Saturday, January 24, 2009
Who Should be Laid Off ?
It is easy to be in support of welcoming labor from other countries when the rate of unemployment is low and when the economy is creating new jobs at an acceptable rate. The real test of our attitude towards “foreign” labor, however, is to be judged by our acts during difficult economic times. And this is such a time. Would we maintain, in the face of double digit unemployment, our advocacy of “openness “ or would we change course by adopting policies that are geared to protect the national labor force . Do we have a moral responsibility to take care of the near and dear that can supersede our responsibility to non nationals?
Unfortunately such questions are no longer confined to the field of the hypothetical. As the economy slows down even such juggernauts as Microsoft have announced plans to lay off 5000 workers. But Microsoft is one of the primary beneficiaries and major supporter of the special H1 visas that allows companies to hire non-American workers. As expected, many, in and out of Government are calling on Microsoft to give priority to US citizens during these difficult times. Senator Grassley has already sent Microsoft a letter in which he stated unequivocally that “Microsoft has a moral obligation to protect these American workers by putting them first “.during these difficult economic times."
What do you think?