Press-Republican

Read

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
Read
  • colin_read.jpg Good organizations lack drama

    Groups that accomplish their objectives do so with a minimum of distraction and politics, focusing instead on creativity and a dynamic vision, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Parking fines a short-sighted policy

    Tourists should be encouraged to do business downtown without fear of getting tickets, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Technical training a key part of education

    Recently honored, Champlain Valley Educational Services offers meaningful careers for those not heading for college, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Constitution withstands test of time

    The nation's founding document is a delicate balance that we should continue to nurture, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg This region helped shape a new nation

    As we celebrate our nation's history, we must also appreciate the key role the North Country played in the founding of two countries, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Diversity of views a key to progress

    With today's mobile society and 24-hour media, like-minded people tend to congregate together stifling diversity of opinion, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Local heros needed to inspire us all

    It takes individual talent and initiative to truly move a community forward to fulfill its economic destiny, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Fee on carbon needed

    Creating incentives to curb emissions is critical to containing climate change, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Governor inspires renewed shared-services effort

    Tax-cap plan has provided incentives for municipalities to get together to try and increase savings and efficiency, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Pipeline issue has no simple answer

    If Alberta oil is not transported through Keystone, it will cause more pollution to send it to China, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo