Another Argument for Restricting the Free Migration of Humans Taken Down

Foreign Policy magazine takes on some of the arguments against allowing highly skilled or educated people in poor nations to leave if they want to. The nub of their points:

This common idea that skilled emigration amounts to "stealing" requires a cartoonish set of assumptions about developing countries. First, it requires us to assume that developing countries possess a finite stock of skilled workers, a stock depleted by one for every departure. In fact, people respond to the incentives created by migration: Enormous numbers of skilled workers from developing countries have been induced to acquire their skills by the opportunity of high earnings abroad....

Second, believing that skilled emigration amounts to theft from the poor requires us to assume that skilled workers themselves are not poor. In Zambia, a nurse has to get by on less than $1,500 per year -- measured at U.S. prices, not Zambian ones -- and a doctor must make ends meet with less than $5,500 per year, again at U.S. prices. If these were your annual wages, facing U.S. price levels, you would likely consider yourself destitute. Third, believing that a person's choice to emigrate constitutes "stealing" requires problematic assumptions about that person's rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people have an unqualified right to leave any country. Skilled migrants are not "owned" by their home countries....

The belief that skilled emigrants must cause public losses in the amount of their training cost is based on a series of stereotypes. First, large numbers of skilled emigrants are funded by themselves or by foreign scholarships. A survey of African-born members of the American Medical Association conducted by one of the authors found that about half of them acquired their medical training outside their country of birth. Second, many skilled emigrants serve the countries they come from for long periods before departure....

Skilled migrants also tend to earn much more than unskilled migrants, and on balance this means that a university-educated migrant from a developing country sends more money home than an otherwise identical migrant with less education. The survey of African physicians mentioned above found that they typically send home much more money than it cost to train them, especially to the poorest countries....

The article also casts doubt on the notion that skilled emigrants never return to their countries, or that poor medical outcomes or care in poor African countries can be meaningfully blamed on emigrating doctors.

On the other side, the article also says we shouldn't overstate the benefits of skilled emigrants in building up trade and investment ties between their home countries and the wealthy west. Still, pragmatic arguments meant to lead to the conclusion that skilled professionals in poor countries really ought to just stay put are weak.

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  • John Tagliaferro||

    I predict that PL will continue his protest here.

  • ||

    People are not chattels. No matter where they got their training, they are not indentured to their country of origin.

    That is the only argument that matters.

  • ||

    Agree. I can't believe there is even a debate about this.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I heard that argument (for keeping people in their countries of origin) a lot more during The Cold War. I think it was the main point voiced by the East German leadership, that they had to build the wall to prevent the flight of labor.

  • ||

    It was ridiculous then, and it's even more ridiculous now.

    Among professionals, global labor flows are becoming the norm. My brother is working on a gas pipeline in Uzbekistan right now. Before that he was in Indonesia.

    I know a guy who took his 'virtual office' to India for a month.

    Smart people go all over the world to work, not just the US. In some cases, smart people are leaving the US because the top research centers in their field are no longer American. Or the INS thinks that only Americans should be allowed to work in our labs.

  • prolefeed||

    If the government offering subsidized training is concerned about emigration, they can condition the subsidization upon the doctor staying in the country for a number of years.

    Or, quit subsidizing the training.

    But, enough with the whining about how, after stealing someone else's money and giving it to someone who didn't earn it, that the recipient of the theft isn't grateful enough to the thief.

  • ||

    Let me be the first to say,

    Yo, fuck lone wacko

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I predict Lonewacko will respond to this.

  • Xeones||

    Preemptively shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Follow the money, follow the money, let's all follow the money!

    Meanwhile, smart people in foreign countries are indeed a finite resource, as they are a finite resource everywhere. To see that in action, go to any backwoods corner of the U.S.; a good proportion of the smarter folks have left for the Big City.

    And, it's hilarious to see Reason promoting the U.N.

    And, did the authors mention the dangers of a foreign-allegiance-owing intelligentsia and other issues relating to those who have little or no loyalty to the U.S.? (I'm going to guess they did not).

    I mainly cover other aspects of this issue, and if you want the actual facts about this issue, subscribe to my feed. I'll tell you the things that the MSM and sites like this won't.

  • Xeones||

    Nobody here gives a fuck about you or your retarded feed, you rancid piece of dogshit.

  • ||

    And, it's hilarious to see Reason promoting the U.N.

    As hilarious as you trying to make us believe that you give a flying fuck about people in developing countries.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    We are supposed to care about them? Like for real?

  • ||

    No.

    It's just a little rich to see the xenophobes and the lonewacko-style trolls arguing against immigration because it's presumably bad for the "brain drained" country. When in reality, they could give a shit.

    Did you follow that?

  • ||

    ¿Por qué no te callas, Wackosolo?

  • GILMORE||

    I heart "Wackosolo" as new nom de guerre for our retarded mascot

  • GILMORE||

    Meanwhile, smart people in foreign countries are indeed a finite resource,

    ...because people stop having smart babies? because 'smart' is like fossil fuels? What are you talking about? That if we hire dentists from Uzbekistan, people in Uzbekistan WONT want to get into dentistry anymore?

    you hardly ever make any sense, but this is patently ridiculous

  • Marc||

    No disclaimer? Does that mean that ad hominems will now prove the strength of our arguments?

  • Marc||

    Not disclaimer. What's the word?

    Aw fuck it. You know what's good beer? Torpedo.

  • ||

    Further proof that Canada is a third world country. These are the same things many Canadians whine about as "brain drain"/teh evil Americans stole our smart people.

  • The Gobbler.||

    "Second, believing that skilled emigration amounts to theft from the poor requires us to assume that skilled workers themselves are not poor."

    Ever hear of the Shaw neighborhood in DC. How's it doing since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

    Checkmate.

  • prolefeed||

    Meanwhile, smart people in foreign countries are indeed a finite resource, as they are a finite resource everywhere.

    I understand that smart people can fuck and produce more smart children. It's not like there's a fixed, unalterable number of smart people on the earth.

    And, are you advocating bringing more of this precious "finite" resource of smart BrownSkinnedIllegalImmigrants to this country, LWO?

    If not, what is your point?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    PL will reveal his plot for world domination.

  • ||

    Domination? No. All I seek is a world without threaded comments. Or with a sequential workaround.

  • robc||

    I found an advantage to threaded comments. If LW is at the top of the thread, I can skip down a bunch.

  • ||

    I say bring all the smart people here, then start launching our then-excess population of geniuses into space.

  • ||

    Isn't that what you did with Shatner?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Watch out. PL will begin putting events in motion to make him your head of state.

  • ||

    I didn't start it--Shatner did.

  • ||

    Laugh it up, Aresen. We'll see how funny you think it is when he's your prime minister.

  • ||

    Libertarian views on immigration (legal or otherwise) is one of the few points of the political/economic philosophy where I just haven't been able to comprehend why Libertarians advocate what they advocate.

    Throughout history, we see that a free society can only be maintained by a citizenry devoted to the cause of freedom. If you tear down the borders to that society and let anybody in who wants to come in, you will end up with one or many Fifth Columns determined to force their narrow-minded ideologies on others with the force of law.

    A prime example is post-WWII West Germany, whose Basic Law outlaws political parties that seek to abolish the Basic Law and the freedoms contained therein. This was written in response to the Nazi nullification of the Weimar Constitution and as a legal fence to prevent a communist takeover of West Germany. The West German courts actually outlawed the Communist Party in West Germany based upon this law.

    So, I'm asking this as an honest question: Why do Libertarians maintain their views on immigration (legal and otherwise) in light of the danger it poses to liberty itself?

  • ||

    Wait, what? Were the West German Communists in your example immigrants? I'm guessing not.

    If you're trying for a better example of 5th columnists, you could try the "Eurabia" terror, but any libertarian worth his salt would probably blame a welfare state that prevents employment and isolates immigrants from the mainstream.

  • ||

    The West German Communist Party example was presented merely to demonstrate the protections on freedom and constitutional order that exist.

    The question isn't where the Fifth Column came from, but what protections exist that prevent a Fifth Column from gaining political power. The United States, to my knowledge, has none...

  • ||

    The question isn't where the Fifth Column came from

    Then why bring this up in an immigration thread? That is, if indeed you don't think it matters where the Fifth Column comes from.

  • ||

    It relates to it directly, but for the purposes of the example it doesn't matter where the Fifth Column came from.

    If you want a better example (because people seem to be getting their knickers in a knot regarding the previous example I gave), a political party with an aim to replace the German Basic Law with Islamic Sharia would be banned as unconstitutional because of the protections contained in the German Basic Law. These protections do not exist in the US Constitution.

    Now, let me rephrase the question I asked initially: Why do Libertarians maintain their views on immigration (legal and otherwise) in light of the danger it can pose to liberty itself, especially in the United States? This is an honest question. Will anybody please enlighten me?

  • ||

    A: Mexicans seem uninterested in destroying liberty or forming a 5th Column.

  • ||

    Lazy bastards.

  • ||

    Because it's not an honest question. (Speaking of which, how many times is the phrase "honest question" uttered before a trick question).

    If you are indeed concerned about Islamic Sharia eating up Germany then the solution is to make Sharia law unconstitutional, not to restrict immigration.

    Or perhaps you're arguing that if enough Sharia law advocates immigrate to Germany their children will grow up to become members of the German parliament and force Sharia law into existence. But then of course the children would be German citizens themselves.

  • ||

    If you are indeed concerned about Islamic Sharia eating up Germany then the solution is to make Sharia law unconstitutional, not to restrict immigration.

    That answer seems too statist of an answer to come from the mouth of a Libertarian. If certain groups of people want to institute Sharia among themselves as a sort of code-of-honor, they should have the freedom to do so, am I wrong? It's when you back the institution of Sharia up with the big stick of government that people who value freedom have something to fear.

    Or perhaps you're arguing that if enough Sharia law advocates immigrate to Germany their children will grow up to become members of the German parliament and force Sharia law into existence. But then of course the children would be German citizens themselves.

    So you think it's OK for one group of citizens to vote away the freedoms of other citizens? How is this Libertarian?

  • ||

    That answer seems too statist of an answer to come from the mouth of a Libertarian.

    Yeah, you're full of shit. You know libertarians are not anarchists. And you know that libertarianism is compatible with making coercive behavior unlawful.

    You're clearly a concern troll. Concern noted and rejected. You really don't see how Sharia law would be incompatible with Libertarianism? Really? I call bullshit.

    So you think it's OK for one group of citizens to vote away the freedoms of other citizens?

    I don't. I was trying to see where Sharia law would realistically creep in in the example you provided.

  • ||

    You're clearly a concern troll. Concern noted and rejected.

    Seeking to greater understand a core issue of Libertarianism and having a heated conversation with people on now means I'm a troll. Way to make friends and influence people to your cause, Soda.

    You really don't see how Sharia law would be incompatible with Libertarianism? Really? I call bullshit.

    Of course you call "bullshit" because the statement was made to demonstrate the perceived irony of a Libertarian advocating the stripping of people's liberty. I'm glad we can at least agree on something in this conversation, even though it was ridiculously obvious.

  • ||

    Seeking to greater understand a core issue of Libertarianism and having a heated conversation with people on now means I'm a troll.

    Actually, you weren't seeking to understand Libertarianism, that's what makes you a troll. You were trying to see if you could convince libertarians that being for open borders was a puzzling position for a libertarian to take. It's not.

    Of course you call "bullshit" because the statement was made to demonstrate the perceived irony of a Libertarian advocating the stripping of people's liberty.

    Libertarians are for outlawing coercive behavior. Technically that is a statist position. We are, after all, limiting people's freedom to be coercive. You think you are the first person to discover this "paradox?" You aren't and it's not an inconsistency, as much as you'd like it to be.

    If between closing down borders and banning Sharia law you don't see which is the least libertarian move then you are an idiot.

  • ||

    If an enduring majority wants Sharia, no constitution will stop them. They can always replace the existing constitution with a new Islamic one. The key to preventing this is enforcing assimilation, and if Muslims are unassimilable, then don't allow them to immigrate in the first place. If there are already too many breeding, then you have to expel or sterilize them. Of course, if you refuse to let them immigrate, you have to get your own native birthrate up to provide the workers needed. The current EU welfare state makes high birthrates impossible. Only societies where people must have large numbers of children to support them in old age, and societies driven by religious imperitive (i.e. Muslims) have high birthrates.

  • ||

    Its about the freedom of the individual; not the power of the state to regulate or abolish association and/or travel.

    Do not make the mistake so many lightweights who consider themselves to be brilliant make:

    Buying the bullshit that a powerful nation state is essential for the preservation of liberty.

  • ||

    I'm not arguing for a powerful nation-state. If there is anything that I am advocating, it's a constitutional protection that freedoms cannot be voted away. We saw it happen here in California with Prop 8 last November, and we saw it happen with Prohibition.

    How is preventing the nation-state from further incursions into people's rights advocating a powerful nation-state?

  • skr||

    The Prop 8 situation brings up an excellent point. Constitutional protections are only functional as long as the constitution isn't amended. So the answer would be to make amending the constitution difficult, which it is. The California example does fall apart when extrapolated to the federal level, because of the requirement of ratification by the states, which you don't have in CA.

    I think the real answer to you question is that there would have to be a huge and rapid influx of immigrants that share an identical viewpoint antithetical to the values enshrined by the USConst. That is most improbable. Firstly because we aren't seeing those kinds of numbers. Secondly, because the influx, while currently dominated by Latin countries in the western hemisphere due to proximity, in fact come from disparate communities all over the world thus not sharing similar ideological positions. Lastly, people that hold views antithetical to the USConst. probably aren't going to immigrate in large numbers anyway. Most immigrants are fleeing countries that hold such opposite views and then they take the values of freedom to heart once they make a home here. So I guess my answer is that your hypothetical is bullshit straw that in no way impugns the values that Libertarians hold that people are not chattel of their homeland and should be free to move as they please.

  • GILMORE||

    Now, let me rephrase the question I asked initially: Why do Libertarians maintain their views on immigration (legal and otherwise) in light of the danger it can pose to liberty itself, especially in the United States?

    Sigh. Because 1) your question is assuming the "danger". There is no danger to allowing free migration of people. Your historical examples are absolutely contrived and meaningless. Look at the great examples of mass migration and you dont see any sign of the 'collapse of freedoms'. Look at the 19th-20th century America. Did the Papacy take over? Were anarchists and european-socialist ideas spreading like wildfire? (a claim made by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1896). Are mexicans eroding our national fabric? Gimme a #@^$@# break.

    You assume that migration is bad, assume that it has a negative effect on liberty, then ask your question as a rhetorical exercise. If you're not being consciously disingenuous, then you're just being stupid.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    If I look at the 19th-20th century USA from the point of view of traditional Amerindian societies, well ... saying that "There is no danger to allowing free migration of people." ... no comment.

    Precisely thanks to the free migration of people were the original inhabitants of the continent reduced to insignificant fringe on formerly-theirs continent, and their way of life and culture forcibly changed beyond recognition. It actually involved a lot of killing on both sides. Or didn't that happen?

    For a honest observer, the whole colonization and decolonization process of the last 200 years illustrates perfectly that large-scale immigration of people who do not share at least the same basic set of values with the original population will turn the society upside down, often with a generous dose of violence - especially if many restless young men are involved.

    Even for culturally close groups of people, nationalism is still a very real risk.

    But American libertarians seem to be resolute in refusing to see that.

    Me, having half of my family in the Balkans ... I just can't pretend that I believe this pipe dream.

  • ||

    You don't support libertarian views on immigration because 5th columnists sneak in; it matters very much to you where 5th columnists come from

  • ||

    If the government has no powers to control the private dealings of individuals, it is irrelevant what the beliefs of the individuals are, be they Communist, Fascist, Libertarian or Larouchian. It is also irrelevant whether they are immigrant or native born.

    And just how do you propose to keep the ideas out? Shut down the internet and jam the airwaves? It seems that governments that do that aren't exactly freedom-minded to begin with.

    Further, a government that can stop you from coming in can also stop you from fleeing.

  • ||

    But a government is staffed by people, people with their own ideological agendas.

    A free government that does not constitutionally protect the ideal of freedom can only function if the individuals that comprise it are devoted to the cause of freedom. If the individuals that staff that government suddenly become hostile to freedom, what recourse do those who seek freedom have?

    If France were to tear down its borders and millions of North Africans come pouring into the country, vote the French Republic (with its freedoms) out of existence and replace it with Sharia, what recourse do those who seek freedom have?

    I thought that the only legitimate reason governments exist is to secure the life, liberty and property of its citizens. If governments lack the power to control who enters the territories they occupy, what power will it have to secure the three things it was instituted for in the first place?

  • ||

    Your suggestions embrace strenghtening the nation state. That is always a loser for freedom.

    There is no language in our constitution that authorizes the creation of a multibillion dollar immigration bureacracy, to be staffed by parasitic public sector lifers, to be paid by the forcible confiscation of the wealth produced by folks who actually do something in the private sector.

  • ||

    You guys just don't understand Joe H! In order to preserve liberty you must restrict liberty. Keep liberty haters out of your country and you preserve liberty. In addition, make sure the ideas of the liberty haters never infect our liberty loving citizenry.

    See? It's liberty at work!!!

  • ||

    Let's turn that argument around, Soda:

    In order to preserve liberty you must undermine liberty. Let any and all liberty haters into your country and you preserve the institutions of liberty. In addition, make sure as many ideas as possible of the liberty haters infect our liberty loving citizenry.

    We can play this game all day long. All I'm saying is that people shouldn't be able to vote their rights and the rights of others out of existence. If we're going to let anybody and anything in to this country, we need to make sure that we maintain the political infrastructure that allows people to do what they please without a Nanny State intervening in their personal affairs.

    Is this such an un-Libertarian idea?

  • ||

    All I'm saying is that people shouldn't be able to vote their rights and the rights of others out of existence.

    That's not ALL your saying. You're advocating that people with ideas you don't like don't even get a chance at entering the country. That's anti-libertarian. You don't like their ideas? Convince them and others they are wrong.

  • ||

    That's not ALL your saying. You're advocating that people with ideas you don't like don't even get a chance at entering the country.

    Now you're putting words in my mouth. If you noticed, I wrote, "All I'm saying is that people shouldn't be able to vote their rights and the rights of others out of existence. If we're going to let anybody and anything in to this country, we need to make sure that we maintain the political infrastructure that allows people to do what they please without a Nanny State intervening in their personal affairs."

    How is the prevention of a Nanny State, be it in the form of Sharia Law or otherwise, anti-Libertarian? If you're going to argue that a nation has the right to choose a Nanny State if they so wish, I find that to be a valid, yet self-defeating Libertarian argument.

    Essentially, if we're going to relax our immigration policies, we will need greater protection of our rights. If we allow millions of faithful Catholics into this country from Latin America, how will the rights of gays and lesbians be impacted the next time gay marriage is put on the ballot? Don't take this as an argument against Hispanic immigration, take this as an argument against a system that allows gay marriage to be put on the ballot in the first place.

  • GEORGE TEMPLETON STRONG||

    If we allow millions of faithful Catholics into this country from Latin America, how will the rights of gays and lesbians be impacted the next time gay marriage is put on the ballot?

    I told you this about the bloody Irish, but NOOOOO did anyone listen? Should have let them rot on the boats!

  • GILMORE||

    If we allow millions of faithful Catholics into this country from Latin America, how will the rights of gays and lesbians be impacted the next time gay marriage is put on the ballot?

    ...I'm sure the first concern on your mind is the threat to the liberty of gays and lesbians in the face of a tidal wave of 'catholic' Mexicans. (who of course are becoming Pentecostal as fast as they can) Right.

    Because gays and lesbians are so well treated in our 'secular' society. Their 'rights' have had such phenomenal success over the last century, and must be preserved...

    Dude really. You need a leg to stand on.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    "You're advocating that people with ideas you don't like don't even get a chance at entering the country. That's anti-libertarian."

    Hmmm. What about ideas like "as soon as we get to power, we will exterminate you and enslave the ones who survive the initial killing"?

    I would say that keeping a fiery ideologue like that out of the country is definitely pro-survival. Maybe it is also anti-libertarian, but, the overall historical experience says that if someone presents his wish to kill you or dominate you, you'd better take him seriously.

    Americans have one advantage that they are unaware of: the country is so huge and so populous that fringe groups are unable to overthrow the government in a single coup attempt. Therefore, they can afford accepting A FEW such sh1theads into the USA, although the subsequent police work (on containing the people radicalized into open violence) costs some money. But they can congratulate themselves on their "openness" and pretend that everything is OK, as long as the influx of radicals does not grow into millions. Not even the USA would be able to contain several millions of hard Nazis or Stalin-like communists without serious internal unrest.

    But outside USA? Smaller countries are less stable, especially if the society is divided into various ethnics and religions. A good example is Jordan (Black September), Lebanon (PLO + civil war) or Bosnia. In all these cases, relatively small groups of armed militants, with foreign funding, were able to destabilize the country into huge explosion of violence. Two or three main ideologues, several thousand fanatical supporters, and the peace of a small country evaporates fast.

  • ||

    Joe, if an American citizen holds a POV that is "anti-liberty", should they be stripped of their citizenship and deported?

  • ||

    Joe, if an American citizen holds a POV that is "anti-liberty", should they be stripped of their citizenship and deported?

    No, but they also shouldn't have the chance to give their "anti-liberty" POV the big stick of government and turn it into law.

    It comes from a very simple idea of liberty; I get to do what I want as long as it doesn't negatively impact your rights, you get to do what you want as long as it doesn't negatively impact my rights, and neither of us have the right to force our opinions on others, especially with the big stick of government.

  • ||

    That is a very good simple idea of liberty.

    But it makes me wonder: How can someone who purports to believe that very simple idea of liberty claim the authority to prohibit people from migrating where they want?

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    "In order to preserve liberty you must restrict liberty."

    There is no such thing as 100 per cent utopian liberty on Earth, it never was and never will be.

    The utopian liberty meme itself is contradictory, because it calls for tolerance for any ideology, including memes that are openly hostile to it and eager to overthrow it.

    Have you ever tried reasoning with some kind of religious fanatic? How long did that take before the first death threats? And if that fanatic had several million armed supporters, would he stop at words?

    Try studying life of Ayatollah Khomeini. That man was able enough to steer the wheel of a huge nation from the modernization course to medieval fanaticism. It was extremely foolish from the secular Iranians to ever let him back in the country, and they (plus many others in the region) pay for that mistake 30 years from then. With blood.

    Could Khomeini succeed in America alone? No, because he wouldn't have the necessary manpower in the streets; but, in your view, it would be perfectly OK for him to import it in any numbers if he actually wished so, and arm them to their teeth.

    I tried to illustrate the innate unstability of any theoretical political order that would be based on the "total tolerance liberty" meme.

    Practically, the only state achievable is something "close to liberty" as opposed to "very far from liberty".

    Of course, in such a real world, plays of words like "In order to preserve liberty you must restrict liberty." stop being meaningful, because they contain unreal concepts.

  • BakedPenguin||

    These are the same things many Canadians whine about as "brain drain"/teh evil Americans stole our smart people.

    They just miss you, Dagny. Would it kill you to pick up the phone once in a while?

  • Barack Obama||

    The article also casts doubt on the notion that skilled emigrants never return to their countries

    As a matter of fact, I'll be returning to Kenya when my presidency is over.

  • ||

    At last! A good reason to impeach Obama now!

  • Sam Grove||

    Try the phrase "illegal humans" and see how that works.

  • ||

    I would prefer not to turn this into a Scientology thread.

  • ||

    As long as they don't demand special favors or exemptions from the Govt. I really don't see the big deal. As long as they are willing and able to say "live and let live" (as we all should be) and not ask for special favors from the government, then from that angle I could not care less about immigration. If they are coming here (especially from despotic countries) then ideally they would already value liberty much more than we ourselves might.

  • Warty||

    Let me ask an honest question of you libertarians: why don't you support the freedom to rape babies? After all, if you don't support raping babies, you support the state. And if the smart people in this country can't rape babies, they're going to move to a country where they can, and the remaining non-baby-raping portion of the population is going to destroy liberty. Why do you hate liberty, libertarians?

  • ||

    "Liberty" is an arbitrary concept for each o us. If I accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as my definition, many libertarians will define me as a statist. Remember "life, liberty, or property"? It is in the 5th Amendment and later wrt the states the 14th Amendment. But it is not an absolute -- the government can take them all with "due process o law" whatever that means. I remember being made to declare my religion in the Marine Corps, and not being allowed to have N (for none) stamped on my dog tags. Constitutional liberty is simply what the Supreme Court says it is, and they flip flop depending on the party in power. In 1896 "separate but equal" was law, even if the facilities weren't equal, and they weren't when I went to school. In 1954 the SCt said public schools could not be segregated, but here it is, 55 years later and most of them are still segregated de facto because of residential segregation. Of course, in my day, private schools and colleges were even moroe segregated than public schools outside of the Confederacy. "Liberty" is a hoax, a convention. Before 1933 it was the liberty to starve and freeze. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize a draft. Wish I had known that. Some other places are worse than the US, but some are better. Try Sweden, Holland, and the UK. They have abandoned most of their imperialistic ambitions. As a result, they are freer than the U.S. while we must pay taxes to support invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course you can toke in Holland, but that is a freedom Americans can only dream of.

  • Waziri_Stan||

    The U.S. Constitution does provide some protections against the possibility of a Sharia Party coming into power and attempting to impose its law onto the rest of us. Cruel and unusual punishment is constitutionally restricted. Freedom of speech, the press, and religion is also protected (religions that might clash with Sharia). Just to name a couple.

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