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Did Gates Fib About H1-B Salaries?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the little-white-ones dept.

Microsoft 345

netbuzz writes "While in Washington last year lobbying for higher H1-B visa limits, Bill Gates told David Broder of the Washington Post that Microsoft starts such workers at about $100,000. An analysis by one offshoring critic suggests that's not true. If his analysis is correct, it would undermine part of the case for lifting H1-B ceilings.

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Say It Ain't So, Bill! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17936570)

Are you telling me that Bill Gates lied to the population about their situation? And we gobbled it up?

Bill Gates: computer scientist, marketer, business man, philanthropist ... politician?

Who would have thought the term Renaissance Man [wikipedia.org] could have such negative connotations?

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17936684)

Your Reality Distortion Field is not strong! HA! HA!

No one can match the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field!

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (0, Troll)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936934)

Isn't he running for president? A geek with nukes should scare everyone sillier than Al Gore inventing global warming.

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (4, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937020)

No kidding. I'm shocked -- shocked that Microsoft execs would lie about anything like this.

Now I wonder about Vista - will it really rock my world? Is it really more secure than Linux? Now I'm not so sure Microsoft was telling the truth about that either. ;)

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937058)

"Now I wonder about Vista - will it really rock my world?"

If by 'rock' you mean a short form of 'rock and roll' which was a euphamism for sex, then yeah, you're f**ked

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937156)

will it really rock my world?
From a subjective standpoint, your world rocks if you stand on an unstable platform. So, I think the answer to that might be 'yes.'

Vista Certainly Rocks (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937310)

If you mean float like rocks....

I just finished reading the wunderbar description about Vista's new User land driver models [creative.com] and what it means to Creative. I say rock on, everyone migrate to Vista and clamor for OpenAL and OpenGL games. Vista, apparently is going to be the best thing for OpenAL/GL gaming ever.

I'm pretty certain from their approach with audio, that the video path couldn't be much better, for the same reason. So vendor provided OpenAL/GL access to their hardware is probably going to be the best path for game makers to take. That could have wonderful implications for freeing games from MS entirely, as then it becomes relatively trivial to port to multiple systems.

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (2, Funny)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937214)

> shocked that ... execs would lie about anything like this

<insert well-known HomelessinLaJolla typical political spiel here>

Even I am beginning to grow weary of reading about the thousands of different ways in which the population is being controlled by one single issue: debt.

What we need is a really messy revolution. Automobiles can be restored from scratch. I can build Linux from scratch [linuxfromscratch.org] since about version 2.2. I've dissected and analyzed the inner working of world politics for six or seven years.

I'll be more than happy to restructure this world properly. It'd really be very simple: quit letting the landlords play golf with the people who dictate the salaries.

Re:Say It Ain't So, Bill! (1)

tnhtnh (870708) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937528)

My old work mate left his job here for a role at Microsoft. He is an MSCE and MCDBA and said that while his base is around £45,000 his bonuses add up to £20,000! N This article does not include the fact that most IT organisations are now tending to pay employees by performance (bonus) and not just by their base rates.

compuglobalmegahypernet (4, Funny)

cpearson (809811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936612)

Wouldn't it be easier for microsft to move to India than to move India here?

Vista Help Forum [vistahelpforum.com]

Re:compuglobalmegahypernet (4, Interesting)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936662)

You have no idea of the amount of regulation in India. It is much easier for India to move here than vice-versa.

Re:compuglobalmegahypernet (3, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936798)

So, the *lack* of regulation of Microsoft in the U.S. is really the problem.

Re:compuglobalmegahypernet (2, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936970)

It is much easier for India to move here than vice-versa.
I'll get the tug boat.

Re:compuglobalmegahypernet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937588)

There is no regulation in India that cannot be greased with a little bit of bribery so I don't buy that excuse.

Let's be fair, here: (5, Funny)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936616)

Face facts: To Bill Gates, 10K a year IS pretty close to 100K. Sheerest poverty.

Re:Let's be fair, here: (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936674)

+1 insightfull

Re:Let's be fair, here: (5, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936848)

The figure of $100000 was correct. It's in binary.

Re:Let's be fair, here: (5, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937078)

What he actually meant was "64K ought to be enough for anybody"

Well duh (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936630)

Of course Bill wants to import workers so he can pay them the same money he'd have to pay native-born workers. Duh!

Re:Well duh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937046)

I am a Microsoft manager. The salaries paid for H1-B employees is exactly the same as those paid anyone else. It is not legal to do otherwise. For every H1-B employee I hire, I have to provide a salary comparison against non H1-B employees at that same skill/job level for the government that shows we are not underpaying the H1-B employees. The issue is absolutely finding enough qualified people for the jobs that are available. There are a number of reasons that jobs cannot be filled without the H1-B visas. These include people don't want to work for MS, don't want to relocate, don't like job, don't like salary, etc.

Gates may not have the exact salary numbers (I'd say the average today is more like $90k base, definitely > $100k w/ bonus). The alternative (which is happening as well) is to hire the employees in their home countries and pay them 1/3 as much and not have that money returned to the local US economy.

Re:Well duh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937218)

So you're saying you'd have to pay H1-Bs the same as non H1-Bs, but you can't find any non H1-Bs willing to work for the salary you want?

If that is one of the reasons, then very well could mean that non H1-Bs are finding plenty of work that you're offering for well above the price that you want for it.

Re:Well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937246)

Same is true with IBM. Some people just don't get that the reason they don't get a job is due to THEMSELVES. If there are better skilled people elsewhere why on earth would they want to hire you?

Re:Well duh (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937258)

The issue is absolutely finding enough qualified people for the jobs that are available.

If that's the issue- and I hate to sound like a broken record, but I've posted this in EVERY freakin' H-1b story on slashdot- why not take UNQUALIFIED PEOPLE, and then pay for their traing so that they can fill the jobs that are available? Wouldn't that be cheaper than getting people from half a world away?

Re:Well duh (-1, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937708)

That strategy implicitly assumes that what they need are trainable skills, and not natural talent based skills. If it's a natural talent, then presumably the potential labor pool is evenly distributed over the world, but there are legal complications to recruiting from the portion of that pool born unluckily outside the US.

Re:Well duh (0, Troll)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937306)

> I am a Microsoft manager

Yeah sure.

> The salaries paid for H1-B employees is exactly the same as those paid anyone else

You almost had me on that one.

> It is not legal to do otherwise

Loopholes, loopholes, loopholes.

> at that same skill/job level for the government that shows we are not underpaying the H1-B employees

Works quite well when the job description has been tailored such that only the H1-B applicants, or their equivalent in undereducated citizens, fit the job description. Most of us have heard how the hiring process works.

> The issue is absolutely finding enough qualified people for the jobs that are available

Define "qualified" without implying a tailored job description.

> There are a number of reasons that jobs cannot be filled without the H1-B visas

But the only reasons which truly matter are loopholes and tailored job descriptions.

I'm going to stop now. It all sounds the same.

Re:Well duh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937730)

These include people don't want to work for MS, don't want to relocate, don't like job, don't like salary, etc.

Supply and demand says that you are just simply not offering enough to make it worth someone's while. Offer the right amount and you will have absolutely no problem finding the people locally. All you are doing here is increasing the supply to dilute the value of the job. I can't blame you for wanting to do so, but it would be nice if you would least acknowledge the fact instead of trying to pass the blame on to the workers who you aren't willing to compensate.

Equivalent figures (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936636)

This is equivalent to saying they are making 3 times what I make, when they're only making 2 times what I make. Regardless of which number is correct, I'm still left feeling screwed over.

Re:Equivalent figures (1, Insightful)

killercoder (874746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936718)

Well then, update your skills, and apply for a job at Microsoft. Here's a tip for you, lots of people in the world make more than 100K, most WITHOUT applying for a H1B. Your jealous about an H1B worker? Apply for a similiar job, and you'll make more money. If your not qualified - get a loan and go to school. No - I don't have an H1B, I work in my native land of Canada (its a little north of where you are), and yes, I make more than an H1B worker in the US. Killer

Re:Equivalent figures (1)

unchiujar (1030510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937222)

Somebody mod parent up +5 retarded.
Why do you think people go through the H1B anal probe ? Because they get much better pay ($80K vs $300) if they manage to make it through.
First go check how people get payed around the world before posting. Sheesh...

Re:Equivalent figures (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937414)

I work in my native land of Canada (its a little north of where you are), and yes, I make more than an H1B worker in the US. Killer

You could be on WELFARE and still make 10x as much as an unemployable American in the US. Killer is right.

Re:Equivalent figures (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17936784)

Who do I write to protect your right to high wages?

Oh my God (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937210)

You are so in for a surprise when you find out what people around you are earning. I don't mean this as humor, I'm entirely serious. Try this as an exercise: go round your neighborhood and estimate the cost of property. Now compute the price of a mortgage on those houses. Add in property tax. Now compute what salary you'd need to be able to afford those houses (and possibly maintain a family, two cars etc.). See what I mean?

Re:Oh my God (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937342)

You are so in for a surprise when you find out what people around you are earning. I don't mean this as humor, I'm entirely serious. Try this as an exercise: go round your neighborhood and estimate the cost of property. Now compute the price of a mortgage on those houses. Add in property tax. Now compute what salary you'd need to be able to afford those houses (and possibly maintain a family, two cars etc.). See what I mean?
WTF are you talking about?

Most houses in a neighborhood are similar in price (generalization, I know), so I think the GP would *already* know how much it costs to live in a particular neighborhood, because he already does! Duh. The things that would be purchased by a household with more disposible income are INSIDE the house, where you can't see them.

And if he doesn't know how much he needs to make to live in a house, then chances are he already defaulted on his mortgage...

Re:Oh my God (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937498)

The people I know who earn a lower salary rent just part of a house or share with other people.

In my immediate neighbourhood (a couple of blocks in each direction) prices vary from $600,000 to about $2,000,000 so this exercise works for me. (At least according to zillow [zillow.com] .)

Re:Equivalent figures (1)

MaximvsG (611212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937456)

I've worked with *many* H1-Bs and never seen them make more than 50K. It's like an unwritten deal, cheap labor in exchange for US Citizenship. The one thing that hurt them in this area (Washington DC) is after 9/11 many jobs required security clearances and they are not eligible. I'm sure there are exceptions but that's my experience.

I'll Do That Job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17936648)

...for 95k, no questions asked.

Fraud! (-1, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936700)

I know of a couple exceptionally talented programmers that couldn't even get an offer from MS. And now Bill Gates is saying he needs to import foreign workers because he can't find US workers for $100K jobs. Fraud!

Re:Fraud! (1)

theelectron (973857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937118)

Exceptionally talented in some circles is not always the same as in other circles such as the business circle. Did these people get interviews with Microsoft? How did they do in the interview? Being a successful employee often requires more than '1337' skills.

Bill G is just a parrot (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936734)

Mr Gates is also very much removed from reality and he merely parrots what he is told. Look at his comments about "OpenOffice taking for ever to open documents", or his engineers "breaking Mac/Apple security every day", etc. You will realize his role is something akin to a PR man burnishing the nameplate of Microsoft. He does not manage the company. Not its sales force, does not provide any technical or visionary leadership. He is just the brand-ambassador-in-chief.

He meets politicians and tells them whatever his acolytes ask him to tell them. He would go to India and tell exactly the opposite story. Go look at Indian websites oooohing aaahhing his compliments and how much he is going to invest in India and how important R&D done in India is to Microsoft.

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936928)

Which makes me question his motives. If he's so far removed from the technical realities of the world (let's face it, he supports Vista...) why even bother? Cash out, live the life of luxory and do whatever the hell you want.

Tom

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937260)

To be honest, I'd be surprised if even Bill knows what his motives are anymore. Once you have enough money that you never need to work again to buy whatever you want, including small countries, the number of goals you can shoot for becomes quite small. As I see it the only real goal that isn't completely trivial is power, in the 'reshape the world as you wish sense.' This only really works, however, if you have a clear vision of how the world should be. From what I've seen, Bill doesn't. Someone like Steve Jobs or Richard Stallman does, and so I'm quite glad neither of them have Bill Gate's money (although Steve Jobs is pretty well off...) since I'm not sure I'd like to live in the world that either of them would create.

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937380)

Your mouth and ass gobble up lots of cock, don't they? But something tells me that it gets spit out soon enough, except for some creme filling you greedily lap up.

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937314)

live the life of luxory (sic) and do whatever the hell you want.

You mean he's not doing that now???

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937384)

He shows up to work. Even if he only works 1 hour a week it's more than I'd want to think of.

Think about your youth when you had the summer off, unstructured, went where your bike would take you. Replace bike with car/private jet and you get the idea.

I'd be off doing endlessly long trips, seeing every nook and cranny of the planet. Screw being in one location, tied to an office, saying things I don't really believe...

Tom

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937546)

It's not that simple. A lot of people think that because he owns X shares of MS, and a share is currently trading at Y, he has $X*Y. That's not true. For the founder and long-time head to quit, and to sell ~10% of the shares would significantly depress the value. Remember, as an insider he must report his sales, which could trigger a selloff. He might finish with a mere $50 million.

Re:Bill G is just a parrot (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937618)

OMG only 50 million? How will he live!!!

I'm sure that if he gracefully bowed out and said "fuck you world I'm rich biatch!" they'd keep handing fist over fist of cash to MSFT just like they ar e now.

Tom

market rates change (5, Interesting)

gogodoit (512826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936756)

What's not said in the article is that market rates change. Typically market rates go up (and I'd argue that they are up quite a bit right now). The greencard application process takes some time, and rates likely change in that time. If the greencard takes 2 years to apply for, and it's in process, then those H1-Bs don't want to change jobs and restart the application process. These aren't typical highly-mobile employees: they don't want to change jobs because the application process starts all over again. So, salaries of H1-B employees are likely to be considerably lower than current market rates.

From another perspective, Gates is saying that current market rates are ~100k. This is about right for mid-level software engineers with 2-4 years of experience, in that area.

It's not the same as looking at H1-B applications and trying to figure current rates, as they will reflect market conditions from 1-4 years ago (depending on when the H1-B process started for that individual).

Re:market rates change (2, Interesting)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936892)

"So, salaries of H1-B employees are likely to be considerably lower than current market rates."

That is illegal. An H1B MUST be paid the market rate. No doing so is the same as hiring an illegal worker.

Re:market rates change (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937048)

So is emigrating from Mexico to the United States without a visa.

I've seen large corporations intentionally violate labor laws on a regular basis. Many corporate executives consider them to be mere suggestions, that only need to be obeyed when the corporation is presented with a serious threat of legal action.

Re:market rates change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17936916)

At any rate, even if it's true that the jobs in question have a median salary of $70K -- it's not clear that Gates' larger point is any less valid.

What I'm wondering is how complaining about H1-B's makes one an "offshoring critic".

Re:market rates change (3, Informative)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937028)

Yeah, an H1-B application includes a Labor Condition Application (LCA), part of which specifies that the salary that will be paid is at least the mean salary for one year of experience for the specific occupation and geographic location, at time of application. I didn't see any explanation of when or where these figures were from.

Re:market rates change (1)

Quetzo (753720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937788)

Its called previaling wage and the numbers are maintained by your state workforce agency. So, the way it works is: You submit a prevailing wage request stating the job you are hiring for. The State will tell you what the wages are for that job and then you show that you are paying at least that much.

Re:market rates change (3, Insightful)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937054)

From another perspective, Gates is saying that current market rates are ~100k. This is about right for mid-level software engineers with 2-4 years of experience, in that area.

Is it the mid-90s again? That's the only possibility if someone is making that much with only 2-4 years experience. And 100k+, even in an expensive city as Seattle, is still awesome money.

The simple fact is that I've know many people, some very qualified and some not so much, who applied to MS and didn't get so much as a second look. I've known 1 person who's been hired, and he was very young (just turned 22 at the time) and very arrogant.

I think if you want to work for MS you need to be young, show that all you care about is working long hours at the expense of your social life, and be an asshole. They like assholes who know it all. That's why there's a lot of shit that get spewed from Redmond. If you're a foreigner it's even better because they can pay you more than you'd get in your own country but less than a resident and you'll probably work very long hours because you're just happy to be making 'the big bucks'!

Re:market rates change (2, Informative)

gogodoit (512826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937204)

> Is it the mid-90s again? That's the only possibility if someone is making that much with only 2-4
> years experience. And 100k+, even in an expensive city as Seattle, is still awesome money.

Nope, it's 2007, 8 years later, with 8 years of inflation behind it. $100k/year is no longer special. At the same time, the 'Net is hot again, and people are hiring all over, which adds to wage hikes.

Come on boys and girls, it's time to find a new job (if you're mobile, and not an H1-B that is)!

Age discrimination is illegal, just as paying H1-B's less than the natives.

If H1-B's were hired at market rate two years ago, and those rates went up, they're screwed. Assuming the average H1-B getting a greencard is paid $70k/year, those H1-Bs are paying $30k/year (minimum) to get the greencard. (100-70=30)

That's a fricking expensive process!

I love America! :)

Re:market rates change (0, Troll)

Mullen (14656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937282)

Is it the mid-90s again? That's the only possibility if someone is making that much with only 2-4 years experience. And 100k+, even in an expensive city as Seattle, is still awesome money.

Mr. Gates is full of shit. No one is making 100k in the Seattle market with 2-4 years experience as a developer. Even if they are very good, they are not making 100K. They might be close to it, as in 80K but not 100K.

Re:market rates change (1)

Mullen (14656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937350)

Whoops, I did not calculate in benefits, so I might be wrong. Go figure!

Re:market rates change (2, Informative)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937390)

I personally know two developers, one in the Office group, another in Longhorn, both hired direct from College, both making more than $100K at Microsoft, both have been there less than 3 years.

When a company is choosing to hire a developer out of tens of thousands of applicants PER MONTH, you think they might get someone good?

You are wrong, deal with it.

Yeah, its a real sweat shop...... (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937298)

Geez, get a clue.

Microsoft's benefits and freebies for employees are probably the best in the industry, if not ANY industry. What you said about age could not be more false, especially in the programming ranks. Sure, there are lots of kids, but Microsoft is smart enough to know that kids need supervision.

Just because nobody in your circle made the cut doesnt mean a thing. I suggest your 'friends' just get a bit smarter, quicker, whatever, and try again.

The key to getting a job at Microsoft is not to just be smart, but to be in the right place at the right time. Different departments have different needs. You cant just be a poindexter, you need to be able to convey your ideas, back them up and prove your case in your writing and your speaking ability. Only then does it help to be able to code your ass off.

Re:market rates change (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937316)

$100k is about £50K in pounds sterling, which is about the starting salary for someone with a PhD entering Microsoft Research. It's quite tempting, but I somehow don't think I could bring myself to work for Microsoft even for that much money (add a zero on the end, and I might think about compromising, although largely because I'm almost certainly not worth that much as an employee so it would just be a way of preventing them from spending the money effectively).

Re:market rates change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937610)

It's not the same as looking at H1-B applications and trying to figure current rates, as they will reflect market conditions from 1-4 years ago (depending on when the H1-B process started for that individual).

Yeah, right... the median salary in the green card data was $71k; if it is now $100k, then that is an increase of 40% over 4 years.

Nawww, I don't believe that!

Re:market rates change (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937772)

Boo. I have about four years of experience, a degree, and make only a little more than half that. You are telling me that if I move to the Washington area I can double my pay? Where do I sign up?

Incidentally, thanks for crushing my current pride and sense of satisfaction :-(

Re:market rates change (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937776)

From another perspective, Gates is saying that current market rates are ~100k. This is about right for mid-level software engineers with 2-4 years of experience, in that area.

Only if he's putting in 70-80 hours per week!

I work in one of the highest-salaried markets in the US, and nobody I know in the tech sector is making six figures unless they're in management, have 10+ years of experience relevant to the position, or both. I doubt the situation is much different anywhere else.

Tangentially related but (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936844)

Business Week [businessweek.com] is running a story about how the H1-B visa is ACTUALLY being used, and it seems it is used much more often than not to act as a conduit to offshore outsourcing, ie get the Indians or whoever over to the US, train them at a crappy salary(comparatively) and then send them home. While some firms certainly are using the visas to get foreign talent to the US, they are being crowded out by body dumpers. One suggestion proffered by the article is to only let US companies get H1Bs.

We should give him a break... (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936850)

When you're Bill Gates, what's the difference between $71k and $100k? They're basically the same thing from his prospective.

Lying with statistics (4, Interesting)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936908)

TFA says the median is $71,000. Given the nature of salary distributions, the arithmetic mean is likely to be higher. How about full disclosure? Give us a graph.

Also, TFA cites green card applications, not green card grants.

Re:Lying with statistics (1)

genrader (563784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937040)

Green cards? what?

Re:Lying with statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937514)

I just tossed the monthly salaries of 1500 research ladder faculty into an average and median calculation and came up wiht the avergage 11% higher than the median.

Methinks your salary distribution statement is overbroad.

It also neglects performance bonuses (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937782)

It also neglects performance bonuses / other payouts that arent directly on the paycheck, which may very well put that median up to $100,000.

For sure they are cheating (1)

frog_strat (852055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936912)

I don't know about the salary amount issue. But in support you have people all over the place that work for one manager but yet report to the cost center of another. We stumbled upon this accidentally and the explanation was that they are supposed to work at one position for a certain amount of time according to H-1 rules. To get around this, they still move people around but leave them on the original cost center. This should come as no surprise. Microsoft has made it very clear that their ethic is they will do whatever they think they can get away with. Funny this is, if I stooped to their level, I would walk out every night with a hard drive in my pocket. But I dont.

Is MS looking for people?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17936956)

Posted Microsoft jobs advertised on ComputerJobs [computerjobs.com]

Gee, it doesn't look like they need that many people. And if they actually advertised, I'm sure there's plenty of us who'd be more than willing to relocate at our own expense to have a job.

Maybe he was misquoted? (3, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17936996)

I know it's completely against the bizarro-world mentality you folks have to even consider this, but wasn't the original quote related by a third party? I know...crazy.

But, whats the alternative? (1, Insightful)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937010)

Say, H1-Bs are required for cutting costs; and not due to lack of talent in the US. Even then...
1. No H1-B, means higher costs for US Companies
2. US Companies compete locally (inside US), and globally with Global Companies
3. So US Companies' have a higher cost of product development or software services, compared to those from outside (which employ cheaper labor)
4. ....
5. ....
6. Profit! (BUT HOW??!!)

An alternative is to ship most of the development or services lifecycle outside, so that H1-Bs are not needed anymore. This is even worse for the US, isn't it? The money wouldn't even get spent in the US. That is, "offshoring" or "bangaloring"

As they say, treat the disease, not the symptom. Reducing work permits is not the answer.

Re:But, whats the alternative? (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937150)

But the law requires that H1-Bs be paid the same as their native peers. Add on the legal and possible relocation costs, I don't see how hiring H1-Bs cuts costs, other than reaping the rewards of hiring the best and the brightest from overseas.

Re:But, whats the alternative? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937336)

You have an interesting point, but may I point out something to think about here?

> Say, H1-Bs are required for cutting costs; and not due to lack of talent in the US. Even then...
> 1. No H1-B, means higher costs for US Companies
This is only true under a small group of circumstances.

> 2. US Companies compete locally (inside US), and globally with Global Companies

> 3. So US Companies' have a higher cost of product development or software services, compared to
> those >from outside (which employ cheaper labor)

This particular US Company is selling that 'product' at grossly overinflated prices. The ability of MS to compete with the rest of the world is a really strange thing to think of. First, his main competitors are in the U.S. (Apple etc.) and some (?) of his competition is giving their product away! There is no amount of H1-B visas that can fix the problems that MS has. Anyone, especially those interested in the H1-B issue should be looking at what Bill G. has been doing with those visas. From the news, it doesn't seem like he's done a lot with them, unless he's planning to reveal a real OS that does all the things Vista is supposed to have been able to do. Perhaps all those Bangalorians living in Redmond are working overtime to rid the world of spam???

> 4. ....
> 5. ....
> 6. Profit! (BUT HOW??!!

Profit? By purchasing senators and congressmen!!

Re:But, whats the alternative? (2, Interesting)

wtansill (576643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937404)

An alternative is to ship most of the development or services lifecycle outside, so that H1-Bs are not needed anymore. This is even worse for the US, isn't it? The money wouldn't even get spent in the US. That is, "offshoring" or "bangaloring"
  • Firstly, the H1-B program is not supposed to be about reducing costs -- its only justification is that it is supposed to allow employers to hire talent unavailable locally at any price. If curtailing the H1-B program leads to outsourcing more jobs, I'd say that that was a cause for investigation, wouldn't you?
  • I'll be more inclined to look favorably on the whole H1-B "issue" when I see CEO's, CFO's, Board Members and the like being brought in under H1-B visas. Given the ever-widening pool of scandals (Enron, MCI, ADELPHI, more recently Dick Grasso, options backdating, etc.) I'd say it's increasingly difficult to find competant management in the US, wouldn't you agree?

Re:But, whats the alternative? (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937466)

The alternative is to allow people with the technical credentials to immigrate to the US. That way they are not beholden to a single employer. They compete on a level playing field with US citizens and permanent residents (same salary level and living costs). They have the chance to become citizens (and keep their skills here). And if they are at all entrepreneurial (and anyone would pick up and move to another country is someone willing to take risks) - they could end up starting a company that creates US jobs and wealth.

Re:But, whats the alternative? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937508)

H-1b money doesn't get spent in the US anyway for the most part- anything above bare standard of living gets sent home so that other people in your family can live off it, just like the Mexicans on H-2A visas.

Possible Mistake (1)

bakeman (564040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937060)

He could possibly be mistaken. I would believe Bill Gates more on matters related to product marketing. For this case he may only be a parrot throwing up misinformation.

Outsource Bill... Please Outsource... (-1, Flamebait)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937072)

I oppose "guest worker" visas or any other corporate welfare -- these visas not only violate the clear will of the voters but they bust the nationalized union created as part of the New Deal to prevent a demand-side collapse into third world disparities of wealth.

So do I oppose outsourcing? NO! Send all the work you want to India, Bill! Hell, MOVE THERE! These old cultures have the toady/sycophant thing down for rich guys much better than the US. You'll probably have your own private gurus with spiritual experiences you never dreamed possible including Melissa having a vision that she really likes seeing you with a harem of gorgeous concubines.

GO THE FUCK THERE NOW!

PS: You might like it even better in subSaharan Africa so do consider moving today.

Re:Outsource Bill... Please Outsource... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937124)

Troll!

Re:Outsource Bill... Please Outsource... (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937206)

How can this nonsensical rant get a 3? This sounds like a wealth hating troll.

Re:Outsource Bill... Please Outsource... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937472)

Outsourcing and immigration has been happening for decades. If it's against "the will of the voters" as you say .. how come they keep voting the guys in who do it? Or are you claiming people are really dumb?

The third world disparity of wealth happens because the leadership exerts ownership over national resources and property.

In a developed country, wealth is placed in financial institutions. These institutions provide loans to build houses, buy cars, and start businesses. Those activities create jobs and improve quality of life. The jobs themselves actually harvest or utilize energy, so as long as their is high energy production everyone people can have a decent quality of life. Think about it. That's why the amount of hours worked in 1950 to afford a refrigerator was a lot more than it was today. Sure people worked less, but they also didn't have hundreds of tv channels and movies, better variety of music to choose from, computers, and cell phones and many didn't even have washing machines. Fact is that you are far more likely to be able to do what you like here if you're good at it.

As the third world people you hate so much develop, the workers there will ask for higher wages (it's already happening in China .. where competing factories are finding it hard to retain workers ..google the ny times article) and (much to your disappointment) their quality of life will improve. US workers' quality of life will improve too as they won't have to do repetitious labor intensive jobs. Eventually low energy using robot workers will have to be invented to sustain a global high quality of life for everyone.

The US doesn't have the number of workers (even unskilled) required to produce everything we have today. And that's a fact.

Even a rich person will always want their money to grow and they will want more and more services (else whats the point of being rich). In the third world the wealthy just want to hoard up the countries resources. Anyway, we all know your real motive is hatred of entire classes of people and you are willing to blind yourself to rationality to maintain that hate.

Salary (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937092)

When is cost analysis for an employee is calculated it's not only calculated on how much is paid to that employee in cash money. It includeds applicable taxes, fees(think Workmans Comp), health insurance splits(if health insurance is provided). An employee that grosses $50,000 a year can actually cost an employer $65,000 or more depending on all the benefits,taxes,etc...

He's probably right... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937094)

When I first read that, I was as outraged as the rest of you, but if you think about it from his perpective, he's probably right.

When he says $100K, he's probably thinking salary+ health care + 401K + taxes. When you add that up on an average individual employee, you get to $100K pretty easily.

The difference is that when we read $100K, we assume salary only. I know lots of people working at MSFT, none of whom are making that much even after 5+ years there. Unless they are paying their H1-B's more, he's either thinking in terms of total compensation package or...he's just plain lying.

Honestly though, he may not actually know -- why would he care about an operational detail like that at this point in his career?

A more likely explanation.... (3, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937120)

Bill Gates told David Broder of the Washington Post that Microsoft starts such workers at about $100,000


The supply agency charges a company like Microsoft an hourly rate equivalent of $100,000 /year. The agency then takes 60% of this as commission, and the H1-B applicant gets the remaining $40,000.

It happens to be true..... (5, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937168)

When I left Microsoft, the going base rate for new hires averaged $85K. Add stock options to that, and you easily top $100K in overall costs. Even though Microsofts stock packages are nowhere near as generous as they used to be, when then made the change they also increased base salaries.

So, as hard as it might be for some of you to stomach, Gates is telling the truth. These are not Janitors Microsoft is hiring, but highly trained, highly sought after individuals, regardless of country of origin.

Deal with it.

Re:It happens to be true..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937624)

Deal with it.
Fine, I'll deal with it the only way I know how, by lashing out.

Oh yeah? Well, how come Gates only paid your mom $20 for last night?

Yeah, I went there. Anonymous coward FTW!

Lashing out? (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937742)

Ah, another comment from the Slashdot credibility brigade! How ya been?

It supports..... (2, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937394)

Those MCSE commercials I hear all the time...

H1-B is BAD either way (1)

siufish (814496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937396)

Seriously, if H1-B salary is high, they take away our well-paid jobs, and we shouldn't let them. If H1-B salary is low, they take away our lowly jobs, and we shouldn't let them too.

And the article tries to criticize Bill Gate's H1-B comment by green card data. Come on, there are at least a dozen
- How many H1-B's are in Microsoft? What is the time period of study? And there are only 1202 green card applications?
- Not every H1-B holders want a green card. Honestly, I believe the higher salaries they are, the less inclined they would apply for a green card.
- If you want to have a "cheap, controllable" labor source, you will not apply green card for them. Simple.
- Green card takes a few years to process. $71k in 2002 worths a lot more now.

Defend the American Dream Act 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937602)

The point is H-1B is being used as a labor arbitrage vehicle, an age discrimination vehicle. If H-1Bs are paid more than US S,E,&T, then the Visa is clearly being used to bring in talent that is unavailable in the US current and isn't a problem. Who wants to deny international talent to the US? The problem is they are paid much less, plus under the control of the employer. HR 4378, The Defend the American Dream Act, 2005, from the 109th congress, introduced by Bill Pascrell (D-NJ, 8th) has provisions that will fix the legal loopholes used by corporations currently to labor arbitrage and discriminate. This bill does not kill the H-1B Visa program, it simply fixes it to stop the abuses. We need to get this bill reintroduced in the 110th Congress and passed. Major point, if Microsoft (who recently laid off thousaands, Intel, who also recently laid off thousands) truly are using H-1B Visas ONLY to bring in talent not available currently in the US, versus young, cheap workers to thrash their workforce and age dscrimination, then they would have no problems with HR 4378...but alas, the bill was buried in committee last congress and it's up to us, the tech work force to promote and demand this bill be passed.

Re:H1-B is BAD either way (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937630)

Seriously, if H1-B salary is high, they take away our well-paid jobs, and we shouldn't let them. If H1-B salary is low, they take away our lowly jobs, and we shouldn't let them too.
Want to "not let them" take away your jobs? Be more valuable to the company than the H1-B applicant is. If someone can go to Redmond and do the same quality work as you for 10% less, why wouldn't they hire the other guy? He's cheaper, and they get the same quality of work.

I guess it depends on your definition of "about" (2, Insightful)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937450)

It must depend on your definition of the word "about". Is $70 about $100? Is $70k about $100k?

I am not defending Bill Gates, that's just wrong...ewwwww. But, did he state that ALL H-1B's start at about $100k? If some start in a $90k - $100k range, some start in the $80k to $90k range, and the rest are below $80k is it a lie to say they start at about $100k? I dunno. I'm back to, "It depends on your definition of 'about'."

$100,000 doesn't matter (2, Informative)

dsurber (53971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937492)

It doesn't matter if Microsoft is paying H1B workers $100,000 a year.

Economic growth since early 2000, when the Dow reached its previous peak, hasn't been exceptional. But after-tax corporate profits have more than doubled, because workers' productivity is up, but their wages aren't -- and because companies have dealt with rising health insurance premiums by denying insurance to ever more workers."
--NY Times [nytimes.com]
Compared to the cost of living and worker productivity, workers in the US have not benefited from from their own increases in productivity. "Between 1980 and 2004, real wages in manufacturing fell 1 percent, while the real income of the richest 1 percent -- people with incomes of more than $277,000 in 2004 -- rose 135 percent. --NY Times [nytimes.com] Microsoft may pay H1B workers $100,000 a year (or not) but even if they do, it is not a fair wage relative to the cost of living and the increase in worker productivity. There is no question that H1B workers hold down wage increases. If Microsoft and other tech companies increased wages, reduced demands for unpaid overtime, and attempted to retain workers older than 35, they wouldn't have any trouble hiring. Instead they import low wage workers and as a result hold down all wages increasing corporate profits at the expense of the workers.

Gates's Response (3, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937500)

Bill Gates responded by saying, "I always tell the truth... even when I lie."

Re:Gates's Response (1)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937832)

Garak: I've given you all the answers I'm capable of.
Bashir: You've given me answers all right, but they were all different.
Garak: My dear doctor, they're all true.
Bashir: Even the lies?
Garak: Especially the lies.

If you code for Free What Do You Care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17937578)

I mean really?

If you code for free, making 10K a year is infinitely better.

good policy, wrong reason (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937584)

It doesn't make any difference whether H1-B workers are paid less than American workers when they come to the US. Why? Because they will be competing with US workers no matter where they are.

If they can't come to the US on H1-B visas, companies like Microsoft will simply grow their overseas research labs further. That way, the US loses the talent, loses the tax revenue, and US workers will have to compete against people paid even less. So, capping H1-B visas will cause high-tech companies to move elsewhere and will cause US engineers to compete against highly skilled engineers in lower-wage countries.

Of course, that's exactly why it's the right thing to do: Europe, India, and China are (directly or indirectly) responsible for a large amount of US high tech exports, yet most of the highly skilled work is still being done in the US. That's obviously not fair, and restricting H1-B visas is one of the ways in which this problem can be fixed.

former H1B here... (5, Insightful)

BalkanBoy (201243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937638)

To Bill Gates' point - H1B's that get hired by U.S. companies are required to pay the prevailing wage for the profession the H1B is being hired in, for the region they reside in. I immigrated into the U.S. via the H1B route (I'm a citizen now and I also did my undergraduate in CS here), and have been able to verify that the prevailing wage was indeed paid to me while I was an H1B.

There is also another law that states that no more than 15% of your workforce can be H1-B based. This law is meant to protect U.S. citizens from being displaced by H1-B's and to assure that only really critical roles can be filled with H1-B workers. No one is going to hire an HR person on an H-1B (well unless they are super critical in an HR-kind of way to the company).

Another noteworthy thing to mention is, prevailing wage != FMV (fair market value) wage, at least in my experience. This difference between the two may amount to _some_ savings, but I doubt it is as significant as, let's say, hiring a foreign Indian worker in India at 1/2 or less the salary.

Speaking of hiring offshore - this may or may not prove to be a value added proposition - if you have some seriously senior, super-technical project managers who can divvy up a project into many well-defined/well-bounded specific tasks (e.g. write code for login/logout procedures for a webapp based on Tomcat, using JAAS as the authentication/mechanism, task #2, integrate JAAS with Active Directory on Windows Server, etc.), delegating these tasks to off-shore people, it could work. But this only works in a mature environment like Microsoft probably. It could work in smaller companies too, but it's much riskier, and it could inhibit the company's growth.

Offshoring is overrated. Hiring local, U.S. talent as well as H1B is much better value. Well, that's my opinion anyway, and I'm sticking to it ;) (for now).

Salary... (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17937750)

My father actually came to the United State on a H1-B, to work for Unisys. There were issues (seemed like there was foot dragging on Green Card acquisition, and of course the inevitable fear of being fired and having to start over - regardless of how small the risk my have been), however he made a healthy amount of money per year - just under a 100k per year his first year. Later terms of employment took him over 100k, even while still waiting for the green card (it took a few YEARS). There are bad uses for the H1-B, but definately at least some companies do use it well.
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