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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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  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:23AM (#45636797) Homepage Journal

    yeah spending hundreds of millions of dollars eradicating diseases like malaria in poor countries is so immoral...oh right but you only care that Windows is closed source.

    To be fair, Gates got that money by breaking the law. His unfair competition resulted worldwide adoption of an insecure system, causing untold hardship across the industry (against more robust systems with few security flaws).

    Should we cheer Al Capone for the good he was doing for Chicago?

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:37AM (#45636849) Journal

    Consider the interests of the would-be reformer

    Apparently that economist, Mr. Paul Collier, doesn't even have any braincell to think.

    From the TFA:

    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

    MOST of those young, bright and enterprising people from the POOREST COUNTRIES won't get ANY chance to tap on their potential in their own country, and I am speaking as someone who had been through exactly that scenario.

    When I came out of China, back in the early 1970's, China was in a VERY TERRIBLE STATE.

    Millions of ordinary citizens had died of hunger.

    Social upheaval were everywhere - goons waving that little red book were ransacking/looting people's houses they accused of "anti-revolutionary".

    If I WERE to stay in China, I had only two choices: Either joined those goons in doing all the WRONG THINGS they had been doing, or to stay absolutely low key, go into a remote village somewhere, and work as a farm hand.

    But I got out of China and ended up in America.

    In America, I got to further my education (I already had high school education back in China), I got to learn many things from many very brainy people who came to America from all over the world, I got the chance to participate in the American dream, I got to start my own companies, I got to sell my companies for huge profit and re-invest the monies into even more startups.

    I could NEVER do any of that had I stuck in China.

    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.

    That Mr. Paul Collier is nothing but a talking head.

    Most of the poor countries in the world simply do not have the infrastructure to allow those young, bright and enterprising people to do what they can do.

    Most of the governments in those poor countries are mired in unbelievably mountains of bureaucratic red tapes, red tapes that do nothing but making the lives of their own citizens even that much more miserable.

    I came from one of those poor countries, I know what was/is happening.

    I am not saying that Bill Gates and/or Mark Zuckerberg are right to do whatever they do, but at least they are offering many young, bright and enterprising people from poor countries A CHANCE TO PROVE THEIR WORTH TO THE WORLD, and also to themselves.

    As for Mr. Paul Collier, other than being a talking head, what did/does he do to help out those young, bright and enterprising people in the poorest countries in the world ?

  • Open borders (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:03AM (#45636941)

    Here is how I have been affected by our immigration "policy".

    1) needed a tech from a Canadian company to go to Detroit to fix a system. He got turned back at the border. They had to get an American to come in and do the job days later.

    2) a friend had her undocumented husband who lived & worked 20 years in the US and had teenage kids deported without warning after a misdemeanor traffic infraction.

    3) A Danish family renting a house I own got thrown out of the country because of an H1B mixup, now I am out a few months of rent.

    Screw it. I'm for open borders.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday December 09, 2013 @03:37AM (#45637481)

    Every time an H1B story is posted here, we get a lot of Tea Party-type comments from people

    No you don't. I've been reading Slashdot for years and have never seen Tea Party members of any kind post against LEGAL immigration, which is healthy. In fact most of us stick up for H1B guys because we know a lot of them... it's the liberals who cry that H1B are stealing jobs from America and need to be banned.

    The problem the Tea Party has is with illegal immigrants, which generally are not nearly as desirable or productive members of society (and who would expect they would be when the very act of coming here starts out by committing a crime?)

    It's criminal how you and others cannot seem to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration, which are vastly different things.

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