In an interview to Washington Post, “Google’s Eric Schmidt: Top 10 Reasons Bureaucrats Drive Me Nuts“, you get to read about what Eric Schmidt thinks of the US government. In India, Nandan Nilekani is one technocrat who has gone the from outside to inside the government. He never complains of the red tape he comes across, at least not in public.
When it comes to red tape, to a large extent all governments are the same. While I was a student more than a decade ago the most common terms discussed was F1, H1-B, Green Card etc. Everyone wanted to go to the US. The H-1B work visa was increased, then decreased. These days there has been a lot of rejections, in spite of which in 2010-11 H1-B visa for Indians has risen by 24%.
The Government’s “Stupidest Policy.” “A classic example is H-1B visas. Now, the following arguments are so obvious, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone would believe that they’re false. These industries are full of very smart people. There are very smart people who don’t live in America. They come to America, we educate them at the best universities, they are smarter than I am, and then we kick them out.
If they stayed in the country, let’s just review: They would create jobs, pay taxes, have high incomes, pay more taxes than the average American, and generally increase the GDP of the country.
I hope my argument is clear, and if it isn’t I’ll start screaming about it. It’s the stupidest policy the government has with respect to high tech. So you have this conversation and people say “yes,” and you say, ”This is the single thing that you can do that will lead to innovation occurring in our country, and the future economic wealth of our country.” And then they don’t act.”