Jobs Americans won’t do: pro baseball

We have these H1B notices hung up here in the office break room where the company discloses it is seeking foreign help because they can’t find candidates here domestically.   Salary levels are listed explicitly on these disclosures, we are talking IT analyst jobs that pay between $75k and $105k.   I hadn’t seen these disclosures before, maybe they came about in recent years.  Fair to say I was moved to contemplate them with this campaign talk of H1Bs and foreign workers.

And its spring, and I think about baseball because of that timeliness and because I like baseball.  And I went hmm, baseball has a lot of foreign players, I wonder how that works out.  As in, how are the visas justified when baseball is a job Americans will do at slave wages.   Ignore the amateur signing bonus structure (where talented prospects get, you guessed it, a signing bonus, sometimes great big ones), actual paycheck salaries in the low minors… I recall that they were in recent years approaching something like $1k…. A MONTH…. with there being an abundance of domestic born players willing to work that job for that $.

Well as a high info dilettante I put my finger on the difference in about 10 seconds.  The baseball visa situation, its focus is not to bring in generalist talent where there is scarcity.  It’s focus is to allow superior talent into the country to make the product better.  Which is something the visa program is codified to accommodate obviously.

Anyway, like half a day or a day later, I saw that Phyllis Schlafly in the spirt of the baseball season and the campaign season had been similarly motivated to do this identical thought exercise but had come up with the wrong answer.


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