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Immigrants a Plus for the Economy

Mark Marich on August 24, 2009 Source: Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship

Immigrants create more jobs than they take. That is the take home message appearing in a recent issue of Newsweek from the following 'Smart List' item:

Lou Dobbs, take note: immigrants are good for our economy. The most skilled create jobs in technology and engineering, says Duke professor Vivek Wadhwa, who estimates that in 2005 immigrant-founded engineering and tech companies employed 450,000 people and generated $52 billion in sales. But even the least skilled more than repay their costs in schools and health care. Two highly respected Australian economists, Maureen Rimmer and Peter Dixon, studied the issue for the libertarian Cato Institute. "The net impact on U.S. households from tighter border enforcement is unambiguously negative," they found, because even low-skilled immigrants expand the economic pie and create jobs farther up the ladder. Cato's Dan Griswold says the study shows a $250 billion difference between the most and least restrictive immigration policies.

Not surprisingly, the blurb has generated a number of reader comments. And unfortunately, a majority use it as a misguided chance to complain about high unemployment rates in the US and jobs going overseas (a completely separate issue). My personal favorite mixes in a bit of anti-corporate conspiracy theory with its xenophobia:

"Only a magazine that makes its money from the ads it sells to soulless,nationless corporations would say immigrants create jobs. I guess themore immigrants, the happier the corporations are and the happierNewsweek is to sell them ad space. Corporatism is cracking. TheAmerican middle class won't take much more of their jobs beingtransferred to India. India needs to create its own jobs instead ofsucking jobs from "American" firms."

Category:  Immigration  Tags:  vivek wadhwa

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