Immigrant Wars Get Uglier

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Water tanks placed by the Humane Borders nonprofit, intended for illegal immigrants making hazardous desert border crossings, are being targeted by vandals–identifying flags removed, water dumped out, or shot out–presumably as a tactic in the "war on illegals."

One way to keep illegals from wandering willy-nilly through border territory, and to prevent the problems that landowners and locals living near those borders complain about from immigrants stumbling across and through their land, would be to make it easier for those people to just take a bus into the U.S.

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  1. One way to keep illegals from wandering willy-nilly through border territory…would be to make it easier for would-be immigrants to just take a bus into the U.S.

    As long as they get free canapes and an open bar on the bus. And a social worker on the bus signs them up for benefits.

  2. “Theytukarwaaaartur!”

  3. Seriously, though, the hatred necessary to commit this sort of vandalism, with the serious impact that it has, is hard to comprehend.

    Can someone explain to me what motivates someone to do this, other than hatred?

  4. We could curb the flow of illegals for about 1 year if we got rid of all government loans for higher education. In the year after the cut, as everyone waited on colleges to cut tuition by about 50%, there would be millions of 18-22 year olds looking for work.

  5. Hating illegals so much you deliberatly destroy the water tanks that will save them from dying of dehydration. Christ, how spiteful.

  6. I’ve wondered why this immigrant stuff has blown up all of a sudden. Best I can figure is it’s a sign people don’t feel great about their economic prospects and need to blame someone. I don’t think gubmint statistics capture what’s going on out there: ie, there’s little inflation (ex food, energy, utilities, healthcare, and education). Or people who used to have real jobs now working as contractors.

  7. One way to keep illegals from wandering willy-nilly through border territory…would be to make it easier for would-be immigrants to just take a bus into the U.S.

    Except that the other half of the border problem (and I expect the source of most of “These are robbers, rapists, murders. This is simply aiding and abetting criminal activity,” Dove said.) is the illegal drug transporters who follow the same routes.

    Of course the same solution applies.

  8. I would think that as Libertarians all of you would support these courageous actions. These illegals are stealing AMERICAN water. Whatever happened to property rights?

    Try going to Mexico and drinking their water! If we aren’t allowed to drink their water, why should they get to illegally break into our country and drink OUR water.

    Plus, they’re taking our jobs!

    For more on this and to get the truth, come to my website at singlelunatic.com.

  9. Avoiding the emotional side of the argument, what authority do the people have who are placing these tanks? Since immigration is still illegal on the books, isn’t this aiding or abetting a criminal act? Would we have the same empathy if the people were aiding drug or weapons smuggling?

    Yes, it’s mean-spirited but it seems more like a return to status-quo. Crossing the border is hazardous and might kill you? Then maybe you should consider doing it the legal way, guys.

  10. Except that the drug transporters will have the means to adjust to the vandalism; they’ll simply add supplies to their load.

    How often have drug traffickers been found dehydrated & dead in the desert?

  11. Clean Hands,

    Can someone explain to me what motivates someone to do this, other than hatred?

    How about repeated trespassing and destruction of private property. Illegals cause a lot of problems in areas they heavily traffic. They destroy fences, scare livestock, contaminate water supplies etc. Well traveled illegal routes also can become drug smuggling routes which creates problems of an entirely different magnitude.

    A lot of people on the border are also simply offended that illegals feel perfectly justified in trespassing on their private property. It creates a profound sense of violation. Imagine if all the teenagers in your neighborhood decided that your backyard was a good short-cut to local hang out and they routinely hopped your fence in the middle of the night. Even if they did no damage just the knowledge that uninvited strangers crossed your property at will would unnerve you.

    Instead of denigrating people whose circumstances you obviously don’t understand, perhaps you should ask yourself why people would waste so much energy on such a trivial problem. The answer is easy. For them it is not a trivial problem.

    America as a whole can easily absorb the illegals that walk here without problem but for many localities there are so many illegals concentrated in them that they cause significant problems.

  12. Hating illegals so much you deliberatly destroy the water tanks that will save them from dying of dehydration. Christ, how spiteful.

    So, rethinking your opposition to guest-worker status, which would keep those people out of the desert in the first place? πŸ˜€

  13. So…. this justifies the destruction of someone else’s private property? Sorry, but the old “eye for an eye” argument doesn’t cut it.

    Irritation with tresspass does not explain the act of vandalizing a water tank designed to keep people – human beings – alive.

    Bzzzzzt Try again; I ain’t buying it.

  14. make it easier for those people to just take a bus into the U.S.

    Yeah! The bus could take that NAFTA superhighway that AboutMatriculaConsularCards told me about yesterday.

  15. First the local governments hand over cash to the private groups which aid and abet the flow of illegal aliens across public and private land.
    Moneys which was earmarked for juvenile inocculations program. BTW children of illegal aliens attending public schools in Tucson/Pima County are not required to prove they have had all their shots while the children of the rest of us are barred from school without an up to date shot record.

    The most northernly water station is located west of Tucson on City of Tucson land (outside of the city limits, land owned for the water rights). The property is posted “No Trespassing” and any American Tucson resident taxpayer who has the audacity to trespass will be cited. Illegal aliens are of course excused from obeying the law which applies to you and I because they are thirsty after traveling 60 miles north of the border.

    They follow the powerlines north to the water station and are picked up there by smugglers who make the roads in Avra Valley a scarey place to
    be at night. A friend who lives near the water station tells me that vehicles roar up and down his road at night with their lights off, vehicles driven by both the smugglers and the Border Patrol.

    A 40′ rolloff dumpster is positioned near the last water station and it always overflowing with trash
    picked up by the same dogooders who fill the barrels. They are not good neighbors says my friend.

    The last water station remains free from vandelism possibly because it is under constant survailence.

    So why would anyone mess with the blue barrels.

  16. So, rethinking your opposition to guest-worker status, which would keep those people out of the desert in the first place? πŸ˜€

    My opposition to guest-worker status is based solely on the idea that it will create a legally inferior group of people. By all means let these people in, but let them have the same chance at citizenship and other rights as every other green-card holder. I am simply opposed to the idea of telling them “you’re here to provide labor and nothing else.”

    How about repeated trespassing and destruction of private property. Illegals cause a lot of problems in areas they heavily traffic. They destroy fences, scare livestock, contaminate water supplies etc.

    You realize that you’re assigning collective guilt here, right, Shannon? Do you know for certain that every single illegal immigrant has destroyed fences, scared livestock, etc.? Or do you just assume that since some illegals do it, all of them must be guilty?

    You know, the same attitudes terrorists have–some Americans have done shitty things in the Third World, therefore Americans are guilty of doing shitty things in the Third World, therefore all Americans deserve to die. Same way a one-year-old illegal immigrant deserves to die in the desert because, you know, illegals do bad things.

  17. Damn neighbor kids kept cuttin’ through my yard. Had to shoot ’em. They’re all rapists and murderers, anyway.

  18. Brian,
    That’s a good point. Others have speculated that post-9/11 jingoism is spilling over into the immigration issue. In the period after WWI, something similar happened. The US built up a lot of jingoistic feelings surrounding the war, which then ended abruptly, leaving a lot of foreign-directed anger without any real target. The result was a lot of immigrant bashing and communist-associated paranoia.

  19. Brian,
    That’s a good point. Others have speculated that post-9/11 jingoism is spilling over into the immigration issue. In the period after WWI, something similar happened. The US built up a lot of jingoistic feelings surrounding the war, which then ended abruptly, leaving a lot of foreign-directed anger without any real target. The result was a lot of immigrant bashing and communist-associated paranoia.

  20. Imagine if all the teenagers in your neighborhood . . . routinely hopped your fence in the middle of the night. Even if they did no damage just the knowledge that uninvited strangers crossed your property at will would unnerve you.

    If you’re unnerved by teenagers taking a shortcut across your yard, I’d have to say you’re pretty easily unnerved.

  21. “Hating illegals so much you deliberatly destroy the water tanks that will save them from dying of dehydration. Christ, how spiteful.”

    Not any more spiteful than leaving “tasty anti-freeze” out to kill a dog just because it craps in your yard, Jenny, Baby. πŸ™‚

    I’ve always been told that if you don’t want cockroaches in your home, you shouldn’t leave food or water out for them.

  22. Would we have the same empathy if the people were aiding drug or weapons smuggling?

    at H & R. maybe.

  23. Not any more spiteful than leaving “tasty anti-freeze” out to kill a dog just because it craps in your yard, Jenny, Baby. πŸ™‚

    I value human lives more than the lives of dogs.

  24. You know CH – if they were allowed to walk over the border on avenues and bike paths, this wouldn’t happen. (Provided they get the health exam)

  25. So the argument seems to be that since the immigrants’ particular form of violating the law is hazardous, we should be open to softening the risks they undergo in breaking it? Breaking the law usually is hazardous. Coming over the border illegally is hazardous for a reason.

    Since the contraband in this case is people, then the swelling numbers of illegals here would indicate that they also have no difficulties in adding “supplies to their load”.

  26. . . . the swelling numbers of illegals here would indicate . . .

    That’s quite an assumption. As the other Brian alluded to earlier, there’s not much evidence of this supposed “swelling.” Not that it’s easy to count illegals in the first place.

  27. So the argument seems to be that since the immigrants’ particular form of violating the law is hazardous, we should be open to softening the risks they undergo in breaking it? Breaking the law usually is hazardous. Coming over the border illegally is hazardous for a reason.

    Since the contraband in this case is people, then the swelling numbers of illegals here would indicate that they also have no difficulties in adding “supplies to their load”.

  28. So the argument seems to be that since the immigrants’ particular form of violating the law is hazardous, we should be open to humanely softening the risks they undergo in breaking it? Breaking the law usually is hazardous. Coming over the border illegally is hazardous for a reason.

    Since the contraband in this case is people, then the swelling numbers of illegals here would indicate that they also have no difficulties in adding “supplies to their load”.

  29. Imagine if all the teenagers in your neighborhood . . . routinely hopped your fence in the middle of the night. Even if they did no damage just the knowledge that uninvited strangers crossed your property at will would unnerve you.

    This wouldn’t happen if we eliminated school loans. They’d be busy working

  30. Well, Dan, if they are not good neighbors, then, yes, they do deserve to die of thirst in the desert.
    And I cannot believe that those “dogooders” pick up trash and put in the dumpster, but whoever services the dumpster doesn’t empty it often enough. I’ll bet they use immigrant labor.

  31. “Since immigration is still illegal on the books, isn’t this aiding or abetting a criminal act? Would we have the same empathy if the people were aiding drug or weapons smuggling?”

    That’s a really dumb question to ask a bunch of people who typically favor drug legalization/decriminalization and are opposed to most forms of gun control.

  32. I value human lives more than the lives of dogs.

    Yeah, me too. I just can’t decide when a dog embryo becomes a puppy.

  33. Sorry for the multi-posts.

    I believe the 1st Brian’s post was referring to economic inflation, not immigration. A quick web search for immigration levels (as reliable/unreliable as that may be) point to steady increases.

    I agree that the current system needs fixing – just like SS or homeland security, as opposed to wasting legislation on flag burning, etc. But the humanity or practicality of the law in place doesn’t mitigate the fact that they’re willfully breaking it.

  34. Jennifer,
    I just revisited the thread about dogs and antifreeze. You really expect a dog to recognize property rights, especially the multi-level property rights you espouse?? Hell, my dog barely recognizes her own tail. Either the property is fully owned or not. If you don’t want trespassers (dogs, kids, Mexicans) then build a fucking fence. If they use your property but cause no damage and you have done nothing to keep them out then you have no right to bitch. If you build a fence and they clip through it, well, then shoot ’em for trespassing.

  35. Now, that having been said, according to this map, most of the areas where deaths occur in Arizona are not privately owned land. Rather it is land owned by the State, BLM, National Forest or a large chunk is owned by the Tohono O’odham Nation. There are very few watering stations or US Border Patrol rescue beacons in privately held areas. I would think that if they government(current land owner) wants the immigrants to die, then they would remove the water stations and rescue becons and shoot them on sight.

  36. Could we get the Puppy Pope to issue an opinion on the life of a dog embryo?

    And I can’t believe that anybody would tolerate giving away red-blooded American water. God intended that water for the replenishment of our precious bodily fluids, and nobody else’s!

  37. If they use your property but cause no damage and you have done nothing to keep them out then you have no right to bitch. If you build a fence and they clip through it, well, then shoot ’em for trespassing.

    Who exactly owns this desert property where the water barrels are being vandalized? Certainly property owners have the right to knock down barrels that were put in their own yards without their approval, but I am of the impression that most of these desert spaces are either unowned by anybody, or rather owned by the government (whom I guess is the default property owner in cases of untitled land). In that case, these people ‘own’ the desert only in the same way that I, as a taxpayer, ‘own’ Yellowstone National Park–not enough ownership rights for me to kill anyone who dares enter the park without my permission, or to have the right to bitch because somebody went to Yellowstone without asking me first.

    But please, explain to me the logic behind “If Jennifer is willing to kill a dog that repeatedly shits in her yard, she must be willing to kill humans in the desert, too?” Seriously–how do you go from one to the other?

  38. re: “In the year after the cut, as everyone waited on colleges to cut tuition by about 50%, there would be millions of 18-22 year olds looking for work.”

    Maybe. Or maybe millions of 18-22 year olds bumming around Mexico.

  39. Seriously, though, the hatred necessary to commit this sort of vandalism, with the serious impact that it has, is hard to comprehend.

    Disgusting, but not hard to comprehend at all. I’m surprised they haven’t tried dumping cyanide in the things yet.

  40. What if we simply offered free boat/bus rides to Canada? It’s not like the Canadians could really do anything about it. Stick Liberian flags on the ships… πŸ™‚

  41. But the humanity or practicality of the law in place doesn’t mitigate the fact that they’re willfully breaking it.

    You express a great deal of anxiety over the willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust laws. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

    Martin Luther King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

  42. “I value human lives more than the lives of dogs.”

    Whether you value human lives more than or less than the lives of dogs (or anything else) is not the issue. The question is the relative “spitefulness” of inflicting a long, drawn-out, painful death on some one or some thing. I submit that poisoning a dog for doing what comes naturally to it is just as spiteful, or more so, as a “scorched earth” policy in the face of invaders and other law-breakers. To revel in some creature’s pain is to revel in some creature’s pain, regardless of whether it is a human, an animal, or an insect. If you are going to kill something, then do so and get it over with. Why inflict gratuitous pain on something? (Unless, of course, you’re the type that likes to pull the wings off flies.)

  43. Whenever I get tired of hearing people defend private property, I can always go to the Reason blog and get a good dose of “screw ’em” to property owners.

    Don’t let up! These pesky land owners on the border actually believe that their property rights are on the same ethical level as Walmart’s right to cheap labor. What sick bastards they are! Don’t they realize that TRUE LIBERTY comes from a corportation’s ability to hire a guy from Mexico City at half the wage rate of a local?

    Mises said it best:

    “If you can’t hire an illegal to work at your landscaping business, then all is lost. Other facets of liberty are just window dressing. They don’t mean jack-shit.”

    Let’s face it: private land owners who don’t want illegals (including drug dealers) to tromp across their property are just fascist insects. Now I don’t approve of the federal government, but shouldn’t these people be pulling up turnips in a re-education camp, along with that cheesesteak guy?

    Besides, all this illegal immigration by folks from Mexico will shrink the size and intrusiveness of government; make welfare programs less attractive; and condemn any political party supportive of statism to the dust heap of history.

    Won’t it?

  44. Mises said it best:

    “If you can’t hire an illegal to work at your landscaping business, then all is lost. Other facets of liberty are just window dressing. They don’t mean jack-shit.”

    That’s phunny.

  45. Disgusting, but not hard to comprehend at all. I’m surprised they haven’t tried dumping cyanide in the things yet.

    Comment by: Russ 2000 at June 15, 2006 03:58 PM

    Perhaps I grew up watching too many westerns, but it is my guess that people out west have a peculiar hatred of those who actually “poison waterholes”. But I’m probably mistaken. Besides, that would almost certainly be illegal.

  46. To revel in some creature’s pain is to revel in some creature’s pain, regardless of whether it is a human, an animal, or an insect.

    I “revel” in pain? I don’t recall saying that.

  47. How about repeated trespassing and destruction of private property. Illegals cause a lot of problems in areas they heavily traffic. They destroy fences, scare livestock, contaminate water supplies etc. Well traveled illegal routes also can become drug smuggling routes which creates problems of an entirely different magnitude.

    All of which may be true, but what these people are doing sounds like a great way to squash whatever sympathy people might feel for them.

    It strikes me as similar to the kind of sympathy one might feel for a terrorist group. For all I know, Hamas, Hezbollah, et. al., have some really good points–not that that matters to me ’cause I’ll never feel anything but contempt for anyone who use bombs to target civilians. Is what these victims of trespassing are doing just like using bombs to target civilians? …of course not.

    …but destroying emergency water supplies intended for people dying of thirst won’t garner much in the way of sympathy. How many of the almost 2,000 people who have died since 1998 trying to cross our border with Mexico died from heat stroke or dehydration? Yeah, great way to make friends and influence people!

    …maybe next they’ll try getting their point across by crucifying coyotes?

  48. Jennifer, I think you are confusing me with Fido. I never equated your willingness to kill a (non-violent)dog with your lack of willingness to kill a human.

    My beef was with the idea that you expect a dog, or a human, to recognize private property when that property is not clearly delineated (eg. a fence). In the afore mentioned thread you espoused a difference in property rights for the “front yard” vs “back yard”. It is okay for kids to cut through your front yard but not the back yard and it is not okay for a dog to trespass on either. If I were a immigrant crossing the border, or a hunter in the woods and I set foot on ground, how would I know if it was a State Park, BLM land, or private property? While the pretty little map changes colors on property lines, dirt does not. Without a fence or some other physical barrier to prevent migrants from crossing into privately held land there is no real way to stem trespassing by immigrants, hunters, dogs, or kids.

    As for the actual land ownership around the water stations, see my second post. You will note that the barrels have been placed in mostly ‘public’ land and none are on the Native Reservation (the largest plot of privately held land).

  49. Yes, MLK’s letter is wonderful and might apply somewhat to the root of the problem. Certainly it gets to the inefficiency behind these laws.

    Unfortunately that loose logic is poor in practice: hell, I don’t like school zone speed limits so I’ll rocket through crosswalks at 108 MPH.

    There’s a law in place and a procedure (naturalization) to legally circumvent restrictions on the border. The fact that it’s harder than just skipping over the Rio Grande doesn’t make it “unjust”. They’re effectively stealing citizenship. Would you have a problem if I heped myself to some of your property because my not having it is “unjust”?

  50. re: “But the humanity or practicality of the law in place doesn’t mitigate the fact that they’re willfully breaking it.”

    Of course the inhumanity or impracticality of a law mitigates the fact that people willfully break it. (Must resist making Nazi analogy, thereby ending all rational discussion… must resist making Nazi analogy, thereby ending all rational discussion…)

  51. My beef was with the idea that you expect a dog, or a human, to recognize private property when that property is not clearly delineated (eg. a fence). In the afore mentioned thread you espoused a difference in property rights for the “front yard” vs “back yard”.

    Kwix, I’m not going to call up that old thread because I don’t really care one way or the other, but I seem to recall my complaint was about a hypothetical dog repeatedly pooping in my yard, and an owner who does nothing about it. Damned if I’m going to spend my life as a pooper-scooper for someone else’s dog.

    But even if I would kill a dog purely for the hell of it, that still does not contradict my statement that it is vile and spiteful for people to deliberately destroy water tanks meant to prevent people from dying of thirst. Though if y’all go through the archives I’m sure you can find more red-herring comments I’ve made. “Jennifer, how can you oppose this water-tank destruction when you support the death penalty for murderers?” “Jennifer, you’re pro-choice on abortion! How can you willfully murder a fetus that’s never broken an immigration law in its life yet care so much about these desert trespassers?”

  52. Illegals cause a lot of problems in areas they heavily traffic.

    Of course, the original blog entry addressed this. Make it easier for people to legally immigrant to the US, and this problem fades away.

    Besides, when do two wrongs make a right?

  53. There’s a law in place and a procedure (naturalization) to legally circumvent restrictions on the border. The fact that it’s harder than just skipping over the Rio Grande doesn’t make it “unjust”.

    How exactly would a Mexican without specialized, in-demand scientific or medical skills apply for residency here? I seem to recall reading somewhere that for potential immigrants without in-demand skills there is a lottery system in place, but I also recall reading that Mexicans aren’t included in the lottery. Does anybody know if that is true?

  54. Of course the inhumanity or impracticality of a law mitigates the fact that people willfully break it. (Must resist making Nazi analogy

    No need for Nazi analogies. How many of you abide-by-the-law purists have never broken a speeding limit? This is a Catch-22 type question, of course, because anyone who does claim to never have broken a speeding limit has removed himself from consideration for serious discussion for being either A) a lyer or B) utterly wacky or C) a wee ‘un.

    Who gives a damn if somone breaks a law that shouldn’t be a law in the first place? Take a look around on the highway and you’ll see we all do it anyway.

  55. Let’s face it: private land owners who don’t want illegals (including drug dealers) to tromp across their property

    Have a legitimate beef. Like I said above, however, the solution is making it easier to immigrate legally. Plus, as I also said above, two wrongs don’t make a right. If a landowner doesn’t want a water tank on his property, he is 100% within his right to remove it. Vandalising water tanks on someone else’s property is clearly different.

  56. They’re effectively stealing citizenship.

    From whom?

    Or is citizenship kinda like intellectual property?

  57. What we need is a level playing field; what if those crafty Mexicans actually started to bring water into the country with them? What then? How would our good old American family water fare against this pernicious threat- foreign water brought into the country by cheap foreign water-bearers? Jesus!

    I hope the Senate has a comprehensive plan to deal with this potentially devastating threat to our American Way of Life.

  58. There’s a law in place and a procedure (naturalization) to legally circumvent restrictions on the border.

    I guess you don’t know much about immigration law, do you?

    It is all but impossible, due to the size of the quota, for any of these immigrant to enter legally.

    I’m tired of reading “but I’m only against illegal immigrants”. Yeah, if they made a law that made it illegal for an entire class of people to breathe, you’d be against illegal breathers too.

  59. The speeding analogy is just, however by entering the country illegally and staying here illegally, that’d be akin to speeding everywhere you go, 24/7. Granted we’re never going to stop immigration through illegal channels, and as a legal process it’s a nightmare. We’re also never going to stop theft or murder.

    Wholesale legalization isn’t going to be the final answer. The unjustness of the issue skews both ways- i don’t appreciate overstrained medical facilities and ineffecient bilingual programs in areas with high concentrations of immigrants. Or even the false lip service about security when we don’t enforce it at our borders. The OB/GYN wards in FL are currently in the crapper due in large part to an uninsured migrant population and their high birth rates. That’s not really “just” to the citizens here legally who plan on having babies is it?

    Much of this is probably 95% hype du jour. I really do believe that the way the laws are now structured isn’t in the spirit of our citizenship. But I also don’t think people who break the law deserve a pat on the head and a key to the city.

  60. There’s a law in place and a procedure (naturalization) to legally circumvent restrictions on the border.

    Don’t get me wrong. I do understand that the United States has legitimate interests to protect. So a wait of, perhaps, two business days might be quite acceptable before entry into the country is granted to someone.

    I could imagine that, in dealing with particular nations, it might be difficult to do the requisite security checks. It may even take a week or two. In this case I would recommend that the prospective immigrant not travel to the border and expect immediate entry, but rather that he visit a US consulate closer to home or do it through the mail.

    But I am hard-pressed to see what reasonable and legitimate interest the United States has that requires more than two weeks to exercise. If it takes longer than two weeks to be granted legal entry, I would say that immigration law needs serious repair. If you can’t give a reason that it takes longer than that, I would say that immigration law is unjust.

  61. Unfortunately that loose logic is poor in practice: hell, I don’t like school zone speed limits so I’ll rocket through crosswalks at 108 MPH.

    What is your point? That we must obey the strict letter of all laws simply because they are laws? That is (or should be) complete nonsense to any thinking person. Would you have returned a slave to his proper “owner” in compliance with the Fugitive Slave Act? Or would the moral act have been to willfully break the law? Once you agree with that we are left to debate whether a law is immoral or not and what the proper action is – but to try the blanket “it’s a law” argument is much looser logic than anything in that letter.

    There’s a law in place and a procedure (naturalization) to legally circumvent restrictions on the border.

    Well, the morality of the law aside, if your concern is merely that immigrants adhere to the letter of the law then you ought have no problem with those of us who would simply change the letter of the law to let them “just take a bus” as it were.

    They’re effectively stealing citizenship.

    From whom? Nobody owns citizenship – it isn’t a property right it is merely a legal classification. Again, you should have no problem with changing that legal classification since you’re just concerned with following the letter of the law.

    Would you have a problem if I heped myself to some of your property because my not having it is “unjust”?

    Speaking of loose logic. They aren’t stealing anything from you or anyone else (I mean in general – yes yes, some individuals certainly steal property from land owners near the border but unless you believe in guilt-by-association that is irrelevant to the greater issue).

  62. I’ve always been told that if you don’t want cockroaches in your home, you shouldn’t leave food or water out for them.

    Yeah, but nothing attracts cockroaches like a dead Mexican.

  63. Isaac, i’ve got a better than general understanding of immigration law, since my friend had to work for 7 years to get here from Haiti. OTOH, you don’t seem to know anything about about supply and demand. The quotas you bring up are there because more people want in than we seem to want. Should Mexican immigrants get higher privileges for becoming citizens?

    Strawmen aside, what’s your answer to the problem?

  64. MikeP

    It takes months for the most favored class of immigrant (ie foreign spouses of US citizens) to get visas approved. There is no quota on this class either.

    The worldwide quota for unskilled workers is 5000 a year.

  65. crimethink: That’s a sick joke. What if one of those dead Mexicans was pregnant? You wouldn’t think it was funny if one of the precious embryos died because its mother couldn’t find any water, would you?

  66. And I can’t believe that anybody would tolerate giving away red-blooded American water.

    The problem with Mexican water is that it is only “2O,” because the “H” is silent.

  67. The quotas you bring up are there because more people want in than we seem to want.

    The quotas are completely arbitrary and capricious and have absolutely nothing to do with “supply and demand”.

    Should Mexican immigrants get higher privileges for becoming citizens?

    No I don’t.

    But the fact is many Mexicans are not interested in becoming citizens, or even permanent residents. There has been story after story that it is the closing of the border that has led mexicans to stay and even to bring their families with them.

  68. With open borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.

  69. You wouldn’t think it was funny if one of the precious embryos died because its mother couldn’t find any water, would you?

    If Shannon Love is right, that embryo was only going to destroy fences and scare livestock anyway. That’s what illegals do, don’cha know.

  70. Colonel,

    No racism was intended — I’m pretty sure cockroaches don’t discriminate.

    In any case, I suspect that these so-called “water stations” are actually set up to help cut down on illegal immigration. I have word from a trusted source that the barrels are contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide, which as I’ve pointed out before, is involved in the deaths of millions of people each year.

  71. 2ND ATTEMPT

    In any case, I suspect that these so-called “water stations” are actually set up to help cut down on illegal immigration. I have word from a trusted source that the barrels are contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide, which as I’ve pointed out before, is involved in the deaths of millions of people each year.

  72. That we must obey the strict letter of all laws simply because they are laws?

    The strictness of it has nothing to do with it. The attititude of the INS for deporting illegals doesn’t fall anywhere in the boundaries of “strict”. But as a “thinking person” I also understand that breaking a law, unjust or no, is gonna bring punishments.

    Citizenship derives from a legal relationship with a state. That’s true. But it can also be revoked so, yeah, that sorta implies an ‘ownership’.

    Maybe you might be in favor of it, but there’s a large chunk of the population that’s not. If disobeying an unjust law is your answer to legal hardships on immigration, the opposite camp might as well feel justified in harming immigrants or shooting water barrels, etc.

    And we get to this point in the story mentioned.

  73. With open borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.

    Has it occurred to you, StupendousMan, that at that point unskilled workers will look elsewhere?

  74. With open borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.

    I guess some other country will be having this discussion then.

  75. re: “With open borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.”

    I assume you’re talking about improvements in automation, robotics, and the like. It is often counterintuitive, because change often hurts specific people in the short term, but Economics and thousands of years of history show that advances in productivity (the ability to produce wealth with less labor) help pull everyone up out of poverty. That would include unskilled laborers, Mexican or American.

  76. With open borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.

    I got a question for you…

    With closed borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.

    Perhaps in answering that question, you might catch a glimpse of the world outside your zero-sum mentality.

  77. The worldwide quota for unskilled workers is 5000 a year.

    And explain to me again just why in the hell we would want MORE than 5000 unskilled workers entering a year?

    Don’t we have enough homegrown, unskilled, idiots?

  78. Don’t we have enough homegrown, unskilled, idiots?

    Yes, and they’re doing things like destroying water tanks in the desert.

  79. Actually I’ve been reading about this for a few years. There is no historical model for the type of changes massive automation is going to cause. In 30 years there may be no unskilled jobs. Unless everyone in our soon to be much larger population is skilled they won’t able to find work, period.

  80. “With closed borders what will happen to all of the unskilled workers when in 10 or 20 years there are few manual labor jobs? Few to no jobs in agriculture, McDonalds, Service, etc.”

    It might be very grim. But of course as is said constantly on this blog- more people can only help, check out this graph from 1998 it proves it.

  81. If I am not mistaken more than 5000 cross every month and are hired almost instantly.

  82. Whoops. Didn’t address part of your question. It’s true that automation might get rid of manual labor jobs, but economic progress would create more, not less, service jobs. When there is more wealth in society, people can do things for a living that would be considered frivolous in a suffering economy. A lot of jobs in a healthy economy are of this non-essential nature, ranging in frivolity from waiter to professional bowler. In a healthy economy, people can also work less hours, or take a break from working for a while, or retire early, or live on one family member’s income.

  83. I strongly object to my anti-communist sentiments being used to suggest I am anti-immigrant.

    The descendants of the last great immigrant wave provided the demographic power needed to defeat Germany, Japan and, eventually, the Soviet Union.

    What we need now is another great immigrant wave to provide the soldiers we will need to defeat China. We must protect our purity of essence from the CHICOMs and Sanchez, Reyes, et. al. will help us to do so.

  84. more people can only help

    Freedom can only help. When there’s too many people here, they’ll stop coming. And they won’t need the help of any nannies telling them when it is or isn’t good for them.

  85. I think we all agree that the current immigration model is badly in need of adjustment. The tricky part is making it easier for the right people to become citizens and not having that badly affect people who already are citizens. Given the huge number of immigrants already here, the general population probably thinks that we should tighten the border up more.

    Even if the current situation is already due to tighter borders (as was stated in H&R earlier), I think we’re going to see a shift a opinion where things are forced even further in the wrong direction, just like the war on drugs.

  86. But [citizenship] can also be revoked so, yeah, that sorta implies an ‘ownership’.

    No it doesn’t.

    I also understand that breaking a law, unjust or no, is gonna bring punishments.

    It may well bring punishment but if the law was indeed unjust than that punishment is wrong and those breaking an unjust law shouldn’t be punished. When they are we ought to denounce that punishment as wrong.

    If disobeying an unjust law is your answer to legal hardships on immigration. . .

    No, changing that unjust law is my answer, as I said. Of course, until the law is changed, yes, the next best answer is to break the unjust law.

    If you don’t agree with simply changing the law, then let’s stop with the legal / illegal smokescreen and get to the heart of the moral issue which certainly doesn’t turn on a legal technicality. Why should you have the right to tell me who I can or cannot hire (rent to etc.), for any reason, much less such an arbitrary one as place of birth?

  87. “economic progress would create more, not less, service jobs”

    I can see it now. 15 servers per table.

    Massive automation coupled with early forms of nanotech will disrupt entire industries. I don’t see a shiny future for many. Although I do agree the economy will be doing great. Hopfully well enough for the new universal basic income.

  88. Actually I’ve been reading about this for a few years. There is no historical model for the type of changes massive automation is going to cause. In 30 years there may be no unskilled jobs. Unless everyone in our soon to be much larger population is skilled they won’t able to find work, period.

    Hopefully you realize that this paragraph could just as well have been written in 1806.

    Look at the disastrous decline of the wealth of the average unskilled laborer since then!

  89. “When there’s too many people here, they’ll stop coming. And they won’t need the help of any nannies telling them when it is or isn’t good for them.”

    I’m saying by then we’ll probably already have a huge unemployable population. Plus chances are it will still be better here than elswhere.

  90. Actually I’ve been reading about this for a few years. There is no historical model for the type of changes massive automation is going to cause. In 30 years there may be no unskilled jobs. Unless everyone in our soon to be much larger population is skilled they won’t able to find work, period.

    As you say there is no historical model, perhaps we may just as well assume that we will be living in tubs of amniotic goo and having our “lives” projected into our brains by computers.

  91. “Hopefully you realize that this paragraph could just as well have been written in 1806.”

    I just don’t think you realize how life changing this could be. Technological innovation is accelerating (it could stop tomorrow but I’m not putting my money on it). The changes will keep coming faster. As I said earlies there are no good historic models these rapid changes across the board.

  92. To revel in some creature’s pain is to revel in some creature’s pain, regardless of whether it is a human, an animal, or an insect.

    I “revel” in pain? I don’t recall saying that.

    Comment by: Jennifer at June 15, 2006 04:26 PM

    You didn’t say that in so many words, but it was certainly evident from the tone of your “tasty antifreeze” comments that you would find some deal of satisfaction in killing a dog that way. Besides, why else choose poison as a manner of death, particularly a poison that is known to be sweet-tasting (therefore attractive) and painful? And only because the dog craps in your yard? (Please, tell us what you do about birds that fly over or sit in the trees and shit on your walk; do you blast them out of the sky with a shotgun or just break the wings of the hatchlings when you can catch them?)
    Perhaps you would choose it, because it seems an easy and efficient way of killing something. Much tidier, too. (Unless it happens to crawl under your house to die.) Perhaps you are ignorant of its exact effects. Or maybe, like most people, you have never witnessed or caused the death of anything more sentient than a bug. In which case you are just thoughtless.

    You make me think of a guy I know who hates his next-door-neighbor’s cats coming in his yard and sitting on his cars. Instead of shooing them away with a waterhose or something, he sets out a live catch trap for them. Thing is, he baits the traps with an open can of the most expensive catfood he can find, and then wonders why he has so many cats in his yard.

    Oh, and regarding the kids tresspassing in your yard: you don’t happen to live in a gingerbread house, do you?

  93. Hopefully you realize that this paragraph could just as well have been written in 1806.

    MikeP is right. These kinds of things have been said since at least the invention of the printing press, if not earlier (what are all those poor scribes going to do?). Since all these predictions of doom and gloom have been uniformly and spectacularly wrong, I see no reason to start taking them seriously now.

  94. There is no historical model for the type of changes massive automation is going to cause. In 30 years there may be no unskilled jobs. Unless everyone in our soon to be much larger population is skilled they won’t able to find work, period.

    Sounds like the plot for an episode of the Twilight Zone on the anti-immigrant network.

    First of all, automation has been going on for quite some time, and despite dire warnings throughout its history, it’s never caused mass unemployment. There’s always plenty of crap for the unskilled to do.

    Secondly, today’s immigrants will be largely retired in 30 years and their children will have a lot more skills. And unless this tranformation happens overnight, which of course it wouldn’t, if it really means less jobs for unskilled people, those unskilled people might possibly just see this happening and decide not to come here in greater numbers than their services are needed.

    Are you anti-immigrationists into central planning, or do you just use the logic of central planning for the purposes of anti-immigration arguments?

  95. “perhaps we may just as well assume that we will be living in tubs of amniotic goo and having our “lives” projected into our brains by computers.”

    Why would you assume that?

  96. Anyone who puts out anti-freeze to kill dogs is a worthless sack of shit.

    Here are the reasons why anyone who poisions dogs is a scumbag:

    1. Everyone knows that animals have no understanding of yards, property rights, etc., and they have no language abilities to communicate those to them.

    2. It is natural for animals to move around and shit. Even if the dog didn’t shit in your yard, birds and squirrels and insects are shitting there all the time. That is why it is called NATURE! Because, got forbid, animals and plants do whatever the hell the want outside.

    3. Leaving out anti-freeze is a cruel and indiscriminate way to kill something. With anti-freeze, you are not only killing the dog, you are literally torturing the animal to death. Not to mention any other birds, rodents, curious toddlers, or whoever come along. Why don’t you just grab the dog and slash its genitals, and gouge out it’s eyes?

    4. If this dog is truly an immediate danger to you or your family, you very carefully and deliberatly shoot the animal, taking care not to harm anything else and not to cause great suffering to the animal. Or call City Animal Control at least!

    If you don’t want dogs in your back yard, BUILD A FUCKING FENCE, or BUY A CONDO, ASSHOLE!

  97. I’ll make you a deal, Fido: if you come by and clean up all the dogshit for me, I’ll let the dogs live.

  98. StupendousMan,

    Why would you assume that “Unless everyone in our soon to be much larger population is skilled they won’t able to find work, period.”?

  99. Leaving out anti-freeze is a cruel and indiscriminate way to kill something. With anti-freeze, you are not only killing the dog, you are literally torturing the animal to death.

    Okay, okay, you have my word of honor I will not leave antifreeze out to get rid of a dog who shits in my yard and whose owner refuses to do anything about it.

    I’ll use Drano instead.

  100. No it doesn’t.
    Oh, ok then. Something can be granted and revoked, but it’s not possible to possess it. That’s crystal clear reasoning. Is it being rented?

    if the law was indeed unjust than that punishment is wrong and those breaking an unjust law shouldn’t be punished.
    “Should” seems to be your feel-good way of describing how we’re all entitled to a piece of a neverending pie. Since when was any legal system not based on “technicalities”?

    Under whatever arbitrary morals you’re basing a system of rights on, migrants may have grounds for coming in, but under those “technical” laws, it’s back to the border they go. Good intentions make for a pretty crappy code of laws.

    If you put it to a vote tomorrow, I don’t know know how it would shake out, but if the result was stricter laws, are the rest of the citizens wrong or are you?

  101. If this dog is truly an immediate danger to you or your family, you very carefully and deliberatly shoot the animal, taking care not to harm anything else and not to cause great suffering to the animal.

    That’s illegal. Why are you encouraging me to break the law?

    Or call City Animal Control at least!

    They won’t do anything about a dog that shits in your yard.

  102. Also, to add to the points above – if and when there is less work for unskilled labor, less people will choose to remain unskilled. Just like when there is less work for buggy-whip makers, less people choose to go into buggy-whip making.

  103. “automation has been going on for quite some time”

    Yes it has but not as fast.

    “today’s immigrants will be largely retired in 30 years ”

    That makes sense if no one immigrates after today.

    I’m not against immigration just open borders. I may be wrong but if it turns out our economy starts to falter due to labor shortages we can always open the borders. What if you’re wrong and opening the borders turns out to be a big mistake- the economy tanks and we have a huge poor population.

  104. If you put it to a vote tomorrow, I don’t know know how it would shake out, but if the result was stricter laws, are the rest of the citizens wrong or are you?

    If you put slavery to a vote in 1850, I don’t know how it would shake out, but if the result would be the continued legal institution of slavery, are those citizens wrong or are you?

  105. My opposition to guest-worker status is based solely on the idea that it will create a legally inferior group of people. By all means let these people in, but let them have the same chance at citizenship and other rights as every other green-card holder. I am simply opposed to the idea of telling them “you’re here to provide labor and nothing else.”

    I’d be happy with that, but that’s not on the table. What’s on the table is “illegal immigrant to be deported” vs. “guest worker”.

    We can always try later to improve “guest worker” or get them treated them as normal immigrants after people realize legal Mexicans aren’t going to make burning frogs fall from the sky.

  106. As bad as antifreeze is, DHMO is far, far worse. Did you know that if you put pure DHMO in your car’s radiator, the chances of your engine catching on fire skyrocket?

  107. If illegal immigrants are ‘stealing citizenship’ were escaped slaves ‘stealing freedom’?

  108. “if and when there is less work for unskilled labor, less people will choose to remain unskilled”

    I don’t think many people choose to remain unskilled right now, Many probably don’t think about it at all.

    Also automation doesn’t just refer to robots working the fields. It also refers to expert systems making business decisions, balancing the books, trading stocks. I guess I should have added that.

  109. Yes it has but not as fast.

    Oh yes, all the doomsayers in the past were just ahead of their time. NOW, automation will dry up jobs when it’s never done so before because it’s happening faster. I guess experience from the past counts for nothing since things are different now.

    That makes sense if no one immigrates after today.

    You either didn’t read or didn’t understand the rest of my post where I addressed that.

    To restate, immigrants can read the same tea leaves you’re reading. If the jobs they can do are drying up, they’ll stop coming. Duh.

  110. I don’t think many people choose to remain unskilled right now, Many probably don’t think about it at all.
    This is the most asinine thing I have read on this thread so far. You don’t think that the busboy at your local eatery ever thinks, “Damn, I wish I knew electrician stuff so I could stop doing this and make more money.”? He then saves up, goes to night school and becomes and electrician, or worse, an electrical engineer. He has progressed from unskilled labor to skilled labor, or perhaps even ‘professional’ non-labor. Having moved from ‘unskilled’ labor (dishwasher/cook) to what I do now (computer programmer) I am fully aware of this progression. Mexicans are just like Americans; they all look at what they have and say, “I want more.”

  111. Oh, ok then. Something can be granted and revoked, but it’s not possible to possess it. That’s crystal clear reasoning. Is it being rented?

    Huh? Since when does something that can be granted and revoked imply property? Maybe you have a different definition so this point isn’t really worth arguing. But a license to practice medicine can be granted and revoked – is it property? Can you sell it? Buy it? Rent it out? No, it is simply a declaration by the state that you have certain legal rights. If you want to call that property, by all means; I don’t think it is relevant to the debate anyway.

    “Should” seems to be your feel-good way of describing how we’re all entitled to a piece of a neverending pie.

    If that is really what you think then you have clearly no understanding of what I mean. Maybe that is my fault for not being clear enough but I’m not sure where you could possibly have come up with that. “Should” is simply a normative statement based on a some moral philosophy – it has nothing to do with “feel-good” or “never-ending pies.”

    Good intentions make for a pretty crappy code of laws.

    And simplistic platitudes make for a pretty crappy argument.

    If you put it to a vote tomorrow, I don’t know know how it would shake out, but if the result was stricter laws, are the rest of the citizens wrong or are you?

    Oh where to begin with this one… So your moral philosophy is a pure majoritarian one? Let’s go back to the 1950’s for a moment and consider that perhaps a majority of people in the south at that time actually supported Jim Crow laws (not exactly a stretch of the imagination). Were the rest of the citizens wrong or the few voices that spoke out against it?

  112. “I guess experience from the past counts for nothing since things are different now.”

    I don’t think the past shouldn’t be taken into account- as technological change increases resemblance to past models becomes increasingly distant.

  113. As a side note, when I go off to lunch, ya’ll need to stop typing. Otherwise I am gonna write my congresscritter and have him draft the “Type Slow Enough for Kwix to Catch Up Act of 2006”. I am 100% that GW will sign it.

  114. Preview is my friend.
    I am 100% sure that GW will sign it.

  115. Mexicans are just like Americans; they all look at what they have and say, “I want more.”

    I wasn’t talking about Mexicans. Anecdotally- I worked in kitchens, roofing, landscaping you name it. I often see people I used to work with still doing the same thing. I also kept my plans to myself because I didn’t want to insult anyone- plans as in I’m not going to be doing this the rest of my life like they were.

  116. We can always try later to improve “guest worker” or get them treated them as normal immigrants after people realize legal Mexicans aren’t going to make burning frogs fall from the sky.

    We’ve already been waiting for people to pick up on that, for how long? …it’s been at least a hundred years–has it been two hundred?

    If the jobs they can do are drying up, they’ll stop coming.

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that, even among the well educated in this country, the knowledge of basic economics is somewhere around the Geocentric Theory stage. You can talk about price signals, shifts, etc.–most of these people have no idea what you’re talking about.

    …You’re talking to an audience of Creationists about the genetics of evolution. That wide-eyed look you see in their faces isn’t one of amazement–it’s total, complete bewilderment.

  117. I don’t think the past shouldn’t be taken into account- as technological change increases resemblance to past models becomes increasingly distant.

    So if it’s not based on experience from the past, it’s…pure speculation? πŸ™‚

  118. I’ll make you a deal, Fido: if you come by and clean up all the dogshit for me, I’ll let the dogs live.

    Comment by: Jennifer at June 15, 2006 06:15 PM

    Why don’t you just hire an illegal immigrant to do it? Isn’t that the real point of having them here – so people like you won’t have to do their own shitwork? πŸ™‚

  119. So if it’s not based on experience from the past, it’s…pure speculation?

    I based my prediction on a Keanu Reeves flick.

  120. First, I agree with MikeP: Do background checks, verify that would-be immigrants haven’t committed any crimes that involve harming people or their property, that they aren’t on a list of security risks, have them pay a fee for the background check, and then let them come and work.

    Second, it’s funny to come to a libertarian site and hear people say that central planners are needed to make sure we don’t have “too much” unskilled labor. Maybe they can hang out with Dave W., who wants regulations to make sure we don’t have too much corn syrup.

  121. I have not noticed anyone condemning the water providers for collusion in the deaths.

    Their well-publicized efforts (the Mexican government distributes information regarding the availability of the water) encourages illegals who would otherwise not dare to cross the desert. Even without vandalism, there is a good chance these people would not find the water stations. By encouraging more people to risk the desert crossing with false confidence of obtaining water, surely we are seeing a net increase in deaths over what would occur without any water provision.

    What sort of person risks their child’s life to cross the desert for more money, anyway? As screwed up as Mexico is, it’s not like these people are jumping the Berlin Wall. They took the risk, they shoulder the responsibility for running out of water in the desert.

  122. I thought all you Libertarians believed in evolution? Isn’t it against evolution to allow people to steal American water? Wouldn’t you be doing evolution a favor by improving the chances that these Law Breakers die? Aren’t you breaking the law of evolution? Do you ever worry about that?

    I think another thing you Libertarians can agree with is that we need to protect private property. There won’t be any private property in 20 years if Mexican nanotech is allowed to steal America’s lead in the Global Economy. We’ll all be fighting each other as the Law Breakers take over our country and replace American water with Mexican water, therefore killing Americans.

    After thinking that over, doesn’t a few thousand dead illegals sound like a better option?

    One more thing — perhaps Americans would like to move from unskilled jobs to higher paying jobs. But Mexicans refuse to even speak English. Why do you expect them to want a better life for themselves? One thing I know for sure is that my tinfoil company would never had gotten off the ground had it been started by a Mexican who was more than content sleeping on a park bench drinking stolen American water. And another thing I know for sure is that my Koolaid business is destined for the crapper when the Mexicans have stolen all of America’s water and we are forced to drink Mexican water.

  123. Second, it’s funny to come to a libertarian site and hear people say that central planners are needed to make sure we don’t have “too much” unskilled labor.

    Well then, let’s have a real anti-state, libertarian solution, and get the federal government out of the immigration issue altogether. Let the states and the citizenry decide how important it is to them to defend their borders. If the polls are to be believed, and I have no reason to believe they shouldn’t be, if voluntary associations of private citizens were securing that border, that “unsecurable” border would be so tight you couldn’t slip a razor blade through it. And I have equally little doubt the Texas National Gaurd would be quite a bit more aggressive about putting boots to butts than the INS Border Patrol is.

    What’s really funny is coming to a “libertarian” site and seeing people demand the federal government effectively disarm and preempt the wishes of the citizenry through legislation.

  124. They took the risk, they shoulder the responsibility for running out of water in the desert.

    z,

    So the people destroying the water stations that other people were told to look for are not culpable?
    We tell our kids to cross the street at the corner, look both ways, and remember that some cars speed and don’t look out for little kids. So why blame the reckless speeding driver? The kid knew what risk he was taking when he entered the crosswalk. What was so great about the other side of the street anyway?
    (For the record, please do not treat adult Mexicans as children outside of my analogy.)

  125. What sort of person risks their child’s life to cross the desert for more money, anyway?

    I don’t know. Perhaps he’s the kind of person who wants his child to have the opportunity to live a life free of the crushing poverty otherwise to be forced on him by a corrupt and incompetent government. Yeah, what a selfish bastard. Doesn’t he know he should accept his pathetic lot in life and leave the rest of us wealthy Americans alone.

  126. If the polls are to be believed, and I have no reason to believe they shouldn’t be

    Juh?

  127. What’s really funny is coming to a “libertarian” site and seeing people demand the federal government effectively disarm and preempt the wishes of the citizenry through legislation.

    I own my land, but I don’t own the country. Do you? Are you telling me whom I can or cannot hire? Whose p.o.v. is antithetical to libertarianism?

  128. Pig Mannix,
    Are confusing populism and libertarianism?

  129. I own my land, but I don’t own the country. Do you? Are you telling me whom I can or cannot hire? Whose p.o.v. is antithetical to libertarianism?

    Yeah, libertarianism is when you have to ask the government if it’s okay before you hire somebody to mow your lawn.

    What a numbskull!

  130. I own my land, but I don’t own the country. Do you?

    As a matter of fact, yes, as a citizen I have a share in ownership analgious to those of a shareholder in a corporation.

    Are you telling me whom I can or cannot hire?

    Not at all. But I will tell you that you have no right to grant them access to public facilities paid for by your fellow citizens and co-owners over their veto.

    Are confusing populism and libertarianism?

    Nope.

  131. Not at all. But I will tell you that you have no right to grant them access to public facilities paid for by your fellow citizens and co-owners over their veto.

    Tell me, do you think people should be allowed to have children? …and send them to public schools?

    …or should they have to check with the government first?

  132. Tell me, do you think people should be allowed to have children? …and send them to public schools?

    I don’t think there ought to be public schools. However, my fellow citizens have exercized their rights as shareholders and co-owners by out-voting me on the issue. This I accept, if I don’t much like it.

    Learn the word: Citizen. C-I-T-I-Z-E-N. It designates membership in a private club, with certain rights and privileges reserved and not granted to non-members.

  133. Tell me, do you think people should be allowed to have children? …and send them to public schools?

    …or should they have to check with the government first?

    Comment by: Ken Shultz at June 15, 2006 09:00 PM

    I, for one, don’t think they should be allowed to have them at the expense of others.

  134. What’s really funny is coming to a “libertarian” site and seeing people demand the federal government effectively disarm and preempt the wishes of the citizenry through legislation.

    Libertarians are not all about “what the people want, the people get.” That’s populism, and in its current, jingoistic form, it’s Jacksonian populism.

    Libertarians support individual choice, whether it means that individuals make popular choices are not. Gay marriage bans, for example, are popular (and populist), but not libertarian. Back to school for you, Pigman.

  135. (sigh) I see Single Lunatic has been pissing in the river upstream of where he drinks again. That or he’s been drinking the water downstream of one of those factories along the Mexican side of the Border. πŸ™‚

  136. “Perhaps he’s the kind of person who wants his child to have the opportunity to live a life free of the crushing poverty otherwise to be forced on him by a corrupt and incompetent government.”

    Okay- but why would he come here to escape corruption and incompetence on the part of government officials?

  137. Pig Mannix,

    The paper you linked to is interesting, but I don’t think it bolsters your position at all. Can you explain to me why you think it does?

  138. Learn the word: Citizen. C-I-T-I-Z-E-N. It designates membership in a private club, with certain rights and privileges reserved and not granted to non-members.

    Jesus, I sure as hell thought I was a citizen. …with the right to hire people without having to ask for the permission of the government or Pig Mannix or anyone else.

    …not that that right, or any other right, was bestowed on me by government.

    In any case, if I’m reading this right, you wouldn’t, in fact, argue that a good libertarian would be someone who thinks that people should have to ask the government for permission to have children. …or hire someone. You might even agree that the suggestion that a good libertarian is someone who thinks people should have to ask for the government’s permission to hire someone was a ludicrous suggestion. …because it is a ludicrous suggestion.

  139. “Also automation doesn’t just refer to robots working the fields. It also refers to expert systems making business decisions, balancing the books, trading stocks.”

    Expert systems – like computers and other technological devices? If so, so what? This is such standard economics 101 stuff that I’m surprised anyone is still making this argument. As someone else said, this is the fear of what will happen to the buggy whip or candle stick makers. None of these fears have come to fruition; economic history has simply trounced the argument that fewer jobs will be available or that economic disaster is around the corner with advances in automation or technology.

    It also assumes stasis, as do just about all of Stupendous Man’s arguments. Something happens in the economy and people make no response to it at all, unless you count just dropping like flies as doing something. But the market is a dynamic system and people respond to changes and adapt. Please, SM, pick up a little of Hayek or Julian Simon. It’s like the argument the environmental doomsayers all make about running out of resources. We have x amount of resources now, so in 30 years, it will all be gone, forgetting that we might find more, that extraction and refinement techniques incrementally improve all the time, that we can substitute other resources, we will find new technologies where the old resources won’t be in demand as much, and on and on. Also a new invention comes along and does not just stop there. From that new invention, other inventions are developed or innovations are made from the older inventions. But we simply have no way to know how that’s going to play out in advance. All we know is that the market, with billions and billions of actors, is a spontaneous, ecological system. I know all the libertarians know this, I’m just trying to help the central planners here.

    Also, all the economic arguments aside, there’s still the assumption that because your family was here first, that somehow gives you the moral authority to decide the fate of people coming in later – how many get in, who gets in, the people ‘you’ like, etc.

    On the other hand, why don’t we keep people from crossing state lines, or even city lines while we’re at it? If open borders is bad for countries, then why not states or even cities. I’m tired of all these New Yorkers drinking our Seattle water, taking our jobs, making better pizzas, etc. Don’t I have a say in that?

  140. This is such standard economics 101 stuff that I’m surprised anyone is still making this argument.

    Please see my comment stamped June 15, 2006 06:56 PM.

    Economic illiteracy is rampant in our society, even among the otherwise well educated.

  141. Just to clarify. I’m not against legal migration for people crossing the street from one sidewalk to another. I’m just against open street walking…er, I mean, ‘crossing.’ I want to decide who gets to cross the street, how many, if they have the skills I like, if they’re my kind of people, will their skills fit my lemonadestand needs, etc. If we don’t control this, we’ll have chaos. Maybe people will stop drinking my lemonade and start drinking late crossers lemonade. What are we going to do when lemonade gets automated? And I mean, I crossed first. Don’t I get to have a say in this?

  142. Learn the word: Citizen. C-I-T-I-Z-E-N. It designates membership in a private club, with certain rights and privileges reserved and not granted to non-members.

    Yes, citizenship is membership in an organization. Yes, that membership bestows certain privileges on citizens, including the privilege to determine who can become a citizen and who can partake in government services.

    But government has no legitimate authority to claim a territory and determine who can be a resident of that territory. Government has no legitimate authority to bar people from commons, rights of way, or private property.

    Citizens can decide who gets to use government provided facitlities. But they can not legitimately decide who gets to use facilities the government controls simply through its claims of dominion.

    With respect to immigration, citizens have no legitimate authority to prevent someone who is not a threat to security, peace, or health from entering the territory the citizenry pretends to claim. Citizenship is a club: It does not grant legitimate powers to violate individual rights.

  143. OK, an inlaw of mine found a perfectly good nanny. The nanny is reliable and good with children, and is considered part of the family. It took several years and tens of thousands of dollars and numerous visits to lots of offices and lawyers and lots of time spent on the phone waiting on hold to get this woman a green card.

    How did our country benefit from this process? And how did my inlaw’s enormous expense and hassle protect my inlaw’s sovereign rights as a citizen?

    Go ahead, just try to find good US-born nannies in San Diego. I dare you.

  144. But government has no legitimate authority to claim a territory and determine who can be a resident of that territory. Government has no legitimate authority to bar people from commons, rights of way, or private property.

    State borders are government property and crossing them without permission is trespass, trespass that should be be a felony.

    Likewise, overstaying a visa (another common way of illegal immigration) is contract violation, which also should be punished by law.

    Like it or not, but our country’s borders ARE communal property. I would liken it to an apartment that is shared by several roommates. All roommates are presonally free, of course, and “own” their own rooms, but if you bring a guest over who by necessity uses the public spaces of your apartment, your roommates will be personally affected and thus will be absolutely justified in insisting on implementing a common visitation policy.

    Public property in this country is not owned by every human being alive in the world today. It is owned by a very specific “corporation”: the citizens. All too frequently, the more radical among libertarians fail to recognize that.

  145. The more radical(?!) among libertarians fail to recognize property as communal?
    Inconceivable!

  146. I would liken it to an apartment that is shared by several roommates. All roommates are presonally free, of course, and “own” their own rooms, but if you bring a guest over who by necessity uses the public spaces of your apartment, your roommates will be personally affected and thus will be absolutely justified in insisting on implementing a common visitation policy.

    No, a much more accurate example is likening it to an entire apartment building. You and your roommates have one unit in the apartment building, but you claim to be able to determine who can enter the front door of the building and who can use the hallways on their way to other apartments.

    Oh, and you also claim the authority to prevent the renting of those other apartments to certain people based on a characteristic of their birth.

  147. communal property

    I think we should run this place as an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We’ll take it in turns to act as an executive officer for the week. But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a bi-weekly meeting…

  148. You and your roommates have one unit in the apartment building, but you claim to be able to determine who can enter the front door of the building and who can use the hallways on their way to other apartments.

    Er.. that’s what condominium associations are for, and yes, they’re democratically elected and yes, they can determine who can enter the front door of the building and who can use the hallways. Not the apartment owners, of course. But condominium rules frequently prohibit, for example, all soliciting in the building (meaning, of course, individual apartment owners are not ALLOWED to let any solicitors in). That’s regulation of public spaces, as I understand.

    Oh, and you also claim the authority to prevent the renting of those other apartments to certain people based on a characteristic of their birth.

    Yes, condominium buildings usually have a rental policy, which can range from a total ban on subletting to a complete lack of any restrictions.

    By “a characteristic of their birth” you mean lack of citizenship, I suppose?

    Anyway, the apartment analogy stands even if we expand it to the entire apartment building πŸ™‚ I’m not sure why you chose the examples above.

  149. May I remind you that land ownership is impossible to justify on classical liberal grounds?

    Locke chickened out of the argument by claiming increased efficiency as justification for private land ownership.

    Jefferson tried to shift the burden of the debate on future generations by claiming that the immense amount of unused land in the New World guarantees that all willing to work the fields will not be landless – for awhile.

    Only Paine said outright that those who use the land must pay rent to the community.

    I’m probably with Locke on this one. Screw fairness. But be mindful of the fact that “US soil” is not an empty phrase.

  150. Anyway, you’re not a racist, you just play one on TV. Right?

    Nah, I dislike all poor people equally.

  151. Woozle’s example sounds more like a co-op to me.
    To spread this thin analogy further, The country is more like a condominium complex with the capacity to build more units as they see fit and as new residents desire them. The condo board cannot say “no, you, ma’am, may not move in, but you, sir, you may” like a co-op can. Let’s see property value as welfare benefits, and let’s view monthly assessments as taxes. Play with that for a while. I gotta drop the kid at daycare.

  152. Anyway, the apartment analogy stands even if we expand it to the entire apartment building πŸ™‚ I’m not sure why you chose the examples above.

    I used the apartment building — not condominiums, which you seem to have based your entire refutation on — because that is more accurate than a single apartment. You “own” your apartment. You do not “own” or in any way govern the building as a whole.

    Nonetheless, I’ll grant that even that is a tough analogy because it is small and because the question of actual building ownership brings up too many loose ends. But then I wasn’t the one who equated an entire country with an apartment.

  153. State borders are government property and crossing them without permission is trespass, trespass that should be be a felony.

    I’m probably with Locke on this one. Screw fairness. But be mindful of the fact that “US soil” is not an empty phrase.

    Since you are with Locke on the theory of property, I am left wondering how the government mixed its labor with a line on a map…

  154. You can hire anyone you want – anywhere in the world. I’m as pro free trade as the next radical libertarian. But you can’t bring your employee (or, for that matter, any other guest) here if it would violate the established visitation rules. Yes, for the same reason you can’t let a solicitor into your apartment building. Or, far more importantly, because we have an incredibly lenient law for squatters: their children become automatic apartment owners, er.. citizens.

    As I said, I would mind all immigration – legal and illegal – far less if most immigrants were college graduates. Heh.

    One thing we have to realize is that poor people don’t want to be free. They want to be protected. Libertarianism is impossible in a society with heavy concentrations of proletariat and lumpenproletariat.

    And if reality clashes with my ideological yearnings.. I’d rather err on the side of reality. Not a popular concept here on Reason, I’m afraid.

  155. One thing we have to realize is that poor people don’t want to be free. They want to be protected. Libertarianism is impossible in a society with heavy concentrations of proletariat and lumpenproletariat.

    And if reality clashes with my ideological yearnings.. I’d rather err on the side of reality. Not a popular concept here on Reason, I’m afraid.

    So, what we need is a world run by an elite. That elite can hold power and do what they want without the consent of the governed, and thereby assure the continuation of a free society.

    What could possibly go wrong? I mean, such schemes work out just fine in reality, right? Um, right?

  156. So, what we need is a world run by an elite. That elite can hold power and do what they want without the consent of the governed, and thereby assure the continuation of a free society.

    Like Jefferson’s “natural aristocracy”? Heh.

    No. What we need is a society based upon the primacy of personal freedom. We need a world in which power is not concentrated in anyone’s hands: not the representatives of a ‘majority’, not a monarch, not a dictator.

    In short, in which supreme power rests not in the hands of a group of people, but in the Constitution. And since this is a bit too idealistic sounding, what we really need is a SOCIETY of people who recognize the necessity of personal freedom.

    Which means, pragmatically, that what we need is a country of free farmers and small business owners. This would be perfectly compatible with libertarian ideals. Unfortunately, this isn’t terribly compatible with the modern economy.

    But we can at least make sure that we stay a reasonably affluent society.

    What could possibly go wrong? I mean, such schemes work out just fine in reality, right? Um, right?

    This looks like an attack on Jefferson’s concept of a “natural aristocracy”, but all he hoped for was the wisdom of the citizens to elect just such people to the positions of power.

    And I just repeated his reasoning. A Constitutional republic will work as a democracy only for as long as the majority of the electorate view the government not as a feudal lord, providing security and sustenance in return for subservience, but as an organization that helps them protect their life, liberty and property.

    Freedom is a rich man’s plaything. Never forget that.

  157. Freedom is a rich man’s plaything. Never forget that.

    Hence a free market for labor could never work?

    Hence opportunity for motivated people to advance themselves is too dangerous?

    Got it.

  158. Woozle,

    Usually questions like the following see only silence, but I have a feeling you just might answer it…

    Would you find it appropriate for the US to deport residents or citizens who fell below some income or education line or above some government services consumption line? Or, for a less arbitrary mechanism to achieve much the same effect, would you like to see actual US residency and/or citizenship permits that are issued in limited number and are auctioned, leased, or transferrable for a price?

    I am not suggesting that such a scheme would be legitimate. As I’ve noted before, I believe that government powers — such as controlling borders — are derived, while individual rights — such as free migration, habitation, and labor — are primary. But I ask your opinion about the residency permits because at least such a mechanism does not discriminate by place of birth.

  159. Midbrowcrisis,

    “It also assumes stasis, as do just about all of Stupendous Man’s arguments. Something happens in the economy and people make no response to it at all, unless you count just dropping like flies as doing something. But the market is a dynamic system and people respond to changes and adapt”

    No I’m arguing not stasis. The changes will happen to quickly for people to react effectively. The argument is that situation will be beyond the parameters of earlier models yet people continue to argue that the old models will work. If this is so how?

  160. would you like to see actual US residency and/or citizenship permits that are issued in limited number and are auctioned, leased, or transferrable for a price?

    America is still the Harvard of the world. I think our admission policies should reflect that.

    But once a citizen, always a citizen. I oppose the revoking of US citizenship for any reason.. apart from high treason, perhaps. Whatever that is. Heh.

  161. Didn’t we just agree that citizenship is like stock ownership, not like employment?

    If citizenship is like stock ownership, then it is transferrable and has a net present value. If someone from another country can better exploit the dividends citizenship has to offer, then I should be able to sell it to them.

    In any event, I was talking about residency, not citizenship. While regulating citizenship is a legitimate government power, restricting residency is most decidedly not.

    Pragmatically, I must question your contention that the US will look more libertarian with fewer immigrants than with more immigrants. I don’t think either history or theory offers any such lesson.

    And that’s just how I want to see the entire world: trust fund babies with natural capitalist instincts.

    The idiom “trust fund babies” usually refers to people who think things should be handed to them on a silver platter. It’s practically identical to the Progressive, New Deal, and Great Society mentalities of government’s taking care of the people’s needs and troubles — mentalities born and raised from native born populations.

  162. If citizenship is like stock ownership, then it is transferrable and has a net present value. If someone from another country can better exploit the dividends citizenship has to offer, then I should be able to sell it to them.

    Ok, the apartment analogy was weird enough, but this is getting silly. One, citizenship is NOT exactly stock ownership, and two, there is such a thing as non-transferable stock πŸ™‚ If we decide to make citizenship transferable, we’ll have to do it through the democratic process of changing the Constitution. Until then, it is not allowed.

    And the net present value of American citizenship can certainly be calculated for a statistically average person.

    In any event, I was talking about residency, not citizenship. While regulating citizenship is a legitimate government power, restricting residency is most decidedly not.

    Problem is, they’re inseparable in the US. Everyone born here is a US citizen, by default, by Constitutional law. If we change that (and I’m not sure I want to.. there’s something idealistic, something noble about the concept of being born in the land of the free) there will probably be far less concern with the whole immigration issue, especially among those who are not competing with the immigrants.

    Whole countries have recently become such dual societies, certain Arab oil states being a particularly egregious example of mostly white collar citizens and masses of ‘resident aliens’ holding all menial and low-paying jobs.

    And yes, they are, I hear, a pleasant place to be if you’re a local citizen or a career-minded expat. But I have grave doubts about the long-term sustainability and stability of such societies, especially in the West.

    Eventually, bleeding heart liberals will secure the right to vote to the completely acculturated children of ‘resident aliens’.. and the country may kiss prosperity goodbye.

    Pragmatically, I must question your contention that the US will look more libertarian with fewer immigrants than with more immigrants. I don’t think either history or theory offers any such lesson.

    FDR’s New Deal would’ve been impossible without the support of the children of the multitudes of poor Southern and Eastern European immigrants who arrived here in 1890-1920’s and established a strong working class identity. No prejudice here: I myself am a descendant of some of them.. just pointing out the political consequences of accepting masses of impoverished peasants into the country.

  163. FDR’s New Deal would’ve been impossible without the support of the children of the multitudes of poor Southern and Eastern European immigrants who arrived here in 1890-1920’s and established a strong working class identity.

    A quick glance at the county electoral map brings this assertion into question. Do you have a reference?

    Just how long must someone be in the US before his voting preferences meet your elitist standards?

  164. Just remember reading about the New Deal coalition being a weird cohabitation of Southern whites and poor urban northerners.. here’s what the wikipedia article on the New Deal coalition says:

    “The 1932 election brought about a major realignment in political party affiliation, and is widely considered to be a realigning election, though some scholars point to the off-year election of 1934. Franklin Delano Roosevelt set up his New Deal and was able to forge a coalition of Big City machines, labor unions, liberals, ethnic and racial minorities (especially Catholics, Jews and African Americans), and Southern whites. These disparate voting blocs together formed a large minority of voters and handed the Democratic Party seven victories out of nine presidential elections, as well as control of both houses of Congress during much of this time… The vibrant labor unions, heavily based in the cities, likewise did their utmost for their benefactor, voting 80% for him, as did Irish, Italian and Jewish voters… In the North the cities over 100,000 gave Roosevelt 60% of their votes, while the rest of the North favored Willkie 52%- 48%…”

    Ok, “would have been impossible” is clearly an overstatement, given the huge support FDR had among Southern whites… but then again, to continue my blatantly elitist, classist rant.. aren’t Southern whites the descendants of some desperately poor peasants and urban poor – this time from England? What % of all immigrants to the southern colonies were indentured servants in the 1700’s, I wonder?

    And what’s wrong with my vision of America as a bourgeois utopia?

  165. What % of all immigrants to the southern colonies were indentured servants in the 1700’s, I wonder?

    So I gather the answer to my question “Just how long must someone be in the US before his voting preferences meet your elitist standards?” is “something over 200 years.”

    Did I say ‘Lamarckian’? Please change that to ‘Darwinian’.

  166. midbrowcrisis-

    He would tell you that he isn’t a racist, that he hates all poor people equally.

  167. Stupendous Man says, “No I’m arguing not stasis. The changes will happen to quickly for people to react effectively. The argument is that situation will be beyond the parameters of earlier models yet people continue to argue that the old models will work. If this is so how?”

    How the hell should I know all the events that will take place over the course of the next 20 or 30 years – all the new inventions, all the spin-off inventions from those inventions, how people will react to those new developments in not only technology, but social conventions, population shifts, cultural shifts, economic advances, depressions, etc. and how each of these areas will play off and influence each other in unexpected ways. I don’t have omniscient and prescient wisdom and neither do you so it’s just crazy to think we can plan our way out of a complex system.

  168. And I do mean it. Show me a successful Mexican entrepreneur, or an engineer, or a scientist – and I will welcome him with open arms. But household help and farm hands? On the eve of the next industrial revolution, when the bottom is about to fall out of employment opportunities and wages for manual labor?

    This is downright irresponsible.

  169. Woozle-

    We need a policy to determine which types of workers are needed by our economy and which types of workers aren’t. We can have a law specifying which types of workers will be accepted, maybe quotas, and a bureaucracy that is responsible for monitoring the activities and needs of industry and drawing up plans for how many workers to admit to the country. They can also monitor the activities of US companies to verify that no company is hiring non-citizens without government permission. Of course, this will require heavy government auditing of business records, above and beyond what the IRS already does. But that’s the price we pay to live in a free society, since freedom is a rich man’s toy.

    What could possibly go wrong with this centrally-planned bureaucracy? I mean, it’s much safer than letting people show up and take responsibility for finding their own jobs.

  170. One of the problems for me here is that I don’t know what single policy can be changed to correct the consequence of the last fucked up policy change the politicians made.

    Sorry, folks, the problem is that libertarianism is a package deal. On immigration, the position is, “abolish the welfare state and the public education establisent and allow anyone who is willing to support oneself enter.

    Ok, fine, you won’t buy the whole package. Then any suggestion is nothing but trying to put a bandaid on a severed artery.

    The only way your going to get a the perfect system the anti-immigrant party wants is to suspend the Bill of Rights. Who cares how intrusive the system is for citizens as long as it gets rid of the Mexicans?

    Maybe we could use the MacArthur option of seeding a 100 mile wide strip at the border with radioactivity. Hmmm, do we steal the land from Mexico or use eminent domain to buy every piece of property within a hundred miles of the border on our side? San Diego was such a nice city. πŸ™‚

  171. I don’t know, Thoreau, I think I’ve been turned. Statistically speaking, ethnic groups do tend to head towards certain occupations. And it’s not like we’re talking about actual human beings who deserve the same rights as the rest of us to conform to or defy those statistical averages as they see fit. And besides, it’s not like a complex economy depends on more than 3 occupations to make it hum. Let the boys in the ministry of silly walks figure it all out anyway; I’m sure they’ve got a plan to make it all work.

    I almost wish the immigration controls had been stricter earlier so people like Woozle’s family had been denied and sent back to skin mules, wherever the hay they were from.

  172. I don’t mind Mexicans coming here because I have no desire to be a nanny, maid or farm worker anyway, but I do think it would be kind of cool to have my own convenience store someday. So we need to raise the immigration quotas on those goddamned Indians and Pakistanis who crowd native-born Americans out of the market with their willingness to price-gouge for lower wages.

  173. OK, an inlaw of mine found a perfectly good nanny. The nanny is reliable and good with children, and is considered part of the family. It took several years and tens of thousands of dollars and numerous visits to lots of offices and lawyers and lots of time spent on the phone waiting on hold to get this woman a green card.

    How did our country benefit from this process? And how did my inlaw’s enormous expense and hassle protect my inlaw’s sovereign rights as a citizen?

    *whoosh*

    That was the sound of the point going over thoreau’s head.

    I didn’t introduce citizenship to the discussion because I was claiming it was under threat. I introduced it as a moral priority. Allow me to acquaint you with the concept:

    I have obligations to my wife that I don’t owe to your wife, or women in general. (“Equal! Equal!”)

    I have obligations to my children that I don’t owe to your children, or children in general. (“Equal! Equal!”)

    I have obligations to my community that I don’t owe to your community. (“Equal! Equal!”)

    I have obligations to my religion that I don’t owe to your religion, or religion in general. (“Equal! Equal!”)

    And finally, I have obligations to my fellow citizens that I don’t owe to non-citizens. (“Equal! Equal!”)

    Those are moral priorities, and it’s hardly a new concept. It is the reason spouses aren’t obliged to testify against each other in a court of law, because it’s recognized (or at least once was) that the claims of family have moral priority over the claims of the state.

    Ken Schultz asked if I would support prohibiting citizens from having children that would strain public resources because I don’t support importing a large foreign population that would likewise strain public resources. It’s an absurd question, and an illegitimate comparison – apparently he’s unable to grasp the distinction between obligations owed to citizens, and obligations owed to non-citizens. I was pointing out the distinction.

    All men may be equal in the eyes of God and all that good stuff, but my obligations to them are not equal.

    Specific to your in-laws and their nanny – if your in-laws were the only people in the country who were importing a nanny, of course the process involved would be pointless. Then again, if they were the only people in the United States who owned an automobile, the infrastructure of traffic laws, traffic control implements, insurance requirements, etc. would be absurd, too.

    Unfortunately, there are, IIRC, 600 million cars in the United States. Obviously, that scale of usage is going to have an impact on *everybody’s* convenience and comfort. At that point, cars and their usage become an legitimate object of public concern. And that is equally true when sufficiently large numbers of people start importing nannies and other workers. I don’t say the process in place for doing that is the best or most efficient, but that doesn’t negate the benefit of having a process, any more than the fact that some corporations have bad management negates the benefit of corporations having management. Try running a corporation without it.

  174. Sorry, folks, the problem is that libertarianism is a package deal.

    “If everyone would just do things my way, the world would be a Wonderful Place!”

    And that is exactly why no ideologue, at any point in history, has ever put into place a utopia that didn’t come crashing unceremoniously down on everyone’s head, be they communists, libertarians, whatever.

    The problem is, everybody has different interests, which are not necessarily well-served by identical policies. Public policy is always going to be a mosaic of competing and conflicting interests. Any philosophy of government that isn’t flexible enough to accommodate those diverse interests is eventually going to find itself overthrown by a Coalition of Trampled Interests.

    The day your package deal is universally accepted will never arrive, unless you plan to implement it on a desert island with your two friends who absolutely agree with you.

    On immigration, the position is, “abolish the welfare state and the public education establisent and allow anyone who is willing to support oneself enter.

    Get all of those conditions implemented at once, and you have a deal.

    And calling that “the” libertarian position is rather presumptuous. Hayek supported Margaret Thatcher’s attempt to limit immigration in Britain on cultural grounds. Murray Rothbard, Ron Paul, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe have also opposed it both on cultural and economic grounds. In fact, it’s a pretty short list of libertarian thinkers who ever made a reputation as anything besides point-and-laugh material who did support open immigration, besides the Reasonistas….

    Oh, wait…

    Let’s not confuse libertarianism with Reasonism. There’s a distinct difference:

    Libertarianism – political philosophy which holds that the only legitimate initiation of government force is against acts of aggression such as force or fraud. (And yes, illegally entering a country *is* an act of force.)

    Reasonism – Defines “liberty” as the unilateral disarmament of normalcy. Predictably as a sunrise promotes the interests of the abnormal over the normal, the foreigner over the native, and the Pagan over the Protestant. Generally uses the language of libertarianism, but not averse to advocating the force of law should the citizenry prove resistant to bending over and taking it.

    The only way your going to get a the perfect system the anti-immigrant party wants is to suspend the Bill of Rights. Who cares how intrusive the system is for citizens as long as it gets rid of the Mexicans?

    On that point, I’ve already made my best offer – get the federal government out of it entirely, and let the states and voluntary associations of private citizens control the borders.

    Where are all of our fair-weather anarchists when it’s obvious that a citizenry unrestrained by government would act overwhelmingly in opposition to their latest bright idea?

  175. We need a policy to determine which types of workers are needed by our economy and which types of workers aren’t.

    No, no.. we just need to let all the lumpenproletarians in, so that in a few decades, they will raise the top marginal income tax to 90%, make homosexual sex a felony, and outlaw any and all guns in personal possession (sorry, that’s what “well-regulated militia” means).

    That’s why libertarianism is a hopeless movement. Too many fundamentalist cretins who refuse to understand that libertarian utopias are pretty much the OPPOSITE of what the huddled masses want… and that the huddled masses right now form the absolute majority of the world’s population.

    We can have a law specifying which types of workers will be accepted, maybe quotas, and a bureaucracy that is responsible for monitoring the activities and needs of industry and drawing up plans for how many workers to admit to the country.

    Just giv’em a straight-forward culture neutral IQ test. I really don’t know how to solve our current immigration woes. On one hand, we desperately need intelligent immigrants: a good half of the Silicon valley workers in the late 90’s were immigrants or children of immigrants, if I’m not mistaken. A sizeable chunk of American Nobel prize winners are immigrants. Etc., etc. On the other hand, anything that smacks of elitism or, worse yet, ethnic or racial discrimination in immigration policies will cause indignant howls from the Left..

    Perhaps a degree from a prestigious local university should be one non-negotiable requirement for all immigrants. But even that will precipitate incessant whining from those who compete with such immigrants directly.

    They can also monitor the activities of US companies to verify that no company is hiring non-citizens without government permission.

    Now this one is problematic. I don’t want any such government intrusions into our private lives. Catching the illegals should be the government’s job, not ours. Just make illegal immigration a felony and pursue all such felons with the zeal that police currently reserve for petty drug offenders.

    So we need to raise the immigration quotas on those goddamned Indians and Pakistanis who crowd native-born Americans out of the market with their willingness to price-gouge for lower wages.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of actually giving a damn about the fortunes of our home grown working class. No. The reason I might like immigrant shopkeepers more than underclass immigrants is because the shopkeepers and their children are far more likely to vote for a libertarian-leaning political candidate than farm hands and nannies. I don’t really care who they underprice, just like I don’t really care that current unskilled immigrants are significantly depressing the standards of living of our own unskilled labor. What I do care about, what I am HORRIFIED of.. is their children voting.

  176. What I do care about, what I am HORRIFIED of.. is their children voting.

    OK, let’s say you’re right. However, what’s the alternative? IIRC, the next-fastest breeders in this country, after immigrants, are the devoutly religious. Do you think their offspring will vote for a freer society?

  177. Pig Mannix,

    The paper you linked to is interesting, but I don’t think it bolsters your position at all. Can you explain to me why you think it does?

    Certainly. If you read the section where Rothbard discusses the “Camp of the Saints” problem, he points out that liberty isn’t simply the freedom to do anything you want, anytime you want, anywhere you want (a silly conception, and probably impossible), it’s also the freedom of a community to choose the conditions and terms under which it wants to live (including restrictions). Freedom that doesn’t include the right to influence your environment is fairly meaningless – if all conditions are the same in all places, what’s the point of the freedom to make choices? There would be nothing to choose from.

  178. I could follow Pig’s argument if all land in U.S. was privately owned but since it isn’t, his argument rests on simple majoritarianism – if the majority of citizens who got in the door first think that open borders is a bad thing their simple majority vote trumps the vote of those who would like to hire someone to work for them from another country, who have family waiting to come here; it trumps the moral right of free contract and free movement (into *land that is not owned by private citizens*), fairly basic libertarian moral positions.

    The argument citing Rothbard’s and Hayek’s support of immigration restrictions rests on the appeal to authority. We’re not really good little libertarians unless we agree with Rothbard and Hayek on everything (never mind that they disagreed with each other on quite a few things).

  179. I could follow Pig’s argument if all land in U.S. was privately owned but since it isn’t, his argument rests on simple majoritarianism – if the majority of citizens who got in the door first think that open borders is a bad thing their simple majority vote trumps the vote of those who would like to hire someone to work for them from another country, who have family waiting to come here; it trumps the moral right of free contract and free movement (into *land that is not owned by private citizens*), fairly basic libertarian moral positions.

    Obviously, any land that isn’t privately owned is publicly owned, that is, it’s owned by the federal government or various local governments on behalf of the citizenry, effectively making the citizenry, who pay the taxes to support that property, share-holders.

    If a majority vote by the share-holders isn’t a legitimate means of determining the disposal and usage of a commonly held property, what is?

    Secondly, I’ve yet to hear any argument establishing a right to free movement that included a right to usurp the property rights of others. See point #1.

    We’re not really good little libertarians unless we agree with Rothbard and Hayek on everything (never mind that they disagreed with each other on quite a few things).

    Never said any such thing. I simply got fed up with hearing open borders described as “the” libertarian position, and was illustrating that it isn’t any such thing, and never was.

  180. Is the country and its government merely a corporation, so that all actions of the government should be gleaned from the shareholders or citizens’ votes? I don’t think so and neither did the Framers, who to avoid this kind of majoritarian populism, inserted a Bill of Rights into the Constitution. Rights, such as the right to liberty,to contract, to movement, to be free of aggression, supercede majoritarian whims and prejudices.

    As far as what’s going to happen in 2O years time, with more immigrants coming in. Well, there will be all kinds of technological developments, cultural shifts, changing interests, economic and demographic changes, all intersecting and influencing each other in ways we can’t predict. And we can no more predict how people will vote in 20 years, children of immigrants, because of all these changes, then we can predict the changes themselves.

  181. Pig, would you also say that the states, as well as the cities, can be likened to corporations, so that all immigration or human movement of any kind in should be voted on by the citizens? Would this apply to trade as well? The products themselves might be privately owned but the space they are traveling on and to, isn’t. So, why shouldn’t all trade, not only between countries, but between states and cities, be subject to a shareholder vote of the citizens as well?

  182. Is the country and its government merely a corporation, so that all actions of the government should be gleaned from the shareholders or citizens’ votes? I don’t think so and neither did the Framers, who to avoid this kind of majoritarian populism, inserted a Bill of Rights into the Constitution. Rights, such as the right to liberty,to contract, to movement, to be free of aggression, supercede majoritarian whims and prejudices.

    I’d be interested in seeing you quote the specific sections of the Constitution that you claim prohibit restriction of immigration. In fact, Section 9, strongly implies Congress does have the power to restrict immigration, because it specifically prohibits it from doing so only until the year 1808:

    The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

    Even given the literalist interpretation that since the power was not enumerated, it is forbidden, the Tenth Amendment would still be operative – the power would devolve to the states, and to the people. And we both know what will happen if they get a crack at making immigration policy.

    Pig, would you also say that the states, as well as the cities, can be likened to corporations, so that all immigration or human movement of any kind in should be voted on by the citizens? Would this apply to trade as well?

    That *is* specifically prohibited by the Constitution:

    The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    Presumably, that includes the privilege of residency. And it still doesn’t grant that privilege to foreign nationals.

    Would this apply to trade as well? The products themselves might be privately owned but the space they are traveling on and to, isn’t. So, why shouldn’t all trade, not only between countries, but between states and cities, be subject to a shareholder vote of the citizens as well?

    Do you see the slave trade operative today? Would you agree that the state and the people have no right to prohibit it?

  183. What could possibly go wrong with this centrally-planned bureaucracy?

    What do you think we have now?

    In the 1960’s, congress wondered if it had the authority to create a national highway system.

    When was the last time you saw congress wonder if had the authority to do anything?

  184. At least this time there’s some real live debate going on, rather than the usual fare, where anybody who opposes open immigration gets called a racist (case closed).

    Not every policy works equally well at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances.

    And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with being dogmatic about anything.

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