“Intellectual Disarmament”

James Albaugh is president and chief executive...

James Albaugh, President & CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…a phrase coined by Boeing’s James Albaugh, should be a major concern for intellectuals, academics and theorists in the world, in my opinion.

The United States academic system, particularly the University-level education system, is among the best and brightest in the world.  Armed with more Ph.D.’s, Ed.D.‘s, J.D.’s, MBAs and MS’s than in some COUNTRIES, the University system in America is unique — and perhaps, even special.  But we’ve got major flaws that, if not addressed, could wind up becoming our undoing.

Right now, the US has one very special “weapon” in its arsenal.  And that’s the F-1 visa.  Our great nation allows students from other countries to come to our nation, study and achieve a quality education, and then return to their nation and, with any luck, achieve great things.  Not only does our economy benefit from this arrangement, by receiving the tuition and fees from the visiting student, but it would stand to reason the student also eats, buys music or engages in some other forms of recreation — even to a small degree.  All of these things come together to form a fairly beneficial process to both parties.

However, the problem therein lies that that’s exactly what happens.  Often, they don’t have an incentive to stay in the USA.  They receive their American education, and return home.  An education subsidized by American taxpayers.  Now, is there anything “wrong” with this… not “as such,” of course not.  America, in my opinion, has the duty and obligation to the world to be a place where those who want to raise themselves up in the world can come and do so.

But what incentive are we giving those hard working students to STAY in America?  Often, as soon as their Visa runs out, they HAVE to go home.  Other nations recall their students as soon as they finish their course of study.  Why aren’t we, as a nation, saying “Look, we’ve given you the tools to succeed… why not stay HERE, and let us help you succeed anymore?”

Albaugh put it very well: Other nations, be it the nation the student hails from, or others, see graduating students and are actively attracting them.  Why aren’t we, as a nation, offering foreign students and other intellectuals/academics an “easy in” to America, particularly after they’ve spent several years here already?  Will America continue to stay innovative if such  trends continue?

Between government cuts (particularly in Defense) and the hemorrhaging of talented minds that are educated here and otherwise leave — what could this hail in the future?

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