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Kai Ryssdal: We asked you for letters, and we got them.
Our story about highly-skilled immigrants not turning their H-1B visas into green cards much anymore got some attention. Especially the observation that many of those engineers and scientists get valuable on-the-job training here and then move — along with their skills — back overseas.
George Scalise listens to the program. He is also the president of the Semiconductor Industry Association. That’s the main lobbying group for the computer-chip industry, which in turn is a heavy user of H-1B workers.
George Scalise: For U.S. semiconductor manufacturers, H-1B visa and employment-based green card programs are vital to the industry’s continued success. With about two-thirds of U.S. electrical engineering PhD’s going to foreign nationals, U.S. employers must be able to hire and retain this talent.
The consumer product story of the past couple of weeks has been toys. Specifically, toys from China coated with lead paint. Mattel subsidiary Fisher-Price wound up recalling almost a million Elmos and Big Birds.
Victoria Mosse of Portland, Ore. wrote to say that the hurt that recall will put on Mattel’s bottom line is a logical consequence of outsourcing.
Victoria Mosse: So, Mattel has to pay $30 million to recall the lead-tainted toys. Is that still less than what they would have to invest to produce their merchandise here in the United States, employing our citizens with family-wage jobs?
We count on rafts of letters after some of our commentators have their say. And David Frum didn’t disappoint last week.
David took issue with congressional plans to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program — S-Chip it’s called. Congress has since passed the bill. The president has said he’s going to veto it. But David’s point was that many of the kids covered under S-Chip double dip — that is, they’re covered by private insurers as well.
Pediatrician Danielle Casher from Philadelphia says not so:
Danielle Casher: I have yet to see a family who has Chip insurance also have additional coverage. Many of the families that come to my practice would fall through the cracks without Chip.
As the Wall Street Journal teetered on the auction block, journalism professor Neil Henry lamented the fate of the newspaper business. Its ads, he said, are being siphoned off by the Internet by companies like Google that use newspaper content to drive their own businesses.
The model is what’s known as a news-aggregator. And one of the more successful aggregators is Fark.com. Drew Curtis runs it, and he says don’t blame the Web.
Drew Curtis: Turns out advertising in newspapers isn’t as effective as ad sales marketers would have you believe. I was told back in the mid-90s that the response rate on a newspaper ad was 4 percent of circulation. Turns out on the Internet we can measure that. It’s actually 0.2 percent of all traffic.