In the war for talent, America can learn a lot from Chile
THE world’s most valuable resource is talent. No country grows enough of it. Some, however, enjoy the colossal advantage of being able to import it. Rich, peaceful countries can attract clever immigrants. Unlike other useful imports, they cost the recipient country nothing. They come, they study, they work, they set up businesses, they create jobs: 40% of the founders of Fortune 500 companies are immigrants and their children. Yet they are only 23% of Americans.
Yet for more than a decade America has been choking off its supply of foreign talent, like a scuba diver squeezing his own breathing tube. It has done so in three ways. First, it issues too few visas to skilled workers: no more than 65,000 a year, down from more than 100,000 in 1999. Second, it makes the process of applying for permanent residency slow and unpredictable. When Vivek Wadhwa, an Indian computer scientist, arrived in the 1980s, it took him 18 months to obtain a green card. Now, as Mr Wadhwa describes in a new book, “The Immigrant Exodus”, it often takes ten years. While in limbo, would-be immigrants cannot switch jobs without jeopardising their place in the queue, and their spouses are often barred from working. Many give up and go elsewhere.
Third, America gives foreigners little credit for being entrepreneurs. For example. . . (READ MORE)
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Article published by: economist.com