Unfair Competition

Published on October 6th, 2011

The various campaigns for the elections of 2012 are ramping up.  Politicians may loudly complain about the candidates who "go negative," which is to say that they hurl accusations at their opponents, but at the end of the day, it seems that the majority of the candidates could start a new event at the next Olympics: "Championship Mudslinging!"

For many candidates, there are no limits as to what they will do or say to eliminate their competitors.  Their goal is to win at any cost.

Winning means getting the job that they desperately want.  Whether the candidate seeks to be the sheriff of a small town, the mayor of a medium sized city, the governor of a state, a member of the United States Congress or the ultimate position, to be the next President of the United States, to them, these elected positions are jobs. And they will stop at nothing to get those jobs.

Now think about how many of those candidates talk about the need to open our borders to more foreign workers.  They could care less about how the massive influx of foreign workers creates unfair competition for American workers who are trying to stay afloat economically as jobs become more scarce.

Just as these politicians have no concern about how personally damaging the mudslinging can be to his (her) opponents and their families, these politicians could not care less about the harm done to their fellow Americans when it comes to accepting campaign contributions.  They “glad hand” the folks with the deep pockets and fully understand that when they accept campaign contributions they have entered into a tacit agreement with those who write the checks to deliver on policies and actions that favor the deep pocketed contributors.

Corporations exist for one purpose–to make a profit.  It does not matter what they may produce or what service they may provide, they are, in reality, all in the same business, to make as much money as possible.

I believe in free enterprise, but there have to be some controls in place.  Without any regulations, left to their own devices, most corporations would pay scant attention to any environmental laws, worker safety laws and even consumer product concerns.  Think back decades ago, about the infamous Ford Pinto–the car that had a nasty habit of exploding in flames if rear-ended by another car.  The engineers at Ford knew that they could solve the problem of the exploding gas tanks, but those in charge of the company back then, decided that it would be cheaper to bear the costs of lawsuits filed by those who were injured or by the survivors of those who perished and likely suffered horrifically before they died, then simply spending a relative few dollars on each car to prevent immolation of the occupants of their defective vehicles.

When profit motive turns to naked greed very often people are made to suffer.

In order to maximize profit, corporations seek to minimize costs.  Sometimes this can be a good thing. Learning to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste are good strategies and help to keep costs down.  However, when the drive for maximum profits causes companies to outsource their jobs and/or import cheap foreign labor, whether by hiring illegal aliens at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder or by bringing in foreign workers under various nonimmigrant visas such as the H-1B Visa Program to replace talented and dedicated American workers, then we have a very serious problem.

On September 28, 2011, New York's Mayor Bloomberg, in addressing the Chamber of Commerce, made an incredible statement in which he urged Congress to eliminate the cap on the number of H-1B visas that are issued to foreign workers with specialty skills who work as scientists, engineers and computer programs. There’s a cap of 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually. "This is just absurd to deny American workers access to the workers they need," he said. "Let the markets work."

I presume that the quote that it is "absurd to deny American workers access to the workers they need" was probably a misquote and he likely meant that it was absurd to deny American employers the workers that they need.  What is absurd is that there are ever more American workers who have the required training, skills and experience to do these jobs but they have been sidelined by companies and the law firms that they hire, to make certain that only foreign workers are hired to do these high-tech jobs.

The high-tech industries don't generally hire illegal aliens.  They hire temporary workers who have the education that makes them desirable as employees of many high tech industries.  These foreign workers also have another valuable trait:  they will accept significantly lower salaries than their American counterparts.  Often, immigration law firms, not unlike salesmen who want to close a deal, do whatever they can to get employers to hire foreign workers.  For the law firms, their livelihood depends on this and so they are very motivated to make certain that foreign workers take priority over American workers.

If you don't believe me, check out this video of a segment of Lou Dobbs Tonight that aired on November 15, 2007 and dealt with the issue of H1B visas and made it clear that there is no shortage of American engineers, computer programmers and others with graduate degrees in the high tech industries.

What will really infuriate you is the clandestinely recorded 4-minute video of an immigration lawyers' conference in which lawyers were being coached to "not find qualified U.S. workers!" The lecturer who is instructing the attorneys is a guy by the name of Lawrence M. Lebowitz, the Vice President of Marketing for the firm of Cohen & Grigsby.  This video was posted on YouTube by the Programmer Guild, an organization that is comprised of computer programmers.

The lawyers attending that seminar were being coached as to the ways they could game the immigration/visa process to make certain that foreign workers got the jobs and not the Americans who had the qualifications for those jobs.  This way, the lawyers would get their high fees and the companies would pay less than prevailing wages for these workers.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) aliens would be excludible if they sought to immigrate to the United States to perform skilled or unskilled labor unless:

“The Secretary of Labor has determined that (A) there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified and available at the time of application for a visa and admission into the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform the work, and (B) the employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of the United States workers similarly employed."

Prior to the Second World War, the enforcement of our immigration laws was the responsibility of the United States Department of Labor out of the obvious concern that a massive influx of foreign workers would have a negative impact on the American workforce.

Today, the Middle Class stands on the precipice of extinction and, not surprisingly this generation has become the first to expect to not be as successful as the previous generation.

It is time for the government to address a fundamental fact, without creating jobs, nearly every unemployed American could be working if jobs were liberated—liberated from foreign workers who have displaced American workers.

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