Monday, July 28, 2014

Ted Rall Sells Out

The cartoonist and editorialist Ted Rall has long been one of the better non-corporate cartoonists and political commentators.  A little while back he wrote a column entitled “Immigration Reform is Treason”, where he courageously fought against the cheap-labor lobby to argue the old-fashioned liberal/progressive view that an excessively high rate of immigration has one purpose only, and that is to drive wages for the many down so that profits for the few can increase.

However, as of July 28, 2014, Ted Rall has officially sold out.  I don’t suppose I can blame him, after all, money is tight and with all these third-world refugees flooding in it’s hard to get a job.  I don’t know how he sold out.  Maybe he just caved in to peer pressure and rationalized it all away.  Maybe he was threatened with being blacklisted at his few remaining paying sites.  Maybe he was actually offered a bribe.  I don’t know, and don’t really care.

The following are, in my humble and extremely personal opinion, the major lies in his most recent piece, and my responses.

Lie #1. We don’t need to worry about letting in all those immigrant ‘kids’ because it would only increase our population density from 84 people/square mile to 84.02 people per square mile.

Reality: we are not talking about a few thousand unaccompanied ‘kids’.  We are mostly talking about adults, and accompanied minors.  Many of the ‘minors’ are certainly lying about their ages, and calling a 17-year old MS13 drug gang member a ‘kid’ seems deceptive.  The meme of the lost innocent child is propaganda.

We are talking about a massive ongoing increase that will swamp the country.  One of the chief deceptions that the advocates of massive immigration use is that we don’t need to worry about it because the numbers are so small and it will stop soon anyhow.

In 1965 Senator Ted Kennedy promised that unleashing third-world chain migration would only increase the total population of the United States by a net of about 4,000.  We are past 80 million people and still climbing. 

Recall how just a little while ago we kept hearing that we didn’t need to worry about illegal immigration because it was going to stop soon?  Yeah, that worked out.  Hear any apologies from the people who made these claims?  Didn’t think so.  That’s because they never meant a word of it.

The current lack of enforcement at the southern border is part of a larger picture.  We are talking about hundreds of thousands of illegals just walking over the border no questions asked and being given permanent resident status this year, and next year likely millions, and more after that.  This is in addition to record legal immigration, illegal immigration by Mexicans who cross legally and then just stay, record ‘refugee’ programs, record H1B and other ‘guest’ visa programs, etc.  And all of these third-world refugees have dozens of starving relatives back home who will come here as soon as the vanguard gets established.  And they will all have kids that must be counted in the total as well (look up ‘demographic momentum’ on wikpedia).

No Mr. Rall, we are not talking about trivial numbers.  We are talking about setting in motion a population explosion that will push the population explosion past a billion well before the century is out.

Lie #2. Countries like the UK and Switzerland have high population densities, and they are OK, so we don’t have to worry about adding more people.

First, be careful what examples you pick, Mr. Rall.  Recent third-world immigration has boosted the UKs population density to the highest in Western Europe, and has resulted in great downwards pressure on UK living standards.  For example, old people die in increasing numbers in the UK winters because they can’t afford to heat their homes.  Past a certain point more people = lower wages + higher resource costs.   Outside of the posh districts in London, much of the UK is becoming poorer and poorer.  Hardly a poster child for jamming in more people not being an issue.

Update: if Britain were to join the United States, then based on the physical standard of living (how much you can actually buy on an average wage) it would be the poorest state in the union.

The bottom line: with ever more third-world refugees being jammed into a small island, now malnutrition and chronic hunger are stalking the UK. And the trend is not up.  So much for high population densities being a non-issue.   Mr. Rall, you are a corrupt bastard.  No offense, just stating the obvious.

But the main objection here is that Mr. Rall confuses the population density with the rate of increase.  Economists from Malthus to Mills to Keynes and beyond have known that is it primarily the RATE of increase, not the population density.  Western Europe is still not that bad (for now – jam in another few hundred million refugees and that won’t last), but it took centuries for them to adapt and to build up the systems to handle it.  But try and take the United States to that population density in 20 – 30 years?  We don’t have the money to make the needed capital investments even if our elites were willing to make these investments (and they aren't).

Look at Japan.  Before WWII, Japan industrialized faster than any nation in history – but with a high fertility rate, it wasn’t fast enough to keep up, and by the eve of WWII Japan was on the brink of starvation and collapse.  After WWII the fertility rate fell, and THEN the Japanese slowly accumulated wealth and became reasonably prosperous.  The population density of Japan today is higher than it was a century ago – but so what?  The rate of population growth is very much lower, which has allowed even modest economic growth to add up to something decent.

Here’s another example: imagine you live in a modest house.  I force you to accept 30 random strangers to live with you and share all that you have, and I say that this cannot possibly hurt your living standards because luxury high-rise condominiums exist.  So what?  Yes, luxury high rise condominiums exist, but adding 30 random strangers to your house won’t automatically turn it into one.  That would be a hard and slow process, and require adequate resources and tools (whose presence is not guaranteed by all these new people: quite the opposite, as increasing the demands of feeding people today reduces resources that can be invested into new housing etc).  And if by the time you have increased the dwelling space to accommodate an extra 30 bodies, I have added 100 more?  You can’t keep up.  It doesn’t work.  For societies without an open frontier, it has never worked.

There is another point that needs to be made clear: while classically it is the rate of population growth, the population density does matter, especially for larger countries.  A single Switzerland or Singapore can trade for resources, because the absolute number of people is small.  A United State with the population density of the UK would have billions of people – who would we trade with for resources?

In the United States, the population density of New York City is high, but that’s mostly OK because most of the country is like Kansas.  Does that mean that we can fill the entire country up with a uniform population density of New York City?  I don’t think so.

As the global population increases, it’s going to be increasingly hard for countries to trade finished goods for food, because there will be more and more people producing finished goods and less and less food to trade for.  Eliminating our resource abundance to jam in ever more people is indeed treason, especially now

Lie #3. We don’t have to worry about immigration because in the past immigration has resulted in economic expansions.

So bloody what?  The track record that most people care about is this: in the past, times of high immigration have resulted in poverty for the many and riches for the few, and vice versa.  ‘Economic booms’ be damned. 

In the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, the United States had very low levels of legal immigration, and because the law was enforced illegal immigration was effectively zero. Wages and living standards soared.  Starting around 1970 the borders to the overpopulated third-world have been progressively opened, and wages have first stagnated and are now declining.  Duh.

If Switzerland were turned into India, this would indeed increase the size of its economy, and make the rich boatloads of cash, but the average Swiss would have a standard of living lower than dark-ages Europeans.  So bloody what?  You telling me that would be a good thing?  (Well, the sociopathic CEO of Facebook seems to think so).

Lie #4. We don’t have to worry about immigration because the United States has lots of empty space.

Third-world countries don’t run out of empty space.  They run out of capital and resources.  For example, a lot of California is empty mountains.  But the rain that falls on those mountains is critical.  California is currently having a major water shortage, even though rainfall has been within historical norms, because of massive recent immigration-induced population increases.  California is literally running out of ‘empty’ mountains!

Would you say that, because so much of California is ‘empty’, the population of that state could therefore be increased to a billion and they would not run short of water?  Sure, you could physically fit a billion people into California, that would not be so hard.  You just would not be able to provide them with fresh water, food, timber, electricity, etc.  

Shame on you , Ted Rall.  I expected better.

I think that I will accuse of you being a racist, not because you are, but because turnabout is fair play.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions on Immigration

I lifted the following from the official web site of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (for link see bottom - as this is a public speech by a public figure it should not be covered by copyright).  It is so clear, and so rational, that I though that I would just repost it.  It's a transcript of a speech that he recently gave from the Senate floor.  Contrast this with the corporate whores who are reduced to jingoism and slander.  From the mouths of Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi etc.etc. we get no logic, we get no specifics - only "America Needs Immigration Reform!' and 'The Tea Party is Creating Gridlock!' and 'America is a nation of immigrants and therefore we must act!'  
Funny how they dodge the specifics of what they are really pushing for: 'We need to jam hundreds of millions of additional people into the nation so wages can be driven down to third-world levels and Bill Gates can be even richer!'  Of course that doesn't sound too good, so we only hear about 'reform' and 'action' and 'getting things done.'
When a politician keeps pushing for 'reform' and shying away from the specifics, you know that you are being swindled.  Doubly so when he or she accuses their opponents of racism...
If I were to criticize Senator Sessions, it would be that be focuses too much on the fraction of the population that is native born, instead of the real issue, which is the total increase in population due to current immigration policy (look up 'demographic momentum' on wikipedia: the current flood of third-world refugees is just a down-payment on a much larger increase in population to come).  
But that's a quibble.  Here are Senator Session's words: judge for yourself.
“Madam President, three of our greatest `masters of the universe'—as I like to refer to them—have joined in an op-ed in the New York Times just last week to share their wisdom from on high and to tell us in Congress how to do our business and to conduct immigration reform they think should be pleasing to them. I am sure other super billionaires would be glad to join with these three super billionaires and could agree on legislation that would be acceptable to them.
Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas casino magnate and Republican supporter; Warren Buffett, the master investor; and Bill Gates, the master founder of Microsoft computer systems, all super billionaires, apparently aren't happy. They don't have much respect for Congress and, by indirection, the people who elect people to Congress, it appears from the tone of their article—you know, American people, that great unwashed group; nativists, narrow-minded patriots, possessors of middle-class values. They just don't understand as we know, we great executives and entrepreneurs.
So they declare we need to import more foreign workers in computer science, technology, and engineering, because the country is ‘badly in need of their services.’ They say we are badly in need of importing large numbers of STEM graduates. That is something we have all heard and many of us have perhaps assumed is an accurate thing.
These three individuals, all generous men, have contributed to a lot of causes, and I am teasing them a little bit. They didn't mind sticking it to Congress, so I just tease them and push back a little bit.
They particularly praised the Senate for its elimination of any limits on the number of work visas that could be awarded to immigrants who have a degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and have a job offer.
This is the op-ed in the New York Times last Thursday: ‘Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates on Immigration Reform.’
What did we see in the newspaper today? News from Microsoft—was it that they are having to raise wages to try to get enough good, quality engineers to do the work? Are they expanding or are they hiring? No, that is not what the news was, unfortunately. Not at all.  
This is the headline in USA Today: ‘Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs over next year.’
‘Microsoft confirmed it will cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, part of the tech titan's efforts to streamline its business under a new CEO.’
That is a significant action. Indeed, Microsoft employs about 125,000 people, and they are laying off 18,000. The company laid off 5,000 in 2009. Yet their founder and former leader, Mr. Gates, says we have to have more and more people come into our country to take those kinds of jobs.
It is pretty interesting, really. We need to be thinking about what it all means and ask ourselves: What is the situation today for American graduates of STEM degrees and technology degrees? Do we have enough? And do we need to have people come to our country to take those jobs? Or, indeed, do we not have a shortage of workers, and do we have difficulty of people finding jobs?
These are some of the facts I think we should look at. President Obama, Senate Democrats, and House Democrats have endorsed a proposal, a bill that passed the Senate, that would double the H-1B foreign workers that come into America for one reason—not to be a citizen, not to stay indefinitely, but to take a job, double the number, to come to take a job for several years. The great majority of these guest workers are not farm workers. They take jobs throughout the economy.  
So how should we think about this? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that three-fourths of Americans with STEM degrees—science, technology, engineering, mathematics—don't have jobs in STEM fields. According to a recent newspaper from the Economic Policy Institute:
‘Guest workers may be filling as many as half of all new information technology jobs each year.’
It goes on. ‘IT workers earn the same today as they did, generally, 14 years ago.’ Wages aren't going up, and in many cases they are going down. That is an absolute refutation, I think—if you believe in the free market—of any contention that we have a shortage of engineering, science, and STEM graduates.  
The paper further says: ‘Currently, only one of every two STEM college graduates is hired in a STEM job each year.’ So only half of them find a job in the profession they trained for.
Another finding of the paper: ‘Policies that expand the supply of guest workers will discourage U.S. students from going into STEM fields, and into IT in particular.’
Get that. Is that not common sense? If anybody would dispute that, I would like to hear it. The policies that expand the supply of eligible workers in any field will tend to discourage people, particularly in science and engineering, if they feel like they are going to have a difficult time finding a job. That is common sense, and that is what the paper found.
Now, Mr. Hal Salzman—I am familiar with his work. He is a professor at Rutgers University and a labor specialist. He has done a good bit of work in this area. And what do his findings show? He determined: ‘For the 180,000 or so openings annually, U.S. colleges and universities supply 500,000 graduates.’
More than twice as many people graduate in STEM fields as jobs are available in America for them to take.  
Bob Charette, at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, writes: ‘Wages for U.S. workers in computer and math fields have largely stagnated since 2000.’
That was 14 years ago.
‘Even as the Great Recession slowly recedes, STEM workers at every stage of the career pipeline, from freshly minted grads to mid- and late-career Ph.D.s, still struggle to find employment.’
In total, Charette reports that there are more than 11 million Americans with STEM degrees who don't have STEM jobs.
Harvard Professor Michael Teitelbaum has recently written a book. He explained:
‘Far from offering expanding attractive career opportunities, it seems that many, but not all, science and engineering careers are headed in the opposite direction: unstable careers, slow-growing wages, and high risk of jobs moving offshore or being filled by temporary workers from abroad.’
Michael Anft, with the Johns Hopkins Magazine, observed:
‘You're a biologist, chemist, electrical engineer, manufacturing worker, mechanical engineer, or physicist, you've most likely seen your paycheck remain flat at best. If you're a recent grad in those fields looking for a job, good luck.  A National Academies report suggests a glut of life scientists, lab workers, and physical scientists, owing in part to over-recruitment of science-Ph.D. candidates by universities. And postdocs, many of whom are waiting longer for academic spots, are opting out of science careers at higher rates, according to the National Science Foundation.’
This is serious. There is a policy question, and he questions whether Members of Congress who don't pass laws like he wants on immigration are honoring their duty to the 300 million Americans whom we collectively represent.
I feel a deep duty to the millions of Alabamians I represent and the whole country, and I do my best every day to ask what is in their interests. As far as I am concerned, so far as I can see, those three billionaires have three votes. An individual who works stocking the shelves at the grocery store, the barber, the doctor, the lawyer, the cleaners, the operator, and the person who picks up our garbage are every bit as valuable as they are.
I know who I represent. I represent the citizens of the United States of America, and I am trying to do what is in their best interest. And just as it is not always true what is good for General Motors is good for America, likewise, what may be good for Mr. Adelson and Mr. Microsoft and Mr. Buffett is not always in accord with what is good for the American people. I know that. They are free to express their opinion, but I am going to push back.
How many people come into our country each year as guest workers? We have discussed that. The Senate bill which Senator Reid maneuvered through the Senate not too many weeks ago would double the number of guest workers.
How many is that? The Associated Press wrote:
‘Although no one tracks exactly how many H-1B guest workers come to take jobs these are visas for jobs in fields like computers and technology’—how many of these are in the United States? The AP says ‘experts estimate there are at least 600,000 at any one time.’
That is a lot. These are individuals not on a citizenship path. They are in addition to the 1 million who come to America each year lawfully to become citizens of America. They simply come in at the behest of some business to take a job for a limited period of time. That is important. There are other visas these businesses can get too, but H-1B is one of the largest. A paper for the Economic Policy Institute explained the annual inflow of guest workers for the computer industry in particular is massive.
‘We estimate that during fiscal 2011, 372,516 high-skill guest workers were issued visas to enter the U.S. labor market, and, of these workers, between 134,000 and 228,000 were available for IT employment.’
That is information technology.
‘The supply of IT guest workers appears to be growing dramatically despite stagnant or even declining wages.’
But Microsoft and its allies want more.
Here is an excerpt from a report issued by the Partnership for a New American Economy. This is the front group for the pro-immigration crowd. It is co-headed by Steve Ballmer, a recent Microsoft CEO. He left Microsoft in February, but he is the co-head of this group and is lobbying for more H-1B guest workers to come to take jobs. They say: ‘In many STEM occupations, unemployment is virtually non-existent.’
This is not so. They declare it to be so. They say:
‘There is no evidence that foreign-born STEM workers adversely affect the wages of American workers by providing a less expensive alternative source of labor.’
What planet are they on? Wages are declining. Median income in America today—well, according to the Wall Street Journal, it was approximately $55,000 for a family in 2007. It is now closer to $50,000. It dropped roughly $5,000. Somebody needs to talk about that.
Is unemployment in these industries ‘virtually non-existent?’ That is what they are telling us. They are spending millions of dollars even running TV ads to promote bringing in more workers than the 600,000 we have today. They want to double that number. I am not talking about the 1 million who already come lawfully every year through immigration in America. We have one of the most generous immigration policies in the world. These guest workers are in addition to the 1 million we let in each year on a permanent basis.
Look at these recent headlines.
Today: ‘Microsoft To Cut Workforce By 18,000 This Year, ‘Moving Now’ To Cut First 13,000.’
How about this headline: ‘[Google-owned] Motorola To Cut 10% Of Workforce After Laying Off 20% Last Year.’
‘Panasonic To Cut 10K More Workers In The Next 5 Months.’
‘[Online media and advertising company] CityGrid Lays Off 15% Of Its Employees.’
‘Hewlett-Packard: 27,000 Job Cuts to Save Up To $3.5B By 2014.’
I would say things aren't going as well as some would suggest, and the demand out there for workers ought to be met from our current supply.
Byron York, an excellent writer at the Washington Examiner, wrote about this late last year in theWashington Examiner. The headline is: ‘Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor. On Tuesday, the chief human resource officers of more than 100 large corporations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging quick passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.’
Don't read it, don't worry about it, just pass it. It gives us more workers, and we need those workers, is essentially, what they have been saying. ‘The officials who signed the letter represent companies with a vast array of business interests: General Electric, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, McDonald's, Wendy's, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, and many more. All of them want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill as well as high-skill workers in addition to a path to full citizenship for the millions of immigrants in the United States currently illegally.’ That is their agenda.
The article goes on to say: ‘a new immigration law, the corporate officers say, “would be a long overdue step toward aligning our nation's immigration policies with its workforce needs at all skill levels.”
I would say at a time of high unemployment we need to be careful. The article goes on to say, ‘at the time the corporate officers seek higher numbers of immigrants, both low-skill and high-skill, many of their companies are laying off thousands of workers.’
So he did a little research. All these companies in need of workers. What about Hewlett-Packard? They signed the letter demanding more workers. I will quote from the article.
‘For example, Hewlett-Packard, whose Executive Vice President for Human Resources Tracy Keogh signed the letter, laid off 29,000 employees in 2012. In August of this year, Cisco Systems, whose Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Weslock signed the letter, announced plans to lay off 4,000—in addition to 8,000 cut in the last two years. United Technologies, whose Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organization Elizabeth B. Amato signed the letter, announced layoffs of 3,000 this year.
‘American Express, whose Chief Human Resources Officer L. Kevin Cox signed the letter, cut 5,400 jobs this year. Proctor & Gamble, whose Chief Human Resources Officer Mark F. Biegger signed the letter, announced plans to cut 5,700 jobs in 2012.
‘Those are a just few of the layoffs at companies’, the article said, ‘whose officers signed the letter.’
‘A few more: T-Mobile announced 2,250 layoffs in 2012. Archer-Daniels-Midland laid off 1,200. Texas Instruments, nearly 2,000. Cigna 1,300. Verizon sought to cut 1,700 jobs. Marriott announced ‘hundreds’ of layoffs this year. International Paper has closed plants and laid off dozens.  Including an old, big plant with 1,000 workers or so in north Alabama.
‘And General Mills, in what the Minneapolis Star-Tribune called a “rare mass layoff,” laid off 850 people last year.’
‘There are more still.’ I am quoting here from Mr. Byron York's article:
‘In all, it's fair to say a large number of corporate signers of the letter demanding more labor from abroad have actually laid off workers at home in recent years. Together their actions have a significant effect on the economy.
‘According to a recent Reuters report, U.S. employers announced 50,462 layoffs in August, up 34 percent from the previous month and up 57 percent from August 2012.’
This is last August. I am quoting from the article:
‘It is difficult to understand how these companies can feel justified in demanding the importation of cheap labor with a straight face at a time when tens of millions of Americans are unemployed,’ writes the Center for Immigration Studies, which strongly opposes the Senate Gang of Eight bill… The companies claim the bill is an “opportunity to level the playing field for U.S. employers but it is more of an effort to level the wages of American citizens.”
Mr. York goes on to say this in his next article. The next month, he writes another article on the subject.
‘This week, the pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it would cut 8,500 jobs in an effort to remain competitive in a rapidly changing drug industry. Earlier this year Merck announced plans to cut 7,500 jobs, bringing the total of workers let go to 16,000. In all, Merck intends to lay off one out of every five of its employees.’
Well, what is Merck, this great corporation, doing politically about the situation?
I will quote from the article. This is what they are doing politically:
‘At the same time, top Merck officials are urging Congress to loosen the nation's immigration laws to allow more foreign workers into the United States. In a Sept. 10 letter—this is last September—to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Merck Executive Vice President for Human Resources Mirian Graddick-Weir urged that the U.S. admit more high- and low-skilled immigrants to “address the reality that there is a global war for talent and to align our nation's immigration policies with its workforce needs at all skill levels to ensure U.S. global competitiveness.”
Well, we have too many people unemployed. The number of people unemployed in our country is not accurately reflected by the simple unemployment data we get. When you look at the number of people in the actual workforce, you find we have the lowest workplace participation, the lowest number of workers as a percentage of the population at any time since the 1970s. It has been declining steadily. It is a fact. Everybody knows it. It is not disputed. If anybody wants to dispute that, come to the floor and tell me where I am wrong. And they won't because it is well accepted and Democrats and Republicans are talking openly about it, because it is a serious challenge for America.
We don't have enough people working. We have got too many people living off the government and relying on federal aid and assistance. We need to create jobs for Americans first before we bring in foreign workers to take those jobs. We are going to help our people sustain their life. We make sure they have food and housing and aid if they are unable to work and don't have enough to live on, and we provide health care for them and education for their children. But we need to help them find work first before we bring somebody else to the country.
I would say to my free market business friends, I don't think you can win the argument that we have a shortage of labor, because wages are down. I know you believe in free markets. I know you believe that things will balance out in a competitive world. If wages are down, that indicates we have a loose labor market, not a tight labor market. Wages go up when there are not enough employees, and businesses have to pay more to get good employees. Family income has gone down from 2007, as I said, from approximately $55,000 median household income to $50,000, adjusted for inflation. This is a very unusual decline. I am not sure we have seen anything like quite this before, at least since the Great Depression. This is a matter we need to talk about.
‘Watching firms fire American workers while appealing for more immigration is a disheartening spectacle,’ Mr. Byron York says. And I think that is true.
This is another Associated Press article: ‘Backlash Stirs in US Against Foreign Worker Visas.’
‘But amid calls for expanding the so-called H-1B visa program, there is a growing pushback from Americans who argue that the program has been hijacked by staffing companies that import cheaper, lower-level workers to replace more expensive U.S. workers—or keep them from being hired in the first place.’
“It's getting pretty frustrating when you can't compete on salary for a skilled job,” said Rich Hajinlian, a veteran computer programmer from the Boston area. “You hear references all the time that these big companies can't find skilled workers. I am a skilled worker.”
How about this? They say there is a STEM crisis—which is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They say there are not enough STEM graduates to fill vacant jobs.
This article says: ‘The STEM Crisis Is a Myth.’ This is a paper by Robert Charette, contributing editor for the Industrial Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers magazine. He says:
‘Companies would rather not pay STEM professionals high salaries with lavish benefits, offer them training on the job, or guarantee them decades of stable employment. So having an oversupply of workers, whether domestically educated or imported, is to their benefit.
‘That is in part because it helps keep wages in check.
‘Viewed another way, about 15 million U.S. residents hold at least a bachelor's degree in a STEM discipline, but three-fourths of them—11.4 million—work outside of STEM. If there is in fact a STEM worker shortage, wouldn't you expect more workers with STEM degrees to be filling those jobs?’
I think that is correct.
What about the people who immigrate to America? They can't get a job because somebody else was brought in to take that job from them. What are they going to do?
The economy can absorb a certain number, but in this low job-wage low-job creation economy we are in today, and have been in for a number of years, you simply cannot justify these huge increases in the number of workers we have brought into the country, especially when wages are falling.
Here is another article: ‘The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage.’ It is an op-ed by Michael Teitelbaum, a senior research associate at Harvard Law School.
‘A compelling body of research is now available, from many leading academic researchers and from respected research organizations such as the National Bureau of Economic Research, the RAND Corporation, and the Urban Institute.
‘No one has been able to find any evidence indicating current widespread labor market shortages or hiring difficulties in science and engineering occupations.’
He goes on to write, as I read before:
‘From offering expanding attractive career opportunities, it seems that many, but not all science and engineering careers are headed in the opposite direction: unstable careers, slow-growing wages, and high risk of jobs moving offshore or being filled by temporary workers from abroad.’
I am afraid that is the undisputed reality. I wish it were not so. I wish we had a growing economy that would create a lot of jobs and a lot more high-tech workers and that wages were going up. But it is just not so.
Here is an article from July 11, in CNN Money. The headline is: ‘Businesses Want Immigration Reform. Why? Because they can't find enough workers.’ That is what they say the answer is.
This article notes the complaints of various business lobbyists. For instance:
‘The tech industry faces a backlog of working visas for high skilled workers. The long wait for green cards at top universities means the U.S. is losing [talent]. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and others CEOs like Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, have all pressed Washington leaders for an immigration [reform].’
CNN also includes this statement from another group demanding Congress provide more workers:
‘Two-thirds of construction companies have reported labor shortages according to the Associated General Contractors of America, who is pushing for immigration reform.’
So two-thirds of construction companies reported labor shortages. Well, what do we know about that?
Here is a May 5 article from Economic Policy Institute by Ross Eisenbrey. They cite an in-depth study about the labor market.
The headline says: ‘There are Seven Unemployed Construction Workers for Every Job Opening.’
There is a chart showing the drop in wages. This isn't some promoter, some lobbyist or some media consultant putting out a self-serving statement claiming we have a shortage of workers. This is an academic study. Again, what does it say? ‘No Sign of Labor Shortages in Construction: There are Seven Unemployed Construction Workers for Every Job Opening.’
That is where we are. What we need, as a Nation, is to construct an immigration policy that serves the interests of the American people.
Professor Borjas at Harvard is perhaps the most astute and renowned expert on labor and immigration of anybody in the entire world and has written a number of books on this. He did a comprehensive study using census data and Department of Labor data and concluded that from 1980 to 2000, as a result of America's high immigration levels, the wages of lower-skilled US workers declined by 7.4 percent.
The impact of this large flow of immigration from 1980 to 2000 reduced wages. We already bring in a million people a year, plus hundreds thousands more guest workers. I am not against immigration. What I am opposed to, however, is an immigration policy that fails to serve the needs of the people living here today. The myth is we have this great shortage of labor. It is just not so. If we allowed the labor market to tighten, wages would increase, more Americans would take some of these jobs and be able to raise a family, buy an automobile, and maybe even buy a house and educate their children.
Today I am going to issue a challenge to Majority Leader Reid, and every single one of our 55 Senate Democrats, who voted unanimously for this Gang of 8 bill.
With Microsoft laying off 18,000 workers, come down to the Senate floor and tell me there is a shortage of qualified Americans to fill STEM jobs. Come down and tell us. Do you stand with Mr. Bill Gates or do you stand with our American constituents?
It is long past time we had an immigration policy that truly served the needs of the American people. That is the group to whom we owe our loyalty and duty and first responsibility. That is who elected us, and that is in our constitutional system, which ultimately judges us on our performance.  
The United States let in 40 million new immigrants legal and illegal—since 1970. There are many wonderful people in that group. But Washington actually hurts both our immigrant workers and US-born workers alike when we continue to bring in record numbers of new workers to compete for jobs. The share of the population today that is foreign-born has quadrupled. It has gone up four-fold in forty years. After four decades of large-scale immigration, is it not time, colleagues, that we slow down a bit, allowed wages to rise, assimilation to occur, and the middle class to be restored?
I thank the chair and yield the floor.”

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hilary Clinton talks like Eleanor Roosevelt but she walks like Marie Antoinette

Hilary Clinton talks like Eleanor Roosevelt, but she walks like Marie Antoinette.  'The poor, they have no bread?  Then say we feel their pain and let them starve!  Vote for me the Republicans are even worse!  And I have ovaries!'

The Clintons are just like the Obamas: a power couple that sold out for money.

I recall back when Bill Clinton was first running for president, and he was like 4% in the polls and going nowhere.  Suddenly, completely out of nowhere, his campaign was showered with cash, the corporate press pushed him and pushed him - and when elected, he ruthlessly stabbed the American people in the back and was paid more than $150 million dollars and counting for services rendered to his wealthy patrons.  I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the Wall Street boardrooms back then: it certainly looked like a deal had been made and the fix was in.

During the presidential election of 2008 it looked like Hilary Clinton was a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination.  Then Barack "Magic Sparkle Pony" Obama had some meetings with Rupert Murdoch et al - who stated that he looked forward to working with Obama - and the rich decided that he'd be a better figurehead even than Hilary, and the fix was in again.  Hilary could do no right, she was only running because she was egotistical or post-menopausal and she had wrinkles and bad taste in pantsuits.  And after getting elected good old Barack broke every one of his promises and has stabbed the rest of us in the back so deeply he makes Nixon look like FDR.  And Barack's rewards will make the Clinton's pale in comparison.

So it all boils down to this: is Hilary Clinton going to be the appointed standard bearer of the oligarchs on the Democratic side this time, and if so, will they like her better than the appointed standard bearer of the oligarchs on the Republican side?  You will know when the fix is in by the sudden sea-change in press coverage.

If the mainstream press turns on a candidate it's virtually impossible for that candidate to win.  When all that everyone hears is 'so and so is out of it', it seems like a consensus, even though it is likely just a script approved by a handful of the people who own the media.  And if a candidate is ignored, if their logical arguments get no coverage, and you only occasionally hear some brief mention of problems in their personal life and their 'quixotic' quest for public office, well, it becomes accepted as common knowledge.  The press can't quite get someone like Romney widely accepted - but they do have a veto power, and can pretty much destroy anyone if they care enough.

So I wonder what Hilary is promising and to whom, to avoid being culled like last time?  The negotiations must be interesting.  Maybe the oligarchs are asking her if she would be willing to reintroduce child labor and indentured servitude?  Whatever, it will take a lot to match Obama's track record.

If Hilary doesn't pass the audition, there will be more 'she's out of it she's old what did she do as secretary of state anyhow' press.  If Hilary is the anointed one, there will be front-page articles showing her looking very distinguished and presidential with captions like "Is America Ready for a Woman President?"

One thing is certain though - Hilary Clinton, like her Hubby, is a whore. You need to avoid what I would call the Obama effect.  After Bush II the American people were desperate for a change, and Obama told them everything that they wanted to hear, and they bought it.  But it was just words, everything was a lie.  For example, publicly he was promising to renegotiate the anti-worker NAFTA trade treaty, but in private his emissaries were promising that he didn't mean a word of it.  More than six years later, I think we know which promises were kept and which were broken.

So we have to be very careful with someone like Hilary Clinton: she might suddenly start spouting populist rhetoric, like she's really going to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, or reign in the Wall Street, and the corporate press will fawn over her and debate her words - while ignoring her record, which is the exact opposite.

Before journalism became corrupt there used to be three ironclad rules for judging a public figure:

1. Look at the record

2. Look at the record
3. Look at the record.

Hilary Clinton and her hubby have a long track record of selling out for money, and betraying the American working class.  That you can take to the bank.  If you get a chance between voting for the 'viable' Hilary, vs some 'quixotic' challenger, don't vote as you are told, don't throw your vote away on someone who is your enemy.  Vote your interests, New York Times headlines be damned.