There Is No Tech Worker Shortage And If There Is It's The Tech Companies' Fault

You may have noticed that the big tech companies are agitating for an expansion of the H1B visa system whereby foreigners with certain tech skills can come and work in the US. You know, for big tech companies and the like. Easy issuance of green cards for those with those tech skills. It’s not an unusual set of requests: the tech companies would dearly love to be able to find all the talent they think they require and obviously, just like any other business, they’d prefer to pay less rather than more for their supplies of whatever it is.

However, we ought to look rather askance at such requests. As Noah Smith points out in a nice piece for Bloomberg.

In economics, I learned that a shortage is when demand exceeds supply. People want to buy Goldfish crackers at the posted price, but the shelves go empty. I was also taught that the only way that this happens is when something stops the price from adjusting — a price-control law, perhaps, or the difficulty of printing out new prices for the shelves. Normally, I was told, the store would just raise the price until the last package of Goldfish is so expensive that no one can afford it, and there would then be no shortage.

But it looks as if I was taught the wrong definition of shortage, because everyone else in the world seems to use the word in a very different way. When normal people say, “There is a shortage,” they don’t mean, “The shelf is empty.” They mean “Please lower the price, so I don’t have to pay as much.” And when normal people say, “No, there’s no shortage,” what they mean is, “Please increase the price I get for my wares because I’d like to make more money.”

Quite so. What those big tech companies are saying isn’t that there’s a shortage of decent engineers in the US. They’re saying there’s a shortage of good engineers at the price they want to pay. The correct answer to which is that they should raise the price they’re willing to pay for good engineers. Sure, this does raise the already very high wages of Silicon Valley engineers. But as Smith points out, it starts to raise all US wages. for higher wages for engineers will lead to more training to be such engineers, leaving open the places they would have taken otherwise (say, as quants on Wall Street) and everyone in the country gets to move up a step. OK, sure, the effect of 100,000 more engineers in a society of 300 million people isn’t going to be directly measurable but it will be there.

So, Smith is entirely correct: but I would take this a stage further myself. For recall thatApple, Adobe, Google and the rest (Facebook being the odd one out, the one that refused to join in) got caught conspiring to artificially limit the wages of engineers? By having non-compete clauses in the Valley? If they hadn’t done this engineers’ salaries would be higher, this would have provided the incentive for more to train as engineers and, around and about now actually, those newly trained engineers would be hitting the job market and alleviating that “shortage” that the tech companies are complaining about.


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Comments (20) -

United States James
December 1. 2014 16:17

Except that those psychopathic bankers and Wall St. types don't WANT everyone taking a step up. They want everyone POOR.

If you're making lots of $ in a high-paying tech job and paying CASH for cars and houses as people did in the late 90s then you don't need a BANK LOAN do you? If you don't need a BANK LOAN then all those control-freak nutjob banksters on the east coast are OUT OF BUSINESS now aren't they. The bankers run everything including Wall St. and the gov't.

That is why they want to continue to flood the US with cheap labor.

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United States Mark
December 2. 2014 05:21

"high wages of engineers"??  Why do people continue to claim that engineer wages are high?  Even if an engineer is paid $150k in the Valley, its still far less than that of the average medical doctor, and certainly isn't enough for basic home ownership where decent houses cost a million bucks.  

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United States SD
December 2. 2014 10:04

True as an American productive engineer I was let go without cause or warning. Why? Because I was getting paid too much and refused to work 7 days a week and to reply to emails at midnite from slumdog bosses.

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United States SD
December 3. 2014 13:45

Agree when a doctor or lawyer makes 350-500k a year the chump change paid to STEM workers pale in comparison. Thanks to the corrupt government and greed elites America is race to bottom.

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United States Boss
December 6. 2014 08:06


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Tajikistan Slumdoggie
December 8. 2014 10:58

India readily accepts american slum dawg.

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United States SD
December 9. 2014 01:18

I tell you one thing if I ever start my own business, then I will NEVER hire a single slumdog EVER.

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United States Boss
December 16. 2014 22:25

Republicans version of "LEGAL (INDIAN) Amnesty".. From Ohio law firm website..

12/16/2014: SKILLS Visa Act Back on Spotlight By Being Placed on the House Union Calendar Yesterday

This is the bill, H.R.2131, which was introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa of California on 05/23/2013 with the 22 other Republican members of the House but failed to see any fruits and spotlights because of the GOP-Democrat confrontations in 2014. Yesterday, the House placed this bill on the Union Calendar #507, as a signal that the House leadership will indeed focus on piecemeal legislative immigration reforms including border security and high tech foreign worker immigration reform by the Republican Congress ahead. However, this bill has a poison pill to eliminate immigration lottery system to offset the increase of number of immigrants by high skilled foreign workers. Unless this poison pill is compromised and removed from the bill, this bill will encounter a strong resistance both in and out of the Congress and the Obama Administration. Because of this poison pill, the bill encountered a strong opposition from the African American congressional caucaus, among others.
This bill proposes the following, among others:
Increase employment-based immigrant cap numbers from 140,000 to 235,000
Elimination of 55,000 diversity visa program and use the numbers for those high skilled foreign workers with a medical degree, a dentistry degree, a veterinary degree, or an osteopathic medicine/osteopathy degree
Create new EB visa category of EB-7 using unused EB-1A priority worker visa numbers and part of eliminated diversity visa numbers leftover to those foreign workers with a master's degree in a STEM field from a U.S. doctoral institution of higher education or with all master's degree courses in a STEM field, including all courses taken by correspondence or by distance education while physically present in the United States or those with a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field.
Create another new EB visa category of EB 8-1 and EB 8-2: EB-8-1 for qualifying venture capital-backed start-up entrepreneurs and for self-sponsored start-up entrepreneurs and (2) EB-8-2 for E-1 treaty trader nonimmigrant status for 10 years or longer benefitting the economy of this country and creating at least 5 full-time U.S. workers for at least 10 years. Qualified entrepreneurs and family will receive conditional permanent resident status.
Make EB-5 regional center investor program permanent.
Eliminate the per-country limit for employment-based immigrants.
Increase the per-country limit for family-based immigrants.
Make Conrad J-1 waiver program permanent and increases the number of alien physicians that a state may be allocated from 30 to 35 per fiscal year, and provide up to three visa waivers per fiscal year per state for physicians in academic medical centers, extend dual intent to aliens coming to the United States to receive graduate medical education or training, or to take examinations required for such education or training, additional employment protections and contract requirements for alien physicians working in underserved areas, and excludes from numerical immigration limitations alien physicians who have completed national interest waiver requirements by working in a health care shortage area.
Increases the H-1B cap to 155,000 per fiscal year, and replace current master degree cap by STEM master or doctorate degree cap of 40,000 per year.
Portability of O-1 visa holders.
Extend dual intent to foreign students coming to the United States to pursue STEM field degrees at institutions of higher education or those engaged in temporary post graduation employment for optional practical training related to such study.
Some other minor pro foreign worker reforms.

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United States SD
December 18. 2014 02:12

Fellow insurgents,

Go out start companies and hire ONLY fellow Americans! Turn the table on the corrupt US government and slum dogs!
This is the only real way that I know of to stop it.

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United States Cracker Killa
December 18. 2014 05:57
Cracker Killa

this guy is so mad he lost his shitty job to a slum dog indian who was deemed more qualified. what a looser.
If indians are so dumb why did forbes name them Americas model minority ?  They earn $88,000 per head vs Whites $55,000,  despite being 1 percent of U.S population they make up majority of Doctors, Silicon Valley Gurus, and Scientists. Why would Microsoft and several other fortune 500 companies pick an indian ceo ?, Why would GOOGLES CEO STATE "THERE ARE SIMPLY MORE SMARTER INDIANS AND CHINESE THAN AMERICANS", GOOGLE WAS FUNDED BY AN INDIAN BILLIONAIRE IN ITS INFANCY, INDIANS invented binary, decimal, and zero so you can count. ALBERT EINSTEIN THANKED INDIANS FOR TEACHING THE WORLD TO COUNT, HE STATES "WE OWE A LOT TO THE INDIANS (NOT WHITES) FOR TEACHING THE WORLD TO COUNT IN WHICH NO WORTHWHILE DISCOVERY WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE"


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United States James
December 19. 2014 16:11

Indians are more qualified? India cannot even build enough toilets for its own people. Everything the world has was invented by white people.

All the good $88K a year jobs Indians have today were all created by white people. Until 1998 there weren't hardly any Indians in the USA. All the high paying jobs Indians have they took over from white Americans who worked to create them. In 1997 Microsoft was 98% white American males. Indians took it over and now have all the jobs. Indians have all the high-paying jobs because they wait for white people to create them and then take them over. But only for a while since once they take over they destroy everything they touch.

India (and China) could not even get a rocket into orbit until it stole America's ICBM launch capabilities (created by white Americans of course).

"Silicon Valley gurus" are all conmen here to "loot and remit" USA and send it all back to India. Every Indian CEO is taking over companies created by white Americans. Indians have never invented one successful corporation except conman "loot and remit" Indian conjob IT shops.

Indians destroy everything they touch.

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United States James
December 19. 2014 16:12

Companies ruined or almost ruined by imported Indian labor

Adaptec – Indian CEO Subramanian Sundaresh fired.

AIG (signed outsourcing deal in 2007 in Europe with Accenture Indian frauds, collapsed in 2009)

AirBus (Qantas plane plunged 650 feet injuring passengers when its computer system written by India disengaged the auto-pilot).

Apple – R&D CLOSED in India in 2006.

Apple – Indian national and former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta charged with leaking Intel and Apple secrets over the phone.

Australia’s National Australia Bank (Outsourced jobs to India in 2007, nationwide ATM and account failure in late 2010).

Barclays Bank – UK executive management was corrupted by Shriti Vadera, the Indian-origin economist. His advice led Barclay’s CEO and other execs to rig Libor interest rates.

Bell Labs (Arun Netravalli took over, closed, turned into a shopping mall)

Boeing Dreamliner ES software (written by HCL, banned by FAA)

Bristol-Myers-Squibb (Trade Secrets and documents stolen in U.S. by Indian national guest worker)

Caymas – Startup run by Indian CEO, French director of dev, Chinese tech lead. Closed after 5 years of sucking VC out of America.

Caterpillar misses earnings a mere 4 months after outsourcing to India, Inc.

Circuit City – Outsourced all IT to Indian-run IBM and went bankrupt shortly thereafter.

Cisco – destroyed by Indian labor, laid off 55,000 in 2012, going down the drain.

ComAir crew system run by 100% Indian IT workers caused the 12/25/05 U.S. airport shutdown when they used a short int instead of a long int

Computer Associates – Former CEO Sanjay Kumar, an Indian national, sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for accounting fraud.

Deloitte – 2010 – this Indian-packed consulting company is being sued under RICO fraud charges by Marin Country, California for a failed


Dell – call center (closed in India)

Delta call centers (closed in India)

Duke University – Massive scientific fraud by Indian national Dr. Anil Potti discovered in 2012.

Enron, WorldCom, Qwest, and Tyco all hired large numbers of foreign workers from India before their scandals.

Fannie Mae – Hired large numbers of Indians, had to be bailed out. Indian logic bomb creator found guilty and sent to prison.

Goldman Sachs – Kunil Shah, VP & Managing Director – GS had to be bailed out by US taxpayers for $550 BILLION.

GM – Was booming in 2006, signed $300 million outsourcing deal with Wipro that same year, went bankrupt 3 years later

HP – Got out of the PC hardware business in 2011 and can’t compete with Apple’s tablets. HP was taken over by Indians and Chinese in 2001.

So much for ‘Asian’ talent!

HSBC ATMs (software taken over by Indians, failed in 2006)

IBM bill collecting system for Austin, TX failed in 2012 written by Indians at IBM

Intel Whitefield processor project (cancelled, Indian staff canned)

Intel – Trade secret stolen by Indian national Biswamohan Pani in 2012.

JetStar Airways computer failure brings down Christchurch airport on 9/17/11. JetStar is owned by Quantas – which is know to have outsourced

to India, Inc.

JP Morgan – Outsourced subsidiary & IT integration to India in 2009 for $400 million, lost $2 billion in 2012.

Kodak: Outsourced to India in 2006, filed for bankruptcy in Jan, 2012.

Lehman (Jasjit Bhattal ruined the company. Spectramind software bought by Wipro, ruined, trashed by Indian programmers)

London Olympics 2012 Security – Botched by India’s G4S

Medicare – Defrauded by Indian national doctor Arun Sharma & wife in the U.S.

Microsoft – Employs over 35,000 H-1Bs. Stock used to be $100. Today it’s lucky to be over $25. Not to mention that Vista thing.

MIPS – Taken over by Indian national Sandeep Vij in 2010, being sold off in 2012.

MIT Media Lab Asia (canceled)

MyNines – A startup founded and run by Indian national Apar Kothari went belly up after throwing millions of America’s VC $ down the drain.

Nomura Securities – (In 2011 “struggling to compete on the world stage”). No wonder because Jasjit Bhattal formerly of failed Lehman ran it.

See Lehman above.

PeopleSoft (Taken over by Indians in 2000, collapsed).

PepsiCo – Slides from #1 to #3 during Indian CEO Indra Nooyi’ watch.

Polycom – Former senior executive Sunil Bhalla charged with insider trading.

Qantas – See AirBus above

Quark (Alukah Kamar CEO, fired, lost 60% of its customers to Adobe because Indian-written QuarkExpress 6 was a failure)

Reebok – Massive fraud and theft in India second in size only to Satyam fraud

Rolls Royce (Sent aircraft engine work to India in 2006, engines delayed for Boeing 787, and failed on at least 2 Quantas planes in 2010, cost

Rolls $500m).

SAP – Same as Deloitte above in 2010.

Singapore airlines (IT functions taken over in 2009 by TCS, website trashed in August, 2011)

Skype (Madhu Yarlagadda fired)

State of Indiana $867 million FAILED IBM project, IBM being sued

State of New York – Hired Indian-infested CSC in 1998 to build a new system, was 33 months late and $166 million over budget, a cost

overrun of 47 percent. And then the system failed. So much for “they can do it better, cheaper, faster”. CSC also holds the sole contract for

NC’s Medicaid system redesign. That project is hundreds of millions over budget and years late. India, Inc. is taking its time to maximize the

amount it can grift out of America.

State of Texas failed IBM project.

Sun Micro (Taken over by Indian and Chinese workers in 2001, collapsed, had to be sold off to Oracle).

UK’s NHS outsourced numerous jobs including health records to India in mid-2000 resulting in $26 billion over budget.

Union Bank of California – Cancelled Finacle project run by India’s InfoSys in 2011.

United – call center (closed in India)

US Navy F-18 jet crashes into Virginia apartment building on 4/6/12 after outsourcing F-18 work to India’s Tata.

Victorian Order of Nurses, Canada (Payroll system screwed up by SAP/IBM in mid-2011)

Virgin Atlantic (software written in India caused cloud IT failure)

World Bank (Indian fraudsters BANNED for 3 years because they stole data).

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United States James
December 19. 2014 16:13

India: Quietly Destroying the U.S. Economy

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United States James
December 19. 2014 16:15

Author: oldasrocks
Posted: 03/03 09:11 PM

In the Taipei Times today there is an article about India trying to keep their credit rating from being downgraded to junk.

Nobody knows the situation in china but it seems the countries who have been trying to bleed us dry have accomplished it in part. People here aren't spending as much on imports thereby biting the hand who has been shoveling this cheap merchandise down our throats via free trade agreements. So their greed will destroy them also. Their factories will end up looking like a Detroit street.

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United States SD
December 20. 2014 05:44

Hey slumdog cracker killa

what has India produced in the last 50 years besides job stealing parasites? Answer: nothing.
Now go home and build some toilets.

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United States SD
December 21. 2014 00:17

Thanks James, well said. Personally, I have nothing against India.

BUT I do take issue with the grift committed by the bankers corrupt politicians and job robbing slum dogs.

I have invented technology and patents so I am capable but I am not a wage stealing scab.

Let's see what India actually invents. Now go home and build some toilets to clean up your polluted country instead of destroying America.

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Kuwait Anonymous
December 21. 2014 12:52

Indians are very fond of rewinding the past & repeating "we only discovered ZERO". Benjamin Netanyahu was smart enough to repeat this to Rajnath Singh (bjp minister who wants to do away with English imposing hindi on all)when he visited Israel recently. Always keep pampering the great indian EGO.

None of the contemporary Indians discovered anything worthwhile.Save adding to world population. Even their film industry thrives on plagiarized   Hollywood, Korean , Japanese movies. India's wealth generation is mostly through film industry & cricket.

When I came to Kuwait Indians working in Alghanim Group of companies ( Kutaiba & Basam Alghanim Kimmco-Kirby) could make lot of money as accounting systems to everything was well streamlined by the Americans. When S.N.Ramachandran (965-97201449)joined another Alghanim Group of Industries(Fouad Alghanim) he asked his old indian secretary of Kimmco Kirby called Mrs.Loy( a converted goan christian) to steal everything from that company & pass them on to him. He copied those presenting as his "own creativity" to con Fouad Alghanim.

Indians mostly encourage nepotism. Which is a gross violation of norms here.
They have as much spite towards Americans , British , Europeans as Arabs & Chinese.

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Kuwait Anonymous
December 21. 2014 13:15

The first time I accessed a computer seeking HELP in an open forum not a single indian cared to respond.

It was a retired AMERICAN Army man who wrote back with genuine warmth offering proper guidance.

Indians are so narcissistic that they would never acknowledge AMERICANS' gracious help extended.

Similarly this hindu TYRANT S.N.Ramachandran was frequently breaking open the lock with the help of his office carpenter ( Waleed)to drag me out of my apartment & kill me with psychiatry poisons. Eventually I sought the help of one Pakistani to change the lock. None of the pseudo pious indians of Kuwait would ever bother to help. As he has conned them all labelling me a "psychiatry patient". He has procured jobs for lots of indians in Kuwait , UAE , Oman who are never going to antagonize him.

With psychiatry poisons gave me whole lot of ailments including premature menopause. But his zealous mission was to make his indian secretary called priya (keralite) pregnant. His Kuwaiti Employer had no idea he was frittering away his time working on priya thus making 3000/- Kuwaiti Dinars a month.

Had too many paramours in his facebook.Mostly married hindu women who were attracted towards his 3000/- dinars a month , cfo status , free Rolex, Armani , Omega watches. He was plotting with one of them ( a tamil speaking SLUT) to kill me & marry her. YET , he has not been arrested & punished for his CRIMES including blackmailings & several attempts to murder me by poisoning , physical violence & his extra marital affairs. Is continuing as cfo of the same company.

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United States James
December 23. 2014 17:24

When the big tsunami hit the Indian Ocean, USAID sent millions in bagged food aid to India, but the Indian gov't stripped off the "USAID" bags and lied to their people and told them the aid came from the Indian gov't. The Indian gov't has to keep its lies up about white western people to keep its people loyal.

Now a slumdog CEO is robbing Microsoft blind.

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

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