The House recently passed H.R. 64269 or the STEM Act. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It basically allows for unlimited immigration for people with graduate degrees in these fields. The White House has indicated that it supports the general purpose of the bill, but wants it to be part of a comprehensive immigration deal. Both parties agree that we have a desperate shortage of technical experts and quickly must import as many as cheaply, excuse me, as quickly as possible.
Since 2001 the number of civil engineers employed in the U.S. has increased 23% and their average wages have increased 36%. In the same period the number of biochemists increased 55% and their average wages increased 42%. All of these facts are good arguments for STEM. The numbers of employed and the wages in these fields have increased. This falls apart entirely if you look at other fields. The number of general and operations managers in the years 2001-2011 decreased 10%. So, obviously wages for managers decreased. Nope, exactly the opposite; wages for managers increased 56% in 10 years. So basically the employers who are complaining about shortages of technical personnel have increased wages for managers, of which there is a surplus, more than the technical personnel of which there is allegedly a shortage.
A typical argument for STEM is that American students who are qualified to get technical degrees get degrees in other fields. This is true. It is also entirely logical, you pick between the two following options. Work like a dog for six years to get a masters degree in civil engineering, spending your weekends doing formulas, and generally having no fun. Or you can spend four years at the Delta Delta Delta frat house getting black out drunk every night, commit a couple of date rapes, and when you get out make more money. If you have been to college you know that a chimp would need to be lobotomized to be as dumb as the average business student. When you have a high work low reward path and a low work high reward path what do you expect people to take?
The real argument behind STEM is the attitude of the business class in this country. It is the same reason that managers with four years of education make more than trained scientists with eight years of education. The business class in this country does not respect the idea of expertise. They do not like paying the nerds they made fun of in schools for knowing things. They are pretty sure that anything can be bullshitted through. This bill is about their desire to bring in cheap foreign labor to undermine the wages of a group they do not value.