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    H-1B Visas: Still Not the Best and the Brightest
    Globalism; Posted on: 2008-04-30 16:22:18 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]

    Nevertheless, the “Asian mystique” persists

    In pressuring Congress to expand the H-1B work visa and employment-based green card programs, industry lobbyists have recently adopted a new tack. Seeing that their past cries of a tech labor shortage are contradicted by stagnant or declining wages, their new buzzword is innovation. Building on their perennial assertion that the foreign workers are “the best and the brightest,” they now say that continued U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hinges on our ability to import the world’s best engineers and scientists. Yet, this Backgrounder will present new data analysis showing that the vast majority of the foreign workers — including those at most major tech firms — are people of just ordinary talent, doing ordinary work. They are not the innovators the industry lobbyists portray them to be.



    I presented some initial analyses along these lines in an earlier Backgrounder,1 showing for instance that STEM foreign students at U.S. universities tend to be at the less-selective universities. Here I present a much more direct analysis, making use of a simple but powerful idea: If the foreign workers are indeed outstanding talents, they would be paid accordingly. We can thus easily determine whether a foreign worker is among “the best and the brightest” by computing the ratio of his salary to the prevailing wage figure stated by the employer. Let’s call this the Talent Measure (TM). Keep in mind that a TM value of 1.0 means that the worker is merely average, not of outstanding talent.

    I computed median TM values for various subgroups of interest. A summary of the results is:

    The median TM value over all foreign workers studied was just a hair over 1.0.

    The median TM value was also essentially 1.0 in each of the tech professions studied.

    Median TM was near 1.0 for almost all prominent tech firms that were analyzed.
    Contrary to the constant hyperbole in the press that “Johnnie can’t do math” in comparison with kids in Asia, TM values for workers from Western European countries tend to be much higher than those of their Asian counterparts.

    Continue...

    News Source: cis

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