The title of my posting for the CAPS website is also the title of an article that, on May 1, 2012, appeared on the IT Business Edge website, an online website that focuses on the computer industry. Time and again news programs parrot the claims of corporate executives and politicians who are apparently happy to take the campaign contributions of those corporations, that Americans lack the skills, education or willingness to work hard and as a consequence, America must not only provide college education to foreign students, but must also hire foreign workers. This can only be accomplished by providing immigrant and nonimmigrant work visas to such talented foreign workers, lest “American” companies lose their competitive edge.
To be blunt about this, all too often, a lie begets more lies. There are many reasons why so many people want to see foreigner attend American schools and then take these desirable high tech jobs and, almost invariably it is not about doing what is best for America but about lining the pockets of those who profit from these practices that all too often, lock Americans who have the intelligence, skills, requisite education and motivation out of these jobs.
For most people, the concept of foreign workers taking American jobs only happens at the bottom end of the economy where illegal aliens do the dangerous, filthy and backbreaking jobs- such as the day laborers who work on construction sites or work on farms. Even there, it is not a matter, necessarily of Americans not being ready, willing and able to do those jobs, but about their expecting to be paid a living wage with which they can support themselves and their families.
This month’s edition of The Social Contract contains an extensive article I wrote that was entitled, Immigration- The Modern Day “Gold Rush.”
In this article I not only focused on the exploitation of illegal aliens at the bottom of the economic ladder but how even where H-1B visas were used to the detriment of the American workforce.
What many folks don’t know is that prior to the Second World War, the responsibility for enforcing and administering our immigration laws was the domain of the United States Department of Labor. The concern was that if a large number of foreign workers were permitted to enter the United States and compete with American workers of every race, religion and ethnicity that Americans would likely lose their jobs and that even those who did not lose their jobs would find that their salaries would be reduced and working conditions would also suffer. This is how our country was able to create the largest and most successful upwardly mobile middle class on the planet. It was this large and growing middle class that gave rise to what is now commonly referred to as the “American Dream.” Simply stated, under the concept of the American Dream, anyone who was willing to acquire an education, a needed trade, or necessary skills, and work diligently, would stand a chance of writing the next success story. Back then a widely used slogan was, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door!”
When was the last time you heard that phrase? Today we are told, “You have to be in it to win it!” This time they are not talking about being in the workforce but about buying a winning lottery ticket! Our future now rests on the random selection of Ping-Pong balls festooned with numbers! Our local and state governments are fleecing those who live within their jurisdictions and they are now competing with organized crime to run a “number racket” and we are being told that a winning series of numbers is what we need to be successful!
On April 30, 2009 Alan Greenspan, the former head of the Federal Reserve Bank testified before a hearing that was conducted by the Senate Immigration Subcommittee that was chaired by New York Senator Schumer. Here is, in part what Greenspan had to say in his prepared testimony for that hearing:
Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.
Where the future of talented, educated and hardworking Americans is concerned, the fix is in and We the People, apparently, are out!