Calcutta Notebook


India has raised the issue of increase in HIB Visa Fees with the visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Fees have been increased by about USD 2250 or Rs 1.35 lac. Most IT professionals travel to the US on these visas and will have to pay more. Indian IT companies also send large number of Indians to work in the US. They too will be impacted. As per one estimate visa expenses amount to 0.4 percent of Infosys' revenues. Nasscom had said the law might impose an additional burden of $250 mil ion or Rs 1,165 crore on the Indian IT industry. According to analysts the visa fee hike will have a negative impact of only around 50-60 basis points on the profitability of large Indian IT firms.

The fee has been hiked essentially to protect influx of non-whites. Large number of Hispanic peoples were entering the US from the long border that country shares with Mexico. And, Indian and Chinese were coming through the H1B route. President Obama has imposed this fee hike to raise money for erecting fencing and strengthening police force along the border. He has tried to kill two birds with one stone. Increase in visa fees will help reduce influx of Asians and erection of fencing will reduce influx of Hispanics. Objective is that the White culture is not impaired.

Problem is that the declining numbers of Whites in the West is the result of their culture. It is precisely this culture the West is trying to preserve. The disease is being treated as the medicine. White women are producing less number of children. Correspondingly the population of immigrants is increasing. A report in Forbes magazine explains: "A generation ago Spain was just coming out of its Francoist era, a strongly Catholic country with among the highest birth rates in Europe, with the average woman producing almost four children in 1960 and nearly three as late as 1975-1976. There was, Forbes notes, 'no divorce, no contraception allowed.' By the 1980s many things changed much for the better, as young Spaniards became educated, economic opportunities opened for women expanded and political liberty became entrenched. Yet modernization exacted its social cost. The institution of the family, once dominant in Spain, lost its primacy. Priorities for most young and middle-aged women (and men) are career, building wealth, buying a house, having fun, travelling, not incurring in the burden of many children. Many, like their northern European counterparts, dismissed marriage altogether; although the population is higher than it was in 1975, the number of marriages has declined from 270,000 to 170,000 annually. A similar story is unfolding in the US. It was recently reported that for the first time the immigrants constituted of more than half of children below 5 years of age. It is projected that within five years children of immigrants will constitute of more than half of the population under 18 youth. The rise of immigrants, therefore, is not of their own making. The immigrants are shining just as the sea shore begins to be visible when the tide recedes.

This better performance of immigrants is not restricted to Indian Americans, however. In an article in New York Times it is told that the children of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants experienced exceptional upward mobility regardless of their parent's socioeconomic background. Further, Nigerians made up less than 1 percent of the black population in the United States, yet in 2013 nearly one-quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School were of Nigerian ancestry. In 1990, United States-born Cuban children whose parents had arrived as exiles, many with practically nothing, were twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to earn over $50,000 a year. These examples show that immigrants do better than natives. Reason is that those emigrate who are more aggressive and willing to take risks.

This performance of the immigrants, however, does not 'stick.' It dissipates within a few generations. A report in Forbes magazine tells that group success tends to dissipate after two generations. Asian-American kids overall had a 63-point edge over whites in SAT scores in 2012. But a 2005 study of over 20,000 adolescents found that third-generation Asian-American students performed no better academically than white students. This means that the distribution of aggressive and passive temperament among the children of the immigrants is normal. Thus after a few generations they perform equally. The great performance of Indian Americans is mainly due to the fresh immigrants who display more aggression.

Question is whether the White culture will be saved by reduction of immigration from Asia in particular. Assume the US is able to reduce the influx. Two problems will still remain. One, large numbers of immigrants who have already entered—especially Hispanics and Blacks—are producing more number of children than Whites, hence decline in numbers of Whites will continue. Secondly, the H1B entrants are like Glucose to the American economy. They provide a constant stream of adrenaline. The immigrants create new technologies and jumpstart the economy. Reducing numbers of H1B immigrants will lead to decline in the economy and the clout of the White culture will itself dissipate into thin air.

Vol. 47, No.8, Aug 31 - Sep 6, 2014