I was reading Michael Skapinker's note about Immigration. And figured, I think he is making the wrong argument here. Basically he is saying that a points based immigration system will keep out entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Marks or Philip Green as none of them have a degree. I have 3 problems with this argument.
1. This is episodic hindsight proof. You select 5 billionaires and say that if you adopt a rule that only lets you in if you have a degree, then you would exclude those 5. Well, if you go back to say 1970 when Steve Jobs created the Apple I, then you figure out how many unemployed, students with no college education would you have to let into the country every year since 1970 to show that you can develop that ONE Steve Jobs today? The figure would run into hundreds of millions. So for every Steve Jobs, how many students with no collegiate education do not become billionaires? 1:100,000,000? assuming roughly 3 million students per year?
2. If you do not have a points based system, what other basis would you let them in? blood or birth based citizenship has major issues and have racism or overt ethnic or religious or or or discrimination based overtones. So this is the best way out of all the bad ways to run an immigration system.
3. Plus if you invite college based graduates, then you have a better than average chance that they will not rely on the public purse, will be tax payers, might be professional and may be more apt to create companies. So yes, I agree that its better to have college graduates than an open one. Remember in my previous note, I did say that immigration depresses wages of the lower blue collar natives, so you need to protect them!.
Finally an indirectly related point. There was quite a hoo haa about 120,000 Brits who were emigrating every year while 500,000 were immigrating. So I thought, people who leave are people who do not have hope in the country or do not like the weather or get married elsewhere or get another job somewhere else etc. etc.. People who come are people who have hope in the future and trust in the country, think that the bad weather, hospitals, transport, etc. is worth it to come here to work, get married, live, retire, setup businesses, etc. So
1. As long as there is net immigration, its good for the country
2. Use this faith and hope to provide them seed capital, working capital, education, and get them to generating value quickly!
3. You can't figure out who will be the next bill gates but all a Government can do is to provide figurative land and fertiliser, seeds and farming will be done by farmers, so best get educated people.