Go West, young Frenchmen


As French leftist intellectuals and chauvinistic cultural warriors demonize America and disparage capitalism, they are finding an increasing number of their top scientists and entrepreneurs are departing  for America to fulfill their ambitions. A growing number of biotech companies are fleeing the country since they cannot raise funds in France; and this  is a reflection of the broader frustration about the widening gap with the US in research and development spending.
Only 4 biotech companies are listed on the bourse, compared to 300 in the United States, for example. The nation's scientific heritage, built on the discoveries of Louis Pasteur and the Curies, has been eroded by the absence of an investment environment and venture capital industry in France. One igré states,
"The problem in France is that we do not pay enough attention to companies leaving for the US. Eventually we will be left with nothing but tourism in France."
Yes, exactly. Your leaders have spent decades disparaging the work ethic and enterprising nature that have made America so strong, and now the French are  reaping what they have sown. This sclerotic condition will only worsen as the EU imperium extends its reach.
I recall a Wall Street Journal op—ed during the dispute in the United Nations over the Iraq war  that advocated, in jest, that America place ads in France promoting immigration to America for those who desire to fulfill their life's dreams. Not a bad idea — we should be expanding the number of visas set aside for talented researchers and scientists.
Ed Lasky   4 13 05