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Comment: Re:Biden is talking coding?? (Score 1) 225

by NickGnome (#47525671) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding
The point here is that both Biteme and Algore don't know whereof they speak... and prove it in their attempts.

"National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation"

Good try but all of those existed before 1991. It's good to see that one of them is constitutional, though.

I don't know what Biden knows, but nearly everything he seems to think he knows is wrong. (HT to Firesign Theater)

"Unless you are counting the 57 computers on ARPANET at that time as 'The Internet'"... Yes, it counts; it counted when there were only 3. No significant change in how it worked was made when they changed the name to distance it from the US Defense Department.

"He also paid the bills for the initial development of Internet Explorer and letting AOL users onto Usenet"

Yes, he's done much more evil than I'd thought.

That's what extortion does. Taxes, when they aren't restricted to constitutional and reasonable activities (like national defense/securing the borders, reasonable costs for negotiating treaties, defending people from initiation of force and fraud), pay for things like degrading civilization, enriching and empowering corrupt and power-mad politicians and their families and friends (i.e. crony socialism).

Algore did not pay the bills. He added to the bills. He used the coercive power of the government to force others to pay for things he wanted. (And it's not just him, of course. I had a cousin, more closely related to the Kennedy clan, who was a US senator a wee bit before Algore; a Whig. He pushed through the unconsitutional funding for stretching the first telegraph line from DC to Baltimore at a time when it could have more honestly been funded via private and voluntary means as many other such projects were at the time... His brother was a US senator, too, from the so-called Know-Nothing party.)

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 1) 225

by NickGnome (#47525213) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding
1- Some of the foreigners who come to the USA and then leave after a short period (a few years) do not take long-term jobs away from Americans, and are good for the USA, and some are bad for the USA (they cost US tax-victims for all that infra-structure investment including our universities, a few bring diseases with them...).

2- Some of the foreigners who come to the USA, get some education and/or training and then leave are *good* for the USA, while others (e.g. bin Laden, or that POW general we let go during the American War for Independence who turned around and just about caught the Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson and legislature including Patrick Henry) are bad for the USA.

3- Some of the aliens who come to the USA, get some education, some training, and then stay and work in the USA are good for the USA (e.g. couple university profs and C*Os I've known), while others are bad for the USA (e.g. Faisal Shahzad the would-be Times Square bomber, the several Red Chinese spies caught over the last several decades and thousands more who were not caught; the Israeli who gained citizenship a few decades back and was a spy; other foreign-born university profs and C*Os).

4- Many of the aliens who come to the USA without bothering to get a visa, or who stay in the USA after their visas have expired are bad for the USA (extra burden on education system, welfare expenditures, other crimes they commit; e.g. Uncle Omar; Aunt Zeituni, MS13); but it is likely that a very few are good for the USA.

The brushes are too broad, and people can repent and reform. The problem is the lack of standards, the lack of sorting out the individuals, and issuing too many foreign student visas, too many guest-workers, too many exchange visitors, too many green cards. It would be different if, ceteris paribus, USA population had dropped to 10M and was still falling; then we could maybe use a couple million foreign students and guest-workers and immigrants (who whole-heartedly loved our founding principles) each year until population stabilized.

In reality the job situation in the USA is extremely bad, compared with US history. We've almost always had low unemployment, and low consumer prices relative to wages... until recently. Indentured servants earned enough to endow several counties' educational systems. A few pennies could buy enough food to satisfy for several days. And though there were periods of inflation and deflation, Friedman & Schwartz _A Monetary History of the United States_ and other economic histories have shown that, except for the time of the War for Independence, these were small blips compared to the gyrations since the creation of the Federal Reserve board.

That's what made it possible for people to more rapidly improve their socio-economic status, so long as they were able and willing to work. And now the US government (executive, legislative, judicial) are working as hard as they can to worsen the situation, discourage saving, discourage productivity, encourage bodyshopping and discourage employment.

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 2) 225

by NickGnome (#47524717) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding
The problem is that the feral federal government has been giving out
50K to 100K too many H-1B visas;
500 to 380K too many H visas of all kinds;
32K to 139K too many L visas;
160K to 530K too many F visas;
170K to 330K too many J visas;
500 to 3K too many E3 visas;
2K to 10K too many M visas;
2K to 20K too many O visas;
200K to 400K too many green cards... for decades. And their standards are far too low, and they've never run proper background investigations on visa applicants. And they've never tracked those on temporary visas well enough to make sure they've gone or can be sent back home within a couple days of when their visas expire.

Very few H-1B recipients are highly skilled. Very few US citizen STEM professionals are highly skilled. In every occupation and every industry, there are very few who are great and many who are good, many who are mediocre, and many who are low-skilled, and a few who should be embarrassed and seek some other field in which they might be able to do better.

Now, a very few who are indeed brilliant but ignorant should be admitted to our universities; and some 5%-10% of those should be admitted to apprenticeship programs after their first year or two, and then to paid employment employment, so long as they stand in line behind the equally capable US citizens.

Yes, we need to find, admit, and retain that top 0.00005% or less (reality-check: let's see 7G... 0.000025%; double that to be generous; 5 out of every 100K) assuming they can also pass a proper background investigation; not drop all standards, rubber-stamp every applicant, and worsen the over-population and over-crowding to no purpose. And once they've met the standards we should eagerly accept and embrace them and help them become thoroughgoing Americans by learning about the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Federalist and anti-Federalist articles, the US constitution, American War for Independence, Civil War, apple pie, baseball, football... while bringing the best of their cultures with them.

Yes, the difficulty of a guest-worker moving from one employer/sponsor to another means that the guest-workers must be more pliant, more willing to go along with the employer's unethical activities, less willing to blow the whistle on being under-paid or any other abuses. That's not a core issue, but a side-issue that can be taken care of after the fundamentals have been reformed. Giving them all green cards only makes the STEM talent glut (and other economic problems) grow geometricallly worse as they sponsor their friends and relatives for more green cards.

Comment: Re:Yay! Hopenchange! (Score 1) 225

by NickGnome (#47524319) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding
"The jobs could in fact be done by Americans with no degrees at all."

Thousands of STEM jobs are being done by US citizens with no degrees; but we have millions of US citizens with STEM degrees who can't get STEM work.

OTOH, in 2012, the US government gave out over 135,991 H-1B visas, and over 153,794 H-1B visas in 2013. Maybe he was thinking of the F+OPT apprenticeships... many of which are unpaid.

Then again, how many more able and willing US citizens would have had a decent career if they weren't constantly being undermined by these apprenticeship and guest-work programs which favor non-citizens?

I think the most irritating thing is the way the reporters (and executives, and politicians, and their lobbyists) assert that every H-1B is "best and brightest" and "highly-skilled", when the data available suggest no such thing; and not a single reporter questions them about it. Experts differ a little, but generally come down in a range between 2% and 8% of H-1B grantees who may be genuinely excellent, bright, highly-skilled; the vast majority are mediocre lights, doing mediocre kinds of work, at below-market compensation. And US citizens aren't given a chance to bargain over pay, even if only to become and stay employed rather than dismissed without consideration, regardless of knowledge, experience, creativity, industry, past productivity, etc.

Comment: Re:Incomplete data (Score 1) 174

by NickGnome (#47524107) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs
I think the 2 authors of the article were scrounging adjacent data from the census site.

"First, why analyze the percentage of computer and math degree holders who hold an IT job? Why is a mathematics degree automatically equivalent to a CS degree?"

That's an excellent question which you should post by going to just about any data page (like table 11 on their data by occupation, and skooch down to "Professional and related occupations" to browse). You can click on the link at the bottom to ask them why they lump those together in their data releases.

Most likely it is a hold-over. Many CS departments back in the 1960s and 1970s used to be a sub-sub-specialty in mathematics departments (math: applied math: CS; and similarly math: applied math: statistics). Computer hardware engineering or simply computer engineering was a sub-sub-specialty of electrical and electronics in engineering programs.

BLS is commonly about a decade behind when it comes to job titles, and then they stumble a bit. They used to classify computer programmers as "technicians", and still classify "computer operators" in that general part of the reports. When the job title "software engineer" was adopted, it took them a few years to catch up and then they distinguished between systems and applications, but then adopted "software developer". The thing is, if they define a category too narrowly, their surveys can't support statistical confidence in reporting on it; and if they're too broad it's often too ambiguous for the people concerned to find useful.

Over in their industry categories ( table 17), there are a lot of computer wranglers they consider to be in "professional and business services", and a couple hundred-thousand in "Information: software publishing".

"Why do many people with STEM degrees not work in STEM jobs?"

There are a few who planned it that way, e.g. patent and copyright lawyers, technical writers. (One reporter at a STEM trade publication pointed out that he had a degree in a modern foreign language, which he had no expectation to make his life's work. It would surprise me if a STEM grad said the same.) Teachers are a border-line case; some are using teaching as a survival job, others aimed to teach STEM subjects all along, but may have been side-tracked into teaching Latin, Civics, or History because that's what the nearby school district wanted. But there are quite a few STEM grads who couldn't get their STEM dream-jobs because of the on-going STEM talent glut, STEM employers' unwillingness to provide relocation assistance, etc.

Comment: Re:~50% have no degree... (Score 1) 174

by NickGnome (#47523727) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs
That's not surprising. NSPE's president Samuel C. Florman in his 1987 book _The Civilized Engineer_ (amazing what you come across in a public library), wrote that in 1900 the engineering fields were split evenly between the college and muddy-boots factions.

10 years ago, in 2004 August, NSF reported that some 40% of computer wranglers, about 20% of engineers, just over 20% of all "science and engineering workers" did not have bachelor's or master's or doctor's degrees.

Some of the best software developers and sys admins and analysts with whom I've worked had degrees in music, classical languages and literature, psychology...

Let's see... In academic year 2011-2012,
57,406 US citizens earned degrees (bachelor's + master's + doctor's) in "Computer and Information Sciences" (down from a peak of 66,130 in 2004; total of about 1,4M since 1970), 102,214 in engineering (up from 71,492 in 2001; 3.4M since 1970), 348,881 in all STEM majors (up from 210,351 in 1991; 9.8M since 1970). In another 5-10 years, if the economy and STEM job markets were to improve considerably, some of those 1970 grads will be starting to retire, a very few have started to die off, but with life expectancies averaging close to 80 years that's going to be a minor factor.

Yes, after programming for a while, getting a CS degree can sometimes help fill in the concepts you may have missed scrambling through piles of references, on-line docs, and beginner books from the book-stores, but a great many without academic credentials already took some courses at university and have all that... up to the time they escaped into the real world, anyway.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 529

Of course it is not only Reid, not only Pelosi, not only McConnell, not only Boehner.

It is over a century of bad & manipulated & paid-for laws/regulations/federal and state and local government-enforced monopolies.

But those 4, and quite a few other corrupt congress-critters, are determined to increase the corruption. Look at what they did, recently, with the restrictions against insider stock trading by congress-critters and their staffers. It took months of public out-cry, and then, within a few days of passage of the law to stop it, they rammed through legislation that ripped open loop-holes reversing most of the reform.

Then again, I suspect the previous poster was thinking of S744, the reprehensible immigration law perversion bill which would reduce border security, grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, and increase rather than reduce student and exchange and guest-work and green card visas, and certainly would not put in place reasonable standards for those the lobbyists claim are "best and brightest" or "highly-skilled" to allow well over 100K not so good, not so bright, not so highly-skilled to be brought in as a subsidy for the tech executives. The House might consider an immigration reform bill, but the senate and the leftists in the house are, well, dead-set against any such reform. Similarly, the congressional establishment is opposed to cutting federal government over-spending and paying down federal overnment debt. Similarly, the congressional establishment is opposed to encouraging rather than discouraging monopolies in electricity, telecommunications, etc. Similarly, the congressional establishment favors massive subsidies like the Ex-Im Bank for their political buddy business executives, monopoly rights of way for railroads, issuing massive amounts of scrip and e-scrip and slugs rather than having sound coinage...

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 529

Let's see, according to the Treasury Department

When JFK was sworn in, in 1961, the federal government debt was about $285G.

When LBJ was sworn in, in 1963, the federal government debt was about $308G.

When Tricky Nixon was inaugurated in 1969 the federal government debt was about $360G.

When Gerald Ford was inaugurated in 1974, it was about $480G.

When Jimmy Carter was inaugurated in 1977 the federal government debt was about $680G.

When Reagan was inaugurated in 1981 the federal government debt was about $860G.

When GHWBush was inaugurated in 1989 it was about $2.7T.

When Clintoon was inaugurated in 1993 it was about $4.2T.

When Shrub was inaugurated in 2001 it was about $5.73T.

When Obummer was inaugurated in 2009 it was about $10.62T.

On 2014-07-18 it was $17.6T.

At the same time, according to the census bureau _Historical Statistics of the United States_, total aggregate federal government spending (not debt, spending), through 1902, adding each year's spending to the total, was just over $17G, a little less than one-thousandth of the current federal government debt, and much less than the monthly interest on the current federal government debt. the graphs

OTOH, the House originates all spending bills, the senate either concurs or floats an amendment; if the House agrees to the amendment, the president either approves or vetoes it. IOW, the responsibility is spread around. The over-spending since 1835 has been perpetrated by the Whigs, Reps and the Dems.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 529

It was the regressives about 115-100 years ago who started the perversion of the USA: income extortion, direct election of senators, Federal Reserve Board counterfeiting the currency, the drug wars, foreign adventurism rather than non-interventionism (not to be mistaken for isolationism in which we've never engaged). Of course the Teddy and Wilson and FDR and LBJ regimes worked their hardest to make matters worse.

None of that is to say that genuine reforms were not called for e.g.
reductions of racism through moral suasion and of Jim Crow laws,
ratification of the amendment (one of the original 12 in the bill of rights) to limit congress-critters from giving themselves raises without having to go through an election before any raise would take place,
the amendment (another of the original 12) to keep the number of House members to 1 for every 30K to 50K adult citizens (rather than the 600K to 700K constituents per "representative" today)

Comment: Re:Did he just notice that? (Score 1) 529

"a very generous severance package"

The problem is both with retention and hiring. Before H-1B, STEM employers invested in new-hire training (2-16 weeks was common) and retained employee training (2-4 weeks per year). Now, they don't.

Before H-1B, they didn't engage in age discrimination beginning at about 35 years of age. Now, they do, regardless of intelligence and knowledge and re-tooling/continuous learning and praise of performance by managers and co-workers.

Before H-1B, STEM employers were willing to fly candidates in from around the country for real, live interviews. Now, that's more of a rarity, after a sequence of ridiculous telephone trivial pursuit quizzes.

Before H-1B, STEM employers provided relocation assistance for STEM employees within the country and abroad. Now hardly any of them do.

Before H-1B, they bought display ads in multiple major-city, major-circulation newspapers around the country. For a while they advertised both in many papers and on-line. Now they don't. They've developed a notion of "local" restricted to within a few blocks of the work-place; and leap directly from recruiting within that restricted local to cross-border bodyshopping.

Before H-1B, they included in their ads e-mail addresses, actual physical location addresses, and desk-phone numbers actually answered by hiring managers. Now they don't.

Since H-1B, the numbers of contingent/temp/consulting/custom programming/contract gigs and the numbers of domestic and cross-border bodyshops have exploded, while real jobs, developing hardware/software applications/systems for real hardware and/or software product firms have virtually disappeared.

Comment: Re: multiple sides to every issue (Score 1) 401

by NickGnome (#47402797) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say
"Right now we're hiring. Truth is we probably get 6 times the number of H1B applicants compared to US applicants."

So, obviously, something about your advertising methods are biased... or the kind of work you mention in your ads is less appealing to US citizens for some reason.

What methods are you using to advertise the jobs? I assume you've placed ads on some of the on-line sites. How many classified or display ads have you taken out in print publications (both general circulation and trade zines) both in your metropolitan area but across the USA? What is the circulation of the publications in which you've advertised? For how many days and weeks are the ads to run?

How many deans and department chairs have you written to or called? How many university computing centers and institutes and labs have you contacted? Have you built up long-run relationships with those deans and department chairs and directors?

Did you include your e-mail address and the number of the phone on your desk in the ads?

Is the tech involved more or less obsolete? Are you advertising outside of the appropriate niche? Maybe you're reaching a lot of the wrong people, and few of the right people.

How willing are you to fly candidates in for interviews from around the USA?

How willing are you to invest in the 3 weeks of new-hire training that DoL expects to be the norm?

How willing are you to invest in relocation assistance for the best candidates?

How willing are you to help them break a lease, sell a home, and secure new quarters within 30 miles or so of your location?

What if you find a great candidate who, in light of the on-going economic depression, is cold broke, doesn't have a car or a pile of cash to come to you, or a cushion on which to live for a few weeks until pay-day?

How much are you able and willing to invest into reaching and hiring the genuinely best or brightest?

Comment: Re: multiple sides to every issue (Score 1) 401

by NickGnome (#47402667) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say
It is easy to find good developers nearly everywhere. But it requires lifting a finger to find great developers. However, you have a much larger pool of bright, gifted, good and great developers if you include US citizen developers, younger developers and older developers, black, yellow, pink, brown and orange developers, rather than dumping all US citizens' applications into the black-hole candidate management system without otherwise examining them... as has been the practice since H-1B was hatched.

Comment: Re: Two sides to every issue (Score 1) 401

by NickGnome (#47402627) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say
Yes, purple squirrel job descriptions are used both for hiring a particular person on H-1b, and as part of the PERM process to convert from a temp visa to a green card (as described in 2007 by Lebowitz at the C&G seminar).

Yes, though H-1B visas were, for a short time, single-intent, guest-work only visas. Applicants were required to show that they owned property or had some other anchor to the old country. That was done away with, they were converted to "dual intent" so that they could convert from H-1B to green card without having to go back to wait for the process to run its course.

Then the H-1B was changed so that they could go from one employer/sponsor to another, even if they have a pending green card application. But, regardless of whether they have a pending green card application, the barrier to jumping ship is still higher than it was for US citizens before the H-1B visa existed, so many guest-workers keep their mouths shut and make nice and do whatever unethical or otherwise obnoxious projects the employer wants and stay put until they get a green card.

Comment: Re: multiple sides to every issue (Score 1) 401

by NickGnome (#47402451) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say
While it is true that hiring managers and HR clones create job descriptions specifically designed to eliminate American workers, it is *also* true that some American "IT workers" and some foreign "IT guest-workers" think they are super-awesome and really aren't. Or maybe they just think they're shrewd enough enlist other, more tech-savvy acquaintances to be able to muddle through while sowing confusion and bragging about themselves to deceive.

Or they might have the skills, but they don't have the specific credentials the HR gate-keeper demands. I mean, how many US STEM pros have 4 years of experience programming in Swift... seeing as it's only a few weeks old. (Flashback to the mostly-newbie recruiters at the bodyshops demanding 5 years of Java experience in 1996.) Or maybe they have a bachelor's, or a master's or even a PhD, but it's not from the university the hiring manger likes. Or maybe they have the degrees, but not the certicates. Or maybe they have the skills with brand A version 4.7.2, but not brand B version 1.4.5, and neither the recruiter nor the hiring manager knows that they work almost exactly the same way, nor that anyone the least bit savvy with version 2.0 could adapt within half an hour to brand A version 4.7.2 or brand B version 1.4.5.

They might have skills, but they might not actually have the specific, purple squirrel combination of skills that the hiring manager wants, to replace a team of 4-12 specialized collaborators with one indentured house-geek.

Or they might want a real long-term full-time job designing and/or developing commercial software products instead of a series of bodyshop/temp/contingent/contract/consulting gigs doing "data processing" or "IT" kinds of work at non-STEM firms. Or they might want to make enough to actually make a living, buy books and e-books and DVDs and otherwise continue learning, buy a home and car, marry, raise a family... radical things like that.

Managers don't want to invest in training, or flying in candidates for interviews, or relocation assistance, or 8th-page and quarter-page job ads in multiple high circulation print publications the way they did before H-1B. They don't want to put their e-mail addresses and desk phone numbers in the job ads because they know they'd be swamped by able and willing US citizen candidates as well as by spurious callers.

Take an astronaut to launch.