新视野大学英语2读写教程课文原文unit 9 Stop Brain Drain
Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) Why do you think big countries and big companies offer jobs to people from abroad?
2) One of your friends wants to accept a job overseas. What advice would you give him/her?
3) If a company hires many people from a different country, does it have any responsibilities toward that country? Explain your answer.
Stop Brain Drain
A bill now before Congress would give preferential treatment to foreign students with advanced degrees in science and engineering who want to work in the United States.
To those of us who are immigrants, the bill seems simply to sanction a policy secretly implemented by U.S. industry for nearly four decades — namely, stealing brains from the third world.
In general, the "21st Century Technology Resources and Commercial Leadership Act", which Sen. John McCain brought to the Senate in late 1999, is designed to keep the U.S. high-tech industry on top by filling the need for skilled technology workers. One provision of the bill states that, among non-immigrant visa applicants, the state should give preference to foreign nationals with secondary degrees in math, science, engineering or technology. Such a provision would provide "temporary skilled personnel" in those fields.
During the 1960s and 1970s, politicians in my native country, India, used to wave the slogan "Stop Brain Drain" — a reference to the fact that the cream of India was leaving for the lucrative shores of England and America.
In that post-independence era, when everything foreign was considered contaminated by colonialism, we talked of cottage industries and economic imperialism. We threw Coca-Cola out and invented "Thumbs Up Cola".
But it was also the era of Sputnik, of nuclear power and the green revolution. Every year, on Independence Day, our Prime Minister Nehru spoke of the benefits of science and technology.
Our institutes of technology, built with European and American aid, offered students free room and board, even salary. Indian taxpayers footed the bill in the hope that one day the graduates would help reconstruct the nation.
I was one such student. But studying my textbooks late at night in the library of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), I would dream, not of India, but of America, the land of opportunity. Many students like me, indeed, left during those years, never to return.
So our government set up special programs to tempt foreign graduates. Our leaders saw parallels to the independence movement founded by people like Nehru and Gandhi who, after absorbing Western political thought at institutions like Eton and Oxford, returned home to serve their native land.
But few foreign graduates came home to "pay their pledge", as Nehru had put it. Our leaders had failed to see that the emphasis on symbol manipulation at IIT left little room for social thought and much scope for the greedy outcomes of capital-driven business.
Over the next two decades, IIT graduates — educated at the expense of Indian taxpayers — played a major role in founding California's Silicon Valley. The personal computer revolution and the invention of the Internet made the demand for skilled labor mushroom to such tremendous proportions that even if every American child were to study nothing but science from now on, we would be unable to keep pace with demand in the decades to come.
In other words, the legislation would benefit not immigrants, but American industry which would be crippled without it. In India in the meantime, the entire education system has shifted gears to feed the appetite of the American computer industry. As IIT cannot graduate enough students to fill these needs, every street corner now sports billboards for private academies offering certificates in computer programming.
At a book show in my hometown of Nagpur recently, large crowds of young people examined books on engineering and software.
Comments about "Brain Drain" don't hold much water when every politician has a son or daughter aiming to go abroad.
And why bother rebuilding the nation when the only goal is to abandon it? At the Nagpur book show, for example, the latest American social publications were conspicuous by their absence and India's politically conscious leadership has been replaced by a new generation, riding on the wave of the Internet, making fortunes within a span of years.
This new leadership has abandoned all talk of economic imperialism in favor of market economics. Indians now put flowers around Bill Gates' neck and offer him the kind of reception once offered only to the Queen. And Thumbs Up is a branch of Coca-Cola.
Mid-sized cities like Bangalore are now the Silicon Valleys of India — their workers generate demand for the very products that they produce. But the nation is slowly disintegrating. India's population recently hit 1 billion, but its interior framework in water, transportation and health care is fast falling apart; its citizens breathe air that is dangerously polluted.
India had gone from an agricultural society to the cyber-revolution, without passing through intermediate stages such as the welfare state and the creation of social services.
Perhaps it is time to pass legislation calling for a "Brain Trust". Funded by corporations like Microsoft and Intel which have drained India of its brains for decades, the trust could set up new institutes in India aimed at training students not in symbol manipulation, but in social thought. Such an effort is our only hope of creating the social structure needed in the next century.