In the ongoing Democratic war on women, in the ongoing Democratic war on hard working minorities, in the ongoing Democratic war on real diversity, former (presumably) drug addict, former Washington DC mayor and current Washington DC councilman Marion Barry (Democrat) fired off another round.
Speaking to officials of the University of the District of Columbia Barry told them it was important to encourage their students to become nurses and teachers because
"In fact, it's so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines," Barry said. "And no offense, but let's grow our own teachers, let's grow our own nurses -- and so that we don't have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places -- having to hire people from somewhere else."
Well yes, it is important to encourage Americans to study for these fields, not because we're "scrounging around" in other countries to import their skilled debris here but because we need nurses and teachers; students who study these fields will easily find good jobs and contribute to society--and themselves.
However in his own bumbling and dare I say it--racist--way, Barry is on to something; American students are avoiding science and math studies to such an extent that foreign students, who really weren't "scrounged around" from abroad, are the majority of graduate students in engineering and the sciences in American universities and in the field itself.
Just how important immigrants are to U.S. science and engineering (S&E) is apparent in a 2008 study from the Harvard Business School. The study found that immigrants comprise nearly half of all scientists and engineers in the United States who have a doctorate, and accounted for 67 percent of the increase in the U.S. S&E workforce between 1995 and 2006. Moreover, the study found that the H-1B visa program "has played an important role in U.S. innovation patterns" over the past 15 years. This is evidenced by the fact that the number of inventions, as measured by patents, has increased when H-1B caps are higher due to "the direct contributions of immigrant inventors."
The economic importance of foreign-born scientists and engineers will only increase as the U.S. labor force grows older and more native-born workers retire. The National Science Board concludes that, "barring large reductions in retirement rates, the total number of retirements among workers with S&E degrees will dramatically increase over the next 20 years." This suggests "a slower-growing and older S&E labor force"-a situation that would worsen "if either new degree production were to drop or immigration to slow."
Similarly, a 2007 study by Jacob Funk Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute of International Economics concludes that "when American baby boomers retire, they will take as many skills with them as their children will bring into the U.S. workforce." According to Kirkegaard, these demographic trends-combined with the growing international competition for skilled workers-suggest that "in the coming decade, America could face broad and substantial skill shortages." Kirkegaard says that to overcome these challenges, the United States will not only have to implement new educational policies to produce more high-skilled Americans, but also "reform its high-skilled immigration policies and procedures not only to welcome the best and the brightest but also to make it easier for them to stay."
But Barry should relax. If these Asians are nurses and engineers at least they aren't opening stores in African-American neighborhoods.
"We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops," Barry said. "They ought to go. I'm going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too."
In the meantime, hopefully Barry's health remains good and he won't need to be hospitalized where he he will be under the care of...foreign grown nurses scrounged from the Philippines. Or Korea.
hat tip: Instapundit