The American-Bashers

By John Miano, December 4, 2009

Those of us who seek to change U.S. immigration policy so that it will no longer serve as a tool to displace, disrupt, and impoverish working Americans get subject to a lot of name calling: "xenophobe," "anti-immigrant," "racist."

Those who bash Americans generally get away unscathed in the press. There has been a surge an American-bashing articles recently. This one, claiming Americans don't do their "fair share," comes from Electronic Design news:

The H-1B visa program is valuable, and, as the Kauffman Foundation study points out, immigrants have contributed disproportionately to the US economy’s high-tech sector. If Americans are unwilling or unable to contribute their fair share, then it will be important to US economic success to attract talent from overseas.

The fuel for this American-bashing comes from some recent studies that use techniques right out of the book How to Lie with Statistics that cook data for the very purpose of belittling natives.

Immigrants make up about 12.5 percent of the U.S. population. These studies report that immigrants found about 25 percent of the companies. From that you are to conclude "Americans are unwilling or unable to contribute their fair share."

Here's how the gaming of the data works: Compare apples to oranges. It not that 25 percent of the founders are immigrants but rather 25 percent of the companies have immigrant founders.

To illustrate, take Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Google, and Microsoft (four big names in the industry).

Their founders are Intel: Robert Noyce (born Iowa) and Gordon Moore (born California); HP: William Hewlett (born Michigan) and David Packard (born Colorado); Google: Larry Page (born Michigan) and Sergey Brin (born Soviet Union); and Microsoft: William Gates (born Washington) and Paul Allen (born Washington).

Among these founders, 1 in 8 is an immigrant -- the same representation as in the nation as a whole. However 1 in 4 of the companies is founded by an immigrant.

The purpose of using the measurement is to artificially inflate the contributions of immigrants for the purpose of promoting more guest workers From this number trick, you are supposed to conclude Americans are not doing their "fair share."

If you really wanted to compare immigrant founders to native founders, you would need to know the average number of founders being considered. If the average number is founders is 2, immigrants would have to be founding 23 percent of companies to be doing their "fair share." If the average number is 3, immigrants would have to be founding 32 percent of companies. If it's 4, immigrants should be founding 40 percent of companies. None of these studies purporting to show disproportionate immigrant founding report the number of people they considered as founders.

This denigration of Americans even goes so far as to claim that Intel was founded by immigrants. That's not what Intel says, unless of course you count people born in Iowa or California as immigrants.

You've heard it all before: Americans can't do math. Americans can't read. Americans can't program. Americans don't do their fair share. If that were the case, America should be like Somalia.

The end game of this American-bashing is to obtain more cheap foreign labor through guest worker visas. Use bogus statistics to "prove" Americans are not doing their "fair share" to get more cheap labor overseas to drive more Americans out of work where they won't be doing their fair share.

This is not to say that immigrants have not made major contributions to economy -- they have. However, the anti-Americans who throw around these bogus statistics need to be called on the carpet for their abuse of this country and its citizens.