Re: FWD/MEDIA: High-tech Firms Seek To End Cap On Foreign Workers

Chris McMahon (
Wed, 25 Feb 1998 09:18:15 -0500

I am no fan of immigration quotas, because I'm a big believer in the free
market. However, the so-called "high-tech labor shortage" is more horseshit
than reality. The basic fact is, most high-tech managers can't accept the
fact that their "underlings" are actually worth more than they are, and
therefore are unwilling to pay them what they're worth. That's the
foundation of this "labor shortage". These clowns (managers) are just
looking for cheap labor, so they can pay them less than they're worth, and
they're worth a lot more than them.

This is one of the shining examples of why management is looked down upon.

Chris McMahon

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko <>
To: Extropian mailing list <>;
extropians-discussion@MIT.EDU <extropians-discussion@MIT.EDU>
Cc: Michael Bukatin <>; Igor Mendelev
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 1998 5:17 PM
Subject: FWD/MEDIA: High-tech Firms Seek To End Cap On Foreign Workers

> It's so typical for this so-called planning system to start
>handling the situation after it has developed into a very
>obvious crisis, that I don't even find it funny anymore...
>However, this may be very symptomatic - I suggested this very
>scenario to my friend yesterday, with the hope that the
>quickening progress of technology will destroy justifications
>for at least some restrictions on personal liberty.
>Maybe, this is a first step on making highly skilled labor
>a globally privileged elite, as the recognition of their
>importance, scarcity and exterritorial nature of their work.
>(Nature doesn't apply the same territorial restrictions to
>tigers and fungi; the governments, so far, have)
>This story is taken from:
> Tuesday February 24 10:23 AM EST
> High-tech Firms Seek To End Cap On Foreign Workers
> By Deeann Glamser
> SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft and other high-tech companies,
> which say they face a critical shortage of programmers and
> engineers, this week will ask Congress to eliminate the hiring
> cap on foreign professionals.
> "This has slowly built to a crisis situation this year," Brian
> Raymond, domestic policy manager for the American Electronics
> Association, a trade group representing some 3,000 technology
> companies, said in a recent interview.
> At issue are H-1B visas, allowing non-citizen doctors, computer
> programmers and other professionals to work in the United States
> for up to six years. The visas are used to fill shortages of
> skilled workers, or are for people with extraordinary talents.
> This year, the annual limit of 65,000 H-1B visas is expected to
> be hit by June, with no more issued until Oct. 1, the start of
> the next federal fiscal year.
> Last year, the allotment was gone by September, the first time
> the limit was reached.
> The Senate Judiciary Committee has a hearing scheduled for
> Wednesday on H-1B visas for high-tech workers.
> Microsoft, Texas Instruments Inc. and Sun Microsystems officials
> will testify in favor of repealing the cap.
> The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA, the
> leading U.S. professional group for electrical and electronics
> engineers, wants to retain the current limit.
> Visa information is sketchy, but 44 percent of pre- application
> certifications -- the requests companies make to the Labor
> Department as a prerequisite for applying for an H-1B visa -- in
> fiscal 1997 were for computer occupations, up from 25 percent in
> fiscal 1995.
> The next-largest category in fiscal 1997 was physical therapists,
> at 26 percent of requests.
> The Information Technology Association of America, a trade
> association that also opposes the cap, says companies with 100 or
> more employees have 346,000 openings for programmers, systems
> analysts and computer engineers, or 10 percent of the nation's
> 3.3 million information-technology jobs.
> Semiconductor maker Texas Instruments hires about 150 H-1B visa
> holders a year, 10 percent to 15 percent of its annual technical
> hires.
> Most are graduate students at U.S. universities and become
> residents here. The majority are from Taiwan and India.
> "These employees are critical. We depend greatly on electrical
> engineering talent to build our products," said Stephen Leven,
> Texas Instruments director of worldwide human resources.
> Intel also wants the cap repealed. It hires 300 to 400 foreign
> design engineers a year, almost a third of the design engineers
> it hires annually and about 4 percent of the slightly more than
> 10,000 people it hired in 1997.
> As at Texas Instruments, most are graduate students sponsored by
> the company for residency.
> Visa-limit proponents say more U.S. students are enrolling in
> engineering and computer sciences as job prospects surge, and
> older employees can be retrained for the changing job market.
> "We really believe there is a sufficient amount of people to
> satisfy needs in the U.S.," said Paul Kostek, a Seattle- based
> consultant and president-elect of the Institute of Electrical and
> Electronics Engineers-USA.
> Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of
> California at Davis, said companies exacerbate the worker
> shortage by requiring very specific skills for each job and
> preferring males in their 20s and 30s.
> "They want them young, and with the latest, hot technology, "
> Matloff said. "For experienced programmers, learning a new
> language is no big deal."
> He said visa workers earn less on average than their U.S. peers
> and are unlikely to leave a company sponsoring them for permanent
> residency.
> Microsoft has not released its H-1B figures, but says a mix of
> cultural backgrounds is critical in a global marketplace.
> "It's important for us to hire the most appropriate workers to
> compete," said Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan.
>Alexander Chislenko <>