Video: GOP leaps on Obama’s “interesting” disconnect on jobs and the economy

posted at 3:40 pm on January 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I hit this today in my Obamateurism feature, but the GOP runs much farther with a new web ad hammering Barack Obama and his “interesting” response to a question on unemployment. To set this up once again, President Obama took a question from a woman during his Google+ “hangout” about why his administration hasn’t limited H1B visas in engineering, where her husband has been unemployed despite having 10 years of experience. Obama reacts with disbelief, because he says he’s been told by industry that they can’t fill jobs quickly enough in high-tech engineering slots.  As it turns out, Obama didn’t know anything at all about this industry and its status over the last few years:

I pointed out earlier that the sector in which Jennifer Wedel’s husband works has lost jobs over the last few months, not gained them.  The GOP follows up with harder and more specific data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows that semiconductor and electronic components manufacturers have lost 21,500 jobs over the last three years, or about 5% of the overall sector.  That doesn’t square at all with the rosy picture Obama painted, and needless to say, Mrs. Wedel was less than impressed:

Later, Wedel told POLITICO that she and the president had a “pretty crazy interaction” that she hadn’t expected when she asked about the federal government granting H-1B visas to skilled foreign workers while U.S. citizens such as her husband are out of work.

“I don’t think he was trying to be condescending or anything,” said Wedel, who never completed college and was a stay-at-home mom before her husband was laid off, but now has a full-time job at State Farm to help make ends meet. “I just think I stumped him a little and he wanted me to hush about it.”

“I think he knows pretty well that the H-1B is an issue because — it’s kind of like the Occupy movement — big corporations are putting up the money to get the visas” and choosing lower-paid foreign workers over domestic ones, Wedel said. “I don’t think what he was telling me was true, and I think he knew it, and that’s why he offered to take my husband’s resume,” she said, adding that her husband has kept it updated.

Not only did Obama not understand the employment situation, he doesn’t understand H1B visas in one key aspect, either.  Companies that hire through H1B visas don’t have to show that they can’t find an American worker to fill the position.  That’s a sore point among progressives in Obama’s own party, with Obama’s former colleague in the Senate Dick Durbin proposing to change the law to force employers to demonstrate the need for the visa in the first place.

It would be difficult to look more out of touch in such a short time than in this episode (although David Axelrod certainly gave it his best shot earlier), and the GOP should keep returning to this incident as an explanation of the incompetence behind Obamanomics.


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Poor woman – she and her husband are about to get the “Joe the Plumber” treatment. Ohm but it’s totally mean to ask Buffett’s secretary to produce info to support the claims made about her taxes.

BuzzCrutcher on January 31, 2012 at 3:43 PM

If only the Republican candidates had this kind of focus for bringing up Obama’s shortcomings.

Ukiah on January 31, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Sure he wasn’t being condescending. He was just stumped… right….

sandee on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

it’ll be interesting to see how he feels when he himself is unemployed in a few months….

ted c on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Four more years…!

Four more years…!

Four more years…!

lib4life January 31st, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Seven Percent Solution on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Interesting that he is unemployed; certainly there are scads of golf-hole engineer jobs just waiting to be filled…./

ted c on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Well we’ve worked hard with CDC to come up with a vaccine for the H1B virus and think everyone should get the vaccination.

Flange on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I was an Engineer in the Semiconductor industry….
Was laid off 3 years ago and will not go back.
That industry has it ups and downs during a great economy.

Electrongod on January 31, 2012 at 3:46 PM

This should play at least once a day on the alphabet channels prime time between now and election day.

ButterflyDragon on January 31, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I think she got it right, he didn’t want to talk to someone who knew more than he did about the Unemployment / Immigration issues.

uhangtight on January 31, 2012 at 3:46 PM

And he also demanded to see her husband’s resume so he could figure out what was wrong with it that would be preventing him from getting work.

#whatadouche

fossten on January 31, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I think those dadgum ATMs swiped up all them semiconductin’ engineer jobs…./

ted c on January 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

what was that lady doing on the president’s google+ lovefest? Where was the softball? didn’t she get the memo?

ted c on January 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Hey lib4life, is this what you mean by “relating” to people?

Kataklysmic on January 31, 2012 at 3:49 PM

He sounded pretty engaged there and not dismissive. It’s too bad that he couldn’t tell her that her husband is probably “tons” more stupider than your average Indian.

This “ad” is so bad because the point they are trying to make-that Barry was mean to a nice white redneck woman-is ruined by the sloppy hack edit on the word “interesting”, which was supposed to be so insulting. You weak mary’s better hope you get better video than this fort he general.

tommyhawk on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I would strongly advise her husband to NOT send that resume to Obama. He’ll never get another job in this country if he hands over that info.

Doughboy on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

This. On the alphabets.

Not on the internet, where only the choir sees it.

kunegetikos on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Hey maybe Obama should stop giving tax breaks to companies that prefer to hire H1-B visa engineers

burrata on January 31, 2012 at 3:52 PM

You weak mary’s better hope you get better video than this fort he general.

tommyhawk on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Say what?

sandee on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Quick!

Research her entire life story and destroy her!

lorien1973 on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

tommyhawk on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

barry’s always engaged isn’t she? what’s the temp inside of barack’s @$$ today tommy?

GhoulAid on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Of course, in the interest of intellectual probity: this is “creative destruction,” right? Right?

Or is it somehow different time as moving everything off-shore, in effect, moves “up the food chain”? The high-tech idolized by the Americans have never shown a sign that I am aware of that they are friendly to America.

kunegetikos on January 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

While I am not going to argue with an engineer of 10 years’ experience, I can completely understand corporations wanting to hire competent engineers for their positions.

And ‘educated in an American university’ would be, to me, a strike against any applicant.

(I say this as someone holding a Master’s degree in Engineering from an American university.)

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

There’s going to be a lot of stuff this SCOAMF will want hushed up over the next 9 months…

Harbingeing on January 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

The high-tech whiz companies

kunegetikos on January 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

PBHO is looking tired and worn out. If only everyone would just leave him alone so he can enjoy the perks of office.

Bishop on January 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I don’t know what a semiconductor engineer is, (means sometimes the drive the train and somethings the collect the tickets?) but why he would say that her husband is to stupid to know that there are plenty of jobs is strange.

He should have said we need to spend $10B of shovel ready money to explain to semiconductor engineers that there are plenty of semiconductor engineering jobs out there.

pedestrian on January 31, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Hey, I’ll start a Solar Semiconductor company and get me a grant.

Harbingeing on January 31, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I didn’t see if he had finished his waffle yet before fielding that one…./

ted c on January 31, 2012 at 3:57 PM

If Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet had a marginal tax rate of 30%, that poor woman’s husband would be able to get a job.

Besides, all those Indians are working at 7-Elevens and Dunkin Donuts, anyway. Or they’re governors or something.

SlaveDog on January 31, 2012 at 3:58 PM

the fella could apply for that up and coming green project called Solyndra, or Lightsquared or something…

ted c on January 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I’m surprised the participants in the Google+ gathering weren’t screened and their questions given to the President ahead of time. That way he could have his answers programmed in the teleprompter so he could sound intelligent. I’m sure Google will accommodate Obama the next time.

Wigglesworth on January 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Well, that woman was no Diane Sawyer.

SlaveDog on January 31, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I imagine companies like H1B1 engineers because it’s the only way they can get minority engineers to hire, thereby satisfying the required liberal racial engineering.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

PBHO is looking tired and worn out. If only everyone would just leave him alone so he can enjoy the perks of office.

Bishop on January 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I was going to say home slice was looking a little gray…

Seven Percent Solution on January 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I speculated in the OOTD thread that this woman voted for the big O based on the fact that she was on a zer0 “hangout”.

I think this gem …

“I think he knows pretty well that the H-1B is an issue because — it’s kind of like the Occupy movement — big corporations are putting up the money to get the visas” and choosing lower-paid foreign workers over domestic ones, Wedel said.

just solidifies it.

I’ll say it again lady … you voted for this, now own it!

Lost in Jersey on January 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I work for a major US corporation with an IT org of about 3,000. A large number of the developers are Indians. There are good ones but on average they produce lower quality work and take longer to do so than their American counterparts. I found the same to be true when I worked for FedEx in Memphis. IT leadership only sees that H1B workers are cheaper on an annualized basis but can’t seem to get it that it often takes two of them to equal the productivity of an American or a high level of rework is required to correct their poor coding thus increasing the length and cost of the project. So in the end they wind up costing more than an American developer.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:03 PM

The H1-B visa scam leads to places the GOP doesn’t want to go. This story is done in 15.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Everybody that’s out of work should send their resumes to the White House…
Would love somebody to follow up on this woman to see if her husband’s resume was received and if they found him a job. Probably not gonna happen. Bet they direct him to the nearest food stamp and welfare office.

chickie on January 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

and choosing lower-paid foreign workers over domestic ones, Wedel said.

it’s an HR racial preference thing, more so than any alleged difference in pay.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:06 PM

File this in : Bain / Firing People Reply – File

FlaMurph on January 31, 2012 at 4:06 PM

The H1-B visa scam leads to places the GOP doesn’t want to go. This story is done in 15.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

It is a scam of great proportions. Why can’t we take care of Americans first?

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Bain firing 5000 people in one fell swoop. Hey man what’s the big deal, it’s capitalism. People get fired all the time.

But this woman’s husband losing his job…proof that Obama is a communist Marxist fascist who hates America.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Of course Obama thought there was high demand for engineers…after all, he’s a big fan of High Speed Rail! Toot-toot!

EasyEight on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Did Obama actually say her husband had trouble “getting placed”? I thought “finding employment” would be right. Who says “getting placed”? Is that a public sector control type of thing? As in “Let us place you somewhere” … #weird

servative on January 31, 2012 at 4:08 PM

It is clear from the video that The Smartest Man on the Planet has no idea what a Semiconductor Engineer is. That is why he’s stumped. The wheels are turning in that pea-brain head of his, but all he can come up with is a guy in a striped hat conducting trains, and he’s pretty sure that isn’t it. He’s just lost. “Interesting…” is a classic response when one doesn’t have a clue in the world what someone is talking about. Once again, the media has this wrong. He’s not so much “out of touch” as he is just plain ignorant.

Smart president fail.

Rational Thought on January 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Well we’ve worked hard with CDC to come up with a vaccine for the H1B virus and think everyone should get the vaccination.

Flange on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Hilarious!

LetsBfrank on January 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Bain firing 5000 people in one fell swoop. Hey man what’s the big deal, it’s capitalism. People get fired all the time.
But this woman’s husband losing his job…proof that Obama is a communist Marxist fascist who hates America.
angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

You’re so obtuse you didn’t even have to duck to miss the point.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

The H1-B visa scam leads to places the GOP doesn’t want to go. This story is done in 15.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

It is a scam of great proportions. Why can’t we take care of Americans first?

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

What scam? It’s a global marketplace. You go find the best worker at the best price IN THE WORLD. If an Indian is willing to work for $40K a year while an American wants $75K, guess what he’ll get the job.

It’s called free market capitalism…or did we forget we’re supposed to be for that kind of stuff?

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Bain firing 5000 people in one fell swoop. Hey man what’s the big deal, it’s capitalism. People get fired all the time.

But this woman’s husband losing his job…proof that Obama is a communist Marxist fascist who hates America.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

H1-B is a bi-partisan scam.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Dick Durbin proposing to change the law to force employers to demonstrate the need for the visa in the first place.

Like that would make any difference. Law firms with high-tech clients give seminars to their lawyers on how to manufacture the legal “proof” that the companies tried, but failed, to give the jobs to U.S. citizens first. There was a video of one of these seminars, taped surreptitiously of course, that made the rounds a few years ago. The lawyer giving the seminar was instructing the other lawyers how and where to place newspaper ads that would discourage U.S. readers from applying for the jobs, etc. These companies don’t want U.S. workers; they just pretend that they do for political expediency.

AZCoyote on January 31, 2012 at 4:11 PM

It’s pretty clear that Obama is tired and spent, hates his job, and needs retirement. I think we can help him with the last item.

matthew8787 on January 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

You’re so obtuse you didn’t even have to duck to miss the point.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Typical knee jerk reaction by so-called conservatives. Outrageous outrage at something that you defended 3 weeks ago.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

What scam? It’s a global marketplace. You go find the best worker at the best price IN THE WORLD. If an Indian is willing to work for $40K a year while an American wants $75K, guess what he’ll get the job.

It’s called free market capitalism…or did we forget we’re supposed to be for that kind of stuff?

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Are you saying that illegal immigration is ok?

To me, H1-B is the same thing, but for hi-tech workers instead of dry-wall installers.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

oops, hit “strike” instead of “quote”…sorry about that

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Why should SCOAMF care about unemployment among the few college graduates with useful degrees? He doesn’t care about the damage to the native unskilled workers having to compete with illegal labor.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Any of you want to guess how many H1B visas are issued a year?

65,000.

65,000 out of a workforce of 130 million.

Get a grip.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

What scam? It’s a global marketplace. You go find the best worker at the best price IN THE WORLD. If an Indian is willing to work for $40K a year while an American wants $75K, guess what he’ll get the job.

It’s called free market capitalism…or did we forget we’re supposed to be for that kind of stuff?

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

My problem is that we either have free trade and free markets or we don’t. What we currently do is bind up domestic production with rules and regulations that we refuse to apply to non-domestic production. If we believe that a given labor or environmental law is acceptable in China then we need to change our laws to reflect that, and if it isn’t then we need to apply a tariff. Right now we are practicing reverse protectionism.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

That’s more of a Libertarian than Conservative position.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

This is what we get when the chief executive of the country gets a half hour “executive summary” of the nation’s status each morning, then hops on a helicopter to go to his jet to go somewhere and give a speech, almost every day. He’s completely disconnected from his job.

AcidReflux on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Are you saying that illegal immigration is ok?

To me, H1-B is the same thing, but for hi-tech workers instead of dry-wall installers.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

It’s not just high tech workers. An H1B can be issued for just about any profession.

It’s 65K visas. There are about 130 million workers in the country. Do the math on how much of an impact there is on unemployment.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Funny thought…what if an out-of-work basketball player called in to complain that he lost his job too many Euros in the NBA?

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

(Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly dropped in January as gasoline prices picked up and more Americans said jobs were hard to get. The Conference Board’s confidence index fell to 61.1 from a revised 64.8 reading in the prior month, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise to 68. The figure was lower than the most pessimistic projection.

J_Crater on January 31, 2012 at 4:18 PM

OMG, these poor people are about to get ‘tarred and feathered’ by the DNC.

Joe the Plumber was just a warm up. They’re desperate now!

ooonaughtykitty on January 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Any of you want to guess how many H1B visas are issued a year? …
65,000 out of a workforce of 130 million.
Get a grip.

You miss the 10 million illegals doing the work that teenagers and other low-end unskilled workers used to do, creating a permanent unemployed class.

Also, these engineering jobs are supposed to be for American engineers. These are top of the economic pyramid jobs, so while there are few of them compared to everyone else, it’s a brain drain because our own engineering grads can’t get the work and the imported ones can leave with experience and trade secrets.

why so angry?

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

How ironic! Speaker Boehner notes that Obama submitted a list of jobs initiatives today…that have already been submitted and passed in the House. The problem is that they are stalled in Reid’s Senate.
http://www.speaker.gov/Blog/?postid=277212

onlineanalyst on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

My problem is that we either have free trade and free markets or we don’t. What we currently do is bind up domestic production with rules and regulations that we refuse to apply to non-domestic production. If we believe that a given labor or environmental law is acceptable in China then we need to change our laws to reflect that, and if it isn’t then we need to apply a tariff. Right now we are practicing reverse protectionism.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Sounds reasonable. But I don’t think this is really applicable to the H1B issue.

Now if you want to talk about scams, look into the L1 visa. That’s where Company X sets up Company X – India. Then using an L1, it “transfers” employees from Company X – India to Company X – America for up to 7 years.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Saying, “That’s interesting” in this context is like saying, “You’re lying through your teeth.”


|

“I just got off the phone with Bernard.”

“Oh really? That’s interesting, because I shot him and buried him in the desert Saturday.”

Know what I mean?

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

It’s not just high tech workers. An H1B can be issued for just about any profession.

It’s 65K visas. There are about 130 million workers in the country. Do the math on how much of an impact there is on unemployment.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I was told there would be no math.

Regardless of the numbers, to me it points to bad economics. If there are a shortage of software programmers in the USA, the market should be paying them which would encourage more young adults to get into that field. Instead, we import cheaper labor and educate our own in political science. Bad policy.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Bain firing 5000 people in one fell swoop. Hey man what’s the big deal, it’s capitalism. People get fired all the time.

But this woman’s husband losing his job…proof that Obama is a communist Marxist fascist who hates America.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

No, actually the issue was that Obama had no idea what he was talking about. He was clueless about job loss. But I wouldn’t expect you to figure that out. I mean.. BAIN!!!! Why not throw out a KOCH BROTHERS reference out there too… just for good measure?

tyketto on January 31, 2012 at 4:22 PM

You miss the 10 million illegals doing the work that teenagers and other low-end unskilled workers used to do, creating a permanent unemployed class.

Also, these engineering jobs are supposed to be for American engineers. These are top of the economic pyramid jobs, so while there are few of them compared to everyone else, it’s a brain drain because our own engineering grads can’t get the work and the imported ones can leave with experience and trade secrets.

why so angry?

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

1. Illegals have nothing to do with H1B.

2. Engineering jobs are supposed to be for the best worker. Last I checked nobody is guaranteed a job staright out of college simply for being an American.

3. Because of the insane crap I read like blaming H1Bs and Obama for this dude who can’t find a job and has to have his wife cry about it on a Google meet up.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:22 PM

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Really? Good God you are obtuse.

Are hamburger flippers, maids, car salespeople, marketers, nurses, et al really threatened by H1B workers or is it just a small highly technical set of jobs? How many US grads are there in high tech each year? Those are the folks threatened by H1B holders, not all 130 mllion working Americans an you know it.

The threat of being replaced by an import is one reason American kids don’t go into high tech in the numbers we need them too.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:23 PM

oh we can have free trade, but we can also have a community in America where we get first dibs on our own jobs.

Sure there’s outsourcing, but this isn’t the issue for American companies that are giving away their top slots to foreigners.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Eh, I’m unimpressed. Obama’s use of the word “interesting” was ill-advised, like Romney saying “fired,” but as in the latter it wasn’t meant to be dismissive or disrespectful. As others have mentioned, Obama did handle the question poorly, but he does seem sympathetic and involved.

Whether Obama (and Presidents in general) should know the current employment situation in the various sectors of IT, I’m not sure. Clinton probably would have, GWB I’m not so sure.

bobs1196 on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

It’s not just high tech workers. An H1B can be issued for just about any profession.

It’s 65K visas. There are about 130 million workers in the country. Do the math on how much of an impact there is on unemployment.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Aren’t we celebrating the addition of a few thousand private sector jobs these days? Trumpeting paltry job growth as the great Obama economic success? So, yeah, 65,000 jobs is kinda a big deal according to the Democrat – and ass-kissing media’s – own spin.

tyketto on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Thus significantly more H-1B visas than the numerical cap are issued each year, with 117,409 in 2010.[5]

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Fine 117K a year. To put it into context 400K people file unemployment EVERY WEEK.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

has to have his wife cry about it on a Google meet up

So, finally, we found the one crybaby in the current economy that is irrelevant.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Deafdog: The main difference between H-1B visa issues and illegal immigration is that the H-1B visas are, at least, following established visa procedures. There may be fraud, and I wouldn’t be surprised by the amount. But that is a fundamentally different issue than not even participating in the immigration system.

I would think that capitalism should be defended as much as possible. Having said that, you should get your labor for the cheapest system price legally obtainable. The point above about productivity vs. cost is well taken, and I would love to analyze such systems.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Somebody please explain it to me. Are Obama’s handlers really THIS stupid that they’d let him participate in a forum like this? Can they really not see that he is dreadful one on one with anybody who doen’t genuflect in his presence? If it isn’t him looking bad with Joe the Plumber, it’s him looking bad with the governor of Arizona. Or with a wife of a semiconductor engineer who’s out of work. He’s pretty good at connecting with large crowds when he gives a speech, but this guy is as bad one on one with common people as any politician I’ve ever seen. Can his handlers really not see this?

radjah shelduck on January 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

1. Illegals have nothing to do with H1B.

2. Engineering jobs are supposed to be for the best worker. Last I checked nobody is guaranteed a job staright out of college simply for being an American.

3. Because of the insane crap I read like blaming H1Bs and Obama for this dude who can’t find a job and has to have his wife cry about it on a Google meet up.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:22 PM

1. They are similar issues in that the country club set encourages both to lower the cost of labor.

2. All jobs should go to the best worker. It’d be nice, however, if the country had plocies that educated and trained its own to fill needs instead of what we do.

3. Obama’s problem is that he doesn’t understand the overall employment picture in the USA. H1-B is a side note.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:27 PM

This is the problem with some economists, they lose sight of the national issue. If a company wants to move overseas, fine. Nothing stopping you. But most people don’t want to do so. Don’t be an open borders lunatic and let them outsource while living here. There are plenty of American engineering students that could do this work.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

That’s more of a Libertarian than Conservative position.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

And one of the things I very much disagree with other Libertarians on.

“Hey man…like…they’re just being good capitalists or something…Indians need jobs too ya know.”

“Bull; what they’re being are selfish twits. And I’ll give a flying !@#$% about Indians when my fellow countrymen are gainfully employed, thank you very much.”

MelonCollie on January 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

She’d better watch her back. It won’t be long until she gets a little tax audit. Remember Joe the Plumber?

mr.blacksheep on January 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Really? Good God you are obtuse.

Are hamburger flippers, maids, car salespeople, marketers, nurses, et al really threatened by H1B workers or is it just a small highly technical set of jobs? How many US grads are there in high tech each year? Those are the folks threatened by H1B holders, not all 130 mllion working Americans an you know it.

The threat of being replaced by an import is one reason American kids don’t go into high tech in the numbers we need them too.

Charlemagne on January 31, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Speaking of obtuse, I have said 3 times already H1B is not just technical work yet you cling to this fantasy. But let’s play along with your obtuseness…

Here is the average starting salary for college grads lasts year:

Students who will graduate this spring are receiving job offers with starting salaries averaging $50,034 per year, up 3.5% from last year, according to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Graduates majoring in engineering — typically one of the highest-paying fields — didn’t see a big change overall, with the average starting salary down a mere 0.3% but still high at $59,435.

You’re right. Kids graduating from college with a tech degree are starving on the streets.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

There are these open borders nut economists who thinks that, “hey, I like my company being in America, but I just wish I could import cheap workers.” Sorry, at a certain point, economic efficiency and bean-counting stops and taking care of your own community starts. Factories that hire illegals are bad and so are companies that use these H1B visas.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

It’s called free market capitalism…or did we forget we’re supposed to be for that kind of stuff?

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

oh, no. we are supposed to be for central planning, socialist economy that would give and guarantee every American a job :-), guess that would be in keeping with your worldview…newsflash, been tried, doesn’t work…

jimver on January 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

HM, TOTUS must have drawn a blank on that one.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Fine 117K a year. To put it into context 400K people file unemployment EVERY WEEK.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

That’s the foot in the door. Once you get one family member over then you can start on the much easier reunification visas.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

To be honest, I’m willing to give Obama a pass on his ignorance of the semiconductor industry. While he may be expected to be well-versed on a lot of things, I think it’s unreasonable to expect him to know off the top of his head how every specific sector of every specific industry is doing (although if he’s stumping for tax breaks for high-tech industries, he probably should).

What *is* inexcusable, however, is his complete avoidance of the question. The woman’s question was (in effect) “why aren’t you restricting the number of H1B visas?” and he completely ignored that question.

Mohonri on January 31, 2012 at 4:32 PM

There are these open borders nut economists who thinks that, “hey, I like my company being in America, but I just wish I could import cheap workers.” Sorry, at a certain point, economic efficiency and bean-counting stops and taking care of your own community starts. Factories that hire illegals are bad and so are companies that use these H1B visas.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

The other option is moving the factory. What’s better for the country, keep factory here, pay taxes here, but employ foreigners who spend their paychecks in the US?

Or move the whole thing offshore?

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I would think that capitalism should be defended as much as possible. Having said that, you should get your labor for the cheapest system price legally obtainable. The point above about productivity vs. cost is well taken, and I would love to analyze such systems.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

What is “legally obtainable” is the sticking point. For sure with the H1B process as it is, corps are encouraged to import cheaper workers. They make more profit and it’s legal. All true.

My question is what ‘should’ be legal. It seems to me that it would be better in the long term if we let supply and demand of the domestic workforce dictate the price of labor. This would encourage more folks to get into these fields. Instead, we seem to be doing something that is good in the short term, but bad in the long term.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM

That’s the foot in the door. Once you get one family member over then you can start on the much easier reunification visas.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Wrong. You cannot sponsor family while on an H1B.

You can bring a spouse/kids with you. But once the visa expires, everyone goes back home.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

oh, no. we are supposed to be for central planning, socialist economy that would give and guarantee every American a job :-), guess that would be in keeping with your worldview…newsflash, been tried, doesn’t work…

jimver on January 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

So you’re ready to go head to head with the third? You ready to repeal work place safety, environmental, and labor regulations so that we can compete? Come on man don’t be a socialist.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I think everyone who is unemployed should send their resume to the White House. He can be our Employment Agent in Chief.

mr.blacksheep on January 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

hey move the factory if you want. That opens up other cans of worms. It’s not that easy or desireable (what, upper management doesn’t want to live in Bangladesh either?). At that point, you lose the made in america label, there may be tariffs, and you start dealing with not-America, the part of the world where people are crazy.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

My question is what ‘should’ be legal. It seems to me that it would be better in the long term if we let supply and demand of the domestic workforce dictate the price of labor. This would encourage more folks to get into these fields. Instead, we seem to be doing something that is good in the short term, but bad in the long term.

Deafdog on January 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM

It’s protectionism any way you spin it. No different than saying we must protect jobs at GM and Ford so we’ll ban imports of foreign cars.

Protectionism never works. Never has. Never will. Free trade works, always has always will.

Along the way there will be people displaced, but that’s the price we pay.

angryed on January 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

As it turns out, Obama didn’t know anything at all about this industry and its status over the last few years:

This industry pays Obama and his fellow communists gobs and gobs of money every year. So the industry is doing good.
OK ?
He knows everything you silly people

burrata on January 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Deafdog: But this is excellent. Now we can have a discussion as to what the best policy for issuing H-1B visas should be.

Please note that we cannot have that discussion with illegal immigration, because these people are not using the system we have.

And that is the difference between these positions.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

The comment that SCOAMF thought she was talking about choo choo train drivers was funny though.

joeindc44 on January 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

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