California Senator Dianne Feinstein is afraid that foreigners are “snatching places at American universities from deserving American students.” And she’s trying to make it harder for foreign students to study at American universities. But the truth must surely be, as a recent New York Times essay by Steven Clemons and Michael Lind pointed out, “that our universities are weakened when fewer talented international students enter their programs.”

Feinstein supports bills that would make it easier for uneducated foreigners to work in the U.S. at the lowest levels of employment. But she’s averse to letting in the brightest outsiders.

Since American citizens are apparently unwilling to work as domestic workers and farm laborers, it makes sense to import people who’ll do the work for less money. Bringing in tens of thousands of uneducated poor has huge indirect costs – the strain on public services, healthcare, and the criminal justice system, for example. But if employers are willing to pay these extra costs, then bringing in such workers, on a controlled and temporary basis, makes great sense. It makes just as much sense, it seems to me, to get lots of smart people into our universities – especially if we can find some way to induce them to stay on as contributing members of our economy.

When you’ve been running a business for any length of time, you can’t help but recognize the big impact that smart people have on your business. Even if your company’s mission is to cut lawns or install aluminum siding, having bright, well-trained workers at the management level is a major benefit.

Given the choice, I’d much rather hire a motivated, well-educated person with no experience than a grumpy old geezer with loads of experience. As you know, when it comes to building successful businesses, finding fresh-from-college superstars is my primary business-building strategy.

I am willing to spend time and money on finding and training people for management positions because I recognize the positive effect it can have on my future. (I don’t focus on finding smart rank-and-file workers because I find that, in my position, I can’t motivate them.)

Bottom line: If you want your business to prosper, fill it with smart people – no matter where they’re from.

(Ed. Note: “Given the choice,” Michael Masterson just said, “I’d much rather hire a motivated, well-educated person with no experience than a grumpy old geezer with loads of experience. As you know, when it comes to building successful businesses, finding fresh-from-college superstars is my primary business-building strategy.” If you intend to be one of those superstars, Michael explains exactly what you have to do in his new book, Automatic Wealth for Grads … and Anyone Else Just Starting Out.)

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.