Friday, September 01, 2006

More "Skills and Education" Propaganda

This morning, I watched a television "news" report on the economic/jobs situation which discussed recent trends favoring greater accumulations of wealth among narrower segments of our society while a larger number of Americans (and Virginians) struggled with stagnant wages and salaries. Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute appeared briefly in this report and I found his comments helpful.

However, this report and many others are repeating a FALSE claim that the better educated and highly skilled American workers are benefitting or holding their own in this economy. (This is the standard line of George Bush and George Allen and the corporatist spinmeisters who favor offshore outsourcing, "free trade" and unregulated corporate domination of our economy and politics.)

EPI has noted the adverse effects of offshore outsourcing on American white collar jobs – especially information technology jobs such as software engineering. Widening BPO offshore outsourcing practices by major corporations are placing additional downward pressure on incomes, threatening job stability and erroding employment opportunities for wider categories of white collar workers – people who are indeed highly educated and skilled.

So, the thrust of this news report and many others are misleading. American white collar workers are losing their jobs and employment opportunities. They face downward pressure on wages. And, American white collar workers face a situation which blue collar workers do not face: a growing wave of “non-immigrant visa” workers from lower wage nations such as India who enter the U.S. under H-1b and L-1 NIV programs.

These foreign "NIV workers" are increasingly used by corporations in the U.S. to fill the jobs which educated and skilled American workers could and should fill. The laws and regulations re. the use of these workers are written for the benefit of corporations with no “labor test” provisions to ensure actual labor shortages exist and no prohibition on using these NIV workers as replacements – often facilitators of offshore outsourcing.


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