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05 June 2015


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different clue


No matter how carefully any tightening-up of the law were written, it would be successfully gamed by Big Corporate Bussiness's multibillion dollar stable of lawyers who are skilled at bending the law till it cracks very badly without quite breaking.

The only way to stop this practice would be to abolish the program and the visas and accept that a side effect of such banning would be to go without any particular skilled people we didn't already have until we could train them up ourselves.



I had made this point before, but the notion that we are behind other countries in STEM education is BS. I know a lot of math and physics PhD's and very few of them work in math or physics. They write apps, do computations for financial firms, and various other programming work. These jobs do pay pretty well, but their technical requirements are nothing more than what a good college graduate can do. The 5-10 years these folks spent on PhD's and postdocs are wasted--and they are taking jobs away from good college graduates who have to go to graduate schools and take low paying postdocs instead--and yes, many of them are being displaced by cheaper imported technical labor, precisely because the technical requirements are not very high! If you ask me, we don't need any more STEM graduates. Heck, we don't have enough jobs as is for STEM graduates that we have that are appropriate for their training.

Richard Armstrong

Cerner here in Kansas City did the exact same thing about 10 years ago. The important thing to remember is that in order for American business to succeed it must have a middle-class which to whom they can sell their products."

It just doesn't have to be an American middle-class.

different clue

If you are referring to Karl Marx, he absoulutely supported it. He felt that once everyone had hit the absolute bottom, with a capitalist class at the absolute top; then the absolute bottom would overthrow the absolute top and launch the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to take society on the Scientific Socialist road to Communism.

Marx supported Free Trade. Here is an article about that.


Thanks for this. I also taught business ethics plus straight ethics and ancient Greek philosophy for a number of years. This is one of the best quotes I have read so I looked it up. I found this crediting it to Justice Potter Stewart: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/potterstew390058.html

I do not mean to quibble or niggle. If you have a credit to Justice Black, please pass it on; be well.


This story and numerous others like it are one of the biggest reasons I want the US govt. to stop messing around overseas. One of the reasons for that is to distract folks here from their activities here with some BS taking place over there. The battle needs to be fought here in the US, not in some third world hell hole or in Ukraine.

What passes for "free trade" combined with immigration, legal and illegal, are issues joined at the hips.

There's a load of information on this globalist crap at vdare.com.

A belated best to you Colonel for your birthday. May you have many more.


" The 5-10 years these folks spent on PhD's and postdocs are wasted--and they are taking jobs away from good college graduates who have to go to graduate schools and take low paying postdocs instead"

The PhDs or Engineers (I even know someone who had a degree in fashion design!) who work in IT usually do so because if one has a decent aptitude for technical thinking, they can make a killing in IT. They are definitely not replacing any college graduates with degrees in information/computer science who themselves have it pretty good. There is a serious shortage of skills to the point that organizations/companies routinely overlook qualification requirement to get anyone onboard who can show they can do the job.

Babak Makkinejad

"The Snow Crash" - Neal Stephenson.



What "evidence" Hank, other than you arguing by assertion? There is plenty of evidence out there, unless you're a bought economist shill for the WSJ. Hell, look at this story. Youre playing fast and loose with terms so you're going to get crucified on details. Overwhelmingly foreigners were the ones getting jobs v native Americans.

Put down the pipe.



The job postings that can be used for hiring H1-B must offer a salary equal or more than level determined by department of labor for that job. These "minimum prevailing wages" do differ from state to state but are no where near 30K in overwhelming majority.

You can use this link to check the prevailing wage levels determined by DOL for various states

As an example, here is the prevailing wage for Mobile, Alabama

Your search returned the following: Print Format

Area Code:33660
Area Title:Mobile, AL MSA

OES/SOC Code:15-1132
OES/SOC Title:Software Developers, Applications
Level 1 Wage:$27.24 hour - $56,659 year
Level 2 Wage:$31.02 hour - $64,522 year
Level 3 Wage:$34.81 hour - $72,405 year
Level 4 Wage:$38.59 hour - $80,267 year
Mean Wage (H-2B):$34.80 hour - $72,384 year

Babak Makkinejad

That is the universal curse of the education which is plaguing every country in the world.

Especially in credentials-oriented countries; one has an over-abundance of advanced degrees obtained by people who should not be there - for career advancement rather than the love of the subject.

Medieval Muslim universities did not issue degrees or certificates or diplomas.

And they were far better at deciding whom to keep and whom to send to a village to become their mullah.

At that time, a university attendance and a certificate were not entitlements for a "Just, Progressive, Democratic" society.



You can call me cynical but I have a hypothesis that I encourage you to add to your collection of Makinejad thesis. Muslim scholars, scientists and thinkers did not belong to their culture. They were outliers and existed as an anomaly while the "Islamic tradition" was busy tying its loose ends. Once the traditionalists had completed their work and turned their attention to free thinkers, there was not going to be any other outcome but the annihilation of free thought.

Reminiscing about those individuals and their achievements is at best what in Urdu is described using a borrowed Persian phrase as "pidram sultan bood".

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, the thinkers were outliers, almost all Shia Muslims of different stripes and those who were Sunni Muslims such as Ibn Hazim, Ibn Khaldun, and Ibn Rushd all hailed from Maghreb.

Those thinkers, however, remained part of the Seljuk Synthesis - even though they were dead to all Muslims outside of old Seljuk Empire's boundaries.



Most of the "techy" jobs do not require much by means of serious "technical" skills. Computer programming, especially, is a rather menial work: as you yourself note, lit majors and even high school dropouts can do this work with a few years' focused training. You don't really need STEM training at a higher level to do a lot of it. In fact, the best, cost-effective way to address the shortages in these fields would not be to get people to go to college, but to create loads of low cost job training programs based around existing infrastructure (high schools themselves and junior colleges). Yet, no one is doing this. Instead, students are insistently told that they need four-year degrees that does them no good whatsoever other than burden them with debt. This makes no sense.

This is not true just in US: Italy, Greece, and Spain are full of jobless college graduates. The countries that have done well economically, especially Germany and Finland, have very few college "grads," although their education systems allow for effective and focused vocational training. I repeat my point: "STEM" is way overrated. Technical job training does not require high-powered "science." We are forcing many to waste much time and money for useless degrees. It is good that many, after having wasted years, will have acquired technical tools as an aside, but if all you do is to code in python, you didn't need to learn quantum electrodynamics to get there.

Babak Makkinejad


I learnt Quantum Electrodynamics but declined to learn Python - did not think - and do not think - it is of much use on Windows platform although those UNIX weeneies love all things scripted; "Write once, read never, hire us again to change it".

Computer programming requires innate mathematical skills - since computer programs are mathematical objects. Not every one can become one - no matter how credentialed they are.


From the you or My Lying Eyes Department:

Attached below is an LCA filed by HCL for some of the H-1B replacements at BofA/Exult. The salary for the H-1B workers is $39,184, about half of what the people they replaced made. So how can HCL claim they are paying the prevailing wage?
The first step used here in the wage depression process is to call the H-1B workers generic "systems analysts". So instead of using the
higher-than-average wage for the specialized skills of Oracle and PeopleSoft, the employer uses the wage for systems analysts as a whole.

Read more:http://www.programmersguild.org/archives/howtounderpay.htm


"Most of the "techy" jobs do not require much by means of serious "technical" skills. Computer programming, especially, is a rather menial work"

You completely lost me there. There is this idea among people who are not in IT industry that programming is trivial work based on their own limited experience with writing "hello world" type of programs in school. Even the complicated software that is created at graduate/post graduate level does not even begin to approach the level of complexity that exists in software that goes through the life cycle at enterprise level. A developer working in an organization may appear a menial worker in trenches to you but in reality is someone taking first step to becoming an application architect. Developers have to understand and be part of a complicated software development life cycle involving people process and technologies which are anything but predictable and repeatable despite the best efforts to achieve that nirvana. I have not seen any organization i have worked with, reaching that nirvana in my 10 years of experience.

A developer needs to understand the "design language" of architects. A developer needs to deal with various processes and procedures. And it is not just application that they deal with but there is this whole "other side" for them called "Data" which comes with its own mind bending and mind boggling considerations. I work on this "other side" and i have a lot of appreciation for the work developers do to develop and maintain software.

I do not think "any" "Lit majors" and "high school" drop outs can do this kind of work. However anyone who has decent technical aptitude for understanding algorithms and problem solving can over a period of time. What i was trying to convey to you was the fact that due to dearth of skilled workers with right qualifications, companies are down to the point where they don't even bother about asking for degrees and are content with anyone who display right kind of technical aptitude and problem solving talent. This is more like a crises than a norm.


If you know one programming language and are clear on abstraction used in programming languages then you can very easily learn to program in most other languages.

Python is the favorite child of geneticists working on treasure trove of genetic data. I helped someone write a program for calculating k-mers and found it to be quite easy to learn and understand and very flexible. I can understand the preference people have for it.


I disagree with you on this Seljuk Synthesis theory.
The start of "Islamic enlightenment" is situated during abbasid period.
Seljuk rule barely lasted hundred and fifty years. The fact that it took ~60 years for Suljek rule to peak, cuts down the potential core formative period for your speculative synthesis to happen down to almost hundred years. This is a very short period of time to have sowed the seed for any technological awakening.

In my opinion the reasons which lead to technological advancement are well covered in this piece


ex-PFC Chuck

Are the Republicans hypocritical? Of course they are, and deeply so. But so are the Democrats but more subtly, and thus insidiously so. At least a considerable portion of the Republicans who attain Congressional office these days have a vision of where they want to take our country. I vehemently disagree with it since that vision is the dysfunctional spawn of the puritanism that was discussed at length in Wednesday's Tierney/Atlantic post and subsequent thread. That's not to say that the leaders of the theocratic base of the party aren't cynical enough to ally with the Wall Street wing. They are, and in the process they sell out the economic interests of that base. But ever since the people of the Democratic Leadership Council wrested dominant control of their party's power levers a generation ago, the leaders of the Congressional Democrats have been selling out to Wall Street as well. Both parties have the same Wall Street wing!

The people in the theocratic segment of the Republican base accept their leaders' support of the Wall Street agenda as a tradeoff for quid pro quo support of their own agenda.* But that is no match for the deep cynicism and hypocrisy of the DC Democratic Party leaders, who sell out to Wall Street all the while deliberately misleading their base into believing that theirs is still the party of the working person and the middle class family. The leaders know that bills on the Wall Street agenda will get overwhelming support on the Republican side of the aisles, so they whip for just enough support to put them over the top. So they literally pass out assignments of who should vote yea on which bills. This way what their constituents regard as black marks on their individual voting records are distributed so that none of them have a lot. They'll also pass around the whipping jobs. Current case in point, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. He's been his party's point man in opposition to the pervasive surveillance so passionately desired by the Wall Street Wing. But he was also the point man who whipped the Democratic votes needed to get Senate approval of the bill granting Fast Track status to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its' companion sovereignty surrender agreements.**

But the Democratic base is wising up. By “base” I don't mean the party activists who knock on doors and man call centers. I mean the Joe and Jane Lunchpails and their white collar – scratch that – business casual counterparts who have historically voted Democrat mainly because they viewed the party as supporting their economic interests. In 2010 and 2014, and to a lesser extent in 2012, many of them voted with their butts – by sitting on them on election day.

When it comes the early 21st century United States federal politics, neither party has a monopoly on hypocrisy and cynicism.

* For some reason even when the GOP controls both houses of Congress and the White House the theocrats don't get very much of what they want. But what the heck maybe Lucy won't pull the football away from Charlie Browns kicking toe the next time.

** If you oppose Fast Track for the so-called trade agreements, please call your representative in the House, regardless of party. There's considerable opposition from the libertarians on the Republican side of the aisle, but they need to know they've got some support in their districts. As for the Democrats, there's nearly unanimous opposition but Obama, Pelosi and company are whipping so hard it's said you can occasionally hear forearms snapping. Rumor is they're trying to find 30 votes in support.

Medicine Man

I've heard people claim that Marx made some pretty accurate observations about the dangerous flaws of capitalism as a guiding principle, but that his ideas for remedies were bloody insane. It sounds like there may be some truth to this.


It seems as if nearly every Republican in Congress and talking head supports H1-B workers and war against Iran. I say this is as a live-long Republican and paleo-con, it would be better for the U.S. and the world if the GOP were relegated to the dustbin of history.



When was this post made? The form expiration date i see on the top right corner is 30 June 2002. I was attending school at that time and remember the industry was coming out of the whole IT bubble burst. When i graduated in 2005 the minimum prevailing wage was in +50K if i recall correctly. It has now gone up to ~72K.



I noticed one more thing on the flcdatacenter site. They have maintained history of prevailing wages since 2001. When you select North Carolina for state and click "continue" the top most drop down named "data source" will show you a list of years from 2001 to 2014. When i searched for "Systems Analyst" for year 2002 it returns three categories but only applies to Mecklenberg County
OES/SOC Title: Computer Systems Analysts

Level 1 Wage: $19.83 hour - $41,246 year
Level 2 Wage: $33.47 hour - $69,618 year
GeoLevel: 1

The Level 1 Wage does match the wage listed on your form but it seems like they were not taking mean wages for determining prevailing wage back then.

For 2014 here is what i found:
Area Code:16740
Area Title:Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC MSA
OES/SOC Code:15-1121
OES/SOC Title:Computer Systems Analysts
Level 1 Wage:$29.09 hour - $60,507 year
Level 2 Wage:$35.85 hour - $74,568 year
Level 3 Wage:$42.61 hour - $88,629 year
Level 4 Wage:$49.37 hour - $102,690 year
Mean Wage (H-2B):$42.61 hour - $88,629 year


One of the worst lying scum I ever encountered taught business ethics. I am sure he is an aberration, who as so many others did not do what he said.

However, mentioning Disney and ethics in the same paragraph has many problems. They bent the rules from the beginning, as they amassed real estate in Central Florida.

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