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November 22, 2007

According to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, transfers from emigrants to their home countries is an enormous economic phenomenon.

Posted by Kevin Stolarick for Alison Kemper

Continue reading "Immigration and Prosperity [Guest Blogger: Alison Kemper]" »

July 06, 2007

Redmondlab Microsoft is setting up a new software development center in Vancouver, Canada.  Talent and especially US visa restrictions are the reason.

"For the time being, it's a centre for great talent. We're using it as a place to locate talent rather than to get a specific piece of work done," Sharif Khan, vice president of human resources of Microsoft Canada, told CBCNews.ca ... "It's such an amazing place to attract great talent to," he said. "Talk about a hub, a great place to live for people, a sort of diverse and inclusive location with great infrastructure...."There's a restriction on the number of visas the company can get for foreign employees in the U.S.," he said. "Canada's slightly more inclusive in that respect."

It's pretty clear from the story this is a real research facility, not a back office, geared to attract top talent from Canada, Asia-Pacific and the world. Vancouver is close to Microsoft's Redmond, Washington headquarters just outside Seattle. So the development work, the salaries and tax revenues go to Canada not the US. And of course those all important technology spillovers and clustering get built in Vancouver strengthening its already significant research base and university infrastructure.

The full story is here (hat tips: Wendy Waters, Ken Firestone)

June 15, 2007

It's not just scientists and entrepreneurs we're locking out, it's Chinese cooks. Writing in today's NYT, the Zagats point out that immigration restrictions are hurting Chinese food in America.

[T]he principal obstacle to improving Chinese fare here is the difficulty of getting visas for skilled workers since 9/11. Michael Tong, head of the Shun Lee restaurant group in New York, has said that opening a major Chinese restaurant in America is next to impossible because it can take years to get a team of chefs from China. Chinese restaurateur Alan Yau planned to open his first New York City restaurant last year but was derailed because he was unable to get visas for his chefs. If Henry Kissinger could practice “Ping-Pong diplomacy,” perhaps Condoleezza Rice could try her hand at “dumpling diplomacy”?

Continue reading "Flight of the Creative Class (Chinese Cooks Edition)" »

June 08, 2007

Great video of Google's VP for People Operations Laszlo Bock -- a Romanian immigrant -- testifying on Capitol Hill regarding the practical benefits of immigration to Google and the US. It is a great testimony and confirms much of what we know on immigration and talent. People need to see this.

posted by David

May 30, 2007

Richard Florida

Icky Thump

Immigration is becoming the defining political issue of the creative age. Here, the White Stripes take it on:

Hat Tip: Tyler


Posted by Amanda.

May 29, 2007

Richard Florida

Creative Britain

James Purnell, a Minister in Britain's government and of course an MP, slated to rise in the Brown government lays out the case for a creative policy.

... I therefore want to set an ambitious but achievable goal today: to make Britain the world’s creative hub. To meet that goal, there are two questions we need to answer: what makes Britain creative, and how can we turn that creativity into industrial success.   In other words, how can we turn talent into hits and hits into profits.

The whole agenda here is a must read. Whether you agree or not, look at how he sees Britain as the world's creative hub. He notes the US size, but says Britain is nimbler and is stronger pound for pound. I have been saying for a long time sooner or later someplace, somewhere will figure out how to leverage the emerging creative economy and build real policy infrastructure which can accelerate its growth. I have been also saying it is not likely to be China or India but a smaller, nimbler country or region or combination of regions. Lots of places have assets  - could be Britain, or Canada, or Sweden or some combination of Scandinavian regions or Australia or New Zealand.

But the real question is this: Could you even imagine a US Senator or Congress person or member of the Executive Branch who can even begin to think this way. Name one? What does that say about America's longer-run competitive advantage?

May 26, 2007

The Washington Post asks:

Would America open its doors for the next Albert Einstein? Under the new immigration bill, the answer is maybe, but maybe not.

(Hat tip: Rob Greenhalgh)

Continue reading "Flight of the Creative Class" »

May 22, 2007

While cruising around the Chief Happiness Officer blog I read an article that finds that 2 of 3 of British workers are unhappy in their current jobs and more than half of them would gladly take less money to work a job that makes them feel better about themselves. "Two in three people said they were "unfulfilled", "miserable" or "drifting" in their jobs and more than half claimed they would happily earn less money in a role that made them feel better about themselves." Some are calling this ideals driven job 'Zenployment.'

Do you feel like the Brits? Would you give up salary for more meaning and fulfillment? Have you done it already?

posted by David

May 16, 2007

Richard Florida

Outsourcing and Jobs

Robert Samuelson writes:

Remember the great "offshoring" debate? It was all the rage a few years ago. Modern communications allowed white-collar work to be zapped around the world. We faced a terrifying future of hordes of well-educated and poorly paid Indians and Chinese stealing the jobs of middle-class engineers, accountants and software programmers in the United States and other wealthy nations. Merciless multinational companies would find the cheapest labor and to heck with all the lives ruined in the process. ...Every so often, it's worth revisiting old controversies to see whether the reality matches the rhetoric. In a recent paper, Jacob Funk Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics did just that for offshoring (a.k.a., overseas "outsourcing"). He reviewed many studies. His conclusion: "The heated public and political debate . . . has been vastly overblown."

The study is here.

May 14, 2007

I wrote about Spain's recent open immigration policy in Flight. According to a new Business Week story, it seems to be working.