Re: Economic (ignorance) Nativism and me

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 05:29:24 MST

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Mar 2001 wrote:
> > But it would serve the
> > short-term interest of companies to plump-up the Quarter and Annual reports,
> > to the pleasure, of the share holders. That is, until the American-born
> > schmucks, start experiencing a decline in their standard of living. That
> > effect, if it were to occur, is something that I am concerned about.
> You need to take into account that companies such as Microsoft
> or Oracle don't really have a problem getting people. It was
> the dot-com bubble that had a hard time hiring people. In order
> to solve that they were making crazy offers to lure people away
> from more secure positions. In retrospect, those offers were
> justified (as the risk-reward ratio now seems to have balanced out.)

Obviously you haven't worked in some of these large established
companies. Oracle and Microsoft on one side and fluf-headed dot-com
bubble-babies on the other heh? What a false dichotomy! Sure there are
some software companies with a lot of applicants. But don't think that
means they are happy with the level of talent they get overall. And it
is certainly not the case that there are only established companies and
fluff-head companies in this business. Businesses that are not
primarily software companies also have a tremendous problem finding and
retaining top-notch software people and, in many cases, mid and even
junior level positions also.

> > No, I have not proven this contention. It seems that what I know of the
> > salaries made by the folks brought in to work at my company, I have heard
> > that they are making much less then the American Citizen proggies.
> This I would expect to be true. For example I know of a brilliant
> Russian scientist who is now working at Celera. I expect they are
> making less than their counterparts simply owing to the increased
> overhead of communication difficulties. There is a cost to having
> a significant percentage of your staff be foreign trained and/or
> non-native english speaking. The greater management costs translate to
> decreased employee salaries.

That isn't it. There is tremendous exploitation of people working here
that do not have citizenship who wish to have it. They basically are
stuck in whatever fulltime position first hires them for a few years
unless the want to start the clock over at a new company. Many
employers know this and underpay them on purpose. Also some of the
native consulting type arrangements to bring people over (I have
experienced these with some of the firms handling Indian workers
especially) often rip both their native clients and the American
companies they place them in. Some of the contracts are horrendous in
that they assign all IP rights over the work performed that are not
explicitly nailed down by the hiring company to the consulting
company. These and the termination restrictions are as onerous as for
full-time positions. Again, some of the firms find they can get away
with this.
> > So is there currently a deep shortfall in IT workers?
> I doubt it. IT workers currently are going unemployed for
> weeks to months (when dot-coms fold) and salaries are starting
> to decline. I'd say that is the key measure of whether or not
> there is a 'shortfall'.

Funny then that my company cannot find a handful of good people in the
midst of this supposed plenty.
> > I dunno. Is this report that I quote merely a means of shortchanging USA
> > workers?
> I think the so-called 'shortage' existed when dot-com'ers
> couldn't staff their startups. Now I doubt that is the case.

You are mistaken. The shortage was present before the dot-coms and has
not disappeared when the dot-coms went away or when firms started laying
off staff.

- samantha

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