Many current news items now are echoing the idea that young students who would in recent years have aspired to work on Wall Street, are looking past it to other areas of employment. Greater scientific funding of basic research could step into the void created by computerized investment banking.
The sciences could well rise in the new pecking order of career status. The Obama administration wants to double federal spending in basic research over 10 years and triple the number of graduate fellowships in science.
The New York Times
It's welcome news to the research community in American universities. Scientific teaching and research are two areas that America needs to remain competitive in the international arena. Allocating talent and federal money are among the most important decisions that governments can make for the future success of any country.
The New York Times had an excellent article detailing the difficulty many skilled workers are having entering the U.S. to work, and are choosing to work in other countries instead where the "barriers to entry" are not as high. The founder of Facebook's software is but one person in the prolonged throes of nightmare visa issues.
Americans want to band together to create organizations devoted to keeping foreigners out, apart from the huge "barriers to entry" that already legally exist. The foreigners they get are more likely to be those who somehow fit into the informal, preconceived notions and whims of a border agent's fantasy. America is already well along on the freeway to a "brawn over brain" immigration policy. The obvious truth of the matter is that economic opportunities attract foreigners. If a door isn't open and foreigners aren't paid, the best ones likely won't come and innovations likely won't happen.
Deploring either a lack of incoming future "investment bankers" or "foreigners" isn't going to help turn around the economy and create meaningful new industries of the future by itself. What's needed are innovations, whoever can create them. Providing scientific education and research freedom could help those who can help themselves.