17 September 2012
Sam Bowman writes in the New Statesman on the need for open borders to make the world's poorest better off and unlock the talent of more people.
Srinivasa Ramanujan isn’t a name most people know, but his story illustrates the power of migration to improve the world.
Born to a poor family in southern India in the late nineteenth century, Ramanujan displayed a remarkable mathematical mind from an early age, developing complex theorums as a teenager.
He was a genius, but he left school in poverty and seemed destined to live a life of subsistence. By chance, Ramanujan was discovered by another Indian mathematician and ended up at Cambridge, producing ingenious new ideas and eventually becoming the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College.
Ramanujan was lucky. Had he not been discovered when he was, he could have easily spent a life in poverty, his genius untapped and giving nothing to the world.
The west’s immigration laws make it remarkably difficult for latter-day Ramanujans to exploit their potential. Ramanujan represents not just the geniuses lying fallow in subsistence agriculture, but all human talent that is not being tapped to its full potential...
Read the article in full in the New Statesman here.