Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mitt Romney Jobs Plan Gives U.S. Jobs to Foreign Grad Students

"Romney, Believe in America" is the slogan, "Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth" is the plan, and "Human Capital Policy" is the heading. There are a couple of pesky little details buried under that heading:

"Romney will raise the ceiling on the number of visas issued to holders of advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering who have job offers in those fields from U.S. companies. Romney will also work to establish a policy that staples a green card to the diploma of every eligible student visa holder who graduates from an American university with an advanced degree in math, science, or engineering."
Now I know Mitt Romney made much of his money from selling staples, but did I read that right? Because here's how a lot of people are going to read that:

(1) Romney's plan plus a few bogus master's degrees in landscape engineering from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala would enable him to rehire the gardeners he had to fire during his 2008 Presidential campaign.

(2) Who needs immigration reform if President Romney hands immigration policy over to the lefty liberals in the admissions office at the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences? Not to mention the admissions office at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala.

(3) What kind of jobs plan is it to give U.S. jobs to foreigners? Mitt, the Tea Party will take your stapler away chanting, "Romney Doesn't Believe in America" arm-in-arm with their brothers in the Teamsters.
Now I suppose you are wondering, how does such a plan reduce unemployment? Actually, in a perverse way it might work. Let's say we have 1,000 workers and 91 are unemployed. That's the 9.1% unemployment rate we have now.

But let's say we admit 100 highly-educated foreigners, all of whom have or can easily get new jobs in the growing technology industries. That reduces the unemployment rate to 8.3%. That's about the unemployment rate in Texas, which may tell you a lot about how Rick Perry created jobs in Texas.

The missing fact is we still have done nothing for the 91 unemployed Americans, even if the unemployment "rate" is down from 9.1% to 8.3%. But let's say these 100 immigrants are entrepreneurial. Maybe 10 of them are able to hire 5 Americans each or 25 of them are able to hire 2 Americans each, or some combination thereof, for a total of 50 new jobs for Americans. That reduces the number of unemployed Americans from 91 to 41, and brings the unemployment rate down to 3.7%.

American workers employed909909959
American workers unemployed919141
Foreign workers employed in U.S.0100100
Total workers1,0001,1001,100
Unemployment rate9.1%8.3%3.7%
Of course, I made these numbers up. In a nation of 300 million people, we'd have to let in lots and lots of foreign workers to make these numbers work. In 2010 there were 40 million foreign-born people in the U.S. Many are here legally but not all of them, not all are highly educated, and not all are employed. Oh.

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