The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Monday, October 17, 2005


Gary Becker makes a compelling case for increasing the number of permanent visas awarded to skilled foreigners:
To me it seems like a win-win situation for the US to admit annually a million or more skilled professionals with permanent green cards that allow them eventually to become American citizens. Permanent rather than temporary admissions of the H-1B type have many advantages to the US as well as to the foreign professionals. With permanent admission, these professionals would make a much greater commitment to becoming part of American culture rather than forming separate enclaves in the expectation they are here only temporarily. They would also be more concerned with advancing in the American economy rather than with the skills and knowledge they could bring back to India, China, or wherever else they came from. In particular, they would become less concerned with absconding with the intellectual property of American companies, property that could help them advance in their countries of origin, perhaps through starting their own companies.

Let's not fret over losing jobs to foreign competition. Skilled and productive workers create surpluses that pave the way for new opportunities and economic expansion. You'd be hard-pressed to argue otherwise without assuming that immigrants are being paid more than they're worth. That's hardly a cosmopolitan outlook.