October 5, 2011

THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT:

Yes, There Is Such Thing As A Free Lunch: It's Called Immigration (Nick Schulz, 10/04/11, Forbes)

Two terrific ideas are floating around right now. The first is a bill sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona called the STAPLE Act. The idea originated with legendary venture capitalist John Doerr who famously said at a conference in 2008 "I would staple a Green Card to the diploma of anyone that graduates with a degree in the physical sciences or engineering in the United States." The Flake bill would "exempt foreign students who have earned a Ph.D. degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics from a U.S. university and have a job offer in the U.S. from visa quotas," thus expanding the American talent pool.

Another idea is the Startup Visa, which would enable foreign entrepreneurs to get a visa to start a company, provided they have funding from U.S. investors. Entrepreneur-investors Paul Graham and Brad Feld deserve credit for pushing this idea that now enjoys bi-partisan backing.

These ideas don't require a comprehensive reform of the nation's immigration system. Congress and the White House can act now.

Pia Orrenius is an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank at Dallas and the co-author of an important new book about immigration, "Beside the Golden Door." Speaking at the Bloomberg event in Washington she noted, "economists typically don't think that free lunches exist; but permitting more skilled immigrants to enter and stay is about as close as you can get to a free lunch."

Who's hungry?


Posted by at October 5, 2011 6:49 AM
  

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