H-1B Visa Applications as an Economic Indicator

I found a positive spin on the numbers Mr. Stone shared with us regarding H-1B Visa. According to this NPR Report, the current demand for H-1B Visas is a return to pre-recession normal. Before the recession it was normal for the H-1B quota to be filled within the first month of filing. An increase in the demand for these workers indicates an increase in the demand for the companies’ products and services (or at least that they are preparing for such an increase).


Of course, the fact that H-1B supply is so insufficient to meet the demand is, overall, troubling. Although I sympathize with some of the article’s commentators, I think the “they took our jobs” attitude fails to hold up against the facts. First of all, the current quota represents about .06% of the U.S. civilian labor force. Second, given the cost and uncertainty of an employer securing a H-1B visa, it seems unlikely that these companies would seek to hire H-1B workers if qualified U.S. workers were available. Lastly, given the short supply of qualified U.S. workers, especially in the STEM fields, the alternatives are that the U.S. company seeking to hire the potential H-1B workers in the U.S. has to hire them in their foreign subsidiary or the U.S. company loses that qualified worker to a foreign competitor. It makes sense to increase the quota amount so that these alternatives are avoided and more qualified workers can be in the U.S. paying taxes and contributing to the economy.

Facts from a Foundation for American Policy Report; www.nfap.com/pdf/1003h1b.pdf

Immigration Reform for Entrepreneurs

This past January, President Obama delivered a speech calling for Immigration reform that promoted visas for entrepreneur immigrants that initiate “start-ups.” A good summation of the plan can be found in the following article:


On its face, I think it is a great plan. However, I wonder about the legal implications. Could we see an increase in corporate fraud? As the article points out, “that either secure financing from a U.S. investor or generate revenue from U.S. customers would be eligible for visas, with the potential for those temporary stays turning into permanent residences if their companies continued to grow and create jobs in the U.S.

I worry entrepreneurs would comprise their companies in order to gain citizenship.

Finally, I will add current the investment visas range from $500k to $1 million in exchange for citizenship. These amounts are too expensive and provide cash only. The plans proposed above would serve to create jobs and revenue, which should be touted. I just worry about the social implications of depending a companies success on their ability to garner citizenship. I think (based on last weeks discussion) rather than value job creation and growth, simply evaluate based on funding raise. It seems that when it comes to entrepreneurship it is the man more than the idea that has value.

The Unfortunate Veil Created by Politics

I came across the following article online while casually surfing the web and felt that it warranted a blog post based on last week’s discussion. I understand that the complexities surrounding federal regulations/laws and the effects it has on small business/entrepreneurs go beyond this simple article, but it highlights a sad reality that we live in today. When legislation like the Affordable Care Act gets passed, the first thing we hear when we turn on the news is the political backlash that is inevitably coming from the other side. In case of Obamacare, we hear ranting and raving from conservatives about the “detrimental costs” that come with universal health care. or how the legislation is not fair because it allows for “freeloaders” while others pick up the tab.

The saddest part of it all is that the IDEA of providing healthcare to everyone is actually an idea that a majority of Americans support, but we let the politics of who will pay blind us from these ideas. It is undeniable that our country is facing very serious financial problems, but instead of working together to find solutions to the problem, we spend more time arguing about which party has the better plan.

While is it difficult to predict which plan is best, (and politicians will continue to argue that their plan is in fact the best) one thing is for certain, change has been and still is needed. That being said, it is still interesting to see how some of Obamacare’s biggest critics have pulled back on their criticism once the numbers were finally run. Hopefully changes like this will prevent future knee jerk overreactions and remind people that despite our political affiliation, we should always hope for the successful implementation of ideas like universal healthcare, despite which party was able to pass it.