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WOULD A NEW TAX HELP TO PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK?

October 15, 2010

Dear Editor:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, the official unemployment rate is 9.6% as of October 8, 2010

I am a United States citizen, and I have an idea about how American jobs could be created to reduce the 9.5% unemployment rate.

I am concerned about something that is happening and seems to be getting out of control.

During the past few years I’ve seen lots of people losing their jobs to other countries.  These workers in other countries do not re-invest in our country, the USA.  My idea is to regulate this out-of-control outsourcing of labor.

Congress could implement a “Cyber” H1B visa where all companies using resources outside the US would be required to apply for a visa to work remotely for a US company.  That way, the number of people companies are recruiting overseas could be controlled, and taxes could be levied upon those companies based on the resources they are using outside the USA.

For example, every morning when an offshore resource logs in to work with a U.S. company, he will need to clear “cyber” customs to get to his job, just like any other immigrant who crosses a bridge to come to work in the United States. This cyber visa would not allow the resources to come to work physically in the United States; it would give them access only to work remotely for a USA-based company.  That is the only privilege they would receive with this kind of visa.  Only a certain number of visas would be allowed per year, just as it is now with H1B visas.

If the cyber visa were put into place, our country could collect funds which could be used to improve our homeland security system, or the tax revenue generated could be distributed to USA consumers. This project would give the USA another tool by which to trace who has access to the USA, even through cyber space.

The cyber visa would also enable the government to keep track of the number of employees/resources which every company is outsourcing to another country.  Companies employing people outside of the United States rather than employing local resources could be taxed, similar to what happens when a company hires a resource using an H1B visa but who is physically present in the USA.  Also, when outsourcing a job, they should go through the same process that is required for an H1B visa. Companies would be required to prove they could not find a local resource in the USA who has the same skills in order to obtain a cyber visa issued for the resource they are hiring.

This project could also create a lot of jobs in the IT industry because we would need an application to control the access, to issue the visas, to track the visas by company, etc. So in my opinion, a project like this is a win-win option for all Americans.

I’m sure members of Congress currently running for office or re-election would get a lot of support and votes from the American people if they promoted a change like this to help our current economy and reduce the high unemployment rate (9.5%) we are experiencing now.

Which congressman or candidate would like to place this on his or her agenda?

Sincerely,

Alejandro Villegas

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29 Comments

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  1. Personally I like the idea of boycotting any product or services provided by companies that are outsourcing American jobs.

  2. As I see it, the problem resides in our foreign trade policies. We allow our jobs to be outsourced without any laws compelling the host country to comply with our standards. If a company is allowed to produce goods in a country that has no epa regulations, no minimum wage, no concern with paying any of the taxes or following any of the multitude of regulations that they have to here…well its a no brainer! If this is to stop, make it a level playing field. If widget A costs 50 bucks to produce here, complying with all of our regulations but the same widget A only 15 there then add a tax to make up the difference when it is shipped back here.
    Either the offshore US company will pay the tax or close the plant there and bring the work back home. Make the widget cost about the same no matter where it is made.
    Those countries need to bring their costs and payrolls in line with ours. If they want to ship there own cheap goods here we make them pay for all the pollution and other costs they sidestep in that country to be able to produce such cheap goods. Also start enforcing our patent and trademark laws so we stop getting our own tech stolen and back engineered and then made and sold back to us.
    In the end it is our own fault…we want clean air and water. But we also want dirt cheap goods. And we all want jobs that earn a large salary. Those things are really hard to combine. As the saying goes…”ok out of those choices you only get to pick two”.

  3. I don’t understand how Mr. Villegas’ idea would help reduce exporting jobs but it’s refreshing to read his suggested solution and those in the comments, too.

    1. This was meant for AMerican Citizens who understand the problem.

      for amercian citizens that have lost thier jobs and thier career becasue a non regultated
      form of business have taken the jobs to another country where living standards are way below to American;s living standards. it is too simple, if we make outsorcing not cheap
      and difficult do you think companies would want to have the hassle to even trying it?
      even companies that are doing outsorce know that is bad, the level of services that we get back from countries like India are way below of our quality standards, the work performed over there is so bad that needs to be re-done over here. so if we make outsorcing to cost if not the same as having a local but close to the cost of using a local, then companies will think twice before outsorcing anything to other places as it will not only cost money but will
      also come with all the problems that we all know are realted to work that was performed
      by the outsorced resource.

  4. In my opinion we must put a stop to this thing called a “global economy” which to me is just an excuse and not needed! I strongly believe that all nations must be self reliant and self sustainable. A global economy contradicts that! If there is to be foreign trade, that trade should be for items and goods that are considered a luxury and not a necessity. Let Asia, Europe and South America for example produce their own consumer products for their own people and America should do the same and let us stop all this unfair and unnecessary trade competition! Each society should have it’s own social plan besides a constitution that is designed with each individual citizen in mind from birth to retirement! Notice I said retirement! Each society needs to understand that in a national workforce you must have a sense of input and output, preparing the young through their education years for careers is the input and a mandatory retirement is the output that makes for more incoming input! In a true healthy society there is no need to go to a Walmart and witness the elderly working hard just to makes ends meet when they should be enjoying a comfortable retirement! That is a sign that there is imbalance in society when you have the elderly of a society competing with the young for jobs!That should not be happening! Another thing, on the subject of retirement. The discussion in a healthy society should there be a discussion is about the lowering of the age of retirement…NOT INCREASING IT! It is so insulting to have incompetent government officials who create havoc on an economy with all their questionable trade rules and regulations to have the last say of all things to suggest that because of their failure to manage the economy correctly, the elder citizens will have to pay for that failure by working longer and harder and shortening the retirement years…and yet those same incompetent people get to retire to a life of luxury! Something is wrong with that picture! It should not have to be this difficult to manage a society! You are born into a wholesome family created by your parents and when the time comes given a grade “A” public education void of politics! You then enter a workforce that is waiting for you whether it be a blue or white collar career and ideally you work steadily throughout your working years until retirement. It’s because of this false belief that the world needs a global economy and the associated mismanagement, micro economics, fraud, that comes along with that belief is why in my opinion America is in this economic mess in the first place! Let’s proudly bring back the “MADE IN U.S.A.” manufacturing labels and let us restore faith in America’s Posterity that when they make the transition from education to the workforce that there will be a meaningful career waiting for them which also allows them to eventually start looking forward to a meaningful retirement!

    1. NUTN2SAY, some of your ideas of how things should be, as you’ve described them in your posted comment (above), look just like socialism to me. All of those entitlements have tabs that must be paid by someone and those someones are the working class.

      From having a “social plan” to giving kids a grade A education to overseeing their school-to-workforce transition all the way to a guaranteed comfortable retirement that commences at an age that’s mandated by the government are all the from the same type of idealistic thinking that drives socialism. Even dreaming that we’re all born into wholesome families created by our parents is idealistic thinking as this has never been the case for everyone and never will be. Idealism is fine; we should each, as individuals and in our own lives, strive to make what we perceive to be ideal the reality. Government legislating each and every individual to work for and toward the common good, however, is socialism, and flies in the face of liberty.

      1. Dear AuntieMadder,

        With all due respect I must disagree! There can be socialism in this if you choose to read it that way! But in my mind it is a back to basics concept! Plain and simple! Let me ask you this as an example…..WHERE IS THE SOCIALISM IN WANTING TO BRING BACK THE MANUFACTURING CAREERS THAT HAD UNNECESSARILY BEEN SHIPPED OFFSHORE?

      2. There’s nothing socialist about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US…not until the govt taxes the manufacturing workers to pay for the entitlement programs you described earlier.

      3. Dear AuntiMadder,

        You have to be more specific! Just what entitlement programs did I bring to your attention which gives you cause for concern? I believe I only mentioned education and retirement but did not spell out how they were to be implemented. I was only speaking in terms of generalities expressing my opinion of what is good for a healthy society.

      4. NUTN2SAY,

        Each society should have it’s own social plan besides a constitution that is designed with each individual citizen in mind from birth to retirement!

        That statement and those you posted to define and elaborate on it reek of socialism.

        Either you’ve given it more thought and changed your mind or you still believe what you posted yesterday to be true. Either way, it’s not necessary for me to repeat your post to you when it’s right there, a few inches above this one.Your initial post speaks for itself.
        —————————
        Mrs. Rondeau replies: I don’t think people need to be upset. The original article was published to provoke thought and discussion about the problem of American jobs having been outsourced. It would seem that discussion and action are needed if people want to bring back the many thousands of jobs, perhaps even millions, that have been lost due to outsourcing to foreign countries and companies. Of course, there is the issue of job creation, which is not a constitutionally-authorized function of any government, be it federal, state or local.

      5. Dear AuntieMadder,

        Again, with all due respect! You are taking a very vague sentence and reading things into it that only you see! Social plans can be conservative or they can be liberal! If you can’t understand that well then so be it! Every major city in America has some sort of planning department that develops “social” engineering of some sort! There are all kinds of plans! You have to have a plan of some kind no matter what your goal is! The U.S. Constitution is a plan! There is no socialism what so ever in my suggesting that America needs to get back to a “basic” plan that is conservative and yet provides a sense of expectations for the members of America’s society to look forward too!

  5. This merely sounds like a great way to expand the role of government (and, thereby, increase taxes).

    A far better method would be to eliminate the IRS, ban income-based taxes by Constitutional Amendment, and pass the FairTax bill (HR25) into law.

    1. I admit I don’t know much about the “fair tax”. What I do know, however, makes me believe it would destroy the economy. I know if I had to pay a 23% tax on everything I bought I would buy a whole lot less, even if I paid no income tax. Whatever I did buy I, and millions of others, would be looking for a way to avoid the 23% tax.

      Plus, it ain’t gonna happen. IMO a much better way, (and it ain’t gonna happen either), would be a flat tax, one where everyone paid something, (even if in some cases only a small amount), and no one got more back in taxes than they paid in, as can happen now.

      1. It would not destroy the economy. You are already paying that 23% tax, it is hidden in the price of goods to cover income and other taxes that companies and individuals have to pay.

        The savings would come from the following:
        1. Tax collection would be simplified – the IRS could be reduced significantly (you would still want to have some inspectors making sure that retailers comply with the sales tax)

        2. People who avoid paying income tax (including criminal activities) would pay sales taxes.

        3. Companies would be free to invest money not based on tax laws but on economics. There would be no reason to offshore any company headquarters, and there would be no reason to hide income obtained in foreign countries from being brought into the USA.

        4. Elimination of corporate income taxes would eliminate the principal reason for lobbying in Washington, DC – however this is the main obstracle for this law to be implemented; politicians will not easily give up the source of their power.

        The society would be much better off if, instead of figuring out how to pay or avoid paying income taxes, large number of people were involved in more productive work: health care, engineering, education,…

      1. I am sure there are many more differences, but I think one big difference is the VAT tax would be in addition to the progressive income tax system we now have, while the Fair Tax would replace the current system.

        Nothing is going to happen to the federal income tax system except it’s going to continue to get more complicated, and the rates are going up for the 50% or so of American workers who actually pay federal income tax.

      2. The Fair Tax (HR25) does call for a 23% national sales tax and a repeal of the income tax, estate tax, employment tax, etc… I’m not sure where that figure comes from, but it does seem high. I’m more inclined to think 15% would be more reasonable. Imagine never having to deal with the IRS in filing tax returns, getting audited or having an unexpected $5k tax bill at the end of the year EVER again. I also believe our government would be more accountable to its citizens if taxes were collected from our expenditures vice income.

        The VAT tax is somewhat complicated and hidden to the consumer… Over simplifying it tho… Say it takes 3 different production facilities to produce a final product, the government would tax the “added value” at each phase of the production as the product is completed .

        Congress does not like the Fair Tax as it is upfront and in your face. Seeing that you just forked over say $5k to the feds on the sale of a new car has a way of making it sink in exactly where your heard earned dollars are going. Congress likes the VAT as prices would somewhat increase for products without the voters knowing exactly why. The only problem with the VAT is that it’s an additional tax on top of income tax… Congress wants to pass VAT without any discussion of repealing the IRS and income taxes.

  6. Mr. Villegas:

    Your idea is probably already included in the health care bill, they just haven’t found it yet. In other words, it’s a really bad idea – to give our already out-of-control federal government even more authority to regulate every aspect of our lives.

    “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” –Thomas Jefferson

    1. Mac,

      I agree on the comment that our current administration is out of control,
      this Idea I’m sure will not even be considered in the current administration,
      in my opinion their agenda is really busy on creating/solving other problems
      and not in solving the problems we have in our country.

      This idea was shared so who ever, we the citizens, put in charge this november, these
      elected usa citizens can have some ideas on where we the citizens see big problems
      and no control or regultation exists, problems is there and everyone with comon sense can see it, but what are we doing to correct them? personlay I think we sould be offering solutions not only complaining about problems, if we all complain about problems how about every now and then offer some solutions to these problems? wheter is good or bad at least
      a suggestion to solve the problems comes along with the complaint.

      what you think? if outsorcing has not affected you yet, what would you suggest we do when this happens?

      1. Mr. Villagas,
        A free enterprise system means that businesses have the right to outsource their needs overseas in order to make a profit if that is their business model. The government plays NO ROLE in private business decisions whatsoever, nor should they. Obama himself claims we live in a global economy. Ok then, put your money where your mouth is big boy. Instead of taxing the crap out of us and putting everyone on the government payroll, how about maintaining a business friendly climate to attract businesses to the best educated and most skilled labor force on the planet, the United States of America, and then leave them alone. Taxing large businesses out of the country and small business out of business to force dependency on government is a loser for our nation no matter how you cut it. No sir, they’ve screwed it enough already. Let’s don’t give them a reason to screw it up even more. We’re smart enough to screw it up all by ourselves.
        And yes, I have experienced outsourcing and loss of work personally. I also was a licensed health and life insurance agent until obamacare was passed. That was the last straw for me. MP

      2. Good Morning Mac,
        I’m sorry to hear you are one of the millions of Americans that was impacted by outsource.

        The proposed idea is to make the outsourcing more dificult so companies that have that business model can’t do it anymore at the expense of the American worker, countries like India, the Philipines, and others where the outsorce labor is going do not have the same
        level of standard, preparation and skills that we have in America, so it is not fair for the American worker that got experience, skills and knowledge during the years to then be traded by a worker in another country at a fraction of the cost. What are we going to do
        after a big % of the jobs in all industries are outsorced? where Americans are going to work? how the Amercan people is going to have a living?
        All those questions are what made me think on a possible solution of so many to eliminate or reduce the outsorcing which is hurting bad our economy.

        Greetings!

      3. Alejandro,
        Let me first apologize for misspelling your name in my last comment. It was a typo and not intentional on my part. Mea culpa!
        I think we are going to continue to disagree on this because in principle, over-regulation, over-taxation and the unintended consequences of just plain bad legislation (read “unconstitutional”) is causing businesses to outsource their labor needs or leave the US altogether. It can’t be fixed with more bad legislation. It can only be fixed by restoring the Constitution and the individual state’s sovereignty to its original intent.
        I admire your determination to further your idea, but think your methodology is flawed. Please don’t give up; “necessity is the Mother of all invention” as they say and we are all working for the same cause. We are all entitled to our own opinion and I respect you for yours. Mac

        “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” –Thomas Jefferson
        —————
        Mrs. Rondeau replies: Even though you disagree, I respect both of you for doing so in a civil and patriotic manner. Thank you.

  7. There is a way of putting Americans back to work which was previously employed here in the U.S. It was called the Civilian Conservation Corps. In his younger days, my dad worked for the CCC. They helped build roads, parks, etc. On the little bit of money he earned, he was able to support his out-of-work father, his mother, and four siblings. obama needs to take the unspent portion of the $787 Billion slush fund he has been using for his party’s political campaigns and redirect the money to putting people to work fixing our infrastructure. That’s what that money was supposed to have been used for in the first place and not to fatten campaign coffers for socialists.True, a lot of the jobs would be the manual labor type but at least it would be honest work for honest pay. I have no crystal ball so I am unable to suggest all of the possibilities for employment of such a tactic. But I am certain that enough people could be put back to work to cut a sizable piece out of the unemployment figures. Also, I’m sure that there are a lot of people with families who would be jump at the chance to be earning ‘something’ for their families.

    1. The Civilian Conservation Corps was part of FDR’s New Deal. While it helped some citizens like your dad and his family, the Civilian Conservation Corps, along with the rest of FDR’s New Deal initiatives, was bad for America. Along with the creation of the FRB and the Social Security Administration, it was a huge leap in the march toward Socialism.

      For what it’s worth, when Oilbama talked about “shovel ready jobs” being created by the stimulus package, this is what most people thought he meant. And although all forms of socialism are bad for the country, at least some citizens would benefit from shovel ready jobs. As it is, the stimulus put no one to work. Instead, our grandkids will be paying the debt he and his Marxist cohorts in DC greatly increased when they stole borrowed money.

  8. Umm… Mr. Villegas, will all respect this makes no sense to me. If you want to put US citizens back to work, IMHO what must be done immediately is:

    1) Roll back unemployment benefits to 6 months. Studies show that 85% of recipients will not start looking for employment until 6 weeks prior to the benefits ending regardless of how long the benefits last.

    2) Citizens should have the right to spend every dollar earned. Dissolve the Internal Revenue Service, abolish income taxes and implement a national sales tax. Food, clothing and housing of course would be exempt from such a tax to not penalize the poor.

    3) Abolish Unions for state and federal employees. In the private sector, Unions must survive or die with the company. State and federal workers should also not be paid more than what a civilian counter part makes.

    4) Outsource ALL federal work(ers) where possible to US companies (based in the US) that bid contracts on that work. It currently takes about 4 government employees to do the same work as a 1 non-government worker.

    5) Reduce federal spending by 50% to every agency. The cuts must come from 2006 spending levels, not what BHO is currently spending. These cuts would ensure that every agency is operating efficiently and reduce senseless waste.

    Bottom line, outsourcing work overseas should be discouraged wherever possible. Bring those jobs back to American Citizens.

    1. Hello, it seems that some of the citizens, (I hope everyone replying is a citizen) do not get the message on the suggested Idea, what I’m proposing is to ELIMINATE outsourcing, global economy is a bad idea when the participating economies are not in the same level, which is indeed the case, what corporations are doing is trying to make their companies more profitable at the expense of the
      American citizens, and that my fellow Americans has to be regulated by someone, corporations will not eliminate outsourcing nor regulate outsourcing because it means they have to come up with other solutions
      to reduce costs and still be competitive, what corporations are doing is reducing costs by eliminating the American workers and evading taxes (federal taxes not paid such as social security) as all this jobs
      are not here in the USA therefore not taxed, if you have a employee it cost a company 30-35 % more of employee’s salary, corporations are not only evading this tax but also reducing that salary to
      20 % or around of what it will cost using a local resource. Outsourcing is a really bad idea, you end up with low quality results, longer time to complete projects and a lot of re-work that need to be done
      By American citizens because the contracted outsource resource has done a incompetent work. In short Outsourcing has to be eliminated, and if it can not be eliminated then it has to be
      Regulated, who my fellow Americans can regulate this is it is not the people that pass the bills and make laws that regulate our great nation? We need to be very careful who we put in charge
      This coming November, I personally do not want to continue with this non sense “new changes are necessary” this new changes have done nothing but harm our country more than helping. We need new ideas, yes
      We need them, but smart ideas that are thought towards the country and not only a few individuals, and for sure not a global environment. You can’t help others in a hole if yourself are also in the hole
      We need to get America back to what it was many years ago, the great nation where dreams come true, we are now in the nightmares come true stage, let’s all as a nation do something to
      Get it back. America for Americans first, then the rest.

      Alex Villegas
      BPG Solutions
      Managing Partner
      alex.villegas@bpgsolutions.com
      … and everything he does he prospers!

  9. I like the idea because I know larger corporations outsource to just to keep their profit margins high, but what about smaller companies? How would a start up survive if it had to pay someone in the USA $20 per hour for 24/7 tech support or live chat vs. $2 per hour for someone in India? Wouldn’t creating a “cyber visa” program lead to more Gov’t red tape, bureaucracy and regulation for businesses who just want cheap labor?

    If the business climate in America wasn’t so hostile, maybe companies would not be looking to an overseas workforce just to save a buck. We have to have a systemic cure to rid ourselves of the symptoms. We can’t put a band-aid on a gaping wound and expect to heal the patient. We have to determine the best approach on how to treat the wound and then examine how the wound occurred in the first place so we could put systems in place to lesson the chance of future injury.

    Just my 2 cents

    1. Hello, agree, I myself face the same problem, I’m a small business owner and I have to compete with Indian’s rates, just NOT possible, why?, because we are competing with a economy
      in another country that is way below of our own economy, the only way to compete with these other economies is either bring that economy to the same level of ours or downgrade ours to their level, unfortunately corporations do not care which way is done and what is happening is that ours is getting to their level, people are losing their jobs, Indians are getting more jobs, a few Indians and a few American involved in the
      outsourcing business are the ones getting all the winnings, but lots of Americans are getting harm in the process and all these contracted resources in India are just getting the crumbles so our economy is getting harm
      and India’s economy may be growing but really slow, few individuals treasures are increasing tough.

      So what I proposing is to make the outsourcing expensive and difficult so companies will not longer look for a outsource solutions as it will cost the same as getting a local resource
      plus all the problems that comes with it, such as Bad results, bad customer service satisfaction, low quality products, etc. Outsourcing is not the only cause of many of our current problems but it is a big one we need to solve and regulate sooner than later before we get to the point that we all Americans will be working for a outsourced company based in India or other country. Ironic?