Sunday, January 11, 2009

Intellectual Infrastructure Projects

Excellent op-ed by Thomas Friedman this week arguing that the upcoming stimulus package needs to focus less on infrastructure projects (roads and bridges) and more on educational stimulus. Perhaps we could call it "intellectual infrastructure"?

One of the smartest stimulus moves we could make would be to eliminate federal income taxes on all public schoolteachers so more talented people would choose these careers. I’d also double the salaries of all highly qualified math and science teachers, staple green cards to the diplomas of foreign students who graduate from any U.S. university in math or science — instead of subsidizing their educations and then sending them home — and offer full scholarships to needy students who want to go to a public university or community college for the next four years.
When I was a Computer Science student in college most of my classmates were from either India or China. I think it is insane that we don't make it as easy as possible for these highly educated and highly skilled individuals to stay and work when we have such a shortage of qualified workers here. Right now we are just encouraging them to return home to create companies that will compete with ours.

1 comment:

msheeley said...

I agree 100%. If this money is going to be used, lets put it into our educational systems. The students who will benefit directly from this investment are going to be the ones left paying off this debt anyways.