Feb. 5, 2017 Blumbers

Citizen Status Symbol

On Jan. 29, 2017, Bloomberg’s Peter Elstrom and Saritha Rai wrote “Trump’s Next Immigration Move to Hit Closer to Home for Tech” about the new administration’s immigration restrictions on high tech workers. It affected Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahindra and Wipro’s ability to supply cheap H1B labor to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Microsoft and Twitter. “Ron Hira, an associate professor at Howard University, who has done extensive research on the subject, points out workers at outsourcers are typically not treated as well as others. The median wage at outsourcing firms for H-1B workers was less than $70,000, while Apple, Google and Microsoft paid their employees in the program more than $100,000, according to data he collected. That suggests the American companies are going after true, highly skilled employees, while the outsourcers are recruiting less expensive talent, he said.”

On Jan. 31, 2017, The New Republic’s Clio Chang wrote “Silicon Valley’s Uneasy Muslim Ban Dance” about Silicon Valley’s reaction to the new restrictions. “Within the structure of American capitalism, the average tech CEO has more in common with a billionaire like Donald Trump than with the average immigrant worker or refugee. That many of them continue to find ways to work with Trump and to undercut protests to protect their profits should come as no surprise. Trump is ushering in a plutocratic era that requires us to demand the most from those in powerful positions; to do so, we must first shed the assumption that Silicon Valley is on the side of the people.”

Quietly many tech executives are furious. They helped get the president elected hoping they would not have to pay taxes. The money they thought they would make may have to go toward hiring US citizens at market rates. Citizens also have an advantage because they have no travel restrictions as there might be with visas or green cards. Foreign workers who are captive in a way that even Frederick Douglass would be concerned but U.S. citizens can just walk across the street. You know, all that free market stuff conservatives talk about, until they need help.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.