Congratulations #DeleteUber on Weakening an Important Source of Restraint on Trump

A couple weeks ago I was having dinner with a couple of guys who fear and despise Trump.  I told them that all the marches in the streets were not going to affect Trump's behavior one bit, though it will affect the behavior of the Congress when (and if, given the new Imperial presidency, copyright Bush and Obama) they are called on to ratify some of Trump's actions.  I told them that the biggest check on Trump, at least in the near term on issues like immigration, was going to be American corporations.  As much as the Left may not like corporations, businesses need trade and immigration and free international travel to function in the global economy and they are not going to be happy about all of Trump's planned restrictions (you could see echoes of that last night in a number of the Superbowl commercials).

So of course the Left gears up a #DeleteUber campaign because Uber didn't participate in a taxi strike at JFK protesting Trump's immigration order.  Essentially, protesters who are mad at Trump for restricting travel are mad at Uber for, uh, not restricting travel.  In the end, all the #DeleteUber folks did was force the Uber CEO to quit Trump's advisory counsel.  Congratulations Left, you managed to remove a likely voice of reason from inside the White House.

I would happily join up with the Left in opposition to a lot of Trump's actions if I wasn't so absolutely horrified at their tactics.  There is no reason, no thoughtfulness at all.  Even the media participates in this dumbing down by simply refusing to making issues clear (e.g. continuing to call the 90-day visa timeout from 7 countries a "muslim ban").  And the first person from the Left who I hear criticize the anti-free-speech violence at Berkeley will be the first.

Update:  97 tech firms team up against Trump's immigration ban.  The problem with this approach is that I am not sure the "immigration ban", which is in fact a 90-day pause in issuing visas to folks from 7 countries, is actually illegal under current law and precedent.   Obama did something similar with Iraq at one point.   But I am happy to see them taking a shot at it -- in my mind a single person should not have this much power.  By the way, Amazon and Tesla did not sign, in part because their leaders still sit on Trump's advisory board.  The latter strikes me as a reasonable strategy, but I wonder how long the Left will allow them to remain inside the tent.



  1. August Hurtel:

    I had this 'enlightenment' when Eric Garner died. The left's protests were incoherent, and whenever demands were made, it was for more of the stuff that got Garner killed.

    To Antifa, we are all racists. I mention that because this is a libertarian blog. Libertarian equals racist in their eyes. And they feel justified using violence against racists. We would do well to hope Trump can stop these people quickly. There is a war against us. Trump is for us.

  2. mjed:

    Agree with most of what you said, and I know you like reading arguments from both the left and right, so there's been one criticism of UC Berkeley from the left:

  3. Maks Swing:

    I really would like to join up with the left here but I cannot condone violence. In the last weeks the left has shown a propensity for violence instead of peaceful protest. Using violence makes me always hesitate about trusting a group.

  4. me:


    It's shocking to see how inept and tribal the left reacts to Trump. Democrat friends of mine attempt to explain by pointing out that seeking cooperation with Republicans really screwed them over during the last four years and that protesting and obvious civil disagreement have value in and all by themselves.

    What I see, meanwhile, is them accomplishing absolutely nothing in puerile rage.

    I had a very angry conversation with a good hearted younger friend following the airport protests - I casually suggested that the idiots shouting "we did it" after the ban was found unconstitutional had actually done nothing, except maybe delay the flights of some attorneys who actually did something.

    Personally, I am more afraid of the economic theories underlying some of the debated executive orders, which signal outdated mercantilism and a lack of understanding of the advantages of international trade then the horrific attacks on legal immigration, and, as a green card holder, that hopefully makes a statement about just how bad of a situation we find ourselves in.

  5. Titan28:

    Those tech companies that joined in the lawsuit, it's all about H-1B visas. They get to not give jobs to Americans and pay their people of color counterpart less money. Where are the investigative reporters when you need them? Listening to Robert Reich?

    Sidebar: stop worrying about Trump. The left has just about destroyed every institution in this country during the free run they've had since the 60s. The violence you decry? It's in their DNA. Inside every liberal is a totalitarian trying to get out.

  6. me:

    I can comment on this, I am involved with hiring in the software industry.

    The sad truth is that worldwide CS education leaves a lot to be desired. Out of the people graduating colleges with 4.0 GPAs in Computer Science, we can maybe use 5 to 10 percent. The others plain cannot get the job done.

    With the people we hire out of the top 10%, we still see 10x differences in productivity and contribution to the product.

    American universities simply do not produce enough graduates for us to hire. If H1-B visas get reduced, we'll lose access to the international education markets and will be set back in our ability to produce. The software releases we pump out every three years on average would be delayed, be less feature rich and more buggy.

    There are no American workers who do not get these jobs as a result of the visas. We do not underpay H1-B holders (and would not mind higher required minimum salary restrictions).

  7. Mars Jackson:

    I was hoping that Trump would use executive orders to merely roll back some of the past presidents' executive orders. Unfortunately, he has decided to use them for his own purposes, and congress seems content to let him. While I understand that executive orders have their place, they should not be used to single-handedly change American policy. But no one seems willing to stamp down presidential power at the moment, although I think Trump's election could help remove some of the power of the presidency over the next 4 years, which is a good thing.

    If the left really wants to stop Trump, their best bet is to stop trying so hard. With every protest (and riot), with every blockage of a perfectly fine cabinet member, and with every political rally, the left looks more and more out of touch with the rest of the country. They should sit back, let Trump be Trump, and fight when there is a good reason to fight. Let him have his 7 country pause. (What harm is it really doing?) Let him have his cabinet. (Although I would be fine with denying DeVos) Let him dominate the news with his ludicrous statements. Stop racing Trump to the bottom and you will beat him.

  8. J_W_W:

    And they are not just a little bit violent and in additon there is a whole spectrum of hate and rage coming from the left. I have Christian friends that have stated multiple times that voting for Trump cannot be forgiven, and that all Trump supporters are evil.

    Wait, should I mean ex-friends... Signs point to that not lasting.

    The funny thing is that while going to vote election day, I realized that many friends and acquaintances were going to vote for Hillary. But I made up my mind not to hold that against them. After the shocking turn of events for the election, I expected the same from them. I. was. wrong. I am seriously disappointed, and at this point after weeks of this shit..... quite angry.

  9. J_W_W:

    I like how they picked the term antifa, its similar to intifada. And fitting too since the antifa are God damned terrorists.....

  10. Dmon:

    Anyone up for a game? Let's play "Obstruct Justice". All you have to do is point out what's illegal about the travel ban. Here's a hint to get started.

    U.S. Code › Title 8 › Chapter 12 › Subchapter II › Part II › § 1182

    (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
    Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States

  11. Bistro:

    If there was ever an industry that could/should be able to use remote workers it is the software industry. There's no reason they can't hire people in India, to stay in India and work remotely. There's no reason to bring them here as full time workers.

  12. Bistro:

    You said, "-- in my mind a single person should not have this much power." How do you feel about the fact that one unelected federal judge just told the President and Congress to FOAD and set aside the entire issue because judicial review? Me? I'm thinking Trump is just the person to 'review' Marbury vs Madison and start chipping away at the entire concept of judicial review.

  13. me:

    Makes communication quite a bit harder. Typically we end up deploying locals overseas to lead those teams, but that comes with all sorts of issues.

    Food for thought: would you rather have a highly paid knowledge worker reside in the US and pay US taxes or work less efficiently from India or China and pay local taxes there?

    Personally, I'd rather we made immigration for highly qualified foreigners a whole lot more straightforward and brought them all into the US.

  14. David in Michigan:

    First, let me say that I think these 97 tech companies are going on record as against the ban not because they care about workers from these 7 countries (not much talent in those places) but rather because they see a threat to their H1-B worker program. (Most of the H1-B tech talent is coming from India). They're trying to get ahead of the immigration reform curve. It's a cynical objection all about money.

    Second, I'm not convinced by your statement in defense of H1-B employees. Yes, they are hard working and intelligent. Yes, I prefer these type of immigrants to those coming from other places.... like from Syria for example.

    On the other hand, I believe I am correct in saying that tech companies do underpay them, that they hold their visa status over them (subtly of course, tech people are virtuous), that they are largely NOT new hires but rather replacements, that the assertion that there are few U.S. Citizens who can "get the job done" is BS. I personally know of people in Silicon Valley of California who were let go and replaced by lower cost H1-B holders who they had to train.

    My understanding is that tech companies must pay at least $60,000/year to H1-Bs. One proposal Trump has floated is to up that minimum to $130,000. That may or may not be high but I do know that the price of a home in the 'Silicon Valley' of California, a modest home built in the 60s, 1500 sq ft, postage stamp lot, will start at $500,000 and go up from there, rapidly.
    Rents are in proportion to housing costs so perhaps $60,000 is not so good...... .

    I repeat, Tech companies are trying to get ahead of immigration events. They like virtue signaling but their motive is money.

  15. CapnRusty:

    In your mind a single person should not have this much power? Have you considered that it was the US Constitution which gives a single person that much power?

  16. CapnRusty:

    Glad to see the scales have fallen from your eyes.

  17. me:

    I'll grant that just because the company I work for doesn't abuse the system doesn't mean that there aren't people elsewhere who do. As I said, it wouldn't make a bit of a difference to us if the required salary was increased (we pay that much out of the gate in any event).

    As for tech companies going up against the ban - if you had substantial numbers of foreigners (as H1B and greencard holders) working for you that your business depended upon and that aren't easily replacable - wouldn't you?

  18. David in Michigan:

    I can only hope that I would try to do the right thing ethically, professionally, and morally. Protesting the TEMPORARY ban on immigration from 7 countries which do not affect my business model in the slightest ..... not the right thing. Cynical, political, and unprofessional.......

  19. me:

    Imagine you are a green card holder from outside these seven countries, and you watch this clusterfuck happen on TV.

    How difficult do you think it is to imagine this happening to you? Stuck outside of the US, no ticket, probably still have a mortgage to pay and then there'll be the dealing with the pretty harsh US law regarding what legal immigrants can or cannot do. Staying outside of the country for long is one of those restrictions. How long would a temporary ban last, again?

    Net-net, this makes hiring for us harder because the American Dream is tarnished and then there's the problem of retention of folks who might suddenly start feeling more secure elsewhere.

  20. David in Michigan:

    We are pretty far off topic talking about resident aliens rather than refugees and visas so I'm not going to post after this.

    Okay. If I was a resident alien (green card holder) I might be a bit confused and concerned, mildly concerned. However, if I had enough concern I would either apply to become a U.S. citizen (dual citizenship is legal in the U.S. if you want to keep one foot in the old country. If it's illegal in the old country, not my problem.) or make plans to leave the U.S. Either way, the ball is in their court and I'm not going to agonize over it.

    Does it tarnish the "American Dream"? Not even a tiny bit. If it wasn't shiny we wouldn't even be talking about this..... the U.S. wouldn't have issues with immigration, there would be no green card holders agonizing about some remote possibility of exclusion. It's about respect and respect never diminished any person or country.

    If one's dream of America is not respectful enough to get on board then perhaps we're better off without them, Their choice. No one else is responsible and I don't care if they have a mortgage..... sell the house or rent it out. Oddly enough, aliens can own property in the U.S.

    As you can tell, my politics do not include a belief in "open borders".