a revealing marketing video from the law firm, Cohen & Grigsby,
appeared on the Internet. The video demonstrated the law firm's
techniques for getting around US law governing work visas in order
to enable corporate clients to replace their American employees
with foreigners who work for less. The law firm's marketing manager,
Lawrence Lebowitz, is upfront with interested clients: "Our goal
is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker."
If an American
somehow survives the weeding out process, "have the manager of
that specific position step in and go through the whole process
to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position - in
most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem."
for the employer he means, only for the expensively educated American
university graduate who is displaced by a foreigner imported on
a work visa justified by a nonexistent shortage of trained and
of California computer science professor Norm Matloff, who watches
this issue closely, said that Cohen & Grigsby's practices
are the standard ones used by hordes of attorneys, who are cleaning
up by putting Americans out of work.
& Grigsby video was a short-term sensation as it undermined
the business propaganda that no American employee was being displaced
by foreigners on H-1b or L-1 work visas. Soon, however, business
organizations and their shills were back in gear lying to Congress
and the public about the amazing shortage of qualified Americans
for literally every technical and professional occupation, especially
IT and software engineering.
we hear the same droning lie from business interests that
there are not enough American engineers and scientists...
The relentless drive for cheap labor now threatens the foreign
guest workers who displaced America's own engineers.
we hear the same droning lie from business interests that there
are not enough American engineers and scientists. For mysterious
reasons Americans prefer to be waitresses and bartenders, hospital
orderlies, and retail clerks.
one of the few who writes about this short-sighted policy of American
managers endeavoring to maximize their "performance bonuses,"
I receive much feedback from affected Americans. Many responses
come from recent university graduates such as the one who "graduated
nearly at the top of my class in 2002" with degrees in both electrical
and computer engineering and who "hasn't been able to find a job."
roommate of a family member graduated from a good engineering
school last year with a degree in software engineering. He had
one job interview. Jobless, he is back at home living with his
parents and burdened with student loans that bought an education
that offshoring and work visas have made useless to Americans.
of individual cases that have been brought to my attention are
dismissed as "anecdotal" by my fellow economists. So little do
they know. I also receive numerous responses from American engineers
and IT workers who have managed to hold on to jobs or to find
new ones after long intervals when they have been displaced by
foreign hires. Their descriptions of their work environments are
Dayton, Ohio, was once home to numerous American engineers. Today,
writes one surviving American, "I feel like an alien in my own
country - as if Dayton had been colonized by India. NCR and other
local employers have either offshored most of their IT work or
rely heavily on Indian guest workers. The IT department of National
City Bank across the street from LexisNexis is entirely Indian.
The nearby apartment complexes house large numbers of Indian guest
workers filling the engineering needs of many area businesses."
is so lacking in America that the shortage myth serves the
interests of universities, funding agencies, employers,
and immigration attorneys at the expense of American students
who naively pursue professions in which their prospects
I have learned
that Reed Elsevier, which owns LexisNexis, has hired a new Indian
vice president for offshoring and that now the jobs of the Indian
guest workers may be on the verge of being offshored to another
country. The relentless drive for cheap labor now threatens the
foreign guest workers who displaced America's own engineers.
software engineer wrote to me protesting the ignorance of Thomas
Friedman for creating a false picture of American engineers being
outdated and for "denouncing American engineers and other workers
as 'xenophobes' for opposing their displacement by foreign guest
workers." The engineer also took exception to the "willful ignorance
or cynicism of Bruce Bartlett and George Will" who he described
as "bootlicks for pro-outsourcing lobbies."
6, 2006, Michael S. Teitelbaum, vice president of the Alfred P.
Sloan Foundation, explained to a subcommittee of the House Committee
on Science and Technology the difference between the conventional
or false portrait that there is a shortage of US scientists and
engineers and the reality on the ground, which is that offshoring,
foreign guest workers, and educational subsidies have produced
a surplus of US engineers and scientists that leaves many facing
unstable and failed careers.
As two examples
of the false portrait, Teitelbaum cited the 2005 report, Tapping
America's Potential, led by the Business Roundtable and signed
onto by 14 other business associations, and the 2006 National
Academies report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, "which was
the basis for substantial parts of what eventually evolved into
the American COMPETES Act."
posed the question to the US Representatives: "Why do you continue
to hear energetic re-assertions of the Conventional Portrait of
'shortages,' shortfalls, failures of K-12 science and math teaching,
declining interest among US students, and the necessity of importing
more foreign scientists and engineers?"
it was blue-collar factory workers who were abandoned by
US corporations and politicians. Now it is white-collar
employees and Americans trained in science and technology.
answer: "In my judgment, what you are hearing is simply the expressions
of interests by interest groups and their lobbyists. This phenomenon
is, of course, very familiar to everyone on the Hill. Interest
groups that are well organized and funded have the capacity to
make their claims heard by you, either directly or via echoes
in the mass press. Meanwhile those who are not well-organized
and funded can express their views, but only as individuals."
the interest groups that benefit from the false portrait are universities,
which gain graduate student enrollments and inexpensive postdocs
to conduct funded lab research. Employers gain larger profits
from lower paid scientists and engineers, and immigration lawyers
gain fees by leading employers around the work visa rules.
biomedical research sector as an example, Teitelbaum explained
to the congressmen how research funding creates an oversupply
of scientists that requires ever larger funding to keep employed.
Teitelbaum made it clear that it is nonsensical to simultaneously
increase the supply of American scientists while forestalling
their employment with a shortage myth that is used to import foreigners
on work visas.
recommends that American students considering majors in science
and engineering first investigate the career prospects of recent
is so lacking in America that the shortage myth serves the interests
of universities, funding agencies, employers, and immigration
attorneys at the expense of American students who naively pursue
professions in which their prospects are dim. Initially it was
blue-collar factory workers who were abandoned by US corporations
and politicians. Now it is white-collar employees and Americans
trained in science and technology. Princeton University economist
Alan Blinder estimates that there are 30 to 40 million American
high end service jobs that ultimately face offshoring.
As I predict,
and as BLS payroll jobs data indicate, in 20 years the US will
have a third world work force engaged in domestic nontradable
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in
the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall
Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National
Review. He is coauthor of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: [email protected]
articles by Paul Craig Roberts:
America's Days Of Reckoning
Supermodel Spurns The Dollar
The Wages Of Hegemony
Hypocrisy Rules The West
American Economy, R.I.P.
The War Criminal In The Living Room
More War On The Horizon
China Is Not The Problem
China's Threat To The Dollar Is Real
In The Hole To China
A Free Press Or A Ministry Of Truth?