Re: Tech Visas

The Jester (
Fri, 25 Sep 1998 10:32:42 -0700 (PDT)


> Ditto what Joe said.
> There is a correlation between relatively free labour markets and low
> long-term unemployment coupled with industrial success. Korea, Germany and
> France all suffer from high-cost labour laws that make things "fairer" for
> employed persons, but create a larger pool of unemployed people and the
> corresponding social problems, higher taxes, etc. I've lived in France and
> it has an excellent high-tech education system, "geeks" are well-respected,
> they had an internet of sorts (Minitel) widely deployed twelve years ago,
> and yet how many high-tech companies from France can you name? They are
> hampered in their international success by protective labour laws and
> government intervention.
> Britain, Ireland and the US enjoy less restrictive labour laws and lower
> unemployment. With more freedom to hire the best people and fire the
> non-performers, US companies are more able to react to changes. Their
> freedom and resulting success has led to a lot of hiring. Firms that end up
> having to lay off people are more than balanced by firms that hire more
> people willingly (without fear of not being able to lay them off in a
> downswing). High-tech companies are flocking to britain and Ireland because
> of the freedom they have there to hire qualified individuals. That in turn
> has made those countries, especially Ireland, spectacularly successful in
> the recent past.
> [The free labour market in Ireland has made up for a lack of technical
> schools. When I visited Northern Ireland two years ago, I visited a
> university with one computer lab. The students had email but could not surf
> the web. Despite that, companies like MS have large labs in Ireland.
> Ireland is seen as the "gateway" to the EU because of its freedom and
> opportunities and English-speaking, trainable population.]
> The freedom to hire the best people from wherever will make high-tech firms
> more successful, and more able to pay all their people. Frankly, it's an
> advantage to grow up an English speaker in this industry -- high-tech
> experts from foreign countries are often at a disadvantage, if their English
> isn't good enough to impress in an interview, or if their alma mater isn't
> recognized and respected.
> The labour market is so tight in this industry, there are enough open
> positions, that I've never seen a qualified person in this field go without
> a job. My '96 graduating class was entirely employed (or in grad school) a
> couple months after graduation, wages starting at $35,000 Canadian, except
> for the two guys who decided to tour the world first. I've even seen
> incompetent assholes that get turfed out after six months in job after job,
> but they get snapped up again immediately, for a high wage, by companies
> desperate to hire anybody who knows database administration. Let me fill
> the currently open positions in my group, which have been open for months
> because of the lack of qualified candidates of any
> gender/race/nationality/sexual-preference, and then we could talk about
> capping the visas again -- but I'd still be against them because of the
> prosperity that freedom brings (as long as individual rights aren't
> trampled).
> You don't have a "right" to be employed. Sorry. If you suck, be prepared
> to dig ditches or flip burgers for a low wage. I'm amazed that the "I'm a
> victim" attitude in this country has given a voice to so many whiners who
> feel they have a right to a job. Discrimination based on ability is a good
> thing.
> Solve the problem, not the symptom. Encourage more kids to stay in science
> and math classes. Make those science and math classes good by paying a
> decent wage to teachers (I know CS experts who would make much more in
> industry, but choose to remain in high schools because they are wonderful
> people who care about the next generation). Then the US will have enough
> high-tech graduates to fill the need.
> You gave an example of legal and healthcare -- I don't know the situation in
> the US as well as I do in Canada, but these might be examples of professions
> that restrict the entrants to that profession in order to keep their wages
> high (as doctors seem to be doing in Canada). Perhaps that's the reason why
> it's so hard to see a doctor and people suffer as a result. It benefits the
> doctors who are already in, but is unfair to qualified candidates who never
> get to become doctors (my sister risks being one of those). Compare
> high-tech wages to other fields -- we're not doing too badly, right? Were
> you counting stock options, stock purchas plans and signing bonuses when you
> compared wages? Our high wages -- such as up to $100/hr to hire contract
> technical writers -- are a sign of too few qualified candidates.
> I wish Canada had a high-tech industry that was as successful and vibrant as
> the US high-tech industry. Canada does have more restrictive labour laws
> than the US, although we have less restrictive immigration (despite the
> Reform party). We also have a similar problem with kids opting out of
> technical areas because of perceived image of geeks, difficulty, or lack of
> inspiring teachers.
> And remember, US and Canada were built by immigrants (more or less trampling
> on the indiginous people). Try and justify letting your grandparents into
> the country to find jobs, then arbitrarily blocking out somebody else's
> grandparents. Then put yourself in the shoes of the foreign workers -- what
> if you wanted to find a job in another country?
> Think "opportunities", not "rights".
> Lisa
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joachim Feise []
> Sent: Thursday, September 24, 1998 8:55 AM
> To: FoRK
> Subject: Re: Tech Visas
> Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >Posted at 9:49 p.m. PDT Wednesday, September 23, 1998
> > > Tech visa cap will be boosted
> > > Mercury News Washington Bureau
> >
> > Yah! Lower salaries for us all. Technologists
> > make only 1/2 to 1/3 of what doctors and lawyers
> > make, but have become indispensible to the
> > business community and society. The tech visa
> > bill is just a way to get cheaper labor so you don't
> > have to pay to keep the talent. It'll be a national
> > crisis when it exceeds other sector salaries, but
> > I think it's a little pre-mature to start undercutting
> > their own. How are you going to draw new talent to
> > the information and computer sciences if you keep
> > capping the salaries compared to legal and healthcare?
> >
> > Greg
> That's BS. Being here on an H1-B visa, I think I know more about this than
> you.
> Employers are required to pay the "prevailing wage" as defined by the DoL.
> No
> way they can undercut wages. If they did, the competition would be happy to
> report them to the DoL.
> -JoeF
> --
> Joachim Feise Ph.D. Student, Information & Computer Science
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> Lest you think that "open" computing can't possibly win, just look
> back at the primal lesson of desktop computing of the '80s: Open up
> your architecture to all comers and win -- or keep it closed, like
> the Macintosh, and lose.