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Thread: unfettered immigration

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    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    unfettered immigration

    What's wrong with this picture? - "The Canadian government is promising to speed up immigration of skilled foreign workers joining fast-growing technology companies, a drawn-out process that the employers say is thwarting their growth. [...] employers who offer jobs to foreigners must get government approval for a “Labour Market Impact Assessment” [LMIA] showing they couldn’t find Canadians to do the job. While the approach targeted abusers of the low-skill temporary foreign worker program, fast-growing tech firms had to submit to the same drawn-out process, often when those with relevant skills were only located outside Canada." - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle30458187/

    Oh, but wait - "A growing proportion of recent university graduates – as much as 40 per cent – face the potential frustration of being overqualified for their jobs, a new report has revealed." - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle27229699/

    Which is just a cute way of saying they have low-wage/low-skilled jobs. Here I thought these skilled jobs simply didn't exist - I suppose we're overqualified for shit jobs, but too untalented for those of chosen profession? That must be why we're reaching overseas for cheap labor rather than training local talent. The added effect of suppressing wages must help.

    The talent is here. There's no shortage of it. In fact with the automation creep increasingly diminishing jobs into obsolescence, we ought to be more concerned about the incessantly growing population at home, through immigration. Instead we pick a half-assed scapegoat like "innovation". A problem perhaps, but for whom? Throwing money at it hasn't changed jack, as, quite plainly, "“Companies don’t have to innovate to make money. [...] In some respects, they’ve had it relatively easy and that’s why they’ve been comfortable in their low innovation equilibrium.”” - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle30408388/ . I imagine for startups as with the others it's simply a matter of wanting more for less.


    According to cbc, "the unemployment rate for young people in this country is close to 15% – double that of the general population [...] it's estimated that after graduating, one in three 25 to 29 year olds with a college or university degree ends up in a low-skilled job. And to make things worse, 60% graduate with an average debt of $27,000" - http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/generation-jobless

    That's abhorrent. We're overqualified for the jobs we have, yet are not only "talentless", we lack sufficient utility in our field of choice to get hired. Not controlling for what those degrees are (my fatal flaw here, looking for decent numbers), but I imagine most hoping to find work both paying well and demanding of talent look to science, engineering, CompSci or IT training as a good bet.


    Looking abroad, by contrast the unemployment rate for graduates in Japan is about 3.2% at a glance. The corporate culture is no more benevolent there (probably less so) but the fact remains grads get jobs. Are we not going to admit stringent immigration policy has at least something to do with it? Not to deny the benefits of immigration, I wouldn't suggest closing our doors. But that doesn't mean we have to bend over backwards to appease lying cocksucking corporations by opening the flood-gates and showering them with subsidies like confetti.

    If I'm wrong, I'd like to hear it.
    Last edited by Faust; 06-15-2016 at 07:19 PM. Reason: shit
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

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    At least you're importing skilled foreign workers.

    This is far more than Europe can claim.
    Last edited by Sappho; 06-15-2016 at 07:26 PM.

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    I used to think that there should be no restrictions on immigration; that people should be able to live wherever they want, regardless of where they were born. I think that is the ideal we should be aiming towards. But I was naive. A lot of the rest of the world is really not that great, and people from those countries are willing to work for almost nothing, and businesses are happy for that to happen. I think I was a bit naive before.

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    The "overqualified" thing is just university graduates working at Starbucks (Tim Horton's?) because they didn't actually learn any marketable skills in exchange for their degree. I live south of your border, and we have the same problem. It legitimately is a nightmare trying to find a decent candidate, at least in IT. Lots and lots of people who lie on their resume and/or don't know anything relevant. Then, half the time, the ones who seem promising and get into the door wind up having some terrible flaw, such as being a pathological liar, being unremittingly lazy, being unreliable, just generally stupid, etc. And that's in our labor market.

    The thing with IT (and this does seem to be specifically discussing IT) is that it's largely self-taught. You can take a comp-sci course or whatever, but if you aren't doing stuff on your own as well, you're going to get stuck doing QA work or application support for the rest of your career. Successful IT candidates who make use of a compsci degree are individuals who are already talented and successful and use the degree to supplement their pre-existing skills. Very few people realize this, they just figure that their school program will set them up with everything they need to succeed. And it's not necessarily their fault for thinking that, since that is what they're paying for. Basically though, the problem is that there's a shortage of reliable, self-taught workers, because everyone is lazy and nobody has patience anymore.
    "Doesn't matter what a man has if he doesn't have purpose. You take that away from him, man usually goes with it." -Beau

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    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lud
    You can take a comp-sci course or whatever, but if you aren't doing stuff on your own as well, you're going to get stuck doing QA work or application support for the rest of your career.
    Sounds fine, when do I start?
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    The talent is here. There's no shortage of it. In fact with the automation creep increasingly diminishing jobs into obsolescence, we ought to be more concerned about the incessantly growing population at home, through immigration.
    Dude. You're in Canada. You have a lot of room up there. And last time I checked, the govt was desperate to bring in immigrant couples who actually want to reproduce. Especially to the smaller cities under the provincial programs.

    During my short period of looking for job opportunities in Canada, it seemed like they demanded ridiculously over-qualified candidates for very ordinary office work. What's up with that. It gives you the sense that a lot of people have spent a lot of time in academia getting degree upon degree only to end up competing fiercely for something a high school graduate could do. That was really weird.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    What's up with that. It gives you the sense that a lot of people have spent a lot of time in academia getting degree upon degree only to end up competing fiercely for something a high school graduate could do.
    I thought that was the point of arts degrees? (From someone who did an arts degree, regretted it and went back for evening classes in something useful from an employment perspective).
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    In a way, it's a manifestation of the inherent-value fallacy of commodity pricing coming home to roost.

    IT is the virtually undisputed "none of the above" default career path option for basically everybody I know who is my age or younger (I'm 33).

    If you don't have your mind set on some other specific profession, you go get a help-desk/call-center tech support job using the knowledge of computers that people of our generation grew up learning as basic life skills, and then from there you teach yourself one or another web coding languages (I haven't, mind you, but it doesn't seem like this is a particularly hard thing for anyone to do anymore, if it ever was) and ideally try to find a way to use it on something tangentially related to your wanky liberal-arts degree.

    For the moment, it's probably a solid strategy because the current generation of middle-aged people sitting comfortably in corporate management positions belong to an age cohort where they didn't necessarily grow up in a family where a PC was as mundane and necessary a household appliance as a dishwasher, so there's a generational bump in the market value of the kinds of technical aptitudes that people their kids' age tend to have grown up regarding as indispensable common sense, as businesses retool to adjust for PC's and related devices gradually replacing television, radio, print media, malls and so forth as the primary vectors for both advertising/marketing and actual commercial transactions.

    This bump has created the temporary illusion that demand for IT skills will keep growing faster than supply even as everybody with nothing better to do rushes to jump on the wagon, but it shouldn't surprise anyone that the managerial types are already ahead of the curve and looking for ways to cut costs on it, "is there a way to get people from economically depressed countries to do this increasingly commonplace form of labor for half the price?" being of course an approach to such matters with a long and venerable history.




    This has always been kind of inevitable, assuming (as I think we might as well assume) that there's no stopping the trend toward increasingly trans-national market structures.

    You really cannot "globalize" your markets in goods and not expect to eventually have to "globalize" your markets in labor to account for it. When you merge two previously separate communities of producers and consumers into one big market, the result is typically greater efficiency through the elimination of redundancies, which does tend to be a net gain in terms of productivity but only after you've reallocated the now-redundant resources that you're idling when the merger happens.

    Trying to pretend that national borders are going to remain sacrosanct under these circumstances is absurd.

    We (the US) wanted to sell more corn in Mexico, so we made an agreement with them to make that happen. It should surprise absolutely no one, though, (although apparently it somehow does) that there's now a steady stream of unemployed Mexican farmers packing the entrances trying to get in here and find new jobs, nor that they respond to being told that there's "no room" for them by just ducking the rope and hoping they won't get caught (which most of them in all honesty probably won't, since there's not exactly a lack of demand for the unbeatable skill-to-price ratio they can offer compared to their American equivalents).

    Likewise, we really wanted cheaper tennis shoes and phones, so we hired people in Vietnam and China to make those for us. Of course it was a good deal in those terms, but nobody should be surprised to learn that the trade-off includes not being able to get a job at a shoe or phone factory here, and certainly not if you're expecting to make $15 an hour doing something that somebody in Vietnam will do for $15 a week.

    Of course, if Chinese people can build our telephones there's no reason they can't also write "apps" for them. If it's basically a good deal from a Chinese worker's perspective to assemble phones for a tenth of what an equivalent American worker would get paid to do that, then it's going to be a really fucking sweet deal for them to get a job writing software for 60% of what an American engineer would get paid to do that, even if they have to immigrate here and absorb a somewhat higher cost of living.

    Nobody in any industry should assume they're safe in an intrinsically "high-paying" career field, because there's no such thing. Nobody's exempt from basic laws of supply and demand.

    We might even be in a bubble already. The real broomstick headed for the asshole of the American economy is the point where China's R + D sector reaches parity with ours and they stop needing to license our IP as the blueprints for the baubles they're selling to us--and that's assuming they stay on board with the demands of the TPP crowd for a strong international regime of trademark/copyright enforcement. (Bits of rumor here and there I've heard from people who know a bit about it say this isn't even exactly the case now--involvement in various forms of illicitness is hardly rare among Chinese government officials, and they're fully aware of the potential benefits to the entire country if they look the other way while somebody reverse-engineers something they've been hired to build by a western tech firm.) Apple stock will basically be toilet paper at that point, but I'm assuming we've got at least a few more decades before it really becomes an issue.


    You IT guys should probably be imagining yourselves as well-paid, highly skilled English textile artisans living in the autumn years of the Middle Ages and just enjoy the ride until it's time to party like it's 1699.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  9. #9
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico
    Trying to pretend that national borders are going to remain sacrosanct under these circumstances is absurd.
    You're right. They never were nor will be, but I have to throw my arms up on occasion. At this stage I feel like I would enter mortal combat for a 60k and a pension I knew I'd never lose.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    ...it's estimated that after graduating, one in three 25 to 29 year olds with a college or university degree ends up in a low-skilled job.
    Whenever I see a stat like this, I always wish it was qualified with STEM degree vs non-STEM. I bet very few graduates with degrees in STEM fields end up in low skilled jobs.

    Back in my day, the non-academically inclined generally never went on to post secondary education. They went straight from high school to low skilled jobs. Now the non-academically inclined seem to detour through a liberal arts degree on their way to a low skilled job. But not all that much has changed as far as I can see.

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