Thursday, April 11, 2013

Facebook Wants More Foreign Workers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other very wealthy Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a political group aimed at influencing U.S. immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.

Zuckerberg announced a new website (pronounced “forward us”) in an op-ed article he wrote for The Washington Post. He says that he wants comprehensive immigration reform that allows a path to citizenship and "lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born.”

Zuckerberg also calls for higher standards and accountability in schools and increased focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). He writes that our "knowledge economy" is very different from the economy of the 20th century that was based on natural resources, industrial machines and labor.

He also says in The Washington Post piece:

But according to two recent articles in the L.A. Times, Americans are already "the hard-working people". It's just that employers keep pushing them for ever more "efficiency", and in the process, are wearing them down. (Part One and Part Two) And the Republicans want these hard-working Americans to work harder for less, until they are 70 years old before than can finally qualify for Social Security and Medicare.

And when Mark Zuckerberg says each of these jobs will create "two or three more American jobs in return", he doesn't specify, or even hint, at what type of jobs, or how much these jobs might pay --- or how this H-1B "job multiplier" would actually exponentially create more American jobs.

Does Mister Zuckerberg really mean that one more engineer from India might create one more job at McDonald's and one more job at Wal-Mart? (After all, engineers also have to eat and shop). One would think that with Mister Zuckerberg's STEM skills, he might create an algorithm to analyze how his immigration policy would effect the U.S. job market by using more H-1B visas and immigrant guestworkers --- and provide us with more detailed information of this new proposal that he and his new group are advocating for.

There is already a lot of controversy surrounding H-1B visas and other types of work permits and guestworker programs --- especially when the U.S. labor force participation rate is already at a 30-year low, with the real unemployment rate closer to 30 million Americas who are currently without any job at all...not even part-time or low-paying jobs.

For years the tech industry has outsourced jobs to Asia and has been pushing for ever more H-1B visas. Last Fall at the Brookings Institution Microsoft presented a plan to add 20,000 H-1B visas and an equal number of STEM visa green cards to help get "qualified" workers.

And there have already been many reports (from CNN and others) that the H-1B program is really a fraud and a scam, used to escalate the importation of cheaper labor, undermining wages here in the U.S.

Currently, Senators who are finalizing a massive immigration bill, are arguing over plans to boost visas for high-tech workers with disputes flaring over how best to punish companies that train workers here only to ship them overseas. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who’s taken the lead to crack down on outsourcing firms, is also seeking higher wages for workers brought in on the H-1B visas that go to specially skilled foreigners.

But do we really need 2 more part-time low-paying jobs as a "by-product" for importing one more under-paid engineer to Silicone Valley from China  --- a country that is predicted to overtake the U.S. GDP by 2016 and have a billion people in their middle-class by the year 2050? (Just last year alone, with the help of industrialized western nations and their multi-national corporations, China created 10 million new jobs.)

What has Facebook done for us lately, beside just constantly change the user interface every time we get used to the old one? Not to mention the problems with Facebook's privacy issues. What has Facebook done for America lately? A Facebook co-founder renounced his citizenship to dodge taxes and Facebook has also [legally] used our tax code to dodge corporate taxes for an entire generation --- and now Facebook is even getting a tax credit.

Who is Behind Mark Zuckerberg's Immigration Policy

Backing Zuckerberg's group are other very wealthy tech leaders such as LinkedIn.Com CEO Reid Hoffman (net worth: $3.1 billion), venture capitalists John Doerr (net worth: $2.7 billion) and Jim Breyer (net worth: $1.2 billion), Ruchi Sanghvi of Dropbox.Com, who was Facebook’s first female engineer, and Joe Green, a former college roommate of Zuckerberg and the founder of Causes.Com.

Major financial contributors include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt (net worth: $8.2 billion), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (net worth: 4.4% of Netflix's shares, including stock options), Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (net worth: $300 million), SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk (net worth: $2.7 billion), Zynga Inc. CEO Mark Pincus (net worth: $1.8 billion), former Groupon Inc. CEO Andrew Mason (net worth: $390 million) and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg who is the CEO of LeanIn.Org (net worth: $2.7 billion).

Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned Drew Houston of Dropbox (net worth: $450 million), Ron Conway (net worth: $1.5 billion), Chamath Palihapitiya, Matt Cohler (net worth: $400 million), Paul Graham (at Forbes), Mary Meeker (at Forbes), Max Levchin (net worth: $300 million), and Aditya Agarwal (at Forbes).

Donald Graham (net worth: $500 million) is the chairman of The Washington Post (where Zuckerberg's op-ed had first appeared) and he is also a member of Facebook’s board of directors

* Full Disclosure: Bud Meyers is an unemployed Las Vegas casino bartender, who at 57 years old and the author of this post, has now been out of work for over 4½ years (after being a hard-working American for 35 years). He has had ZERO for an income for the past 2½ years. Other than a 14-year-old computer, a 27-inch TV that he bought in 2007 and a few nondescript articles of clothing, he currently has a net worth of ZERO while subsisting on food stamps. Some Las Vegas casino owners, such as Sheldon Adelson, earn most of their revenues from casinos in China. Younger employees are more preferable by the casinos when hiring for front line employees such as bartenders and cocktail servers. That's another reason why unions are so popular in Nevada, because it makes it more difficult for the casinos to fire "old people" --- those in their 40's, 50's and 60's. One casino in Atlantic City has hired these type of employees with "term limits". And while this disclosure has nothing to do with the topic of this diary, it was only included for your information. And the same can be said for the photo above of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, which was also only included for your information.

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