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Solving Silicon Valley's Immigration Problem
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As a software developer and company co-founder who has lived in Palo Alto since the early 1990s, I understand the extraordinarily important contribution that immigrants have made to our technology industry over the last half century and the crucial role they play in maintaining American competitiveness.

I’ve found it unfortunate that for years top Silicon Valley companies have faced a desperate shortage of H-1B visas, which are intended to allow them to hire foreign workers possessing unique skills. These severe immigration restrictions have led top companies such as Facebook, Google, and Apple to lobby Congress for an immigration reform package that includes a large expansion of this visa program, currently capped at 85,000 per year. However, these efforts by the tech community’s and other groups have ended in repeated failure.

One reason for this political failure has been the scandalous nature of the current H-1B visa system. Although originally intended to apply only to unusually skilled individuals, the visa program has been misused as a means of eliminating the jobs or driving down the salaries of ordinary American tech workers.

Over the past year, The New York Times has described how a large fraction of annual H-1B visas are captured by low-end outsourcing companies such as TCS, Cognizant, and Infosys, which are then hired by corporations such as Disney to replace their in-house tech workers with cheaper immigrant labor.

Longtime American employees are forced to train their immigrant replacements, then eliminated in mass layoffs so that these wealthy corporations can boost their profits. Since so many of these H-1B workers are paid less than their American counterparts, this process also exerts continual downward pressure on the incomes of tech workers throughout our economy.

Under such circumstances any significant expansion of H-1B visas is merely a recipe for destroying one of the few remaining well-paying job categories in our society and further impoverishing the American middle class. This is a clear violation of the legislative intent behind the creation of the H-1B visa program.

The obvious solution to this political and economic dilemma is not to expand but instead to reform the H-1B system.

H-1B visas constitute a scarce government resource that is now being provided under an annual first-come, first-serve procedure, with companies allowed to submit an unlimited number of individual applications. This is a totally absurd allocation model, and allows companies to easily game the system. As a result, in 2014 outsourcer TCS received over a dozen times the number of H-1B visas for its low-end immigrant tech workers as did Apple for its elite hires.

The obvious solution is to switch to a market-based alternative, with the government instead auctioning off these visas, thereby providing those crucial immigration slots to the companies to which they provide the greatest value.

Under such a reform proposal, the Googles, Facebooks, and Apples of our country would easily outbid the outsourcing firms, whose only competitive advantage is the low salaries they pay their immigrant workers. And since the former might end up bidding $20,000 or more merely for the right to hire a particular foreign worker, there would be absolutely no downward pressure on the wages of America’s millions of existing technology workers. Meanwhile, any additional costs incurred by these top companies would be negligible compared to the value of the lost business opportunities they currently suffer when they are unable to hire the extremely talented foreign workers they require.

Sometimes the best means of fixing a broken system is simply forcing it to comply with its original intent.

Ron Unz, a former theoretical physicist and software company co-founder, is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in California. He wrote this for the Mercury News.

(Republished from The San Jose Mercury News by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: H-1B, Immigration, Silicon Valley 
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  1. Rehmat says:

    America wouldn’t have Silicon Valley to boast about with the immigrant technocrats from India, Pakistan and China. Some of them, after becoming millionaires or billionaire have to return to their native lands and copy their Silicon Valley experience.

  2. DanF says:

    I would also suggest the worker not the company owns the Visa. That way the worker is free to move about the country to fill needs anywhere. If a company owns the Visa regardless of the how or reasons they have an additional lever over the worker to drive down their salary. Like you won’t take this $75,000 a year salary to live in San Fran. your gone I will bring in someone who will.

  3. Dear Mr. Unz,
    With sorrow I (I.f.f.U.) realized then (almost 22 years ago),
    that my arrival to my work in the USA
    diminished the median of salaries
    of USA specialists of my specialty and my level.
    I am grateful to my boss then, who was able
    to provide green-card-type entrance visa
    for my family of 4 (me including).
    His organization was growing then, and still grows now.
    I am grateful to this great country, USA, for giving my wife and me,
    the opportunity of STEM work,
    the opportunity of educating our kids (STEM).
    However, there are many talented people among those,
    who are already citizens of the USA.
    The brightest example is our host, theoretical physicist Ron Unz.
    (Try to have a taste of his theoretical physics work in his volume
    “The Myth of American Meritocracy and Other Essays”, ,
    pp. 621-635)

    Yes, Mr. Unz is absolute exception, talented in everything he touches.

    But there are talented people in the USA, who just do not choose
    computer programming, in the situation of suppressed wages in that line of work
    (in comparison with the wages of equally talented people
    going into professions of lawyers, mid-range business people, medical doctors, etc.)

    Without strong influx of foreign programmers,
    the speed of growth of all those start-ups would be slower
    (and/or profits would be lower.)
    And what if Google, Facebook and Apple would make
    their growth in 15 years instead of 5 years ?
    Would it be such a disaster ?
    I am talking not about “American Economy”, “American GDP”,
    which definitely were bumped up by influx of immigrants,
    but about the lives of American citizens.
    Would it be such a disaster — not to have the ability to make a selfie movie
    of the stupid actions of petty criminals, or movie of police actions ?
    Sure, I am happy to watch a movie of my 5-month old grand-daughter,
    who lives with her parents in a different State of the USA.
    But we never had a movie of our kids, when we were in USSR.
    Did it harm their development ? Did it make irreparable harm to our memories ?
    I (humbly) share the opinions
    of Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire on immigration.
    With deep respect of Mr. Unz and his noble work of making Unz Review,
    your I.f.f.U.

  4. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Why have the H-1B program at all, when 50% of STEM grads aren’t getting hired for STEM jobs?

    No one wants to exclude the next genius inventor, but there’s already a separate visa for geniuses, the O-1.

    If companies are desperate to higher lower-wage workers, they can always open local offices in low-wage countries.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Terry
  5. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    Isn’t the luring of talented foreigners (or stealing if you will) to the US fundamentally unfair to their countries of origin and the people living there.

    Surely those countries of origin are better off retaining that talent. The people of their own countries could benefit enormously from their talents.

    • Replies: @CK
    , @Jim Christian
    , @Anonymous
  6. JackOH says:

    Ron, thanks. ” . . . [V]isa program has been misused as a means of eliminating the jobs or driving down the salaries of ordinary American tech workers.” A large, locally based heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company claimed there were no American workers available when it hired a mess of Eastern European workers through an agency to fulfill contracts it had on the East Coast. Wages were well below the norm if my memory of the multi-part newspaper article is okay.

    My own state university hires foreign professors under visa programs, despite the glut of professors in many fields. It’s an open secret those professors are hired to help beat down faculty salary demands.

    I’ve mentioned before we need to ask what kind of country do we want? What kind of people do we want? The idea of an America with a large mass of the work force–including educated professional, technical, and supervisory folks–that’s unable or barely able to earn a living doesn’t work for me.

    • Replies: @LKM
  7. But I thought the law of supply and demand was suspended in the Valley. Something to do with El Nino and gravitational pull of the moon…

  8. Bhroham says:

    But then why would the company pay for the visa if the worker can leave?

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
  9. CK says:
    @The most deplorable one

    Talent is measured by where a person is.
    Einstein in Belize is a phone repairman not a physicist.
    Gates in Venezuela is not a software entrepreneur.
    Jobs in Lebanon is not A reality distortion field.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  10. @Bhroham

    They’d have to make it worth his while to stay, as they would with an American.

    Indentured labour has no place in the civilised world.

    • Replies: @Numinous
  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “The obvious solution to this political and economic dilemma is not to expand but instead to reform the H-1B system.”

    “Sometimes the best means of fixing a broken system is simply forcing it to comply with its original intent.”

    Great points!

    Your writing is a joy to read. You write so clearly and, it seems, with such ease.

  12. TG says:

    1. Remember, there is no limit on H1B involving universities. And many companies ‘ally’ with universities to get around these limits. And often the government has simply ignored the limits – I know for a fact that this happened under Clinton.

    2. Just get rid of the H1B visa system entirely. Rich people who just MUST have cheap labor should be deported to Bangladesh or India where they may enjoy the full panoply of benefits of an unlimited supply of cheap labor and dire poverty (same thing, of course). Meanwhile the American people should be left alone and allowed to suffer the terrible awful consequences of high wages (i.e., a ‘shortage’ of low wages) on their own.

  13. I hope someone tweets this to Trump. Maybe I will, later. But anyone else, feel free – better chance of ‘getting through’.

  14. This is a good idea, Mr. Unz.

    The essential question that must be asked in this as in all cases, is, “Does this policy benefit the American public?”

    There are people in the world who are so productive that if they immigrate here it is a net benefit for the average American. Ordinarily this benefit will be in making their employer’s company more productive and more competitive on the world market, addressing our global balance of trade problem. Socially, truly high-functioning people tend to make good neighbors and friends. Genetically, adding high functioning-people to the gene pool benefits that pool. If companies can’t get those people here, they’ll go to those people, and that would be a loss to our nation.

    But these prospective immigrants have to be quite a bit higher than average before their immigration benefits the average American. The job that our Good Immigrant is taking could be filled by some American, the “marginal” American who would otherwise be called upon to do the job. He may not do the job quite as well – he may do the job 90% as well. That 10% increase from our good immigrant has to be larger than the salary that the immigrant is taking away from an American.

    There aren’t a whole lot of people in the world who are so productive that 10% of their net productivity is greater than the salary that they draw and who want to move here. Certainly having companies compete at auction to find these productive people is better than a vetting process from an underpaid junior State Department officer who has no domain knowledge of the problem domain that the applicant works in. But I know some of these super-high-functioning people. They do exist. We do want them here.

    Another thing I like about your idea the taxpayer is benefited directly by the larger visa revenue. This is a good check to make sure that this policy is truly in favor of American citizens.

    • Agree: artichoke
    • Replies: @ArishemGulgar
  15. Numinous says:

    They are not indentured if they are free to return to their home countries when they choose.

  16. @The most deplorable one

    We steal their lower-priced doctors, dentists, their engineers, we peel the cream of educated humanity from every country, damaging them deeply. Ah well, folks that come here are after all, are traitors to their home countries that educated them, we should expect nothing less.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  17. @Numinous

    They usually don’t want to return to their home countries. That is what makes the H1B a form of indentured servitude. The H1B is tied to their employer. If they leave the job or their employer terminates them they must leave the country immediately. This gives employers enormous power over their H1Bs and they use it.

    I worked in what was essentially an H1B technical sweatshop. H1Bs were expected to work twelve hour days and come in on weekends and holidays. They were paid below standard wages, even for the low quality coders they generally proved to be. The employer let them know that if she caught them surreptitiously seeking a green card – which would free them from H1B servitude – she would immediately pull their H1B under some pretense or other.

    I think Mr. Unz’s idea of a lottery is a good start. But I’d also tie the H1b visa to the employee as soon as it is issued and allow him to move with it to another employer after a fairly short period, as another poster suggested. These visas are a public good. They should benefit the country and the public, not greedy individual plutocrats.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @artichoke
  18. @Jim Christian

    Not fair, since many of their home countries provided them little to no meaningful education past a young age, whether from lack of resources or poor societal values/priorities or some other reason.

    Or their home country provided “education” that makes them hateful, irrational, ignorant maniacs, like the “Graduates” of madrassas.

    Plenty of people who immigrate are not “traitors” to their home countries.

    In any event, it’s easy for someone in the USA to condemn someone who leaves a much poorer and/or more dangerous place to come here. I’m for cracking down hard on illegal immigration — including Trump’s wall and much more — and for a moratorium on all net “legal” immigration too, but let’s not insult immigrants as traitors to their countries.

    P.S. Were my ancestors “traitors” to Germany, Italy, and their other countries of origin because they immigrated to the USA? Were YOUR ancestors “traitors” for coming to the USA whenever they did?

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  19. @Jus' Sayin'...

    Agreed. You point out something I hadn’t thought enough about.

  20. artichoke says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Without the foreign competition you describe, the wages would become less depressed. Some people might turn down admission to med school to do software, seeing it as a more reliable career with better pay that they can expect to continue past age 35. That companies will retrain them in new technologies rather than replacing all the old timers when new technology arrives — because not so many new people are available.

    There would be some reduction in output of software but the American workers would be better off. Some of the foreign programmers would find work in home countries e.g. India or China, or even immigrate to those countries rather than ours. Why do we have to be the only ones to take immigrants?

    If the visas can be bought by the companies, some medium equilibrium would result, with fewer foreigners here, working for higher pay, because it cannot be lower than for Americans — this too should be enforced. Some foreigners would continue to have this opportunity but it would be only for the very best. It should be much easier for an American to get a given job than for a foreigner. Sometimes a less qualified American should get the job at the expense of the more qualified foreigner.

    You can have protectionism too. In YOUR country.

    You are polite and grateful, but you do not present a persuasive argument against Mr. Sailer’s proposal.

  21. artichoke says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    If they’re a public good, they should belong to the American public, not the employer and not to the employee.

    Companies should perhaps be required to re-advertise all H1B positions annually, and if a qualified American is available, he or she gets the job and the foreigner’s visa is terminated. This keeps the visa in the public domain annually, at least if it’s done right.

    They may not want to return to their home countries, but their presence here is mainly to benefit us isn’t it? And for those who came originally on student visas, to get those visas they had to state UNDER OATH that they had no intention to immigrate here. So making the follow-on H1B visa less available and more subject to cancellation seems entirely appropriate, and it should hardly bother those people who swore they never intended to stay here in the first place.

    • Replies: @Numinous
  22. artichoke says:

    And Einstein in a patent office is reading the patent applications very carefully and thinking about them a lot.

  23. George says:

    Elon Musk apologizes for Tesla workers paid just $5 an hour by subcontractor

    A report alleging the electric car company exploited workers from eastern Europe to build a high-tech paint shop has prompted Musk to launch an investigation

    Tesla relied on cheap foreign labor to build a hi-tech paint shop in California, paying workers as little as $5 an hour,

  24. @artichoke

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
    I never felt that my point of view, as narrow as it is, was in contradiction with broad Steve Sailer’s ideas.
    In this sense I was not trying to present an argument against Mr. Sailer.
    Can you kindly formulate, what is Mr. Sailer’s proposal, so that I will be able to discern if I am arguing with his proposal.

    Your truly, I.f.f.U.

    P.S. If by “In YOUR country” you meant USSR, that country does not exist anymore.

    P.P.S. By any chance, could it be that you meant Mr. Unz’s proposal, instead of Sailer’s ?

  25. Winston says:

    I think America’s greatest crisis is her inability to produce enough domestic talents in STEM fields. The US is highly dependent on foreign talents (mainly from China and India), which is good if it could continue to attract the brightest from all over the world by being the only superpower. Given Asia’s rise, more and more scientists and engineers would want to go back to their homeland. Will America be able to cope with the decrease in foreign supplies then? I highly doubt it…

    • Replies: @artichoke
    , @rod1963
  26. Anoni says:

    I am going to be really happy to vote for you. I’d like a minimum bid on this as well. no bids less than 50,000, indexed to inflation. And nobody should get out of the system- universities, etc, not excluded. There is no reason universities should get a huge subsidy.

  27. JackOH says:

    Does anyone else find it awkward, disingenuous, or just plain bogus at some visceral level to talk about labor “shortages” in a United States of 320 million people? I’m thinking of the local, short-lived fracking boomlet here in NE Ohio. Fracking companies insisted they couldn’t find local workers who’d passed drug tests, but it was common knowledge among state employment service workers the frackers were, very reasonably, hiring already skilled workers from oil patch states. So what are we to believe when any corporation says it can’t find enough workers, or can’t find workers with the right qualities? What’s really going on?

    Regarding the large percentage of foreign-born medical doctors. No discussion of that phenomenon is complete without noting the American Medical Association’s influence on medical licensure. See, e. g., Milton Friedman on the émigré German and Austrian physicians of the 1930s.

    My point, I guess, is that I’m not sure at all we ought to allow immigration policy to become so mired in legalistic classifications of all sorts that “gaming” becomes worthwhile for corporations and political constituencies. We’re not smart enough to sort out all the angles. Maybe a simple policy is best, with some allowance for exceptions.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
  28. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “I think America’s greatest crisis is her inability to produce enough domestic talents in STEM fields.

    Kids aren’t stupid. They know going into STEM fields is dumb and is entering a world-wide race to the bottom. It’s not an “inability to produce enough domestic talents”. It’s an inability to make going directly into STEM fields a sensible decision.

    Direct version: one take-your-daughter-to-work-day by an American manager or admin in an H1-B body shop and that’s one kid that’s never going into STEM.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  29. Meda says:


    1. Because of H1B program, number of clever people going to STEM studies is less (they chose more profitable professions where job market is better protected – lawyers, doctors, etc.) . Long term it has devastating effect on USA competitiveness in high-tech.

    2. High-tech companies are abusing H1B program. Minimum amount of time H1B person from India or China couldn’t change company is 8.5-9 years (6 years on H1B, then it applies for Green Card so it is automatically extended, and 2.5-3 years to come to 2nd phase of Green card process where person could change company without starting process from beginning – but still loss 1 year in this process so in reality it is ~10 years). For those 10 years, those people are underpay for at least 30% or more. At the end of this period, company replace 80-90% of them with new H1B guys and keep the best 10-20% (and pay them properly). Also H1B quota became a joke and big companies are paying politicians to get around it. Lot of high-tech giants keep big % of overall workforce on H1B visas.

    3. USA couldn’t produce enough clever people to work in STEM fields. Some import of clever people is necessarily.

    4. In USA, technology knowledge is moving between companies with people changing jobs. In other countries companies are much more protective of their knowledge. Unfortunately, compartmentalization and need-to-know basis is more and more standards in various high-tech companies. Nobody is publishing anything worth of reading anymore. Open-source is still alive, but it is question mark until when. That has bad side-effect that people are learning slower.

    5. Moore low is at the end, benefits of each new chip generation is diminishing. That means that companies good at copying (Chinese companies) will have enough time to catch up and replace everything with cheap technology clones. It is becoming harder and harder to pay for development of new technology.

    Put all of this together and it is clear that there is no simple solution.
    First think I would do is to limit % of workforce for each company (including contractors) that could be on H1B visa. Also to set overall compensation to at least 150K/year to ensure that really best people will come. Find a way to penalize companies in which high % of former H1B people leave after getting papers.
    Limit number of imported STEM people at the level (and guarantee it will be the case long term) that will make it competitive for very clever people vs. other professions.
    Find a way to utilize all clever people as much as possible (especially women that are equally talented for STEM during school and then % of them become smaller and smaller on graduate and post-graduate studies).

  30. Boo hoo. It’s SO hard to find good help these days. Your H1B visa holders are indentured slaves. Period. You screw american STEM graduates to the wall and then wail to Congress about how you can’t find ANYONE! It’s all about JOBS, after all, right? Oh wait..The H1B scam should be shut down. Enter President Trump. You and your fellow elite technocrats should be FORCED to PAY american workers middle class wages, just as you demand insane levels of compensation from your boards your workers should/MUST be from the community. And really, in the final analysis tech is so overrated. Most of it is digital ephemera. Not life-changing, gone before you know it. I can absolutely guarantee that 500 years from now human beings will be listening to Bach cantatas, perhaps as they soar among the galaxies. Pinterest, facecrack et al all gone, utterly forgotten.

    • Replies: @Romanian
  31. Canspeccy says: • Website

    Why not simply require the employer to provide evidence to the State Department proving that there is no qualified American citizen available to fill the position. This was the rule in the 80’s when I, a Canadian citizen, was short-listed for a university chair in the US. Unsurprisingly, this requirement removed me from contention and ensured that an American citizen filled the post (and very well as it turned out).

    Under such a provision, Silicon Valley would see an increase in the supply of well qualified American citizens sufficient to fill the demand without the need for a significant number of immigrants. At the same time, American engineering schools would benefit from a much increased demand for student places.

  32. Jefferson says:

    “Does anyone else find it awkward, disingenuous, or just plain bogus at some visceral level to talk about labor “shortages” in a United States of 320 million people?”

    Yeah there is no way there is a labor shortage in The U.S, a country that has a larger population than Mexico and Nigeria combined.

    • Replies: @JackOH
    , @Reg Cæsar
  33. I like the idea, especially since these firms don’t have the financial talent to figure out when they might be over-bidding, which is often the case with auctions.

    I was an engineer who got pushed out of that market by H1B’s in the late 80’s, so I took my quant skills to Wall Street where I made a lot more money, and ultimately emigrated to become the equivalent of a financial H1B abroad taking someone else’s job, so while I have some sympathy for the suggestion of American-first requirements as suggested above, I also think it would close out the ability to get top talent when it is available. Make the employers bid for talent both for the visas as well as the salaries, which would not be the case in locals-first situation.

    Then again, considering also how much of our sensitive national security has been compromised by giving STEM jobs to foreign nationals, it might just be better to close the door altogether.

  34. @Canspeccy

    “At the same time, American engineering schools would benefit from a much increased demand for student places.”

    Problem with that is that US locals get local (discounted) tuition rates while foreign recruits pay the asking price … US universities have no interest in recruiting US students when they can get more margin out of foreigners.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  35. Numinous says:

    Jus’ Sayin thought that the existing provisions of the H1B visa made indentured laborers out of the workers, who, if they were keen on remaining in America, would be subject to abuse by their employers, who hold the visa. Your proposal, which would hand over control (and invalidation) of those visas to a capricious public, would make those workers much more indentured than they are now.

    A graduating student that applies for an H-1B visa isn’t violating the terms of his student visa, because the H1B is a (another) non-immigrant visa. The student is technically not allowed to apply for a green card, while an H1B worker can, so this visa is technically a loophole whereby a foreign student can (eventually) gain permanent residency. This is a loophole that has the favor of most tech employers because when they go recruiting to the best US campuses (emphasis on the word “best”, they don’t much care for even middle-of-the-road colleges), they see ~75% of grad students and maybe a large minority of undergraduates who are foreign students. If they were to restrict their interviews to US citizens, they would not be able to fill their hiring quotas 9at least that’s their claim.) You can complain all you want about America graduating twice as many software engineers as find employment, but tech employers aren’t considering the pool of ; they are looking for graduates from good universities and colleges.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  36. JackOH says:

    Jefferson, for labor “shortage”, I’m thinking of the local galvanized steel plant where years of managerial neglect and weak supervision had allowed product quality to deteriorate. The new production manager, who’d been recruited from out of state, was a neighbor of mine. He said the job was a nightmare. Shop floor control had been informally ceded to the union, which allowed workers to use any old practices to get product out the door. The product was inferior, but established sales relationships kept the plant going, until it was finally shut down a few years ago.

    In that case, the “shortage” of “qualified labor” was actually code for a history of weak management. My neighbor deeply resented that he’d fallen for a widow-maker job.

  37. Thea says:

    With nearly 400,000,000 people and the best universities in the world the US has no shortages of highly skilled Americans.

    The flip side of luring geniuses is the negative impact on their home country.

    The only people who benefit are a few at the top.

  38. @Canspeccy

    “Why not simply require the employer to provide evidence to the State Department proving that there is no qualified American citizen available to fill the position.”

    Because, that sort of rule is easy to circumvent. It exists in the UK – companies deliberately advertise vacancies in inappropriate media outlets, with pay well below the going rate etc then say “we can’t find anyone local”.

    At the end of the day, you have a small number of civil servants, with little knowledge of specialised labour markets, trying to police large numbers of canny and unscrupulous employers. The outcome is easy to predict.

    • Replies: @artichoke
    , @rod1963
  39. artichoke says:

    Do you have evidence for what you think? STEM grads are not at full employment. It’s very hard to get into a STEM doctoral program, even for those students who are very good bets to complete the degree. We are the country of the Manhattan project, the country that invented the internet, all without those Indians and Chinese.

    Let’s try taking a break from the immigrants. Since the students say they did not intend to immigrate (they had to swear this to get student visas) send them back home after their degrees. Actually, admit more Americans and less foreigners to school too, then there will be less foreigners tempted to lie about their immigration intention.

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe
  40. artichoke says:

    If that small number of civil servants actually tried to do it, and were willing to break some china (pun not intended) and offend some major companies, it could be done pretty effectively. The problem is not inability but will. The actual national policy is to import all the world’s talent here to compete with any Americans who try to have a STEM career.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  41. artichoke says:

    It’s a huge “loophole” in fact, if not in law. If you see that there’s such a big loophole leading to violation of the stated intent of the law (no intention to immigrate; we all know many or most of them dream of it) you close the loophole.

    The H1B program doesn’t work in a reasonable way. It takes these foreign graduates of US university programs, all of whom said they do not intend to immigrate, and provides them a chance to immigrate. This should be stopped or made much more difficult. We may want to “cheat” and keep a very few of the best, but we should be paid for it, and most should not be allowed to immigrate.

    This is exactly what my proposal would achieve. If any of these people can be replaced, say during a required five year term on H1B, out they go. If this makes US university training less attractive to foreigners who aren’t at the very top of ability, it’s an extra bonus in opening those school slots to American candidates.

    What you’ve given is not an objection to my idea, but a reason to support it.

  42. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Yes, preference for US nationals could be effectively enforced, provided only that the politicians are not owned by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Ron Unz. Moreover, before the Bush-Clinton era, preference for US nationals was the rule, not the exception.

  43. artichoke says:
    @The Alarmist

    This is why we need to make the lying-to-immigrate scenario less attractive to the foreigners. Reduce the universities’ supply of foreign applicants and they will start working more for the Americans. The universities consume lots of government grants, but they have no shame and won’t voluntarily turn into patriots. Have to force them.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  44. joe webb says:

    Does it benefit the US? That seems to be the consensus opinion. I disagree.

    As a White Nationalist who wishes other races and countries well, including their right to a nationalist position, I wonder if any of you guys ever think about the Brain Drain on the second and third world and its effects, long term, on the other guys and gals in the rest of the world.

    Trump goes along with the same one-dimensional logic of What’s Good for the US. He and you guys are wrong. A No Immigration argument encompasses the matter before us here.

    Let the talented stay home and improve their own countries. This is a win-win situation. The US wins by putting its own to work while the second and third world win by keeping their talented.

    The only folks who lose are corporations..fuck ’em. Country first, economy second or third or fourth. Joe Webb

    • Agree: Romanian
    • Replies: @artichoke
    , @CanSpeccy
  45. H-1B is insanity. Stop all immigration, of any kind, now. Temporary visas will work just fine for conducting necessary business.

    Fine and jail employers who hire illegal aliens. The American corporatocracy can either invest in America and American workers, or they can hang — together or separately The current system is treason and piracy of American wealth and potential. Colluding politicians should be slapped into the same cell-block. Let ’em think for awhile about whether it’s worth it to sell out your heritage for a dollar. And whether or not it’s worth hanging for.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  46. epebble says:

    This is a very good suggestion. In fact, I would like it to be the basis for our entire immigration too. We can auction off all the immigrant slots every year using auction, subject to health & security considerations. That way, eventually, we may get well to do, enterprising, educated cream of the crop immigrants instead of all the brown shit we are now getting from south of the border.

    • Agree: artichoke
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @epebble
  47. artichoke says:
    @joe webb

    I could go for that too, if it could get done. I think it would be hard to get done in the near term, but I don’t have particularly good instincts about such things.

  48. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @joe webb

    The only folks who lose [from an end to mass immigration] are corporations..fuck ‘em.

    Exactly. As David Ricardo tirelessly pointed out, “profits and wages, together, are always the same.”

    Or more clearly: cheap labor means big profits.

    That’s what globalization is all about. That is what the Bush-Clinton-Obama-Clinton party are all about. As Obama told the Brits during his recent interference in the Brexit referendum campaign, your sovereign democratic nation state is “obsolete.” Or as he might have said, you’re Third World now.

    And as long as the oligarchs fund the Treason Party and control the media, the genocide of the West through mass immigration to provide dirt cheap labor will continue.


    Report: Tesla Used Illegal Foreign Labor to Expand CA Plant

    German Gov’t to Employ 100,000 Immigrants for One Euro an Hour

  49. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    Colluding politicians should be slapped into the same cell-block. Let ‘em think for awhile about whether it’s worth it to sell out your heritage for a dollar.

    I doubt whether a jail term for one or two of the perps would help much. Something like the Ceaucescu treatment would be necessary to effect any real change in the thinking of the elite — those that survived.

    In the days when the foundati0ns of England’s greatness were laid by the last of the Tudor monarchs, Henry VII, VIII and Elizabeth I, they didn’t mess with traitors. The scoundrels were bundled off to the Tower of London and beheaded. What’s wrong with Americans (and the Brits, Canadians and Aussies, alike), that they cannot adopt the same useful severity with the traitors that seek to rule them now?

  50. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Thank you for your polite , heart felt and sincere post.
    I have a humble request to honorable immigrants like you who feel the pain of native US citizens who are being short changed.
    You can make a huge difference by leaving for your motherland. You should be allowed to take with you the wealth you have accumulated as a token of gratitude. We need more compassionate and fair minded immigrants who can lead by example. It is very clear from the posts of antolyin that Russia is doing much much better than it did when you sought a better life in USA. Now that things have become better you can pay back the kindness of our generous host country by moving back with family. The skills , work ethics and wealth you have gathered will be parting gift that will help you contribute positively to Russia and create jobs that will keep Russians home. I understand there are already less and less Russians coming to USA but the two adventuresses who were involved with San Bernardino makes it important that what ever inflow is happening comes to a full stop.
    If we are ever going to save our great country from the deluge, we will need kind and sincere immigrants like yourself who can actually do something in personal capacity to help the country which has been so generous to you.
    My best wishes and regards.

  51. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    I have a humble request to honorable immigrants like you … You can make a huge difference by leaving for your motherland.

    In reality, large scale immigration to a country of continental size is not necessarily a bad thing for the native born population. It was only through immigration that the American state founded in 1776 accumulated the strength to hold the territory. Even today, America is relatively lightly populated and is faced by rivals with much larger populations and hence human resources.

    The critical question about population for Americans today is thus: how big does the population need to be to continue holding the territory and how does America get to that ideal population size. One way is continued mass immigration, mostly uncontrolled Third World Immigration.

    This is the option being implemented by the Bush-Clinton-Obama two-parties-one-policy group (although they appear to be less concerned about securing the territory than about securing the pay-offs from the corporate elite that profits from wage reduction through immigration). What this policy means is that the Euro-African populations that founded the nation but who have a below replacement fertility, are being replaced by Third-World immigrants who differ sharply both racially and culturally from the pre-existent population. The same policy of slo-mo stealth genocide, both racial and cultural, is being enforced across the West, the chief means being a combination of laws and propaganda in the guise of education that undermines the fertility of the native-born plus mass immigration of a replacement population.

    The alternative to this policy is to restore the fertility of the native born population by once again outlawing abortion, ending the promotion of sexual perversion by schools and the media, and once again recognizing the Christian tradition of the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. In addition, of course, the borders would have to be secured once again.

  52. DB Cooper says:

    As somebody who is in the trenches in the software industry, I can tell from years of experience that the majority of the Indian programmers, probably over 95% of them are totally incompetent.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  53. Superman says:

    It always cracks me up how Asians think they are critical to America’s success. As everybody knows, Silicon Valley was a smashing success for decades before the 1990 introduction of the H1B Visa program. The main new contribution of Asians has been to radically accelerate the hollowing out of Silicon Valley’s job base via outsourcing and insourcing.

    • Replies: @The Original George
  54. Mr unz. I typically find common ground with your writings and other authors published here.

    It happens at this very moment i am at a large annual conference for a notorious corporate software vendor rubbing elbows with clever folks from all over the world. So it for me is a topical issue.
    I find the idea of auctioning in favor of deep pocketed tech giants an especially pernicious call for more crony capatalism than already exists.
    I think all wealthy stockholders of public corporations should be expropriated of their shares. Let those be transferred to third world peasants who will be pleased to receive meager dividends of pennies on the dollar compared to present quarterly payouts.
    Also i believe all of dc and most statehouses could be effectively outsourced via the web to governance call centers in third world countries.

  55. I am a tech worker, currently unemployed. Though I have had a number of interviews, I don’t yet have any offers after 10 weeks. In the good old days of the 1980’s I remember being hired on the first day I started seeking a new job. Employers are being extremely selective because they can be, and older workers like myself are hung out to dry. The shortage of tech workers is a myth propagated by cheapskate employers. The H1B visa program should be eliminated, not reformed.

    • Replies: @Greg S.
  56. @Rehmat


    Rehmat is a troll. This particular troll lives in Canada and spends his time denigrating the US and Israel. Do not feed the trolls!

  57. @DB Cooper

    As somebody who is in the trenches in the software industry, I can tell from years of experience that the majority of the Indian programmers, probably over 95% of them are totally incompetent.

    Yepper, problem being that brown-nosers who acquire dominion over IT in US companies are also incompetent. Back in the 90’s, when India first started low-balling IT development for US companies, I contracted one of the many Tata subsidiaries to do some fairly major network-aware distributed application development. What a joke that was. Total failure, but billing was like clockwork. At the 50% point, I cancelled (over indignant screams from upper-level management), and brought in 3 freelance Americans to finish-up.

    Never again.

  58. rod1963 says:

    Half of American STEM workers can’t find jobs, why? Because they’ve pushed out of the market by foreigners.

    Also we’re the country that invented the transistor, put a man on the moon, the microwave and a host of other inventions all without the help of the Hindus and Chinamen.

    In short we did really well.

    In terms of educating future STEM workers, how about giving the boot to all the foreigners in our colleges(which make the schools a lot of $$$), that would open up a lot of slots for Americans who otherwise can’t attend.

    • Agree: artichoke
  59. rod1963 says:

    What you describe has been standard practice at American tech companies for at least two decades.

    Usually the job ad requirements were over the top yet they were only going to pay $40k which guaranteed no American would apply for it.

  60. @artichoke

    I’d agree if it weren’t for the fact that I trip over plenty of Americans in London and other corners of the business world every day. We are losing in the middle class, but the upper-middle and lower-upper are doing quite fine abroad, a scenario that would change if we weren’t so gracious in programs like H1B, so the middle has to take the hit. BTW, the only saving grace for our foreign competitors is that FATCA has effectively shut our middle-classes out of working abroad.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  61. @epebble

    There’s no need to insult all the peaceful and hard-working people who do come from Mexico and elsewhere to the USA.

    I agree that we do not benefit, on balance, by admitting the great majority of those whom we have been admitting or the past fifty years or so, and have no pressing need to admit them.

    Also agreed that the last thing we need is more lower-skilled, less educated people immigrating here, when our own lower-skilled, less-educated populace of U.S. citizens is having a hard enough time getting good-paying jobs, supporting their families, and making a decent future.

    We should move to a system like the one you’re proposing, bringing in substantial revenue by selling temporary visas to a small number of highly skilled foreigners and excluding just about everyone else.

  62. @Superman

    I accidentally posted a comment to “Rehmat” that was meant for you;

    Rehmat is a troll who lives in Canada and posts his nonsense here in an attempt to anger Americans (and Jews, of course). He is a troll and as we all know, we should not feed the trolls.

  63. Greg S. says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    Agreed. The tech worker shortage is a well established myth. What’s really going on is a refusal to train and compensate properly.

    If a company posts for a specialized electronics hardware design engineer with 20 years of experience at a low rate of pay, you can bet they won’t get many hits. But there are literally hordes of people out there who want that job – new engineering grads, immigrants, people with a few years experience, people with transferable engineering skills, etc who would gladly do that job. But they get no chance from these corporations. Instead the corporation throws up their hands, says they can’t find anyone, and demands to hire foreigners at 60% the salary.

    In the old days, companies would hire new grads and train them in house instead of demanding to hire foreigners, but those days are dwindling.

    If you simply ended the H1B program, companies would be forced to go back to relying on their own resources to train employees. In the long run, you’d get better engineers and more innovation out of it too. It’s simply short sighted, Harvard MBA corporate thinking – they are all looking to make a quick buck and get out, even if they know their decisions are a disaster in the long term.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  64. Alternatively, have a minimum salary rule for H-1B visas. This would make the visas available for foreign high-flyers, but not to replace average-paid jobs for which there are many American candidates.

  65. artichoke says:
    @The Alarmist

    Mostly Americans working abroad are on working visas that are based on their being the best candidates for the jobs. Not “practical training” which is the formal name of H1B status. I have worked abroad, and I was hired because my skills were not easily available among the native population. I am not sure if I would have been able to apply for permanent status there, but I never intended to do that.

    So there’s really not much of importance that is equivalent to H1B, and if we eliminated it I don’t see why it would affect the availability of foreign opportunities for US citizen professionals.

  66. Karl says:

    There are no “former” Marines.

    And there are no “former physicists”

    I love iSteve, and have given him cash money several times – but at the end of the day – he’s just a stamp collector.

  67. @Jefferson

    …a larger population than Mexico and Nigeria combined.

    The thought of Mexico or Nigeria individually is disturbing enough. But combined? Brrrr…

  68. @Greg S.

    In the old days, companies would hire new grads and train them in house instead of demanding to hire foreigners, but those days are dwindling.

    In the very old days, companies would hire liberal arts graduates and train them in-house. Not for tech positions, but for general business posts, the kind you need an MBA for today. The lucky ones of that era are dying off.

  69. epebble says:

    If the auction is too complicated to implement (too much government intervention?), an easy thumb rule is to set the minimum salary a would be immigrant should be offered at say, 10X prevailing local minimum wage and be done with it. If every immigrant walks in with a six figure salary, no one would complain.

  70. @CanSpeccy

    Country first without question.

    But wait… “The only folks who lose are corporations..fuck ‘em. Country first, economy second or third or fourth.”

    It’s good for our country to have to successful businesses. It’s good for our country to be producing world-class products here. That is what ensures our prosperity. And mind you, our prosperity ensures not only our happiness but our security. At a certain point of protectionism, capital just moves away to a friendlier state, and that state becomes stronger and ours weaker.

    Yes, most economic migration is a dismal situation that harms the nation. From slavery, to indentured servitude, to the H1B program as presently constituted. The H1B program that Unz describes bears little relationship to the usual dismal kinds of immigration for cheap labor. Having a few thousand move here each year who have specifically been proven to be very high value people by competitive auction could boost our prosperity without really impacting our national constitution. Unz mentioned 8,500, but that number might even been too high. The fact that the state collects the visa fee ensures that each taxpayer of the nation captures a little value from this, so it’s not something that only benefits the immigrant and his employer at the expense of the rest of us.

    And as for brain draining other countries – too bad for them! Their loss is our gain. Country first.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @RadicalCenter
  71. Numinous says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I suppose it’s ingrained in conservatives to have nostalgia for old times. But note that few people graduated (and even fewer graduated with liberal arts degrees) in the days you are referring to. So whoever got the opportunity to go to college and graduate would naturally be hired with alacrity. It’s not the same today, when liberal arts graduates are a dime a dozen. And possibly conservatives in those “very old days” lamented the fact that companies were going out of their way to hire liberal arts graduates instead of high school graduates.

  72. JackOH says:

    FWIW, David Hume’s is/ought distinction ought to get a mention here. I’m an entrepreneur with an idea. If I could only get 100 workers from, say, Mumbai, who’d be willing to accept one-half of what I’d have to pay Americans, I could put my idea into play, and get rich. (IOW-there “is” a big wage gap between Asian Indians and Americans. “Ought” that big wage gap exist? If not, what are the total consequences, both intended and unintended, of lessening that wage gap through American visa programs?)

    My glass-half-empty personality also sees something of the “human trafficker” mind-set, I guess, lurking somewhere in those corporate-friendly visa programs. By “human trafficker” mind-set, I mean an attitude I believe exists among our masters that all, or most, elements of human life ought to be fungible with money. Sometimes not everything ought to be up for sale.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  73. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Jewish Conservative Race Realist

    You misqote me.

    But wait… “The only folks who lose are corporations..fuck ‘em. Country first, economy second or third or fourth.”

    I didn’t say that, although I agreed with it.

    You say “It’s good for our country to have successful businesses,” but it is by no means necessarily the case that all successful businesses are good for “the country”. Is it good for America to lead the world in the production of porn, for example, or in the raising of horticultural crops with illegal immigrant labor housed in cardboard boxes?

    Likewise on the benefits to America of many other business activities.

    A key issue concerning special provision for the immigration of tech sector workers is how it impacts incentives and opportunities for Americans to become qualified in the field. This is a complex issue and not one that is resolved by bald assertions about what is or is not good for the country.

    I predict that once the H1b issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of the employers there will be agitation for other special immigrant visas for burger flippers, perhaps, or bed-pan cleaners, retail store clerks and berry pickers and all the other jobs Americans won’t do for four bucks an hour or whatever is the going rate in the raging black economy.

    My advice to STEM workers is to form a union, and not to worry about the country. Its time for labor to reassert itself. And don’t worry about Bill Gates and Ron Unz, they can afford to pay American workers decent wages.

  74. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Jack, the business entrepreneur will always go for what’s most profitable, not what’s right. It’s the only way. Business is competitive, if you do what’s right, rather than what pays best, you’ll be wiped by the competition.

    The issue of H1b’s is fundamental to the debate about globalization. Do Americans want a country or not. If not then fine, abolish the border and acknowledge, as Obama just told the Brits, that your sovereign democratic nation state is obsolete, i.e., you’re Third World now and don’t bitch if your neighborhood is taken over by Somali/Pakistani/Syrian/etc. immigrants with very unAmerican ideas about genital mutilation, putting bags over womens’ heads and on the need for everyone, including you, to conform to their ideas.

  75. @CanSpeccy

    My mistake – that was meant for joe webb’s comment, not your reply.

    By the way, I am a tech worker. Just a software developer, not an employer – and I still don’t mind having a few thousand of the brightest foreigners come here and compete for my job. The American tech industry is a great place to get a job for American tech workers, and I believe that part of that is because we are a magnet for all the best of the world to come. Cutting edge tech jobs are not a zero-sum game; it’s not a matter of portioning out a fixed number of jobs. The people who invent new software and hardware that can do new things are not taking away jobs but creating them. Anyway, even if you buy none of that, it’s hard to argue that the Silicon Valley recipe isn’t working. We’re practically the only American industry that is still world-class. (Alongside aerospace).

    What does bother me, and actually bothers me a lot, are the dim-witted Indian sycophants who capture the low end of the market through H1b scams and outsourcing operations. They don’t add value, because they aren’t creative or innovative. They just take away the low end jobs from low-end tech workers like tech support, system administration, QA testing, and even some of the drudge business apps. I would be happy to see an end to that. Marginal American tech workers _are_ getting screwed.

  76. @Jewish Conservative Race Realist

    Yes, no more than a few tens of thousands of highly skilled people should be permitted to immigrate here each year (as in, get permanent residency and eventually become citizens, not just have a student visa or work visa).

    But nobody, no matter how highly skilled or economically valuable, should be able to get citizenship after only five years as a permanent resident as many do now. I’d suggest at least 10-15 years.

    And we need a total ban on all other non-European immigration. Not merely a moratorium, but a permanent ban if it can be achieved.

    Our focus should be a small group of very highly skilled / talented people from anywhere, and the much larger group of white European refugees who are in our near future.

    We can get many millions of fresh immigrants who are actually more kindred to us, more intelligent on average, and more compatible culturally, than the immigrants we’ve been getting from Mexico, Latin America, China, India, and, God help us, Muslim and African countries.

    Let in the millions of Ukrainians who will want to settle here as Ukraine collapses.

    Let in the millions of Germans, French, and Scandinavians who will want to settle here as their countries turn Islamic. That will change our culture and demographic composition vastly for the better. (We can take a look at recent ongoing riots, no-go zones, mosque construction, population/fertility statistics, mosque and church attendance figures, etc., to see if Houllebecq’s book (“Submission”) can’t really come to pass within our lifetimes.)

  77. @CanSpeccy

    AMERICANS should form a union.

  78. @RadicalCenter

    “But nobody, no matter how highly skilled or economically valuable, should be able to get citizenship after only five years as a permanent resident as many do now. I’d suggest at least 10-15 years.”

    Excellent point about citizenship. I work in an office that is ~35% Chinese, ~20% Indian, ~15% slavic nationals. (Yes, this number is far too high. But it’s due to the abused nature of the current H1B program, not Unz’s program). I’ve thus been privy to countless number of lunch conversations about getting citizenship – the convenience it affords and other advantages. But I never, ever hear them talk about loyalty. They will all swear the oaths when the time comes; but they won’t mean them. When it comes to the USA, they don’t have skin in the game: if the USA goes south, they’ll all go home to their real country like a shot. Thus they should not have a vote. I’ve even brought this up at lunch before – that they should not swear the oath unless their true allegiance has shifted to this land – and they look at me like I’ve just taken a dump on the table. How impolite of me to talk of allegiance!

    Only people who will take their stand and live and die here should be allowed to be citizens. Everyone with a plan B is just a guest. Dual citizenship is a travesty! There should be a constitutional amendment outlawing it.

  79. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Our focus should be a small group of very highly skilled / talented people from anywhere, and the much larger group of white European refugees who are in our near future.

    This sounds reasonable but what’s afoot is not something reasonable from the point of view of the American people. The idea is to see the elimination of the European people as a distinct cultural and racial group. Hence Bill Clinton celebrating the end of America’s white majority.

    Portland State University, Oregon June 13, 1998:

    Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii or Houston or New York City. Within five years, there will be no majority race in our largest state, California. In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the United States. No other nation in history has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time … [These immigrants] are energizing our culture and broadening our vision of the world. They are renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be American.

    Currently Germany is the focus of this genocidal thrust.

    So that’s today’s big issue. You wanna a country or you want the Third World?

    If you’re rich, Third World is best. Ask Ron Unz or Mark Zuckerberg. They sure don’t want a bunch of rural bumpkins from Ukraine lousing up the place, however white and blue-eyed those people may be. What they want is to pick the brains of the Third World, a profitable enterprise for which they consider the destruction of the nation state, its racial and cultural identity, a reasonable price for you to pay.

    Being liberals, they like to be seen as the good guys, which is why they (most of them) will call you a far-right-wing extremist racist Nazi if you challenge their project for the radical reconstruction of the world.

  80. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It always galls me, as a 25-year veteran of the high tech industry, to have to train these foreign workers who possess these “unique skills” that none of us US-born workers seem to have. Seems like the only unique skill they bring to table is that they’re willing to work for less than the native talent in the indentured servitude of the H1-B visa system.

  81. woodNfish says:

    What a load of bull! There is not and has never been a shortage of US STEM workers. Ron Unz is a traitor interested only in selling off US jobs to cheap foreign labor so he can get donations from rich Silicon Valley elitists. It is time to do away with the H1-B and H2-B visa program that does nothing more than drive down wages for American workers and let companies undercut the labor market by importing cheap foreign labor. Anyone who supports this is a traitor and should be treated like one. FU Unz!

  82. LKM says:

    I absolutely agree with the with your article and Ron’s post, but I’m wondering if maybe a separate category should be created so universities don’t have to compete with the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft in such auctions.

    Take for example this guy:

    To summarize:
    German citizen, M.A., Ph.d in theoretical computer science from Princeton by age 26, Sloan research fellowship, tenure-track position at Ivy League university at age 27, oodles of awards, Immigration Status: H-1b visa…

    I feel like there should be a way for less well-endowed universities to compete for foreign talent (of this guy’s calibre) without having to take on big tech companies.

    • Replies: @Numinous
    , @JackOH
  83. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I am a Canadian electronics engineer and I worked in LA from 2001 to 2010 on TN status then an H-1B visa. I was hired because at the time, the company found that all the US citizen engineers seemed to be working for the defense industry. Even while I was there, defense contractors tried to hire me away from them, telling me Canadians are OK. In this case, I was paid the exact same salary as US engineers there and by the time I returned to Canada in 2010 to care for my elderly mother, I was making quite a bit more. I was approved for a green card in 2008 but because of the 6 year wait time, I ended up leaving the US for a slightly lower paying job in Canada.

    I suggestion is to not auction the H-1B visas but to limit them to only a certain number per employer AND not to grant any to labor contracting companies that are primarily offshore. Only the employer themselves should be able to get them. As well at least half should be reserved for firms with less than say 200 employees. In the case of my employer they had a total of 3 H-1B workers out of a staff of 50.

  84. Numinous says:

    There’s already an H-1B exception for university employment. The usual cap (85k visas per year) doesn’t apply to someone who gets hired by a research university; the number of H-1B visas that can be granted for such positions is unlimited.

  85. JackOH says:

    LKM, thanks. My local, less selective Podunk Tech teaches potted courses to first-time college-goers. We have “permanent adjuncts” earning about $30 thousand a year with no hope of advancement, permanent position, etc. Some junior profs complain bitterly their research is actively discouraged, and recently we’ve had two energetic professors in mid-career stride leaving for flagship universities elsewhere. We have regular adjuncts aplenty.

    My only reasonably informed guess as to why our Podunk hires under visa programs is that a politically docile/vulnerable work force is too powerful a lure.

    The “Einstein exception”? Maybe it’s real, maybe not. We’ve had one non-immigrant “Einstein” (junior division) hired to teach part-time at double-pay in an endowed chair. I suppose he’s a great guy, but he doesn’t do anything, as far as I understand, that a regular prof doesn’t do. Einstein himself had his best work behind him when he came to the States, or so I understand, but the Bambergers couldn’t have known that when they put him up at the Institute for Advanced Studies.

    I’m actually very okay with measured, temperate immigration, work visas, and what-not. But, the phenomenon we’re kvetching about here is something like deliberate subversion of the indigenous labor force to achieve political ends. Again, I caution that phrases, such as “labor shortages” and “shortages of qualified labor” can be code for a lot of corporate mischief.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  86. Fredrik says:

    Why is there no mandated minimum salary for H1B-visas or is there but it’s too low?

    I’m not entirely sure what experts in Silicon Valley earn but if a worker needed to earn at least $100,000/year it would eliminate the need for foreign workers for entry level jobs and similar. Adjust minimum salary to be around the 5-10 year mark(I know this is a wide band) of above average American workers in the in-demand sectors.

    • Agree: artichoke
  87. artichoke says:

    Neither the worker nor the company should own the visa. Since the government issues the visa, the people should own it. The visa is good for one year at most. Every year the job has to be re-advertised, and if a qualified American is available (not necessarily as good as the visa holder — this is enforced by requiring the standards to be the same as they were at the beginning of the year), the visa holder is fired with one month or so notice and sent home, and the American gets the job. This provides “practical training” (the ostensible purpose of the H1B visa) to the foreigner, and it allows the company to fill the job even if a qualified American is not available.

    The company receives a series of one-year options that if an American cannot be found for a position, a foreigner can be hired for practical training. The foreigner receives a one-year job if no American is available. A qualified American is never shut out in favor of a foreigner, if this is enforced correctly.

  88. artichoke says:

    As an engineer, continuous government intervention to combat the “engineering shortage” depressed my pay and made my life less wonderful my whole career, until I got tired of it (well before age 40) and went back to school for another career. We have a doctor shortage too. Why is it harder to import doctors? Generally the two professions are considered about equal in prestige and difficulty, except in the USA where doctors are considered much more special.

    People probably didn’t expect 1905 again from Einstein. It’s sort of agreed that in the field of mathematics, any important work you’ll do is done by age 30. Theoretical physics may not be much different. I’d argue that thought is behind technical employment generally. Why is an engineer washed up at 40? Because his option value is gone. If the engineer creates patent, the employer owns it. The company is paying something for that option value. If they think he’s settling down and is even less likely to give them patents, they’ll put someone else in the chair.

    They still boast about Einstein at Princeton. They got their money’s worth.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  89. SXIOPO says:

    When discussing the costs of hiring H1-Bs vs. US citizens, people often forget that salary is only half the picture. The difference in benefits is just as significant, if not more so. Even if foreign workers were paid exactly the same, they’d still be cheaper to employ because they’re easily disposable. A worker’s spouse’s health condition is extremely expensive to keep insuring? The employer is stuck for the length of the original visa, but they’re under no obligation whatsoever to renew it. A worker took 3 months off to have a baby at the worst possible time, leaving the employer scrambling to find a qualified replacement? Same deal. Firing a US citizen for those reasons, or any of a long list of others, is likely to result in an expensive legal battle. With H-1B workers, the employer can simply not renew the visa, and the problematic employee will be gone in a year or so with no fuss and no legal risk.

    It’s ironic that the well-intentioned (if somewhat misguided) laws intended to help American workers are instead crippling them by preventing them from competing with foreign workers on an even playing field.

  90. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If Indians, Paki’s, and Chinese are so brilliant, perhaps they should stay home and help transform their shithole societies into civilized first world nations instead of the embarrassing backwaters they currently are. The tech industry flourished in the U.S. long before we began importing coolies to ” do the work Americans can’t do. ” Intellectual theft, espionage, and the like aside, I’ve never been impressed by the brain power or creativity of these arrogant little smelly bastards willing to work for lower pay than their American counterparts. Stay home, worship a cow, and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of India. We’ll make do without ya………………..Oh, and go fuck yourselves.

    • Replies: @Tommy
  91. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Same here. I am very grateful for the opportunity but came to believe that admitting me and my family was misguided. I am pretty good at what I do – but not so good that no replacement for me could be found in the USA that did not suffer from massive wage depression in STEM that was caused by admitting people like us. Admitting Fields Medalist-level people makes sense; admitting run of the mill top 2-5%-ters, only marginally so.

    So yes, even in the case of the model immigrants like myself (paying plenty of taxes, nearly full integration, fully American children, no secondary family members brought in), it is not clear that the host country had benefited that much. Best scenario I hope for is a zero sum.

  92. JackOH says:

    artichoke, thanks. I’ve been sort of an amateur observer of work my entire life and have wondered why the guys who deliver the goods often end up without a reasonable share of the goodies. I’ve had the rare opportunity to see in specific circumstances the impact of my own contributions to organizations. I felt good about those contributions. With some exceptions, those contributions did my wallet and career advancement little good.

    Let me just note that in one job, the management was so weak that it placed strong performers under the “observation” of crony assistants, routinely disparaged their work in public while slyly claiming private credit for it, etc.

    BTW-the alleged “doctor shortage” is likely true in some rural areas, but it’s also a stock phrase in the American Medical Association’s political arsenal, sometimes used to explain away why medical doctors often refuse uninsured cash patients or “discharge” patients who’ve become uninsured, a practice which very likely violates the terms under which state licensure first became a requirement for practice.

    I don’t have any great thoughts, but, as I mentioned, I just don’t trust the claims of “shortages” made by business or government. Thanks again.

  93. @Anonymous

    Greetings !
    Not Fields, but (already here)
    a prize named after one of the founders of Quantum Mechanics.
    See you around.
    Your I.f.f.U.

  94. Karl says:

    No doubt that there is a decent level of intelligence among the top 5% or so of Pakistanis. After all, they are pretty close to being White. I’ve had healthcare by Paki doctors; they’re plenty good enough for routine stuff and medium-level surgery – at least the ones who came out of a good school in Lahore or Karachi.

    However, if we decide to judge pudding by its taste, we notice that there is NOT anything even =like= a high-tech industry in Pakistan.

    A fourth-tier Israeli city like Beit Shean, has factories that can sell tech items to Europe & North America. Move on up to northern TelAviv, you’ve got SiliconValley companies operating first-principles R&D centers. 30-35% cheaper to operate than if they were in Palo Alto or Mountain View.

    The Pak nuclear weapon was made with a LOT of handholding and COPIOUS direct-material-transfers from the Chinese.

    The Israeli nuke required no outside talent. Just the hijacking-theft of some raw Uranium-yellowcake from, wait, was it the Americans or the French?

    To be fair, the Pakis have been really quite good at controlling access to and control over their nukes. That’s just disciplined infantry; the Pakis have that. The Sindh Rangers are an excellent gendarmarie. The Pakis aren’t the Afghans. The Chinese might end up renting Paki mercenaries to police their mines in Africa. SouthAsian muslims are quite willing to shoot African looters.

    The value chain is: The Israelis have the idea and build the prototype; the Singaporeans design and prove-out the mass-production process; the Filipinos rent you a factory and 450 20-something province girls who can read English quite well & follow detailed instructions for 8 hours a day. One Taiwanese is required as the factory’s General Manager; the mid-level supervisors can be found from among the upper class which can afford to put the kid through a “good” university in Manila. Typically, there is a father or an uncle working in the Gulf or Saudi, that supplies the money for the university.

    Oil prices better come back up, or the Manila Universities are gonna be hurting for revenue.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  95. @RadicalCenter

    Half my ancestors left Samos, a miserable Greek island closer to Turkey than Greece in 1901 or so, driven off on coal barges to Ellis Island. Peabody Mass is where they landed to work in miserable leather factories. I’m sure financial interests aided the drive from Samos, or maybe the Turks wanted it emptied. The other half of my ancestors were cleansed from the Scottish landscapes, also for financial interest in America long before it was the United States. Their lot was clearing forest, tending tobacco and enduring smallpox and malaria. Oh, and and always fighting off the natives who were not completely happy with the state of things circa 1700-present.

    Traitors? They had no country. Their stay here was forced and they coped. Pure luck it all worked out. Present-day doctors and engineers educated and raised in one country at social expense that we then poach? Theft of human capital on the one hand, traitorous desertion on the other.

  96. Hibernian says:

    The prospects are still better than those for an Oppression Studies major.

  97. Hibernian says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I think this still happens to a certain extent in lower profile areas of business such as insurance and commodities.

  98. Romanian says:

    500 years from now human beings will be listening to Bach cantatas, perhaps as they soar among the galaxies

    Yeah, about that…

  99. Romanian says:

    1. It’s very hard to prove a negative. And a bit unfair

    2. The companies already have the means by which to skirt around requirements to look for eligible Americans before importing labor. If you can do it to low-skilled laborers, you can do it to less common skills as well.

    Last year, thousands of American companies won permission to bring a total of more than 150,000 people into the country as legal guest workers for unskilled jobs, under a federal program that grants them temporary work permits known as H-2 visas. Officially, the guest workers were invited here to fill positions no Americans want: The program is not supposed to deprive any American of a job, and before a company wins approval for a single H-2 visa, it must attest that it has already made every effort to hire domestically. Many companies abide by the law and make good-faith efforts to employ Americans.

    Yet a BuzzFeed News investigation, based on Labor Department records, court filings, more than 100 interviews, inspector general reports, and analyses of state and federal data, has found that many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to skirt the law, deliberately denying jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers on H-2 visas instead.

    A previous BuzzFeed News report found that many of those foreign workers suffer a nightmare of abuse, deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, sexually assaulted, or threatened with deportation if they dare complain.

    At the same time, companies across the country in a variety of industries have made it all but impossible for U.S. workers to learn about job openings that they are supposed to be given first crack at. When workers do find out, they are discouraged from applying. And if, against all odds, Americans actually get hired, they often are treated worse and paid less than foreign workers doing the same job, in order to drive the Americans to quit. Sometimes, as the government alleged happened at Hamilton Growers, employers comply with regulations by hiring Americans only to fire them en masse and hand over the work to foreign workers with H-2 visas.

  100. @Jim Christian

    If you were, say, a doctor in Nigeria or Pakistan, would it be wrong or traitorous for you to give your children a life instead in the USA if you could?

    Now, I don’t think we should let ANYONE settle here, get citizenship, or even own real estate here from those countries or any other African or Muslim countries. I’m just saying they’re not traitors for coming here if we are foolish enough to let them.

    • Replies: @artichoke
  101. @Jim Christian

    P.S. Your family’s story is very interesting, and impressive that they made it. I’m glad you’re here.

  102. artichoke says:

    I’d say maybe they are traitors. Not on the level of a criminal like Hillary Clinton, but yes they did absorb the education, then leave without working there for long. There’s something treasonous about that, but not very treasonous.

    This whole idea of “moving for a better life” is not some sort of moral right. It’s greed. And to the extent greed is good, it’s fine. But it’s just a synonym for greed or selfishness. We all have to be greedy for ourselves and our families. But how much?

    • Replies: @ArishemGulgar
  103. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @The most deplorable one

    In some respects, you might be right, but the main country that supplies techies to the US is India, which had received BILLIONS of US computer company investments to set up training and R &D Centers, with the intent of bringing many hundreds of thousands of their newly-graduated students to the US for on-the-job training.

    Those countries who supply this low-costs labor would not be in the game if the big computer companies (IBM, HP, Sun Microsystem, Microsoft, Cisco, etc) and US taxpayers not developed the infrastructure and training centers there. There was a news blackout in the US in the 90s, and only sporatic announcements in the 2000s (a Seattle Times article about a $1.7 billion investment by Microsoft for training in Asia was a notable exception, and not widely reported), but in the Asian financial press, every day, there were dozens of stories about US companies investing in China and Asia, to the tune of millions of dollars each. For pretty much the whole decade. And it increased in the 2000s!

    So it may be a brain-drain for Eastern European countries who do not get US investment in the 90s, or the African country that has a scholarship kid or two leave, but by-and-large, the countries exporting their tech workers receive quite a substantial benefit.

  104. Tommy says:

    I disagree that Pakistan deserves to be mentioned in that bracket.

    India and China are in a class by themselves.

    Then daylight.

    Then Korea, Iran, Israel, Russia, etc. have provided some techies.

    Pakistan does not figure in the Top 6.

  105. Tommy says:

    Hey dumbass, Indians are the HIGHEST income ethnicity in the US. Far higher than you.

    It is funny that you can’t compete even with Indians. What a poor performer you are.

  106. @Jewish Conservative Race Realist

    But these prospective immigrants have to be quite a bit higher than average before their immigration benefits the average American. The job that our Good Immigrant is taking could be filled by some American, the “marginal” American who would otherwise be called upon to do the job.

    Not necessarily. They just have to be a bit above average, or even merely average, because they can add more value down the line. If the foreign programmer or engineer can turn out product more cheaply than the US counterpart, the value he produces may be more than enough. You say:

    “That 10% increase from our good immigrant has to be larger than the salary that the immigrant is taking away from an American.”

    But its not just a salary in question- it could also be benefits which the company may not have to fully pay on the foreigner, and also the sheer doggedness, and hard-nosed immigrate outlook of many foreigners on the job- working extra hours to get the job done, sometimes “off the clock”, in a way the typical Americans may not be willing to put out. Your hypothetical 10% may not be that at all but double that in favor of the immigrant- which is why companies keep on hiring them. At the lower end of the scale- low wage Mexican and Caribbean farm workers will put out harder effort to a degree the typical American will not at the wages offered.

  107. @artichoke

    This whole idea of “moving for a better life” is not some sort of moral right. It’s greed. And to the extent greed is good, it’s fine. But it’s just a synonym for greed or selfishness. We all have to be greedy for ourselves and our families. But how much?

    Rather dubious. Why is it “greed” and “selfishness” that the immigrants would want to move for a better life? Would you say the same of millions of hard-working Italians, who produced the largest single surge of immigration to the United States in the early 20th century/late 19th? Between 1890 and 1924 over 4 million Italians immigrated to the United States, in just that brief 34 year period. So all these paisanos came due to “greed” and “selfishness”?

    • Replies: @artichoke
  108. So you want companies to have the right to bribe (pay) the govt for visas, and the govt will effectively be blocking citizens from working, in favor of immigrants ?

  109. @ArishemGulgar

    ArishemGulgar: it’s perfectly obvious why employers want immigrant labor. The point is not whether H1Bs are good for employers or immigrants, but rather for the people on whose behalf immigration policy is ostensibly supposed to be designed: the average voter.

    Immigration imposes negative externalities on the average voter which needs to be made up for by the incredible extra productivity of the immigrant trickling down. “Sheer doggedness” and other extra utility from the immigrant laborer is value that is captured by the employer at the expense of the taxpayer. One particular example of an externality, a baseline externality which is the minimum amount which for which the average American voter must be compensated, is the loss of a salary that would otherwise have been paid to an American.

  110. Malcolm Y says:

    A Silicon Valley winner turning over the manure pile of “reform” to avoid the idea that he and his friends are trying to break the backs of American STEM workers.

    The body shops are just the baddies that Intel and Microsoft etc can point a finger at if pressed, but they are the real culprits.

    There are plenty of smart white boys that will go to university and excel in computer science if the wages are high enough and they won’t get shitcanned when they turn 35. I daresay, there is no shortage of really “genius” white boys if enough energy is expended to find and nurture them.

    Now I’ll just relax with my Dothead laptop running the Swami operating system and watch a few videos on ShivaTube.

    See Norm Matloff U of C Davis for a complete lowdown on the slimy environment called high tech – from a lefty point of view.

  111. Ron,

    I’m sorry that your bid for the Senate proved to be unsuccessful. I hope you will see this as your first try and not your last one.

    Do you have any data (e.g., exit polls) on who voted for you and who didn’t? It might be interesting for you to write a post-mortem on this subject.

  112. woodNfish says:

    Fuck you Unz and all your lying excuses for selling out amerikans. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, RINO!

    • Replies: @anonymous
  113. anonymous • Disclaimer says:


    The mainstream Republican party is not tough on immigration, dipsh!t.

  114. Marie says:

    Ron, just in case you’re interested in the anti-American/’social justice’/irredentist version of Silicon Valley immigration history (published in academic presses by tenured academics, naturally), I’ll direct your attention to these two books:

    “The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy”

    “Janitors, Street Vendors, and Activists: The Lives of Mexican Immigrants in Silicon Valley”

  115. JackOH says:

    Ron, will you post something on your experience as a candidate?

  116. @DanF

    I worked for two years in an H-1B sweatshop. The owner squeezed out onerous amounts of work from her H-1b employees by implicitly threatening to fire them if they were not utterly obedient. This meant immediate loss of the visa and immediate illegal status in the country. Essentially the H-1Bs were indentured servants. Assigning the visa to the worker rather than the employer would solve this problem. But, as another commenter noted, it always the new H-1B to use the visa for his own purposes once he enters the country. That’s not a good idea.

    However, I have a simpler solution that is in the spirit of the H-1B, incorporates Mr. Unz’s auction system, and resolves these problems. Let’s adopt Mr. Unz’s auction plan but with a reserve bid of $100,000.

    H-1B was intended to allow American employers to temporarily (or permanently) bring foreign talent with unique and exceptional skills into the country. The program was intended to allow employers to hire foreign employees to fill positions with such unique requirements that no available American worker was qualified. My one addition ensures that the employer bidding for an H-1B desperately needs the person for whom he is obtaining the visa.

    It also ensures that the employer will do everything in his power to retain that employee until there is no longer a need or the employee becomes a free agent with a green card. Employers will have a strong incentive to treat their H-1Bs well and not to acquire a viusa unless there is a critical need.

  117. @Numinous

    Many H-1Bs want to become permanent residents or US citizens. Until they get a green card they can be forced to leave the USA at their employer’s whim. IMHO this gives such H-1Bs a status hardly above that of an indentured servant.

    • Replies: @Numinous
  118. Numinous says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Technically, an indentured servant cannot (and could not, during colonialism) quit and leave whenever he wants to. He is compelled to serve out his term of servitude. Temporary workers in the Gulf states are indentured servants by that standard as their “employers” keep the workers’ passports. H1B workers have at-will employment contracts with their employers, and are as free to leave at the drop of a hat as their employers are to fire them. That they might stay by choice because of a promised reward (green card) doesn’t change the definition of servitude; a more apt comparison would be with golden handcuffs.

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
  119. @Numinous

    Fair enough! But handcuffs are handcuffs no matter how glittering.

  120. @Reg Cæsar

    How much of higher ed teaches people things that are absolutely vital to a person’s job function?

  121. Terry says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The H-1B visa program is a swindle benefiting crooked politicians and the business men with which they do business. Crucial to perpetration of this swindle is for dupes to be led to the unsupported belief that the law of supply and demand does not apply to the market for STEM workers. Thus, the government must intervene in the market for STEM workers by supplying them from abroad. The enormous profits from this swindle are shared between the politicians and the business men.

  122. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Let start a tweet of #asaintestscoresmatter-stopthediscrimination-you did it totheJewsnowtheAsains

  123. “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” – Sophia Loren
    One random Thursday night, I returned to our corporate headquarters afterhours with a bottle of wine and a box of acrylic paints. My assistant and I used stencils to paint about three dozen such quotes onto a large white wall in our break room. As first time stencilers, this project itself seemed destined to end up a byline on the (slightly gloppy) failure wall until we gratefully accepted some much-needed painting assistance from my wife.

    You don’t need immigration. Just hire more heavy drinkers. Have more office parties and less political parties. Pay bonus money for mistakes. Bust out wine and paint to save cash on decorating.

  124. peterike says:

    “By the turn of the century half of Bristol’s residents were foreign born, come to work in the rubber mill. Most of them were emigres from southern Italy, lured — or so the story goes — to Bristol by Terence McCarty, the factory manager and Ganny’s uncle. When Terence dropped wages to a dollar a day the employees struck, and he, as cagey as any skinflint Yankee, had handbills touting the Promised Land distributed in Scafati, a town near Salerno.

    “The Portuguese came too, most of them white, from the Azores. A few of them, bravas the color of coffee ice cream, came from Cape Verde. French Canadians arrived, along with a few Jews, a family of Swedes, and a veritable tribe of Syrians.”

    — from “American Girl: Scenes of a Small-Town Childhood” by Mary Cantwell.

    You see, capitalists have always been scummy bastards ready to sell out their nations at the drop of a hat. Now it’s all just done at greater scale and with a lot of fake nonsense about “jobs Americans won’t do” or whatever, when all along it’s really because the Americans don’t want to work for a dollar a day, but by god SOMEBODY will. So we’ll just get them.

  125. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    As a frequent fan of Mr. Unz on policy issues I’m distressed to hear him repeat the canard that “top Silicon Valley companies have faced a desperate shortage of H-1B visas.” As computer programmers describe the issue “there is no shortage of $100 per hour programmers but is definitely a shortage of $10 per hour programmers.” The price of the labor is a variable that is omitted by Unz and his fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in making their argument. I would wager that few if any of them are unaware of the law of supply and demand.

    • Replies: @Numinous
  126. Numinous says:

    All programmers are not created equal. Just because someone claims to be a programmer doesn’t mean he can program. Look up “fizzbuzz” on Google for anecdotes. And the companies Mr. Unz is talking about set very high standards for who they hire. Unless you can convince them to relax their standards, they will (rightly) claim shortages in the labor supply, shortages that can only be filled by expanding their search space to include foreign students of top US universities, and even foreigners.

  127. shortages that can only be filled by expanding their search space to include foreign students of top US universities, and even foreigners.

    Or by offering higher wages.

    In economic theory, there is no such thing as a “labour shortage.” There is only a shortage of employers who are willing to pay the market price of labour. I am sure many people would like to pay $10,000 for a new car, but they don’t bitch about a “car shortage.”

    • Replies: @Numinous
  128. Numinous says:
    @Peter Frost

    My comment was about standards, not pay. Offering a higher wage cannot magically transform a mediocre programmer into a genius. On the other hand, more investment in employee training (rather than panning for gold, as these companies are trying to do now while hiring) may squeeze a much higher level of productivity out of even mediocre programmers, especially if they are incentivized to do better through higher wages, as you suggest. Though this has its limits too.

  129. If you offer higher wages, you will attract more candidates for the job. More importantly, you will attract a better class of candidates.

    It’s the same with anything else. If I have only $1,000 to buy a car, I can’t expect a very high standard of car. It will certainly be a used car (with all of the problems that come with used cars) and, yes, it will be of “mediocre” quality. What do you expect? You pay for what you get.

    That’s reality. And most consumers accept that reality as normal. Why can’t software companies? (And why can’t agribusiness? And why can’t meat-processing plants? And why can’t slaughterhouses? ….) Why do the rules change for employers? Why are they exempt from the law of supply and demand?

  130. @Peter Frost

    I can confirm the statements made by esteemed Dr. Frost
    by personal observations through my humble family.
    Two male relatives, of different degrees of relatedness, both nowadays USA citizens, both having Russian language as the native tongue.
    One has education from USSR in some technical discipline.
    The other got BS and Master of Sci. from MIT in comp. sci.
    and Ph.D. from Stanford in comp. sci.

    “Technical” guy works now at Google.

    “MIT-Stanford” guy did not get offer either from Microsoft or from Google.
    He is doing OK even without those offers.

    But strife (better to say, absence of it) for quality people is quite evident.

  131. Numinous says:
    @Peter Frost

    Not sure I agree with your analogy. You can’t produce high-quality people in unlimited quantities the way you can produce high-end cars (resources being the only constraint.) The argument isn’t that there aren’t any high-quality American programmers around, but that there aren’t enough of them to meet the needs of the Silicon Valley IT industry (at least the high end.) It’s certainly possible that the companies are lying, but that’s not a conclusion I would jump to. And these companies (like Google) pay well over 6 figures to foreigners (though one could argue that’s still not enough for SV), so I’m not completely sold on the cheap labor premise.

  132. TJM says:

    Why should silicon valley workers not suffer the same fate as those American who labor for a living?

    Silicon Valley is a bastion for “liberalism” yet they don’t seem to mind the millions upon millions of illegals swarming into this country and driving down the wages of the poor Americans, Nope, that open border policy is OK because it hurts poor America.

  133. The argument isn’t that there aren’t any high-quality American programmers around, but that there aren’t enough of them to meet the needs of the Silicon Valley IT industry (at least the high end.)

    If there weren’t enough around, software companies should be competing to hire them, and wages would rise accordingly. Even if this bidding war affected only the high end, there should still be a discernible rise in mean wages. Yet there hasn’t been any. Mean wages have not risen in the software industry for the past decade and a half. We see the same pattern in other industries where there are purportedly “labour shortages.” In some cases, like the slaughterhouse industry, wages have actually fallen.

    This was pointed out in a recent USA Today article:

    If a shortage did exist, wages would be rising as companies tried to attract scarce workers. Instead, legislation that expanded visas for IT personnel during the 1990s has kept average wages flat over the past 16 years. Indeed, guest workers have become the predominant source of new hires in these fields.

    … The facts are that, excluding advocacy studies by those with industry funding, there is a remarkable concurrence among a wide range of researchers that there is an ample supply of American workers (native and immigrant, citizen and permanent resident) who are willing and qualified to fill the high-skill jobs in this country. The only real disagreement is whether supply is two or three times larger than the demand.

  134. @artichoke

    It is crazy how nowhereville schools have international students. I stumbled upon a second rate college called West Texas A&M. It is in Canyon, Texas out there with the rattlesnakes just south of Amarillo in the middle of nowhere, yet it had 2.2% Asians, 2% of students who didn’t know their race (aka Asians) and 3% International students (aka Asians). So it is about 7% Asian in an area with close to zero Asian population. Hundreds of miles from any real urban centers and yet it has 3% International students. I can’t imagine why it should have any. People with exceptional or rare talent don’t go there. Those international students pay sky high tuition to go to a second rate state school in west Texas!

  135. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Couple of points.

    1. RU/H-1B 50s-60s visa supporters tell the truth ie, all your Brain Drain talk re “bring LDC ‘capables’ in..tool-top them up/send them to back home to develop,” was a scam from day one. Silicon, Boston, Redmond “Valleys” have to raise salaries 20-50k for “indispensibles” today and ramp up very well paid internal cutting-edge ‘apprenticeship/retraining’ programs and quit sucking on the H-1B visa straw.

    2. Talk about human trafficking ie, Silicon Valley body shops. H-1B slaves from Day One..just who do you think/how do you think the auction price will be ‘returned?’

    Silicon, Boston, Redmond “Valleys can more than live with a 40s-60s Bracero program with a max time limit of 6 months tops.

    • Agree: artichoke
  136. artichoke says:

    Yes they did. It’s called individual rationality. But you have to have laws, so that they help you by helping themselves. These current immigrants will bog down our country not help it, if they get rights to welfare and affirmative action.

  137. Tommy says:


    Don’t sneak Pakistan in there. Pakistan is not a significant contributor to the tech sector. India and China are the two big ones.

  138. Dan Hess says:

    There is a non-selfish case for strong borders, which is the argument from ecology. I have never heard this argument made, but consider ocean ecology.

    The open ocean is, relatively speaking, uniform, bland and mostly barren. If you take a square km of open ocean, there will be some life but it will not be very pretty or diverse.

    Contrast this with a reef (whether natural or man-made). It is teeming with colorful life of all kinds, with incredible variety and beauty. One square km of reef contains orders of magnitude more life and much more diversity than the open ocean ever could. This is naturally achieved with coral but you can achieve the same effect by sinking a ship or even dropping a rusty city bus in the ocean.

    What achieves this? Simply, borders, walls, barriers. If you suddenly made all the walls vanish in a reef ecosystem, surely 99% of all its life would be dead within a week, even though the climate would be the same in all other respects.

    Barriers are the stuff that ecosystems are made of, and this is just as true of humans as it is of marine life. Globalists who seek a borderless ‘open ocean’ are dissolving cultures and reducing human thriving (for most) and actually reducing diversity, quite the opposite of what the globalists claim is their objective.

  139. Alden says:

    Here is a little perspective from a non tech person who was there at the beginning

    I graduated from Stanford in 1964 and many of the guys I dated were Stanford engineers and scientists They mostly had master’s degrees. They were generally recruited in their senior year and guaranteed the job as soon as they had that masters in hand.

    It was the professors who recommended them to the employers I believe NSA abd it’s numerous contractors were the employers.

    Silicon Valley or San Jose Tech as people who live there call it was not built by Chinese and Indians It was created by all those White American men who graduated from Stanford in the 50s and 6os

    Without those guys from Stanford, MIT University of Illinois and other schools America would not have the tech industry we have

    But David Ricardo’s theory was proved right: as soon as a new skill develops more and more workers swarm to the occupation and in 2 generations that occupation becomes just another low paid one

    Here is my main point, housing

    A major, major reason the companies hire only third world people is because the housing in Santa Clara is 4 th world in terms of crowding and squalor

    It still looks nice but all those 2,000 to 3,000 sq ft 3 and 4 bedroom houses and 1,200 sq ft 2 bedroom condos are vastly over crowded

    Those 3 and 4 bedroom houses will have 25 or 30 filthy Indians and Chinese living in them The condos are worse because they don’t have garages or a yard to put one of those garden sheds in

    The Indians and Chinese don’t know how to do basic maintainence or even
    housework .

    That is a major, major reason the employers want Chinese and Indians Even the upper and middle classes are accustomed to crowded squalid housing

    Some commenters have suggested medicine as an alternative to tech, Because of affirmative action it is difficult for a White Anerican man to get into medical school

    Medicine is no longer a road to wealth. The ratio of delayed entrance to a career plus opportunity cost of 8 years of schooling to earned income over a lifetime of work means Drs are not as well off as they were 40 years ago.

    There are Drs in their mid thirties with $300,000 of student loan debt

    The Hi-B visa should be abolished. No, absolutely no foreign students should be admitted. My last job was working at UCLA. It’s nothing but foreign Asians I worked in the medical school. Half the students were women, almost all foreign Asians The male half was almost all foreign Asians with a few affirmative action Hispanic Americans
    Medicine, at least in California is no White Americans need apply from hospital administrators and physicians to dishwashers and janitors

    The crowded houses of Chinese are all over the country San Francisco is as bad as Santa Clara.

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