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News India Times January 26, 2018 4 Opinion - NEW YORK mazon has pared down to 20 contenders for their proposed $5 billion HQ2, in a new North Ameri- can city outside of headquarters in Seattle. It’s definitely raised more excitement than when Los Angeles bid for the 2024 summer Olympics, los- ing out eventually to Paris. Construction of the 8 million square feet campus is expected to commence in 2019. The company says it will hire 50,000 workers for high-paying jobs, at the new campus; the same number of employees they have inWashington state. Now, your guess is as good as anybody else’s, if any of the 19 cities in the US would be able to prevail over the lone contender fromCanada, Toronto, help get over the disappointment of losing out on the 2024 Games. Here’s a far weightier question too for Amazon to pon- der in coming to a decision, apart from real estate issues and tax freebies thrown at them: where are the tens of thousands of STEMworkers they will look to hire, come from? There’s no doubt that Amazon, which industry experts reckon is on track for $1 trillion evaluation, is one of the best American companies to work for. Amazon ranks #1 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, #2 on For- tune’sWorld’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #2 on LinkedIn’s U.S. most desirable companies list. Its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 re- sulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy – every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional $1.40 for the city’s economy overall, according to the company. There was also tremendous increase in Fortune 500 companies with engineering/R&D centers in Seattle, bur- geoning from 7 in 2010 to 31 in 2017. Apart from the 50,000 employees on campus, Amazon helped create an addi- tional 53,000 jobs in the Seattle area because of direct in- vestments. It has 540,000 employees worldwide. The critical question of hiring new workers, though, is significant. During the Obama administration, when Amazon begun to blossom, skilled immigrant workers were encour- aged; SiliconValley thrived. The scenario has changed under the Trump Administration. Now, visa for skilled workers, or ease of getting it, has eroded drastically; there’s danger of it coming to an abrupt halt altogether. Add the fact that there is sustained lack of interest among American teenagers to take up STEM careers, the problem of getting skilled STEM talent will likely increase in the years to come. Take a look at this new survey by the Pew Research Cen- ter, released this week, which indicates paucity of STEM workers in the US. Most Americans when asked why more students don’t pursue a degree in science, technology, en- gineering or math (STEM), they are most likely to point to the difficulty of these subjects, according to the survey. About half of adults (52%) say the main reason young peo- ple don’t pursue STEM degrees is they think these subjects are too hard. Only 13% of the U.S. workforce was employed in STEM occupations as of 2016, while the vast majority (87%) was employed in other occupations, said the survey. “Policymakers and educators have long puzzled over why more students do not pursue STEMmajors in college, even though those who have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field of study earn more than those with other col- lege majors – regardless of whether they work in a STEM job or a different occupation. Yet only a third of workers (33%) ages 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field,” the survey report said. It’s evident that the problem has not been tackled by US educators and policy makers over the years: a 2013 Pew Re- search Center survey, using similar question wording, found that Americans were also most likely to point to the difficulty of science and math as the main reason more young people don’t pursue degrees in these fields. In the new survey, smaller shares say the main reason more young people don’t pursue degrees in STEM is that they think STEM subjects are not useful for their careers (23%) or they think these subjects are too boring (12%). The most commonly cited reason for not pursuing a STEM career was cost and time barriers (27%), such as high expenses required for education or a lack of access to resources and opportunities. One-in-five (20%) say the rea- son they did not pursue a STEM career is they found an- other interest, while 14% say they found STEM classes were too hard or they lost interest. This widening chasm of STEM haves and STEM have- nots, just like the wealth gap, can only be addressed by opening the doors for more skilled workers from overseas. Tech companies and their lobbyists have pointed to the acute shortage of STEMworkers in the US.With the pro- tectionist and prohibitive approach by the Trump Admin- istration, the question facing a lot of the tech companies in the US will be where to investment for future growth, and importantly, how to get the right talent to make those new centers profitable. If the Trump Administration continues with its vilifica- tion of skilled workers, especially those on H-1B visa, con- tinue to clamp down hard on family members of these workers – forcing spouses on H-4 visas to remain unem- ployed for decades till permanent residency, as well as act tough with foreign students on F-1 visas – make it hard for them to get permanent jobs after they graduate, they may well find out that it comes with repercussions: Amazon may well decide to spurn all the 19 cities in the US; create their fantastic new campus in Toronto, where liberal immi- gration policies for skilled workers are in place. Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: sujeet@newsindiatimes.com Follow him on Twitter: @SujeetRajan1 Amazon’sHQ2Will Hire 50,000Workers. But FromWhere? Sujeet Rajan Executive Editor Parikh Worldwide Media I t has taken just 3 ½months for our national conversa- tion about sexual harassment and sexual assault to go from revelation to backlash. A Jan. 13 article about an anonymous woman's date with comedian Aziz Ansari, which ended with "Grace" feel- ing sexually pressured to the point of tears, served as a re- minder that it is not just the HarveyWeinsteins of the world who stand between America and a healthy sexual culture. The piece alsomade clear that if we expand our re-exami- nation of sexual ethics without preserving the distinction between criminal acts andmerely unattractive or immoral behavior, the #MeToomoment could easily founder on miscommunication and acrimony. The piece about Ansari, which described an unhappy sexual push-and-pull between people who wanted very dif- ferent things, struck a pair of concurrent nerves. To some readers, the juxtaposition of the woman's discomfort over her encounter with Ansari's positioning of himself as a modern-dating guru in his book "Modern Romance" was proof of how deep our sexual problems run, and howwe need to create norms that work for everyone. To others, characterizing Ansari's actions as sexual assault was an ex- ample of how #MeToo could devolve into dangerous over- reach. Both sets of readers are right. Americans desperately need to examine our sexual culture beyond the condemna- tion of criminally violent acts. And the #MeToo conversa- tion can only expand in an effective way if it is conducted carefully and strategically. Being clear about what behavior is criminal, what behavior is legal but intolerable in a work- place, and what private intimate behavior is worthy of con- demnation helps focus where the work of a movement has to take place. There's an obvious difference between an alleged serial rapist and harasser, such asWeinstein, and someone who has consensual sex with a large number of women. But the distinction between behavior that is illegal and actions that are legal isn't the only dividing line worth drawing here. There's also a contrast between someone who sleeps with a lot of people on terms that are clear and acceptable to everyone involved, and someone who conducts themselves in such a way that their partners end up feeling misled or disappointed about the nature of their encounters. That distinction is between conduct that is ethical and that which ranges frommorally dubious to outright unethical (but does not rise to the level of criminal). Preserving these nuances isn't merely a matter of cush- ioning men from the harsh truth about their behavior (though, generally, when you're trying to bring about social change, choose messaging that the people you want to reach can actually absorb). It also helps us figure out what is genuinely the best solution to the problemwe're trying to solve. It is not entirely clear what the piece about the woman's encounter with Ansari was intended to accomplish. Joshi Herrmann, the editor in chief of TabMedia, the parent company of Babe, which published the piece on Ansari, said the story was newsworthy "because of who he is and what he has said in his standup, what he has written in his book, what he has proclaimed on late night TV." That is not the same thing as defining the nature of Ansari's offense ac- cording to relevant law and prevailing morals, and articu- lating what sanctions he should face. Unlike the allegations againstWeinstein, it is difficult to see how this story would lead the police to open a case against Ansari. Unlike the allegations against Kevin Spacey, which involved the abuse of his fame and professional standing, and which led Ridley Scott to replace himwith Christopher Plummer in the film "All the Money in the World," this account of sexual miscommunication doesn't offer a good reason for Netflix to fire Ansari from "Master of None." And if Ansari's offense is being a bad, inconsiderate sex partner, the graphic details in the story seemed better left to a whisper network to disseminate. Changing culture is hard, even exhausting, work. The current conditions make it harder still to do the things that are most necessary, and that would be most useful. Moral discussions of sex have often been limited to condemning people for who they like to sleep with, or for enjoying sex at all. And any conversation about a woman's behavior or de- cision-making can be weaponized to deny that men should ever be held accountable for anything. Despite these profound challenges, it is also true that morality must pick up where the law leaves off, and that a true sexual revolution has to involve bothmen and women speaking clearly about what they want and need. -T HE W ASHINGTON P OST The #MeTooMovement IsAt ADangerous TippingPoint A By Alyssa Rosenberg

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