It's A Shortage Of Jobs, Not Of Skills
You failed in your argument about why the U.S. presently imports thousands of software engineers ("Reality check," Up Front, Nov. 22). As an unemployed software engineer, laid off a year ago after 13 years with Digital Equipment Corp., I (and many of my friends) can assure you that it is not because of any lack in the supply or quality of homegrown engineers.
In reality, trade publications such as Electronic Engineering Times regularly feature letters and columns bemoaning the effects on our wage scale: an influx of foreign engineers on student and temporary visas. Also, countries such as Russia are mounting strong campaigns to persuade U.S. companies to export software engineering jobs overseas.
I suggest you read Virginia Abernethy's book Population Politics and rewrite your "Reality check." Abernethy educates with convincing evidence and challenges us to face population control. Ask a few unemployed software engineers and physical therapists what they think about the temporary visas. The U.S. has an abundance of labor and a shortage of jobs. Retraining within our present job market should take precedence over importing labor from outside our shores.
Joan K. Smith
Mt. Morris, Mich.