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Businesses Education United States IT

Gates, Zuckerberg Promising Same Jobs To US Kids and Foreign H-1B Workers? 249

theodp writes: Over at the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-bankrolled Code.org, they're using the number of open computing jobs in each state to convince parents of the need to expand K-12 CS offerings so their kids can fill those jobs. Sounds good, right? But at the same time, the Gates and Zuckerberg-bankrolled FWD.org PAC has taken to Twitter, using the number of open "STEM" jobs in each state to convince politicians of the need to expand the number of H-1B visas so foreign workers can fill those jobs. While the goal of Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy is to kill two birds [K-12 CS education and H-1B visas] with one crisis, is it fair for organizations backed by many of the same wealthy individuals to essentially promise the same jobs to U.S. kids and foreign H-1B workers?
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Gates, Zuckerberg Promising Same Jobs To US Kids and Foreign H-1B Workers?

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  • heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigCstyle ( 2802795 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @12:54PM (#49712195)
    Yeah, more stem workers = lower pay (supply and demand) I am sure this is all completely legit
    • Yeah, more stem workers = lower pay (supply and demand)

      That's kind of true, but not in the sense you think. Increased supply means lower prices, but it also means increased sales volume, for good as much as for labor.

      If you limit the supply of STEM workers in the US, the average US salary will indeed go up, but for the simple reason that only high-value positions get filled in the US; the rest will simply not get filled or outsourced overseas.

      At an individual level, if my business needs a programmer and he'

    • Re:heh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17, 2015 @02:29PM (#49712943)

      Completely true.
      Let's give an anecdotal example to support this:
      Me.
      I am a glazier and ironworker by trade. Building large / institutional and commercial buildings is my experience and early background.
      I live in Edmonton, Alberta.

      In the 80's while running a commercial glass company, my hobby was mini and early personal computers.
      In the early 90's there was more demand for my skills in computing than in construction, so I opened a business supplying and manufacturing mass storage devices.
      In the mid 2000's I was faced with 2 crises:
      First off the fluctuating exchange rates cost us a lot of money.
      Secondly, the "Chinafication" of the industry killed off all the North American hardware companies.
      Including mine. I am sure that low labour costs had nothing to do with that..

      Fortunately for me, my original trades now pay over $60 per hour, due to guess what?
      Shortage of skilled labour.

  • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @12:54PM (#49712197)
    Its hard not to be cynical when this is how the wealthy use their influence in a society that actively caters to them. I'm glad Slashdot keeps reporting on these issues, and I hope we will support and punish as appropriate candidates who oppose H1B. I hope we will have our own movement and do our own work in as many different social avenues as we can to defeat attempts to make things harder for us for the sole reason of lining the pockets of the wealthy more than they already are.
  • Encourage the cleverest of the endemic miscreants to pursue career paths that are ever in our favor,

    or don't act surprised when we accommodate our needs from the foreign hordes.

  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @01:04PM (#49712297) Homepage Journal
    If Gates and Zuckerberg have their way -- all US tech workers will compete directly with foreigners for their jobs. In the words of FWD.us "Major Contributor" Lars Dalgaard:

    "Nobody's going to hold you up and carry you around...If you're not going to work hard enough to be qualified to get the job...well then, you don't deserve the job."

    And part of WORKING HARD ENOUGH is WORKING CHEAP ENOUGH.

    Remember kids -- you got give us MORE FOR LESS if you want to make it in today's Globalized Economy. Just being a US Citizen doesn't mean you deserve to work in the US. Why should we "Carry You Around" if we can import workers willing to work for the equivalent wage they'd get in Bangalore while working in San Jose and will even offer to CARRY US AROUND the corporate campus in Rickshaws and Litters in their off hours?

    This is why we need to revamp the educational system in America -- to train young thralls how to compete in the workplace of the future

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's strange that businesses oppose raising wages. It's like the prisoner's dilemma and everyone wants to screw everyone else over.

      Look, you'll pad profits for a short while (maybe), but in the long run it's detrimental to the entire economy since the bulk of the population ends up with less spending power. If corporations were forced to pay their workers fair rates everyone would benefit.

    • This is why we need to revamp the educational system in America -- to train young thralls how to compete in the workplace of the future

      Eat lots of Ramen, live in a 300 square foot apartment with 15 other people - not you're getting it!

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @01:39PM (#49712583)

      I think it's time we teach our kids valuable skills they'll need in the future. How to hold and use a rifle. How to tie a hangman's knot. How to spot a manager trying to blend into the crowd...

    • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @01:41PM (#49712599) Homepage Journal
      15 years ago many tech workers screamed the libertarian anti-union songs about how a new economy, not based on old rules like profit and loss and robber barons, would create a magical world in which workers and bosses were equal, and all would be fairly treated, and no governement intervention would be required. Then the bubble burst and people lost jobs and workers had to pay huge taxes on stock incentives that were now worthless and everyone started crying about H1B taking their jobs, just like the lowly auto manufacturer workers. It became a time where there was less difference between a tech worker and bluer collar worker. They were all semi-skilled workers

      Here is the thing. Apple, Facebook, MS, are all employers just like any other employer. They want to acquire employees at the least cost. They want to pay the least they can. they don't want people to leave. If this can happen with local employees, that is great. They are cheaper to acquire. But local employees know how much it costs in the US and can leave at any time. That means they cost most in the long term. It would be one thing if local employees could be contract, but the courts have said they can't if they don't have control over the schedule. It would be one thing if local employees could be tied to a job, but courts has awarded money for anti-poaching schemes.

      So what is an employer to do. H1B is a good solution. Workers don't know how much the cost of living is, and is likely to be willing to live a much lower standard of living for a certain amount of work. Workers are much harder to poach. Workers are much less likely to complain about an employer violating the laws of the US.

      So no, it is not wrong for these companies to want H1B employees. There are not enough US kids who are willing to do a days work that also have mad technical skills. And no, it is not wrong to encourage US kids to go to school and learn the latest technical skills. Even if they do not use them directly, and really many college graduates don't work in their field of study, these skills are useful not matter what. It is also wrong to live in a country where we think that workers do not have a right and need to organize in cartels just like employers do.

      • "It would be one thing if local employees could be tied to a job, but courts has awarded money for anti-poaching schemes. "

        It could be easily done through the use of employment contracts that has to be renewed every X time periods based on performance. You salary is set during the terms of the contract, and you receive a bonus for finishing the term. If you leave you lose the bonus and unpaid benefits. This is similar to how academia operates.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        So no, it is not wrong for these companies to want H1B employees.

        Yeah it is because it's unethical. I want cheaper workers, but I'm not going to sell my ever living soul to get them.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        Then the bubble burst and people lost jobs and workers had to pay huge taxes on stock incentives that were now worthless

        The worker's failure to cash out of a bad investment doesn't mean it wasn't real income paid at the time it was earned.

    • And yes, on the corollary, I should be able to go to China and India and compete with the local kids for their jobs. Unfortunately their draconian regulations make it extremely tough to do so, even if the language barrier is not an issue.

    • by I4ko ( 695382 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @02:38PM (#49712989)
      Your post would have been funny if it was not informative. But alas it is. And this is exactly why I as a foreign H1-B holder am planning to leave the US. If you make it so bad, that I get a batter deal back at home, I have no reason to even want to come, especially not planning to have and raise children in what the US has become, but people are only now starting to realize. The sad part is.... after almost 6 years, thinking clearly through it, I already had a better deal back home and I wasted my best years for nothing. Even being a farmer in China, a worker on an oil rig in the sea, or a shepherd in New Zealand now seems preferable than being a H1 in US; and those are not easy jobs. You know, some place that does not thing only for the profit and for the price of the stocks at the next quarter board meeting. Publicly traded companies are the doom of all. No public company would do something out of pride of a job or a product well done or out of idealism. If it was a private one, perhaps 1 in 10000 would still care about the product, the service or the society they are rending it to.
    • I might be okay with this if not for the constant propaganda used to snare kids into this vicious cycle for their benefit. I mean, I guess eventually word will get around that these jobs won't pay well... after hundreds of thousands of people find out the hard way. The AC poster here [slashdot.org] has a good point I think. Computers aren't the end-all-be-all of everything. There's jobs people don't talk about or know about, that pay well and have decent hours and are sorely under-serviced.
  • Comes to timing. The K-12 CS students are not going to fill the vacancies advertised today, but they might fill the ones advertised in 4-15 years time, reducing the need for H-1Bs at that time

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @01:15PM (#49712383)
    Why on earth are we trying toteach coding to everyone, and obliterating the the sexual discrimination in STEM, only to have no jobs for the newly trained US citizens?

    Seems like getting more people trained in the art of making buggy whips and sealing wax.

    • So we no longer have to pay engineers like they produce anything meaningful. Just because it takes brains to do that job doesn't mean they have to earn more than burger flippers, ya know?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17, 2015 @02:01PM (#49712779)
        I wouldn't worry. The truth is that you can't train someone to have an aptitude for something. There's a strong undercurrent of positivism in modern educational dogma: "You can be anything you want!" The sad truth is: no you can't. Everyone has certain aptitudes and certain potential. The current initiatives like code.org will turn out people who can put a few things together, follow recipes they find online, etc. But at the end of the day, it won't increase the number of people who have an aptitude to excel in the field. Also, there's the interest factor. Some people consider software development tedious and boring. These initiatives won't change that.
        • I wouldn't worry. The truth is that you can't train someone to have an aptitude for something. There's a strong undercurrent of positivism in modern educational dogma: "You can be anything you want!" The sad truth is: no you can't. Everyone has certain aptitudes and certain potential.

          Isn't it odd? Seems like a person having a talent for something is somehow bad today. But today we seem to believe that anyone can be Einstein if only we apply ourselves.

          That kind of thinking might even be part of the problems that some young people have with depression these days. When they try and fail the you can be anything you want mentality has only one person to blame - you. Well sorta, but I don't want to get in that issue again.

          The current initiatives like code.org will turn out people who can

          • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

            Isn't it odd? Seems like a person having a talent for something is somehow bad today. But today we seem to believe that anyone can be Einstein if only we apply ourselves.

            Modern left-wing dogma is based on 'we're all the same under the skin!' and there's no inherent differences between people and some just succeed through luck so we must take all their stuff and give it to the unlucky ones.

            Admit that some people just aren't as good as others at some things, and the whole scam collapses.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          What evidence do you have that certain people just can't do certain things because of lack of natural ability? Obviously some people have developmental issues, but in the far East where the attitude is that if you work hard you can learn anything it seems to be true.

          With enough effort and support a person of average intelligence can learn to do most things, most jobs. Software engineering isn't some high science that requires exceptional minds, it's a process that can be learned and which is as much experie

  • Cheap labor is what we need!

  • It's as simple as not using Facebook, I know, I know... you're "trapped" on it now because you were stupid enough to use it in the first place.

    Zuck: They "trust me"
    Zuck: Dumb fucks

    -Mark Zuckerberg

    • Deleted my Facebook account in January (after 6 months of not using it, to be sure I wouldn't become a quit-and-return) and haven't looked back.

      Had to do literally 10 captchas (not because I failed, but because they make you jump through 10 of them) and click through pages and pages of warnings for them to tell me they'll delete my account in a week or two... that's AFTER finding the deletion link, which I didn't even get through their site, but had to Google for. Delete now before they just take away the
  • As long as the jobs actually go to the kids in the end, I see no issue with the companies covering their bases.

    After all, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the training programs are actually going to entice a significant number of kids to enter STEM careers. There have always been science classes and science clubs, yet the percentage of people pursuing STEM careers has always been relatively low.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      There's also absolutely no guarantee that anybody will be hiring those skills. Why should the rich bastards be the only ones who demand guarantees?

      Were I advising someone in school, I'd look at the current economics of STEM professions, and the BS surrounding them, and advise the students to study foreign languages. Or *something* besides STEM. Otherwise in 20 years you'll have a huge debt and no way to ever pay it off.

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )

        The only "guarantee" is that people will always need plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople.

        • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

          The only "guarantee" is that people will always need plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople.

          Yes, but, in ten or twenty years, Indian and Chinese plumbers will be doing that work over the Internet with plumbing drones.

  • As a CEO, you want cheaper labor and more labor choice. The "side" impact to society of getting that is of no concern to the CEO if it doesn't affect the bottom line. And there is almost no penalty in spinning the truth to get it.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @01:54PM (#49712719) Journal

    When they boss around IT managers with need +10 years experience in html5 Android development the only hits are Indian recruiters saying my guys have +10 years of Android & html5 experience in Bangalore then what are you going to do?

    Then HR screams raise the caps!! No qualified workers exist and pass it off to the mbas

    • by crtreece ( 59298 )

      Indian recruiters saying my guys have +10 years of Android & html5 experience

      They aren't lying. There are 120 guys there, and they average 3 months experience each. Tadaaa, they have 10 years experience. /s

  • Sure, it's a little costlier than a full blown slave at a Chinese Apple phone factory, but be assured, it's only a temporary setback until we can get indentured servitude for student loan defaults back on the books.

  • I trained to be a IT professional.

    All ways good in my working career until I hit 40 after that it was much harder to get a job.

    If your training is only good for 20 years of work, the pay has to go way up.

    Employers want cheap slave labor, not workers with wisdom, families, and an outside life.

    • When did you hit 40? It might just be the job market going to shit. It dropped off the first big cliff in the dot-com boom, and it dropped of a second, arguably bigger cliff in the banking crisis.
  • That puts the lie to the skills argument.

  • We should be able to hire anyone we wish to fill jobs we have to offer from anywhere on earth they may currently live IFF they can fulfill the job requirements are are willing to abide by our laws. That is the only stance consistent with freedom and rationality. A potential hire is not better or more deserving of a job just by virtue of being an American. I have worked in software in Silicon Valley for 35 years and there are deep problem finding qualified software engineers. Companies I have been at ha

    • LMOL right go talk to other industrialized nations; everyone has a restriction on who can work there. Don't like it move to Somalia.
  • We all know the situation is bullshit. So we bitch, and send each other links to articles. As if that will fix the problem.

    Situation-1:

    Manager: you're fired. Train your H1B replacement before you go, or you get no severance.
    IT Worker: guess I have no choice.

    Situation-2:

    Manager: you're fired. Train your H1B replacement before you go, or you get no severance.
    Entire IT staff: you try to pull that bullshit, and we all walk out right this minute!
    Manager: okay, you win.

  • Given that your over 30 and clearly want a living wage and a 40hour work week. We have decided to get an H1B visa worker in here to learn your job and move it to a communist country. There they work for rice and we only need to wrap nets around the building vs giving you a pay raise. Its what the stock holders want and of course I'll get a huge bonus for saving expenses for the company.

    Hmm, Faced with this scenario, what smart American would want to be a Computer grad. Basically only the hardcore gu

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