, taunting, and smearing US STEM workers by painting a false picture claiming that US STEM workers are not qualified.

    The US STEM worker created this technology and they are the best scientists, engineers, and mathematicians that the world has ever seen!

    If you want to bring the economy back, restore disenfranchised US STEM workers back to their careers and harness their creative energy AGAIN!

    • John Carroll says:

      So, explain to me how Microsoft, Apple, HP or Yahoo will make world-beating products by hiring "entry-level" workers.  

      Obviously, they won't, which is why your rationale for why companies hiring foreign workers doesn't hold water. 

      Yes, H1b workers get paid, on average, less than American workers, rules be damned.  But the main reason for that is H1b workers have a hard time moving around from job to job once they are in the country working for a sponsor company.  

      Remove that restriction, and companies will have a harder time paying those workers less...and might be less willing to go through the trouble of bringing in a foreign worker in the first place.

      • hoapres says:

        Only Apple is making "world beating products"

        Tough Luck.

        You either hire an American and if you can't find one that you like for the price you are willing to pay then simply send the work overseas.

      • Joe Smith says:

        Apple isn't really known as a "H-1b only" shop.  Yahoo and HP are going through massive layoffs.  Microsoft is losing market share fast.   Anyways, most of these H-1bs are used by the outsourcing industry.

      • twinsfan1100 says:

         No one will ever know the technology that never occurred because Bill Gates replaced another US STEM worker with a cheap entry level worker from India.

        BTW, what technology did Microsoft "create" anyway?  Microsoft does not innovate.  Microsoft reengineers; Microsoft steals the technology of others and pushes the true innovators out of business!

      • John80224 says:

        "So, explain to me how Microsoft, Apple, HP or Yahoo will make world-beating products by hiring "entry-level" workers."

        In part, it's the same statistics that proves enough monkeys at typewriters could create the greatest novel.  Foreign workers are often portrayed as superior when on the whole they probably roughly mirror the skills distribution of domestic ones with various caveats for or against the them.  But a huge disconnect between sales pitch and implementation is this idea that we're selecting the world's best and brightest.  The implications are that we're getting the top 1%, but the reality is we're drawing largely at random from the top 70%.

        The world-beating nature of large companies' projects come from many more things than those who write the code.  Many of the ideas in the first place come from outside the codemonkeys.  There's also market share and marketing.  Large companies are notorious for bureuacracy and other inefficiencies that would immediately kill small competitors, but their sheer size allows them to continue and throw resources at the diamonds in the rough.

        A related example: Google's news feature was credited as being the brainchild of a foreign worker.  Yet Google can't get the concepts of sort and filter dislodged from one another (ex. search for "H-1b visa", select last 24 hours then see how the results change between "Sort by date" and "sort by relevance").  That doesn't make the overall idea bad, but demonstrates that one great idea doesn't mean everyone involved is a best and brightest.

      • Microsoft employs 35,000 H-1Bs and is being relegated to the dustbin of history. Apple on the otherhand hires most Americans for dev and 1,430 H-1Bs for backoffice stuff like Oracle, DBA, etc. Oh wait.... Apple is booming.

  14. bibleverse1 says:

    Politicians want you to believe this because it allows business to bring in lower paid workers.

    • TechnologyRules says:

      These big corporations can pay one or two politicians a couple million then hire 10 engineers for the price of 2.....

      The math goes in favor of the big corp and the politician

      But lets nit complain. It is the same american public that votes republicans and democrats into office...!!!!

      • bibleverse1 says:

        The US is experiencing a period with higher unemployment than is normal and instead of training young people in teens to do this work cheap they will import someone. Why do we Americans stand for these kinds of policies that allow our jobs to be taken.

  15. Archie says:

    I work at a big tech company, everyone knows the H-1b and L1 is a big scam.  We use tons of these visas, I know what the visa holders get paid, it is a very low wage. There are so many loopholes in the visa programs and virtually no oversight.  The stories about "high skilled labor" is basically just propaganda to dupe gullible people into supporting these corrupt visa programs.   The visa holders are not the best and brightest, that much is obvious.  If anything, these visa programs drive the true best and brightest into other fields (away from technology).

  16. hoapres says:

    We have a shortage of IT people willing to work for free.

    Solution.

    Hire an H1B.

    • TechnologyRules says:

      Managment: "can you beleive this new engineer wants income to approach 50% of ours?"

      Senior management: "just hire a foreign company to provide these services remotely. Just use a webex and the intern can follow the instructions from the engineer!"

      • hoapres says:

        Do your part.

        Stop buying.

        Start living like a North Korean.

      • The highest paid CEO in Japan is head of Mitsubishi - Carlos Ghosn. He makes $12 mil a year - paltry compared to US CEOs. The average Japanese CEO pay even of large companies is around $1 million max. The gov't also puts limits on how much doctors and hospitals can charge. Guess what? JAPAN WORKS.

  17. hoapres says:

    Proudly made in America by foreign workers.

  18. hoapres says:

    Americans as a condition of receiving their severance working proudly together training their Indian H1B replacements to improve corporate profits by exporting jobs to India.

    • TechnologyRules says:

      Then these same stupid americans go vote for the same senators and house reps and ignore news about obama appointing a former monsanto executie to run the fda...

      These anti american practices cannot happen without being voted into law.

      So as long as the american public is stuck on this baby food the mainstream media feeds you the average american will continue to be dumbed down with worthless controversies like gay marriage and immigration reform.....

      Its easy for these poliocians to rape us.... Just make us focus on irrelevant issues that have nothing to do with the american economy, pretend to give us choices like the illusion of left and right then tell us that obamacare is somehow different than romneycare beyond a f ew minor details

  19. Gene Vincent says:

    What's a paradox? These companies hire people for lower and lower wages putting people out of jobs. Now, if no one is working, who will buy their products? The people working for lower wages? To me it doesn't seem to make sense economically. No one thinks of the future. Let me get rich today. To hell with tomorrow.

    • hoapres says:

      That is not my problem.  That is a problem for the next CEO.

      If you want to stop this nonsense of low cost H1Bs then start living like a North Korean. 

      If nobody is buying then everybody will be out of work.

  20. joeblocks says:

    So what does it take to get the numbskull,  corrupt,  money-grubbing politicians to understand what Robert has written?  Maybe they already understand. They just don't care aso long as the Google, Microsoft, Cisco and Nasscom money flows in.

    • Wolfgang says:

      Those firms you name receive literally thousands of resumes for each position they hire.  Yet they still use H-1Bs.  If Google needs to import a certain top-talented open source developer, they can use the O-1 visa.  But otherwise, the H-1B program needs to be shut down and never resurrected.  It allows the flooding of the labour market with sub-par "cheap" talent such that even locals don't get their resumes considered.

    • TechnologyRules says:

      It takes getting the stupidity of the average american to realize that the TV they use to get ALL their political information is owned by people that also own the politicians.

      But the averge american has been convinced that patriotism means supporting and going along with anything and everything the government says and does and anything lesst than absolute blind faith is borderline terrorism.!!!!!!

    • Our pols are paid for by NASSCOM/USINDPAC lobbying $. NASSCOM also buys huge amounts of "worker shortages" PR stories in our media by hiring US PR firms. Did you know in Japan they have laws limiting media ownership or control to a mere 5% foreign influence? We need new laws banning foreign lobbying of our govt and foreign influence in our press NOW.

  21. joeblocks says:

    Also, while these H1Bs might be cheap they don't necessarily get billed cheaply. The middle men (lots of them Indians) make a load of money from them. 

    • hoapres says:

      Not always.

      I was on a project with a huge spread with the agency billing out at $80 an hour with the contractors getting $15 an hour.

      Talked to upper management and the contract was terminated.  The $15 an hour contractors were laid off and a new agency was brought in charging $40 an hour with the contractors making $13 an hour.

      These H1B contractors were stuffed 12+ into a 1BR apartment often working 60 hours a week only getting paid for 40.

      When I told upper management something is wrong when senior software engineers with 10 years of Java experience were making $13 an hour got the response "I wasn't the fool to go into software engineering"

  22. hoapres says:

    The wages have dropped so much that you are starting to see "IT ready".  Code today, paid today just like Labor Ready.

    You show up put in your 12 hours and get $50.

    The local Labor Ready in Silicon Valley is swamped with IT people willing to put on the construction boots for $8 an hour.

  23. Wolfgang says:

    A 2002 Electrical Engineering/Computer Science grad here, from a top-20 school.  Graduated in the top quartile of my class.  Have submitted my resume thousands of times to firms that have claimed a 'desperate' shortage of tech workers.  I can count the replies to my resume on my two hands over the past decade.  Firms have zero interest in treating domestic candidates in good faith, especially highly qualified ones like myself.  They even go out of their way to lie to the government in order to obtain H-1B and Green Cards.   Engineers graduated in record numbers in the late 1990s and early 2000s chasing the tech bubble, yet over a million people have been imported, from India, for cheap, on the H-1B visa. 

    • hoapres says:

      Americans are prerejected from IT due to H1B infestation and offshoring.

    • TechnologyRules says:

      Well what do you expect when people actually vote for demons like bush and cheyney?????

      • John80224 says:

        While I have little love lost for the past administration, It's been in the works since Reagan, the current H-1b was getting pushed since Reagan was in office and has existed largely with support from every president since.  For the most part, it's companies that own the parties over one demon or the other.

      • It was Bill Clinton who massively increased the visas in 1998 and 2000 that flooded the US with cheap foreign labor.

    • woodyblack says:

      Just out of curiousity, what qualifies you besides your degree?

      • How about 20 years of writing commercial software, 30 software products, including at Apple and Sony just to name a few? is that good enough? Guess I am one of the highly skilled American workers companies just can't find.

  24. Torchwood says:

    I can come up with only one conclusion.... salespeople are more valuable than techs and engineers. 

    After all, how many salespeople do you know are on a H1B visa? 

  25. Roy Lawson says:

    Robert X. Cringely, please also check out NFAP.  NFAP is releasing "studies" supporting shortage claims.  Who funds NFAP?   Their non-profit filing show some serious cashflow and they are suppose to limit their political activism given that the tax advantages they also have. 

    There is an important story to be told in regards to how front groups, like NFAP, are able to get their junk-science introduced into Congressional testimony as gospel, and cited as such.  Yet we don't know who funds them and NFAP isn't telling. 

    • John80224 says:

      To your point, I posted elsewhere last week: 

      Thinkers must question the credibility of "proof" coming from an organization like NFAP that exists solely to push a single agenda, and those who quote it become suspicious by extension.

      NFAP begins its mission statement with:

      "The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to public policy research on trade, immigration, education, and other issues of national importance."

      Yet of the 60 or so "studies" listed on their site, there appears to be ONE that is not immigration-focused and every one of them is making a case for it.  Opinions are good and powerful, but agendas masquerading as facts (or selectively choosing only the self-supporting ones) better make you ask what's the angle and what's NOT being said.

      Immigration--like any hotbutton issue--has tremendous upsides and significant perils.  Blind faith in the salesmen of either side just fails us all.

      •  America's banker-industrial elite: the Deaf Mute Blindmen
        Here is Lenin on the deaf mute blindmen:
        The
        Capitalists of the world and their governments, in pursuit of conquest
        of the Soviet market, will close their eyes to the indicated higher
        reality and thus will turn into deaf muteblindmen.
        They will extend credits, which will strengthen for us the Communist
        Party in their countries and giving us the materials and technology we
        lack; they will restore our military industry, indispensable for our
        future victorious attacks on our suppliers. In other words, they will labor for the preparation for their own suicide.
         Saul Alinsky, Chicago professional activist:
        As
        for businessmen, I could persuade a capitalist on Friday to bankroll a
        revolution on Saturday that will bring him a profit on Sunday even
        though he will be executed on Monday.

    • Nearly every one of these studies is funded by India's IT lobby NASSCOM. There's also USINDPAC, an Indian lobbying organization. Foreign powers are lobbying OUR government. We need new laws BANNING ALL foreign lobbying!

  26. Muzzamil Hussain says:

    Totally agreed on your part. But cant understand what we have to do with loads of emerging technologies. Techs like Mobile and cloud computing are so new that even son of US soils cant get a hold of it properly on the other hand , most foreign workers are already getting their hands deep in to it. Mind you these new techs would be creating millions of jobs around the globe and would be a billion dollars worth industry. So H1 B is needed only in that direction not in those techs we have already have so many skilled people around.

  27. John80224 says:

    Unfortunately, Memphis is not in SillyCON Valley (yes, please note emphasis on CON) so you must of course be wrong as no domestic computing happens outside of there or Redmond. 

    IF there is a shortage, I contend it's a combination of insidiousness (end-running citizens for profit), laziness and self-created issues brought on by locating 10% of all the country's need for a skill on two postage stamps on the far side of the country.

    Thank you, Mr. Cringley, for exposing one of the (I'm sure may) holes in the argument that there is only one place from which to fillour needed skills--the rest of the world.

  28. Oh my lord people quit your bitch'in and face facts that we live in a global economy and the best/cheapest price wins.  If I was running a company I would do the same thing.  We all do it when we make the decision to go to Walmart to choose the cheaper price rather than a mom and pop shop down the road.  EVERYONE is out for the bottom line, not just the corps, so give your head a shake and start competing.

    • John80224 says:

      You're free to hire whomever you want.  You are not, however, free to grant them access to our nation.  That is a function of the government which is not global, even if the economy is.  This free trade gets kind of muddied when you speak of human trafficking.  When free trade facilitates not only damage to citizens (at least that is the a cornerstone of this debate) but breaking of our employment and civil rights laws, then you get your supposed "bitch'in".

      Also, if "EVERYONE is out for the bottom line" why is it only corps that get to be "bitch'in"?

      • hoapres says:

        I may have to compete with the rest of the world but that doesn't mean that I have to compete with the rest of the world coming to the US.

      • That is not what Title 8, Section 1182 INADMISSIBLE ALIENS says. That law says ALL foreign workers are INADMISSIBLE as long as Americans are unemployed. Read it.

    • Roy Lawson says:

      As long as we are reducing the argument to "quit your bitch'in", companies don't have a right to foreign workers and foreign workers don't have a right to be here; these programs are a priviledge and they are subject to change.  Laws and regulations are suppose to be guided by a representative democracy (bitchers, if you will).  Corporate interests need to quit their bitch'in about the H-1b cap and these fabricated shortages.

      It's our jobs as Americans to bitch when our government does things against our interest.  It's how democracy is suppose to work.  Your comments are not productive to say the least. 

      Finally, I see that you're Canadian.  Shouldn't you mind your own business?  You don't see me going to Canada and telling you how to run your immigration system, or taking a position on what language people should be speaking.  You've got some nerve telling US citizens to stop bitch'in about matters relating to our own country. 

      I don't really mind you (being Canadian) voicing your opinion on the H-1b program, but to tell us to stop bitch'in when we voice our opinion is downright rude.  If you don't have something constructive to say. . . you know what you should do.

    • twinsfan1100 says:

      We are the ones stating the facts.  As we all have said, the H1B visa is here to reduce labor costs.  If you want to argue the H1B visa based on that argument, FINE!  DO IT!  But do NOT tell us that the H1B visa was created to hire highly skilled workers.  We all know that to be a bold faced LIE!

      Bill Gates and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer don't want to admit that the H1B visa is used to hire cheap labor. They want to tell us that US STEM workers are not qualified to solve this technology when we have done it before.

      But before you count out the US STEM worker, keep in mind that India and Communist China has had cheaper labor for a long, long time.  In spite of their cheap labor, it was the US STEM worker that created this technology.  The US STEM workers are the greatest scientists, engineers, and mathematicians that the world has ever seen!

    • David Rennels says:

      So your advice is take it like a man of 300 million soon to be 600 million here and just shut up.  Nah I'd rather yack about how I dislike it.  Even you won't take your own advice and you just say what you want instead of just quit'n yer belly akin!

      • Here is what "highly skilled immigrants" are really doing to America:

        From: "Rajesh Kumar Ramachandran
        
Subject: Listen to me A******!!

        Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 20:49:20 -0700 (PDT)

        Now listen carefully to me a******.. dont just bark around in the corner like a rabies stricken stray dog about your pathetic views about politics and jobs. If your insecure about your skills and abilities thats your f****** problem not Indians or any other politicians.. Well you want me to provoke you well then hear this, we are gonna take all your jobs away.. we gonna make sure that you dont even have money to buy s*** and eat, we gonna take evrything thatwas yours.. we gonna drape the Statue of Liberty with a saree (you dont know wahta saree iis, well its a dress which Indian women wear).. now get your f****** stinking face out of here A******!!!!!

    • If we live in a global economy then why do India and China block US products in their markets? Why do they both put 100% tariffs on US autos and auto parts while we put 2% tariffs on theirs. Globalization only applies to the west. Go to India, China, Japan and talk about globalization and you'll be laughed out of the room. Globalization is a scam desgined to suck America dry.

    • GoHomeSlumDog says:

      you should pack up with your wife and head for india - they would love you there....I'll even pay for the plane ticket...

      :-)

  29. Frederick B says:

    Finally! Someone tells it like it is. Even in the dotcom days there was *never* a shortage of skilled IT here. And even more so in the midst of the Great Recession. H-1B immigrants are the modern day version of indentured servants.

    The Caribbean Island plantations were once worked by indentured servants. They worked until their passage was paid for, typically 7 years. After awhile the owners just decided to import slaves.....

    • If that makes you feel good you are absolute right.

      In old days you guys were lazy  cannot do hard labor so brought in "indentured servants" or "slaves" to do the work.

      But this time around, it is not laziness my friend, you guys actually don't know how to do this. That is why you need skill labor...

      • woodyblack says:

        Actually that is incorrect. I have worked on MANY projects where "skilled" H1Bs were less than skillful. There is NOT a shortage of resources native to the US, there is a shortage of integrity in our government which has sold us down the river.

      • If we don't know how to do it then how did we build the IT industry before you ever came here. From 1978-1998 IT was 98% white American males. We made it boom in the late 90s which is when India got interested in it because of the money. Indians didn't begin flooding in until 1999. Have all the Americans who built IT from 1978-1998 now dead? Do they have amnesia? Why aren't we able to do it and on what basis are you making that claim? Rather, I would say that it is Indians who aren't able to do it - seeing how as importing millions of you people for the past 14 years has collapsed our economy. It was BOOMING when we ran IT. America doesn't tolerate non-performers. You've have 14 years to make this economy work and you've been unable to. Time to put Americans back to work - after all we invented IT and you're obviously not able able to do the work (IBM's headcount is 71% Indian and as this article shows you're not able to do the jobs). So stop the lies and propaganda against American IT workers. India, Inc. has destroyed the US economy and so we're not going to let any more of you in. Too bad for you - you had your chance.

        Go to Amazon and search "iOS programming". How many of the books are written by Indians? EXACTLY 2! Download all of Apple's WWDC 2012 conference videos. How many presenters were Indian? Almost none! We obviously CAN and ARE doing the work.

      • If you are so skilled then why have you been unable to keep the US economy going for the past 14 years?

      • GoHomeSlumDog says:

        FU slumdog piece of shit. IF you are all so great, go back to your own country and turn it into a paradise - instead of coming here to the US and being a parasite.

        You insulting piece of shit, the US invented IT, not indian maderchods. psst - don't tell anyone, but you are being brought here because you are really cheap and easy to buy and sell, mums the word....

        Please Do the needful
        Warmest Regards

  30. hoapres says:

    From reboot to construction boots.

    The local Labor Ready office is swamped with IT people that can't find jobs.   We have Stanford and Berkeley CS grads with construction boots working for $8 an hour. 

  31. hoapres says:

    The following speech given by Obama in his 2nd term of office being called the famous "LA riots address" after the massive riots as a result of lack of work and opening up the borders to all resulting in 20 million new Americans in less than a week.  The historians of 2100 future historians that were properly licensed by the government said that the "LA riots address" was the best explanation for the new society imposed by the regime of equality for all.

    Four score and seven months ago a new regime
    was brought forth for this nation, conceived in equal outcomes for all, and
    dedicated to the proposition that the individual serves the collective.

     

    Now we are engaged in a great civil struggle,
    testing whether that regime, or any regime, so conceived and so dedicated, can
    long endure.  We are met on a great
    battlefield of that struggle, to those 100,000,000 Americans on food stamps and
    general assistance so that this regime may survive.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

     

    But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we
    can not consecrate, we can not hollow this ground.  The brave people, living on food stamps and homeless, who
    are struggling in America and rioting in the streets, have consecrated it, far
    above or poor power to add or detract. 
    The world will little not, nor long remember what we say here, but it
    can never forget what they are doing in the streets.  It is for us those with means and wealth , rather, to be
    dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who nobly live on food stamps
    and going homeless.   It is
    rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-being
    the collectivization of all individual wealth-that we hereby resolve that all
    those living in poverty shall not have done so in vain-that this regime, under
    Obama, shall have a new birth of servitude-and that the regime of the
    collective, by the collective, for the collective, shall not perish from the
    earth.

     

  32. David Rennels says:

    You know the labor shortage must be linked to the population shortage!  In the last 40 years our population doubled mostly through immigration.  Are you ready for 0.6 billion people here by 2050? In another generation beyond that we can meet India's current population of 1.2 billion... largely through importing Indians eh?  To me H1B is a Green Card once removed, which is only once removed from Citizen.  And what big familys those new immigrants and their kids have (statistics not joking).
     
    With more immigration, instead of waiting for traffic to clear we’ll just wait for it to move at all.  Instead of a temporary housing bubble, we can permanantly have those prices and higher.  Instead of worrying about water conservation and the environment we can say, “What water, what environment… got any food?” 

  33. Alby VA says:

    Excellent Story. Please write more on this topic. Not just H1B Visa issues, but also about IT labor and where it is going in the future.

  34. Alby VA says:

    I agree 100%, H1Bs are being used by companies as a source of cheap skilled labor. I assure you, if a law was passed that every H1B Visa holder had to be paid $100,000/yr (min.), you'd quickly see a decline in companies wanting H1B workers. 

  35. Chris DiStasio says:

    I am missing something.  Does Dell hire less H1Bs than IBM or were none of the 200 hired by ServiceMaster H1Bs?  Is this a symptom or a cause.  

    *Generally* H1B labor is meant to supplement boots on the ground not to provide overall direction or mgmt of execution.  In both of these cases it sounds to me like IBM simply failed to execute.  I cannot for the life of me understand how (when IBM has Tivoli) they were booted due to a lack of awareness or execution in the context of monitoring.  WTF?  

  36. gh79 says:

    IT Software DevelopmentNew Softtware startups. Lets stop lumping these together.
    Lets take an analogy with the Car industry. We have a set of designers who come up with the idea for a car, a set of engineers who come up with the engineering, a set of factory workers who manufacture it and a set of mechanics who maintain cars which have been sold. IT is the mechanics- you dont need H1Bs for that locals can do it , it doent take a rocket scientist though of course like we have jokes about the auto mechanic ripping you off you will have jokes about the email adminstrator ripping you off but you can live with it. The codemonkeys are the factory workers- that work is never going to stay in the US however you try its going to get offshored. The designers or startup founders - the masters and PhD graduates they really are in shortage and Microsoft and Google have been shouting hoarse asking for the quotas to be raised(because the quota gets used up hiring mechanics). The really dicey part is the engineers who build out a basic idea into a prototype - you can do it here with US trained engineers much more efficiently but push come to shove it can be offshored. So if the shortage of visas continue it will get offshored. The solution is to use H1Bs only for the designers and Engineers and not for the Mechanics. Ban use of H1B for IT jobs, only allow for Software Engineering. It will free up enough quota to get the designers and engineers. Programmers will work in India and the Mechanics/ Information Technicians will be locals just like plumbers, HVAC technicians and Landscapers are locals(or Mexicans). And stop expecting if you are an out of work mechanic you will be hired to design cars.

  37. Companies ruined or almost ruined by imported Indian labor

    Adaptec - Indian CEO Subramanian Sundaresh fired.
    AIG (signed outsourcing deal in 2007 in Europe with Accenture Indian frauds, collapsed in 2009)
    AirBus (Qantas plane plunged 650 feet injuring passengers when its computer system written by India disengaged the auto-pilot).
    Apple - R&D CLOSED in India in 2006.
    Apple - Indian national and former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta charged with leaking Intel and Apple secrets over the phone.
    Australia's National Australia Bank (Outsourced jobs to India in 2007, nationwide ATM and account failure in late 2010).
    Barclays Bank - UK executive management was corrupted by Shriti Vadera, the Indian-origin economist. His advice led Barclay's CEO and other execs to rig Libor interest rates.
    Bell Labs (Arun Netravalli took over, closed, turned into a shopping mall)
    Boeing Dreamliner ES software (written by HCL, banned by FAA)
    Bristol-Myers-Squibb (Trade Secrets and documents stolen in U.S. by Indian national guest worker)
    Caymas - Startup run by Indian CEO, French director of dev, Chinese tech lead. Closed after 5 years of sucking VC out of America.
    Caterpillar misses earnings a mere 4 months after outsourcing to India, Inc.
    Circuit City - Outsourced all IT to Indian-run IBM and went bankrupt shortly thereafter.
    Cisco - destroyed by Indian labor, laid off 55,000 in 2012, going down the drain.
    ComAir crew system run by 100% Indian IT workers caused the 12/25/05 U.S. airport shutdown when they used a short int instead of a long int
    Computer Associates - Former CEO Sanjay Kumar, an Indian national, sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for accounting fraud.
    Deloitte - 2010 - this Indian-packed consulting company is being sued under RICO fraud charges by Marin Country, California for a failed solution.
    Dell - call center (closed in India)
    Delta call centers (closed in India)
    Duke University - Massive scientific fraud by Indian national Dr. Anil Potti discovered in 2012.
    Enron, WorldCom, Qwest, and Tyco all hired large numbers of foreign workers from India before their scandals.
    Fannie Mae - Hired large numbers of Indians, had to be bailed out. Indian logic bomb creator found guilty and sent to prison.
    Goldman Sachs - Kunil Shah, VP & Managing Director - GS had to be bailed out by US taxpayers for $550 BILLION.
    GM - Was booming in 2006, signed $300 million outsourcing deal with Wipro that same year, went bankrupt 3 years later
    HP - Got out of the PC hardware business in 2011 and can't compete with Apple's tablets. HP was taken over by Indians and Chinese in 2001. So much for 'Asian' talent!
    HSBC ATMs (software taken over by Indians, failed in 2006)
    IBM bill collecting system for Austin, TX failed in 2012 written by Indians at IBM
    Intel Whitefield processor project (cancelled, Indian staff canned)
    Intel - Trade secret stolen by Indian national Biswamohan Pani in 2012.
    JetStar Airways computer failure brings down Christchurch airport on 9/17/11. JetStar is owned by Quantas - which is know to have outsourced to India, Inc.
    JP Morgan - Outsourced subsidiary & IT integration to India in 2009 for $400 million, lost $2 billion in 2012.
    Kodak: Outsourced to India in 2006, filed for bankruptcy in Jan, 2012.
    Lehman (Jasjit Bhattal ruined the company. Spectramind software bought by Wipro, ruined, trashed by Indian programmers)
    Medicare - Defrauded by Indian national doctor Arun Sharma & wife in the U.S.
    Microsoft - Employs over 35,000 H-1Bs. Stock used to be $100. Today it's lucky to be over $25. Not to mention that Vista thing.
    MIPS - Taken over by Indian national Sandeep Vij in 2010, being sold off in 2012.
    MIT Media Lab Asia (canceled)
    MyNines - A startup founded and run by Indian national Apar Kothari went belly up after throwing millions of America's VC $ down the drain.
    Nomura Securities - (In 2011 "struggling to compete on the world stage"). No wonder because Jasjit Bhattal formerly of failed Lehman ran it. See Lehman above.
    PeopleSoft (Taken over by Indians in 2000, collapsed).
    PepsiCo - Slides from #1 to #3 during Indian CEO Indra Nooyi' watch.
    Polycom - Former senior executive Sunil Bhalla charged with insider trading.
    Qantas - See AirBus above
    Quark (Alukah Kamar CEO, fired, lost 60% of its customers to Adobe because Indian-written QuarkExpress 6 was a failure)
    Reebok - Massive fraud and theft in India second in size only to Satyam fraud
    Rolls Royce (Sent aircraft engine work to India in 2006, engines delayed for Boeing 787, and failed on at least 2 Quantas planes in 2010, cost Rolls $500m).
    SAP - Same as Deloitte above in 2010.
    Singapore airlines (IT functions taken over in 2009 by TCS, website trashed in August, 2011)
    Skype (Madhu Yarlagadda fired)
    State of Indiana $867 million FAILED IBM project, IBM being sued
    State of New York - Hired Indain-infested CSC in 1998 to build a new system, was 33 months late and $166 million over budget, a cost overrun of 47 percent. And then the system failed. So much for "they can do it better, cheaper, faster". CSC also holds the sole contract for NC's Medicaid system redesign. That project is hundreds of millions over budget and years late. India, Inc. is taking its time to maximize the amount it can grift out of America.
    State of Texas failed IBM project.
    Sun Micro (Taken over by Indian and Chinese workers in 2001, collapsed, had to be sold off to Oracle).
    UK's NHS outsourced numerous jobs including health records to India in mid-2000 resulting in $26 billion over budget.
    Union Bank of California - Cancelled Finacle project run by India's InfoSys in 2011.
    United - call center (closed in India)
    US Navy F-18 jet crashes into Virginia apartment building on 4/6/12 after outsourcing F-18 work to India's Tata.
    Victorian Order of Nurses, Canada (Payroll system screwed up by SAP/IBM in mid-2011)
    Virgin Atlantic (software written in India caused cloud IT failure)
    World Bank (Indian fraudsters BANNED for 3 years because they stole data).

    I could post the whole list here but I don't want to crash any servers.

  38. GoHomeSlumDog says:

    Everything in this article makes perfect sense. The onslaught of visa in America was never, ever, ever about bringing in the "best and brightest", rather it has been about bringing in scab workers that allow a company to circumvent wage norms and lobor standards. And like the article infers, IF there really was a labor shortage -> then you would expect wages and working conditions to be going up, NOT down as they have been.

    I was contracting at a company where IBM was also kicked out. Why - ? - because of the cheap-'n-inexperienced IBM slumdogs that were put in charge. How did they perform, like you would expect - crappy. They couldn't couldn't communicate, and they couldn't get anything done. So they company booted them out. That's the story with IBM, and H/P and CrapGemini wherever you go.

    There's no shortage of IT workers ANYWHERE IN THE US - but, there is a shortage of IT workers in the US that want to ply their trade for 3rd-world sub-human wages...that's for sure. Companies want to operate in the US ( paid for with American workers' tax dollars ), but at the same time undercut those very workers that paid for the infrastructure and bring in low/no-skilled ( they are definitely NOT the best/brightest ) scab workers..the idea that there is a drought in domestic IT workers, is pure propoganda bullshit....

  39. Anand Verma says:

    Folks, I read all of your valuable points. I
    am an Indian and here are my two cents:

    1.     We cannot say that Americans are smart and Indians are
    slaves. Every country, be it India or US has smart and dumb people. E.g. Dennis
    Richie was an American but on the other hand we had Richard Trenton Chase.  Indians had Mahatma Gandhi but also had Surender
    Koli [Google it and you will find who he is]

    2.     I was in US for few months and I highly appreciate
    their work culture. But can you say that all Americans work hard and all
    Indians waste their time in office. If this was true, IT firms won’t hire
    Indians at all. If IBM is successful and has 70% Indian, then is it because of
    the remaining 30%?

    3.     The problem lies when someone is running a business. A
    CEO of a company won’t think about his nation, what they think about is how
    they can save cost and maximize profits. Even the shareholders (who are
    Americans) want the same from them.

    4.     There are many top notch American companies whose CEOs
    are Indians. E.g. Pepse, Citibank, Cognizant.

    5.     When it comes to R&D, most of the big companies (Private
    as well as Public) hire talented people who hail from MITs, Stanford, UCB etc.
    These universities have all the nationalities of the world but primarily
    Americans, Chinese and Indians. When you are running a R&D centre you will
    want to hire innovators with ideas. In Fact there are many US based companies
    who are hiring brilliant Engineers from our own IITs (US version of MIT) and
    they are not hired like cheap labor. Check this: http://www.dnaindia.com/academy/report_facebook-hires-allahabad-engg-student-with-rs1-34-cr-package_1668989
    (over $243,000 per Annum) and there are more.

    6.     Someone said that Americans built IT, well not all Americans
    made it, the smartest people did.

    7.     Someone said that Apple is doing great because they
    hire less H1Bs, but do you know that they have outsourced all their
    manufacturing to China and Taiwan because they wanted to cut cost on their
    manufacturing.

    8.     People in India and China would work day and night to
    get $10 a day.  I don’t need to tell you
    how an American earns $10.

    The bottom-line is,
    if you want to survive, be it an Indian or an American, you need to think out
    of the box. Even Indians are seeing jobs getting outsourced to other countries
    since they are demanding better pay packages.

    Please for god
    sake, do not hate India or Indians; we cannot get a job unless the American
    CEOs hire us. Similarly we cannot even stop them from hiring a Pilipino or a Chinese
    or a Brazilian.

    I strongly suggest every
    one of you, be it an Indian or American, give your kids an education where they
    become innovators and not followers.

    Warm Regards,

    A Slumdog 

    • You forgot the most important point of all:

      1) When Americans ran IT the US economy was booming.

      2) Now that Indians are running IT the US economy has collapsed.

      Any more points?

      • Anand Verma says:

        You forgot the most important point of all:
        1) When Americans ran IT the US economy was booming.
        Oh so you mean now IT is not booming, Software engineer's are dying of hunger? IBM, Oracle, Microsoft all are closed? Dude I request you please talk sense.
        2) Now that Indians are running IT the US economy has collapsed.
        Looks at my comments in point 1.
        Any more points?
        Yes, One point, Please talk to a psychiatrist.

    • Many IT firms have managers or execs who themselves are Indians. And given the anti-white, anti-west nature of most Indians, yes they will hire only Indians. Even if it means collapse of the company (Sun, PeopleSoft, Quark, Bell Labs).

      • Anand Verma says:

        Your comments are showing who is anti, I dont need to give any comments so chill and have a beer and think about it.

    • IBM is not successful. They have at least 3 major multi-million lawsuits against them. IBM is being sued by State of IN for $867 MILLION for a failed project. IBM, like Microsoft is coasting on sheet momentum and size.

    • Citibank had to be bailed out by the US taxpayer. It wouldn't be around today if it wasn't bailed out. Pandit the Bandit destroyed it. Pepsi has slipped from #1 to #3 on Nooryi's watch. Give it a few more years and it will be going under too. And you failed to list all the companies taken over by Indians and failed: Sun, PeopleSoft, Bell Labs, almost Quark, Adobe ain't doing so hot now either.

    • If Indians and Chinese are innovators with ideas, then where is the innovation? Businessweek ran a story last year on the cover asking "What has happened to innovation"? When Americans ran tech innovation was booming. Can you name one new major industry or innovation to come from India or China? Obviously Indians and Chinese aren't that great at innovation. If you were the US economy would be booming since we've been importing you people by the millions for the past 14 years.

    • From 1978-1998 IT was 98% white American males. Where were you people during that time when we were creating it? You didn't get interested in IT until we made it boom in the late 90s THEN all of a sudden millions of you wanted to come flooding in.

      • Anand Verma says:

        Oh my White American male, India was still trying to come out of the benevolent deeds of British whites in 1980s. We got freedom from whites like you in 1947, they ruled us for more than 200 years, because we were friendly. Check out the East India company's story.  I can feel how retarded you are when you say only white Americans, so you hate Blacks, Mexicans, Chinese and every other civilization in the world except yours. I hope other Americans don't have a mentality like you.

        The problem is, you have a very shrewd mentality. I see that only you have problems with other color people. I hope one day you realize it the hard way.

    • "Someone said that Apple is doing great because they hire less H1Bs, but
      do you know that they have outsourced all their manufacturing to China
      and Taiwan because they wanted to cut cost on their manufacturing."

      Apple's products are designed in US. 100% of their software is made here. They closed their R&D in India in 2006. Apple's stuff is made in China using Apple-designed factories, or Taiwanese ones - at any rate they ALL use manufacturing technology which originated in the US originally. 25 years ago ALL computers and computer components were made in USA. Apple's machines contain parts from all over the world from hundreds of manufacturers. Chinese just hold the screwdrivers while they are assembled. Don't mistake assembly for production.

      • Anand Verma says:

        Mr Chuck, again I will ask you to get your facts right. I am from IT and I know that Apple has outsourced their work to TCS. Why they dont hire a US services company? Even they are counting on Indians when it comes to services. If the manufacturing was so great in US, why you are getting every damn hardware made in China, Taiwan etc? I am sure you are an old retard and thats why you are always talking about 25 years back... LOL !!!

        BTW China is stronger than USA, even Obama is aware of this, they wont become so stronger with only holding a screwdriver

    • "Please for god sake, do not hate India or Indians; we cannot get a job
      unless the American CEOs hire us. Similarly we cannot even stop them
      from hiring a Pilipino or a Chinese or a Brazilian."

      Well you are already the most hated race worldwide due to your invasion and takeover behavior in other countries. If you cannot get a job unless CEOs hire you then are you really that smart or innovators? If you are so smart then why can't you create the next Apple  in India?

      • Anand Verma says:

        LOL we are invading and taking over other countries? 

        Looks like your general knowledge is extremely week. Who invaded Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Vietnam, ? You guys attacked Iraq just for oil, you guys didn't even care about millions of people who are still suffering because of your thirst for oil.  Ask Afganistani's, Iranians and many others civilians worldwide who is the most hated race worldwide. You guys are still behaving like barbarians, please get your facts right before making any comments. Maybe because of this lack of knowledge you might have been fired by some american and replaced by an Indians. Coming to Apple, it wasn't someone like you with a sick mentality, it was the great mind of Steve jobs. I am sure you will not even get a janitors job in Apple with this attitude.We never ever invaded any country like your country.

  40. Billy B says:

    Great read Bob, wish there was more ServiceMasters here in Phoenix.

  41. Mike Jeff says:

    They're being imported here in such great numbers in order to please their corrupt politicians, so that WalMart is finally allowed to penetrate their market. When WalMart comes and devours their local retail sector that's when they will feel the real taste of the "global economy". 

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