Ask Tim Fernholz of GOOD why he'd harm the Third World (braindrain, skilled immigration)

Last month, Tim Fernholz of GOOD Magazine offered the misleading "Immigrants Don't Take Jobs, They Create Them: Why We Need More Immigration" [1]. It's wrong on several points, but one in particular will be of interest to the readers of that "philanthropic" publication: Fernholz and GOOD are promoting braindraining the Third World and depriving poor countries of the smart people they desperately need.

Smart people are a limited resource, and Fernholz and GOOD want as many as possible to move to the U.S. That would necessarily have the impact of depriving the sending countries of those same people. See skilled immigration for a longer discussion.

Is it that Fernholz and GOOD can't figure out such an obvious corollary to their plan? Or, is it that they don't care? What I want you to do is this: ask Fernholz about this, since my attempts have failed [2].

Please contact Fernholz (or other GOOD representatives) on Twitter and ask: @TimFernholz

You can, for instance, ask them - out of the 6000 or fewer Mexicans who excel at math - how many they want to move here. Or, ask them what shape Haiti would be in now if many of their more capable citizens hadn't left for the U.S. Or, ask why he's relying on the staunch libertarian Alex Tabarrok and the right/libertarian-leaning globalism group National Foundation for American Policy (see those links for the background; they're mentioned in the excerpt below).

If you get a response, please leave a comment below.

[1] good . is/post/


How many of the smartest people around the world should be allowed to come to the United States to live and work?

Consider that the working U.S. population, as it stands, is about 150 million people. Remember that U.S. executives are constantly complaining about the challenge of finding highly educated employees with backgrounds in science, engineering and mathematics. And don’t forget that some of these people have already lived in the United States for years, earning advanced degrees at our institutions of higher learning.

Currently, the United States issues a paltry 40,000 visas a year to highly skilled immigrants. Yet 59 percent of Americans oppose letting more highly skilled immigrants into the country despite the remarkably low level of legal immigration—and pleas from economists and business leaders alike to let them in.

As economist Alex Tabarrok points out, the low number of visas the U.S. grants is further sabotaged by other bad policy decisions, like giving work visas to the families of highly skilled workers—whose immigration should be a given rather than decreasing the overall number of workers who can come to the U.S.—and imposing the same immigration ceiling on China as on Greenland.

This remarkable survey [PDF] from the National Foundation for American Policy, a pro-immigration think tank, helps explain why all those things need to change. NFAP found that immigrants have started nearly half of America’s 50 top venture-funded companies, and that these founders have created an average of approximately 150 jobs per company...

[2] My tweets to him, in chronological order (the first two weeks ago, the last five days ago):

@TimFernholz: what's the top negative side effect of, say, a Mexican doctor moving to the U.S.?

@TimFernholz & @GOOD promote #NeoColonialism: taking smart ppl from the #ThirdWorld (just like resources in the past).

@TimFernholz: tell us why you want to deprive the #ThirdWorld of their smartest people, OK?

@TimFernholz: you never answered. Why do you and @GOOD want to braindrain the #ThirdWorld?

@TimFernholz would deprive Mexico of their few very smart ppl. <6000 excel at math: