I am firmly with President Trump on this one. The H1B visa program hurts the American work force. This really can’t be debated. Or if you try, you just have one argument which is the skills needed just do not exist in this country. Which is not true. What is true is the rule of corporate interests and profit. This H1B thing is corporate welfare. The latest source of cheaper labor. Maybe it started off with good intentions but now it is just abused and places a big figurative gate in front of Americans who want to have a long career in technology. It is also a direct line of income and wealth outside of the country, and a direct line in for workers who are not citizens. At a time where the middle class is shrinking this important set of current and future jobs are being outsourced but still within our borders. This is not compatible with American values. Whether you are on the left, middle, or right. Jobs for citizens keep society going. Read the rest before taking a stance now…
H1B visas have allowed corporations to do four things, amongst others, that severely hurt Americans’ job prospects. The first being that lower skilled workers are hired, to the same work as a current American employee, for lower pay. It is not that the skills don’t exist it is purely cost. The offshore worker is cheaper. Boosting profits. #60Minutes did a great piece on this a couple of weeks ago. It was excellent and if you do not know what this deal is all about, it is a good take. Find it. One huge fact in that piece is the new workers had to be trained. Proving that the original H1B purpose was not at play there. The skill set existed in America and were already sitting at their desks. Instead it was just cheaper labor pure and simple.
The second benefit is that companies now don’t have to deal with employees that have strong opinions, are agents of change and innovation, or cultivate a culture of healthy debate. Because the H1B worker is indentured. They are in the country because of the job. If they lose the job they lose the visa. What a dream for CEOs and professional managers whose wealth has already been made. In turn though it hurts quality long term.
The third benefit to companies is that they can abandon training of American employees. Why invest in training when you can find a foreign worker at beginning or advanced skill levels who will do the same job for less? Companies used to invest more in their employees. It was necessary. But now with globalization and access to talent everywhere the dream is no employees. It is important for everyone to understand that. It won’t happen fully but wages are the biggest cost for most large businesses. At some point this money system we have, the need for jobs, and the need for profits are going to collide. This is one symptom.
The fourth and probably worst for the economy, is that wages stagnate. Which in case you are oblivious is a huge problem in America. Income levels have grown so little in the last few decades it is amazing we can even still function. What this system does simply is reduce the median salary for each type of job affected. Whatever the best intentions of this program may have been it has been perverted by big business.
Trump likes to talk about manufacturing and coal jobs and other industries that are in our rear-view mirror. That is just progress and nobody’s fault. At some point the world isn’t going to burn the greasy sludge rock liquid stuffs that come from the ground. Whale oil used to light the street but they didn’t crusade to bring back the whale jobs once the light bulb came along. But you know what industry is current, growing, and needs more home-grown workers desperately? The technology industry! Why is America trying to bring back coal when this huge mountain of potential America jobs lay right in front of everyone? It would mean investment in the middle class and that is not profitable for wall street or corporations.
It is true that American school systems have not taught enough math, science, and technology over the last few decades to stay competitive or prepare for this technology labor need. I get it. Not going to deny that. But most everything in this world is learned through doing plain and simple. That has not and will not change. So, the notion that a heavy push isn’t possible to scale up American skills for this need is nonsense.
Before I close this view on the H1B visa I need to mention that I have not been adversely affected by this program. I have had great access to great jobs and that is still the case today. Moving up hasn’t been stopped by the evil H1B. Sarcasm intended. I work in the industries that have a lot of H1B talent. They are all great people and there is no argument against highly skilled people who want to be here in America. That is the American way. But put simply, this boils down to MAYBE the one other thing that Trump said that I agree with. He said, “either we have a country or you don’t”. He used that phrase for a different issue but I think it applies nicely in this case. You either care about doing the most for American workers and the middle class or you don’t care. Do we need to take care of America’s future or do we not care? I care, and this is one worthwhile step. Stopping the blatant abuse and misuse of the H1B visa.