Gordon Crovitz /WSJ: millions of Americans are unemployed, so let's ramp up immigration
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Former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz offers "We Need an Immigration Stimulus/A recession is exactly when we want innovative outsiders" (link). Bracketed by various absurdities, he offers the following stats:
Companies founded by immigrants include Yahoo, eBay and Google. Half of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants, up from 25% a decade ago. Some 40% of patents in the U.S. are awarded to immigrants. A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation found that immigrants are 50% likelier to start businesses than natives.
Someone who supports Americans (in Crovitz' words, a "nativist") might look at those stats and wonder how we could spur entrepreneurship among Americans, such as by making an entrepreneur class some sort of graduation requirement just as other subjects are. Someone of the WSJ's bent might look into taxes that make being an entrepreneur difficult for Americans; someone to the left might suggest some sort of government program. That would be the American approach. You don't need to guess Gordon Krovitz' approach:
The pace of lower-skilled migration has slowed due to higher unemployment. This could make it less contentious to ease the path to legalization for the 12 million undocumented workers and their families in the U.S. It's also a good time to ask why we turn away skilled workers, including the ones earning 60% of the advanced degrees in engineering at U.S. universities. It is worth pointing out the demographic shortfall: Immigrants are a smaller proportion of the U.S. population than in periods such as the late 1890s and 1910s, when immigrants gave the economy a jolt of growth... Banks getting federal bailouts are saddled with new hurdles to get visas for skilled workers. The wait for H-1B visas for skilled people from countries such as China and India is now more than five years, with only 65,000 visas granted annually among 600,000 applications.
We've got over 300 million people in the U.S.; importing talent now will only hurt us later as we become reliant on that talent and no longer have much need to, for instance, establish engineering schools. If all our bank tellers come from Romania, why establish bank teller schools?
Discussing the rest of Gordon Crovits' sleaze with the same restraint I've struggled with in this post is left as an assignment.