The tech millionaire who represents the “new guard” in the “Boomtown” that is Washington, D.C. and is symbolically remodeling the famed Hickory Hill home of the Kennedy family that he bought, demonstrates the interconnected nature of the high-tech economy and the federal government.
Recently, those two sectors have worked to pass amnesty and grant more high-tech visas that would lower the wages of workers while increasing the profits of high-tech titans like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
The Washington Post profiled Alan Dabbiere, a tech billionaire who came to the area in 2006 when the Washington region was transforming, with “no job and few local contacts.” He got extraordinarily rich by seeing the federal government as a client and cash cow. People like Dabbiere now view Washington as “the epicenter of everything” and think of “Uncle Sam as another client.”
“Wasn’t it Willie Sutton, the bank robber, who said: ‘Why do you rob banks? Because that’s where the money is,'” he told the Post in realizing that the government was a huge market for his smartphone business. He wagered that the federal government was where the highest growth would be for his company.
As the Post reports, since “Dabbiere knew little about federal contracting,” he hired a guide “who had worked on behalf of Silicon Valley firms in the District for more than 20 years.”
“With him on board, Airwatch began raking in deals to secure phones for the House of Representatives, federal district courts across the country and the Army Corps of Engineers,” the Post reports. “Then, last fall, it scored another big hit: providing the mobile management software for the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of a $9.2 million contract.”
Dabbiere’s story is par for the course in a region that has outpaced every other in growth over the last decade.
In January of 2013, Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon teamed with the Government Accountability Institute’s Peter Schweizer and Fox News’s Sean Hannity to produce Boomtown, a special about the fastest growing region for one-percenters in the nation that angered and resonated with viewers. As the Post has reported in the past, Washington became a “Boomtown” after the the government decided to “spend, spend, spend” while Republicans controlled all three branches last decade.
The Tea Party rose up in part to combat that excess spending, and those like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as she did in her landmark speech against the permanent political class in 2011, have always highlighted the wasteful spending.
As the high-tech sector makes extraordinary profits and receives more venture capital funding, the pressure gets put on executives to make more to keep up with others and to maintain their lavish lifestyles. This often leads to companies looking for cheaper workers.
Those who run the “high-tech” economy in the Washington region are similar to their counterparts in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and they are using the same lobbying tactics to try to pass a comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will increase the number of high-tech visas and guest-worker permits in addition to giving every illegal immigrant in the country a pathway to citizenship. The Congressional Budget Office determined such actions would lower the wages of all working class Americans.
As Breitbart News reported, the high-tech sector is zealously pushing for amnesty and more high-tech visas and worker permits for foreign workers, even though numerous reports have indicated that the shortage of high-tech workers is a myth, as wages in that sector have not increased.
Silicon Valley lobbying groups have spent over $130 million on lobbying efforts even though those like Michael Teitelbaum, a fellow at Harvard University, have said “most of the claims of such broad-based shortages in the U.S. STEM workforce come from employers of STEM personnel and from their lobbyists and trade associations.”
“Such claims have convinced some politicians and journalists, who echo them,” he told the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Those claims are made because lobbyists and the high-tech firms that employ them have billions to gain from such high-tech visas.