VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 16 POSTED ON: 12/18/2011
AT: No Shortages It’s a question of “skills” shortage All, 10 (Ann All, Ann All covered a variety of business topics as a newspaper reporter before switching to automated teller machines as the editor of online trade publication ATMmarketplace.com, IT Skills Shortage: Employers Say It's Real, May 19, 2010, http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/all/it-skills-shortage-employers-say-its-real/?cs=41268 Companies that employ holders of H-1Bs or other visas that allow American companies to employ foreign workers often claim this hiring strategy is necessary because there simply aren't enough U.S. technology professionals with the right kinds of skills, a stance that enrages H-1B opponents who insist there are plenty of qualified workers. Earlier this month I wrote a post in which I wondered whether IT employers were too picky, and suggested companies might better satisfy their needs by employing talented IT generalists instead of focusing on narrow skill sets. Given the fast pace of technology, it's a given that job requirements will remain fluid for some time to come so companies might do better training existing staff than hiring new folks every time a new tech trend comes down the pipeline. Yet there may be more to the skills issue than unrealistic employer expectations. And concerns over skills shortages aren't confined to the United States. Research from the CBI, which bills itself as "the UK's leading business organization, speaking for some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce," suggests British employers don't think their work forces possess needed IT skills. According to a silicon.com story about the survey, 45 percent of respondents said they are experiencing difficulties in recruiting workers with appropriate STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) skills, and 59 percent say it will be problem over the next three years. It's not just potential hires companies see as lacking in skills. Sixty-six percent of businesses expressed concern about their current staff's IT abilities. Forty-three percent of respondents said they had provided remedial IT training to their existing work force, while 22 percent offered it to entry-level workers fresh out of school or college. I may be misinterpreting, but these results seem to involve employees whose use technology in their work -- and that's most employees, of course -- rather than those who make their livings deploying and maintaining technology. Similar numbers are contained in Harvey Nash's latest CIO survey. Fifty-eight percent of global respondents said they expect to face an IT skills shortage this year, and 65 percent said this will negatively affect corporate growth. Interestingly, the three skills most in demand are business analysis, mentioned by 44 percent of respondents; project management (37 percent) and architecture (35 percent). All three of these involve a blend of IT and broader business skills and also benefit from being performed by someone with deep insights into a corporate culture -- suggesting they aren't good candidates for outsourcing. I think the same is true for two of the other top 10 sought-after skills, business relationship management (mentioned by 31 percent of respondents) and IT strategy (28 percent). AT: De-dev K Waves No link economic collapse doesn’t collapse capitalism- inevitably comes back Mead, 9 – Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (Walter Russell, “Only Makes You Stronger,” The New Republic, 2/4/09, http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=571cbbb9-2887-4d81-8542-92e83915f5f8&p=2) Even before the Panic of 2008 sent financial markets into turmoil and launched what looks like the worst global recession in decades, talk of American decline was omnipresent. In the long term, the United States faces the rise of Asia and the looming fiscal problems posed by Medicare and other entitlement programs. In the short term, there is a sense that, after eight years of George W. Bush, the world, full of disdain for our way of life, seems to be spinning out of our--and perhaps anybody's--control. The financial panic simply brought all that simmering anxiety to a boil, and the consensus now seems to be that the United States isn't just in danger of decline, but in the full throes of it--the beginning of a "post-American" world. Perhaps--but the long history of capitalism suggests another possibility. After all, capitalism has seen a steady procession of economic crises and panics, from the seventeenth-century Tulip Bubble in the Netherlands and the Stop of the Exchequer under Charles II in England through the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles of the early eighteenth century, on through the crises associated with the Napoleonic wars and the spectacular economic crashes that repeatedly wrought havoc and devastation to millions throughout the nineteenth century. The panics of 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, and 1907 were especially severe, culminating in the Great Crash of 1929, which set off a depression that would not end until World War II. The series of crises continued after the war, and the last generation has seen the Penn Central bankruptcy in 1970, the first Arab oil crisis of 1973, the Third World debt crisis of 1982, the S&L crisis, the Asian crisis of 1997, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001, and today's global financial meltdown. And yet, this relentless series of crises has not disrupted the rise of a global capitalist system, centered first on the power of the United Kingdom and then, since World War II, on the power of the United States. After more than 300 years, it seems reasonable to conclude that financial and economic crises do not, by themselves, threaten either the international capitalist system or the special role within it of leading capitalist powers like the United Kingdom and the United States. If anything, the opposite seems true--that financial crises in some way sustain Anglophone power and capitalist development. Indeed, many critics of both capitalism and the "Anglo-Saxons" who practice it so aggressively have pointed to what seems to be a perverse relationship between such crises and the consolidation of the "core" capitalist economies against the impoverished periphery. Marx noted that financial crises remorselessly crushed weaker companies, allowing the most successful and ruthless capitalists to cement their domination of the system. For dependency theorists like Raul Prebisch, crises served a similar function in the international system, helping stronger countries marginalize and impoverish developing ones. Setting aside the flaws in both these overarching theories of capitalism, this analysis of economic crises is fundamentally sound--and especially relevant to the current meltdown. Cataloguing the early losses from the financial crisis, it's hard not to conclude that the central capitalist nations will weather the storm far better than those not so central. Emerging markets have been hit harder by the financial crisis than developed ones as investors around the world seek the safe haven provided by U.S. Treasury bills, and commodity-producing economies have suffered extraordinary shocks as commodity prices crashed from their record, boom-time highs. Countries like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, which hoped to use oil revenue to mount a serious political challenge to American power and the existing world order, face serious new constraints. Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must now spend less time planning big international moves and think a little bit harder about domestic stability. Far from being the last nail in America's coffin, the financial crisis may actually resuscitate U.S. power relative to its rivals The biggest loser of the financial crisis thus far seems to have been Russia, a country that stormed into 2008 breathing fire and boasting of its renewed great-power status. After years of military decline, it put its strategic bombers back in the air; sent its fleet to the Caribbean; and reintroduced displays of martial power to Kremlin parades. Petrodollars filled government coffers, and political dissent at home had largely disappeared. Russia's troubles had been eased by the effective suppression of the Chechen insurgency, while America's troubles remained severe, with the U.S. military mired in two wars. When its troops invaded Georgia, Russia seemed once again to be acting like a great power--and not a very nice one. Immediate dedev fails & only creates chaos – at least two decades are necessary Ted Trainer, lecturer in the School of Social Work, University of New South Wales, March 2000, Democracy and Nature, Vol. 6, No. 1, “Where are we, where do we want to be, how do we get there?” http://www.democracynature.org/dn/vol6/trainer_where.htm If there is a boom we in the Eco-village Movement should welcome it, through gritted teeth, because it will give us the time we desperately need. The last thing we want is a collapse of the system in the immediate future. We are far from ready. Hardly any of the hundreds of millions of people who live in rich world cities have any idea of an alternative to the consumer way and their settlements have no provision for anything but maximising the throughput of resources. By all means let’s have a collapse a little later, but the prospects for The Simpler Way depend greatly on how extensively the concept can be established before the mainstream runs into serious trouble. We need at least two more decades to build the understanding, and the most effective way to do that is by developing examples. Capitalism incentivizes peace—outweighs all other factors Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Nov 10, 2005 [Doug, Spreading Capitalism is Good for Peace, http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5193] But World War I demonstrated that increased trade was not enough. The prospect of economic ruin did not prevent rampant nationalism, ethnic hatred, and security fears from trumping the power of markets. An even greater conflict followed a generation later. Thankfully, World War II left war essentially unthinkable among leading industrialized - and democratic - states. Support grew for the argument, going back to Immanual Kant, that republics are less warlike than other systems. Today's corollary is that creating democracies out of dictatorships will reduce conflict. This contention animated some support outside as well as inside the United States for the invasion of Iraq. But Gartzke argues that "the 'democratic peace' is a mirage created by the overlap between economic and political freedom." That is, democracies typically have freer economies than do authoritarian states. Thus, while "democracy is desirable for many reasons," he notes in a chapter in the latest volume of Economic Freedom in the World, created by the Fraser Institute, "representative governments are unlikely to contribute directly to international peace." Capitalism is by far the more important factor. The shift from statist mercantilism to high-tech capitalism has transformed the economics behind war. Markets generate economic opportunities that make war less desirable. Territorial aggrandizement no longer provides the best path to riches. Free-flowing capital markets and other aspects of globalization simultaneously draw nations together and raise the economic price of military conflict. Moreover, sanctions, which interfere with economic prosperity, provides a coercive step short of war to achieve foreign policy ends. Positive economic trends are not enough to prevent war, but then, neither is democracy. It long has been obvious that democracies are willing to fight, just usually not each other. Contends Gartzke, "liberal political systems, in and of themselves, have no impact on whether states fight." In particular, poorer democracies perform like non-democracies. He explains: "Democracy does not have a measurable impact, while nations with very low levels of economic freedom are 14 times more prone to conflict than those with very high levels." Gartzke considers other variables, including alliance memberships, nuclear deterrence, and regional differences. Although the causes of conflict vary, the relationship between economic liberty and peace remains. Their Scarcity arguments are unqualified, biased and just wrong- 5 reasons Jerry Taylor, Cato Natural Resource Studies Director, 02 [“Sustainable Development: A Dubious Solution in Search of a Problem,” August 26, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa449.pdf] If resources are growing more abundant while the concentration of pollutants in air sheds and watersheds continues to decline, how can we explain the proliferation of various stylized sustainability indices that point to a deterioration of the planet’s resource base? There are five common weaknesses with such reports. First, they are almost always built upon a selective but fundamentally arbitrary or irrelevant set of indicators. Second, they are often built not upon actual resource data but upon hypotheses or theories about resource health that do not comport with the data or that rest upon highly suspect data fundamentally inconsistent with the larger data sets available to analysts. Third, they ignore the well-documented propensity of capitalist societies to create and invent new resources when old resources become relatively more scarce (that is, they assume that resources are fixed and finite when they are not). Fourth, they are highly aggregated and often subjective calculations of data sets that lack common denominators. Finally, they are frequently heavily biased by ideological assumptions about politics and government action. Accordingly, they provide little help to policy analysts or political leaders. Transition Wars Perry Anderson, Professor of Sociology at UCLA, Marxist Scholar, ’84 (In the tracks of historical materialism, p. 102-103) That background also indicates, however, what is essentially missing from his work. How are we to get from where we are today to where he point us to tomorrow? There is no answer to this question in Nove. His halting discussion of “transition” tails away into apprehensive admonitions to moderation to the British Labor Party, and pleas for proper compensation to capitalist owners of major industries, if these are to be nationalized. Nowhere is there any sense of what a titanic political change would have to occur, with what fierceness of social struggle, for the economic model of socialism he advocates ever to materialize. Between the radicalism of the future end-state he envisages, and the conservatism of the present measures he is prepared to countenance, there is an unbridgeable abyss. How could private ownership of the means of production ever be abolished by policies less disrespectful of capital than those of Allende or a Benn, which he reproves? What has disappeared from the pages of The Economics of Feasible Socialism is virtually all attention to the historical dynamics of any serious conflict over the control of the means of production, as the record of the 20th century demonstrates them. If capital could visit such destruction on even so poor and small an outlying province of its empire in Vietnam, to prevent its loss, is it likely that it would suffer its extinction meekly in its own homeland? The lessons of the past sixty- five years or so are in this respect without ambiguity or exception, there is no case, from Russia to China, from Vietnam to Cuba, from Chile to Nicaragua, where the existence of capitalism has been challenged, and the furies of intervention, blockade and civil strife have not descended in response. Any viable transition to socialism in the West must seek to curtail that pattern: but to shrink from or to ignore it is to depart from the world of the possible altogether. In the same way, to construct an economic model of socialism in one advanced country is a legitimate exercise: but to extract it from any computable relationship with a surrounding, and necessarily opposing, capitalist environment—as this work does—is to locate it in thin air Decline in growth collapses global democracy Samuel P. Huntington, former director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard, University Professor and Chairman of the Harvard Academy of International and Area Studies, 1991, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, netLibrary, p. 293 (2) More specifically, a general international economic collapse on the 1929–30 model could undermine the legitimacy of democracy in many countries. Most democracies did survive the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet some succumbed and presumably some would be likely to succumb in response to a comparable economic disaster in the future. (3) A shift to authoritarianism by any democratic or democratizing great power could trigger similar snowballing actions in other countries. A reversal of course in the direction of authoritarianism in Russia or the Soviet Union would have unsettling effects on democratization in other Soviet republics, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Mongolia, and possibly in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. It could send a message to would-be despots elsewhere: "You too can go back into business." The establishment of an authoritarian regime in India could have a significant demonstration effect on other Third World countries. (4) Even if a major country did not revert to authoritarianism, the shift to dictatorship by several newly democratic countries because they lacked many of the usual preconditions for democracy could possibly undermine democracy in other countries where those preconditions were strong. This would be reverse snowballing. Extinction Diamond, 95 – professor, lecturer, adviser, and author on foreign policy, foreign aid, and democracy (Larry, “Promoting Democracy in the 1990s: Actors and instruments, issues and imperatives : a report to the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict”, December 1995, http://wwics.si.edu/subsites/ccpdc/pubs/di/di.htm) This hardly exhausts the lists of threats to our security and well-being in the coming years and decades. In the former Yugoslavia nationalist aggression tears at the stability of Europe and could easily spread. The flow of illegal drugs intensifies through increasingly powerful international crime syndicates that have made common cause with authoritarian regimes and have utterly corrupted the institutions of tenuous, democratic ones. Nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons continue to proliferate. The very source of life on Earth, the global ecosystem, appears increasingly endangered. Most of these new and unconventional threats to security are associated with or aggravated by the weakness or absence of democracy, with its provisions for legality, accountability, popular sovereignty, and openness. Warming Green tech exports solve Chinese economy- that’s Kammen Nuclear war. Tom Plate, East Asia Expert, Adjunct. Prof. Communications @ UCLA, 6/28/’3 (Strait Times, l/n) But imagine a China disintegrating- on its own, without neo-conservative or Central Intelligence Agency prompting, much less outright military invasion because the economy (against all predictions) suddenly collapses. That would knock Asia into chaos. A massive flood of refugees would head for Indonesia and other places with poor border controls, which don’t’ want them and cant handle them; some in Japan might lick their lips at the prospect of World War II revisited and look to annex a slice of China. That would send Singapore and Malaysia- once occupied by Japan- into nervous breakdowns. Meanwhile, India might make a grab for Tibet, and Pakistan for Kashmir. Then you can say hello to World War III, Asia style. That’s why wise policy encourages Chinese stability, security and economic growth – the very direction the White House now seems to prefer. AT: Waivers CP CP can’t solve labor mobility- this guts solvency and causes wage depression Fitz, 09 (Marshall, Center For American Progress, Director of Immigration Policy at American Progress, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, key legislative strategists in support of CIR and has served as a media spokesperson on a broad array of immigration policy and legislative issues, quoted extensively across spectrum of international, national, presented at national conferences and universities on immigration matters, advised numerous members of Congress on immigration, helped draft major legislation, Prosperous Immigrants, Prosperous Americans, How to Welcome the World’s Best Educated,Boost Economic Growth, and Create Jobs, December 2009) Other elements of the employment-based immigration system can also warp the labor market. A primary concern rests in the potential for a sponsoring employer to exert disproportionate leverage over foreign workers. When a worker is bound to a single employer, it affects other similarly situated workers employed by the same employer or competitors. As noted Princeton Economist Alan Krueger has written: “Job shopping is an essential protection against exploitation and inefficient allocation of resource…If [temporary workers] do not have the opportunity to change jobs with minimal administrative burden, other workers in the U.S. will potentially suffer because employers will have some scope to exploit guest workers and lower labor conditions more generally.”28 If an employer is able to significantly constrain a worker from exercising his or her rights or competing for the best job opportunit, it creates an advantage for the employer. As noted above, the different visa categories carry different restrictions. Some employment visas permit more job mobility than others, but for the most part, a foreign worker is tied to a single employer until he or she receives legal permanent residence. For example, an employer must sponsor a foreign worker on an H-1B visa to work in a specific position at a specific salary. In order for that worker to change jobs within the company, the employer must file a new H-1B petition with the government authorizing the change of position. In order for that worker to change employers, he or she must wait until the new employer files a petition on his or her behalf. Two factors diminish the foreign worker’s mobility. First is the requirement that visa holders maintain their immigration status or be subject to long-term repercussions, including in some cases bars on re-entering the United States. An H-1B visa holder who quits his or her job or is terminated must secure immediate sponsorship from a new employer or risk falling out of status. If he or she fails to secure such sponsorship and does not leave in timely fashion, a subsequent petition filed by a new employer will be denied and other consequences may attach. In short, H-1B visa holders remain tied to their employers unless and until a new employer files a petition. This diminishes visa holders’ ability to assert their rights by walking away from an abusive employer. This is not a problem in most circumstances because most employers are not abusive and most workers will not leave a current job until a new one is lined up. But the extra steps that are required to obtain new sponsorship and the interim limitations on mobility do establish a dynamic in which employers possess greater influence over their employees than in traditional “at will” employment situations. That dynamic in turn hurts all workers and undermines employer competitiveness. The second feature of the current system that diminishes worker mobility is the general requirement that an employer sponsor a foreign worker for permanent residence. The sponsorship process can take years because of the disparity between the number of temporary and permanent visas available annually. And in most cases, if the worker leaves to join another employer, he or she must start the green card process all over again. This lengthy process accords the employer another axis of leverage over the worker. The most obvious concern is that an unscrupulous employer can exert excessive control over the visa holder by lording permanent residence over his or her head. But even in the normal course, the inability to freely change employers—or even jobs with the same employer— and maximize earning potential during that time can have a depressing wage effect. There is also evidence that this overly cumbersome process discourages immigration among the talented foreigners who have the most potential for scientific breakthroughs. The United States has had many successes among its foreign-born scientists, but it is alarming that foreign enrollment in graduate sciences and engineering has dropped 20 percent from 2001-2004, and foreign graduate students are increasingly faced with a harder and more expensive road to staying in the United States.29 Wage depression causes protectionism Bloomberg, 09 (Patrick Rial, U.S. Debt Crisis May Cause ‘Fall of Rome’ Scenario, Duncan Says, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aJ6jnKWHrQgI) Falling Wages U.S. workers are now likely to face declining wages and that may create a political backlash against free-trade policies, he said. The nation’s jobless rate jumped to a 26-year high of 9.7 percent in August, while wages logged a 2.6 percent increase from the previous year. “As unemployment remains above 10 percent well into the foreseeable future, it won’t be long before Americans start voting for protectionism,” Duncan said. “That’s going to be bad because protectionism will mean world trade will diminish and will overall reduce global prosperity.” Protectionism causes extinction Vincent Miller, founder and President of the International Society for Individual Liberty, and James Elwood, ISIL Vice-President, 1988, “Free Trade or Protectionism?”, http://www.isil.org/resources/lit/free-trade-protectionism.html TRADE WARS: BOTH SIDES LOSE When the government of Country "A" puts up trade barriers against the goods of Country "B", the government of Country "B" will naturally retaliate by erecting trade barriers against the goods of Country "A". The result? A trade war in which both sides lose. But all too often a depressed economy is not the only negative outcome of a trade war . . . WHEN GOODS DON'T CROSS BORDERS, ARMIES OFTEN DO History is not lacking in examples of cold trade wars escalating into hot shooting wars: Europe suffered from almost non-stop wars during the 17th and 18th centuries, when restrictive trade policy (mercantilism) was the rule; rival governments fought each other to expand their empires and to exploit captive markets. British tariffs provoked the American colonists to revolution, and later the Northern-dominated US government imposed restrictions on Southern cotton exports - a major factor leading to the American Civil War. In the late 19th Century, after a half century of general free trade (which brought a half-century of peace), short-sighted politicians throughout Europe again began erecting trade barriers. Hostilities built up until they eventually exploded into World War I. In 1930, facing only a mild recession, US President Hoover ignored warning pleas in a petition by 1028 prominent economists and signed the notorious Smoot-Hawley Act, which raised some tariffs to 100% levels. Within a year, over 25 other governments had retaliated by passing similar laws. The result? World trade came to a grinding halt, and the entire world was plunged into the "Great Depression" for the rest of the decade. The depression in turn led to World War II. THE #1 DANGER TO WORLD PEACE The world enjoyed its greatest economic growth during the relatively free trade period of 1945-1970, a period that also saw no major wars. Yet we again see trade barriers being raised around the world by short-sighted politicians. Will the world again end up in a shooting war as a result of these economically-deranged policies? Can we afford to allow this to happen in the nuclear age? "What generates war is the economic philosophy of nationalism: embargoes, trade and foreign exchange controls, monetary devaluation, etc. The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war." Ludwig von Mises Only the plan solves export control regulations- that’s Key Leech, 10 (Seth Leech, Professor Of Immigration Law at Albany Law School, International Trade And Business lawyer and Partner at Whitman Osterman & Hanna LLP, and EmmaGreenwood, JD from Oxford University and Exchange Visitor at the Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP firm, 2010, “Keeping America Competitive: A Proposal to Eliminate the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Quota,” 3. Alb. Gov’t L. Rev., HeinOnline) The major problem faced by U.S. companies as a result of the EB immigrant visa backlogs is that many current and future employees are being deterred from working in the United States.82 The cost of sponsoring an employee visa is very high, and is made more onerous by the length of the process, which necessitates repeat expenses of visa renewals and other necessary applications.83 Many professionals are subject to export control regulations until they receive their green cards. 84 This prevents employing companies from reaping the benefits that the employee could provide. Under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), releasing85 restricted software or technology to a foreign national is deemed an export to the foreign national’s home country, subjecting such release to any licensing requirement that would apply to an actual transfer to that country.86 In order for companies to ensure that they are not in violation and to mitigate sanctions if an unintentional violation occurs, they are encouraged to adopt far-reaching and potentially expensive compliance programs.87 These protective measures isolate foreign nationals, which may significantly diminish their contributions to a company by preventing them from working on certain projects or by limiting their work to very specific tasks without providing much context for the work. This inhibits innovation and increases company costs. It is outside the scope of this article to examine this exceptionally complex area of law in greater detail, but it is pertinent to note that the regulations affect not only companies which are directly involved in industries such as military defense, but also those involved in medicine, agriculture, biology, chemistry, and computer science.88 The cost commitment of the company to its employees’ immigration processes can be burdensome during the wait for a visa number to become available. Although the employer is only required to pay for the labor certification stage of the process, 89 most employers cover the entire cost of obtaining a green card as an employee benefit.90 Often, an employer’s willingness to pay for the green card and other visa processes is a key factor at the time of offer in whether the potential foreign employee will take the job. Such employers may find themselves paying thousands in advertising fees and attorney fees to prosecute a successful PERM91 labor certification application. This is followed by significant government fees for both the immigrant visa petition, and then for each of the primary immigrant’s family members in the Adjustment of Status.92Though these fees would be incurred even in the absence of visa caps, they are significantly increased as a consequence of the backlog Federal agencies- green cards are key to getting high skilled immigrants employed in federal agencies- these agencies are crucial to innovation- that’s Pearson and Yang That’s key especially to solve green energy ScienceProgress, 10 (DOE Leads Federal Funding for a Regional Innovation Cluster, http://www.scienceprogress.org/2010/02/doe-regional-innovation-cluster/) The Department of Energy today drew upon the recommendations of an Obama administration-wide effort to boost regional economic development, announcing that DOE would team up with six other federal agencies to create an energy-related regional innovation cluster dedicated to developing and commercializing new building efficiency technologies. The other agencies joining the effort are the Small Business Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Departments of Labor and Education, and the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The key feature of the proposal unveiled today is that these seven federal agencies will seek bids from regional economies around the country, requiring a “bottom up” self-organizing effort by states and localities, universities and federal research labs, workforce development agencies and the private sector. This was one of the key recommendations in our paper, “The Geography of Innovation,” and is widely regarded among economic development experts and innovation gurus as the best way to build regional innovation clusters in the United States. Capitalizing on our country’s unique regional science and technology strengths, entrepreneurial flair and strong work ethic, targeted federal funds will help these regional clusters self organize and compete on a global scale. The Center for American Progress is at the forefront of the push to create more energy-efficient buildings and the new green jobs to do the retrofitting and weatherization work, presenting a variety of policy initiatives to the administration and Congress. These efforts, in tandem with a soon-to-be-recognized-and-funded regional innovation cluster dedicated to the same technologies and workforce development objectives, are an important way for the U.S. economy to grow and thrive on the back of 21st century innovation technologies. AT: Sovereignty K Alt doesn’t solve the case- Extinction outweighs Joseph S. Nye, Jr., professor of government at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, former chair of the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 19 86, Nuclear Ethics, p. 65 The equal access approach assumes that each generation would wish to make the tradeoffs for themselves. The current generation cannot avoid imposing some risks upon the future. As Derek Parfit argues, the risk does not do injustice to identifiable persons, since they do not yet exist. Later the harm may become real. Nonetheless, if the risks are kept low and values are successfully preserved, the gamble benefits a next generation, who then make their own decisions about risks and benefits to be passed on to further generations. Keeping risks to the survival of the species at a low level is essential to a sense of proportionality. Survival is not an absolute value, but it is important because it is a necessary condition for the enjoyment of other values. The loss of political values may (or may not) be reversed with the passage of time. The extinction of the species would be irreversible. Thus proportionality requires that we rate survival very highly, but it does not require the absence of all risk. Proportionality in risks is easier to judge if we think in terms of passing the future to our children and letting them do the same for their children rather than trying to aggregate the interests of centuries of unknown (and perhaps nonexistant) people at this time. While the contemplation of species extinction—or what Schell calls “double death”—may reduce the meaning of life to some people in the current generation, that is a value to be judged against others in assessing the risks that are worth running for this generation. It is not a cause of injustice to a future generation. Public policy debates about immigration key to preventing political hawks from taking over – the impact is dehumanization Williams, Huffington Post, ‘6 (Byron, May 9, “Immigration Frenzy Points Out Need for Policy Debate” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/byron-williams/immigration-frenzy-points_b_20717.html) As emotions flare on both sides of the immigration debate it has morphed into "Immigration a la King." But unlike my father's mysterious concoction, the ingredients are well known. It consists of one part legitimate public policy, one part ethnocentrism, and one part political pandering . There is no doubting we need a legitimate public policy conversation around illegal immigration. The porous nature of America's borders coupled with the post 9/11 climate does warrant national concern. If, however, we remove the legitimate public policy aspect, what's left? What's left is ugly, reactionary fear-based hatred symbolizing America at its worst. With 9/11 approaching its 5th anniversary, why are we just getting around to dealing with immigration? Like a wounded, cornered animal, the Republican-led Congress and the president conveniently fan the flames of one of America's greatest tragedies, resurfacing fear, in order to gain short-term political points. It is hard to embrace the concept that at this late date the administration and Congress are worried about Al Qaeda members coming across the border in man made tunnels or in the back of trucks when you consider the 9/11 attackers entered the country legally. They have successfully created a climate where vigilantes known as the Minutemen--who do a disservice to the brave individuals who fought during the Revolutionary War by embracing the name--are viewed as patriotic by taking the law into their own hands allegedly protecting American's borders. How many poor white southerners willingly accepted a death sentence by fighting for the Confederacy to protect a "southern way of life" in which they did not participate? They were seductively lured, in part, by the notion that all hell would break loose if emancipated African slaves were elevated to their same impoverished status. The ethnocentrism and political pandering has sadly infected parts of the African American community. If one removes the veil of objecting to the comparisons between the civil right movement and Hispanic immigration demonstrations, which a number of African Americans hide behind, they would discover the same fear that plagues the dominant culture. This does not dismiss the obvious concerns about the plight of low-skilled African Americans who find themselves competing with immigrants for certain entry-level employment. But again, this is part of the much needed public policy debate that is submerged under the current political frenzy. Freely throwing around words such "illegal" and "Al Qaeda" opens the door to dehumanization. And once an individual has been dehumanized that individual can be taken advantage of. Even those who compassionately advocate for a guest worker program, forget that the last such program that existed on a large scale in this country was struck down by Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1863. There are legitimate concerns on both sides of this issue. But history has shown us there is something wrong when marginalized groups are systematically pitted against each other. For all of the cries to protect the borders and the loss of job opportunities for low- skilled Americans, I doubt there would be 11 million undocumented individuals in the country if no one was hiring. There can be no legitimate immigration debate that does not hold the business community equally accountable for hiring undocumented individuals while paying less than a living wage. Each individual must come to his or her decision as to how they feel about immigration. But the only way to have an authentic policy is to have an authentic policy debate--one that does not include the unnecessary ingredients that ultimately lead to dehumanization. Democracies check Dickinson, History Prof. @ U-Cincy with a PHD from Berkely, 2004 p. online Edward Ross, Central European History vol. 37 no. 1 ) In short, the continuities between early twentieth-century biopolitical discourse and the practices of the welfare state in our own time are unmistakable. Both are instances of the “disciplinary society” and of biopolitical, regulatory, social-engineering modernity, and they share that genealogy with more authoritarian states, including the National Socialist state, but also fascist Italy, for example. And it is certainly fruitful to view them from this very broad perspective. But that analysis can easily become superficial and misleading, because it obfuscates the profoundly different strategic and local dynamics of power in the two kinds of regimes. Clearly the democratic welfare state is not only formally but also substantively quite different from totalitarianism. Above all, again, it has nowhere developed the fateful, radicalizing dynamic that characterized National Socialism (or for that matter Stalinism), the psychotic logic that leads from economistic population management to mass murder. Again, there is always the potential for such a discursive regime to generate coercive policies. In those cases in which the regime of rights does not successfully produce “health,” such a system can —and historically does— create compulsory programs to enforce it. But again, there are political and policy potentials and constraints in such a structuring of biopolitics that are very different from those of National Socialist Germany. Democratic biopolitical regimes require, enable, and incite a degree of self-direction and participation that is functionally incompatible with authoritarian or totalitarian structures. And this pursuit of biopolitical ends through a regime of democratic citizenship does appear, historically, to have imposed increasingly narrow limits on coercive policies, and to have generated a “logic” or imperative of increasing liberalization. Despite limitations imposed by political context and the slow pace of discursive change, I think this is the unmistakable message of the really very impressive waves of legislative and welfare reforms in the 1920s or the 1970s in Germany.90 Of course it is not yet clear whether this is an irreversible dynamic of such systems. Nevertheless, such regimes are characterized by sufficient degrees of autonomy (and of the potential for its expansion) for sufficient numbers of people that I think it becomes useful to conceive of them as productive of a strategic configuration of power relations that might fruitfully be analyzed as a condition of “liberty,” just as much as they are productive of constraint, oppression, or manipulation. At the very least, totalitarianism cannot be the sole orientation point for our understanding of biopolitics, the only end point of the logic of social engineering. This notion is not at all at odds with the core of Foucauldian (and Peukertian) theory. Democratic welfare states are regimes of power/knowledge no less than early twentieth-century totalitarian states; these systems are not “opposites,” in the sense that they are two concept “power” should not be read as a universal stifling night alternative ways of organizing the same thing. But they are two very different ways of organizing it. The of oppression manipulation, and entrapment, in which all political and social orders are grey, are essentially or effectively “the same.” Power is a set of social relations, in which individuals and groups have varying degrees of autonomy and effective subjectivity. And discourse is, as Foucault argued, “tactically polyvalent.” Discursive elements (like the various elements of biopolitics) can be combined in different ways to form parts of quite different strategies (like totalitarianism or the democratic welfare state ); they cannot be assigned to one place in a structure, but rather circulate. The varying possible constellations of power in modern societies create “multiple modernities,” modern societies with quite radically differing potentials.91 The alt fails- global actions is key George Monbiot, journalist, academic, and political and environmental activist, 2004, Manifesto for a New World Order, p. 11-13 The quest for global solutions is difficult and divisive. Some members of this movement are deeply suspicious of all institutional power at the global level, fearing that it could never be held to account by the world’s people. Others are concerned that a single set of universal prescriptions would threaten the diversity of dissent. A smaller faction has argued that all political programmes are oppressive: our task should not be to replace one form of power with another, but to replace all power with a magical essence called ‘anti-power’. But most of the members of this movement are coming to recognize that if we propose solutions which can be effected only at the local or the national level, we remove ourselves from any meaningful role in solving precisely those problems which most concern us. Issues such as climate change, international debt, nuclear proliferation, war, peace and the balance of trade between nations can be addressed only globally or internationally. Without global measures and global institutions, it is impossible to see how we might distribute wealth from rich nations to poor ones, tax the mobile rich and their even more mobile money, control the shipment of toxic waste, sustain the ban on landmines, prevent the use of nuclear weapons, broker peace between nations or prevent powerful states from forcing weaker ones to trade on their terms. If we were to work only at the local level, we would leave these, the most critical of issues, for other people to tackle. Global governance will take place whether we participate in it or not. Indeed, it must take place if the issues which concern us are not to be resolved by the brute force of the powerful. That the international institutions have been designed or captured by the dictatorship of vested interests is not an argument against the existence of international institutions, but a reason for overthrowing them and replacing them with our own. It is an argument for a global political system which holds power to account. In the absence of an effective global politics, moreover, local solutions will always be undermined by communities of interest which do not share our vision. We might, for example, manage to persuade the people of the street in which we live to give up their cars in the hope of preventing climate change, but unless everyone, in all communities, either shares our politics or is bound by the same rules, we simply open new road space into which the neighbouring communities can expand. We might declare our neighbourhood nuclear-free, but unless we are simultaneously working, at the international level, for the abandonment of nuclear weapons, we can do nothing to prevent ourselves and everyone else from being threatened by people who are not as nice as we are. We would deprive ourselves, in other words, of the power of restraint. By first rebuilding the global politics, we establish the political space in which our local alternatives can flourish. If, by contrast, we were to leave the governance of the necessary global institutions to others, then those institutions will pick off our local, even our national, solutions one by one. There is little point in devising an alternative economic policy for your nation, as Luis Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva, now president of Brazil, once advocated, if the International Monetary Fund and the financial speculators have not first been overthrown. There is little point in fighting to protect a coral reef from local pollution, if nothing has been done to prevent climate change from destroying the conditions it requires for its survival. AT: Peace Process No peace process – neither side willing to accommodate Gelb 9/15 – President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (Leslie H, 9/15/10. “Hillary’s Dangerous Mideast Leap.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-15/hillarys-perilous-mideast-leap/) Why such confidence? Many officials tell me that neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel nor President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority came close to giving Mr. Obama any specific indications of compromise in their White House meetings two weeks ago. In other words, neither offered any concrete basis for accommodation. They spoke only of being serious and bargaining in good faith, the usual stuff. Nor did either leader push Mr. Obama into these talks; Mr. Obama pushed them. Netanyahu wasn’t eager for talks at all, and Abbas favored them only with good and prior indications of success. No peace process – Israeli settlements CSM 9/3/2010 (Christian Science Monitor. “Mideast peace talks: How can Obama push them forward?” http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2010/0903/Mideast-peace-talks-How-can-Obama-push-them-forward) One looming stumbling block Looming over the resumption of direct talks is the expiration of Israel’s partial moratorium on settlement construction, which is set for Sept. 26. Mr. Abbas says he will walk out of talks if the freeze is not extended. Most Israeli experts expect Mr. Netanyahu will decide something that will make everyone unhappy – not a full extension of the moratorium, but no complete scuttling of it, either. On the other side of the balance, some Middle East experts say that a number of factors make the environment much more conducive to progress. They list a lower level of violence, a historically low level of settlement activity, and remarkable progress by the Palestinian authorities in building the institutions of a state and in economic development. But expecting movement from the Israeli side simply because of some improvement in Palestinian governance is a recipe for disappointment, Levy says. “We’d all be tickled pink if we had an Israeli side that was just looking for a Palestinian interlocutor who would acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy, be a good manager of state institutions, and do security well,” he said, speaking with reporters Sept. 1. “But that’s not the case on the Israeli side,” he added, calling Israel a “reluctant de-occupier” with more than 500,000 citizens living on Palestinian lands who would have to be resettled. Tax cuts, nominees, DADT, Dream Act, Secret Times, 9-16 (What's Behind Warren's Weird Title, http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/09/16/whats-behind-warrens-weird- title/) But overcoming the inevitable GOP opposition to the nomination requires expending political capital. With the heavily laden Defense authorization bill (it has Don't Ask Don't Tell, the Dream Act and abolishing Secret Holds already on it), a continuing resolution and a tax cut vote to churn through in a matter of weeks, adding a contentious nomination fight wasn't in the cards—even if Dems could win in the end, which it's not clear they could. Economy and Midterms MMoring, 9-16 (Lashing foes,Obama takes aim at November polls, http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF- 8&q=science+diplomacy#sclient=psy&hl=en&tbs=nws%3A1&q=immigration+%22political+capital%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&g s_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=4cc5dfb45bcedbaf) Needing a swift reversal of fortune, with his political capital drained by the crisis, and Democratic majorities in Congress in peril, Obama launched a counter-attack on the economy and jobs in Midwestern Wisconsin. He lashed out at foes in Washington for talking about him “like a dog” and pressed his old campaign slogan “Yes, We Can” into service, to hound Republicans as obstructing the program he was elected to implement. “If I said the sky was blue, they say no. If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no,” Obama told union workers. “I personally think ‘Yes We Can,’ is more inspiring than “No we can’t”. Democrats are reeling from a bevy of opinion polls and assessments by experts showing them increasingly likely to lose their majority of the House of Representatives, and signs their grip on the Senate could even be in doubt. Should Republicans, bolstered by grass-roots backers fired up by the conservative Tea Party movement seize one or both chambers, Obama’s hopes of passing more historic legislation would likely turn to dust. Ambitious plans for a green energy economy, to tackle immigration reform and other domestic initiatives would likely founder. Obama would instead face grim political trench warfare laced with congressional probes into his Administration, presidential vetoes and showdowns with Republicans ahead of his expected 2012 reelection bid. With time so short, with unemployment at high levels and the economy sputtering, Obama’s fate, and that of scores of Democratic lawmakers may be out of his hands. The president has argued for months that his leadership, emergency economic measures and a stimulus package worth more than 800 billion dollars staved off a repeat of the 1930s Great Depression. But with 9.6 percent unemployment stalking the land, the housing market moribund and fears of a double dip recession growing, many Americans have yet to feel any improvement in the economy. Democrats had hoped that by now, growth would be speeding up and they would get credit for charting the route out of a crisis they never tire of reminding voters was bequeathed by ex-President George W. Bush. But after signs of hope in both jobs and economic growth earlier in the year, the rate of the rebound has slowed, with the government slashing second quarter growth figures to 1.6 percent in the second quarter. Obama admitted last Monday, that the economy was not creating jobs as quickly as anyone hoped -- the unemployment rate edged up to 9.6 percent last month -- and announced a 50-billion-dollar transportation building plan to spur employment. His personal political ratings have also taken a hit -- and are below 50 percent in most surveys -- dangerous territory for first-term presidents, who are traditionally rebuked by voters in mid-term elections. Paradoxically, given his parlous political position, it is easy to overlook the fact that Obama can lay claim to being one of the most successful presidents of recent memory -- in terms of legislation passed. He secured historic health care reform, which had evaded Democratic presidents for decades, rescued the car industry with a government intervention and engineered a landmark financial industry reform. Yet polls show the health reform law remains unpopular, as voters fixate on their economic plight and measures designed to ease the cost of treatment may not be felt by most people for years. Worse, the huge government intervention in the crisis-riddled economy allowed Republicans an easy line of attack to play on the ingrained American distrust of big government. With all 435 House seats and 37 of 100 Senate spots in contention, as well as state legislatures and key governorships, what’s at stake is nothing less than the future of Obama’s agenda. Several respected analysts now forecast Republicans could win more than the 39 seats they need to capture the House and fall just short in the Senate, after a brutal summer for Democrats. In Milwaukee Obama pledged 50 billion dollars to create jobs in a massive transportation infrastructure campaign, targeting widespread unemployment and ripping resurgent Republicans. Obama, under intense pressure to stimulate the sputtering economy ahead of the elections, announced the new funding to rebuild roads, railways and airports at a Labor Day rally Monday with union workers in the state of Wisconsin, where the crisis has hit hard. Opposition Republicans, seeking to wrest control of both chambers of Congress from Democrats, immediately condemned Obama’s plan, signaling no let up to obstructive tactics which have slowed his presidency. “A last-minute, cobbled-together stimulus bill with more than 50 billion dollars in new tax hikes will not reverse the complete lack of confidence Americans have in Washington Democrats’ ability to help this economy”, said Senate Minority Leader Mitchell McConnell. And Arizona Senator John McCain dismissed the proposals as too little, too late and a desperate ploy calculated to soften the impact of the struggling economy on the midterms. John Boehner, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, sought to link the new plan to Obama’s previous stimulus package worth around 800 billion dollars, which critics say has failed to revive the economy. “If we’ve learned anything from the past 18 months, it’s that we can’t spend our way to prosperity”, said Boehner. Obama, however, sought to convince voters that if they captured Congress, Republicans would return to the age of a reckless Wall Street, tax cuts for the rich and the lax regulation that provoked the crisis. “I want it [the economy] to be stronger than it was before. And over the last two years, that’s been taking on some powerful interests”, Obama told the crowd in Milwaukee, the largest city in the Midwestern state. “Some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time and they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog”, he said. “They’re betting that between now and November, you’ll come down with amnesia”, Obama said. “They think you’re going to forget what their agenda did to this country”. The overall plan targets improvements to the US air traffic control system, an acceleration of high-speed rail projects, and establishes an “Infrastructure Bank” to coordinate federal funding and planning for projects. It calls for the rebuilding or restoring of 150,000 miles (240,000 kilometers) of roads; adding 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) of rail and renewing 150 miles (240 kilometers) of runway. Last Wednesday, Obama headed to another struggling state, Ohio, where he unveiled another plank of his revised economic strategy: a series of tax breaks for small businesses worth 100 billion dollars. “This will not only create jobs immediately, but will make our economy run better over the long haul”, Obama said on a public holiday two months before congressional polls which Democrats fear could bring them heavy losses. “It’s a plan that says even in the aftermath of the worst recession in our lifetimes, America can still shape our own destiny”. The White House called on Republicans to support swift passage of the measure, which would “front-load” 50 billion dollars of money as the first part of a broader effort to reauthorize transportation funding over six years. It appeared highly uncertain whether legislation of such size and cost could pass in the month or so before lawmakers leave Washington to campaign for the November 2 election, as polls predict big Republican gains. Even if a bill is passed, a big assumption in the current febrile election season when conservative Democrats have also turned against extra spending, it was unclear how quickly funds could begin putting people to work. Obama’s new job push comes after a Labor Department report showed the unemployment rate edging up to 9.6 percent. Administration officials earlier said the program would create new construction jobs in 2011, though the president said its impact would be felt “immediately”. “We used to have the best infrastructure in the world”, Obama said. “We can have it again. We are going to make it happen”. Obama continued his offensive in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday. He admitted some of his policies were unpopular and had not revived the economy quickly enough, but sought to rekindle his frayed bond with American voters. “It’s still fear versus hope, the past versus the future”, Obama said in economically bereft Ohio, pleading with voters to choose “moving forward” with him, rather than “sliding backward” with Republicans. Obama, seeking to reframe the political debate ahead of the elections, derided his foes for pitching the economy into a historic crisis, and “moralizing” about the ballooning deficit. But he also sought to portray humility, steadfastness, and renewed inspiration, apparently reaching out to independent voters who have deserted him, even offering praise for conservative hero, ex-president Ronald Reagan. “Making up for eight million lost jobs caused by this recession won’t happen overnight”, Obama said, bemoaning the “painfully slow” recovery and acknowledging people are “angry and anxious about the future”. “Not everything we’ve done over the last two years has worked as quickly as we had hoped, and I am keenly aware that not all our policies have been popular”, Obama said. But he added: “you did not elect me to avoid big problems. You elected me to do what’s right”. Obama detailed a series of tax breaks and new government spending programs some of which Republicans have supported in the past, to tackle the jobs crisis, daring his foes to oppose them, and risk being accused of hypocrisy. The visit to Ohio, an electorally crucial state, came during a week when Obama is firing up his political machine, ahead of November 2 polls in which Republicans hope to Congress and halt his reform agenda. His speech was a carefully constructed riposte to critics of the style and the content of leadership, Obama-style, and a laceration of the obstruction tactics of Republican leaders in Washington. For example, some commentators and critics brand Obama aloof from economic agony of many Americans. So the president delved more deeply into his family history than usual, remembered the grandparents and single Mom who brought him up, and the father of his wife Michelle who went to work despite Multiple Sclerosis. “It’s what led me to run for president -- because I don’t believe we can have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class”, he said. Obama’s appearance in Cleveland was a personal challenge to Republican House of Representatives leader John Boehner, who used a recent visit to the city to demand the president sack his top economic aides. “There were no new policies from Mr Boehner, there were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy... that led to this mess in the first place”. “In a political campaign, the easiest thing for the other side to do is ride this fear and anger all the way to Election Day. “That’s what happening now”. The plan Obama laid out on Wednesday meanwhile faces an uncertain fate in Congress with lawmakers fixated on their own political skins, but includes a number of new measures including: -- A new plan to let companies fully deduct the cost of investments in equipment for their business from their tax bill. This largest-ever temporary investment incentive in US history would accelerate 200 billion dollars in tax cuts over the next two years -- most of which would eventually be paid back. -- A proposal to expand a research and experimentation tax credit for businesses by 20 percent, a program worth about 100 billion dollars over 10 years. -- He also highlighted a plan he unveiled in Wisconsin last Monday, for an immediate 50-billion-dollar jump-start investment designed to create jobs in repairing roads, railways and airport infrastructure. Boehner, a conservative Ohio Republican with a colorful turn of phrase, is eyeing the speaker’s chair with his party tipped to grab control of the House from Democrats. In anticipation of Obama’s attack, he unveiled a two point plan for the economy, calling for an immediate spending reduction back to 2008 levels and a two-year freeze on all tax rates. And he said the Obama attacks proved Obama was on the run. “I think it shows how out of touch the White House is”, Boehner said on ABC. “Here’s the White House, worrying about what I’ve got to say instead of working together to get our economy going again and to get jobs back in America”. GRIM OUTLOOK FOR DEMOCRATS Obama’s Democratic allies insist they will defy predictions of a Republican romp that could cripple the White House’s still-ambitious agenda. “Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated”, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson declared to reporters on a conference call, scoffing at a growing chorus of warnings the party could lose control of Congress. “Let me be very clear about it: We are going to hold the House of Representatives and we are going to hold the United States Senate and we’re going to do it each district one at a time”, said Larson. But opinion polls show deep public anger at the sour economy and stubbornly high unemployment 20 months after Obama took office pledging to turn things around, and political forecasters warn Democrats will pay a stiff price. Experts note that, historically, sitting presidents have seen their party lose seats in legislative elections during their first term. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato predicts Republicans, who need 39 House seats to seize control of the chamber, could grab as many as 47, and fall just short of the 10 they need to run the Senate. Labor Unions support the plan- they’re key to the agenda Washington Independent, 10 (In Wake of Arizona Law, Labor Unites Behind Immigration Reform, SAHIL KAPUR 6/28/10 6:00 AM, http://washingtonindependent.com/88356/in-wake-of-arizona-law-labor-unites-behind-immigration-reform) For most of their history, labor unions opposed attempts at loosening immigration laws and often threw their weight behind restrictionist measures. During the most recent overhaul effort in 2007, a schism among unions cracked an otherwise willing liberal coalition and helped defeat the reform bill. But now, in the wake of Arizona’s strict and highly controversial new immigration law, labor has united to support immigration reform with unprecedented vigor. Richard Trumka, president of the 11.5-million-member AFL-CIO, gave a pivotal speech on June 18 at the City Club of Cleveland that crystallized labor’s shift in outlook. Trumka, the nation’s most powerful labor voice, made a moral and economic case for reform and pledged to “face head-on our own contradictions, hypocrisy and history on immigration.” AFL-CIO has joined forces with the 2.2-million-strong Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union to pour resources into the fight, and the three have written a joint letter to Congress detailing labor’s “unified position and unfailing commitment” to sweeping reform. Labor leaders have come to view an immigration overhaul as an opportunity rather than a threat to their interests. A large population of unlawful immigrants undercuts both the working class and the influence of unions, while legalized immigrants could be tapped to expand union membership. Likewise, joining forces with the pro- reform and growing Hispanic community can help secure the movement’s future. Labor unions’ share of the U.S. workforce has declined steadily since the 1950s, when the figure peaked at roughly one-third. Last year it was 12.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Immigrant workers are the growth sector in today’s labor movement, so they’re a big part of its future,” said Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the restrictionist, “low-immigration” Center for Immigration Studies, put it more bluntly. “Unions obviously see immigration as their only chance at future growth,” he said, “since American workers have pretty much given up on them.” A January report by the liberal Center for American Progress and Immigration Policy Center noted that a large population of unauthorized immigrants — 10 to 12 million, per most estimates — depresses wages for low-skilled jobs. Unscrupulous employers can hire and underpay unlawful workers, who have no ability to unionize or push back politically. In other words, the larger the undocumented population, the smaller the clout of organized labor. Legalizing unlawful immigrants and ensuring the rights of all workers, the CAP and IPC study concluded, would “help American workers” by “rais[ing] the ‘wage floor’ for the entire U.S. economy.” Newly naturalized workers could also give unions a boost, particularly if they view them as allies early on. “We want a strong legalization program, and we want to legalize as many workers as fast as possible,” said Ana Avendaño, director of immigration at AFL-CIO, adding that the AFL-CIO supports the creation of an “independent commission” to structure requirements for future immigration inflows based on the needs of the economy. While these undercurrents have been brewing for years, the newly galvanizing force for labor is the Arizona crackdown on illegal immigration, which requires law enforcement officials to probe the residency status of suspect individuals during lawful encounters. “Right now, the big fire that’s pushing the labor movement is what’s happening in Arizona,” said Bronfenbrenner. “It’s hurting workers all over the country.” Trumka forcefully criticized the law in his Cleveland speech as part of “a hate campaign” against “working people,” one that’s designed to “make anyone who might look like an immigrant live in fear of the police.” Civil rights groups say the law will disproportionately target Latinos — the fastest-growing U.S. demographic, and one that strongly backs an immigration overhaul. Unions are already leveraging their pro-reform stance to reach out to Hispanics — an effort that, if successful, could substantially boost their membership prospects in the long run. The battle over this issue is ongoing, as five states are currently developing similar laws to Arizona’s, and 17 more have shown interest in it, according to the think tank NDN. “We’re very concerned that Arizona is going to become the model for the United States,” Avendaño said. A sticking point for labor continues to be the expansion of the current guest worker program, the primary reason for AFL-CIO’s opposition in 2007. This business- backed clause comprises non-immigrant visas such as the H-1B, which grants skilled foreigners the temporary right to live and work in the United States. But because these short-term workers have limited job flexibility and are essentially unable to unionize, the provision has been a roadblock to labor’s goals of having a politically active workforce and protecting low-skilled domestic talent. Trumka, who calls recipients of these visas “vulnerable, indentured workers,” reiterated his union’s opposition to them in Cleveland. “We will not support the return to outdated guest worker programs that give immigrants no security, no future here in the United States, no rights and no hope of being part of the American Dream,” he said, demanding that all workers be “able to assert their legal rights, including the right to organize, without fear of retaliation.” But Avendaño declined to say whether AFL-CIO and other unions might again seek to kill reform over this provision. “It’s really hard to picture how this will end up,” she said, adding that labor “won’t support reform that puts working people in a bad position.” During the 2007 effort, dissenting progressives such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) cited the bill’s expansion of this program as a prime reason for joining all but 12 Republicans to narrowly defeat it. Labor unity on the next effort could play an important role in swinging the votes of liberals. Winners Win Green 6/11 – professor of political science at Hofstra University (David Michael Green, 6/11/10, " The Do-Nothing 44th President ", http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Do-Nothing-44th-Presid-by-David-Michael-Gree-100611-648.html) Moreover, there is a continuously evolving and reciprocal relationship between presidential boldness and achievement. In the same way that nothing breeds success like success, nothing sets the president up for achieving his or her next goal better than succeeding dramatically on the last go around. This is absolutely a matter of perception, and you can see it best in the way that Congress and especially the Washington press corps fawn over bold and intimidating presidents like Reagan and George W. Bush. The political teams surrounding these presidents understood the psychology of power all too well. They knew that by simultaneously creating a steamroller effect and feigning a clubby atmosphere for Congress and the press, they could leave such hapless hangers-on with only one remaining way to pretend to preserve their dignities. By jumping on board the freight train, they could be given the illusion of being next to power, of being part of the winning team. And so, with virtually the sole exception of the now retired Helen Thomas, this is precisely what they did. No opposition to the plan Matloff 2 (Norman, Professor of Computer Science at UC-Davis, “Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage,” Testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Question: How was the industry able to get Congress to pass the H-1B increase in 1998, given that a Harris Poll had shown that 82% of Americans opposed the increase?) The high-tech industry wields enormous, unstoppable clout on Capitol Hill and in the White House, and even in academia. In Spring 2000, a major supporter of pending legislation which would increase the H-1B quota, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), had the gall to say, “This is not a popular bill with the public. It’s popular with the CEOs...This is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money.” Rep. Davis is chair of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Then when the Senate passed the H-1B bill on October 3, 2000, even more outrageous talk came from Capitol Hill, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle: “Once it’s clear (the visa bill) is going to get through, everybody signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech,” said Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, after the vote. “There were, in fact, a whole lot of folks against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don’t want to admit that in public.” Voting neg still links- Obama still spends political capital Tech lobbys Key to getting Republicans on board Sewell, 10 (Abby Sewell, Medill News Service, Tech firms play quiet role in immigration-overhaul push, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/06/93699/tech-firms-play-quiet-role-in.html#ixzz0uoyrVX21) Advocates in the broader immigration-overhaul coalition said support from the technology industry would be key to winning the wide political backing that was necessary to give a comprehensive bill a shot at passing. "I think it is important, and in part that is because tech is one of the key business sectors that will be necessary to bring the Republican votes we will need, in the Senate, especially," said Jeanne Butterfield, a senior adviser for the National Immigration Forum, a group that advocates policies that are more welcoming toward immigrants. Technology companies make up a substantial portion of the voices that are lobbying for federal immigration revisions. Of the 288 federal lobbyist filings that had reported lobbying on immigration issues in the first quarter of the year as of Monday, an analysis shows that about 17 percent came from companies and organizations that represent the technology and engineering sectors. Others represented fields such as medicine and education, which also are interested in skilled immigrants. The people who are lobbying on behalf of the tech sector said that although their issues with the immigration system were specific, they had no plans to peel off from the broader overhaul coalition to pursue a more tailored bill. Muller said the word from Capitol Hill had been that immigration was too contentious an issue to tackle piecemeal. PROVISIONS THAT WOULD AFFECT TECH SECTOR: Green cards (legal permanent resident visas): Foreign students who graduate from U.S. schools with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics automatically would be eligible for green cards if U.S. employers offer them jobs. Fiat takes out the link- plan passage means they change their votes in support of it building political apital IEEE-USA supports the plan- they control Congress and plan solves terrorism Perroti, 07 (Dino Perroti, American Engineering Careers, Round 5: H-1B Battle: McCain, Kennedy RETREAT! IEEE-USA offers SOLUTION! March 20, 2007, http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/5208) Fearing political fallout, senior Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Kennedy (D-MA) retreated from the H-1B and Immigration Reform bill battlefield last week. The McCain/Kennedy coalition split and opted not to release the immigration reform bill they've been working on. McCain seemed frustrated with the endeavor and is also concerned about losing support from his conservative base in his bid for the Republican presidential candidacy. Conservative voters are strongly against guest worker programs which, many feel, leads to amnesty for illegal aliens. The H-1B program is not related to illegal immigration but it is growing into an equally controversal guest worker program with heavyweight opponents such as IEEE-USA, the AFL-CIO, the CWA and many others who are joining in as the immigration battle progresses. Kennedy gave up completely on developing any new ideas and has reverted to supporting the immigration reform bill version that the Senate proposed last year, an already anachronistic bill which is popular with large corporations but unpopular with the majority of voters. This is an exciting time in American history where politicians are stuck in the middle of a well-publicized tug of war between their campaign contributors and their voters. At stake is no less than control of the soul of the country. When it comes to immigration, it seems that members of congress simply cannot appease their corporate supporters without risking losing their next election. Sooner or later, both Houses will have to face the donnybrook and somehow come up with viable solutions for all parties. IEEE-USA army finds empty battlefield In the mean time, IEEE engineers arrived last week ready for a fight but found no bill to contest. Undeterred, they marched into House and Senate offices to ask for support if and when the battle begins. The engineers visited representatives from their respective states and expressed their own views as well as those of IEEE-USA, the political action arm of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IEEE-USA makes an offer they can't refute A great man once said, "If you want to solve a complex problem, throw a bunch of engineers in a room and lock the door for a few hours". Where politicians have failed, IEEE-USA has come up with a solution that should satisfy the needs of American corporations as well as American engineers. And in true American fashion, they are also standing up for the rights of foreign engineers and professionals, lobbying for a clear path to citizenship instead of guest worker programs. IEEE-USA policymakers have engineered a fair comprehensive reform solution that technology companies and politicians cannot refute. IEEE-USA turns the tables on the tech company lobbyists by adopting their own talking points. IEEE-USA argues that the best way to "bring the best and brightest to America" is through legal immigration and not through guest worker programs. They suggest expanding the EB and F-4 legal immigration visas and to reform the H-1B Guest Worker program, freezing the cap until reforms are enacted. IEEE-USA argues that tech company lobbyists are obfuscating the H-1B guest worker program with legal immigration. "Compete America", a lobbying group funded by large corporations, printed a pamphlet with a list of all the great immigrant contributors to America. It has been widely distributed to members of congress. However, the pamphlet does not contain a single guest worker. It is completely comprised of legal immigrants, like Einstein. The IEEE-USA position is much more appealing and kinder to the future scientists of America by offering them citizenship up front. The IEEE-USA proposal protects American engineers by insisting on reform and enforcement of the current H-1B program and a cap freeze until enacted. As U.S. citizens, immigrant professionals will be competing on an even playing field with current citizens. This will allow wages to rise for all, eliminating the disadvantage of competing against indentured guest workers. The IEEE-USA proposal helps foreign engineers by providing them with a clear path towards permanent citizenship, replacing an unstable atmosphere of fear created by the guest worker program. The IEEE-USA proposal helps tech companies hire the best and brightest by expanding the EB and F-4 immigration visas. With these visas, they can permanently hire and retain engineers here in America. National security is also strengthened with this proposal due to the more vigorous demands of legal immigration, whereas now, the H-1B guest worker program is considered a "rubber stamp" process which may be vulnerable to terrorism. Recent government reports conclude that the H-1B Guest Worker program is now doing the opposite of what it was intended to do. Instead of bringing in the best and brightest, it is actually expediting outsourcing by creating a revolving door for outsourcing companies such as Wipro and Infosys. Washington is run by twenty-year olds Last week, IEEE engineers ascended on Capitol Hill looking for Senate and House leaders who will honestly confront the H-1B Guest Worker program head-on. They spent their time targeting members of the Judiciary Committees in the House and Senate but spoke to any member of congress who would listen. Many engineers spoke directly to Senators and House members but most were only able to speak with staffers. Most congressional staffers are in their twenties or early thirties. They work very hard and earn next to nothing. They are continuously busy planning and conducting meetings with lobbyists and constituents as well as performing many other important functions. They are the ones doing most of the actual grunt work on Capitol Hill. You can tell by the focus in their eyes, that these are some of the best and brightest young people America has to offer. The inside joke in D.C. is that "Washington is run by twenty-year olds". Most of them appear to be doing an exemplary job though, adroitly handling multiple tasks concurrently while remaining acutely aware of proceedings around them. Fast-tracking green card is key to saving the nanotech industry- solving in the short term is key Sweeney, 08 (Statement of Eddie Sweeney Chair, Semiconductor Industry Association Semiconductor Workforce Strategy Committee, Committee on House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, June 12, 2008) The need for a U.S. innovation agenda is becoming more evident every day. Better, faster, and cheaper chips are driving increased productivity and create jobs throughout the economy. For over three decades the industry has followed Moore's Law, under which the industry has doubled the number of circuits on a single chip so that today the cost of making one million circuits is one penny. Given the ubiquity of semiconductor devices, and its central position in the U.S. economy, it is critical that the U.S. continues to lead in this technology. Yet, increasingly other nations are challenging along various points in the value chain. For example, in 2002 31 percent of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment was sold in the U.S., an indication that the U.S. was maintaining a reasonable share of leading edge semiconductor manufacturing capacity. Today, a mere five years later, only 16 percent is sold in the U.S. We are approaching a critical crossroad. The semiconductor technology advances that have enabled the information age are projected to end around 2020 as we reach the physical and other limits of our ability to pack more circuits on each semiconductor chip using current technology. At that poin t, revolutionary new nanotechnologies will be needed. The basic research discoveries on which these new technologies depend must be made today if the technologies will be available for commercialization about a decade from now. Simply put, as we approach the fundamental limits of the current technology which has driven the high tech industry, the country whose companies are first to market in the subsequent technology transition will likely lead the coming nanoelectronics era the way the U.S. has led for half a century in microelectronics . Immigration reform plays a critical role in ensuring that America earns this leadership position. With this broader context in mind, I would now like to move to the specifics of the immigration issue, focusing on three specific topics: --The critical role that immigrants play in maintaining U.S. leadership and how U.S. immigration policy is undermining our ability to compete; --SIA's work with the IEEE-USA to develop a consensus position on green card reform, and --SIA's support for the H.R. 5882, H.R. 5921, and H.R. 6039. Immigrants play a critical role in maintaining U.S. leadership, yet U.S. immigration policy undermines our ability to compete The number of foreign engineers hired by the semiconductor industry is relatively small - about 1,628 new H-1B hires (as opposed to lateral hires) in 2007. The number would, of course, be larger if the H-1B was not subject to a cap, but even in past years when the cap was substantially higher, the industry's H-1B hires were around 3,000. The relatively small numbers belie the important role that foreign workers play in the success of the semiconductor companies. Foreign nationals comprise half of the masters and 71 percent of the PhDs gradating from U.S. universities in the engineering fields needed to design and manufacture the complex circuits that are embodied in silicon chips. They play an important role in performing the research to continue to increase the density of circuits on each chip, finding ways to lower manufacturing costs, developing and launching new products, and providing applications expertise to help customers to design-in new semiconductors in their electronic systems. By lending their particular talents, our foreign employees are creating the jobs in other parts of the company such as administration and production. Since foreign workers are vital to the success of semiconductor companies, they try to incorporate them as a permanent part of the workforce. SIA's workforce committee survey found that companies are seeking permanent resident status for 97% of their HB hires . The caps on green cards are thus a major problem for the industry. The industry is currently seeking permanent residency for about 3,800 employees. About 20% of these employees were hired four or more years ago. While waiting, these employees continue to be under the restrictions of the H-1B visas program such as limitations on their ability to move or be promoted and on their spouse's ability to work. Needless to say, individuals become frustrated and some seek alternatives - either with another employer or with the same employer's offshore operations. One SIA member, LSI Corporation, reported that within the past year it had six employees leave the country based on the fact that they grew tired of the green card process, several of whom went to work for another company. Nanotech solves extinction Joy, 2K – Cofounder, chief scientist of Sun Microsystems (Bill, “Why the future doesn’t need us” Wired Magazine. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html) The many wonders of nanotechnology were first imagined by the Nobel-laureate physicist Richard Feynman in a speech he gave in 1959, subsequently published under the title "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." The book that made a big impression on me, in the mid-'80s, was Eric Drexler's Engines of Creation, in which he described beautifully how manipulation of matter at the atomic level could create a utopian future of abundance, where just about everything could be made cheaply, and almost any imaginable disease or physical problem could be solved using nanotechnology and artificial intelligences. A subsequent book, Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution, which Drexler cowrote, imagines some of the changes that might take place in a world where we had molecular-level "assemblers." Assemblers could make possible incredibly low-cost solar power, cures for cancer and the common cold by augmentation of the human immune system, essentially complete cleanup of the environment, incredibly inexpensive pocket supercomputers - in fact, any product would be manufacturable by assemblers at a cost no greater than that of wood - spaceflight more accessible than transoceanic travel today, and restoration of extinct species. AT: Malthus War also turns carrying capacity Cairns, 4 - Distinguished Professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus, Department of Biology and Director Emeritus, University Center for Environmental and Hazardous Materials Studies @ Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (John Cairns Jr, “Eco-Ethics and Sustainability Ethics,” Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, http://ottokinne.de/esepbooks/EB2Pt2.pdf#page=66) Undoubtedly, there will be many defining moments on the path to sustainable use of the planet. Arguably, the most important is to accept that war and sustainability are incompatible, not only because of resource waste but because sustainable use of the planet requires the strong support of nearly all persons. A small number of non-violent dissidents can probably be tolerated, but terrorist destruction of resources cannot. If the planet is at full carrying capacity, this would mean falling below subsistence levels for some people. If not, then the quality of life would still be impaired. War disrupts the beneficial flow of matter through a closed system essential to sustain- ability. War is a false goal because, on a finite planet that is approaching or is already at carrying capacity, it wastes resources. Ingenuity and technology checks their impacts Bailey, 2 – adjunct scholar @ Cato, award-winning science correspondent for Reason magazine (Ronald A, “Ethical Poverty, Staying poor to save the planet,” http://www.reason.com/news/show/34913.html) Next Elliott and Lamm haul out the "doubling time" argument popularized by the discredited dystopian prophet Paul Ehrlich. The idea is that exponential increases in the use of a resource will cause it to be depleted much faster than people expect. The example Elliott and Lamm give is a resource that would last 100 years at a constant rate of use but will disappear in only 36 years if consumption increases 5 percent each year. Mathematically, this proposition is unassailable, but the hidden premise in Elliott and Lamm's analysis is a "buried treasure" theory of natural resources. What is a resource? A lump of copper is a useless rock unless someone knows how to mine it, melt it, mill it, mold it, and market it. What is a resource and how much of it there is depends crucially on human knowledge and technology. Consider the case of copper. The Limits to Growth predicted that all known copper reserves would be exhausted by 1993. Yet copper is cheaper than ever because miners have learned how to process ores one-eighth as rich as those exploited a century ago. The price of copper has fallen in real terms from $4 per pound in 1900 to 80 cents per pound today. The most critical error that Elliott and Lamm make in pushing their doubling time argument is that they ignore the doubling time of human knowledge and technology. Their zero sum thinking is apparent when they assert that what one person consumes is another person's loss. Human economic activity is not a zero sum game. If it were, it would have been over a long time ago, as Neolithic tribespeople killed and ate up all the deer and the antelope and died of starvation.
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