Brian Williams’ new show, Rock Center, broadcast this evening with a piece on wealthy foreign pregnant women–many Chinese–who are coming to the US to give birth so that their children can receive citizenship and a Social Security card. Many are outraged by this because they believe that these families are extracting benefits and giving little in return. Many want to ban the practice.
I, however, think a better idea would be to place these wealthy families at the top of the INS list and invite the whole family to receive citizenship as soon as possible, assuming that they are not security risks. We could probably solve the current US financial cirsis/housing depression overnight if we simply required these wealthy people to buy a house with at least 40% in unborrowed capital and own that house for, say, seven years. Of course, making citizenship contingent on keeping a job and buying health insurance could be another stipulation. And, that says nothing about the productive capacity that we would add to US rsources after they move here. We all benefit when productivity rises, even when our own productivity is stagnant.