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April 11, 2008


Dick Davies

C'mon guys - the Economist on open migration as a 'good thing'!! You know as well as I do that liberal economist theorists do worry about 'externalities' - the equivalent of the military idea of 'collateral damage'. The fact is that extracting a indigenous doctor from the Congo or equivalent 'underdeveloped' country by enticing him/her to the US has a massive and long lasting local impact.
Immigration is the transfer of value without cost from the originating state - family care, health care and education, etc.. - to the new host state. The US has built its economy by acting as a host for this transfer of value without cost - as quantified recently by the US Cato Institute. Great for the US, but not so good for the rest of the world. The point is emigration/immigration is not without very real cost to the originating country of the immigrant.
Now we could also move on to talk about the moral issue of enticing medical workers out of Africa or the Far East to work for rich western economies, but that is an extension of this debate that is for another day...

Alan Moore

Dear Dick,

Thank you for your input on what will become a very sensitive debate. The article is about the war on talent not a point of view of who has it or not or where indeed it is going.

I agree with you that the US has provided for many a different path to a better life. And I also support your notion that we (the west) still pillage third world countries for their talent, skill, ability at a lower cost scale.

Why is that?

This is the "tragedy of the commons" - where we cannot or unwilling to work towards a common purpose, that is the legacy of nations, and commonwealths.

My observation is that we will all become involved in a fight for talent, creativity and capability - the struggle in the end will supercede nations.

Now where does that take us?

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