From "brain leak" to the hunt for talents

The world's most industrialized countries need to import engineers, computer scientists, physicians, mathematicians and biologists. Germany modified its laws to grant permanent residence to 20,000 foreigners who happened to be experts in computer science. The big centers of the great computer revolution in the United States, Seattle, Silicon Valley, New York and Washington have opened their doors to foreign talents that fill the deficit of well prepared local university students.
In his essay titled "Conscience", analyst Francis Fukuyama denounces the generalized sentiment university professors in the United States have on education's low quality in the country and the "superior social capital of the developing countries." This, being said by one of the symbols of neoliberal thought, is very significant. Many of the university students of Asian heritage had been trained in the United States and afterwards, the necessary papers to become permanent residents had been granted to them. But many others are being recruited in their local universities, provoking an authentic talent leak in countries that desperately need it for their incorporation to the new information society of globalization and communication. 
In the past, "brain leak" was fostered. Today, an authentic hunt for young talents has unchained. They take place through scholarships and fellowships offered by the big enterprises: Microsoft, AOL, AT&T, Bell, Oracle o Yahoo, whose high technology demands a ceaseless renewal in their bases that thousands of Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Filipino, Korean, Indonesian and Malaysian people are filling. Racial discrimination does not exist for these highly trained youngsters.
Five year permits are granted to drain as much as possible the innovation capacity that characterizes people who are between twenty and thirty years old. Those who integrate themselves in the system receive the permanent residence in order that they develop those breakthrough ideas that are typical of youngsters and of emerging communities.
Foreign university students that fill the demographic downslide and the intellectual capacity of students in societies mined by consumerism are being recruited in France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland and Belgium. Everybody knows the esteem at which students from India and Pakistan are held in the field of mathematics. Nothing unusual if we consider that the cero was invented there, which prints a special character given that cero does not represent nothingness nor emptiness nor absence; it can be considered plenitude, the cosmos and what gives a plain dimension to things. Amongst those things rest the numbers and the computer universe, the world of digits and of virtual things in which part of the conditioning elements of this new era. 
German newspapers open their editions these days with the subject of education, with an emphasis on education and the general feeling that, on the field of math and science, the German and the European education systems show dangerous deficiencies that threat their scientists, their companies and their universities with losing the rhythm in the race of a history that is vertiginously accelerated. Let's not forget that, since years ago, the accountability of large companies in Central Europe takes place in India, in Pakistan and in some other Southeast Asian countries: the data travels through optic fiber or through Internet in real time, as if were in the building next door. In their eyes, these people are more trustworthy due to their quality, productivity, efficiency and, of course, because the salaries they receive are four times lower than those Europeans get.
Technological revolution produces a new world in which knowledge is not enough; a new intellectual attitude that promotes innovation, fosters creativity, and develops personal initiative is needed. 
Clinton has proposed the issuing of 200,000 new visas for qualified foreigners, the H-1B for foreigners that have finished their university studies related to science and technology. The Democrat ex President wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to ask Republican-majority Congress that it approved amendments on the immigration laws to aid Hondurans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Haitians without Green Cards as compensation for the treatment Nicaraguans and Cubans get, given that Puerto Ricans are a separate case. It would be a form of amnesty for the more than 500,000 Hispanics that live illegally in the United States. However, Republicans did not like this proposal, neither the one that suggests that the companies that ask for the H-1B visas pay a tax of 2,000 to 3,000 dollars each year (they pay 500 dollars today) to dedicate them to the training of American students in mathematics, engineering and computer science as the syndicates demand it. But Republican legislators and many Democrat ones tell themselves: "If we can choose them, recruit them in the Third World, why pay for training? In the end, what matters is that they work well and, if they are useful and they insert themselves into the 'American way of life', their residence permits could be extended. Otherwise, they are returned to their countries of origin, which would not be possible to do with American students." 
It is scandalous that rich countries pretend to contribute to the emerging countries' development by sending their surpluses that charge on the unbearable "external debt", while they go hunting for young talents that are necessary for the endogenous development for their countries. Along with the arms sale and the imposition of prices for their raw materials, the drainage of their most prepared youngsters obeys the sacred laws of the market. We should vow for iconoclast. 

* Professor of Political Thought (UCM) and CCS Director
   Translated by Carlos Miguélez