Once Again We Are Losing Ground!

The more I study entrepreneurism the more I am sold on its importance. Passion, performance, and improvement are all positive terms that indicate a hunger for creating value. Value can be economic or social, but involves the ability to take something that has potential and helping it perform at higher levels. Profit making entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs create social capital while providing value for customers.

As our Congress continues to fiddle while Rome burns, I am concerned about the economic convergence occurring between our country and the world. Steven Case wrote about it this morning in the WSJ.  The title of the article is “As Congress Dawdles, the World Steals Our Talent.”

In June our inept Congress passed an immigration reform bill, but took a summer break. And as Case states, they are now focused on other things, like Syria. But what has other countries accomplished over the summer? How have they handled immigration reform, specifically high skill immigration? “Germany spent the summer rewriting 40% of its immigration laws, significantly easing the bureaucratic hurdles impeding talented, foreign-born engineers and professionals from contributing to the economy there.”

Several other of our competitors have accomplished the same feat. “China used the summer to double-down on foreign talent recruitment.” Our neighbor to the north  has a new startup  visa program specifically for hiring talented entrepreneurs away from Silicon Valley. “Our Canadian friends even erected a billboard near San Francisco while Congress was on vacation, urging foreign-born innovators to consider leaving Silicon Valley and move north.”

Even Australia, which has an economy 14 times smaller than the US, is getting into the act by issuing as many green cars and the United States. I think we are sitting back a bit too much. Yes we still have the largest economy in the world, but we can lose that in a heartbeat. We need a comprehensive immigration reform bill to help us compete with the rest of the world. You may ask the question why? Let see what the data says.

According to Case the data shows “that for every 100 additional foreign-born technology and engineering workers [there are] 260 jobs [created] for native US workers.” That sounds promising. The data also shows that “40% of Fortune 500 companies in the US were started by immigrants or children of immigrants, employing 10 million people across the globe with $4 Trillion in revenue.” That seems like a pretty good reason for reform.

I think Case’s final comment is worth repeating. “Canada, Australia, Germany, China and a growing list of our global competitors are stepping up their game to win the global battle for talent – and every day, they are closing the gap. Its time for the house to act.” If this were just one area of performance where we were losing ground I would not be too concerned, but this coupled with our sliding educational systems and health care issues, point to a need to wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late.

And that is my thought for the day!

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