Vish Mishra on what the election means to Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is and will continue to be the world’s epicenter of technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

It’s very small but extremely diverse population of 2.9 million residents enjoy the second highest per capita income (only DC is slightly ahead) and highest educated people in the U.S. It’s 1.3 million workforce is anchored in tech industry and supporting industries of retail, education, healthcare, financial services, construction and government.

It is the home of many of world’s largest global companies like HP, Apple, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, Google and eBay.

And it is also a hotbed of new startups numbering in the thousands. It receives nearly 40% of all venture capital invested in the U.S. This translates roughly into funding four companies daily to the tune of $30 million daily in new investments.

Blessed with the finest climate and world-renowned universities, and a highly skilled and innovative technology talent pool, the Valley continues to attract entrepreneurs from many states and foreign countries.

All this has resulted in wealth and prosperity for its businesses and residents.

By all surveys and news reports, it is felt that the presidential race is extremely tight, with both candidates, President Obama and Governor Romney, relentlessly campaigning. President Obama has been extremely visible over the last five years to the American and Silicon Valley voters, whereas Governor Romney became nationally and internationally more visible since the first debate. I now believe the voters are a lot more informed about these two fine candidates. But the choice is quite stark: President Obama with his soaring rhetoric and lofty promises, has delivered less than acceptable results. He himself admitted to the “Shellacking” his party received during the mid-term elections in 2010. It is anticipated that his party will lose the house again. Governor Romney is reminding voters about the President’s record and offering his version of solutions to nagging issues facing American citizens and businesses.

With this backdrop, let me comment on the major issues Silicon Valley is facing and which candidate has a favorable edge, if any.

1. Trade and Tariff: Silicon Valley companies doing global business need a fair and freer foreign trade policy, supported by lower taxes on foreign income by American businesses. Getting the U.S. Trade representative, Department of Commerce and State Department to work more in unison could help. Governor Romney is favored here.

3. Tax System Simplification and lowering corporate and individual tax rates: Who does not want this to happen? With higher investment incomes by Valley individuals and carried interest income by VC firms, lowering of capital gains taxes is favored by Governor Romney.

4.Technology and Innovation: Both President Obama and Governor Romney get it; however the presidents’ record on making the R&D tax credit permanent is not there. Also SOPA and PIPA acts that failed miserably could resurface, pitting Silicon Valley against Hollywood, where the President has a huge following. I think Governor Romney has an edge here.

5. Talent Shortage: Silicon Valley has faced talent shortage for a long-time and almost every company from grownups to startups has to employ more immigrant talent on H1B Visas or outsource work to Canada, Mexico, India , China and other countries. We do have the availability of foreign skilled talent coming out of our finest universities but the visa system is making it much harder for them to be employed here. Major tech company CEOs and University presidents have been testifying and sounding an alarm, proposing stapling of Green Cards to their diplomas but it continues to fall on deaf ears in Congress and President Obama’s. Governor Romney could have an edge here.

6.Training Workers for technology jobs and graduating more STEM students: This is absolutely necessary for Silicon Valley and America to compete and excel in the world. The president’s plan to add over 100,000 math and science teachers through federal efforts when the education is a local matter may not be the answer. Perhaps a tax credit to businesses, teachers and families may work.

7. Trust in our elected officials: U.S. Congress has the lowest rating by the American public, Silicon Valley included. This has been evidenced by constant bickering, name calling and playing the blame game. President Obama promised to fix Washington when he first campaigned for the White House. With full control of House and Senate during the first two years, he was unable to make much progress and the gridlock continues. If he wins a second term, how can his leadership be different? How can he seek and secure compromise? Will he resort to vetoes and executive orders? If Governor Romney wins, could he pull-off his Massachusetts Miracle he talks about?

8. Diversity: This is an important characteristic of Silicon Valley. Diversity in ethnicity, gender, race , religion and political beliefs. As a father (and grandfather) of women and girls, I should acknowledge that President Obama’s position is the clear leader on women’s issues and social issues. As an immigrant who has a wide circle of friends of diverse backgrounds, the social issues (which should be non-issues at this point) that the president supports are reflective of the diverse nature of Silicon Valley.

Having said the above, let me state that I am a proud American. Coming to the U.S. in 1967 as a graduate student and having lived here continuously for 45 years, 35 of which are in Silicon Valley, I must say that this is the best country in the world. It is a land of opportunity. Immigrants made America and America made the immigrants. This is where, when you come in, you feel welcome, play your part, make your contribution and share in the rewards of your hard work and good attitude. It’s amazing how sometimes many lose sight of it! My hats-off to Silicon Valley where one-third of us were born in another country, and have assimilated so well here.



Share this Post

  • Pingback: Vish Mishra on what the election means to Silicon Valley – San Jose Mercury News | Safes()

    • gladys strahan

      I think that it is time you took your success back to your own country to benefit the citizens and economy there. It is more of an acchievement to be successful when the environment is not so good. I do not understand how people come to this country for an education and then do not return with the knowledge to benefit their own country. It seems selfish to me.


    Vish is at the epicenter of the H-1B visa fraud!

    He and his fellow Tech Giant executives have been pushing the narrative that mocks, taunts, and smears the greatest scientists, engineers, and mathematicians that the world has ever seen, the US STEM worker.

    The H-1B visa is not used for “highly skilled” workers. The H-1B visa is used for REPLACEMENT workers. In fact the GAO found that a staggering 94% of the H-1B visa workers are not even “Fully Competent.” According to a GAO study from 2011, a mere 6% of the H-1B visa recipients are “Fully Competent” with 54% being “Entry Level” workers. In fact many US STEM workers have been forced to train their replacements as a condition of receiving a severance package.

    During the past two decades hundreds of thousands of US STEM workers have been forced out of their careers with this onslaught of cheap labor, primarily from India and Communist China. No one will ever know the innovation that never occurred because hundreds of thousands of the greatest scientists, engineers, and the mathematicians that the world has ever seen have been forced out of their careers because of the fraud being created and perpetuated by the likes of Vish Mishra.

  • hoapres

    Americans are prerejected from employment due to H1B infestation and offshoring.

  • Henry

    Vish is selfish. There is no need of H1b. There is plenty of workforce in U.S to meet the demand.


    Hey Vish, didn’t you hear?

    The world’s largest Indian H-1B body shop is not having any trouble finding qualified US STEM workers to do IT work in the US:

    The next time that you convene a meeting of your Indus “entrepreneurs” maybe you can get all of the Indian H1B body shop members together to tell you where they are finding US STEM workers.

  • John Madison

    As a founder of an education technology start up in San Francisco I have to say that Vish’s opinions are certainly not widely held among many developers. I agree with a lot of the important topics that Vish brings up but I believe Obama has made much more progress on these areas than Vish has given him credit for and certainly more than Romney would.

    In the span of about 3 months Romney has said he would do basically everything under the sun (some of it hugely conflicting with other things he has said). Just because Romney has worked for a large equity management firm does not necessarily mean that he would be an skilled at designing and administering a technologically innovative business policy. In addition, some of his business dealings went well and some of them didn’t. Some of them even went bankrupt after he restructured them (like Drexel).

    Some of the points you argue in this article are almost comical, your giving Romney an edge on trade policy, immigration and education??? He has said he will cut funding to education, be tougher on immigration and I haven’t heard him say much about trade policy other than he would label China a currency manipulator (I’m sure China will much care).

    Why not just create a topic called “Who I hoping I can persuade you to vote for ” and give Romney an edge on this as well…?



    I am wondering if Padma and Reddy Allen are two of your Indus “entrpreneurs.” For those of you who don’t know who Padma and Reddy Allen are, they owned an Indian H1B body shop called TechnoDyne that Mayor Michael Bloomberg hired to implement a software project that would automate time sheet handling for the workers of NYC. That project was called CityTime.

    The forecast predicted that the cost of the project would be $60 million. A decade later the cost has exceeded a staggering $700 million with Padma and Reddy Allen escaping the US for sanctuary in India only steps in front of Federal indictments for bribery, corruption, and fraud along with somewhere between $90 million and $450 million.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg, long an advocate of foreign “entrepreneurs,” began the project by granting SAIC a “conflict of interests” waiver and soon thereafter hired Technodyne to implement the software. Bloomberg was totally oblivious to the fraud of TechoDyne, and only became aware after a disgruntled city contractor spilled the beans on the CityTime debacle.

    To get a idea of the proportion of this fraud of which Mayor Bloomberg was unaware, Yankee Stadium was being built in the same time frame of CityTime. Yankee Stadium cost the taxpayers of NYC $1.5 billion. CityTime cost the taxpayers of NYC over $700 million, half the price of Yankee Stadium. While Yankee Stadium required the purchase of acres of expensive real estate, structural steel, tons and tons of concrete, thousands of NYC construction workers, CityTime merely involved the cost of hiring employees of an Indian H1B body shop.


    Hey Vish, I have another Indus “entrepreneur” that I would like to ask you about.

    His name is Sant Singh Chatwal, a “drinking buddy” of powerful politicians in the US. Chatwal maneuvered himself onto the board of directors of the Bank of New York, after which he “loaned” himself and others $38 million which he never repaid. The depositors of the bank were repaid by the FDIC.

    Chatwal claimed that he was broke, but somehow was able to funnel millions of dollars into the pockets of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Within the past twelve months Chatwal was conducting secret meetings in Manhattan in which Chatwal was introducing executives of the most powerful Indian H-1B body shops with the two most powerful Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid.

    Schumer made the commitment that the fix was being constructed to enable even more cheap, entry level workers from India would be allowed entry into the US to replace even more US STEM workers.

    Vish, I know that you and your political sock-puppets like to call these people “entrepreneurs.” We in the United States have another word for them. We call them CROOKS!

Menu Title