America's Decline in Talent

Today's FT has a painful article on remarks made by Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The US's status as "the IQ magnet of the world" was in jeopardy as a result of the stricter immigration rules that were introduced in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, he suggested. "There has been a 35 per cent drop in Asians coming to our computer science departments," Mr Gates said. "It really is a very bad thing for a very key area."

Officials at US universities are concerned about the fall in overseas students as applications are held up by visa problems. Larry Summers, president of Harvard University, warned last year that the US would lose "incalculable benefits" if the next generation of foreign leaders chose to be educated elsewhere.

Mr Gates pointed to the sharp difference between emerging markets such as India and China, where about 40 per cent of students take engineering degrees, and the US, where the proportion is about 4 per cent.

As finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 group of industrial nations prepare to gather in London this week with currency movements expected to top the agenda, Mr Gates, the world's richest man, revealed he was betting the dollar would continue to fall. "I have a bias. I'm short the dollar," he said.

This is simply disasterous for our US economy. I know it's been preached about for decades now, but the past five years have really been impacted by globalisation. With disappearing borders for both talent and innovation, free trade agreements popping up everywhere, and a negative-attitude generating foreign policy, the US is just simply not well positioned to take on the next century. I'm worried.
blog comments powered by Disqus