Updated: Aug 18, 2022
My Thoughts On The H-1B
I wanted to work for small to medium-sized employers because big businesses tend to be infested with politics and bureaucracy. Why? Because they have more employees doing unimportant work than do small businesses. What do people doing unimportant work do? They make life hell for people doing productive work.
I remember talking to Dr. Rogers (our associate dean) about it. He told me that most small businesses do not have the legal and financial resources to work with foreign employees. He suggested I approach big businesses. As a free-market enthusiast who understood how much everything was pitted against small businesses, the last thing I wanted to do was to work at a big bureaucratic hell full of obese managers and managers managing those managers.
Back then, I did not know why my international peers looked only for those employers that sponsored the H-1B. I thought they wanted to live in the US. Later, I understood that they did so because most employers would not train and hire a foreign worker for a year, which is how long the OPT period was. This means they could realistically work for only those employers that sponsored foreign workers.
Over time, I felt like the H-1B was another means for the US government to cater to the corporate class. While small businesses struggled to keep unskilled workers at $10- $15/hour and competed for high-skilled domestic workers, major corporations moved unskilled work offshore (contracted with firms in low-income countries) and pooled high-skilled workers from all over the planet. This way, they circumvented both the burden of the minimum wage and the competition for high-skilled workers within US borders. Since foreign workers can neither start their own businesses nor engage in side hustles, they are likely to be more loyal than domestic workers. This deal was available more readily to corporations than to small businesses.