April 11, 2012

There is NO shortage of #STEM students

It's become a meme, especially in the not-so-hallowed halls of Congress, that the U.S. faces a growing brain drain in domestic Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM students. The "answer," from our business-friendly leaders of BOTH major parties, is to .... give more visas to international people.

Reality? This is business as usual by business as usual (along with academia becoming more and more business as usual):
Simply put, a desire for cheap, skilled labor, within the business world and academia, has fueled assertions—based on flimsy and distorted evidence—that American students lack the interest and ability to pursue careers in science and engineering, and has spurred policies that have flooded the market with foreign STEM workers. This has created a grim reality for the scientific and technical labor force: glutted job markets; few career jobs; low pay, long hours, and dismal job prospects for postdoctoral researchers in university labs; near indentured servitude for holders of temporary work visas. 
Note that I mentioned this is bipartisan evidence-distorting. The story cites Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street) as one of the people leading the charge on this issue.

Solution? One commenter to the story has it at least somewhat right: Unionization.

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