Smart Immigrants are Good for America, Bad for Americans
Last Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat to win their fifth NBA championship. Although they beat my Oklahoma City Thunder squad in the conference finals, I’m glad Lebron James’ team lacked the fortitude to get their third title. For that, congratulations to the Spurs.
After their game 5 victory, I realized that their championship achievement was not all that surprising. This is true for one reason: they are foreigners, and foreign-born American citizens and their children are largely successful in this country. In America, it has been estimated that 80% of businesses are comprised of first or second generation immigrants. Foreign residents clearly dominate most of the successes in America when it comes to business and career success.
This is also true for the San Antonio Spurs. None of the Spurs’ “big 3” are from the continental USA; Tim Duncan is from the Virgin Islands, Tony Parker is from France, and Manu Ginobili is from Argentina. The team’s bench is also comprised of Boris Diaw (France), Marco Belinelli (Italy), Patty Mills (Australia), Tiago Splitter (Brazil), Cory Joseph (Canada), and Aron Baynes (Australia). Gregg Popovich was even born to a Serbian father and Croatian mother, making him second generation American. Nine of the fifteen players from their roster are foreign-born; Not one player from the Miami heat was born in a country other than the USA.
Foreign-born success is clear. But how is this bad for Americans? The reason: Foreign born citizens compete with native-born Americans for jobs. They compete for seats in dental school, scholarships, internships, business opportunities, and even spots on professional sports team rosters. Greater competition equals less chance for a native-born American to get a job opportunity that he may seek or desire.
In addition, immigrants are often more qualified than the average American. How? In any/every country, 10% of people are exceptionally smart/hard working, 10% of people are lazy/indolent, and everyone else is somewhere in the middle (your basic bell-curve). Since the top 10% are so hard-working and/or brilliant, they seek out every opportunity to advance in their careers and achieve goals. These 10% come to America, the land of opportunity, to achieve such goals. They do this because they are so hard working.
This is why 80% of the American workforce is composed of foreigners. People that migrate to the United States are in the top 10% of their respective country. Essentially, the smartest, most brilliant people in the world come to the US to advance themselves, their family, or their career. So, if most foreigners that migrate to the US are more hard working and/or smarter than most native-born Americans, it is difficult for native-born Americans to get in med school, start a business, or get a promotion at work.
Diversity obviously has its benefits. I obviously would want the most qualified physical therapist adjusting my back, or the smartest accountant doing my taxes. So for this reason, smart immigrants are great for America.
However, it is clear that foreign born American citizens and their children are taking jobs from native-Americans. Its almost ironic, because most people are mad at illegal Mexicans who come to this country and are hired for jobs that most Americans don’t even want. We shouldn’t be mad at these folks, but smart immigrants, for they are the ones actually taking away opportunities from native-born Americans that they actually seek and desire. America overall wins, but native-born Americans largely fail to advance. For better or worse.