Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rubio's Immigration Formula: Cheaper Is Better

We've mentioned--often--that the current immigration scheme for "STEM" (best and brightest) types is not good.

Rubio's bill will make it worse.  It is very disappointing that Sen. RoJo hasn't moved to repair these problems.  But if RoJo believes that "cheaper is better", then Rubio's bill is just right for him.

The dazzling innovative power of the tech industry is one of the few remaining American comparative advantages. Unfortunately, Congress is on the verge of squandering that precious national strength. 

U.S. dominance in technology has been due to our cultural flair for innovation, good old Yankee ingenuity. Yet, as currently structured, the H-1B work visa and employer-sponsored green-card programs are bringing in workers who tend to be of lesser talent than their American peers. Worse, they are indirectly displacing Americans. The result is a net reduction in the country's talent level.

Matloff goes on to PROVE that the "high-tech" industry lies about patents and R&D differences (US natives are a lot better at both);  and that--actually--immigrants generally graduate from LESS selective colleges than US natives (one result of the 1990 immigration "reform.")

A 1989 internal National Science Foundation report forecast that the H-1B program, then in the proposal stage, would result in a flood of foreign students into U.S. doctoral programs. The report stated that this would cause wages to stagnate, driving American science, technology, engineering, and math students into finance and law--exactly what did occur. 

Those who do stay in STEM then have financial disincentives against pursuing graduate work. A 2007 Urban Institute study found that we are producing far more STEM graduates at the bachelor's level than the economy needs, but that too few get advanced degrees. A Ph.D. student must forego an industry-level salary for about five years, only to find at the end that the wage premium accruing to a doctorate--held down by the large foreign influx--doesn't make up for that loss in lifetime earnings. 

The impact of the foreign-student and H-1B programs has been to displace American students from STEM fields. Since the average quality of the foreign students is lower than that of the Americans, the result is a net loss of quality in our STEM workforce

What this bill is REALLY all about is cheaper STEM labor.  That's what the Rubio Act will get us.

Next time RoJo sends a fund appeal, send him $1.00.  Cheaper is better, ya'know.



Anonymous said...

It's worse than just an issue with wages. (Not that you were suggesting it is only wages.) The flood of foreign STEM graduates offers Corporate America a pool of servant labor that will never question authority, never ask for better work conditions, NEVER look for another job, never ask for a raise or negotiate a salary, and on and on. My company doesn't even bother opening up IT (or most engineering) jobs up to the domestic market: they hire straight from India.

I actually get the sense that they prefer to hire people who have graduated in India rather than people who come here on student VISA's. Someone who comes here on a student VISA has explored a bit of the country, and is going to at least adopt the American attitude of seeking a competitive wage, living condition, work location, etc. Someone coming here at age 30 or 40 with no language skills will be the ultimate servile employee.

Anonymous said...

"Someone coming here at age 30 or 40 with no language skills will be the ultimate servile employee."

It's about a company maximizing its profits and minimizing its costs. Capitalism at its finest. What, you think that if we shut off the immigration spicket that the employers are going to pay native workers what they are worth?

Silly goose...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, pal, re-writing the law to legalize a company's rent-seeking interests is not capitalism.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid, buddy, that you are sadly mistaken, companies that seek to re-write laws for their interest is what capitalism is all about.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism is about free trade. When one attempts to usurp power for the purpose of re-writing laws to favor them has stepped over into communism.

Read your history.

Anonymous said...

Like a rapid dog foaming at the mouth, a fool trots out "communism" without any regard to its meaning or application.

Communism is where the state controls the economic means of production, i.e. major businesses are under the jurisdiction of the government. The process by which a company trying to influence lawmakers to pass favorable legislation is NOT a byproduct of communism, but capitalism.

The glory days of this process occurred in the late 1800's as captains of industry (John Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt) used limited government to their advantage by ensuring favorable legislation to maximize profit.

Now, laws have been put in place to curb those past abuses, but other means have been employed to procure the desired effect. Choosing its own workforce and paying them what the market dictates--aka capitalism--is what made America great, right?

Again, if you think that stricter immigration laws are going to encourage companies in the United States to pay workers higher wages, especially in the STEM industry, you are a fool.

Know your history, indeed.