A STEM Shortage?

By BILL TAYLOR
Part II

It seems to me that the claims of a shortage of Scientific, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workers among our homegrown talent are nothing more than balderdash and tommyrot to use old-fashioned polite terminology - or just plain bald-faced lies to use more blunt jargon. There is overwhelming evidence that the arguments that we don’t produce enough STEM workers here in the U.S. are a smoke screen to conceal the fact that companies are using the H1B visa program to import cheap labor. These visas, which are issued in response to business’s petitions, are supposed to satisfy the demand for high tech workers that cannot be met by our own citizens or legally resident immigrant STEM professionals. But the truth is that there is no such shortage.

Let’s start with one simple idea. When there is a shortage of something, that is, the demand is greater than the supply, the cost of that commodity goes up - if there is a greater supply than demand, the cost goes down. So if there is now and has been a shortage of scientists and engineers, their salaries should reflect that shortage by rising- right? Care to guess what has actually happened? To quote from a study put out by the Urban Institute, “ Research finds that the real wages in S&E (scientific and engineering) occupations declined over the past two decades and labor market indications suggest little shortage.