Skip to comments.How Young Engineers and Our Economy Are Betrayed
Posted on 04/29/2009 6:49:17 AM PDT by seatrout
Large corporations prefer to use H-1B visas to hire foreign engineers and computer technicians. H-1B workers increased threefold during the Clinton administration, and CEOs are constantly demanding that the number be raised or even unlimited.
Large corporations prefer H-1B foreigners because they work for lower wages with fewer rights. A recent study by researchers at top business schools reported that H-1B visas depress wages for software engineers and programmers by as much as 6 percent.
The cumulative effect, as described by another study, depresses wages even more. Many U.S. engineers even lost their jobs just after they were required to train their foreign replacements.
The Americans hardest hit by H-1B visas, according to these researchers, are recent college graduates and those who want to change jobs. One of the reasons why big corporations prefer to hire H-1Bers is that foreign workers are restrained, almost like indentured servants, from changing jobs and competing with their original employer.
Americans used indentured services in the 1600s when plantation workers were brought to Virginia to work for seven years in exchange for a free voyage to the New World. Later, this practice was supplanted by African slavery.
That's certainly not a model to imitate today. H-1B visas disrupt the free enterprise system that has yielded tremendous wealth to America and the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
It is part of the new world order plot to destroy the middle class. The engineering skills typically paid well enough to put the young engineer solidly in the middle class; that is unacceptable to those who want it reduced to the elite and the rest.
The dearth of really smart math and science students from our own ranks has nothing to do with it?
It is a vicious cycle. Why would anyone pursue a science or engineering major when they know their earnings will be undercut by foreigners?
Why should a college kid go to the trouble of getting an engineering degree when his job will just get outsourced within five years?
—My opinion, they are more easily “controlled”. —
Exactly. Just like the “indentured servants” of old, that Shlafly mentions in the article. Only difference is that, today, OSHA regulations frown on use of a bullwhip.
“The dearth of really smart math and science students from our own ranks has nothing to do with it?”
This is my profession, and I am reluctant to encourage any smart students to pursue advanced degrees. Our MBAs, politicians, and others of no intellectual accomplishment have allowed our jobs to go elsewhere. Why study difficult subjects for years and years whilst watching social “science” and law majors become our “leaders”...spending our tax dollars and enriching their corrupt supporters?
H1-bs are “internal outsourcing.” Instead of bringing the job to the foreigners, high-tech brings the foreigners to the job.
At least the indentured servants became both free and citizens after those seven years. These H1Bs are headed right back home with their dough once they’ve decided they’ve done enough.
The age discrimination issue needs to be emphasized as well. 22-year-old engineers are relatively cheap. 50-year-old engineers are relatively expensive. Any American who goes into engineering ought to know that they will be competing against H1B’s and that after working for a few decades, they will suddenly become much less attractive as employees. In a downturn like this, to be laid off at 50 is a very, very bad thing for an engineer.
Somedays, working on OSHA compliance, I'd take my chances with the bullwhip.
To say nothing of their former employer's intellectual property. Yeah, foreign engineers and computer scientists may be cheap to employ, but they're very expensive once those folks take their knowledge home and sell it to your overseas competitors.
FWIW if you are in engineering or CS, get yourself a job that requires a clearance. Foreigners won't qualify for those positions (yet).
H1-B program is a complete and total scam, it is to skilled workers what illegals are to unskilled. Anyone tells you otherwise they are bald face lying to you.
This is an opinion piece, designed to stir up emotions.
I am the parent of three young engineers, all of whom have good jobs, well-paid, never outsourced.
None of them have even one engineering friend without a job, but they do have friends who can’t find a job because they either dropped out of school or earned a generic degree that didn’t prepare them for today’s economy.
The sad truth:
Not enough American kids put the required years of effort into learning the tough math and science that technical jobs require.
I have seen it first hand when Indian and other Asian gangs get into companies. In a few months all the Americans are gone.
Americans not being smart enough? Nonsense. The best programmmers I know or have known are Americans. Next best or comparable are Europeans or Russians.
You nailed it.
American students ARE NOT pursuing computer science or other types of engineering degrees.
I’m an IT recruiter at one of the largest high-tech companies in the world. There are not enough US citizens to do the jobs.
The American programmers I have known are typically the most creative, but least disciplined. Indian programmers are far better for being on time, following design guidelines, documentation, etc.
That's my experience, at least. (And I'm an American programmer...)
Americans not being smart enough?
Who claimed that?
Wait a few years. Outsourcing is largely a means to undercut technical workers as they get into their thirties and forties. I hope it never happens to your sons, but they always need to keep an eye out for changes in the global job market and adjust their approaches accordingly. I made a shift from a technical position to a business-technical hybrid, and shifted from financial marketing to pharma marketing, and both have paid off, not so much with a significant increase in income, but from having a defendable job. It is also good to have a highly diverse technical background - I've done just about every job in IT.
Yes...Americans aren’t willing to accept market wages, and then complain when they can’t find jobs.
Ever check the ranks of the 40+ unemployed?
That's not the only reason. Our educational system is horrible at teaching maths and sciences. 'Cause, you know, the NEA has decided it is more important for students to know how to use a condom than to know how to solve differential equations.
It’s a self perpetuating cycle. Why go into the field if it will be outsourced or even in-sourced to foreigners? Which then keeps Americans from going in, which leads to calls to get more foreigners.
The solution is to close all visas for 5 years except for possibly those who have waited 5+ years to legally immigrate, because we have too many unemployed of any nationality within our own borders.
I don't think there is a young engineering student in America who doesn't want to start the next Hewlett Packard in his garage - but red tape drives them to take "jobs" with the existing Hewlett Packard, instead (and given the quality of HP products lately, they aren't too happy about it...) Fix that and no one will care about how many H1Bs are needed to keep the dinosaur corporations alive.
Yes, those silly Americans, wanting to have something more than a third-world income and lifestyle.
Guys like you are the ruination of the middle class. There is a competitive advantage to working in this country. H-1B programs eliminate that advantage for American workers. As long as we have a lot of unemployed IT and technical workers, the H-1B program legally should not have any significant activity - it is only to be used when American workers are not available to fill the position. It should NOT be a means of adjusting American wages down to that of third-world countries, no matter what globalist pinheads like you think.
Keep in mind I said financial mathematics. I.E. it pays very well, even compared to engineering (which is also good). So compensation is not the problem.
In my computer programming and administration experience and observation, the biggest difference between American and (typically) Indian programmers is discipline. Advanced math skills matters far less in the majority of programming positions than do discipline and productivity.
I think fewer programmers, particularly disciplined, productive programmers, are turned out in America because it's just not really FUN. FUN is what life's all about, right?
They're NOT available. I hire IT people for a living. US citizens are always preferred. There aren't enough of them out there.
Why don’t we bring over more Indians to do more work? We could probably get many of them to work at Walmart for $2 an hour. Why not more doctors? Lawyers? Why not autoworkers?
Why is it mainly IT that supposedly has this shortage?
All the time. In fact, I’m putting two to work right now.
How ya like those apples?
Are they willing to take salaries that are low enough to compete?
Really, the only place I see this happening is the CS/SE field. It’s easy to outsource, as you don’t actually have to be physically *there* to do your job, and since most CS/SE’s are terrible at explaining what they’re doing anyway, it’s not exactly a loss to hire someone who’s still getting acquainted with the English language.
As far as other types of engineering go, there’s still a preference for Americans, or at least people who have lived in the US long enough to have a green card. A lot of manufacturing companies have their testing on-site in the US, and those jobs really can’t be exported, as it’s easier to monitor exactly what’s going on when it’s right under your nose. Also, you’re still going to need someone who can explain how the stupid thing works... in English.
You are absolutely right, and you planned your career wisely. I’m confident my kids will do the same.
Some are stuck in the pre-tech bubble mentality of 8 years ago and demand unrealistic wages. Then they wonder why the have trouble getting employed. Those same folks often haven't kept up with current trends, like the shift to Java, etc.
The American citizens who stay up with the times and request market wages always find jobs.
Are you looking for IT workers over 40 years of age?
With all due respect to the wonderful Phyllis Schlafly, the free-enterprise system involves voluntary private decisions in a market economy. The owners are free to hire at the market rate--which is far below what Americans seem willing to accept.
It's a side of free markets that many conservatives don't like to admit or face....but just as we use it to our advantage, it can be used by others. We have no God-given right to be paid far above market just because we are "American" instead of "Foreign."
That is not my experience. I recently reviewed some
work from an Indian supplier (household name starting with W) which had pathetic documentation and total lack of
test results (other than a Excel spreadsheet alleging
compliance with specs).Discipline is what happens when
management sets performance standards and holds contributors
You're a broken record. Compete with what? Third-world programmers with third-world housing costs?
If an employee provides more value (lower cost/benefit ratio), then why should the government force the company the choice of being (a) inefficient and uncompetitive in America, or (b) move overseas to be more competitive?
So, with all the IT layoffs, why are you allegedly having a hard time finding American workers?
There is a competitive advantage to being in-country. H-1B visas take that advantage away from American workers. You would want every advantage to go to the employer, instead of having a level playing field.
And in the Clintonian 90s, this sort of discipline was discarded and replaced with short-term faux-"prosperity"--and is still considered acceptable many places, while the accounting folks play games to hide the costs.
This isn't even directly related to H1-B visas, either. It seems like most of the students in engineering schools are foreign-born, too.
I noticed this when I went into engineering in the early 1970s. The older engineers were nearly non-existent. They disappeared gradually with each lay-off. If you're a young engineer, save your money. There's a very very high probability that you're going to need it before retirement age.
So why haven’t a bunch of American IT folks gotten together and formed a killer company that will wipe the competition out by hiring all these great Americans and paying them far above market?
When did it happen that the laws of supply and demand are only allowed to benefit the employer and not the employee? Being in-country is a competitive advantage for a given worker. The H-1B law specifically says an H-1B can only be hired if an American cannot be found. So by the law itself, we cannot bring foreign workers in just to lower wages for Americans, as you wish to have done.
Guys like you are killing the GOP with your wage-killing inanities.