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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    RE: American Worker

    The Coalition for the Future American Worker has a new television ad stating that we are currently bringing in 1.5 million new workers, which is poor policy in a time when millions are being laid off, stating "Ask why we keep bringing in 1.5 million foreign workers a year to take American jobs."

    This seems like an incredibly simplified way to approach the issue. What isn't stated in the 1.5 million figure is the number that have advanced degrees in fields such as computer science, engineering, medicine, etc... Such imports fill positions that require immigration to meet domestic needs. Personally, I think its better to have a foreign engineer residing in America--where they will pay taxes and contribute to our economy--than in India or China, promoting outsourcing. Additionally, these highly-skilled workers actually create jobs. An engineer who designs a new products creates jobs: secretaries, product testers, factory workers, people to market the product, etc... Frankly, as I've said in the past, we should be increasing the influx of these workers.

    The issue of the unskilled workers is open for more debate. There certainly is overlap with many American workers, particularly those most likely to make minimum wage, but I think this is in large part a function of minimum wage restrictions...and is more than I want to type about now.

    6 Comments:

    Anonymous Sacha said...

    I would like to respond to your blog post, and I note that you are a graduate of U of O. and are in medical school in Cleveland. I have to ask, are you here on a visa? If so, I can see why you would oppose the ads. There is factual information I can supply to you, but I request that you answer that question.

    2:56 PM  
    Anonymous Sacha said...

    After looking through more of your blog posts, it seems as though you are an American, not here on a visa. So this means you have nothing to gain by adopting your position; rather, more and accurate information may change your conclusions.

    What I am about to tell you may seem fine to you, except consider that immigration laws and policies are made by our government-- Congress and the President-- and hence our immigration policies should be in the interests of the voters- the citizens. So one question is, when did the citizens ask the government to let in foreigners to compete with them for jobs and lower their salaries?

    (Will start explanation in next post)

    7:24 AM  
    Anonymous Sacha said...

    You're putting in a lot of hard work to get that medical degree. Then you will work very, very hard as an intern and resident. What if graduates of foreign medical schools could be brought in to work at lower wages? That would reduce your wage as a doctor and it would serve as a disincentive to people considering med school- why go through all the hard work if there is not an adequate pay-off? Now, the medical profession is mostly protected by need to pass the USMLE. Same for lawyers. But the high-tech fields, such as computer engineers, have no such barrier to entry. And exactly that scenario has been occuring in recent years in the high-tech fields, and at this terrible economy, it is definitely costing U.S. workers their jobs.

    The key paragraph of an International Herald Tribune article is:

    "Rather than preventing the outsourcing of jobs, the H-1B program acts in just the opposite way, by accelerating the outsourcing of high-wage, high-skill jobs to low-cost countries," [according to Ronil Hira, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York].

    Norm Matloff is a professor of computer science at UC Davis, and he says that H-1B visas allow two types of savings: (1) hiring younger (foreign) workers who are willing to work for less money than older (American) workers who have families and mortgages; (2) hiring trained graduates from less developed countries who will work for less $ than American graduates of the same cohort. All of this reduces the pay level of our high-tech workers, and discourages people from studying it in college because there is less pay-off and they can question whether they will have a job after age 40.

    Here is one of Matloff's blog's, with links to other things he has written:
    http://www0.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/nmatloff/february-4-2009/computerworld-editor-has-wrong-view-h-1b-critics.html

    8:00 AM  
    Anonymous Sacha said...

    Other articles:

    http://www.networkworld.com/community/comment/reply/20529/163759

    http://www.computerworld.com/careertopics/careers/labor/story/0,10801,72848,00.html


    http://wistechnology.com/articles/3842/

    I realize that you are in medical school so you are pressed for time. I just hope that eventually you read these articles through.

    Also, in your original blog post, you talk about how "An engineer who designs a new products creates jobs: secretaries, product testers, factory workers, people to market the product..." really? I don't think an engineer gets his/her own secretary, and the product testers and factory workers are likely located in Malaysia or Taiwan. It may create marketing jobs, but do we really need more people to go into the "sales" profession?

    Also you write, "Personally, I think its better to have a foreign engineer residing in America--where they will pay taxes and contribute to our economy--than in India or China, promoting outsourcing."

    What is wrong with outsourcing if it helps the other nations of the world develop and improve their wages and standards of living? We have signed international agreements on free movement of goods, capital, and some services across borders. We do not have free movement of labor across national borders at this time, and I thnk that is for good reason.

    8:25 AM  
    Anonymous Sacha said...

    Check out this video of an immigration lawyer counseling companies on how to recruit H-1Bs while avoiding hiring qualified American workers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU


    And the International Herald Tribune article I mentioned is here:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/12/business/visa.php

    1:22 PM  
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    5:32 AM  

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