February 20, 2014

Some great advice for Mark Zuckerberg

A reader comments on my frequent sniping at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us organization that expensively lobbies Congress for more H-1B visas:
I don't know why Steve insists that Zuckerberg is worried about employee salaries. Is there any evidence of that? It seems more likely that he is a true believer in opening the door to "the best and the brightest" by skimming the elite of foreign populations.

There would be a very simple way for Zuckerberg to prove that his immigration lobbying is disinterested: just announce that Facebook will never again use any H-1B visas, either directly or through intermediaries. 

For some reason, though, he hasn't done this.
   

54 comments:

anony-mouse said...

Why should he be 'disinterested'?

Maybe he's the modern version of Charlie Wilson (What's good for General Motors is good for America).

Hepp said...

"There would be a very simple way for Zuckerberg to prove that his immigration lobbying is disinterested: just announce that Facebook will never again use any H-1B visas, either directly or through intermediaries.

For some reason, though, he hasn't done this."

Lol, no offense, but he probably doesn't feel the need to sacrifice his economic interests in order to reassure some obscure blogger about his intentions.

Zuckerberg also gave like a zillion dollars to black schools.

Elites are liberals. Self-iinterested too, but mostly liberals.

If Zuckerberg were only self-interested, the most efficient way to put more money into his pocket would probably be by advocating lower taxes.

Anonymous said...

It seems more likely that he is a true believer in opening the door to "the best and the brightest" by skimming the elite of foreign populations.




That seems exceedingly UNlikely. He (via his front group) has not advocated "opening the door for the best and brightest" or "skimming the elite of foreign populations". He has advocated for indiscriminate open borders and the legalization of millions of currently illegal semi-literate peasants.

And the H1b program likewise has absolutely nothing to do with the "best and brightest" of "foreign populations".

ben tillman said...

I don't know why Steve insists that Zuckerberg is worried about employee salaries. Is there any evidence of that? It seems more likely that he is a true believer in opening the door to "the best and the brightest" by skimming the elite of foreign populations.

To what end? It sure as hell isn't humanitarian concern that motivates someone to take foreign populations' brightest members away from them.

And why in the world couldn't his personal interest in low-wage workers turn him into a "true believer"? It's as if you've never heard of self-deception or subconscious motivations.

Anonymous said...

Facebook employs rather few people. Yet it's fundamental to creating a new aristocracy and class divide in Silicon Valley. Despite making over a billion dollars in profits last year, it paid no federal or state income taxes, and in fact, received a refund in the hundreds of millions of dollars, a scenario which has repeated itself for years and is set to repeat for years more. (Steve should probably harp on this point some more. Bashing corporate socialism is an easy sell.) Its founder uses his own profits to lobby for a, say, tripling of H-1B visas into this country and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Modern capitalism is a wonderful thing. Your country for a website, and some other techno gadgets? Sounds like a good trade to me!

cyril said...

But Zuckerberg's not getting any bad press, aside from right-leaning bloggers and obscure journalists.

As I said in the earlier post's comments, this move would simply draw more attention to skepticism like yours.

Side note, has anyone played FWD.US's "game" Undoculife?

http://www.fwd.us/hackathon_team_undoculife.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the default position of all Corporate CEO's in disinterested Humanitarianism. So Steve - prove it!

And if Zuckerberg is so concerned about Foreign workers, why doesn't he ship the work to them, instead of demanding they ship themselves here?

cyril said...

Undoculife looks like an NES Zelda mod. It should be a fantastic educational tool for the vast proportion of the agricultural and service sectors made up of Hikikomori. (It was, of course, ghostprogrammed by a couple of Asian "mentors" and a white dude.)

Thagomizer said...

Zuck's real problem is that he's using a bad political strategy. He should push for a $100k annual salary minimum for H1B visas.

That would make it far easier for Facebook to hire foreign workers since most current H1B employers would be priced out of the market.

Increasing the H1B limit won't really help Facebook as most of the visas will be issued to large companies with visa experts.

Anonymous said...

"If Zuckerberg were only self-interested, the most efficient way to put more money into his pocket would probably be by advocating lower taxes."

No, not really. He already mostly converted his once-in-a-lifetime lottery payout into cash. If you understood even the slightest bit about how taxes work, you'd realize that "lower taxes" (however it is framed) is by far one of the least efficient policies to increase the income/wealth of connected people. Remember, idiot, that if you want ro deposit huge amounts of money in your bank account, you have to generate massively huge amounts of income first before taxes matter at all. Nobody ever got rich just from not having to pay taxes. The beggar on the street pays no taxes at all. Does he get rich as a result?

Anonymous said...

Um, Steve, employees are fungible. It would prove nothing for Zuck to declare that he would not hire any of the new H1B recipients. Because, if the influx were successful in depressing salaries for programmers/engineers, he would still reap the profits. He would just end up paying his non-H1B workers less.

Portlander said...

No offense Steve, but I think Z's motivations are from giving more consideration to the other side of his balance sheet. It's not expenses, ie. employees. It's revenues, ie. customers. More immigrants means more eyeballs means more advertising revenue.

Also, I wouldn't discount his being a died-in-the-wool, kool-aide drinking, progressive idiot. I didn't watch the movie, but wasn't he always the uncool kid trying too hard to fit in? He wants to fit in to with the liberal SWPL kids, which means toeing the line of the DNC.

Anonymous said...

Zuckerberg is an uninteresting, unoriginal, conventional liberal. As such, I don't think he's all that concerned about the US or much of anything other than himself and his immediate circle of peers and looking good in their eyes. Also, as with most liberals, anything that impinges on his or his peers' right to exercise unhindered flexibility with respect to their ridiculous companies annoys them and they don't like being annoyed. They're just above that sort of nonsense and no better. They also take much pleasure in demonstrating their power and annoying those they consider stupid. Wide open immigration satisfies all of these needs.

Lugash said...

Money gives employees options... If your average IT worker in Silicon Valley cleared an extra 50k/year after taxes they would easily be able to build a nest egg after a few years to launch a startup. I'm unfamiliar with the WhatsApp story, but it looks like they are both bachelors who had the funds to try a startup. Expand this to those who aren't frugal, have a family etc. and it gets a) harder to retain employees and b) you have to pay your ex-employees for their big idea that made it.

Anonymous said...

More immigrants means more eyeballs means more advertising revenue.

Facebook is global. They get eyeballs all over the world, and presumable ad revenue too.

Anonymous said...

Cool kid trying to fit in does seem like a more convincing theory than what the propertier has been promoting here.

I doubt he really cares about black schools or immigration either way. He just wants the adulation.

Anonymous said...

The unsaid assumption behind this post seems to be that H1-B workers are paid less than natives filling equivalent roles. I am not sure if that is a valid assumption. Lots of visa holders make more than 100k, salaries and roles have to be specified on visa applications, and the general salary levels (and cost of living in SV) are no secrets.
Illegal workers at ethnic restaurants, that's another matter altogether. They are getting paid peanuts and are perennially afraid of deportation. Not so with visa workers in the SV.

leftist conservative said...

you are on the right track--you are mixing elements from the Right and Left: taking from the Right the idea that citizens should have control over immigration, and taking from the Left the idea that the citizens should have some control over how the wealthy use their wealth.

Good for you! You are breaking down the barriers set up to prevent the mixing and matching of populist elements from the Right and the Left.

Anonymous said...

Good grief look at all the attempts to muddy the water in this thread. Maybe Zuck has told his minions to keep an eye out for "obscure bloggers" calling him on his BS.

H1Bs code monkeys are usually making 30k to 40k on the books, and probably working a lot more for free so that their I-551s don't get pulled. The fact that earlier anon tries to muddle this fact shows he is either ignorant of wtf is going on in SV or he's a bullshit artist.

SFG said...

"you are on the right track--you are mixing elements from the Right and Left: taking from the Right the idea that citizens should have control over immigration, and taking from the Left the idea that the citizens should have some control over how the wealthy use their wealth.

Good for you! You are breaking down the barriers set up to prevent the mixing and matching of populist elements from the Right and the Left."

That's part of what attracted me to this blog in the first place.

The problem is that while this is sound intellectually, it's a loser politically. There are too many MSNBC/Fox drones who will get angry at anything that smells of 'racism' on the one hand or 'socialism' on the other.

Mason Boyne said...

Wasn't the subtext of the Social Network the contest between Jews and Anglo's at Harvard?

It's not hard to see what Zuckerberg is doing. He's got 5700 of programming making him do what he does.

Anonymous said...

H1Bs code monkeys are usually making 30k to 40k on the books, and probably working a lot more for free so that their I-551s don't get pulled. The fact that earlier anon tries to muddle this fact shows he is either ignorant of wtf is going on in SV or he's a bullshit artist.

I am the earlier anon and I call BS on that. Your comment is more rumor peddling than solid fact. 30k is less than minimum wage, and no H1-B paperwork will ever get approved by the USCIS with such an stated amount. People on L1 visas (the official "guest worker" visa) may be making that less, but the terms of the L-visa permit that. You could argue (correctly) that the L-visa is a scam and a loophole to avoid paying someone H1-B wages (which MUST be at least as high as wages paid to a native).
Or maybe such technicalities go over your head.

Anonymous said...

Immigrant who are the best and brightest can already come to the US under an O-1 visa, reserved for talented individuals. But geniuses, by definition, are rare. There are thousands of O-1 best and brightest and they're a miniscule fraction of total immigration. We've always had an open door for the Einsteins and Godels even after the reforms of the 1920s, and some foreigners like O-1 Dirk Nowitzki really do have skill sets that Americans lack. But if an immigrant is just an H-1B scabbishly doing a job that a qualified American would be willing to perform at a higher wage, what's the point? They should apply for O-1s or else stop nonsense talk about "best and brightest."

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/silicon-valleys-paydays-are-outrageous-so-wheres-the-outrage/283994/

leftist conservative said...

SFG QUOTED ME AND SAID...

"you are on the right track--you are mixing elements from the Right and Left: taking from the Right the idea that citizens should have control over immigration, and taking from the Left the idea that the citizens should have some control over how the wealthy use their wealth.

Good for you! You are breaking down the barriers set up to prevent the mixing and matching of populist elements from the Right and the Left."
-----

That's part of what attracted me to this blog in the first place.


That is why the dissident Right, as flawed as it is, is (almost) the only game in town...there is a growing awareness among some of them that mass immigration/multiculti/PC are profit enhancement tools for the corporations and rich investors.

The techies over on slashdot are also beginning to see this as well...having their noses rubbed in the dirt by corporations making them train h1b replacements has erased their ideological programming. 15 years ago, if you had posted the idea that h1b is a tool of the corporations to drive down wages on slashdot, you would have been attacked viciously there.

I know that from personal experience.

A couple months ago there was a thread slashdot thread dealing with h1bs, and I waded in with my spiel, and lo and behold, I was not alone. I even posted my real hardcore stuff, and there was someone there who responded affirmatively to my comment. I was even upvoted.




The problem is that while this is sound intellectually, it's a loser politically. There are too many MSNBC/Fox drones who will get angry at anything that smells of 'racism' on the one hand or 'socialism' on the other.



So true, so true. The brainwashed warrior drones on both the Left and Right can be counted on to programmatically output their talking points on cue...and they are legion...but the harsh reality of neoliberal multiculti is slowly erasing years of edu-propaganda. The tides of nature favor us....



Anonymous said...

"There would be a very simple way for Zuckerberg to prove that his immigration lobbying is disinterested: just announce that Facebook will never again use any H-1B visas, either directly or through intermediaries."

But his competitors could still use them. That would put him at a disadvantage.

Anonymous said...

Steve, i believe that many fans of immigration sincerely believe they have the moral high ground. They do it out of moral vanity. They are misguided of course. But steve do not discount moral preening as a motivator

Portlander said...

Facebook is global. They get eyeballs all over the world, and presumable ad revenue too.

That's a presumption I would not make. A consumer in Cairo is not worth as much to advertisers as one in Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

Quote from Anonymous:

"The unsaid assumption behind this post seems to be that H1-B workers are paid less than natives filling equivalent roles. I am not sure if that is a valid assumption. Lots of visa holders make more than 100k, salaries and roles have to be specified on visa applications, and the general salary levels (and cost of living in SV) are no secrets."

The assumption that H1-B workers are paid less than natives filling equivalent roles is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRUE. Not only are they paid less initially, they will never, ever get a raise until they get a green card, because their employer knows they are handcuffed to the company. If they leave they have to start the green card application over.

I have sat in management meetings discussing raises where management openly discriminates against all of the H1Bs in order to give bigger raises to green card holders and citizens. This discrimination is completely legal.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Steve, I'm surprised to see you make this argument. Don't you know that a smart guy with impeccable credentials at the Harvard Business School just proved that "High-Tech Immigrant Workers Don’t Cost US Jobs":

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7416.html

According to Professor Kerr, the wage difference between native workers and immigrant workers is minimal. See, it says it right there in black and whi- oh, wait. Never mind. What it actually says, if you read the text and not just the title, is "Younger immigrant workers are often more tied to the firm, are willing to work long hours, and often have fewer family commitments". So the point of H1B may not be to drive down wages per se, so much as it is to exchange mobile workers who might pack up and leave for a competitor with de facto indentured servants: "Once the worker has migrated, the immigrant is essentially locked in with the firm until the person can obtain permanent residency or another visa. In many cases, the firm ends up sponsoring the immigrant for permanent residency, which strengthens the worker's ties with the firm even more."

Don't some of these H1B workers come from India? If so, they're probably already pretty familiar with the whole "Bonded Labor" phenomenon, and should adjust quite comfortably. Remember- if you're against de facto indentured servitude, you're a horrible bigot who's against progress, equality, and America's creative dynamism, darn it.

Reg Cæsar said...

Um, Steve, employees are fungible. --anonymous (i.e., fungible) commenter

Is this true, even of a taco stand? And if a person can be replaced by a random entity off the street, doesn't it follow that he can be replaced with a machine, which will pay for itself before long and is therefore even cheaper?

Fungibility would be the hallmark of a corporation on the way down, not up.

By the way, the term "employee" is French, feminine and passive. Are those the qualities you want in your hirelings?

Col. Reb Sez said...

I'm curious why you have the opposition to the H1-B visas? Most of these people are highly intelligent and highly skilled. Yes, they may drive down wages of the upper middle class, but over all they enrich the nation.

Why not just invite the whole world to take the PSAT. Anyone making a 210 or higher gets almost automatic citizenship (after they validate their score by taking the real SAT and making a 2100). Adding 50 million people with a 130 IQ to our nation's population will not harm us!

Hepp said...

"No, not really. He already mostly converted his once-in-a-lifetime lottery payout into cash. If you understood even the slightest bit about how taxes work, you'd realize that "lower taxes" (however it is framed) is by far one of the least efficient policies to increase the income/wealth of connected people. Remember, idiot, that if you want ro deposit huge amounts of money in your bank account, you have to generate massively huge amounts of income first before taxes matter at all. Nobody ever got rich just from not having to pay taxes. The beggar on the street pays no taxes at all. Does he get rich as a result?"

Look, Steve gives a voice to things that need to be said, but that doesn't mean you have to treat him as some sort of Dear Leader who is right on everything. Cutting taxes is the most efficient way for the rich to put money in their pockets, whether it's income tax, capital gains, corporate taxes, or death taxes. When govt is taking a large chunk of what you make, advocating them taking less is what you would do if you were only concerned with self-interest.

Steve's analysis of elite behavior is his biggest blind spot. Lion of the Blogosphere has a much better intuitive understanding of what makes people tick.

peterike said...

Speaking of immigrants, giant Medicaid fraud ring was busted in D.C. The press are doing the best they can to hide the fact that they were African immigrants.

Cail Corishev said...

I'm curious why you have the opposition to the H1-B visas? Most of these people are highly intelligent and highly skilled. Yes, they may drive down wages of the upper middle class, but over all they enrich the nation.

No they don't.

Gee, that was easy.

Adding 50 million people with a 130 IQ to our nation's population will not harm us!

1) What makes you think there are 50 million 130+ IQs available?

2) Why would those people want to come here, when they can rule there?

3) Why do you assume smart people will make good citizens? Doesn't their culture matter at all?

4) What happens to other countries -- countries we need to produce food and goods for us and buy our entertainment and our debt, now that we're all globalists -- after we take all their smart people?

Anonymous said...

Don't some of these H1B workers come from India? If so, they're probably already pretty familiar with the whole "Bonded Labor" phenomenon, and should adjust quite comfortably.

If you are talking about the caste system, you are completely off base. In its traditional form, it had no resemblance to bonded labor, but was more like a collection of unions (trade/labor), the permanence of which were sanctified by religion. In fact it's hard to find evidence of true chattel slavery in pre-Islamic India. And today the caste system survives purely for endogamy and little else.
And H1-B is hardly a bond in any real sense. If Indians don't like their jobs or are fired, they are free to pack up and return home. The country itself may suck to live in, but the returnees will lead relatively privileged lives.

Discard said...

Col. Reb Sez: Filling the country with smart foreigners may put more money in corporate pockets, and that trickles down to some of the rest of us, but bringing in a foreign elite does not help in the long run. All these smart foreigners band together and work to further their own group interests, buying politicians, agitating for diversity at the expense of Whites, and so on. We don't need another two or three wealthy, intelligent groups acting like Jews.

Reg Cæsar said...

Adding 50 million people with a 130 IQ to our nation's population will not harm us! Col. Reb

And how do you guarantee they'll "be added" (i.e., willingly add themselves) to our nation, rather than merely to our territory and to our voting rolls?

Just visit a council meeting in any university city to see the downsides of high IQs. It's hard enough keeping our native smarties on our side!

vinteuil said...

@anon 5:08 a.m.: "...30k is less than minimum wage..."

???

Current federal minimum wage: $7.25/hr.

$7.25/hr. x 40 hrs./week x 52 weeks/year = $15,080.

Anonymous said...

Why not just invite the whole world to take the PSAT. Anyone making a 210 or higher gets almost automatic citizenship (after they validate their score by taking the real SAT and making a 2100). Adding 50 million people with a 130 IQ to our nation's population will not harm us!

This is insane. Middle class work is the next domino to fall to automation. Plenty of people with IQ's below 150 will be affected by the turmoil, and no, they aren't all creative enough to reinvent their careers in other fields. So some portion of your hypothetical 50 million will end up unemployed and government-supported. Also, since the mid-'90's recentering and subsequent modification, the PSAT and SAT no longer correlate as closely with IQ as the used to. MENSA no longer accepts SAT scores for membership. At your thresholds, there might be quite a few people admitted who have IQ's less than 130.

vinteuil said...

@ "leftist conservative": "you are on the right track--you are mixing elements from the Right and Left: taking from the Right the idea that citizens should have control over immigration, and taking from the Left the idea that the citizens should have some control over how the wealthy use their wealth...Good for you!"

Steve Sailer has been trespassing at will across received ideological boundaries for years & years now. This is nothing new.

Anonymous said...

He simply wants less White people in the US for it's own sake. Why do regular White folks have a hard time understanding that? Yes, Virginia, you have enemies too.

Anonymous said...

"The assumption that H1-B workers are paid less than natives filling equivalent roles is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRUE."
Yes, and I personally know an H1B making $1K who kicks back a substantial amount to his employer for visa "paperwork". I expressed shock at the $ amount and he laughed at my naivety (everyone he knows does it.) He says it's worth it bc of our birthright and family reunification policies.

Anonymous said...

"Adding 50 million people with a 130 IQ to our nation's population will not harm us!"
High IQ people from 3rd world countries are used to having servants whom they treat as slaves. They expect to maintain that lifestyle and are in favor of more low skill immigration (illegal is a perk since you can continue to give them the slave treatment.) That's only one of dozens of ways it could hurt us. I respectfully ask that you put in a little more thought before making such a shallow and naive statement. A little more time reading here is not a bad start to your education.

Reg Cæsar said...

$30K is indeed below the federal minimum wage-- once you reach 65 hours per week.

How many hours do they actually work in a week? 75? 85? 95?

Anonymous said...

Elites are liberals. Self-iinterested too, but mostly liberals.

According to Zuck's Wikipedia page he is an evil crypto-right winger to "liberal and progressive groups" which I did not know. Of course he is going to stick it to American programmers whether he is a Democrat or Republican, so does it really matter?

Anonymous said...

"If you are talking about the caste system, you are completely off base."


Not talking about that at all, no:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_bondage_in_India

It's hardly the same as H1B, naturally; that was just an amusing exaggeration.

It is interesting, still, to observe how otherwise card-carrying progressives will throw their support behind "Diversity" initiatives that undermine the great Progressive causes they all learnt to celebrate in history class. Mr. Sailer has trod this ground before, though, so I need not elaborate.

Anonymous said...

"Adding 50 million people with a 130 IQ to our nation's population will not harm us!"
High IQ people from 3rd world countries are used to having servants whom they treat as slaves. They expect to maintain that lifestyle and are in favor of more low skill immigration (illegal is a perk since you can continue to give them the slave treatment.)


Imagine, high-IQ people demanding to have the respect that they deserve!

Anonymous said...

"Why should he be 'disinterested'?"

Why shouldn't people point out billionaire globalists and their shills in the media are betraying millions of fellow citizens for private gain?

They should all be on trial for treason.

Anonymous said...

The simplest and most obvious explanation is he is part of a malign elite who are motivated by harming the majority in any way they can.

Anonymous said...

"Cutting taxes is the most efficient way for the rich to put money in their pockets"

No it isn't - obviously.

The most efficient way for the rich to get richer is to drive down wages**.

** but only in the short term because of the deflationary effect of the mass impoverishment caused by mass immigration.

Anonymous said...

"Imagine, high-IQ people demanding to have the respect that they deserve!"

They deserve the respect due for the fruits they bear. If the fruit they bear is all poisoned then they deserve the opposite of respect.

pulnimar said...

@cyril
"But Zuckerberg's not getting any bad press, aside from right-leaning bloggers and obscure journalists. "

I read about it first at alternet.org, and you don't get much more left-wing than that. It would probably be considered obscure, though.

@Anonymous 2/21/14, 12:34 AM

"The unsaid assumption behind this post seems to be that H1-B workers are paid less than natives filling equivalent roles. I am not sure if that is a valid assumption."

No the assumption is that, while importing more H1-B workers today may not decrease salaries *today*, it will in the future (at least on an inflationary basis). And if a point is reached where the majority of workers in any of the I/T or programming disciplines are H1-B, then the dynamics that determine salary will be greatly influenced by the dynamics of the H1-B Visa program and negotiating strengths of the H1-B Visa holders.

Anonymous said...

H1-B already decreases salaries. With no H1-Bs, experienced, quality coders would be maxing out at closer to 300-350k/yr rather than the 100-200k range that is typical now (and dropping, not rising across the industry).

Low-end tech work (computer repair and the like) would be family-supporting, like 50k+/yr as a norm and probably even 'diverse' in SWPL terms.