Wednesday, December 12, 2012

America Needs More Qualified Immigration!

Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, Mort Zuckerman, Chairman of Daily News and Eric Schmidt of Google attended a recent "STEM in the City" conference in New York recently to discuss ways of improving education and employment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines.

Mayor Bloomberg said on December 6th:
“In the United States today, about 50% of the doctoral degrees granted in mathematics, physics and computer science computational sciences in general, go to foreign-born students that are here on temporary work visas.
About the same number of people leave the United States — leave unwillingly because their time has run out. And unless we think about this human capital that we are losing, we are just in dire straits.”
Bloomberg called on voters to “stand up and fight against those who would close our borders” and harm the nation’s future.
The mayor has advocated loosening U.S. immigration rules for years and called on the two presidential candidates to tackle the issue during the 2012 race.
He threw his support behind the STEM Jobs Act in November, which would set aside 55,000 green cards for foreign-born grads of American universities who have earned advanced degrees in STEM fields.
The House of Representatives voted to approve the Republican-backed bill on Nov. 30, but it faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Mortimer Zuckerman also commented that high tech immigrant quotas are stuck in post-tech bubble levels and are hurting the country.
Zuckerman, saying that when he met with President Obama at the start of his first term, one of the things he asked for was 195,000 visas for foreign grad students in high-tech fields — a number that was reduced to 65,000 after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. [Did Obama ever do anything about that?  What do you think?  Forget about it!]
“This is one of the simple areas where we could make such a huge difference because it is critical to everything that we’re doing, and these jobs create more jobs,” he said.
It’s a message that resonated in the room.
Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google and IBM President Stanley Litow added:
“I think we are underselling the importance of this,” said Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, of STEM education. “This solves all the problems in America.”
The business, education and technology leaders in attendance agreed that “a massive overhaul” of the schools in New York and around the nation would secure the country’s future.
IBM Vice President Stanley Litow, who helped create the city’s innovative Pathways in Technology Early College High School, a six-year program where students earn associate degrees in STEM, said that partnerships between industry and education are key to that effort.
“Businesses desperately need people with the kinds of skills that are coming out of a program like this,” said Litow. “Does this model work for other districts and schools around the country? Absolutely, it does.”
Obviously the nation needs more dedicated people who clearly see the way forward; people like Mayor Bloomberg, Mort Zuckerman, Eric Schmidt and Stanley Litow.  That Congress and the President have done during the past 4 years is a sorry excuse for governance.

Better technical education is key, but we need the students interested in Math, Science, Biology, Chemistry, all types of Engineering.  I don't think America has enough young students interested in these subjects.  

The answer:  more immigration!

In my blog "Medicare and Medicaid Enrollees Exceed Full-Time Workers"  I argue that we're running out of taxpayers to pay for retirement and entitlement programs for the retiring baby boomers.  The situation gets nothing but worse as unfavorable demographics will cause beneficiaries to grow quickly relative to those working and paying taxes.

We need immigrants with skills to fill high tech jobs and to start families here.  In this way, they will buy or occupy housing, furnish homes by buying furniture and appliances and pay taxes.

In the 4th of a 4 part Mega-blog series on Solving America's Problems, I argue that immigration could be helpful to overcome demographic "drag"on the economy and "mop-up" excessive housing supply:  I recommend to take the following steps:
  1. Expand immigration from developed and developing areas of the world (from Asia and China) and much less from 3rd World Nationalities.
  2. Invite foreign graduate students, master's and doctoral candidates, to immigration interviews.
  3. Target highly skilled immigrants using a point system like Canada.
  4. Offer visas to foreigners who buy used homes in the US (to mop up oversupply).

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