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User Journal

Journal Journal: Put Bill Gates under oath and ask about H1B salaries

Bill Gates claims, again, that he can't find good help in the United States labor market and Jon Stokes of Ars Technica catches him in a lie about the salaries of foreign workers. In light of his direct appeal to our elected representatives in the Washington Post article, "I urge them" to invite William Gates III to a televised chat, preferably under oath, to present a detailed account of how the national problem of high-tech jobs with no skilled American applicants has affected his company.

Last year, reform on this issue stalled as Congress struggled to address border security and undocumented immigration. As lawmakers grapple with those important issues once again, I urge them to support changes to the H-1B visa program that allow American businesses to hire foreign-born scientists and engineers when they can't find the homegrown talent they need. This program has strong wage protections for U.S. workers: Like other companies, Microsoft pays H-1B and U.S. employees the same high levels -- levels that exceed the government's prevailing wage.

He asked for the attention of Congress, and I hope they listen very carefully to what he tells them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Did they even ask people if they trust polls?

I see a lot of interesting topics in twitter's Journal, but I'm not sure this one is as relevant as the numbers imply. I think people knowingly waste their time replying to polls only if they feel relatively strongly about the topic, which is a type of [self-]selection bias. George F. Will has said much the same thing about voter turnout, in support of his thesis that it's no big deal that 50% +1 of eligible US voters don't, and in fact that only means they believe they will be OK whoever is elected. I'm not enthusiastic about that explanation either, but it might be right, at least for some of the ~50% of cases of not voting. Maybe I shouldn't cite him as a source in support of my speculation, especially because I can't remember the title & copyright date. Oh well, if he wants proper attribution, he can open his own account!

Anyway, 99% of people don't understand statistics, so accurate measurements of their stupid opinions by qualified statisticians really is a quantifiable but unquantified, probably enormous, waste of valuable time which has instead been expended negating value.

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