This Slashdot comment and these numbers go a long way towards explaining the highly divergent views we see on the American H1-B visa program designed for bringing highly-paid, highly-educated professionals to work in the United States to supplement an American lack of such people.
The common opinion among Slashdotters is that H1-Bs are used to bring in code monkeys who work for low wages, thereby suppressing IT, computing, and science wages. The common opinion among certain prominent American businessmen is that America doesn't produce enough highly-educated professionals of its own. The cited Wikipedia page shows why these two views, which so strongly diverge, are both actually true.
On the one hand, it appears that most H1-Bs *ARE*, in fact, used by Indian outsourcing and consulting firms to bring in wage-slaved trained monkeys. The issue is that the small but significant number of visas that American companies can obtain for themselves may well go towards exactly what Bill Gates says they go to: bringing in highly-educated people who will work for high wages in research and development.
Given this kind of environment, it has occurred to me that computing has become a lot like the fine arts. If one starts learning at a very young age and has talent, one can still "climb to the top" and become one of the few who get well-paying, interesting jobs in R&D or a secure position in academic computer science. However, the majority who try to enter the field, particularly those without top talent or who discovered their interest too late in life (perhaps late high school or early college years), will ultimately end up in badly-paying, insecure, IT or "code-monkey" jobs.
In my opinion, such a hypothesis explains and predicts the exact patterns of educational enrollment and entrance to the computing professions we currently see. The fine arts show a similar pattern; nobody who decides on a whim to take up a musical instrument in college ever becomes a highly-payed musical star.
The counterpoint lies in the "popular" arts, wherein stars make money that the rest of us can only dream about while thousands of "wannabes" flock to the field to ultimately fail harder than any code-monkey ever will. The explanation for this is, of course, that the popular arts have been deemed as having sex appeal.
So to have more people enter computing, we can either increase the rewards of an average computing career rather than merely a top one, or we can add sex appeal.