January 22, 2012

Looking overseas for jobs

This past week I traveled to Vancouver, Canada, to catch up on some writing projects. While here, I have noticed a contrast that becomes much more apparent when one crosses a continent and an international border.

Let me first describe the similarities. Both the North Country and Canada rest a fair amount of economic hope on the opportunity to attract investors abroad to their communities. In the United States, the EB5 program allows a foreign investor with as little as $500,000 to invest and create at least five permanent jobs. In return, they are given residency status and thus placed on a solid road to citizenship.

The Canadian version of such programs have been widely employed and wildly successful in attracting capital and jobs. The difference, though, is that the Canadian version is primarily bureaucratic while the U.S. version is primarily legalistic.

A U.S. EB5 application can cost $100,000 in legal fees alone, and often much more, and frequently takes years to approve. The Canadian version can work about as quickly as regionally based bureaucrats want to process it. From my casual viewpoint, it seems that the Canadian process is preferred.

Many of the investors are from China. My mother in Vancouver harbors the hope of selling her house to one of them when she is ready to move. That sentiment is very common in Vancouver. As a matter of fact, a local joke is that China would like to buy Vancouver, but Japan refuses to sell.

One may wonder why one would want to move the family wealth and entrepreneurial spirit from China to the United States or Canada. After all, China is creating great wealth and millionaires at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world.

Early in this Great Recession, I estimated that the size of China's economy will surpass the United States in 2020. I have since revised that date to 2018, primarily because recovery here has been held back by more United States political dysfunction than I could have imagined.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time