Proposed visa changes: Narrow benefits, widespread costs

I am entirely sympathetic to the plight of technology workers losing theirs jobs. Whether because of outsourcing, or because of a lousy economy, the result is no picnic. Nevertheless, I generally think the technology business is facing the same sort of restructuring that manufacturing business faced in the 1970s and 1980s, with jobs and production moving offshore.


Unfortunately, many don’t see it that way. Instead, they see it as some sort of unfair trade, and they waggle their finger disapprovingly at the various labor visas that make it possible for companies to hire foreign workers when so many U.S. workers are losing their jobs.


It is, however, a rational outcome from employers. If foreign workers were unable to do the job, they would not be hired. If they can do the job, and they can do it for a lower price, then they should be hired. There are narrow losses, and widespread benefits from such an action.

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