Reverse%20brain%20drain%20threatens%20US - Reverse brain...

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Reverse brain drain threatens U.S. economy By Alan M. Webber Until recently, if Americans heard the words "brain drain," they knew clearly what that meant: Bright, talented scientists, engineers and other techies from all over the world were migrating to the United States. They were drawn here by the world's best universities, the most dynamic companies, the freest economic and social environment and the highest standard of living. Today, while many of these conditions still apply, Americans are starting to hear a new term: "reverse brain drain." What it suggests is the United States is pursuing government and private-sector policies that, over the long run, could lead to a significant shift in the world's balance of brainpower. Recently, President Bush's chief economic adviser, Gregory Mankiw, touted the advantages for U.S. firms of outsourcing jobs overseas. But that trend, if left unattended, could have serious implications for this country's economic competitiveness. For its part, the federal government seems intent on letting "controversial" scientists — for example, those dealing with research that touches on the issue of abortion — go to other countries and keeping foreign talent out. U.S. companies are happy to outsource knowledge work while, at the same time, buying out the contracts of their most experienced workers — all in the name of reducing costs. And the one sure way to grow new brains — a high-quality educational system — has failed to produce enough homegrown talent. As the economy globalizes, and as first-class creative minds go abroad, stay abroad or are produced abroad, other nations may challenge the United States' role as the leader in innovation and creativity. The prospect of that challenge tomorrow — more than the
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Reverse%20brain%20drain%20threatens%20US - Reverse brain...

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