Under the law, H-1B visas are supposed to go to well-educated foreigners to fill tech jobs that American companies can’t fill here in the United States. But companies like Disney and Fossil Watch are firing Americans and replacing them with cheaper foreign workers. Why isn’t the government enforcing the law?

41 thoughts on “H-1BS

  1. I talked to Obama on a radio call-in show about H1b visas during his senate run, and he said, in so many words, the PhD. and Masters holders I had worked with likely weren’t well educated enough to compete with the foreign workers taking US jobs on these H1b visas.

    I didn’t get to completely make the point with Obama that if the foreign H1b workers were so much better educated, and so more productive than US workers, then they should be paid MORE, not less than domestic workers with no negative impact on the corporate bottom line, and no driving down of US wages, because of their higher productivity.

    But they were being paid LESS.
    It was all about driving wages DOWN by bringing in low wage competition.

    He didn’t get it, and he never got my vote either.

    • BIngo!

      Microsoft employs thousands of foreign workers – mostly Indians & “Eastern Bloc” types. They make much better workers, they work cheap & they can be sent home if they displease their employer. Most importantly, they come from cultures w/o all those inconvenient ideas about workers “rights.”

  2. This is actually interesting. The law is clear, and it’s also clear it’s being violated right and left, exactly to drive down wages and keep workers oppressed and scared. There is a place where it makes sense – I’m an academic mathematician, we regularly get H1-B applicants for positions as professors. Of course we get lots of qualified applications from US citizens as well, in this case “qualified” has several meanings. Anyone applying could teach the courses they have to teach. Most of them could do very good research, it’s just that you often want to hire someone in a very particular field to work with someone you already have. So if you hire someone like that on a visa, you’re actually hiring someone more qualified, even though there are plenty of others who could do the job fine. And in any case it has nothing to do with driving down wages, we pay everyone essentially the same.

    • Then your employer is not suppressing wages.

      But then explain the justice of the economic hardships of adjunct professors, whose income approximates that of a burger flipper.

      • My employer (the State) is in fact not suppressing wages. There is no justice for adjuncts, and believe me if it was up to faculty we wouldn’t have many adjuncts. At least at a State school like mine they make something, and have some benefits. At private schools it’s horrific.

  3. The American Civil War received much support from “free labor” supporters, who didn’t want to become “wage slaves” in their competition with the expansion of slave labor to the west.

    Slave labor still exists to our west, and competition with slave labor still creates domestic “wage slaves”.

    The government that once was supported by the “free labor” crowd now fights these same people to suppress “wage slave” rebellions with NAFTA, and now the TPP, and a standing domestic armed force.

    • I can answer that, having been through the process.

      You are given a separation date and a separation incentive package for staying until that date. You train others as a replacement, and if you don’t you are out of a job sooner than you would like.

      I stayed on past the separation date because the doofuses in charge made some errors in their plan.

      They wanted to extend my date, putting at risk the incentive I had already met requirements for. I told them to terminate me, give me my separation package, then hire me back on with a nice raise and no penalty for leaving early for a new job.

      A few weeks later I left for a new job. A happy ending.

      • @ Glenn –


        I had no idea that such shenanigans were possible — not to say “legal”!

        That sucks!


    • I think my employers know better than to have me train my replacement. “On the first day of the month, delete all data files and burn the hardcopies…”

    • Job searches take months, bills need to paid now
      What we need is unions, and massive consumer boycotts
      It is hard to turn of the electricity in the case of Southern California Edison buy people could stop buying Disney even if the kids will whine. Fossil watch that is easiest to cut off just don’t buy their stuff

      • @ Ted Rall –

        Yeah, but the comment by Glenn makes it all too clear that it would be in one’s best interest to obey — no?

  4. H!B workers don’t have big student debts to pay on, car loans or the rest.
    H1-B visa staff can be paid less because they don’t have bills that we have.
    But taxing corporations enough to fully fund universities and reduce tuition…that is the EVIL of socialism not going to happen if right wing has anything to say about it.

      • Bernie has promised a flip-flop, to support everything he is campaigning against, and fall back in line with the Democratic Party.

        After the billionaires whip Bernie, he will come back whimpering like an abused dog, licking the hands that beat him. He will have earned the mocking ridicule he will receive from them in his defeat.

        Only as an independent can Bernie come back as an attack dog, biting the hands that beat him, extracting a price from them in making their victory over him a
        Pyrrhic victory in the general election.

        Only by extracting a price from the billionaire parties can any party of the left earn a modicum of grudging respect for their issues.

        But he must be a class warrior: principled, and not a poser.

      • The USA’s former glory? That’s a joke, right? There is no glory for the most evil empire in the history of mankind.

  5. This kind of thing could never happen in the Soviet Union. There virtually was no unemployment. You were guaranteed a job as a human right. If your factory or business had to cut back for whatever reason you were given a new job and if you had to, or wanted to, change careers you were eligible for free training or education.

    In socialist countries you could never be evicted from your home for any reason. There was no homelessness and education and health care were free.

  6. CrazyH,
    Do you deny that there was no unemployment in the USSR and that healthcare and education were free? That there was no homelessness whatsoever? These are facts that you can check. Consult William Blum’s “Anti-Empire Reports” and Michael Parenti’s book, “Blackshirts and Reds” for starters and then you can dig deeper if you like; or, I can recommend more sources for you.

    Propaganda is a real weapon, just like a drone or a rocket launcher and its effects are just as deadly, especially in the long-run. Let me ask you, “How much do you think billionaires hate socialism, a little or a lot?” They have thrown massive resources and effort into spreading lies about socialism in order to brainwash the masses and inoculate them against the very idea of socialism.

    • > Propaganda is a real weapon

      Yes, yes it is, it is used by both sides – and you’ve obviously been reading quite a bit of it.. Maybe you believe it, and maybe you’re a shill – but here’s a little secret: it doesn’t matter one whit. State your case & it will be evaluated on its own merits.

      One just has to wonder why the USSR had to invade various countries if it was such a paradise – wouldn’t they have been begging to join the Union? Why did they persecute Lech Walesa? Didn’t he have a right to free speech and to free association? Why would he want to organize strikes if he was living in a paradise in the first place? If he was a lone malcontent, how did he get so popular as to be elected president? Why did the Romanians execute Nicolae Ceaușescu? If they were living in paradise, wouldn’t they have been a little more appreciative of his efforts? Was the Berlin wall in place to keep West Germans from entering said paradise? Why would paradise need secret police? Was it to keep the unicorns from eating all the rainbows?

      Even if our government has been lying to us all along (and they have) the publicly available facts belie your statements.

      • I stated several facts about the USSR and you chose to completely ignore them and start talking about something else. Your hyperbolic statements make you look ridiculous. Where did I ever claim that the Soviet Union or any other socialist country was a paradise? That kind of sardonic hyperbole comes straight out of the CIA’s propaganda playbook, I’m sure. Maybe you’re the shill.

        And don’t talk to me about invading countries, when the U.S. has invaded and destroyed so many, many countries around the world!

        So you want to bring up Lech Wałęsa, honored recipient of the 2011 Ronald Reagan Freedom Award [sic]? While Ronald Reagan was publicly praising the “Solidarity” [sic] trade union movement, the CIA was covertly funding and manipulating it in order to destabilize the Polish government, which it was successful in doing.

        Ceaușescu, starting in the early 70’s, became increasingly friendly with the West, joining the IMF and signing treaties with the U.S. and Europe not in concert with his Warsaw Pact allies. Notwithstanding all this pandering to the West, he was shot, without trial, by your friends the new “freedom-loving” democrats and free-marketeers. Now, after a big dose of capitalism, Romania is in ruins; 53% of Romanians polled in 2012 said they wanted Communism back – even Ceaușescu’s flawed variety (reported in Washington Post).

        The Berlin Wall was originally put in place, to JFK’s relief actually, in response to a dangerous standoff with the West. It was deemed an unfortunate, but necessary move in a time of crisis and uncertainty where it was feared the Cold War could turn hot at any moment. The Wall helped keep CIA agents out, many former Nazis (as has been acknowledged fairly recently in the NYT), and to stall the tide of the brain drain to the West. The West was essentially bribing white collar workers trained at the State’s expense to come over to the West as a propaganda ploy which is still invoked to this day as you have just demonstrated. The U.S. and European colonial powers were able to use a portion of their enormous wealth (from hundreds of years of plunder of the third world) to bribe these workers and carry out many insidious covert actions against the socialist Warsaw Pact countries including propaganda / psychological warfare, sabotage, economic sanctions and even paramilitary operations.

        So, keep talkin’ shit about socialism and continue to do the U.$. Empire’s dirty work, or get with the program by educating yourself and joining the anti-imperialist struggle.

      • Okay, prole – answer just one question, and I’ll quit mocking you.

        You’re living in the absolute worst possible country in the world. You know where the best possible country in the world is – if it’s not paradise it’s right next door.

        Why are you living here?

      • Wow, CrazyH has finally found a foil that makes him seem the reasonable one!

  7. «Why isn’t the government enforcing the law?» I realise your query is rhetorical, Ted, but to take it seriously and attempt to answer : because the «law» is merely a tool to promote the interests of those who really run the country – i e, the great transnational corporations. The same answer could be given to a question as to why the current administration is putting everything it has to get fast-track authority for the TPP and the TTIP passed in the US Senate and to bring these treaties, which eviscerate the last remnants of democratic control over these corporations, into being.(it also explains why the administration is so adamantly opposed to allowing China, which may have different views on national sovereignty, to participate in the negotiations on the TPP). It also explains – even if you didn’t ask – why the FISA court, which is supposed to regulate the surveillance performed by US (un)intelligence agencies, is such a rubber-stamp farce….


  8. CrazyH,

    How do you know where I live? I said I was a North American political activist. North America includes not only U.S., Canada and Mexico, but also the Caribbean and even what is generally thought of as Central America.

    But the interesting thing here is that you basically pulled out a redneck, right-winger line on me: “If you don’t like America, you can just get out!” As I’ve always said: Scratch the surface of a liberal and you will find a conservative.

    • Woo Hoo! I win again! Whenever you dodge a question like that, two things happen automatically:

      . 1) I win by default
      . 2) You make it hilariously obvious that you don’t have a good answer.

      You are the one claiming to know the absolute best place in the world to live. Under the circumstances, “Why aren’t you living there?” is a perfectly reasonable question to ask.

      Scratch a Russian cheerleader and you’ll either find a liar or a fool. However, it’s only of academic interest. Either way, your posts are worthless.

      • Your original question was, “Why do you still live here?” by which you apparently meant the U.S. And again, I don’t feel that you are entitled to know exactly where I live. Where do you live? What’s your address?

        Now you are suddenly asking a very different question, which is, “Why don’t you live there?” If you mean the Soviet Union, which is what we have been discussing, then I must respond that I don’t live there because it doesn’t fucking exist anymore, thanks to people like you, and those whom you support when push comes to shove.

        I haven’t moved to Russia because it is not the Soviet Union and also because it is not so easy for one such as me with limited means and with family ties to just up and move away to a foreign country. Why don’t you leave? Because despite all your liberal bitching and moaning, you are pretty much happy in the U.S. aren’t you? All because you benefit from imperialism.

        It is true that the U.S. is the most evil empire the world has ever seen, but if you only care about yourself and if you are at least somewhat affluent, then you can be pretty happy in the U.S. But your happiness and your freedoms, or rather, your privileges come at a high price of human suffering around the world; but that is soon to come to an end.

        Although Russia is not completely socialist any longer, 20% of its government representatives and its largest opposition party are members of the Communist Party; and Russia, along with China (which is still ruled by a Communist Party) is leading the charge against U.S. imperialism. That is something to respect and to give full moral and any other kind of support to. As they say, “My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” That is my position.

      • And my posts are worthless, you say? Is that why you keep responding to them? The truth is you’re afraid, and you should be. Communist ideas are on the rise. The colonized, the exploited and the oppressed of this world are rising up, and the U.$. Empire is finished. You can be on the winning side, or the losing side; the choice is up to you. Now you see why the socialists have to resort to authoritarian means – in order to deal with people like you; enemies within and without.

      • I’m not afraid, I’m mildly amused. I respond for two reasons – personal entertainment and to ensure that the naive aren’t taken in by your BS.

        Why I live here? (The USA) MUCH more personal freedom and a better standard of living than any of the places you champion.

        I recognize the problems with my country, and try to fix them. You seem completely oblivious to the problems in the countries you’re cheerleading for.

        Interesting that you are now admitting that this near-paradise you’ve been shilling for doesn’t actually exist. We can agree on that at least. North Korea and China still exist, you could always move there.

        Since you haven’t answered my question as to why you haven’t moved, I’m free to speculate. Perhaps you realize that they are shitholes for anyone but the wealthy. Perhaps you are a paid shill, but one has to wonder why a paid shill would use a soviet icon for his avatar – that would give away the game. Or perhaps you’re simply young and naive, you see the problems here and assume that the grass MUST be greener on the other side. That’s false dichotomy, “both” sides could be evil. (and in fact, they are)

      • «… We can agree on that at least. North Korea and China still exist, you could always move there.

        Since you haven’t answered my question as to why you haven’t moved, I’m free to speculate. Perhaps you realize that they are shitholes for anyone but the wealthy..»

        Are you so certain, CrazyH, that your interlocutor prolecenter could, in fact, freely move to North Korea or China were he (I presume that we are talking about a «he» here) so inclined ? What do you know about immigration policies in either of these two polities ?

        Further, I should like to ask what is your basis for the claim that .these two countries «are shitholes for anyone but the wealthy» ? Do you have any personal experience of them ? I readily admit that they, and in particular the former, are portrayed as «shitholes» by the corporate media in Europe and North America, but as you yourself know, these media are not always the most objective and unbiased sources of information….

        My personal experience of North Korea is limited, confined as it is to a few days as a guest of the Swedish Embassy back in 1980, by which time I had forgotten the little Korean I once knew – I used the Japanese language to communicate with people – so I shall leave that country aside here and concentrate on China, of which I possess both greater personal experience and academic knowledge. It is certainly no paradise – not even a «near-paradise» (I’ve never run into any such) – but I’d hardly describe it as a «shithole», even for those who are not wealthy. Of course, it can have changed for the worse since I was last there, nearly thirty years ago, but I do have contact with people who frequently travel there and who, like myself, know the language, and my impression is that this is not the case. In the absence of direct personal experience, it might be wise to avoid locutions like «shitholes» when referring to distant countries…..


      • Hey, Henri – intelligent commentary at last.

        I’ve known lots of people from China, they all seem to feel that this is a much nicer place to live. OTOH, The videos from Tiananmen Square don’t lead me to believe that China is anywhere I’d want to live. Then there’s their treatment of Tibet, internet censorship, etc, all well-known and well-documented outside of US media.

        I don’t know anyone from NK, but I’m pretty sure it’s a dictatorship with a long history of human rights abuses. The people I know from South Korea also seem to believe so. But then, I have no illusions that the Korean “War” was ever about spreading freedom and democracy.

        I’m not so naive as to believe all the US’s propaganda, either. The capitalists are scared shitless of true communism, so they play up the abuses of places that *claim* to be communist. (I’m just going to assume you know the difference between socialism and communism – our capitalist masters deliberately blur that line)

        But you did see through a ruse that went right over prole’s head. *IF* NK, China & Russia are the bastions of freedom he claims, with no unemployment and all the economic benefits of socialism, then they’d have no reason to oppose the immigration of such an enthusiastic supporter. I wanted to see if I could trip him into contradicting himself. (Which he did all by his little lonesome anyway.)

        You want me to admit I’m trolling prole? Okay, I admit I’m trolling prole, and I’m not above exaggerating to achieve my ends. But he’s getting boring, so I’ll probably let him get the last word.

        I wish ExkidexWTF would come back – point out one little logical fallacy and he explodes in a most amusing manner.

      • «You want me to admit I’m trolling prole? Okay, I admit I’m trolling prole, and I’m not above exaggerating to achieve my ends.» But isn’t that precisely the problem, CrazyH : just what ends do you suppose are served when you «troll» prolecenter ? The only consequences I can see are that we become enmeshed in flame wars, something which, has been blessedly absent from these threads. I have no problems, quite the contrary, with your taking prolecenter to task for inaccuracies or exaggerations, but if, when discussing these issues, you allow yourself to fall into the same patterns when confronting him – e g, transmogrifying «I’ve known lots of people from China, they all seem to feel that this is a much nicer place to live.» into «[China is a] shithole[…] for anyone but the wealthy» – have, for example, you actually asked your Chinese acquaintances if China is a «shithole» ? – then all that has been achieved is the destruction of these threads as a venue for serious (or at least civil) discussion. I could select other examples as to how you place your own words in prloecenter’s mouth (or on his keyboard) ; thus, for example he nowhere claimed that «NK, China & Russia [have], with no unemployment» ; rather he claimed that that was the case in the Soviet Union. Had you, instead of distorting his comment, chosen to point out to him that «unemployment» might have been as dodgy a concept in the Soviet Union as it is in today’s United States, where those not registered as actively seeking a job are magically removed from the ranks of the unemployed (although, as a matter of fact, as the Soviet Union suffered from a chronic labour shortage, I doubt that this was the case), then you might have opened for a fruitful discussion, which could have been enlightening even for prolecenter (as for North Korea and China, the reported unemployment rates are about 4.5 % (http://sv.tradingeconomics.com/north-korea/unemployment-rate) and 4 % (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/unemployment-rate), respectively)….

        It’s not difficult to cast unsubstantiated accusations at other posters – and it might even be fun – but, as noted above, it has negative consequences for the these threads. A modicum of self-restraint is not always a bad idea….


      • @henri – if that was ALL I was doing, you would be correct. But it’s not.

        I use humor, sarcasm, etc, to make my point. (So does the owner of this website) Moreover, I tend to respond in the same tone with which I am addressed.

        I consider Prole and his ilk to be part of the problem. Regardless of whether the former USSR and North Korea are/were workers’ paradises, 99% of Americans believe them to be dictatorships. Holding them up as examples of socio-economic equality will fail because if that closely-held belief.

        Conservatives look at [North Korea] and say, “See that’s what Communism is, and it’s a bad thing” Those of us who know how to read realize that NK is a far cry away from what Marx had in mind.

        Our time is better spent educating the masses on what Communism really is, rather than insisting it’s already been done ‘over there’

      • CrazyH, there is a large and vital distinction between «humor [and] sarcasm» on the one hand, and error and misattribution on the other. I submit that your response to prolecenter above is an example of the latter, rather than of the former, no matter how good your intentions might have been….

        In the event you find prolecenter’s views misguided, you might want to consider being rather specific as to just wherein your differences lie, rather than using the rhetoric of the conservatives – and, nota bene, the «bomb-’em liberals» – to «troll» him….

        I’d like to believe that Ted’s website is a place where even posters like prolecenter can receive a fair hearing….


    • @henri – last response on this thread.

      If you will follow the conversation back a ways (a couple days, other articles) You’ll find I originally did that thing, Perhaps not in so nice a manner as you would have me do, but that really doesn’t bother me.

      If the guy wants to have a polite conversation about how we differ, then he really needs to be polite to start with. Much like Jack Heart, he starts out generally insulting a large group of people, gets personal when someone replies and then acts surprised when he gets it back in kind.

      Since we’re critiquing posts, seems like you’ve been spoiling for a fight lately. You’ve replied contentiously to me as well as other folks, but you’ll note I always responded politely because I generally agree with where you’re coming from.

      But if you really want to have a flame war, be sure to put on your asbestos long johns.

      • «But if you really want to have a flame war, be sure to put on your asbestos long johns.» Thanks for the warning, CrazyH ; you’ve got me shivering in me boots !… 😉

        But a «flame war» is precisely what I do not want to see on these threads, which I think are too good for and should be spared such. That is why in my post above, I attempted to address you with all due courtesy ; if you feel that such was lacking, then I regret it. Still I stand behind my comments with respect to treating prolecenter with the dignity and respect I think he deserves, whether or not one disagrees with his views….


  9. Henri,

    Thank you for your comments to CrazyH. Now you see for yourself what passes for the so-called American Left. He is a very typical example. He, and others like him, will posture as being significantly left of center and will even use some Marxist language, but when you begin to question or challenge the supremacy, the centrality, and inherent morality of the U.S. imperial system the fangs come out and they quickly rally around the flag. You could see how CrazyH spouted xenophobic, racist and even subtly classist abuse when I all I wanted to point out was some basic, indisputable facts about really existing socialism and the USSR.

    I tell all citizens of the world outside the U.S. that if you are expecting an internally generated mass movement to reign in the murderous U.$. Empire, then your hopes are misplaced. It seems more and more clear to me, that the bulk of the effort to smash U.S. imperialism must, unfortunately, come from outside pressure. The U.S. is an entirely pathologically insane society; the people are brainwashed and reared to be sociopathic to an alarming degree. An economically and militarily more powerful force must find a way to deal the U.S. a fatal blow to stop its mad rampages, its bloodlust, and its sociopathic desire for world domination.

Leave a Reply