This piece isn't fully baked but I'm throwing it out there anyway.
Help me think about something...
When technical companies like Microsoft were young, they were in bidding wars for the services of software engineers/programmers/analysts. Not only was it a matter of pay, but it was a matter of perks to go along with employment: matching the 401K, vacation packages, flexible hours, snacks paid by the company, health club memberships, stock bonuses, stock purchase plans, etc.
In Silicon Valley, California, it was common for people to work for a company, then give 2 weeks notice and leave the company on a Friday. On the following Monday, they would go to work for the new company, right across the street from their old employer, only then they were earning more money.
Now, technical companies are using H1-B work visas to bring in immigrants to work the technical jobs. Bill Gates has said it is because the U.S. lacks the technical workers, but the out of work technical workers say the companies, after years helping to elevate the cost of technical workers, are now trying to lower the costs and the H1-B visa program is the way they are trying to do it. There has been some salary surveys which back them up.
In the meantime, the companies have outsourced the work to places like India with the idea that the work will be the same, if not better, but the costs will be much cheaper. The thing is, the work produced has not necessarily been better and the cost of outsourcing is actually increasing because the employees of the companies that are doing outsourcing, are now in the same situation as the Silicon Valley companies: they need people so the people are demanding higher wages and better benefits.
What are possible long term effects?
- A loss of technical expertise as the techical problems arise overseas and it is the people overseas who develop the technical know how to solve the problems by coming up with "standard" solutions as well as innovations that move the technical world forward a step or a mile.
- A higher unemployment rate as people who should be employed in this country doing technical jobs, no longer have those jobs as options.
- A lower standard of living for those in the technical field in the U.S. because the price of the technical workers will be lower.
Is this a situation where lower taxes for those companies will help keep jobs in the U.S.? No.
Is this a situation where unions can be blamed for the rising cost of employees? No.
Is this a situation that can be blamed on excessive regulations? No.
Should the federal government be involved in this type of situation at all? As I see it, no. If American businesses want to focus on the near term bottom line to such an extent that it may wreck their long term bottom line and even maybe cause a loss of intellectual property, so be it. The only time the federal government should get involved is if a foreign country is using tariffs to make imports from the U.S. less competitive.
So what am I getting at?
In this silly season, just try thinking about the quips the politicians make when campaigning. Think about the talk show hacks are really saying. Think about what the pundits are writing.