Outsourced at Home

On April 1st, the government began accepting applications for a special kind of immigrant visa, the H-1B visa. Every year, the government issues 85,000 of these visas to highly skilled foreign workers. These visas are intended to help American companies fill highly technical positions that they have not been able to find qualified American workers to fill. American technology and engineering companies have been growing at such a large rate that they are often unable to find enough technicians, engineers, computer programmers, and other highly skilled workers to match their growth. Most years, the government receives enough applications for H-1B visas to fill the quota of 85,000 within the first day.

The unfortunate truth is that the bulk of these visas are not going to fill shortages. Instead, these highly skilled jobs, which were once the last refuge of the American worker as corporations shipped their manufacturing and customer service jobs to India, China, and other developing countries, have now also been outsourced. The difference is that instead of sending the jobs away, the corporations are now simply petitioning the government to allow them to replace American workers with cheaper, temporary foreign labor.

The news is filled with stories that prove these companies are simply laying off their American workers and hiring foreign workers for a fraction of the salary. Kelly Parker was fired from her dream job at a Harley-Davidson plant after training the foreign worker on an H-1B visa who ended up replacing her. A woman calling herself “Linda” was laid off after decades with Southern California Edison, a major electric company, but her position was not eliminated – it was simply given to a foreign worker on the temporary H-1B visa.

Much like with the original wave of outsourcing that began in the 1980s, these are not struggling companies. Both of these companies are highly profitable, but they have found another way to save money. If they don’t have to pay their employees what their skills are worth, that means the companies can make even more money for their owners and their shareholders on Wall Street. This is simply another piece of evidence that, in Wall Street’s eyes, short term personal profits are more important than the long term health of America and its people.

Just like with classical outsourcing, taking good, high paying jobs out of the hands of working class and middle class Americans in order to hand a bit more profit to the wealthiest of us causes an enormous amount of damage to the American economy. Working and middle class people do the most with their money; they spend the vast majority of what they earn on food, housing, travel, and consumer goods, which keeps the wealth circulating and stimulates the economy, and the taxes on those products and services help to fund the government. When money is put in the hands of the super wealthy, however, it simply sits in investments and bank accounts, helping nobody, and contributing nothing to the good of our country.

Major technology companies are lobbying the government to double the number of H-1B visas being offered next year, which means that double the amount of hard working Americans will lose the jobs they have trained for and earned through years of hard work. If you want to put a stop to this outsourcing that is bleeding our country dry, you need to reject the mainstream political parties who have allowed it to continue to this point. In 2016, cast your write-in vote for Art Drew for President of the United States, and I will do everything in my power to stop this outsourcing and bring back American jobs!