Migration and Brain Drain - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Yet, this is far from being true. The developed countries, once a source of such emigration themselves (more than 100,000 European scientists left forrepparttar USA inrepparttar 132300 wake ofrepparttar 132301 Second World War) - actively seek to become its destination by selectively attracting onlyrepparttar 132302 skilled and educated citizens of developing countries. They offer them higher salaries, a legal status (however contingent), and tempting attendant perks. The countries of origin cannot compete, able to offer only $50 a month salaries, crumbling universities, shortages of books and lab equipment, and an intellectual wasteland.

The European Commission had this to say last month:

"The Commission proposes, therefore, thatrepparttar 132303 Union recognizerepparttar 132304 realities ofrepparttar 132305 situation of today: that onrepparttar 132306 one hand migratory pressures will continue and that onrepparttar 132307 other hand in a context of economic growth and a declining and aging population, Europe needs immigrants. In this context our objective is notrepparttar 132308 quantitative increase in migratory flows but better management in qualitative terms so as to realize more fullyrepparttar 132309 potential of immigrants' admitted."

Andrepparttar 132310 EU's Social and Employment Commission added, as it forecast a deficit of 1.7 million workers in Information and Communications Technologies throughoutrepparttar 132311 Union:

"A declining EU workforce due to demographic changes suggests that immigration of third country nationals would also help satisfy some ofrepparttar 132312 skill needs [inrepparttar 132313 EU]. Reforms of tax benefit systems may be necessary to help people make up their minds to move to a location where they can get a job...while ensuring thatrepparttar 132314 social objectives of welfare systems are not undermined."

In Hong Kong,repparttar 132315 "Admission of Talents Scheme" (1999) and "The Admission of Mainland Professionals Scheme" (May 2001) allow mainlanders to enter it for 12 month periods, if they:

"Possess outstanding qualifications, expertise or skills which are needed but not readily available in Hong Kong. They must have good academic qualifications, normally a doctorate degree inrepparttar 132316 relevant field."

Accordingrepparttar 132317 January 2002 issue of "Migration News", even now, with unemployment running at almost 6%,repparttar 132318 US H1-B visa program allows 195,000 foreigners with academic degrees to enterrepparttar 132319 US for up to 6 years and "upgrade" to immigrant status while in residence. Many H1-B visas were cancelled due torepparttar 132320 latest economic slowdown - butrepparttar 132321 US provides other kinds of visas (E type) to people who invest in its territory by, for instance, opening a consultancy.

The UK has just implementedrepparttar 132322 Highly Skilled Migrant Programme which allows "highly mobile people withrepparttar 132323 special talents that are required in a modern economy" to enterrepparttar 132324 UK for a period of one year (with indefinite renewal). Even xenophobic Japan allowed in 222,000 qualified foreigners last year (doublerepparttar 132325 figure in 1994).

Germany has absorbed 10,000 computer programmers (mainly from India and Eastern Europe) since July 2000. Ireland was planning to import twenty times as many over 7 years - beforerepparttar 132326 dotcoms bombed. According to "The Economist", more than 10,000 teachers have left Ecuador since 1998. More than half of all Ghanaian medical doctors have emigrated (120 in 1998 alone). More than 60% of all Ethiopian students abroad never return. There are 64,000 university educated Nigerians inrepparttar 132327 USA alone. More than 43% of all Africans living in North America have acquired at least a bachelor's degree.

Barry Chiswick and Timothy Hatton demonstrated ("International Migration andrepparttar 132328 Integration of Labour Markets", published byrepparttar 132329 NBER in its "Globalisation in Historical Perspective") that, asrepparttar 132330 economies of poor countries improve, emigration increases because people become sufficiently wealthy to financerepparttar 132331 trip.

Poorer countries invest an average of $50,000 of their painfully scarce resources in every university graduate - only to witness most of them emigrate to richer places. The haves-not thus end up subsidizingrepparttar 132332 haves by exporting their human capital,repparttar 132333 prospective members of their dwindling elites, andrepparttar 132334 taxes they would have paid had they stayed put. The formation of a middle class is often irreversibly hindered by an all-pervasive brain drain.


Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Russia's Middle Class

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

"In democraciesrepparttar middle class isrepparttar 132299 nation proper. The typical member of a national community is a member ofrepparttar 132300 middle class. When democratic governments need a social group they can address, a universal class that carriesrepparttar 132301 overarching, common interest ofrepparttar 132302 country, they appeal torepparttar 132303 middle class. This appeal, while it calls on a common interest, also acknowledges that there are conflicting interests within society. The middle class is not everyone, but it isrepparttar 132304 majority and it represents what everyone else can become."

Russia has a long way to go to achieve this ubiquity. Its middle class, far from representingrepparttar 132305 consensus, reifiesrepparttar 132306 growing abyss between haves and haves not. Its members' conspicuous consumption, mostly of imports, does little to supportrepparttar 132307 local economy. Its political might is self-serving. It has no ethos, or distinct morality, no narrative, or ideology. The Russian middle class is at a Hobbesian and primordial stage.

Whether it emerges from its narcissistic cocoon to become a leading and guiding social force, is doubtful. The middle class' youth, urbaneness, cosmopolitanism, polyglotism, mobility, avarice and drive are viewed with suspicion and envy byrepparttar 132308 great unwashed -repparttar 132309 overwhelming majority of Russia's destitute population. Empowered by their wealth,repparttar 132310 new bourgeoisie, in turn, regardsrepparttar 132311 "people" with naive admiration, patronizing condescension, or horror.

Granted, this muted, subterranean, interaction is not entirely deleterious. It isrepparttar 132312 social role ofrepparttar 132313 rich to generate demand by provoking inrepparttar 132314 poor jealousy and attempts at emulation. The wealthy arerepparttar 132315 trendsetters,repparttar 132316 early adopters,repparttar 132317 pioneers,repparttar 132318 buzz leaders. They arerepparttar 132319 engine that engenders social and economic mobility.

A similar dynamic is admittedly evident in Russia - but, again, it is tampered by a curious local phenomenon.

Writing forrepparttar 132320 Globalist, two Brookings Institution scholars, Carol Graham, a Senior Fellow of Economic Studies and Clifford Gaddy, a Fellow of Foreign Policy and Governance Studies described it thus:

"The eyes of Russia's middle class, onrepparttar 132321 other hand, are figuratively directed downward, towardsrepparttar 132322 poor. In fact, as poverty in Russia increased dramatically inrepparttar 132323 1990s,repparttar 132324 middle class's reference norms shifted downward as well. As a result, Russia may berepparttar 132325 only country inrepparttar 132326 world whererepparttar 132327 'subjective poverty line' is falling. That is,repparttar 132328 amount of money that Russians say that they need in order to stay out of poverty has been steadily falling overrepparttar 132329 past five years. It is even belowrepparttar 132330 objective poverty line. Forrepparttar 132331 time being, at least, these curious Russian attitudes, along withrepparttar 132332 existence ofrepparttar 132333 non-monetary virtual economy, have insulatedrepparttar 132334 country against political upheaval."

The list of anomalies is not exhausted.

The new middle class comprisesrepparttar 132335 embryonic legitimate business elite - entrepreneurs, professionals and managers - but notrepparttar 132336 remnants ofrepparttar 132337 financially strapped intelligentsia. It is brawn with little brains. In dissonance with western Europe, according to a survey published inrepparttar 132338 last two years by Expert magazine,repparttar 132339 majority of its members are nationalistic, authoritarian and xenophobic. Their self-interested economic liberalism is coupled with social and political intolerance. But two thirds of them support some kind of welfare state.

Thus, there are major differences betweenrepparttar 132340 middle class inrepparttar 132341 West and its ostensible counterpart in Russia.

The Russian parvenus - many of them women - do not believe their state, their banks, or their compatriots. They fear a precarious future and its inevitable calamities though they are not risk averse and are rather optimistic inrepparttar 132342 short run. They keep their money underrepparttar 132343 proverbial mattress, invest it surreptitiously in their ventures, or smuggle it abroad. They are not - yet - stakeholders in their country's stability and prosperity.

Often bamboozled by other businessmen and fleeced by a rapacious bureaucracy, they are paranoid. Tax evasion is still rampant, though abating. They trust in equity and avoid debt. Some of them have criminal roots or a criminal mindset - or are former members of Russia's shady security services.

Three fifths, according torepparttar 132344 Expert-Komkon survey, find it "hard to survive" when "observing all laws". "Strong leaders are better than all sorts of laws" is their motto, quoted by Izvestia. Generally, they are closer to being robbers than barons.

Early capitalism is always unruly. It is transformed into a highly structured edifice byrepparttar 132345 ownership of land and realty (the prime collateral),repparttar 132346 protection of private property, a functioning financial system comprised of both banks and capital markets andrepparttar 132347 just and expedient application ofrepparttar 132348 rule of law.

Russia has none of these. According to Business Week, bank deposits amount to 4 percent ofrepparttar 132349 country's mid-size GDP - compared to half of GDP in other industrialized countries. Mortgages are unheard of, deposits are not insured and land ownership is a novel proposition. The judiciary is venal and incompetent. Might is still right in vast swathes ofrepparttar 132350 land.

The state andrepparttar 132351 oligarchs continue to represent a rent-seeking opportunity. Businessmen spend time seeking concessions, permits, exemptions and licenses rather than conducting business. The "civic institutions" they form - chambers of commerce, clubs - are often mere glorified lobbying outfits of special and vested interests. Informal networks of contacts count more than any statute or regulation. In such a mock "modern state" no wonder Russia ended up with a Potemkin "middle class".

Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

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