Do not dare challenge the Masters of the Universe, the Party of Davos, or the Permanent Political Class with facts.
After Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), in a thunderous Wednesday speech on the Senate floor, denounced Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg for pushing amnesty on foreign soil and high-tech executives for demanding more guest-worker permits while laying off American workers, Facebook board member Marc Andreessen maligned the Alabama Senator in a series of incensed Tweets.
“Outright slander from an odious hack,” Andreessen Tweeted on Thursday evening. “Mark has directly&indirectly created 10s, maybe 100s, of thousands of US jobs.” He implied that Sessions was “clinically insane” and even said Sessions’ embrace of American workers will“guarantee” that the “Republican Party never wins a national election ever again.”
If only the facts, politics, and the American people were on Andreessen’s side.
Business Insider noted that Andreessen was also “an early Facebook investor,” so he is as biased for importing cheaper foreign labor to boost his bottom line as Sessions is for American workers that high-tech moguls like Andreessen want to replace and displace.
A Sessions aide told Breitbart News that “it’s clear that a few mega-millionaire and mega-billionaire activists are calling the shots for Democrats on immigration.”
“The question at hand is pretty straightforward: who should get preference for American IT work – the 11.4 million Americans with STEM degrees but no STEM jobs, or the citizens of foreign countries now living overseas?” the aide told Breitbart News. “It appears that Democrat politicos and their super-elite patrons believe the answer is the latter.”
After criticizing “young Mr. Zuckerberg” for blasting America’s laws in a foreign capital, Sessions singled out Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, largely because the pro-amnesty lobby has spent millions of dollars trying to ram through a comprehensive amnesty bill that would give the tech lobby massive increases in guest-worker visas at a time when there is a surplus of American high-tech workers and a record number of Americans out of work.
In fact, as Sessions noted, the comprehensive amnesty bill that the tech industry wants and pro-amnesty advocates have spent $1.5 billion over the last decade pushing would “double the supply of low-wage foreign workers brought into the United States.” Sillicon Valley companies, which have even been notoriously accused of trying to keep wages down with “no-hire” agreements, believe they will get a good return on their investment if Congress grants them massive increases in guest-worker visas.
After pointing out that Microsoft is laying of 18,000 workers, Sessions posed “a question to Mr. Zuckerberg” if he wanted to expand Facebook’s workforce by 10 percent.
“Why doesn’t Mr. Zuckerberg call his friend Mr. Gates and say, ‘I have to hire a few hundred people, do you have any resumes you could send over here? Maybe I wouldn’t have to bring in somebody from a foreign country to take a job that an unemployed american might take,'” Sessions said.
The broader point Sessions was making while using Zuckerberg and his pro-amnesty lobbying group as examples was that massive increases in guest-worker visas at this time will only hurt American IT and STEM workers trying to climb into the middle class. Sessions said “the central sales pitch used by those making demands for massive increases in foreign-worker programs across the board” has been disproven by the “nation’s leading academics, people who studied this issue and are professionals in it.”
Citing a USA Today op-ed by a group of five nonpartisan scholars that noted that wages for STEM and IT workers have not increased since 1999, Sessions asked, “If you have a shortage of workers in a field such as information technology or science and mathematics, wages go up, do they not? If wages are not up, we don’t have a shortage.” Sessions called out “rich high-tech companies” for “using the H-1B visa program to keep wages down and to hire less expensive workers from abroad.”
“Indeed, the same companies demanding more guest workers are laying off American workers in droves,” he said.
The USA Today scholars declared that “none of us have been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry’s assertions of labor shortages.” They have yet to be disproven.
According to a recent Census report, “74% of those with a bachelor’s degree in these subjects don’t work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs.” A Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report also found that, from 2007-2012, “the number of new immigrants with STEM degrees admitted each year [was] by itself higher than the total growth in STEM employment.” As Breitbart News reported, the CIS report was “consistent with research from” institutes across the ideological spectrum. For instance, Georgetown University, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Rand Corporation, the Urban Institute, and the National Research Council “also found no evidence that America has a shortage of high-tech workers.”
Ron Hira, a public policy professor and one of the USA Today scholars, has noted that “there are 50% more graduates than job openings in the STEM fields.” Hira has repeatedly emphasized that tech jobs were a way for Americans of all backgrounds to move into the middle class.
“You’ve got people who come from working-class backgrounds who go into these sectors,” Hira said. “It’s a way of getting into the middle class and the professional class, and that’s being cut off.”
Americans far away from the Acela Corridor and Silicon Valley Boomtowns understand the economic realities on the ground, and that is why they forced President Barack Obama to delay granting executive amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants. Senate Democrats insisted Obama hold back so they do not get shellacked, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted that the administration delayed the executive amnesty to not get thrashed in the midterms like Democrats did during the 1994 “Contract with America” election.
Numerous polls suggest that Senate Democrats, who are concerned most about self-preservation, are right about the intense opposition to Obama’s executive amnesty. National polling has found that 63% of Americans disapprove of work permits for illegal immigrants and a strong majority do not favor Obama’s potential grants of executive amnesty, which potentially may include granting the high-tech industry more guest-worker permits.
Another national poll of likely voters that The Polling Company conducted, as Breitbart News reported, found that “half of Americans age 65 and over” and 46% of Midwesterners like Andreessen (he is a Midwesterner by birth though he has a “Boomtown” state of mind) “support a zero immigration policy.” In addition, “independents (47%) were more likely than Republicans (40%) or Democrats (37%) to want zero new immigrants allowed into the country.”
The July 16-20 Polling Company survey of likely voters revealed that Americans not only want more immigration enforcement, but also want “employers to give preference to U.S. citizens over legal and illegal immigrants when hiring.” An overwhelming 90% of likely voters felt that “U.S.- born workers and legal immigrants already here should get first preference for jobs.” Even among likely voters who, like Andreessen, favor giving illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, 61% felt “that Americans should be employed in jobs that illegals currently have.”
Those like Andreessen, who said Republicans would never win a national election if the party did not support amnesty and more guest-worker visas, believe that there is a bipartisan consensus for such programs in America because nobody in their elite circles thinks otherwise. But as Sessions has noted and polling has confirmed, American workers want politicians to put their interests first. And Republicans do worse in national elections if they are stereotyped (often unfairly) as representing the country club elite and 1% that Andreessen represents.
“We can’t put the parochial demands of a few powerful CEOs ahead of an entire nation’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The basic social contract is that citizens agree to follow the law, pay their taxes, devote their love and loyalty to their country and in exchange, the nation commits to preserve and protect and serve their interest, safeguard their freedom, and return to them in kind their first allegiance of loyalty,” Sessions said on the Senate floor. “The job of elected officials is to answer to the people who sent them to Washington–not to scorn them, not to demean them, not to mock them, not to sell their jobs and dreams to the highest bidder.”
These views aren’t exclusive to the Alabama Republican or conservatives opposed to massive amnesty legislation. In fact, Democrat Jim Webb raised the same issues seven years ago. In his 2007 State of the Union response to President George W. Bush, who is reviled in Silicon Valley, then-Sen. Webb (D-VA) lamented that “the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table.”
And he predicted that high-tech and white-collar workers who once thought they would never see their jobs outsourced or have to train foreign workers to replace them would soon feel the same pressures as blue-collar workers.
“Our workers know this, through painful experience,” Webb said in 2007. “Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace.”
Americans, as Sessions noted on the Senate floor this week, are waking up to the increasing disconnect between the political and economic elite and Middle America, and they, with the help of new media (Andreessen has been a pioneer in helping new media disrupt legacy outlets and make content and facts more widely available to average Americans), are able to better filter out spin with facts and numbers.
Scholars have wondered how those like Zuckerberg, Andreessen and the gilded high-tech elite have received a free pass on the issue for so long, but CBS News’s declaration that the notion that America has a massive shortage of high-tech workers “is largely a myth” perhaps ushered in an era in which claims made by tech lobbies will be scrutinized more. After reading Sessions’ speech, Andreessen may have blown a gasket on Twitter because he realized that the tech industry’s free pass is being revoked.