The offshoring/outsourcing debate is dramatic and multifaceted, and not likely to be settled any time soon. The truth lies somewhere between the jingoism and whining of the one extreme, and the opportunism of the other. The Senate is debating whether to raise the ceiling on H-1B professional visas to allow more skilled foreign professionals from outside the U.S. to work here. The Washington Post's Pamela Constable wrote about this last week (click here for article). While it is true that fewer Americans are studying science and engineering, focus on skilled labor shortages may obscure the bigger and obvious desire to reduce salaries and "get a Cadillac for the price of a Chevy," as Dean Baker, codirector of of the Center for Economic and Policy Research wrote in a critique of the Post article. Responded one reader, "When I was at university I never saw a pre-med, lawyer, economist, journalist or business major take an engineering, engineering math or science class with scientists and engineers. In contrast I and other engineers took the [upper level liberal arts courses]. The preachers of competition today didn't want to hurt their grade point averages back then. Twenty years later, the guy who avoided competition hires some foreigner to tell those of us whom he avoided in school that they're not up to snuff." It's true that the U.S. has commoditized engineering and reduced its status to the point where it has become extremely unattractive for most kids. As one engineer angrily responded to an Electronic News article that mentioned a strong job market for Dilbert. (The writer was probably trying to avoid repeating the word "engineer" a thousand times in the piece), "[The name Dilbert] usually means a dispoable commodity disdained by management. We are shocked that smart students choose a career outside of engineering? Maybe we need an H1B program for executives. They are paid much more than engineers and don't actually produce anything. I'm sure there are fine MBA's produced overses who would work for much less than our smirking, suspender-snapping corporate bean counters." What do you think?