Why Immigrants Still View America as a Great Opportunity

I suggest reading this 8 paragraph post in an investor forum in its entirety. It comes from a 36-year old Chinese national who immigrated to the United States as a child in the 1980s. He walks through why Chinese residents looking for a better life abroad are more likely to find it in America than in Japan, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.

If his family had gone to Hong Kong, they could make a far better wage than they could in their rural Chinese town, but it would only be a short-term fix. Hong Kong is a tough place to build a life because the wealth disparity is far worse than it is in the US.

In Japan, there is no way for a Chinese citizen to gain legal status. There is also still discrimination against Chinese immigrants.

The US provides the most apathetic environment to an immigrant willing to work very long hours to make a small business work. Customers do not mind they are supporting immigrants if they products or service is a good value. Lenders and landlords will also support the owners if the business model is reliable (e.g., Chinese immigrants running a Chinese restaurant). This is very different from other countries where large bribes must be paid just to get a permit to start a business or rent a small workspace.

The children of these Chinese immigrants have had success in reaching college and graduating with valuable degrees. An interesting wrinkle though is more of the recent grads are returning to China because they are finding better work opportunities in venture capital and tech without the risk of ethnic discrimination in the workplace.

Source: User “BG2008” on the Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax forum