Reverse brain drain brings urban expert to U of T
Jul 11, 2007 04:30 AM
Writing about America's "looming creativity crisis," renowned urban thinker Richard Florida nearly three years ago warned that religious intolerance and tightening security might chase away its best and brightest.
"Terrorism is less a threat to the United States than the possibility that creative and talented people will stop wanting to live within its borders," Florida wrote in the Harvard Business Review in October 2004.
"The nation must act in concrete ways to reassure both people – both Americans and global citizens – that it values openness, diversity and tolerance."
Now, the best-selling author is proving his own prediction.
Florida, 49, a public policy professor at George Mason University in Virginia, is coming to the University of Toronto as a professor of business economics in the Rotman School of Management.
However, there's no shortage of those willing to applaud the appointment of Florida, whose work includes the books The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), The Flight of the Creative Class (2005) and a paper earlier this year that used a "Bohemian-Gay Index" to argue that areas friendlier to artists, bohemians and gays have higher property values, support higher incomes and have a better chance of prospering.
Read the whole article here.
What I want to write about is the alleged brain drain Canada was/is suffering from and how mass immigration is a tool to remedy the problem.
Back in the 1990’s Canada’s brain drain was of some concern. It was continuously in the press and television media. Canadians of particular intellectual talent were leaving the country, primarily to the U.S., and therefore Canada’s ability to compete globally was being undermined. At least that was the pitch. Immigration was and still is being touted as the solution to the problem and the greater the number of immigrants the better.
However there is a hypocrisy that, of course, escaped any form of comment from anyone especially those on the left. If the bribing away of Canadian talent by the Americans is a bad thing then how is it a good thing when Canada was, and still is, bribing away talent primarily from the developing world? If we are a compassionate people then is it not better that Canada not import the intellectual talent of the third world so that they can help develop their societies and therefore do more long-term good for more people than foreign aid packages ever did? In fact the World Health Organization chastised the rich countries, Canada included, for depriving the third world of its medical talent. For some strange reason this rape of the third world of its most precious resource has hardly, if ever, been condemned by anyone on the left in this country who seem to champion it more than anything.
Those on the right tried to use the brain drain as a reason to cut taxes primarily for the rich as a means to retain these people. They were saying that higher taxes in Canada were driving these people away. Therefore Canada must cut taxes. This, obviously, bespeaks of how Canadian society is being catered to the needs of the rich; to see that they are comfortable and that the wealth that they generate for themselves will somehow, hopefully, “trickle down” to us bottom feeders.
A poll was conducted of those Canadians who were bound for the U.S. It turned out that taxes were not even near the top of the list of reasons for their departure. If I recall correctly it was reason number five. The number one reason why Canadians were leaving was that they couldn’t find suitable employment in Canada. In other words there were no jobs for them here. It turned out that Canada was producing more skilled labour than its economy could handle. What made matters worse was that Canada chose to import more immigrants into this labour market based on an assumed labour shortage thus making it more difficult for university grads to find a suitable job and career. A case in point is engineers. Canada has been importing the same number of engineers that graduate from Canadian universities each year effectively doubling the labour supply and compounding that supply every year. There is a reason why immigrant engineers are driving taxi cabs and it is has nothing to do with discrimination.
Some labour shortages do exist but they have been exacerbated by mass immigration. The doctor shortage has been created because of mass immigration. Canada was importing mass amounts of people without regard to the supply of doctors and many immigrant doctors do not meet Canadian medical standards. Canadians are effectively competing with immigrants, particularly the imported parents of immigrants who have not paid much into the medical system, for medical care. How is this just?
The labout shortage that business is crying about is a shortage of cheap skilled labour and low wage unskilled labour. Most of the jobs going unfilled are retail and service based. These are jobs that typically pay minimum wage and are difficult to raise a family on. They are jobs Canadians will not do AT THAT PAY but immigrants will do thus keeping these jobs low waged. Others, like construction, are cyclical. Recall the rush for IT specialists in the 1990s. Immigrant proponents were shouting that Canada needs more IT specialists and we should raise the numbers. Then the tech bubble burst but apparently Canada still needs more IT specialists and more immigrants. It’s insane. Business just uses immigration as a means to attack working Canadians.
The brain drain is a lie and the labour shortage should be taken with some skepticism. Canada’s immigration policy has side tracked many careers if not ruined them outright. Immigration should be used to benefit all Canadians. It shouldn’t be used by the few to attack them.