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"Brain Drain" Essay About Losing Skilled Canadian Workers To The United States.

1115 words - 4 pages

"I think Canadians need to hear this. They need to hear it loud and clear that what is going on here is not going to do it for this country. We're a backwater and we're going to stay that way until something serious is done about this situation."The situation in which Canada finds itself is known as the Brain Drain, highly skilled citizens leaving for the United States. The development of the knowledge-based economy has greatly increased the demand for skilled workers throughout the world. In the 1990's, all employment growth for workers was with a post-secondary diploma or degree. This means that just graduating High School is not enough. 25 years ago, it was possible to have a Grade 8 Education and walk into a position making good wages. Not anymore.Overall, Canada is a net gainer of skilled workers worldwide; however, it is a net loser of its highly skilled workforce to the United States. Health care providers, scientists, executives and managers, educators and technologists are among the leading professionals that are abandoning the Canadian workplace for the United States. It is estimated that the net value of the movement of Canadian professionals to the United States between 1982 and 1996 was almost $7 billion.In addressing the reasons why highly educated people are relocating to the United States, the motivations fall under tangible and intangible categories. Among the tangible reasons are lower taxation rates for higher income earners. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that a person earning $50,000 a year pays about 35.7% compared to 28.1% in the United States. At $250,000 a year, Canadian taxes amount to over 47% compared to 34% in the United States. These percentages easily distort the comparison because the cost of health care, social programs and educational services is absorbed by Canadian taxes.Higher wages in many career fields is another tangible reason for the departure of Canadians. It is difficult to compete with such substantial salaries being offered by the United States. This is especially relevant in the health care profession. Between 1990-1997, 78,000 nurses graduated in Canada; but the total number employed increased by only 8,000. Kari Beaton, 2001 graduate from Dalhousie School of Nursing states, "I was being offered $7,000 American more per year and a $1,000 signing bonus the first year after completing my degree. Of course I leapt at the opportunity to make more money." Many Canadian students view the situation the same way. Some students coming out of University with over $50,000 in debts are more than willing to work in the United States to help pay off these loans.The United States also spends a lot more per capita on scientific research. Canada spends between $8 and $9 per person on health and medical research, compared to the United States that spends over $65 per person. This is enticing for scientists and researchers because more government funding for scientific and medical research and development...

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