What's the single best idea to jumpstart job creation?
The United States needs a policy agenda that defines immigration as a way to improve job creation, economic competitiveness, and national innovation. In other words, we need to apply an "Einstein Principle" in our approach to immigration and technology innovation. Using this perspective, national leaders would elevate brains, talent, and special skills to a higher level of consideration in setting policy.
It can't happen fast enough. There is substantial evidence that the United States is falling behind on innovation. An analysis of patents granted shows that our country's longterm dominance has come to an end. In 1999, American scientists were granted 90,000 patents, compared to 70,000 to those from all other countries. By 2009, though, non-US innovators earned more patents (around 96,000) compared to Americans (93,000).
The United States also is falling behind in nurturing home-grown science and engineering expertise. Whereas 38 percent of Korean students earn degrees in science and engineering, compared to 33 percent for Germany, 28 percent for France, 27 percent for England, and 26 percent for Japan, only 16 percent of American graduates have backgrounds in these crucial areas.