Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cohen & Grigsby: Serfing The Net And Making Excuses

“A man can be an imbecile and survive, but as soon as his heart stops functioning, the creature is dead.” (‘House’ did not say that)
-Jean Jacques Rousseau

In this day and age when the term Social Contract is synonymous with a myriad of sociopathic activities like the Bush Regime’s business dealings with Blackwater and Corporate America’s legalized, highly orchestrated collusion with the Department of Labor to discriminate against America’s professional middle class, where is the righteous indignation from our citizens (are you listening progressive blogosphere?) and the spineless Democratic frontrunners who seek our votes in 2008?

This week, Cohen & Grigsby is defending its feudal practice to instruct corporations on how to make abject peasants out of American engineers by avoiding to hire them in the first place. Despite their “ill chosen” language, the law firm maintains that it gave proper advice. Here is some of that proper advice from Lawrence Leibowitz, the V.P. of Marketing as captured on Youtube:

"Our goal is clearly NOT to find a qualified U.S. worker... our objective is to get this person a green card…”

While the United States continues to rack up its unemployed computer scientists and educated professionals who are replaced by outsourcing and H-1B foreign labor here, "free trade" economists who recommend suppressing wages and wiping out the middle class assured us at the same time that America was “benefiting greatly” from the work visa programs and outsourcing.

In the now infamous, must read article entitled Pearl Street Scam, blogger friend Citizen “Sleuth” Carrie revealed how the DOL conspires to help companies reject American employees by running phony job ads on behalf of the cheaper, coveted H-1B workers. How might a brokering law firm retained by H-1b sponsoring companies profit from such noble activity?
But what else is it that makes corporate America hate their own neighbors so much to devise these schemes to sell out the middle class? As Naomi Klein points out in her discussion with John Cusack about her new book Shock Doctrine, one need look no further than to the corporate and enabling media players; who are these complicit tech players and self-described progressive media who profit?

In his article entitled “The Great American Job Sellout”, Thomas Heffner confirms what everyone else outside of the Silicon Valley venture capital community doesn’t hear about -- the pressure from Feudalist Empire inspired, elitist, “free trade” venture capitalists who prefer to hire foreign workers than their peers while oh-so-coincidentally, State Department officials officially look the other way:

“The mindless chatter continues. Just the other day Ambassador David Gross, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in the State Department, declared outsourcing to be an economic efficiency that works to America's benefit. There is no sign of this alleged benefit in US jobs statistics or the US balance of trade.”

Heffner explains that, as a consequence, tech jobs in the U.S. are falling as a percentage of the total and raises the question everyone should be asking: if our corporations and venture capitalists don’t want to hire their neighbors, why should American taxpayers subsidize employment for foreign labor from India and China? The answer may rest with Rousseau’s telling, quaint notion of intelligent local community being at the very heart of commerce and civility –- something that elite corporatists and media prefer to kill. In Chapter II “The Death of the Body Politic” from The Social Contract, Rousseau observes:

“The principle of political life dwells in the sovereign authority. The legislative power is the heart of the state; the executive power is the brain, which sets all the parts in motion. The brain may become paralyzed and the individual still live. A man can be an imbecile and survive, but as soon as his heart stops functioning, the creature is dead.”

Psssst…Wanna make a fast buck and live the high life? Forget about the noble study of engineering or computer science. Go to law school and learn how to throw your neighbor under the bus, brag about it – hell, even make a video about it. Or, at least that’s the credo that Lords of the Manor law firms like Cohen & Grigsby and their smug corporate Kings appear to be living by, as they facilitate the demise of America’s middle class for their own personal gain.

Ain’t that America?

Our politicians may be deplorable, but what’s passing for business and media “leadership” these days is the twenty-first century social contract equivalent of soulless, sociopathic, Gambino/Soprano styled “made” pompous men and women who are complicit in this modern day Death of the Body Politic.


Citizen Carrie said...

Hey, great post TooSleuthy!

You'll be proud to know that I'm starting to read Naomi Klein's book, Shock Doctrine. Look's pretty good, so far.

I don't think the lawyers should start getting too comfortable. Someone emailed me this link, Hubby says it's just a matter of time before the corporations stop dealing with the American lawyer middlemen and start dealing directly with the Indian firms.

2Truthy said...

Hey CC,
Thanks for the link. And while I'm speaking to the choir, I'll admit this company does everything engineers can do here:)

But isn't this a coincidence? -- Just when millions of our college students across the country have been forced to go against their natural instincts to study ANYTHING else but engineering and computer sciences, our law schools have never been more crowded...but your hubby is right; there will soon be no more need for this debauchery to go to homegrown lawyers, either...

About the Shock Doctrine: Will you let me know if you can find anything in the book that specifically takes the tech lobby to task? (She does a fine job with Iraq, but so far I haven't read anything about the white collar sector demise and h1-b.) I really am not so sure about her equivocation on the definition of "middle class" as many pro-h1-b authors are wont to ignore the white collar middle when they use the term.

Anonymous said...

When I tried clicking on the link for the Computerworld article it didn't open.Try this

By the time the lawyer middlemen get the SHAFTA,the American companies will be holding major investments in the Indian firms. Win-win for the fedual lords!

Citizen Carrie said...

2Truthy, I didn't find anything about H-1B's in the index in the back of the book. I'll let you know if I find anything.

We have a local example of Shock Doctrine right in my backyard, having to do with the tragedy of a barn full of farm animals at a state park getting killed when the barn caught fire a few years back. Long story short, with the State of Michigan and a married couple who ran the living historical farm successfully shoved aside, we'll now be blessed with facilities that will host corporate events and weddings.

2Truthy said...

CC, I just find it interesting that while Klein clearly exposes outsourcing the military, she is oddly silent about about outsourcing this country's jobs.

2Truthy said...

Thanks, anon!

Citizen Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Citizen Carrie said...

Probably because Naomi Klein is Canadian and isn't much interested in U.S. domestic policies much beyond the "screw the poor" mentality?

2Truthy said...

CC, It's *safe* for politicians and their elitist advocates to bleed for the poor when the blueprint is to drain the middle class and pave the way for that two-tier society of have/have-nots.