When Tucker schools Mark Cuban on capitalism, sparks fly: ‘I’m not the left by a long shot!’

In a heated debate on foreign labor, billionaire Mark Cuban fired back at Tucker Carlson for labeling him as part of the left.

Discussing President Trump’s executive order regarding H1-B visas for foreign workers, Cuban affirmed his support of the work visa program during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday.

The Dallas Mavericks owner argued that importing foreign labor makes America stronger and the H1-B visa program allows American companies to hire skilled labor.

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“That’s the talking point, and it makes sense,” Carlson countered, “but the reality, as you know, is that 80 percent of the foreigners admitted under H1-B make less than the median income in the field in which they work. In other words, they’re being brought over, not because of their skills, but because they save labor costs. That’s a subversion of the idea.”

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to reform the program that issues H1-B visas, a category of non-immigrant visas for temporary workers based on employment and awarded in a  lottery-based selection process. Each year the program brings in about 85,000 workers, mainly in the technology industry.

Cuban blamed “visa hoarding” for much of the program’s problems, blaming companies that flood the lottery system with applications, driving down wages in order to take in cheap labor.

“That’s wrong, that’s not at the core of the value of H1-B visas,” the Shark Tank star said.

“But when it comes to competing for the best talent around the world, I’m a big believer in American exceptionalism. I believe we can compete,” Cuban said.

“When they can’t get the job, we get smarter. If somebody doesn’t get a job from me, I tell them ‘Work harder, get smarter, you’ll get it the next time around.’  I think that’s good for everybody,” he said, strangely defending bringing in foreign workers while espousing American exceptionalism and capitalism.

“Except in a lot of those cases, we don’t get smarter, we get unemployed and go on disability,”  Carlson replied with a brutal rebuttal, noting that over 40 percent of college graduates describe themselves as underemployed.

“So we have a massive labor pool that’s educated in our system, and yet they’re being turned away in favor of people who are being educated abroad. That does not help America in any way,” Carlson concluded, leaving Cuban silent for a moment.

“Either you believe in capitalism, either you believe in the market economies, or you don’t” Cuban countered. “there’s no in-between.”

“I love that,” Carlson laughed. “When did the left become addicted to market fundamentalism? There are many in-betweens.”

“Oh, no, no, no no. I’m not the left, Tucker,” Cuban shot back. “I’m not the left by a long shot!”

Carlson then asked Cuban if he would apply “market forces” to his family and marriage, noting that “capitalism is not a religion.”

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“I like capitalism,” the Fox host continued, “but when it hurts Americans I’m willing to make adjustments. Wouldn’t you be?”

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Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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