Monday, November 22, 2004

Open Letter to Fareed Zakaria

Or "Gee, I wonder if there isn't a little bias to your extolling the virtues of student visas"

The title of this post links to Mr. Zakaria's opinion piece that garnered this response, as does this sentence.

Subject: Your visa overreaction

If we stop allowing corporations to fill high tech positions with cheaper foreign workers, those corporations will have to go back to paying a competitive American wage. With the restoration of that wage, you will see more Americans training for the positions that you remark have widely filled by foreigners.

Americans, unfortunately, don't do one thing or the other for anything more than the money involved. If you paid the average landscaper $200k/year, you'd find a lot of people flocking to the field...and a good deal of those people working hard to do the job not because they love landscaping, but because they take pride in their work.

We're not talking landscaping jobs here, but that's a line of work that is probably less desirous than any scientific field...which is my point: we go where the money is.

Don't give me the line about the damage this will do to our scientific advancements while waiting for people to flock to these fields. If waiting for the shift in economic dynamic is fine for those who lose their jobs to outsourcing, then it is fine for us to fall back a little bit for the greater good.

Though, I am sad at the lessening of opportunities to convince foreign students that America is a great place of freedom. That sadness will be tempered with the knowledge that less tax payer dollars are being used to educate foreign students that don't pay into the tax system.

And here I thought that you'd be a little more objective on this issue...try to see both sides...but obviously I overestimated your ability to remain impartial.

I do admire much of your other work (including your DAILY SHOW appearance), but strongly disagree with you on this.

Kevin Huxford"

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