| Naturally business is going to want 100 resumes for every job. I don't fault
| them for that. The goverment on the other hand loves to say they are solving
| problems and put their name on it. In the mid-late 90's you had a typical
| unemployment rate of computer-related technical jobs at 1-2%. In my little
| world we couldn't hire enough guys for years. The Asian/Indian people were a
| welcome site - hard working, well educated and team players. We wouldn't
| have made one schedule without them.
If you couldn't hire enough, then either the managers, or the HR people,
were doing something wrong. What was your turnover rate? If that was
high, it can cause a false perception of a shortage of people. When a
person leaves, of course you are understaffed until you can replace them,
which typical HR departments cause to take 3 months or more. If there
was a high turnover, you might want to understand the cause. Maybe
people wanted more money and management didn't want to pay, so they
hired in H-1B people who would take less pay (because it was going to
be sent back home where the cost of living is 1/10 as much) and would
work longer hours (because the family was back in the home country and
social life in an unfamiliar country wasn't of interest to them).
If you offered prevailing wages and other perks, you would have had people
coming to you, and staying.
| I agree, but remember the $200/hour contractors? I interviewed a guy once
| that switched jobs every six months for years! My first question was "This
| is a two year project, what makes me believe your going to be around here in
| six months?". We were going to pay this guy $135 bucks an hour with a one
| year commitment! He turned us down! Also higher and higher contract rates,
| and the "start-up" craze added to transition rates. The Indian workers
| couldn't do all this and management loved them. In their viewpoint high
| transition was disruptive as well as expensive.
Obviously you weren't willing to pay going rates and wanted to supplement
the supply. How would you feel of consumers of your product were to
supplement the supply with that from another country where the entire
product could be produced at 1/5 the cost because the entire company
was in another country where the cost of living is 1/10 as much.
See, it is about money. It is NOT about a shortage. And corporate CEOs
lied to Congress when they said it was not about money.
| Lets face it - the telecomm world, which was a large part of the tech
| economy, has gone bust. Thats the real problem. This has hit software and
| especially IT hard. The speculative boom of the late 90's created
| expectations with some that were not sustainable. Want to make someone die
| laughing? Call up a venture capital company and tell them you want them to
| fund a telecomm start-up.
That is certainly true. When you have a whole new market open up, and
a business proposal depends on getting 10% of that market to become
profitable, that can be interesting. But when 50 such proposals from
50 different entrepreneurs hit 50 different venture capitalists, who
are unaware of all the others trying to get in, not only will most go
bust, but it's very possible that every single one of them will.
Add to that the growth of the internet is so extreme, that it is still
going on even now. Businesses typically don't get profitable until the
growth levels off. Venture capitalists expect a return in typically
3 years. The internet could not do that because in the first 3 years,
it sill looekd like many more years of growth, but VCs were getting
tired of pouring money in without getting a return yet. Many of them
did understand that returns were 10 to 15 years away, but with their
investors clamoring for "quick bucks", they were turning away from
the huge internet market, which had so many players by then and became
| I don't believe business would nessesarily respond to cutting H-1B and
| outsourced work with replacement by US workers. If they couldn't pass
| increased costs on, they would cancel projects or services.
When the cost of living in places like China and India is 1/10 of what
it is in the US, the business certainly cannot compete in the worldwide
market with just US workers. Cutting off H-1B and prohibiting hiring
offshore certainly isn't the answer. The correct answer is to change
the economic system so that exchange rates match costs of living, and
trade deficits are eliminated. The US still imports far more that it
exports, and this is bad. And it won't get better as long as the cost
of living is so out of whack. I know a girl in India who is living
very well off in Mumbai, nice job, nice apartment, great social life.
But she's making, and spending, 1/5th as much as she would in the US to
do the same things, based on the current exchange rate. If the dollar
were devalued to 1/5th what it is today, then it would simply be equal.
| I agree and creating a good business environment helps with creating a good
| social environment. If business can't make money, whats the point in running
| it? Who wants a job thats not smart - ie exists because of governments
| coercion? The days having it will most likely be numbered, costs will be
| higher and worse thing you can do for quality is tell a worker their job is
Well, "protected" is better than "gone". But the best job, and the best
work, is for the worker to know that as long as he does his job well, it's
going to stay. The only reason for him to lose that job is for him to
screw up and just not perform.
|> Still, when a government contract ends up being fulfilled by people in
|> other country, when people who could do the job are already available
|> that jurisdiction, and looking for work, it is at best a slap in the face,
|> and at worst, a problem that continues to plague that government. In
|> cases I do favor a "domestic worker only" policy for government contracts
|> and all other work by governments. In those cases where they do decide to
|> opt for a percentage, such as "80% must be domestic", that should be
|> as individually calculated for each category of work, so they don't end up
|> hiring low level work in one place and high level work somewhere else. It
|> would just be easier in this case to make it an absolute 100% with a
|> program when it can be proved a specific job cannot be filled locally at
|> current job market wages/salaries.
| Everyone likes to shop around for a deal. If the goverment pays too much,
| tax payers pay too much - it just shifts costs around. The "buy-local"
| creates a captive market. Remember the import quotas on cars in the 70's?
| Detroit turned out their biggest piles of crap as a result.
Such a program should only be needed for the short term to get past the
downturn in the economy. Ultimately, government contracts should be let
on the basis of not just the costs saved, but also the tax recovered, and
economy boosted. These things can be quantified. As long as we do have
low unemployment here, then such requirements to hire locals would not be
needed, and costs/benefits can be worked out to find the best deals, which
would favor locals to a certain degree, but everyone has a chance at it.
|> Government should also help people get jobs at businesses, not through any
|> restrictive laws (which I fear the Democrats will impose), but instead,
|> through tax incentives to businesses that ramp up their hiring. The
|> government should be doing this for all hiring in affected categories, as
|> well as states for hiring within their state borders. Business should be
|> swayed by financial incentives that are a win-win for both.
| My local Department of Employment Security does this, has training programs,
| out-placement and will provide these even in foreign languages. They also
| provide college tuition assistance as well as child care. They do everything
| but go to the interview and show up for work. Business gets tax vouchers for
| certain types of unemployed people. But nobody is going to cry for a guy who
| made $80-100,000.00 last year.
Out placements is pointless until employers start hiring HERE again. Training
is pointless unless you're dealing with someone who existing skills are no
longer needed. College tuition is great for those who have not yet gone to
college, but those of us who have completed a college education, and even more
so those of us who have decades of real life experience with the latest new
technologies, don't need to go back to college.
I'm not going to cry over the guy who made $80k-$100k last year, as long
as he can at least get enough to live decently. That's not happening right
BTW, the economy suffered to some degree due to these $80k-$100k people
taking their money out of the stock market ... to live on. One single
person losing a $100k job has the impact of 4 people losing $25k jobs.
| Many foreigners I met at work came to the US to stay - green cards, H-1B's
| etc. These were people with BS, MS and even Ph.d. 's . Business is beholden
| to shareholders. Another goverment program, in my mind, judging people is
| going to be prone to the same garbage they all are. Let them come here to
| work, entice them to stay and tax them to death when they do...
No, we don't need more taxes.
And most H-1B's I met were sending money back home and planned to return at
the end of their 6 years (many ended up going back home early because even
they were let go when the big bust happened).
The whole H-1B program was, and is, a farce. L-1 is the same, but worse.
If they are good enough to benefit us by being here, let them in with full
legal residency. If they aren't interesting in actually living in THIS
country, let them stay home or go where they want to live.
BTW, some of the guys making $100k+ were people who had come to this country
to stay and become citizens. And many of them are out of work, too, and had
to leave the country they fell in love with because the only people willing
to take them in were their families back in their native country. I feel
especially sad for their situation (I'm sure they'd come back if they could
get even a $25k job here).
| There are going to be adjustments as well as winners and losers. Foreign
| labor (now) is going to be cheaper in high tech jobs. There is a feed-back
| nature to these markets. People are crying now because they are out of work
| and 20 head-hunters aren't calling every day in an on-going bidding war.
| Things will straighten themselves out.
Part of the problem is it happened too fast, and happened when the worst
economic collapse happened (technically even worse than the 1929 stock
crash .. it just didn't hit as fast).
Recovery will be harder because of the combination. But I do believe the
US needs to make its own recovery, because the rest of the world is not
going to do it for us. Countries like India already do protect their own
through government rules. I say there is nothing wrong with us doing the
What we need to do is balance getting people back to work, and making sure
our businesses can compete effectively in a world market. Without the
right balance, the whole country loses. And getting the world currency
rates back in proper balance will serve the needs of both business and
| I personally believe, and I don't fault you for thinking otherwise, that
| goverment either gets in the way or out of it.
I do believe government can help, but typically has failed to do so.
Business certainly isn't there to do it for people. But if government
is to do it, it must do it in a way that does not harm businesses, too.
And that is what I fear could happen unless someone comes up with the
I suspect Bush will lose this year just because the problem is so big and
so many people are affected. And I think that is sad because those who
would replace him, while recognizing the problem, will do all the wrong
things to correct it. If Bush wants to win, he should call in all his
favors with corporate CEOs and insist they voluntarily do more hiring or
face having the other party take control.
| Phil Howard KA9WGN | http://linuxhomepage.com/ http://ham.org/ |
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