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Why the H-1B Visa Racket Should Be Abolished, Not Reformed

 

Billionaire businessman Marc Cuban insists that the H-1B visa racket is a feature of the vaunted American free market. This is nonsense on stilts. It can’t go unchallenged. Another billionaire, our president, has ordered that the H-1B program be reformed. This, too, is disappointing. You’ll see why.

First, let’s correct Mr. Cuban: America has not a free economy, but a mixed-economy. State and markets are intertwined. Trade, including trade in labor, is not free; it’s regulated to the hilt. If anything, the labyrinth of work visas is an example of a government-business cartel in operation.

The H-1B permit, in particular, is part of that state-sponsored visa system. The primary H-1B hogs—Infosys (and another eight, sister Indian firms), Microsoft, and Intel—import labor with what are grants of government privilege. Duly, the corporations that hog H-1Bs act like incorrigibly corrupt rent seekers. Not only do they get to replace the American worker, but they get to do so at his expense.

Here’s how:

Globally, a series of sordid liaisons ensures that American workers are left high and dry. Through the programs of the International Trade Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, and other oink-operations, the taxpaying American worker is forced to subsidize and underwrite the investment risks of the very corporations that have given him the boot.

Domestically, the partnership with the State amounts to a subsidy to business at the expense of the taxpayer. See, corporations in our democratic welfare state externalize their employment costs onto the taxpayers.

So while public property is property funded by taxpayers through expropriated taxes; belongs to taxpayers; is to be managed for their benefit—at least one million additional immigrants a year, including recipients of the H-1B visa, are allowed the free use of taxpayer-supported infrastructure and amenities. Every new arrival avails himself of public works such as roads, hospitals, parks, libraries, schools, and welfare.

Does this epitomize the classical liberal idea of laissez-faire?

Moreover, chain migration or family unification means every H-1B visa recruit is a ticket for an entire tribe. The initial entrant—the meal ticket—will pay his way. The honor system not being an especially strong value in the Third World, the rest of the clan will be America’s problem. More often than not, chain-migration entrants become wards of the American taxpayer.

Spreading like gravy over a tablecloth, this rapid, inorganic population growth is detrimental to all ecosystems: natural, social and political.

Take Seattle and its surrounding counties. Between April 2015 and 2016, the area was inundated with “86,320 new residents, marking it the region’s biggest population gains this century. Fueled in large part by the technology industry, an average of 236 people is moving to the Seattle area each day,” reported Geekwire.com. (Reporters for our local fish-wrapper—in my case, parrot-cage liner—have discharged their journalistic duties by inviting readers to “share” their traffic-jam stories.)

Never as dumb as the local reporters, the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Mark Zuckerberg, and Marc Cuban are certainly as detached.

Barricaded in their obscenely lavish compounds—from the comfort of their monster mansions—these social engineers don’t experience the “environmental impacts of rapid urban expansion”; the destruction of verdant open spaces and farmland; the decrease in the quality of the water we drink and air we breathe; the increase in traffic and traffic accidents; air pollution; the cellblock-like housing erected to accommodate their imported IT workers and extended families; the delicate bouquet of amped-up waste management and associated seepages.

For locals, this lamentable state means an inability to afford homes in a market in which property prices have been artificially inflated. Young couples lineup to view tiny apartments. They dream of that picket fence no more. (And our “stupid leaders,” to quote the president before he joined leadership, wonder why birthrates are so low!)

In a true free market, absent the protectionist state, corporate employers would be accountable to the community, and would be wary of the strife and lowered productivity brought about by a multiethnic and multi-linguistic workforce. All the more so when a foreign workforce moves into residential areas almost overnight as has happened in Seattle and its surrounds.

Alas, since the high-tech titans can externalize their employment costs on to the community; because corporations are subsidized at every turn by their victims—they need not bring in the best.

Cuban thinks they do. High tech needs to be able to “search the world for the best applicants,” he burbled to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Yet more cr-p.

Why doesn’t the president know that the H-1B visa category is not a special visa for highly skilled individuals, but goes mostly to average workers? “Indian business-process outsourcing companies, which predominantly provide technology support to corporate back offices,” by the Economist’s accounting.

Overall, the work done by the H-1B intake does not require independent judgment, critical reasoning, or higher-order thinking. “Average workers; ordinary talent doing ordinary work,” attest the experts who’ve been studying this intake for years. The master’s degree is the exception within the H-1B visa category.

More significant: there is a visa category that is reserved exclusively for individuals with extraordinary abilities and achievement. I know, because the principal sponsor in our family received this visa. I first wrote about the visa that doesn’t displace ordinary Americans in … 2008:

It’s the O-1 visa.

“Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics,” states the Department of Homeland Security, “means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”

Most significant: There is no cap on the number of O-1 visa entrants allowed. Access to this limited pool of talent is unlimited.

My point vis-à-vis the O-1 visa is this: The H-1B hogs are forever claiming that they are desperate for talent. In reality, they have unlimited access to individuals with unique abilities through the open-ended O-1 visa program.

There is no limit to the number of geniuses American companies can import.

Theoretically, the H-1B program could be completely abolished and all needed Einsteins imported through the O-1 program. (Why, even future first ladies would stand a chance under the business category of the O-1A visa, as a wealth-generating supermodel could certainly qualify.)

Now you understand my disappointment. In his April 18 Executive Order, President Trump promised to merely reform a program that needs abolishing. That is if “Hire American” means anything to anybody anymore.

Published in Economics
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Members have made 181 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Jonah's Pants Leak Inactive

    Very well argued.

    • #1
    • April 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm
    • Like9 likes
  2. Profile photo of Kay of MT Member

    Well and truly stated!

    • #2
    • April 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    • Like9 likes
  3. Profile photo of Columbo Member

    RamadanBombathon (View Comment):
    Very well argued.

    Ilana (rhymes with Ivanka) to join the Trump Team, as head of the H1-B RamadanBombaThon Team!

    • #3
    • April 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    • Like7 likes
  4. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Great piece. I agree with your assessments.

    • #4
    • April 23, 2017 at 7:44 pm
    • Like7 likes
  5. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Wouldn’t the real libertarian response to this be an immigration system unregulated by government and depended on economic necessity?

    • #5
    • April 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm
    • Like2 likes
  6. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    There’s nothing wrong with the H-1B visa program that can not be fixed with two very simple modifications.

    The current program does not allow participants to change jobs while here under an H-1B visa. Furthermore, the visa is only good for three years. It can be renewed once. It takes five years or more to get a green card. This reduces the participants to little more than indentured servants.

    So — make the visa a one-time deal and either reduce the time it takes to get a green card or increase the period of time the visa is good for, and make it transferable to other employers. If you do that, the “H-1B hogs” will no longer be dealing with subservient participants. This will both treat the participants in a more fair manner and simultaneously reduce the less than savory features of the current program that are currently being abused.

    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    • #6
    • April 23, 2017 at 9:39 pm
    • Like5 likes
  7. Profile photo of ILANA MERCER Member
    ILANA MERCER Post author

    @JamieLockett

    A clear-thinking libertarian addresses reality. Would I like to see a world governed by private property? Indeed. Until that happens—if—I am obliged to address the reality I addressed in the column and call out the bluff of the H-1B visa by pointing to the existence of the 0-1 visa. I am not advocating for these systems; I’m illustrating how the immigration industry—corporations, lawyers, lobbyists and other clientele—stick it to American workers. I hope you are not suggesting that instead of addressing reality, I pontificate about my purist preferences.

    • #7
    • April 23, 2017 at 9:52 pm
    • Like17 likes
  8. Profile photo of Kay of MT Member

    I think it should be stopped entirely for a time. Forcing the Disney employees in FL to train their replacements was just evil. I will never buy another Disney anything.

    • #8
    • April 23, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    • Like9 likes
  9. Profile photo of Judithann Campbell Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    It is possible that those who voted for Trump are telling you to pound sand. And they won the election. Just saying 🙂

    It’s too bad that we can’t have a conversation about immigration policy without some making accusations of bigotry. But it’s like the boy who cried wolf; if you make it a habit to accuse others of bigotry, after a while, people stop listening to you. That might be how Trump got elected. Those who oppose him still don’t get that, which might be a good thing, depending on how you look at it.

    • #9
    • April 23, 2017 at 10:18 pm
    • Like5 likes
  10. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    It is possible that those who voted for Trump are telling you to pound sand. And they won the election. Just saying 🙂

    It’s too bad that we can’t have a conversation about immigration policy without some making accusations of bigotry. But it’s like the boy who cried wolf; if you make it a habit to accuse others of bigotry, after a while, people stop listening to you. That might be how Trump got elected. Those who oppose him still don’t get that, which might be a good thing, depending on how you look at it.

    There was a conditional in there. It only applies to those whose goals are not to obtain a rational immigration policy.

    • #10
    • April 23, 2017 at 10:26 pm
    • Like2 likes
  11. Profile photo of Judithann Campbell Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    So — make the visa a one-time deal and either reduce the time it takes to get a green card or increase the period of time the visa is good for, and make it transferable to other employers. If you do that, the “H-1B hogs” will no longer be dealing with subservient participants. This will both treat the participants in a more fair manner and simultaneously reduce the less than savory features of the current program that are currently being abused.

    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    It sounds like you are saying that whoever doesn’t agree with your solution just wants “to keep the dirty furriners out”. It sounds as though you are saying that anyone who favors limiting immigration is a bigot. You say that you are only talking about those whose motives are not totally pure; I think you are throwing around accusations of bigotry much too lightly. It isn’t effective, and it will probably become less and less effective as time goes on.

    • #11
    • April 23, 2017 at 10:36 pm
    • Like3 likes
  12. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    Agree completely. H-1B needs to be sent to the ash heap of history.

    • #12
    • April 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm
    • Like8 likes
  13. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Wouldn’t the real libertarian response to this be an immigration system unregulated by government and depended on economic necessity?

    I would think it would if there wasn’t a giant welfare state for unskilled laborers to shuck their duties as part of that economic necessity and become wards of the state, which you cannot say does not happen. If having open borders meant that only the best and brightest across the world would come here and work in Silicone Valley for half the wages of naturalized citizens, then I don’t necessarily think I would have a problem with it. However, we all know that is not the case. There may be some of that going on, but is it the vast majority? Is it more like 50/50 moocher to productive member of society? If you ask VD Hanson, he would tell you that California has been sapped by moochers coming in like locusts.

    • #13
    • April 24, 2017 at 2:42 am
    • Like4 likes
  14. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    ILANA MERCER (View Comment):
    @JamieLockett

    A clear-thinking libertarian addresses reality. Would I like to see a world governed by private property? Indeed. Until that happens—if—I am obliged to address the reality I addressed in the column and call out the bluff of the H-1B visa by pointing to the existence of the 0-1 visa. I am not advocating for these systems; I’m illustrating how the immigration industry—corporations, lawyers, lobbyists and other clientele—stick it to American workers. I hope you are not suggesting that instead of addressing reality, I pontificate about my purist preferences.

    Well, I don’t think I could of said it any better really.

    • #14
    • April 24, 2017 at 2:43 am
    • Like7 likes
  15. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    It is possible that those who voted for Trump are telling you to pound sand. And they won the election. Just saying 🙂

    It’s too bad that we can’t have a conversation about immigration policy without some making accusations of bigotry. But it’s like the boy who cried wolf; if you make it a habit to accuse others of bigotry, after a while, people stop listening to you. That might be how Trump got elected. Those who oppose him still don’t get that, which might be a good thing, depending on how you look at it.

    There was a conditional in there. It only applies to those whose goals are not to obtain a rational immigration policy.

    Well yes, but what in this OP gave you the inclination to include that conditional? I didn’t get the sense that there was a hint of “dirty furriners out” (as you say) in the entire piece. What I did sense was that the author took issue with “American” companies displacing good, quality American workers with a less expensive, yet just as qualified labor force through immigration policy. Yet you seemed to want to through the tinge of bigotry into the thread? Interesting.

    • #15
    • April 24, 2017 at 2:48 am
    • Like2 likes
  16. Profile photo of Columbo Member

    ILANA MERCER (View Comment):
    @JamieLockett

    A clear-thinking libertarian addresses reality. Would I like to see a world governed by private property? Indeed. Until that happens—if—I am obliged to address the reality I addressed in the column and call out the bluff of the H-1B visa by pointing to the existence of the 0-1 visa. I am not advocating for these systems; I’m illustrating how the immigration industry—corporations, lawyers, lobbyists and other clientele—stick it to American workers. I hope you are not suggesting that instead of addressing reality, I pontificate about my purist preferences.

    I believe that this simple, yet profound, statement explains so much about the populist movements taking root in 2016 and gaining in strength through today (Brexit, Trump, LePen, et. al.). Reality, which cannot be ignored, has intruded upon libertarian/conservative purism of thought, as well as that of the totalitarian Left. The imagined nirvana or utopia of each are never within the grasp of reality.

    The problem is that so many are just refusing to give up the ghost. Reality be damned! Let’s pontificate!

    • #16
    • April 24, 2017 at 4:07 am
    • Like4 likes
  17. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    So — make the visa a one-time deal and either reduce the time it takes to get a green card or increase the period of time the visa is good for, and make it transferable to other employers. If you do that, the “H-1B hogs” will no longer be dealing with subservient participants. This will both treat the participants in a more fair manner and simultaneously reduce the less than savory features of the current program that are currently being abused.

    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    It sounds like you are saying that whoever doesn’t agree with your solution just wants “to keep the dirty furriners out”. It sounds as though you are saying that anyone who favors limiting immigration is a bigot. You say that you are only talking about those whose motives are not totally pure; I think you are throwing around accusations of bigotry much too lightly. It isn’t effective, and it will probably become less and less effective as time goes on.

    The OP was aimed at a particular problem. I am not in favor of illegal immigration.

    • #17
    • April 24, 2017 at 4:17 am
    • Like2 likes
  18. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    The H visas are essential in a global economy but the H1B is abused because it can be and can be because it was designed to be abused. It shouldn’t be that difficult to fix. We also have to fix our educational training system including eliminating minimum wages and other requirements so US companies can hire Americans and train them on the job. And of course stop paying Americans not to work. The turnover and failure rate of Americans without job skills will be high. If an Hib job is not high skilled, then make it easy to hire and train Americans. If it’s truly an emergency then it’s by definition short term and limited. Like all things Federal, it’s become corrupted. It is cheaper and easier to import workers because it is so difficult and expensive to hire Americans or legal immigrants. When there’s a problem always look first at the incentives we’ve created through the corrupt symbiotic relationship between big government and big business. Easy movement of employees is good but if it’s easier and cheaper to move them from Asia than from the US something is obviously wrong. We don’t want to make business more difficult with more regulations and controls.

    • #18
    • April 24, 2017 at 4:43 am
    • Like3 likes
  19. Profile photo of Miffed White Male Member

    The theory is that H1-B’s are supposed to be skilled jobs that the company can’t find Americans to fill. And in those cases I’m ok with it.

    But there are too many cases of companies firing Americans en masse and replacing them with H1-bs because they’re cheaper.

    Simple solution – require H1-Bs to be paid 150% of the previous wage rate of the jobs they’re filling (or of the average wage rate for that position in the company).

    If the job really can’t be filled otherwise, the company will be happy to pay it.

    • #19
    • April 24, 2017 at 5:02 am
    • Like9 likes
  20. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Wouldn’t the real libertarian response to this be an immigration system unregulated by government and depended on economic necessity?

    I would think it would if there wasn’t a giant welfare state for unskilled laborers to shuck their duties as part of that economic necessity and become wards of the state, which you cannot say does not happen. If having open borders meant that only the best and brightest across the world would come here and work in Silicone Valley for half the wages of naturalized citizens, then I don’t necessarily think I would have a problem with it. However, we all know that is not the case. There may be some of that going on, but is it the vast majority? Is it more like 50/50 moocher to productive member of society? If you ask VD Hanson, he would tell you that California has been sapped by moochers coming in like locusts.

    Sounds like a fantastic argument against the welfare state.

    • #20
    • April 24, 2017 at 6:23 am
    • Like1 like
  21. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    ILANA MERCER (View Comment):
    @JamieLockett

    A clear-thinking libertarian addresses reality. Would I like to see a world governed by private property? Indeed. Until that happens—if—I am obliged to address the reality I addressed in the column and call out the bluff of the H-1B visa by pointing to the existence of the 0-1 visa. I am not advocating for these systems; I’m illustrating how the immigration industry—corporations, lawyers, lobbyists and other clientele—stick it to American workers. I hope you are not suggesting that instead of addressing reality, I pontificate about my purist preferences.

    Fair enough, although the o-1 visa program has even deeper problems that would need to be cleared up prior to eradicating the H1-B.

    This isn’t about purist preferences but recognizing that any regulatory scheme will eventually be captured by those it seeks to regulate.

    • #21
    • April 24, 2017 at 6:28 am
    • LikeLike
  22. Profile photo of iWe Reagan
    iWe

    I think the premise in this work is quite dark and dangerous. Is it bad that property values go up because people flock to areas with economic opportunity and growth? I don’t think so. I think it is clear that economic growth is a good thing. Labor, like capital, are most effective when allowed to flow freely, creating far more growth and wealth for all.

    Fortress America is not a winning strategy, however popular it might be as a political tactic.

    • #22
    • April 24, 2017 at 6:53 am
    • Like3 likes
  23. Profile photo of iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Any analysis of policy that fails to understand that the US is actually competing with the world and that there is no effective way to positively affect the balance of trade through restricting the flow of labor, capital or information, is doomed to failure.

    I run a dynamic and small (but global) company. We work wherever we find the talent. The US hurts itself by regulating employment the way it does.

    As I comment on this post, my engineering team and I are in a conference call with an Indian outsourcing company to do some work. It is, by engineering standards, a high end “grunt” set of tasks. We will almost certainly end up doing the work in India. And why not? I work for the people who have risked their own capital (our shareholders), and getting the work done effectively and inexpensively is in their interest.

    • #23
    • April 24, 2017 at 6:59 am
    • Like6 likes
  24. Profile photo of Phil Turmel Thatcher

    While I’m sympathetic to the idea of eliminating the H1-B visa program, I doubt there’s enough political will to do so. There is political will to reform it, at least to some extent.

    In addition to @percival‘s suggestion that H1-B holders be allowed to change jobs, I would replace the current random lottery program with a simple priority list of applications in descending order of the sponsoring company’s net salary offer to the applicant. That would eliminate the cut-rate employment services that are exploiting H1-B holders, and eliminate the simple replacement of Americans with lower-priced imported bodies.

    • #24
    • April 24, 2017 at 7:32 am
    • Like2 likes
  25. Profile photo of Stina Inactive

    iWe (View Comment):
    Is it bad that property values go up because people flock to areas with economic opportunity and growth?

    They are going up for the same reasons jobs are hard to find.

    While I expect property values to go up, don’t be one of those pontificating on how the jobless fellow with 3 kids needs to leave his dying town with low crime and the acre lot with room to grow for an inner city 2 room flat.

    • #25
    • April 24, 2017 at 7:52 am
    • Like4 likes
  26. Profile photo of Bob Thompson Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Unless your entire purpose was to keep the dirty furriners out — in which case, pound sand.

    Does this concluding statement reflect your assessment of the good faith intent of the post author?

    • #26
    • April 24, 2017 at 8:22 am
    • Like4 likes
  27. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Wouldn’t the real libertarian response to this be an immigration system unregulated by government and depended on economic necessity?

    I would think it would if there wasn’t a giant welfare state for unskilled laborers to shuck their duties as part of that economic necessity and become wards of the state, which you cannot say does not happen. If having open borders meant that only the best and brightest across the world would come here and work in Silicone Valley for half the wages of naturalized citizens, then I don’t necessarily think I would have a problem with it. However, we all know that is not the case. There may be some of that going on, but is it the vast majority? Is it more like 50/50 moocher to productive member of society? If you ask VD Hanson, he would tell you that California has been sapped by moochers coming in like locusts.

    Sounds like a fantastic argument against the welfare state.

    You and I seem to hitting the Welfare State on different flanks.

    • #27
    • April 24, 2017 at 8:28 am
    • Like2 likes
  28. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    The theory is that H1-B’s are supposed to be skilled jobs that the company can’t find Americans to fill. And in those cases I’m ok with it.

    But there are too many cases of companies firing Americans en masse and replacing them with H1-bs because they’re cheaper.

    Simple solution – require H1-Bs to be paid 150% of the previous wage rate of the jobs they’re filling (or of the average wage rate for that position in the company).

    If the job really can’t be filled otherwise, the company will be happy to pay it.

    Why add more layers of government to business? Why not remove the artificial wage inflating mechanisms imposed on businesses by government?

    • #28
    • April 24, 2017 at 8:31 am
    • Like1 like
  29. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    I think the premise in this work is quite dark and dangerous. Is it bad that property values go up because people flock to areas with economic opportunity and growth? I don’t think so. I think it is clear that economic growth is a good thing. Labor, like capital, are most effective when allowed to flow freely, creating far more growth and wealth for all.

    Fortress America is not a winning strategy, however popular it might be as a political tactic.

    Sure, but labor is not merely a product to be shipped back and forth across trade boundaries. Labor is people and when you import a less expensive labor force which displaces the more costly labor force, you are causing strife and turmoil in people’s lives. All in the name growth and capital I suppose, right? Does this go against one of the Sacraments of Conservatism? Probably, but then I don’t give a damn. I care about people. First my family, then friends, then neighbors, then community, then municipality, then state, then country. You will see that the well being of the well educated, industrious citizen of India is well down on my list.

    • #29
    • April 24, 2017 at 8:36 am
    • Like6 likes
  30. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    Any analysis of policy that fails to understand that the US is actually competing with the world and that there is no effective way to positively affect the balance of trade through restricting the flow of labor, capital or information, is doomed to failure.

    I run a dynamic and small (but global) company. We work wherever we find the talent. The US hurts itself by regulating employment the way it does.

    As I comment on this post, my engineering team and I are in a conference call with an Indian outsourcing company to do some work. It is, by engineering standards, a high end “grunt” set of tasks. We will almost certainly end up doing the work in India. And why not? I work for the people who have risked their own capital (our shareholders), and getting the work done effectively and inexpensively is in their interest.

    If we are competing, then should the US not demand that other countries have the same minimum wage inflating their labor markets and making our $7.25 and hour much less enticing than their current $7.25 a week? By that I mean, if you are computer savvy and only make half per week what someone in the States makes at $7.25, why would you not want to go through the H1B, or whatever hoops you have to go through, to come here and double your earnings? If we are going to compete, then let’s compete. But in terms of labor markets, we are certainly at a disadvantage, no?

    • #30
    • April 24, 2017 at 8:39 am
    • Like3 likes
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