Wealth

If You Want to Be Rich, Choose Your Country of Birth Wisely

"There is nothing more valuable than a U.S. passport."

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Globalization
ubi-orbi

An article over at the Washington Post's Wonkblog is reporting the results of a new study, Global Inequality of Opportunity: How Much of Our Income Is Determined by Where We Live?, by University of Maryland economist Branko Milanovic that about half of any given person's income is determined by two factors: country of residence and the income distribution of that country. As the Post reports Milanovic's findings:

Life is a lottery, and the most important part isn't how smart you are or even who your parents are. It's where you were born.

That, at least, is what economist Branko Milanovic found when he broke down how much people in different countries make at different income percentiles. That lets us figure out, for example, that the bottom 1 percent in Germany are better off than all but the top 40 percent in China. And that more than half of what you — yes, you — earn is determined by the country you live in. But really, when you consider the fact that only 3 percent of the world's population are immigrants, it's determined by the country you were born in.

The cost of living varies by country, so Milanovic tries to control for this using purchasing power parity dollar calculations. PPP calculations try to …

… adjust for the fact that local goods, like, say, a haircut, cost less in some countries than in others. In other words, that you don't always need as much money to live the same way. This changes the picture, but not that much. The poorest Germans, as you can see below, are still better off than 40 percent of Brazilians, 60 percent of Chinese and more than 90 percent of Indians.

PPPComparison
Milanovic

As far as I can tell Milanovic does not try to explain the "geographic" differences income levels between countries. In fact, the differences are not mostly geographic, they are institutional. If a country adopts the rule of law, strong property rights protections, free markets, and open trade, then its citizens will be well on the way to achieving prosperity. For example, owing to our relatively better economic and governance institutions Americans per capita enjoy access to more than $500,000 of intangible wealth compared to Nigeria's $2,700 per capita intangible wealth.

In my article, "Globalization Is Good for You!", in the June issue of Reason I reported on numerous studies that strongly bolster the conclusion that good institutions enable the creation of wealth.

The Wonkblog article notes that one quick way to enable more people to become rich is to let them to immigrate from poor (basket case) countries to rich (free) countries. As I reported:

The economic gains from unfettered immigration are vastly more enormous than those that would result from the elimination of remaining trade restrictions. Total factor productivity (TFP) is the portion of output not explained by the amount of inputs used in production. Its level is determined by how efficiently and intensely the inputs are utilized in production. In other words, it is all those factors—technology, honest government, a stable currency, etc.—that enable people to work "smarter" and not just harder.

A 2012 working paper titled "Open Borders," by the University of Wisconsin economist John Kennan, found that if all workers moved immediately to places with higher total factor productivity, it would produce the equivalent of doubling the world's supply of laborers. Using U.S. TFP as a benchmark, the world's workers right now are the equivalent of 750 million Americans, but allowing migration to high TFP regions would boost that to the equivalent of 1.5 billion American workers.

Think of it this way: A worker in Somalia can produce only one-tenth the economic value of a worker in the United States. But as soon as she trades the hellhole of Mogadishu for the comparative paradise of Minneapolis, she can immediately take advantage of the higher American TFP to produce vastly more. Multiply that by the hundreds of millions still stuck in low-productivity countries.

Assuming everybody moved immediately, Kennan calculated that it would temporarily depress the average wages of the host countries' natives by 20 percent. If emigration were more gradual, there would be essentially no effects on native-born wages.

In a 2011 working paper for the Center for Global Development, "Economics and Emigration: Trillion Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Michael Clemens reviewed the literature on the relationship between economic growth and migration. He concluded that removing mobility barriers could plausibly produce overall gains of 20–60 percent of global GDP. Since world GDP is about $78 trillion now, that suggests that opening borders alone could boost global GDP to between $94 and $125 trillion.

As the Wonkblog article concluded:

There's nothing more valuable than a U.S. passport. And there's nothing that would reduce global inequality more than issuing a few more of them.

Correct.

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  1. The Wonkblog article notes that one quick way to enable more people to become rich is to let them to immigrate from poor (basket case) countries to rich (free) countries

    XENOPHOBIC YOKELTARIANS, AAAASSEMBLE!

    1. Fuck, just issue passports to all 6+ billion of them. I really don’t see any down side.

      1. It would be a boon to Eco-tourism if everyone lived in the U.S. Of course we would live in mega cities, so the sight of nature might scare us. Hmm. Come back to me.

        1. Fellow Florida guy,
          It may well be an eco-tourist boon. It’s currently (and will probably continue to be) a boon to the political party best ready and willing to co-opt the immigrants. Facts on the ground make an fairly open border plan already in force unlikely to benefit the US. Both controlling parties mostly approve of this already- both want Hispanic votes, and some also want lower labor costs.
          Meanwhile, in this very non libertarian country, we pay various school, medical and other costs for the new residents. National productivity is up, but low and mid level paying jobs have stagnant wages (from the on-line NY Times, dated 2013/01/13, article titled “Americas productivity climbs but wages stagnate”).
          I’m no xenophobe-I personally benefit from the current policy, with a modest portfolio and pension, and no housing worry. But this isn’t good for poor or lower middle class Americans.

        2. Fellow Florida guy,
          It may well be an eco-tourist boon. It’s currently (and will probably continue to be) a boon to the political party best ready and willing to co-opt the immigrants. Facts on the ground make an fairly open border plan already in force unlikely to benefit the US. Both controlling parties mostly approve of this already- both want Hispanic votes, and some also want lower labor costs.
          Meanwhile, in this very non libertarian country, we pay various school, medical and other costs for the new residents. National productivity is up, but low and mid level paying jobs have stagnant wages (from the on-line NY Times, dated 2013/01/13, article titled “Americas productivity climbs but wages stagnate”).
          I’m no xenophobe-I personally benefit from the current policy, with a modest portfolio and pension, and no housing worry. But this isn’t good for poor or lower middle class Americans.

      2. Passport inflation!

      3. Behind the sarcasm, you are quite correct. The passport is valuable solely because they can’t get visas.

        People who want to live and work in the US don’t need passports: they only need visas.

    2. I’ll bite.

      As the study and Ron indicate, what seems to differentiate basket case countries from rich countries is strong institutions, the rule of law, and property rights. What, I wonder, contributes to those qualities being respected, prioritized and enshrined into law and culture in rich countries?

      Glenn Reynold’s Law probably applies:

      The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits ? self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. ? that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

      1. Connect the dots between this quote and immigration, please.

        1. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits

          It’s a correlation/causation question.

          Stating that mass immigration will make more poor people rich assumes the immigrants posses the traits necessary (marketable skills, ability to assimilate) while looking only at the marker (poverty).

          1. Stating that mass immigration will make more poor people rich assumes the immigrants posses the traits necessary (marketable skills, ability to assimilate)

            And what reason do you have to think they wouldn’t possess those traits, at least a large amount of them?

            Historically speaking immigration has been a boon to America and we do better than most countries assimilating them.

            1. A necessary prerequisite to successful immigration in the US is assimilation of some cultural values – values like respect for the rule of law, property rights, and institutions.

              Notice those values seem to be necessary prerequisites to being defined as “rich”.

              Mass immigration makes assimilation less likely and less successful. Ask the Europeans about that.

              Believing we can encourage mass immigration from throughout the world including people who obviously have values hostile to those necessary for a free and rich society is beyond stupid. See Irish’s comment below about ISIS.

              1. Ask the Europeans about that.

                About violent xenophobia that makes US racism look like an EST encounter group and locking immigrants out of job markets and into ghettos?

              2. Believing we can encourage mass immigration from throughout the world including people who obviously have values hostile to those necessary for a free and rich society is beyond stupid.

                Is there some sort of test we can give people at the border? Maybe a Voight-Kampff machine?

                There’s a good number of people born here who “have values hostile to those necessary for a free and rich society .” Maybe we can we work a trade?

                1. “we’ll take one of your hard-working dirt farmers who will do what it takes to feed their families and in return give you a 6th-year college senior who will be able to explain to you how property is theft. No? C’mon, please?”

                  1. “we’ll take one of your hard-working dirt farmers who will do what it takes to feed their families and in return give you a 6th-year college senior who will be able to explain to you how property is theft. No? C’mon, please?”

                    If they won’t take an even swap, let’s offer them one 6th-year college senior and throw in a Masters in Sociology for one hard-working dirt farmer.

                2. No, no, no. Everyone naturally born here is simply imbued with those traits–along with a healthy love of other naturally born citizens and a deep hatred for those not considered ‘Murican.

              3. A necessary prerequisite to successful immigration in the US is assimilation of some cultural values – values like respect for the rule of law, property rights, and institutions.

                I’m surrounded by Latino immigrants in my area. There’s about 10 of them living in a house a couple doors down. I can’t say that I’ve had any problems with them. They all go to their jobs and keep their yards fairly clean.

                They’re not the ones I don’t see at 6 AM in a parking lot, waiting to be picked up for work.

                A buddy of mine manages a TGI Friday’s in rural Maryland. He loathes the natives and their hillbilly ways. He tells me the stories; it’s like bad reality show. He told me recently that he was thrilled to get a couple Hispanics in the kitchen. “They show up to work on time, don’t bitch, don’t call out sick every week and then leave here to go to their next job.”

                The last local applicant he had showed up to the interview, high.

                1. They’re not the ones I don’t see at 6 AM in a parking lot, waiting to be picked up for work.

                  That was clumsy. The point was that the only people I see in the Home Depot parking lot aren’t natives.

              4. A necessary prerequisite to successful immigration in the US is assimilation of some cultural values – values like respect for the rule of law, property rights, and institutions.

                As long as we can keep out those fucking garlic-eating dagos and sloppy drunk micks, I’m down with it.

                1. THANK YOU. We don’t have nearly enough people speaking truth about the scourge of the Irish and the Italians in this country – polluting our streets with their ales or their delicious pizzas.

                2. As long as we can keep out those fucking garlic-eating dagos

                  Dude, there are greasy wops all up in this forum RIGHT NOW. We’d better start seasteading because Reason has fallen to dirty immigrants already.

                  1. Dude, there are greasy wops all up in this forum RIGHT NOW. We’d better start seasteading because Reason has fallen to dirty immigrants already.

                    It’s game over, man! GAME OVER!

                  2. Dude, there are greasy wops all up in this forum RIGHT NOW

                    Oy! Some of us are drunken micks.

                    (as an aside, my favorite casual ethnic slur remains “paddy-wagon”)

              5. “Mass immigration makes assimilation less likely and less successful. Ask the Europeans about that.”

                Ask the Romans about that.

          2. Immigration doesn’t make poor people rich. Immigration makes poor people richer*. Even an uneducated laborer is worth more in the United States than his home country. The point is that basically everyone creates more economic value in this country than in impoverished countries.

            You’re right: we don’t know if an immigrant possesses any kind of beneficial or desirable traits, but we don’t really don’t need to know much about an individual to understand the larger economic picture.

            1. Reducing immigration down to only economics is simplistic. Immigration has cultural ramifications. Some good, some bad.

              1. Yes, but you only addressed the economic argument, which was that mass immigration doesn’t necessarily make immigrants rich because we don’t know if they have the skills to be rich.

                Now you’re pivoting over to cultural ramifications of immigration. So let’s talk about the cultural ramifications.

                First, I am not so sure the government is even capable of deciding what makes an immigrant culturally value. Other than its total incompetence in basically every way, how does such a subjective determination even get made?

                Second, if we just rewind through history when the US had an essentially open-borders immigration policy (whether you define it as open or just really lax is your call; I don’t want to argue semantics), do you think any immigrant group that arrived en masse would have been predicted to be a net positive on American culture? Take any group – the Irish, Germans, Italians, Poles, the impoverished Jews of Eastern Europe. Let me just cut to the chase: no. Yet I would argue that they have all contributed so much to our culture and they have all assimilated so well that they’re as fundamental to what it means to be American as George Washington.

                So that just begs the question of how we’ll know what it “takes” to be American and how we’ll know if a group will make us better or worse. I tend to believe it’s a reactionary fool’s errand.

                1. culturally valuable*

                2. Yet I would argue that they have all contributed so much to our culture and they have all assimilated so well that they’re as fundamental to what it means to be American as George Washington.

                  It’s worth noting that 1st gen off-the-boat rarely assimilate. They stay close to their ethnic communities and often never leave. A lot of the moms, depending on the source country, never learn English.

                  Their kids, OTOH, can’t get enough of hot dogs and apple pie.

                  All, and I mean, ALL of The Boy’s love interests have been from immigrant families. Mostly Hispanic, but there was one half-Indian girl. Cute as hell. Almost all of their parents have been 1st gen, but you wouldn’t know it from the kids.

                  And yeah, the 2nd gen Asian kids are kicking everyone’s ass in school. They’re the new Jews. Take a look at the graduating Medical classes, if you can; Hopkins is about 80% Asian. There’s our future.

                  1. I addressed that in a post further down where I basically said the same thing. They tend to immigrate in groups (familial, regional, town, etc.) and stay clustered in tight-knit communities, and then some assimilate more than others and pave a path for the rest. The children, as you said, assimilate much more easily, especially if they were born in the US or immigrated very young.

                    In my own family, my great-grandparents immigrated from Sicily in 1920. Great-grandfather learned English, naturalized. My grandmother grew up speaking Italian in the home. My father and I don’t speak a word. You won’t find a more annoyingly patriotic anti-immigrant American than my stupid, stupid dad.

                    1. In my own family, my great-grandparents immigrated from Sicily in 1920. Great-grandfather learned English, naturalized. My grandmother grew up speaking Italian in the home.

                      I’ve heard similar stories about Korean families who came here in the 60’s and 70’s.

                      I have an aunt by marriage whose family is from Italy. Grandpa is off-the-boat. He spoke some English, but all I can recall is him laying on the couch, moaning in Italian. Her mom came here as a child, not that you would know if you ever met her.

                    2. Yeah, that’s the typical immigrant story, which isn’t as sexy as their dark, oily skin and weird colorful clothing make me uncomfortable and irrationally angry.

                    3. Yeah, that’s the typical immigrant story, which isn’t as sexy as their dark, oily skin and weird colorful clothing make me uncomfortable and irrationally angry.

                      Stupid sexy Flanders!

                3. “Second, if we just rewind through history when the US had an essentially open-borders immigration policy (whether you define it as open or just really lax is your call; I don’t want to argue semantics), do you think any immigrant group that arrived en masse would have been predicted to be a net positive on American culture? Take any group – the Irish, Germans, Italians, Poles, the impoverished Jews of Eastern Europe. Let me just cut to the chase: no.”

                  And if you rewind a little less you’ll see an extremely restrictive policy being implemented.

                  We’ll never know if the waves of immigrants would have assimilated as the did (or at all) if they weren’t cut off.

                  1. Tak Kak, we can’t know what we can’t know, but we can certainly get a sense if we look at the numbers. Between 1880 and 1920, ~4 million Italians arrived in the US, most of whom were from the impoverished region of southern Italy. Between 1840 and 1930, ~4.5 million Irish immigrated. ~7 million Germans since the 18th century.

                    Sure, we can talk hypotheticals, like maybe the restrictive immigration laws passed after 1920 made assimilation possible, but that doesn’t really account for millions prior to the 1920s and even prior to 1900 who assimilated just fine. Millions. It’s hard to accept even in the abstract that somehow 4 million Italians and 4.5 million Irish were just the right amount, but more than that would have caused some sort of assimilation tipping point.

                    1. Sure, we can talk hypotheticals, like maybe the restrictive immigration laws passed after 1920 made assimilation possible, but that doesn’t really account for millions prior to the 1920s and even prior to 1900 who assimilated just fine. Millions.

                      Given that you previously said:

                      “… any method to determine “assimilation” would be fundamentally, inherently flawed. ”

                      I really can’t take your claims of them assimilating “just fine” seriously.

                      From my own readings, I can’t find much showing that Italians really did assimilate “just fine” before the 1930’s. For the most part they clustered in various “Little Italies” and kept much of their cultures in-tact. (I’ve read little on the Irish and Germans though, so they could differ)

                      “It’s hard to accept even in the abstract that somehow 4 million Italians and 4.5 million Irish were just the right amount, but more than that would have caused some sort of assimilation tipping point.”

                      No, never said a tipping point. Just a release. Constant immigration streams give them an enclave.

                4. So let’s talk about the cultural ramifications.

                  First, I am not so sure the government is even capable of deciding what makes an immigrant culturally value. Other than its total incompetence in basically every way, how does such a subjective determination even get made?

                  Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers.

                  The better way to do it is not by examining the immigrant’s culture, but by assuming that our culture is better at such things than theirs is and examining the immigrant’s ability to integrate into a functional phyle of our country.

                  That’s a much easier task that is in principle very manageable and much less subjective.

                  1. You just used more words to describe exactly what I said, which is that any method to determine “assimilation” would be fundamentally, inherently flawed. Any method to determine net contribution to our culture would also be flawed, but I guess you sort of resolved that by saying we’re right, they’re wrong.

                    Oh, gee, all we have to do is assume we know best and then “examine” (WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS MEAN?) their ability to integrate? That’s it? Problem solved! Thanks for clearing it up and putting forth a clear method. I didn’t know we could “examine.” That’s a very different word choice than determine and decide.

                    1. I find it interesting that the same gubmint that most of us would agree is too incompetent to screw in a light bulb without fucking it up somehow, suddenly becomes a crack international bloodhound of character assessment and weeds out the undesirables.

                    2. We should create the Department of Immigrant Assimilation.

                      Over budget since 2015.

                      DIA agent: You’re irritating accent and stubborn insistence of practicing you’re ooga-booga religion makes you a poor candidate for assimilation. You can appeal. The process will be unclear and expensive, the criteria for entry hidden, the ruling without an ounce of transparency and you’ll almost certainly be rejected. Our response will take anywhere from 6 weeks to 10 years. Thank you for applying.

                    3. You’re making obtuse the types of things that businesses (and yes, governments) have been doing with a fair amount of effectiveness for nearly a century. Points systems and population studies are hardly arcana of the sort unavailable to us — and frankly, the sort of things that most people opposed to open borders are predicting hardly requires genius-level intelligence to forsee.

                      This is a basic function of government which would, at any rate, need to be in place even under an “open borders” regime checking against criminal or medical status of prospective immigrants.

                    4. “This is a basic function of government which would, at any rate, need to be in place even under an “open borders” regime checking against criminal or medical status of prospective immigrants.”

                      Bingo. This point has been brought up before. A lot of talking out of both sides of the mouth.

                      Now, if the “Open Borders” crowd want to go full AnCap, I’m all for it. Thousands of borders sounds pretty good to me.

        2. That the basket cases are basket cases for a reason, and there is a tendancy for basket-casism to migrate?

    3. By the way, calling anyone who disagrees with mass immigration a xenophobe is lazy as shit.

      1. Not every argument against mass immigration is xenophobic, just many of them. As any Reason immigration thread can show you since it always seems to boil down to complaining about specific immigrant groups and presumed undesirable characteristics and qualities they bring with them. Like Mexicans, bringer of welfare statism and Team Blue votes.

        1. And many arguments in favor of open borders is based on some idealized, romanticized idea of American immigration of the past century. Some constantly invoke vague calls to principles without dealing with the hard reality of what that means.

          1. Perhaps, but I regard it has highly immoral to deny the Mexican laborer the opportunity to improve his life and the lives of his family simply because he comes from the wrong country and ethnic group.

            That isn’t a vague principle, it’s pretty essential to libertarianism. Just because in the aggregate it might negatively affect you or others shouldn’t give government license to deny people opportunity.

            We rightly reject that doctrine when applied to wheat grown on a private farm and other instances.

            1. This.

            2. Well, you seem fixated on Mexicans when we’re talking about open borders and mass immigration.

              We live, even in awful America, in conditions that make certain values possible (property rights, rule of law, yada, yada yada). The reason Mexicans and other immigrants can come here and prosper is because those conditions exist. If we create an environment in which those values are undermined (yes, we already have and do) then there’ll be no place left to run. So, guarding the rule of law and the legitimacy of our institutions seems like a worthwhile cause.

              I don’t object to immigration – even a lot of immigration, but open borders is incredible naive.

              1. “Naive” is often the response to calls for liberty. “We can’t have too much freedom because bad stuff would happen! You’re being naive!” I know – if we were just less naive, more practical, more realistic, we’d realize that this issue is just too important to leave in the hands of free people. We’d realize that only the State can truly address this problem.

          2. And many arguments in favor of open borders is based on some idealized, romanticized idea of American immigration of the past century.

            Nope. They have the freedom to travel. Borders are for states, not people.

            Some constantly invoke vague calls to principles without dealing with the hard reality of what that means.

            I know that I haven’t argued that it will be Rainbow Puppy Island. Anyone that says everything will be peachy is an idiot. Humans are involved. There will be stupidity.

            1. Yeah, I don’t have an idealized or romanticized idea of American immigration in the past. The world was a poorer, more racist, more xenophobic, more violent, less individualistic, less free place, so immigrants met with a lot of crap once they walked off the boat and were even preyed on by their own countrymen in the cities.

              But at least they had the right to freedom of movement to escape the even more violent and more repressive places of their birth, and at least they knew when they were walking overland from some hill town in southern Italy to the port that they’d have passage. And they knew that if they survived the passage, they’d almost be guaranteed entry into the country. The journey was filled with countless potentially devastating risks, but the risks could be undertaken because there was some sort of possibility on the other end.

              We don’t even offer that sort of assurance now. Immigrants pay coyotes cross thousands of miles of desert not even knowing if they’ll make it across the border or be deported the next day. They hang on trains for hundreds of miles risking life and limb without any reasonable confidence that they’ll enter the country. So while the past was horrible, we can at least say our ancestors had greater hope of making their arduous trip worthwhile than all of the illegal immigrants today who take on all the same risks without the promise of the same rewards.

        2. Reminds me of P.J O’Rourke’s point about how the NAFTA debate degerated down to “tacos will be cheaper” vs “Mexicans carry knives”.

          1. God, I love P.J.

            “Just Enough of Me, Way Too Much of You” is still the best summation of the population-control arguments.

    4. Your choice of cocktail, sir?

      1. It’s going to be 106 today, so I’d take a Paloma.

        1. I had to Google the Paloma. Sounds delicious.

        2. Excellent choice. Now I want to pick up some Jarritos.

  2. I’m curious where the Czech Republic lands on this study. They have a penchant for electing Milton Friedman disciples as President. How does that translate into actual policy? And if their actual economic policy is based on free-market lliberalism, how do their incomes compare?

    And would it be a good place to retire (i.e. how’s the skiing)?

    1. ..how’s the skiing…

      Why not just retire to Utah?

      1. I like Utah fine, but it is still part of the rotting peach that is the United States.

        1. Fair enough. I also worry how the coming fiscal implosion will effect my skiing…

          1. It is a very important consideration for retirement. Like, FL, with it’s lack of income tax and somewhat cheap real estate looks great until you ask “how’s the skiing?”.

            So, New Hampshire it is, until some other country (Czech Republic?) comes up with something better and freer and less taxy.

            1. Skiing is a few hours away. Why live in wintery shit when you can pay to visit it?

              1. Skiing is a few hours away. Why live in wintery shit when you can pay to visit it?

                The secret to leading a happy life is to live where you play.

                1. Those places are happy because you go to escape from where you live. It’s not that where you live sucks necessarily, but you probably work where you live, mow your lawn where you live, pay taxes where you live, vote (and are disappointed) where you live, get yelled at by your spouse where you live, put up with your insufferable kids where you live… In other words, where you live is your real life. Where you play is your fantasy life. When you move to your fantasy, your fantasy becomes your humdrum reality.

                  1. Francisco lives in Montana and skis many, many, many more hours than I do each winter. Seems like living in the fantasy world is working OK for him!

                  2. If your passion is fly fishing, you can fly to Montana and spend 10 days a year doing it and spend the other 364 dreaming about next year’s trip…

                    OR, you can find a job in Montana and fish everyday after work.

                    1. Shut up, Francisco! What are you trying to accomplish?!

                    2. Er…I meant Colorado. Yeah, move to Colorado.

                      *looks around sheepishly*

                    3. f your passion is fly fishing, you can fly to Montana and spend 10 days a year doing it and spend the other 364 dreaming about next year’s trip…

                      This is what I do with skiing.

                    4. This is not to say that I don’t like Montana. I do. But there are prices to be paid wherever you live in the U.S.

                    5. How many days are in year in your world?

                    6. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER DO MATH IN PUBLIC!

                      Iron law?

                2. If all you do is skiing, then good luck with that. There’s plenty down here to entertain. Though I would like a mountain range down the middle of the state, ? la Italy.

              2. Skiing is a few hours away

                A FEW!? It’s only a couple of hours away for me. What kind of monstrous place do you live that it’s a “few” for you?

                Also our avocados are wonderful.

                1. It’s less if you don’t require western ski slopes.

              3. Because the wintery shit keeps other people away. It’s my favorite part of living in a harsh climate.

            2. http://skicentral.com/alaska.html

              No income tax.
              No sales tax.
              No estate tax.
              Awesome gun laws.

              1. You know what Alaskans should invent? Biathlon, but with downhill skiing. Like those crazy bungee-jump-style challenges on Top Shot.

                (speaking of, whatever happened to Top Shot?)

                1. Biathlon, but with downhill skiing.

                  And chance damaging a good rifle?

                  1. Not a good rifle, necessarily.

                    http://www.impactguns.com/henr…..02006.aspx

            3. The water skiing is excellent.

        2. I agree with the “rotting peach” part, but console yourself with Lewis Grizzard’s observation, “Delta is ready when you are”.

  3. Reduce global inequality – sounds like a progtard super-fantasy.

    Maybe the goal should be more of the things that are cited as drivers of prosperity?

    1. Look, the USA is responsible for all the world’s problems, including poverty. So of course the USA must fix it. Somehow. With passports.

    2. Maybe the goal should be more of the things that are cited as drivers of prosperity?

      You mean economic liberty? You mean people engaging in economic activity without asking permission and obeying orders? You can’t have that! Sure the poor will become richer, but the rich will become richer too! That’s not fair! You support inequality, you monster!

      1. No, no, don’t you understand that free markets and free movement only apply when you’re within the US? You’re totally free – like, so, so free – as long as you narrowly define free to mean within the confines of our national borders.

        1. Um, yes, exactly. Or are you under the impression the U.S. government is going to guarantee your rights in North Korea?

    3. The world’s shitholes will get right on that, I am sure. In the meantime, their citizens should just live in abject poverty under repressive regimes. After all, I’m sure you’d live and die an American regardless of the conditions here. You’re just loyal and committed like that.

      1. I’m curious as to how much or how little responsibility you think the citizen of one of the world’s shitholes has to, maybe, make their own country NOT a shithole.

        1. The same could be said about terrible public schools or impoverished neighborhoods. What responsibility do you have to stay to make it better for everyone? Or is it completely reasonable to abandon something that’s poor, violent, and oppressive for more opportunities somewhere else?

          Frankly, my vote is almost always going to be for moving since “responsibility” plays a surprisingly small role in reforming a horrible, horrible country. Our notions of responsibility in a country with a strong civil society and a (fairly?) accountable government may not have any real applicability to many people in the world.

      2. In the meantime, their citizens should just live in abject poverty under repressive regimes

        Not at all. They should overthrow those regimes until they get it right. You know, take responsibility for their future instead of letting themselves be serfs. Is that too much to ask?

        1. See my above response. In a perfect world, yeah, the people on the ground would fix the system, then we’d have hand-holding and world peace and fluffy kitten celebration days. I just don’t believe that’s especially realistic or particularly humanitarian to the people who are suffering now. Telling them to stay there and die in a bloody coup when they could just emigrate is sort of, well, silly. Maybe that’s what you’d prefer so that you don’t have to see them or live near them, but the argument essentially boils down to “they should risk death there or just accept poverty so they don’t live here,” which is a terrible case in defense of restricting the free movement of people who desperately want to move.

          1. I’m all for more legal immigration but believing that letting in all of the worlds poor who happen to live in authoritarian regimes will make the world a better place is idiotic. Those authoritarian regimes will remain authoritarian regimes unless/until change is effected from within.

            Unless, of course, you propose letting everyone come here. Then I guess the authoritarian regimes will cease to exist since their won’t be any people to hold authority over.

          2. I have no intention of preventing them from leaving their country if that’s what they see fit to do.

            However, your desire and right to evacuate your current situation does not imply I have any obligation to provide you with one more to your liking.

          3. McGoodbody does a nice job of switching between skepticism on the ability of poor people in third world shitholes making those countries better, and optimism about the ability of poor people from third world shitholes making the US better.

        2. If they decide to escape horrible conditions, then they *are* taking responsibility for their future. But yeah, I can see trying to do something to change their own country, right up until they’re imprisoned or killed for trying to do so.

  4. I’m glad I chose to be an American. Well, I didn’t. But at some point I had an ancestor who decided to go to North Carolina colony. So I guess he didn’t decide to be an American either, he was English. I think his son did decide though, because he fought in the war for independence. So I’m glad someone decided to fuck the king and then subsequently fuck their way to me. Fuck yeah.

    1. +1 DAR

  5. That sure is a pretty stupid argument since if everyone moved immediately that would include the entirety of ISIS and I imagine whatever country that got ISIS would probably see their Total Factor Productivity decline.

    I hate economics arguments that are based on ludicrous simplifications of the world and completely disregard things like the massive culture clashes that would occur by this gargantuan wave of immigrants, what would happen to welfare systems, the potential crime explosion caused by letting in tens of thousands of Nigerian terrorists, etc.

    1. I’m guessing the fastest way to make a rich country poor would be to fill it up with poor people. But I could be wrong.

      1. The problem with Scotland the world is its full of scots poors!

        I have a cunning plan involving breeding.

      2. The mass destruction of capital would be faster.

      3. Yes, you’re wrong. You’re wrong because poverty is not a disease. You can’t infect people with poor. Many of them are impoverished because they come from impoverished countries, so the poverty doesn’t get on the boat with the immigrant.

        1. So somebody hands out bundles of cash to poor people getting on the boat? If someone is poor where they’re coming from, what makes them not poor when they reach their destination?

          1. That would be a really good argument if poverty were a permanent condition, like herpes.

          2. If someone is poor where they’re coming from, what makes them not poor when they reach their destination?

            The welfare state?

            1. The more often correct answer is “a job”.

        2. No, you’re wrong because poverty is not a disease but it is a product of a lack of skills. That lack of skills and education causes people to be less capable. Now, it isn’t really your fault a lot of the time that you lack skills and education, it may very well be because you’re from a shitty country where there was no means to obtain an education.

          Here’s the problem: Let’s say you import the entire population of Egypt. The last time the Egyptians had the opportunity to vote, they elected an Islamist thug and his opponent was a former member of the dictatorship they’d just overthrown.

          You import all those people and what happens to the areas where they live? Do you think those areas maintain the sort of institutions that allowed America to succeed, or do you think the Egyptians who just came here would vote just like they voted back in Egypt and after a while the place they moved to would be in the exact state Egypt is currently in?

          You have child marriages, incestuous marriages, inbreeding problems, and so on in Great Britain now because huge numbers of Pashtun tribesmen moved to places like Bradford and Rotherham and they brought their culture with them. Culture doesn’t stop at the border, it does get on the boat with the immigrant, and it has dreadful consequences when millions of people arrive who have a broken, terrible culture which is now going to damage your country.

          1. No, no, Irish, the only thing that matters is whose dirt you’re standing on.

          2. First, poverty is not a product of “lack of skills,” at least not in the global sense. Certainly, in the individual sense, that’s absolutely the case.

            Do you think poor countries are just full of people without skills? Without abilities? That’s utterly ridiculous. Did you even read the article above, out of curiosity? You know, the point about poor workers creating more economic value in the United States than their countries of birth? So literally as soon as they step off the boat, plane, whatever, even without any educational or job training, they are worth considerably more – just by virtue of being here. But they also have opportunities here that they didn’t have in their home countries, so their long-term prospects are better, as well. And the prospects for their children? Better still. If poverty were a permanent condition that didn’t change based on location or opportunities, then you’d have a better point.

          3. Second, yes, yes, I know – some immigrants just can’t assimilate. They don’t love freedom like us home-grown Americans do, so let’s cherrypick a ridiculous hypothetical like, say, importing the entire population of Egypt. And in this scenario let’s give them full voting rights. We’ll have an Islamic state in no time!

            What you fail to consider or just willfully ignore is that people who choose the United States for economic opportunities or religious or political freedom are often the least sympathetic to the corrupt regimes of their countries of origins. Frankly, the story of immigration in the US tells the opposite story: by and large, immigrants migrate together and stay clustered in tight-knit communities for a while, somewhat due to self-selection and somewhat due to American xenophobia, but they quickly adopt many aspects of American culture, retain the parts of their culture that have value to them, and enrich our culture as a result. In every generation there’s always an immigrant group deemed unworthy and incapable of assimilating, and somehow the lesson is never learned that that *has never been true*.

          4. Can anyone articulate an anti-immigration argument without resorting to some form of fallacy?

            1. Can anyone articulate an anti-immigration argument without resorting to some form of fallacy?

              Not that I’ve been able to see.

            2. If you are an anarchocapitalist, or at least an spring one, and you view all state actions as at some level illegitimate, then it is impossible to favor immigration restrictions without twisting yourself into a pretzel. I’m not an anarchcapitalist, though. I’m a minarchist, which means that I grant a certain amount of legitimacy to the state to commit violence in my name (and depending on the circumstances, to commit violence against me). I have a responsibility to exercise some care in deciding who will share in that power, which means being selectivive in granting new citizenships, and also being sure that the rate of immigration is not so high that it overwhelms out existing institutions and cultural mores. Government is a gun to the head, and every new citizen is another hand helping to aim, and another finger on the trigger. I tend to think that we could absorb more immigrants than we are taking in right now, but the point is that there is a limit to what is prudent.

              Again, this only works if you accept my priors (at least for the sake of argument), but it is, I believe, internally consistent.

          5. Let’s say you import the entire population of Egypt.

            Let me base an argument on a laughable hypothetical!

            1. Another laughable hypothetical? Open borders. But keep the dream alive.

              1. Leaping to conclusions is the only exercise some people get, Ms. Bertrum.

                I’ve never come out in favor of “open borders” but I do believe that immigrants are coming and that our attempts to lock down the borders have been a failure. I’d rather white-market immigration as much as possible because it’s better for them and it’s better for us. Arguing from the basis of importing the entire population of a country is on its face retarded, and using that argument to bolster your own arguments is building a house upon the sand.

                1. Well, we agree on the current state of immigration and also the possible solution. He used an absurd example to provide a contrast to illustrate a point.

              2. Rest assured that the U.S. will not have open immigration anytime soon. At least not legal immigration. It’s too much in the interests of the politicians to restrict immigration and pass out favors to special interests to allow only certain workers into the U.S. Which is also why we will never have completely closed borders, either.

      4. Re: A Self-Identified Sparky

        I’m guessing the fastest way to make a rich country poor would be to fill it up with poor people. But I could be wrong.

        That’s like saying the fastest way of making a room taller [not “seem” taller, but TALLER] is to fill it with more short people.

        Answer: Uh, it doesn’t.

        1. So where does the wealth come from? Why do you assume that I don’t want people moving to America? If someone is poor and they move to a country with shitty job prospects what is going to make them not be poor? How long will I have to pay for someone to live here because they ran away from their country but can’t be productive here? Do I have a right to keep my stuff? Do I have an obligation to support someone who just showed up?

          If you even think of saying stuff about getting government out of the way so that more people can be productive, that’s great, but do that first.

          1. “Get rid of welfare before allowing immigration.” And what political reality do you think we live in? Getting any reasonable policy changes made is next to impossible without a lot of money and political clout. But I have a counter-proposal. Anti-immigrants should get the laws changed so that non-citizens aren’t allowed to collect welfare. Wouldn’t that do a lot to ensure that immigrants *aren’t* coming here just for welfare? Better yet, maybe we could also get rid of the idea that a person born in the U.S., any person, is automatically a citizen. Make everyone work for citizenship!

  6. Yet another example of proggies confusing cause for effect.

    Just like they think that owning a home and having a college degree makes you well-off, so they try to push college degrees and home ownership by government subsidy and fiat.

    Let’s say 50 million random Chinese and 50 million random Indians move to the US over the next decade. How delusional do you have to be to think that our current per capita standard of living wouldn’t crash?

    We’ve imported 30-odd million low-skilled Latinos over the last generation. By an amazing coincidence, wages at the bottom of the job market have been pretty stagnant. Weird, huh?

    Immigration has many upsides, no doubt. Mass immigration, in particular, also has many downsides. It would be nice if this were occasionally recognized by Reason writers.

    And there’s nothing that would reduce global inequality more than issuing a few more of them.

    What blithering horseshit. Issuing a “few” more passports won’t make any change in global inequality. Issuing enough to affect global inequality would mean the kind of mass immigration that comes with costs as well as benefits.

    1. Well, you also reduce inequality by making the wealthy poorer.

    2. Here’s another issue: Most of the people moving would be almost completely uneducated. There are some professions that are absolutely necessary but which can only be filled by educated people. Since educated people would now be a very small minority, what happens to, say, the health care system when you now have an additional 400 million Africans living in Western countries but the supply of doctors doesn’t increase nearly enough to accommodate the increase in population because most of that population increase is completely uneducated?

      That sure does seem like a great way to overwhelm your hospitals and cause a major health crisis, doesn’t it?

      Of course, none of this actually matters since there’s no way to immediately move hundreds of millions of immigrants to the west and this is just a bullshit thought experiment with no applicability to the real world since it ignores virtually all variables beyond those that help the thesis.

      1. The doctor-to-patient ratio also decreases dramatically if you have socialize healthcare, as there are no incentives to go to medical school to begin with.

      2. You’re not considering the multiplier affect. Nancy Pelosi told me that when government spends money those dollars go out into the economy and bred like bunnies. Producing quantifiable goods and services is a racist concept.

      3. Re: Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns,

        There are some professions that are absolutely necessary but which can only be filled by educated people.

        The “lack of education” canard seems the favorite crutch of the anti-immigration crowd but they don’t seem to think it could apply also to babies. Let’s stop having babies until they can prove that they are born with the skills necessary to operate the wonderful technology we already enjoy. We can’t just have more and more unskilled babies be born into this world ?we need highly-skilled babies.

    3. Let’s say 50 million random Chinese and 50 million random Indians move to the US over the next decade. How delusional do you have to be to think that our current per capita standard of living wouldn’t crash?

      I’ve seen quite a few Indian and Chinese doctors, as I;m sure you have too. Even more as engineers in technical industries.

      Why do you presume they’ll all be welfare cases?

      1. I said “random”. I didn’t assume any of them would be on welfare. I also didn’t assume they would all be high-production doctors and engineers. I assume they will be pretty representative of the population of those countries. And a pretty small percentage of people in those countries are doctors or engineers.

        Just 50 million random people from each country. 5% or less of their current populations. Open borders, if they’re not sick or a criminal and can afford one-way airfare, here you go.

        1. Just 50 million random people from each country. 5% or less of their current populations. Open borders, if they’re not sick or a criminal and can afford one-way airfare, here you go.

          Sure. Bring it. It’ll be an amusing ride. I know that my home will be worth about 3 times more, now that there is a housing shortage. The flip side is now that all that pent up demand for housing will spur an honest to Zod building boom; one not based on manipulations of fiat currency.

          I’m presuming that there will a be a few hundred thousand Bollywood level Indian women in that mix. I call that win-win.

          We’ve had this discussion before. If people were truly a burden and not a resource, then the entire planet should have been an Ehrlich-level apocalypse of resource exhaustion and famines by now. Strangely, living standards and life spans are up all over the planet, as our population grows.

  7. International wealth inequality is the biggest problem the world faces (after global warming).

      1. That’s just…how stupid can someone be?

        “This doesn’t require the passage of laws in every single country around the world. We can do it ourselves. We can pass a law saying simply that any multinational corporation of [X] size that wishes to sell goods in America must pay all of its employees and subcontractors a minimally acceptable wage. ”

        That’s a great way to starve poor people to death. After all, the only reason companies are even in those countries is the cheap labor. If that cheap labor is no longer available, they just won’t build factories there and everyone will once again be forced to live miserably doing subsistence agriculture.

        1. doing subsistence agriculture.

          i think that’s what they want. for all of us.

          1. Poverty is romantic.

            1. Also, all poor people are good; rich people are bad.

              Don’t you want to be good?

        2. Pretty much every economic and environmental policy espoused by progressives would results in billions of deaths. At this point, it seems pretty clear that the endgame is actually all those deaths, and that environmental protection and minimum wages and high taxes are just a means to achieve near-extinction (with only a few “enlightened” souls coming out the other side).

          1. (with only a few “enlightened” souls coming out the other side

            I don’t think the progressives would like who would come out the other side if the entire world devolved into a subsistence lifestyle. The “wrong” type of people would survive.

            1. Yep. They think their “enlightened” thinking will see them through, when it’s really gonna come down to land and guns.

              1. Skill sets.

                Tell me how many people you know, personally, who know how to do or make absolutely nothing of value.

              2. Well I’ve got the gun part covered.

                Speaking of which, does anyone have any experience with EAA pistols?

          2. I live for the day I can look out my window and see an “enlightened” corpse swinging from every lamppost.

            1. You are an insufferable twat.

      2. I knew that had to be Hammy Nolo.

  8. OT: I was watching a show on the Weather Channel about the El Reno, OK tornado that killed three professional, scientific (i.e. not tourist) storm chasers and one hobbyist storm chaser. At the end of the show, they started discussing how dangerous storm chasing is, and perhaps amateurs shouldn’t be out there, and that the roads and streets should be the domain of the professionals during a severe weather outbreak.

    Ten points for recognizing what’s wrong with this picture (other than just the “roads are for everyone” argument).

    1. Amateurs shouldn’t be out there getting killed. Leave that to the professionals.

      1. Pretty much this. I wanted to scream through the TV tubez that the death rate of professional to amateur chasers in that storm was THREE-TO-FUCKING-ONE!

      2. Exactly. Professionals are much better at getting killed than amateurs!

    2. Three Scientists Walk into a Bar?

      1. No, that’s a great show, actually (TWC has some of the best non-scripted shows on TV).

        It was called Dangerous Day Ahead

        1. We were just watching it yesterday (well, I say ‘we.’ I say ‘we’, but what I mean is ‘everyone else was watching it while I kept half an eye on the telly in the middle of my chores’). It had the redneck rocket scientist and he created a tornado machine. I thought maybe I missed the bit you were talking about.

          1. That dude (redneck redhead) is HAWT.

            1. I absolutely agree. He would have to keep talking the whole while. Wouldn’t be the same without the accent.

              Raaaaarrrw.

              1. Totes agree!

    3. Is it wrong that my first thought was “what other activities can we encourage TOP MEN to adopt that will result in this mortality rate?”

  9. “There is nothing more valuable than a U.S. passport.”

    Maybe we should auction them on ebay?

    1. We have a Green Card lottery already. Perhaps expand on that.

    2. You joke, but not the worst way to handle immigration. Dutch auction each year for a limited number?

      There could be minimal background check requirements.

  10. If a country adopts the rule of law, strong property rights protections, free markets, and open trade, then its citizens will be well on the way to achieving prosperity. For example…

    Yeah. Look. About using America as an example of, well, any of those things…

    1. Fortunately, economic and military power are both graded strictly on a curve. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be less fucked up than the other crackwhores.

  11. And people who had ponies as children earn more than those who didn’t.

    Naturally, ponies for all.

  12. Actually, the best way to get rich is to choose your parents wisely. But since can’t all be Bill Gates children, the next best thing would be redistributing his resources so we can all benefit from his achievements.

    Hmmm…. I wonder how that idea would work applied to entire countries?

    1. I have a more modest proposal. Redistribute all children globally so that he has a few hundred thousand to feed/clothe/house/educate and some poor unfortunate in India only needs to be responsible for one or so. That global distribution can help break the artificial boundaries of both countries and families at the same time. And as we decide which whole children get distributed to which parents, we can also distribute partial children to those adults who are deemed too selfish to be parents and/or to soup kitchens.

  13. Cool story, bros!

    Just don’t start talking some bullshit about moral desert. Since so much of what you have is due to luck, you don’t deserve it, and so it’s legit for the government to take it. For the greater good, of course.

    1. … but the government didn’t earn it either.

      1. Who do you think provided the physical, moral and legal systems by which you earned that buck, citizen?

        /derpityderp

      2. Wrong, society earned it. But if no one earned it, then it’s free money that’s up for grabs, and it is only right that the government take it and decide the most equitable way to distribute it.

        Look, I’m just scatting until Tony finds this thread.

  14. OT: Sepp Blatter resigns. The shitbag like didn’t do it before the election to give his toadies more time to lobby on behalf of whoever his chosen successor is.

    http://www.espnfc.com/fifa-wor…..on-scandal

  15. This article is another variation on the old Heinlein quote about bad luck. The unstated assumption behind the contention that the way to be rich is to be born in the right place is that places that are rich are that way because of pure happenstance rather than because of the culture of the people who live there. If it is true that America is rich because it won some cosmic lottery, then sure, the best way to make people rich is to move them into America and let them share in the good fortune. If, however, America’s being rich has something to do with the culture, work ethic, and politics of the people who live here, moving people in who don’t share that culture work ethic and political inclination might not be a very effective way to increase those people’s fortunes.

    1. Isn’t this Jared Diamond’s entire premise, just replacing the word “cosmic” with “geographic?”

      1. Pretty much. And that of course is complete horseshit. Some of the places with the most natural advantages are also the poorest. Meanwhile places like Hong Kong and South Korea have gone from starvation level poverty to western style riches in a generation.

        1. Diamond’s thesis is about the development of civilizations globally. Anything happening in the 20th century is a result of Eurasian dominance resulting from the environmental factors he describes.

    2. moving people in who don’t share that culture work ethic and political inclination might not be a very effective way to increase those people’s fortunes

      Especially if they don’t bother to assimilate.

    3. ^Right.

      Because the qualities that Ron (and the study) identified as necessary to becoming rich (property rights, rule of law, strong institutions) flew out of our ancestor’s collective asses – as a pure stroke of luck.

    4. The unstated assumption behind the contention that the way to be rich is to be born in the right place

      To be fair, most statists who get rich, do so through luck or a similar mechanism: born to wealthy parents; born into families with the right connections so they easily get into really good colleges; get elected in a one-party state; use connections to make the “right” investments.

      A lot of them really don’t believe you can become wealthy without screwing the system.

    5. Bailey makes it clear in this article that the article he’s referring to doesn’t try to account for the geographic differences, merely that there are differences. Thus, *that* article implies that it’s merely luck. Bailey, on the other hand, points out: “In fact, the differences are not mostly geographic, they are institutional. If a country adopts the rule of law, strong property rights protections, free markets, and open trade, then its citizens will be well on the way to achieving prosperity.” In other words, freedom creates prosperity. If you want to say culture is important, you’ll have to show why “culture” supersedes freedom in creating prosperity.

      And of course, most immigrants who come to the U.S. do, in fact, have a good work ethic, so one has to wonder how much effect different language, food, or music really has on freedom and work ethics. After all, if they come here to escape the bad conditions in their native country, perhaps they really aren’t that eager to replicate those conditions in their newly-adopted country.

      Admittedly, there’s still some luck involved, as it’s a complete crap shoot what country any person will be born in.

  16. Does anyone else think Trevor sounds like Bo?

    1. I now have a vision in my head of the Child Bo Catcher prowling around, sniffing the air.

      1. Telling them to stay there and die in a bloody coup when they could just emigrate is sort of, well, silly

        This raised the the Red Flag for me. Only Bo writes with such condescension.

    2. “Does anyone else think Trevor sounds like Bo?”

      Now that you mention it. Yes, it does look a lot like the techniques, “my opponents are all morons” and “I’ll ignore or hand wave away their arguments”, that Bo often utilizes.

  17. There’s nothing more valuable than a U.S. passport. And there’s nothing that would reduce global inequality more than issuing a few more of them

    Oh, well in that case let’s let the whole damn world into the only countries that have any meaningful sense of institutional respect for liberty to do with as they will. I’m sure that the difference between a 25-50% Islamic US and one with very little Islamic population is essentially nil, and that laws under the former will be just as wonderful as under the latter.

    I’m sure that the editors of Wonkblog will be happy to compensate in the extremely unlikely event that such a scenario would work out poorly, just as those who supported free immigration into Europe have recanted their previous support and adequately addressed all of the problems with immigration to their nations.

  18. Consider: in the last generation around 20 million or so Muslims have moved to (or been born of immigrant parents in) Europe, and around 30 million or so Latinos have moved to (or been born of immigrant parents in) the US.

    Mass immigration has been happening, on a pretty major scale, really. How’s it working out? Some good, some bad, perhaps?

    The polly-annaish “immigration of any scale from any culture/country to any other is always and everywhere an unalloyed good” is just as stupid, IMO, as the xenophobic “dey terk duh jerbs” opposition to immigration.

    Around here, the Reason staff breaks 100% polly anna. Contrarians that some of us are, we push back on that. Not because we’re racist xenophobes, but because we can see things that don’t align with the Open Borders narrative. And when this is pointed out, lots of other people get their SJW on and start slinging accusation of racism, etc.

    Kinda irritating, really.

    1. The advantage of deontology is the results don’t matter.

      1. This place is so much more welcoming of right-wing pragmatists than left-wing ones.

  19. I mean, really, look at this claim:

    Assuming everybody moved immediately, Kennan calculated that it would temporarily depress the average wages of the host countries’ natives by 20 percent.

    You mean, if the entire billion-plus population of Africa alone (forget China, the Indian sub-continent, and the Middle East) relocated to America, Canada, Western and central Europe, Japan, and the relative handful of other countries with fully functional economies within the space of year, roughly doubling their populations, average wages would go down by 20%? Ludicrous. Seriously, polly-anna is too kind.

  20. Am I the only person that DOESN’T see Germany listed anywhere in that chart?

  21. One big exception is if you were born in USA and moved away, even border babies from New Brunswick, Canada born in Maine hospitals, facing discrimination in Canada because USA law considers them USA citizens and thus subject to FATCA and FBAR. They threaten to take everything you own, not unlike civil forfeiture, because you didn’t report your retirement account when it’s a Canadian bank account held by a Canadian citizen living in Canada, but who is considered under USA law to be a USA citizen. More on this at isaacbrocksociety.ca

  22. Never mind the passports and “green” cards that aren’t even green. Just shut down the Border Patrol and leave persons alone instead of seizing them and forcing them onto jets bound for foreign lands, or throwing them in jail for hiring the workers.

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