A modest proposal to save the economy, regain American dominance, and bring peace to the world

Right now the two things dragging down the US economy are plunging housing prices (and its knock-on effects on the financial system) and softening consumer spending. There is an easy fix that would have the additional benefits of positioning America for continued dominance of the world economy and solving the major conflicts in the world.

The fix is to change immigration policies so that:
  • Anyone from anywhere in the world who has a college degree and a net worth of at least $20,000 can get a greencard (permanent resident status) provided they emigrate to the US and buy a house in the next 6 months.
  • Anyone living in a conflict zone can get a greencard on the same conditions regardless of education or net worth, and the US will subsidize moving costs and a downpayment on a house for families below a certain net worth.
  • Special government subsidized mortgages would be available to these immigrants, as well as special loan programs for financing purchases of everything a family needs to set up a new home in the US: cars, microwaves, TVs, etc.
The surge of home buying by immigrants will stall the downward slide of the housing market, saving us hundreds of billions in bailouts and programs to save people from foreclosure.

The surge in purchases basic durable goods by the immigrants (cars, stoves, clothes, etc) will boost consumer spending right when we need it.

The immigration program for people with college degrees will provide the US with the most highly skilled workforce in the world, giving us a competitive advantage in the future (thanks to Thomas Friedman for this idea).

The immigration program for people in conflict zones will allow the people who want to escape war to escape to somewhere where they can lead a peaceful life. As the best and the brightest start to flee conflict zones, the adversaries will realize that every day of continued fighting is draining away what they are fighting over, and if they don't stop soon there will be nothing left to fight over. The conflicts that have any possible resolution will be settled quickly. The truly intractable conflicts will be concluded when the last non-combatent leaves and the combatents finish killing each other.

Will the surge of immigration increase unemployment? Sure it will in the near term. But in the long term employment will benefit because America will be the go-to country for skilled workers.

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