November 2, 2012
IMPORTING THE SUPERIOR WINDOW BREAKER:
Innovative Immigrants (THOMAS K. McCRAW, 11/01/12, NY Times)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 2, 2012 7:25 PMThe economist Joseph Schumpeter -- yet another immigrant, and the most perceptive early analyst of innovation -- considered it to be the fundamental component of entrepreneurship: "The typical entrepreneur is more self-centered than other types, because he relies less than they do on tradition and connection" and because his efforts consist "precisely in breaking up old, and creating new, tradition." For that reason, innovators always encounter resistance from people whose economic and social interests are threatened by new products and methods.Compared with the native-born, who have extended families and lifelong social and commercial relationships, immigrants without such ties -- without businesses to inherit or family property to protect -- are in some ways better prepared to play the innovator's role. A hundred academic monographs could not prove that immigrants are more innovative than native-born Americans, because each spurs the other on. Innovations by the blended population were, and still are, integral to the economic growth of the United States.But our overly complex immigration law hampers even the most obvious innovators' efforts to become citizens. It endangers our tradition of entrepreneurship, and it must be repaired -- soon.