Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Beautiful Wall

Watching our President speaking before the crowd in Nashville, I was, once again, fascinated by the two guys visible over his left shoulder. There seem to be two grinning half wits, who look as if they've been drawn by some Mad Magazine artist, always there, just above his left shoulder.  These two chanted "U-S-A" and "Lock Her UP," and were having a grand time. 

The President talked about his beautiful wall, which will keep out undesirables, already has, people have told him: bad immigrants are deciding to simply not even try because they know that wall is coming. And he talked about the world's most dishonest people--that would be the press. 

But then, later in the day I listened to NPR and they had a story about H-1B visas by which American high tech companies import bright young soft ware engineers from India, engineers from China, computer nerds from Europe, which sounds like a good thing--American companies sucking in talent from around the world to forge ahead.  But, it turns out, the way this visa program has been used is not as lovely as it sounds.

What happened all too frequently is American companies fired long term, older employees who had built their computer systems and replaced them with young nerds from India, the Far East and Europe who were 25-34 years old, and could be paid 1/2 what the older guys were getting. 

What Trump is arguing, in effect, is that it is ruthless, heartless to the core, to bring in people to create your company, to build it, and then, once they've reached a position where you have to pay them what they are worth, and for what they've built, you fire them and move on. It's just business, as they would say in the Godfather.  Trump doesn't like that sort of bottom line thinking. It's the same thinking that moves the bosses at the Carrier plant to plan to move the plant where they build air conditioners to Mexico; it's the core value of capitalism. The bosses work to please the stockholders, and if that means throwing aside the American workers, well they do what's best for the bottom line. Ayn Rand would say that's the right thing to do. Trump doesn't care about that principle. He says there's another value; The value of doing right by the worker. He sounds like a damned Commie to me. Like Bernie Sanders, at the very least. 

Whenever you hear industrialists saying they just cannot find people to do the work they need done you must always edit that in your brain to hear it as, "We just cannot find workers who will work for the exploitation wages we are willing to pay."

You can always find workers for the right price.

With the economy approaching full employment, we should be seeing wages in certain sectors soaring--but we are not. The bosses have looked for people who can do the same jobs for far lower wages, and to find these people, they look abroad.  In the case of the poor Indian engineer, he will work for what you pay a Starbucks clerk, because he is getting his ticket punched to live in the USA.

Intriguingly, President Trump said, "I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program...No exceptions." 
You gotta love Trump. He will end something "forever" as if he will be President forever.  And "no exceptions."  That means he means it. 
Of course, he is all for allowing Haitians and Romanians to work at his Mar-a-Lago resort for cheap labor.  His explanation is they couldn't find Americans to do those jobs.
Not for the wages he knew he could get some starving Haitians for, anyway.

But this all goes to show that Trump may actually do some good things along his path to perdition, as he stumbles along.

He might even find jobs for those two guys over his left shoulder. 

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