(Internal and External) Immigration Makes America Great
Also, Danish Life, Airing of Grievances, Housing
Twitter is filled with a menagerie of wonderful and weird people. Sometimes they are professors, lawyers, journalists, or famous somewhere else. Other times they are best described as Twitter niche celebrities. One of these niche celebrities is Visakan Veerasamy aka Visa aka @visakanv a marketing professional in Singapore.
Compared to other overly online twitter celebs, Visa is much more positive. Over the past decade or so, Twitter has moved from being a place where people hang out for fun to a place where people try to be the next influencer, and the knives have come out. Pile-ons, snarky quote tweets, mean memes in people’s replies, etc. bring positive feedback: more retweets, likes, followers. High-quality content sometimes pays off, but it requires more effort. Visa’s feed is mostly high-quality content and is always friendly. It is quite refreshing compared to the rest of the website.
Yesterday, this tweet from Visa, which touches on ongoing social issues in Singapore, came across my feed. The idea is not original; it is a restatement of “no prophet is accepted in his hometown” from the Gospels.1 However, I think this idea has big ramifications that are often overlooked.
David Boey @SenangDiriFrom a friend in Australia this morning. Both journalists were from Singapore. Our loss… https://t.co/FfeTOJVUrB
This idea is central to why the United States has been so successful. Until recently, the US has been the number one place for people to come and be appreciated. Since the US is large, there is a place for lots of people to go to to be recognized. This one-two punch approach is why it is the country with the highest GDP.
For the past two hundred years, the United States has been the prime place for people to come to be appreciated. Half of all companies on the Fortune 500 were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants. Between 1969 and 2020, 87 of the 281 American Nobel laureates in the sciences were first-generation immigrants. Immigrants are more likely to be college-educated than native-born Americans.
Recent political moves jeopardize this position. The number of immigrants to the United States fell by 44% in 2020. The Trump administration went to great lengths to make the US less welcoming and the Biden administration has done little to change this. The US’s brand as a welcoming place for immigrants is slowly recovering, but it is still worse than Germany, Canada, and Japan.
One of the things about the United States that has made it special is its size. Many countries are a single city and its hinterlands. The United States, like other big countries such as India, Canada, Australia, and China, have more than 2-3 superstar cities. This is important because it allows people to find the “new town” to be recognized in without leaving the country. If you are from New York City and are looking for a new beat, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Washington, DC, Seattle, and San Fransisco are options. If you are from Copenhagen your only choice is to move abroad if you are looking for greener pastures.