H-1B's Not Welcome
So now not only can't banks that get federal TARP money pay anyone more than $500K; they also can't hire any H-1B's. Those are special visas for high-skilled immigrants, and Americans seem to be going out of their way to say to them, "You're not welcome here."
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman calls this what it is: "S-T-U-P-I-D." Let's see: for the sake of global competitiveness, do we want the world's smartest people to be here or elsewhere?
As Friedman points out, wherever you stand on the merits of the stimulus bill, one thing we Americans are all pulling for is that when the worst is finally over, our economy is still the best at producing the most innovative companies, products, and processes. If we keep slamming the door on H-1B's and giving the fiery masses the protectionism they're clamoring for, tomorrow's Intel, Google, and Yahoo! - all companies started in the US by immigrants, by the way - will be birthed in some other part of the world. But hey, it doesn't matter if our pie dwindles, as long as we don't have to share it, right?