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Programming The Almighty Buck United States IT Technology

No Americans Need Apply 1374

Victor G. Sommers writes "Daniel Soong, who lost his programming job to Indian offshore companies, is willing to relocate to India. 'It would be really interesting to work in Bangalore,' he says. 'But I was told, "Daniel, it is against the law for you to work here. You can come here on vacation, but you can't work here."' Indian officials have told him they don't hire Americans." An article in ComputerWorld talks about the possibility of getting more than you bargained for in outsourced code.
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No Americans Need Apply

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  • Just usual (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Karamchand ( 607798 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:41PM (#6932279)
    That's common in many countries all around the world. As long as you aren't a citizien it is rather hard to get a job - not just because of possible prejudices but also simply because you are not allowed to!
  • Seriously: typical wage for Indian IT graduate: $200/month. Equivalent for US graduate: 10--20 times more.

    It is almost redundant to say that Indian firms won't be hiring many Americans.

    Curiously, my little firm is now subcontracting for Indian firms, so perhaps the rules can be bent a little for genius Belgians. C'est genial!
  • My experience (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:48PM (#6932390)
    I need to go to the US to finish a contract I have with a US company. I only need to be there 3 days. Guess what, just for that, we need to fill in tons of paperwork to get a visa and the whole thing is likely going to cost more than anything else in the contract... What a good way to help the US companies/economy!
  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by boomgopher ( 627124 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:50PM (#6932438) Journal
    I think the point being made is that everyone bitches about how jobs are moving overseas because of American's extravagant lifestyles, etc. But when someone is willing to move to a place where you can live dirt-cheap, the government over there won't allow it.

    And actually you can move right on in to California now, since the retarded state gov is basically trying abolish all immigration law. Come on over!

  • Re:Duh... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Brahmastra ( 685988 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:50PM (#6932440)
    The only purpose to this article is so that a bunch of Whiners can rant, rave and get cardiac arrests over Indians. The law in most places is that you have to give preference to citizens over foreign nationals with equivalent skills. If the US has a bunch of lawyers who can convince the government that certain foreign nationals have unique skills, it's not the fault of some other country.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:51PM (#6932454)
    Small businesses tend to want to hire locals. It all comes down to the fact that small biz can't and won't put up with the beaurocratic overhead needed to outsource offshore.

    They also tend to be more resistant to the hiring freezes and layoffs of large corporations durring recessions.
  • Re:What's this? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:52PM (#6932461)
    You can get a tourist visa to visit most any place in the world.

    Yeah, sure. Except that if the plans by the US Office of Homeland Security come through, I won't be able to fly over to the USA with my brand new EU passport without submitting my fingerprints and/or retinal scan with the visa. The new passports will, at the request of the beforementioned office, have to feature digital biometric information that will be fed to a federal database.

    I will not submit to this.

  • Yep - (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:53PM (#6932480)
    My division, in one of the big (probably the biggest other than microsoft) tech companies has been shutting down our site and moving the jobs to India.

    Of course, we are all offered positions within the company before we are kicked out of the door, and we are supposed to be able to apply anywhere in the company.

    One individual here, who really wanted to move to India, (and accept the reduced pay, etc) is an exceptional candidate. The managers in Bangalore (same comapny here) WILL NOT CALL HIM BACK. It flies in the face of all of the companies published policies, but of course, nothing happens.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:56PM (#6932542)
    Oh...wait a minute, there was no IT union. This computer outsourcing reminds me of the blame that's placed on unions for the factory jobs leaving the country.

    No computer union, and the companies outsourced anyway.
  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @12:57PM (#6932556)
    the level of difficulty one has immigrating to the USA, even on the H1 visa program.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:09PM (#6932762)
    So you want to take away the existing Workers visa's? That sounds like a raw deal to me. The US is an Empire. If we want people to follow our lead we need to have foreigners learning and working in the US. This helps spread our influence throught the globe. Every succesful Empire has done this.
  • Re:Sovereign country (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:10PM (#6932782)
    Well, as all in Europe, it depends on the country you are .
    In Portugal and spain costs around 500 euros a year, but in countries like sweden and finland the universities are for free, for all levels. And not only that, but the state gives you around 250 euros (more or less the same in dolars) just for studing, plus 400 in a loan, interest rate free, that you can pay for the rest of your live (during 50 year +-)
    Now, that's nice, and that's how student life should be !!!
    Watch and learn something !
  • by MagPulse ( 316 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:11PM (#6932789)
    It might be really hard. Getting a PhD is really hard, starting a successful business is really hard, but people do those every day. Right now someone on a foriegn visa is impacting my ability to get a job, because while it is very hard, they are I dare say even more motivated than I am. They're fighting to live, I'm fighting for a middle class life instead of a lower class one.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:28PM (#6933057) Homepage Journal
    "Most of these were for providing support, ..."

    Yeah; I usually do this. Any program more than a few dozen lines, and I start adding debugging hooks.

    They're never "hidden", though. I always document them. Of course, I can't force users to read the documentation.

    And I don't remove the debug hooks for a "release" version. When it's out at some customer's site and they call you asking what's wrong is when you REALLY need those hooks.

    It's really handy to be able to be able to tell a user "Just add the following line to the config file, wait a bit, and tell me what it says."

    I've worked on several projects where we added an HTTP interface, with the app listening on some port. All configurable, of course, but usually turned on by default. Then when a user called with a problem, if they are on the Net, we can ftp to that port, start typing GET commands, and learn about its state. This is a real back door, very easy to implement, and incredibly helpful when there are problems.

    Of course, you do want to document them, so that the user can't accuse you of sneaking something in on them. And make sure there's a simple way to turn them on and off. If the app has a config file, a line like "HTTP-Port: N" does the job, with N=0 to disable the back door.

    Then you can say "Well, I can't see what's wrong, because the HTTP port is turned off. Yes, I understand your security concerns. But I can't help you if your security won't let me talk to the program."

    Usually this isn't much of a problem, since new users rarely notice that stuff, and leave the back door enabled. When their security folks discover it, it's really handy to be able to point to the fact that it's all documented in the manual and the sample config file. Then they say "Oh, yeah." turn it off, and don't bug you.

  • by colnago ( 91472 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:29PM (#6933070) Homepage
    There is a great book called The New Tolerance by Josh McDowell about this very subject. It's heavily religious but the principles apply here very well.
  • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:32PM (#6933113) Homepage
    David Soong is learning what many Americans already know. Countries like India do not have the same sense of fairness that the United States of America (USA) has. The American government allows hundreds of thousands of H-1B workers to work in the USA, but the Indian government does not allow American workers to work in India.

    What can we in the West do about this injustice?

    Here are the facts.

    1. Unethical American companies like Intel demand that the American government allow them to hire H-1B workers. They claim that they cannot meet their labor needs without H-1B employees even during a period of 8% unemployment in Silicon Valley. ( clincher :IBM does not hire H-1B workers unless they are applying for a job that requires a Ph.D. The Power4 family of chips were all built without H-1B labor.)
    2. Huge immigrant communites like the Indian community and Chinese community (which includes Taiwanese [] and Hong Kongers) have arisen simply because H-1B laws allow them to stay here. They then pressure the American government to allow even more Indian and Chinese immigrants into the USA via H-1B laws or other immigration loopholes. ( clincher : In these particular communities, most parents teach their kids (1) that Western culture is only for "White" people and (2) that they should not assimilate into American culture. Please read "Immigrants: Traitors Among Us []". These communities produce people like David Yang [] and Eugene Hsu [] who attempt to destroy the security of the USA via giving American military technology to Beijing, etc. By contrast, communities, like the Vietnamese community, that did not grow from H-1B laws tend to assimilate much better into American society.)

    What we, along with David Soong, should do is the following.

    1. Petition the American government to shutdown the H-1B program.
    2. Tell unethical companies like Intel that they can handle their supposed labor shortage by outsourcing (i. e. hiring only folks living in foreign countries).

    In the short term, both "outsourcing" and "H-1B" employment will deprive Americans of jobs to the same degree. However, in the long term, "outsourcing" has many benefits. It will stop the growth of ethnic communities that do not wish to assimilate. Further, "outsourcing" will actually increase the number of jobs in the long term. How? The American nation is a huge market, and there are many economic advantages to building a company within the market in which you wish to target. First, the company employees and the customers of the company speak the same language: English. Second, the design time of the product is reduced because the time for the path of consumer_needs->marketing_department->engineering_ department is reduced. This reason is the prime reason that many Japanese companies like Toyota have set up shop in the USA. When the market share of a company exceeds a critical threshold, the company will be compelled to setup operations in the country where the market is located.

    When we shut off the H-1B faucet, American companies established in the USA will hire exclusively Americans during economic upturns. Now, in the era of the H-1B faucet gushing with H-1B applicants, unethical American companies like Intel hire hordes of H-1B folks, so the total jobs available to Americans during the economic upturn is less.

    Let us in the Slashdot community start a campaign to terminate the H-1B program immediately. Simultaneously, we support outsourcing. It sounds counter-intuitive, but in the long run, outsourcing will help to maintain the quality of life in the USA and t

  • by gupg ( 58086 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:39PM (#6933252) Homepage
    See this news story: impact/index.htm?cnn=yes []

    First few lines are:
    Visas vs. jobs
    While many U.S. tech workers hate the H-1B program, studies suggest its impact is limited.
    September 11, 2003: 12:14 PM EDT
    By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money Staff Writer

    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A U.S. visa program that allows aliens to temporarily work in technology and other high-paying industries is often blamed for taking American jobs and pushing wages lower. But two recent studies suggest this program might not be as awful as some critics think.

  • by mobiGeek ( 201274 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:39PM (#6933255)
    If you want to live in a country where foreign goods and services are banned try Bhutan.

    Why go so far? Y'all live in a country that simply imposes crushing tariffs whenever the right lobby group gets involved...

    "Free markets" my fanny...

  • by pvera ( 250260 ) <> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:41PM (#6933285) Homepage Journal
    In the second half of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series, a new law is enacted, the Trade Reform Act. The law is really simple, it allows the president to pick a country with unfair trade laws and mirror them. They want to inspect every car that arrives at the dock? Sure, we'll do the same. They won't hire americans to work at their code shops? Ok, we'll do the same. This of couse triggers two wars in the series, but the core concept of the law was pretty solid.

    I am well aware of the economics of outsourcing to India, my previous employer spent at least 6 months being courted by a half dozen code shops in India. They were complete professionals and very flexible. The skillset was in place, the language skills were better than what we want to believe and the price advantage was good. *That* I can live with.

    What it is bothering me is this statement that it is illegal for an american to work in India. I mean, the only thing they had to do was say suuuure, come work for us, but you will get an indian salary commesurate with your skills and experience, we cannot pay you a US salary just because you are an american. That would be fair for everyone involved.

    Or somebody in the government should wake up and see all these american going out of work because their jobs are going overseas. This of course sounds horribly naive on my part, but what is going to happen with defense sensitive software development? Are we going to outsource it too?

    Some kind of trade reform act would be a great way to wake up India, China and Japan about the real meaning of trade. They can't expect to continue flooding us with cheap products and labor and then taking their profits and spending them elsewhere.
  • by 1337_h4x0r ( 643377 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:41PM (#6933286)

    Okay - so the point of H1B's is to provide workers for a growing economy when we can't train our own people fast enough, right? (No local talent).

    So when there IS an abundance of local talent (evidenced by the posting volume of /. posts) why aren't H1B's sent home? I have no problem with international workers being here, if they are filling a need that can't be filled locally.

    To give an example of the way I think the H1B system is getting worked, the last job I worked at was an Informix 4GL shop. If you don't know what this is, it's the most insanely brain-dead programming language ever made. No features, no objects, hell you can't even pass arrays to functions. So what does this company do? Hires chinese H1B's who don't really know anything, for pennies. These guys were working REALLY cheap (like $8/hr) and the company had no intention of hiring any Americans because they wouldn't work for $8/hr. They had some scam running where a few of the american employees did work that cheap "officially" but got kickbacks for supporting the H1B program. I came into this company from a merger, and left shortly thereafter.

    My current company is outsourcing to an Indian development firm who supposedly has 30 employees assigned to us. Our entire dev team here in the US is like 5 people, and we're doing the lion's share of the work!

    So my opinion of outsourced and H1B employees is rather low, although I'll be the first to admit that there are probably lots of great foreign computer folks out there too. I just haven't seen any :)

  • Re:What's this? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nept ( 21497 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:44PM (#6933355) Journal
    You can get a tourist visa to visit most any place in the world. I went to China earlier this year. But those visas don't allow you to work.

    Yea, you'll need a worker's visa for that. I actually was confronted by someone over there because of that, and who seemed rather upset. I was working on a project in Shenzhen; he wanted to know what I was doing that a Chinese citizen couldn't. Well, in the big picture nothing, but my company did have reasons for sending me there. Still, I could see where he was coming from. Jobs are scarce in China, and a lot of the Jr Programmers making $400/yr had PhDs.

  • Dumbass (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Merk ( 25521 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:51PM (#6933477) Homepage

    I'd call you a troll but with so many people saying the same thing it must be an actual viewpoint a lot of dumbasses have.

    Do you think a secretary or a security guard has the same mortgage payments you do? They have accepted their jobs pay X a month and have learned to live within their means.

    Your job no longer commands the salary it once did. Deal with it. Don't whine about not being able to make mortgage payments, move to a smaller place! If your phone bill is too expensive, use the damn phone less!

  • Re:Duh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anml4ixoye ( 264762 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @01:51PM (#6933488) Homepage
    The question I have - since H1Bs are supposed to be for skills that couldn't be found in the US - if I can prove that I have the skills an H1B has,c an I file a lawsuit to claim that position.
  • by CowBovNeal ( 672450 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:00PM (#6933641) Homepage Journal
    I would like to know. The US is losing its manufacturing jobs. Have you heard of any factory workers say they want to go work in china?
    The living standards will probably make you flee in a week or a month. Workers do not have health insurance, the language is a big problem etc.

    A while back, I read that a few well known Indian companies were looking for very experienced(8-10+ years) business managers who take charge of the software development units.
    Many Indian companies are getting contracts but they are usually below 50 million $. The big contracts still go to Accenture, IBM etc.
    These Indian companies were willing to pay 60,000 $(all inclusive) for these kinds of managers.
    And still there is a shortage. This is because the software business there has taken off only in the last few years. Prior to that nobody did big business there so that meant that there were not many experienced people to manage large and complex projects.
    People with that kind of experience earn atleast 150k in the US. So if you have the above skills, Indian companies would probably be interested in you. They have no need for pure coders. There are tons of them there. If you don't have any special skills to differentiate yourself, you're probably going to be run over.

    Also, companies outsource because they can!
    If there was a law against outsourcing, would companies do it.
    In the same vein, if US companies could avoid paying tax, many would do so.

    Don't expect companies to listen to you.
    Outsourcing is done because its possible.
    Business is tight. Wall Street is a wolf.
    Everybody wants a piece of the pie.
    Ask your representative in congress for answers.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rifter ( 147452 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:11PM (#6933833) Homepage

    Well, duh... As a dutchman it's also not possible for me to relocate to the USA. Unless I prove that there's no way my skills can be found in the States.

    Informative, my ass. Funny, maybe. Yes, you can come here and work. The requirements of the work visas indeed are that no Americans can do the job and that the applicant gets paid the same as Americans. But that is not what is happening here. The whole point is that these laws have no effect because they are not enforced. RTFA, Americans are being replaced by foreign workers wo are being paid half or less what the Americans are. That is why we are complaining.

    Whereas you can come here, buy land, get a job, and become a citizen it is impossible for Americans to do that in pretty much any country. In fact these kinds of things are unheard of in many countries.

    I am not against the opportunities the USA provides, I am in fact proud of it. But I think we need to start enforcing the law w/r/t immigration instead of winking and nodding when it translates into runaway profits for major corporations.

  • by default luser ( 529332 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:25PM (#6934033) Journal
    It seems to me that globalization is making Americans more wealthy to the tune of $500 billion a year.

    A Trade Deficit means we continue to import more than we export, that is, spend more than we produce.

    This is a cycle most of you are more familiar referring to as DEBT, in this case, foreign debt. The cycle is hard to stop once it gets rolling, and once foreign debtors no longer believe us credit-worthy, they can refuse us credit and cripple our economy.

    Read this [] for a better understanding of the situation. Economists have been warning about this for years, and now that our core software industries are packing up for India, things look even more bleak. Considering how every government official in America has chosen to ignore this problem, including every president since Reagan, I can't see us addressing it in time to really help.
  • by westendgirl ( 680185 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:25PM (#6934047) Homepage
    While completing my (Canadian) MBA program last year, my professor pointed out that more and more jobs were going to Bangalore. He pointed out that most of these jobs were lower-skilled in the grand scheme of skilled jobs. My classmates seemed to take some comfort in the fact that these disappearing jobs were in tech support, QA, and other skilled jobs at the "bottom" of the food chain. (At least, the food chain that they were willing to consider. Anything that would ensure their middle class existence.)

    However, I noted that Indian companies are building on these small projects, much the way that any start-up takes small steps before landing the "big" clients. In time, Indian workers will have significant knowledge of North American & European standards, procedures, and business cultures, as well as a proven track record. Then, Indian companies will be able to take on essentially any work that "developed" countries do.

    My professor agreed, but said we could take comfort in that we would all be retired in 20 years. But I'll only be 49, and what about future generations? He said the answer was to climb to the top of the "skills" food chain. Bioinformatics and biotech were 2 of his examples.

    So, that being said, what are our options, here in the so-called developed world? What are the next big skilled areas? Instead of fighting to keep jobs in our countries, what can we do to stake out competitive advantages? What can we learn to do before anyone else can jump in? How do we stay ahead of the curve?

    And, perhaps more importantly, what options do people who just aren't university material have?

  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ScooterBill ( 599835 ) * on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:40PM (#6934311)
    It's been well proven that a closed society with strict immigration and trade policies is far less efficient than an open one. The US has always been fairly open in terms of immigration and trade and we seem to be the largest world economy by far.

    Take a look at software. Copy protected, closed source, limited distribution, special requirements to become a developer. These things all will ultimately hinder progress.

    What we have here is a bunch of L33t "US citizens" who can't compete with a poor third world country and who want their government to protect their financial interests. Boo Hoo.

    The government has one function. That is to make sure that the people aren't being screwed by those with money and power (read large corporations). The government is the buffer between runaway corporate greed and an incentive based capitalism.

    In this case, our government should require a reciprocal agreement with India so that everyone has a fair shot.

    Protectionism is not the answer. Adaptation is the answer. I think Soong sounds like a smart guy and could easily join the rank of other entreprenuers that this country is famous for. Then he could exploit the workers in 3rd world nations too!

  • Re:Duh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bronxist ( 682058 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:42PM (#6934344)
    Apparently, the Republican party is outsourcing fund raising to Indian call centers as well... an /50310103.016.asp

    Wonder how they do the Texas drawl?
  • Re:Just usual (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FroMan ( 111520 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:51PM (#6934487) Homepage Journal
    Geesh, up until your crack at the Republicans, I was in full agreement with your post.

    I think that we allow folks to immigrate to the states and work here. Live here. Bring their families here. Become citizens. Pay taxes. Get an education. Enjoy life here. All those things and many more is what makes America great.

    Immigrants are immigrants usually for a single generation, often shorter than that since they can become citizens. Then they are part of us. Then they have to worry about the next batch of immigrants taking their jobs! Crazy huh?

    Maybe you ought to ask yourself why there are so many immigrants in the US. There just might be a reason. We are not an exclusive club like many EU contries. We are the people, born here and immigrated here.

    When the USS Reagan launched a short while ago I was reading some of the commentary and stories in the news. One was from one of his aides (I forget who exactly). He told the story of how when Reagan was at one of the Olymic games events and how he watched all the athletes enter. His comment to paraphrase was this:

    The Chineese entered will all the Chinese looking folks, the Mexicans entered with all their Mexican looking folks, the african nations all entered with their african looking folks. But you know what brought the most joy, was that the Americans came in looking like all the world, white, black, short and tall, but all of them were Americans.

    How so many people in our country claim that the republicans are the racist bunch is beyond me. If there was ever a group of people that truly would ignore skin color, gender, or such, the republicans are truly the political party who does not care who you are, but are all inclusive.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I8TheWorm ( 645702 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:03PM (#6934636) Journal
    That's exactly the point I was trying to make. We have three vehicles (two are paid off), a 4 bedroom house, and our three kids are extremely active. I would prefer to provide my kids with their own bedrooms, and would hate to deny them access to their activities. Each plays at least one sport, and each plays at least one instrument. None of that is terribly important information, but in my neighborhood, and the crowd that I hang out with, that's extremely typical as well. If our household income had always been much lower, you can bet our spending would follow suit.

    But to go from this lifestyle to one of lesser means would be a difficult transition, physchologically. That's what I'm getting at. We're all used to owning vehicles (in most cities, anyway... NY and Chicago are obvious exceptions), having air conditioning, carpeted rooms, being able to eat out, or at least cooking what we want for dinner. People from contries where the per capita GDP is $2500 would take half of what I'm getting for the same job.
  • How does it feel? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr_Icon ( 124425 ) * on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:08PM (#6934693) Homepage

    I've always found it curious that it is considered morally wrong to discriminate against someone based on their race, gender, or sexual preference, but perfectly fine based on their place of origin. In fact, there are entire government agencies in place whose sole purpose is to discriminate against non-citizens.

    People don't exactly get to choose where they get born or grow up, you know.

    (Yes, I am a foreigner in the US, and yes, I'm just a tad bitter.)

  • by jimsum ( 587942 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:11PM (#6934738)
    When you lend money, you exchange pieces of paper (or more likely, numbers in a database) for real goods that you can use. Debt is a promise to repay; you have the goods, the seller has promises.

    Yes, eventually you will have to repay those loans, but in the meantime you can improve your economy by spending the loaned money wisely, or you can use it to pay for bread and circuses until the repayments start. Smart businesses, consumers and governments will not borrow money except to smooth temporary cash flow difficulties or to invest in money-making capital goods. It doesn't matter what you do with the wealth that other countries are lending to you via the trade deficit; the goods you import, and the net investments that you get increase the current wealth of the country. If you invest that wealth wisely, you'll be able to repay those loans and be better off.

    And don't be so sure that the debt won't turn into a permanent wealth increase. If the debt is repaid when the exchange rate is lower than when it was invested, there will be a permanent transfer of wealth.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gmezero ( 4448 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:13PM (#6934758) Homepage
    So after we ship all of our jobs overseas, who the hell is going to be left to buy the things these companies make?!?!

    As it stands, the only people I know who have a consistent job tommorow are CEOs/VPs, service workers (want fries with that), and Smut peddlers... and as it stands, if we don't have any money, those service jobs are going to dry up as well.

    ARGHHHH! Guess it's time to pitch my morals and get into porn :(
  • by plsuh ( 129598 ) <plsuh AT goodeast DOT com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:27PM (#6934979) Homepage
    You really didn't understand the article from the SBA website, did you? IAAE (I Am An Economist), and it boils down to this -- what can a foreigner do with a US dollar? The only thing that he or she can do is buy US-produced goods and services. When he or she does that, it increases demand for US production which stimulates the US economy and causes the GDP to rise.

    Foreigners putting their dollars into dollar-denominated investments only puts off the problem. At some point, the foreigner must use the dollars to buy US-produced goods and services. Doing anything else means that US consumers have gotten a whole lot of real goods and services for the price of printing a bunch of green paper or transferring a few electrons.

    A trade imbalance is not like your PERSONAL debt. It doesn't mean the same thing, so don't try to apply your intuition about personal debts to a trade deficit.


  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) < minus caffeine> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:34PM (#6935073) Homepage
    Perhaps you can do the rest of us a favor and let us know where these mythical jobs you speak of are located?

    Central Valley, California.

    I am currently a network admin in a win32/unix enviroment in the medical field ( techically, I am a systems analyst, but that's a bullshit title ). I know there are several non-profits in the area who need tech help and have reasonable budget ( in comparison to the work you'd be doing ). Further, I know of at least two dentists offices that have an immediate need for compentent computer people ( don't bother messaging me, I already recommened a few people ).

    It's all about your presence. I have never been turned down for a job after I have interviewed. I treat people with respect and keep them informed as to what I am doing. My current boss is great, he always wants to know what I am doing and how. :)
  • Continental poop (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:51PM (#6935304)
    In the 1700's and 1800's England forced India to import English railway equipment (engines, etc.) to boost the English "hi-tech" sector even though India was producing better machines locally. Whoa! How'd they do that? Well, ahem, anyhow, if Indians weren't inferior, they wouldn't have let Europeans invade in the first place! Yeah. Similarly it was Manifest Destiny that the palefaces eradicate the native Americans and get all the goodies. And of course there's the astronomically gargantuan evil of slavery, which England and it's I'm-independent-I'm-not-like-you-Daddy colony promoted, defended, participated in, and profited from to the max. Is this attitude barbaric and backward, or what? Sure -- but it's the colonial mindset. And the imperial mindset. And of course the Indians weren't allowed to import their railroad equipment into England.

    So now we have protectionism working the other way, and the world's supposed to be outraged.

    Small wonder that American principles of freedom, justice, and democracy have great credence in the world, but the USA doesn't, simply because it caves in on those principles whenever it's expedient to do so.

    Every culture has it's "we're better than everyone else, somehow" mythology -- Americans, Indians, Japanese, Swedes; big cultures, little cultures, liberals, conservatives, pagans, Christians, Jews, Moslems; we all think we're more divine than the next person -- and it's a yawning bore every time it comes up. Life's better when you stop trying to be right, and stop being a victim, and just appreciate it. (And if you agree with this post, then you're extra-special too! :)
  • No Way (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:52PM (#6935320)
    Only in the U.S. will this be tolerated

    You haven't seen bizarre immigration rules/enforcement until you've lived in Canada.

    In Canada you can show up at the border without any documents and claim refugee status. Not only will you gain entry after filing out forms for about 45 minutes, but you will be legally allowed to work until your hearing.

    Of course nobody bothers to even show up for the hearing since there is no deportation enforcement. At most you will receive a letter in the mail telling you that you must leave the country. Nobody will contact you to find out if you actually do leave the country.

    Then there are the cases where the "refugee" decides to make a living via B&E, armed robbery, etc., despite being able to work legally. Even if they are caught, their lack of compliance to basic laws of society cannot be used against them in the hearing that they will not attend that produces results that nobody pays attention to.

  • Re:Immigration (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ian Wolf ( 171633 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:54PM (#6935340) Homepage
    I think the answer is a little bit of all of the above. In general, I am a proponent of the H1B program, but I do have some serious reservations. Most of the H1B's I work with are very intelligent people that would be difficult to replace even in the current job market. I believe the root of this problem is our educational system in the states, but thats a whole other debate.

    I've been looking for a good Oracle DBA job for a while now and its been difficult. I'm not very happy where I am. In this situation, the H1B program definitely hinders my search, but I really don't think by all that much. Most people who oppose the H1B program talk about just this kind of scenario and their argument has merit. However, the biggest problem I have with the H1B program is the way some employers abuse the hell out of the process. My division has been undergoing constant layoffs for over two years and during this process our managment has really been treating us very poorly, but it pales in comparison to the way the H1B's are treated. More than a few have received veiled threats that they will do what they are asked or they could be laid off and promptly kicked out of the country. They've forced people in to very long hours, constantly cut benefits, in general become hostile. The consensus among most of the H1B's is to keep their mouth shut and do what is asked. It is in this regard that I think the system needs an overhaul. I do not, however, know the solution.
  • I call Bullsh*t (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:03PM (#6935430)
    "We're already the first generation in history to be worse off than our parents were."

    Usually the studies that say this are done by people with an agenda.

    You are most certainly better off than your parents; you just are comparing your financial status at 21 to their financial status at 50, and there's frankly no comparison.

    So lets stop this nonsensical talk based on nonsense.
  • by dist_morph ( 692571 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:03PM (#6935432)
    So you've been working for four years now and everything has worked out beautifully. I wonder how you'll feel in 20 years when you have kids, worry about college tuition, retirement, health expenses/conditions, and the mortgage.

    Do you think you can put yourself in these people's shoes and see why they might not all be able to take on part-time positions without benefits? How many of the opportunities you list offer benefits? How many of these opportunities offer a salary on which a family of four can survive when it has fixed epxenses?

    We're not all straight out of college and if you have any imagination, you will see that even you who never had a problem getting a job might have to worry a little bit when you look into the future.

  • Subsidies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geophile ( 16995 ) <jao@geophile.cMENCKENom minus author> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:13PM (#6935582) Homepage
    I heard a discussion of agricultrual subsidies in the industrialized
    countries, by Robert Reich last night on NPR. Stay with me, I'll get
    to the point.

    It is far cheaper to grow grain in developing countries than in the
    industrialized countries. It is the best way for those countries to
    make money. Yet they cannot afford to compete with the US, Europe and
    Japan because of subsidies. Why are there subisidies? Because
    agribusiness is politically powerful.

    In all the discussion of offshoring that I've seen on slashdot, I've
    never seen this point discussed. In fact, I haven't seen the point
    raised anywhere. I'm definitely not in favor of ag subsidies, and I'm
    probably against any subsidies. I just find it curious that the
    subject of subsidized software development has not come up at all.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sniggly ( 216454 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:15PM (#6935619) Journal
    Google [] search for india callcenter accent - they train people to do the texan drawl. Most usually you can pick either common american or common british accents. But money can buy you any accent.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:15PM (#6935625)
    That is not entirely accurate... at least it doesn't display all facets of the situation. Foreign workers can get by on less because, among other things, companies are willing to pay them less than an American. Many companies would much rather pay a foreigner $30,000 a year rather than an American. If a foreign born worker used to live in a house with no running water and a dirt floor, then the perception is that they will be grateful for the few scraps that the company is willing to throw to them in exchange for their work. An American worker who made $120,000 at their last job would never even be considered for the job paying $30,000 a year, because the perception is that the first time the company tries to treat them like shit they can just leave.
  • by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:23PM (#6935751) Journal
    The temporary movement of labor is known better as Temporary Movement of Natural Persons []. It turns out that the price differential for labor between developed and undeveloped countries tends to be much larger than the price differential for goods, thus is more important for a global marketplace than free trade of goods. TMNP allows for flexible labor movement without worrying about sovereignty issues (as permanent movement would).

    Studies show that by increasing developed economies' quotas on inward movements of both skilled and unskilled labour by just 3% of their labour forces, world welfare would rise by $156 billion - about 0.6% of world income.

    Further liberalization of labor movement could double world income and imply proportionately even larger gains for the developing countries.
  • by ScooterBill ( 599835 ) * on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:36PM (#6935955)
    We've processed several software engineers through the H1-B program. Simply put, when you hire a really good software engineer and he tells you he has a collegue that is really good and is willing to relocate his family but needs an H1-B visa, it's all too tempting to go that route. The other option is to advertise and hope you get someone good.

    There is a requirement to advertise the position in the US before you can get an H1-B but it doesn't really make a difference.

    Now personally, I can't tell the difference between the people we've hired locally and those who've immigrated. They're all good people.

    I'd rather have companies help immigrate good, hard working foreigners than have our government tell me I have to hire some slob just because he lives here.

    I do agree than any company that exploits a 3rd world cheap labor force without following labor practices like we have here is guilty of a crime.

  • by Bratch ( 664572 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:49PM (#6936148)
    Anyone seen this yet?

    In response to the pressure, and in light of a lack of job growth in the broader economy, House Democrats and Republicans have proposed a bill to repeal the H-1B program. impact/index.htm []

  • by lotus87 ( 620338 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:55PM (#6936208)

    Concept A: H1-B people take jobs from Americans
    While this is true, it is neither the fault of the H1-B foreigners who take the jobs nor the Americans who lose them. Most of the H1-B foreigners were educated an universities here in the US. Back at the beginning of the CS/IT boom, there weren't enough qualified people, so employers petitioned the government to expand visa programs so that they could hire the foreign students that were available in universities here. Once employees started leaving for start-ups employers realized that because of their visa restrictions, most H1-B employees would not or could not leave. So they petitioned Congress again to expand the program. They got what they wanted, and American workers are now paying the price.

    Concept B: Outsourcing is taking jobs from Americans
    While this is also true, did you expect something different? Corporations are there to make profits for their shareholders. If I tell a corporation that my company in India/China/Eastern Europe can complete the same work their in-house American IT department does for half the cost, no MBA-carrying CEO would ever turn me down. Even if I lied and it's only 2/3, that's reduced operating costs by millions or dollars, thus increasing the return for shareholders.

    All of this happened decades ago in agriculture, 20-25 years ago in the textiles industry (remember the by clothes made in the USA campaigns??), 20 years to present in the manufacturing industries (auto, steel, toys, etc.), 5-10 years in semi-conductor and IC manufacturing, and 3-5 years in the call-center industry. Were you naive enough to think it wouldn't happen to us?

    Concept C: Foreign workers are less-apt than Americans
    This is pure ego run amuck! Since the 80's, every foreign country has been improving their educational systems (most of which are now better than ours), and churning out qualified computer scientists, electrical engineers, and computer engineers. It was only a matter of time before corporations sought to tap into that resource. Why hire a bunch of Americans from average underfunded party schools when you can hire better educated and cheaper foreigners from the best schools in India, China, Czech Republic, etc.? That's capitalism at its best.

    I'm all for altruism and idealism, but the reality is that these decisions are driven by $$$, and nothing else. If we want to keep CS/IT jobs here in the USA, we need to create more value for less money. Otherwise, we WILL follow the same path as the industries I mentioned above.

  • Miners (Score:5, Interesting)

    by core plexus ( 599119 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:04PM (#6936292) Homepage
    So after we ship all of our jobs overseas, who the hell is going to be left to buy the things these companies make?!?!

    Well, there's always miners. Mining jobs are among the highest-paying jobs in the country (U.S.). Support mining and miners in your community, for not only do miners provide the raw materials (avg. is 45,000lbs/year of newly mined minerals for each American) for everything from basic infrastructure, agriculture, communications, power generation, etc. to luxury goods, but the money we spend in the community, from equipment to services to goods, helps everyone. I know it isn't perfect, but you have to admit that countries with abundant natural resources are the richer nations.

    I'm relatively secure in my job discovering mineral deposits, knowing that for at least the next hundred years or more, we'll still need everything from gravel to gold, and that we'll need someone to find those deposits, and mine them.


  • Re:Duh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimsum ( 587942 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:13PM (#6936408)
    The industrial revolution was about replacing people with machines. I can assure you that the wages for a machine are much lower than for people. So where did all those jobs go when machines replaced people? Clerks used to copy out documents by hand, now we have photocopiers. In every trade or technological revolution we have had so far, the standard of living increased and everyone still had jobs at the end (and much more interesting ones than before machines). Are you saying that people today have a lower standard of living than before the industrial revolution? Or at any other time in history?

    Immigration is no different than having babies; actually immigrants are cheaper because taxpayers in a different country financed their education. An extra person is an extra mouth to feed, so he decreases the standard of living; but he is also an extra worker, so he is an extra set of hands. So far, we've always found a good use for those extra hands.

    People who emphasize the loss of jobs just want to keep the system the way it is. We should be suspicious when wealthy company owners (or overpaid workers) try to scare us into shielding them from competition. If we keep things the way they are, our standard of living will stay the same as well. Those benefiting from the system now may be happy, but every other time the economy has changed the overall standard of living has gone up. I'd hate to trade in a chance for things to get better in order to prop up a bunch of people that got rich from exploiting an earlier revolution.

    I've even made all my arguments using the current fad of only looking at one side of the business equation. Everyone concentrates on the supply side (or jobs) and ignores the consumption side (or prices). When wages go down, so can prices. Preserving jobs means preserving higher prices, and that sacrifices the likely increase in the standard of living that results from lower prices. Protectionism costs money, either directly through subsidies or indirectly through artificially high prices; we need to look at how much worse we would be from higher prices before we decide to preserve higher wages (and profits) for a few. I doubt protectionism is ever a net benefit to society.
  • by V_drive ( 522339 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:21PM (#6936508)
    We'll see much, much more job flight in the short term until the brakes are applied to this savage anti-social approach.

    what brakes? the reason all this is happening is that the american economy is overinflated. inside the united states are high wages and high cost, with much of the rest of the world as a relative vacuum.

    don't give me the corporate greed hatespeak--you can view the income statements and balance sheets yourself for the largest corportations. things are expensive in the united states because production costs are high. production costs are high because workers demand more money. workers demand more money because cost of living is high (notice i'm not using "greedy worker" hatespeak). cost of living is high because things are expensive. the cycle goes on and pressure grows.

    this cycle is protected such policies as taxing imports, fixing high prices on agriculture, and creating barriers to accessing foreign labor. these policies don't help ameri

    by putting the "brakes" on, all you're doing is keeping the pressure in. i'm not saying we need to rip open the floodgates (in fact, i think that would be very dangerous), but the solution is not to just keep plugging holes. what happens when the average american is making 100 times as much as the average indian without an improved standard of living from where americans are now? what about 200 times?

    you can't let the pressure grow forever. we will size up eventually, either now in a controlled manner by choice, or later in a dangerous and chaotic manner by force (when nobody else in the world will pay so much for our labor or goods, but we still want imports from them).

    pardon me for ending this post with bitching, but i'm getting really tired of politicians who propose lots of great things for america when they are really just passing the cost to the next generation. it sounds great at first to protect the american workers in these ways, but america must pay in the end.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jimsum ( 587942 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:26PM (#6936561)
    You are not correct that jobs always go to the lower wage country. Wages in Canada are generally lower than in the U.S., but during the tech bubble, many Canadian businesses were bought and the jobs were transferred to the U.S. At the time there was a management fad that thought that all your employees had to be together in the same place.

    Now we have a fad for outsourcing, and Canada is again bypassed to go to places even cheaper. It is never good to be in the middle :-)

    Before Americans get too riled up about the Indians, they should perhaps examine their own history of buying companies and moving them to the U.S. American immigration laws prevented employees of those companies from following "their" jobs too. They might also reflect on where the revenue that pays their wages comes from, maybe foreigners think they are entitled to share some of the wages that their purchases make possible.

    As far as I am concerned, Americans are just getting a taste of what other countries have gone through the last few years. Americans disproportionally benefited from the tech bubble and may have a false idea of how much they are really worth.
  • Visas from india (Score:2, Interesting)

    by harlemjoe ( 304815 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:40PM (#6936691)
    I happen to be an American citizen born in America (and a Republican voter to boot), who studies in America and lives in India. So I have both angles covered here.

    Let me begin by saying that I have a 10 year work permit for India and it took me all of two days and 5 bucks in postage stamps to get it.

    My friends have had hell trying to get student visas, forget H1Bs. They are submitted to such embarrasment as showing bank balances to prove they can afford the entire college course (not, say 20gs for one year, but 100gs for all four!). If they don't shave or come for their interviews wearing shorts, they are often rejected for their I-20s despite having all the necessary credentials.

    A friend of mine got rejected for renewal of his I-20 -- after having been in American college for two years, he was rejected when reapplying for his third. The interviewer asked him if he was planning on living in America after college, and he said no, I don't like America all that much, and so was rejected!

    Another friend was rejected on the basis that his father is self-employed. The interviewer said that since you are going to take over your father's business anyway, why go to college?

    Yet another of my friends decided to go to England over America because the visa officer indirectly hinted that she was going to America to look for a husband with an American passport.

    I like America, and am proud to be, but the INS really is the worst, most incompetent and most impolite immigration service I have encountered yet. As an American, I throw a fit when a foreign visa office treats me badly --but look at the humiliation my own doles out. It's disgusting.

    The saddest story is of a friend of mine who goes to a large state school. He got trashed one night in college and some friend of his tore out his visa from his passport. He reported it to the INS who required that he leave the country before they issued him a new one. He ended up losing a year of college and a year of fees to the INS.

    Makes me sick as an American. All I can say is, power to those who endure the punishing visa process -- they desrve the bloody jobs after all that!

  • Re:Keep it in the US (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:55PM (#6936800)
    Most of the good(in skills,english,great GRE scores) Indians have already left their shores for US/UK etc. and most of those who remain lack in certain skills. But if America stops the H1,L1 etc. companies would simply outsource. So choose between having a person spending their money in fueling US economy or Indian economy.
    PSsst: managers do like ppl who don't question authority and who work like zombies churning out code.
  • by blueforce ( 192332 ) <> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:39PM (#6937256) Homepage Journal
    I am a software developer for the world's largest network of independent executive recruiters. We provide software and services which allow recruiters to share jobs, candidates, and generally network together. We are to staffing what the MLS is to real-estate.

    Currently, there are 40,604 jobs in our database. Approximately 4809 are actively being recruited right now.

    Of those 4809, 17 indicate the client is willing to sponsor or hire a non-us citizen.

    That's about 1/3 of 1 percent.
  • by ralphclark ( 11346 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:40PM (#6937267) Journal
    I was thinking along similar lines.

    Like, for example, if several major members of OPEC were to begin pricing their oil for export in Euros rather than dollars. Most of the substantial national USD reserves around the world (procured mainly for the purpose of buying oil) would then find themselves being sold off to buy Euros.

    One analysis I saw said the US treasury has continued to print dollars in order to buy imports as if there were no tomorrow, with the result that these foreign reserves now account for half the US dollars in existence. But this is just storing up big trouble for tomorrow.

    Figure it out for yourselves. If half the world's dollars, previously locked up, were to start leaking out onto the money markets following an OPEC move towards the Euro, the value of the dollar would quickly go to nothing.

    Actually it's a matter of record that this process has already begun. North Korea has already switched exports of its oil over to the Euro. By last spring, Saddaam Hussein had almost completed a three-year long process of switching Iraq's oil exports over to the Euro (presumably this was mainly intended to take a swipe at the US). Venezuela has been considering such a move for some time, to reduce dependence on the dollar. Who's next?

    Many people think that this was the real reason President Bush's government sought to remove Hussein, to deter other OPEC leaders from attempting to follow suit. Just as, in fact, it had supported Venezuala's failed military coup in 2002.
  • Re:Miners (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EvilArchitect ( 515225 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:41PM (#6937280) Homepage
    Just spoke with my dad today (a mine foreman who retired 2 years ago).

    Is $16-20/hr considered one of the highest paying fields? As my father put it: "I retired making over $20 an hour more than the people who worked for me. I never checked into it, I only put down their time. If I'd known how little they made, I'd have put down more. " (That's my dad, fraud never scared him... :) )
  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Digizen64 ( 691804 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:50PM (#6937370)
    When wages go down, so can prices. But debt doesn't go down. Right now in America, we have the most debt-laden society we have ever had and the cost of college tuition is making higher education unattainable for many and the cost of providing health care to employees is killing companies. So if you get out of college in debt and suddenly wages go down and prices go down, you're still stuck with debt which is now inproportionate to what you make in wages. People you called overpaid are also more likely o have higher debt due to the cost and related cost of education. Also, as a country we provide regulations that protect workers while the countries we are "competing" with don't and in India's case they subsidize the hell out of certain educational tracks. Sorry, but stating that eventually it will work out doesn't necessarlity make the deterministic prediction true.
  • Re:Duh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @09:05PM (#6938367)
    I don't know what makes you think that everyone's standard of living is better than their parents.

    Anyway, I think you're missing the point. Wages are determined by supply and demend. When you increase the supply by allowing foreign workers, the price of labor goes down.

    The American standard of living is artificially inflated by our immigration barriers (and to some extent by the cost of traveling here). That's what barriers to entry always do. Just like professional licensing and unions. It reduces wage competition.

    I have a Cuban friend who thinks $1.00 a day is an excellent salary. For that he would work very hard, and probably 10 hours a day, seven days a week. And he's smart, very smart. How many of those guys are you willing to compete against? Are you willing to live on $1 a day?

    Having said that, does it seem fair that we should earn so much and they should earn so little based merely on an accident of birth? I don't know. I know that I don't want to live like I have seen people living in 3rd world countries. I would quite literally rather be dead.

    We can raise their standard of living while reducing our own. You may argue that it is not a zero sum game, but in this context (for the employees), that's exactly what it is. Obviously the companies and stockholders are better off.
  • Supply/Demand? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phronesis ( 175966 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @11:01PM (#6939245)
    In WTO-world, corporations can move their jobs across borders but workers cannot follow. This one-sidedness pushes salaries down everywhere, as companies seek the cheapest available labor.

    Maybe I'm slow, but it would seem to me that if workers could chase jobs across borders, the increased supply of labor would drive wages down, not up. That's why the US doesn't open our borders to all workers who want to come here---if everyone migrated to the US, wages would plummet.

The other line moves faster.