Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Immigrants Saving America

Joel Kotkin makes a lot of sense. I’ve quoted his work here, here, and here. Now he’s writing about how much impact immigrants will have on the American business model. His main facts:

➢ Between 1990 and 2005 immigrants started one quarter of all venture-backed public companies. . . CEOs with roots in foreign countries [lead] 14 of the of the 2007 Fortune 100.

➢ eight Indian American CEOs run U.S. corporations with over $2 billion in sales, including . . . Citicorp, Adobe Systems and Pepsico[, with] Coca Cola. . . run by . . . a native of Turkey.

➢ Between one-third and one-half all students at Stanford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago and UC Berkeley [business schools] come from abroad.

➢ immigrants are 60% more likely to start a new business than native-born Americas. . . the immigrant experience . . .encourages innovation--. . . the advantage of non-acceptance. . . [H]istorian Irving Howe notes that the immigrant need[s] to find an unoccupied or underserved niche . . .

➢ In 2005 the U.S. swore in more new citizens than the next nine countries put together. . . more than half of all skilled immigrants in the world . . . come to the U.S. . . 400,000 E.U. science and technology graduates resid[e] in the U.S.

➢ nearly one in three [Houston] restaurants serves Mexican or Asian cuisine. . . account[ing] for more establishments than hamburger, BBQ and Italian restaurants put together. . . Immigrant-founded firms such as El Pollo Loco, Wolfgang Puck and Panda Express, are emerging as the McDonalds of 21st-century America.

➢ The emerging post-racial economy provides two distinct opportunities for American business. First the newcomers offer a new domestic "emerging" market. . . minorities could account for over $2.5 trillion [in sales] by 2010, close to $1 in every $4 in total U.S. consumer spending.

➢ [Second,] the uniquely international cast of American business [means] leading American firms will not have to go to graduate school in international training; they will have received theirs at home, talking to parents or grandparents who migrated from Mexico, Cuba, Russia, Iran, China, India, Israel . . . Americans [will] tap the global market, and culture, in ways other countries . . . just can't match.

Just think how much better our economic future would be, if we only liberalized current immigration policy.

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