CEI Daily - Egypt, H-1B Visas, and Wisconsin Protests




Mubarak is out; but will the new leaders of Egypt be good for the nation's economy?


Senior Counsel Hans Bader notes that the Egyptian military is now reversing economic reforms that Mubarak put in place.


"[The military] wants to curb free-market competition with military-run enterprises that dominate parts of Egypt’s economy. As The New York Times reported on Friday, economists say the military 'has already begun taking steps to protect the privileges of its gated economy, discouraging changes that some argue are crucial if Egypt is to emerge as a more stable, prosperous country.'"



H-1B Visas


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced they've already received a sufficient number of H-1B visa applications for 2011.


Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh says that the government is actively keeping high-skilled workers out of this country---to our own detriment.


"Many of America's entrepreneurs of tomorrow are living in other countries today. We should let them apply their talent to build their businesses here. In today's world, where human capital and talent are the most precious commodities, cutting ourselves off from foreign highly skilled workers will only make us poorer. Today's U.S. work visa system might keep out Albert Einstein. It is in serious need of liberalization."



Wisconsin Protests


Unions are aggressively protesting Gov. Scott Walker's emergency budget bill in Wisconsin.


Policy Analyst Vincent Vernuccio explains what's at stake.


"The proposed budget will require government employees to pick up 12.6 percent of their health care costs and contribute 5.8 percent of their pay to their pensions. They currently pay nothing. The amounts are roughly half of what workers in the private sector pay.


The contributions are not the real reason why the unions are upset. It is money and power. Before getting into what the bill will do, there are several things it does not do. It does not take away the right of workers to join a union. It does not take away their right to collectively bargain — although it does limit it to wages. It does not force Gov. Walker to lay off 6,000 state employees – the amount needed to fix the budget hole. It does not take away other civil service protections afforded to government workers.


The bill does give workers the right to say no to a union if they do not want to join."