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Are American Engineers in Short Supply?

Qualcomm backs a foreign workers program that many believe puts American engineers out of work.
  • Qualcomm backs a foreign workers program that many believe puts American engineers out of work.

Back in 1950, almost 31 percent of working Americans had manufacturing jobs. Now the figure is below 10 percent. Many analysts put the blame on American companies that sent such jobs to low- and slave-wage nations during the offshoring wave that picked up momentum in the 1980s and hasn’t stopped. Controversy rages.

There is plenty of bitterness, too, about the H-1B visa program that flows the other way: well-educated foreigners come to the United States and take good jobs, largely in high tech. Congress set up the program in 1990, although its roots go as far back as 1952. Under H-1B, foreigners with at least a bachelor’s degree take jobs in a variety of fields including biotech and law. Their three-year stay can be extended to six, and longer under some circumstances. Originally, H-1B visas were to be limited to 65,000 a year; that number was extended to 195,000 for 2001–2003. In 2008, 276,000 visas were issued.

The rationale is that there is a shortage of trained Americans for such employment. Nonsense, howl American engineers. The importation of foreign workers is just one more method to keep wages down and profits up, they claim. The United States Department of Labor is supposed to make sure that foreign workers do not displace Americans or adversely affect their wages. But American tech workers say the department is failing at both tasks.

The late Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman called H-1B a corporate subsidy. “It’s corporate welfare,” says Norman Matloff, professor of computer science at the University of California Davis. The H-1B program “is fundamentally about cheap labor,” he says. Foreign workers are often paid less than their American counterparts. “Most H-1Bs are under 30, and since younger workers are cheaper than older ones in both wages and health care costs, employers use the H-1B program to avoid hiring older [those over 35 years of age] Americans,” Matloff says on his website.

San Diego–based telecom Qualcomm, the biggest local tech employer (except hospitals), is the eighth-largest American corporate user of this program, according to the publications Bloomberg Businessweek, Computerworld, and InformationWeek. The others, in order, are prominent techs, accounting firms, and consulting firms: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Intel, Ernst & Young, UST Global, and Deloitte Consulting.

“Qualcomm is in the forefront of lobbying in favor of H-1B,” says Matloff. “It’s in the vanguard, one of the most vociferous lobbyists for it.”

I asked Qualcomm a number of questions, such as: Is there a shortage of tech engineers, particularly software engineers, that makes H-1B necessary? What percentage of Qualcomm’s workforce comes from the H-1B program? How much does Qualcomm spend lobbying for H-1B? Are those who come to the United States underpaid and thus contributing to a decline in wages for American engineers?

After several days of cogitation, the company would only say, “Qualcomm utilizes the H-1B program as necessary to recruit and retain the best talent in the world. We support bipartisan, sensible reform of the employment-based immigration system so that U.S. employers continue to have access to the talent they need to innovate, create American jobs and grow the U.S. economy.” Qualcomm is a member of Compete America, which pushes for the H-1B program. Qualcomm sent me some of Compete America’s literature, along with arguments compiled by another advocacy group, the National Foundation for American Policy.

In an interview with Wired.com in 2008, Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs estimated that 60 percent of the university graduates the company hires are born abroad.

In January, the U.S. Government Accountability Office completed a study of the H-1B program. Congress had asked the agency to see if H-1B helped corporate innovation or harmed American workers. The agency concluded that the number of H-1B workers at any given time is unknowable because of flaws in the tracking system. The agency found a small percentage of instances in which the foreign worker was being paid less than the prevailing wage. The Department of Labor gives only a cursory look at H-1B applications, the study found. And there is no legal provision for holding employers accountable when they hire foreign workers through staffing companies. Generally, the report’s findings represented classic bureaucratic waffling.

The most interesting finding was that 46.9 percent of the workers come from India and 8.9 percent from China.

The National Foundation for American Policy proclaimed that the study undermined the assertion that companies hire H-1B professionals only because they will work cheaply. Adjusted for age, the foreign workers earn the same or more than their American counterparts, according to the foundation, citing the study. Matloff, however, cites two congressional studies and academic reports showing that H-1B workers are often paid less than Americans.

Senators Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, have cosponsored a bill seeking to end alleged loopholes in the program. Citing long-running “fraud and abuse” in the H-1B program, Grassley says, “It’s time we get the program back to its original intent where employers use H-1B visas only to shore up employment in areas where there is a lack of qualified American workers.” The proposed law would tighten up enforcement in several areas.

One former Qualcomm employee says he was in a group of 30 engineers, 20 of whom were Indian nationals, mostly H-1Bs. “I don’t think I am being racist, but it was tough to fit into a group that had their own culture and social dynamic,” he says, quoting a fellow worker who called the system “modern-day indentured servitude.” Other critics have used the same language. This ex-employee says he has “a soft spot for immigration” because his parents came from foreign countries. However, “companies take advantage of this [H-1B] process to fill their workforce with people who can’t easily change jobs and work hard and keep their mouths shut, since they’re afraid of losing their jobs and status.”

Another former employee who reapplied during the recent downturn claims that 80 percent of Qualcomm engineers are foreigners brought in during the past ten years — mostly from India. He claims that he had a job interview with a manager who was an Indian national. The former employee was told he was “too senior” with too much job experience, he says, and the interview was aborted. I asked Qualcomm about that, but it was one of the many questions that went unanswered. “I grew up being antiunion and a conservative Republican, but nowadays I’m seeing global labor being exploited by large companies to such an extent that I feel that labor protections are needed,” says this engineer.

Sorrento Valley, where Qualcomm is located, has picked up the sobriquet “Little Calcutta.” That smacks of xenophobia, but at some point, it seems, the company may have to give more information on its H-1B program to American engineers.

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American Engineers are NOT in short Sspply, that is a fact. The H-1B visa program is a fraudulent scheme of, by and for Big Business to drive down the US wages of American Engineers and other professionals. Heck, somehow the ABA gave the greenlight to outsource LEGAL WORK to India! That shows how US economic policy is destroying not only the poor and middle class of America, but America itself since the middle class was, is and always will be the backbone of our country- and our system of a republic.

I think we did this topic a few weeks ago, and everyone went bonkers in their views!

Yes, this column is a followup on the discussion of a few weeks ago. (H-1B was not the subject under discussion; the question evolved from other responses.) Best, Don Bauder

You guys are kidding, right? Some of the comments here were plain stupid and racist.

I'm an Indian born software engineer in San Diego on an H1 visa. I have a bunch of friends (both Indian and American) in Qualcomm and believe I know a bit about the tech industry. Let me cover some points (no time to cover all) you guys bring up:

  • cheap slave labor: the tech industry is highly competetive- name one large tech company (please exclude niche markets) where work hours are easy. Some economies were used to easy work cultures- Greece and Italy.

  • comments about Indian engineers being less talented: I'll do you a favor and ignore those.

  • abundance of American engineers: the previous place I worked at had been trying to fill my position for 5 months. and this was a start up company founded by an American citizen of Indian origin. I was the only other Indian there. Oh and I did work my butt off there and trust me- that was the most fulfilling position I've ever held.

  • Qualcomm salary ranges: I know guys with the title 'software engineer' who are fresh grads and others with the same title with 4 years of experience + a post grad degree- would you pay them the same? it often takes multiple years to go from 'software engineer' to 'senior software engineer'. Also how would you calculate for niche talents within software engineering, like research experience in place and route algorithms, compiler algorithms, etc.?

  • "Qualcomm whose labor force went in 10 years from 95.5% American to 40% American, and whose H-1B population climbed to 42% of the total workforce, it's pretty obvious that not filling 7000 jobs from Americans will have a huge impact on the local job market": Qualcomm itself has grown in the past 10 years. Is there an indication that the number of American CompSc graduates in the San Diego area has also grown?

  • You guys don't seem to have any problems with American companies making a profit by trying to sell some of these products abroad. Does this not amount to double standards by your rule book?

Besides the visa issues for cheap labor, I was told that Indian engineers in India can be hired into US by Indian Consulting companies who have a lot of connections with hiring managers who happen to be Indians. These consulting companies take a lot of Indian Engineers coming to USA who have fake master, PHD degrees and don't have US education. Another reason why a lot of Indian engineers in US companies is because most of the hiring managers are Indians; they won't hire other people citing "you are not qualified" after the interview. I have a friend working for Qualcomm before; verfication engineers at Qualcomm can't verify the chip, then he came on board, he can verify those things that the whole team in San Diego can't because they don't have that niche experience. But months before that one Indian engineer interviewed him, said that he was not qualified, don't have the skill they looking for. The chip is still not working until now; they still place ads looking for engineers for more than a year now for the same team.

"Under H-1B, foreigners with at least a bachelor’s degree take jobs in a variety of fields including biotech and law." and fashion modeling. Don't forget those highly-skilled fashion models who are vitally necessary to innovation in the American economy because we obviously have a terrible shortage of gorgeous women with stony expressions who walk funny.

USCIS says that they approved these numbers of H-1B applicants who lacked the equivalent of a US high school diploma: year number 2000 554 2001 247 2002 169 2003 148 2004 123 2005 107 2006 96 2007 72 2008 80 2009 108

And who lacked the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree: 2000 2986 2001 3983 2002 2655 2003 2249 2004 1803 2005 1345 2006 914 2007 913 2008 643 2009 829

so the equivalent of a bachelor's degree is apparently not a genuine requirement, though it is mentioned in the statute, as is not harming the employment prospects and compensation of US citizens, which is equally ignored. Of course, USCIS has violated the statute, before, when they withheld for several years annual publication of the required statistics on characteristics of those approved for H-1Bs.

It appears that there is a strong lobby pushing for H-1B. Best, Don Bauder

That inspired me to check the numbers of new visas issued: 278,168 H visas; 110,367 H-1B visas; 353,798 F (student) visas (which feed into the OPT and H-1B visa programs); 345,541 J (exchange) visas (ditto); 124,275 L visas (which are commonly abused as substitutes for H-1B visas); 2191 E-3 visas... all in fiscal year 2009, and these only count new visas issued by US consulates and embassies abroad, but do not count those applicants initially rejected by DoS and they don't count change of status from some other category to each of these visa types if the person is already in the USA. Even without considering that those numbers significantly under-represent the numbers currently in the USA on each kind of visa, each one of those is between 10 and 80 times reasonable levels.

I've spoken with some of the people with H-1B visas who work at Qualcomm and the neighboring tech offices -- just casually talking shop about software design, the merits of this programming language vs. that for various purposes, IDEs, data-base analysis methodologies, hard vs. soft real-time programming and such, as I would with anyone else in the field -- and they're not "best" or "brightest", nor do they have knowledge not otherwise widely available among the huge pool of unemployed and underemployed US citizen STEM job candidates.

this situation has gone on with Filipino nurses for many many years...they even had co-pay from the US government so that hospitals had an extra incentive to hire them

now most hospitals are about 2/3 Fillipino staffing and people who take nursing courses can't get work here in San Diego and elsewhere

they also come in on H-1B visas

Yes, the nursing "shortage" is well known.

Actually private schools also recruit heavily from the Phillipines for teachers.

Yes I heard about the impacts to nursing programs as well. The only thing to do is spread the word and pressure your representatives. I e-mailed both of my Senators and my congressional rep. (Brian Bilbray). I was surprised to get a call from his office by one of his workers who focuses on immigration issues. I told her about my outrage at the gross displacement of workers, even in the middle of the nation's worse recession since the depression. Interestingly enough she brought up the problem in nursing. So his office is aware of it.

Her advice was to stay outraged and become an activist. I assumed that Bilbray being GOP would be unsympathetic to this issue and instead I found his office to be both aware of the problem and sympathetic. It all could be lip service though. Interestingly enough I got the opposite response from one of my DEM senators (I think it was Dianne Feinstein, but I'll have to check). She said something to the effect that she supports the H1B system to drive innovation. With that comment she told me two things: 1) She's a corporate tool. 2) She's too stupid to pay lip service to the issue, so that people know that she's a corporate tool.

I only mentioned the Filipino nurse connection as an additional comment. I personally don’t feel it’s a problem because I understand that the U.S. indeed has a shortage of nurses. As we have more and more people living longer and the baby boomers reaching their prime, there is a demand for more healthcare services.

When companies like Steve Francis can skim off money contracting out nurses, there is certainly evidence for a need to fill. There also is evidence that there is very little unemployment in the nursing field, unlike the unemployment that plagues the (American) engineering and programming population.

I personally would like to keep it free market. If the demand is high, wages will go high and people will enter the field to satisfy the demand.

Flooding some fields with foreign labor is a bad precedent and it opens up a lot of subjectivity on what is considered to be a shortage and what are reasonable wages that should be paid. Wall Street loves those arguments, because to them having 100 people tap dancing for one opening is a labor shortage and they will begrudge any wages being paid as too high.

The "best and brightest" question is one that I didn't get into for lack of space. But it's central to the argument. Best, Don Bauder

As far as “best and brightest….”

Only three (3) Indian citizens have won the Nobel Prize. Only one (1) for science;

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (1888–1970) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 1930.

I won’t have room in this comment box to list the U.S. citizens who’ve won the Nobel Prize in the sciences.

This is not a complete list, but you get the picture:

1914, Chemistry, Theodore W. Richards 1932, Chemistry, Irving Langmuir 1934, Chemistry, Harold C. Urey 1946, Chemistry, John H. Northrop 1946, Chemistry, Wendell M. Stanley 1946, Chemistry, James B. Sumner 1949, Chemistry, William F. Giauque 1951, Chemistry, Glenn T. Seaborg 1951, Chemistry, Edwin M. McMillan 1954, Chemistry, Linus Pauling 1955, Chemistry, Vincent du Vigneaud 1960, Chemistry, Willard F. Libby 1961, Chemistry, Melvin Calvin 1965, Chemistry, Robert B. Woodward 1966, Chemistry, Robert S. Mulliken 1968, Chemistry, Lars Onsager 1972, Chemistry, Christian Anfinsen 1972, Chemistry, Stanford Moore 1972, Chemistry, William H. Stein 1974, Chemistry, Paul J. Flory 1976, Chemistry, William Lipscomb 1979, Chemistry, Herbert C. Brown 1980, Chemistry, Paul Berg 1980, Chemistry, Walter Gilbert 1981, Chemistry, Roald Hoffmann 1983, Chemistry, Henry Taube 1984, Chemistry, Bruce Merrifield 1985, Chemistry, Jerome Karle 1985, Chemistry, Herbert A. Hauptman 1986, Chemistry, Yuan T. Lee 1986, Chemistry, Dudley R. Herschbach 1987, Chemistry, Charles J. Pedersen 1987, Chemistry, Donald J. Cram 1989, Chemistry, Sidney Altman (also Canada)

1989, Chemistry, Thomas R. Cech 1990, Chemistry, Elias James Corey 1992, Chemistry, Rudolph A. Marcus 1993, Chemistry, Kary B. Mullis 1994, Chemistry, George A. Olah 1995, Chemistry, Mario J. Molina 1995, Chemistry, F. Sherwood Rowland 1996, Chemistry, Robert F. Curl Jr. 1996, Chemistry, Richard E. Smalley 1997, Chemistry, Paul D. Boyer 1998, Chemistry, Walter Kohn 1999, Chemistry, Ahmed Zewail (also Egypt) 2000, Chemistry, Alan G. MacDiarmid 2000, Chemistry, Alan Heeger 2001, Chemistry, K. Barry Sharpless 2001, Chemistry, William S. Knowles 2002, Chemistry, John B. Fenn 2003, Chemistry, Peter Agre 2003, Chemistry, Roderick MacKinnon 2004, Chemistry, Irwin Rose 2005, Chemistry, Robert H. Grubbs 2005, Chemistry, Richard R. Schrock 2006, Chemistry, Roger D. Kornberg 2008, Chemistry, Martin Chalfie 2008, Chemistry, Roger Y. Tsien 2009, Chemistry, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan 2009, Chemistry, Thomas A. Steitz 2010, Chemistry, Richard F. Heck

1907, Physics, Albert A. Michelson 1923, Physics, Robert A. Millikan 1927, Physics, Arthur H. Compton 1936, Physics, Carl D. Anderson 1937, Physics, Clinton Davisson 1939, Physics, Ernest Lawrence 1943, Physics, Otto Stern 1944, Physics, Isidor Isaac Rabi 1946, Physics, Percy W. Bridgman 1952, Physics, Felix Bloch 1952, Physics, E. M. Purcell 1955, Physics, Willis E. Lamb 1955, Physics, Polykarp Kusch 1956, Physics, John Bardeen 1956, Physics, Walter H. Brattain 1956, Physics, William B. Shockley 1959, Physics, Emilio Segrè 1959, Physics, Owen Chamberlain 1960, Physics, Donald A. Glaser 1961, Physics, Robert Hofstadter 1963, Physics, Eugene Wigner 1963, Physics, Maria Goeppert-Mayer 1964, Physics, Charles H. Townes 1965, Physics, Richard P. Feynman 1965, Physics, Julian Schwinger 1967, Physics, Hans Bethe 1968, Physics, Luis Alvarez 1969, Physics, Murray Gell-Mann 1972, Physics, John Bardeen 1972, Physics, Leon N. Cooper 1972, Physics, Robert Schrieffer 1973, Physics, Ivar Giaever 1975, Physics, James Rainwater 1976, Physics, Burton Richter 1976, Physics, Samuel C. C. Ting 1977, Physics, John H. van Vleck 1977, Physics, Philip W. Anderson 1978, Physics, Arno Penzias 1978, Physics, Robert Woodrow Wilson 1979, Physics, Sheldon Glashow 1979, Physics, Steven Weinberg 1980, Physics, James Cronin 1980, Physics, Val Fitch 1981, Physics, Arthur L. Schawlow 1981, Physics, Nicolaas Bloembergen 1982, Physics, Kenneth G. Wilson 1983, Physics, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar 1983, Physics, William A. Fowler 1988, Physics, Melvin Schwartz 1988, Physics, Jack Steinberger 1988, Physics, Leon M. Lederman 1989, Physics, Hans G. Dehmelt 1989, Physics, Norman F. Ramsey 2009, Physics, George E. Smith

My list still excluded over a hundred other Nobel Prize winners and I am not even counting economics or literature.

Another fact is India has about three (3) times our population. An opportunity to do something three times more often.

One Nobel Prize winner, “best and brightest” ….

They have been an arrogant lot claiming they are “the best and brightest” until people hear its so many time they actuall begin to believe it is fact.

Ethics are certainly absent in their behavior as well. But that’s for another story.

Ponzi, I know that you're well intentioned, but your comments come across as painting a large group of people too broadly. I have many friends who are Indian that don't fit your description. I think that in painting such a broad picture that the more important points of your message will be ignored.

The wage dilution being wrought by corporate America on skilled workers also applies to Green Card holders and H-1Bs. Most of those just off the boat don't see it, but the ones that have been here for awhile do. Since these groups now represent such a large presence in the engineering community, I think that it's important to rally them to the cause rather than alienate them. Just because someone came here previously on a H1B doesn't mean that they too want to see their standard of living erased by never-ending waves of immigration.

It was not my intention to paint all of them with a broad brush. I have Indian friends, many of whom I became acquainted with before the H-1B phenomenon morphed into corporate treason.

I was, for a time, engaged in work that put me in direct contact with H-1B visitors from China and India. I witnessed a great deal of arrogance and entitlement on their part. They also burdened me and my team with constant questions and requests for help, which would have been uncustomary had we simply had Americans. There was an unacceptable learning curve in my opinion. In both, cultural nuances as well as technical integration.

There was an awful lot of questionable conduct. People that wanted to buy homes and lied on applications or asked people to tell “stories” for them. The way some, who had never driven a car, came about getting a California driver’s license. Experience that was listed in their resume that was obviously exaggerated.

It’s easy to arm-chair quarterback the intent and candor of my comments, but you would have had to have 30 years of aerospace and communication engineering - on the job - experience in the rank and file and later management to see things through my eyes. I have been in one way or another, in HR and IT management, observing the H-1B farce since the 1980’s.

The market cuts through all the bs and will tell you whether labor is in short supply for a particular field. Look at the direction of wages and you'll know the story - it's that easy. I have read stories on some sites of the extraordinary wages having to be paid to attract certain types of engineers - but for those interested in the real story you can venture out to the DOL job banks and see for yourself. According to the wages being offered, the conclusion has to be - there is no shortage. If there was a shortage, just let the market straighten it out. Rising wages will attract more workers into that field - again it's that easy. Observation: Many of the same people who claim to free marketers are the ones who call for the importation of labor.

henryj99, it's a fact that Qualcomm has reduced the benefits that they are paying to workers compared to years past. Not only that but the stock options that they give out to entice workers is not worth as much as they used to, because the company is so much larger than it was in the past. Comparing salaries across the board is a difficult thing to do correctly, but I believe that salaries will bear this out also.

Yet another indication that there is no shortage of American STEM workers is the fact that hiring masses of people on H-1Bs is concentrated in a relatively small number of tech companies like Qualcomm and Microsoft. Other High Tech companies such as Apple seem to have no problem finding qualified American applicants and don't tap the H-1B Visa nearly to the extent of MSFT and QCOM. Both MSFT and QCOM could be considered to be monopolies by many people and monopolies are well known to mistreat both their customers and employees. When a company like Apple hires an H-1B it is usually to hire a truly best and the brightest and people like that have salaries well over $140K, not the sub $100k paid by Qualcomm.

In San Diego, local tech companies like HP and Broadcom seem to get along just fine with limited hiring of H-1Bs. In fact this pretty much says it all: http://www.myvisajobs.com/San-Diego-CA-11WC.htm

In just the beginning of this year alone, Qualcomm has a combined 459 H-1B Visa applications, which looks as though it's more than all other San Diego businesses combined.

It's also interesting to note the low salaries for Mindlance (the Indian job shop agency that Qualcomm uses) and also Tata Consultancy (another Indian job shop agency which might also be used by Qualcomm). If you wanted salary information, this says it all.

I feel bad for all of those graduating at UCSD with a degree in CS. Qualcomm is hiring like crazy, but they aren't hiring Americans....

FYI, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs received $19 million in compensation in 2009. That was almost 600 times when the average worker made that year. How do you think the company can pay that much to the CEO without slicing workers' pay? Best, Don Bauder

Indeed. In fact a Google search shows that Paul Jacobs lives in a posh $13M 12,000 sq. foot home on La Jolla Shores with panoramic ocean views. Not a bad crib for someone who essentially inherited the company from his father. Nepotism runs deep at Qualcomm and there are many other families of executives who work at the company. You would think that this strong sense of entitlement would motivate them to hire other San Diegans and Americans but this is clearly not the case.

They don’t hire Americans is a theme in many Indian dominated shops. This is true at Microsoft and Intel. When a hiring manager is Indian he invariably hires more Indians.

There are privately held Silicon Valley businesses that are Indian owned and have staffs comprised on 95% Indian. They simply discriminate openly.

The companies using H-1B most heavily are the same companies touting the free market all the time. Best, Don Bauder

Very true. It's a great example of spin. These companies are betting that most Americans are either too dumb or have too short of attention spans to dig deeply into issues so they couch these anti-American issues to sound as though they are pro-American.

A perfect example of this is Qualcomm saying that they support "Compete America" and their references to, "National Foundation for American Policy". The hundreds of thousands of people being brought over every year on H-1Bs provide a strong disincentive for the best and the brightest Americans to enter STEM fields and these anti-American policies are exactly the opposite incentives that are needed.

The pro-H1B lobby referenced by Qualcomm ("National Foundation for American Policy") should really be called what it is, "The Corporate Lobby for depressing skilled wages in order to increase Corporate Profits while simultaneously boosting CEO compensation".

Worse yet, when American tech workers point out these inequities we are often labeled as Racist. I count many Indians and Chinese that came over on H-1Bs as friends. It's not about the people themselves, but rather the corrupt policies that favor cheaper foreign workers over Americans. Policies that immigrants themselves often complain about because of the whole indentured servitude process that they have to follow in order to get a Green Card.

It's also interesting to note that several of my immigrant friends who have Green Card status are now running into the same H-1B issues as Americans, because their value to Corporations has been decreased now that the power of the Visa can no longer be dangled in front of them.

The latest spin tactic that is being followed by the pro-H1B lobby is to create a "demand based H-1B system". In other words eliminate the current quota system altogether and allow companies to fill as many jobs as they want with H-1Bs. This would ensure that some companies never have to hire an American or Green Card holder.

Other spin tactics are to tell people that American schools are so bad that we can't turn out decent STEM workers and it will take years to turn this around. The reality is that America turns out tons of highly qualified and highly educated STEM workers every year. If a person digs through the details of test scores and compares apples-to-apples results with students in Europe, Shanghai and other countries, our top students are just as good as the top students in these other countries. What is clear however is that we have a segment of under-performing groups (mostly minorities and ESL children from undocumented workers) that lower our averages. Incidentally, these two groups have also been the most harmed by corporate policies of outsourcing and "in-sourcing" through the H-1B programs. Having large numbers of unemployed and unskilled workers will be a huge problem for this country going forward.

Part I Outstanding article. There is an an amazing amount of H1B propaganda being spun by the corporate lobby. Some pro-H1B Visa articles don't even have an authors named attached to them and are usually written by corporate sponsored "think tanks". So it's refreshing to see an informative article such as this one. Clearly this was written by someone not on the corporate dole. Thanks Don for taking a look at this important issue and for spotlighting Qualcomm's labor practices that are going on right here in San Diego's backyard.

According to MyVisaJobs (http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Sponsor/Qualcomm/441292.htm) Qualcomm has directly petitioned and received 6200 Visas over the past 10 years for foreign workers to move to and work in San Diego. That is an astounding number when one considers that the company employs only 12,500 total workers in San Diego. Americans in general and San Diegans in particular should be both disgusted and outraged by this fact, as it has harmed the local job market and displaced thousands of American STEM workers.

It's interesting to read the Wired.com article that Don has cited (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/03/tech-talent-dra/)

There are several profoundly disturbing comments in this interview. The first is that Jacobs says that Qualcomm is now hiring 60% of their staff from foreign countries (mostly from India apparently). Despite this, and despite the fact that the company has already received 6200 H-1B Visas, Paul Jacobs says, "he expects only to receive half of the specialized H-1B work visas to come through for his hires". Imagine what the company would be like if Jacobs was able to double the Visas that he has already received?

The bill introduced by Sens. Grassley and Durbin would appear to be a step in the right direction. Best, Don Bauder

The bill introduced by Sens. Grassley and Durbin would appear to be a step in the right direction.

Don't expect ANYTHING.

Big Business is has a stranglehold on America and is basically running it- no laws will be passed that cut into Big Business profits, our massive TARP bailout proved that fact 100% beyond any doubt.

Part II Another profoundly disturbing comment by Jacobs was, "The company doesn’t seek out foreign-born nationals — that 60 percent ratio seems to reflect the actual composition of the talent pool available, he said during a q&a with Steve Wildstrom, a BusinessWeek technology columnist.". This doesn't seem factually possible, so I found this link after a quick Google search: http://www.itjobscareer.com/2008/12/h1b-opportunity-qualcomm-usa-san-diego.html

This link is an ad that was run in a Indian-based website that recruits for IT workers located in India. The ad ran in late 2008 not long after Jacob's interview. Clearly this shows that Qualcomm was employing an Indian job shop agency to cycle people from India to San Diego even while Jacobs was claiming that, "the company doesn't seek out foreign-born nationals". Either Jacob's comments are disingenuous at best or he is sadly misinformed about the hiring practices of his own company.

Let's look closely at this ad. Notice the minimal skill-set required, "2-5 years of experience" and "will take junior from a good school". Surprisingly, previous wireless experience is not even needed or requested. It's a known fact that the best schools are located in the US, and many American graduates have been unable to find work after graduating with a CS degree and they would have loved to have landed this job. Unfortunately, this is a clear example of the opportunities that are disappearing for our youths and why as a country we need a policy that employs our best and brightest first.

Why would Qualcomm give this opportunity to a junior-level engineer from India rather than the US you might ask? The answer can be found in the ad itself,

"Would you like to be an observer or a winner? If you want to achieve your goal of working in the US on an H-1B, you must be proactive now and start approaching Surya Patel without any further delay.

We have already started interviewing candidates. This is the time you must identify your potential , get in touch with us.

Should you not be willing to miss this excellent opportunity of coming to U.S.A for your dream job(which would be already there for you awaiting at Qualcomm)"

Clearly it's not about working for Qualcomm that is the draw, but rather the promise of getting out of India and working in the US that has these candidates excited. Qualcomm and other corporations exploit this desire to their own ends and this is an example of a policy that is harming American STEM workers in the process.

Not sure why, but some of the links that I posted ended up with a few characters at the end ("</p") that keeps these pages from loading. Just remove these characters from the end or use the links below:

Wired article: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/03/tech-talent-dra/

Indian based recruitment ad for Qualcomm: http://www.itjobscareer.com/2008/12/h1b-opportunity-qualcomm-usa-san-diego.html

Wired article: . http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/03/tech-talent-dra/ .

Indian based recruitment ad for Qualcomm: . http://www.itjobscareer.com/2008/12/h1b-opportunity-qualcomm-usa-san-diego.html .

The key to posting hyperlinks; Period space link space space period

(. www.link.com .)

These are all worth reading. They are enlightening. Best, Don Bauder

These are all worth reading. They are enlightening. Best, Don Bauder

Several of these ads were sent to me. I didn't have room to include them, but hope they will be used in future articles. Your sending them is quite helpful. Best, Don Bauder

Part III The other thing that is disturbing about Jacob's interview is this comment, "He recently sent a letter to Homeland Security, he says, to request that it extend practical work training visas to 29 months". Most people would miss the importance of this comment but if you read these comments in light of the H-1B job ad ("If your performance is satisfactory, Qualcomm will be interested in hiring you as their permanent employee after 9 months of employment with Mindlance and working onsite at Qualcomm."), it's clear that Qualcomm brings these people into San Diego using the Indian job shop H-1B Visa. They work these people hard for the 9 month "evaluation" period, after which they are either shipped back to India or transferred to a Qualcomm H-1B. Apparently if Jacobs had his way the 9 month evaluation period would be extended to almost 2.5 years. Imagine the pressure that these poor immigrants must be under, either work long and hard hours to make the cut or be sent packing back to India. It's the kind of incentive that no American has and why companies like Qualcomm are lobbying hard to remove the H-1B Visa cap completely. For the poor immigrant who cranks out the best and hardest working 9 months that he has ever done, the trials and tribulations aren't over though. Once moved to a Qualcomm H-1B Visa, the employee can now apply for Green Card status (which many if not most do) and this process takes 6 years to be approved, during which time they can't leave the company or risk having the Green Card process restarted. They must also work hard to ensure that they aren't laid off or terminated as this would require that they leave the country within approximately 2 weeks. This is exactly the indentured servitude policies that create an uneven playing field that both Americans and immigrants complain about.

In the course of reporting, I found several references to "indentured servitude." Best, Don Bauder

H1-B was not created to be an immigration program. The H-1B is administered by the Department of Labor not (the INS or it’s predecessor) the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Part IV The most shocking of comments from the Jacob's interview though comes from the main point of the article itself. "The tech talent and funding drain to China and India is one of the "scariest things going on in the United States," right now said Paul Jacobs.

The underlying and fundamental reason for tech talent drain is because American companies like Qualcomm have brought in and trained these foreigners by the boatload. Simultaneously, the outsourcing policies of other American companies have led to dramatic improvements in the economies of China and India (the chief recipients of H-1B Visas) and this has allowed many of these people to go back home and enjoy their new found opportunities armed with new found skills that companies like Qualcomm have armed them with. It's shocking that while Jacobs recognizes that this is a problem for the United States, he says nothing about his own companies hiring policies that contribute to this problem. Americans may not have Green Cards incentives to work in the US, but at least we aren't flight risks.

The Corporate lobby has been able to spin the H-1B Visa issue from what it is truly about - flooding the job market with foreign workers so as to depress wages and require workers to work longer hours. The spin has replaced the real issue with talk about the "best and the brightest" and that the Visa is needed because there is a shortage of American STEM workers. The job ad linked above is a clear indication that both of these premises are false. As if this wasn't enough, here is another Mindlance ad that is currently running for an H-1B to work for Qualcomm as a test engineer: http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Work-Test%20Eng._18679553.htm This is yet another lightweight job requiring someone to have only, "2 yrs. Experience in Multimedia testing – 1+ yrs. Experience in Feature testing". Clearly this is not targeting a "best and the brightest" engineer with an extensive resume, but a very junior-level engineer. These sorts of jobs are being filled at the same time that salaries for Engineers have stagnated and in fact Qualcomm has even reduced their benefits in recent years. Both are indications not of a shortage of workers but of an overabundance of workers.

At last count Qualcomm has over $10 Billion dollars in cash in the bank. That cash was mostly accumulated off the backs of American consumers. Qualcomm clearly has the financial wherewithal to be a good corporate citizen and it's officers and share-holders have been beneficiaries of the American economy and the largess of the American consumer. Rather than utilize the H-1B Visa to exploit immigrants and Americans a-like, why not recognize where this money came from and reward Americans rather than exploit the system.

Note: The link to the test engineer position referenced above is broken. Please use the one below instead:

http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Jobs-Full/qualcomm-W/L/T/Mindlance-CN/360595-CI/1.htm

Further note, it seems the mindlink referenced above was pulled (not surprised). A simple search of open Mindlance job openings showed that the job ad is still running though. The name of the hiring company has been removed, but the location (San Diego), job description, skills, etc. are all the same. Furthermore, Mindlance lists this job in their category of paltry $30K/yr jobs. This is where test engineering is headed thanks to the crush of jobs....

The ad is cut and pasted below (along with the link):

Reference # : 11-01861 Title : win mobile tester Location : san diego, CA Experience Level : 2 Years Start Date / End Date : 03/10/2011 / 03/09/2012
Assignment Detail

Description

* Windows Mobile Test                             
* Multimedia testing                                  
* Feature testing - browser, audio, video, camera etc.                                         
  Qualcomm tools added advantage

(. http://careers.mindlance.com/private/myjobs/openjob_outside.jsp?a=6iy7kwtf006nz6b5axbqd3dftmz1ntcpc67p0b4x6jah77rp2vvnolj0nef627gu&SearchString=&StatesString=&source=indeed.com&id=2514445 .)

Unfortunately, since the 1980s, corporate boards of directors have concluded that the only constituency of the board is the shareholder. Not employees, not vendors, not the community. The end-all and be-all of American companies -- and of American monetary policy (see QEII) -- is to run the stock market up. It will backfire. I wish I knew when. Best, Don Bauder

It seems that the key motivating factor for companies recruiting through H-1B is enhancement of the bottom line. That is all companies care about these days -- and the only thing Wall Street rewards them for. Our society is utterly greed-obsessed -- more so than it any time in our history, including the days of the Robber Barons. Best, Don Bauder

This is exactly the heart of the issue isn't it? Outsourcing and "In-Sourcing" via the H-1B and other Visas are only one of many facets of the same problem. We have the situation where the corporate elites, very few by numbers are exerting considerable pressure to further their agenda and line their pocket books at the expense of the country as a whole. Over the past 10 years all segments from across the US income range have seen a reduction in living standards except for the top 2% who have seen their earnings explode.

In my lifetime, I've never seen this level of corporate exploitation. People were always using their influence to be sure, but the extent that it is happening now is shocking to say the least.

These CEOs and companies have found that globalism provides the tools that they need to enrich themselves, but unfortunately these tools are coming at the expense of this country. The GDP of the US is relatively flat after declining during the great recession, a recession that was directly caused by these same policies.

It doesn't have to be this way however. Other countries such as Germany continue to be export powerhouses and they do this by employing their own citizens while paying relatively high wages.

As you've pointed out, American-style capitalism is the problem, because labor and policies that favor the nation as a whole are not part of the equation.

Unfortunately I don't see it changing anytime soon because Americans as a whole seem unable to see through the corporate spin and in fact many are supporting the same policies that are directly harming them.

U.S. corporations don't give a hoot about their own country. They only care about their own bottom lines. Best, Don Bauder

We’ve got an over abundance of experienced tech professionals and an oversupply of new science & technology graduates whom we have paid dearly to educate.

But companies are bypassing this US talent – and even displacing Americans from their jobs in favor of citizens from abroad - and it's legal with corporate visa programs like H1-b.

Don, employers are so brazen they post H-1b only want ads all over the internet. Now they are posting OPT only want ads (this is an on-the-job training visa for foreign students.)

Here's a sample of how far IT firms will go to avoid hiring Americans and green card holders. You can see over 150 current ads for yourself by searching on OPT at dice.com:

Job opportunity for OPT / CPT / F1 / We do H1B Process for free. JAVA Developers only OPT/CPT/L2/EAD Visa Consultants at Chicago, IL Hiring freshers with OPT for various IT areas Freshers(OPT Students)

As director of Bright Future Jobs, we lobbied Sen. Durbin to restore our freedom to compete for job openings in our own country we are qualified to do. He responded with a great bill that we want passed this year. It will put Americans back to work and stop the offshoring of the jobs of the future.

Donna Conroy www.brightfuturejobs.com

We’ve got an over abundance of experienced tech professionals and an oversupply of new science & technology graduates whom we have paid dearly to educate.

But companies are bypassing this US talent – and even displacing Americans from their jobs in favor of citizens from abroad - and it's legal with corporate visa programs like H1-b.

=========================== You're preaching to the choir Donna!

I hope you can get the word around, and the legislation passed. It appears that H-1B is just a ploy to lower salaries of American engineers, and to deprive them of jobs. Best, Don Bauder

"As director of Bright Future Jobs, we lobbied Sen. Durbin to restore our freedom to compete for job openings in our own country we are qualified to do. He responded with a great bill that we want passed this year. It will put Americans back to work and stop the offshoring of the jobs of the future."

Outstanding! Keep up the good work.

I didn't know about the OPT only positions. This just goes to show how far out of whack the system has become.

Disclosure: I am a US born citizen working for Qualcomm.

Competition is a bitch, but it's an undeniable positive force in technology. As long as entry into employment is based upon a fair comparison of previous accomplishments, I think competition for jobs should be allowed.

It is by no means easier for a foreign national to complete the education necessary to get hired by Qualcomm than it is for a US National. In fact, most of the foreign nationals working for Qualcomm that I know have their Master's degree from a US University. It's my understanding that this is all but required in order to have an easier standard to compare candidates. So, unfortunately for US born engineers future and present, other countries have learned the importance of education in skilled labor. Also unfortunate for Americans is the perpetuated illusion that Americans have some unattainably high work ethic. We don't. In fact, if anything we have a misplaced sense of entitlement.

There also seems to be an illusion that there is a large labor pool of skilled US laborers who are being displaced by foreign labor. That seems to be the exact opposite sentiment of this article by the UT: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/12/why-san-diego-tech-companies-cant-fill-thousands-j/

I think some of the points that people discuss about "indentured servitude" might actually hold water if they weren't almost completely fabricated. Does it make more sense that Qualcomm hires the largest percentage of foreign nationals from a few countries due to the extremely long naturalization time, (Green card wait times are based on the number of applicants from each country.) or does it make more sense that a small number of other countries are beginning to understand the importance of education and skilled labor? I think perhaps the most damning aspect of this argument is that Qualcomm average pay and benefits are competitive, if not at the high end, for San Diego for software engineers. Don't believe me? Go check glassdoor.com. Why aren't these "indentured servants" (which is a laughable phrase at this income level) having an effect on Qualcomm's compensation among its peers?

I do agree that the naturalization process sucks. If you want to blame someone for having to stay at the same company for the naturalization process, I don't that entity is Qualcomm. Furthermore, I have not once heard of Qualcomm abusing this process to make their employees work hard and I can tell you that the people who don't have immigration issues hanging over their head work just as hard as those who do.

Perhaps I'm the only one in this group, but I try to encourage people to apply for citizenship. I'd prefer the foreign nationals want to become citizens, so they can vote and take their rightful (if they want it) place in America's upper-middle class.

That U-T article seemed to be more focused on the high cost of living in San Diego. However, the income level in San Diego is rising to close the gap. Silicon Valley has much higher incomes, but also a much higher cost of living. Best, Don Bauder

pellis, you raise some good points. Any policy that affects so many people, will create a diversity of views and some will have experiences that differ from the norm.The truth doesn't come from any any one person, but rather the collective perspectives of the sum, which in this case will include people from within the company and outside, people who have tried to get an interview with the company and been denied, etc.

I do agree that competition is a positive force. I also wholly support bringing in the truly best and the brightest. In fact many opponents of the H-1B system such as Dr. Matloff support bringing in the best and the brightest. The only problem is this isn't happening with the system that we have. The Qualcomm job ads that I posted are clear indications of this as little in the way of job skills are requested or needed.

You also mention that most Qualcomm foreigners have a masters degree from a US university which implies that they are better qualifed and therefore better deserving to land these jobs. But how many had this before they started working for the company? Generally speaking the typical route that most people take when working on a H-1B is to come to the US with a BS degree from a relatively unknown university from their country. AFTER landing a H-1B job they then go on to pursue a masters degree which is needed for later mobility (once they get their Green Card).

Nobody is saying that immigrants don't work hard and aren't deserving of reaping benefits from their hard work. They do work hard because they have so much at stake. The point is that tech companies know this and exploit it, not because they have any altruistic motivations to help immigrants but because they know that immigrants have much more on the line than Americans/Green Card holders. It's exactly this leverage that causes companies to prefer people on H-1Bs and this preference is what is wrong with the system.

Also regarding the UT article. I questioned the veracity of the job openings after reading the article. Some of the same companies mentioned in the article also touted openings during the 2008-2009 downturn, even while they were undergoing significant downsizing. Even if these job openings are real, it's a known fact that it's hard to attract people after a significant downsizing. In fact looking at it from another way, the system that is bringing in so many people on H-1B Visas could be directly harming these smaller companies because 1) the consumer of H-1Bs tend to be larger tech companies and 2) many people that would go into a STEM field that would be hired by these smaller companies are avoiding the field.

You also touch on the lengthy immigration process. I have friends that have been in limbo for many years because of this and I feel for them. My belief however is that this system is functioning exactly the way that corporations and their powerful corporate lobbies would like it to function.

The H-1B system enhances profits. And that's all companies are about. Best, Don Bauder

"But how many had this before they started working for the company? Generally speaking the typical route that most people take when working on a H-1B is to come to the US with a BS degree from a relatively unknown university from their country. AFTER landing a H-1B job they then go on to pursue a masters degree which is needed for later mobility (once they get their Green Card)."

Ridiculous. I know 20 people from India who work at Qualcomm. Every one of them came to the US to pursue a Master's or a PhD degree. Every one of them has at least one publication in a peer-reviewed top quality journal.

I agree that there are vile elements in India who bypass the rigorous steps me and some of my compatriots have taken, however, the stupid generalization you make goes to show how misinformed you are about the reality. I am sorry to destroy your bubble but here's the reality: The US doesn't graduate enough Americans with advanced STEM degrees. It NEEDS Indians and Chinese nationals to keep it's industry standards afloat.

If American's see the need to compete with Asians for high-tech jobs, they must stop whining and really do their Math, figuratively and literally.

It's my understanding that this is all but required in order to have an easier standard to compare candidates. So, unfortunately for US born engineers future and present, other countries have learned the importance of education in skilled labor.

1-Your "understanding" is not fact-it is wild speculation at best. Unless you know this as a FACT it is best not to speculate.

2- Allowing "other countries" to come in and compete with OUR own citizens is a fraud in order to lower wages. You have NOT stated we have a shortage-only your own conclusion that competition is good for the market.

I think you're selling out our country with your claims.

American corporations are selling out their country for the sake of short term profits. They will regret this, but they are too shortsighted to see what is coming. Best, Don Bauder

pellis, sure, if competition is so great for improving the outcomes (and I do believe some competition is surely needed), as you say, then why stop at importing "more and better qualified" foreign engineers to America? Let's also import more and better qualified managers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, carpenters, politicians, artists, etc., from abroad, to replace ALL their American counterparts - for the sake of improving in every aspect. It's wonderful in theory, until you realize that America would soon be turned into the greatest culturally and socially FRAGMENTED nation in history! Seriously, is that the America that you or your children (and grandchildren) would really want to live in?

Actually, the H-!B program just doesn't bring in engineers. It brings in doctors, accountants, management consultants, etc. Best, Don Bauder

Very true. Everyone should look at the list of top corporate consumers of H-1Bs as it is an eye-opener. Companies that you wouldn't think of such as Pharmacy chains Rite-Aid and CVS are large consumers of H-1Bs.

During the meltdown in 2008, Wall Street companies laid people off by the tens of thousands while simultaneously lobbying the government for tens of thousands of H-1B replacement workers. This is a perfect example where it's not about the best and the brightest, but about corporate profits.

Alan Greenspan was one of the most outspoken proponents of the H-1B program because in his perspective it was important to depress the wages of, "the privileged elite". His definition of the privileged elite isn't the overpaid Wall Streeters, but shockingly skilled workers in the U.S.

This interview with Greenspan is just one example (start at 3:40 into the clip): ( .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqx88M.... )

It's interesting to point out that Greenspan was also the architect of the cheap lending that led to the housing bust. Heavily leveraging Americans into homes and then working proactively to reduce their standard of living makes no sense whatsoever and is an example of the failed policies that generated the economic collapse of 2008.

It's interesting to point out that Greenspan was also the architect of the cheap lending that led to the housing bust.

There is no one named Alan Greenspan, but there is a clown who ran the Federal Reserve for many years and ran the country into the toilet-his name is "Mr. Bubble".

We are all reassessing Greenspan, the one-time hero. Best, Don Bauder

My mother worked for the HRD and later the EDD as an administrative law judge. The Visa programs in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s were for real shortages. Sushi chef, language translator, scientist with a specialty.

Not until the Reagan Revolution and the sacking of the Justice and Labor Departments did it morph into an anything-goes, hire HTML programmer and burger flipper program.

H1-B’s applications will also say “programmer” and on arrival take work as a machine operator or delivery boy.

Also, many of the “diplomas” and transcripts are fake. Falsified certified transcripts and realistic looking fake diplomas are easily ordered over the internet in India, China and the Balkins.

One other point to pellis. I checked the Glassdoor.com link that you supplied and there is a huge discrepancy in salaries reported. For example according to glassdoor, software engineers at Qualcomm are making anywhere from $64K to $95K in salary. For senior SW engineers the range is $78K to $109K. The website doesn't specify where people fall with an H-1B, but my bet is that it's on the low end. In fact this might explain why there is such a large range.

Also, as I previously pointed out, Qualcomm cycles in many H-1Bs through third party Indian-based job shop companies like mindlance. H-1B salaries are a matter of public record. So I looked into the average salary that mindlance pays in San Diego and it's a paltry $64K/yr. That's $64K/yr across all engineering categories and experience levels...

That would buttress the point that H-1B holds down salaries of Americans. Best, Don Bauder

I understand that one man's experience doesn't create a truth, but since you asked (in your other post), every single foreign national I know who has a Masters had it before they were hired or they were hired as interns while they were grad students. As I explained before, and as you mentioned, there are many schools in other countries and it is hard enough to get noticed when you are from a middle tier school in the states.

The layout on this page is horrific to the point where I am not going to go find the exact quote or who said it, but my defense of the educational path of foreign nationals was a response to someone claiming (paraphrasing here) that their educational paths were "easier" or somehow less relevant than US workers' paths. Please don't assume my beliefs beyond that as my opinions on the relevance of education in the workplace could merit an entirely separate discussion.

I'm sorry I don't have time to directly respond to every single counterpoint you made (have to work my bones off to compete with those foreign "indentured slaves" and all ;) ), but I want to address two things quickly.

Salaries for positions vary greatly and that has nothing to do with who is being hired. I only have my experiences to comment on, but depending on how people report their salary, bonus, stock options and other compensation to glassdoor.com, a range of 60k-100k for a base engineer is not out of the question. If you would like to have a conversation offline about my experiences with Qualcomm's compensation, I'd be happy to have that discussion with you privately.

I am aware that Qualcomm uses third party contracting companies. This business arrangement is complicated and I admittedly don't know a lot about it. Perhaps the salaries you are looking at are what the contracting companies are paying the contractors and not what Qualcomm is paying the contracting companies? Perhaps the H1B is having a larger impact on contract employees compared to full-time employees? I can't give you any counter perspective on this beyond that I don't personally see Qualcomm actively attempting to replace full-timers with contractors, so if there is something happening in this space, I believe it to be isolated to that domain.

Let me clarify that my points are directed at the H-1B system and not foreign nationals. Once a person gets a Green Card, I don't think that they are treated any better or worse (educationally or otherwise) than any other American, and unfortunately they have to contend with the same wage pressures that American born engineers must contend with.

I do think however, that there is a natural tendency to hire like-minded people with similar backgrounds, culture and most importantly, a set circle of friends and previous co-workers. In companies such as Qualcomm's, whose staff comes predominantly from H-1Bs and foreigners (according to Jacobs), this means a natural preference to hire out of this same group and I do believe that this goes on at Qualcomm. I would like to think that this isn't a deliberate bias, but it is a bias nonetheless and an example where the system is broken.

I do believe that the H-1Bs that are directly imported here have an easier time as far as education, at least initially. In fact H-1B stats show that most have only a bachelor's degree. Companies knowingly look to hire less expensive workers that are younger and also less educated to fit these less demanding roles. The Qualcomm/mindlance job ads that I posted are perfect examples of this. If they latter better themselves by getting a masters degree from a US University, it doesn't change the fact that the initial hurdle was easier.

The question of educational level of candidates is an interesting issue that bears further discussion. It's a known fact that in recent years tech companies have tightened their hiring requirements. In many ways, having a masters degree is the new bachelors degree. This is a clear indication of a labor surplus and not a shortage.

If you take a step back and look at what is happening, it's really a game of musical chairs. More and more jobs are being outsourced (chairs going away), while more people are searching for a smaller number of chairs. If everyone has a masters degree from a ranked University, how do they continue to stand out? Where does it stop? Corporations don't really care about this, but the harm to our society can't be denied.

Incidentally I find it ironic that these same forces that have caused musical chairs/romper room in the US, have actually caused the opposite situation to happen in India. There are so many job openings in India, that in some cases people are hired without even interviewing. They are told to just show up with "some" degree from "some" University. This is a true story that was told to me by one of the "brain drain" people that Paul Jacobs was worried about. He was a former Qualcomm engineer who left the company, moved back to India and is managing a large engineering group in Bangalore.In many ways the opportunities that existed for people to better themselves in this country has shifted and are going overseas.

That is because IBM, Intel, Motorola, Microshaft, Qualcomm and other companies are building large campuses in India and sending back some of their U.S. workers to run them.

Yes, the insourcing will come to a trickle when ALL of their hiring in at the mainland of India and China instead of the U.S. Like the manufacturing jobs, the high tech companies will keep a “U.S. presence” in the form of administrative and small R&D offices. The bulk of their staff (in the future) will be hired in India and China to work at their offices in India and China.

Just like the factory outsourcing of blue collar jobs migrated, this is just the tip of the iceberg for white collar jobs in engineering

"Does it make more sense that Qualcomm hires the largest percentage of foreign nationals from a few countries due to the extremely long naturalization time,"

What makes you think that Qualcomm intends to sponsor the foreign nationals for green cards? Qualcomm like most technology companies (Microsoft, for example, only sponsors a tiny percentage of the H-1Bs who work for them) want to exploit the foreign nationals while they on the H-1Bs and then discard them mercilessly when their visas expire. Most of these people do not leave the U.S and instead become illegals afterward. Indian has become the fastest-growing group of illegals in the U.S.

Those from India may be the fastest-growing group of illegals (I don't know) but they are still small by comparison with other groups. Best, Don Bauder

Mr. Bauder,

It seems like you like to write on topics which ignites people wrong way without knowing any facts and make comments which is totally irresponsible!!!

At least do you homework before you make controversial statements!!

What Don posted has been widely reported. If you do a simple google search you'll see articles such as this one:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/travel/visa-power/indians-fastest-growing-illegal-immigrant-group-in-us/articleshow/4880276.cms

This is the third time that you've accused people that they don't have the facts only to be shown that you're wrong. This doesn't put Qualcomm hiring managers in a good light...

Sd_engineer

But don said him self he doesn't know that means he was not aware of any article.

That was the reason of my outrage!!!

I think that you are either illogical or thrown of by the nuances of the English language.

Don essentially said that, he didn't know if Indian's are the largest growing illegal immigration group in the US and that IF they are, then they are still "small by comparison to other groups".

The article that I posted confirmed the initial conjecture (which wasn't Don's) and also Don's conjecture that they are small by comparison to the other groups.

The fact that you are a Qualcomm hiring manager who failed to understand this and instead attacked him by writing the comments below, just goes to reinforce the problems facing Americans who work inside that sort of company culture.

"It seems like you like to write on topics which ignites people wrong way without knowing any facts and make comments which is totally irresponsible!!!

At least do you homework before you make controversial statements!!"

"What makes you think that Qualcomm intends to sponsor the foreign nationals for green cards? Qualcomm like most technology companies (Microsoft, for example, only sponsors a tiny percentage of the H-1Bs who work for them) want to exploit the foreign nationals while they on the H-1Bs and then discard them mercilessly when their visas expire. Most of these people do not leave the U.S and instead become illegals afterward. Indian has become the fastest-growing group of illegals in the U.S."

Show the proof!!! Don't talk nonsense!!

Why do you think that a busy guy like Paul Jacobs (according to his own statements in the article interview) would go to the trouble of lobbying the Department of Homeland Security to increase training Visa durations to 2.5 years? It's certainly not because he is in a rush to sponsor immigrants for a Green Card.

Me thinks that the veil of truth is slowly being peeled back....

"Epiphany - a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."

"Competition is a bitch, but it's an undeniable positive force in technology. As long as entry into employment is based upon a fair comparison of previous accomplishments, I think competition for jobs should be allowed."

Let me see. How do you define fair comparison of previous accomplishments? This sounds too theoretical to me. In real life, a married with 2 kids 40-year-old American engineer cannot compete with a 27-year-old unmarried Indian H-1B who is willing to work for half of his salary, willing to share an apartment with 10 other guys, willing to work like a slave (Yes I know -- the "indentured servitude" is not a figment of my imagination as you have accused -- I have worked with the H-1Bs that are forced to work 18-hour day until 3AM everyday + weekend without overpay so I know what I am talking about). If this is not indentured servitude, what is it?

Everyone has different work experiences. I don't blame H1B's for the long days I put in, I blame the competitive industry. I won't blame the H1B's when I am older and inevitably ageism takes its toll on my ability to find work, I'll blame the industry. Perhaps I'm a product of a different era where I don't expect corporations to look out for anything other than the bottom line and my expectations are set accordingly.

A side note on long hours. Since you're the Silicon Valley Engineer, I'm surprised you haven't run across a startup, mid or large sized corporation that doesn't have a large pool of H1B employees where they still work their engineers to the bones. It happens every day in a lot of companies and even different professions where H1Bs are not even significant. I, unlike some people here it seems, accept that some industries are inherently demanding. If you're American born, and you want a safe haven from the pressure and grind of the industry you are in, I suggest working in defense.

Re: "I don't expect corporations to look out for anything other than the bottom line and my expectations are set accordingly."

A quick run through the #'s suggests that you are probably around 30 years old. Fast forward your life 10 years when you are married (if not already), with children to put through college. Then consider that in only the next few years another .5M IT jobs are slated for outsourcing. Then consider that several million new college grads will be entering the workforce even while another million or so people on new H1Bs will be competing for these smaller number of jobs. Then again, the corporate lobby that you seem disinterested in will probably have the H1B cap removed, so these numbers will be on the low side.

Now consider that in order for your kids to get ahead they will need a masters degree that will cost well over $300K. But you'll have to do that while funding your own retirement, because there is no reason for corporations to continue to extend generous retirement benefits. Not only that but the late 60s retirement age for you falls decades after you'll be able to stay gainfully employed as an engineer.

In 10+ years, you will probably look back at your job at Qualcomm as "the good old days" when you made decent money and only had to work 60-70 hrs a week. It might be the case though that as Qualcomm's patent portfolio runs out, that due to cost cutting, you'll be spun off or cast aside as they did the people in their two largest divisions 10 years ago. Who knows, perhaps you will be laid off and replaced by an H-1B as have many engineers at other companies. Your job might even be outsourced at which point you might have to suffer the indignity of being forced to train your H1B replacement in order to collect an extra months severance (this was the case with my neighbor a few years ago). If you try changing careers, you'll probably find that the road in these other fields are just as rocky. The best and the brightest Americans that fled or avoided the STEM field have taken the plum jobs in health care, finance and other areas and you're finding that the H-1B avalanche has extended to these other fields as well.

Grim, eh? But you don't really need to look 10 years in the future to really question what is going on. Consider this - In the wired interview, Paul Jacobs said that 60% of his workforce is foreigners and he still wanted to double the amount of H1Bs that he wanted to hire. If he had his way previously, do you really think you would have been one of the few hired out of UCSD and do you think you would be a Qualcomm employee now?

It's a shame that you don't seem to see what's going on and unfortunately this apathy is exactly what's wrong with this country and why things are going to get worse before they get better...

Thanks Puppy! It's easy to make a strong case when the system is so obviously screwed up.

Jacobs has a PhD. But he doesn't have the same problems. It helps to have had your daddy co-found the company. Best, Don Bauder

You make a good point. Best, Don Bauder

I see you have gone to the dark side.

The H-1B program was NEVER INTENDED to be a “green card” (back door, jump to the front of the line) immigration program. It was to relieve a temporary labor shortage and the visa was supposed to expire and the borrowed worker was to return to his or her nation.

The 60% figure seems to be made up. US citizens earned 82% of CS degrees, 79.5% of engineering degrees, and 85.9% of all STEM degrees in the USA according to the 2008 figures from the US Dept of Education's NCES (where STEM includes biology, communications technology, computer and information sciences, engineering, engineering technology, physical sciences, mathematics and statistics).

But counts and percentages of degrees earned don't tell the whole story. NSF reported some time ago, that 44% of professional computer wranglers in the USA did not have degrees with majors in computing, and about 22% of engineers did not have degrees with majors in engineering, and that would seem to include those with minors in those fields, those with degrees in completely different fields (some of the best software developers have backgrounds in music, classical languages, psychology, etc.), people who have no degrees but may have some university education (from 1 to 130 credit hours which may or may not fit into the rigid combinations of degree requirements), and autodidacts -- those who bought the books and the tools and learned on their own.

Still, the academics who study STEM job markets have been reporting that we've been turningout about 3 times as many US citizens with STEM degrees as we've been employing in STEM jobs.

How many US citizen non-founder autodidact STEM workers have Jacobs and other tech execs been hiring over the last 20 years?

And why focus on new young college grads instead of looking at the huge pool of bright, industrious, experienced US STEM workers who are unemployed and underemployed?

There also seems to be a large talent pool of skilled US workers who are being displaced by cheap, pliant foreign labor

. http://www.kermitrose.com/econ10PersonalToll.html .

There are software architects and engineers who, before H-1B was hatched, could get 10 interviews and 9 offers within a couple months, complete with full relocation and new-hire training packages. There weren't any "phone screening" trivial pursuit tests. When they called it was to ask your flight preferences.

After H-1B, US candidaes are lucky to get one pre-screen call-back from a "recruiter" per year. Executives don't want to fly US candidates in for interviews, or relocate, or invest in either new-hire or retained employee training, but do invest a great deal of effort in trumping up pretexts on which to reject all US applicants.

Before H-1B (and resume parser systems), the requirements lists were fairly short, did not include specific versions or brand names of tools but mentioned kinds of tools, and described one job. Sometimes, they would mention familiarity with a particular area of application. They focused on capabilities, and assumed you'd be part of a work-team including multiple specialists (mathematicians, statisticians, data-base analysts, mechanical engineers, medical doctors, software engineers) who must be able to communicate and work together. Now the requirements are long, insist on particular brand names and versions down to the third level, and listed in combinations appropriate for 3 or 4 different employees (e.g. software product developer, data-base admin, sys admin, pre-sales support). They focus on buzz-words, not abilities and knowledge.

The irony of the hyper-credentialism and over-specificity of requirements is that most of the "skills" are things that any savvy US pro could pick up in between a couple hours and a couple weeks from scratch, but many tend to have experience with very similar tools which would greatly shorten their learning curves.

There's a lot less emphasis on nuts and bolts science and engineering, and more on bidness, accounting, massive data-bases, privacy violation schemes...

Judging from the jobs advertised, there's much more bodyshopping (contingent, contract, consulting, temp, services, bidness process services) and far less real employment (long-term employment designing, developing and improving great software products).

American engineers have to get organized and get politicians (not just Durbin) to demand justice. Best, Don Bauder

I'll tell you what. It's clear that there is a real shortage of qualified and affordable managers in America, including Qualcomm, seeing how Wall Street banks and Main Street manufacturers performed, over the last ten years at least. So, while we are at it, let's also use the H-1B visa program to replace all these totally overrated, overpaid, and greedy CEO's or managers, with their cheaper counterparts from China, India, Japan, or elsewhere. They are no more indispensible or irreplaceable than the domestic American engineers, especially when management skills have become similar across nations in the globalized economy. You think then the management of American tech companies such as Qualcomm would push for more H-1B visa workers, if they too could (and should) be replaced by foreign managers? Of course not!

Excellent post FedUp, they love this H-1B Visa garbage as long as they are not the ones taking it in the shorts.

Good idea. Replace the worthless Wall Streeters with cheap foreign labor. Best, Don Bauder

That’s already happening. I was at Toyota headquarters in Torrance last year and 15% of the employees were Japanese and Chinese nationals on visas. It’s not just engineers anymore, they come over for any job on visas. Heard about our nurse shortage? At many hospitals you'll find (contract) Filipinos on H-1B visas. It’s like the Wild West anymore, the DOL laws are just not enforced.

I was just reading about the number of aliens who are illegally entering the US. They are "OTMs". That is "other than Mexicans". Specifically, the increase in the number of illegals coming in from Middle-Eastern or South Asia countries is causing concern. The article I read was talking about aliens arriving without a visa. What most people don't know is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of aliens in California who have entered with a legally - but entirely fraudulently - obtained visa. In effect the jobs don't exist. The aliens work in government, medicine, science, transportation - across the spectrum of industries in California but at skill levels other than what their visa petitions state. How did this happen? There is basically no review of the H-1B businesses, or the occupations in which the aliens are to work. I worked with the alien labor certification program for 30 years, and I know this to be true. It would not be a surprise to me if the next incident of jihad activity in California was caused by an H-1B alien. But you know what, that detail is likely to be one that is covered over in the interest of political correctness.

Actually the Pakistani national who tried to blow up a car in Times Square that was packed with explosives came to the US and worked on a H-1B Visa. Not to portray the vast majority of hard working immigrants who work in this country on a H-1B as terrorists, but you have a good point that the H-1B Visa program can be easily exploited by "bad guys" (of the non CEO variety).

I was not aware of that. Best, Don Bauder

Your assertion deserves more research. Best, Don Bauder

Unfortunately it's a little reported fact that there are "grey market" companies that provide many illegal services to those on Visas.

I know this first hand as one of my Indian friends (Green Card holder) told me about someone that he knew that paid a bunch of money to one of these companies so that she could come to this country and land a marketing job that paid $70k/yr. She had no experience in this field and this company gave her a doctored resume and coached her on what to say to interview questions. When he told me this story he said, "America is such a great country!". I suppose to some it is impressive that in the US someone could come in and in 6 months land a $70k/yr job with no experience, but it does show how broken the system is and unless corrected will harm us all.

In another instance, an unstable engineer that I worked with who was on an H-1B was terminated after threatening the life of the CEO. A police report was filed and we had armed guards stationed in the building for months after-wards. According to H-1B policy he was supposed to have left the country, but he paid money to another company so that it looked like he was employed. After about 9 months of looking he landed a job in the Bay Area working for Broadcom.

Some of these shenanigans are starting to become public though. The "Sham U" in Pleasanton is a case in point.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_re_us/us_university_immigration_fraud

That is a frightening tale. But you could have the same scenario with an American engineer who is off the beam. Best, Don Bauder

To be sure, mental illness crosses all groups. My point though was to show how people are able to utilize the services of these grey market companies to falsify employment records (among other things). I'm on the outside looking in, but even still I've seen several instances first-hand, I imagine that it runs much deeper than we know which would buttress the comments by Laurette.

It's also worthwhile to point out that the H1B Visa is curiously devoid of tracking information so that nobody knows how many people are in this country at any one time on a H1B. There is reason to believe that this tracking information was purposefully removed by the corporate lobby in order to hide the large numbers that are working in the US on this Visa, numbers which if made public would destroy their claims of a labor shortage. This is a huge security loophole which goes back to the point that Laurette was making that the H1B Visa can be easily exploited by bad guys.

It's also worthwhile to point out that the H1B Visa is curiously devoid of tracking information so that nobody knows how many people are in this country at any one time on a H1B. There is reason to believe that this tracking information was purposefully removed by the corporate lobby in order to hide the large numbers that are working in the US on this Visa

40% of ALL proposed legislation, and 60% of all PASSED legislation is written by special interest groups, not the Congress.

Of course they hid the total numbers.

In another instance, an unstable engineer that I worked with who was on an H-1B was terminated after threatening the life of the CEO. A police report was filed and we had armed guards stationed in the building for months after-wards.

I think it is pretty funny, and conduct that can be expected when dealing with dirtbag CEO's when some of the H-1B visa fraud comes to light, a little street corner justice so to speak.

But if there was a legit threat then the H-1B visa clown would have been deported for making terrorist threats, not to mention personal protection orders levied against him.

The threat was direct. Not sure why he wasn't deported. I have read that there is a lot of street corner justice in India. Here is an example just recently: http://news.wooeb.com/NewsStory.aspx?ID=698788

My mother also worked in alien certification in her career with the State of California working in the Human Resources Development and later (name change by Gov. Ronald Reagan) the EDD. We have talked about this subject many times. Your comments mirror what she described.

I would like to know the exact work title of Pellis. If he (or she) is a line engineer, a working design engineer, that was hired by Qualcomm in an engineering interview, then he has credibility. But if he is a 'manager', or a person working in HR, or anyplace else besides design engineering, his word is questionable.

Anecdote time here. I worked for a small, woman owned, aerospace contracting firm, in San Diego, for 11 years. I was hired by them right out of SDSU, with my BS in electrical engineering, from a campus interview. By the mid 1990's it was obvious the business was shrinking. I was let go in 1995, along with both of my supervisors. All three of us let go on the same day. Ahh, but there's the catch. They were 'engineering managers', not just 'engineers'. They both got jobs with Qualcomm. I couldn't even get an interview. One of them even told me he didn't have to know anything about the technology he was being hired to manage. Seriously.

I meandered around San Diego, getting part time jobs, going for interviews. My BSEE degree might have gotten me in a few doors, but without specific experience designing the specific items the companies interviewed me for, I was sunk. I finally got a job up north working my physical butt off as a field engineer, sort of a glorified technician. But that turned out to be a good thing. I now have 12 years in the electrical power service industry, and I love it. I moved back to San Diego 2 years ago. I work for a large, international company. But I work out of my house. I do not need to work for a San Diego company to live here, now.

I've read so much about the H-1B over the years. I know it's a corporate scam. If Qualcomm worked with our local engineering schools (SDSU, UCSD, USD) providing internships for engineering students, they could get just as many quality engineers as their Indian agencies. But why bother. Probably not cost effective.

A final anecdote; when I was having a hard time finding a job in San Diego, I wrote my then US Representative, complaining about all the H-1B visas, outlining my citizenship, my tour of duty in the US Army, my self-financed degree from SDSU (with the $342 a month help from the GI Bill), and part-time student work at NAS North Island. His office wrote back and literally said the Congressman was 'not interested' in the subject of my letter.

Guess who that Congressman was. Right, good ol' Duke Cunningham. I still break into a big grin whenever I think of him rotting in prison.

Kepp up the Good writing Don. I love your stuff.

Yours is an intriguing and tragic story. I hope things have gone better since the experience in the 1990s. Best, Don Bauder

My official title is "Senior Engineer." I graduated from UCSD in '04 and was hired at Qualcomm at the level "Engineer" in '05 after having worked for a small startup that was not paying me wages commiserate with my degree. I do not manage people and I do not have much interest in managing until my career demands it.

I assure you that there is a good sized group of people who work at Qualcomm from UCSD. I bet if someone were to look through the statistics of which universities Qualcomm hires from most commonly, you'd see a range of schools from a lot of the top universities in the CS/CE/EE field.

I am very skeptical that pellis is "a US born citizen working for Qualcomm." On the Internet, you can claim anything you want. Men can claim to be women. There are quite a few 40-plus male FBI agents preventing to be 15-year-old girls on Craigslist. By the way, have you seen the NBC's show "The Mole?" He could be one of them.

First of all, his postings seem "doctored" to me. Nobody says "Disclosure: I am a US born citizen working for Qualcomm." If you read detective stories or work in law enforcement, this is a big NO. Unless you are guilty of something, you don't try to say that you are not guilty before you even say a word. That is the mark of a guilty person.

I am sure there are plenty of U.S. born citizens working for Qualcomm. Nobody is claiming that the company only hires H-1Bs. Best, Don Bauder

Unless you are guilty of something, you don't try to say that you are not guilty before you even say a word.

Please. You are making wild, speculative, unsupported claims that have no basis in fact or reality. Do you have any data to back up your claim?? No, you don't. In the legal system you ALWAYS disclose ANYTHING that may be viewed as a conflict, that does not mean you're bogus. I took issue with some of pellis comments too, but I looked at the merits of the claim, not some non-material disclosure comment. So what if he said he was a US citizen, big deal. What does thta have to do with the porice of eggs?

I put the statement at the beginning of my post primarily to inform any potential readers of the inherent bias in my post. The last thing I want to do is shill.

I'd be happy to prove my citizenship to anyone interested in verifying it as long as it's not too large a burden.

That is encouraging, if true. Best, Don Bauder

Spoken like a champion dog! Best, Don Bauder

"2 yrs. Experience in Multimedia testing – 1+ yrs. Experience in Feature testing".

Really??? That's a gut buster. It is so very kind and generous of guilt tripping corporate America to provide work improving the social status and fortunes of those from the lower castes in India.

The ads make it look that way. Best, Don Bauder

When I taught in one of a local university's science departments in the 1980s, there were an obvious admission bias toward foreign students, particularly in the graduate programs. Well, it wasn't entirely clear how much was a genuine bias though as a lot of American students were drawn to studying law (thanks a lot LA Law) and finance as trendy majors.

Out in the private sector (government contractor), there was a gradual insurgence of H-1Bs in the wake of Reagan's SDI contract frenzy. They were even rolling the dice trying to get security clearances for some of the hired foreigners. Good old boys were being pushed to the side or up through the management chain (when retention was considered favorable) to make way for the cheap and dedicated H-1Bs.

People have to realize that the foreign students come often at their governments' expenses (paying much higher tuition and fees that the colleges adore) and are dedicated to what appears fanatical to American students who, in turn, look lazy with poor priorities (often actually an accurate assessment). The foreign students don't have failure as an option.

Likewise, I do suspect that some of the H-1Bs in the workforce operate in a similar mode, perhaps with similar motivations sometimes. They do work like indentured servants with a high tolerance for massive uncompensated overtime. There are also odd dynamics when you have one on a team as opposed to a majority of H-1Bs on a project, particularly form the same nation.

We do definitely need more engineers and scientists in this country than we have today. That doesn't mean we do not have any that are quite qualified and good workers who are unemployed. I know a good number who are unemployable or underemployed simply because of their ages and levels of experience. If you are an American scientist or engineer over 40 with a PhD, it is a VERY rough market right now.

And SHOULD it be a tough market for an American over 40 with a PhD? Best, Don Bauder

Not if the American employers didn't get away with illegal, non-job-related, age (or other) discrimination when hiring or firing, too often, and the federal government enforced their own lofty EEO laws. But, alas, we already know that America would've been in a much better shape in every way, if it cocnsistently enforced even half of its regulations properly, don't we? And let's not forget that some of the best scientific inventions or discoveries were made by people over 40 in age - some even well over 40, in fact - which the current employers conveniently forget. Nor do I buy the nonsense that older workers, especially engineers, are intellectually incapable of grasping or adapting to the rapid pace of modern technology. I can cite Alexander Graham Bell as just one famous example that refutes this nonsense.

Age discrimination is a problem, and not just in engineering. Best, Don Bauder

I know a good number who are unemployable or underemployed simply because of their ages and levels of experience. If you are an American scientist or engineer over 40 with a PhD, it is a VERY rough market right now.

"...because of their ages..."

LOL...you cannot be for real. That is a ridiculous comment.

Four to five years ago, or maybe a bit longer than that, both "Vannity" and Limbaugh picked up the notion that the US needed to increase its own output of engineers by a factor of four or five. The stated reason was that we needed to "regain our competitive edge." I suppose that we might gain something with such a major change in our educational system, but it would come from a handful out of legions of unemployed or underemployed engineers, in desperation inventing something, anything, they could sell.

The bitter truth is that at that time, US industry was not employing its own recent engineering grads. My own son, a ME from the "prestigious" UCSD program was struggling to find and keep a decent job doing design engineering work. My reaction to the talk radio nostrum was, "If we cannot employ the current crop of engineers, why in the world do we need a four- or five-fold increase?" Answer: with these abuses of hiring foreigners, we do not need any more such people. We have too many, not too few, now. Until there is a sea change in regard to overseas outsourcing, our best and brightest will suffer from unemployment/underemployment, regardless of how capable, clever, and personable they may be.

One problem is that neither Hannity nor Limbaugh is very intelligent. It's a sorry reflection on our society that people listen to either of them. Best, Don Bauder

Until there is a sea change in regard to overseas outsourcing, our best and brightest will suffer from unemployment/underemployment, regardless of how capable, clever, and personable they may be.

After reading ALL the posts here basically confirming what many of us have known for a decade or more, I am positive the public is onto the H-1B scam, as well as the problems of taking our middle class, backone of America, manufacturing jobs overseas for the benefits of a few-but harming the many.

Trouble is, there are so many scams in so many fields. Best, Don Bauder

Furthermore, our "Hope and Change" President Obama is adding an insult to the injury with his innovation and education mantras, I believe. He's being either utterly naive or, worse, downright misleading, by claiming that more technological innovations and more STEM graduates will put millions of Americans into work and recover American economy towards growth and prosperity. Well, hell, I'm all for technological innovations to keep America ahead, but, in reality, if the mass productions based on innovations are done overseas, like in China or India, for example, or done domestically by more H-1B visa workers from abroad, then it won't do a thing to help put millions of currently unemployed Americans back to work directly or indirectly. It will only further continue to enrich the corporate managements that have been gaining their disproportionately large benefits by already abusing the job offshoring or inshoring. In short, Innovated in America, But Made in China (or India or wherever outside the U.S.) will NOT create millions of decent-paying jobs for Americans, as Obama preaches wrongly or falsely!

In short, Innovated in America, But Made in China (or India or wherever outside the U.S.) will NOT create millions of decent-paying jobs for Americans, as Obama preaches wrongly or falsely!

Ive been preaching that fact for over a decade now......good post.

This is where the concept of free trade breaks down. Best,, Don Bauder

I think a lot of people have been disappointed by Obama. But consider the alternatives...

The Dems would like us to believe that they are the party of middle America while the GOP is the party of Wall Street, but I think that it's more a case that one is wholly owned by Wall Street while the other can be bought for a price.

When I heard Obama say, "America must compete!" in the last State of The Union Message. The first thing that I thought was, how much money did the uber-rich lobby pay him to say that?". The fact that he didn't go on to say that we must remove the H1B cap, tells me that he didn't completely sell out. Wall Street wanted a sound bite and they got it though.

FedUp, you rightly point out that this "hope and change" Prez is providing little hope for positive change or prosperity. I talk to many people who voted for him out of a disgust with "Dubya" and eight years of his inconsistent governance, and now wish they never heard of Obama. Neither party has figured out what the country needs now and neither is willing to take the necessary steps. The much-maligned Tea Party folks are closer to the mark than any other organized (if you can call them that) group.

FedUp, you rightly point out that this "hope and change" Prez is providing little hope for positive change or prosperity

I voted for Obama, and had very high hopes. Same with Arnold.

Both MAJOR let downs, will not vote for Obama again, and if this depression continues he is toast.

Yup, I'm with you all the way, SurfPuppy! Obama is turning out to be one, big, cruel joke of FALSE hope and FALSE change, after eight, nightmarish years of Bush that finally culminated with the Great Recession - except this ain't no joke but a harsh and painful REALITY.

Both parties are owned by Wall Street and corporations. Best, Don Bauder

It seems like sour grapes effort persons who envy Qualcomm.

I am a hiring manager in Qualcomm and US citizen too ( became via naturalization).

Here are few facts.

  • Most of Qualcomm Engineers have masters degree when they join Qualcomm. I read someone arguing otherwise. Give me your facts if you think otherwise.

*Qualcomm has competitive method of hiring. We interview thousands of candidate for different positions every week all across Qualcomm for different positions and without keeping in mind their legal status. Only things kept in mind is position skill requirement.

*Qualcomm pays very competitive salaries to all the engineers. Some one argued Apple applies for less H1B please go and check the stats for last year and look for this year. Another thing apple does is get the employees from established firm like qualcomm because they are not research but consumer facing company and for them time to market is important and that means experience candidate rather than someone fresh out of school with potential.

  • Still go and check apples engineering team and if you find more than 60% asian ethnic background don't be surprised ok!!!

  • With all above facts , there are some loopholes in H1-B system which is exploited by many consultancy companies in usa and outside usa to place people and pay them less. But in the end big firms which hires consultants pay them top dollars but they get security that they can say that consultant "not required" whenever they want and don't have to give other benifits given to regular employee.

I respect all of you but most of you needs to get your facts straighten out!!!

Wow, man, if you really are a naturalized U.S. citizen who landed a job as a hiring manager at Qualcomm, with so many grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors displayed in your post, then I rest my case! (And the hiring managers tell all job applicants to be extra careful with their spelling and grammar on resumes, cover letters, applications, interviews, and follow-up letters.) But, as I am not familiar with the inside scoop of Qualcomm, I'll let those who are more familiar with Qualcomm to either support or refute your assertion in defense of that company's practice of hiring engineers.

I don't get paid for my Essay writing skills!!! I get paid for my skills as algorithm developer and my teams ability to drive innovation in Wireless algorithm development.

But i guess that you won't understand!!!

Oh, my bad, I guess writing skill isn't important to get a job at Qualcomm, including the one of your position, then? Gee, I always see, "excellent oral and written communication", as one of the key requirements for ANY job these days, though... Again, I rest may case.

If you're a manager then you should also be getting paid for your communication skills. In fact, communication is one of the most important skills in management because it's important that key points are phrased in just the right way so that concepts, road-maps, issues, etc. aren't misinterpreted.

A CEO once told me that, "managers are one sentence away from the end of their career" and this was some of the best, even if chilling, advice that I've ever received....

QcomGeek I think your telling some mighty big whoppers, especially in comparison to the views of so many others here.

"It seems like sour grapes effort persons who envy Qualcomm."

"Sour grapes"? Of course! Every STEM worker, whether American citizen or Green Card holder should be outraged that while millions of engineering/IT jobs have been outsourced, that there has simultaneously been a flood of skilled immigration designed to depress wages. As bad as it is now, it's only going to get worse because of the Wall Street/GOP push to remove the H-1B quota completely and institute a, "demand based Visa" system. But "Envy of Qualcomm?", umn sorry but no.

"Most of Qualcomm Engineers have masters degree when they join Qualcomm. I read someone arguing otherwise. Give me your facts if you think otherwise".

That was me, unfortunately it seems as though you completely missed my point that I was referring to H-1Bs that are being actively recruited and brought to San Diego.

"Some one argued Apple applies for less H1B please go and check the stats for last year and look for this year.".

Done. Apple is a much larger company than Qcom with a market cap of $324B vs Qualcomm's $88B and it employs about 3x as many people (46,600 vs 12,500), this according to Yahoo finance. You would think that all other things being equal that they would also be a larger consumer of H-1Bs. So far in 2011 Qcom has petitioned for 472 H-1Bs (ranked 8th), vs Apples 175 (ranked 45th). From 2000-20010 Qcom ranks 17th with 6224 vs Apple at rank 123 with 1930. This is all public information posted on myvisajobs.com It's interesting that 2010 Visa numbers do not seem to be available on myvisajobs.com, but the numbers for every other year are available and in all of those years that I checked, Qualcomm ranked heads and shoulders above Apple with respect to Visa petitions.

If in fact 2010 was the only year that Apple surpassed Qualcomm in Visa petitions then this would appear to show a deliberate attempt on your part to cloud the facts.

Incidentally, I don't condone Apple's hiring of the 1,930 H-1Bs that they have over the past 10 years, but it's a lot easier to tolerate 1,930 H-1B petitions relative to a total staff of 46,600 (Apple) than it is the shocking 6,220 H-1B petitions relative to a total staff of only 12,500 (Qualcomm). These numbers are outrageous and why everyone who works in a STEM field, including Green Card holders and newly minted H-1Bs should be worried about their future.

"Another thing apple does is get the employees from established firm like qualcomm because they are not research but consumer facing company and for them time to market is important and that means experience candidate rather than someone fresh out of school with potential."

Would you really have us believe this?

"I respect all of you but most of you needs to get your facts straighten out!!!"

I respect you too, but I think that you should take your own advice to heart...

So do you have any sources/references for your data?

I would suggest that you provide some sources for your data before you go on a rant challenging others to disprove your data.

I wish Qualcomm would have given me such answers when I requested them. Best,, Don Bauder

This is but one of a hundred symptoms of the overall disease. Through the tight integration of corporation in government, at all levels, there has been an institutionalization of an underchallenged claim. The claim is that the fiduciary mandate for public companies to operate solely in the best interests of shareholders' value is the ultimate virtue of feee enterprise AND that this perversion of the free market is consistent with the founding principles of this nation. I think the problem in dscrediting it is that there is little overall coordination on the central problem. The efforts are myopically focused as if we are still busting the trusts of the late 19th century and exposing single threads of politcal corruption. You cannot slay the beast by cutting its toenails.

The other problem is that the second you raise an objection to any aspect of this juggernaut's practices and principles, you are labeled a Socialist or a Communist by the Fox loonies or even more interesting the actually virtuous labels of Progressive or Liberal.

I started in financial journalism in 1964. I can tell you that at that time, corporations were NOT run only for the benefit of Wall Street and the stock market. Back then, corporations considered their communities, employees, and vendors as important constituencies. Accounting was relatively clean. This mentality was erased in the 1980s. Best, Don Bauder

As an H-1B, I completely agree that indentured servitude is a huge dynamic (or should I say 'static' given the inherent inertia?) of the H-1B program. That said, H-1Bs are hired by firms ranging from the best employers to the worst. The latter is dominated by what are called 'IT bodyshops'. As an Indian, it's quite shameful to admit, but a statistically significant number of these sweatshops are run by Indians (who may have greencards or naturalized as Americans but are absolutely Indian as concerns their identities) who employ Indians (less fortunate H-1B/OPT types). It is this group that America should completely weed out and nuke.

I had the pleasure of going to some pretty darn good engineering schools, and I can tell you that Qualcomm hires H-1Bs with grad degrees from the higher ranked schools. All my H-1B friends there have been making 6 digits for a while now. Qualcomm is also quite nice with the greencard process (any employer that's "nice" about the greencard process is one that does not use the system to retain you for as long as possible by running your case through the slowest meat grinder).

In contrast, I worked for another company that was a pretty good place to be, but was not "nice" about the greencard process. They ran my case through the slowest channel (notwithstanding a couple of graduate degrees that would have allowed me to get my greencard in 2-3 years). After 7 years of having my progress stunted by the fact that promoting me would put me in a position not matching the one in my greencard application from 2003, I just gave up and resigned.

I now work at arguably the most innovative company in the US (I am in my early 30s and make 175+ here and was making 125+ at my old employer). I still am on an H-1B some 8 years after I started working following grad school. I don't think I was underpaid before and I don't think I am underpaid now. Due to the way the greencard process is structured, I may need to go and join at the back of line. Then again, with some luck, my profile may qualify me for a different category which would get me a greencard in a few months. My new employer is being very helpful to ensure the best outcome for me.

If after all this, I am forced to leave the US since my greencard runs ashore due a very broken legal immigration system, I think I will be fine. I love the US more for the intellectual stimulation I enjoyed and the friends I made here than anything else. But a broken immigration system makes some fairly valuable people jump through hoops even as others (IT bodyshops, who else) run roughshod over the rules and get away with near murder. I'll just look for nice opportunities in India or a few other places that will likely have me (Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, all of Europe) depending on where I can effectively pursue my passion.

My bottomline: The US is a phenomenal country with a not-so-phenomenal immigration system.

I now work at arguably the most innovative company in the US (I am in my early 30s and make 175+ here

That is a LOT of dough, I might have to see a W-2 to believe it though.

Indian_H1B, thanks for chiming in and confirming the shameful indentured servitude issue. I'm also sad to say that I've seen the Indian exploiting Indian dynamic that you've described. This is something that I wasn't able to understand then or now. I suppose it's probably no different from the cannibalistic policies that US companies are following that have harmed everyone while enriching the top 2%.

I'm also sorry to hear that you've personally been treated poorly by the system. 8 years on a H1B is ridiculous and a good example where the system is broken. As I've stated before I think that we should welcome the true best and the brightest and for these people it's demeaning to require them to jump through hoops and paperwork for the better part of a decade.

You mentioned that you make $175K+ per year and a little over what those in your category make according to Glassdoor. This would put you at close to the peak for engineering jobs. Probably Director or PE level.

If so then I hate to break it to you, but you're exactly the group that Corporate America most likes to target for cost cutting. Once you get your Green Card I hope that you take a look around and see what is happening and contact your representative requesting that companies do something to advance the STEM fields, which means putting an end to the musical chairs game of massive outsourcing and insourcing of jobs.

You also mentioned that other H1Bs at Qualcomm that you know are all making over $100K. According to myvisa.com, the average H1B salary at Qualcomm is just shy of $100K and well below the $134K salary of the average tech salary at Qualcomm (according to the numbers that Don posted in a previous article). Note that this doesn't include the rock bottom H1B salaries that Qualcomm is paying through job shop companies such as Mindlance.

Also just to add one thing to Indian-H1B, you mentioned that you would like to work at a startup. Be prepared for a shock. Salaries at startups have dropped significantly. One VP of engineering (Indian) at a successful startup told me recently that, "there are so many engineers available now that I see no need to hire anyone over $100k."

Many C-level executives at start-ups are topping out at $200k. You could get hired as a C-level, but most of them come from a finance/MBA background.

Your only hope of getting a fraction of what you're making now outside of Qualcomm would probably be to start your own company.

These last few posts reveal some true contrasts. QcomGeek may just be a hoax, a piece of satire, a spoof if you will. But I don't think so. He/she is serious, and with that mangling of the language, does more to prove the point of all this story and a hundred comments so far. Those errors all look (sound) like someone whose first language is Chinese, or some other Asian tongue.

FedUpAmerican sure had it right when he/she commented on the contrast between what we are told about needing literacy to get and hold a job, and the skills not displayed by Geek.

But then Indian_H1B writes a thoughtful and very literate piece that does support many of the allegations made about the abuse of the system, and makes me think that if Qualcomm loses him, we all lose. He loves the US, he says, not for the money or the overall richness, but because of its intellectual stimulation. And he feels sure that he can go elsewhere and live the good life. With that attitude, he'll probably be able to do just that. What a contrast with Geek, who shows he can't take criticism for his butchery of our language. Ah, gee!

He loves the US, he says, not for the money or the overall richness, but because of its intellectual stimulation.

Visduh- I wonder if he/she would be saying they don't do it for the money if they were making the CA median salary of $33k per year? Or even double at $66K per year?

It is easy to claim you're not doing it for the money if you're making the amount of $$$ he/she claims.

I think the best professionals love what they do and money follows them because they do it well. My salary on my new job is higher because I moved to one of the coasts and had previously worked in the mid-west. I did check glassdoor and found that I am being paid about 5-10% higher than others in the same position; so nothing to roll your eyes about.

That the H-1B is flawed is beyond question. But there is often a tendency to shoot the messenger. A lot of the people here hate all H-1Bs. The second kind of people I find in these H-1B bashing contests are people who are not in love with STEM. They are smart enough to have gotten degrees in them, but they don't have the passion for it. Some of my best colleagues over the years have indeed been American (born and raised) scientists and engineers. They were not imported like the rest of us. They are studs because they are relentlessly enthused by STEM. So while I spent considerable parts of my teenage years cramming for a uber-hard entrance exam to get into a school where success was predicated on my ability to regurgitate, these stud friends of mine were spending 16 hours a day either coding crack video games or performing wicked experiments in a high school lab knowing that MIT or Stanford would come calling when the time was right. I won't be surprised if I have to play catch-up for another 20 years to be as good as them.

I can assure you that these studs are not spending time bashing H-1Bs.

I can assure you that these studs are not spending time bashing H-1Bs.


Trust me, they will, if their jobs, too, were threatened by H-1B visa workers. And I'd bet that Indian engineers in India are certainly no more comfortable about foreign engineers coming to take their jobs.

"I think the best professionals love what they do and money follows them because they do it well. "

I think that this is wishful thinking. But then again, you've only been here for 8 years. Given more time I think that you will see it too. Unfortunately the industry is still changing rapidly. With a $175K salary you might in fact see it sooner than others.

"A lot of the people here hate all H-1Bs. The second kind of people I find in these H-1B bashing contests are people who are not in love with STEM. They are smart enough to have gotten degrees in them, but they don't have the passion for it. "

For the most part, the comments that I've read here have been pretty civilized. Hatred of H-1Bs is something that I don't agree with and don't condone, but I do understand it. It's human nature for people to react that way when their their livelihoods have been jeopardized. Granted it's Corporate Greed that is the culprit, but to them, make no mistake - you're not the messenger.

"I can assure you that these studs are not spending time bashing H-1Bs."

This is exactly the sort of cop-out that the Corporate lobby loves to see. "Just keep them busy working with their heads down so that they can't see what's really going on". I don't expect a "stud" to bash H-1Bs, but I do expect them to be to be smart enough to recognize when their chosen profession is simultaneously being exploited and decimated at their expense.

Here I am being an old fogey. Somewhere in this exchange someone, I think it was our Indian friend, comes up with the term "stud." That can mean many things, but I don't see any definition that is pertinent to this "discussion." To me "stud" can mean different things in differing contexts. But most of them aren't used in polite conversation, and most carry a raunchy sexual tone. So, what does our commenter Indian_H1B mean when he/she uses the term "stud"? Curious minds want to know.

Stud is actually a pretty common term to denote someone who is really good at what they do, but in a non-sexual way.

See the first definition here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=stud

NOTE: When I hit "Reply," I am getting nothing. I will have to answer these posts later. Best, Don Bauder

Indian_H1B wrote: "The US is a phenomenal country with a not-so-phenomenal immigration system."

Because of their own self-interest, most H-1Bs forget the interests of American citizens and the U.S. What is good for a multinational corporations that want to maximize their profits using cheap foreign labor doesn't mean that it's good for American citizens or the U.S. If he thinks the American immigration system is not-so-phenomenal, try to get a job as a foreigner in Japan or Germany, his chance of getting a work visa is extremely low. Because these countries care about their citizens, they put their own citizens above everyone else and that should be done in the U.S. Unfortunately our Senators and Congressmen/woman have been bought by corporate interests and they behave more like corporate prostitutes rather than our representatives.

"I can assure you that these studs are not spending time bashing H-1Bs."

Really? Wait until they are over 40 and unemployed and try to get a job from an Indian manager who want to bring over his friends and relatives whose qualifications for the job is questionable. I am sure these studs are also jumping up and down complaining about the H-1Bs because it has nothing to do with technical knowledge, it's all about age and ethnic discrimination.

It seems like everyone here thinks big companies just hire H1Bs out of china/another asian countries with bachelors degree .

Someone argues in my previous post that communication is big asset. Agreed but not at cost of technical knowledge. If guy has decent communication skills and great technical skills for particular job , he is going to be selected.

And all those who says they have right in this country, this country is country of immigrant. Only native indian american can lay the claim of their country!!!

And all those who says they have right in this country, this country is country of immigrant.

Ridculous comment.

No foreign national has any "right" to come here and work. If they were not born here then too bad. We have the "right" to put OUR citizens first.

And all those who says they have right in this country, this country is country of immigrant. Only native indian american can lay the claim of their country!!!


Well, yes and no. Yes, USA is a country of immigrants, like ANY country on this hemisphere. But, let's face it, it's a country founded by the European settlers and built largely by them and their descendants for THEMSELVES foremostly. And as the majority that, at least for now and for the foreseeable future, owns and controls it, it is strictly THEIR prerogative to control immigration as they see fit, as it is with ANY other country controlled by whoever. In fact, most non-European Americans, i.e., blacks, Latinos, and Asians who have been here for a while agree that further immigration and guest work to America should be restricted, especially during this harsh economic downturn. I myself am a 1.5 gen immigrant from Korea whose family (legally) immigrated to America when I was just a kid - and we were not sponsored by close relatives or employers as immigrants, by the way. Do I still feel that some ethnic discrimination exists in America? Absolutely! However, that's completely different from whether I believe that America or, to be more specific, the majority Americans - be they whites, blacks, Latinos, or whoever - have the right to limit the number of immigrants or H-1B guest workers, which I definitely DO. I mean, just because the U.S. is a country of immigrants doesn't mean that it should or must have an open-door policy to let just any and all immigrants in, despite the fact that it already has the most lax immigration policy in the world, does it? And, as for the Native Americans whom you mentioned, they are conquered people and, in any case, I seriously doubt that they would welcome the "intruders" from India or China or wherever any more than their ancestors welcomed the Europeans. Again, USA is a country founded and built by the English and other Europeans, not by the Native Americans.

Your own bias is showing. It should be "he or she" or "she or he."

When I say the immigration system is not phenomenal, America's overall good is the yardstick being used. Canada and the UK have moved toward a more objective way of measuring an immigrant's worth and they have eliminated any tethers of indentured servitude in the immigration process. The US on the other hand is quite a ways behind in this regard.

As regards self-interest, I have found threatened American ITs display truckloads of it as compared to the H-1Bs. H-1Bs have absolutely no right to display a sense of entitlement by saying they deserve to be here. Some of that extends to the American IT guys who complain a lot. Many take the "divine right of the womb" (thanks, Warren Buffet) a little too seriously when they say: "America is for Americans." That kind of jingoism is passe.

And please tell us that India brings in as many foreign guest workers as the U.S. or, better, that its immigration policy is at least as good as that of USA. I don't believe you can, in all honesty! And don't tell me that Indians don't believe that India is for Indians.

Assuming this is all a game of "quid pro quo" is naivete at its extreme. India's per capita income is some 1/40th of the US's. Comparing India and the US is apples to oranges.

Am I proud of India's foreign policy? Absolutely not! But I am more NOT proud of a variety of other things such as abject poverty in my native land. Worrying about whether India has a visa program for Americans is trying to boil the ocean.

We are focused on what's good for America and whether there is potential symbiosis in bringing in professionals from outside. In the context of this article, we are zooming in on San Diego as a specific geography of interest. Let's stay within the boundaries of that discussion.

I don't believe I have to be a patriot to be a good man and a good professional. I love India for many things and love the US for many things. My objective to do as many challenging things as possible when I am young and save up to give back to the various societies that made me when I am old.

India's per capita income is some 1/40th of the US's. Comparing India and the US is apples to oranges.


You'd be surprised how many unemployed American professionals would like to go to India on a teporary work visa, now, as long as they are paid the livable wages comparable to their native Indian peers. They'd probably welcome the experience until they can return to the States when their job prospects improve.

And when will those job prospects improve? Best, Don Bauder

If anyone is considering it, I would not recommend it. You have no idea how good you have it here with a compassionate unemployment insurance system and a host of other civic goodies.

If I go back, I'll do fine because I have a few hundred loved ones and close friends. I will heavily rely on them until I can rehabilitate myself away from the logic of the US to the chaos of India.

India is the kind of place that's absolutely charming to visit and absolutely challenging to live in unless you have a zillion social support structures.

It would be great if jingoism were passe. But it's not. Best, Don Bauder

The major factor is corporate greed. Best, Don Bauder

"And all those who says they have right in this country, this country is country of immigrant. Only native indian american can lay the claim of their country!!!

Every country (except for a country in Africa) is a country of immigrant (not just the US) if you go back far enough because human sapiens come from Africa (if you don't believe me, take a DNA test).

If the citizens of other countries have right regarding immigration, what make you think that Americans shouldn't have this right?

Homo sapiens arose in Africa. Best, Don Bauder

Or take a class in physical anthropology.

One point that I think may have been missed is that the H1-B system gives big companies like Qualcomm a big advantage over startups.

For the most part, foreign engineers are reluctant to work at startups and would prefer the stable employment and large immigration legal staff of a large company.

I would also say that this point means that it defies all common sense to suggest that a foreign H1-B engineer is paid as well as an American citizen counterpart with similar skills.

Granted, QCOM has a reputation of giving frequent and large raises - but ultimately prices (including labor prices) are based on supply and demand.

Prices are based on supply and demand. There is a greater supply of jobs for engineers with permanent legal status than for foreign H1-B engineers because many jobs are not practical alternatives. An H1-B engineer cannot go jumping from job to job to turn up their pay if they are underpaid.

Spot on, sir. If H-1Bs were not tethered to an employer, you would see more of them join start-ups. That would also ensure that H-1Bs were more of a factor in founding job-creating enterprises instead of working for large corporations. Mark Zuckerberg would likely have said "H-1 what?" when Facebook was 50 people strong. Now, at a few thousand employees, I suspect Facebook is quite familiar with the program.

H-1B gives companies like Qualcomm a leg up on startups, and also on big competitors. Best, Don Bauder

but ultimately prices (including labor prices) are based on supply and demand

And bringing over hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals increases the supply and drives down domestic wages and compensation- you do know that I hope.

You can make a good case that H-1B drives down average ages as well as average salaries. Best, Don Bauder

276,000 people a year averaging about mid-20 something would tend to do that. Unfortunately it also bubbles up so that those in management are also very young and relatively inexperienced. People tend to be intimidated by others with more experience so they tend to hire people that are younger and less experienced than themselves. Dr. Matloff wrote a good article about the problem that was pretty much dead on.

Unfortunately this hurts software execution because those who are in the best position to help are those who have seen various development practices applied across different companies and industries. These sorts of skills aren't learned in school and come with experience. But the H1B dynamic that has pushed down ages means that those with experience are the ones that the system will most want to cast aside.

In fact I heard a first-hand example from an experienced engineer who felt underutilized at Qualcomm. He was working on a project that was in complete disarray. He spoke to his line manager and said that he knows how it should work because of his experience at other companies. His manager told him bluntly that, "experience outside of Qualcomm means nothing". This person also told me that because of Qualcomm's promote from within philosophy, that "experience outside means nothing, but experience within Qualcomm is everything".

Interesting company culture...

I think that there are a lot of good reasons for the U.S. to want to attract highly intelligent and educated scientists and engineers to the U.S.

I think that temporary programs, e.g. H1-B program is the wrong way to do this.

A technical professional who comes to the U.S. for temporary employment, then returns to his/her home country, is exporting technological and business expertise from the U.S. to other countries. This fosters technological development in other countries which directly compete with the U.S.

I think that the H1-B program should be eliminated but that the number of openings for permanent residency and citizenship for highly skilled technical professionals should be increased by the same number of engineers that were coming over on H1-B visas.

Essentially, I think U.S. policy should discourage short term employment of foreign nationals which largely serves to export U.S. technological expertise. U.S. policy should strongly encourage immigration of highly skilled and educated technology workers who intend to make the U.S. their permanent home.

I think that the H1-B program should be eliminated but that the number of openings for permanent residency and citizenship for highly skilled technical professionals should be increased by the same number of engineers that were coming over on H1-B visas.

********&**

Highly unlikely, Bill, as that would eliminate the unfair advantage for the companies that benefit from the de facto indentured servitude which the H-1B visa allows to them. Besides, my guess (as I have no hard proof) is that many, if not most, H-1B visa workers end up as permanent residents and citizens, anyway.

H-1B will not be eliminated as long as both political parties are owned by Wall Street and American corporations. Best, Don Bauder

"the H1-B program should be eliminated but that the number of openings for permanent residency and citizenship for highly skilled technical professionals should be increased by the same number of engineers that were coming over on H1-B visas."

I respectfully disagree. Most H-1Bs are very average (I work with many of them), I don't see any reason why the U.S. should give green cards to these average H-1Bs. The number should be decreased drastically so that only the top 5% of the current foreign engineers can be admitted to work in the U.S and then given green card. This would decrease the supply of engineers in the U.S. and it will encourage American students to study a STEM career because the job prospect would be better.

Your proposed solution would certainly drop supply. Best, Don Bauder

Keep in mind the great scientists, physicists, and engineers who came here from other countries -- Einstein, Wernher von Braun, etc. Best, Don Bauder

I agree with "ImJustABill ". Only solutions to that would be start stapling Green cards for STEM graduates from TOP US universities and allowing them freedom you all talk about.

I was making one and only one point in my all post, that it is wrong to blame QCOM and for that matter any technology company without knowing all facts. As i mentioned that H1B system has loopholes and country needs political will to close those.

QCOM for any reason is not one who is exploiting those.

Qualcomm is one of the biggest users of and lobbyists for H-1B. Best, Don Bauder

I was making one and only one point in my all post, that it is wrong to blame QCOM and for that matter any technology company without knowing all facts.

And what makes you think we do not know all the facts????

Or are you the only one who knows all the facts!

"Only solutions to that would be start stapling Green cards for STEM graduates from TOP US universities and allowing them freedom you all talk about."

Removing indentured servitude would be a big improvement because it would stop handcuffing employees for six+ years. Stapling a green card to every doctorate and STEM degree just exacerbates the problem though. Dr. Matloff's H1B page has some really good reasons why it would be harmful.

"I was making one and only one point in my all post, that it is wrong to blame QCOM and for that matter any technology company without knowing all facts. As i mentioned that H1B system has loopholes and country needs political will to close those.

QCOM for any reason is not one who is exploiting those. "

Here you go again telling people that they don't know the facts. But instead it's clear that you need to read up on what is happening in your adoptive country.

It's called "insourcing", the idea is that there are so many H1B Visas available that some companies that want to protect their IP while also reducing cost can import labor rather than outsource.

I read a really good article about it in IndiaTimes and I'll see if I can dig up a link. Insourcing is something that bugs many in India because they would prefer to have the jobs moved there. Incidentally, most of the best reporting on H1B issues happens in the India media because the American media is so focused on Brangelina, octo-mom and the rest...

The fact is that Qualcomm and other large tech companies that either outsource or insource are the problem because in the end all engineers pay a price. The job market is simple supply and demand economics. Reducing massive numbers of jobs via outsourcing while also bringing in 276,000 people a year on H1Bs tilts the job market firmly towards corporations. The net result is to provide a strong discouragement of America's best and brightest to enter STEM fields.

It's also interesting to point out that many Green Card friends of mine that have been in this country for awhile have seen the impacts and are worried that it's going to get worse and many of them are not encouraging their kids to get into STEM fields, but instead healthcare and other fields.

It's too obvious that many multinational American corporations are self-serving hypocrites and traitors who defend their unpatriotic practice of outsourcing or insourcing excessive number of jobs to foreign engineers, as the American way of free commerce and trade, and accuse any protectionism that holds them responsible or accountable as "un-American", instead. And that's after they milked all the tax breaks and government subsidies that they can.

Here is one of the best examples that pretty much nails the problem:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9169678/IBM_stops_disclosing_U.S._headcount_data?taxonomyId=60

According to the article, IBM has reduced it's US workforce from 121,000 to 92,000 in just the last 3 years at the same time it has increased the global workforce to 399,000.

"IBM is trying to convince the government to allocate funds and establish policies that would help increase the number of STEM (or science, technology, engineering and math) graduates in the U.S., and it's also calling on Washington to raise the cap on H-1B visas, said Hira. "Yet at the same time," he added, "IBM is actually decreasing its demand of that same labor."

"Hira also argues that the shift overseas makes clear how critical the tax deferral on foreign profits is to IBM's bottom line and why the company is opposing President Barack Obama's "proposal to end the tax breaks that encourage firms to move American jobs overseas," he said.

IBM was one of a long list of companies opposing changes in the tax deferral rules in a letter to congressional leaders last year. The letter argued that repeal of the deferral "will result in a loss of jobs for Americans and serious negative impacts on the U.S. economy."

Incidentally the article also says that IBM will no longer disclose US employment numbers...

Incidentally, here is a great blog post that highlights the failure of most journalists to highlight the H-1B problem: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/tennant/yes-we-in-the-us-media-are-lousy-at-covering-h-1b-visa-abuse/?cs=45942&page=1

"The moderate anti-H-1B voice needs to summon the courage to speak out directly and forcefully against those who poison the discussion – not just whisper disapproval behind closed doors. And we in the U.S. media need to suck it up, get off our butts and do our jobs. When the poison is drained and the media snaps out of its toxic stupor, then maybe something will be done about the H-1B problem."

I think that this article has done a good job of doing exactly what is needed. Thanks Don!

Lou Dobbs has been beating the H-1B visa scam drum for the at least the last 5 years, minimum....

I have barely ever seen Dobbs. I see that he is now on Fox. That means I will never see him. Best, Don Bauder

Dobbs restarted his "Lou Dobbs Tonight" show on Fox Business 4 days ago, Monday teh 14th.

Lou has dyed his hair blond and it looks very strange to say the least.

Lou has been a champion opponent of the H-1B scam and standing up for American workers for as long as I can remember.

He is A-OK in my book, I knwo Don does not care for him.

Dobs lost me when he started in questioning President Obama's citizenship. Then he quits and makes some ridiculous statement about being tired of the partisanship or some such hypocritical nonsense. I'm sure that he could have found another outlet instead of fox; maybe the money was just to good. When someone mentions fox "news", I am always reminded of something that Janeane Garofalo said. When asked by an interviewer what comedy shows on tv she liked, she said she thought anything on fox "news" was funny.

Dobs lost me when he started in questioning President Obama's citizenship.

It's a dead issue and anyone that brings it up is shooting themselves in the foot right off the bat.

Donald Trump said in an interview-replayed on Hardball today-that he has a very SMALL amount of doubt about it-stoopid.

There is a nutjob lawyer in OC named Oily Taitz that has been sanctioned $20K over filing lawsuits challenging Obama's birth place.

Could the hiring of (and the encouragement of managers to hire) H1B Visa holders be, in some way, fulfillment of a corporate contract/promise negotiated when QCOM was granted the right to advance CDMA technologies in India?

That's weird way of thinking!!! As far as I remember still very very small % of Qualcomm earning is from India. China is far larger base for CDMA technology.

Truth is China and india are 2 largest country population wise and peopler study STEM there to get respected. And 10% of that graduating STEM students from india/china can flood US universities because they are good and also they pay good tuitions to US Universities compare to US Citizens.

And when those students graduates from USA they are going to compete with locals for job!!!

Go to any graduate school and find out how many US Citizens are enrolled in STEM degrees?

I don't know those numbers. I don't know if Qualcomm releases them. Best, Don Bauder

"That's weird way of thinking!!!"

Not a weird way of looking, it sounds as though "curious" is more tuned into Qualcomm than you are.

"Truth is China and india are 2 largest country population wise and peopler study STEM there to get respected. "

People used to study STEM fields in the US to be respected too, but that all changed when American corporations decided that they could save money by replacing "expensive" American engineers. That it required more overseas engineers to do the same work and that projects also came in late or failed was never accounted for by the Bean Counters, because most of their assessments were done in terms of cost per head.

"And 10% of that graduating STEM students from india/china can flood US universitiesAnd 10% of that graduating STEM students from india/china can flood US universities".

You're describing a scenario that would drive most Americans to conclude that protectionism is needed. The US is big population-wise but dwarfed by India and China. Last time I checked, 10% of the graduating class in India and China is about equal to the entire graduating population in America. If that's the case, why should we subsidize our schools from our taxes in order to educate so many people from China and India? That's never going to happen.

If your vision were to play out then in only a generation, most of the US would be Indian and Chinese - basically a suburb of Asia. I'm not xenophobic, but this doesn't sound like the society that I would want to build. If I wanted to live in India or China, I would move there.

"Go to any graduate school and find out how many US Citizens are enrolled in STEM degrees?"

Not just a new dearth of US Citizens, but also children of Green Card holders. Why would they want to enter a field that is being purposefully crushed by powerful corporate interests? When you eventually come up from your bubble, you'll probably come to the same conclusion and steer your kids into a field with a better standard of living.

I've tried to be respectful, but your posts just come across as someone fresh off the boat who is a company tool. Someone who is borderline racist, who thinks that Americans are stupid and that students from India and China "are just good".

You also seem to think that students from India and China are naturally entitled to an education in the US. It's exactly this sort of attitude that has many smart, educated, and experienced engineers in the US crying fowl and wanting a serious reduction in Visas. That you are a hiring manager at Qualcomm who holds these views speaks volumes about where the company has gone...

"If that's the case, why should we subsidize our schools from our taxes in order to educate so many people from China and India? That's never going to happen."

sd_engineer, unfortunately that *has been" happening already for decades in the U.S. I remember being told by a Chinese foreign student, many years ago, that the Chinese government would not allow its students to study abroad in the U.S. or elsewhere unless all their expenses were guaranteed by the universities from which they sought graduate degrees. And who ultimately ended up subsidizing all their educational and living expenses? You guessed it, American taxpayers!

"I'm not xenophobic, but this doesn't sound like the society that I would want to build. If I wanted to live in India or China, I would move there."

Neither do I, especially when my job opportunites are taken away by H-1B visa workers. And I'm an Asian-American myself!

"Someone who is borderline racist, who thinks that Americans are stupid and that students from India and China "are just good"."

If Indian or Chinese engineers are so much better than American engineers, then why haven't we hear of great innovations by them more often? Why don't they go back to or stay in their own countries to innovate and compete against the American engineers from there? With so many "superior" engineering graduates in those two countries, you'd think that they would be out-innovating the U.S. by now.

FedUpAmerican and sd_engineer,

Here are few Facts about US Universities!!

Not all graduates are funded by US Universities and that means those non-funded International Students pay hefty fees. Good source of revenues for University. Education is business for all this university remember that!!!

Those who gets some kind of funding they work their butts for professors and university research which brings money to university from different US government funded research programs. Why american students doesn't compete for those research positions ???

As far as this International students going back.. that is already happening. Reverse Brain Drain ( accepted not all of them are going back) . They are establishing companies or working for R&D centers of same multinational companies in in their own countries.

And I think it is in US interest that those students come here and study and contribute. Weather you like it or not but they are big part of US innovation machine. To get rid of H1B issues why don't we ask government to give those STEM graduates Green cards and make it level playing fields!!!

As far as Qualcomm making deal for H1B hires for deploying their technologies in developing countries like China/India..Let's assume that's the case. Let'a also assume all 12000 employees of Qualcomm in USA are H1B holder ( Remember this is wrong wrong assumption as only less than 5% are H1Bs). Would it make sense for any foreign government to allow Qualcomm to earn billion in return of 12000 H1Bs.. Rather ask Qualcomm to open R&D center in their own country and get people employed there!!!

".. Rather ask Qualcomm to open R&D center in their own country and get people employed there!!!"

Isn't the Chinese government, for one, now requiring all foreign high-tech firms to share their intellectual properties with their Chinese partners or co-workers, in order to do business in China? That's already like "asking" an American company, such as Qualcomm, to open R7D center in China, isn't it?

Very true. American corporations giving away their intellectual capital in exchange for a "promise" of access to a market that will likely never bear fruit, is another short-term Wall Street stupidity that is killing this country.

Incidentally, as I posted to QcomGeek below, Qualcomm has sites in Beijing, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. We know that foreigners comprise 60% of the workforce at Qualcomm San Diego, I wonder how many Americans are employed at these other facilities?

QcomGeek, I'm leaving on a business trip for the next two days so I won't be able to respond to this or your other post to me for a few days.

QcomGeek, the issue of foreigners going to American Universities is a long one that would take another thread to fully cover. So I'll just list some of the key facts.

Universities (and non-profits) have no limit on the amount of H1B Visas that they can bring in. The cap that applies to private companies like Qualcomm, does not apply to them. So Universities (collectively) have, surprise, become the biggest exploiter of cheap foreign labor according to H1B statistics.

Professors and researchers have known this for years and when they receive grant money, they make sure that most of it goes to themselves and as little as possible goes to their hired help. They even recruit from overseas directly, similar to how Qualcomm uses Mindlance in India. It happens so often now that it's become almost standard hiring practice for grant money.

Foreigners do pay high tuition, but if you look at the total dollars invested in public schools such as the UC System, the vast majority comes from tax payers. Foreigners pay more to public schools and would like to think that they are subsidizing the system, but the true subsidizer is the Tax payers.

As outsourcing and insourcing have hammered every income class in America (except for the very wealthy who are profiting), our tax base is also in decline which means infrastructure, especially schools, are hurt the most. So schools become cash strapped and start to target foreign students, even though American tax payers are still footing the vast majority of the bill. Not a good situation.

Incidentally, I just read an article today about Delhousie (Canadian University) specifically recruiting only Saudi students for medical school. They needed the money quickly and felt it would take too long to recruit other foreigners such as Americans, so they advertised only to the Saudi market and (surprise) filled these enrollment slots with only Saudis. The presence of only Saudi students obviously doesn't mean that they are better or worse than other students, it's basically about the money and it's an example of what is happening in US schools.

But getting back to the H1B situation, Professors and Universities can be just as stingy as anyone else and exploit the system by hiring H1Bs. But because it's essentially a zero-sum game, this just means more people eventually chasing fewer jobs, so it contributes to the problem and it’s just one of many reasons why the total number of H1B Visas should be drastically reduced or eliminated.

As to why American's don't "compete" for the research grant money, there are many causes. First, it's because in some cases Americans aren't even aware of the opening or given an opportunity to apply (kind of like the Mindlance Qualcomm job posting in India).

The biggest reason though is that the pay is cheap. People can make more money by leaving school to go to work for a company with only a BS degree, rather than going on to get an advanced degree (and presumably working on a meager research grant).

The return on investment in getting a MS or PhD, has traditionally been viewed as insufficient to keep people from jumping to a company after receiving their BS. The fact that there are so many people looking for less jobs nowadays is driving people to have to obtain an advanced degree though. This just means that people avoid the STEM field altogether, because they see that the total return on investment is low and declining.

By the way, in your posts there does seem to be an anti-American theme that implies that the absence of Americans in STEM fields, university programs and working on research grants is due to some inherent inability of Americans to succeed in these fields. You have to look at the full picture and root cause that is causing strong disincentives to Americans to work in these fields. As I mentioned earlier, Americans packed these fields in the past but are now avoiding them for the reasons that I've stated. In fact the company that you are working for employed mostly Americans when the majority of the true innovation of CDMA was done in the early years of the company.

Incidentally, my child is enrolled in honor courses that are dominated by the children of Qualcomm enginers (almost all of whom are foreigners). He is gettting straight A's and holding his own just fine, but I'm steering him away from the engineering profession for the reasons that we've been discussing. I have another relative who is a PhD in EE and is a director at a major semiconductor company, his kids are spread out in age and he steered all of his younger kids into an engineering career, but his youngest he is steering away for the same reasons. I also have a niece who graduated from Harvard who is in med-school now and a nephew with a law degree from Stanford. These are all examples where individuals have the ability and education to do well in engineering but are avoiding the profession.

But getting back to your conjecture that the lack of presence by Americans in STEM is due to some lack in ability. We could use this same faulty logic elsewhere, for example a person could say something just as nonsensical such as, "lack of immigrants on the boards of American companies, just shows that they aren't smart enough to compete for the big money with 80-year old white males".

QcomGeek, let me also hit another one of your points here:

"International students going back.. Reverse Brain Drain"

This just provides a good example why the US should reduce it's enrollment of some foreigners and encourage Americans into STEM fields. It makes no sense for American tax payers to subsidize schools, only to educate those who want to return to their home countries and then compete against us. It also makes no sense for companies to hire and train people on H1Bs who would do the same thing.

"And I think it is in US interest that those students come here and study and contribute. Weather you like it or not but they are big part of US innovation machine."

To be sure the best and the brightest foreigners should be encouraged to come here and allowed to stay. But that's been the case all along, even before the massive change to the H1B program that has led to so many people crowding STEM fields.

Even before the influx of so many people on H1Bs over the past 10 years, engineering and science in the US was a multicultural experience of working with the best and the brightest from across the world. That's one of the things in fact that I've liked about it.

Over the past 10 years however, it's actually shifted away from being a multicultural field full of the best and the brightest. Why? Because the emphasis has been on hiring massive numbers of workers who are mostly average, from countries with the lowest cost basis. Not to say that this applies to everyone, but it applies to more people than I would care to say.

Incidentally, the Corporate agenda that is seeking to remove he H1B cap is using exactly the "drive innovation through immigration" argument because it looks good on the surface even though it's clear that it's actually harmful if someone digs deeper into the facts.

The best can help to drive innovation, but just bringing in the masses of people as the H1B system is doing now isn't driving anything but wages down. The mindlance/Qualcomm job ads are perfect examples of that. Those ads attract entry-level engineers, people who may come from disadvantaged backgrounds. These people (American or Foreigner) aren't driving innovation anywhere and there is no reason to favor a foreigner for these positions. Yet what we have seen is that those jobs were specifically targeted only to H1Bs and not Americans.

Going from say 5 engineers for every job to 10 engineers for every job, is actually hurting innovation because it's discouraging the best Americans from entering the field.

The system that would work best is to apply free market principles and allow the salaries to go up to attract the best. Corporate America isn't having any of that however because they want wages down (and down by a lot) and not up. And to be sure, wages will be coming down as Wall Street (and in particular the CEOs of all major tech companies) have specifically made this to be one of their key drives.

QcomGeek, let me now address your last point:

"As far as Qualcomm making deal for H1B hires for deploying their technologies in developing countries like China/India.."... "Let's assume that's the case. Let'a also assume all 12000 employees of Qualcomm in USA are H1B holder ( Remember this is wrong wrong assumption as only less than 5% are H1Bs). Would it make sense for any foreign government to allow Qualcomm to earn billion in return of 12000 H1Bs.. Rather ask Qualcomm to open R&D center in their own country and get people employed there!!!"

Qualcomm has outsourced sites in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Beijing. So presumably they are doing what you described, but they still feel the need to fill engineering jobs in San Diego from mostly foreigners, many if not most came to work for the company through an H1B.

To Qualcomm and any other large company that is only concerned with short-term profits, it doesn't really matter to them who they employ so long as they get the sales that they want. To America and the other 98% of Americans that are coming in on the short-end of these deals it obviously makes a very big difference to whom those jobs go.

Incidentally, where did you come up with the number that only 5% of the workforce is on a H1B? The fact that H1B statistics show that Qualcomm received 6224 H1B Visas in San Diego for a workforce of 12,500, along with Jacob's comments that his workforce is 60% foreign would suggest that your numbers are completely wrong. Qualcomm won't release the exact number which is another indication that the number is large.

Sd_Engineer,

I never said I disagree your count of 6200 something H1B over last 10 years but My point was at point of time there has been not more than 5% H1B in Qualcomm.

As you easily ignored the fact that any employer with more than 10% H1B employees is considered " H1 Dependent Employer" and Qualcomm is not one of them that proves the point!!!

As i posted before gradually those who received H1B received green card via working from Qualcomm so they are not H1B anymore.

Also, your post seems to suggest that all H1B hired are earning money on innovation done 10-15 years ago in Qualcomm and they are doing no work or some dirty work at cheap rate. Please go and check the patents filed by Qualcomm Engineers and those are proof that they are working some innovative work.

Also, Qualcomm is able to enter new areas in market and get lead into it in last 10 years speak of it workforce. It is anything but your stereotype H1B which are not competent.

Also, the Mindlance posting you keep referring to is by some 3rd party consultant trying to dupe local people rather than direct Qualcomm posting. Now it may be true Qualcomm uses 3rd party contractor but those contacting companies are paid highly and it is not Qualcomm's problem what they are paid by contacting company. And if those contracting company got H1B sponsored with those low salary's than there is something totally wrong in system.

And forgetting about Qualcomm, you are totally unwilling to consider suggestions like abolishing H1B and giving green cards to foreign students who are intelligent and become pillar of innovations in USA.

"My point was at point of time there has been not more than 5% H1B in Qualcomm."

This is the 2nd time that you've posted this, and I ask you for the 2nd time to prove it!

Did you even read the article that Don wrote? If so then you will have read comments from someone from Qualcomm who described working on a team with mostly people on H-1Bs. To claim that there were never more than 5% people working on a H-1B, despite everything pointing to the opposite conclusion just shows an attempt on your part to cloud the facts with unsubstantiated numbers.

According to Jacobs, 60% of the workforce in 2008 was foreign. This despite the fact that most of the non-engineering workforce isn't foreign (HR, Finance, Sales, Marketing, etc.). If the overall workforce is 60% then the engineering workforce must be much higher because we know from the H-1B stats that 99% of the H-1B Visas went towards the IT/Engineering fields.

Presumably many of these engineers became perms from the pool of 6200 H-1B Visas that the company received. This doesn't even take into account the 3rd party H-1B Visa's being used by contractors at the company. Obviously the company is a huge consumer of H-1B Visas! To claim otherwise is complete nonsense!

"As you easily ignored the fact that any employer with more than 10% H1B employees is considered " H1 Dependent Employer" and Qualcomm is not one of them that proves the point!!!"

How do you know that Qualcomm is not an H1B dependent employer? I don't believe that they have to publicly disclose this information and even if they do there are many loop-holes in the legislation. Here is a prime example quoted directly from the section of the DOL Employment Guide that discusses H1B Dependent Employers:

"H1B dependent employers who wish to hire only H1B workers who are paid at least $60,000 per year or have a master's degree or higher in a specialty related to the employment can be exempted from these additional rules"

Obviously this loophole was meant to exclude big tech companies such as Qualcomm who often hire people at salaries over $60K or who have a masters degree.

I've never said that people on H-1Bs don't contribute or don't file patents. Obviously if they are working as an engineer for a company they are doing engineering work which for a company focused on IP such as Qualcomm means writing patents. This will happen no matter who is working for the company. My point is that companies such as Qualcomm are deliberately flooding the workplace with workers on H-1Bs at the same time that they outsource.

You have a clear anti-American bias in your writing that implies that Americans are not suitable to this sort of work, which is why I cited instances of Americans who contributed to the IP of Qualcomm. You've twisted this to claim that somehow I'm biased against people with a H-1B, and that I've said that they don't innovate or file patents. Both claims are completely false!

"Also, the Mindlance posting you keep referring to is by some 3rd party consultant trying to dupe local people rather than direct Qualcomm posting."

This is complete and utter nonsense. A simple Google search shows that Qualcomm has been using Mindlance for years and in fact currently uses the company. If you are one of Qualcomm's "Best and Brightest" you should be able to do a Google search.

"Now it may be true Qualcomm uses 3rd party contractor but those contacting companies are paid highly".

Wrong again, the currently running test engineer position that I linked to is according to Mindlance's own website a $30K/yr job. Rock bottom slave-wages for engineering in San Diego. It's a temp job, but still it shows that they are targeting H-1Bs for slave wages.

"and it is not Qualcomm's problem what they are paid by contacting company. And if those contracting company got H1B sponsored with those low salary's than there is something totally wrong in system."

Now you've finally said something that makes sense. Yes there is something wrong with the system! It's called flooding the market to reduce the price of skilled labor.

When Americans are pushed into becoming a minority in the workforce through discriminatory hiring practices that favor cheap labor. Yes, then there is something clearly wrong with the system!

"And forgetting about Qualcomm, you are totally unwilling to consider suggestions like abolishing H1B and giving green cards to foreign students who are intelligent and become pillar of innovations in USA. "

Actually I would be in favor of this if it did mean abolishing the H1B program.

There are serious issues with stapling Green Cards to Diploma's though. Here is just one example. American Public Universities such as the UC System were built at great expense mostly through taxes paid by Middle Class Americans. The intent of these educational systems wasn't to educate foreigner's but to allow American's who aren't rich and who can't afford more expensive private colleges to better themselves with a top education.

The US has a long history of being an egalitarian society with a large and strong middle class and having access to inexpensive but good education is a big part of that process. In other countries that are more class based, education is only affordable by the elites.

Allowing unrestricted access to American Universities by the children of primarily wealthy people from other countries, even while it's primarily being subsidized by Middle Class Americans is an obvious injustice and affront to the system.

Sure these foreigner's can contribute to American society, but they can also take their new found knowledge back home and use it to compete against Americans.

If they stay here and add to a growing labor pool that are chasing smaller numbers of jobs, then is a problem as well. But if the H-1B program and the majority of all of those 276,000+ skilled workers per year coming into the country were eliminated then the effect on the labor pool from these graduating students wouldn't be nearly so harmful, which is why I would probably agree with this even given the issues.

"My point was at point of time there has been not more than 5% H1B in Qualcomm."

Once again QcomGeek, you are being shown to be sadly misinformed.

In 2008, Qualcomm's Sr. director of Global Staffing gave a presentation at UCLA called "The future of H-1B Hiring". In it he said that an astounding 70% of Qualcomm's foreign workforce are H-1Bs and of those, 70% are Indian.

Here is a link to the seminar where this was presented: (. http://migration.ucdavis.edu/wcpsew/more.php?id=4_0_7 .)

Here is the presentation given by Mr. Foster. (. http://migration.ucdavis.edu/wcpsew/files/qualcomm-ucla-jan-30.pdf .)

If you do the math - Paul Jacobs said in 2008 that 60% of his workforce was comprised of foreigners and according to Mr. Foster, 70% of those are on H-1Bs. So that gives us a figure of 42% of the entire workforce working via a H-1B. If we take a rough guestimate of 12,000 as the total Qualcomm workforce in 2008, that works out to an astounding 5,000 total people working for the company on a H-1B.

Confirm your "only less than %5" statement on QCOM H1-B employment.

As I wrote before, where are their Nobel Prize winners?

Sd_engineer ...

You tell me borderline racist but you haven't given me reason !! i never said that all foreign engineers/students are better than US engineers/students!!!

As far as I remember in my Previous post I already mentioned that I am all for H1B number reduction but don't blame those foreign students for hardships!!! I believe they are big part of American Innovation machine. American government should just give them Green cards with that STEM degrees with merit. That would make field level playing!!!

You talk about protectionism but you have to remember other countries would reciprocate with protectionism and US companies from whom you are looking for job won't have business in those countries!!! Weather we like it or not , all Multinational companies majority of earning is coming from overseas rather than USA!!!

Only way out is not discourage people to come to this country but improve our immigration system which would make it level playing field and than things would play out in right manner.

"You talk about protectionism but you have to remember other countries would reciprocate with protectionism and US companies from whom you are looking for job won't have business in those countries!!! Weather we like it or not , all Multinational companies majority of earning is coming from overseas rather than USA!!!"

I suppose you would label protecting American jobs for Americans of all races against the foreigners as protectionism, also, not surprisingly. So, basically, China or India has now evolved to the stage where it not only blackmails Americans to buy products made by the Chinese or Indians, but, also blackmails Americans to hire them, as well. And you know why the majority of earnings by multinational companies come from overseas rather than USA? It's because less and less Americans can afford to buy their products due to depreessed wage or unemployment, as a result of the decades of exodus of American jobs and influx of H-1B visa workers, such as you, by the unpatriotic, greedy, American capitalists! And if push comes to shove, I bet Americans would still fare a lot better than others under protectionism, despite the doomsday bs by the corporate managements and their sold-out politicians, because America is quite capable of being self-sufficient.

Anyway, a country like China is in absolutely NO position to criticize the U.S. from even entertaining some protectionist measures, when China is already practicing BLATANT protectionism by resorting to its articial currency devaluation, extremely high tariffs on imports, and restrictive import quotas - all to protect its own domestic companies and reduce the flow of money out of the country.

Worse yet China is forcing corporations to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market. In many cases this technology was derived at great cost and effort. There is a growing sense by many CEOs however that the powers that be in China have no intention of ever allowing these corporations to be successful in these markets. In fact the CEO of Caterpillar was quoted as saying exactly that recently.

The Chinese government has also started a process of classifying and tracking "Indigenous Chinese" corporations and this has heightened these same concerns.

China is already practicing BLATANT protectionism by resorting to its articial currency devaluation, extremely high tariffs on imports

China has tariffs on US imports that are 10 TIMES HIGHER than the USA-and why our leaders allow us to take it in the shorts like that proves they are out for the fast $ lining theor own pokcets, and why we have basically tunred into a BANANA REPUBLIC.

"You tell me borderline racist but you haven't given me reason !!"

The way that I read your post was that Asians were "just good" when it comes to engineering and because of this are naturally inclined to flood American Universities in STEM fields. The fact that you point to a dearth of American enrollment in STEM programs as proof of this, without mentioning the root cause, would appear to reinforce this. As I mentioned the root cause for the current absence of Americans in STEM programs at Universities is because the smart Americans are avoiding these fields for the reasons that I've stated.

If you look at prior decades before the outsourcing and insourcing trends, you will see that Americans flocked to STEM fields. In fact history shows pretty clearly that Americans did just fine with technology innovation back in those decades.

So ask yourself this - what changed? What changed is that American corporations realized that they could pump short term profits by moving jobs overseas while simultaneously flooding the job market with a crush of humanity. That you have personally benefited from this doesn't change the fact that these policies have been disastrous for this country because they have transferred technology overseas and given away the "keys to the kingdom". This also has crippled America's flow of Engineers into this profession so that in the future, whether we like it or not, we may have to rely on imported labor to fill these roles. This is a great example of a system that is broken that needs to be fixed.

Incidentally, most economists seem to be so far removed from STEM professions that they make all sorts of ridiculous claims. But Harvard economist Robert Hayes is one who actually "gets it" and he wrote a brilliant piece that is chillingly accurate: http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/restoring-american-competitiveness/2009/10/outsourcing-is-high-techs-subprime.html

The White House has posted numbers that show that since WW2, 50% of job growth in the US has come from technology. This is a field that the US has reaped huge benefits from and all of that has been jeopardized by Wall Street greed. Most countries have strong labor interests that balance these sorts of abuses, but lack of labor interests and apathy is what has harmed the US.

"As far as I remember in my Previous post I already mentioned that I am all for H1B number reduction but don't blame those foreign students for hardships!!!"

I don't recall that you posted any such thing. If you did then I commend you for recognizing that there is a problem that needs to be fixed and becoming a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem. Also, if you've read my posts you'll see that I've never blamed foreign students or foreigners for anything. It's Corporate greed that is causing the problem and this has had disastrous consequences for this country.

Protectionism begets competitive protectionism -- no question about that. Best, Don Bauder

You say you are not xenophobic, but you sound it. In saying that, I don't mean to denigrate the gist of your argument. Best, Don Bauder

That's a thought. I don't know the answer. Best, Don Bauder

Ding Ding! We have a winner.

International trade largely comes down to politics. Most countries (except the US - but that is another topic) have VAT taxes, legal and/or cultural barriers that prevent the flow of goods that they don't want into their country.

The one thing that helps to grease the political wheels is to employ people (or hire H1Bs) in the country that you're hoping to sell to. There are many examples of this, for example the Japanese auto makers started to do this when threatened with US sanctions.

Back 10 years ago, Qualcomm was very keen on installing wireless local loop and infrastructure equipment in India and it was viewed as one of their biggest growth markets. It wouldn't surprise me if there were also some "behind closed door" agreements that were made.

If there were backdoor meetings, we may never know. Best, Don Bauder

What we need is a video of the heads of large tech corporations getting together to discuss their H-1B strategy.

Something along the lines of the now classic Cohen & Grigsby video. If people haven't seen this then they might be in for a shock on how the system is being worked in order to avoid hiring Americans:

http://www.youtube.com/programmersguild

This is one of the bests posts in this discussion. I knew of this but did not bring it up. Too many other points about this topic.

I recall reading a story or even a government report about this regarding Microsoft. How to sell their software into India and other countries was to hire their people and bring them here. A technology exchange and political grease program.

This is one of the fundamentals behind the H-1B program and why it is now possible for IBM and their ilk to be welcomed into India to build giant campuses.

IBM, Microsoft and others are hiring. In India.

And Wall Street loves any company that reduces expenses by whatever means. Best, Don Bauder

I should have also added that 10 years ago is when the H1B wave at Qualcomm appeared to start which "coincidentally" seemed to coincide with the WLL and infrastructure gambits. It's grown into a tidal wave now just as, also "coincidentally", Qualcomm's investment in India has grown into a $1B bet.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/06/13/qualcomms-1-billion-india-bet/

If this is indeed cause and effect, it's really disingenuous to make the claims as Qualcomm has in Don's article that:

"Qualcomm utilizes the H-1B program as necessary to recruit and retain the best talent in the world. We support bipartisan, sensible reform of the employment-based immigration system so that U.S. employers continue to have access to the talent they need to innovate, create American jobs and grow the U.S. economy.”

Sd_engineer

If this is indeed cause and effect, it's really disingenuous to make the claims as Qualcomm has in Don's article that:

"Qualcomm utilizes the H-1B program as necessary to recruit and retain the best talent in the world ....

You are connecting dots which doesn't connect. Qualcomm has interest in Indian market and they wanted to get spectrum in that auction just for reason of keeping wimax ( and so intel) at bay in Indian market for 4G technology. As you know just due to huge population and possibility of huge market with even small % of that becoming 4G consumer it was important for Qualcomm that technology with their backing gets deployed.

If you look at auction not only Qualcomm but all other companies (by the way those are Indian companies) paid high price for spectrum. Qualcomm just made sure anyone wanted to have PAN Indian presence has to rely on them by getting 4 big markets. I don't see connection with H1B there. And there were enough company in that race there even without Qualcomm spectrum would have been sold!!

Also, in one of your previous post you said that Qualcomm sponsored 6200 H1B in last 10 years and total Qualcomm US full time employees are close to 13000. But you don't consider that in industry there is always high turnover rate people switch jobs and you don't retain all employees. Another factor to consider is , out of those 6200( Majority of them) many who stayed @ Qualcomm got their green card via Qualcomm .

If theory of Qualcomm paying H1B less compare to others would have been true, those employees would have ran away to other places on their Green card arrivals. But that's not the case. They remained Qualcomm employee till date and most of them must be happy.

Another common factor I found in this discussions is assumption that Citizens don't get hired in Qualcomm because ethnicity of hiring manager for some reason comes into play and favors foreigners compare to citizens and green card holder.

Let me tell you Qualcomm has division called Qualcomm government solution which works with US government as name suggests and they just hire Citizens and green card holder. Right now they have few major projects in dire needs of people and they can't find any suitable candidates!!! how you explain that... and i can assure you there are no managers of Asian ethnicity!!! Where are those experience engineers crying for jobs @ Qualcomm!!!

And to everyone here , my group just hired 3 new people out of that 2 are american citizen (1 fresh graduate and 1 experience candidate). Another person is fresh graduate with masters from top California grade school but would require H1B visa. I know people are going to Question me why we hired one fresh graduate who require H1B but that person had internship experience working at two top technology company in USA during his masters degree and few patents. Only point here is We do hire people on merit rather than anything else.

"Qualcomm has interest in Indian market".

When the "jobs for market share" idea was first brought up, you said, "That's weird way of thinking!!!". Now you're using it as fact to try and bolster your argument that the H1B Visa is a good thing. Rather than grab at straws, I would recommend that you read up on (outsourcing, insourcing and the H1B dynamic). Please educate yourself about these issues rather than putting the burden on us to do it for you.

It's a fact that Insourcing is a process that hurts STEM fields. It's better than outsourcing because at least some tax revenue is generated in the US, but its still a harmful process to 98% of Americans. "Insourcing for market share", in this particular case has not yet been proven to be beneficial even to Qualcomm's bottom line. It's too early to tell. It could just be the case that it's another example of an American company giving away something for a false promise.

"there is always high turnover rate people switch jobs and you don't retain all employees."

You're only pointing out one of the key reasons why companies want to hire using the H1B Visa. Back in the days when Americans flocked to STEM fields, turnover was very high and companies had to pay high compensation in order to retain the best (incidentally, this is happening in India now). With the 6+ year indentured servitude dynamic, workers can now be handcuffed through no cost to the company. Of course companies use this to their benefit.

"If theory of Qualcomm paying H1B less compare to others would have been true, those employees would have ran away to other places on their Green card arrivals"

It's not a theory, it's a fact shown in publicly available records that Qualcomm pays its average H1B workers less than it pays its average worker. Qualcomm isn't stupid though, if they have invested years in training an H1B they will want to keep them which means paying them commensurate wages as they get close to Green Card status (for the workers that they want to retain).

I do know many Green Card holders who left though, so it does happen. Most people who have worked for a large company for 6 years no longer want to take the risk of changing jobs, especially I imagine an immigrant who only knows that one company, some will have been promoted too, so this probably works in QCOMs favor as well. Bottom line, there are many reasons for people to stay working for the company. But we'll never the exact numbers so it's pointless to debate.

"Qualcomm government solution"..."in dire needs of people and they can't find any suitable candidates!!!"

This is because of the same reason that we've already discussed. Americans are avoiding STEM fields because of outsourcing and insourcing (H1B Visa). This exactly shows why it's become a problem for America because we can no longer fill many roles requiring American Citizens and this has created a well known problem for National Security. Hiring Americans into STEM fields was never a problem during the 1980s when the US had enormous numbers of engineers working on Defense projects. In fact during that time, San Diego employment was heavily centered around defense companies and they didn't have an engineering shortage.

"and i can assure you there are no managers of Asian ethnicity!!"

Even though I don't work at Qualcomm, it sounds as though I know the company much better than you as I know several managers in Qgov that are of Asian ethnicity!

"And to everyone here , my group just hired 3 new people".

3 people does not a trend make. The fact that one is a fresh grad with an H1B just reinforces it though, internship or not. Internships are a ridiculous predictor of future potential and often just go to show how well connected someone is to a particular company.

"Only point here is We do hire people on merit rather than anything else."

Like the H1B job ad that required someone with 1 year of feature testing? No doubt that this position was so merit based that it was specifically targeted only for an H-1B.

Sd_engineer,

Once again you are just reading one sentence without whole view.

You look at fresh graduate but than you don't look at that person already has few patents on his name which number may be more than any another person on this forum!!!

Why would I let go that kind of talent!!! I guess you just want understand!!! I am signing off from this thread!!! Keep your fight alive!!!

"Once again you are just reading one sentence without whole view."

I read the whole sentence, the problem is that your posts tend to have many unconnected thoughts scattered in too many areas to try and address with the 3000 word limit in this comments section. I would like to respond to every one of your points, but I have to pick the ones that are most relevant to this discussion. Even still I've written many exhaustive replies to you which would test the patience of most people.

"You look at fresh graduate but than you don't look at that person already has few patents on his name which number may be more than any another person on this forum!!!"

Having patents is certainly a better predictor than internships at companies, but it doesn't change my main point that a single person does not a trend make.

"I am signing off from this thread!!! Keep your fight alive!!!"

This is the inevitable response of someone who either A) Is coming out on the short end of an argument or B) Someone who can't express their points properly in a public forum. Me thinks that both probably apply in this situation.

QcomGeek and pellis, you will rue the day when your skills, used for the niche Qualcomm has pigeonholed you into, are no longer needed or can be acquired for pennies on the dollar by subcontracting to someone equally as brilliant willing to trade for less. When that day comes you will realize that someone in the finance department, with a degree in business, trumps engineering, and that engineers, from a corporate perspective, are regarded as nothing more than a commodity.

Since the 1980s, when American companies began fixating only on running up their stocks, often based on phony earnings, financial executives have risen higher and higher on the corporate totem poles. Best, Don Baudre

When talented, jobless engineers and other "skill-sets" start up employee-owned companies and compete with the hulking, inefficient, predatory bureaucracies that are today's Korporate Kingdoms, and stick with that plan rather than become one of them, the market may have a chance of actually working. But when the Kings buy government vassals at will and live upon direct and indirect subsidies handed out to them, the "market" itself amounts to a colossal fraud. One way of changing this is to network consumers to dry up the "markets" upon which the Kultural Kingdoms depend. This will happen anyway, when the korpus of kustomers have no more money to spend. Then they will be ground up green, and goons will pull the levers in a last gasp of desperate über-conformity.

When an engineer with a PhD makes $150,000 and a CEO with an MBA rakes in $15 million, the problem with today's so-called free markets become obvious. U.S. companies practice financial engineering, not product engineering. Best, Don Bauder

Not only that but the boards of most companies contain mostly banker types. This drives them to make decisions that seem to be correct financially but contain technical risks that most people in engineering management would point out in a second.

A perfect example of this was the decision by the bean counters at Boeing to drive outsourcing of their 787 Dreamliner. Rather than realizing that the reason that Boeing exists is because of their own expertise in the design and manufacture of Jets.

In a surprisingly transparent interview the head of their airplane group said that:

"We spent a lot more money in trying to recover than we ever would have spent if we'd tried to keep the key technologies closer to home," Albaugh told his large audience of students and faculty.

Boeing was forced to compensate, support or buy out the partners it brought in to share the cost of the new jet's development, and now bears the brunt of additional costs due to the delays.

Some Wall Street analysts estimate those added costs at between $12 billion and $18 billion, on top of the $5 billion Boeing originally planned to invest.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sundaybuzz/2014125414_sundaybuzz06.html#cb=f3924059a7e781c&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fseattletimes.nwsource.com%2Ff2b0ee958463a22&relation=parent.parent&transport=flash&type=resize&height=0

Yes, bankers and investment bankers still sit on numerous boards, despite the collapse of the banking industry. Best, Don Bauder

"When an engineer with a PhD makes $150,000 and a CEO with an MBA rakes in $15 million, the problem with today's so-called free markets become obvious. U.S. companies practice financial engineering, not product engineering."

As if this wasn't bad enough, the situation has further evolved to the point that these same CEO's with an MBA look at the engineers making 1/100th the salary with disdain and call them "privileged elites" (direct quote from Greenspan). They consider us to be too expensive and that they need to drive the price of skilled wages even lower through immigration. Many times Greenspan has said exactly that and Geithner is saying it now.

Yet who are responsible for our technological advances? Engineers, not MBAs. Best, Don Bauder

Don, thank you for writing this story.

H-1B is a corrupt program. It is no being used as intended. It should be abolished along with all the alphabet-soup corruption plagued visas; H4, J1, J2, L1 & L2

But will it be abolished, with Wall Street and corporations controlling Congress? Best, Don Bauder

But will it be abolished, with Wall Street and corporations controlling Congress?

If the H-1B visa scam is not dealt with-along with the rest of the idiotic labor policy we have in this nation-we are going to go bankrupt, which is the path we have been on the last 25 years.

We are at the end of the rope, and just as San Diego and this state are upside down from numerous bad economic decisions and policy, so is the nation.

I give the USA 10, 15 years max if we stay on our current path before the system implodes and chaos and anarchy take over. I give our state 3-4 more years max.

This is due much to the capitalism run amok in the U.S. Although I believe that capitalism certainly has its virtues, I also believe that it ultimately leads to plutocracy wherein the few powerful and rich corporations and individuals basically rulr the rest mostly for their own greed or paranoia, as practiced most freely in the U.S. Check out a recent article by an expert critique of capitalism:

http://chronicle.com/article/Capitalisms-Dismal-Future/126659/#

I don't know any system that is more successful than capitalism. But I agree that capitalism as practiced in the U.S. since the 1980s has gone seriously awry. Best, Don Bauder

You know, I've given this single issue a lot of thought, because I think it's challenged everyone's Dogma, Republicans and Dem's alike.

The realization that I came to is this:

As the cliche goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Big government is corrupt, Unions are corrupt, Wall Street is Corrupt. So what happened since the 80s?

Previously, all three groups co-existed at the same time and all 3 created a healthy tension that kept the other groups from gaining to much of an edge that would allow them to grossly exploit the system. In the 80s, Ronald Reagan, correctly in my opinion, recognized the evils of Big Government and Unions. Without realizing the long term ramifications though, he proceeded to deregulate and gut the Federal Government, while simultaneously breaking the unions (or at least starting us on that path).

Fast forward 20 years later to 2011 and Wall Street now has unchecked greed that is exploiting all but the top 2%. The GOP loves to tout Reagan as almost a demi-god, but I seriously doubt if he would have approved of what his policies have wrought.

Incidentally, Reagan's former Director of the OMB, David Stockman, has been very effective at getting the word out about what has happened to the Middle Class and has ripped both parties for fiscal irresponsibility.

Bottom line, my conclusion has become that all 3 forces: unions, strong regulation and Wall Street, as evil as they are, are needed in our society.

Incidentally, Don also mentioned in another post that current Wall Street policies will be ruinous for the uber-rich (not a direct quote). Unfortunately I wish this were true. I think what we will have is a situation that exists in other countries such as Mexico and India where the wealthiest strip-mine everyone else. A case in point: Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world (at last count). Got this way by creating a media monopoly in Mexico - basically think of all of the content companies like Time Warner, merging with broadcasters like CBS, merging with cable companies like Comcast, merging with teleco's like Verizon and merging with Sat companies like DirecTV. He made more money than Bill Gates off of the backs of his fellow Mexicans. All because of his unchecked ability to grow a massive monopoly in Mexico.

The net result hasn't been ruinous for him, but it has been ruinous for those in his country.

Incidentally all of these Uber-wealthy actually have more in-common with each other than they do their fellow countrymen. Nationalism is dead, which in some ways may not necessarily be a bad thing, but what has replaced it is far worse - The Global Robber Barron's. People such as Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and based on this article, apparently the Jacob's family.

This is the direction that we're headed. Say good-bye to the Lower, Middle and Upper Classes. Thanks for building the Infrastructure that we all enjoy today. We took it all for granted and because of our current apathy, have only ourselves to blame.

Very good post. I look forward to seeing your posts in the forums in the future.

Thanks Ponzi, I wish that I could post about something less grim though..

Anarchists have not been successful through the years. But you have a point: anarchism, populism, and progressivism had followers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the U.S. Those were Robber Baron days, in which the gap between the superrich and everybody else was huge. It's huge again -- maybe worse than it was then. Best, Don Bauder

This is exactly the heart of the issue. The H1B program is just one manifestation of the Robber Baron's pushing down everyone to benefit themselves. In the US, the wealthiest 10% own 93% of the assets and have become an unstoppable juggernaut politically. Removing the H1B cap is high on their agenda.

Gerald Celente summarized it perfectly with this interview: http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/too-big-to-fail-is-killing-the-middle-class-celente-says-yftt_535352.html

Everyone should watch this video...

Incidentally, what happened in Wisconsin is just another manifestation of the same problem. Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs gave another great interview today about the Robber Baron's that is a much watch video:

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/the-new-robber-barons-all-politicians-%22in-the-hands-of-the-super-wealthy%22-sachs-says-536034.html

Thirty years ago, who would have dreamed that the U.S. would return to the days of the Robber Barons? Best, Don Bauder

i certainly wouldn't have Don

but history in general bears out the circular motion of societies growth ..maturity..and demise

Nothing new under the sun. Best, Don Bauder

Very true. I was just reading an article the other day that described how the upper middle class is becoming the new middle class and the middle class is being crushed into being the lower class. There is one group who is actually poised to jump from the lower to middle class - Hotel Workers. But only because of their union efforts.

After completely checking out on the H-1B Visa issue, you would think that the AFL-CIO would have realized that it represents an opportunity to reach out and extend their membership to areas that they never recruited from previously. Much as it pains me, perhaps it's labor representation that is needed for white collar skilled jobs.

In fact reading further down in this thread I saw a post by "JenniferDorning" which described efforts by the AFL-CIO to address the H1B Visa problem.

The upper 1% is destroying itself and is too greedy to know it. As the middle class disappears, and the bottom 60% of society suffers sinking incomes, the upper 1% will wake up one day and ask, "What happened to our markets? Didn't we used to have a solid consumer base? Nobody's buying my products. Why?" Best, Don Bauder

There markets moved. To India, China and other nations.

Ironically, while the Chinese and Indians idle their bicycles for car, Americans will be the ones riding bikes again.

Insourcing via H1-B visa abuse and outsourcing is a critical component of the elite plan for the United States. This policy discourages young Americans from studying engineering, since any job they might receive will have depressed wages from insourcing and could be outsourced at any time. An engineering education provides reasoning and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to innovate and potentially create wealth. The elite do not want such people in the United States, preferring "obedient workers" as George Carlin (RIP) once said. Ambitious young Americans are encouraged to study law, finance, and medicine via high salaries and favorable portrayals in Hollywood propaganda films and television. The newly minted lawyers will be trained in the use of the law to continue the economic rape of the lower and middle classes. The financial experts will devise ever more clever ways of extracting whatever remaining wealth exists from the American people, and the doctors will ensure that the population is kept weakened and dull with heavy doses of dangerous pharmaceuticals. Young people not smart enough to work in law, finance, or medicine will be encouraged to seek employment in the armed services, police, prison system, or with agencies such as the TSA. Drugs and alcohol will be made widely available and kept inexpensive to ensure that as many young people as possible are sent to privately-owned prisons for DUI or drug possession. Once there, they can be used as labor even cheaper than is available from much of Asia.

The elite's entertainment propaganda arm ensures that young people are given only a few approved role models in films and television shows. Attorneys, doctors, police, and soldiers are all portrayed as strong, heroic figures with unimpeachable moral character. Engineers, if portrayed at all, are shown as bespectacled, unfit geeks.

The media propaganda arm of the elites ensures that Americans will continue to support insourcing and outsourcing by misdirecting all arguments towards issues of race, political affiliation, etc... This is evident even in this comment thread, people readily parrot the positions they hear or read from the official propaganda outlets.

The elite's left and right wing think tanks generate the position papers that are then turned into law via their network of blackmailed and bought-off political puppets.

This policy has been in full effect for over 20 years now, it is unlikely to change.

Have a nice day everyone.

I don't know: the founders of Google, Facebook, etc. are portrayed favorably. Steve Jobs gets a well-deserved good press. However, the points you make are quite provocative. Best, Don Bauder

In the highly-regarded 2010 film "The Social Network," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is portrayed as a backstabbing, socially awkward geek who alienates those closest to him. Selfish and insecure, he trades friendship for riches and is completely alone at the end of the film. I wouldn't say this is a favorable portrayal. As for Steve Jobs, he is neither an engineer nor a college graduate. He is lauded primarily for his business acumen, product line vision, and leadership skills. The only Apple engineer recognizable to the overwhelming majority of the American population is the nerdy, lovable butterball and "Dancing With the Stars" comedy relief contestant Steve Wozniak. The google lads are widely recognized and viewed favorably, however probably more for their business success than their technical skills. Google's amazing technology portfolio has utterly transformed the world, yet the only names that anyone knows are those of the founders, even though they are responsible for only a tiny fraction of the innovations.

The newly minted lawyers will be trained in the use of the law to continue the economic rape of the lower and middle classes.

Law is so over saturated that less than 50% of all graduating law students do not find work as lawyers. In fact that numbers was a few years ago, it may be 60-75% today.

The University of Michigan, a top 10 law school, were allowing on campus interviews for firms that were outsourcing legal work to India-and their jobs required the law grads of UM- a top 10 law school-to move to Inida to supervise. Now you know we are in toruble when that happens.

Yes, but the pejorative "starving lawyer" has been around for about a century, if not longer. Best, Don Bauder

Re: 214. I don't know any system that is more successful than capitalism. But I agree that capitalism as practiced in the U.S. since the 1980s has gone seriously awry. Best, Don Bauder

The last time I looked, the Mondragon system in Spain worked pretty well. A look at W. L. Gore and Associates might be worth y'all's time. Privately held, but its management is both "old-fashioned" and ahead of its time . . .

Capitalism that is focused upon excellence is, by its nature, simultaneously at odds with the welfare capitalism that depends upon subsidies to "generate" its profits, whilst excellence capitalism, by its nature, COMPETES WITH ITSELF, not with its "competitors."

In my late teens I heard of the "Millionaires Club" (or somesuch moniker) out of Midland Texas, and I decided I wanted to join that club; by the time I was about 20 or so, making more money than I ever have at any job ($1,000+- per month in 1959 dollars), I quit after a year and took a 50 percent pay cut. I had decided that I did not want to piss my life away swimming through the sleaze that was just beginning to develop in that decade. I figured that no matter what I did, I would get by somehow, and that doing what I was truly passionate about would be a better measure of "success" than shekel-piling for its own sake.

"They tell us we are wasting time--but we are wasting our lives." --Eric Hoffer

By quitting that club, you made a very wise life decision. Various scams, including pyramid schemes, become addictive. Best, Don Bauder

Re: Anarchists have not been successful through the years. But you have a point: anarchism, populism, and progressivism had followers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the U.S. Those were Robber Baron days, in which the gap between the superrich and everybody else was huge. It's huge again -- maybe worse than it was then. Best, Don Bauder By dbauder 8:34 a.m., Mar 16, 2011 > Reply > Report it

The trouble with "isms" is that they get hijacked by egocentrics like O'Hare who (how's this for IRONY?) make a religion or a Mad Ave slogan out of free-flowing eruptions of intellectual breakthroughs (labeled aetheism) and ride it into various absurd distortions. But true anarchy has only peripheral relevance to "progressivism," and practically no relationship to "populism." See Henry Geiger's little sheet, "MANAS" for the closest thing to true anarchy--a far, far thing from breakdown of order, on the contrary, it's all about social cohesion ("profit" through cooperation) than cultural disruption (which it does not endorse, but does not riot against).

I did not mean to say that anarchism was philosophically related to either populism or progressivism. There are similarities between populism and progressivism, but they are quite different. Best, Don Bauder

Re: 219. "Thirty years ago, who would have dreamed that the U.S. would return to the days of the Robber Barons? Best, Don Bauder By dbauder 12:39 p.m., Mar 16, 2011

I did, in 1965 or '66, when I wrote a paper entitled "The Corporate Feudal State." My Economics professor did not like it one bit, and it ended up in the dustbin. Soon after, I dropped out again, and literally went up on the mountain for a year or so. The "paper millionaires" were making gains, yet were still held in disdain by the inheritors of the robber-barons like Harvey Firestone (who golfed not far from the little college). The story was that one of these PM "dudes" had wrangled a golf date with Harvey and his pals. To impress Harvey and his golf buddies (maybe B.F. Fairless, who was around at the time, and who knows who else), the PMD asked Harvey, "Do you gentlemen ever wager on the game?" "Sometimes," said Harvey. "Well, how about five grand on the first hole," said the PMD. "We usually bet fifty cents," said Harvey.

When I was Business Week bureau chief in Cleveland 1966-1973, Firestone was in my beat. I did a cover story on the company. The quote sounds like Harvey Firestone. The company's golf obsession was probably deleterious. Firestone made a horrible mistake in trying to make radial tires on older, non-radial equipment. There were a lot of failures that incurred the wrath of customers. Instead of cooperating, the company battled the government's attempts to straighten out the mess. Now the company is controlled from Japan. Best, Don Bauder

That was the infamous Firestone Steel Radial 500 tire. But after Bridgestone (Japan) bought up the wreckage of Firestone, it came a cropper with the Firestone Radial ATX tire on the Ford Explorer. While I still think that Ford was as much to blame, having pressured the tire manufacturer to soften the ride of the tire, Bridgestone/Firestone took the rap. Don't assume that the Japanese are all that ultra-smart. Doubt me? They just "nuked" themselves.

Re: 225. I don't know: the founders of Google, Facebook, etc. are portrayed favorably. Steve Jobs gets a well-deserved good press. However, the points you make are quite provocative. Best, Don Bauder By dbauder 8:44 p.m., Mar 16, 2011

I know I shouldn't be so cynical, but I heard Jobs speak at a big, expensive meeting I attended (just north of you--that place named for a tree) just before the turn of the millennium and was singularly unimpressed. I wouldn't place final judgment on the guy for that occasion alone, but it smelled of the kind of pep-talk (complete with forty-story Power-Pointy graphics that reeks of fakery. That is, I am so drowning in the bus that adopts the euphemism-due jour and perverts it for manipulation, I'm suspicious, especially of the auspicious.

This was just before the dot-com bubble burst. The place was full of pirates, moles, and other pseudo-capitalist vermin, all pumping up their books and strutting around crowing.

Whatever you thought of Jobs personally, you have to look at his achievements at Apple. Best, Don Bauder

Whatever you thought of Jobs personally, you have to look at his achievements at Apple.

When Apple was at $23 a share in the early 1990's my Mom-who loves Apple- wanted to buy as much as she could. I pleaded with her NOT to buy because they were going to go BK, and they were not that far off from BK then. They had a string of bad business decisions and had the flop of the century in the "Newton" hand held device. Mom didn't buy and always brings this issue up to me, cannot live it down.

Then the I-mac came out and then the I-Pod and then the I-Phone and long story short they are now the biggets corp in the world using a capitalization rate.

I still cannot believe their luck/fortune, whatever.

I agree Steve Jobs is the driving force behind their come back.

His highest achievement was stealing the mouse and graphical user interface from Xerox Corporation from their Palo Alto research center, PARC.

How do you think a marketer came up with an innovation? Steve is not an innovator, he is a showman. The P.T Barnum of the 21st Century.

"His highest achievement was stealing the mouse and graphical user interface from Xerox Corporation from their Palo Alto research center, PARC" Xerox let him into their facility. As I recall, there were 2 groups who visited PARC and Jobs was in the second group. they gave him access in exchange for being able to buy a bunch of apple stock. I seriously doubt XEROX let him in without knowing he was going to look at what they were doing, especially considering some of Apple's engineers had worked at PARC. You obviously have your own reasons for your hatred of Jobs and Apple, but i don't. Apple has been good to me. BTW, your concept of karma is slightly flawed.

Stole can be interpreted different ways. The PARC visit was also permitted using non-disclosure agreements and licensing agreements. It wasn’t a simple “hey sell us some of your hot IPO stock and you can steal all our research!”

Another thing is that Xerox was getting the pre-IPO stock for $10 a share. They were given an option for 100,000 shares. The $10 a share was 1000 times more than the founders stock cost. Apple could use a million dollars at the time. In addition, Mike Markkula called the financial shots then, not Jobs.

So let’s follow the money. What windfall did Xerox gain for their early investment in Apple? Well Xerox bought in at $10 share, Apple’s IPO opened at $22, and closed the same day at $28. Wow! Xerox really made out! One of the largest companies in the world agreed to let their technology walk out the door so they could double a one-million dollar stock purchase. No, there are other reasons and I am not going to hijack this blog anymore to go into them. However, they were not buying stock for half-off in a technology giveaway. That is the myth.

"However, they were not buying stock for half-off in a technology giveaway" Didn't say the were. Simply saying the Jobs and the Apple engineers didn't break into PARC in the middle of the night and steal away with gui and mouse technology, which is how you make it sound. But I find it hard to believe that one of the largest companies in the world simply let someone steal their technology and get away with it. Your hatred and bitterness toward Jobs and Apple may or may not be justified, but to someone who has no axe to grind, it appears to colour your comments. That's your prerogative. Feel free to hate on but remember, Karma has a long memory.

tomjohnston,

Is there anything wrong with hatred? There is a distinct difference between you and me. Steve Jobs did not cost you millions of dollars. You have never been engaged in an anti-trust suit with Apple Computer. I have. I also know Steve Jobs.

True a younger Steve Jobs. A Steve Jobs that is not the person of the Steve Jobs today. But the Steve Jobs I hate is still the one I remember. And I will testify in open court to the veracity of everything I have stated in this discussion. It is not opinion or hearsay. It is from my point of view and that of the others in my class action anti-trust suit, the truth. Steve Jobs is a dishonest, POS.

As I said, you may have your reasons and they appear justified in your case. But to retain that hatred after 30 yrs? I admit I'm not in your position, but to carry hatred that long is something I personally have a hard time comprehending

It has taken me years to even admit my hate of him. I have watched him live two lives. The life of a mean-spirited, self-absorbed, greedy ego-maniac who has somehow transformed himself into the messiah for a tech-retarded cult where it’s “cool” to waste money on a parade of electronic junk.

He is the figurehead of a good company that has morphed into the “American Sony” but he got there by trampling on people. Stealing, breaking the law, lying and using lawyers to cover his sinister business conduct. The reason I veered off onto the subject of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs is they are so much the same in so many ways. The new breed of ethic absent businesspeople that emerged in the take-no-prisoners business environment of the 80’s; ignore the laws, use lawyers instead of consciousness to resolve legal disputes, steal ideas from weaker competitors, lie to congress, and ship bad products.

The list could go on and on. As far as still hating him, you could ask the same of those who hate the Nazi’s. Should time make them hate the holocaust less? Sure this is a heavy comparison, but as they say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. I feel we don’t need any more Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. They didn’t rise to their posts on the high road of ethics; they took shortcuts that are sorely seen too many times today with disastrous consequences.

Interesting comments. I've read some books about the early days of Apple and all paint Jobs in a poor light but Wozniak in a very good light.

It sounds like Jobs has found a niche for himself as being the obsessive dictator needed to ensure that products don't come looking as though they are "designed by committee".

The fact that he is successful in this role doesn't make him the messiah that some people would like to paint.

I'm also surprised that nobody also mentioned how Apple, after stealing the XEROX GUI concept turned around and sued DRI for it's GEM GUI.

I seriously doubt XEROX let him in without knowing he was going to look at what they were doing, especially considering some of Apple's engineers had worked at PARC

Actually there were SEVERAL engenieers at PARC that asked the guy showing Jobs all of XEROX's trade secrets "what the hell are you doing??", and that is well documented.

Jobs should have never been allowed into the research and development center of a competitor, never. That is just beyond bizarre.

It may be easy to triangulate me now. I was an early distributor of Apple Computers in the 1980’s. In fact, I was the world largest Apple Computer dealer.

Paltry by today’s standards, I sold over 1,000 Apple II computers a month in 1980, 81, 82 and until a greedy, neurotic, dead-beat dad Steve Jobs decided to violate U.S. Anti-Trust laws by installing a price-fixing and territorial manipulation that still holds true today.

Apple is one of the biggest litigators of American corporations. Steve Jobs love to sue. Steve Jobs is a jerk. I hate him and I wish him the karma that is evidently visiting him early in his greedy life.

In the 80;s, Apple endeared itself to the U.S. Congress and White House claiming to be the “new economy.” They were given special tax breaks. They gave Apple II and Mac away to schools under a program called “Apple Seed” intended to get youth to adopt Apple technology later in life.

It worked. There are many people who grew up with Apple’s retarded interface in school and think it’s so “cool” when it’s just a freakin gimmick. Apple is just a big over-priced greedy corporation and as an original promoter, shareholder and licensed retailer of Apple, I can attest in all candor that Apple sucks and Steve Jobs is one of the biggest jerks of the 20th century.

No tears will develop when…..

I'm sure Steve Jobs is no saint, but, relevant to this article, the question is whether Apple offshored much engineering jobs or hired many H-1B engineers, over its history. That is, compared to other high-tech companies such as Microsoft or Sun Microsystems, what was its percentage of H-1B engineers from its total engineering employees?

There is a reason for that. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are very paranoid people. But Jobs is more paranoid that Gates. So Jobs is careful about his inner circle of engineers that could steal (like some large 3rd world countries have a propensity for doing) and keep his cars close to his chest.

Apple (Jobs as alter-ego) is one of the biggest litigators in the high-tech industry. Jobs will sue anything that moves… when he walks in the room the fish stop swimming.

He just prefers to use offshore for assembly but not for development and R&D.

Apple doesn’t have a large suite of software applications. So they don’t need as many noses slinging code. Apple’s core business is “cool.” They sell the sizzle, not the steak. They are more of a consumer electronics company than a high technology innovator.

What people “think” is innovation is really just slick packaging. Most people use PC’s because PC’s have more powerful, more supported, have a dramatically larger hardware and software universe and are cheaper. Sure, they are not “cool” but they are practical. People who drive a BMW, Audi or Prius may own Apples, but people who drive a Toyota, Honda or Ford probably use a PC.

There is a reason for that. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are very paranoid people. But Jobs is more paranoid that Gates. So Jobs is careful about his inner circle of engineers that could steal (like some large 3rd world countries have a propensity for doing) and keep his cars close to his chest.

======================== That in and of itself is hilarious given the fact that Steve Jobs stole the Apple OS (first GUI OS) from the Xerox PARC computer lab, and then made it the cornerstone of the Apple OS. And even funnier still b/c MS stole it from a guy that stole it from Apple and made Windows.

As for an operating system (OS) for the new computers, since Microsoft had never written an operating system before, Gates had suggested that IBM investigate an OS called CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers), written by Gary Kildall of Digital Research. Kindall had his Ph.D. in computers and had written the most successful operating system of the time, selling over 600,000 copies of CP/M, his OS set the standard at that time.

IBM tried to contact Kildall for a meeting, executives met with Mrs. Kildall who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Bill Gates told IBM he had an almost complete disc operating system (lying to IBM). IBM soon returned to Bill Gates and gave Microsoft the contract to write the new operating system, one that would eventually wipe Kildall's CP/M out of common use.

CP/M was a Z-80 & 8080 8-bit based operating system and Tim Paterson modeled his QDOS after CP/M because he needed an OS for the new line of 16-bit chips, the 8086, 286, 386.... However, Bill Gates conned him into selling QDOS so he could resell it to IBM.


Apple did not use Intel family processors, so QDOS or any DOS would not have run on Apples. Apple used the 6502 by Motorola. Steve Wozniak wrote the first basic interpreter for the Apple, ROM based Integer Basic. Since Gates was really more a BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language man, he agreed to write a floating-point language for Apple called AppleSoft. It was based on a ROM as well. Then Apple began to develop their own proprietary disk operating system, AppleDOS. Microsoft did however, steal the "look and feel" of the GUI interface from Apples MAC. There was a lawsuit over it. Mostly Microsoft tried to acquire companies with innovative products. When they could not buy them, they stole their features and incorporated them into DOS and later Windows.

Same thing is happening today with Google.

Mostly Microsoft tried to acquire companies with innovative products.

I don't think Microsoft has ever really innovated anything on their own, they pretty much bought everything they have, just like you said.

I will say it is hard to imagine MS in 1995 ever losing it's edge in tech because it was so dominate, sort of like what we see today with Google but more so-yet MS has taken a mighty tumble from being the Tech leader of the 1990's.

Even MS Office has lost HUGE market share with the introduction of free products like Open Office.

In fact, creating the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation for humanitarian aids to the third-world notwithstanding, I am more p.o.'ed at Bill Gates and Microsoft for abusing the loopholes of H-1B visa program and perpetuating the myth of the "acute shortage" of skilled IT professionals or domestic college IT graduates in the U.S. But, then again, I'm talking about one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world that has NEVER provided a toll-free number to reach its technical support department, so that figures!

Someday, perhaps in their memoirs or on their deathbed, the golden handcuffed developers of the 1980’s Microsoft may tell. Microsoft, after stealing Q-DOS and pretending to have a working OS for IBM, developed MS-DOS. IBM entered into the most stupid business deal they would ever engage in. Microsoft wen from developing microprocessor language interpreters like BASIC, to operating systems for the Intel brand CPU.

This wasn’t enough for Bill Gates greed. He wanted into the application market as well. The digital office business; word processing, spreadsheets, database and graphics, taxes. This market was getting filled with companies like WordPerfect, WordStar, SuperCalc, QuattroPro, and VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, Dbase and more.

So, when Bill wanted to get in the game he found it a tough going. So what to do? Well when you are building the roads (operating system) you pretty much own the keys to the kingdom. The MS developers created super API (like accessories that do special things inside the operating system when accessed). MS did not share these API’s with outside developers. So this advantage allowed MS apps to look better, do more things and run faster. Even with that advantage the other company’s first-mover status had them far in the lead. It was going to be darn hard for MS to catch up.

Plan B. Reverse the API. Make it so when certain applications ran on the MS-DOS OS they periodically, randomly and intermittently failed or just did buggy things. Like lose data, crash, do something right one time and not another time. (Don’t believe this? Ever heard of an “Easter Egg?” Yes, crap makes it into millions of lines of code).

This went on for years and third-party developers were stymied. Of course they could not prove anything because they did not have access to the Microshaft source code.

Microsoft continues to advance its office applications using proprietary API’s, more money from IPO for marketing and bundling demands. (One of the antitrust abuses they were dogged with). One by one the competitors’ products were abandoned. Buggy, not as good as MS and not as cheap.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen it’s true. There is a crime behind every fortune.

Microsoft, after stealing Q-DOS

QDOS was stolen from Apple, which stole it from Xerox's PARC.

You know your OS history Ponzi!

QDOS was based on Gary Kildall's CP/M, Paterson had bought a CP/M manual and used it as the basis to write his operating system in six weeks, QDOS was different enough from CP/M to be considered legal. Microsoft bought the rights to QDOS for $50,000, keeping the IBM deal a secret from Seattle Computer Products.

Now what Apple stole was the patented concept of GUI that Xerox was developing in their PARC lab in Palo Alto. Although Xerox was ready to introduce a GUI based computer, Jobs stole the technology and beat them to the punch. Even after signing non-disclosure agreements with the Xerox lab. The same Jobs whom (at the time) a deadbeat dad. He did not support or acknowledge her as his daughter. He later named her after (his second failed product) The Lisa. Of course, Jobs got his start by making illegal "blue boxes" and selling them. Blue Boxes were phone hacking devices that allowed people to steal long distance from the phone company. There is a crime behind every fortune. Also, if he worked for any other company, after several failed products; Apple III, Lisa, Newton and others, he would have been fired.

Kaypro would develop the Kaypro II. It used a splitting image (verbatim copy) of a Xerox 820 computer main board. Poor Xerox, just trying to climb out of the copier business and everybody was stealing their technology. :(

Apple shareholders would disagree vehemently. Just look at the string of successes. Best, Don Bauder

Is this supposed to do more good than harm for American economy?

"'Startup' Visas Could Boost U.S. Entrepreneurship

New legislation aims to keep skilled workers in the country if they start companies that create American jobs, Vivek Wadhwa says"

"Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) have just introduced a bill that promises to slow down the outflow of skilled talent and boost entrepreneurship in the U.S. This is an updated version of the Startup Visa Act, drafted early last year, which addresses the original bill's major deficiencies. The new version adds provisions to allow foreign students in U.S. universities and workers on H-1B visas to start companies in the U.S."

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/mar2011/sb20110314_886007.htm

We need more indigenous entrepreneurship. Best, Don Bauder

The U.S. does not need more H-1B visas; it needs a better H-1B system. While foreign workers with advanced degrees may be important to our future, simply increasing the number of available H-1Bs will not ensure that we are recruiting and retaining the workers that will grow our economy.

Over 200,000 H-1B visas are issued every year (new applications and renewals). Over 100,000 of those H-1B visas go to fill entry level positions. There is no evidence that there are an insufficient number of U.S. workers to fill these positions.

There are numerous ways to improve the H-1B system, including the establishment of a labor market test. The H-1B visa was intended to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the United States to fill positions that could not be filled by the domestic workforce. Yet H-1B visas are issued regardless of worker shortages. In the second quarter of 2010, computer scientists, systems analysts, and computer programmers all had unemployment rates of around 6 percent, which is high for this occupation field, yet nearly 90,000 H-1B visas were issued to hire foreign workers in computer-related occupations.

Any changes to the H-1B program will have significant consequences for our future. Access to even more foreign workers creates a disincentive to invest in our domestic education programs and leads to fewer U.S. students pursuing math, science, and engineering degrees. We should be supporting programs that have the opposite effect.

For more information about these issues, see the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO website, www.dpeaflcio.org and two of its reports on the H-1B visa system: "Guest Worker Visas: The H-1B and L-1" and "Gaming the System: Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the U.S." (www.dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/).

Jennifer, good to see the AFL-CIO is aware of the H-1B Visa problem. There are many in the tech field who feel that during prior White House Administrations, the AFL-CIO could have pushed back on the expansion of the H-1B program, but instead chose to do nothing. By standing by, they were viewed by many as part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

Personally, I think that the AFL-CIO has, at least so far, missed a golden opportunity to champion this cause and thereby recruit from the ranks of the skilled professionals. I (and I know many others) would be willing to pay membership dues if it meant that the AFL-CIO would use it's lobby to counter the growing chorus of tech CEOs that are demanding an increase or removal of the H1B cap.

It's outrageous that a company such as Qualcomm would receive 6,224 H-1B Viss here in San Diego for a workforce of only 12,500. As if this weren't enough, the CEO has publicly stated that despite the fact that 60% of their workforce is comprised of foreigners, that they would like to have doubled the numbers of H-1Bs Visas that they had been so far granted. (. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/03/tech-talent-dra/ .)

If you've read this thread, then you have also seen the link that contradicts the statements of Paul Jacobs that, "The company doesn’t seek out foreign-born nationals". (. http://www.itjobscareer.com/2008/12/h1b-opportunity-qualcomm-usa-san-diego.html .).

Clearly in fact the company does seek out foreign-born nationals (in this case a mediocre foreign-born national). It's exactly this sort of anti-American hiring practice and corporate double speak that has many in the profession outraged and worried about their future.

We in the profession support your efforts, if in fact it represents a genuine effort to push back on the outsourcing and insourcing policies that have been disastrous for this country.

You may have a point: the AFL-CIO should move to help American engineers. Maybe it could boost its membership. Best, Don Bauder

Very true. I think that this goes to show that in the new Robber Baron economy, anyone who collects a paycheck from a company is essentially middle class and thereby subject to the same exploitive tools of outsourcing and insourcing.

I would think that if the AFL-CIO were to realize this that they could grow in influence and serve to check the current imbalance.

Any system that pushes Americans into becoming a minority in the workplace is inherently corrupt. Qualcomm's "Global Workforce Inclusion" has really become a case of "American Workforce Displacement". Though they may try and spin it however they want, their dirty little secret is out.

300 comments-I think you picked a good topic to blog about.

Yes, this subject resonates, but the media have done little with it. No doubt the fears of losing access to sources (an old trick of companies) or getting pressure from advertisers (another) have something to do with it. Best, Don Bauder

Re: 292.

"We need more indigenous entrepreneurship. Best, Don Bauder By dbauder 8:46 a.m., Mar 17, 2011"

We need a less confining (grades, certificates, emphasis on "failure"), yet more demanding (in terms of actual performance) educational system. It is coming on its own, no thanks to many educational institutions, with notable exceptions like MIT and some others. But there seems to be no CONSCIOUS effort to transform the present penal-type system.

Improving the football team is more important than improving education, I am afraid. Best, Don Bauder

Failings of K-12 Education in the US has long been pointed to as a reason to import skilled labor, but detailed studies have shown it to be a complete red herring.

For example, the Chinese government has allowed only schools in Shanghai to participate in standardized test scores and their test scores came out on top. But if you dig deeper there were obvious reasons for this. The first is that Shanghai is the high-tech hub of China and has the best schools and students in the country. The other thing is there is a weed-out process that steers underperforming students into a blue collar career path in manufacturing. Removing the underachievers will obviously raise the average and skew the results.

In the US our "no child left behind policy" means that all test scores are included in the average which lowers the average, even though the top performing group is equal to those in other countries.

A case in point is California, we have some of the top performing schools in the nation (including many here in San Diego), but we also have an enormous ESL population that lowers the average so that California comes in close to the bottom in national test scores. Many Northern States such as Montana that you wouldn't normally think of as being educational powerhouses rank very high, but not because their schools are any better than those in California, but rather because they have a lower population of underachieving ESL immigrants.

Really one of the best thing that could be done would be to enforce anti-monopoly regulations. What drives innovation is not immigration (no surprise), but rather having small, nimble companies that respond to the market faster and with products that work well. Small companies also tend to hire and reward people with established track records of performance, rather than hiring based on credentials and H1B pipelines (as does Qualcomm).

Unfortunately large monopolies also hurt innovation through predatory practices that stifle competition and keep small companies from gaining a foot-hold. Anyone remember Stac Electronics vs MS here in San Diego?

Speaking of Microsoft, it's been well known for going on 2 decades now that their dominance with Windows gives them an unfair advantage in the App market. As a minimum MSFT should have been broken up into OS and app companies. The same monopolistic policy that causes MSFT to treat customers poorly also drives them to be a terrible employer.

Qualcomm has grown in size to where many consider it to be a wireless monopoly. Double dipping and in some cases triple dipping in IP licensing fees has angered many customers, but because there are few alternatives, the practice continues. The same "who cares" attitude that irritates customers also carries over into the treatment of workers.

One last point about "innovation through start-ups" rather than "innovation through immigration":

The start-up dynamic in Silicon Valley (and San Diego!) is a well known and understood process. Many if not all of the tech companies that exist today owe their genesis to Engineers employed at large companies that existed at the time. The engineers who were capable and desiring of a challenge, came up with new ideas for starting a businesses and drove innovation.

The US heavily benefitted from this innovation, but all of that is in jeopardy now because insourcing and outsourcing gives people the skills and knowledge to start businesses in other countries. The fact that outsourcing and insourcing displace American workers almost GUARANTEES that more innovation will take place overseas.

In the wired interview, Paul Jacobs described this process as "one of the scariest things that is happening in the US". Unfortunately he seems unwilling to recognize that his own hiring policies directly contribute to the problem, and his company continues to be one of the "most vociferous proponents" of the H1B program (according to Dr. Matloff).

sd_engineer, you almost have it figured out. Moving innovation overseas is the goal. Note however that innovation is, for the most part, not moving to other developed, democratic countries like France or Germany. Rather, it is moved primarily to autocratic one-party China or corrupt, highly fragmented India. In either case, engineers in these countries will be unlikely to use their skills to accumulate wealth and therefore threaten the power structure. The elite are terrified that people like Zuckerberg, Gates, Jobs, etc... have been able to quickly move from the middle class to positions of power. Possessing great inherited wealth but no worthwhile skills, the elite's position at the top of the pyramid is tenuous, to say the least. They have no choice but to work to structure society such that threats to their positions are eliminated before they can occur. Hence the dismantling of the middle class and the establishment of a police state here in the US. China already has a police state in place, people there are more easily kept in line. India's tremendous ethnic diversity and corruption will serve as checks to prevent anyone from accumulating too much power.

The established western democracies will be brought back under the elite's control via a variety of methods, including outsourcing, environmental regulations, tremendous debts to private interests, and uncontrolled immigration from third world countries. As these countries become more unequal, more indebted, more diverse in language and culture, they become more easy to control using the simple "divide & conquer" techniques pioneered in colonial Africa and India. Notice how quickly these H1-B debates revert to accusations of racism or jingoism and you begin to understand the power of "divide & conquer." Once the accusation is made, the discussion is instantly diverted and meaningful discussion ceases. Powerful interests like think tanks can hire PR firms to fill blog comment threads with such nonsense, causing sensible readers to turn away. After enough of this, the mere mention of "H1-B" will cause discomfort to many people and they will refuse to discuss it, even among friends.

Good luck to everyone, we are going to need it.

Definitely very provocative and though provoking. I would like to think that the real world is not as diabolically evil as your post would suggest. But many of your points do ring true.

I don't know that outsourcing and insourcing guarantee that more innovation will take place overseas, but I do suspect that they inhibit domestic innovation. Best, Don Bauder

Averages can be deceiving. Ditto for medians. Best, Don Bauder

Microsoft is doing a good enough job breaking itself up. Innovation is unknown there. I don't know how Ballmer hangs on. Inept board, probably. Best, Don Bauder

By Twister 12:43 a.m., Mar 20, 2011 By dbauder 9:28 a.m., Mar 20, 2011 By sd_engineer 10:10 a.m., Mar 20, 2011

[NOTE: Notice how, to reference previous posts, one has to copy the name/time/date rather than use the post number. That's because every time there's one of those "step-down" or "Reply" posts, the numbers change. It's probably useless to keep mentioning this, but especially with 300+ posts it invites more confusion than clarity, takes more time, and invites a greater potential for error. Bauder's credibility is high, but the Reader's is declining. I guess we just have to be grateful for the privilege of reading Don's blog--and even being able to respond. And (GET THIS) having Don respond.]

I have too high a regard for sde to flip off his comment as a red herring; I quite agree with the content of her/his specific remarks to slander even slightly, but I will take pains to extend both my own remarks and try to build upon his/hers.

Where does "indigenous entrepreneurship" come from? To what extent is the "system of education" responsible (cutting both ways)? To what extent does it leave every child behind?

I must admit, however, that if anything makes steam come out of my ears is the classic shibboleth about “underperforming” students, second only to the common presumption that said underperformance is somehow the fault of DNA, a lousy environment, or both, kissing off the kid as an unfortunate, but irredeemable error to be relegated to the dustbin of the assembly-line or the dole.

Sure, “No Child Left Behind” is a cruel joke of the first order, but to claim that, on the basis of how one twists the statistics, that because “our” school system is “better” than China’s (thus concluding that it is “just fine”) must be an oversight by sde or my own twist on sde’s intended meaning. Either way, the central question remains, “Is the US school system in need of improvement (or in my view, complete rebuilding from scratch) or not?

Children are not mere little, imperfect adults; they are FORMING minds, subject to deformation—yet they are resilient, more so the younger they are. So the idea that they can be “tested” in their formative years, “earning” “grades” that stick to them like an Auschwitz tattoo, is an indictment of their “educators,” not the children. Much as I disagree with what No Child Left Behind is as a bureaucratic SNAFU, there is no reason that as many children need be tossed out on the basis of “failing” to meet adult expectations (in very restricted ways). We need to look where we’re not looking, and stop being so cocksure about knowing everything. THAT is what ignorance is. THAT is what true education should be about removing, not about hanging onto. Normally, I’m amused about irony. Not this time.

I think we have to realize that we are pushing too many young people into college, and thereby lowering standards. Not everyone needs a college education. Best, Don Bauder

Also, not everyone needs to have advanced degrees. This is particularly true in the software industry where rapid change means that much of what is learned in school will quickly become outdated.

Most of the people that I know who pursued advanced degrees, did so mainly because it was a credential needed to try and differentiate themselves from the growing masses. But everyone now has a masters degree, so the people that I know who are currently pursuing a master degree do so because it's no longer a differentiator and has instead become an expensive requirement. This serves to show 1) how crowded the field has become and 2) how it has only served to push people from the field because the return on investment is too low.

Incidentally, developing software is also a relatively easy process compared to other engineering fields. Someone could make the claim that developing App software for example is really more trade (art really) than science. Preferring people with a masters degree over someone with 10 years of experience developing that specific type of App is an example of HR run amok.

Agreed. There is certainly a surfeit of MBAs. Ditto for lawyers. Do software engineers need a Master's? Good question. Best, Don Bauder

To be sure, the educational system in the US could be made better. My main point was not to imply that the US has the best educational system in the world, but rather that on standardized international tests, when one compares apples to apples that US students are holding their own. The mainstream media has been reporting exactly the opposite message and using apples to oranges comparisons.

Many of your points also apply (perhaps even more readily) to schools in other countries, particularly in Asia, where the emphasis is on test performance rather than creative thought. Dr. Matloff recently wrote about this where he said that some book stores that he visited in Shanghai were dominated with books on how to perform well on college board exams. Some of the math books that he looked at were filled with tricks on how to quickly come up with the correct answer. What was completely lacking in this process was the creative thought process needed to apply math to describe physical problems (word problems basically).

College teachers complain that many students, including foreign students, work only to pass the tests. Best, Don Bauder

What are they going to do, sell dope?

No, but they could be working as skilled technicians or service workers, like their peers in Germany, as long as their jobs aren't taken away and given to the foreigners by American employers. I doubt there are more than a few over there who sell dopes or engage in illegal activities to make money, just because they didn't end up going to college. Germans simply take care of their workers much better than Americans do with theirs.

You've hit on one of the key dynamics that has been created from the outsourcing and insourcing policies that have hurt this country.

Every society has a population of people who are better suited for manufacturing and blue collar type jobs. It's in everyone's interests to make sure that we continue to have suitable jobs for these people and not push them into a role where they will fail.

The unemployment rate for some segments of the US population, particularly young minorities is 50%. One of the lessons learned from what is happening in Egypt and other Arab countries is that having a large segment of unemployed young people is almost guaranteed to cause unrest. Somebody could also make the case that without suitable jobs and with unemployment that high, that many people are directly pushed into crime. People need to eat and have decent health care.

When outsourcing first became widespread, Wall Street economists said that we'll just retrain everyone for technology jobs instead. Now that technology jobs have been hammered, these same economists said that we'll just innovate in the service sector. Now that service jobs are being outsourced it's pretty clear that we've all been fed a bunch of nonsense (putting it diplomatically) and that all of these policies have only benefited the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

Correct: restiveness among youth, particularly educated youth, is key to the Egyptian revolt. Best, Don Bauder

Washing windows, repairing cars, clerking in a retail store -- all these are necessary jobs that don't require degrees. Best, Don Bauder

That's one way to make a good living, unless you get caught. Best, Don Bauder

In his minority party response to a State of the Union message (Reagan? I forget the date . . .), Jim Wright said, "We just can't go on selling pizzas to each other." The illusion then was that we didn't need factory or even technical jobs, we were now in a "service" economy.

Now that "service" jobs (for many of which their necessity was always in question, but "necessary" within the context of the prevalent illusion, are being outsourced too, not much is left but being a well-paid lackey or goon--or a slave (in net effect).

Every time certain occupations in America are offshored en masse, the American workers are told to suck it up and just retrain for the next new jobs, as though it's easy and cheap for them to do. Ridiculous...

Every time certain occupations in America are offshored en masse, the American workers are told to suck it up and just retrain for the next new jobs, as though it's easy and cheap for them to do. Ridiculous...

=============== LOL...and the dorks usually saying this crap are almost always polititicans who have no skill sets whatsoever and would be living out on the streets if not for their gov workfare..........

American workers are the most intelligent and highly trained in the world. We have student loan debt that exceeds credit card debt. We have millions of college grads who cannot find work, but somehow need to "update" their "skills". We have hundreds of thousands of law school grads who cannot find work and have no chance of ever becoming lawyers.

Everytime I hear that Americans "need more skills or training" I want to knock the teeth out of the polititican saying it-and I would if I could do so with impunity.

An older way to describe a service economy -- that was in use long before we had pizza -- is people doing each other's laundry. Best, Don Bauder

In 2007 I remember discussing this whole service economy nonsense with a good friend of mine. He is also an engineer and we were both seeing the impacts of off-shoring, not just the loss of jobs but the fierce (and permanent!) competition that it's creating in overseas countries, particularly in Asia. He made the comment that still rings true, "If someone wanted to cripple the United States they couldn't have found a better way than the current situation that has led us to outsourcing".

Neither of us could understand at the time why the Dow was at 13,000 and the Real Estate market was booming. I remember reading in the newspaper at the time that 50% of the job growth in California from 2001 to 2007 was due to the Real Estate market (realtors, brokers, construction, etc.). Neither of us could see how any of this was sustainable. I had some money that I needed to invest at the time and knew that it was a mistake to put it into Real Estate or stocks. After thinking about it for awhile I decided to put it into Gold despite the fact that I had never purchased Gold as an investment before. I still have it today and it's doubled in value since then...

I find it hard to reconcile the vehement assertions that there is no shortage of engineers in San Diego with my own experience in the San Diego tech and startup scene. Perhaps in non-software engineering there are plenty of talent and no jobs, but that is certainly not true right now in software.

I am a software developer and the CTO of a small startup where I am currently the sole developer, and I am actively attending many different events trying to recruit other developers. At every event the number of people trying to fill positions is larger than the number of people looking for work. This is true at the monthly SD Ruby meetups, at Barcamp (which Intuit hosted, and plastered with job descriptions and people trying to hire), the last two San Diego Startup weekends, at recent 'Startup Job Fairs' at the Ansir Innovation Center, and every other event I have been to.

At a startup, I don't have the resources that a Qualcomm has to deal with H1B visas, but I definitely feel the shortage of talent. And if you're a web developer who is looking for work, by all means contact me and we'll talk. kball (at) fashioningchange (dot) com

I find it hard to reconcile the vehement assertions that there is no shortage of engineers in San Diego with my own experience in the San Diego tech and startup scene. Perhaps in non-software engineering there are plenty of talent and no jobs, but that is certainly not true right now in software.

I am a software developer and the CTO of a small startup where I am currently the sole developer, and I am actively attending many different events trying to recruit other developers. At every event the number of people trying to fill positions is larger than the number of people looking for work. .....At a startup, I don't have the resources that a Qualcomm has to deal with H1B visas, but I definitely feel the shortage of talent.

My first quesiton, and probably the answer, is are you offering a decent compensation package?

I am going to guess no.

The 300+ posts on this subject is contrary to your position by a pretty high margin.

Another question. If the compensation is good, is the startup business plan sound? Startups require a lot of effort to launch and nobody wants to put a ton of blood sweat and tears (sweat equity) into a company that fails... been there and done that!

One last thing. People seem to begrudge software developers making six figure incomes, but they don't realize the level of initial and on-going education required to stay proficient in this field. Once that is factored in, we're probably lower paid than those in many fields (comparing education to education). I have a realtor neighbor who makes much more money than engineers with only a high school education. My mechanic is making $90/hr, and he gets paid for overtime, when HE decides to work overtime.

kball, I don't mean to sound as though I'm denigrating your company or opening, but if compensation is a problem, you might want to look at hiring fresh grads or those working their way through school.

I don't begrudge software engineers making six figures. I DO begrudge CEOs making eight figures and hedge fund managers making 9 or 10 figures. Best, Don Bauder

When you say that you begrudge CEOs making 8 figures, are you referring to only salary or total compensation packages??

Here's the thing: It isn't just my startup. I agree that we are not necessarily a great example because we don't currently have much in the way of money and so are offering more equity and less salary at least in the short term.

But every event I go to, even as I'm clearly looking for people and not available to hire, I'm getting pitched as an engineer by not only startups but established companies trying to hire.

Intuit hosted barcamp largely so that they could recruit from the attendees. Sony just started sending a large number of people to SD Ruby meetups, trying to recruit. And those startups that have more money available are putting it out there... OpenCandy hosted a hackathon with prizes etc as a way to find and meet more developers.

Now, most of the events I've been going to are very web and mobile focused, so I don't have a sense of the market outside of those areas, but as a developer with web skills I'm getting approached every week.

kball, interesting points. Perhaps things are better in the App and web development world. I started in Apps development and then specialized in lower level embedded programming because I liked the challenge and it brought me closer to key technologies that I found interesting. It also seemed to be the case that salaries were higher, although I didn't specialize in this area for that reason.

Last time I looked, it does seem to be that the delta in salaries between web/App developers and SW Engineers working in embedded areas has decreased and I think that much of this is because many HW centric projects are being outsourced. Perhaps it's also the case the demand for Web programmer's has increased because we have become so web centric. Not sure, but it's good to hear that you're finding things to be better in the Web arena.

But if engineers are so desperate for jobs, won't they take lower compensation packages? Best, Don Bauder

Unfortunately I do believe that in most cases they are taking lower compensation packages. I feel that I'm very tuned in to the local start-up job market scene and I clearly see this to be the case.

Based on what "Indian_H1B" has said, I'm guessing that some large companies are still giving annual increases in order to keep their best staff happy. But this is a tenuous road, these highly compensated people will find that they need to take a pay cut if they take a job elsewhere. No question that they will have to take a pay cut if they stay in San Diego.

They might find similar compensation in a big company like Cisco in the Bay Area (not sure), but the cost of living is higher so they will end up on the short-end by moving.

On the other end of the spectrum from the highly compensated engineers, are those engineers that aren't driving innovation but are still necessary cogs in the machine. The Qualcomm mindlance test job that I posted a link to is an example of such a job. That link was pulled (not surprised), but the job still shows up if one search the mindlance website directly. If one does search the mindlance website, the compensation range is visible and it's a shocking $30k/yr. I've never seen test engineering compensation that low, even for a temp. Temp wages in fact used to be higher than perm employees because of the lack of benefits.

Based on what I've seen first-hand, I think that this is typical of the job market. There are masses of mediocre engineers working in temp jobs where the salaries are being crushed. At the other-end, the best engineers at start-ups have felt the pinch for quite some time, but the best engineers at a large company such as Qualcomm are probably just now beginning to see the trend.

I expect that highly compensated engineers such as "Indian_H1B", who incidentally, represent a small minority of the overall engineering market, will be in for a shock over the next few years. This is because the influx of engineers and the outflow of jobs is building.

Just to add to this, as I mentioned previously one VP of Engineering at a local start-up told me that he saw no need to pay for $100K/yr for engineers anymore because there are so many engineers available. I know the highest paid person on his staff who is making $120K/yr and this person said to me, "I'm just hoping that this gig will keep me going for another 5 years, after that who knows".

Shortage of indigenous engineering talent for a startup: that's worth discussing. Best, Don Bauder

Lots of factors to discuss. Ignoring the indigenous vs non-indigenous issue for a moment. Is there really a shortage? The article in the UT that pellis posted a link to made this claim, but I have first-hand knowledge with many of these companies that would contradict this claim.

Most telling in the UT article though were the comments by Bob Stamp the recruiter from Cubic:

"But it’s tough to find workers to fill high-skilled slots, said Bob Stamp, the company’s corporate staffing manager. “Most companies would ideally like to have the ‘A’ players, with four to seven years of experience, but those are very hard to find and if you do find them, they’re very difficult to pry out of their current jobs,” he said."

Since when did Engineering come to be viewed as such a competitive sport that anyone over 30 is a B player? NFL Quarterbacks have longer runs than some engineers. Would Bret Favre if he were working as an engineer be employable as a 'C' player? Engineers aren't paid for their physical prowess, but for their ability to engineer. A process that requires intelligence, knowledge, experience and problem solving abilities. Most of these grow with age rather than shrink.

This was exactly my message to pellis earier. Based on his post I think he was around 30 years old and he was already talking about "ageism taking it's toll". In 10 years, he will probably feel as though he is just coming into his own as an engineer - he will have learned the team dynamics necessary for SW execution, will have learned SW process, will have honed his programming and engineering skills and will probably feel that he is better at engineering than he ever was at 30. But at 40, companies will view him as a 'C' or 'D' player. One who is either A) too expensive, B) too old and slow to drive innovation or C) his skills are too antiquated, or all of the above.

This age issue is tightly coupled with the H-1B Visa problem, because the massive numbers of 20 somethings have created a perception that engineering is somehow like the Olympics - it's all down-hill after 16...

There is definitely some level of perception problem around age, and I'm not sure exactly where it comes from. The best engineers I have ever worked with have actually been on different ends of the age spectrum. One was in his late 50s, while the other was in his early twenties. What set both of them apart is that they were constantly working to improve themselves and their skills.

My entire career has been at startups (with just one brief period at a larger company after an acquisition), so I can't really speak to larger companies, but I'm not sure how prevalent the ageist issue is.

While there are definitely some startups that have explicit ageism (Facebook comes to mind; having seen Zuckerberg talk at an event where he was very openly ageist), I don't know exactly how true it is in startups across the board.

Youthful startup founders get idolized by the media, but I remember hearing at a conference from the guys from TechStars that the median age of a founder is around 30, and that a significant number of founders in their 40s and 50s. This makes a great deal of sense to me. To found a company one has to be pretty confident... that can either come from arrogance (case in point Zuckerberg again) or experience.

The ageist issue is very prevalent in engineering. This is particularly true in bay area tech companies, which coincidentally (or not) have some of the highest H-1B populations.

Google was recently sued for age discrimination. Here is an article about it:

http://gawker.com/#!5568975/at-google-youre-old-and-gray-at-40

As a demonstration of the uselessness of referring to post numbers, I have entered this one, which, if I am right will now be 350. Sorry--I couldn't resist persisting. (I won't be able to edit this or take it back once I hit "Reply" either.)

This is not surprising considering that the insourcing/outsourcing programs have been in place for 20 years now, depressing wages and discouraging Americans from pursuing careers in software and engineering. As someone in this thread pointed out, skilled auto mechanics can earn $90/hour, so why would a smart person study software and compete with $30/hour engineers in Bangalore when they can fix BMWs for double the money with no worry of the job being outsourced? I can tell you that going rates for most types of software work have been flat or declining for 10 years. In 2001 skilled software people were making $110K/year and in 2011 skilled software people are making $110K/year. In 2001 houses cost $250K but now they cost $500K plus. Milk is twice the price, oil double, health insurance way up, etc... TVs are cheaper so we can watch "Dancing With The Stars" in HD but the essentials are more expensive. In any case, Americans must choose careers wisely, and currently engineering and software do not appear to be wise choices for most people.

The trouble with "choosing a career wisely" is that conditions change, often drastically. I used to give talks to college students. I would always tell them to choose a career in some field they are good at, that they enjoy doing. Pay no attention to what field seems to be remunerative when you are in college. Chances are that the field will get overcrowded as too many students rush in, and salaries will plunge. You will be much happier being a good teacher for lower pay than being a mediocre accountant for higher pay. Best, Don Bauder

Meanwhile, the Obama Adminstration continues its rhetoric on the need to graduate many more STEM to keep America technologically and, hence, economically ahead of the rest of world.

Yes, I think Obama's campaign for more college grads is silly. And it's worse than that. Some in the administration want to do something about the for-profit colleges that are sucking money out of the federal government, and creating a student loan crisis. But Obama's position, along with Republican bias toward anything in the private sector, may undercut these reform efforts. Best, Don Bauder

I would actually argue that your numbers are not an inditement of software as a profession. Accepting for now your figures (I happen to think skilled software people can make more than that, but I don't want to argue that right now), $110K/year puts those skilled software engineers above the 93rd percentile of income in the United States, roughly 4X the median personal income for all US citizens and 2X the median for college educated people. (All numbers taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States)

I'm a software engineer about to hit 30, and let me tell you, I've had a way easier time of things financially than most of my cohort. As have most other engineers I've known.

It isn't a free ride. It isn't a way to get ridiculously, obscenely rich (unless you get quite lucky at a startup, which I haven't but here's hoping...). But it is still a damned good job, in high demand, with far greater freedoms than most jobs.

It is true that some software engineers make more than this, however I'm talking about your average skilled person. I think the thing you're missing is that while you are doing well relative to your peers, the entirety of the American workforce is being shifted downward. The insourcing/outsourcing of American jobs started when you were around 10 years old and it was in full effect by the time you graduated from university. Had you been in an engineering office at the age of 10 back in the early 90s, things would have looked a lot different. People felt good about their jobs and felt secure that they would be able to provide a good life for their families. This isn't the case anymore. There are no more pensions, health care costs are through the roof, housing and education costs have exploded, yet salaries have not moved in 10 years. As to doing better than your friends, that's great and I'm happy for you - you should be proud of your accomplishments. However, not everyone has the 140+ IQ necessary to be a great software person. If we can only provide a decent living for the .1% of people that fall into that bucket we're not doing so great as a society.

As someone who's been in this industry a lot longer than you (and who has yet to be outsourced), let me give you some advice - save your shekels, be kind to everyone you meet in your career (including your H1-B coworkers!), and prepare for the unexpected. Namaste.

I think it is definitely worth being concerned about the general loss of purchasing power for big-ticket items (health care, education, and housing). Those are concerns for everyone except the uber-rich... and as dbauder stated at one of the comments, it is definitely worthwhile resenting and focusing on the CEOS and hedge fund managers currently raking in way more than they should.

But my point was that being concerned about those is completely separate from arguing that software & other engineering disciplines are a poor investment for people getting started today. I have a number of friends who I consider to be just as smart, or more so, than I am. They are struggling financially not because they are less intelligent, but because their career choices pay substantially less than going into engineering.

Has there been a problem with wage stagnation over the last 10 or 20 years? Absolutely. The benefits of productivity have increasingly gone to the top 0.1%, of which very few engineers participate. But that is a general and encompassing problem, and from what I can see engineers have suffered less from that than most. We continue to have higher salaries and lower unemployment.

And right now I know of more startup businesses failing or struggling due to failing to find engineers than I have at any point in my professional career (which admittedly did not start until after the 2001 crash). I advocate software all of the time as a way to secure a better living than most, with more freedom than most, and more entrepreneurial opportunities than most. It is still a way to a very nice upper-middle-class lifestyle, and from what I can see from here there are substantially more positions available than people ready to fill them.

"We continue to have higher salaries and lower unemployment"

IEEE and other organizations have reported that engineering unemployment is only a few percentage points below the wider unemployment rate. Both of which are too high.

You can make the claim that SW Engineers are paid higher salaries than the average American, but you can make that same case with any other professional career such as Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, etc.

Software engineers deserve to make more than the average worker. Best,, Don Bauder

I agree with you, but Wall Street views us not as professionals, but as "skilled labor" or worse yet as, "privileged elites" that are in need of some serious wage compression via immigration. I've already posted the comments and videos of Greenspan where he says this. Greenspan was a tool of Wall Street and I think that his comments are shared by others in Wall Street, especially tech CEOs.

It's interesting to try and define the difference between "professional workers" and "skilled labor". I think that the only difference is that one (skilled labor) works for the CEOs of large tech companies and they begrudge both the salaries and the term professional.

"arguing that software & other engineering disciplines are a poor investment"..."I have a number of friends who I consider to be just as smart, or more so, than I am. They are struggling financially not because they are less intelligent, but because their career choices pay substantially less than going into engineering."

The dynamic of less jobs (outsourcing) and more people (insourcing) is affecting everyone and not just engineering because everyone is getting pushed down. You haven't said what career choices these people have made. But of my friends, those who are hurting the most, opted for "soft" careers - photography, graphics art, etc. The Great Recession hasn't been kind to this group because they were the first to be let go/cut back.

Of friends of mine who went into professional careers such as medicine and law, they are doing just great. In particular the people that I know who switched careers from engineering into professional careers feel that they have more free time and more job security. Basically a higher quality of life. So on this point, I think I'll have to disagree with you.

My guess is that you've benefitted greatly by working for start-ups and haven't been seen your projects outsourced or insourced or seen the steady ratcheting up of hours and expectations that have steadily been increasing at large tech companies.

It used to be the case that people worked for start-ups knowing that the hours would be long, but there is the possibility of a pay-off at the end. This was as opposed to working for large companies where the pace was slower, there was job security, the pay was steady but without much top side.

How things have changed! Big companies push their employees just as hard if not harder than start-ups now (without the up-side potential) and I think that this is directly related to the outsourcing and insourcing (H-1B) dynamics that we've been discussing. If some manager sitting in an office somewhere sees $$$ on a project shipping widget X by Christmas, the whip comes down and people are expected to push hard for this new deadline. The fact that they have seen unending streams of similar deadlines doesn't weigh on the decision at all.

By comparison, start-ups have become more humane because management is usually in touch with the toll that the long hours have taken and they tend not to push their staff into the ground, at least not as often.

Incidentally, most of the large companies that push their staff hard tend to be large monopolies and these are also the same companies that hire the largest numbers of H-1Bs and I think it's for the same reasons (H-1Bs are handcuffed for immigration reasons).

Bottom line though, I think that the differences in our viewpoints shows a disparity between SW Engineering and Web/App development.

Yes, and that upper 0.1% for the most part does not add to productivity; they detract from it. They are mostly Wall Street financial engineers setting up leveraged buyouts, IPOs that will be insider frauds, mergers and acquisitions that ultimately fail, etc. Best, Don Bauder

I don’t advocate software at all. There are so many Indians striving to get into programming. India has a decent educational system and they speak English. One of the best universities, IIT gets almost 1 million enrollment applications a year. It won’t be long before they, with the help of IT companies like IBM, Microshaft, Sun, Intel and the rest of the gang, open larger and larger campuses to train more people.

I predict by 2020 there will be a tsunami of cheap programmers from India who will decimate the software industry salaries. They have one billion people. If they start pumping out 250,000 programmers a year, the writing is clearly on the wall. Programmers will indeed be a dime a dozen.

I think that the scenario that you are describing is already here. The entire country is mobilizing around software because people see it as a way to land an outsourced job, or to get hired via an H-1B Visa. The numbers of new colleges that are opening in India is staggering.

I have an Indian friend who lives in Mumbai and he told me that the ultimate destination for everyone is to land a job in the States. That's why the India media is heavily focused on issues revolving around the H-1B Visa and outsourcing.

There are also lots labor abuses going on, particularly for Indian owned businesses rather than Western companies that have outsourced development centers. These software sweatshops have a lot in common with their manufacturing counterparts such as Foxconn in China.

An Indian friend who travels to India often told me that it's not unusual to see one of these companies where the development is done on one floor, the men's dorm is on another floor and the women's dorm on the third floor. Basically people slaving away for long hours and then go up to their dorm to catch some sleep before grinding it out again.

That's one reason why software is often so buggy and shoddy these days. It's SW development stripped of process and boiled down to basic labor.

Salaries have been stagnant for the middle class, not just engineers, in the period you cite. Best, Don Bauder

"Be kind to everyone you meet in your career" is always good advice: you might end up working for him or her. Best, Don Bauder

Congratulations on your success. Best, Don Bauder

NOTE: DAN RATHER REPORTS TO TACKLE H1-B TONIGHT: Tonight on 5 p.m. West Coast Time, on the HDnet channel, the program Dan Rather Reports will be talking about social problems related to the H-1B program. Donna Conroy of Chicago-based Bright Future Jobs, who has posted on this blog, will be interviewed on the program. Best, Don Bauder

Fantastic. Too bad that Time Warner in San Diego dropped HDNet. I hope that the interview is posted on youtube or elsewhere on the net.

So did anyone see it? I see that's available for downloading via iTunes so I will probably watch it tonight.

In stark contrast, on the Charlie Rose Show, aired on March 22, 2011, the mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, and other mayors, INCLUDING the mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, were arguing that America should allow more foreigners on student visas or other temporary visas to stay on to become new Americans to create jobs in America. The topic was discussed towards the end of the program corcerning the broad challenges and issues currently facing virtually all cities across America in this Great Recession.

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11559

"Create" jobs? Insourcing and outsourcing don't "create" jobs. Best, Don Bauder

Hard to believe it, but yes that is the whole Wall Street/GOP argument behind increasing immigration for skilled labor. Their argument essentially is "Innovation through Immigration". It's one of the most stupid claims that I have yet seen, but it's a good example of spin. Large tech companies want lower wages, outsourcing and insourcing are the tools to accomplish this, but they can't come out and say it so they have to couch it into terms that sound like it's good for the country.

A few years ago they were trying to make the claim that every immigrant created something like 5 jobs in the US. I don't think anyone bought it then, so now they are claiming that it drives innovation.

If we really wanted to drive innovation we would break up these tech monopolies. "Innovation through Start-Ups" makes a whole lot more sense.

They also argue that tax cuts for the rich and for corporations create jobs despite all the evidence that shows there is not a bit of truth in the assertion. Best, Don Bauder

Yes it's the same old "trickle down" theory. One could argue that tax cuts for the rich are the least likely to trickle down because they just get socked away in investments, while the middle class is much more inclined to spend their money (maybe too inclined).

Incidentally, the tax cuts proposed by the GOP that target schools and other good public programs such as PBS and NPR are about the same size as the revenue that would have been raised by eliminating the tax cuts for the rich.

Then there is the whole capital gains issue. Most people who are wealthy rely on capital gains for their livelihood rather than collecting a pay check from a company. But capital gains taxes are limited to 15% vs. the typical 30%+ that middle Americans have no choice but to pay.

One last thing, some of the best investigative journalism that is left in the US can be found on PBS. Outstanding shows such as Nova and Frontline. Since when did fine investigative journalism such as this become labeled "liberal propaganda"?

I don't watch a lot of Lou Dobbs, but he is dead-on about the H-1B scam. This is another good video:

(. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TJBkO... .)

I don't watch Dobbs either; when I did this column, I did not know that he had been covering H-1B. Best, Don Bauder

Dobbs has researched the issue well and covers many of the key problems. Here is another good Dobbs piece that has an interview with Dr. Matloff.
(. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58Dr8nEVTvQ&NR=1 .)

It also touches on what Qcomgeek was talking about regarding Americans not "competing" for research grant money. According to the article post-doc researchers are paid less than people with BS degrees ($35K-$40K per year). I like the way he rips Bill Gates and also points out that Satyam was the 8th largest consumer of H-1Bs was one of the biggest rip-offs in Indian corporate history).

That interview with Matloff should be enlightening. Best, Don Bauder

Unfortunately it's just a cameo appearance.

I notice the headline alludes to "H-1B scam." Best, Don Bauder

The Dan Rather investigation into Visa scams is up and posted on Donna Conroy's Bright Future Jobs website.

It mentions the blatant InfoSys Visa Fraud case which was widely reported in India, but surprisingly received almost no coverage in the mainstream US media. Until now...

(. http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8711/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=325 .)

I had not been aware of the InfoSys Visa case. Best, Don Bauder

Let’s not forget, when the people whom must not be named, due to political correctness get over here, they start companies that fleece Americans in our stock market. Like InfoSpace.com Naveen Jain is a crook. So we don’t just bring over cheap labor, we bring over scammers.

How about that fellow named Ponzi whose name you have adopted? He was an immigrant. Best, Don Bauder

"India not taking away U.S. jobs: Sharma"

“Independent studies have shown that if 2.8 million jobs have been outsourced, then another 5.5 million have been created in the U.S. We are not taking away jobs but creating new ones. Our professionals add value to the job and the U.S. officials are also fully apprised of these facts."

Well, so he says. Of course, he fails to support his claim with data that shows a strong correlation between the jobs outsourced and the jobs created in the U.S. Nor does he state what jobs were created. (For all we know, the jobs created may be much less paying ones.) By the way, what independent studies by whom is he referring to? (He doesn't tell.) Then, too, the Indian government is protesting the increase in H-1B visa application fee by around $2000.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/article1574074.ece#

Independent studies have shown that if 2.8 million jobs have been outsourced, then another 5.5 million have been created in the U.S

Someone's nose just grew 200 feet with that whopper of a lie. It is so perposterous it is not really worth commenting on.

But some self-anointed free trader will swear it is true. Best, Don Bauder

It's totally preposterous to suggest that jobs are CREATED by outsourcing.

Unless of course one considers someone who was making a good living supporting a family of four, who is laid off, and then is forced to take two minimum wage jobs in order to meet basic subsistence levels. That's the sort of job "creation" that I can see happening from outsourcing.

You can find an economist to "prove" any hypothesis you choose, if you pay him or her enough. That's why economists are so often expert witnesses in court cases. There is one on each side disproving the other's theses. Best, Don Bauder

The "CompeteAmerica" and "National Foundation for American Policy" lobby groups reference by Qualcomm are perfect examples of this same practice. Both use faulty logic and unsubstantited data to twist the story away from corporate profits and towards something that sounds like it's good for America.

Dissecting some of their statements would be worthy of discussion.

This all goes back to a phenomenon we have discussed many times on this blog. Beginning in the early 1980s, American corporations switched to the mentality that the board's only constituency is the shareholder, and particularly the biggest shareholders at the top of the company. There is no concern for the employees, for the community, for vendors. The only important variable is profits that justify outrageous top-level pay. If some day the people storm the Bastille, corporations have no one to blame but themselves. I sincerely hope that some CEOs, hedge fund operators, and Wall Street moguls have plenty of time to ponder their mistakes as they sit in prison. Best, Don Bauder

Coming back to the indentured servitude issue that we've discussed. Did anyone pick up on this from Qualcomm's own abbreviated comments to Don?

"After several days of cogitation, the company would only say, “Qualcomm utilizes the H-1B program as necessary to recruit and RETAIN the best talent in the world. "

"recruit and RETAIN"...

Ask yourself this - How can the company "utilize the H-1B program" to "retain" workers if not through the indentured servitude process?

Clearly, this is an unintended, but frank admission of the importance of the H1B indentured servitude process to Qualcomm. This shows just as clearly why the Visa creates disincentives for companies to hire Americans and Green Card Holders.

Incidentally, this sentence should have been vetted by someone with half a brain in Qualcomm's management. As we know from Qualcomm's H-1B statistics, the vast majority of Visas were used for engineering/IT (probably over 95%). Perhaps the company should give some thought to flooding the HR and Management ranks with imported foreign talent as well. The "musical chairs" competition that the company is intent on creating in engineering, might have proven beneficial in this case, had it been applied to the ranks of management and HR.

Indeed, Qualcomm's execution has been questioned by many anaylsts following the purchase of Atheros for $3.1B. WiFi is a pretty well understood technology and Qualcomm's own internal WiFi development stumbled so badly that they were forced to dump it and spend $3.1B to buy a company to supply this expertise. $3.1B could have gone a long way towards nurturing and advancing domestic American STEM fields.

Yeah, wonderful idea! Outsource the HR jobs. That HR "profession" is the biggest scam of the past 20 years. Those who practice it engage in a lot of mumbo-jumbo that convinces commonsense managers that the whole area is so rife with pitfalls that only these "pros" can keep them on the straight-and-narrow. And so, off they go, paying the HR types for a flock of self-anointed certifications. What value do the HR types bring to the table? Well, if an employer uses them properly, they are wonderful henchmen and henchwomen. They can take you right to the edge of illegally abusive treatment of employees, yet stay just on the side of avoiding prosecution or successful lawsuits. So, if you are trying to squeeze every drop out of your workers, they can show you how. (They'll never tell you that, of course. They are masters at talking in jargon and sounding judicious.) Yeah, ship their jobs to Karachi! Let them do their interviews, both entrance and exit, on the phone. No longer would you need a six-figure HR "director" and a flock of minions. Just call Manjit or Abdullah, and he'll make it OK.

In most companies, HR (human resources), PR (public relations), and CR (community relations) don't have enough clout to influence the company. Top management only cares about operations that contribute to the bottom line. Best, Don Bauder

Exactly. HR exists only to discourage lawsuits and ensure that the lawsuits that do get by are unsuccessful.

I don't think "recruit and retain" by definition means indentured servitude, but I hope that Qualcomm re-thinks its commitment to H-1B. Best, Don Bauder

Retain by definition does not mean indentured servitude. But the statement that they are utilizing the H-1B program to RETAIN workers, implies that there is some inherent retention benefit provided by the H-1B program, correct? If so, then name a retention benefit that is provided by the H-1B program other than the indentured servitude duration required to obtain a green card?

I agree that Qualcomm said a mouthful, perhaps inadvertently, when it used the word "retain." I just don't think "indentured servitude" follows automatically. Best, Don Bauder

Whatever term that is used to describe the process of retaining employees by utilizing the H-1B system isn't really important. The fact that retention is a part of the H-1B process (as admitted by Qualcomm) is important, because it creates an inequity that will cause an employer to favor a foreign worker over an American or Green Card holder.

Why? Compensation packages for High Tech employees have long utilized "handcuffs" which usually translate to stock options which are designed to keep employees from moving to a different company.
Stock options typically vest over a 4-5 year period, so as stock is vested and the handcuffs become "worn", they need to be "polished" with grants for new options. This is an expensive process for corporations, but in years past was required in order to keep the best employees.

The beauty of exploiting H-1B labor on a massive scale as companies are doing now is: 1) Recipients of H-1Bs are already handcuffed if they want to get a Green Card and this handcuff comes courtesy of Uncle Sam with no expense to the company and 2) If enough labor is brought in and the job market is impacted severely, then the odds of people leaving is lessened as workers are happy just to have a job.

The corporate tech lobby is actively working towards making 2) above a reality and the current job market is reflecting that trend. But the insidious downside is that there will never be an end to the immigration onslaught, because companies will always view any wages as too much. That's why people who are current H-1B users need to be just as concerned as American born workers. The standard of living that they currently take for granted will not continue, just as the standard of living for prior High Tech workers has not continued... Most people in their 30s with only 5 or so years of industry experience, do not see this trend. But ask anyone in their 40s and nearly everyone will tell you that they see it.

Here is another article that came out today that shows just how screwed up the system has become.

(. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-2010/story?id=13224558 .)

As the story describes, companies are incentivized to eliminate American jobs by outsourcing work overseas so that they can claim less or no income tax.

Also described in the article, GE had income of $14B and paid no US Federal Taxes. The final clincher though, the CEO of GE is also Obama's "point man on jobs and economic growth".

The New York Times had a front page story on GE not paying taxes. It was a great bit of reporting. Best, Don Bauder

Thanks, I'll give it a read. Talk about a disastrous situation for this country. America loses jobs, employee tax base and corporate tax base all while corporations reap massive benefits, which they in turn use to influence government figures and dupe the public, so that they can game the system even more.

That's exactly the situation. But you notice that these states taking rights away from government union members are at the same time giving tax breaks to corporations, as well as high-wealth individuals. How many tax breaks can we give corporations when so many pay no taxes at all? Best, Don Bauder

Yes! The union busting that happened in Wisconsin and the other mid-western states is completely interrelated to what is driving companies to reduce skilled wages through immigration. Basically the only possible threats to the Wall Street juggernaut are the Federal Government and the Unions. So if they bust the Fed through deregulation and also bust the Unions, they will have the rest of us just where they want us - Competing for all of the "good" jobs at Wal-Mart.

Who would have thought that the end of the Cold War and the East/West propaganda mills would have given way to the rise of The Global Robber Barons and the domestic propaganda programs (also known as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal) that are used to further the corporate agenda.

The Tea Party, for all of their well intended activism, seem to be the most duped, if not completely brainwashed.

Here is a case in point from an article today.

"In southeast Florida last week, first-term GOP Rep. Allen West, a tea party favorite, called for changes that some might consider radical: abolish the Internal Revenue Service and federal income tax; retain tax cuts for billionaires so they won't shut down their charities; stop extending unemployment benefits that "reward bad behavior" by discouraging people from seeking new jobs."

(. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/03/27/state/n064733D70.DTL .)

We all know that the system can't possibly work properly unless the billionaires can keep their tax cuts. Because as we all know, we are heavily dependent on their charity and good will.

Also never mind the fact that it was the GOP and Bush administration that got us into the entitlement mess in the first place through the unfunded expansion of the medicare and medicaid programs. Meanwhile, the Social Security system that the GOP wants abolished has been relatively well funded for years and would be completely funded if we extended the Social Security tax to those making over $106K per year...

If GE is sufficiently clever to avoid US income tax on many billions of profit, why is its stock in the doldrums? Jack Welch converted it from an industrial stock into a financial. If GE can reap the benefits of all this Fed largess and pay no tax, Wall Street should appreciate that. I'm waiting.

Jack Welch is a phony. He was rigging the books at GE through the financial subsidiary. You are right: the company went from product engineering to financial engineering. And it's not paying taxes. Most large corporations don't pay the corporate tax rate, but have their lobbyists around Capitol Hill all the time wanting even more breaks. Best, Don Bauder

If GE is sufficiently clever to avoid US income tax on many billions of profit, why is its stock in the doldrums?

One of my friends received a Masters in Tax after her JD/Law School and she claims 60% of the Fortune 500 pay NO INCOME TAXES, and another 25% pay like less than 10%.

Yet on 60 Minutes tonight they did a segment on US companies moving hteir HQ's to low tax countries to avoid the 35% US corporate tax rate.

I didn't see the 60 Minutes piece but there are U.S. companies that move their headquarters to the Cayman Islands and other tax havens to avoid U.S. taxes. I think it is reprehensible, but remember, under Delaware law (which effectively becomes US law), companies can be sued if management makes a move that doesn't maximize profits. (It's not black and white, but the generalization stands.) Best, Don Bauder

According to the 60 Minutes report, over 600 U.S. multinationals have shifted research facilities, manufacturing facilities and/or some regional headquarters to Ireland, employing more than 100K people. The reason is the Irish corp tax rate which is 12.5%. If a company makes profits overseas and leaves them there, then the IRS can't tax those profits. That's why so many companies are leaving their money offshore.Japan is said to be lowering its corp tax rate this year. That will leave the US with the highest corp. tax rate in the developed world. Let me play devil's advocate for a minute, Don. Why is it reprehensible? Let's say that I am IBM. I've been in Ireland for more than 50 yrs. They are charging me a 12.5% tax on my profits there as opposed to the 35% I would have to pay here. Why does that make me the bad guy? Put another way, There are hundreds of billions of dollars of profits kept offshore every year because of the tax rate. Why not lower the corp. tax rate to be competitive with these countries, revamp the tax code to eliminate the loop holes companies have and bring both the profits and maybe some jobs back onshore. Which is better, 35% of nothing or 15% of a few hundred billion, with some jobs thrown in as a bonus. I'm generalizing a bit, but I'm sure you get my point.

The U.S. may have the highest corporate tax rates, but the big companies don't pay it. Because they take advantage of every loophole available, many pay zero taxes. The New York Times had a front page story on GE paying no taxes recently. One clarification: the strategy that I consider quite reprehensible is an American company moving its headquarters to a tax haven, thereby dodging American taxes. Best, Don Bauder

I didn't know about the Delaware law. If I were a worker at Boeing and a shareholder, I would be all over that.

Why Boeing? Because in the interview that I posted in the comments above, their exec said that their outsourcing zeal cost their shareholders about $10B to $15B on what should have cost $5B (if the company didn't outsource). Even in the short-term, outsourcing doesn't necessarily pay.

I would love to see that Boeing quote. Best, Don Bauder

"One bracing lesson that Albaugh was unusually candid about: the 787's global outsourcing strategy — specifically intended to slash Boeing's costs — backfired completely.

"We spent a lot more money in trying to recover than we ever would have spent if we'd tried to keep the key technologies closer to home," Albaugh told his large audience of students and faculty.

Boeing was forced to compensate, support or buy out the partners it brought in to share the cost of the new jet's development, and now bears the brunt of additional costs due to the delays.

Some Wall Street analysts estimate those added costs at between $12 billion and $18 billion, on top of the $5 billion Boeing originally planned to invest.

(. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sundaybuzz/2014125414_sundaybuzz06.html#cb=f3924059a7e781c&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fseattletimes.nwsource.com%2Ff2b0ee958463a22&relation=parent.parent&transport=flash&type=resize&height=0 .)

The term gross incompetence comes to mind...

It's also worth pointing out that one of Boeing's engineers (no doubt a grossly underpaid engineer by Boeing CEO compensation standards) pointed out exactly the outsourcing dangers that the company eventually ran into. But his "prescient warnings" were ignored by the Corporate bankers.

"Hart-Smith, who had worked for Douglas Aircraft and joined Boeing when it merged in 1997 with McDonnell Douglas, was one of the elite engineers designated within the company as Senior Technical Fellows.

His paper was a biting critique of excessive outsourcing, a warning to Boeing not to go down the path that had led Douglas Aircraft to virtual obsolescence by the mid-1990s.

The paper laid out the extreme risks of outsourcing core technology and predicted it would bring massive additional costs and require Boeing to buy out partners who could not perform.

Albaugh said in the interview that he read the paper six or seven years ago, and conceded that it had "a lot of good points" and was "pretty prescient."

Boeing is also the company that moved its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. Speaking as a native Chicagoan, I would have immediately sold my Boeing stock if had had any. Best, Don Bauder

That move by Boeing was never explained in terms of need or improvement. Seattle hosted Boeing during the times when it was a small, wet, gray, backwater city. Then after Seattle became a major tech center and home to up-and-coming companies such as Costco, it wasn't any longer big time? Never understood that switch, and it didn't bring better times for Boeing at all. Anyone know the real reason for that move?

One of the reasons given for the move to Chicago was to distance the executives from the staff and the families of staff. So that "business decisions could be done more dispassionately".

This is a good example where American-style capitalism has failed. Particularly so when compared to German and Japanese style capitalism, where management uses a more holistic and consensus driven approach to management and decision making.

By comparison to Japan and Germany, US Executives are given much more control of the company direction and allowed to take big gambles. Gambles that can make or break the company. Over time though, it's not repeated gambling that ensure success, but rather the companies that make better widgets and out execute the next guy.

Had Boeing heeded the advice of employees in the case of the 787, they would have ended up with an Extra $6B-$7B in the bank and more importantly, would have been able to capitalize on Airbus's misfortunes and taken some market share away from their chief rival.

surfpuppy619, I don't want to say that I doubt the veracity of your friend's claim since I don't know her. But with over 600 companies in Ireland alone, I highly doubt it's just about savings on labor costs. Ireland is not Mexico, Indonesia, China, etc. They aren't paying these people a couple of dollars a week. As the CEO of Cisco said, it's about the tax advantages.

Let me add this. I just watched a report on CNBC that said according to someone named Howard Silverblatt at S&P, of the 461 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, the effective tax rate for those companies in 2010 is 20%. I don't care to take the time to compare the 2 lists, but since the S&P500 is largest 500 American companies by market cap and the fortune 500 are the top 500 U.S. companies ranked by their gross revenue, I would imagine the list is pretty similar.

I would guess taxes are the main reason. Best, Don Bauder

So again I'll ask you the question. Why is it reprehensible for a company to relocate in an effort to avoid such a high corp tax rate? Wouldn't it make more sense to reduce the corp. tax rate, get rid of the loop holes that GE and other take advantage of and bring some of that money back onshore?

Since the 1980s, the U.S. has been on an orgy of cutting corporate tax rates. But companies still use more gimmicks to avoid taxes, and lobby for specific industry tax breaks and generally lower taxes. No, it does not make sense to lower corporate rates any further. We should set up penalties for companies that locate offshore to dodge taxes -- like, say, giving no more government contracts to such companies. Best, Don Bauder

Does the inherent inequities in the H-1B Visa program lead to the displacement, if not discrimination of American workers?

According to the testimony of Dan Sullivan, Qualcomm's SVP HR in 1998, "legal immigrants make up only 5.5% of QUALCOMM's workforce".
(. http://judiciary.house.gov/legacy/6097.htm .)

10 years later we have the interiew in Wired.com, where the CEO of Qualcomm states that the companies workforce is 60% foreign born.

An increase from 5.5% to 60% in only 10 years.....

The 60% number was from 3 years ago and it makes one wonder what the current pecentage is and what the next 10 years will bring.

It's also worth taking a look at some of the preposterous statements made by Dan Sullivan in his 1998 testimony.

"QUALCOMM currently employs 476 H-1B workers, and a total of 572 workers on visas of all types. These workers, rather than taking jobs from American labor pools, ARE CREATING MORE JOBS FOR U.S. WORKERS through the application of their specialized skills. "

After successfully lobbying Congress to raise the H-1B cap, Qualcomm went on a H-1B hiring tear that resulted in their American workforce declining from 94.5% to 40%, while simultaneously going from 476 H-1B Visas to 6,200 in only 10 years.

This is the sort of "JOB CREATION" that the CEO tech lobby and Wall Street propaganda machines like "CompeteAmerica.org" are promising.

It's easy to see why many people feel that the abuses of Wall Street have created such inequities that class warfare is the inevitable outcome.

Yes, and our Hopey Change Prez, who seems to have no idea of reality (just see what he's doing with Libya, for example), keeps preaching about needing more domestic STEM graduates and technology innovations to create jobs, without doing much, if anything, to back up his feel-good soundbites. (As a former supporter, I'm thoroughly disgusted and even more disappointed at his failures to deliver than those who opposed him from the beginning.) But, then, it speaks volumes when he chose Jack Welch as his business adviser. But, my real point is that large corporations of other, advanced, industrialized countries, like Germany, are certainly no worse off than those of the U.S., without offshoring or inshoring jobs as much as their U.S. counterparts. Corporate tax rate in Germany may be lower than it is in the U.S., on paper, but, without all the loopholes, the German companies actually end up paying signficantly more than the U.S. companies. Yet, the German companies do not use it as a convenient excuse to hire cheap foreign workers to replace German workers.

What's needed is a detailed analysis of the effective corporate tax rates of the various countries. Politicians always point to the seeming uncompetitiveness U.S.'s corporate tax rate without acknowledging that the average effective tax rate is far lower. I have seen such studies, but didn't trust them. Best, Don Baudere

I completely agree. Unfortunately Obama has been a disappointment, but still better than the alternative of a GOP President.

All in all, I think that German companies are actually better off than American companies, because they have been successful at exporting products. Far from being an export powerhouse like Germany, the US produces only 70% of what it consumes. This despite the fact that German labor costs are higher because they don't import cheap labor.

It's interesting to point out that Dan Sullivan's testimony pointed to the need to hire H-1B workers in order to compete against other multinationals and monopolies such as Samsung. These companies are also known to treat their employees terribly. Rather than trying to promote monopolies in the US, the Government should be trying to break up American monopolies because it's the smaller and hungrier start-ups that drive innovation and over the long run will allow us to out innovate competitors.

For example, allowing a company such as Microsoft to import cheap labor on a massive scale may be good for the short term bottom dollar of Microsoft, but over the long run the company is going to wither anyway and the country as a whole is hurt in the process. In fact, over the long run, Microsoft would be better served if it were broken up into sub companies which focus on key strengths. Qualcomm isn't a Microsoft yet, but it's well on its way.

You've put your finger on the basic problem: American corporations only think about the next quarter. They rig the books, cut back on important capital spending projects -- anything to please Wall Street in the next quarter. They don't seem to realize the damage they are doing to the country and to themselves. It comes down to greed. Best, Don Bauder

Good question that can only be answered by Qualcomm. I wouldn't count on getting an answer. Best, Don Bauder

Turns out that some of this has been publicly posted by Qualcomm. In 2008, Qualcomm's Sr. director of Global Staffing gave a presentation at UCLA called "The future of H-1B Hiring". In it he said that an astounding 71% of Qualcomm's foreign workforce are H-1Bs and of those, 71% are also Indian. He went on to say that over the previous 3 years, year-over-year employment of foreign workers was increasing by an average of 4.7%.

Here is a link to the seminar where this was presented: (. http://migration.ucdavis.edu/wcpsew/more.php?id=4_0_7 .)

Here is the presentation given by Mr. Foster. (. http://migration.ucdavis.edu/wcpsew/files/qualcomm-ucla-jan-30.pdf .)

Doing the math that works out to an astounding 42% of their entire staff working via(and being retained by) H-1B visas. In total, this represents roughly 7,000 jobs in San Diego that were lost to American workers. This is the sort of "Job Creation" promised by Dan Sullivan, Qualcomm's SVP of HR, to Congress and the American people when he testified before Congress back in 1998. It's also the type of "Job Creation" currently being pushed by the CEO tech lobby through their mouthpiece organizations such as "CompeteAmerica.org".

What is even more of a tragedy is that some of these jobs weren't even offered to Americans. The mindlance job shop ad that I posted earlier, shows how relatively inexperienced Indian SW engineers are quietly recruited and shuffled directly from India to San Diego for training. All while the CEO of Qualcomm, Paul Jacobs claims in the 2008 wired interview, that the company "does not seek out foreign workers".

Perhaps the most ominous highlight from Mr. Foster's H-1B presentation at UCLA was that Qualcomm was targeting US Immigration Laws as part of it's "Future of H-1B Hiring".

These are all of the reasons why EVERY worker in America, whether American born, Green Card holder, H-1B holder or other should be worried for their future. The same corporate greed that drives companies to import low cost labor will only continue and create steady downward pressures on every workers standard of living. This isn't a racial issue, it's not an anti-immigrant issue, it's not a "best and the brightest" issue. It's an issue where powerful corporate influences have targeted the standard of living enjoyed by skilled labor in the United States. Now that their wheels are in motion, the pressure will never stop, unless every skilled worker sees the problem and demands a change.

Qualcomm is by no means an isolated case, the inherent bias against hiring domestic workers is happening by the tens of thousands every year in this country and why workers should be concerned and why they should make their displeasure known to their State Senators and their Congressional Representatives.

For those who want more information, check out Bright Future Jobs, NumbersUSA, Programmer’s Guild, and the American Engineering Association.

Bright Future Jobs is a very good source. Best, Don Bauder

You make some good points, but I think your tax proposal would be unconstitutional. Best, Don Bauder

I believe it was QcomGeek, the hiring manager from Qualcomm who said that the Mindlance Indian recruitment ad that I posted from 2008 was just an isolated case.

Below is a currently running ad recruiting from India from the same Surya Patel, the Mindlance recruiter from the 2008 link. This shows that the same pipeline that funnels SW engineers from India to San Diego as a C2H (contract to hire) continues unabated as it has for years.

(. http://kcsindia.net/can/regn/home-page/gen-canjob-view.asp?aid=4095 .)

Again, Qualcomm is not unique in this practice. The hundreds of engineers that they import each year is matched by many other companies and universities across the country. The result is a flood of skilled labor that numbers in the hundreds of thousands every year. This flood continued unabated even when the country was in the depths of recession in 2009, and continues unabated today.

This isn't job creation, it's not innovation, it's a deliberate and concerted effort by wealthy industrialists to reduce their labor costs by hammering middle and upper-middle class Americans via the H-1B Visa. These CEOs and Industrialists are conspiring through their extensive lobbying and support of what are essentially anti-American organizations such as CompeteAmerica.org

We do have a tool at our disposal though. We outnumber the CEO's, Hedgefund managers, Industrialists and Wall Street Bankers by tens of thousands to one. Organize and let your Representatives know that crushing 98% of Americans in order to enrich the few is not okay. What made America great was a vibrant middle class and a high quality of life, both of which are in grave danger, unless we act soon. This isn't wild speculation, but supported by all available facts.

(. http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/the-u.s.-middle-class-is-being-wiped-out-here%27s-the-stats-to-prove-it-520657.html .)

There is no doubt that H-1B is a tool to lower engineering wages -- both of the foreigners who come here and of domestic engineers, whose pay levels fall as the young overseas recruits are brought in for low pay. Best, Don Bauder

Exactly. It's a race to the bottom. One that America can't possibly win because our cost of living (food, housing, etc.) is too high compared to developing countries.

I have American friends who tell me that it will eventually "average out", but this is wishful thinking that doesn't account for the huge and growing population imbalance between the U.S and developing countries such as India. By comparison, my Indian friends who have been here for awhile are very apprehensive of the future, because they have seen the population explosion in India and know what this bodes for the U.S.

The yahoo link that I posted has a few excellent paragraphs that describe the race to the bottom phenomenon:

"GIANT SUCKING SOUND - The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world. After all, what corporation in their right mind is going to pay an American worker 10 times more (plus benefits) to do the same job? The world is fundamentally changing. Wealth and power are rapidly becoming concentrated at the top and the big global corporations are making massive amounts of money. Meanwhile, the American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new "global" labor pool.

What do most Americans have to offer in the marketplace other than their labor? Not much. The truth is that most Americans are absolutely dependent on someone else giving them a job. But today, U.S. workers are "less attractive" than ever. Compared to the rest of the world, American workers are extremely expensive, and the government keeps passing more rules and regulations seemingly on a monthly basis that makes it even more difficult to conduct business in the United States.

So corporations are moving operations out of the U.S. at breathtaking speed. Since the U.S. government does not penalize them for doing so, there really is no incentive for them to stay."

Yes, but consumption is more than 70% of the U.S. economy. Some day American corporations will wake up and realize that in their colossal greed that caused the income/wealth disparity, they have destroyed their own markets. No doubt the corporations and Wall Street will then turn to the federal government for a bailout. And the federal government will continue to ignore Main Street. Best, Don Bauder

Agreed. Wal-Mart is one of the worst offenders in terms of driving outsourcing, and their stock has been flat for 10 years now. This seems to imply a lack of demand from the downward spiraling middle class that has traditionally been their base. I've heard that Wal-Mart is chasing demand in Asia now, so unfortunately a day of reckoning may never happen. It's sort of analogous to a plague of locusts that fill their bellies by decimating a vibrant field of crops, only to take flight and seek the next field...

Yeah, organize.

Sadly, that won't happen. For a number of reasons, one being our “American” culture is too stratified now fro any one group to give a crap about "the other group." There is also a stigma that people who “organize” are blue collar labor, and “white collar” think oranizing is above them. So the white collar labor just sits around like shooting ducks and staring at their navels while they let the U.S. traitor industrialists hire replacement workers from India to put pressure on wages.

You've hit the key points on why Americans haven't organized in the past. But, I'm less pessimistic about the future, because everyone has their limits. People are beginning to see the problems first-hand. Those in blue-collar manufacturing jobs saw it first and everyone else chose to ignore it. Those in engineering, particularly Software/IT saw it next and everyone else chose to ignore it. Now all white-collar jobs are being affected and I think it's only a matter of time before everyone starts to see and question the direction that we've gone.

Once Americans see it, they will realize that lobby groups such as "CompeteAmerica.org" are tools of the elites designed to squeeze them into a downward spiraling living standard, all while enriching the top 1-2%.

I certainly never saw it when it targeted blue collar workers. I live a comfortable life and my future is relatively secure, but I also see that many of the opportunities that I had early in my career are not available to those who are starting out now. If I see it now and am willing to do something about it, then there must be others.

The only solution is protectionism really. This doesn't mean being xenophobic or anti-immigration as I think we should always encourage the true best and the brightest. But it does mean applying tax pressure on large multinationals. If they want to sell to Americans then they need to employ Americans at non-slave wages. The only way we can drive the tax issue is by pressuring Government by using our massive voting advantage.

Protectionism is a dirty word among economists. Almost everybody reveres free trade. However, since U.S. companies gave away the country's manufacturing base in the period that began in the 1980s, I think we have reevaluate our free trade worship. Best. Don Bauder

Very true. Most economists are in the pocket of Wall Street and only see potential sales when the word trade is used.

I've come to believe that there really is no such thing as free trade. All trade is managed at some level, whether by exchange rate manipulation, cultural barriers, government favoritism or by outright protectionist laws.

Many of the Asian countries that we have large trade imbalances with are the worst offenders in this respect. Certainly no one can claim that China truly engages in free trade. Requiring companies to hand-over technology in exchange for market access is inherently not free trade. But most other countries institute a VAT tax that allows their domestic industries to be protected while they pay non-slave wages to their workers.

If the US had a large trade surplus then economists would be in a much better position to argue that keeping the US free from protectionism is a good thing. The reality though is that massive trade imbalances have played a major role in the decline of America.

What's really happened in many cases is that US companies traded jobs and economic wealth in exchange for empty promises of market access. Anyone remember NAFTA? Gore promised tens of thousands of new jobs through increased trade. The reality was just the opposite. This is the same argument that Qualcomm's Dan Sullivan promised 13 years ago which resulted in a loss of 7000 jobs to Americans and it's what CompeteAmerica is currently promising.

Yes, wealth and income disparities are now worse than they were in the Robber Baron days, as well as in 1929, but the populists and progressives are few and far between. People don't seem to care about income inequality. We're just too comfy, I guess. Best, Don Bauder

We've been brainwashed by the ideology that capitalism is still the best market system that justly rewards those who are motivated to work hard and their awards are fairly proportional to the qualities and productivities of their works. Capitalism is what made America the richest nation on Earth, we are told, and it will still be what maintains that status. Anyone who challenges that theory is summarilly dismissed as un-American, socialists, communists, Marxists or fascists - nevermind the actual practice of capitalism in current America. So, most people, especially the professionals, are too intimidated or too brainwashed and just keep their mouths shut, I'm afraid.

I believe in capitalism. I think history has shown us that the demand economies don't work. But capitalism as now practiced is in desperate need of reform. Best, Don Bauder

I think that what this Robber Baron age has taught us is that we need to balance capitalism, which means we need unions and also regulation. All three groups are prone to corruption, but the presence of all three means that none of the others can grow too powerful. A balance of evil vs evil run amok.

Well said. I used to believe in pure capitalism -- no regulation, no interference from unions. But I got mugged by reality. Corporations these days care about only one thing: maximizing profits -- even if they destroy their own country in the process. Best, Don Bauder

I came across couple of letters in response to this article by Don that supports it. Was any of it by someone who posted here?

Anybody want to step forward? Best, Don Bauder

I hadn't read those letters. Thanks for posting the link. I think that Henry Foster's comments echo many of my own. I don't think that there ever was a shortage of American SW engineers though (pre-H1B), most descriptions called it a "tight labor market". One that has now given way to a glut.

He also touched on a point that the government requires that companies use of H-1B labor does not "lower the prevailing wage". The problem though is that the government does not define or enforce this clause. So companies are free to define it how they want. In the case of Qualcomm whose labor force went in 10 years from 95.5% American to 40% American, and whose H-1B population climbed to 42% of the total workforce, it's pretty obvious that not filling 7000 jobs from Americans will have a huge impact on the local job market.

More importantly, I also have to agree that outsourcing and in-sourcing will be a massive problem for America going forward. Technology has been the main driver for this country, fueling 50% of total job growth since WW2 (according to White House numbers). But now the massive amounts of outsourcing and in-sourcing have caused Americans to avoid technology fields like the plague (imagine working 65 hrs a week having Qcomgeek as a boss?), all while technology is being transferred overseas and workers are being trained in the skills to eventually surpass us.

If this weren't bad enough, we also have to suffer through the CEOs, Bankers and Industrialists who are profiting massively through reduced labor costs, trying to convince the American people (and apparently being pretty effective at it) that:

1) This is job CREATION, 2) There is a labor shortage, 3) Americans just don't have the skill set needed (see Dr. Matloff's recent article on "if you only knew Python"), 4) American workers just need to compete.
5) American schools are crap and so are our students.
6) "These are the best and the brightest"
7) We need to issue more Visas in order to prevent Brain Drain.

This rundown of America, using misinformation in order to drive a profit agenda, really should be one definition of treason.

What the Soviet Union could never do to us in almost 50 years, Wall Street and the Robber Barons have done in 10.

Agreed: outsourcing and insourcing are both big social and economic problems. Best, Don Bauder

And, like I said earlier, Pres. Obama is doing a great disservice to skilled American workers in manufacturing, by claiming that America can simply "out-innovate" other countries towards good jobs and prosperity, when he avoids the issue of addressing outsourcing and insourcing by our high-tech companies, along with his appointment of GE's Jeff Immelt as his business advisor. It's quite apparent that he's ignoring the trend of Invented/Innovated in America But Made Abroad Cheaply, which has been practiced, for decades, by American manufacturers such as GE.

Yup I have to agree. His statements about "America must compete" and that the US should issue even more Visas to prevent "Brain Drain" were both statements that had to have been bought and paid for by Wall Street and tech CEOs. Unfortunately Obama the President hasn't lived up to Obama the Candidate. But he is still better than the alternative of another GOP President. I don't know if this country could survive another 4 years of someone like Bush as President.

The following are excerpts from an opinion article by Prof. G. Pascal Zachary of Arizona State University, in current issue of IEEE Spectrum. In it he argues that not only outsourcing of jobs including high-tech, but, ironically, technical innovations have also led to some destruction, rather than creation, of jobs in America.

"The simplest explanation for the employment crisis is "jobless innovation." Exciting new technologies are coming onto the market, but they don’t appear to require many people. The new generation of Internet stars, for instance, employ far fewer people than the older tech titans. And Silicon Valley, which remains by far the most fertile innovation cluster in the world, has experienced sharp declines in employment over the past 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in 2010 that high-tech employment in Silicon Valley (including biotechnology) fell by a staggering 19 percent over the course of the 2000s and that Silicon Valley wages also fell, nearly 14 percent.

The decline in jobs and wages occurred, all the more shockingly, alongside the revival of Silicon Valley as a global innovation center. Not only did the area spawn major new companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, but it also saw a startling series of victories by Apple in the new arenas of the iPod, then the iPhone, and most recently the iPad. And yet despite achieving stunning dominance in smartphones and tablet computers, Apple today employs 10 workers in China for every worker in the United States."

"The jobless-innovation phenomenon results partly from globalization. Grove points to two related problems: Breakthroughs made by Americans in the United States are increasingly scaled up in Asia, robbing the country of expected employment benefits. More significant innovations are arising offshore, too, Grove reports, so that "scaling and innovation take place overseas."

Scholars have labeled this phenomenon "the offshoring of innovation." They point to a marked rise in R&D activities in China and India especially, but also notably in Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, and other rapidly growing economies. Offshoring creates a significant drag on U.S. employment, scholars say. A new book,The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes, published in December by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, and David Ashton, argues that there now exists an ample pool of "cheap brainpower," outside the United States, largely in low-wage countries, with predictable effects on the U.S. labor market."

"Applying more technology to cure the jobs crisis carries another paradox. Many emerging technologies destroy jobs, in a process that the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter famously labeled "creative destruction."

http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/innovation/jobless-innovation/0

The professor's words should be taken to heart. We are destroying ourselves for the benefit of short term profits. Best, Don Bauder

I think that his point about offshoring of innovation is an important one. Apple employing 10 Chinese for each American when making an iPod or iPad is a serious problem. Worse yet, Apple is the current best case scenario where about 50% of the revenue is split between Apple and it's overseas partners. In most cases the split is much smaller. The net result is that American companies spend a lot of money in the R&D phase, only to ship the manufacturing overseas where most of the benefit is enjoyed.

This highlights why it's important to bring manufacturing back to the US. It's also important because it's often not possible to separate manufacturing from R&D. Continual process improvements means that engineering needs to be close to manufacturing in many cases.

One point that I disagreed with Zachary on though is that I don't think that "Silicon Valley has had a revival as a global innovation center". Facebook (and twitter) offered next to nothing as far as technical innovation, but was rather an evolutionary improvement of myspace. He has a better case for the resurgence of Apple, but by and large, I think that Silicon Valley has been hit by the same outsourcing and in-sourcing problems that have killed innovation elsewhere in America.

It used to be the case that the cycle of innovation occurred when the employees of large tech companies decided to do something new and different and strike out on their own and innovate new products in new markets. Nowadays many if not the majority of engineers being employed by tech companies are employed overseas. This only helps to ensure that any new start-up innovation from the engineers of these companies will be done overseas. At the same time most of the US based workers are being replaced by foreigners on H-1Bs. The handcuffs that go along with the H-1B and also the immigrant culture that tends to favor larger more established companies over more risky start-ups also acts to dampen domestic innovation.

Wow. 465 posts. Who brought this H-1B controversy up in the first place.

The first time it was raised on this site was in the blog comments about a month or two ago. Several, including SurfPup, mentioned it, as I recall. I got interested in it and then did a full column on it. Best, Don Bauder

It's also interesting to point out that in all of these comments only one person has said that he has heard of a company finding it difficult to find a programmer. In that case though the same person said that the company isn't offering a competitive salary...

The only group that makes the claim that there is a shortage of engineers is spin groups such as CompeteAmerica.org

Such groups are just propaganda organs for tech companies wanting to hold salaries down (except for top executives). Best, Don Bauder