Immigration Makes Economic Sense!
Economist Michael Clemens on Guardian published an opinion on why immigration makes economic sense, by all means. In this sense, geography determines destiny. While immigrants mostly take jobs few natives want, their migration also alleviate poverty. In author’s own term, immigration is the world’s greatest arbitrage opportunity, and few nations can afford to join this competition. United States of America was the leader, is leading, and may still remain a leader for talent arbitrage.
Immigration to rich developed country is a great development strategy. Talents that poorer countries would not have been able to utilize may create jobs in developed countries. Both parties benefit greatly. In short, immigration is one of the greatest development strategy. At individual, family and group levels, immigration also create informal ties that pace way to further commercial opportunities. Temporary work visa for poorer small countries, in the same vein, makes clear sense for long term development. Surplus value from the U.S. will help raise the standard of living in Haiti, while the plethora of service jobs would be completed by the willing and able. Given this much evidence, the only rational explanation to the fear of immigration is politics and the fear of losing what is known.
Selective altruism may simply not be powerful enough to overcome xenophobic sentiments at the deepest level. For more than one century, American media displayed anti-immigration arguments, against high-skilled immigrants and women’s entry into workforce. Facts have shown that women in workforce had significantly raised the standard of living and overall level of consumption. Employers in the United Kingdom and the United States alike also show great need for highly skilled engineers, software developers and programmers. Yet, while the substance of immigration debate remains equally uncritical as a century earlier, the tone of debate had softened a little.
Now, Americans voters do not mind importing more engineers for jobs that could not have been filled otherwise, as much as their ancestors did. There is general consensus that immigrants are needed for certain tasks. American education is becoming smarter, but it takes at least ten years to produce first generation of creative 21st century thinker. While the first generation of such creative thinkers remain in school, special occupations must be filled. High-skill jobs, therefore, have been by bipartisan consensus kept from political sparring in public.
There is hope. Let’s pray that it will become sight.