Here’s a quick and dirty fix for the US economy – instead of closing up the borders, why not open the gates to skilled migrant workers, and give them a free green card with every house purchased?
While his tongue was slightly in cheek, Gupta and many other Indian business people I spoke to this week were trying to make a point that sometimes non-Americans can make best: “Dear America, please remember how you got to be the wealthiest country in history. It wasn’t through protectionism, or state-owned banks or fearing free trade. No, the formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat.”
We live in a technological age where every study shows that the more knowledge you have as a worker and the more knowledge workers you have as an economy, the faster your incomes will rise. Therefore, the centerpiece of our stimulus, the core driving principle, should be to stimulate everything that makes us smarter and attracts more smart people to our shores. That is the best way to create good jobs.
It’s easy to see why that piece is in the NYT’s op-ed column… but even so, it doesn’t sound like the craziest idea for ending the recession that I’ve heard in the last week. [via MarginalRevolution]; image by TheTruthAbout]
2 thoughts on “Re-invigorate the economy: immigrants buy a house, get a free visa”
Ugh, Friedman can be a broken record at times. The USA grew to be the wealthiest country in history through being the only industrial powerhouse to come out of WW2 with its economy and domestic infrastructure intact, and through consolidating its global economic power through The Marshall Plan. The economy it built was hardly open; it was based on foreign nations receiving aid in return for policies or agreements that benefited the USA economically. I’m not debating the pros or cons of this but Friedman is just full of shit on that one, frankly. I don’t think anything could stop that man touching himself at the thought of deregulation.
But as far as his actual point goes, well, it’s certainly interesting. Although I’m not overly sure how realistic it is, if only because unemployment in the USA is skyrocketing. There’s no point trying to entice skilled immigration if there’s no work for them.
There’s also the fact that it’s a money and labour pool drain on other nations, but eh, that’s the way globalisation goes (for the rich at least).
I like this idea. Perhaps we Canadians should steal it.
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