By Ross Eisenbrey, vice president, Economic Policy Institute - 12/14/09 11:43 PM EST
The article’s sources cite the common canard that we need more H-1Bs because immigrants are entrepreneurial, as evidenced by the fact that Google, Yahoo and eBay were founded by immigrants. But each of these companies’ founders immigrated to the U.S. with their families as young children, not as employment-based immigrants. Google co-founder Sergey Brin left Moscow with his family at age 6; Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, left Taiwan at 8; eBay’s founder, Pierre Omidyar, emigrated from France at 6. None of these immigrants was on an H1-B or even a student visa.
Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have called for fixing the many problems with the H-1B visa before thought is given to expanding its numbers.
Don’t kick bars, restaurants in teeth
From Frank Coleman, senior vice president, Distilled Spirits Council
(Regarding op-ed, “Have a drink and share the sacrifice,” by George Hacker, Center for the Science in the Public Interest, Dec. 8.) Unfortunately, Mr. Hacker’s prescription for higher alcohol taxes completely ignores the devastating impact these taxes would have on the hospitality industry in every congressional district in the country.
At a time when the unemployment rate in the hospitality industry is 11.9 percent and the recession has shuttered familiar and favorite restaurants, bars, and nightclubs nationwide, does anyone in Congress really want to give the hospitality industry another kick in the teeth?
This industry employs hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers in towns and cities across the country. Unlike those who have come to Capitol Hill looking for billion-dollar bailouts, the hospitality industry is just asking Congress to do no harm. Any increase in the federal alcohol excise tax would be the death knell for thousands of these struggling workers’ jobs and many of the small businesses that employ them.