Billionaires Write Off American Workers at Their Own Peril
Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington this week, meeting with top Republicans in the House and speaking at a high profile public policy forum.Given the fact that he is personally financing two lobby groups dedicated to granting amnesty to illegal aliens and a massive expansion of the guest worker program for the tech industry, it is not unreasonable to assume that he, and his checkbook, will be trying to persuade House leaders to pass a “comprehensive” bill much like the Zuckerberg-backed Gang of Eight legislation already approved by the Senate.In Mark Zuckerberg’s world, nation-states are impediments to technological innovation – or, so he thinks. The ability of Zuckerberg and other business titans to become zillionaires is not solely the product of their own innovative genius and hard work. (Yes, they did build that, and they deserve to reap the rewards.) It is also the product of a stable and cohesive society that gives people like Zuckerberg the confidence to start new businesses and investors the confidence to back their ideas. (No, they did not build that, but they sure as heck can destroy it.)Social stability predicated on the rule of law and a people’s confidence that the economy is fair and equitable – an essential foundation for innovation and economic growth – requires that the people in that society buy in to the belief that working hard, playing by the rules, and sometimes sacrificing for the common good will benefit them. In this country, we have called it the American Dream.Unfortunately, the American Dream is becoming a much less viable concept for too many Americans. A disturbingly high percentage of younger workers – including well-educated ones – are being shut out of the economy or even the ability to train for what are billed as the jobs of the future. Americans now constitute a minority of those training for careers in engineering at U.S. universities. Millions more Americans are stuck in low-paying dead end jobs with little hope of ever breaking out.These are circumstances that need to be corrected. Through the power of the social media he pioneered and the $19 billion he has in his bank account, the 29-year-old Zuckerberg could be a forceful advocate for those who find themselves “unfriended” by the American economy. If Zuckerberg and others cannot find the talent they are looking for from among the labor pool already here – and it is questionable whether they are actually looking very hard – then perhaps he and his fellow technology moguls on the Forbes 400 list (collectively worth $393.5 billion) might consider investing in the education and training of Americans who are eager to fill jobs that offer them a bright future.In spending millions to advocate for mass immigration, however, Zuckerberg is only adding to the problem he bemoans. As more jobs in high tech go to foreign workers, fewer Americans are likely to investing their time, intellect and savings to train for those jobs – making him, and the American technology industry ever more dependent on workers who might someday decide to sell their talents elsewhere.
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