National austerity economics is rightly criticized now for relying on the shoddy analyses in the Reinhart-Rogoff paper. The claimed skill shortage and pressure for more H-1B visas is even worse because it is not even based on a published paper. News reporters confidently parrot that importing more high skill workers is important to building the US economy. The topic is graduates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Who is really the “best and the brightest”? Do employers seek skills they cannot find locally or are the employers just looking for cheaper labor that is easier to exploit? Professor Norm Matloff at the University of California-Davis writes “No study, other than those sponsored by the industry, has ever shown a shortage.”
|By: Dean Baker Sunday November 18, 2012 6:00 pm|
The evidence presented in Thomas Friedman’s column today would lead readers to believe that the economy’s biggest problem is that companies are being run by executives who are so ignorant of economics that they don’t know that the way to attract more workers is to raise wages. The column begins with the story of Traci Tapini, who with her sister is co-president of Wyoming Machine. For some reason Friedman assures us Tapini “is not your usual C.E.O.”
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 8, 2012 12:20 pm|
Given the changing demographics of the country and the prominence of what you could frankly call identity politics in this week’s election, it would be political malpractice for Democrats not to press their advantage and work to build their support among the Latino community. It’s not just that comprehensive immigration reform would foster goodwill among Hispanics, it’s that at the most crass level, it would smooth the flow of millions more Democrat-friendly, non-white potential voters into the country legally. That’s true of not just the Hispanic community but the Asian community, which is actually growing faster and which swung 72% for Obama.
Senate Democrats have signaled that they will make this a top priority in 2013.
|By: David Dayen Friday September 21, 2012 3:20 pm|
Here’s an update on that Republican effort to increase STEM graduate visas to foreign students at US colleges and universities. It was actually even more cynical than I thought. I knew that Republicans wrote the bill to take away one immigration visa from the Diversity Visa Program for every visa it added for STEM graduates (graduates in science, technology, engineering and math). I didn’t know that they put the bill on the suspension calendar. That means it required a two-thirds vote for passage. Democrats don’t support a zero-sum game on immigration visas, they just want more STEM graduate visas issued. So Democrats voted against the bill in large numbers, and instead of this just being opposition on passage, it killed the bill.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 20, 2012 1:20 pm|
In one of their last acts before going home to campaign, House Republicans will pass a bill today that would increase the level of high-skill immigrants allowed to stay in the country. It would expand by 55,000 the visas granted to foreign graduates of US colleges and universities in what are known as the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math. This fits with a key part of Mitt Romney’s immigration agenda, which he expressed in a roundtable on Univision last night. He said that any diploma to a foreign student for a high-skill field like this “should come with a green card.”
However, the Republican bill, authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, would not create one new net immigration visa.