On Jobs, the Incredible Disconnect Between Rhetoric and Reality

Published on January 12th, 2012

By Joe Guzzardi
December 28, 2011

Over the long Christmas weekend, I heard a radio promotional spot from incumbent Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Tim Murphy. The Congressman’s name and location don’t matter because wherever you live, you’re bound to hear Murphy’s same generic message from your local representative: a vote for him will create jobs, put America back on the road to economic health and restore the nation to its once prominent global dominance.

But what’s happening today on Capitol Hill is so vastly different from what’s being promised in the early campaign rhetoric that it’s hard to wrap your mind around it.

By my count, approximately 15 different bills that promote increasing the numbers of so called “highly skilled” foreign-born workers and/or attaching green cards to diplomas earned by overseas students who graduate with degrees in math or science have either been formally introduced or are pending.

Earlier this month, double speaking Congressman Murphy, voted “yea” on H.R. 3012, the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” that would eliminate the current law that limits employment-based visas to any single country to 7 percent of the total number of such visas issued. According to an Associated Press analysis, H.R. 3012 would be “beneficial to high-skilled Indian and Chinese residents seeking to stay in the United States and the high-tech companies who hire them.” An unstated but obvious conclusion is that the legislation would also hurt American high-tech workers.

Since 388 others joined Murphy by voting “yea” as opposed to only 15 “nays” the chances are excellent that your representative is among the job killers.

The H.R. 3012 vote doesn’t look much like the much promised American job creation especially in light of some of the other things we’ve learned in 2011.

An extensive report about hiring practices authored by Business Insider revealed that American corporations are, in its words, “tripping all over themselves” to employ foreign-born workers. The rush to hire from abroad comes despite 2007-2011 being the worst American jobs market since the Great Depression. Furthermore, 2011 college graduates will leave school with the highest level of personal debt in history but according to the Economic Policy Institute will also face the bleakest employment outlook in several decades.

As if existing conditions aren’t dire enough, economists predict that the United States faces entrenched, long-term high unemployment levels as the skills of those Americans currently out of work atrophy and they lose their connections to the jobs community.

Despite persuasive evidence that America has an acute domestic jobs shortage, and by extension, an overage of 14 million unemployed workers, the cry in Congress is for more of the overseas “best and brightest.” This lofty descriptor is wildly misleading. Various studies show that the only common denominator in overseas employees is not that they are better or brighter than their American peers but that they are younger and willing to accept lower salaries.

I’ve cited Congressman Murphy as someone sold on the dangerous fallacy that America has a skilled labor shortage. But Murphy has a lot of uninformed Congressional company. Somewhere along the way, representative government has been thrown to the post-America globalist sharks. Let’s hope it’s rediscovered before the hour grows much later.


Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at [email protected]

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