Said JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon during a shareholder meeting yesterday, according to an article published by Bloomburg.com. As the company announced that it intends to refund several billion dollars of TARP funds it borrowed from the government, and in answering shareholder’s questions Dimon added “We need different talents and skills.” Accepting TARP funds “became a little more of a painful experience.” He cited concerns about other countries revoking visas of US citizens employed by the company abroad in retaliation to the H-1B TARP restriction.
Kudos to Mr. Dimon for expressing what many are afraid to say. Subjecting corporation to this type restriction is wrong and is, in fact, disgraceful. Restricting the follow of talents to our country chokes our competitive edge. We must be more vigorous in delivering this message, especially during challenging times. For our tendency to look the other way and become complacent during a crisis is our weakness.
I must acknowledge, the opponents of the H-1B program have done a better job in selling such a shameful restriction under the guise of protecting American jobs and tax payer’s money. We must admit that we have not done our job as advocates of common sense in explaining that restrictions on talent & skill flow do not create jobs, it takes away opportunities. Our strength depends on our ability to maintain world leadership in innovation and discovery in the science. The price the country pays by turning away the brightest to reduce unemployment rate by a small fraction of a percentage point is simply too high.