Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Fiscal Cost? :-)

A new Nobel season is upon us and as is often the case all the six awardees so far have been US citizens? So what is newsworthy about that you ask :-) it is the fact that two of the three winners in Medicine are immigrants and also two of the three winners in Physics are immigrants.
As you all well know by now, I do not put much stock into this idea of nationality, race or gender. But I am willing to make an exception, obviously for the purposes of the course :-), by asking the obvious question: Do you think that the benefits/surpluses garnered from such immigrants should be used to compensate for the so called fiscal deficit of the less fortunate immigrants?
PS: The Nobel season is not over yet, there might be much more to come over the next week.
The Nobel prize in Economics will be announced on the 12th.


  1. To answer your question, I think that would seem a bit too Robin Hood-esque for me. Taking from the affluent immigrants and giving to the poor illegal ones. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the manner in which this may be done. If this is a direct allocation of funds, I believe that a new burden will, at least in theory, be placed on these beneficial and surplus raising immigrants; a burden to provide for a deficit of the less fortunate. I think this will break up any solidarity that is left within the immigrant population, if there was one to be begin with, and create another facet of our society that is completely driven by capital and divided unequally by income.
    As a side note, I really enjoyed the cartoon; and I am glad to simply hear positive current events for a change no matter who it entailed, American or not.

  2. Liv,
    I am afraid that I was misunderstood, but whats new? I was implying, tongue in cheek, that if we look at all the immigrants as one group then we might be surprised to find out that their contributions are much greater than the silly concentration on the fiscal burden of the poorest among them.

  3. As a nation, we only use immigrant contributions to our culture when they are positive. If a man is caught smuggling drugs across the Mexican border to make money for his family back in Mexico we call him an immigrant or at the very best a hispanic American. However when these Nobel winning immigrants impress the world with their contributions within their fields, the are immediatly described as simply Americans. Their "hyphenated nationality", such as Indian- American or Japanese-American is dropped and they are simply Americans who have gone above and beyond and are celebrated as what all Americans should strive for: excellence and prominence. I believe this shows us that class is much more important in the immigration discussion than nationality or origin of the immigrant. As long as an immigrant is succesful they will be welcomed into America with open arms. However, most Americans instead chose to focus on the negative impacts such as "fiscal burden" and categorize all mexicans or all immigrants in that case, as leaches on the system. It is unlikely that we can convince America to promote complete equality in race, ethinicity and class. However as the most industrialized and advanced nation we can give more people the chance to change the world through their contributions, like the nobel winners cited above. Why should someone who was coincidently born in Kansas rather then Quito have more of a chance to change the world in what ever way they can contribute. This may mean revolutionizing medicine or it may mean working hard to support your family but either way at least the oppurtunity to succeed should be equalized.--VINNIE

  4. Vinnie and other readers,
    I hope that you have noticed that yesterday the Chemistry Nobel prize was awarded to three chemists, two Americans and an Israeli. One of the two US citizens is an immigrant. Five of the eight US Nobel recepients so far this year have been immigrants. That is not a bad record is it?

  5. I agree with Vinnie. I feel the same way. I think it is a disgrace that if a negative is implied than we, Americans, must associate these immigrants with their homelands. However, if an immigrant makes an tremendous contribution to society Americans automatically want to take the credit and have the american name on it. And no professor it is not a bad record (5 for 8). It obviously shows that immigrant contributions obviously out weigh the negatives of our society but society loves to place the blame on those who can not defend themselves and are the easy out.- Adriana Scutari

  6. Honestly I think immigrants are a very large part of what this nation has become. Over the past many years immigrants have formed some of the biggest companies of the US. Also they have won many of the Nobel Prizes. As Professor Karam recently posted in a blog 5 out of 8 nobel prize winners are IMMIGRANTS. This makes you think. Yet every single time they are from the US, regardless of if their immigrants, they are called out as an AMERICAN who won the prize. Regardless of how hard an immigrant tries to make a contribution to his/her mother country, try to give them a name for winning the prize, they fail once they come here, because if they're smart they're recognized as "hard working americans" but if they fail they're just another immigrant. Immigrants actually make a great contribution to this country in every aspect, and I agree with Adriana when she says that they outweigh the negatives and that everything that goes wrong is blamed on us immigrants, we're the scapegoats. But it makes sense, every country has a scapegoat. - Justyna Sokol