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Matt Yglesias' low level of concern for American (high-tech) workers

We already knew that Matt Yglesias of Slate has little concern for lower-skilled American workers [1].

But, lest there be any doubt, he doesn't have much concern for high-tech American workers either.

He writes ( peekURL.com/zjfQZ4w ):

Perhaps the least-controversial issue in American politics is the idea that we should hand out more work permits to high-skilled foreigners, particularly people with STEM degrees. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea, but the consensus around it is pretty widespread. So why doesn't it happen?

Well, roughly because there's no political percentage in writing a bill that passes. Increased immigration of foreign technical experts isn't just widely popular among policy analysts and opinion leaders, it's a key priority for high-tech companies. So legislators have the goal not so much of doing what the tech companies want, as trying to structure the situation so as to align the tech companies with their partisan interests. So Texas Republican Lamar Smith's challenge was to write a bill that did what the tech companies wanted (more visas for skilled foreigners) but that wouldn't actually pass the House of Representatives... [gridlock, etc.]

Are there opinions Yglesias is giving short shrift to? Why, yes: all the many unemployed and underemployed American engineers who'd be impacted by increased STEM immigration. More immigration by high-tech workers would be great for companies that want lower wages under worse conditions. Yglesias is on their side, not the side of yet another group of workers.

See skilled immigration and H1B for more on these issues, and write @MattYglesias with your thoughts.

[1] Back in March 2009, I sent Yglesias and his employer the Center for American Progress an open letter describing one way they could get able-bodied, unemployed Americans working again. That plan is right out of the FDR playbook, but neither of them even acknowledged it. Obtaining race-based power through massive low-skilled immigration is on CAP's agenda, not helping their fellow citizens.

Sat, 09/22/2012 - 15:16 · Importance: 4