At a panel discussion in New York this week, the Chief Economist for Moody’s Investors Service, Mark Zandi, said that “[m]ore immigration is the single best way to consistently lift economic growth and standards of living.” The panel took place at the NASDAQ, was sponsored by the ADP Research Institute and moderated by Yahoo! News.
The panel was in agreement that greater immigration was necessary for a prosperous economy. Princeton Economist Alan Krueger supported MZandi’s position, pointing to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office that increased immigration would “raise GDP growth, reduce our budget deficit, it would raise incomes, it would raise productivity.” He added, “what’s not to like here?’
It became abundantly clear that the panel’s chief concern was that there would be a lack of workers to fill jobs throughout the country. As reported in Yahoo!, Zandi stressed that the “biggest problem businesses are going to face going forward is going to be, ‘where do I find those workers?’ . . . And if we don’t rethink our policies around immigration, . . . .our businesses are going to struggle to grow because they aren’t going . . . to find the skilled and educated workers they need to drive their businesses going forward.”
Zandi noted that “we need the best and the brightest to continue to come here. . . . They are very productive. They start companies at a higher rate, they’re entrepreneurial . . . and that drives a lot of productivity growth.” While there have been proposals this year to increase immigration of skilled workers and provide a pathway to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. at a young age, it is unclear how Congress will ultimately act on immigration reform.
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