My apologies to some of my staunchest libertarian and an-cap friends, but I’m going to have to make a semi-heretical suggestion.
Ordinarily I’d advocate that the Federal Government get out of private business entirely (or disappear completely), and indeed, I’d love to see it do so. However, I’m going to suggest a fairly minor policy change that would instantly rebound the economy.
It’s an entirely practical, easily-implementable idea that’s of benefit to both politicians and voters. Both major parties could have something bi-partisan to do, if they were actually so inclined. It would cost them no votes.
If just one party did it, they could write their own ticket for the next decade.
The one, simple thing that would instantly turn the economy around is this:
Send the H-1B visa-holders home.
If this was done, this would instantly create about 200 jobs at one small business in Des Moines, Iowa. These are 200 jobs that I have seen with my very own eyes, one of the many places I’ve worked staffed largely by H-1B visa-holders.
Nationally, it would instantly create over a quarter of a million jobs.
Note that I use “create” in a way that isn’t ordinarily associated with government. When they talk about “creating,” what they really mean is “regulating.”
This change would actually create over a quarter of a million jobs — for voters.
In Information Technology, we have a lot of H-1B visa-holders. In the 1990s, the Federal Government decided there wasn’t enough skilled technical labor in the U.S., IT among the fields.
The sane thing to do would have been nothing, of course. Left to its own devices, the market would have simply followed the Law of Supply and Demand:
- A shortage of IT workers means there is a higher demand than a supply. When that happens, the cost of the supply goes up.In short, IT workers would get paid a lot more.
- Children, seeing adults getting paid like doctors and attorneys, would go into the field when reaching adulthood. This would increase the supply. Again, when the supply increases and demand remains constant, then the cost of the supply decreases.In short, IT workers would start getting paid less.
- Eventually supply and demand would reach an equilibrium.In short, IT workers would get paid the same as a highly-skilled tradesman, not a doctor or attorney.
- Any changes to the supply or demand would result in a re-balancing:
- If IT workers got paid too little, people would stop going into the field. This would decrease the supply and wages would increase.
- The increase in wage would attract more people into the field. This would result in a decrease in wages.
- Repeat until IT advances no longer require skilled human labor and disappears or transforms into something I have a hard time imagining, much less conceptualizing.
I’ll digress for a moment:
If you’re under the age of fifty, there is a significant possibility that you will have the option of uploading your consciousness into something we would not today recognize as a machine.
You will have the option of a kind of immortality.
It’s coming: twenty years, tops. It might only be ten. It depends less on advances in technology but rather neurology (and possibly spirituality, depending on your taste). We’ll probably be capable of storing the consciousness before they’re capable of extracting (or copying) it.
And yes, we’ll have sapient computers, first. I doubt we’ll know it, though. Sapient computers will not think like us. I don’t think we’ll notice when it happens. Indeed, it may have already happened.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the Supply and Demand cycle is in play right now. The problem is, it’s in play for the wrong people.
In the late 1990s, just as IT salaries were sky-rocketing (my salary more than doubled in only two years), the Statists decided that we desperately needed more skilled technical workers. This was correct, but rather than let the cycle happen, they decided it was better to import the skill.
The Federal Government made it legal to hire skilled foreigners. They created the H-1B visa specifically for the purpose. Consequently, in IT, we call them, “H-1Bs.”
Those of us in the field didn’t think about it too hard. Most of us were starting families and had things like mortgages to occupy us. In addition, we were earning a ton of money but we were literally swamped with work. While a lot of us knew it might mean lower pay, it also meant we’d be able to get more than four hours’ sleep a night.
They also claimed it would be temporary, just to relieve some of the pressure until we got more Americans trained.
We had no idea that the Federal Government would simply open the spigot and leave it that way.
Anyone with a brain wants to get into the U.S. Amazingly, they know the American Dream works while we’ve completely forgotten what it is.
IT naturally received a massive inrush of people from countries where the pay of any U.S. job would be a fortune. A decently-paid IT job made them a literal millionaire back home.
Understand that someone coming to this country — entirely legally, I might add — to better their lives and their families’ lives is wonderful. In terms of work ethic, I actually tend to prefer H-1Bs to Americans. What they’re achieving while they’re here is the American Dream, not whatever nonsense the Statists want you to believe. They’re coming here dirt-poor, working hard, and becoming comparative millionaires. Good for them!
Whenever a Statist says the American Dream won’t work, you just point him to a foreign IT worker. They’ll say differently.
The sad fact, too, is that they really put Americans to shame.
My generation was the laziest of any to that point. Later generations are worse, amazingly — a fact that occasionally frightens me. It’s possible that idle time leads to civilization decay. “Uncivilized” is the only possible description.
We’d led extremely safe lives — no real wars, no real hardships. We’d grown up in a technologically-advanced world and never had necessity to leave it.
For possibly the first generation in American history, we had no wars. Up to that point, every generation had suffered warfare losses, each increasingly bloody. Men served in the military at some point — if they didn’t, they’d better have a damned good reason or be ostracized from society.
We didn’t have a war. Most of us never served and they’d’ve never taken us if we’d tried. There was simply no need for that many bodies during an extended peacetime.
We couldn’t appreciate what we had. It made us lazy. I’m one of the hardest-working of my generation, but I know my father and grandfather would put me to shame.
H-1B visa-holders leave us in the dust, and for good reason. They’re so productive that employers are entirely comfortable with a number of things that would get an American terminated:
H-1Bs are required to spend one month every year in their native country. Every single one has to be gone for a month. They’re so productive that employers don’t mind.
I admit to a kind of envy. Having grown up in a wealthy nation, I can’t visualize the transformation from utter squalor to middle-class. Even the most desperately poor slum in the United States — the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation — looks better than some of the places these guys come from.
So I’m a little envious — but that’s because when they go home they’re treated like royalty — and deservedly so! I’ve had co-workers whose culture practiced arranged marriages. When they went home, their parents had a bevy of girls lined up, each competing to become the wife of a millionaire.
What heterosexual male wouldn’t be envious of a man surrounded by beautiful women doing their damnedest to make him happier than any of the other girls?
The H1Bs I’ve worked with have generally been very competent. There was one ass-kisser that I recall, but I’ve seen far more Americans kissing ass.
They’re very family-oriented. When they marry, it’s for life. They have lots of kids, whom they’re clearly teaching better values than most Americans.
Understand that they’re very religious, generally Muslim. They take their religion far more seriously than any American. I have never, for example, seen a non-Muslim be required to take prayer-breaks during the workday.
I’m not giving a tanj one way or another about the praying, but it’s a couple of hours out of the workday. Again, they’re so much more productive that employers really don’t mind.
Despite what you might think, I don’t see any evidence of anti-Americanism. America’s been wonderful for them, and they know it. They’re not here to take America down, they’re here to become rich.
I don’t doubt that a lot of the cultural differences are shocking to them. They don’t like any level of swearing, particularly “goddammit” or “fuck.” As anyone knows, these have almost become common utterances in the workplace. I’ve slipped up when around them and quickly apologized, as have most of the Americans I know.
And really, I don’t even fault them. The generation that came after me would do well to be a bit more discretionary in their use of language.
Again, I must digress:
Anybody can say shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Everyone knows those words.
Not everybody gets it, and that’s partly intentional. Being a geek growing up, one of the ways you coped with bullies was by knowing just how much smarter you were.
This is why when I say fuck or shit, I mean business. It’s when I want everybody to understand what I’m saying.
Use the seven deadly words if you like, but remember: anybody can do that. Have a little pride and be creative in your swearing.
Furthermore, Muslim women aren’t what you’re led to expect.
Yes, they are subservient to the men. No question. There is a huge cultural gap between they and American women. Again, remember that generally the women come to the U.S. as H-1B wives. They’re becoming relative princesses. They are on no account going to screw up a good thing by being anything other than a fantastic wife.
They also put American women to shame. With the money their husbands earn, most attend college — something that would be utterly impossible in their native countries. They often do this while juggling children and managing a home. They are hard-working students, as are their children.
They tend to wear a version of the burqa: it covers the hair and most of the body, but isn’t robes. The face and sometimes neck are bare, and black pants rather than a dress or skirt aren’t unheard-of. Some wear make-up. Many have jobs.
I have no idea if this form of the burqa is common in their native countries or if it marks them as some kind of radical. In any event, they’re as deeply religious as their husbands. I cannot imagine one cheating on him — nor he on her, for that matter.
Do I agree with the tenets of their religion? From what I’ve read, no. But then, I think Christians and Jews in the U.S. tend to get it wrong, too. In any event, I was married to a Catholic woman for 13 years and attended Mass nearly every Sunday. I knew for a certain fact that many parishioners were cheating on their spouses.
As I say, in general, I like to see this kind of success with immigrants. Except that’s not really what H-1Bs are.
Legally, they are citizens of a foreign country, here supposedly temporarily. The idea was that we’d have them here just long enough to fill in while we trained more IT personnel, but it didn’t work out that way.
Rather than there being a period of much higher pay that attracted more people to the field, the pay began to immediately equalize. There became less financial incentive to go into the field, so fewer people did.
The Federal Government interrupted the cycle. In so doing, the Federal Government created the dot-com bubble burst.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently. The dot-com “bubble” wasn’t a bubble. It was part of a natural cycle. By interrupting it, the Federal government caused a fantastically explosive, job-creating industry to implode. It’s took us ten years to get where it would have taken three if the cycle had played out.
Eventually the H-1Bs became de-facto immigrants. The only requirement to retain the H-1B is to spend a month-long vacation in the native country living like a prince.
It’s time to send them home.
It’s time to let the market work. Yes, for a while there will be a shortage, and consequently astonishing salaries. In short order, high school grads will have dollar signs in their eyes and flood the colleges. They’ll enter the workforce and pay will decrease. Equilibrium will be reached.
Bottom line: send the H-1Bs home, and you instantly create two hundred jobs in one business of which I’m aware in Des Moines, Iowa.
There are over 250,000 H-1Bs in the United States. Send them home, and there will instantly be 250,000 well-paying jobs for voters. Because of the lack of supply, IT salaries will skyrocket.
These well-paid voters will then buy things with their money, which will create demand for consumer goods. This will create a demand for employees to manufacture and sell the goods.
For the life of me, I can’t see how a politician could miss. The H-1Bs aren’t citizens: they can’t vote. No politician would lose a single vote by sending them home.
Furthermore, the H-1Bs are incredibly conservative politically. The Democrats lose nothing by sending them home.
The H-1B returning to his native country will do so with a veritable fortune. Neither they nor any member of their family will ever want for anything.
They’ll also have become used to most of the things we take for granted: consistent electricity, indoor plumbing, heating, air conditioning, television, police and fire protection, easy access to medical care, Internet. They’ll want these things back home. They’ll use the money and experience obtained in the United States to better their own lives. In so doing, they’ll raise the standard of living in their native countries.
There are so many H-1B visa-holders in the United States that simply sending them home would completely rebound the economy. The Federal Government would still need to stop spending like drunken sailors, but the United States might have a fighting chance to survive.
As it stands, the United States can’t possibly survive. See the former Soviet Union for proof. It died for the same reason as will the U.S.:
It ran out of money.
I don’t see how anyone could lose. I can’t for the life of me figure out why some politician hasn’t done it.
- The H-1Bs don’t vote: there is no risk of loss of votes to either party. Additionally:
- The Republicans can claim an immigration victory. It’s not one, really, but they can spin it that way pretty easily. They’re going to need it after they eventually grant amnesty to all the illegals.
- The Democrats could:
- Claim a victory over Big Business. They could, for once, legitimately claim to have done something really productive for America while at the same time sticking it to big business as well. There is absolutely no conflict of interest whatsoever.
- The H-1Bs are very conservative. If you ever made them citizens, they’d vote Republican or worse — unlike us, their native countries have lots of political parties.The Democrats would be well rid of the H-1Bs, particularly since they’re intent on creating a massive wave of Democrats out of illegals.
- The H-1Bs won’t make a peep. They were always told it was temporary. They’ll go home and thank their deities that they were able to become millionaires during the time the Americans were being really stupid.
- Big Business would scream bloody murder at the wage increase, but so what? You’re putting 250,000 out-of-work voters into high-paying jobs. You’re putting future and new voters into college. 250,000 additional votes can’t possibly compare to the simple cash that lobbyists produce.Would it hurt them? A little at first, maybe, but I can’t feel sorry. They’re the ones who bought the votes to bring the H-1B’s here in the first place. This is simply returning to a natural growth cycle that they have hereto avoided.I’m no business-hater. But this is just returning things to a free market. Time to make an honest living.It won’t even matter, because they’ll still be desperate because of the 250,000 empty chairs.Seriously, it’s 250,000, no lie. Cash is good: votes are better.Voters remember moving from unemployment to a high-paying job. Voters remember an economy finally rebounding after more than a decade of slowing growth followed by outright decay.Sending the H-1Bs home rebounds the economy, pure and simple.
- Because of this, whichever Party does it gets the Presidency and both Houses for the foreseeable future.If the President did it, he’d risk repeal of the 22nd Amendment.If the Republicans weren’t such gorram frakking Ghu-cursed Belgium-eating Statist fuck-tards themselves, they’d be able to point to one, tiny policy change that totally overshadowed everything the Democrats have done for the last four years.
There really is no loss to any politician. Apparently those in government are now so consumed with lust for power that they have lost all perspective. They are now totally incapable of seeing something that would be immensely beneficial for them.
I know politicians aren’t that bright. I know that most don’t believe the free market operates as I described. You don’t need to. All you need to know is:
You’re sending 250,000 non-voters home, and in so doing, putting 250,000 voters to work.
Really, where’s the down side?
Oh, and by the way, if those in government actually wanted to help those miserable souls on the Res? Leave us alone for a while. Don’t get in our way.
They’re remote and they’re so poor that there’s little financial incentive to develop there right now, but the cost to light them up gets cheaper every second.
In a few years we’ll be down there running broadband wireless. If the tribal chairmen have any brains, when we want to run in and maintain equipment, they’ll insist that we hire local talent. You guys stay out of our way, don’t touch us at all, and it will transpire that we train local talent.
This would be the best possible thing that could happen. The Res is a place of no hope and utter destitution. Someone — anyone — in a technical field and even a modest wage would help on the Res.
There’s a fundamental interconnectedness of all things, you see. Here’s how a piece of this one works:
We take the smartest high-school grad on the Res, preferably the geekiest kid we can lay our hands on. We train the kid to do the fairly minimal amount of work associated with a minor transceiver.
When the kid sits in their nice, furnished, Main Street office, there’s impeccable broadband Internet.
This kid makes enough money to buy their own rig — and by “rig” I mean “the best frakking machine that Alienware sells, complete with VR.” The lowest-paid IT worker in the field earns more than any other resident on the Res. The kid is now an economic powerhouse.
(So is the landlord of the Main Street office — previously vacant for five decades. Now we’re paying him rent every month on a building he owned outright. He’s wallowing in cash.)
Unfortunately, the rig can’t be kept at home, because that’s a shanty outside town with no electricity or running water. And then there are the four generations of alcoholic relatives with whom to contend.
But the kid’s making real money, now, and can afford to take one of the empty apartments in town. There are always a few: hold-overs from a time when a shop-keeper kept his home above his shop. In all likelihood, the kid can rent the apartment over the office, making the daily commute about ten feet.
Again, it’s the geeky kid. Naturally a wire is run from the rig upstairs to the broadband downstairs.
Unfortunately nobody in town can afford the broadband Internet. But again, this is the geeky kid, and knows tanjed well that if you stand up a a cheap, consumer-grade wireless access point/firewall router, everyone in town could connect to it. Throw a couple of industrial antennas on it, and you’ll hit everyone on the horizon.
Run it up the same tower as the mobile transceiver, throw in an entirely legal (or a stronger, legally questionable) amp, and you’d light up half the Res.
Is it piracy? Yes. Does anyone care? No. Why? Because the equipment wasn’t installed there for end users anyway. These people would never make anyone a profit: they happened to be living in the same middle of nowhere that some equipment needed to go.
This sort of thing happens all the time, and is invariably written off as an operating expense. If they shut down the operation, it wouldn’t do anyone any good and it would only cost money. These people can’t afford the service anyway, and what damages could you possibly get from them? They have nothing.
Again, the entire installation was assumed to be a financial loss on its own. It’s only in context of geographic necessity in the larger network that there’s profit.
In any case, the kid’s got money to spend and has started improving the living conditions for everyone in town In fact, the kid simply spending the money would produce something of a local economic rush: $30K is a fortune on the Res.
Some of it will go to family whether the kid likes it or not. Most will be moochers and the kid will know it, but you can’t turn down family. In fact, Lakota culture traditionally required those with plenty to provide for the poor and elderly.
There’s a fair amount of pressure for someone with a fortune of $30K a year to spread the money around.
Again, just leave us alone and we’ll take care of it. If you try to speed things up with all kinds of regulation, it’ll only take longer to get these people out of poverty.