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OPINION

Trump & Jackson Taking on Silicon Valley?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Tech stocks took it on the chin yesterday, mostly because of rumblings out of China that saw their market sell off more than 6% Monday night. However, there are also rumblings in America, and it’s about a different kind of supply and demand.

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Donald Trump has turned his sights on Silicon Valley, Mark Zuckerberg in particular for his company’s insatiable appetite for H-1B visa employees. The issue has created strange bedfellows of Trump and Jesse Jackson, who has been pounding the technology industry for over a year on hiring practices.

Trump is demanding Silicon Valley to pay H-1B workers more money so they’ll consider Americans for jobs since that would be a contributing factor. Moreover, Trump says that this will help all Americans gain access to Silicon Valley jobs, including blacks, Hispanics, and women.

“This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program. Mark Zuckerberg's personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities…” was written in Trump’s Immigration Policy Paper.

There are reports that Senator Ted Cruz is pushing to quadruple H-1B visas; this points to the challenge that even a President Donald Trump could face in trying to stop Silicon Valley. The tech industry has gotten politically savvy and is throwing around a lot of money.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, technology companies spending on lobbying surged to $60,000,000 in 2012 from $800,000 in 1990. This is a lot of cash and more pours in each day, along with direct donations to politicians and political action committees.

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Earlier this year, Silicon Valley won a ‘big one’’ over cable companies with the net neutrality decision. However, someone with a soapbox such as Donald Trump might be able to use public opinion in place of dollars. In addition, workers at Southern California Edison were informed earlier this year that they were being laid- off. The company was transitioning its IT work, which turned out to be a euphemism for off shoring 400 jobs to H-1B workers waiting in the wings.

Adding insult to injury, the soon-to-be laid-off workers had to train their replacements.

Where Are All The Jobs?

Without a doubt, the biggest complaint from business owners is a lack of skilled workers. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are at the top of the list, followed by so-called middle skills. Yet the Census Department says 74% of STEM graduates work in occupations unrelated to their degree. How can this be the case?

A large portion of STEM grads go into teaching, but the fact is that the jobs waiting for them are being held for their foreign counterparts who don’t mind entering into an indentured servant like relationship, while earning up to 40% less than the industry average.

There are always two sides to every story and many say this is really about a school system that cannot keep up with demand- our kids aren’t prepared. Moreover, the worker program is said to be the lifeblood of Silicon Valley; it draws the brightest from everywhere, including 40,000 Israelis.

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There are valid points on both sides, but the fact is that it seems the program is being abused. Before the program expands, we need to seek alternatives to help Americans get the first crack at those jobs.

Making The Poor Richer or The Richer Poorer – I’m Confused

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis
When I was dead broke, man I couldn't picture this
Fifty inch screen, money green leather sofa
Got two rides, a limousine with a chauffeur
Phone bill about two G's flat
No need to worry, my accountant handles that
And my whole crew is lounging
Celebrating every day, no more public housing

-Biggie Smalls

The government’s housing social experiment, using taxpayer funds to subsidize housing for well-off tenants is so hard to comprehend, and yet it’s happening.

The administration’s Dr. Frankenstein approach to integration has resulted in more than 25,000 tenants living in public housing that earn far more than the minimum needed to get into the system in the first place. In NYC, a family of four with a household income of nearly $500,000 only pays $1,574 a month for a three-bedroom apartment.

The notion is having successful people around that will rub off on you; it’s sort of like having a common cold and spreading it throughout the housing projects. It’s not going to work. Moving poor families into wealthier neighborhoods might rub off some, but the essence of success will be skewed. The journey matters, beginning with having a solid foundation (mom and dad) is much more critical than having rich neighbors.

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In the meantime, poor families are waiting for the ones that can afford to get off the taxpayer’s dime to move on up.

Furthermore, more well-off families who once qualified for public housing are now doing so much better. It is a sign of upward mobility for even the poorest of Americans- that should be noted. Maybe that is another reason to keep them hidden in the projects. Nothing messes up the narrative of income immobility more than seeing a moving van leaving trailer parks and housing projects with a family that just worked their way up the ladder.

Be that as it may, I do wonder why these families don’t bolt the way Biggie Smalls did when he hit it rich?

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