When IT Pros talk
We discussed the fact that there's now a full-scale propaganda campaign underway for expansion of the H-1b high tech cheap labor visa program. Newspaper editorials, one-sided news reports, and agressive lobbying by pro-outsourcing groups (such as Harris Miller's ITAA) are all in evidence. Bill Gates and other IT execs have been to Capital Hill warning about high tech skilled labor shortages which will undermine the U.S. tech industry unless foreign (low wage) workers are allowed to fill these jobs.
We look upon these campaigns with the cynicism of hard experience living the reality that IT workers face: continual layoffs due to offshore outsourcing and the steady replacement of American workers with low wage foreign workers in the U.S. The short of it is that Gates, Miller and the IT execs clamoring for more cheap foreign labor are lying bastards. We know better and we are increasingly convinced that the media knows better too and is in bed with the lobbyists. This leaves the politicians; many choice opinions of politicians were offered...
My fellow engineer has many years of experience in IT and works for a Fortune 500 defense industry aerospace corporation. He reports that a number of IT workers have recently been let go but the company appears to be "pacing" the layoffs, calling them "furloughs" and giving people 60 days to find new internal jobs or seek work elsewhere. All the better for the company if people find themselves positions elsewhere rather than showing up at the state unemployment office all at once in a group...
We discussed Harris Miller of course... My friend is likewise strongly opposed to the offshore outsourcing policies which Miller has so effectively advanced as a lobbyist for the ITAA. From our view, there are no comparable white collar jobs being created for the IT workers being let go in IT or any other area. The overall number of white collar job opportunities seems to be shrinking. This, of course, is what Paul Craig Roberts says in his regular analyses of the BLS job reports...(I thought it would be fun for Miller and Dr. Roberts to debate the issue but I'm afraid Harris would run away as he has so far on the outsourcing debate in this campaign.)
It's an altogether dismal situation to be in. We both wondered if people will ever wake up to the fact that the U.S. economy is hollow: the best middle class jobs are gone or disappearing whether industrial or "post-industrial" jobs in high technology fields. (All the traditional white collar back office jobs are disappearing too; there's no safety there just increasing job losses.) The offshore outsourcing and worker replacement programs are destroying the American middle class and the ability of the U.S. to create any export products in services or industrial goods.
We did both agree that this sort of downward slide cannot be corrected unless we change political leadership and elect people like Jim Webb to high public office.