I've just read on /. that Bill Gates asked the goverment to lift the quotas on foreign technology workers since the industry is in need of good engineers. To which the govermental answer was "the unemployment rate for engineers in the US is higher than the average rate". Taking the risk to stomp on some achy toes, I'll express my opinion on this matter: On some island X, a company needs a skilled carpenter. There are a few unemployed carpenters, which are not good enough for the job. The company has been conducting interviews and practical tests and no one passed. On a neighbour island Y there are some carpenters that are extremely good. The company from island X wants to hire one of them, but its goverment says - "no, there are unemployed carpenters on your island, take them". The company bends and takes a less-than adequate carpenter from its island. The result: (1) the work is done worse, by a less skilled man. (2) carpenters on island X don't have to try harder to be good - govermental regulations will ensure they will be picked versus better carpenters from other islands. Had there been no regulations, the company would hire a carpenter from island Y. Result: (1) the work is done better. (2) now carpenters on island X have strong motivation to become better, to compete with island Y. Now, which of those looks more logical ? These regulations are dangerously close to socialistic "roles of action". They inhibit progress and make the job done worse. As an old soviet saying goes: "the goverment pretends to pay us salaries, and we pretend to work".