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A Crazy Suggestion?

Not really green, is it?

We're going to have a very hard time paying Social Security and Medicare for the Baby Boomers. In addition to those massive tax burdens we have serious infrastructure work to do. We should increase the size of our military and we face a staggering bill to refit after the current war. We're in debt up to our eyeballs and it's only getting worse.

The pyramid is increasingly upside-down -- too few workers at the bottom supporting too many elderly, sick and needy at the top.

You know what would solve a lot of problems? Say ten, fifteen, maybe twenty million new, highly productive taxpayers. More people. But not more people flipping burgers or picking fruit, with all due respect to those hardworking folks. We need millions of people who make hundreds of billions of dollars. And pay taxes on it.

So, a simple proposal: Let's open the doors.

Rather than making it all but impossible for the world's most productive people to move here, let's make it as easy as opening a bank account. In fact, let's make it exactly that easy. Open a bank account in a US bank, deposit $20,000, and if you pass a security screening, you're in. You get a green card. The 20k is proof of potential. No long delay. No run-around. No paperwork beyond the security questionnaire. Open the account, file the security forms, wait 90 days for vetting, and hop a plane to JFK.

Don't quite have the cash but you have lots of potential? Fine, show us your college degree, and you're in. Hell, if you have an advanced degree in one of half a dozen fields, say engineering, physics, computer science, medicine, we'll loan you cash for the plane ticket.

Welcome to America: Now get to work.

Yes, of course I know that Al Qaeda can afford to deposit 20 large in a bank account and gain entry for a terrorist. But they can afford to pay that to a coyote bringing a Qaeda member anonymously over the Mexican border, too. This way we have the advantage of a security screening that would include background data, photograph, fingerprints and a DNA sample. All paid for from that initial bank deposit, or from a loan extended to the indigent-but-educated.

How many would come? I don't know. A lot, I think. Millions.

Who would come? European go-getters frustrated with the difficulty of starting a business there. Japanese women frustrated by the low glass ceiling. Africans frustrated by endemic corruption. Chinese frustrated with freedom-free-capitalism. The frustrated but capable of the world.

Attract ten million brand-new professionals over the next ten years making 100k a year each. That's a trillion dollars' income per year by the end of the surge, say 300 billion dollars a year in new taxes. Millions of new homes and cars, thousands of new malls and grocery stores. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs just to support the influx of immigrants. Any number of new businesses started by the new immigrants. All over and above current projections. New money. Found money.

Maybe even enough money.

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“A Crazy Suggestion?”

  1. Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen Says:

    This is much too rational to be put into practice.

  2. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    remember when you wrote:

    I like the fact that your observations are so idiosyncratic that they sometimes seem uncannily right and sometimes wildly wrong.

    If my life were a Twilight Zone episode the twist would be that wildy wrong ideas would be put into practice while my uncannily right ones would not.

    Then I'd break my glasses.

  3. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    I can hear the outraged yelps of the moatdiggers even now. But they're actually in the minority; it's easy to forget that a majority of Americans favor expanding naturalization, and appreciate the need for the labor and population replenishment that immigrants provide us. We're not really facing the Visigoths setting up shop rights across the Milvian Bridge -- we need more people than we have and this is a great idea for getting top-quality people at that. Politicians who seriously suggest this or similar ideas will have to weather shrill attacks, but enjoy broad-based support despite that.

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