Immigrants: Restless Dreamers, Economic Pillars

The American dream is alive and well, at least to immigrants who are magnetized by it. It is they who challenge the rest of us to foster a culture of inclusion, access, opportunity, and empowerment. Moreover, they are the ones with the starkest sense of how America differs from every other country in the world. Their very belief in that difference virtually guarantees the American dream come true. As James Jasper noted in his book
Restless Nation
, immigrants “picked this country because of its promise. They dreamed the dream.” This has always been one of the underlying premises of this dream, which has simultaneously been a catalyst for renewal and transformation of our society over the centuries. When it comes to the topic of immigration, however, the public debate seems to undermine the positive contributions of immigration to our economy. True, border control and illegal immigration need to be dealt with, not only to protect the American people, but for the immigrants themselves. Although it is cliche to note, the United States has always been a nation of immigrants. The fact is, according to Herman and Smith in their acclaimed book
Immigrant, Inc.
, no other country in the history of mankind has accepted over 70 million immigrants. About 50 percent of Americans have close immigrant lineage or share immigrant ancestry. Whether immigration is a good thing or a scourge, we like to think of our country as an immigrant-friendly place - with borders that are among the most open in the world - which is not the case. But according to the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), which rates the EU nations, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. efforts to integrate immigrants - the U.S. ranks ninth on the list. Sweden, Portugal, and Canada are the three leading countries respectively. Nonetheless, for John Gartner, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University, immigrant traits are built into an American's DNA. As an immigrant, I have the privilege to appreciate the argument from both sides of the spectrum. According to a new Gallup poll, American attitudes toward immigration are hardening. Half of all Americans say immigration should be “decreased” – up 11 points from 39 percent last year. Although the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, it has rarely understood the vital role immigrants have played in building our country and its economy. The U.S. experienced a great inflow of talented scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and musicians during the Great Depression which helped bolster its position at the frontiers of science, technology, entrepreneurship, and the arts during the long and prosperous post-war era. Too often, we tend to view immigration from the alleged costs it bears to society and the American people, especially in times of economic recession, without realizing their significant economic contributions. This is in particular for the entrepreneurs, which tend to be the vast majority. According to a recent report by the International Migration Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, immigrants are more often than not entrepreneurs and always have been. Every decennial census, with the exception of the roaring 1990s when everyone in America wanted to own a dotcom, shows that immigrants are significantly more likely to be self-employed than native-born Americans. Who but a restless dreamer and entrepreneur would be willing to leave everything to start a new life in a strange country? Answer: optimistic risk-takers who believe in the American dream. If we ask what Sun Microsystems, Cirrus Logic
, Yahoo
, Google
, Intel
, Hotmail
, Dow Chemical
, DuPont, Pfizer
, Procter & Gamble
, U.S. Steel, and Carnival Cruises
(to name a few) have in common, the answer is that these companies were all founded by immigrants. Not to mention the many Fortune 1000 companies with immigrants at their helm, such as PepsiCo's
Indian CEO, Indra Nooyi, and the Coca-Cola's
Irish CEO Neville Isdell, replaced by Turkish Muhtar Kent in 2009. Other examples include Eli Lilly's
CEO born Spanish citizen in Morocco, Sidney Taurel, and Alcoa's
Brazilian CEO Alain Belda, later replaced by German Klaus Kleinfeld. Immigrants created more than half of the companies in California's Silicon Valley, and about one quarter of all new engineering and technology companies created across the U.S. were founded by immigrants. A college-educated immigrant, according to Herman and Smith, is twice as likely to obtain a U.S. patent as a nonimmigrant. Nearly all of these patents, including my very own (U.S. Patent #2002/0111972) now owned by Symantec
, were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of U.S. job growth. A recent study released last May by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, argues against immigration policies that are forcing foreign-born innovators to leave the U.S. More than three out of four patents at American's top research universities were filed by immigrants, according to the study. Notwithstanding, the study shows that while many of these foreign-born innovators are trained at United States universities, after graduation they face “daunting or insurmountable immigration hurdles that force them to leave and bring their talents elsewhere.” Crises in economics always bring about change seasons where talent flows are often reset - causing nations to rise or decline. If growing anti-immigrant sentiment persists, it can have negative effect for American technology, entrepreneurship, and the economy in general. As argued by Richard Florida, professor and researcher at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, “the future belongs to those countries and regions that can attract the best and brightest across the entire world.”The most prosperous states in the U.S. are the ones with large numbers of immigrants. America is at a dangerous moment, facing global competition as it has never seen before. To maintain its competitive advantage the U.S.must concentrate on its core strengths which include innovation, entrepreneurship, and immigration, which, in my view, are inextricably linked. I'm afraid that, with the economic downturn, xenophobia is rising and political clouds of nativism and protectionism are swirling across the country. Immigrants play a compelling and powerful role in our economy, reminding us that new people, ideas, and entrepreneurial spirit are at the core of the American dream story. In the words of J.F. Kennedy, “every aspect of the American economy has profited from the contributions of immigrants.”
Dr. Marcus Goncalves: Assistant Professor of Management, Chair of International Business Program, and Director of Academic Programs at Graduate and Professional Studies, Nichols College

Posted In: American DreamimmigrationMichael BloombergMIPEXEntrepreneurshipPoliticsTopicsGlobalEconomicsSuccess StoriesMarketsGeneral

11 Best Black Friday Deals on Amazon

11 Best Black Friday Deals on Amazon

The best Black Friday deals from Amazon are still coming hard and fast because the holiday is not yet upon us and the mega-retailer prefers to keep consumers on the hook for as long as possible—spending as much money as possible. 

To that end, here are some of the best Black Friday deals from Amazon that you might want to consider today.

Calphalon 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set

Regular Price: $172

Sale Price: $138.88

Calphalon’s 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set is designed with stainless steel, stay-cool handles along with pour spouts. The nonstick surface is PFOA-free and built with hard-anodized aluminum that is both durable and conducts heat extremely well. The set includes 2 fry pans, a sauce pan with cover, saute pan with cover and large stock pot with cover.

Apple AirPods 2nd Generation

Regular Price: $144

Sale Price: $85.49

The 2nd Generation AirPods from Apple connect to all Apple devices and give you an enhanced listening experience. Plus, they come with a case that keeps them safe and allows you to charge them in a secure environment. With over 24 hours of battery life, access to Siri and easy setup, you can start listening to your favorite tunes or podcasts today.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Running Shoes

Regular Price: $129.98

Sale Price: $89.98

The Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 21 running shoe is perfect for anyone who likes a short run, maybe a 5K, half marathon or more. Coming in several colors and styles, you can slip these shoes on, enjoy the cushioned outsole, sink into the supple insole and secure laces.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

Regular Price: $129.99

Sale Price: $97.83

The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer allows you to crisp, roast, reheat and even dehydrate food products faster and cheaper than ever before. It has a 4-quart capacity and offers a wide temperature range along with several time settings so that you can customize each dish to your needs. Plus, all the parts are dishwasher safe.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Regular Price: $199.95

Sale Price: $99

Beats by Dr. Dre are among the best headphones on the market, and the Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones include the Apple W1 chip, Class 1 Bluetooth and 40 hours of battery time. These headphones even have a built-in microphone and offer an adjustable fit so that you can be comfortable whether you’re listening to an Android or iOS device.

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

Regular Price: $198.98

Sale Price: $175.98

The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner allows you to keep your home spotless and clean up after your pets. The cleaner comes with the Hoover Paws and Claws Deep shampoo and a storage mat to keep the floor dry once it’s put away.

LG CordZero Auto Empty Cordless Stick Vacuum

Regular Price: $999.00

Sale Price: $851.71

The LG CordZero Auto Empty Cordless Stick Vacuum and Wet Mop All in One Tower is designed to work in homes with several pets or children and clean up all the messes that life brings. The battery lasts up to 2 hours, and there’s an extra removable battery that gives you even more cleaning time and power.

Breville Fresh and Furious Blender

Regular Price: $278.60

Sale Price: $199.95

Breville, a top name in blenders and juicers, offers the Fresh and Furious Blender, featuring 50-ounce capacity, Vac Q technology, pre-programmed cycles, LCD display and lid with pull ring. With the Fresh and Furious Blender, you can make everything from a smoothie to a soup and everything in between.

Hot Tools Professional 2000 Turbo Ionic Hair Dryer

Regular Price: $89.99

Sale Price: $55.63

The Hot Tools Professional 2000 Turbo Ionic Hair Dryer is designed for professional use, but it works perfectly in the home. With 1875 watts of power, 6 heat and speed settings and a lightweight design, you can easily style your hair and utilize the diffuser, cut back on the frizz and stretch the 8 ft cord for maximum functionality.

Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket

Regular Price: $160

Sale Price: $97.38

The Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket from Columbia is designed to be light for everyday use, but it’s heavy enough to protect you from the cold. The plush fleece lining, security pocket, water resistant fabric, 2-way zipper, and zippered hand pockets make the jacket both protective and functional.

ConAir InfinitiPro Hair Dryer

Regular Price: $49.99

Sale Price: $29.99

ConAir is one of the biggest names in hair and beauty, and the InfinitPro is an 1875 watt hair dryer designed for professionals with ceramic technology. The dryer comes with a diffuser and concentrator, and it allows you to blow out your hair just the way they would at the salon.

Deals the Experts Are Hoping For

Experts believe that Amazon’s Black Friday sale could linger for quite some time. It all started with the Prime Early Access sale on October 11 and 12. Previously, Amazon has offered the “Epic Deals” sale that ran through late October. 

This is to say that any sale could come up at any time. 

Even so, those monitoring Amazon are looking forward to a few potential deals, including:

  • Apple Watch
  • AirPods (any generation)
  • MacBook Pro
  • Large, underpriced TVs
  • Amazon Echo
  • More small home appliances (Dyson or Shark vacuums, Instant Pots, etc.) 

While these predictions are based on last year’s Amazon Black Friday Sale, it’s important to remember that most Black Friday sales are fairly consistent and push the products that are most likely to sell.


Featured image sourced from Shutterstock

Posted In: Partner ContentGeneral