Foreign Influence in America: China

By Nathalia Wood

The United States is known as the melting pot of our modern world. Immigrants build new lives within our borders, bringing with them not only their belongings, but their religions, cultures, and lifestyles. It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint American culture, as we have been influenced so greatly by the countries around us and as we are faced with a constant influx of new people and new ideas. With the myriad of opportunities our country provides, comes people who are quick to take them.

This week, we will look specifically into the effects of Chinese immigrants and businesspeople on our citizens and economy.

One of the biggest decisions immigrants must make when planning for life in America is where to live or do business. According to a Seattle Times article written by Gene Balk, Seattle takes the No. 2 spot globally, second only to Los Angeles, California, for Chinese millionaires looking to move, largely due to the booming economy, cadre of job opportunities, and menagerie of airlines with routes to China that are quicker and cheaper than the competing airlines, making it easy to get here.

But what does this mean for Seattle residents? Currently, the housing market has been booming and with the rush of people to the new opportunities, the cost of living has gone through the roof. It has become extremely difficult for aspiring homeowners to actually purchase a place to live, and they have been forced to rent out homes owned by better-off landlords.

But if the housing market is so starved, how were those owners of those said homes able to buy them? The answer lies in the fact that many wealthy Chinese investors are making their way to Seattle, buying houses, apartments, and condominiums, then padding their own pockets by renting to local residents, a practice, not only detrimental to each individual citizen in Seattle, but also detrimental to the economy as a whole. When these wealthy foreign tycoons earn parts of their income from Seattleites and use it to better their lives elsewhere, money leaves our economy and very likely doesn’t come back. Therefore, not only are there less opportunities for young adults to pave their way in society and create stable, rewarding lives for themselves, but those same young adults are forced to work harder than should be necessary for a less-than-desireable financial payoff.

This lack of opportunity has been a prominent struggle for the millennial generation in particular as they strive to build sustainable and successful lives for themselves. It is a problem for Seattle, and it has been gradually growing as the days roll by. So, what does it mean for the average high schooler?

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