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The Yin and Yang of Hour of Code & Immigration Reform 220

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job dept.
theodp writes "The weeklong Hour of Code kicks off tomorrow, with Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates doing their part to address a declared nationwide CS crisis by ostensibly teaching the nation's schoolchildren how to code. But a recent NY Times Op-Ed by economist Paul Collier criticizing Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC as self-serving advocacy (echoing earlier criticism) serves as a reminder that Zuckerberg and Gates' Code.org and Hour of Code involvement is the Yin to their H-1B visa lobbying Yang. The two efforts have been inextricably linked together for Congress, if not for the public. And while Zuckerberg argues it's 'the right thing to do', Collier argues that there are also downsides to the tech giants' plans to shift more bright, young, enterprising people from the poorest countries to the richest. 'An open door for the talented would help Facebook's bottom line,' Collier concludes, 'but not the bottom billion.'"
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The Yin and Yang of Hour of Code & Immigration Reform

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  • Parasites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:10AM (#45636745)

    Uses complex offshore shell companies in order to not pay taxes to fund roads, schools, community, civilization.
    Wont train Americans (or anyone else) in IT, actively seeking to import labor again that someone else paid for their education

    how is this company even got a voice in America? in the old days they would be run out of town or worse

    today ? fuck you you i got mine and there is nothing you can do to stop me

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:11AM (#45636753)
    Consider the interests of the would-be reformer.
  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:27AM (#45636811)
    I'm just getting off about ten years of unemployment as a software engineer. I'm competent, I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, and my major pass time at home is programming. For whatever reason I couldn't seem to find a job. I put out thousands of resumes on monster and Dice, but had less than ten interviews in ten years. Thankfully I just recently got a job doing hardware. It is just weird what this world can do to you. No matter how much talent you have, or how hard you work, if no one wants to give you a chance, the world is a rough place. I think lots of people are seeing this today with the lack of jobs for even talented individuals.

    Anyway, that is my point. There are plenty of talented and educated people in this country. The tech companies just don't want to pay a fair wage in a regular display of union busting. I know my story might be on the edge of a bellcurve, but I'm just saying I understand personally what it is like to never get a chance at a job. If you don't watch, it can grind into your very self worth.
  • Re:Parasites (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:38AM (#45636855)

    Uses complex offshore shell companies in order to not pay taxes to fund roads, schools, community, civilization.

    They pay plenty of taxes, including payroll taxes, sales taxes, and taxes on dividends and capital gains paid by their shareholders. They only avoid income tax. But corporate income tax comes out of the pockets of some combination of their employees, customers, and shareholders. If you think employees should pay more, then raise payroll taxes. If you think customers should pay more, then raise sales taxes. If you think shareholders should pay more then raise taxes on dividends and capital gains. Any of those would make far more sense than continuing a poorly designed corporate income tax is easily avoided, collects little revenue, and pushes jobs and investment out of America.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:57AM (#45636927)

    Nowadays I am helping many young, bright and very enterprising people in poor countries in Asia, Africa and South America, by either inviting them to become my co-workers in the companies that I own (full or part), or I invest in their startups.

    Are you helping them IN the poor countries in Asia, Africa, and South America -- or are you bringing them to America and "helping" them here?

    If all you ever do is bring people here, how the hell are the poor countries ever going to become anything other than poor? Build things THERE. Don't bring them here, to take opportunities from American citizens. Yeah, yeah, you have your little pity stories to tell about poverty and oppression, and I'm sure it's all true. But I care about that, and your "young, bright, and very enterprising people" from all over the world, to the exact same extent you care about anyone in America -- not at all.

    The American Dream was supposed to be FOR Americans. Make your own damn dreams. No, seriously -- make all those other countries WORTH staying in, and living in, and being in. Or can you only have your dreams here in America, with the infrastructure paid for by Americans, with the legal systems built and maintained and paid for by Americans, with the society and ideals fought and paid and died for by Americans?

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:04AM (#45636949)
    The goal is to make every job in the US blue collar with no benefits. This is not hyperbole or metaphor.

    I have friend with decades of film production experience and he is de facto unemployable. The jobs are outsourced, or filled by 1H-B holders. He can't find work outside the film industry because he is "overqualified". When he applies for retail like Target or Starbucks, they don't want him because younger workers are easier to push around and abuse.

    If you think that you are immune because you are "a professional", just wait. Get 10 or 15 years of experience and watch that become the reason that you won't be hired.

    Meanwhile, Wall Street hits new highs on a regular basis. There is a direct causal relationship going on here. The wealth going to the rich is being siphoned from the rest of society. If things don't change the US will have a economic/social structure like the Spanish speaking part of the Americas. Don't be surprised when this happens, you had plenty of warning.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:12AM (#45636973)

    I'm just getting off about ten years of unemployment as a software engineer.

    How closely were your loss of your job and subsequent inability to get another one correlated with your claims of God talking to you? http://www.goodnewsjim.com/ [goodnewsjim.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:35AM (#45637057)

    If you're going to insist that he must be doing something wrong, focus on the fact that he's sending out resumes.

    Unless you are very lucky, you don't get jobs by sending out resumes. The only reliable way to get a job is by having friends obtain them for you.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:36AM (#45637063)
    Immigrants are an integral part of the American Dream and much of the success America has seen. Also, having success in the US doesn't mean that they can't come back at some point and also try to help their native country.
  • Re:Parasites (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:53AM (#45637137) Homepage

    The new America: Crushing the middle class, consolidating wealth to the 0.25% of the wealthy, and importing cheap labor and/or outsourcing work. America is starting to become the new Mexico where we have a new have and have-not society. The middle-class is a threat to those in power and wanting to stay in power. This nation is fucked. And we haven't even talked about soon-to-be hyper inflation spurned by insolvency. But that's ok right? Hyper inflation will just create an even larger disparity in wealthy. By design!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:55AM (#45637145)

    The issue isn't whether the best and the brightest from overseas should be able to fill the gaps in the demand for skilled workers. The issue is whether they should be doing it through the flawed H1-B program. If Zuckerberg and Gates were arguing for a streamlined path to citizenship or even green cards for workers with skills that are at a shortage in the US, that would be a different matter. But the H1-B allows companies to pay 60%-70% of what they would pay a citizen for 3-6 years before they get sent home.

    If the workers could become US citizens, they could build their lives here and be active members of the community invested in our collective future. But the tech giants want disposable talent to use and send home. It's short-sighted and will ensure that we have a lot more foreign competition as skilled talent leaves at the end of their H1-Bs and build competing technology in their home countries.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Monday December 09, 2013 @02:51AM (#45637319)

    Oh for fuck's safe, "The American Dream was supposed to be FOR Americans"?? Which Americans were those? Are the Irish and Italians and Jews allowed to prosper, or is success only for the WASPs? Anyone who's willing to follow our laws and pay their taxes should be welcome. They certainly contribute more than the tax-dodging, money-laundering elite.

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