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The US's Reverse Brain Drain 757

We may have to rethink the assumption that Silicon Valley is the hotbed of innovation in which all the world's best and brightest want to work and live. TechCrunch has a piece by an invited expert on the reverse brain drain already evident and growing in the US as Indian, Chinese, and European students and workers in the US plan to return home, or already have. From an extensive interview with Chinese and Indian workers who had already left: "We learned that these workers returned in their prime: the average age of the Indian returnees was 30 and the Chinese was 33. They were really well educated: 51% of the Chinese held masters degrees and 41% had PhDs. Among Indians, 66% held a masters and 12% had PhDs. These degrees were mostly in management, technology, and science. ... What propelled them to return home? Some 84% of the Chinese and 69% of the Indians cited professional opportunities. And while they make less money in absolute terms at home, most said their salaries brought a 'better quality of life' than what they had in the US. ... A return ticket home also put their career on steroids. About 10% of the Indians polled had held senior management jobs in the US. That number rose to 44% after they returned home. Among the Chinese, the number rose from 9% in the US to 36% in China."
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The US's Reverse Brain Drain

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  • Sounds good to me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeff321 ( 695543 ) * on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:30AM (#29782083)

    More jobs for the rest of us.

  • What a surprise! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:33AM (#29782091)

    Here's a shocker: we educate foreign students at the cost of displacing domestic students, and then watch as they leave the US and put our industries out of business. Meanwhile, we're left in the cold because domestic students were passed in favor of these foreign students. Who would have thought?

    Of course, the people running the graduate programs are from these countries...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:33AM (#29782093)

    Until the US federal government stops regulating the US labor market with work visas we will not have a reason to fix our education system.

    Also wages will not rise and unemployment will stay high. We need to protect our markets too. We are the only nation that fails to protect its domestic markets. And we are the only nation that imports highly skilled labor the way we do.

    Before H-1B wages rose. Jobs used to be great in programming and IT. But since we started H-1b about 12 years ago things have slid and only gotten worse and worse.
    The solution is to let the US labor market regulate itself the way its supposed to.

  • by Starker_Kull ( 896770 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:40AM (#29782117)
    ...the U.S. had the greatest rise in its living standards. Scientists, engineers, and other professionals from all over the world migrated here in seach of a better life, the opportunity to live pretty much in peace and quiet, or simply to survive. It was seen as the most desireable place to live in the world, and that seemed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy as 'the best and the brightest' came here to do their best.

    I wonder, are more folks returning to their home countries' simply because of money and career advancement? Or do they feel less welcome in the culture? Or perhaps their own home cultures are changing to where they feel they can shape them for the better?

    This seems more like an anecdote than a study; but there is something wrong when science and engineering and other technical fields are seen as undesirable by most Americans, and the immigrants who come here to learn them decide that they'll have better opportunites back home to use them.
  • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:43AM (#29782129) Homepage

    More jobs for the rest of us.

    Most of the people I have met who have expressed that sentiment lacked the qualifications to fill a job vacancy left by someone with a PhD in a science or engineering field.

  • by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:48AM (#29782143) Homepage

    More jobs for the rest of us.

    Yeah, because attracting the best and the brightest from around the world, and having them build the future from here has been such losing proposition from the very beginning of this country.

    This is disturbing phenomena. It's not just the the economy marking what would previously be immigrants return home. It's that it is incredibly fucking difficult to get a job if you're not an American. The visa process is notoriously burdensome, and then ties the immigrant to a specific company, essentially indenturing them. Then that doesn't even start the green card and citizenship processes. Canada is super easy. So easy to the point that when you talk to immigrants about immigration, they'll tell you that their friends told them "Why are you going to America? Just go to Canada, it's so much easier, and it's the same!"

    Why should we be aid our competition in the international economy, by training and giving all our best ideas to foreign countries, when we used to "steal" their best and have them work for us? The fact that we're no longer a magnet, illustrates just how screwed we are.

  • Re:Quality of life (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:51AM (#29782157) Homepage

    I'm guessing that by better quality they mean materialistically. Being a US citizen I would prefer to live in a place where human rights are championed, personal liberty is maximized and freedom of speech and freedom from government oppression is paramount.

    Unless someone is afraid of being randomly assaulted or imprisoned, then no one cares. It's human nature. Bread and circuses you know? I've been to China. It's not Mao's China, not at all.

    So, I guess I'm saying where should I move to?


  • Reverse? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by il dus ( 244149 ) <> on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:53AM (#29782165) Homepage Journal

    Maybe my brain has been drained, too, but, if all the educated people are leaving the US, wouldn't that be a good old regular brain drain and not a reverse brain drain?

  • by dreadlord76 ( 562584 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:56AM (#29782179)
    I think it's sad that many people are still bound by these artificial boundaries.
  • by dreadlord76 ( 562584 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @02:03AM (#29782203)
    If that was true, then we would still be hunting with long sticks rather than sitting in front of a keyboard.
  • Re:Quality of life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @02:21AM (#29782265) Journal
    Somalia. The government is too weak to oppress anyone. Of course, that only works if you don't mind giving up a lot of your personal safety, but hey, you win some you lose some.

    You really ought to define what you mean by government oppression. Would you include taxation in that category? Because you aren't going to find many governments that don't tax.....
  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @02:45AM (#29782363)
    You are confusing quality of life with inequality. In china and india there is truly a land of inequality. With their fancy degrees education and experience when you stick them in a place that has people starving in the streets they are veritable gods.

    Economy is such that people are able to survive but big shot CEOs while in the US might be able to afford a nicer car and a bigger house. In China they can afford a nicer garage filled with cars and a mansion with butlers and maids. While this sounds like quite the opportunity... When you look at the average it truly isn't.

    I'd think again before I got jealous of a country where most of the populace doesn't have running water. Even if you knew you would be among the privileged would you really wish that on your people?
  • by Devout_IPUite ( 1284636 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @02:47AM (#29782371)

    I say cut our military spending until it's twice what China's is. That will save us around half a trillion per year.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PietjeJantje ( 917584 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:12AM (#29782447)
    The number of Americans living in poverty is also still greater than the entire population of Scandinavia. If I continue to mirror your point it gets funny.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:15AM (#29782461)

    A US citizen who is a senior engineer or manager makes somewhere between $120K-$200K, depending upon the company and value of stock options. In the bay area or elsewhere in coastal california, the quality of life that buys you is very much middle class - nothing special house, 2 cars, struggling to put the kids in private school, etc. This is especially true if single or the spouse isn't working, which is more likely to be true for a foreigner. A western educated engineering manager in India can probably afford a nice home, several servants, nice holidays (with vacation time to match), etc. It is hardly surprising that, without the likely return of dotcom millions in the stock option lottery, the lure of their home country has a lot more appeal. Or maybe it is just that all of the engineers who came over in their early to mid twenties during the dotcom boom have now reached maturity, both professionally and personally, and are looking to start a family back at home or take their family home before the kids get too old. If the average age of returning tech workers is into the 30s, that seems somewhat likely. A 36 year old was 22 at the start of the internet boom years, 24 when things really started to take off.

  • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:16AM (#29782465) Homepage

    Foreign students are considered a cash cow by schools, because their fees are much higher, and they are usually funded by sources from their home countries, not from the US. They are subsidizing the education of domestic-born students, not the other way around.

  • by dokebi ( 624663 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:39AM (#29782563)
    Oh come on, there is no reason to turn this into some diatribe about the government handing out money to foreigners. Why is it that your ex is working on a PhD and you are not? Why do you think half of US PhD's are awarded to foreign born? Is it because the evil government favors foreigners? Or is that Americans just don't give a shit about science and engineering any more?

    Go to any science graduate course in any of the top 10 universities, and more than half are foreign born. The US high tech and biotech industries are full of foreigners. We basically built our technological superiority by attracting bright foreigners away from their home countries. Remember Google? This process is called the "brain drain", and it is a Good Thing(Tm) to hand out money to smart foreigners to come to the states. It strengthens our economy

    In my observation, scientists and engineers are much better regarded in other countries than in the US. Why is that? Don't people know that science is the foundation of all of our economic growth?

    Instead of blaming the government, we should blame the policy makers, the fiscal conservatives who cut subsidies so that higher education becomes a luxury for the rich, the religious zealots wants to stop teaching science to children, the ignorant that wants to stop funding "volcano research" and fund home schooling, etc, etc. IMHO, subsidized higher education is the best investment we can make for ourselves, and anyone who's against it is basically arguing to shoot ourselves in the foot. That means you.
  • Re:Quality of life (Score:4, Insightful)

    by martas ( 1439879 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:43AM (#29782575)
    The truth is that for the average, say, Bengali, those things don't really matter that much. Sure, your government is horribly corrupt, and so are the police, healthcare system, etc. But if you've got enough money to get a nice apartment/home, and support your family's future, you're going to have a pretty happy life, filled with parties and religious/traditional festivals and holidays spent with your [extended] family. As opposed to here in the US, where being upper middle class means working 60 hours a week, seeing your kids 20 minutes a day, and having about a week of vacation time a year...
  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @04:01AM (#29782627) Journal
    During the cold war Moscow and Washington sucked up the 3rd world, hoping to shape future leaders grooming them for top positions in their respective private and public sectors.
    They would go home and buy IBM, Boeing ect.
    Was also great for the CIA, KGB ect.
    So the cash for "awarded to foreign born" was policy and continues.
    US police depts and the US mil do the same, teaching others from around the world on your tax $.
    Your just another cubicle filler to the US gov, a foreigner might have his or her hands on $1-x000 000 000 one day and remember the US in a better way during the bidding.
  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @04:39AM (#29782739) Journal
    I don't know what your point is; do you really want to boil your water before you drink it? I've done it, and I'll tell you, it sucks. Not only that, you're always wondering if the drops of water you get in your mouth when you take a shower are actually going to cause problems.

    In the US, I can just drink the water from the tap, without worrying about whether I'm going to get giardia or something. There's a huge difference. Are you really so focused on splitting hairs that you can't see that?
  • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @04:43AM (#29782747) Journal
    Poverty in America is entirely different than poverty in China. I mean in China there are people literally living in caves.
  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arjennienhuis ( 159927 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @05:15AM (#29782831) Homepage

    Poverty in America is entirely different than poverty in China. I mean in China there are people literally living in caves.

    Poverty in Scandinavia is entirely different than poverty in America. I mean in America there are people literally living in tents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @05:30AM (#29782879)

    US companies value what they see as "actual productivity" and will usually trade a more productive BS for a lack-luster MS

    Hell yes. I learned this the hard way. I managed a team of developers and hired someone I thought would work out well. He talked all the jargon and graduated from USC with a masters. Once we put him to the task, we realized he didn't know how to program. He was asking how for loops worked. WTF?!?! We were just doing PHP work for god's sake.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @05:36AM (#29782905) Journal

    You keep referring to those "foreigners". What does it matter if they become U.S. citizens in the end? They still end up working for your country, and your economy.

    When they do not - yeah, that's the problem, which is precisely what TFA is about. Broadly speaking, it means that either U.S. quality of life goes down, or that of the Other Countries goes up.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edumacator ( 910819 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @07:05AM (#29783137)

    who the heck drinks from their tap?

    Me and my family. Of course we live in a suburb of Atlanta. There are still a lot of areas where the water out of the tap is just fine. I'd also suggest there is a huge difference between, I don't drink tap water because it tastes funny, and I don't drink tap water because it gives me parasites.

    I do believe you though about the water in LA. If I come to visit, I'll bring bottled water.

  • by jtheisen ( 893138 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @07:49AM (#29783293) Journal
    Same in continental Europe. Most people here only look at titles. What you're actually able to do is secondary.
  • Re:Quality of life (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rob_Bryerton ( 606093 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @07:54AM (#29783311) Homepage
    Before you mod me down, hear me out and try to think, OK? I'm not directing this semi-rant at anyone in particular, even if YOU think I am.

    There is so much BS and misinformation that floats around these threads that it is absolutely ridiculous. It's just so fashionable to be anti-US, and so many uninformed viewpoints are formed by people such as the GP and parent that it's laughable, bordering on pathetic, really. If you want to spout off and sound like a fool because you want to be "in" and be a hater, then that's fine, but you just sound like an uninformed person with a chip on your shoulder.

    You want to know who works these 60 hour weeks? People who work for crappy managers at bottom of the line companies that are poorly managed. People who have no spine to stand up for themselves. If you're in this position, it's your OWN FAULT for working for a company that uses you like the tool you apparently are. You're too lazy to get a job at a good company. Don't give me this economy BS either; good talent is always in demand, and regardless of what the average liberal /.'er spouts off about, all corporations ARE NOT 'evil'. You know, there are companies that value their people, that treat them with respect, that don't overwork their people, etc etc. If you're too lazy to find a decent job, that's your prerogative, but don't whine that it's the fault of American capitalism, or EVIL USA, or whatever your lame group-think of the day is. You're in your own position because that's what YOU CHOSE. PERIOD. Try being accountable for once, and quit expecting something for nothing. You own your destiny.

    Listen, there are crappy companies out there, but it is YOUR CHOICE whether you work for them or not.

    1 week vacations? Please, get a clue; just get real already. In our industry (you know, I.T.) I have NEVER seen anything under 2 weeks plus holidays, plus more after 3 to 5 years. Again , if you work for a company that uses you in a disrespectful manner, it's YOUR PROBLEM, and YOUR CHOICE to be there. PERIOD. Do something about your situation; you will not be given everything on a silver platter, life takes effort.

    You may not like the USA, for whatever reasons, and that's fine. But you know what? We're just people like YOU, like YOUR families, no different at all. We're just born here, just like you were born somewhere else. Because you don't like our political "leaders'" policies, we all suck? NO, that's not fair at all. WE don't make political policy, WE don't directly elect our officials, no matter what you want to believe. WAKE UP.

    You're so civilized, you're so superior in your country compared to us, right? WRONG. We're all the same. We're human beings who are at the mercy of our politicians and their sometimes terrible policies. But in your enlightened knowledge, you condemn all of ~300 million of us because of your dislike of a few of our politicians? Yeah, that's very enlightened of you. (That is sarcasm in cased you missed it.)

    Everything is a trade-off. Many European countries have 4, 5, 6 week vacation policies. And you have other things we may not have which I'll not get into here. But you also PAY for those perks in terms of *vastly* higher taxation rates. Not an opinion, this is a *fact*. I'm not judging here, I'm just pointing out there's no free ride, only that there's a cost to everything. Yes, you get perks by paying for them, so quit trying to sound superior by implying that these perks are because of your superior society. They are not. They are paid for by YOU, DIRECTLY. Enough of that topic.

    The "at will employment" thing is another red herring. People don't get let go from their jobs randomly. Either there's no work long term and you get let go (or the company goes under), or you screw up royally (or are a royal screw-up) and you lose your job. PERIOD. If you think people work 50% more hours than they get paid for because of fear of a random dismissal from their jobs, you're fooling yourself and you sound foolish
  • by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @07:58AM (#29783325) Homepage

    Do doesn't. It means less jobs for the rest of you. They are taking their jobs with them when they leave, very probably serving the same customers as they did before, at lower cost to them, and the money they were previously spending in California, supporting other Californian jobs is now being spent in India and China supporting other Indian and Chinese jobs.

  • Re:My case (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @08:05AM (#29783345)

    Although the situation is of course contrasted from place to place in the US and different for various academic domains, I mostly agree. During and after my PhD in France I met many students and professors and most of the time I was flabbergasted realizing how poor their scientific background was (yes, that includes some tenured professors) compared to their French counterparts (or British, or German, etc.). They often lacked what is considered in my country as basic mathematical skills for the specialty, like for instance not understanding the difference between continuity of a stress vector and of a stress tensor (fundamental for PDEs).
    My hypothesis for explaining this (probably rather recent) situation would be that importing massive amounts of the world's best students has not helped their own.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @08:06AM (#29783347)
    You don't think we have homeless in Sweden? Some of them don't even have tents.
  • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @08:35AM (#29783471)
    If the average Chinese person really does say "I've got a good life going" (which I would dispute, but anyway), then I don't think we need to fret so much about how their government needs to be changed.
  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:00AM (#29783579) Journal

    Attracting them at expense of other Americans, improving their lives, having them become citizens, then run back where they came from at the first sign of economic trouble is a losing proposition.

    Apparently, you have no clue how actually the actual immigration process works, because you are describing the process where an H1-B visa, which is a non-immigration visa, holder comes to the US and then works to be come an immigrant.

    H1-B visas are supposed to fill holes in the skill sets of the American workforce but are being used by American companies to higher foreign workers are lower pay and longer hours.

  • Re:Quality of life (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:30AM (#29783731)

    Somewhere else it says something like "why work in China, you're supporting the regime/whatever".

    To a much lesser degree, that's part of the reason I wouldn't work in the USA: I don't want to be part of a society where the poor people have to work long hours with little vacation time and the gap between rich and poor is vast in terms of quality of life, access to services etc.

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:47AM (#29783845) Homepage Journal

    Per what I've heard, this is why young people can't get jobs in France anymore -- you can't be fired even if you don't bother to show up for work. This rewards the lazy and hurts those who pay wages, but hey, it's liberal mecca, so don't knock it!

  • 80 hours a week?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NoYob ( 1630681 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:50AM (#29783855)

    The US is the greatest place on earth and if you work hard, you can really live a great life.

    What life?! When I worked that much, I worked, barely got any exercise, gained 50 lbs, slept, got depressed, blood pressure went up, triglycerides too, and burned out. I had NO social life and I was incredibly lonely. While others were getting married and having kids - I was working.

    Great life, indeed!

  • by magamiako1 ( 1026318 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:55AM (#29783887)

    You forget that people get an education to become better at something, so your point about a "better Chinese student" versus an American student is somewhat irrelevant. You can't really define what constitutes a "better" student, because the results of which are not seen possibly for decades beyond that education.

    Is it a student that studies all of the time? What about students who don't need to study all of the time yet still pass their classes? Is it a student that attends every class? What if you don't need to attend every class?

    It can be argued that even if the American student isn't quite as educated or capable in a mental sense as the Chinese student, that the money should still go to the American student. After all, chances are he's going to stay within this country while the Chinese student may or may not have an allegiance to be here. After all, it's a lot easier to come to the US than it is to go to any other country from the US. This includes language.

    So you spend our tax dollars to educate some smart Chinese student who has a strong possibility of returning to his home country with his education, versus a student that is more than likely going to stay in the US, providing us with the knowledge he learned.

    There are a lot of problems in the US Education system, but this sort of comparison isn't related to any of them.
  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:17AM (#29784009) Journal

    In my observation, scientists and engineers are much better regarded in other countries than in the US.

    That's my impression also. A situation I recall is the choice of person to head a laboratory in the US. The person these American leaders picked didn't have a PhD. Why? There were several PhDs available. Why did the business leaders pick someone without a PhD? I managed to speak with their candidate, and when I said that I thought a requirement for the position was a PhD, he instantly responded with "or equivalent experience", and then went off on a 10 minute speech about how 10 years experience in anything vaguely related was not only as good as but in fact better than a degree, and that advanced degrees don't really matter and don't really mean anything. Perhaps the head of a lab doesn't absolutely have to have a PhD, but if some are available and willing and competent, why not use one of them?

    I suspect that they didn't want to do real science. They were afraid to do real science as it could fail and then everyone would lose their jobs. And they didn't really get what science is. They knew what results they wanted, and they preferred a puppet who would "make it happen", wink-wink nudge-nudge, know what I mean? And they were quite willing to delude themselves that they were doing science. Some thought it's all bull anyway, so why not? Others seemed to think they could get the outcomes they wanted through sheer willpower. The puppet would also make a handy fall guy and sacrifice when problems surfaced. Fortunately, the whole deal fell through.

    Too many of our leaders are the sorts who cheated their way through school, and cheated themselves out of a real understanding of science. They dry-labbed their way to an A in chemistry class and didn't get caught, and they halfway believe that every "successful" student did it the same way. Or they worked the system and wangled some soft course in lieu of a science requirement. Or their school was funded by people who believe that the only thing that really matters is making money, and think that market forces will keep science honest, because otherwise it wouldn't make any money, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:34AM (#29784129)

    Stop blaming the foreign students, stop blaming the government, stop blaming everyone else. This is no rocket science.

    1. Some people I've met (Americans), complain that they shouldn't be paying for "others' education or heath with their tax money"

    2. So, money to fund grad students come from grants, and labor is calculated for around $20k USD per year (Why "Americans should pay that with their taxes?" right?).

    3. I've met several great American undergrad students that would like to go to grad school, and suddenly received offers for $80k USD a year.

    Now, as an American (yes, having the "citizen" requirement), you can do what ever you want, you can choose going to grad school (and I'm saying being paid, stop saying that you have to pay for your education) receiving $20k or go to company X receiving $80k. Go figure, people normally rather get the 80k USD year than going for PhDs. (The calculation is simple: $60k per grad school year is about $240K USD if you were a good student).

    In addition to it, as a foreign student, from those $20k I have to pay lots of taxes (some countries receive exemptions as incentive, yet you don't see them that often - for example Germans).

    Now, isn't so easy to blame it on everyone else? Specially when it's a foreign.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:38AM (#29784155)

    Water dispenser machines that automatically boil the water for you are very common in Chinese homes and elsewhere. Bottled water is also readily to hand across China.

    Sure, but a. boiling temperatures don't kill ALL pathogens ... Clostridium Botulinum, for one, is capable of surviving that and b. boiling will have little effect if your water is contaminated with some poisonous industrial compound leached into the local water table by badly-operated factories. That's the problem China is facing now. Also, bottled water is only as safe as the source it was bottled from. Unless China gets a handle on its manufacturing-related environmental problems, bottled water is no guarantee of safety.

  • by CowboyBob500 ( 580695 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:41AM (#29784183) Homepage
    Per what I've heard, this is why young people can't get jobs in France anymore -- you can't be fired even if you don't bother to show up for work.

    What you've heard is a crock of shit, most likely scare tactics by the US right wing. Probably the same people that said the UK's National Health Service was evil.
  • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by misexistentialist ( 1537887 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:07AM (#29784373)
    You don't say where "home" is, but xenophobia, nationalism, and religious zealotry in the US are quite amateur when compared to other countries. You're used to it at home, but in America is seems strange. Sorry if you thought living here would be like an animated children's adventure.
  • by cinnamon colbert ( 732724 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:17AM (#29784427) Journal

    In 1945 we were the economic king of the hill not because we are smarter or more creative (the myth of the non creative asian will be viewed by our children the way we view the idea that woman are tempermentally unsuited to excercise the vote) but because the other guys were down.
    Finally the restof the world is catching up; this explains the long term (since the 50s) decline of the american job market (except for the top 1%), the silly idea (obama) that more education and hard work will help (like we are really gonna out word/dollar someone in china)

  • by BadDreamer ( 196188 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:21AM (#29784455) Homepage

    He did what none of the thousands of out of work American software engineers *did* do, or they wouldn't have been out of work. An H1B is not granted on potential alone, but on actual ability to accomplish.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:34AM (#29784517)

    4. Bigotry and illiberalism - I lived in Texas. Too many religious people, and when I left, also Bush was President.

    I take objection to post number 4. America is no less bigotred than Europe, in fact that is where most of our bigotries grew up and you schmucks imported them to the US with your religion and empires.

    Let's see, Bigotry, how are Europeans any less of bigots than the US.

    What about the large Muslim populations in France which have been condemned to live in ghetto's and has been rioting because of unfair treatment by the police?

    Oh, let's not forget about the Paki's and Indians in Great Britain? How are the hooligan's treating those folks?

    Let's see Germany anihilates 6 million jews, with more or less the blessing of the Catholic Church.

    What about the sex trade between Eastern Europe and Western Europe where poor women from Eastern European countries are forced, usually against their will, into the sex trade for the sick sexual pleasures of the 'rich' west. What do French, German, Austrian, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Belgium men think about women from Bulguria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Ukrania, Bela Russia, and Western Russia? Let's not forget about the children.

    So yeah, maybe if you are a White Male over 6 feet tall, born to a family of nobility with a crest. Yeah Europe is a great place. You get to run around in your Land Rover or your Porsche or your Mercedes-Benz. You act as if you are the pinnacle of human achievement. You have forgotten your distant past and your more recent past and the fact that there is no more brutal, heartless, savage animal than a man born of Germanic/Anglo/Saxon decent. Very soon you will be plunged into another brutal war and you'll be begging America to drag your asses out of the trenches. You have merely traded total slavery for economic slavery, but I doubt the East really cares, and I doubt they will forget their mistreatment.

  • by Civil_Disobedient ( 261825 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:43AM (#29784583)

    The immigration dept has really cracked down on H1-B visa holders and is rejecting them by asking them to prove stupid claims.

    Well, be reasonable about this.

    1. Why does a Senior Software Engineer position require a Computer Science degree!

    That's a good question. I know plenty of successful, talented Sr. software engineers that went to school for philosophy, art history, history... many of them never even finished school. The only real reason a Sr. software engineer would require a CS degree is if it were a requirement for the job. Which is circular reasoning: you need a CS degree to be a Sr. SE because a Sr. SE needs a CS degree.

    2. Provide all earning statements for the last 3 years and for all states you had income from.

    Hate to break it to you, but we citizens have to do this every year.

    3. Provide all client contracts that you had in the last 3 years for the full company.

    Most likely to prove that you're actually working, and not attempting to bullshit your way to a green card.

    4. Provide a detailed job description along with future contracts (for all 3 years) along with locations, contacts of client companies and images of work areas.

    Same as above. Although, I find it a little ridiculous that they want to know what your future contracts are for the next three years. I mean, you're not a fortune-teller!

    The process is really ridiculous right now and I have started looking at canada, singapore and india.

    I mean this with sincere honesty: leave. Not because you're a burden on the system, or because immigrants==suck, or any other racist, xenophobic bullshit excuse a lot of people will give.

    No, I'm saying leave because this country is a sinking ship. As an American, I would leave this country in a heartbeat if I knew I could find work in Canada or Europe. You do not want to be here. The people here are some of the most vile, ignorant, hateful people on the planet. Go someplace where you will be appreciated. Go someplace that has health insurance. Go someplace that treats its immigrants with the respect that they deserve.

    So pack your bags, sell your car and belongings (or throw them away) and get the fuck out in 10 days.

    Yeah, that's some fucking bullshit right there. Like I said... this is an opportunity in disguise. The next twenty years are going to be incredibly rough on the great American "experiment," and I feel the only ones who will be left will be the religious nut-jobs that seem to breed like rabbits.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:52AM (#29784625)

    You don't say where "home" is, but xenophobia, nationalism, and religious zealotry in the US are quite amateur when compared to other countries.

    The problem is we are backsliding in all those areas, not getting better. Assume he came here 10 years ago - his complaints probably aren't compared to some imaginary version of the US, but rather to how it was when he got here. The more time passes, the more it becomes clear that we really shot ourselves in the foot in a major way with our unhinged militaristic response to 911.

  • by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:54AM (#29784645) Homepage Journal

    If you live in bumbleskunk, yeah you might find that. You live in a city on one of the coasts, then not so much. It all depends.

  • by danpat ( 119101 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:56AM (#29784661) Homepage

    I mirror this situation. My wife and I had the opportunity to work in San Francisco for a couple of years. We're Australian.

    The experience was great, but in the end, all the little things (health care, racism, homeless, political opinions, the ongoing wars, etc) added up and San Francisco is pretty liberal and open-minded compared to most of the rest of the US. We now live in Canada where the quality of life is great and we have public health care, so we don't worry about going bankrupt if we get sick. Don't underestimate how important that idea is to a lot of people.

    For those Americans that are afraid of the whole spectrum of "socialist" political ideas all I can say is "don't knock it till you've tried it." While complete freedom is a wonderful idea, it often appears not to be practical when attempting to maximise the quality of life of a large population. There are certain freedoms that appear to be worth giving up (in countries like Australia and Canada, we haven't felt oppressed and it's nice not having to worry about people exercising their freedom to carry a concealed weapon).

    In more socialist countries, it appears that the general concensus is that everyone gives something up to improve the quality of life for the whole. In the US, the general concensus seems to be that no-one should give anything up (even if they never use it), fuck you commie bastards. I always found discussions with that kind of attitude difficult. The "Team America" movie is hilarious because it's all so true to life.

    Fair enough, I guess, but it doesn't suit everyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:58AM (#29784671)

    you did nothing that any three of the thousands of out of work American software engineers could not do.

    here, fixed that for ya.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @12:22PM (#29784813)

    Possibly true. But in that case, there shouldnt be a worry about reverse brain drain too, right?
    Since economists are worrying about the reverse brain drain, then your point becomes moot.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @12:53PM (#29784999)

    How many poor Chinese people have you spoken to and how many middle class/wealthy Chinese people have you spoken to?

  • Re:Quality of life (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @12:57PM (#29785013)
    1) Living in the EU is cheaper
    2) I get paid more in the EU than in the states
    3) 1+2: I save a lot more in the EU than in the states.

    4) I work 7-8 hours a day, I tend to go home at 5. That means I have a live outside work every day. I have 40 days of holidays every year, I can distribute them as I want (usually a week every few month and some "big" weekends).

    5) Transport works better: 10min from work through high quality highways (no speed limit!), very punctual public buses, trains...

    6) If i get sick, i go to the doctor. No waiting lines (usually less than 30min, faster if you go to urgencies). I never go to the pharmacy before seeing a doctor, and my childrens do the same. This means that IM NOT AFRAID OF GETTING ILL, wich compared to Canada, where waiting times range from 2 hours in the CLSC to 9-10hours in hospitals is a huge improvement. And also they threat you with every single mean they have, without thinking about the "costs".

    7) Security, my childs (8 and 6 years old) take the public bus to go to school, and they go alone (the first one started as he was 6 to go there alone), and Im not afraid cause i know nothing will happen. And on the other side, you dont see the police, or not a lot, but if something happens, 3mins later they are there! And you don't even know how they knew something was happening, but it's like that.

    8) Again: no speed limits!

    So yeah, the only downside here is that I pay more taxes (35-40%), but i still save more money than in the US. And i live with less preocupations, wich let me focus on more important things. Those are the thing that i count as quality of life, wich are lightyears away from the US.
  • Re:My case (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SteveAstro ( 209000 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:03PM (#29785057)

    ...born in Spain, moved to Germany as a child and capable of writing pretty damned well in English.

    How is YOUR German and Spanish ? And you could do with learning to check your spelling before posting about someone's grammar.


  • by stbill79 ( 1227700 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @01:54PM (#29785417)
    I say cut our military spending...

    icall I used to say this exact same thing. Until I realized I'd been wasting the last few years of my life in the private sector, as a decent and ambitious developer, learning nothing and stagnating. I don't know if it was just the positions I was in, or that all the interesting work has been offshored to Bangalore, but putting up web sites so insurance companies can automate billing was not helping me learn much new technology.

    All that changed when I got a job in the military industrial complex. Now I'm doing interesting stuff (mostly geospatial) and actually earning the same as my less intelligent peers who chose to go into insurance sales and law. I'd have to say that the military spending, a huge proportion of which goes to contractors, is basically the only industry allowing US citizens to stay in the forefront, as our universities and other private industries have essentially decided to offshore/import foreigners for all their science and technology needs.

  • by BadDreamer ( 196188 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @02:03PM (#29785477) Homepage

    He pulled in work for his employer. If the thousands of out of work American software engineers did they wouldn't be out of work. Since they can't, his H1B was warranted, as was its extension, and the US government failed in this case. Provided the story is correctly retold, of course.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @03:14PM (#29786045)

    If his company lost out on a contract that would have netted them $500K+ because out of the 30 people they felt were qualified for interview he was the one they wanted, then I'd have to disagree that the out of work SEs were capable of replacing him.

  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @04:31PM (#29786637) Journal

    He pulled in work for his employer. If the thousands of out of work American software engineers did they wouldn't be out of work

    Unless, of course, he did it for a cheaper wage and the was the primary reason for hiring him. H1-B visas are not supposed to be cost-cutting measures. Also, he did not pull in that work BEFORE he was hired, therefore it is not a reason to provide him with an H1-B.

  • poppycock (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @05:40PM (#29787231)

    I don't want my kids to grow up in what, to me, seems like a poisonous atmosphere of stranger hate, militant and religious zealotry, misplaced sense of entitlement, and a "we're the greatest because we're the greatest" view of the world.

    Name me a country whose indigenous people (as a whole) DON'T think like this?

    Christ! I've been to most countries in Europe, many 'eastern-bloc' countries and some of middle east, at some point you encounter this everywhere. Although in some places you can replace 'religious zealotry' with whichever left/right government you choose to mention.

    You think America is bad? Go and try to live in Japan or Saudi Arabia.

    I don't know which country you come from, but believe me America has its faults, but it is far, far from a bad place to live and bring up your children.

    I live in the UK by the way.

    We're making pretty good money and want to pull together a large enough nest egg to allow us to move home, buy a house, and start a business. After that, we'll likely only ever return here to take the kids to Disneyworld

    Oh yeah...that kind of sentiment will endear you tremendously to the local populace.

  • by shermo ( 1284310 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @08:24PM (#29788305)

    We need to protect our markets too. We are the only nation that fails to protect its domestic markets

    Woah, get off your high horse. []

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YeeHaW_Jelte ( 451855 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @08:21AM (#29792413) Homepage

    Maybe you shouldn't trust CNN then for your world views?

    Apart from that, you can't expect one billion people to be elevated to wealth in a few decades.

    Please reference India, which is and has been a democracy for multiple decades, and which still has exactly the same kind of wealth spread as China.

  • Old News (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @10:42AM (#29794101)

    Hello Slashdot, Welcome to 2005: The World is Flat [].

    Thomas L. Friedman book on this very topic was published in 2005. It is a trend that will continue and probably grow larger and America's prosperity will become increasing tarnished. Why do foreigner workers return home after getting educated at top American Universities? Because they can. With the advent of better telecommunications (America is increasingly one of the worst countries for internet access) and better collaboration platforms, and increased offshoring. Well educated people can increasingly return to their home countries where they not only "fit in" better with people who speak their own native tongue and share their cultural backgrounds, but back home they go from being another small fish to being one of the biggest fishes in their respective ponds.

    I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but the United States is headed for a severe shock, the science and technology elite of the United States are aging. And not enough young people are following in their foot steps. We all know the reasons, smart people don't get any respect, scientists and engineers don't get paid the same as TV and sports stars, bank presidents or lawyers, the reasons go on. But it doesn't really matter, the United States is about to go into a long and painful collapse and by the time everyone realizes what happening it'll be 20 years too late to do anything about it (that is it'll take 20 years to educate a new crop of students to replace the people who have retired).

  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @11:44AM (#29794919) Homepage Journal
    We spend about as much per year on Medicare. Defense is part of the powers delegated to Congress in the Constitution. Health care is not. At least with defense, the government is spending money on what it's supposed to spend it on.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.