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Smart Immigrants Going Home 770

Posted by kdawson
from the no-longer-the-only-land-of-opportunity dept.
olddotter writes "A 24-page paper on a reverse brain drain from the US back to home countries (PDF) is getting news coverage. Quoting: 'Our new paper, "America's Loss Is the World's Gain," finds that the vast majority of these returnees were relatively young. The average age was 30 for Indian returnees, and 33 for Chinese. They were highly educated, with degrees in management, technology, or science. Fifty-one percent of the Chinese held master's degrees and 41% had PhDs. Sixty-six percent of the Indians held a master's and 12.1% had PhDs. They were at very top of the educational distribution for these highly educated immigrant groups — precisely the kind of people who make the greatest contribution to the US economy and to business and job growth." Adding to the brain drain is a problem with slow US visa processing, since last November or so, that has been driving desirable students and scientists out of the country.
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Smart Immigrants Going Home

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  • by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:07PM (#27058469) Homepage

    The American dream used to be a house in the country. Now it's a house in another country.

    • by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:13PM (#27058509) Homepage
      The American dream used to be a house in the country. Now it's citizenship in another country.

      Fixed that for you.
      • by Fallingcow (213461) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:59PM (#27058987) Homepage

        No joke. If not for my friends and family (primarily the former) I'd already be in Canada or Ireland. As it is, I'm hoping things get better, because if they don't then staying here will have been a huge mistake. Certainly staying here means not having kids, unless we get our collective head out of our ass and create a non-retarded health care system. Probably means a lower standard of living regardless--and I'm not just talking about income.

    • by raehl (609729) <raehl311.yahoo@com> on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:20PM (#27058589) Homepage

      I think a lot of Americans don't realize why America became the superpower it is.

      For thousands and thousands of years, the way to increase your nation's power was to go and invade the other nation, subjugate them, and take their stuff.

      The problem is that's a pretty expensive way of going about things. The answer?

      Immigration!

      Why fight through the world subjugating people when you can just open up the gates of immigration and the best, brightest and hardest working of the other nation's populace will voluntarily and at their own expense subjugate themselves?

      Much cheaper and more effective than invasion!

      • by saiha (665337) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:41PM (#27058823)

        The issue in the US though is instead of going into development of high-tech fields, Americans have been going into management of those fields. In my biased opinion in general becoming a generic MBA is easier than engineering/science so if eng/sci is being filled by immigrants, natives will go the other route. When the immigrants leave with all our IP all we are left with is paper pushers.

        We (meaning America) needs to start churning out more home-grown techies. We still want to encourage immigration though.

        • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:53PM (#27059549) Journal

          In my biased opinion in general becoming a generic MBA is easier than engineering/science so if eng/sci is being filled by immigrants, natives will go the other route. When the immigrants leave with all our IP all we are left with is paper pushers.

          Gee, I don't know... maybe instead we could encourage them to stay? That way, *they* become Americans, and suddenly, we don't have a shortage of Americans with eng/sci backgrounds.

        • by Geof (153857) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:37PM (#27059901) Homepage

          When the immigrants leave with all our IP all we are left with is paper pushers.

          The value of so-called IP is nothing beside the value of the skills, human relationships etc. for creating and developing ideas. Those who think innovation means resting on the creativity of 10, 20, life plus 70 years ago are doomed from the start. Creativity and innovation are activities, not artifacts. A focus on the frozen ideas of "IP" diverts attention from the real issues. The problem is not that the smart immigrants are taking American ideas away: it is that they are taking themselves.

        • by swb (14022) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:51PM (#27060055)

          We need to end the cheap (H1-B) labor for engineering.

          If businesses "need" more engineering labor than the market has available, they need to pay for it, just as they would for marketing or management. Instead they suppress the salaries by importing cheap labor from overseas.

          We also need to undo some of the cultural bias we have for "management" and stop treating management as some kind of aristocratic/Mandarin class entitled to special wages & privileges above the common people.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:14PM (#27058523) Homepage

    I just have to wonder how much more of this erosion of the U.S. the U.S. is willing to accept and permit? H1-Bs and lowering of wages, offshoring and outsourcing services are all great ways for companies to increase their bottom lines. But when EVERYONE is doing it, these companies ultimately create poor and unemployed customers! This is not sustainable.

    People constantly ask "so protectionism is the answer?" Right now, yes it is!

    It seems that everyone and every entity is seeming short, fast turn-around and ever-increasing bottom lines using "growth percentage" as a metric for success and viability. (Reality check! In no part of the universe is growth a sustainable metric!!)

    • by hazem (472289) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:27PM (#27058687) Journal

      It seems that everyone and every entity is seeming short, fast turn-around and ever-increasing bottom lines using "growth percentage" as a metric for success and viability.

      This kind of thinking is a systemic problem and not just in the job market.

      Consider the mortgage foreclosure issue. For a single bank making a foreclosure decision, it makes perfect sense to foreclose a bad loan, realize the loss, and then recover the value by selling the property. This is even okay to happen "regularly" as long as it's a relatively minor level of activity. But once you reach (as another posted pointed out) a "tipping point", this behavior that's good for an individual suddenly becomes extremely detrimental to everyone.

      This was magnified by an unwillingness by the banks to re-negotiate the raise in rates on adjustable rate loans. Again, on a case by case basis, it makes sense for the bank to "stick to their guns" and force the consumer to pay the higher rate. But doing this to too many people will cause a large number of them to foreclose. That just refers back to the previous paragraph.

      With too many homes in foreclosure, values of entire neighborhoods drop and people are stuck with homes that aren't worth what they owe. Many walk away leaving the banks with properties they can't sell in neighborhoods that are devalued.

      The short-term case of chasing the profit prevented the longer term view of seeing that what they were doing was destroying the market. And now, after so much damage, they're being forced to do the very things they should have been doing in the first place - negotiating rates to help keep homeowners in their homes.

    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:47PM (#27058875) Journal
      Let me start by saying that your username is apropos.

      I just have to wonder how much more of this erosion of the U.S. the U.S. is willing to accept and permit? H1-Bs and lowering of wages, offshoring and outsourcing services are all great ways for companies to increase their bottom lines.

      First, there is nothing wrong with outsourcing. Hell, I outsource my lawncare to a neighborhood kid. You do know that outsourcing is substantively different than offshoring, right?

      But when EVERYONE is doing it, these companies ultimately create poor and unemployed customers! This is not sustainable.

      You're right it's not sustainable; eventually those unemployed people find jobs that are either more productive and valuable to society, or they find employment doing something else... at a price more in line with what the work is worth. There is no inherent reason an artificial restriction on labor (tight immigration policy) should be allowed to prop up wages... in the long run, this results in a smaller market for goods.

      In re: offshoring, I'm sure we completely disagree, but from a humanitarian perspective, it's far better to lift some people out of abject poverty in developing nations than it is to slightly increase someone's already-high standard of living in the US.

      People constantly ask "so protectionism is the answer?" Right now, yes it is!

      Yes, we have a surplus of labor right now. And that's painful for some. But protectionism is not the answer. It lengthened and deepened the great depression, and it will do the same thing now. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

      It seems that everyone and every entity is seeming short, fast turn-around and ever-increasing bottom lines using "growth percentage" as a metric for success and viability. (Reality check! In no part of the universe is growth a sustainable metric!!)

      Except, perhaps, the universe as a whole. Joking aside, why should economic growth not be sustainable long-term? Seriously? It's not like it's constrained by physical goods or anything... it's an intellectual construct that doesn't have absolute limits. I fully agree that "short-termism" is a flawed way to assess economic vitality of a company, and country, or an economy. But I disagree that growth is not sustainable. Consider that every trade transaction, in theory, represents economic growth (economics is not zero-sum, in case you have no knowledge of economics).

      At any rate, protectionism is not the answer, now or ever. It only serves to reduce economic vitality... and this is especially so if other nations retaliate (which they surely would). If you had your way, we'd lose the benefit that all these immigrants, etc, would bring to our future economy. You want to talk about being motivated by short-term profits? You sir, with your talk of protectionism, are doing exactly that.

  • Tipping point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bindo (82607) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:15PM (#27058533)

    This is the end ....

    my feeling, in 30 years this moment will be viewed as the tipping point, the moment in which america stopped being the siphon of the worlds best minds.

    For the first time in history the melting pot hasn't managed to retain the best.
    Those people will bring a BIG BOOST in their respoective countries ruling intellighentia.

    lots of sour grapes here, but have no one else to blame ....

    • by SIR_Taco (467460) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:35PM (#27058763) Homepage

      No, a melting pot would retain the heaviest, which the US has quite well

    • by cjb658 (1235986) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:45PM (#27059481) Journal

      Well, at least we still have the most guns.

    • Re:Tipping point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JanneM (7445) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:29PM (#27059827) Homepage

      Actually, this has probably not so much to do with the US itself, and more with the countries many of you immigrants come from.

      I'm Swedish, and for various reasons a disproportionate number of Swedes tend to move abroad; not just academics and other highly skilled people, but "ordinary" people too. There is very little debate about it, and no screaming about "brain drain". The reason is that the vast majority eventually return. It may take three, or five, or ten years, but most come back and bringing with them more skills and experience, making it a net win for the country.

      Similarly, as large countries like China and India become places where a middle-class life is attainable and normal, so will more people return home eventually where they would have settled abroad permanently before. It's not that the US has become less attractive, but that people's own home countries have become more so.

      The US can and should adapt to this in two ways: first, recognize that a temporary immigrant is still valuable for the country even if they leave after some years. Second, encourage more of their own citizens to likewise move abroad for some period in order to build their skills and benefit in the same way that other countries do. While Swedes are disproportionately likely to live abroad, US citizens seem anecdotally disproportionately unlikely to do so. You seem to have a whole slew of arbitrary barriers, like the double income taxation when living abroad, that conspire to keep normal people from relocating for a few years.

  • and why do we care? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:17PM (#27058561)

    Our educational system has become so damned expensive that only people who don't live here can seemingly afford it. So it makes sense... As to why the visa system is clogged... Maybe the economic hard times have hit government offices partially responsible for it as well? Oh, what sweet revenge. -_- More seriously though, what difference does it make how well we educate people (either people who stay or leave?) if the environmental conditions necessary for real progress are absent? Our intellectual property system has gutted any hopes of "desirable individuals" doing much of anything besides occupying a desk. The medical field is screwed because people are too afraid of litigation to actually practice medicine at less than a 6000% markup on procedures, which is literally killing people who can't afford it anymore. The lawyers are the only ones in this country that are well-off anymore.

    It's no wonder people are jumping ship... Some people looked down the length of the bow and see a giant iceberg in front of the USS Our Future. An iceberg made almost totally of greed, because we couldn't look farther than the end of our damn noses as the social problems we're facing. And leaving is the smart thing -- how long until Canada starts patrolling its borders to keep illegal immigrants from the United States out? Probably not long.

    • by SIR_Taco (467460) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:55PM (#27058931) Homepage

      Honestly we, Canada, are quite content with the fact that you preach such crazy patriotism to your kids at a young age and we don't have any worries.
            We're taught more to come up with our own views and opinions of the world and the country itself (through school and society). And from looking around, myself, I feel that I live in a country that is much less off-the-wall (so to speak) than the rest of the world. I was not told through school and/or society that I need to worship Canada like it's a second/first religion, however I would put my life up for this country in a heart-beat if it were ever threatened.
            You can't force anyone to love a country, but you can let them.

      • by Cimexus (1355033) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:08PM (#27059671)

        Insightful comment (haven't got any mod points unfortunately though).

        I feel the same way about my home country (Australia). Australians deep down are quite patriotic, but it is a quiet, learned patriotism, rather than the overt 'God bless America' flag-waving culture you see in the US. If you asked us, we wouldn't say we were patriotic. But most would, as you say, defend it to the death if there was a real threat. Life is just too good here to give up easily, it truly is one of the world's best places to live (Canada is nice too BTW from what I've seen) :)

        I'm qualified to talk about this distinction I think, because my wife is in fact an American who has just recently permanently moved here to Australia with me. (Incidentally she's well educated, a good example of the brain drain out of the US). I've also spent a lot of time in the US myself, both for business and pleasure.

        I think the US a wonderful country with some of the friendliest people you will find anywhere. But the first time I visited I could not BELIEVE the awful, tacky, in-your-face patriotism. Flags from every freaking house (here, flags are pretty much just for government buildings etc). HUGE flags on the side of highways and stuff for no apparent reason (why? seriously, why?). In a way, the US displays its national symbol so much and so often that it loses it's importance and meaning I think. Here, we treat our flag with a great deal of respect and use it only for official occasions. And I think it is more symbolic and meaningful because of that.

        So I think your last comment "You can't force anyone to love a country, but you can let them", is a perfect summation. In most countries, people come to love their country gradually and deeply, because they genuinely think it's a wonderful place. In the US though it does seem as if patriotism is more ... indoctrinated into people.

  • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:19PM (#27058577) Journal

    Our new paper, "America's Loss Is the World's Gain"...

    Shouldn't that be "America's Loss Is the Rest of the World's Gain"? I know you insist on calling us aliens and think we use strange units like metres and kilograms but we are all part of the same world.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:20PM (#27058585) Homepage Journal

    simply tells smart immigrants to wait for a real change before coming back or planning to stay.

    I work with 1 H1B and a few naturalized immigrants who all are very well educated (masters for two of them) and their drive is well beyond what the average "American" I see today. They still want it all. The difference is that they are willing to sacrifice and work for it.

    When schools allow dummies to pass because it isn't fair to hold them back, when schools don't celebrate their brightest because it offends, when doing grunt work on your path through the job market is for losers, what can you expect? Fortunately there are still more of us than them. The problem is that very little is being done to encourage more of those yearning for success who will work for it instead we are now seeing more who expect everything to be done or handed to them.

    Reverse brain drain? It will get worse as some of OUR brightest go overseas to excel.

    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:32PM (#27058735) Journal

      I work with 1 H1B and a few naturalized immigrants who all are very well educated (masters for two of them) and their drive is well beyond what the average "American" I see today. They still want it all. The difference is that they are willing to sacrifice and work for it.

      And with the H1-B, we show them the door instead of welcoming them to stay. These are the people that we should be encouraging to naturalize... hell, we should scrap H1-Bs completely, IMO, but raise the immigration cap for those wishing to naturalize.

      The US's great economy in the past was built on the shoulders of risk-taking, hard-working immigrants, and now we want to shut the door to protect "our" jobs? That's a recipe for economic stagnation.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:21PM (#27058599)

    A colleague of mine decided to return to Africa. The money he collected over seven years in the USA would enable him live a better life in his homeland.

    A mansion, with a swimming pool and three maids only costs him about 900 dollars to maintain. The respect he would get from the community would be greater and he'll have a chance to eat fresh "organic" fruit.

    All in all...good for them...I wish them all the best.

    When the economy picks up, I will welcome them to the mighty USA.

  • by Legion_SB (1300215) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:21PM (#27058613) Homepage

    Adding to the brain drain is a problem with slow US visa processing, since last November or so, that has been driving desirable students and scientists out of the country.

    I like my protectionism like I like my women: passive aggressive!

  • by jeko (179919) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:25PM (#27058653)

    The temporary H1-B visa was supposed to be good for seven years. The average age at which H1-Bs come to this country is fresh out of college, so 22-23 years old plus seven years is about thirty.

    All this says is that the H1-B visa program is working as advertised.

    • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:07PM (#27059081)

      All this says is that the H1-B visa program is working as advertised.

      And it shows just how stupidly designed the H1-B visa program was in the first place. These people are precisely the types we want as citizens. It should never have been temporary in the first place. It should have been designed to be a fast track to a green card. Instead it was designed as a way to put artificial leverage on these people to keep them under the thumbs of their corporate employers - in direct contradiction of traditional american values like being the "land of the free."

  • by deodiaus2 (980169) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:26PM (#27058669)
    Well, there are two major factors.
    1) Given the current recession, the number of jobs have fallen off. That and there is pressure to hire an American over someone on a visa. Plus, maybe the foreigners don't want to pay our debt due to all of the bailouts and "Economic stimulus".
    2) Xenophobia is alive and well. Even if there were no 9/11, there was a fear of foreigners in the US. Be it left over hostiles from the Cold War, hatred towards Mexicans and South Americans for taking "good jobs" from Americans, Native Americans wanting their land back, or African-Americans wanting a piece of the American Dream and compensation from slavery, there are build up resentments which have been under the surface.
    Whenever you evaluate a strategic game or a problem, you can see it by seeing it from the opponents point of view.
  • Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xplenumx (703804) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:26PM (#27058675)
    Training foreign students served two purposes. First, so we have an opportunity to hire the best and brightest. Secondly, so we can expose them to our culture. What better way is there to bring about change in a country than to train some of their top academic leaders? This is how you bring human rights to China and reduce corruption in Mexico.
  • by technomom (444378) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:28PM (#27058693)

    The next time you complain about immigration into the USA, consider how much worse things will be when people no longer even want to come here. Worse, that American citizens start leaving for greener pastures. That day may be coming.

    If we have an "immigration problem", it's generally a sign of a healthy economy. It's when we have an "emigration problem", that you know things will be really rough.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:29PM (#27058711) Homepage

    Are you saying my immigrant coworkers who aren't planning on leaving are stupid? That seems both rash and mean. You take it back!

  • by BillAtHRST (848238) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:33PM (#27058751)
    then things might be different.
    As it is, the H1B program has merely managed to feed the "fat cats" without improving the lot of US citizens.
    By all means, encourage immigration of hard-working, talented, intelligent people.
    But allow them to control their own destinies and compete without handicapping them or US citizens by institutionalizing a system that unfairly depresses wages for all.
    Maybe we've just reached a sort of equilibrium here, where US wages have stagnated while the rest of world's has grown.
    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:54PM (#27058929) Journal

      H1-B wages are not the problem. By law, an employer is required to pay H1-B at least as much or more than the US market average for the given position.

      It's the job insecurity that H1-B entails that is a problem.

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:34PM (#27059875)

        H1-B wages are not the problem. By law, an employer is required to pay H1-B at least as much or more than the US market average for the given position.

        It is only a violation if you get caught. There is, and always has been, exactly $0 in the government budget for enforcement of the wage parity requirements of the H1B program.

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @11:09PM (#27060191)

        By law, an employer is required to pay H1-B at least as much or more than the US market average for the given position.

        are you just stating the law or do you really BELIEVE this is how the real world works?

        I can assure you, the two are disjoint in almost all h1b salaries.

        do you ever wonder WHY HR wants to keep salaries secret?

        well, sometimes its not always a secret and the truth does get out.

        foreign workers are underpaid BY PLAN. not by mistake or by accident.

    • by hibiki_r (649814) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:59PM (#27058995)

      The H1-B program is evil, but even if anyone that qualified for an H1-B could ask for a green card instead, it'd still be painfully slow. Let's look at the Green Card process. How long does it take for people who have jumped through all the hoops to get one?.Take into account that, depending or where you come from, it could have taken close to a decade to get to this step:

      https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/jsps/Processtimes.jsp?SeviceCenter=NSC [uscis.gov]

      I-485 processing times, the last, step in the process: It takes over 9 months for people seeking asylum, And close to two years for employment-based applications. Someone with an October 2007 filing date probably has another year or two left, given the flood of applications they had that summer.

      So it's not just the H1-B process that is slowing people's mobility. The H1-B's trying to stay, and that work for companies willing to jump through all the hoops for them, have flooded the Green Card process anyway.

  • Immigrants (Score:3, Funny)

    by russlar (1122455) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:46PM (#27058871)
    'Ey took our jerbs!
  • by jeko (179919) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:48PM (#27058883)

    No, for the billionth time, we don't mind competing on quality. No, for the billionth time, we're not racist. No, for the billionth time, we don't mind the competition. On the contrary, my heart goes out to the H1-Bs I work with because I know they don't have any good choices.

    In the most brutal stark terms, H1-Bs are hired specifically because they don't enjoy the same political and legal protection that native workers do. They get paid less, worked like indentured servants, and disposed of like kleenex. I've actually heard one manager scream at the H1-B team he employed "If you're awake, you're working for me!"

    This is why you don't see the IT market flooded with French, Canadian or Australian workers, but rather see the market flooded with people from countries struggling with poverty and political horrors.

    These poor people are exploited here precisely because the conditions in their home country are so horrific. My heart goes out to the women H1-Bs I've worked with, because I've seen the haunted look in their eye when they speak of home. I once cornered another H1-B over a hideously unethical stunt he pulled to shift the blame away from his own screwup to another, more junior engineer. He robbed my righteous thunder when he got a desperate look in his eyes and pleaded with me, "Look, if he gets fired he can just get another job. If I get fired, they'd make me go back..."

    For the billionth time, if we need this talent, then let's do the right thing by these people and offer them citizenship. If we're not prepared to do the right thing, then we shouldn't be using them as scabs to break the back of American labor.

  • by hemp (36945) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:48PM (#27058885) Homepage Journal

    The article is extremely misleading and makes you think that these companies may have been started by people that came to the US on H1-B visas

    They never break out the number of immigrants who come to the US on H1-B visas that start technology companies (H1-B is of course a temporary non-immigration visa).

    Google was started by Sergey Brin who was a Jewish immigrant from the Soviet Union whose family immigrated to the US when he 6 and Larry Page of Lansing Michigan.

    Andy Grove of Intel fame was a Jewish refugee who fled post WWII Europe to the US (Gordon Moore was born in San Fran and Robert Noyce born in Iowa however, where the actual founders of Intel).

    Pierre Omidyar of eBay of course is a Frenchman who moved to this country with his family when he was 6 years old.

    Yahoo! founded by David Filo ( cheese head from Wisconsin) and Jerry Yang who came to this country with his family when he 10 from Taiwan.

    None of these people came to the US on work visas.

    This article is reprinted by Business Week & Wall Street Journal every year close to the May deadline for H1-B visas.

    In May, there will be an article about how the 85,000 visas were snapped up in one day due to "shortages" amongst technology and science workers and how we need to have unlimited H1-B visas to fix this problem.

    • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:12PM (#27059145)

      The article is extremely misleading and makes you think that these companies may have been started by people that came to the US on H1-B visas

      They never break out the number of immigrants who come to the US on H1-B visas that start technology companies (H1-B is of course a temporary non-immigration visa).

      However, they DO break out the percentage of returnees that are H1B/temporary - 1/5th of chinese and 1/2 of the indians. That means that 4/5ths of the chinese and half of the indian returnees had green-cards or full citizenship.

  • Management? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:55PM (#27058933) Journal

    They were highly educated, with degrees in management...

    So that's our plan for destroying the world!

  • by jeko (179919) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:01PM (#27059015)

    As a basic matter of fairness, if Indian and Chinese citizens are going to be free to work in the United States, then US citizens should be free to work in India and China.

    The problem is they're not. Some out-of-work disgruntled geek published an article looking into this a while back. The Indian consulate just laughed at him when he inquired about being allowed to work in India, while the Chinese representatives haughtily told him that Chinese jobs were for Chinese citizens.

    They can't have it both ways. The Indians and the Chinese cannot argue that their citizens should be allowed to compete world-wide, but that jobs inside their own borders are only open to native citizens.

    It's not just faulty logic. It's raging hypocrisy.

    • by mochan_s (536939) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:57PM (#27060107)

      I remember that slashdot article.

      But, the guy who wrote the article had no intention of actually getting a job in India or China. He was just trying to get somebody to say something stupid at the consulate.

      Actually, if you work for a Chinese company, they will put out a press release to the local media that their company is so great that even American want to work for them (it did happen! though it was for a student who was working at a Chinese factory - not really for wages but for experience).

    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @11:37PM (#27060385)

      Kinda funny, I think. We are so constantly lectured that the US should not have any "protectionist" policies against India, because protectionism never works.

      March 1, 2009

      India Maintains Sense of Optimism and Growth

      India's trillion-dollar economy remains a relative bright spot, some say, in part because the country's bureaucracy and its protectionist polices have kept it insulated from the fallout of the global downturn.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/business/worldbusiness/02rupee.html?_r=1&ref=world [nytimes.com]

       

    • by thej1nx (763573) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @02:01AM (#27061283)
      Or instead of hypocrisy, it is sheer xenophobia and mis-information at work. Clueless much? Apparently Indian companies do hire non-Indians. http://infotech.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1832596.cms [indiatimes.com] Obviously, these folks did apply for a work permit and got one. Thing is, that most US citizens are generally only all talk about actually going to India to work. Just empty talk. It is a third world country. Period. Even if you were earning well by Indian standards(which most foreigners working in India do) you will still be dealing with mosquitoes, scorching Indian heat in summers, dirt, grime, infections, what not. India is all fun to visit as a tourist, but living there when you are a US citizen? Forget it. Think of queues 4-5 hours long, for almost everything. Indians are used to this "way of life". You as a pampered, spoiled US citizen are not. You will start cribbing about the dirt from day one. Your body has never encountered the diseases and bacterias flourishing there. Indians have developed a natural immunity. You will either have really watch what you drink and eat, or fall sick constantly. And the country is mostly conservative. Your chances of a relationship with a membership of the opposite sex are remote, unless she is interested in hooking onto your US citizenship as a wife. And all this, when your pay is in the upper brackett, allowing you to afford an air-conditioner at home at least, a car, good medical care, to compensate for some of the things you took for granted in USA. Such high-paying jobs are scarce. Being used to the US life, you are just not really in a position to survive on an actual average Indian salary. So far, it has been unthinkable that any average american would want to work in India for long-term, unless he was being ordered to, by his employer, or unless he was unaware what he was getting into, or unless he was a glutton for punishment, or all of above. If you are still game, get an Indian company to hire you first. If you are a good bargain for the value they will get, then business is business. There is no real bias against foreigners, especially if they deal with software export or US clients, in which case you might be even desirable for interfacing with their US clients. They will sponsor your Indian work permit. The procedure involved lots of red-tape but not impossible either. I personally know tons of Japanese folks working in India for example, for Indian companies that deal with Japanese companies. But please tone down the misinformation and xenophobia. It is becoming too much an american stereotype.
  • Why don't we ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) * <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:40PM (#27059439) Homepage Journal
    ... give them their PhD and their citizenship at the same time? If someone came here from another country long enough to earn their PhD, they've already worked here for somewhere around 5-7 years. Why do we make it more difficult for them to stay longer?

    Add to that the fact that most grant funding agencies only give grants to citizens, and it isn't hard to figure out why so many people who come here for their PhD from other countries end up leaving afterwards - they finished their PhD and then ran straight into a career roadblock of no fault their own.
  • by Eil (82413) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:47PM (#27059499) Homepage Journal

    Get back on my lawn!

  • by emagery (914122) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:45PM (#27059987)
    Granted, it hurts to lose educated people from an economy that is in desperate need of new industry (as opposed to new services and new debts) ... but ... America isn't the whole of the world, and the world as a whole has real problems. Educating these people and then dispersing them to the wind like this... it may hurt right now, but what if they take seed in places of the world in greater need of educated people... places with runaway population growth, terrible environmental records, and similarly unsustainable practices? Heck... beyond that, after a taste of democracy, who is to say all these people going back to their less tolerant homes won't also foment cultural reforms (not that our model is picture perfect right now, but...) It's a notion, anyways

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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