HIGHTOWER: The High-Tech Greed-O-Rama-Whirlygig

Welcome to the All American High Tech Carnival with its exhilarating new ride called "The Greed-O-Rama Whirlygig," which takes you up to the zenith, then drops you into the abyss.The Greedy-Whirly is a ride designed by congress and powered by the campaign contributions of Microsoft and the other giants of the high-tech world. These corporations, we're told, embody the future for America's middle class. Forget manufacturing jobs, they say -- get wired instead, and grab one of the exciting information age jobs as a computer programmer, software designer, or engineer. The industry claims it will need 140,000 new high-tech workers a year for the next decade.But this is where the Greedy-Whirly drops you into the economic abyss. Thanks to a little wage-busting loophole called "H1B Visas," Americans mostly won't be getting these jobs. Under this loophole, an industry can simply declare that no Americans can be found to fill these techie jobs and fill them instead with foreign workers. Russia, India, and other nations abound in skilled computer workers who'll gladly take the jobs for a third to a half less than the going salary in the U.S. The greedheaded, billionaire CEOs who run the computer industry saw this teeming force of foreign workers as a great way to bust the whole salary level for their employees, so they began declaring that no Americans were up to snuff skill-wise, and began bringing in H1B workers from abroad.Problem was, there was a limit of 65,000 H1B visas per year -- so campaign contributions flowed to congress, lobbyists were hired and -- viola! -- the visa level was raised to allow 115,000 foreigners per year. Now, they're pushing for 200,000 a year, which would mean 60,000 more foreign workers each year than there are jobs.This is Jim Hightower saying ... The Greed-O-Rama Whirlygig is class war in action.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close