March 7, 2007 9:56 AM PST

Gates calls for 'infinite' H-1Bs, better schools

WASHINGTON--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Wednesday renewed his fight for "infinite" H-1B guest-worker visas and improvements in U.S. education before largely receptive senators on Capitol Hill.

In only his third appearance ever at a congressional hearing, Gates urged politicians here on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to pursue a three-pronged approach to boosting the nation's competitiveness: equipping American students, teachers and workers with necessary math and science skills; elevating research spending; and rewriting immigration laws to allow American companies to hire more foreigners.

The United States has much to be proud of in the technology realm, Gates told the politicians, but "when I reflect on the state of American competitiveness, my feeling of pride is mixed with deep anxiety."

The Microsoft chairman's message was hardly new. Gates and other high-tech leaders have been lamenting the state of the U.S. educational system and work force, particularly in the realm of math and science, for years. They argue that without dramatic policy changes, the United States will lose its competitive edge in the high-tech realm.

On education, Gates called for doubling the number of science, technology and math graduates in the United States by 2015. Doing that, he told the committee, requires more funding and a number of additional steps, including recruitment of 10,000 new science and math teachers in high schools and creation of 25,000 new undergraduate scholarships and 5,000 new graduate fellowships in the area each year.

On research, Gates implored politicians to dedicate more funding to federal research programs and to make the research and development tax credit permanent, an idea supported by President Bush. (Late last year, politicians approved a temporary extension of the much-beloved break.)

Movement is already under way in Congress to pass a law designed to spend more on federal programs in those areas. Earlier this week, a group of Senate leaders, including Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, introduced a bill, called the America Competes Act, that attempts to promote many of the educational and research goals advanced by Gates and other high-tech leaders.

Politicians indicated they're also willing to take cues from Gates as they craft new laws in the immigration area. In his testimony, Gates said there's only one way to solve what he deemed a "crisis"-level shortage of qualified scientific talent: "Open our doors to highly talented scientists and engineers who want to live, work and pay taxes here."

Gates repeated a now-familiar plea by high-tech companies for an overhaul of the H-1B visa system. Established in 1990, that program currently awards 65,000 visas to foreigners with at least a bachelor's degree in their area of specialty and allows them to remain employed in the United States for up to six years.

Visa shortfall
Gates said there's a "terrible shortfall" in the number of visas available to high-tech companies and cautioned that the nation will "find it infinitely more difficult to maintain its technological leadership if it shuts out the very people who are most able to help us compete."

"America has always done its best when we brought the best minds to our shores," Gates said, citing German-born Albert Einstein as an example.

Several proposals were on the table last year to boost the number of visas, but none of them was ultimately approved. Congress has already approved a cushion of up to 20,000 additional visas for foreigners who receive master's degrees or higher from American schools.

When asked by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) how many visas Congress should approve, Gates repeated a suggestion he made years ago: that there should be an "infinite" number. "Even though it might not be realistic," he said, "I don't think there should be any limit."

Gregg said he "agreed 100 percent" that there shouldn't be a limit on the number of highly skilled people in the country, but he suggested Congress might not be able to do more than double the quota.

Support for bumping up the number of visas is hardly universal. Advocacy groups representing American computer programmers and scientists, such as the Programmers Guild, have fiercely resisted the idea. They argue that companies like Microsoft have not been making a good-faith effort to recruit qualified Americans and that the current structure of the H-1B program allows American companies to hire foreign workers at lower pay rates than American counterparts.

Committee politicians embraced virtually all of the suggestions made by their high-profile guest.

CONTINUED: The senators respond…
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248 comments

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Watched the whole thing
What most stood out for me is just how stupid and incompetent our congress is.

Bill is no dummy and his intelligent comments stood in stark contrast to quite a few of the committee member's shallow attempts to push their own agendas.

At least a few of them seemed to "get it".
Posted by smilin:) (889 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gates already has his money, he doesn't care
Gates has been a long advocate for increasing visas for tech workers. This has always bothered me. While his foundation (only recently) is trying to improve education here in the U.S., allowing an "infinite" number of foreign workers into our country to fill a seemingly infinite number of vacant positions leads me to believe that CEO's just want to drive the average salaries of IT Workers down. Information Technology has just recently recovered from a couple of "busts" and swelling the number of available workers for any available position will keep native workers out of a job. The enthusiastic congressional responses quoted by this article show that no political party cares about the middle or lower classes. Let's open up our doors to H-1Bs for the high-tech, skilled jobs that Americans "don't want to do" and start a guest worker program for the blue collar jobs Americans "don't want to do". Where does that leave you and me???
Posted by alainassaf (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Salary isn't driven down
I see these kinds of comments often from people who don't know much about the H1-B program.
People on H1 have to be paid the same wages as Americans.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Opposing efforts
Increasing H1-B visas will probably cause the number of science and technology graduates to drop. Someone looking to go to school for four years for an engineering degree is going to be dissuaded from pursuing that degree if after graduating his/her salary is eroded by competition from third-world countries or, worse yet, there are no positions available in the chosen career. What point is there in getting a science or technology degree if the only jobs available to native-born Americans are stock-boy at the big box store or flipping burgers?
Posted by eBob1 (188 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not true
First, people on H1 have to be paid the same as Americans.
Second, getting more people into the US on H1 is actually good for Americans. These people compete in the US on the US salary level. If we don't let them in, they work outside the US for less, and THAT is what would result in Americans losing jobs.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
To Joe.. do the MATH
I hear these types of comments from people who have some agenda that makes them want to deny reality.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.workpermit.com/news/2005_10_26/us/us_h1b_visa_holders_earn_less.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.workpermit.com/news/2005_10_26/us/us_h1b_visa_holders_earn_less.htm</a>

The laws aren't enforced, as H1B after H1B has testified, both here and online. They work for whatever they're given.

Even IF the laws were enforced, what happens when every year, the "average" wage for programming goes down by 5% of that year's average wage, which is EXACTLY what can happen, very legally, by flooding the market with H1Bs.... Do the math.

80k --&gt;76k year 1
76k--&gt;72k year 2
72k--&gt;68.5 k year 3
68.5k--&gt;65k year 4
65k--&gt;61.5k year 5

and so on....

Yeah, H1Bs don't effect wages.... like hell they don't
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
new grads and career
Sure, students would react as they realized their relatives in the
field were unemployed, and class-mates a year or two ahead
were unable to land good jobs.

To bring back the industry, Gates and other executives, need to
re-hire some of the 644K who have lost their jobs over the
course of the Clinton-Bush economic depression (based on
Sanders's remarks in which he cites BLS as his source), AND they
need to start hiring more than 85% of new grads.

The only way to do that is to shift their incentives. Give them
tax breaks for retaining, interviewing, relocating, educating/
training US citizens.

Stop subsidizing visas by requiring every applicant to pay the
full cost for a thorough background investigation. This will
eliminate a great deal of the fraud that's been committed with
the H-1B (and E and F and J and L) visa programs. Sure, if a
charity or employer wants to donate the cost for a background
check, that's fine, too, so long as it isn't grabbed from the
pockets of US tax-victims the way such costs are, now. Except
that now, of course, despite the "war on terror", they don't
conduct thorough background investigations.
Posted by BatmanG8 (74 comments )
Link Flag
Yet MS puts limits on domestic contractors
What's ironic here is that MS is notorious for imposing 9-month/1-year terms for contractors for domestic workers. What they've done is create a perpetual "revolving door" policy of bringing in temporary workers to fill the same jobs over and over, thus avoiding paying benefits since these people are not considered employees. To add insult to injury, these people are paid less than half of what their consulting firm bills for services and then they are forced into a 100-day "break" between contracts. How about giving qualified Americans permanent jobs instead of handing out visas for open-ended contracts, Mr. Gates?
Posted by bossjimbob (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
they have to
the reason they put the limits on contractors is that they *have* to.

years ago, a group of contractors sued microsoft saying that they were "treated" as employees and had been at microsoft as long as other employees so they should get the benefits of being an employee. Even though these contractors knew what they were getting into when the decided to be contractors and not employees.

it was primarily a tactic to get low-priced stock options that were worth a fortune at the time of the lawsuit.

Microsoft lost and thus instituted a policy, which other companies do as well, that limits the length of time that a contractor can be used AND limits how quickly they can be re-hired as contractors.
Posted by w_jackson (23 comments )
Link Flag
now I don't feel so bad about pirating windows
I know lots of IT folks who are still struggling to find decent paying jobs and Mr. Bill wants to introduce even more half price workers. I feel good that the only non pirated MS product I've ever used happened to come with my 386 in 1992. I used to say I wouldn't pay for windows because it was crap but now I've got a more political justification.
Posted by casual observer (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One needs to update their skills
Those generally tough to find jobs have outdated skill sets ! The H1Bs aren't half price workers.
US govt. determines the wage rate and employer has to pay that rate. If not it is a violation of
the law. Report the abuse (wherever you saw half rate ) to govt. so that govt. can fine the violating employer.
Posted by pokiri (98 comments )
Link Flag
College = Too much $$$
Why can't we make education more affordable for kids. 3 of my friends from India claim they got their engineering degrees for $150. The government pays for it.

Here you get to spend $120K for tuition, $2400 for books, and they charge for ID cards and everything in between.
Posted by theitdude (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Scholarships?
Maybe the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation can start a
scholarship for domestic students. Perhaps a technology college.
Posted by Lee in San Diego (608 comments )
Link Flag
Agreed
Unless your child qualifies for heavy scholarships (or attends a county college) the costs are bordering on unbearable. Having a young adult begin his/her career with high student loans (that equal a mortgage) is hardly a desirable way to begin independence. Unless you're socking away money into a 529 plan at birth, paying for college is an uphill battle especially with tuition costs outpacing inflation twofold.
Posted by bossjimbob (3 comments )
Link Flag
true colege costs tooo much here
In all those "bad" comunist/excomunist countries colege was/is free (as long as you pass the entry exams, if you are lazy or don't have the capabilities there is other jobs that don't require a colege)

The future of any contry is in how good the education system is, bill is smart to know that, and he puts a lot of money into improoving this in the US, however the us government should do more...

what about healthcare for everybody and more scholarships (a LOT more and only for smart students, not other stupid criterias)?
Posted by zolyfarkas (20 comments )
Link Flag
Then . . .
if you do well, get an MS/PhD in a subject area, you can return to
teach at your school for a pauper's wage. It's alarming, but where I
work we have more than 65% adjuncts being paid $500 per credit
hour. Just think, if you get 30 credits (considered full load for
faculty) you'll be making a $15,000 per year! Yes, we have an
overflow of adjuncts . . . and faculty are being forced out in droves.

P.S. I teach math.
Posted by rbannon (96 comments )
Link Flag
Low on the books.
2400 was a little low on the book estimate.

I agree. As long as residents of other countries receive better education they will be more competitive. India is investing in their future, meanwhile we appear to have forsaken our children and grand children so we can "party" on borrowed profits today.
Posted by bwvla (166 comments )
Link Flag
Gates for infinite H-1BS
Mr. Bill must think we don't remember our history. Just as the aviation industry saw a glut of enginerees in the 50's and 60's, so is the computer field seeing the same situation. No field, high tech or not, can handle an ifinite number of people. I know people all across the country with degrees in the computer field, and nearly all of them are doing something else while paying back humongous college loans. Some of these people immigrated here from half way around the world with their training, and they are taking restaurant jobs to keep a roof over their heads. The dirty little secret is not that they can't find qualified people, it's just that Mr. Bills company, like a lot of others, doesn't want to pay a living wage. If Mr. Bill get his wish, and hires all the foreign labor he can, it's not going to make any difference how many legal americans want a computer related job, when the market is full, it's full. At that point, does anybody really think Mr. Bill's company is going to fire all those H-1BS, and hire someone else just because they happen to be legitimate american citizen. Come on people, wake up and smell the money!!!
Posted by Kwanky (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Interesting...
H1B should be approved only if there isn't any qualified and willing US citizen applying for the
specified job at the specified location. So, i am wondering how can one flood the market with so many H1Bs.
Posted by pokiri (98 comments )
Link Flag
How about investing in our citzens
Since Gates is so concerned about an US labor shortage, how about investing citizen's education?

In the 60's the US had "National Defense Student Loans". Low interest (no interest while in school!) for those seeking higher education in technical fields.

If the US is again at high risk due to a shortage of technical talent, why not restore what worked!

Maybe not, that has nothing to due with corporate profits, only US security...
Posted by gerry-g (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
those loans are still around, but...
Those loans are still around -- only the name has changed --
but they've actually helped make matters worse.

When the university executives to go ask for higher tuition and
fees, they say, "Well, students have such wide-spread access to
loans. Another 12% increase is no big deal for them. We'll put
another dime into the regents scholarship fund... But make sure
my 10% raise has been nailed down, first."

If Gates or Jobs or whatever executive wants to make college
education affordable, let them take it out of their very own
pockets, read the scholarship applications, etc. Of course,
playing fast with other people's money is so much more
convenient.
Posted by BatmanG8 (74 comments )
Link Flag
Gates is a Dirty Lying Sociopath
Gates is a dirty lying sociopathic personality. Witness the contractors whose labor he lied about so his company wouldn't have to pay overtime. Witness the tens of thousands of small companies that were destroyed by M$ monopolistic practices. Witness the 3000 new software patents that his band of keyboard monkeys crank out very year which only serve to impede progress. Witness the massive massive outsourcing of jobs to India and other places to escape and drive down US wages while Windows have never ever as a result of such cost cutting practices decreased even a dime nor has any of M$'s other products. Witness the bare-faced knowing lies he's told in open court regarding his company's monopolisitic practices. Witness his lying to Congress today about being able to find qualified American engineers.


The free market will produce as many highly qualified engineers as is needed but Gates et. al. can't stop gaming the mechanism through which that would happen, wage increases. No one has done more to destroy the outlook of American engineering than this megalomaniac and now that he's destroyed it, he wants to kill it once and for all
through unlimited immigration.

Gates is a sick animal; a sick degenerate lying broken filthy amoral predator who won't stop preying on the American economy and on American democracy until it's nothing but a two-tiered system of haves and have-nots. Anything you can do to hurt Microsoft is good for America. Anything you can do to hurt Microsoft is moral and right and just.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pirating MS software is not illegal
&gt; Anything you can do to hurt Microsoft is good
&gt; for America. Anything you can do to hurt
&gt; Microsoft is moral and right and just.

Right on.
Posted by Microsoft_Facts (109 comments )
Link Flag
Gates what ever
Gates need to spend a little time looking at cost of software and equipment for schools. higher math and science books and software cost are out of control Degree's in the USA need to fall in line more training in core subjects less in history of subjects. Overseas you don't spend 5 class days going over who made basic unit of a subject. Gates need cheap labor but is afraid of doing his research overseas it mite fall out of his control.
Posted by cohaver (189 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Knowing the burden
Just wanted to let people know what it's like to go through this,
since I've lived it. I'm one of the people lucky enough to have
received an H1B, only because of the then newly approved
Masters or Higher cap.

I've gone through a lot of stress and uncertainty for my visas
over the last few years and it's been the most stressfull part of
my life.

Technically, you're not allowed to make less than 95% of what an
american would make in your position (the other 5% pretty much
counts for the lawyer and visa costs, so it mounts to the exact
same spending for a company). Sometimes this obviously isn't
enforced and people get paid significantly less. Most of the time,
an employee won't say anything to the dept. of labour, since
doing so means losing your job (most likely) thus losing your
visa, but hey, many americans are underpaid due to similar
schemes of bad employers.

The most frustrating part was that it was so hard to obtain the
visa, even though I have a Masters. Especially since when I got
my greencard (I won one in the DV-lottery), the person at the
consulate that interviewed me told me I was exactly the type of
person (based on my degrees and employment history) that they
were looking for in the US. So why did they almost kick me out
for the H1 visa, right?

And my last statement, it's not about 'taking peoples jobs' and
all that stuff. Think about it, if you educate everybody really well
and then kick them out, 'here's a great education, now go use it
someplace else', what happens is that you export the
knowledge. You'll lose more business since all these well-
educated people will start company's, research, etc. abroad as
opposed to in the US. Yes, the US can't compete with
outsourcing, just as it couldn't compete with keeping production
in the US for many indusrties. However, even when many
industries moved to china, taiwan, etc., the US continued to
thrive, americans are richer now than they were 100 years ago.
The way the US can really get an edge, is by doing a lot of
research and development here, then do production abroad and
market things worldwide. Use the global economy. Those people
that now think, 'well, that was my job that's now abroad', they
should realize that they have to seize the opportunity to go into
this research and development, expanding this market.

It's what I plan to do, be it here, or if I get kicked out, someplace
else.....
Posted by rjdevries (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Report violations
If a company doesn't pay the salary they are supposed to pay, you can report such H1 violations:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.dol.gov/esa/forms/whd/WH-4.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.dol.gov/esa/forms/whd/WH-4.pdf</a>
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
the Solution is
to vote your congresspig and senator out of office. IF they vote for this, then they lose in 2008. It's that simple. America is a kleptocracy where billionaires go after the wages of the working people. America has never ever in its history had any respect for its working people; if you earn your money through working, you're just garbage in the eyes of your congresspig. While we pay for their gold-plated-health-care-for-life and perpetual income-for-life, they openm the flood gates to labor so we can't even work for a living.

Want to change things? Run for office. Change the rules by which the game is played. First order of business is- repeal of healthcare and pensions for all congresspigs- sorry, the nation's going broke and we need sacrifices. Oh, and by the way, it's now illegal for congresspigs to work as lobbyists- we have to clean up government and that's the first place to start.

Your congressman and your sentaor coudl give a sh*t about you and your life and your kid's lives and anything else, including this country, which they would like to see dissolved and replaced by one Corporation of the Americas. That's why they sit there and listen to GAtes and praise him b/c Gates wants exactly the same thing- they're corporatists, which is the belief that the corporation is ascendant over all other entities, including people, and what's good for corporations is Good and people are expendable and their lives mean nothing except to the degree that they serve the corporation. That is EXAZCTLY what your congresspig thinks and it's what Gates thinks and it's what all the "business" leaders think. Flooding this country with unlimited labor will OF COURSE destroy your life, of COURSE it will- how can you make a living when there are 1000 other people who are just as good as you- (for the narcissists out there, even if you think you're one in a million, given a billion people, they're are still 1000 other people just like you... do the math...) the answer is you can't . You'll starve in the streets. You have to understand that your congresspigs know this- and that's what they want. They want working Americans on their knees serving and begging at the corporate table. They want to watch us scratch each other's eyes out for some crumb of bread from their table. It's what "pro business' people have always wanted and now in congress there is nothing but "pro business" people. They see the world as rulers and ruled, and they think that that's the way IT SHOULD BE. That that's the natural and right order of things and anything that goes to equality or egalitarianism is "inefficient" and a waste. They really believe that some people are just "more fit" and deserve to have everything and by the way, that's them (or they wouldn't be there). That perfectly describes Gates, your congresspig and the corptocracy America is. If you wnat ot change it, you need to break your congreespig. Run for office. Start a party. Vote for Nader or whoever. Break the back of corporations once and for all or die in the streets of starvation like our vets.

IFthey do THAT to the vets, just imagine how worthless YOUR life is to them.

Stop their pensions. Stop their health care. Put them out of office and deny them government-influencing employment.

When we break their bodies, then we'll change their minds.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BS Joe
I hear these types of comments from people who have some agenda that makes them want to deny reality.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.workpermit.com/news/2005_10_26/us/us_h1b_visa_holders_earn_less.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.workpermit.com/news/2005_10_26/us/us_h1b_visa_holders_earn_less.htm</a>

The laws aren't enforced, as H1B after H1B has testified, both here and online. They work for whatever they're given.

Even IF the laws were enforced, what happens when every year, the "average" wage for programming goes down by 5% of that year's average wage, which is EXACTLY what can happen, very legally, by flooding the market with H1Bs.... Do the math.

80k --&gt;76k year 1
76k--&gt;72k year 2
72k--&gt;68.5 k year 3
68.5k--&gt;65k year 4
65k--&gt;61.5k year 5

and so on....

Yeah, H1Bs don't effect wages.... like hell they don't
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Of course the laws are enforced
You just need to open your eyes. One random example: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/2005/112805-h1-b-visa.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.networkworld.com/news/2005/112805-h1-b-visa.html</a>
It is YOU who has an anti-immigrant agenda.
And your "math" has some serious flaws. Any kid with a decent highschool education would know that 65000 H1s per year don't push the average salary down. Geez, are all anti-H1s math-challenged?
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
you're wrong again
What alternative universe are you in? Do yo SERIOUSLY believe there are 65k h1Bs in this country? Lie I said, some people are motivated to deny reality. The reality is, there are millions and millions of H1Bs in the country. 65k a year for 85,000 in year 2000 plus 195,000 in 2001 == 280,000 plus 195,000 in 2002 == 375,000 plus 195,000 year 2003 == 470,000 plus 85,000 in 2004 == 555,000 + 85,000 in 2006 == 640,000 plus the much larger number that have been let in under the L1 visa (which in the case of the Singapore-Chile free trade agreement is , literally unlimited) , and well over a million L1s PLUS the very very large number who have gotten green card conversion PLUS the much larger number that simply overstay their visas (only SOME of whom don't fly airplanes in skyscrapers, the rest do of course) and you can see that yes, in fact there are millions of H1B J1, L1 and all the other visa-holders here "doing jobs Americans won't do".


So get your facts straight before you shoot off your mouth on a public forum.

in 2003 there were 230,000 unemployed engineers
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1308962,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1308962,00.asp</a>

whose jobs were being held by visa holders.


Your congress wants you starving so their corporate funders can buy another Gulf V jet and snort another line of coke. That's what your Congress thinks of working people- they're garbage to be used and raped and sent to war , then kicked out into the street when they come back while your they live a life of luxury on your dime. Unelect the pigs that are doing this to you. Take away their pension and healthcare.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And again some out-of-this-world "math"
I see you are indeed an anti-immigrant. Throwing a bunch of visa categories together to arrive at your wishful target numbers... Typical scare-mongering tactic: if you have no argument, you muddy the waters by comparing apples to oranges.
Come back when you have learned math. Or don't they teach that in your backwater area anymore nowadays?
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Here is some real food for thought
So, since you apparently would rather see the people who come here on H1 work in their home country, here is some riddle for you:
Who would get the job,
- An American who gets, say, $80K/year, and spends his salary in the US, generating economic benefits here, or
- Somebody in India or China who works for $10K/year, and spends his money in his home country?

Common sense says that it would be much more beneficial for the US to have the person from India or China in the US on a US salary.
We have a global economy, and no amount of ranting can change that. If the US wants to stay ahead in the global economy, the US needs to attract as many talented foreigners as possible.
The other alternative, isolationism, will result in the US losing its technological advantage.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Today's H1B is tomorrow's citizen :-)
Folks. H1B is a dual intent visa. One can apply for permanent residency and then later citizenship. Now, one american citizen won't tell another one ( whether naturally born or the one naturalized through "h1b--&gt;GreenCard--&gt;Citizen) that "you stole my job" .
Posted by pokiri (98 comments )
Link Flag
Joe... who's paying you?
Just tell us. It's OK . We realize that Gates has lots of money to spread around, so you can tell us- is it Billy? Huh?

Congress doesn't enforce the laws and neither does immigration. They don't give a crap about people who work.

"When you look at computer job titles by state, California has one of the biggest differentials between OES salaries and H-1B salaries. The average salary for a programmer in California is $73,960, according to the OES. The average salary paid to an H-1B visa worker for the same job is $53,387; a difference of $20,573."

from <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1308962,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1308962,00.asp</a>

You're denying reality. You're either an H1B or a shill or an idiot or all three.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who is paying you?
Come on. Just tell us. Is it Tom Tankredo?
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Strawman
You obviously don't have any arguments, and actually never had any arguments, if you have to come up with such a strawman.
Come back when you have arguments.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Call on his collegues to stop exporting jobs
While I agree with Bill's assessment of our education shortfalls, I lamment his lack of candor and opposition to wholesale export of tech jobs to foreign countries. I wonder how much of programming at MS is outsourced?
Posted by oxtail01 (308 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Global economy
Since when are tech jobs a property of the US?
People in other countries have the skills to work in tech jobs as well. And in fact, the US is in danger of losing the top technology place if highly educated foreigners can not come to the US. If they can't come here, they go somewhere else, and are going to be our competition. And salaries in a lot of other countries are much lower than here. So, having them here is highly beneficial for the long term prospects of the US economy.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
H1-Bs are good for America
Speaking as an owner of a software company with both H1-B and citizen employees, there is no shortage of ways to cut costs by outsourcing software jobs to other countries. If I wanted to be cheap, I could easily do that. I would rather have programmers here in America, paying taxes and contributing to the local and national economy instead of sending all that money off-shore. Current laws in this area are stupid, and Bill Gates is absolutely correct. The system encourages off-shore labor and hurts America.

I hire the best employee for the job, sometimes that is an American, sometimes it is not. Currently, my H1-B employees cost me MUCH more $$$ than my American employees. This is because I have to hire immigration lawyers, pay for misc expenses related to bringing them to America and more.

Wake up politicans and all you isolationists before it's too late for America!
Posted by AllenDre (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wake up
The market is not going to work if you undercut one side of the equation, which is why you can't find anyone (so you say). Gates and the rest destroyed the market for IT workers. Enrollment is dropping because people know that there's no gainful employment to be had between outsourcing and "insourcing" (H1B and L1 visa holders)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://builder.cbsi.com/5100-6375_14-5306904.html" target="_newWindow">http://builder.cbsi.com/5100-6375_14-5306904.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002906837_computer03m.html" target="_newWindow">http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002906837_computer03m.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.itfacts.biz/index.php?id=P1087" target="_newWindow">http://www.itfacts.biz/index.php?id=P1087</a>


I know why I never hear a reply to the following assertion- if you allow unlimited labor, then wages will fall drastically. The reason I never hear a reply is because everyone KNOWS it's true.

All the conservative mannon-worshipping freaks who have been snorting claptrap about the "free-market" all their lives and who want unlimited cheap labor and who talk about America's "competitiveness" never mention the fact that their own theories postulate, indeed demand, that as the supply of labor goes up, wages go down. That's your freaking Adam Smith, money-worshipping greedheads.

So don't let's hear them say they don't want UNLIMITED immigration to drive down the cost of labor, because they do. What they want is as close to slave labor as they can get. What they want is to make other people work for them as cheaply as possible so they can have more money (and people stupid enough to waste their best eraning years working for them can have less).

That's what business is ABOUT.

It's about making money.

It's not about what's good for the country or the citizenry or any other freaking thing.

The real question IS NOT - why will business people, like crack addicts, say anything anything anything so they can have more money.

The real question IS NOT why will businesses, like a virus, destroy the country they depend on just so they can have another meal at a five star restaurant and retire to the some island nation where they can "win" the affections of some poverty stricken island girl young enough to be their granddaughter.. ah yes.. strolling hand in hand.. him with his fat, hairy gut hanging out of his Bermuda shorts and her trotting beside him in her high heels... true love at last...

No , those aren't the questions.

The questions are - why does Congress put so much stake in every lie every business tells? Like-

Why, they can't possibly stand to have the regulation .. it will ruin them!

Kyoto treaty...??? oh that will be the end of the world economy !!

Minimum wage increases... ??? you're going to torch millions of businesses!!!

And on and on.

So why does Congress even listen to them? We know what they want- they want their drug- and lots of it.

Other Democracies balance the cravings of the eternally greedy :

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/26/magazines/fortune/colvin_fortune_0612/" target="_newWindow">http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/26/magazines/fortune/colvin_fortune_0612/</a>

with other considerations like the public good, their citizen's standard of living, the environment the next generation will inherit etc etc. (all things CEOs and corporations could give a sh*t about)

But not the USA. Oh no.. it's all about which dirt bag CEO can show which congresspig the best time of his life.. promise him lucrative after-congress contracts and whatever else these pigs want....

Business is psychotically interested in making money. They're an instrument with one note, and that note is exactly- everything in this world should be arranged so the people at the head of this business can be as rich as possible.

Who CARES WHAT they say? NO matter how tough you get with them, they'll still be crawling all over each other to try to make a buck. It's not like the impulse to make money is a frail flower that needs to be protected from the harsh environment caused by worrying about the citizens of the country.

Maybe you business doesn't need to exist. IF the only way you can survive is by flooding the country with unlimited labor and destroying the living standards of your fellow citizens, maybe you have a sick business model; sort of like the fast food restaurants.

It's called the market. IF your business goes belly up, you know what? Who cares? There's a million cockroaches behind you waiting to find a way to make it work in WHATEVER environment they find themselves in.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
simply sold out.
Dear sir,

Does your company have an intern program to help educate American college and high school students. Does your company have a mentorship program where senior level workers are paired with juniors. Do you do anything at all to GROW talent?

The H1B program is short term thinking, and indeed it was developed as a short term solution to solve technical labor shortages during the .com boom. With the right numbers this program can be as useful as a credit card during an emergency. But if used to "live it up" today, its borrowing against the future by denying Americans today experience. Reaping without sowing.

The pendulum must swing back to long term thinking soon else the United States will be irrelevant, simply "sold out."
Posted by bwvla (166 comments )
Link Flag
Oh I see, you admit you're wrong
Oh I see so once it's shown that there are millions of immigrants in the high tech sector while millions of American IT workers go begging, your only reply is "stop talking".

If only.

America's a kleptocracy that will eat itself alive from the inside out. Just like the Texas, who wanted so much cheap labor cheap labor cheap labor... and now that cheap labor is turning the state Democratic. Goooolly, these people we pay dirt wages to, they're not Republicans! How could that have happened?

Swim in it, cheap labor lobby. You're like rats.. you'll just eat and sh*t and eat and sh*t in your own home until even you can't stand what you're living in. I'll be glad to see the big Blue flag of the Democratic party flying over Austin sometime soon now. You earned, greed junkies.

You're all the same. You don't have facts, you don't have an argument, you don't have principles... you just want YOUR bread buttered and will say anything and do anything and destroy everything and everyone to get it... that's all your about and that's all America is becoming... a kleptocracy eating itself alive one Republican dirtbag senator at a time.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Conspiracy theory loon
Oh, you are obviously a conspiracy theory nut as well.
If that's the best the anti-H1 crowd has to offer...
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
The fact of the mater is, Bill Gates only wants to exploit cheap labor.
There is no mystery here. Bill Gates wants to exploit as much as possible cheaper labor form immigrants and other foreign workers.
Posted by Microsoft_Facts (109 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The fact is that you are a nutcase
This cheap labor BS is sooo old. Come up with something new.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Free market crackheads on the loose
The market is not going to work if you undercut one side of the equation, which is why you can't find anyone (so you say). Gates and the rest destroyed the market for IT workers. Enrollment is dropping because people know that there's no gainful employment to be had between outsourcing and "insourcing" (H1B and L1 visa holders)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://builder.cbsi.com/5100-6375_14-5306904.html" target="_newWindow">http://builder.cbsi.com/5100-6375_14-5306904.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002906837_computer03m.html" target="_newWindow">http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002906837_computer03m.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.itfacts.biz/index.php?id=P1087" target="_newWindow">http://www.itfacts.biz/index.php?id=P1087</a>


I know why I never hear a reply to the following assertion- if you allow unlimited labor, then wages will fall drastically. The reason I never hear a reply is because everyone KNOWS it's true.

All the conservative mannon-worshipping freaks who have been snorting claptrap about the "free-market" all their lives and who want unlimited cheap labor and who talk about America's "competitiveness" never mention the fact that their own theories postulate, indeed demand, that as the supply of labor goes up, wages go down. That's your freaking Adam Smith, money-worshipping greedheads.

So don't let's hear them say they don't want UNLIMITED immigration to drive down the cost of labor, because they do. What they want is as close to slave labor as they can get. What they want is to make other people work for them as cheaply as possible so they can have more money (and people stupid enough to waste their best eraning years working for them can have less).

That's what business is ABOUT.

It's about making money.

It's not about what's good for the country or the citizenry or any other freaking thing.

The real question IS NOT - why will business people, like crack addicts, say anything anything anything so they can have more money.

The real question IS NOT why will businesses, like a virus, destroy the country they depend on just so they can have another meal at a five star restaurant and retire to the some island nation where they can "win" the affections of some poverty stricken island girl young enough to be their granddaughter.. ah yes.. strolling hand in hand.. him with his fat, hairy gut hanging out of his Bermuda shorts and her trotting beside him in her high heels... true love at last...

No , those aren't the questions.

The questions are - why does Congress put so much stake in every lie every business tells? Like-

Why, they can't possibly stand to have the regulation .. it will ruin them!

Kyoto treaty...??? oh that will be the end of the world economy !!

Minimum wage increases... ??? you're going to torch millions of businesses!!!

And on and on.

So why does Congress even listen to them? We know what they want- they want their drug- and lots of it.

Other Democracies balance the cravings of the eternally greedy :

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/26/magazines/fortune/colvin_fortune_0612/" target="_newWindow">http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/26/magazines/fortune/colvin_fortune_0612/</a>

with other considerations like the public good, their citizen's standard of living, the environment the next generation will inherit etc etc. (all things CEOs and corporations could give a sh*t about)

But not the USA. Oh no.. it's all about which dirt bag CEO can show which congresspig the best time of his life.. promise him lucrative after-congress contracts and whatever else these pigs want....

Business is psychotically interested in making money. They're an instrument with one note, and that note is exactly- everything in this world should be arranged so the people at the head of this business can be as rich as possible.

Who CARES WHAT they say? NO matter how tough you get with them, they'll still be crawling all over each other to try to make a buck. It's not like the impulse to make money is a frail flower that needs to be protected from the harsh environment caused by worrying about the citizens of the country.

Maybe you business doesn't need to exist. IF the only way you can survive is by flooding the country with unlimited labor and destroying the living standards of your fellow citizens, maybe you have a sick business model; sort of like the fast food restaurants.

It's called the market. IF your business goes belly up, you know what? Who cares? There's a million cockroaches behind you waiting to find a way to make it work in WHATEVER environment they find themselves in.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Finally
Finally you admit that you don't like the US. You want a socialist-run country, where the government tells companies what to do.
I take Adam Smith over your ilk any day.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Karl Marx?
I also would much rather side with a free market than some sort of socialist nation.
Posted by Michael K. (19 comments )
Link Flag
Karl Marx?
I also would much rather side with a free market than some sort of socialist nation.
Posted by Michael K. (19 comments )
Link Flag
thanks
I know I only have to keep talking until your type reveals itself in some non-sequitor to be just well, stupid. Anyone reading the exchange can draw the correct conclusion now. Thanks for taking the bait.

Idiot.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, anybody reading your drivel draws the correct conclusions
No more comment necessary.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Bye Joe
After reading the postings, I see that Joe is the only one arguing in favor of Gates view of H1B's. Joe, you have lost your argument.

I know I will email my congressman and senator a letter along with a link to this posting to see how Joe's argument doesn't stand up.

Everyone knows that H1B visa costs Americans jobs and that very few companies pay a prevailing wage, especially when there is no one enforcing that law.
Posted by gdog811 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Huh?
"After reading the postings, I see that Joe is the only one arguing in favor of Gates view of H1B's. Joe, you have lost your argument."

What kind of argumentation is that? Because I know what I am talking about I lose the argument???

I already have written my Congressperson and Senators with my arguments.

The rants against Congresspeople that others have posted here don't make a very convincing "argument" for you...
But of course, you anti-immigrants are welcome to expose yourself as loons and nutcases...
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Oh, and "Everyone knows" is also not an argument
Good luck with that kind of "argument" with your Congressperson...
Economists, the people who are the actual professionals, know better. Look up the work of George Borjas from Harvard, for example.

Anyway, thanks for playing. No go back and learn things.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Bill Gates on Lou Dobbs
The Gates testimony was quite a spectacle. Lou Dobbs gave some good coverage to the hearing and had some rebuttals by Kim Berry (programmers guild) and Ron Hira (IEEE).

Parts 1 and 2 of the 3/7/2007 Lou Dobbs show on the Bill Gates testimony can be watched by going to the following links:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9183967286974233731" target="_newWindow">http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9183967286974233731</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3581912965027051739" target="_newWindow">http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3581912965027051739</a>

As a public service, I will soon put excerpts of some of the most outlandish statements by Gates and his senatorial groupies. The Dobbs show just isn't enough to show how much of a sham this hearing was. The public wasn't invited to the Bill Gates show, but anyone will be able to watch my video clips.

Stay tuned!

To find out more about H-1B and to get on the free "Job Destruction Newsletter" email list, go to this link:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.jobdestruction.info/" target="_newWindow">http://www.jobdestruction.info/</a>
Posted by robsaz (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My observance at MS
I have worked as a Vendor at MS for 2 years, leaving here soon, got really sick of the environment here.

When you go from building to building, all you see is Indian workers and now they are hiring a lot of people from China.

These people have very poor communication skills and I wonder about their ability to even program well.

I mean look at the products that are coming out of Redmond, Vista is a freaking joke!!! XP was way better, I would never even consider to upgrade, MS stole a lot of things from OS X, even little icons, it's disgraceful.

I see Microsoft compared to Mitsubishi, they steal other car companies successful designs (Porsche, Volvo, Subaru) without thinking twice about it, that's what MS does too, on the daily.

Next thing you'll see is them hiring the North Koreans, bottom line, there is a lot of quilified U.S. Born or Naturilized citizens, who get passed over, because these people are willing to work for less.

Bill Jill and Co., is selling our American way of life down the toilet and Congress and the Immigration and Naturalization Service is allowing it.

I would now be viewing Bill as a national security risk and Ballmer too. Longer term they will do more bad for this country than good.

Linux is an operating system that was initially created as a hobby by a young student, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki in Finland. With no budget, he came up with a better OS, than MS will ever be able to copycat, that's why they are licking SUSE Linux ass right now, because they kind of see this in the future.

Just my opinion.
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
Reply Link Flag
H-1b visas
As the wife of a mainframe consultant who has been in the business for over 30 years and now cannot get work, I would like to register a HUGE complaint with the h-1b visa system. My husband has managed to work for only 13 of the last 76 months. Prior to H-1b visas, my husband had assignments that lined up or overlapped slightly and often had calls for work while in the middle of the current assignment. Since the program was initiated, he has been out of work more than working. It is not that the work doesn't exist, but it is being farmed out to workers from other countries. While I understand the education issues involved, being from a family of teachers and personally having a BS in Computer Science, and wholeheartedly support initiatives to stop the dumbing down of US programs and better education for students and getting more women into technical fields, to say that there are no workers available and that is why we have to look outside is RIDICULOUS!!! My husband is available, many of the people he has worked with from time to time are available, and several people he has worked with in the past have simply given up trying to get work. I work in the pc end of the computer world, in a large company that is constantly bringing in contractors from "offshore" while my husband sits at home trying to market himself and waiting for the phone to ring. We would like to pay taxes and spend money on products and care for our 5 children too but if they will not hire experienced American workers, then of course they want more h-1b visas.
Posted by pad4631 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mainframes are dead
It seems your husband got stuck in the 70ies.
Mainframes are dead, and have a long time. That has nothing to do with H1s. H1s have existed since 1990, so it is obvious that your husband's predicament has nothing to do with H1s. It has to do with mainframes being phased out.
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
 

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