Take Two for May 15, 2013

Are political-minded tech moguls America's new oligarchs?

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JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt speaks during a news conference to launch its new tablet PC, Nexus 7, in Seoul. South Korea's foreign ministry confirmed on January 3, 2013 that Google chairman Eric Schmidt was planning a visit to North Korea, but was unable to comment on the reason for the trip.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently joined Take Two to talk about a book he'd written with a company colleague on the future of digital technology. But while we had him on the line, we also asked him about his recent lobbying efforts.

He and several other tech moguls have been trying to persuade Congress to increase the number of visas available for foreign tech workers.

Here's what Eric Schmidt had to say about the current limitations of H-One-B visas.

"I would argue that the H-1B rule in America is the single stupidest policy ever invented by the US government. To take you through its reasoning, here at a brilliant university, a top graduate at UCLA or UC Berkeley, foreign born, has a Ph.D, we kick them out of the country, they go to their own country, they found a company to steal our jobs and to take profits away from America. If they stayed in America, they'd found a company in Los Angeles or the Bay Area, and the rest is history. There is broad support for fixing this H-1B cap, it will cause more economic growth than you can possibly imagine."

 

That's the point of view of Google's Eric Schmidt, but for a radically different view of the tech companies and their role in creating jobs in America, we've reached out to Joel Kotkin, a prolific writer about politics and the economy, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University.


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