Marc Ambinder has posted a list of things people are "outraged" about this week in Washington. Reading the list reinforces the obvious point that a politician’s world is extremely disconnected from the reality on the ground.
Not making the list, and hardly drawing a peep from anyone in Washington, is the language tucked into the stimulus bill that makes it harder for skilled foreign workers to get jobs in America. At best this can be described as bad logic; at the worst it’s blatant racism. If companies want to hire skilled foreign workers, it’s probably because those people are willing to work harder for less pay. Forcing companies (which, now, are more international conglomerates than American firms) to hire only American workers is hurtful to the shareholders and it’s hurtful to the workers who wanted to work in the United States. It also encourages firms to move their operations to countries that welcome these skilled workers, and encourages those workers to make a home elsewhere.
Immigration has been America’s growth engine for the past 250 years. We have built this nation on the backs of immigrants. To turn our backs on the (skilled) people that want to come here is idiocy. One of my ancestors crossed over from Europe and was able to forge a life for himself here. Nearly everyone that applies for jobs is either an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant – what’s the difference? When we shun extraordinarily skilled people that want to come here, pay taxes and spend money on our goods, Americans lose. It’s not like foreigners are "taking" our jobs; companies are giving those jobs to foreigners, for lack of a better American candidate.
Most of the best finance students at CMC, including my roommate, are foreign. But these students, who have spent the last four years working their tails off to get a good job in New York, probably won’t be able to find one.
So today, I’m outraged that our politicians can pass xenophobic bullshit that will hurt our economy and our global competitiveness, without anyone in Washington batting an eye. We want to put the world’s best and brightest to work here in the USA.
Tyler Cowen, There is no good reason for this
Thomas Friedman, The Open-Door Bailout
Barry Ritholtz, Economics, Security, and the Decline of the US Creative Class