U.S. News and World Report publisher Mort Zuckerman says that the way to add jobs is to improve the quality of U.S. education and increase the number of H1B visas available to those qualified to work in engineering and technology.
"Skills, not muscle, are the only reliable path to high-wage jobs, in an era when technology and globalization allow companies to make new investments in regions where labor is cheap," Zuckerman writes in The Financial Times.
Approving many more visas for highly educated science graduates to work here would make a major positive difference as well.
"Contrary to popular perception of immigrants, these are people who would create jobs rather than take them," says Zuckerman. "And we should rationalize the stumbling process of certifying patents in order to unleash thousands of start-ups, the single greatest source of new employment."
Greater certainty over policy would also help the economy, says Zuckerman.
"A metric devised by economists at Stanford University and the University of Chicago shows that policy uncertainty accounts for about 2.5 million jobs lost," Zuckerman notes. "They assert there is a widespread view in business that the healthcare bill makes it burdensome to hire, underscoring how political uncertainty has made it more difficult to plan ahead."
Zuckerman added that when the National Federation of Independent Business asked small businesses their biggest problem, 16 per cent cited “government requirements and red tape."
Finally, we need to invest in a national infrastructure bank, says Zuckerman.
“We ought to undertake new projects of the kind that built America.” He says. “But we are not even keeping up with repairs – which will cost much more when our bridges, roads, dams, schools and sewage systems collapse.”
“We look askance at the Europeans, but Washington is a graveyard of American dreams.”
Meanwhile, The Oregonian reports that teenagers aren't avoiding careers in engineering because they think it's geeky. They're simply unaware of what engineers do, a survey of 1,000 teenagers showed.
Once they understood what engineers do and the salaries they earn, more than 50 percent expressed an interest in the career, according to the survey commissioned by Intel Corporation and Change the Equation, a nonprofit.
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