Vote in the Arena!

At the FEE website.

I voted for “Open Borders”.  I know that a lot of people might be shocked at that, but anyone who has read more than a few posts of this blog should not be surprised.

What are the arguments against illegal immigration?
#1 would certainly be something along the lines of “they’re stealing our jobs.”  Well, a job is not a tangible item that one can own.  You can’t take your job to the marketplace and sell it.  A job is actually a contract where one person sells his labor to another for a specified amount.  If someone comes and offers a lower price, or higher quality labor for the same price (as in, someone with prior experience or specialised education), then the contract with the first person may be ended and a new contract made with the second person.  Illegal immigrants have an unfair advantage in the labor marketplace, because they are willing and able to offer their labor for a lower price than U.S. Citizens are willing or able to.  This advantage is due to Federal intervention in the labor market, but instead of people trying to roll back Federal regulation, they urge even more regulatory power be given to their oppressor (for example, fines for businesses that hire illegals, even if they were tricked by false papers and such).  The expense of these new regulations will make it less likely that entrepreneurs will enter the marketplace, and will cause those firms that are just barely making a profit to fail, which will result in fewer opportunites to sell one’s labor (i.e. “jobs”).

The #2 argument against immigration would be related to the differing cultures of the native peoples and the immigrants.  Well, the Latino culture already permeates American society, and has since the nation’s early years, so I’m not sure what one should be afraid of.  Political differences?  The answer to that is to enter the marketplace of ideas, and seek to persuade and teach others the value of limited government and expanded individual liberty.  It takes longer to see success through this method, but the effects are longer-lasting.

Most people do not value liberty, however.  They do not understand, and therefore fear, the Free Market, even (sometimes especially) self-described political conservatives.  Even those who support Free Trade may seek a sort of “labor protectionism”.  Those who claim to be very concerned with illegal immigration are, in truth, unserious about the problem.  Why do I say this?  Because they seek government to redress the problem. They fail to see that the problems with which they are concerned are wholly created by the same Federal Government that they petition to “fix” the problem.  I’m sorry, but expecting the FedGov to solve the “illegal immigration problem” is a little like expecting Elmer Fudd to catch you a rabbit.

If conservatives (or liberals who find immigration disturbing) were truly serious about solving illegal immigration, then they should put their money where their mouth is. They should start a fund to finance the purchase of all the land on the north bank of the Rio Grande, and turn the area into a giant Pit Bull and Rottweiler puppy farm/reserve.  But why would someone spend his own money, when he can use the political process to force others to finance whatever anti-illegal-immigration scheme he thinks will succeed?

George Gilder, in one of his books (either Wealth and Poverty or The Spirit of Enterprise, I don’t remember which, so you should read both of them), talks about the Cuban refugees who fled to Miami when Castro (may his beard be forever infested with lice) took over that island nation.  They didn’t speak English, they had no real skills, and yet they turned that sleepy Southern town into an economic powerhouse.  Wealth, in reality, does not reside in material goods, but in human knowledge, skills and abilities.  Castro (may his flatulence ever cause embarrassment and offense) thought he had seized the wealth of Cuba when he stole the houses and valuables of the Cuban people who escaped from his oppression; in reality, he had chased Cuba’s wealth to the USA.  To put it another way, suppose that we found out that Mexico was secretly transporting large quantities of gold, silver, light sweet crude oil, and technologically advanced capital equipment to the U.S., and placing it in some unprotected place where anyone could go and take it.  Would people be angrily demanding that Mexico retrieve all those valuables and take it back to Mexico?  I hope not.   But in the same way, Mexico is “exporting” to us another, more valuable, sort of wealth when Mexicans immigrate to the U.S.

An objection (and one that I once used) is that with the current welfare state in the U.S., the immigrants are actually stealing wealth from native citizens by living on the dole.  Not hardly.  If Bill steals your t.v., and Jose accepts an invitation from Bill to watch the superbowl on your televsion, why are you mad at Jose instead of Bill?  You need to deal with Bill’s thieving ways, and then the “problem” with Jose goes away.  Besides, even if illegal immigrants get a check from the government, they are spending it somewhere, likely in the U.S. marketplace.  Better the money go to Taco Hut (oh, I am so racist!  What I meant to say, was Burger Hut) than to some government-financed study of the sexual indiscretions of the warbled slug, says I.

There are other arguments concerning terrorism and such, but I’m out of time at the moment, and will try to address these arguments in the near future.

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