Campaigns/Elections

I [Heart] Ron Paul (Though Not on Immigration or the Gold Standard)

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Last night, like a less-energetic Dave Weigel, I watched the GOP presidential debate. Over at Pajamas Medias, I give a thumbs up to the debating skills of Dr. No, a.k.a. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). A snippet:

Until the GOP starts actively discussing a foreign policy that goes beyond either doubling down in Iraq or dreaming of bombing Iran, they aren't yet offering voters what they need to hear; a reason to turn off Survivor and embrace the party that brought us the last six sorry years of foreign adventurism and domestic budget terrorism. The GOP might want to listen more closely to what Ron Paul is actually saying about this issue.

More here.

NEXT: Cowboys and Embryos

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  1. After watching much of that debate, I couldn’t help but wish that Ron Paul had the speaking skills and presidential looks of Harry Browne.
    Unfortunately, he looks and sounds like the doctor or small businessman who heads your local Rotary Club. If you want a fire-breathing libertarian on foreign policy, then look to Bumper Hornberger.

  2. I ? Ron Paul’s dog.

  3. He needs to slow down his speech just a bit, smile no matter what he says, express a bit of optimism, and get some Flonase to take care of that slightly nasal tone in his voice.

  4. Ron Paul makes a great voice of reason on most issues (though like Nick his thoughts on the gold standard make me shake my head, a little bit less on immigration, because he’s arguing more about the welfare state than actual evil immigrants)

    But yeah, his substance vs. style method confuses and irritates the average american and the MSM. So despite his improving status in impromptu polls, we’re not gonna be saying “Welcome President Paul”

    No Jeff Flake on the other hand, that’s almost presidential material there. Or Butch Otter.

  5. The WSJ had a piece on the candidates’ MySpace pages with an interesting bit about Dr Paul’s friends.

    Perfectly useless link to stub only because the article is of course available to subscribers only:

    Here

    Err, translate that to Yoda speak for me, would you…hmmm?

  6. Ack! Did someone say Hornberger?! Please, dear god, no!

    Sadly, Google is unable to find references to the ill will that Hornberger sowed here in the VA LP.

  7. thoreau,

    you’re absolutely right. Though I’m sure he wanted to get in as much information as possible, talking fast and high pitch is not appealing. He should take a page from the Mitt Romney book of speaking and slow down, calm down and speak in a way that kindergarteners can understand. Presidents don’t make quick movements, they’re slow, decisive and authoritative (unfortunately that’s about the only qualifications nowadays)

  8. Look folks, no one imagines our boy is going to surf into the oval office on a wave of popular support. All we’re hoping for, is that he is able to drop a few grains of sand in the gears of the GOP machine. It’s all about the substance. Style might get him another percentage point, but it won’t move the message.

  9. He also didn’t look directly at the camera, while many other candidates did. He should have made a point of finding out which cameras would be on him, and then he should have calmly and confidently delivered a soundbite on how great it will be if we do what he’s proposing.

    And the soundbite should be delivered S-L-O-W-L-Y and in a slightly lower voice.

    Intense people with an intellectual approach can be excellent doctors. I, for one, want the focused person who’s clearly intelligent. But they don’t do well on TV.

  10. I ? Ron Paul’s baby seals.

  11. It’s all about the substance. Style might get him another percentage point, but it won’t move the message.

    Wrong. Substance gets you nods of approval from people who already agree. Style gets other people to listen, and thereby gets a few more people to agree.

  12. Paul is right about immigration, Gillepsie is wrong.

    Then Nick writes “Then they went on to extol the virtues of free markets in health care, education, and even goods and services! (Alas, none of them seemed to think that people as much as bananas should be able to cross borders with minimal restrictions.) All these things sounded good.

    Well why not a free market in money. Let the market decide what our currency is going to be. Even Walter Williams Trustee Emeritus of the Reason Foundation is on record saying that people should be able to write contracts in gold. A real free market would have gold and silver freely circulating in the economy.

    As for people freely crossing borders. Some romatic pipe dream nonsense. Stuff of blithering idiots. . Ask the Europeans if they want Muslims to be able to freely cross over from Africa or the middle east. Entire cultures and civilizations collapse with this idiotic talk.

    The free movement of people across borders is as insane as the NeoCons thinking that the Islamic world could or would adapt to Jeffersonian democracy. NeoLibertarian. A new phrase I think to call the fools that believe in the free movement of people. Lets just import 40 million muslims and plant them in fly over country .. Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma. Lets celebrate diversity and multiculturalism.

  13. Good catch, Urkobold. I was laughing at the “spade” iconography above, wondering if anyone other than MikeP caught the message.

    We accept too readily the idea that our candidates must be smooth, like used car salesmen. Honestly, I think TV has totally misaligned the values and skills upon which we focus. I mean, I’d dislike Bush not one whit less if he looked (and acted) presidential and polished.

  14. And what exactly is wrong with the gold standard? What is the problem with having a currency that actually holds its value so people can count on the value of their savings over time?
    And if you took the time to study Dr. Paul’s actual proposals you’d know that what he wants is to remove legal obstacles (like capital gains taxes that result from the reduction in value of the paper currency vs gold) that prevent the remonitization of gold. He wants to start with a 2 currency system and let people choose – constantly rising prices with paper money, or stable (even lowering) prices with gold. Let the free market decide what money is, not the government.
    Is that what you object to? The idea that people should actually be allowed to choose what they will use as money?
    Ron Paul 2008 – the only way!

  15. PL,

    I don’t know what used car salesmen you’re talking to, but the whole idea that a confident, authoritative president resembles a fast talking, hard driving, confusion causing used car salesmen is way off the mark. The American public doesn’t listen to the platitudes as much as they judge by appearance. What America ends up with is either a father figure (Reagan, Kennedy, Rooselvelt, Bush Senior) or an average joe like guy(GWB, L. Johnson, Carter). Appearance of competence is about all we get.

    And TV may emphasize style, but it hasn’t been a total loss. We did get Ronald Reagan, one of the better presidents, and that was in the age of TV. And atleast with TV, people like Tom Delay can’t dodge public opinion by sweeping their misdoings under the chamber floor.

  16. We’re not really judging politicians on their speaking voices are we? Reason readers, please give me some hope. The White House went, aurally and foreign-policy-wise, from a smooth-talking bullshitter to a complete retard, so I doubt speaking styles has a lot to do with it.

  17. I couldn’t help but wish that Ron Paul had the speaking skills and presidential looks of Harry Browne.

    If those traits actually matter, then please explain George W Bush’s ascension to the position as The GOP Presidential Candidate.

  18. From the WSJ article:

    Other candidates have chosen more unusual friends. Republican Congressman Ron Paul from Texas highlights Jennifer Bothell, a 31-year-old manager trainee at a Subway sandwich store in Apollo, Pa. On her MySpace page, Ms. Bothell describes herself as a hippie and lists the late Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia as her hero.

    Jennifer Bothell’s MySpace page
    Ms. Bothell posts a photo of herself taken at a gathering of Jerry Garcia fans. “See my smile? Need I say more?” reads a comment with the photo. “I enjoy acting bizarre just to make people ask questions,” she writes in the “about me” section of her page. Regarding Rep. Paul, she says: “Obviously, I don’t agree with him on every topic, but I agree with him on a lot of issues,” like his stance against the war in Iraq and his opposition to raising taxes.

    Mr. Paul’s campaign isn’t monitoring his 9,753 friends’ pages for questionable content and hasn’t actively chosen top friends for Mr. Paul, who considers himself a libertarian, says spokesman Jesse Benton. Of Ms. Bothell, he adds, “It sounds like she’s someone who really enjoys her own personal liberty, and we think that anybody who enjoys their personal liberty is going to find a candidate in Ron Paul that they can really vote for.”

    (Yes, I actually have a subscription.)

  19. How Gold Was Money–How Gold Could Be Money Again

    Nothing radical . Just a free market in money

  20. Michael,

    The gold standard, if given competition with other forms of currency, would die anyway. People’s labor and products are worth far more than all the gold in the world could be valued. The value of gold as a commodity could not rise high enough to back the money its supposed to, which would either lead to a shortfall of capital or a drop of confidence on the currency’s value. The government’s promise that America’s productivity is worth confidence in its currency is a far better policy, though it leads to excessive use of America’s productivity for its own projects. A competing system based on certain businesses confidence in America’s productivity is a far better idea IMO, as business’s aren’t in the business to spend, but to make money and if properly governed, would probably produce a far stabler system of money.

  21. let me get this straight

    free movement of goods across our borders is good

    but free movement of people (especially poor people) is bad?

    “have your cake and eat it too” anyone?

  22. Nick Gillespie doesn’t heart Ron Paul’s Gold Standard? Presumably it’s because he thinks our currency should be backed by leather jackets

  23. Well, at least Gillespie isn’t claiming that all libertarians must agree with his permissive attitudes towards abortion and gay marriage this time.

  24. Thanks, The Real Bill! (If that is your real name)

  25. Well, West Hollywood is pretty much on the leather standard.

    Lost beat me to it, Ron Paul is not against immigration. His point is that we cannot have open immigration so long as we remain a welfare state. That is a whole ‘nother enchilada altogether and there is some validity to the claim.

    And you’ll notice that those on the left who claim that immigrants come for jobs not welfare get all bristly when anybody suggests cutting off ANY social welfare benefits for non-citizens.

    I’m still an open borders kind of guy myself but I don’t buy the myth that immigration comes problem free.

  26. Lost_In_Translation | May 4, 2007, 2:14pm | #

    Writes:The gold standard, if given competition with other forms of currency, would die anyway. People’s labor and products are worth far more than all the gold in the world could be valued.

    No Shortage of Gold

  27. highnumber,

    You’re welcome!

  28. William,

    Whatever the benefits of a gold standard, I still feel that a limited commodity is not the appropriate median of exchange of goods and services in current society. Granted, I am not an expert on the intricacies of gold supply and stability, but I just can’t see it being the best way.


  29. free movement of goods across our borders is good

    but free movement of people (especially poor people) is bad?

    Regardless where one stands on this issue, am I the only one that sees how ridiculous this “argument” is?

  30. I fail to grasp the intense ? that some people have for the gold standard. I can understand how they might find government backed money a bad idea: indeed, I agree that a gold standard is better than what goes on now.

    Nonetheless, under a free banking system, it is unlikely that gold will wind up being the ultimate backing value for money. It is much more likely to be a basket of historically stable commodities, very little of which can be carried away in your pocket.

    Also, it is not clear to me that Nick is stridently against the gold standard — only that he is against a libertarian-leaning candidate running on it and therefore sounding as whack as the type of person who usually argues for the gold standard in public.

  31. What I don’t understand is why the gold standard is considered whacky. It really wasn’t very long ago we had it. Didn’t Nixon get rid of it mainly to use fiat money to fund the Viet Nam war? Someone help me here, please!

  32. What’s wrong with a gold standard, is paper any better? Gold is one of the oldest forms of money, and since it is a commodity, it’s price is determined by the market, not a central bank. The market then determines how much gold it takes to purchase goods. Basically we need an inflation-proof, commodity-backed currency, and gold was determined long ago to be the best commodity for this. And the days of carrying gold in your pocket are long over. We already have paper receipts, and online digital gold accounts.

  33. but free movement of people (especially poor people) is bad?

    No. The argument is that free movement of poor people stresses the existing bloated social safety net. So either reduce the costs/size of the safety net or manage the size of the subscriber base.

    Not that agree with that argument, but I understand it.

  34. free movement of goods across our borders is good

    but free movement of people (especially poor people) is bad?

    Not a good argument at all. Goods coming across borders is trade, which could also stand to be reformed to an extent. People coming illegally (which is really what Paul is against) across the borders at an alarming rate is not trade, it’s an economic security issue.

  35. What I don’t understand is why the gold standard is considered whacky.

    It’s whacky because it’s not on anyone’s agenda and sounds like it comes from left field.

    Didn’t Nixon get rid of it mainly to use fiat money to fund the Viet Nam war?

    By the time it got to Nixon, there was no gold standard to speak of. The price of gold was officially $35, and its trade as currency or bullion was illegal. (Ever catch the gold smuggling Hawaii 5-0 episode? Enlightening…) Even central banks were rarely going through the fiction of trading gold amongst themselves.

    The system was entirely broken: Moving to tradable fiat money was an improvement, and it only took a decade for the Federal Reserve to figure out that pricing the dollar as though it’s on the gold standard anyway is better for everyone.

    The lesson is clear: Governments cannot be trusted with currency even with a commodity-backed currency. Better an actually traded fiat currency than a fictionally traded commodity-backed currency.

  36. free movement of goods across our borders is good

    but free movement of people (especially poor people) is bad?

    This is not a good argument mostly because it won’t convince anyone.

    The theory of comparative advantage is difficult enough to intuit in the realm of free trade. Adding on top of that the notion that someone can now come to your country, get all of the productivity advantages you have, and replace you at your job at a lower cost — all while making the whole of the economy better off — is even tougher to understand.

    it’s an economic security issue

    See what I mean?

  37. MikeP,

    Thanks for the info. I disagree with this though:

    …the Federal Reserve to figure out that pricing the dollar as though it’s on the gold standard anyway…

    Yeah, Volker was good, but Greenspan sold us out (and Bernanke, I’m still not sure about).

    One of the problems I have with the immigration argument above, is how anyone can compare manufactured goods with people. At that fundamental level, the argument fails. Talk about apples and oranges! Anyway, I admit that I fall into the Paul/Friedman camp. The welfare state makes the immigration of millions of poorly educated poor people an unfair burden on the taxpayer. There is also a a lot of historical evidence that massive immigration leads to serious social and political problems. Being a native Californian, I have an affinity for Mexicans (especially the women). I wish we could trade a lazy, stupid American for each hard-working Mexican.

  38. I wish we could trade a lazy, stupid American for each hard-working Mexican.

    You think Mexico or any of Central or South America would take that trade? I’d rather have both together than just the lazy, stupid birthplace-lottery winner. The hard-working Mexican pays for quite a bit of the lazy American.

  39. The hard-working Mexican pays for quite a bit of the lazy American.

    Bull. At ~3 children per couple, they are a net loss to the economy for many years. Just educating three kids costs between 20 grand and 60 grand per year. (Once again, the welfare state issue.)

  40. The inflation of labor costs caused by restrictions on movement of labor would cause a lot bigger drags on the economy than the cost of putting the kids of workers through school.

  41. TWC,

    Lost beat me to it, Ron Paul is not against immigration. His point is that we cannot have open immigration so long as we remain a welfare state. That is a whole ‘nother enchilada altogether and there is some validity to the claim.

    I have read some of his writings regarding immigration, and for the most part you are right. The problem with Paul is he doesn’t express his point very well. In this campaign, he has stated his stance against illegal immigration but hasn’t voiced if he would open up the borders wider if the welfare state were scaled back. Not flip-floppy, just not succinct and clear. He is also against truly open borders with good background checks. He wants to make gaining entry into the country equally difficult for all immigrants.

    From his campaign website:

    6. Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

    Rules, waiting periods, load of bullshit. The rules are not to figure out if the applicant is a violent criminal, but to limit the number and type of workers allowed in the country. It is effectively an import barrier on labor. I am all for conducting background checks on immigrants and jailing them or kicking their asses out for felonies or terrorist activities while here but anything else is pure BS.

  42. Educating children is an investment in our society’s future

    it is not, in and of itself, indicative of a welfare state

    How we actually go about executing our educational plans has problems (many of them welfare state-esque), but those problems can hardly be hung on immigrants who have the nerve to send their children to school

  43. Lost_In_Translation | May 4, 2007, 2:45pm | #

    Ron Paul isn’t calling for a return of a Government Gold standard. He just wants the market to decide . Let people choose. A private commodity based currency. The government wouldn’t fix the price of gold or silver. Banks could freely issue and mint gold back currency and coins. They would freely circulate along with our Federal Reserve notes. People could write contracts in gold.

    This would be called Free Market Money. The government would regulate. ie… if banks started minting coins. they’d have to be honest. One ounce Gold coins would have to have 28grams of gold. Gold currency would have to be 100 percent backed with gold.

  44. The inflation of labor costs caused by restrictions on movement of labor would cause a lot bigger drags on the economy than the cost of putting the kids of workers through school.

    That depends upon whether or not one considers wage inflation as entirely a bad thing. (I imagine I’ll get attacked for this one.)

    Rules, waiting periods, load of bullshit. The rules are not to figure out if the applicant is a violent criminal, but to limit the number and type of workers allowed in the country. It is effectively an import barrier on labor. I am all for conducting background checks on immigrants and jailing them or kicking their asses out for felonies or terrorist activities while here but anything else is pure BS.

    So you’d be fine with 200 million immigrants flooding into the US in, say, the next five years? You don’t think that might kill the goose that laid the golden egg?

  45. William R.-

    No person has been “imported” to the United States or Europe since about 1808.

  46. Educating children is an investment in our society’s future

    it is not, in and of itself, indicative of a welfare state

    Okay, that’s funny!

    How we actually go about executing our educational plans has problems (many of them welfare state-esque), but those problems can hardly be hung on immigrants who have the nerve to send their children to school

    I’m not hanging the problems on them. I’m saying that they exacerbate the problems, which we really don’t need. Plus, it costs us a lot of money right now. Yeah, they’ll add to the economy a couple of decades from now, or so. That’s a long time from now.

  47. Scooby | May 4, 2007, 4:11pm | #
    The inflation of labor costs caused by restrictions on movement of labor would cause a lot bigger drags on the economy than the cost of putting the kids of workers through school.

    nonsense . Our productivity hasn’t been what it should be in farming for example due to a flood of cheap labor from south of the border.

  48. What’s up with the “birth-place lottery” argument? To be consistent, one must believe that we should confiscate any inheritance received by the children of the deceased since they just happened to win the “silver-spoon lottery.”

  49. Huh? You think that fruit’s gonna pick itself?

  50. You can’t get there (gold standard) from here

    How many US dollars are in circulation(what w/ it being the default reserve currency for the planet and all)?

    there’s just not enough gold/silver in the world to do it

    besides, how do we go about replacing all that fiat currency with precious metals without trashing our nation’s spot in the economic catbird seats?

    maybe an “energy standard” would work. But precious metals?

    navel gazin’

  51. Kick people off of welfare and they can pick the fruit.

  52. Bill–

    Quite a few have already been kicked off by the 1996 Welfare Reform.

  53. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
    – from “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

  54. One ounce Gold coins would have to have 28grams of gold.

    You misspelled 31.

  55. Cesar | May 4, 2007, 4:29pm | #
    William R.-

    No person has been “imported” to the United States or Europe since about 1808.

    Whatever Cesar. It’s an example to show the idiotic nature of the free movement of people. These so called libertarians that don’t believe in nation states and borders. Well they’re not libertarians but utopian anarchists. Let 100 million muslims emigrate to the USA and we’ll be in a civil war. Europe is rapidly moving towards a civil war.

  56. There are at least twice as many illegal immigrant workers currently in the US as able-bodied unemployed.

    Kick out the illegals, and who will pick the fruit (frame, drywall, roof, and clean the houses; raise the kids; etc.)?

  57. William R.-

    This country had no quotas for migration from other countries in the Western Hemisphere for quite a long time. The quotas Congress placed on the eastern hemisphere in 1920 did not apply to the western hemisphere. IIRC there were no quotas on latin Americans until the middle of the 20th century.

    But, because they didn’t have to worry about being killed or arrested when crossing the border back into Mexico, the majority of them worked for a season on a farm and left.

  58. Quite a few have already been kicked off by the 1996 Welfare Reform.

    True. I’ve known a few. They all found jobs (and some self-respect).

  59. *True. I’ve known a few. They all found jobs (and some self-respect).*

    Its probably the best thing the Gingrich Congress and Bill Clinton ever did.

  60. Kick out the illegals, and who will pick the fruit (frame, drywall, roof, and clean the houses; raise the kids; etc.)?

    Clean your own damn house (or make your kids do it). Raise your own kids. Mow your own lawn, or have the neighbor kid do it.

  61. Its probably the best thing the Gingrich Congress and Bill Clinton ever did.

    That’s faint praise! (I agree.)

  62. I’ve got news for ya Cesar, the world has changed. In 1920 we had virtually no welfare state.

  63. William R.-

    The lack of quotas for Latin American immigrants lasted well into the LBJ administration.

    And I’d direct you (again) to the Welfare Reform Bill. Immigrants (legal or illegal) are ineligable for TANF (‘welfare’), food stamps, or medicade.

    The only two services they use are 1) emergency medical care 2) public schools.

    These are things often used by the native-born middle class in this country, but no one wants to restrict the number of children they can have.

    If you allowed freer movement, the men who come to work on farms/construction would be much less likely to bring their families, as they could easily return to Latin America after the season is over. That would significantly lower costs for both of those services.

  64. And I’d direct you (again) to the Welfare Reform Bill. Immigrants (legal or illegal) are ineligable for TANF (‘welfare’), food stamps, or medicade.

    LMFAOROTF! Yeah, that’s how it really works!

  65. LMFAOROTF! Yeah, that’s how it really works!

    TRB-

    Don’t you think the welfare rolls would be rising at record rates instead of declining if that wasn’t enforced?

  66. How many US dollars are in circulation(what w/ it being the default reserve currency for the planet and all)?

    The euro is starting to chip away at the default status of US currency.

  67. How many posting here would LOVE to opt out of the welfare system like illegal aliens have?

    People are just jealous because Mexican immigrants have figured out that (if they were legal) they’d have to pay into a welfare system that can’t survive long enough for them to eventually get paid when it’s their turn.

  68. Oh, it’s enforced–some of the time. You must understand: The type of person that works in welfare offices tends to “bend the rules” because of their bleeding heart. It happens. The declining rolls had a lot to do with a good economy, BTW. (I live in California; things may be different elsewhere. Here, a lot of government workers don’t really care about following the letter of the law.)

  69. Clean your own damn house (or make your kids do it). Raise your own kids. Mow your own lawn, or have the neighbor kid do it.

    Like I said, intuitively understanding the comparative advantages involved with immigration is difficult — even when someone blatantly comes out and enumerates several examples.

  70. “(I live in California; things may be different elsewhere. Here, a lot of government workers don’t really care about following the letter of the law.)”

    Well, my only experience is in Virginia and its one of the least generous state welfare systems in the nation.

    But there doesn’t seem to a be a shortage of immigrants.

    Thats part of the reason I find it really, really hard to believe immigrants come here for the welfare. If Guatemalans and Koreans want cushy welfare, its lost on me why they would choose Virginia.

  71. earn your own PhD’s?

    pick your own cabbages?

    slaughter your own hogs?

    no thanks, none for me

    bring on the immigrants!

  72. BTW, I am not against immigration. My wife is an immigrant from Europe. My (adopted) nephew is an immigrant from Africa. I’m mainly concerned about the rate of immigration.

  73. Immigrants for me but not for thee, eh?

  74. Cesar,

    I think most immigrants come to work, but some don’t, and some end up needing help through no fault of their own. I have nothing against them. I might do the same in their position. I admit I’m being selfish; I don’t want to subsidize any more people than I have to.

    Immigrants for me but not for thee, eh?

    Hilarious!

    (I support my wife and my sister and her husband support my nephew. They are going to homeschool, and this will probably be their only child. That’s a big financial difference. All of us pay for our own health care, as well.)

  75. Hilarious!

    Thanks. Though I thought my “You misspelled 31” was better.

    I’m mainly concerned about the rate of immigration.

    Have you no faith in

    a) the ability of market forces and the laws of microeconomics themselves to moderate the flow of immigrants to a level that helps the economy

    and/or

    b) the tolerance of the American taxpayer to pay for greater populations of people trying to live off welfare rather than contributing to the economy?

  76. re: the immigration debate in the USA

    The Blind Men and the Elephant

  77. William R IS ALMOST FUNNY. KEEP TRYING.
    NEVER MIND, DON’T.

    not even worthy of punishment. oh, so bored and tired. TGIFF.

    To celebrate American holiday, Cinco de Mayo, Urkobold will be leading Mexican and Muslim immigrants (Muslim not an ethnicity, so Urkobold confused about conflating the two) on a search for chocolate dildos wrapped in gold foil that VM hid around William R’s house.
    Don’t be concerned, William R, these immigrants don’t want yer jerb, just your women. Urkobold has spoken to your women. They are ready to go.

  78. Have you no faith in

    a) the ability of market forces and the laws of microeconomics themselves to moderate the flow of immigrants to a level that helps the economy

    No; not on balance. The market is too controlled by the government–it’s a free market only relative to most other nations, i.e., it’s not really a free market–and the economic, social, and political disparities between the US and developing nations are too great.

    and/or

    b) the tolerance of the American taxpayer to pay for greater populations of people trying to live off welfare rather than contributing to the economy?

    Unfortunately, yes, although, wage inflation (at the low end) might draw a few of the slackers into the work force. Maybe.

  79. I was wondering about something. Would Libertopia have immigration problems? In Libertopia, all of the land would be privately owned. So, anyone entering the region occupied by Libertopia would be a tresspasser, and gun-toting libertarian property owners might not like that. I suppose that the only immigrants would be people with means, since they’d receive no services whatsoever, they’d have to pay tolls on any roads, etc.

    Any thoughts on this extreme hypothetical?

  80. “I was wondering about something. Would Libertopia have immigration problems? In Libertopia, all of the land would be privately owned. So, anyone entering the region occupied by Libertopia would be a tresspasser, and gun-toting libertarian property owners might not like that. I suppose that the only immigrants would be people with means, since they’d receive no services whatsoever, they’d have to pay tolls on any roads, etc.

    Any thoughts on this extreme hypothetical?”

    There’d still be immigrants. When we had massive immigration from Europe, you had to pay for your passage on the ship. I can’t imagine toll roads would be any more expensive than that.

  81. There’d still be immigrants. When we had massive immigration from Europe, you had to pay for your passage on the ship. I can’t imagine toll roads would be any more expensive than that.

    Good point. I suppose that the number of immigrants would primarily be limited by the number of Libertopians willing to rent or sell property to the new arrivals.

  82. I’ve always heard how cheap it is to live in Mexico. So, if your going to pay them welfare, why not send them back and pay them a few dollars a day. It sounds like a savings.

  83. Would Libertopia have immigration problems?

    Of course not. Immigration “problems”, as presumed libertarians keep telling us, are due entirely to immigrants use of public facilities. Since Libertaria (there are no utopiae) would privatize all transactions, immigrants would not have the means to immigrate unless their benefits to the economy were greater than their costs.

    I suppose that the only immigrants would be people with means, since they’d receive no services whatsoever, they’d have to pay tolls on any roads, etc.

    Or people who have prearranged with an employer to get an advance to pay for transport. Or people who are brought in by an employment agency.

    There would be no lack of industrious people willing to serve as middlemen in arranging employment and housing for immigrants. And there would be no lack of transit companies willing to accept their money to travel on their roads or vehicles.

  84. BTW, I may very well immigrate. However, I’ll follow the immigration laws of the host nation, learn the (most common) language, make a strong effort to assimilate into the culture, and bring my education with me (and hopefully a decent amount of money).

  85. Excellent points, MikeP. You’ve thought about this before, I gather? Key point (for me):

    Since Libertaria (there are no utopiae) would privatize all transactions, immigrants would not have the means to immigrate unless their benefits to the economy were greater than their costs.

    In that case, I’d be all for open borders.

  86. Slightly off topic, the website below has anti and pro immigration cartoons from the late 19th and early 20th century.

    http://historyproject.ucdavis.edu/imageapp.php?Major=IM&Minor=F

  87. In that case, I’d be all for open borders.

    Yep. In that case the economic win is very apparent. I differ in that I think that allowing more immigrantsn today — in particular, legalizing general immigration — pushes us more toward a freer market and wealthier economy than away.

    Also, I am not willing to hold the improvements in livelihood of millions of people hostage to something as disagreeable as the welfare state.

  88. How we actually go about executing our educational plans has problems..

    How about we just execute the educational system and start over?

  89. Kwix, you’re right about Ron Paul and I have privately suspected that he is catering to his constituency, plain and simple.

  90. …pushes us more toward a freer market and wealthier economy…

    …as well as more toward a freer society in toto. Compare with the police state measures being proposed for the border, for local police, and for employers.

  91. Yep. In that case the economic win is very apparent. I differ in that I think that allowing more immigrantsn today — in particular, legalizing general immigration — pushes us more toward a freer market and wealthier economy than away.

    …as well as more toward a freer society in toto. Compare with the police state measures being proposed for the border, for local police, and for employers.

    I have to completely disagree with these comments. The people immigrating are not known for being libertarian or even libertarianish. You can expect more socialism from them, more big government.

  92. The people immigrating are not known for being libertarian or even libertarianish. You can expect more socialism from them, more big government.

    The people immigrating won’t be able to vote for at least a decade. If they were allowed to come and go freely, the majority would not even care to stay for citizenship.

    Furthermore, residency is not citizenship. Under an open immigration policy, it is entirely possible to make the naturalization policy more restrictive.

  93. Under an open immigration policy, it is entirely possible to make the naturalization policy more restrictive.

    Two years service guarantees citizenship!!

    Of course, that’s already largely happening with our desperate need for more troops to send to Iraq; our Armed Forces are ever so slowly beginning to look like a modern Foreign Legion.

  94. Who is “Oliver” and why is he pimping TWC’s blog?

  95. High, Oliver is one of many millions of loyal readers of TWC.

    Thanks, Ollie.

  96. MikeP | May 4, 2007, 4:42pm | #

    One ounce Gold coins would have to have 28grams of gold.

    You misspelled 31.

    Cute remark, Mike. You might also have taken the time to explain to the rest of the board that an Avoirdupois ounce is equal to a bit over 28 grams and that a Troy ounce is equal to slightly more than 31 grams. Gold and other precious metal are usually measured with the Troy system when used in coinage – thus the confusion.

  97. Yeah, I considered adding, “That’s okay. I can’t spell avordupois.” But that would have required taking the time to look up the spelling of avoirdupois so I could misspell it properly.

  98. Greggery Pecary apparently has yet to figure out what the “divide” function on a calculator does.

    Perhaps you might enlighten us: just what is the optimal supply of money for any economy?

  99. wow, libertopia would suck.

  100. Lincoln wasn’t the most handsome candidate either. What matters is policy.

    George W. Bush is handsome and look where that got us. I want the ugliest president of any country in the world, if it gets us good sound policy.

  101. Since when can a contract not specify payment in specie?

  102. “highnumber | May 4, 2007, 10:42pm | #
    Who is “Oliver” and why is he pimping TWC’s blog?”

    he’s a cousin. hier

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