Will ‘the next Steve Jobs’ carry the DNA of a Syrian refugee? Maybe he will. Then again, maybe he won’t. Tossing a coin won’t really settle that question — because the outcome of a toin coss is a 50-50 proposition. The reality is that “the next Steve Jobs” descending from the DNA of a bunch of Syrians knocking at America’s doors is really infinitessimal.[Note, by the way, that Steve Jobs is of Syrian descent.] This can be proven by simple elementary school statistics. US President Barack Obama pledged last year to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees. So, presumably, “the next Steve Jobs” will be coming from that lot plus, maybe, the next 10,000 coming the following year. And the year after that.
But then, in the US, almost 4 million babies are born every year. So, yeah, analyse that: 4 million American people coming into being annually versus 10,000 Syrian refugees being admitted to the US every year. I wouldn’t be putting good money on a bet that “the next Steve Jobs” would be coming from the latter.
Furthermore, by the time these American kids reach the same age Jobs was when he first met Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1971 they will have been raised on American food and educated in America’s public school system. To be fair, the quality of either may be debatable, but it is likely that both would be far better than anything Syria will have offered to its citizens. So even if, by some miraculous triumph in political-correctness, the US opens its doors to 4 million Syrian refugees, they still would not be able to compete with America’s vast corn-fed well of human capital.
And those are just American babies. The United States is home to 300 million people. The “next Steve Jobs” is also likely to be amongst that lot. 300 million possible Steve Jobs is, I believe, a safer bet than the 10,000 pool of warm bodies Syria has to offer America.
So before we embrace the idea that America may be losing out on “the next Steve Jobs” by rejecting Syrian refugees, think again and do the maths. Hipsters need to come up with a better argument than that.
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