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Monday, January 18, 2010

How US unfriendly borders help China

In the name of security air travel in the US has become dreadful. Getting into the US as a foreign visitor has also become more unpleasant. Per the Economist, in a survey by a 2 to 1 margin, the US has the worst experience in customs of any country. The same article also notes how many scientific conferences preferring to convene outside of the US due to visa issues.

The NY Times article mentioned how many Chinese PhD students at one university in the US are now going back to China. PhD's leaving the US are a huge loss of educational capital. It costs a university more to educate a PhD than they bring in tuition. The reason is the number of faculty hours a PhD students takes, in small seminars, compared to the larger class sizes for master and undergraduate students.

Thomas Friedman had a proposal a while ago, that for certain major s when a foreign citizen person graduates in the US with an advanced degree, they automatically get a green card. The current H1B system is broken and leads to exportation of many in it. You are forced to stay with the employer who sponsors you until you get a green card, and if you change employers you have to reapply for a green card and start the process over again. I view it as a form of indentured servitude. I hope the US changes this short sited policy. The flow of amazingly talented individuals educated in the US is a huge loss of human capital. There are so many companies founded by immigrants in Silicon Valley with advanced degrees.

Bin Laden's legacy - Lexington in the Economist
Will China Achieve Science Supremacy? - NY Times.

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