I think pmarca should stick to giant block quotations from the WSJ and other voice-of-the-elite rags, and away from attempts at wit. As for the Visa God worshippers, Ted Kennedy said this,
"The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs." (U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 1965. pp. 1-3.)
He might have added: It will not cause a rush of mentally touched Pagans into our high technology sectors.
1. India is a country of over 1.3 billion people, and about half are illiterate. So, yes, there are many engineers clamoring, but the number relatively is not as high as it should be.
2. There is a fairly high degree of corruption, which in this case is the result of a lot of red-tape. Getting anything done means having the resources and or money or both to get anything done, which kills many enterprising ideas
3. The high population results in the infrastructure bursting at its seams, and often most places other than the big cities to be lacking. This makes places like the US seem extremely attractive alternatives. A lot of the people who graduate from the IITs (Indian Institute of technology), and many engineering school (almost all my friends) are abroad.
There are several other reasons but I hope this puts it in perspective. Though these days (from what I hear, I haven't been back in some time) times are a-changing. I hear a lot more about the startup scene in India, and with the influence of big corporations like Google, the government seeing that India has the potential to be a technical center in the world, the growth of indian firms like Wipro and infosys, the Ambani and Ispat group maybe this can be avoided.
Hope this puts some of this in perspective.
According to Fortune, China is supposed to be the big player for this century. If true, this is pretty bad since the Chinese elites view people as a means to the end of Chinese dominance. India, on the other hand, institutionally has a better respect for human dignity. Though the caste system is still alive and kicking, it is a religious institution, and not something the government is pushing on the people.
I think India has the potential to create great products at great prices, that can help both raise the standard of living in the country, and bring in foreign exchange. Looking at what the Reliance (and Ispat) group have done in the last 3 decades is a strong reminder of this fact. Over the last decade, India has done some good things, like open up its economy to international companies, which has had both a good and bad effect for the economy itself. On one side, more jobs are created, and the lowest common denominator becomes even lower, but on the other hand, without strict policies, large multinationals have the ability to kill the mom-and-pop businesses (of which there are lot, including the cottage industry within India).
I dont know if this answered your question... Let me know.
So, even though India doesn't compete with China industrially, what do you think about it's intellectual competition? Some of the most innovative mathematicians have been Indian, whereas I don't know of any such Chinese innovators.
While industrialization is very important for turning good ideas into products; the good ideas, in my mind, are more important. As Al Queda is showing us, technology isn't the panacea we often think it is.