Douglas Baker: We’re Turning Away Entrepreneurs. Fix Our Immigration Policy

Twin Cities Pioneer Press
June 13, 2012

Last week’s jobs report said employers added only 69,000 jobs in May. This was a disappointing statistic, but also a somewhat misleading one as it implies a simplicity that doesn’t exist. In fact, hundreds of thousands of jobs were both created and eliminated last month. For perspective, in 2011, 13.9 million jobs were created and 15.7 million were eliminated.

Life is fairly interesting on the enterprise level, as well. Even if you look at what you might think is the most stable level, big companies on the Fortune 500 list, you will note on average, as many as 38 percent of the companies on the list in any given year don’t make the list the next year. Of the original 500 listed in 1955, only 71 remain.

The point of these statistics is to illustrate that we live in a very dynamic world. Our economy is constantly evolving, and to continue to thrive, people, companies and countries need to evolve, too. One of the reasons for our country’s past success is that we allowed, even encouraged, a fluid economy so we could adjust more effectively than other countries as the world around us changed.

Immigration has been one of the great tools that enabled us to evolve and adapt. Over the years, immigration has been a key driver of our economic and cultural success as a nation. It brought us new energy, new talent and new ideas. But now, when the skills, ambition and drive of immigrants are needed more than ever to fuel our growth, we are closing our borders.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…