FB's Mark Z on Immigration and the Knowledge Economy.

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FB's Mark Z on Immigration and the Knowledge Economy.

#1  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 13, 2013 4:31 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html

The economy of the last century was primarily based on natural resources, industrial machines and manual labor. Many of these resources were zero-sum and controlled by companies. If someone else had an oil field, then you did not. There were only so many oil fields, and only so much wealth could be created from them.

Today’s economy is very different. It is based primarily on knowledge and ideas — resources that are renewable and available to everyone. Unlike oil fields, someone else knowing something doesn’t prevent you from knowing it, too. In fact, the more people who know something, the better educated and trained we all are, the more productive we become, and the better off everyone in our nation can be.

This can change everything. In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country. A knowledge economy can scale further, create better jobs and provide a higher quality of living for everyone in our nation.

To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best. We need those middle-school students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Given all this, why do we kick out the more than 40 percent of math and science graduate students who are not U.S. citizens after educating them? Why do we offer so few H-1B visas for talented specialists that the supply runs out within days of becoming available each year, even though we know each of these jobs will create two or three more American jobs in return? Why don’t we let entrepreneurs move here when they have what it takes to start companies that will create even more jobs?
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Re: FB's Mark Z on Immigration and the Knowledge Economy.

#2  Postby iamthereforeithink » Apr 13, 2013 6:03 am

He's right, but this is likely to be an extremely unpopular opinion in the current economic climate in the US. The large majority of people (including US Senators) have no understanding of economics, and it is nearly impossible for them to understand the real feedback loops that lead to job creation and economic growth. Unfortunately, it's much easier to think of it as a zero sum game, where "foreigners" are taking jobs away from "locals" and displacing them from the economy. This kind of thinking is to the detriment of the longer term global competitiveness of the US.
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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Re: FB's Mark Z on Immigration and the Knowledge Economy.

#3  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 13, 2013 9:11 am

iamthereforeithink wrote:He's right, but this is likely to be an extremely unpopular opinion in the current economic climate in the US. The large majority of people (including US Senators) have no understanding of economics, and it is nearly impossible for them to understand the real feedback loops that lead to job creation and economic growth. Unfortunately, it's much easier to think of it as a zero sum game, where "foreigners" are taking jobs away from "locals" and displacing them from the economy. This kind of thinking is to the detriment of the longer term global competitiveness of the US.


I totally agree.

I think immigration is a good example of how (1) economists have limited influence on policy in America (2) moneyed interests also have limited influence on policy, at least for certain issues and (3) economic illiteracy is widespread. Oh and (4) status quo bias is everywhere.
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