Nationalism Before Productivity & Quality

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With all the unemployment news gracing the headlines today, this story has resurfaced.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) told Microsoft Corp. this week that U.S. citizens should get priority over H-1B visa holders as the software vendor moves forward on its plan to cut 5,000 jobs.

“These work visa programs were never intended to allow a company to retain foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American workers, when that company cuts jobs during an economic downturn,” Grassley wrote in a letter sent Thursday to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The letter asked Microsoft to detail the types of jobs that will be eliminated and how those cuts will affect the company’s H-1B workers.

“Similarly qualified American workers” ? What does that mean? Does that mean the managers of Microsoft, who deal with the day-to-day issues and problems in running the company, don’t know anything about the individuals they hire and the skills they need from those employees in order to get the work done as efficiently and capably as possible? Of course not. It means that these conceited fat cats in D.C., most of whom went straight from law school to the halls of political power and never worked a real job in their lives, think they can tell private businesses what to do and how to do it in order to fulfill the state’s most urgent moral code of the day. Hire Americans, fire those other guys, or else. And don’t dare admit the truth – that these companies go overseas for talent because they can’t find what they need here.

10:35 am on March 6, 2009