back to article The cure for US job woes: More immigrants

Radically increasing the number of immigrants – from the highly skilled professional to the seasonal agricultural field hand – is the solution to the US economy's dismal inability to create jobs. That's the conclusion of a new study released not by what one rabid right-wing fulminator dubs "red diaper doper babies", but by the …

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  1. Combat Wombat
    FAIL

    Translation..

    Due to our crap education system, there is a shortage of people who know their ass from their elbow.. and its forcing up the cost of labor.

    Can we please have some cheap, exploitable H1B people, to wave at our existing employees before the uppity serfs start getting ideas of more money...

    kthxbye

    1. Oninoshiko
      Stop

      so can you read, or only type?

      what it SAID was due to foreign students graduating from our institutions, then not being able to stay, we have a shortage of people to fill these roles. That isn't a problem with the education system, at least not at the post-secondary level.

      Once they have come for an education, it only makes sense to have a streamlined system to keep them. It sounds far less like an education problem (unless you are advocating banning foreign students) and more of a problem of a dysfunctional immigration system.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The real problem is that our (US) K-12 education system is such a pathetic disaster, that American high school graduates can't compete and get accepted to our better collages.

        Besides, our young people in this country are so F'ing lazy, that If they do manage to get accepted to a good collage, and somehow graduate, business don't want to hire their lazy ass. Most emigrant workers have a much better work ethic than Americans.

        My wife runs a lab at our local university. The students they hire for part time lab work are the most ignorant, lazy bunch of people I've ever seen. She usually wants to fire their lazy ass after a few days.

        1. Wunderbar1
          Childcatcher

          Anon Coward,

          For other examples of that sentiment, see what every generation throughout history has said about the generation that followed them. The WWII generation said it about the "me" generation of the 60-70s as well.

          I don't think the Western K-12 education system has gotten that much worse. I think the developing world's education systems have gotten that much better. Give them some credit.

        2. Local Group

          @"American high school graduates can't compete

          America's children have been watching commercial television since 1948. But I don't think you can pin the blame on that.

          @"the most ignorant, lazy bunch of people"

          Aren't these the qualities that America teaches many people to value?

          Ignorance has always been very popular in America.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            ignorance is an inherited value

            as in, America inherited it from Europe. How'd those crusades work out for ya? and that little problem with centuries of tit-for-tat of England vs. Spain vs. France every generation or so? Not to mention the success of the consortium-driven EU and the delightful Welfare State.

            As the old PSA revealed: "From you, allright! I learned it from watching you!".

            Glass houses, stones thrown from across the pond, all that.

        3. Kevin 6

          Irony

          "My wife runs a lab at our local university. The students they hire for part time lab work are the most ignorant, lazy bunch of people I've ever seen. She usually wants to fire their lazy ass after a few days."

          When I worked at a university lab as a student it was the supervisors that were the most ignorant, lazy bunch of people I've ever seen. They would fire anyone that showed promise, dedication, and knowledge that might potentially catch a higher ups eye to secure their own jobs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Anecdotes instead of evidence

            Since we seem to be relying on the former I may as well weigh in. Many years ago at uni my friend was exasperated enough with the lab supervisor/lecturer stand in for being idle and incompetent that he was overheard muttering about punching him. The individual in question was a foreign student and my friend a pugnacious Scot.

            The marking of his work did improve....

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            My son legally works in the USA on a H1B visa, he has BSc degree for the speciality area in which he is employed. The particular company he works for has an “international graduates” program that visited his university and recruited him before he graduated.

            On his induction day he met the current intake, all of the internationals had either a primary degree or higher while most of the American recruits only had certificates or diplomas. The funny thing is that as he made friends in America he came across a lot of people who remarked that they would love to work for this particular company but were unable to secure employment there. The inference I would get from this is the American education was not turning out people with the required level of education.

            @Kevin 6

            Based on my experience of working in American companies this is “normal” behavior, but it’s not because they are ignorant or lazy, it is because they are protecting their own patch of turf, or empire building if you prefer. They will not help collogues in case that the person they help, as you put it, help anyone who may outshine them. It’s this personal experience that makes me doubt whether America ever landed a man on the moon, I don’t believe enough Americans could cooperate with each other on such a large project to achieve its goal.

            Paris Icon, Maximum level of intellectual achievement for most Americans

        4. Alfred

          I wonder how they ended up so lazy?

          Who raised them? The previous generation, was it? Time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what you were thinking.

        5. My backside

          Collages?

          From what "collage" did you graduate, stupid? I think you might have meant "college." Not likely a typo, since you typed it more than once.

          You're obviously an American.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Holmes

      The perception of the businesses calling for more immigrants to work is twofold. On the "lower" end of the workforce, many USA-ans are too proud to take a job picking fruit, or the urban equivalent, flipping burgers. Some jobs like housekeeping and gardening become the exclusive preserve of immigrants (mostly Mexican / Latin American but also Asian).

      On the other end of the scale, tech, biotech, pharma etc companies will hoover up as much talent as they can get. If they're limited to USA-ans and a handful of highly-skilled immigrants, then the limited talent pool will force up salaries. From the point of view of businesses, unemployment rates above 5% are great because they force salaries down. That's why the employers wanted more immigrant visas even though for the years of the study the economy was booming and they could recruit enough talent.

      With the economy in the crapper and huge unemployment, companies have it even better, they fire a bunch of workers, can freeze the pay of the existing ones and push them to do more work for the same pay. No wonder corporate profits in the US are at an all-time high not only in absolute numbers but also as a %age of GDP

    3. Inachu
      Devil

      It is getting worse.

      Soon not just immigrants but now mayors are asking for non USA citizens to vote in the USA.

      Shows how much those Mayors hate USA.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I beg to differ with some of the fundamentals here

    Excuse me for being blunt, but

    The above average rank and file of EU (and other parts of the world with highly educated labour) will _NOT_ take a US job discussed in this report period. The current H1B is strictly for mass low qualified labor of predominantly Asian origin.

    If USA was interested in _HIGHLY_ qualified candidates they would have dropped the requirement for the wife to forfeit her career and be a housewife for 5 years. Highly qualified people tend to hang out with other highly qualified (or at the very best highly intelligent) people. If I tell my wife that she is to don a "virtual Burk ha" and sit in the house for the next five years the only answer I am going to get starts with F and finishes with OFF.

    Do not get me started on the requirements for L1-L2 which is supposedly for "super qualified". There the immigration official should be given a set of photos from your wedding ceremony and express their explicit approval with the way it has been conducted in order for your wife to be allowed to apply for a dependent status (and later for work).

    What next? Photos from the family bedroom ensuring that marriage is being consummate in the appropriate (missionary) position as approved by the same officials as a work permit requirement.

    Screw that sidewize. With a chainsaw.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Interesting logic

      So you're saying the "low qualified labor of predominantly Asian origin" is probably single, younger and not as experienced. Sorry to break it to you that isn't really low qualified at all. Also bear in mind that the pay difference between most Asian countries and the US is considerably greater than that between many EU countries and the US so there may be a greater impetus for Asians to migrate. I suspect given your thought train that your real problem is the reverse of what you describe and it's your wife who would be getting the H1B and you're not looking forward to picking oranges daily for cash or sitting home doing the dishes.

    2. Craig Cruden

      Actually H1B is not low skilled

      Worked with a lot of H1B visaholders, and most were Masters - and some PHDs in the field of Computer Science. In fact a large number of them moved to that visa after graduating from Masters programs from reputable US Universities (after 1 year). H1B is one of the only dual-purpose visas where you can work towards permanent residency - while working on the 6 year H1B temporary visa.

      The US system is stupid, if a high-tech worker is offered a job at or above the market rate salary - then just grant them a visa.....

  3. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
    FAIL

    Minor problem...

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    The data used by the study is from 2000 - 2007, a period during which the US economy was growing and at or near full employment. It seems likely that during times of relative economic prosperity that businesses are looking for workers to expand operations, and the availability of additional employees would enable that expansion regardless of the source of those employees.

    It does not necessarily follow that in a period of economic stagnation or downturn that the same effect would be seen from an influx of immigrant workers. Rather, it seems more likely that it would add to the unemployment problem since businesses are not looking to expand operations due to the uncertain economic situation.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Supposing the US decided to send Jonathan Ive, chief product designer at Apple, back home to England. Would Apple hire an American product designer, or would they move their product design team to somewhere in the EU or another country where Ive was allowed to work?

      The big US tech companies became big tech companies because they were able to attract the best talent from around the world. If they were only able to attract the best talent from around the US, I'm not sure they would have been so successful.

      1. Wunderbar1
        Meh

        True to some extent, but the mass of IT industry talent over the past 50 years has been US homegrown. Amdahl, Codd, Joy, Woz, Gates, Ellison, Gosling, Stallman, Ken Olsen, Thomas Watson Jr, Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson and the rest of the Bell Labs Unix guys.... I agree that the times are changing. US is slacking while the rest of the world is moving up fast.

        This doesn't have anything to do with H1-B though. That is purely about cost, not talent shortages.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a waste of time and money

    Check to see who the people are behind this "research" published as fact. If you believe this rubbish I have some ocean front property in Arizona that you may be interested in buying.

  5. Rocketman

    I would say rather than education it's cultural differences. I think perhaps Mr. Combat Wombat provides an example of this. It's the attitude more than the education. Anyway, I disagree that more immigration will mean more jobs for Americans.

    1. Combat Wombat
      Boffin

      let me clarify..

      I am not knocking H1B people, I know quite a few of them, and I have worked with them when I have been down in the States.

      A lot of the guys I have worked with have been great, useful workers but H1B is an awful system where your visa is tied to your employer.

      So you can't just change jobs when your employer treats you like crud. You just have to swallow the shit sammich, and ask for more else they will replace you with a H1B who will eat said sammich.

      H1B is a method of keeping the cost of skilled tech labor down compared to other countries.

      I came to Canada on a skilled intake visa, and I can change jobs with no penalty, or issues. I don't have to leave the country, or find another employer who will take me, who is slightly less abusive.

      H1B is a joke, and more so in the current environment when you have an effective US unemployment rate of 20% (including those who have just given up)

      Strange they are complaining of a lack of skilled techs, when all see on US tv is ads for It schools, and tech colleges.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. PT

        More clarification

        Let's hear it from the top. Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Fed, wrote in his memoirs:

        "As awesomely productive as market capitalism has proved to be, its Achilles' heel is a growing perception that its rewards, increasingly skewed to the skilled, are not distributed justly. A dysfunctional US education system has failed to prevent a shortage of skilled workers and a surfeit of lesser skilled ones, expanding the pay gap between the two groups. Unless America's education system can raise skill levels as quickly as technology requires, skilled workers will continue to earn greater wage increases, leading to ever more disturbing extremes of income concentration. We need to address increasing income equality now. By opening our borders to large numbers of highly skilled immigrant workers, we would provide a new source of competition for higher earning employees, thus driving down their wages."

        See, the worrying income inequality isn't the 500-fold gap between the richest 1% and the rest, but the 40% advantage the educated have over the unskilled. It doesn't matter - to the elites, we're all serfs.

  6. Friendly Neighborhood Yank
    Stop

    business speak 101

    CEO to college kids: STEM fields are the future of our nation - work hard to get that technical degree - it's worth it!

    CEO to hiring department: I won't pay over X to hire a tech worker. If you can't find a citizen willing to take a wage that low, just hire an H1B foriegner. If it doesn't work out, fire them and they'll be deported.

    /It's about "supply and demand", ie : increase the supply of tech workers, so they can't demand a decent wage. CEO is, of course, a buisness major.

    1. Kevin 6

      you forgot the part

      HR Dept: Entry level job, must have 3-5year in the field, and $9000 in certifications pay $30k a year salary no exceptions (sad thing is I've seen MANY job ads like this)

      Unknown to person seeking job hidden qualification must be employed currently to qualify so they can't get in trouble with the US government.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    In order to get more Americans in work, you hire foreigners to take the jobs..?

    1. Alfred

      The point? No buddy, you missed it, go back and take that left turn by the lights.

      "In order to get more Americans in work, you hire foreigners to take the jobs..?"

      No, you hire foreigners to CREATE more jobs. It's like you didn't even read it.

  8. Graham Dawson Silver badge
    WTF?

    So let me get this straight... they have record unemployment, thousands of people literally hanging around in parks crying for jobs* that apparently just aren't there, and their solution is to... bring in EVEN MORE people? Am I the only one that sees the fundamental problem with this plan?

    Reality time: a bunch of corporations and politicians see advantage in importing cheap labour: the former because they can pay them a pittance, the latter because they can turn them into a fairly reliable voting block to stay in power.

    Yes I am a cynic, why do you ask?

    (*Of course some of them quit jobs to go hang around in the park, which is a stupid idea if you ask me, and some of the refuse any jobs they're offered because... well, they're dumb enough to think you can get a job just hanging around in a park. But the majority I'm sure would take any job they could get.)

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      Indeed. It's always amusing to see the Capitalists bowing down before the Great God FreeMarket, but as soon as it applies to labour, the god becomes a demon.

      This is nothing more than a blatant appeal for people who'll work for less than US citizens will. The only thing that'll cure the disease is for the US to mandate decent wages and conditions and to enforce them across the economy. But you could hear the piggies squealing from the antipodes.

    2. Shakje

      But this is why...

      You shouldn't simply decide based on what seems sensible to you

      1) Whether quantum physics is a good model of reality

      2) Whether government spending is historically good at reversing downturns in the USA

      3) Whether bringing in immigrants can help create jobs

      It's easy enough to make judgements about all three of these without knowing a single fact other than what you've seen in the media or heard anecdotally from a friend, but if you look at historical examples, evidence, and current research, you'll get a more informed opinion. Maybe bringing immigrants in won't create jobs, and there will be a study that comprehensively destroys this one, but just forming an opinion and assuming it's right because it seems more "sensible" to you doesn't make you a cynic, it just makes you uninformed.

      I really wish there wasn't this weird push towards "common sense" thinking over anything else. It's idiotic that in this current day and age we should make any sort of assumption that common sense alone can help us explain complex issues like immigration, economics or science.

  9. Mike S

    Beats the alternative

    For the sake of perspective, I work at an American tech company, we have more H1-B workers than natives in my department.

    I think H1-B, and more immigration is a good thing. I like that my company has a bunch of Asians (and me) working here rather than moving our department to Asia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thank you for stating the motivations behind the report clearly and concisely. It's all about cost-cutting and profit/dividend-maximisation while also appearing to fly the flag.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The alternative is to create jobs

    Hiring immigrants at low pay is not the solution to unemployment any more than allowing more illegal aliens into the U.S. is. If people are really this dumb, it's no wonder the U.S. has so many problems.

  11. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    an additional 183 jobs

    yes, unfortunately these jobs are all minimum wage service industry. the only ones wanting this are big business who want to be able to pay even lower wages and beat the employees over the head for 80 hour work weeks at straight time.

  12. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I'll tell you what.....

    If its the IMMIGRANTS you want, then change the H1B program so that someone can come to the U.S. without being sponsored by and tied/dependant on an employer.

    Otherwise you can hire Americans....

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Thumb Down

      They are changing the H1B program (sort of)

      Merkin senator Charles Schumer is putting a bill before the senate and would offer up to 10,000 working visas per year to Irish citizens to work in the United States, the visas will be called E3 visas and are similar to the ones already given to Australians and will allow people to work in merkin-land if they can find a sponsoring employer, however, unlike the H1B visas time worked in merkin-land on an E3 does not count towards getting a green card or citizenship = come and work for us and if you cause any problems or look for pay rises you can fuck off home.

      Icon = under the thumb.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The times they are a-changin'

    The debate about immigration in the US is, to this outsider, particularly ironic given that country's history.

    "Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

    Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

    Hmmmm...

    1. Local Group
      Happy

      The poems they are a-changing

      In the 21st century, appealing to a more affluent immigrant.

      "Cries she.

      With botoxed lips.

      “Give me your spoiled, your rich,

      Your huddled golfers yearning to play through,

      The well-dressed reflet from Armani’s teeming store,

      Send these, the time shared, and vacation homed abroad,

      I keep my default swaps inside the golden drawer

  14. Goat Jam
    Childcatcher

    Prussian Education System In Action

    It is _by_design_ that Western education systems produce barely literate cretins who's primary role in life is to be good little consumers and not rock the boat.

    From http://www.cantrip.org/againstschool.html

    <quote>

    Inglis breaks down the purpose - the actual purpose - of modem schooling into six basic functions, any one of which is enough to curl the hair of those innocent enough to believe the three traditional goals listed earlier:

    1) The adjustive or adaptive function. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgment completely. It also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting material should be taught, because you can't test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.

    2) The integrating function. This might well be called "the conformity function," because its intention is to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a large labor force.

    3) The diagnostic and directive function. School is meant to determine each student's proper social role. This is done by logging evidence mathematically and anecdotally on cumulative records. As in "your permanent record." Yes, you do have one.

    4) The differentiating function. Once their social role has been "diagnosed," children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits - and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.

    5) The selective function. This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin's theory of natural selection as applied to what he called "the favored races." In short, the idea is to help things along by consciously attempting to improve the breeding stock. Schools are meant to tag the unfit - with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments - clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes. That's what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.

    6) The propaedeutic function. The societal system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will quietly be taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.

    </quote>

    http://www.cantrip.org/againstschool.html

    1. Goat Jam

      Yes, I am aware of the irony of using "who's" in place of "whose" in a post decrying the illiteracy of modern schooled people.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Yours is the hat with shiny tin foil.

      Do you really believe for one moment that a grand scheme of this complexity could a.) not be noticed and b.) actually function the way it was intended?

      If anything, it's more a reflection of society as a whole that dictates how a school system works.

      Children from poor and illiterate backgrounds are generally under achievers as they don't have the additional support that educated parents will give. Lets not forget, schooling starts and home and continues to do outside of school hours if the parents are educated.

      A good education usually equates to more earning power and so the children of someone who is educated will see that benefit.

      The cycle repeats itself.

      Put your tin foil hat to one side and consider this as a more logical and educated proposal to the rather insane one you have outlined.

      As an additional consideration, remember, children *need* boundaries - it's part and parcel of how humans function as a social group. Really, we don't want our kids flinging shit at walls and biting strangers.

      Society also needs barriers and generally, it's been desperately unfair for thousands of years.

      One day, we may become civilised enough to sort that out, until then, we're stuck with the great birth lottery.

      There is *no* conspiracy here, move along, as a race, we're nowhere *near* sophisticated enough to carry it off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The shitty state of the average education system has more to do with the contempt with which those systems are treated by their host societies.

        It's a huge effort to educate each new generation, and such efforts are regarded purely as a cost - a burden - on society, and so the tendency then is to drive down those costs as much as possible: pay the teachers shitty wages, make them work twice as much as everyone else, and then berate them for "phoning it in" instead of being "engaging and inspiring educators"; keep the buildings only just in a condition suitable for use, leaking roof and/or crapped-out heating system being something people just have to live with.

        But really, education is an investment, and not one where you can fake an amazing return through the application of smoke and mirrors. You can't fail a generation by providing them with a poor education and then repackage them as superstars. The tricks of the finance industry don't work when you're dealing with real people who have to step up and contribute to society.

      2. Goat Jam
        Holmes

        Of Course Matt

        Everything is OK. Don't worry, nothing bad can happen because our masters wouldn't be able to get away with it, not with intellectual giants such as yourself on their case, keeping them to heel and all.

        Or not.

        On the one hand there is you, throwing insults and espousing your "ignorance is strength" attitude and then there is me, who provided a link to an article that goes into some detail about how the whole thing came about.

        I'm betting you didn't even read the article I posted before launching into your little diatribe right?

        Perhaps you could enlighten yourself just once and actually read the evidence instead of doing the standard thing of using the "tin foil hat" insult and asserting some total nonsense that rich people are smarter everything else that happens is an accident.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Holmes

          Goat Jam might be going a little over the top in the original post's detail, however the general idea is correct. Why are there no comprehensive classes at school about civic rights and duties, the role and functioning of government and the underlying social contracts implied? It's because governments like to be thought of as all-knowing and all-powerful?

          Why are there no classes on financial literacy in any primary or secondary schools? Because rich people make money from the poor's ignorance of the intricate functionings of credit card debt, mutual fund administration fees, bank charges etc etc etc. The default is - put your money in the bank and do whatever your financial adviser tells you (Noting that said financial adviser is, just like you, a poor middle-class schmuck who doesn't really know how to really manage money, otherwise they'd be in their seaside villa enjoying themselves, not working 8/5/365 to give you financial advice)

          1. perlcat
            Trollface

            @Micallef

            "Why are there no classes on financial literacy in any primary or secondary schools?"

            Simpler explanation than the one you listed: When you have sheep create lesson plans, they create classes for sheep. When you, as a non-sheep, put your kids in school, you'd better show them what is sheep-like about the classes, as sheep cannot understand other behaviors than their own. Otherwise, your children will be sheep, AND the parents of the next red-diaper-doper generation, categorically unable to understand why everything they were taught about business and government was wrong, wrong, wrong.

            This goes all the way up to business school -- if the professors in b-school are so f-ing brilliant about making running businesses and money, why are they living on a professor's salary? The sooner your little snowflake learns to ask (him- or herself) that question, the sooner they start on the path of not being a sheep.

            "Bears make money. Bulls make money. Pigs get slaughtered. Sheep get sheared."

            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
              Paris Hilton

              Goat Jam & Matt

              Once again, much to my surprise, I find myself agreeing with Goat Jam's somewhat OTT post!!!!!! He/she is close, but no cigar.....

              I feel that a better description of what is wrong with merkin education, have a read of Charles Pierce's book "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free"

              To quote from the blurb on Amazon:-

              The three Great Premises of Idiot America:

              · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units

              · Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough

              · Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it

              With his trademark wit and insight, veteran journalist Charles Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.

              Pierce asks how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate. But his thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma, and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated. Erudite and razor-sharp, Idiot America is at once an invigorating history lesson, a cutting cultural critique, and a bullish appeal to our smarter selves.

              Paris, what more can I say

        2. Figgus
          Childcatcher

          Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to laziness and stupidity.

          The simple fact is, the biggest problem the US education system has right now is the welfare system*. Why struggle for an education when mom and grandma get checks for doing nothing except producing siblings? Of course, the fact that we have a large social segment that simply does not value education doesn't help the problem.

          Want to see graduation rates improve? Add a requirement that you need at least a GED or high school diploma to get government assistance. Until then, we get what we are paying for...

          *Spoken as the husband of a former educator. I know I'll get downvoted to hell for saying this stuff, but it's the truth however unpopular it is with the masses. Icon chosen for irony.

      3. Mike Row

        You are obviously part of the priviliged few category.

        And simply pissed someone is letting the cat out of the bag. Again.

  15. MooseNC
    FAIL

    Again...

    ABSOLUTE BS. Diebold replaced most of their workers on the Accuvote line at their plant in Lexington, NC with 90% foreign workers to save ONE DOLLAR AN HOUR. Most were illegal, Temporary Resources doesn't really check legality.

    That's right America; your voting machines are made by illegal immigrants because they could pay them minimum wage instead of $1 above it to American workers. Funniest part, when a rumour spread around the plant that ICE was coming in to do a check, they had to shut down the Accuvote line because only a few people showed up to work over there that day. HMMMMMM.............

    1. perlcat
      Black Helicopters

      and what's worse

      Their unions love them. They have people paying in dues to cover strike wages, and they will *never* go on strike -- because la migra will make them head back to sunny wherever if they make a stink about wages or conditions.

      The illegal immigrants have been sold out both by management and their union leaders. This is what is keeping the US' illegal immigrants illegal, by the way. Both sides of the US political spectrum have a lot to gain by it, and a LOT to lose by fixing it.

  16. Wakjob

    Why only India and China?

    Why aren't we importing skilled people from Germany and Japan who obviously have much higher standards than we do? Why only from India and China - 2 countries that have never invented a major industry or any modern invention. This is international socialism and veiled reverse colonization.

    1. JohnG

      Re: Why only India and China?

      Lower salaries for longer hours, less holiday and lower standard of living. At least, that's true of Germany, compared with jobs I have been offered in the USA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ?

        I do not believe you.

        I work In Switzerland, with longer working hours (42 hour standard working week) than Germany. I know many Americans here and in USA. Many, if not most, Americans get litlle more than 12 days paid holiday a year (including well qualified people); expected working hours can be horrific, including being available and reading email etc.while on holiday (not just for the top earners running th e company), The number of permitted, paid days of sick-leave per month is limited (something like 3 or 4 in some firms); taxes are rather high in some states and not that low in others; health care is expensive and job-tied (because of the expense of doing it privately). Even fairly well-paid people start to have difficulty managing within a couple of weeks of losing their jobs and can lose them for reasons such as more than a trivial illness, depending upon the employer.

        Germany, indeed Western/Northern Europe as a whole provides an astonishlngly high standard of living (not just material) for most working people and a remarkably good one for those not working.

        You may be surprised by the number of USA citizens who come to Europe and are not rushing to go home.

        Well, the grass is always greener on the other side. Even if you get a wonderful, copper-bottomed job, how about your children or your wife? Who do you think does the other jobs? What happens if you fall seriously ill, injured in a robbery (know someone who learnt to know a Florida hospital all too well for a month) or need a month to look after an ill relative in the USA or back in Germany? If your job is so wonderful, perhaps they can not bear the thought of being without you for so long.

        In your special circumstances, you may be right; but life is seldom that simple.

        In addition, working abroad is more than just work and what you can buy. Otherwise, move to Saudi Arabia or similar for excellent income, no tax and not uncomfortable, material, living conditions (done it myself).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's not entirely accurate...

      I mean after the second world war they imported stacks of Germans! They provided great insight into space flight, rocketry and aircraft design, pushing the Americans a good 10 years ahead of where they'd otherwise have been (based on the Germans having had stacks of resources piled on them for a good few years, coupled with a 'get zem verking or ve vill shoot you' management style).

  17. Wakjob
    FAIL

    Guest workers killed the US economy

    13 years of importing millions of these people has destroyed the US economy. In 1998 when Americans were running the US economy it was BOOMING. Americans are TRAINING the people we bring into this country - many of whom have never seen a lightswitch before. These people are NOT skiled. They come here to GET skills - from Americans. India is trying to take over the IT market and this "article" is just more paid NASSCOM propaganda. We have ALREADY been importing these people for 13 years - 1 million a year - and has it helped the US economy? No? It's done the opposite. Time to deport all these wannbes from the 3rd world and put Americans back to work. As for Jonny Ive, he wouldn't be sent home because unlike the millions of 3rd worlders here grifting out our companies, he actually produces something. Why is India unable to produce it's own OS if these people are so briiliant? Google "India's sanitation crisis" - this is a country that is 600,000,000 toilets short! America does not need any more people who cannot even pick up their own trash or provide basic sanitation. Stop the NASSCOM lies, stop the foreign manipulation of the US by foreign interests now.

    1. Cliff

      One would have to imagine some saw lightswitches at the airports where they were all queueing up beneath the 'take our jobs and women' signs.

      Have you travelled much? Outside the US, I mean.

    2. implicateorder
      Holmes

      And you post this racist diatribe because sone "3rd worlder" was smarter than you, did not b1tch as much about what he/she was asked to do and did what was asked of very well...

      The proble my dear Watson is in your marked lack of intelligence as compared to the " 3rd worlder" and once he was transplanted into a system where his talents were allowed tolourish, he kicked your arrogant butt. I am amazed at the sense of entitlement many " 1st worlders" have about their little bubbles they consider the world, and their self-aggrandized, megalomaniacal self-image. Maybe its time to stop eating mcdonalds ad try tasting the humble pie being served up these days?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @wakjob

      Seeing that I'm qualified as I've seen what a light switch is; why don't you bubba finish stuffing that cheese burger and fries into your pudgy bloated face, and round off the rest of this fine day humpin your kinsfolk?

      Y'all have a fine day!

  18. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Devil

    "there is no evidence that immigrants take jobs from US-born workers."

    That's it - now I believe the rapture will indeed be for 2012.

    The Mayans were right ! Run for the hills !

  19. Eduard Coli
    Gimp

    Load of crap

    Every once in a while some business fascist operation like this one comes out with these so they can be cited by a lobbyist looking to push more slave labor into the US.

    If anything it is the minority leg up that creates crap education.

  20. cnapan
    Pint

    Creating Jobs, Yes, but only by making a bigger population

    Let's play a simple mind game.

    Let's say there are 100 people in a country, and 10 of them are unemployed.

    The employed people exchange goods and services, and this - the economy - is worth $100 per year.

    ------

    Right. Now lets invite 100 people in.

    So, now we have 200 people. More goods and services required, more people to sell goods and services to. The economy grows - it's now worth $200. There are now 180 people in work, and 20 unemployed.

    -----

    Have we created jobs? YES! 80 of them. Success, surely.

    Have we grown the economy? YES! It's doubled in just a year.

    Is this better than before? NO! 10% of people are still out of work, and everything from housing to hospitals to roads is now twice as full.

    ----

    I exaggerated the numbers on purpose to emphasise the effect, and I purposely assumed that the people migrating were the same as the people already living there.

    Obviously, migrants might be willing to work for less. So that benefits *some* people, but it doesn't help society.

  21. Jason Hindle

    Is this idea related

    To that other right wing idea that rich people create more jobs if they're allowed not to pay their fair share in tax. I'm not sure I buy this. Specifically, I don't see how relaxing immigration rules and allowing more people in will help the existing unemployed get jobs. Perhaps I'm being a bit thick?

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Devil

      The so-called 'trickle-down' theory was much in vogue in the Reaganite 80s and for today's Republicans it has become a dogma as unchallengeable as that the earth was created 6000 years ago fully-designed, that the earth's climate is not changing and that torturing of terror suspects and invading middle-eastern countries is demanded by god.

      In practice, it has never been shown to work, quite the opposite in fact since the country was booming at Clinton-era rates and the Bush tax-cuts (continued by Obama) have not done anything to save the economy. Just to give more money to the rich

    2. Figgus
      Facepalm

      That's funny, I thought fair share meant "the same percentage as everyone else", but it turns out to mean "a much higher percentage than I do".

      How silly of me.

  22. xj25vm

    As stated above, the bulk of the data used for this piece of research comes from 2000-2007 - when *most* of the world economy was in expansion mode. I'm not saying that I even know if the US economy would benefit right now from more or less immigrants - but this piece of research is automatically and significantly flawed because of the data sample they used as input, I'm afraid.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I don't think the Western K-12 education system has gotten that much worse."

    That's verifiable objectively, give or take.

    Give a 201x or 200x student a 198x or 199x exam paper. Make allowances for changes in the syllabus. Ideally, have the work peer reviewed.

    The ones I remember say modern students have it easy (in maths and sciences anyway).

    Sadly I can't remember the references (I'm so old my memory stopped working).

    As well as dodgy dealings at Diebold (mentioned above), there's also a story to tell about consultancies bringing people in on vacation visas and having them do customer-funded work on near-slave-labour rates.

    "Why aren't we importing skilled people from Germany and Japan?"

    In cas it's not obvious: why would any sensible European want to work in the USA these days?

  25. Hud Dunlap
    IT Angle

    Note to your bootnote

    When George W. was running for Texas he ran on the platform of making bi-lingual education mandatory so that every one who went to a Texas school would have to learn Spanish regardless of their ethnic origin. When it comes to immigration, George W. and his cronies are as liberal as they come.

    We have an estimated 23 million illegal immigrants in this country. Looking at the job numbers in your article implies that we should be at 0% unemployment. NOT!

  26. FutureShock999

    Prove it..

    As the article states: "The study also tackles one commonly voiced objection to increased immigration, saying: "US employers use guest workers not to replace American workers but to fill critical needs, allowing operations to continue or expand, which in turn creates additional jobs for Americans."'

    Really? Do they cite ANY proof of this, the most central point of the argument?

    Didn't think so..

    1. Alfred

      I went to read the actual paper and look at their data, and the answer is yes.

      "Really? Do they cite ANY proof of this, the most central point of the argument?

      Didn't think so.."

      I went to read the actual paper and look at their data, and the answer is yes. It's arguable, yes, but they do present data.

      You've clearly already decided and you didn't have the integrity to actually go and check. You're an embarrassment to your education system and ironically clearly ready to be replaced by a foreigner.

  27. James Woods

    If things like this were true the third world wouldn't be the third world and the 'immigrants' wouldn't want/have to leave their homelands.

    The truth is they bring down our society in several ways that corporate america doesn't have to deal with.

    The corporate america suits live in glass houses behind pearly gates and don't have to put up with the hud housing and slums that the immigrants project because that's the type of life they came from.

    They don't strive to become all they can be but rather all they need to be which is often more than a welfare white trasher goes but the white trash is already here; we can deal with them.

    We don't need to invite the third world into a first rate country only to have it be turned into the third world.

    Politicians love 'immigrants' because they come from nothing and are happy to get anything for free. Joe politician is more than happy to run their campaign on giving them everything they can (off the back of the working man).

    Let's tax money transfers to mexico 50%, require english as our primary language for starters and let's see how many come here.

    This study also doesn't seem to count the numbers of them in prisons around the country for very violent offenses.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      FAIL

      The vast majority of people in prison in the US are for harmless drug offences (possession or personal use). Marijuana use in the US is about 50% white. People in jail for marijuana use / possession is about 10-20% white.

      the vast majority of immigrants are law-abiding precisiely because they know they'll be deported if they do something criminal, so they keep their heads down and work.

      1. Figgus

        Logic Fail

        By your own logic, illegals who get caught usually don't end up in prison because they get deported, so using prison statistics seems a tad silly.

        That said, your statistics seem a tad silly because you're using the fact that 80-90% of the people in jail for marijuana aren't white.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can't prove it but they can dupe a lot of suckers

    They can't prove the foolishness claimed in this report because it simply is not true but they can dupe a lot of suckers too stupid to know they are being manipulated.

  29. Doug Glass
    Go

    There are two unemployment problems ...

    ... 1) available jobs going wanting and 2) nobody wanting to "pay their dues" any longer. Everybody wants to start at the top. Illegal labor just wants to work and generally they get to. It's the shiftless and worthless cesspool of loud-mouthed trash that get all the press.

    I see "Help Wanted" signs every day. And I see illegals getting them because the "true Americans" are above the work advertised. My first job when I was 15 paid me $0.20 per hour and my mom had to drive me to and from the job.

    America's got talent, but we've also got the worst work ethic in the western hemisphere.

  30. Drew V.

    Another reason they like it is because it lets them undercut and circumvent the unions, of course. Immigrants make the best scabs. You can't blame an immigrant for taking a scab job if there is nothing else for them on offer. But some domestic workers have devoted a lot of hard work to organizing and fighting for a living wage, and all that work can be destroyed in the blink of eye when immigration policy is too loose.

    1. Figgus

      Living wage

      Oh, you mean that thing that increases at the same rate as minimum wage and inflation? It's almost like the 3 are connected somehow, like the first 2 cause the 3rd one.

      We could set the minimum wages at $100/hr and still not gain people buying power, because a Big Mac would be $50. Buying power is based on the value of your time, any numbers used are arbitrary at best. The cost of goods and services will ALWAYS adjust to measure the value of that time. ALWAYS.

      tl:dr version: minimum wage and living wage don't work for the bottom end, and are actually a pay cut for the middle class.

  31. Daniel von Asmuth
    Holmes

    Elementary, my dear Watson.

    It all makes sense: a significant increase in immigration will increase both the number of employed people and the number of unemployed people.

  32. ryanthelion84
    Thumb Up

    I'll pack my bags right now...

    Anything that FINALLY might make it easier for my wife and I to realize our aspiration of emigrating to the US is getting a thumbs up from me.

    I'm reluctant to wade into the middle of the argument, but for me it's simple, every country has good and bad schools, equally so they have their fair quota of lazy good for nothings that don't want to work, as well as those who are just unfortunate in the current climate and have lost jobs and so on...it is a combination of a great deal of things that mean unemployment not just in the US, but in many well developed Western countries is as it is...I'm not saying the content of this report is even right in suggesting bringing in talent from offshore will boost the jobs available to American Citizens, but if it improves my chances of a visa and a green card, frankly, I don't care!

    1. PT

      @ryanthelion

      Ryan, I'll assume you really know what you want and aren't pursuing some dream of an America that died ten years ago - you might want to think about that. But here's some advice from a guy that did it.

      The conventional path is for you and your wife to shovel shit for at least five years, always in fear of falling out with your employer (who has to pay substantial fees and file all the papers on time), and hope the immigration officer who makes the final decision after five years isn't in a shitty mood, otherwise it's back to square 1.

      A more certain method is to divorce, come to the US as visitors and each marry Americans. Your British accents will give you a pronounced advantage over the home team. It will still take over five years before you can breathe easily, but it becomes more difficult to deport you meanwhile, though to be on the safe side you shouldn't leave the country until the process is complete.

      An alternative is to go to Cuba and take the boat. Since the US regards Cuba as an evil communist dictatorship that tortures its citizens, everyone from there is automatically granted asylum and citizenship as a refugee. You will have to convince an immigration officer that you lost your papers on the way, and will be a more credible refugee if you can speak Spanish. Tell the officer you promise always to vote Republican.

      Yet another alternative is to become Ministers of Religion. We don't have enough of them, and there are special visa programs with fast-track citizenship. It doesn't much matter what religion, so long as it's nominally Christian and you can get some organization to ordain you both. Ministers of Religion are free to pursue any career - TV personality, theme park proprietor, university founder, etc etc - and there are great tax incentives.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vaguely true, but not remotely the whole truth

    Immigrants to the US tend to self-select for education and get-up-and-go...they think that things must be better elsewhere and they get off their asses, uproot themselves and go and so something about it. So that type of person in the aggregate is good for the economy, period -- these are precisely the people who start businesses and work 80 hours a week to make them succeed.

    But -- allowing in *unskilled* immigrants is tricky. They also have get-up-and-go, but their lack of education gives them no mobility in the labor market and so they do not do the usual progression up the labor chain, to increasingly better-paid work. The group most hurt by this type of migration is the native-born poor. Those grapes you got for $1.99/lb were only so cheap because there is a supply of incredibly cheap immigrant labor to pick them. If that dried up, employers would have to hire natives at (at least) the minimum wage. In short, when people at the bottom of the economic pile are being undercut by people who are even further below, you have a problem.

  34. Mike Green
    FAIL

    My friend and his girlfriend have been on both sides of this equation.

    He moved to NY from London when she (a native of the US, but indian ethnicity) moved back there after a couple of years in the UK. They quickly found that their company was hiring indian programmers for 1/3 of the americans, bringing them in under very dodgy visas, setting them up in apartments the company owned (and charged them rent for) and getting the americans to train them up before firing the yanks. They have been tied up in a class action for 10 years trying to get the company to admit to it (he on the immigrant's unfair pay side, her on the american unfair dismissal side!). They even interviewed an indian, who admitted he was only taking the 1/3 of the wage so he could get into america. Who could blame him? The company's representatives almost had heart attacks at the deposition. They kept one indian on even though he regularly turned up for work drunk, while she got fired for visiting her father in hospital on a Sunday. She's even given evidence before the senate about the abuse of the visa system. They tried to give up the case due to ill health, but the company is refusing to let it go now, it's become a vendetta on their side. They have managed to get some 'revenge' though, they told the top one hundred company investors of the company's wasting money on this vendetta and so many companies have pulled out it caused the shares to lose 500 million. They're still fighting the case even though they've lost so much money and through the ill health. So I would be very suspicious of these companies who want the visas expanded.

  35. Brett Weaver

    My My..

    As an economic immigrant myself, I like to think that I have some idea of the issues associated with the subject.

    There is no doubt that two factors do tend to cause some confusion in this debate.

    1.. The type of person who migrates is probably a little different than the person who does not. (This is before we consider race or other factors).

    2.. When you come into a new situation, you often see things that the folk that have lived there don't. The New Zealand farmers have an expression that I will dilute to "There's nothing like a stranger to make you think". In other words a tourist quite often asks dumb questions that give you a new perspective on what you are doing..

    So you have people coming in who are different and asking dumb questions or worse.. seizing opportunities missed by the locals and this is unsettling.

    At this stage a lot of people would criticize the locals for not being accommodating. I believe there is a need for folk that just stay and be. They are the folk that underpin society.

    Newbies to any society should make the majority of concessions and should respect the contributions made to provide the fertile soils they can till.

  36. Babai
    Trollface

    So you want to hire SLAVES ?

    Just saw "The HELP"

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LEGAL immigrants contribute

    ILLEGAL ones do not. No one, even the focus of the writer's snarky attack, complains about properly recorded and integrated immigration. it's the millions of off-the record, underground economy, slave-class ILLEGAL immigrants that the "right wing pundits" attack.

    Interesting how the writer pretends to release this "OMG Right Wing Supports Immigration!" because of the buy-in to the intellectual dishonesty that LEGAL immigration=ILLEGAL immigration and the political dishonesty that opposition to ILLEGAL immigration is the same as opposition to LEGAL immigration.

    No news here, except to those ideologically or party-affiliation blinded.

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