Joel Kotkin, writing for the Daily Beast on April 25, had a great article entitled “Silicon Valley’s Giants Are Just Gilded Age Tycoons in Techno-Utopian Clothes” (link at the end of this article) in which he detailed the recent settlement of a lawsuit that explains a lot about the motivation for the tech industry’s addiction to cheap labor and the vast web of illegal activity in which the industry and some of its most revered figures engaged.
And guess who the targets of that illegal activity were; shareholders, investment bankers, competing patent holders?
Nope, their own American workers.
Kotkin reports that, “Silicon Valley’s biggest names—Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe—reached a settlement today in a contentious $3 billion anti-trust suit brought by workers who accused the tech giants of secretly colluding to not recruit each other’s employees. The workers won, but not much, receiving only a rumored $300 million, a small fraction of the billions the companies might have been forced to pay had they been found guilty in a trial verdict.”
As Kotkin put it, “The criminality that the case exposed in the boardrooms the tech giants, including from revered figures like Steve Jobs who comes off as especially ruthless, should not be jarring to anyone familiar with Silicon Valley. It may shock much of the media, who have generally genuflected towards these companies, and much of the public, that has been hoodwinked into thinking the Valley oligarchs represent a better kind of plutocrat—but the truth is they are a lot like the old robber barons.”
The scheme was a classic of the old robber baron mentality; hold wages down by suppressing the market for labor by colluding to keep talent from moving from firm to firm.
Now here’s where Kotkin’s article intersects with our interest in the tech industry’s support for amnesty for illegal aliens and expanding so called “guest worker” programs.
Joel Kotkin’s reporting reveals that, in terms of dealing with “talent,” collusion is not the only way the Valley oligarchs work to keep wages down.
Kotkin documents that “Another technique is the outsourcing of labor to lower paid foreign workers, the so called “techno-coolies.” The tech giants claim that they hire cheap workers overseas because of a critical shortage of skilled computer workers but that doesn’t hold up to serious scrutiny. A 2013 report from the labor-aligned Economic Policy Institute found that the country is producing 50% more IT professionals per year than are being employed. Tech firms, notes EPI, would rather hire “guest workers” who now account for one-third to one half of all new IT job holders, largely to maintain both a lower cost and a more pliant workforce.”
Right now the “civilian labor force participation rate,” those working or looking for work is at its lowest rate in 36-years – 62.8 percent – meaning some 91.8 million Americans are no lingering working or looking for work.
This drop in the civilian labor force participation rate accounts in large measure for the drop in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent.
In reality the unemployment rate is really more like 13.1 percent when you count the total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons as a percent of all civilian labor force, plus all marginally attached workers (the BLS U-6).
With American institutions of higher education producing 50% more IT professionals per year than are being employed what’s the answer to the problem of getting all these American workers back into the workforce?
CNBC’s Jim Cramer says it is not the policies advocated by the Big Business – Big Government Axis that currently holds sway in Washington, and especially in the Republican establishment.
“These ideas of unlimited free trade with the Chinese and unlimited immigration have somehow become good, and I question that,” said Cramer. “By questioning that, there’s a lot of people who are going to gun for me, but, at a certain point, we can’t care. We have to look ourselves in the mirror.”
“We all decided immigration’s great. We have a series of trade deals that we’ve made with trading partners, including . . . major countries — Korea, Mexico — where we’ve gotten completely pantsed,” Cramer said.
With the “civilian labor force participation rate” at its lowest level in 36-years it would take filling the 174,000 seats at NASCAR’s Talladega Superspeedway every week for more than a year just to get us back to even.
And yet the Republican establishment and the cheap labor wing of Big Business want to continue to suppress wages and job growth for American citizens by granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and opening the borders to more “techno-coolies” and low-skilled immigrants?
Jim Cramer had the right answer when told our friends on NewsMax TV’s The Steve Malzberg Show, “Can we just help people get jobs who live here?”
As Kotkin points out, and we agree, it’s critical to understand that the hiring restrictions exposed by the April 25 settlement reflect only one part of Silicon Valley’s faux progressiveness and real mendacity.
These same companies that illegal suppressed the wages of American workers have also been complicit in the NSA snooping, and are adept at circumventing user privacy and avoiding their tax obligations in ways that would make the old nineteenth century robber barons blush — and now they’re lobbying for amnesty for illegal aliens and the admission of more “techno-coolies” when half of American IT grads aren’t being hired in their field.
It is absolutely vital to the future of your country that you contact your Representative to demand that he or she break the Washington – Wall Street – Silicon Valley Axis by signing the ConservativeHQ “No Amnesty Pledge”. Please click the link to stop Silicon Valley’s latest wage suppression scheme and start rebuilding the American economy today.
To read Joel Kotkin’s “Silicon Valley’s Giants Are Just Gilded Age Tycoons in Techno-Utopian Clothes” click this link
To read our article “The Talladega Economy” click this link