from the world's big
Are immigrants being scapegoated? Andrew Yang (and new research) suggests yes.
Immigrants add way more to the American economy than they take.
- Andrew Yang said immigrants are being scapegoated for racist reasons during the last presidential debate.
- 45 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, making a $6.1 trillion economic impact.
- Even undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.6 billion a year in taxes, overturning the myth that they're "takers."
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang likes to joke that Americans are ready for "an Asian man who likes math." While the math underlying his call for universal basic income has been scrutinized, his trumpet blares regarding the dangers of automation are not receiving nearly the attention they should be.
At least part of the reason is the continual drowning out of all serious issues due to racial profiling (or whatever other target the president invents that day). On the debate stage, Yang stated that immigrants are being scapegoated for reasons separate from economic issues. Though obvious to most, politics around racism has always relied on linguistic feats, as if "go back to your country" could be anything other than blatant bigotry.
Yang intimately knows of what he speaks. His immigrant parents traveled from Taiwan to Berkeley to attain impressive degrees: his father a Ph.D. in physics, his mother a master's in statistics. Yang put this into perspective:
"My father immigrated here as a graduate student and generated over 65 U.S. patents for G.E. and IBM. I think that's a pretty good deal for the United States. That's the immigration story we need to be telling. We can't always be focusing on some of the distressed stories."
As an entrepreneur, the Brown and Columbia graduate founded Venture for America, which focuses on creating jobs in depressed American cities. Yang left in 2017 after growing the company to twenty cities with a $6 million operating budget. He has since focused on warning anyone who will listen about the dangers of automation to our work force. Fortunately, he has landed on one of the biggest platforms to do so.
Yang: blaming immigrants for economy is stupid
Yang's family is not comprised of outliers, as a New American Fortune study shows. In total, 45 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, totaling 223 businesses (101 founded by immigrants, 122 by their children). That's a $6.1 trillion economic impact in 2019 to go along with 13.5 million jobs created thanks to immigrants—the type of math Americans need right now.
To put that into perspective, immigrant-founded companies contribute more financial might than the economies of Japan, Germany, or the UK. The only nations that surpass such a GDP are America and China.
Broken down by state, New York houses 35 of these companies, generating nearly a billion dollars while employing nearly two million people. California comes in second with 29 businesses. Rounding out the top list is Illinois (21), Texas (18), Virginia (12), and Florida and New Jersey, which boast 10 each.
As the report notes, the creation of major businesses is only one aspect of immigrant contribution to America. Small- and medium-sized businesses matter too. In fact, immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than U.S.-born residents.
"Medium and small businesses are also vital to the U.S. economy, employing many more millions at neighborhood stores, restaurants, professional services, and other local businesses. Immigrants have a significant role to play here, with nearly 3.2 million immigrants running their own businesses."
Niraj Shah, co-founder and chief executive officer of Wayfair Inc. (and son of immigrants from India), arrives for the morning session of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Last year, PBS took four economic myths about immigrants to task, showing that well beyond racist political rhetoric, "immigration has an overall positive impact on the long-run economic growth in the U.S."
- Despite being labeled as takers, immigrants contribute more in tax revenue than they receive in government benefits. On top of this, undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.6 billion a year in taxes.
- "They're coming for your jobs" is nonsense; Yang often points out that robots actually play this role. Immigrants make up 17 percent of the U.S. labor force and often take on roles that American-born workers refuse to accept.
- The notion that we don't need immigrants is also untrue, considering falling birth rates need to be offset. Our current birth rate is 1.8 births per woman, well under the 2.1 needed to sustain our population. Whether or not the world actually needs more people is another story, but for America to remain an economic powerhouse, we need more children.
- Citizenship makes more productive workers. When residents do not have the hurdles non-citizens do, it is easier for them to get a proper education and begin their career. Barriers to citizenship prevent their ability to accomplish these tasks.
As a motive for the recent mass shooting in El Paso becomes clear, racial tensions around the country are escalating. The terrorist's reasoning for murdering twenty people (and injuring many more) was to preserve a sustainable life by "getting rid of enough people," which, as the data show, is the opposite of reality. His screed is based on unadulterated racism and white supremacy, not economics or math.
Humans are influential animals; we are also easily influenced. As in companies, societal attitudes are condoned or criticized from the top down. Racial animosity spewed on Twitter creates the conditions for further attacks and hatred, the opposite of what makes America great in the first place.
It is unlikely that Andrew Yang will be our next president, but his voice in these debates is needed. His singular focus on the dangers of automation addresses a forthcoming reality we will all soon face; his good-natured joking about Asians and math underlies an important discussion on race and immigration we need to have. And it's true: the math is on his side. If only the rest of us would take the time out for simple addition, we'd understand that.
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."