The United States of America is unquestionably the most powerful nation in the history of the world. Citizens here and around the globe recognize we have the largest economic engine, but it’s our military might that defines our world power. Way to go, Americans! Wrong … our might comes from immigrants. One was Albert Einstein. He was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics.
He was visiting the U.S. when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. Being Jewish, he didn’t go back to Germany and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Roosevelt warning of “extremely powerful bombs of a new type” and recommended the U.S. begin similar research. This led to the Manhattan Project and American military supremacy resulted. Had Hitler treated Jews better, NAZIs might rule the world today. His loss was our victory.
America Drained Brains from Germany. My Facebook friend, Dodger Codger Mills, shared an article defending U.S. immigration policies — pointing out African immigrants are more educated that most in America — including people born here.
Author Ann Simmons notes correctly most news about sub-Saharan Africa is about war, famine, poverty or political upheaval. She says it’s understandable many Americans believe Africans who immigrate to the United States are “poorly educated and desperate.” The author claims this is also the impression President Trump left with his alleged comments opposing admission of immigrants from “shithole countries” in Africa and elsewhere.
This impression is inaccurate, of course. The majority of immigrants come from five countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa. Applicants must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education or have at least two years of recent experience in any number of occupations, including accountants, computer support specialists, orthodontists and dancers. As a result, immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are highly-skilled professionals. Of the 1.4 million who are 25 and older, 41 percent have a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30 percent of all immigrants and 32 percent of the U.S.-born population.
African immigrants are also significantly more likely to have graduate degrees — 16 percent had master’s degrees, medical degrees, law or doctorate degrees, compared with 11 percent of the U.S.-born population.
Cream of the Crop
America is importing the Cream of the Crop. As pointed out in my post, Not All Cultures Created Equal, the “happiest” people tend to live in predominantly AngloProtestant nations. On the lower end of this scale, Nigeria ranks 91st; South Africa, 105th; Ghana, 108th; Kenya, 124th; and Ethiopia, 127th. President Trump is right. These are “shithole countries.” Move there if you don’t agree. This is why their citizens fight to immigrate to the U.S. and other developed nations. The World Happiness Report 2018 shows migration patterns to the “darker” regions from “lighter” ones.
While America benefits from these talented and hard-working people, their home nations lose. We are stealing the Cream of the Crop and draining the best brain power, talent, and entrepreneurial leaders from the “shithole countries.” The best get out, while we leave the “not so best” to suffer.
Stealing the Best from the Rest
Nobody doubts the important contribution to America from immigrants at both the national, as well as local level where they are concentrated. Immigrants contribute “more than $10.1 billion in federal taxes, $4.7 billion in state and local taxes, and most importantly, they have significant economic clout to the point of $40.3 billion in spending power.” The biggest beneficiary is Texas, where their spending power is $4.7 billion, followed by California, Maryland, New York and Georgia. “It’s a population that leverages its human resources and contributes to the U.S. economy by revitalizing communities, starting businesses, but also by working in a variety of professional fields.”
This is also a theoretical LOSS of $40.3 billion in spending power from “shithole countries.” These struggling nations lose the leaders who can revitalize their communities, create new businesses and fill key spots in a variety of professional fields. Just as Hitler lost when Professor Einstein migrated to America, what America takes now, these struggling countries lose.
Liberals want to continue our immigration policies. They believe helping one family escape a “shithole country,” while leaving 99 behind is somehow humane. I guess this practice relieves their collective guilt in some way. Conservatives tend to back the Trump administration plan to end the visa lottery and other programs that allow certain immigrants to sponsor family members to settle in the U.S. They believe a merit system that selects immigrants based on individual skills should replace the current system.
Both Liberals and Conservatives are wrong. Saving one and abandoning the rest defiles American cultural values. We don’t believe in leaving anyone behind. Liberals have always been best when they advocate polices that “lift all boats in the harbor.” Conservative proposals to move to a greater “merit system” simply worsens the brain drain. They seeks the best of the best of the best. Good for America, but destructive for global development.
One option is to expand educational opportunities in the U.S. and other developed nations — recruit the best, help them finance advanced education attainment and the development of professional skills, yet return them to their home nations with sufficient resources and networks to turn “shithole countries” into successful, safe and prosperous places. Rather than giving people a fish — or allowing them to fish here in America, teach them to fish, and send them back with poles, reels and the resources they need to teach colleagues and family members how also to fish.
We live in a global village today. We must lift all boats to achieve the true destiny of America. What do you think? Please leave your comments below and be sure to FOLLOW ClearHeath Life Strategies. We provide News of the News You Wish You Knew.
Author, Ann M. Simmons, is a global development writer/editor on the foreign desk of the LA Times, where she covers global sustainability issues. I forwarded my comments to her. Let’s see if she responds.