The Tech industry is THE American Growth Industry of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is critical to understand how by giving away our biggest opportunity for growth, prosperity, and jobs, we are creating a void where every previous generation of Americans held tight to the American dream of prosperity and education through industry.
The H-1B visa abuse born out of Y2K and the perpetual “gaming of the system” has had a negatively cumulative effect on our economy. In an attempt by U.S. entities to increase profits in the U.S. by reducing our tech labor force, millions of foreign workers have entered the U.S. and displaced American IT workers. Visas are the “Trojan Horse” of the IT industry serving to accelerate and enable the job loss of millions more jobs being sent overseas. The shrinking U.S. base of employed technology workers translates into billions of dollars lost.
Rapid change, low barriers to entry and portability have made it the easiest industry in our country’s history to “outsource.” The result is trillions of dollars in lost opportunity to the U.S. economy.
As technology transforms over time, it enables every industry to transform. Technology is the enabler. It is an instrument of change in every aspect of every job that exists in America today. And, as technology advancements are introduced, and changes result in every aspect of our every day, personal and work lives, it continually affects individuals, societies, markets, industries, and countries.
In October, the 105th Congress passed the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA), which temporarily raised the annual cap on new H-1B visas. However, no requirement was imposed on employers to demonstrate that efforts had been made to recruit native workers prior to issuing an H-1B visa. The stage was set for fraud and other H-1B visa abuses that came later.
In addition to the H-1B visa, there are other classifications of visa that work in conjunction with it to outsource even more jobs. The following visas (H-1B, O1, F1, M1, L, B, and B1) propel outsourcing to astronomical levels.
It is important to understand the institutionalizing of the software development function or application support function was an important step in making it possible to not only outsource, but offshore jobs.
This is the premise of offshore labor. Pieces of the technology function could be sent off premises to a cheaper labor force offering high-quality output in a time-boxed fashion.
U.S. visa holders are typically the connection between the U.S. “demand” for application delivery, and the foreign labor market’s “delivery” of applications. Without the abundance of foreign visa workers in the U.S., the “translation” would be virtually impossible. The less expensive labor forces in countries other than the U.S. are managed and communicated to by their American representatives, who are typically working in the U.S.
In 2016, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement reported that there were currently 1.1 million students with F and M visas currently studying in the U.S., and 42% of them are in STEM fields. In turn, this results in a dramatic increase in the percentage of foreign workers in STEM industry jobs.
Displacing American operating units and replacing them with entirely foreign workforces, known as a captive company, is the next progression of the onshore/offshore model. Industries extending far beyond the IT sector and reaching into every aspect of consumerism now aim to “capture” and own a cheaper foreign labor force.
Our higher educational system, made up of the best colleges and universities in the world, has turned into a national “export” providing education in stunning numbers to foreign students. In total, over 1 million foreign students were educated in the U.S. higher education system in the 2016-2017 year. A 100% increase since 2004. The American export of higher education is being sold to foreign students.
As foreign enrollment continues to climb, and the cost of higher education continues to escalate, the original intent of America’s institutions of higher learning, the education of America’s citizens, the advancement of national interest, and the goal of national prosperity is diminished.
Today, international students outnumber Americans in our university graduate programs. According to a report, which analyzes National Science Foundation enrollment data from 2010, foreign students make up the majority of enrollments in many STEM fields, accounting for 70.3% of all full-time graduate students in electrical engineering, 63.2% in computer science, 60.4% in industrial engineering, and more than 50% in chemical, materials, and mechanical engineering.
When the best and brightest students leave the U.S., our economy leaves with them.
Some of our most selective and top-ranked universities award significant amounts of financial aid to foreign students rather than to Americans.
The United States is not only outsourcing and offshoring technology jobs, it is also exporting the technology education needed to succeed at those jobs. The growth in technology globally explains why international students at U.S. colleges are the majority of those majoring in technology.
To compound the issue, as time has passed, less and less females are entering the STEM majors.
The repercussions in shifting the success criteria for American K-12 education has, and will continue to have, significant effects in our nation’s ability to succeed in the digital age.
America’s “Common Core” curriculum message echoed the “everyone is a winner” mentality. Its foundations were created to teach and test to the middle student, controlling for no failures in the American public-school system and creating no incentives for academically gifted children to excel.
The “everyone is a winner” ideal only serves to de-incentive American youth from realizing the very real lessons that success is derived from hard work, motivation, and determination, in life and in academic success.
Art and music are two components of American public education that have been negatively affected by the prioritization of standardized test taking, and both are critically important to the development of skills needed in the digital age.
The idea of foundational digital literacy is to give every American the opportunity to successfully co-exist with technology. As technology drives our cars, cooks our meals, provides our directions, runs our manufacturing plants, and cleans our floors, would it not be in our best interest to understand the basic structure of how the technology operates rather than rely on others to fix or translate it?
If technology is allowed to master the human race, rather than educate the human race to master technology, our future not only as Americans, but as high functioning beings will be at risk.
Trade is the single most effective diplomatic tool to create and sustain allies. The U.S. global influence is a direct result of its many international alliances, all of which are sustained through trade. Recognizing how the protectionism of America’s allies impacts the U.S. economy and the balance of power is critical as America chooses a path forward in the digital age.
Today, Japan is the third largest economy in the world after the U.S. and China. It is the fourth largest exporter after the U.S., China, and Germany. Simply put, Japan, with a population approximately one-third the size of the U.S. population, produced close to twice the number of automobiles in 2016, almost 8 million compared to less than 4 million produced in the U.S. according to OICA, the International Organization of Automobile Manufacturers.
The U.S. exports less than half of what it imports from India, with approximately $20 billion in U.S. exports to India and over $40 billion in U.S. imports from India. This is largely due to the U.S.’s heavy dependence on technology labor and services from India.
In 2016, the U.S. imported approximately $466 billion worth of goods and services from China where the U.S. exported only $123 billion to China in return. As the U.S. imports more than three times the amount it exports to China, the balance of trade puts China in a strong position to continue to grow its economy.
The American middle class feels the effect of these global trade deficits with Japan, India, and China more than anyone else in the U.S. The right path forward for the U.S. includes trading scenarios where the U.S. enjoys fair and equal trade with its allies.
The U.S. Middle Class is made up of America’s workers. It is a collective, universal, relatable existence. It is how individual citizens connect, commiserate, and push forward. As jobs disappear from our shores, as workers lose benefits, and as local economies deteriorate across the nation, the Middle Class suffers. As the Middle Class disintegrates, the very fiber of being American is gone, American families disintegrate, and American values disappear.
We have the opportunity to employ our nation’s citizen’s, “our own people,” and therefore, as a nation, it would be our priority to do so. As a country, it is more important to enable our own citizens to have meaningful work as opposed to creating social welfare systems to supplement a lack of work. Not only is it better for individuals to be working from a mental health, physical, self-esteem, and monetary perspective, but it is better for our nation to rely on our own labor as it relates to economics, GNP (Gross National Product), and national security.
The ramifications to the U.S. economy go beyond American job loss. The damage to our country extends to our health, education, safety, and security.