California is ground zero for the high-tech revolution and job creation in service industries, but increasingly large trans-national companies like Google and Facebook have engaged in anti-democratic behavior and in some cases worked on projects that are hostile to American sovereignty, putting their own interests above those of the United States and its citizens. Additionally, some of the strategies they pursue are clearly harmful to the social fabric of our society, with children are especially vulnerable to being preyed upon by products that are proven to be psychologically harmful.
As tech companies become larger, more powerful, and increasingly exert more influence upon our society, like big banks, they need to come under more scrutiny. Practices such as working with strategic adversaries to design products harmful to American interests (Google’s work in China), or transfers of sensitive technology to foreign competitors should be closely monitored by the federal government, including sanctions or even criminal prosecutions of company executives who violate espionage laws or endanger the long term security of America.
Mega-sized high-tech businesses have also skirted many other federal rules and found loopholes in areas like employment law, and hence need to be reined in, in some cases perhaps being broken up to prevent monopolistic, anti-capitalistic behavior.
The following principles should be considered in regulating the behavior of large, high tech businesses:
1. Too big to fail may require the intervention of anti-trust law (e.g. Amazon).
2. Any company that openly engages in corporate espionage, helps a strategic foreign adversary to undermine stated U.S. foreign policy aims, or otherwise undermines legitimate American interests should be subject to federal fines and/or criminal prosecution of corporate executives.
3. An examination of the numbers and types of various STEM visas allocated, particularly H-1B should be undertaken. Too many companies are hiring H-1B workers at the expense of Americans who can do the same job.
4. Onshoring firms who artificially inflate the stated need for H-1B visas in order to get a larger share of the H-1B pie versus competitors and also to drive down wages in order to place more candidates should have their visa quotas revoked. Allocation of H-1B visas drives down wages (and hence increases corporate profits) in jobs that Americans would do.
5. A ban put in place on companies that exist solely for the purpose of staffing H-1B workers who masquerade as employers, when in reality the worker is the employee of a client company. All H-1B workers should be employed directly by the company where they are working, not by the staffing agency.
6. Companies like Google and Twitter who are censoring news and determining the content that we see or don’t see, thus granting huge advantages to one party or individual candidates, should have their business classification reviewed. Like media outlets, since they are curating information they should have their immunity to libel laws revoked as per existing federal statutes. Additionally, they may need to be monitored and regulated like public utilities.
7. Similar to tobacco companies, certain high-tech firms should be subject to lawsuits, regulation and/or prohibited from certain forms of product promotion or advertising that is shown to be psychologically harmful or addictive, particularly to children (Facebook executives publicly admitted to these practices).