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Programming Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck Politics

US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers 529

dcblogs (1096431) writes On the floor of U.S. Senate Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions delivered a scalding and sarcastic attack on the use of highly skilled foreign workers by U.S. corporations that was heavily aimed at Microsoft, a chief supporter of the practice. Sessions' speech began as a rebuttal to a recent New York Times op-ed column by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson ... But the senator's attack on "three of our greatest masters of the universe," and "super billionaires," was clearly primed by Microsoft's announcement, also on Thursday, that it was laying off 18,000 employees. "What did we see in the newspaper today?" said Sessions, "News from Microsoft. Was it that they are having to raise wages to try to get enough good, quality engineers to do the work? Are they expanding or are they hiring? No, that is not what the news was, unfortunately. Not at all."
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

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  • Jeff Sessions (R) (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 19, 2014 @08:39AM (#47488209)
    As usual, leave off the R when they do something good. Leave off the Dwhen they do something bad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 19, 2014 @09:02AM (#47488267)

    He can't. Jeff Sessions is a Republican in the Senate. Harry Reid is single handedly deciding on what gets to the Senate floor for a vote and what does not. Until Reid chooses to do somehting about it, nothing can be done in the Senate. Sessions is attempting to shame everyone who is preventing something from being done.

    With Reid as Senate Majority leader there will be no free market. A free market might allow people to not be dependent on government hand outs and he can't allow that to happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 19, 2014 @09:06AM (#47488273)

    With 12000 being from the Nokia side of the business, and the majority of that outside the US, the Senator is just knee jerk reacting. The biggest hit is a factory in Finland (a few thousand at 1 location). The reason they are probably needing H1-B is to bring some of the staff from closed locations into the US. They aren't "taking jobs", their jobs are just moving local, to people who will pay taxes locally in America, rather than in another country.

  • consider the source (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @09:35AM (#47488377)
    Jeff Sessions, Tea Party Guy. Of course he's going to take the nativist view. He probably thinks Microsoft could just take the 18,000 people it's laying off and repurpose them to fill whatever positions it's trying to use H1B visas for. Because tech skills are interchangeable, right? And all those 18,000 are totally okay relocating across the country (or globe) right?
  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @09:36AM (#47488379) Journal

    Well, we paid for all that with $17 trillion of debt, and a behavior/thought process that it was ok, starting with Reagan and continuing to this day.

    Other countries are just waiting for it all to collapse and pick our bones.

  • Re:Silly argument (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jsepeta ( 412566 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @09:59AM (#47488479) Homepage

    The only skill Microsoft is seeking is a low daily wage.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @10:01AM (#47488487)

    This is so easy to fix.

    Establish what the standard rate is for whatever position and say "you can have all the H1-B visa applicants you want so long as you pay 20 percent more then what you're paying for domestic labor.

    If its not a matter of pay and is a matter of limited labor supply, they'll import the labor and pay them more.

    If it is about wanting cheap labor then they'll go with the domestic labor which will by law be cheaper.

    End of discussion.

  • by Noble713 ( 3516573 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @10:27AM (#47488615)
    There are a *LOT* of other factors contributing to the US's superpower status pre-Reagan or Clinton. Things like:
    1. massive natural resource endowment (particularly land area, educated population, and cheap energy reserves)
    2. being the only large industrialized nation not bombed into oblivion post-1945.

    to name just a few. Now we are witnessing a regression to the mean as some of these key points (education, cheap domestic energy, and unique industrialization) are challenged by the same globalization principles that we put in place. The fact that our government bureaucracy at all levels is a bloated and inefficient mess only serves to retard any attempts to correct our deficiencies and maintain our position.
  • by danheskett ( 178529 ) <danheskett&gmail,com> on Saturday July 19, 2014 @10:36AM (#47488673)

    He probably thinks Microsoft could just take the 18,000 people it's laying off and repurpose them to fill whatever positions it's trying to use H1B visas fo

    Yes, this should be the presumption. Microsoft or any company already supposed to have to show a genuine need before going to an H1B worker. That means that you have exhausted other possibilities. These companies all use the same stupid trick to show a need: create an unbelievably narrow job description that almost literally cannot be filled, and advertise that job domestically, and then create a reasonable job description, and advertise that internationally. Same job. Then use the lack of qualified resumes from the domestic advert, and the wealth of resumes from the foreign advert, as the basis for importing an H1B worker.

    I would also just add:

    1. Many of the 18,000 workers would probably relocate to keep a high-paying high-tech job. It should be obvious that they should be given first whack at any new jobs across the country. But, Sessions is right to say that Microsoft is reducing it's total global headcount. There maybe individual positions that are open, but it's not like they are shifting 18,000 jobs from one division to another area. This is a global head count reduction.

    2. There is almost no evidence of a general lack of workers to fill these positions. All the silicon valley companies are simply trying to avoid the costs of training and re-training workers, by externalizing them. Most other industries have already dealt with these problems, and done so with very simply tools. Employment contracts and non-compete clauses are the tried and true way to both attract and train capable workers, while protecting yourself against job-shopping once trained.

    3. The H1B program facilitates labor arbitrage, where lightly experienced foreign IT workers are repackaged as high-priced experts and sold for high-rates to American companies. The companies in the middle sprinkle some domestic management and technical resources, and reap large economic benefits that are economically unjustified.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @02:39PM (#47489899) []
    What cost $100 in 1980 would cost $278.44 in 2013.

    So Reagan's increase was about the same as Obama's.
    And a lot of Reagan's increase ALSO came from unrealistically high defense spending and tax cuts on the wealthy.

    What cost $100 in 1988 would cost $193.96 in 2013.
    Bush's deficit increase was also about the same as Obama's increase.

    Clinton used funny accounting tricks and gutted social security to balance the books. Actually he increased the deficit about 2T when you remove the accounting tricks.
    What cost $100 in 1992 would cost $163.61 in 2013.
    So his increase was about 3T about half of Obama's.

    What cost $100 in 1992 would cost $122.42 in 2000.
    Bush Jr increased the deficit by 7T. Currently still a record.

    And bush's tax cuts account for 30% of the deficit. Obama is responsible for not allowing them to lapse. Defense spending the size of the next 25 nations combined accounts for another 40% of the deficit and *modest* cuts would have reduced the deficit by 1T. And we'd have still been spending more than china, russia, and all of europe combined. All of the rest of government accounts for the other 30%. Notably, the ACA is only a miniscule part of the deficit. The vast majority of it is bills from prior administrations that are difficult to stop- and impossible to stop with the republican dominated congress passing bills which only increase costs.

    But Obama could have allowed the tax cuts to lapse and he'd be at about $4T. A *REAL* failure of spine there. And that's been the biggest gap. Let's rate them by spine.

    Bush Jr., Spine of Titanium.
    Bush Sr., Spine of Steel (and it cost him the election)
    Clinton, Spine of Iron
    Reagan, Spine of Wood (really- he basically went "Guns AND Butter)
    Obama, Spine of Silly Putty

    Hate him or love him- Bush got what he wanted. But he had the largest deficit adjusted for inflation and his policies are responsible for 1T to 2T of Obama's deficits (before Obama had a chance to allow them to lapse).

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @03:23PM (#47490079) Journal

    I think you are slightly confused.

    In congress, the rules are that you need to pay for new spending spending in the budget. This is done by either raising revenue, rnding or cutting other expenditures, or showing the need for the spendingis so dire it negates the rules. There is a process for the last by funding things off budget.

    When something is off budget, the funding simply disapears when it is not needed any more. When it is on budget, this funding can be used to psy for new spending. On budget more or less institutionalizes the amount being spent so it can always be spent until some act removes it. Congress and the president know exactly how much is being spent on or off budget. When Obama moved the war spending to on budget, he institutionalized the spending so with Iraq being over, the funing that went to that war could be spent on other things instead of no longer spending it.

    That is the difference between the two. It alway went to the debt. What obama did was officially recognize it as part of the budget and the result is that congress has a slushfund for new spending and increasing spending now when the wars wind down.

  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @05:30PM (#47490611)

    Then why do employer not want to give up health insurance and let everyone get health insurance like they get car insurance? What about 401k's?

    The thing is if employers want the duty to just pay you for services, then they should get out of everything that does not involve work.

    But employers are the ones who object strongly making health insurance act like every other form of insurance. employers like the extra their employees pay them every year.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson