Category Archives: Business

April 24, 2017

Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank. Here’s why

Construction in Los Angeles has shifted from a heavily unionized labor force that was two-thirds white to a largely non-union one that is 70% Latino and heavily immigrant.

Eddie Ybarra and Francisco Martinez, both in their 40s, work side by side building the walls of two of the newest condo buildings in downtown Los Angeles. They drive pickup trucks to work, park in adjacent lots and both take their lunch break around 10 a.m. That’s about all they share.

Ybarra, born in Los Angeles, has built a solidly middle-class lifestyle on more than two decades in the carpenters’ union, earning $40 an hour on top of a pension, healthcare and unlimited vacation days.

Martinez, born in Guadalajara, Mexico, works for a nonunion contractor, installing metal panels and other parts for $27.50 an hour. He doesn’t have retirement savings, his insurance doesn’t cover his family and he gets five vacation days per year.

The story of these two men illustrates the radical shift that has put construction front and center in the national debate over declining blue-collar jobs and President Trump’s views of immigration.

In the span of a few decades, Los Angeles area construction went from an industry that was two-thirds white, and largely unionized, to one that is overwhelmingly Latino, mostly nonunion and heavily reliant on immigrants, according to a Los Angeles Times review of federal data.


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April 19, 2017

Australia toughens foreign worker visas, says Australian jobs for Australians

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), which represents more than 60,000 businesses, said the changes would improve the integrity of Australia’s visa programme.

Australia will abolish a temporary work visa popular with foreigners and replace it with a new programme requiring better English-language and job skills, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday.

Turnbull, struggling with poor voter approval ratings, rejected suggestions the visa policy change was in response to far-right wing political parties, such as One Nation, demanding more nationalistic policies.

But in a Facebook announcement Turnbull said: “Our reforms will have a simple focus: Australian jobs and Australian values.”

In a similar vein, U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday directing changes to a temporary visa programme used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill highly skilled jobs. The order is an attempt by Trump to carry out his “America First” election campaign pledges.

Turnbull said the visa change would attract better skilled workers and see Australians employed over cheap foreign workers brought in under the old 457 visa programme.


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Venezuelan Oligarchs Who Robbed Country Bring Cash and Corruption to Miami and Houston

“They come here to enjoy the fruits of their ill-gotten gains.”

More than 1.5 million Venezuelans have fled into the diaspora spurred by the election of Hugo Chávez, Maduro’s predecessor, as president in 1998. Many settled in the United States, including in Houston — lured by its oil and gas jobs — and Miami, the American metropolis closest to South America. Some are poor and working-class Venezuelans in search of economic opportunity. Some are professionals who were purged by the Chávez government. And some are the same corrupt businessmen who stole billions from the Venezuelan government and plunged the country into the worst economic crisis Latin America has seen in a generation.

“They go out and they buy the most expensive house, the most exotic cars, the fastest airplanes,” says Otto Reich, a former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. “They do it here in the United States because they’re afforded the personal security that their fellow citizens are denied in Venezuela… they come here to enjoy the fruits of their ill-gotten gains.”

Venezuelans call them boligarchs, a portmanteau of “bolívar” (Venezuela’s currency) and “oligarch.” Hundreds hide in plain sight in Venezuelan enclaves such as Weston, Florida; and Katy, Texas. These American boligarchs include Roberto Rincón and Abraham Shiera, a pair of Venezuelan businessmen who bilked their country’s state-run oil company, PDVSA (PAY-duh-veh-suh), out of $1 billion before they were caught.


Complete text linked here.

April 18, 2017

Harvard Research: Minimum Wage Hikes Put Non-Elite Restaurants Out of Business

A recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Business School concluded that minimum wage laws increase the likelihood that non-elite restaurants will go out of business.

The study, which was conducted by the husband-and-wife team of Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca, looked at data on “tens of thousands of restaurants in the San Francisco area.” They concluded that lower-rated restaurants are disproportionately more likely than four or five-star restaurants to go out of business as a result of minimum wage laws.

The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage.

Their data on the San Francisco-area restaurants studied concluded that a $1 increase in the minimum wage increased the likelihood of a restaurant going out of business by four to 10 percent. A 10 percent increase in the minimum wage led to a 24 percent increase in the likelihood that a restaurant would go out of business.

This paper presents several new findings. First, we provide suggestive evidence that higher minimum wage increases overall exit rates among restaurants, where a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit, although statistical significance falls with the inclusion of time-varying county-level characteristics and city-specific time trends.


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April 16, 2017

Marvel, NFL, ESPN learn progressive politics is bad for their bottom line

According to ratings and sales figures for popular brands like ESPN, Marvel and the NFL, social justice just doesn’t sell.

In an interview with icV2, a news source for comics and games, Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing said tastes have simply changed, noting that people weren’t interested in the diverse and female characters the company rolled out, turning their noses up at non-core Marvel characters.

This caused outrage and it seems he was forced to make a correction, which social justice warriors tend to demand of people.

Then there’s ESPN whose ratings have dropped significantly for what some blame on their clearly leftist political stances. Subscribers dropped by 87.8M and their Monday Night Football ratings dropped 12% since last season.


Complete text linked here.

April 4, 2017

Feds Sentence Waste Management Supervisors for Hiring Illegal Workers

A federal district court sentenced three Waste Management supervisors to prison for hiring 10 or more illegal aliens. The charges include a conspiracy to encourage and induce migrants to enter and live in the country. Feds revealed that two of the men involved in the conspiracy are Salvadoran nationals. The third is a U.S. citizen.

A jury convicted Rudy Alexander Martinez, 36, and Israel Arquimides Martinez, 44 on April 8, 2016, after a trial that lasted two weeks and about six hours of deliberation. The jury determined the two Salvadoran nationals conspired to employ and actually employed illegal aliens, according to information obtained from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials by Breitbart Texas. Also, the jury found the defendants encouraged and induced illegal aliens to enter the country without documentation and to reside in the U.S. Finally; the jury convicted the two men on charges of aggravated identity theft–a separate offense that carries a sentence of two years which runs consecutive to any other sentencing.

Ceasar Santiago Arroyo, 51, a Houston resident and U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty on March 31 to the conspiracy. He served as a district operations manager for Waste Management.

Rudy and Israel Martinez worked for Waste Management in supervisory or management capacities. Rudy served as a commercial route manager while Israel served as a lead driver in residential operations.


Complete text linked here.

March 28, 2017

#AdsenseGate: The Truth About Youtube Demonetization (Video)

Must watch.

March 10, 2017

The horrendous visa program forcing tech workers to ‘dig their own graves’

“Why should IBM or Disney be deciding our future voting population?” Horowitz asks. “That needs to be decided by our general immigration system, not those looking to save $15,000 or $20,000 on their labor costs.”

Leo Perrero still remembers the humiliation of losing his job.

“All of you in this room will be losing your jobs in the next 90 days,” he was told, later recalling the experience before Congress.

“Later that same day,” he added, “I remember very clearly going to the local church pumpkin sale and having to tell the kids that we could not buy any because my job was going over to a foreign worker.”

Disney replaced Perrero using a little-known and oft overlooked provision of immigration law that allows big tech companies to replace their employees with foreign workers under extremely questionable circumstances.

In an upcoming episode of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” — “H-1B Hell: The Sellout of America’s Best and Brightest Workers” — Malkin delves into how the H-1B worker visa program has been putting people like Leo Perrero and countless others out of work since 1990.

On location at UC San Francisco, where 79 IT workers recently lost their jobs to an outsourcing firm and user of H-1B visa workers, Malkin spoke to some of tech workers laid off by the university.


Complete text linked here.

March 1, 2017

Wells Fargo Hit With Film-Finance Fraud Suit

The fraud resulted from “systemic defects” in how the bank treats employees, according to the suit.

Wells Fargo is facing a multimillion-dollar film-finance fraud lawsuit, capping off a 2016 of legal woes for the banking giant.

British financiers Vandermolen Film Co. and Bridgeworks Media Capital claim Wells Fargo employees conned them into funding bridge loans and they’re owed at least $14 million, according to a complaint filed in Florida state court last week.

“Upon information and belief, the brazen and repeated acts of fraud, theft, conversion, and negligence on the part of the WELLS FARGO DEFENDANTS detailed in this Complaint are the result of systemic defects in the way the WELLS FARGO DEFENDANTS manage, train, supervise, hire, reward, and punish their employees,” writes attorney Roy Altman in the complaint.

The suit notes that earlier this year Wells Fargo made headlines when it was revealed its employees had opened more than 2 million accounts that may not have been authorized by customers in order to meet sales goals. That resulted in $185 million in fines and a $5 million payout to customers.


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February 6, 2017

Indian Software Mogul: Hire Americans Now Because Trump Opposes H-1B Outsourcing Visas

A leading Indian software entrepreneur says Indian companies must accept President Donald Trump’s pro-American policies and must start hiring Americans instead of sending Indian white-collar H-1B visa workers into American job sites.

The startling Feb. 2 recommendation came from N.R. Narayana Murthy, the president and co-founder of the most-criticized H-1B outsourcing firm, Infosys Limited, which has asked for more than 100,000 work visas since 2013. The company uses the visas to send their lower-wage Indian employees to work in U.S. banks, manufacturers and service companies throughout the United States.

“We should stop using H-1B visas and [stop] sending a large number of Indians to those countries to deliver services,” he said in an interview on an Indian affiliate of Microsoft’s MSN network.

We have to recruit from colleges there, we have to train those local people [to work with] Indian companies … it is great opportunity for Indian companies to become more and more multicultural.

Murthy’s televised concession appears as Indian and American companies rally to stop Trump from implementing his campaign promise to reform the H-1B outsourcing visa program.

Roughly 650,000 foreign H-1B workers are employed in a wide variety of white-collar jobs in the United States, including roughly 100,000 as academics, teachers, doctors, therapists, scientists, and designers at American universities. Overall, roughly 1 million foreign college-grads are employed as contract workers in the United States, even as 800,000 Americans graduate from college each year with skilled degrees to compete for well-paying jobs.


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