U.S. Jobs Crisis
Links

Why you can't find a job


Who is getting the job you can't find

The problem in a nutshell

The H-1B visa problem

The L-1 visa problem

The offshore outsourcing problem

The domestic outsourcing problem

The body shop problem

The cheap, in-house foreign worker problem

The race to the bottom in salaries and wages

The looming destruction of American technological leadership

Who is doing this?

Who is responsible for this?

What you can do to fix it


Why you can't find a job

If you are a programmer, engineer, accountant, research scientist, radiologist, architect, customer service representative or any of a growing number of professionals in whose fields there is widespread and growing unemployment, you may be surprised to learn that your job may have been sent overseas -- permanently -- or outsourced to the U.S. arm of a foreign-owned company staffed by people who are neither citizens nor residents of the U.S., or simply filled with a cheaper foreign guest worker.

As a U.S. citizen or resident you have become less desirable than foreign workers who cost a fraction of what you cost and can be worked 15 hours a day.

Who is getting the job you can't find

If the job you had or the job you want has been filled by a non-U.S. resident or citizen, either overseas or here, the person who got the job is probably Indian, with growing numbers of Chinese, Russians and others jumping on board. It's a mistake to blame them, though, because the foreign workers are not the problem. In fact, they are often victimized as well.

The problem in a nutshell

The problem is twofold:

  • Companies are sending job functions overseas

  • Companies are replacing U.S. workers with foreign guest workers

Why are companies doing these things? To cut costs.

Are these things legal? Yes and no. There appears to be widespread fraud in the visa applications by companies and in the use of guest workers in ways never intended by the visa legislation. Sending your job overseas, however, is presently completely legal and worse, tax-deductible.

The H-1B visa problem

The H-1B visa was intended to allow highly educated, highly skilled guest workers to enter the country to fill positions for which no qualified U.S. person could be found. As far as that goes, there is nothing wrong with the concept. For the economy to grow, crucial positions must be filled. Otherwise, certain work can't be done and shorthanded companies can't develop products, etc.

The problem is that H-1B guest workers are being used to replace U.S. workers wholesale. To add insult to injury, the outgoing U.S. employees are often required to train their lower-paid foreign replacements or lose their severance benefits.

The L-1 visa problem

The L-1 visa was intended to allow multinational companies to temporarily transfer existing executives and key managers from their foreign office(s) to their U.S. office(s) to facilitate the conduct of their business. As far as that goes, there is nothing wrong with this concept, either.

The problem is that L-1 guest workers are often hired in their contries of origin specifically for the purpose of sending them here, and once here their multinational employers hire them out to other companies to -- you guessed it -- replace U.S. workers.

The offshore outsourcing problem

An alarming trend among U.S. companies that has been exploding since the late 1990s is to send all manner of jobs overseas to save 20-30%. How do they do that?

Among the earliest of jobs sent overseas were those of transcribing dicated material from tapes to paper. Repetitive electronic assembly jobs have been going overseas for decades.

As global communication costs came down, it became possible to export almost any job that doesn't require a distinct physical presence here in the U.S. These exportable jobs now range from customer service call center jobs to claims processing jobs all the way up through advanced computer programming and scientific research.

Accounting, including tax accounting and the preparation of complex individual and corporate tax returns is now done in India by Indians. If you get an X-ray, unbeknownst to you the X-ray image may be sent to India for interpretation by an Indian radiologist who spent enough time in the U.S. to get the certifications and licenses to qualify to make a diagnosis for a U.S. patient. Major insurance companies are scrambling to send their back office paperwork processing offshore.

The list goes on.

The domestic outsourcing problem

The body shop problem

The cheap, in-house foreign worker problem

The race to the bottom in salaries and wages

The looming destruction of American technological leadership

Who is doing this?

Who is responsible for this?

What you can do to fix it

First, learn all you can about the problem.

Then contact your Senators, your Representative, and your State elected officials. Demand that these steps immediately be taken legislatively and in enforcement:

  • Abolish the H-1B, L-1 and related visa programs
  • Cancel all existing H-1B and L-1 and related visas
  • Give the Labor Department authority to investigate abuses of existing visas, including the power to subpoena wage, salary, working condition and other corporate information necessary to conduct visa abuse investigations.
  • Instruct the Justice and Labor Departments in no uncertain terms to vigorously enforce all provisions already in law, with the objective of exacting fines, prison terms and civil penalties for companies and their executives and managers who have already abused the visa system
  • Commission a non-nonsense study to fully document the present abuses and their effects on the legitimate U.S. work force
  • Reintroduce strictly limited equivalents of the H-1B and L-1 visas, but with requirements that applications by sponsoring companies and candidate individuals make unequivocal declarations of the unavailability of qualified U.S. job candidates, the qualifications of foreign candidates, and create frightfully draconian penalties for falsifying such information or using a guest worker in any way not fully consistent with the legislative purpose of the visa
  • Completely remove the tax deductibility of company expenses resulting from outsourcing jobs offshore. Few of the companies sending jobs overseas on the excuse that they face international competition are actually international in their operations. Removing deductibility of "offshoring" expenses will instantly remove the financial incentive to send jobs overseas and eliminate domestic competitive pressures to do so. It will be more difficult to block truly international companies from offshoring U.S. jobs, but if they expect to do business in the U.S., they too can have leverage exerted on them through the sovereign power of the U.S. to control its borders, control labor conditions, control imports and exports, and control tax policy.
[under construction]