• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Propertius on The Iron Lady’s first impressi…
    Propertius on The Iron Lady’s first impressi…
    Propertius on The Iron Lady’s first impressi…
    Propertius on Why is something so easy so di…
    jmac on Why is something so easy so di…
    William on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Beata on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Beata on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Beata on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    William on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Beata on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    jmac on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Propertius on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Propertius on Artificial Intelligence and It…
    Propertius on Yet another reason to teach im…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    December 2012
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 19, 2023
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 19, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Global power shift China Leads A Successful Middle East Summit Ian Welsh, March 16, 2023 Something which has slipped past most people’s radar is that China recently acted as the intermediary for peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two countries have been at each other’s throats f […]
  • Top Posts

The foreign STEM worker’s revenge

Note: Corrente is having an end-of-year fundraiser!  Check it out.  They are some really decent people over at Corrente including Lambert, DCBlogger, Letsgetitdone and CoyoteCreek.  There are some people who make me think, “bloggers, you can’t live without them and you can’t give them a wedgie.”.  But that’s all good, right?  How much fun would blogging be if it was all just one big echo chamber and no one disagreed or raised their voices?  It would be like spending eternity with a bunch of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  So, keep your blogosphere JW free and contribute to Corrente today!


Avedon Carol posted this today:

Congress Betrays The U.S. STEM Worker Once Again: “The House of Representatives is out to destroy the American Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Professional. Republicans passed H.R. 6429 with the oxymoron title, STEM Jobs Act of 2012. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and this bill gives 55,000 foreigners a year who graduate from an American university with a Masters or PhD in these fields an employment sponsored green card. ” They’d rather have guest workers rather than Americans in jobs.

Avedon, thank you so much for being one of the first bloggers on the left who even acknowledges that there are about 100,000 unemployed, highly trained STEM professionals who are out of work right now.  I have been trying to get through to some of thick skulls on our side of the aisle for almost 4 years now and they have either been in denial or lifted their snooty liberal noses in the air because they don’t like what we do for a living, i.e. save their asses with our research.

But it’s not the Green Card holders I’m worried about.  It’s the people who come here on HIB visas who can only work here as long as their companies sponsor them.  I have known people who worked in research for years who couldn’t get a green card.  Once their companies laid them off, they had to go back to their country of origin even if they had settled down and bought houses and had excellent work records.  Even *with* a green card, a researcher is at risk of being sent home if the green card is narrowly restricted.  For example, a green card holder might be able to get one to work only in the particular position for which they were hired.  If their company lays them off, they have to find a similar position or they can’t work in this country. They can’t just become a greeter at Walmart. If they can’t find an almost identical job within a certain period of time, they have to start the application process all over again, which means going back home, going on parole, all kinds of unpleasant and economically disastrous things.

By the way, here is a word of warning to the visa holders out there who applied for a green card years ago but whose company bureaucracy seems to be sitting on the application.  If you can’t get them to move on your application it’s probably because the company isn’t planning to keep your site open.  But they can’t come right out and say that because that might induce panic at the site.  So, instead, your application sits in no-man’s land.  They’re planning to milk you for all you’re worth and then lay you off.  What happens to you after that is YOUR problem.  Get your affairs in order and don’t buy that house.

I don’t know whether Congress is going to fix this.  You’re absolutely right that we don’t need to further cripple the ability of American STEM workers to find jobs. Right now, there isn’t a shortage.  Nope, not even a little bit.  We are fairly bursting at the seams with over educated, technically proficient STEM professionals who are all dressed up with no place to go.  The companies whine about a skills gap that is non-existent.  What I and my fellow unemployed STEM professionals have found is that these companies want a person straight out of school with 25 years of experience.  In other words, they desperately need experienced people but they have no intention of paying for it.  So, they are assuming that cheap foreign grad students will be able to pick up the slack and if it doesn’t work out, well, it’s only a green card. Let them try to find work at another company.  That will keep them from getting notions of dignity above their station.  Right?  You know I am.

But here’s the thing, Avedon.  I know many, many foreign researchers who come here, get a Green Card and as quickly as possible, convert that to citizenship, which is how it should work.  We should welcome the people who intend to stay.  Then, they become ferocious tiger parents and their kids graduate at the top of their classes.  But those kids are just as likely to go compete for jobs – on Wall Street.

Yep.  In fact, those Chinese, Indian and Russian graduate students in molecular biology and physics could be the brand new recruits for Goldman Sachs.  It’s not unheard of.  I know several people who decided that research was unrewarding and economically unstable.  No one appreciates what we do. They decided to leave science to get into hedge funds.  And their kids are going to go where the money is. I already know many Asian parents who are steering their children in that direction. The “Jahb creators” might think of them stereotypically as hard working, no drama Chinese (they greatly underestimate them) but they are not naive pushovers.

And why shouldn’t Lloyd Blankfein replace his little group of overpaid WASPs to work the front office when he’ll have more than enough brilliant, aggressive recruits who not only speak perfectly unaccented English but a fair bit of Mandarin too?  Talk about asymmetric information, you have no idea how much you’re missing until you’re surrounded by the Chinese underground every day.

So, while I’m not happy about this bill, because the premise upon which it is built, that we need more STEM workers, is absolutely not true.  But if they’re coming, I’d rather give them a green card with zero restrictions than a visa.  And then, I’m just going to sit back and watch them take over the world.


As for the Congresspeople and Senators who voted for this stupid bill that will keep many Americans, including naturalized Asian American researchers, out of work permanently, I think we STEM workers should compile a list of names.  Maybe some of us should run against you or at least point our fingers in your direction and proclaim loudly to everyone we know and our children that you put us out of work and killed American science by giving in to the greedy lobbyists who have no appreciation for what it means to do actual research.

Now, can we talk about who clueless twit Marcia Angell is working for?

17 Responses

  1. The bill has not been voted on but has a sponsor, Lamar Smith of Texas, and 68 co-sponsors. The co-sponsors are listed on Thomas (thomas.loc.gov) The loc stands for “library of congress.”

    None of the sponsors or co-sponsors are from New Jersey and all but one is a Republican. The lone “Democrat” is Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas.

    One of the co-sponsors was elected to the US Senate (Jeff Flake of Arizona) and one was elected Governor of Indiana (Mike Pence. Five are retiring at the end of this session but are sticking it to American workers on their way out (David Dreier, Elton Gallegly, Wally Herger, Tim Johnson, Sue Myrick). Ann Marie Buerkle (NY), Dan Lungren (CA), lost in the general election to Democrats and Don Manzullo (IL) lost a primary to another Republican incumbent.

    The rest are still around in the House.

    Btw, two Republicans quit today to take higher paying jobs in the lobbying/propaganda industry (House member Jo Ann Emerson will run the Rural Electrification lobby) and Senator Jim DeMint (Heritage Foundation).

    • Did they quit or were they slated to leave any way in 2013?

      • One of them was just halfway through 2nd term.

        • Well, I doubt that they’re afraid of Obama so it must be the incoming Democrats that are making them squeemish. Of course, the Democrats have let us down in the past but I’m betting that the proposed changes to the filibuster rule has them thinking that being pain in the ass obstructionists is going to be a bit more obvious next term.

          • I think it’s the dough. They’re going to be getting HUGE paychecks with their new jobs.

            OO — I did donate to Corrente. Thank you for the reminder!

          • Money or not, the timing is the dead giveaway.

          • it’s the dough…why wait for a term to be over… that’s an arbitrary distinction anymore

            I wish I thought the Dem would do anything and even if they tried ,Obama will do an end game
            around them.They won’t be invited to the meetings .

            They were not even allowed any time whatsoever for thier beloved kabuki hang wringing and crocodile tears as they cave yet again shtick these last 4 years .

  2. The Weasel Elite wants Mercedes performance for a Yugo price. 😡

    (Anyone else remember the Yugo? I never drove one; I just remember their being mentioned.) :mrgreen:

  3. Will Nancy Pelosi have enough spine or brains to put up a fight?

    Or, will this be an “Impeachment is off the table” moment. Nothing worse (stupid) than a San Francisco Liberal they keep putting her in office.

  4. A friend who lives in VT just told me the town’s employees were just fired and told to apply for thier jobs along with the public in Jan

    welcome to the new normal

    there’s more job security in a strip club

    I see PURE MI passed the right to work for pittance ” law”

    I use quote there cause there ain’t no law

    • It’s going to be a dangerous time to be an employee from now until the new pols are sworn in. Republicans have a limited time to enact their agendas.

      • Indeed…but it’s not just Repugs sadly. My Dem mayor is about get busy. We were told to expect unpaid “furloughs” , that is, lock outs of a week here a week there…never a string long enough for unemployment to kick in of course. How do you explain ” furloughs” to the gas company

    • I am “out of town”. Did both MI houses pass it and did Governor Snyder sign it? If so, then it is enacted into law.

  5. Then there is the L-1, H-2B & TN-1 visas ~ 500-700,000/yr

    FYI, the number of L-1 visa holders in the USA is estimated to be about six or seven times the number of H-1B’s.

    From NAFTA we got TN Visas which are unlimited “professional” Visas from Mexico and Canada…and yeah, they only work for Canadian and Mexican professionals, every US job seeker in Canada must prove that nobody in Canada wants the job…good luck with that.

    Then there’s is the endemic age discrimination in hi-tech, legalized by the Supremes re-writing congressional law into unenforceable gibberish.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: