I have a dream

What follows is a post I made on a facebook group today.

I have a dream

A dream that all 1,500 members of this group decided to become members of concerned stem workers

That is $360,000.00

Put up by American citizens, green card holders and even non-immigrant guest workers on student visas and visas like the H-1B

Put up because they are concerned for their future

Put up because they have realized that they are but pawns in a game of musical countries which pits the cheapest countries against the workers of the most expensive countries

Put up because they realize that our government and media are using unemployment numbers that do not count those whose unemployment has expired to hide the destruction that is happening in all of our lives

That is my dream

My question is that there are tens of millions of us current, past, and future stem workers who desperately want a technical future for ourselves

Why are they not standing with the rest of us?


Under President Trump, the unemployment propaganda originated by Bill Clinton continues

When will they count the long term unemployed?

My own experience has taught me that the blue line is the most accurate and the grey and red lines are pure propaganda that our mainstream media is unwilling to expose.

The unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent in March, and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services 
and in mining, while retail trade lost jobs.


The pendulum swings of disposable labor

We were the Road Warriors.

We were called in when your existing staff couldn’t fix the problem.

We were called in to take over for your existing staff when they were developing new systems and needed help maintaining the old systems.

We demanded a premium wage and we were able to get it because we had the skills to deliver.

We were willing to live out of the extended stay motels and willing to take on the project of the highest bidder at a moments notice.

It was a good life in the 80’s, 90’s, and up until about 2000.

So the corporations shifted their focus to hiring an immobile, compliant workforce who would not make waves for fear of being deported.

Thus was the H-1B era born.

For the most part, they were paid substantially less even though many had the same skills that we Road Warriors had.

But many were willing to pay for a proxy expert or dubbing artist to help them get work because they didn’t have these skills.

And their willingness to use caste to exclude Americans in America from working alongside of them became their downfall.

For them it was a good life in the 00’s, 10’s and up into the 20’s.

Thus we have seen the pendulum swing from the Road Warriors to the H-1B’s.

And now we are seeing it swing once again to the green card holders who will be similar to the Road Warriors which will force the corporations once again to seek a new form of cheap, compliant labor who will be shackled to their jobs.

When will we learn from our history and better yet, when will our government learn that it is up to them to balance the needs of capital and the rights of labor?

You cannot say you need more talent with a straight face when you actively suppress, ignore, and reject talented and capable individuals like Fowler and her colleagues.

A blog by Susan Fowler, a female engineer who spent a year at the ride-sharing app Uber, has caused a certain amount of fuss with its revelations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The outrage would probably have been greater, though, had the technology sector – which so often presents itself as the progressive, acceptable face of capitalism – not already been suffering from a poor reputation in this area. Widely reported research shows that, while Uber’s proportion of women in technical roles is at 15.1% pretty low, it is not markedly out of kilter with the numbers elsewhere in the technology sector.

In recent days, the industry has been at the forefront of criticisms of the immigration policies of the Trump Administration. This is all very commendable, but, as an article in Inc magazine points out: “The tech industry cannot go to Washington, beg Congress for open borders and more H-1b visas, and argue that there is not enough talent in America capable of building its machines and writing its codes when you have environments like the one that Fowler dealt with at Uber. You cannot say you need more talent with a straight face when you actively suppress, ignore, and reject talented and capable individuals like Fowler and her colleagues.”


If current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do.

A little food for thought.

McAfee pointed to newly collected data that shows a sharp decline in middle class job creation since the 1980s. Now, most new jobs are either at the very low end of the pay scale or the very high end. He also argued that these trends are reversible, that improved education and a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship and research can help feed new engines of growth, that economies have overcome the rise of new technologies before. But after his talk, in the hallways at Asilomar, so many of the researchers warned him that the coming revolution in AI would eliminate far more jobs far more quickly than he expected.

Indeed, the rise of driverless cars and trucks is just a start. New AI techniques are poised to reinvent everything from manufacturing to healthcare to Wall Street. In other words, it’s not just blue-collar jobs that AI endangers. “Several of the rock stars in this field came up to me and said: ‘I think you’re low-balling this one. I think you are underestimating the rate of change,’” McAfee says.

That threat has many thinkers entertaining the idea of a universal basic income, a guaranteed living wage paid by the government to anyone left out of the workforce. But McAfee believes this would only make the problem worse, because it would eliminate the incentive for entrepreneurship and other activity that could create new jobs as the old ones fade away. Others question the psychological effects of the idea. “A universal basic income doesn’t give people dignity or protect them from boredom and vice,” Etzioni says.