Tuesday, 7 July 2009

immigration is more important than math?!

Now imagine this - that immigration has a greater impact on innovation than the teaching of math and science! Well this is a perspective taken by GigaOM and I have some sympathy with the view..because what it suggests is that people moving around the world freely taking their talent, hunger and abilities is hugely valuable to an economy. Perhaps a bit extreme as the writer of this blog only focuses on the needs of USA. So - it implies that Indians and Chinese teach the math and USA benefits from it!?


To some extent the short term brain drain may well have to be tolerated (even if it seen as some kind of imperialism) so that in the longer term this tide of movement of the talent then starts to provide returns to the home country. There is evidence of this to some degree in teh shape of "brain circulation" - see for example teh Indian diaspora providing a huge stimulus to the INdian economy.

Why I like to think about such questions is that whenever I travel around mainland Europe I am struck by the almost complete lack of diversity in management, academia and naturally among policy makers. So few from other countries, other opnions and views, with the result that I see a Europe made up of a 1000 monocultures. The barriers have started to come up - for example the stupid attacks in Belfast by the Irish against the Romanians!! please forgive me for thinking that this was just a bit rich considering there are more Irish people outside Ireland! WHat if they were being beaten up?

So - the emergence of close minded protectionist barriers we see emergning around teh world is going to create a cramping of innovation, as entrepreneurs and especially entrpereneurially minded immigrants are prevented from free movement.

The USa wants to take a strategic view and ofcourse so will other coutnries. USA can probably do this because it is built on a history of immigation. For others - I think it will be really confusing by what they mean by strategic.

Time for liberals to apply themselves to this question..

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