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Immigrant valley

Original post made on Apr 25, 2014

In HBO's new series "Silicon Valley," filmed in and around Palo Alto, a group of techies live, work and breathe their next-big-thing venture in an incubator/house, navigating the unpredictable ups and downs of trying to succeed in the 21st century's land of opportunity.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 25, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (28)

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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

[Portion removed.]

Germany is the richest country in Europe. It has been able to nearly end Western democracy twice in the 20th Century—and we Americans are supposed to open our doors to "entrepreneurs" who have little to offer the US other than another cell phone App?

Software, and microelectronics, have opened the door to virtually anyone in the world interested in coding up some sort of program, or the other. But does being about to code up some silly game constitute the basis for instant citizenship status? Hardly!

One can only wonder how many different entities promoting instant citizenship (or something similar) for their clients. It would be really interesting to know how much money is changing hands here—trying to get these people who clearly don't seem to be able to make it in their own countries—into the US.

What's really sad is that the US has about 47% of its population on food stamps, and we have seen a half-century of deindustrialization—with American industries moving offshore—and the Weekly still doesn't get it. What's to keep these people, or people like them, from moving the software industry off-shore too?

Got to wonder if the Weekly would cheer such a course of events, or if even the Weekly would wake up and smell the loss of our national assets.

With millions of people out of work here in the US, what can the Weekly be thinking taking a position like this one? Or will we see the Weekly call for more food stamps in coming editorials?
----


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Posted by old time planter
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Apr 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

"at us stupid Americans."

Well, if you believe that "the US has about 47% of its population on food stamps" you may have one small sector of the population properly labeled. You can probably ascertain where I currently place you.

Solution to the article - fund education in the Bay Area: pre-K through public high schools, community college and beyond. Otherwise, lose the business edge. Do not increase visas. America first.


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

Let's correct the record, shall we ..

Census: 49% of Americans Get Gov't Benefits; 82M in Households on Medicaid:
Web Link


Why are 47M Americans on Food Stamps?
Web Link

Thanks to the previous poster for calling into question the 47% on food stamps. It would appear to be closer to about 15%-18%. The percent of Americans receiving government benefits is almost 50%, and will doubtless increase in the future.

Got to wonder why Americans no longer want to work? Got to wonder just how many can be placed on government benefit programs before the system collapses.

Sorry about the mistaken detail in the previous posting, but the sentiment stands.
---


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Posted by old time planter
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Apr 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm


Exxon and big oil get millions/billions of corporate welfare benefits.

Federal freeloader Cliven Bundy, the deadbeat rancher gets federal corporate welfare, and then refuses to pay the ridiculous, artificailly low fees for grazing..

My parents get Social Security, and Medicare.

Let's toss all these losers off the guv'mint dole.

"Got to wonder why Americans no longer want to work?" What a ridiculous frame. When's the last time Congress addressed creating jobs to overcome the Great Recession, instead of symbolic repeal votes? (over 80 useless repeal votes on the ACA and abortion.)


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I question the 47% on government benefits figure. But -- whatever the true % it, government benefits is a broad category.

Please note that "government benefits" also includes Social Security, Disability, Veteran's benefits, School lunch programs, Medicare, Medicaid, as well as Public Assistance --- and many other programs. It is NOT a matter of scoundrels and lazy people stealing undeserved benefits.

While some people cheat, it is NOT the majority. There is actual need. America has a heart.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

People keep picking at Social Security and Medicare. That is the FICA that has been deducted out of your paycheck - and matched by your employer. You also have other deductions - SDI, ETC. Corporations that work Government Defense efforts sign up for the most stringent set of requirements regarding every government welfare program out there that supports Equal opportunity, etc. They also contribute to their communities by supporting programs like Second Harvest Foodbank, etc.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Huh? Those quotes aren't mine -- I'm meticulous at using just my one identity. My multi-click explanation was a discovery months ago, and I thought I was doing a service to describe the problem, though I realize references to deleted comments are usually themselves deleted. Maybe the first commenter will respond.


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Posted by Stanford
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Some of the comments here are quite appalling. I know many foreign entrepreneurs who are employing US citizens, which can only benefit the local economy. I hope we continue to be able to attract the best and the brightest from all around the world, without falling into the trap of short-sighted protectionism.

For those foreign entrepreneurs who do take the step, I also want to add that I've loved using LawGives. I highly recommend it for connecting to immigration lawyers. I got quick responses and was quoted fixed fees for my issue.


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Posted by PA
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Well, one thing is for sure, the show Silicon Valley is hilarious. It is so spot on, just thinking about past shows
makes me smile!


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Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Looky Here
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Looky there
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

@lookyhere you got to be kidding me. This is a nation of immigrants. The amount of ignorance in your comments is astonishing. Someone who claims to live in Professorville should know better than making broad generalizations like that.


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Posted by Entrepreneur
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I am an entrepreneur who moved here in 2003 and had my share of visa challenges at the time.

My company now employs more than a dozen Americans and pays plenty in taxes. Our nearest competitors are in Europe - we have none in the US. My immigration to this country created significant and meaningful value for the US economy that would not have existed otherwise and withdrew *nothing* from it.

Encouraging entrepreneurs to settle in the US makes enormous social and economic sense for the country. I get it, xenophobia exists wherever there are people but, please, try and open your mind to see what good thousands of the most talented folks on the planet are bringing to the country when they choose to come here to start their companies.


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Posted by Ronnie Raygun
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

"we are discussing giving amnesty to 16-18 million illegal aliens?"

A bald faced lie.

How many did Ronnie Reagan amnesty?

Why did both Bush and McCain support the immigration bill?


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

The 1986 amnesty was 3 million, and sources that would tend to put out low numbers, like the NY Times, say this amnesty would be 11 million.

Web Link

But it is stupid to conflate that with tech entrepreneurs, who are job creators.


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Posted by lgjhere
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2014 at 5:18 am

Let's face it, this immigration thing is a 20th century issue that has slopped over into the 21st century. The time has come to finally resolve it in an intelligent fashion, as three-fourths of Americans favor and Obama confronts head-on. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that helps explain the role, struggles, and contributions of immigrants and minorities is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More." It paints a revealing picture of America for anyone who will benefit from a better understanding. Endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also informs those who want to learn more about the last remaining superpower and how we compare to other nations on many issues.
As the book points out, immigrants and minorities are a major force in America. Immigrants and the children they bear account for 60 percent of our nation's population growth and own 11 percent of US businesses and are 60 percent more likely to start a new business than native-born Americans. They represent 17 percent of all new business owners (in some states more than 30 percent). Foreign-born business owners generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California and nearly one-fifth in New York, Florida, and New Jersey. In fact, forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant, creating 10 million jobs and seven out of ten top brands in our country.
More importantly, they come to improve their lives and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon, as did the author's grandparents when they landed at Ellis Island in 1899 after losing 2 children to disease on a cramped cattle car-like sailing from Europe to the Land of Opportunity. Many bring skills and a willingness to work hard to make their dreams a reality, something our founders did four hundred years ago. In describing America, chapter after chapter chronicles "foreigners" who became successful in the US and contributed to our society. However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance in Anytown, USA. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House/Congress and business/labor cooperation, concerned citizens and books like this can extend a helping hand, the same unwavering hand,, lest we forget, that has been the anchor and lighthouse of American values for four hundred years.
Here's a closing quote from the book's Intro: "With all of our cultural differences though, you'll be surprised to learn how much…we as human beings have in common on this little third rock from the sun. After all, the song played at our Disneyland parks around the world is 'It's A Small World After All.' Peace."


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Posted by Stop Treason
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 26, 2014 at 8:33 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Stop Treason
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 26, 2014 at 8:37 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by RussianMom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:17 am

As an immigrant myself, we come to this country 20+ years ago legally. We come for the opportunity and better future for our kids. We come, because we admired education, culture, humane approach vs everything we left in motherland. For that, we learned the language and tried to adopt. We kept our own culture and kids are raised with the best of both. BUT from day 1, we wanted to become a good citizens, appreciating the opportunity that America offered generously. Watching recent immigration from China/India/Russia/Mexico I am sad that America become a 'rented apartment', temporary job market. I hear more often how wonderful native contries are and let's rebuild it here?! More and more often I hear that 'we want to work here, but retire back home'. To live here is a privelege that come with responsibilities. If given an opportunity to our own youth (better education, cheaper colleges, easier hiring) they will create companies, work hard, invent, support the economy, etc. we have too much problems to fix at home, before we will fix the whole world.


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Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:29 am

One of my brothers used to be a programmer at a high tech company in Silicon Valley. He eventually came to hate it for several reasons, but one was that he had to train absolutely clueless H1-B's when they got hired. He called them "H1 Beavers". According to him, their foreign college degrees had to be fake, because they had to be trained from scratch, which was not easy. It was a mystery as to why the company insisted on hiring these people instead of more qualified Americans. I have two theories, either they get paid less or the company gets some kind of kickback from the foreign governments for hiring them. Also I think that applicants loading up their resumes with BS and fooling the HR people probably is a factor.


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Posted by Stanny
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:36 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 11:34 am

> That is the FICA that has been deducted out of
> your paycheck - and matched by your employer.

This is true as far as it goes. The reality is that most people draw down their accounts (FICA and employer contributions) within five years of retirement. The rest of their lives (20-30 more years), their SS checks come from other people's accounts, and money borrowed from the Chinese (most likely).

People need to understand that their SS accounts are only partially funded by themselves during their lifetime. The rest of the money comes from some other source--often taxes on future generations to pay off the bonds soWld to pay SS benefits today.
----


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

> BTW, Germany did not start WWI

Good point. Thanks for keeping the record straight.

Given the nature of European politics of that era, the growing nationalism and the expanding economies of the various players--it's hard to believe that WWI would not have occurred sooner or later--given the interlinked treaties between the various powers.


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Posted by Stop Treason
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

> this immigration thing is a 20th century issue that has slopped
> over into the 21st century.

Not true. Immigration was a very hot topic from not-too-long after the founding of the Country. As more newspapers are now on-line, it's not that hard to follow the day-to-day issues from the early 1800s on. The issue became really hot after 1840, and was, in part, a contributor to the so-called Civil War (which wasn't). Issues involving how lond a person should reside in the country before being granted citizen ship were often discussed. The growing economies of all of the States required more people than natural growth allowed. While most of the immigration tended to locate in the Northern, and Western, States--the South also was looking at ways to increase its labor force using immigrationn of Africans and Chinese.

Here in California, Asian immigration was a very hot topic. The 1878 Constitutional Convention was rife with anti-Chinese sentiment.

This issue is almost as old as the US itself.


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Corruption in India:

Web Link

Corruption in India is a major issue that adversely affects its economy.[1] A study conducted by Transparency International in year 2005 found that more than 62% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully.[2][3] In its study conducted in year 2008, Transparency International reports about 40% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or using a contact to get a job done in public office.[4]
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Got to wonder how Indians who come to the US as "entrepreneurs" are going to conduct themselves in the US/California business environment. If bribary, and corruption, is a way of life in India--what's to keep India transplants from operating the same why here? After all, India is a very old culture--so why should transplanted Indians want to be influenced by any ideas that Americans might have about honesty, and fairness, in business dealings?


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Posted by Social Security myth
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm

"...their SS checks come from other people's accounts, and money borrowed from the Chinese (most likely)."

Not true. Not even close. SS has never borrowed a dime from the Chinese; there is currently a huge surplus (though declining.) You are confusing SS with Medicare; for example, Bush's Medicare Part D was completely unfunded, so therefore has survived on borrowed money, much like our war misadventures.

Social Security has never added a dime to the deficit. Not even close.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Posted by Entrepreneur, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

"I am an entrepreneur who moved here in 2003 and had my share of visa challenges at the time.

My company now employs more than a dozen Americans and pays plenty in taxes. Our nearest competitors are in Europe - we have none in the US. My immigration to this country created significant and meaningful value for the US economy that would not have existed otherwise and withdrew *nothing* from it.

Encouraging entrepreneurs to settle in the US makes enormous social and economic sense for the country. I get it, xenophobia exists wherever there are people but, please, try and open your mind to see what good thousands of the most talented folks on the planet are bringing to the country when they choose to come here to start their companies."

Charming, but what about other countries? I love how people run down the U.S., meanwhile I understand from close contacts that is is nigh impossible to immigrate into Japan, for example. And try purchasing real estate in China.
Talk about xenophobia!
And efforts to permit more H1B visa are questionable and likely linked to the drive to lower salaries. Very clever greedy billionaire high-techies support this...wonder why.


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