Worthwhile Reading

Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan is, IMO, one of the more thoughtful of the financial industry CEO’s.  In his annual letter to shareholders, he devotes considerable space to the current situation of the United States–our assets, our problems, and potential paths for improvement.  The public policy section of the letter starts on page 32.

My view of several issues is different from Mr Dimon’s, but I think the letter is well worth reading and thinking about.

(Disclosure:  I’m a JPM investor)

13 thoughts on “Worthwhile Reading”

  1. Ridiculously, Fortune wrote about it under the headline “5 Ways Jamie Dimon Just Clashed With Donald Trump in JP Morgan Letter”

    Fortune was once a useful business publication, this article is like a clickbait post from a left-leaning website.

  2. >It is alarming that approximately 40% (this is an astounding 300,000 students each year) of those who receive advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math at American universities are foreign nationals with no legal way of staying here even when many would choose to do so. We are forcing great talent overseas by not allowing these young people to build their dreams here.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…. let’s let our value-added STEM fields be taken over by the children of wealthy foreigners with no real allegiance to the United States or its core institutions. Let’s take the H1B visa program and the edumacation bubble and cram them together in the name of the God almighty profit margin.

    Dimon can go fark himself with a rusty rake.

  3. Phil…my thought on reading that passage was the what’s *really* alarming is that a high % of these student seats would go empty, absent the foreign students, because of the widespread failure of K-12 education in the US.

    Somehow the US managed to do everything from building the Hoover Dam to pioneering civil aviation to going to the moon with people who, for the most part, were products of the American public schools. I doubt whether today the next Facebook feature release could be achieved under that restriction.

    Dimon did hit the education issue pretty hard:

    “fully 71% of today’s youth (ages 17–24) are ineligible for the military due to a lack of proper education (basic reading or writing skills) or health issues (often obesity or diabetes)…Many high schools and vocational schools
    do not provide the education our students need – the goal should be to graduate and get a decent job. We should be ringing the national alarm bell that inner city schools are failing our children – often minorities and children from lower income households. In many inner city schools, fewer than 60% of students graduate, and many of those who do graduate are not prepared for employ- ment. We are creating generations of citizens who will never have a chance in this land of dreams and opportunity.”

  4. “because of the widespread failure of K-12 education in the US.”

    I agree although I examine many kids applying to the US military and I am reassured by what I see.

    It’s interesting that nearly 20% of applicants in LA are Chinese nationals applying for a program that provides US citizenship after three years, I think.

    The kids in Phoenix are somewhat different but still quite impressive. I have seen kids who lost 100 pounds to be able to qualify for the military.

    Education since the unions is a terrible failure but the kids want better.

    I saw a kid last week whose guardian is his “grandfather” who was the boyfriend of his grandmother while he and his sister were growing up. Their mother lives in the city and is not involved in their lives. The grandmother lived with the guardian while they were growing up but they were not married. He is now their guardian, approved by the courts, even though he and his now wife are not related. The grandmother is still drifting.

    The boy is joining the Army and i would not be surprised to see his younger sister in a couple of years.

  5. >a program that provides US citizenship after three years

    Not just people from US territories or traditional allies like the Philippines, but anyone on the farking planet… including our chief peer competitor. Lovely. We’re devolving into the late Roman Empire with iPads even faster than I thought. Can’t produce enough STEM grads (and industry isn’t willing to pay them at their worth, since furriners with no real knowledge or allegiance to our nation or its founding ethos will work for half as much), can’t get enough deplorable white country boys (and women and queers and trannies) to fight our wars oversea, so let’s outsource that too.

    Christ on a crutch, guys. Engage your brains and look at what we’re doing to ourselves and our posterity. You’re supposed to fix what is broken, not shrug unhappily and make it worse in the name of a little temporary expediency.

  6. “You’re supposed to fix what is broken, not shrug unhappily and make it worse in the name of a little temporary expediency.”

    So, giving citizenship to people who are here legally, who can get a high enough score on the standardized test for the military. and who agree to serve three years, is not a way to choose immigrants ? Many of them, especially those with higher scores, are learning trades, like aircraft engine mechanic, that can be useful in civilian life.

    What would you prefer ?

  7. I have worked with a number of professionals who are immigrants as well as other foreign nationals visiting and I have to say that most were far more knowledgeable and in the case of immigrants, patriotic that the average NEA educated native American. On the other hand, I remember one employee I had who was a 5th generation Irish “American”. He carried great animus toward the US because we allied with the Evil English in WWII!

    Nobody is saying every foreign born STEM student MUST stay here. But if they want to, we should welcome them with open arms. They aren’t the ones who want to change our culture. Now the ones who want to Californicate the rest of the country…

  8. My principle objection to the HB visa program is that it creates a low wage indentured servant class who will be deported if they quit or lose their poorly paid jobs that replaced American workers.

  9. We could absorb huge numbers if each wanted to assimilate, came here for opportunity to fulfill individual potential through productive work and not for the government teat, and they shared with us a strong confidence in traditional American values (individualism, personal responsibility, Judao-Christian assumptions about the nature of man and man’s relationship with his God and Anglosphere assumptions about common law and the rule of law).

    I think the biggest problem is that we no longer respect and even reverence those values ourselves. Until we teach our children and come to these with both understanding and passion, I doubt that mass migration is a good idea – what have we to share? Some kind of vague idea of diversity?

    Our nationalism has long been characterized (not only by but as major ingredients) a long identification with property rights, common law and an interwoven religious belief system. And others are welcomed because another part of our tradition is (Paine talks about it) assimilating people from many cultures and leading them to our deepest felt values. It’s the values that lead to civic responsibility: language at home and foods and dances and fellowship societies, yes, but in the big things, well, each generation is one with those before and after.

    It is not unlike Christianity’s sense that all can come to the belief – all are equal before Christ. Apparently, my religious friends complain, that sense has been reversed as in some cultural expressions all beliefs are equal.

    In both, the many merge in one belief, loyalty. (Or as perhaps our least eloquent president revived the old words: It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.
    Being American isn’t being tolerant of Sharia law, it is assimilating those do and converting them to believe in a tradition going back to the Magna Charta (or long before as some argue) – a tradition respectful of the individual.

    And I’ll side with Kennedy – one of the few ways we are sure someone has been exposed to both hard work and patriotism is three years in the service.

    Oh, well. Mass migrations are how weak nations are overcome. The greater question might be are we a weak nation? It is clear Trump doesn’t think so, but that doesn’t make him right. We didn’t need a doddering king to weaken us, one whose only reason for his position is inheritance – we had Obama. And we elected him. The problem with a society like ours is that the responsibility lies with us.

  10. “So H1-Bs are indentured servitude but 3 years forced military service is not. Interesting.”

    Odd argument. Apprentices were once indentured until they fulfilled their obligation to learn the craft.

    Recruits join the military to learn to be a soldier or whatever role they plan to assume. For some, it is a career. They start at the bottom and work their way up.

    The Chinese kids I saw joining the US Army had an objective. They wanted citizenship and were will to pay with three years of military service.

    There used to be a Libertarian argument that the draft was “forced military service.”

    Nobody is “forcing” anyone to join the US military now. Our problem examining and interviewing applicants is that they will lie and conceal medical issues to get in. They used to do so to get out of the draft,

    What are the H1B visa holders gaining ? The right to take a job from an American citizen who is often forced to train the visa holder to get severance pay.

    Then what ?

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