America's loss is going to benefit other countries around the world, including India.
rest of the world has a huge silver lining. We're boosting the
economies of India, China, Brazil, Chile, Australia, you name it, we're
giving the foreign aid we never imagined we would give. We would never
willingly give them tens of billions of dollars of economic aid, we're
doing it without realizing it. From the Indian perspective, you have
Vivek Wadhwa ... talking about why we shouldn't be
sending entrepreneurs back to India, he's unpatriotic. I'm not kidding,
even on Twitter I get angry messages from Indians, why are you being
such an American stooge? You get used to it.
What inspired you to write this book?
Kauffman Foundation [a nonprofit devoted to entrepreneurship] asked me
to update my research from 2005. My prediction is that there will be
reverse brain drain ... fewer startups overall and that immigrants were
increasingly returning back to their home countries. I updated the data
and when I started getting the early returns, they were shockingly bad
... a million skilled workers waiting for green cards, this is something
we found a few years ago. The second stat is that the Silicon Valley
immigrant-founded entrepreneurship proportion has dropped from 50% to
44%, that's a huge drop within the last seven years or so.
Why is that?
you look at Brazil or China or India, the economies are booming,
entrepreneurs see better opportunities back home. We're competing now,
that's the No. 1 reason. The No. 2 reason is we don't give them visas,
we don't let them in.
Is the number of startups really a good way to measure innovation or economic growth?
source of us competitiveness in the last two decades, what's driving
our economy right now, is technology. Apple is the most valuable company
on the planet. In the United Sates, all of the net new jobs are created
at startups. The U.S. economy is in a slump, we're in miserable shape,
the only way to get out of this is new job creation.
Why are immigrants so special, anyway?
you took the risk of leaving a country, let's say India and China, you
would be a risk taker. ... You're gonna work like a dog because you have
to prove yourself. That's what happens to immigrants when they come
over. They come to a land where they are nothing and they have to
rebuild themselves. They work extremely hard, they take risks, and they
bet it all on entrepreneurial success.
What's the single most important thing we can do to fix this problem?
most important thing to do is increase the number of green cards, we
should double or triple or quadruple that. We need a startup visa, if
someone wants to come here and start a company, and create American
jobs, hire American workers, by all means give these entrepreneurs a
green card. Other countries have to bribe people to come there, in our
case, they come here with their lives savings, they'll spend their own
money in visa fees, stand in line in the consulate ... they are providing
the U.S. financial aid.