Open Borders

Immigration Enriches Migrants and Their New Countries

Immigration is just like free trade.

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The textbook case for free trade says that if two countries specialize and trade with each other, total production rises—raising living standards for people in both countries. The same logic holds for immigration: If people from two countries specialize and trade, total production rises—raising living standards for people from both countries. When migrants move from places where they produce little to places where they produce much, they don't merely enrich themselves; they enrich their customers. When Afghan immigrants open a new restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia, for example, they are effectively giving me a raise, because my salary suddenly buys more than it used to. 

These pages are adapted from Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration by permission of First Second.

NEXT: DACA Has Its Day at the Supreme Court

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  1. If open borders illegal immigration is so great and wonderful , how come Mexico deports all the illegal aliens from Guatemala, Honduras, etc?

    Build the wall!

    1. Great argument. Let’s emulate Mexico in all things!

      1. You should have been a hemorrhoid, since you are such a major pain in the ass.

        1. And you should have been a salad, since you like to toss silly nonsense.

          1. That was fucking dumb.

      2. Yes! Like how their military had to give el chapo’s son back to the cartel AFTER they had him in custody! And the 43 children missing from a school, still unsolved, certainly speaks well for the competence of their best and brightest.

        We need more of that here. Just because. Haha.

    2. Let’s make it clear. LEGAL immigration is good for both immigrants and for the USA. It is ILLEGAL immigration that is a threat to this nations security. We don’t know who they are, where they came from or what their intentions are. What we do know is that they do not respect our laws and our right as a sovereign nation to control who comes to our country.
      Once we have secured the border and have the visa overstay issue solved we can reform the immigration laws to benefit both immigrant and the USA.
      DACA is ILLEGAL. Laws are made by the congress not by presidential decree. Since DACA was created by executive order a subsequent executive order can end it unless the congress gets off its collective dupa’s and passes a law.

      1. Even LEGAL immigration has limits to its utility. If a million morons LEGALLY immigrate to America, how does that help us?
        If 10,000 criminals from Cuba LEGALLY immigrated to America, you think America would improve?

        Point is, if you’re not SELECTING immigrants, your argument falls completely apart. It used to be that America immigration policy required immigrants to demonstrate that they would be self-sustaining. At an absolute minimum, that requirement should be in place.

        I think we should shoot criminal invaders the instant they cross the border. Let the bodies pile up and the buzzards and vultures have a field day. After the first couple hundred are video recorded having their heads blown off or their bodies ripped apart by explosions, and the video transmitted south, the rest will get the idea. No mas.

        1. Yup. Not everybody brings anything to the table. Completely lacking from this nonsense supposed article is WTF all these people will be doing… The entire 1st worlds economy is driven by a smallish number of very highly skilled jobs. If we were to have hordes of illiterate peasants move here, we would have to bring back millions of low value jobs… Like manufacturing, but at near slave wages to compete with foreign manufacturers.

          So yeah, if we want tenement slums filled with millions of people with 4th grade educations working in sweatshops, sans any labor or environmental laws we could do this… But are the commies actually advocating for that? Of course not. They want to keep all the BS in place, which would essentially make half of these people unemployable in any legal work. It’s so full of holes it’s like Swiss cheese.

      2. Read the book then get back to me. They have a whole section talking about the demographics of immigrants. What’s especially interesting is comparing the criminal tendencies of immigrants versus citizens. Spoiler: immigrants tend to be _less_ violent than current residents.

    3. “Immigration Enriches Migrants and Their New Countries”

      I’m sure the Seminole, Creek, Choctaw, Sioux, and all the others agree.

      1. Immigrants aren’t the same as colonizers.

        1. In what way? A sufficient quantity of immigrants become colonizers.

    4. There’s a hidden assumption in the argument – and it’s HUGE.

      Suppose you have two countries, one full of geniuses, and the other full of utter morons incapable of learning how even to tie their own shoes. Does letting the former be overrun by the latter help the former? Throw state-sponsored medical care, welfare, education and other taxpayer goodies into the pot and who benefits? Certainly not the people in the first country.

      The difference between the US and Central American countries isn’t that great – but there is a definite difference. Take a look at the global IQ map. Recognize that an exceptional immigrant from Central America is likely only as bright as an average citizen in America. Most will be suited to manual labor at best, but have no place in an information society with exploding technology.

      Roll the clock forward a few years. The number one job in all 50 states for people of average intelligence – truck driving – is gone. All fast-food jobs are gone. Most janitorial jobs are vanishing. Agricultural jobs will be done better and faster by automation. In short, any place a robot can replace a human, the jobs will vaporize and most of those lost jobs will be in the sector mot immigrants are targeting.

      Intelligence is 60% to 80% inherited. Stupid people generally have stupid children. Most immigrants from south of the border just portend multiple welfare cases a generation hence. We have our OWN idiots to feed. We have our own low-IQ workers for whom we need jobs. We don’t need any more.

      An acceptable compromise would be the modest requirement that any immigrant must have an IQ of 110 or higher. No exceptions.

      At least we’d not be importing idiocy and welfare cases.

      1. Haha. Yeah. Massive importation of the dregs of a society that can’t even take care of itself is clearly to our benefit. A is not really A. It is actually Z.

      2. I was about to comment about the same, “When migrants move from places where they produce little to places where they produce much”

        Isn’t it funny how illegal crossing changes a person from “produce little” to “produce much” — must be that border-line fairy god mother’s wand of change that makes all the difference in a person.

        1. Come on, anybody who could pass the 6th grade in Spanish in Latin America has to be AT LEAST as well educated as a Harvard grad!

        2. And yet, that’s what we find. Take the same person, move them from Haiti to the US and they magically become more productive. There _is_ a magic productivity fairy.

          As they clearly explain in the book, it’s not the person, it’s the infrastructure which matters.

          1. But the people mostly AREN’T more productive. There are a few cases where that is the case, but not most. If you take somebody out of a sweatshop and throw them in a factory with high tech equipment, yeah they’re more productive… But an American firm can just put the machine in Haiti and actually be MORE economically efficient, which is why this has been what has happened 99% of the time.

            In most cases you take a floor sweeper or a burger flipper that makes $1 an hour in the 3rd world, bring them here and pay them $10 an hour… They’re not 10x more efficient, they’re just getting paid more because the cost of living here is higher, and we pay higher wages for everything as spill over from our ACTUAL highly productive industries.

            So try again!

          2. Take the same person, move them from Haiti to the US and they magically become more productive.

            Talk about begging the question. Check out all the Somali trash in Minnesota for a refutation of that assertion.

            1. You mean the Invisible Hand of Spontaneous Order isn’t teleporting the unemployable Somalis back to Somalia?

      3. The book does address all of your concerns.

        The reason children tend to be as smart (or not) as their parents is that they grow up in the same environment. Children of immigrants from less developed nations tend to have IQ closer to natives.

        And there will always be manual labor jobs. Automation is great for a lot of things but it’s not a universally perfect solution. For example, in a factory setting robots are great at assembly because they can do the exact same thing over and over, but they’re bad at say, loading up a truck, because they can’t account for all the variables (difference in truck height, truck size, existing load) like a human can.

  2. First, for this to be true, you would have to get rid of the welfare state and public services. As it is, the migrants only enrich the country they come to if their productivity exceeds whatever drain they put on public services. Is that true in some or even most cases? Sure. But it isn’t true in all cases and just how many of them exceed the drain is hardly established.

    Beyond that, even if it were true, there is more to life than pure economics. So what if it makes the nation wealthier if it comes at a cost of transforming its culture into something else? Sweden might be richer if it suddenly imported millions of hard working highly productive Japanese. But, it is perfectly rational for the Swedes to say no to that. They like their country being Swedish more than the marginal wealth they would get from it becoming Japanese or more Japanese.

    There is more than a tinge of Marxist philosophy in the open borders argument. Marx saw things like culture and religion as the opium of the people. They were things that caused people to have a false consciousness that prevented them from acting in their true interests, which were class and economics. Marx was an atheist and a crude materialist. Everything could and should be explained by economics. And people’s real nature as opposed to the false nature imposed on them by capitalism was their class and entirely driven by economics and not culture or tradition. Everyone was expected to dissolve into being an interchangeable part in the world proletariat.

    The Libertarian open borders position shares many of the same assumptions. Tradition and culture do not matter. What matter is pure economic wealth. Objections related to culture and tradition are just false consciousness that are always trumped by economics and the pursuit of the perfect market. And just as Marx expected everyone to shed their culture and traditions and merge into the world proletariat, open borders libertarians expect everyone to do the same and become an interchangeable unit of labor in the world market.

    1. lets add thats its the American culture that created the wealth and lifestyle that most immigrants are coming here for. Once the Culture is gone often what was created by it also goes away.

      1. You mean the one created by successive waves of immigrants from everywhere? Or are you referring to Native American cultures which were highly diverse. Can you find differences between Cajun, New Yorker, Texan, Appalachian, or Hawaiian cultures?

        Well they all have McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and KFC. Can’t find those anywhere else, right?

        Culture is mostly a myth. It is highly dynamic and changes constantly. It is not something static to be preserved.

        1. Culture is a myth? That is news to anthropologists

          1. It is mostly a myth as understood by the majority of people. Cultural anthropology in my opinion, is increasingly irrelevant and anthropologists themselves do not agree on basic principles and definitions. One of those useless academic studies.

            You can write a book describing everything known about the Aztecs, language, beliefs, social structure, technology and so on. That is not anthropology it is descriptive history. Culture is just a convenient term for describing all of those things at a given time period.

            The mistake most people make is in thinking that there is a fixed entity such as “American culture” anyone can see this is not true. Even anthropologists study culture as a dynamic process.

            1. “Culture is a myth”

              That’s a real big brained take there.

            2. You’re so wrong it’s not even funny.

              American culture has shit tons of things in every day life that can be directly traced back thousands of years in Europe, and the middle east too. Like the names of days of the week, or months. We make references to Greek and Roman philosophers, rulers, etc on a daily basis. We use IDEAS conceived by them, which are not prevalent elsewhere in the world.

              And yeah, things change over time. NO SHIT. But things don’t change all that fast. See polling on a range of issues. The overwhelming majority of white Americans still support almost every stereotypical “American” thing, like free speech and gun rights… Whereas every other ethnic group in the country is against those things overall. Why? Well, because it’s our culture to believe in those things, and it’s NOT their culture.

              “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.” Most people don’t even know that is Nietzsche, yet you’d be hard pressed to find an American, or European, who doesn’t know the phrase… Most even like to believe it is true, and that drives how they think and feel about things. A Somali? Probably never heard it. He may or may not like or agree with it once he does hear it. Ditto with a Chinese person, or an Iraqi, or whatever.

              My family is unforgiving of being weak. My grandpa supposedly never missed a day of work in over 40 years at his job, because only a pussy wouldn’t man up and go to work anyway. Sack up! Precision is everything. Mistakes are not to be tolerated. My family is not outwardly overly affectionate. French people are pussies, and this fact was mentioned 10,000 times in my upbringing.

              Do you think my family is mostly German, or Italian? Anybody with a brain knows the answer to that question. A lot of these things are STILL carry overs in the culture within my family from my mainly German ancestors.

              Culture IS real. Why is Germany a SUPER on point nation, that despite crap socialist policies, kicks ass economically? Because German culture demands it of the populace in 1,000 different ways. No slacking, no mooching off the system, even if you work a shit government job you must do a perfect job of it, etc. Meanwhile, Southern European countries are a mess, despite IQ scores, education levels, and a million other factors all being there that should allow them to be every bit as successful.

              The primary reason America worked is because we mostly folded all the other European Christian (Read SMALL differences to start out) people that moved here into the Anglo (and later Anglo-Germanic) culture that started this country. We mostly forced all the others to adhere to those norms, and took in a few good aspects of some of them… Like Italian or French food! But not so much the Italian or French work ethic.

              Culture matters MORE THAN ANYTHING. The destruction of American culture is why socialism has a real chance at being a thing here. If our demographics were the same as 1980 still, we’d have politicians like we had in 1980 running everything for the most part. In other words 2 shitty centrists, instead of a center left supposed Republican, and a shit ton of socialists. That’s just reality bro.

        2. Lol oh my god. Eyes are watering here. Here are a few people you can tell that culture is a myth.
          Somalian girl suffering infection from level 1 genital mutilation.
          Gay teen ager in the Philippines who has Bacla (fag) as a nickname
          Student in Korea who is psychologically assaulted pertaining to educational performance.
          American black kid with below average looks and minimal athletic prowess attending a 90% white high school because they’ll get a better shot at making it, btw, he’s a pro life Muslim.

          As an American my culture compels me to go tell you to leave and find a country where culture is deemed a myth. ………Don’t come back.

    2. These cartoons do nothing but highlight the lack of thought that goes into the utopian mindset. Those preschoolers cannot vote NBA players height down, but immigrants can (and do) vote to tax me more.

      1. …and the book addresses this (God, I’m sounding like a broken record). Turns out by the second generation, immigrants vote pretty much identically to long-term citizens. And further in the book they propose solutions to voting (e.g. you don’t get to vote until you’ve paid $50,000 in taxes) which are unfair but less unfair than what we do today.

        1. Except for where third-generation immigrants are easier to radicalize than their grandparents were.

    3. Do you like beer? Thank the German immigrants. Do you like pizza? Thank the Italian immigrants. Do you like haggis? Me neither. Kick out those useless Scottish fuckers!

      1. we also love tacos we will take the good elements of any group but not all. Do You like NAZI’s Do you like Mafia do you like drug cartels? your question is irrelevent.

        1. Of course we keep what we like. That’s what makes this country the “melting pot.” Your comment is inane.

          1. Lol.
            Your comment he was responding to was among the most juvenile possible.
            This is what happens when sarcasmic strays from his “parroting what someone smarter than him once wrote” script

            1. Let me know when you can argue with what someone says, instead of arguing against the person. Then we can engage. But I won’t roll in shit with a pig.

              1. Wasn’t making an argument.
                Was pointing out that you have childish intellectual and psychological capacity.
                You’re a whiney joke who’s an example of the worst proponents of libertarianism.

                1. Oh look, our armchair psychiatrist is back, here to diagnose someone else via the Internet.

                  Some of us are trying to have an interesting discussion, don’t come here and ruin it.

                  1. Don’t roll in shit with a pig. You get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

                  2. You’re here to have a circle jerk focusing on your fantasies of how things “should be” while fluffing each other about being morally superior, then coming to the collective defense of your juvenile fantasy whenever reality threatens to approach.
                    Sad

                    1. Ahhhh I get it. You’re one of those who says principles don’t matter, only the real world matters. Might makes right. Whatever some simpleton like me or jeff values doesn’t matter unless we can back it up with force. Am I far off?

                      You strike me as someone who goes to bars to pick fist fights with people who had so much to drink that they can’t defend themselves. Am I far off?

                      Seriously. You seem like someone who only respects violence. Right and wrong are dictated by the man with the gun. Am I far off?

                    2. I’m asking in all seriousness. Sometimes you’re reasonable, and other times you’re a jerk. More the former than the latter. I just want to figure out what makes you tick. Why you are such a dick.
                      I don’t care who you prick, lick, or if you’re a hick. You might be a mick, you might be sick (other than in the head), and you might make everyone say “Ick!”

                      But I like conversations over shit-throwing contests. Converse with me. Exchange ideas.

                    3. he sang like one of the bardz
                      she said his poor nipples were hardz
                      through fantasies here
                      he poked to her pert rear
                      and now she just measures in fartz

                    4. Yes, you’re far off – though I do respect violence, as it is literally the fundamental dynamic of existence.
                      What annoys me is disingenuousness and moral preening, as well as a complete dismissal of the real world.
                      That is entirety of Jeff’s posts – fundamentally dishonest.
                      You, sarc, are not as bad – but your a dogmatic idealist. Not my style, but that’s ok. You do you. What provokes me is when you take a haughty pose and ridicule anything that doesn’t fit into your dogma as stupid. It is hypocritical, and belies your stated desire for conversation.
                      The real world is a thing. Immigrants help some, hurt others.
                      There are 2 basic moral frameworks for how one values people, and some emanations from those: absolutely vs relatively.
                      Christianity has been the dominant moral framework for 1600+ years in the west, so absolute valuation is typical… in theory.
                      Relative valuation of people is more common in practice, because it’s real. My friends/family is more important than my neighbor, my neighbor is more important than my countryman, and my countryman is more important than a foreigner (obviously not absolutely, as it’s more complex than that). Value is concentric, not diffuse.
                      Absolute valuation of people is a mess. It’s entirely abstract. There is no difference between “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”. This leads to abstract people – those one has no real sense of – being valued the same as one’s family/neighbor/countryman – ie those one is familiar with.
                      But “familiarity breeds contempt” – and there is a lot of contempt found in decadent times. So one, such as jeff, idealizes the abstract person (in this case, foreigners/potential immigrants) and values that abstraction higher than the familiar.
                      I find this offensive, as it leads to favoritism for the Other in action (such as illegal immigrant scholarships unavailable to natives) and in rhetoric (see: Reason activism).
                      I’ll stop there

                    5. What provokes me is when you take a haughty pose and ridicule anything that doesn’t fit into your dogma as stupid.

                      Oh this is rich. This coming from the guy who advocates violence against political enemies, and insults, belittles, and ridicules those who disagree with them.

                      Maybe you should take some of your own medicine. Stop insulting and demeaning them and maybe more people will take you seriously and not just some troll washed up from the sewers of 4chan.

                    6. So one, such as jeff, idealizes the abstract person (in this case, foreigners/potential immigrants)

                      And this right here is nonsense. I don’t “idealize” foreigners, not even in the abstract. I regard foreigners as PEOPLE, just like everyone else. If you think it is an “idealized abstraction” to regard foreign individuals as no less human than you or I, then that says more about you than it does about me.

                    7. I find this offensive, as it leads to favoritism for the Other in action

                      So what really pisses you off is that there are people who don’t regard Americans as superior human beings just because they happened to be born in a certain geographic area due to no fault of their own. Is that it? That I don’t check citizenship papers before deciding who is morally superior to whom?

                    8. Chemjeff,
                      I do not respect you.
                      I can’t think of a reason why I should.
                      You’re a psychotic fraud, and I have no problem being direct with that assessment.

                    9. Nardz, you impressed me. Lots of thought went into your comment. I have a minor quibble with “love thy neighbor” vs “from each according to.” But otherwise I don’t have much to argue about. I think that for the most part we are in violent agreement.

                    10. You’re a psychotic fraud

                      Translation: Nardz is utterly convinced I am something that I am not, and no amount of information will change his mind.

                    11. Please, do go on some more about how I’m supposedly fighting dragons or some such. That was some crazy shit.

                    12. Jeff,
                      You routinely state that things have happened which have not happened.
                      You’ve been called out for this repeatedly for several months.
                      Even after being corrected by multiple people, you insist that what didn’t happen happened.
                      Literally psychosis

                    13. sarcasmic,

                      To your statement that “Principles don’t matter,” I would say that principles DO matter… But they’re not ALL that matters.

                      Real world outcomes matter too. Which is why a sane balancing makes sense. There are all kinds of hypotheticals where the “moral” thing to do goes against the obvious common sense thing 99.9% of people would do. If 3 kids are drowning, and you can save 2 of them you don’t know… Or your own child, which should you save? Everybody is going to save their own kid, even though cold moralistic thinking says you should save the other 2 instead.

                      Then there are just a million things that make now different from immigration to the US in the past. For one, the myth that we were taking in nothing but poor huddled masses is BS… Most European immigrants who came here were equally skilled to Americans of the time. They were farmers, blacksmiths, factory workers, etc just like Americans. The current crop, if we had open borders, would be DRAMATICALLY less skilled than us.

                      They also were culturally and ethnically very similar. I personally believe that “passing” is one of the main things that made America work. You might be able to tell an Italian from an Irishman from a German… But by the time there’s one generation of intermarriage in there, there’s not really much difference. See black Americans for how ultra distinct ethnic groups, who PREFER to identify with their own people over the majority of the population, and who couldn’t blend in if they wanted to, turn out. This is one reason I think Hispanics COULD work out, IF we stop the massive numbers and give it time to work itself out.

                      Culturally they were also far more similar. We no longer have a need for tons of unskilled labor, and will likely need ever less going forward. The welfare state. Voting patterns. I could go on for 1,000 years.

                      So the thing is principles DO matter… But principles don’t trump every real world consideration either. In the grand scheme of things I think the “immorality” of not letting somebody move into my country is pretty damn small… But the benefits of not having open borders are HUGE. Namely you can have a 1st world nation. With open borders you cannot. This very cartoon points that out. What they’re advocating is having a ruling class, and an underclass… As if that’s going to work out well in a system with democratic mechanisms! LOL

                    14. You routinely state that things have happened which have not happened.

                      And this is where Nardz is arrogant enough to believe that a dispute about what actually happened, means that, in his mind, I have rejected objective reality and am mentally ill. As if Nardz’s point of view represents objective truth itself. It is ridiculous.

          2. Melting pot theory has been pretty well disproven, for what it’s worth.

            1. In what sense?

              Either way, “melting pot” is a far better dynamic than “multiculturalism” – as the metaphor at least promotes integration, while multiculturalism emphasizes and promotes segregation

              1. In every sense. As in the whole ‘melting pot’ was only ever a myth, but morons keep citing it as if it is actually a thing. Sort of like the morons that refer to ‘trickle down economics’, which also does not exist.

                1. I think it kind of happened in the USA… But only because all the groups that moved here were pretty close already, culturally and ethnically. And once you had one generation of interbreeding it was impossible to tell the difference for the most part. We mostly forced Anglo-Germanic values on everybody that moved here too, only adopting a few things of value that weren’t already present.

                  This is why I think Japan, as a for instance, could allow a trickle flow (read slow enough to assimilate) of Chinese or Korean immigrants or whatever, and it would work out AWESOME… But I think if Japan allowed in tons of Somalis, or Iraqis, or even a ton of Europeans, it would be far more problematic. All those Asian cultures are a lot more similar than any of the ones I think would fail, AND (because Asians can tell each other apart!) they would all be impossible to tell apart from Japanese people after a generation of interbreeding anyway.

                  This is also why all the Poles who moved to the UK that irk Brits will probably be totally fine in 30 years, whereas they’ll still be having a shit ton of problems with all the Africans and Pakistanis.

      2. We can’t have pizza without Italians?

        1. You can honestly say we wouldn’t have ethnic restaurants without immigrants?

          1. Considering most of them aren’t even ethnic and just play up to your cosmopolitan worldview, yeah, we definitely would.

            Ex. there’s rarely such a thing as a Japanese restaurant in America. It’s all Chinese. If you’re lucky you’ll have Koreans running it. You pretty much have to be in NYC/Philly/LA/HI to find anything ethnically Japanese. Now maybe you don’t notice that because you don’t speak the language and listen to the staff (I’m conversationally fluent in Japanese, Korean and Chinese on the bucket list but I took 4 years of Chinese in high school and taught myself the Korean alphabet), but that’s just how it is.

            Turns out that most culture is imitation. It’s almost like most peoples copy things they like and add their own twist to it. Shocking truth!

            1. One of my favorite restaurants is owned and run by some Vietnamese immigrants. I don’t speak the language and I’ve never been to the country, but I do enjoy their food.

              1. this is such a dumb argument I can’t even believe a real person made it.

                I hear ISIS makes great pancakes, btw

                1. Dude…. Their pancakes suck. They do make some mean goat though.

                  1. “”Dude…. Their pancakes suck.””

                    Yeah, but that’s because they are horrible at culture appropriation. We’ll see if any who made it to France can make a crepe.

                    “”They do make some mean goat though.””

                    Before or after they, oh never mind.

              2. Even if ethnic food is awesome… How many of said foreigners do you need to have move in to kick start that food being available? I’ve ate at a million Mexican places that aren’t run by Mexicans, and many of them are pretty solid. Or the above mentioned randomness. I knew a Korean that owned a great Chinese spot!

                And even if you for some reason had to import countless millions of said immigrants to get food… Is that worth all the other issues that raises?

                I’m in favor of letting in mostly only highly skilled immigrants from wherever. So maybe if we let in 1 few million Latin American engineers and doctors we would still get the good food, but without the crime and poverty?

            2. By the way, you have no idea of what my worldview is, especially about food.

            3. Yeah I know most of these restaurants are Americanized. Like…. duh.

              But who started them? Here’s a clue: he wasn’t named Joe.

              1. Okay, more fun examples. Ever had Japanese Italian? Or Korean pizza? Take a stab at how many Italians live in either country.

                This isn’t 20th century cultural exchange. We can find ideas online. We can ship products around the world. And that means we can appropriate (not a bad thing) freely without ever dealing with someone.

                In some regards, I feel like we’re having a global cultural enlightenment where people find the best things about life without the baggage. Being able to eat goat without women being stoned for getting raped turns out to be a net positive for humankind.

                1. I have some more SEA examples. One of the many things I did in Japan was I went to a hamburg steak restaurant. This is no hamburger, nor is it a porterhouse steak. It’s not even like a German Hamburg steak. It’s distinctly Japanese. Like most beef dishes in Japan (beef sukiyaki, gyuudon, kobe beef, etc.) there was never any immigration required. As a matter of fact, Japan is quite possibly the most restrictive place on Earth. The Tokugawas closed their borders in the early 17th century (sakoku) and they remained this way for several hundred years prior to American forcing them open. There was a Dutch trading post on Dejima (still there to this day, literally exit island) and that’s all they did. Japan didn’t have domesticated cattle and had little interest in beef. Only in the 19th century did Japan start serving beef and it was exclusively to serve foreigners. People started to realize beef tasted good and it creeped its way into their diet. Now it’s a bit of a delicacy but isn’t super common. Did this require permanent residence? Did it require mass migration? Ironically, foreigners were forced upon them. They have effectively expelled the foreigners and their influence while taking what they liked most and making it Japanese.

                  Most nations should learn from modern Japan. That’s how you protect your culture.

                  1. They do not make enough babies. Many Japanese people live in cubicles or tiny apartments. They often work like slaves for long hours and small rewards. The economy is propped up by central banks and central planning.

                    If that is what you want go there.

                    1. You do realize their declining population will be what FREES them from having to live in tiny cubicles right? Because property values are falling in close in suburbs of Tokyo.

                      And having babies or not has nothing to do with immigration. That’s the choice of the people there, although I would argue a lot of it is pressures from economics etc too.

                      Either way, what is wrong with a falling population? Overall GDP is a COMPLETELY useless figure. GDP per CAPITA is what matters. Japan is doing alright there, and could do much better in the future.

                      in 50 years Japan will still be Japanese, and that may well be preferable to being a powder keg like the moron leftists have turned the entire western world into.

                2. Pizza is in Japan, not because it came from Italy.

      3. Do you like haggis?

        No, I think it’s repellent in every way. In fact, I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.

        1. They do know how to distill alcohol from barley.

          1. How about Lutefisk? Pretty sure my coming forefathers invented that while drunk one winter.

            1. Can’t say. But if we were at a table I’d try it.

            2. Or gefilte fish in mine which is why we only eat on those holidays where wine is involved.

            3. I ate the rotten fermented shark stuff for the first time a few months ago… GNARLY. You have to chase it with aquavit or you may die!

            4. Or really hungry. I’m sure most booze was invented by someone who was really hungry and found their grain had spoiled.

    4. Correct.

      Census confirms: 63 percent of ‘non-citizens’ on welfare, 4.6 million households

      Quotes and charts:
      A majority of non-citizens are tapping into welfare programs set up to help poor and ailing Americans, a Census Bureau finding that bolsters President Trump’s concern about immigrants costing the nation.

      In a new analysis of the latest numbers, from 2014, 63 percent of non-citizens are using a welfare program, and it grows to 70 percent for those here 10 years or more, confirming another concern that once immigrants tap into welfare, they don’t get off it.


      While most new legal immigrants (green card holders) are barred from most welfare programs, as are illegal immigrants and temporary visitors, these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates because: 1) most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify; 2) the bar does not apply to all programs, nor does it always apply to non-citizen children; 3) some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; and, most importantly, 4) non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth.

      1. How is it divided up among those categories, and what counts as welfare? Are social security and medicare welfare? I guess so, but as entitlements the bigger problem is with those programs themselves. Also, how much of the burden is coming from state programs? It seems unfair to argue for national policy against immigration because of what some states do.

        1. Details are in the link.

          Immigration policy cannot be created in a vacuum, and in fact, immigration law prohibits immigrants who will have a risk of becoming a public charge.

          If your household cannot subsist without public benefits, then you are a public charge.

          1. So one state could effectively abolish immigration by instituting a UBI for all state residents?

            Also, thanks, not sure why I didn’t bother clicking the link…


            1. So one state could effectively abolish immigration by instituting a UBI for all state residents?

              No absolutely obvious and predictable negative outcomes from that policy!

              If a UBI is high enough to live off of you just created a massive disincentive for low-skill people to get a job, and if it’s not high enough to live off of what exactly is the point of redistributing so much money?

    5. I don’t think this is really true, John. I am an “open borders” person, I guess, and I know a lot of others. It’s anecdotal, but I don’t think any of us believe that economics explains everything, that religion and culture are some opium of the masses (I am religious and don’t think I am high), nor do any of us think that the world would or should merge into one culture.

      There is a strong economic argument for open borders; the reason it gets made prominently is because the usual argument against has to do with job losses. However, you’re right that there are other aspects, like culture. Personally, I think we do an abysmal job defending the culture of freedom even to natural-born Americans; were we to do better, I don’t think immigration would be the cultural issue that many think it is.

      I realize you disagree with this, and maybe I am misguided, but I am definitely not Marxist, and I definitely don’t subscribe to any of those things.

      PS: Open borders is also an overloaded term, so I’m not sure what it means here. I am using it to mean a streamlined system of entry with no caps on working visas, quick background checks, and perhaps some surety bond to prevent the immigration of indigent individuals.

      1. Sure there is a strong economic argument for it. But the problem is that open borders people assume that is the only argument there is and that it settles the issue. It doesn’t.

        Even if you can show that somehow we end up being wealthier for immigration, that doesn’t prove that we are better off for it. There are other values beyond the economic. It is the automatic assumption that “wealthier” means “better” or “right” to the exclusion of all other factors that makes the open borders argument philosophically very Marxist.

        1. Even if you can show that somehow we end up being wealthier for immigration, that doesn’t prove that we are better off for it. There are other values beyond the economic.

          You are completely right. I support freedom of association, so I think that open immigration is morally superior as well.

          1. That is nice but other people have different values that come into conflict with those. Sorry but saying “these are my values and yours are illegitimate” is not a very compelling argument.

            I support freedom of association too. But, that doesn’t there can never be limits to that freedom or the appeal to it settles any argument.

            1. Of course. My only point was that it works both ways. Clearly there will have to be a compromise of sorts.

            2. Sorry but saying “these are my values and yours are illegitimate” is not a very compelling argument.

              Dude, that is your argument in a nutshell.

              1. No its not. I am saying all of these values should be considered and that deciding on one or the other isn’t necessarily wrong depending on the circumstances. My argument is the opposite of that.

                1. I dunno. You sound like some nutjob who used to entertain me on the radio. Michael Savage. Borders, language and culture. Sound familiar?

                  1. I think his point is that those things ARE valuable. Personally, as someone who believes in massive amounts of individual liberty, I would be against mass immigration JUST on the grounds that immigrant groups are ALL horribly anti liberty politically.

                    Look up the stats. Only white Americans and Cubans actually believe in all the main ideals laid out by the founding fathers… And the Cubans only because they were a highly self selected group.

                    If somebody said we’d lose $20K a year in average household income, but it meant we’d keep free speech, gun rights, , etc I would prefer that. But the truth is the economic argument is kinda BS. Statistically the Hispanic population (and many other immigrant groups) in the USA is a net drain on white, Asian, and Jewish taxpayers, because the median average income is below the income where one becomes a net positive tax payer in our country.

                    This isn’t a simple thing, and people who pretend it is are either morons or liars. The morons category includes idealistic utopians.

        2. There are other values beyond the economic.

          By some estimates, a global open borders policy would double world GDP. Even if you think those estimates are off, we are still talking about trillions of dollars here.

          What are the values beyond the economic values that, to you, are worth more than trillions of dollars, not to mention the increased liberty of being free of the arbitrary statist restraints on international travel?

          And please don’t use a vague term like “culture” unless you specify precisely what you mean by that. What cultural value is worth more than trillions of dollars AND expanded liberty?

          1. What could possibly be the downside of 1,000,000,000 third world immigrants John?! Betcha can’t answer that!

            1. So instead of being coy, why don’t you proceed to tell us what you think precisely is the cost of open borders that you think is worth more than trillions of dollars and expanded liberty of travel.

              1. Africans bring Africa. I don’t like Africa.

                1. Well, that’s pretty bigoted. You don’t like a whole continent?

                  1. Sorry for the bigotry. Meant to say I can’t wait to have a billion 70 IQ third worlders in the US. Plumbing isn’t that great anyways.

                  2. And the problem with disliking a whole continent is what?

                2. Africans bring Africa. I don’t like Africa.

                  So, in other words, you’re willing to forego trillions in wealth along with restricting your own liberty in order to keep the Africans away. Is that about it?

                  Is there any point in your cost/benefit analysis where permitting at least some Africans to migrate here would be worth it in your view?

                  1. Is there any point in your cost/benefit analysis where permitting at least some Africans to migrate here would be worth it in your view?

                    You people are advocating for a billion third world immigrants in the US alone. I’m not the extremist here.

                  2. “So, in other words, you’re willing to forego trillions in wealth along with restricting your own liberty in order to keep the Africans away. Is that about it?”

                    Right here, jeff.
                    Entirely fantasy.
                    Yet you argue as if this fantasy is reality, then characterize Sidd’s reply as if were occurring in the reality of your fantasy world.
                    This is psychotic

                  3. Is there any point in your cost/benefit analysis where permitting at least some Africans to migrate here would be worth it in your view?

                    Sure: anybody who commands an above average salary and pays above average taxes in the US raises the US standard of living, and hence is welcome.

                    Anybody who commands a below average salary and pays below average taxes in the US lowers the US standard of living and hence should be excluded.

                    Where they come from is irrelevant.

                  4. What you miss Jeff, is that those figures are BS for one… But they’re also mostly one sided.

                    The reality is people in 1st world nations wouldn’t be seeing much/any of those gains… The 3rd world would. What do I care about African or Asian incomes for? I don’t. I wish them the best, but not at my expense.

                    In a country where people vote, they would destroy our freedoms, not grant us more you fool! As fucked as it is, American culture is the most libertarian on earth. All recent immigrant groups are faaaar to the left of native born Americans as per every study/poll ever done.

                    So do I want to destroy my culture, destroy my freedom, and probably not see any economic gains to boot so foreigners can move here by the untold millions??? No. Fuck ’em. They need to fix their own countries up anyway. Africa could be a paradise if they ever got their shit together. I mean they won’t, but Asia sure is. We can trade with them, and they can stay where they are thanks.

              2. Unless you restrict these people from voting or being represented, I see the same glaring problem that everyone has noticed since the Reagan amnesty. If you bring in people who don’t share your values and they outbreed you, you WILL die out and your values will not continue to persist.

                1. So let me turn this around. What is the guarantee that the offspring of native-born citizens will share the values that you think they ought to have?

                  Fact of the matter is, “your values” are replaced every generation anyway, whether you like it or not.

                  1. Fact of the matter is, “your values” are replaced every generation anyway, whether you like it or not.

                    That’s not a fact at all. Societies don’t get replaced wholesale by generations, societies evolve at some rate based on multiple factors, including births, education, culture, and immigration.

                    The US has about 3.5 million births per year, and these are kids that are raised from early on with US healthcare and US culture and will be culturally close to preceding generations.

                    The US has more than a million legal immigrants per year, plus another million illegal migrants. These two million foreigners were raised in completely different environments with completely different world views. They represent a massive acceleration of cultural change relative to what would happen with no or more restricted immigration.

                    So, thanks for pointing out what a massive effect immigration actually has on the rate of change of US society. Legal and illegal immigration combined should probably be kept at a small fraction of US births each year if we don’t want US society to spin out of control.

                    1. Read the book.

                      Turns out children of immigrants are pretty much indistinguishable from children of native-born Americans. You pick up your culture from your peers, not your parents.

                  2. Despite what you want to believe, most native born Americans that were born to people who had been here a generation or two, almost entirely support the ideals America was founded on. Look up polling data, as I have told you to do 1,000 times before.

                    Overwhelming majorities of white Americans support free speech, gun rights, smaller government, etc. NO immigrant groups, other than Cubans, favor these things. In short immigrants are destroying everything good about this country politically.

                    If we’d brought them in slower and had a chance to assimilate them it might hash out… But the speed it has gone at has been too hard and too fast. Supposedly LBJ would have been the last Democrat elected president if only native born Americans voted according to an article I read awhile back. That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t have been Democratic presidents, but it means they would have been more conservative leaning than the ones we got as the whole spectrum would have remained on the more conservative/libertarian side.

              3. I hear ISIS has great pancakes, surely they’ll bring that along and not the beheadings

          2. By some estimates, a global open borders policy would double world GDP. Even if you think those estimates are off, we are still talking about trillions of dollars here.

            So what? Only someone as simple minded as you could see that as a response to my point. Moreover, only someone as dishonest as you could act like all of that wealth would benefit everyone. It wouldn’t. It would benefit some people and not others. Migrants might end up a lot richer but that doesn’t mean locals wont’ end up poorer. it just means the aggregate will be larger.

            1. Huh. I note you didn’t bother to address the central question here.

              What are the values beyond the economic values that, to you, are worth more than trillions of dollars, not to mention the increased liberty of being free of the arbitrary statist restraints on international travel?

              What, specifically, is worth THAT MUCH to you?

              If you want people to pay the opportunity cost of lost trillions in potential wealth, not to mention wanting them to vote to restrict their own liberty, you had better give them a good reason to do so. What is it?

              1. “lost trillions in potential wealth”

                Nonexistent

              2. What, specifically, is worth THAT MUCH to you?

                My property rights and my freedom of association, which are violated by every illegal migrant who enters the country.

                1. I’m lost. My mom immigrated many years ago. How did she take your property and/or keep you from associating with people you want to associate with?

              3. You keep saying we’ll gain freedom… WE WILL LOSE FREEDOM.

                All stats show this. Maybe the IMMIGRANTS might gain freedom, but not us. We will lose freedom.

                Let me pose it to you like this:

                If a deca millionaire let you move into his house, and have access to the business infrastructure he has built up, and even his proverbial Rolodex… You may well increase the net aggregate of economic activity going on, and you will certainly be better off… But what did that do for him?

                Now you’re eating food out of his fridge, using his water, electricity, etc. He may well end up worse off, even if the aggregate goes up slightly. OR even if he somehow IS better off, maybe just having an annoying fuck like you around is enough to make him not like the situation. Maybe you want to watch gay porn on the big screen, but he’s more into straight bukkake. AKA cultural differences.

                In short, YOU would like this scenario because it helps you… But it will do little, if any, good for the millionaire… And may well annoy him. So even if it is theoretically better for him on some levels, it might not be worth it.

                Open borders is the same. Few Americans want to move to shithole 3rd world countries for any length of time. Maybe to go get wasted for 3 months and “find yourself” or some BS… Maybe. But not many want to permanently move to crappy places… There’s a REASON the western world is flooded with immigrants, and that western people aren’t flooding to Africa or Honduras! The nice parts of Asia would be having the same problem except they’re not stupid enough to let it happen.

          3. What are the values beyond the economic values that, to you, are worth more than trillions of dollars, not to mention the increased liberty of being free of the arbitrary statist restraints on international travel

            The fact that the arbitrary statist violence of the US government takes away my property to redistribute it to these people.

            By some estimates, a global open borders policy would double world GDP. Even if you think those estimates are off

            Well, I think the sign is off on that estimate.

          4. “By some estimates”……. Haha. Ok. Whose estimates? How does shuffling poor, unskilled people around “double world GDP”?

            Paul krugman said the economy would crash in 2017. I’m glad he was wrong, but what happens when we do have a nasty recession? Tons of unemployed landscapers with millions of mouths to feed on the dole? Sounds great!

            White guilt Pollyanna.

      2. There is a strong economic argument for open borders

        Only if we consider the immigrant. And if we’re doing that then the argument is against states altogether, not for a particular policy.

        1. People making these arguments have no problems with Mexico, Nicaragua, China, Pakistan, etc. excluding people from their countries; they simply want the US to open its borders and American taxpayers to open their wallets to the remaining 7 billion people on this planet.

    6. https://www.econlib.org/archives/2012/03/my_beautiful_bu.html

      Indeed, I frequently leave the security of my Bubble to walk the earth. But I do so as a tourist. Like a truffle pig, I hunt for the best that “my” society has to offer. I partake. Then I go back to my Bubble and tell myself, “America’s a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”

      Countries, to people like Caplan and Weinersmith, are economic zones. Nothing more.

      1. Zach Weinersmith is a funny guy, and fairly intelligent as well. He authors the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and it’s one of my favorite time wasters.

        That said, I don’t find that they really notice a difference between legal and illegal immigration. I’ll probably buy this book just to check it out, but I don’t expect to be provided any new data on illegal immigration either.

        1. I didn’t know he was just the cartoonist. I thought he was another academic like Caplan, whose blog I read for years.

          1. Weinersmith likely agree’s with him from what I’ve read of his opinions, but he’s a webcomic artist/writer so not so surprising.

            He’s a smart guy who reads a lot, but an ‘expert’ not so much. That’s probably why he’s simply credited with the artwork whereas the writing seems to be credited to the actual economist. I do know that Zach at least has a fairly good grasp of economics as well, though.

      2. Bryan Caplan’s bubble is only made possible by the tax payers who finance his comfortable lifestyle. For him to consider himself a libertarian who doesn’t impose on anybody else is absurdly hypocritical.

        Yeah, lots of people would love to be able to create a Caplan Bubble around themselves, but they have to live in the real world with real people, earn a real living by providing real value to others, and deal with the compromises that that entails.

        Stop taking my money via the government Professor Caplan, and then report back about your wonderful bubble lifestyle.

    7. John, this is a really morally bankrupt position you are taking. Why should we value tradition over economic arguments, when those economic arguments clearly show most people would be better off with increased immigration? You are defending culture and tradition for its own sake. Would you defend the infanticide of Sparta, because it was tradition? Or the slavery of early America? Or putting disorderly women on a cucking stool? Your position is just silly. You haven’t even mentioned what traditions are threatened by immigrants and why they are preferable to economic prosperity.

      1. John, this is a really morally bankrupt position you are taking. Why should we value tradition over economic arguments, when those economic arguments clearly show most people would be better off with increased immigration?

        First, because it is not the minority who would be worse off job to suffer for your benefit. They get a vote too. Second, if you were anything but a complete fucking pinhead, you would realize that the term “better off” is a value one and involves a lot more than material wealth. You may think that any amount of additional wealth makes you “better off” no matter what the price, but I disagree. And amazingly, you the person who is saying “material wealth is worth having at any cost” are accusing me of being morally bankrupt. You are projecting a whole lot here.

        You are defending culture and tradition for its own sake.

        No. I am defending the right of people to choose to keep that culture and tradition even if it comes at the expense of the wealth that you worship. Are people free to give up their culture and tradition to get wealthier? Sure. But they do not have to and have the right to choose otherwise.

        You are completely misstating my argument.

      2. Chipper, the slavery of early America was defended by people like you who argued that it brought economic prosperity. People like you argued that sterilizing “imbeciles and homosexuals” would bring economic prosperity. People like you argued that murdering millions of Jews and redistributing their “hoarded wealth” would bring economic prosperity.

        It’s my choice who I want to associate with, and I don’t want to associate with third world migrants. And in our system of government, I can exercise that choice only by voting on immigration policy at the national level, and until that changes, I will exercise my choice that way.

      3. The economic arguments are bullshit.

        And some of the traditions we are going to lose in short order are:

        The 1st amendment, the 2nd… And all the others. Also we’ll be taxed to death to support an entire underclass, who will resent the shit out of us BTW (they already do!), because their incomes aren’t enough to even be break even in our welfare state. And on and on.

        If they couldn’t vote, and we had no welfare state it would be a somewhat different argument… But until those things are both true, mass immigration is the death of freedom and an economic drain on 1st world peoples.

    8. “First, for this to be true, you would have to get rid of the welfare state and public services. As it is, the migrants only enrich the country they come to if their productivity exceeds whatever drain they put on public services. Is that true in some or even most cases? Sure. But it isn’t true in all cases and just how many of them exceed the drain is hardly established.“

      I think this contradicts your argument. We all agree about eliminating the welfare state. Cato institute in an extensive study debunked the myth that immigrants consume more welfare benefits than natives. So the argument is a red herring. You are arguing against the welfare state, not immigration.

      1. And those CATO studies have been debunked time and time again. They take information that relates to legal immigrants and then claim that it applies to all immigrants legal and illegal and would continue to be true if we let everyone in. All those studies prove is that the legal immigration system is letting the right people in. They in no way make the case that we should let more much less everyone in despite CATO’s dishonest claims that they do.

        And there is nothing contradictory about my argument. And we are not going to get rid of the welfare state. And pretending we will does not relieve the open borders people of responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of their policies.

        1. Sure I have a solution to propose. The answer to the issue of illegal immigration is legal immigration. Just issue temporary work and residency permits following a basic check for criminal activity which happens every time you get a drivers license or an airplane ticket.

          The difference between a legal or illegal immigrant is a piece of paper.


          1. The difference between a legal or illegal immigrant is a piece of paper.

            Absolutely untrue. The guy with a piece of paper is probably a doctor or coder from India and the guy without a piece of paper is probably a migrant fruit picker. Are those two groups absolutely the same to you?

              1. How do you manage to believe that, one might ask. Or are your simple answers the product of a simple mind?

                1. I do try and live by some very simple rules. One of which is that I do not judge people by what they do for a living, wealth, or national origin. I believe in the dignity and natural rights of all individuals. So long as you are not causing harm to others those rights are yours.

                  I admire the fruit picker.

                  People are not commodities. If you look hard enough you will see only individuals.

                  1. Haha. Wait, wasn’t the discussion further up the thread about contributions vs. drain? You guys just walked away from that like it never happened. Too funny.

                    “I admire the fruit picker”.

                    Good for you. I’m sure virtue signaling feels real good. I’d admire him a lot more if he were smart enough to not have 5 kids on a fruit picker salary.

                    1. Virtue signaling is what people say when they have no moral argument left.

                      You would admire “ him” an individual who only exists in your mind. Yet if you had met “him” you may have a different judgement. I admire the fictional fruit picker because I would not last one day there. To go through that requires endurance, effort, strength of body and spirit. And why do that. There must be a reason.

                      We can speak in macro terms about economics or anything else. Yet it is only for convenience. In doing so it is important to remember what and who we are talking about. Individuals each with their own purpose, choice, dignity and natural rights.

                      That is the basis of liberty.

                2. The doctor is not a superior human being just because he/she has a fancy degree.

                3. I asked if they were absolutely the same, and you both claim they are the same even while there are provable differences. Just the most surface observation would reveal one is educated and one is not, as a simple difference.

                  Just interesting that two people answered a question that wasn’t being asked. You carry so many internal assumptions it’s laughable.

                  It seems a worldview can be too simple, such as pretending there are no valid reasons to restrict entry into the United States. It turns out, ‘basic criminal checks’ are difficult when evaluating plenty of immigrants. Lets pretend all governments but our own are totally angelic though, I see no downsides.

                  1. Well, BYODB, let me help you out then.

                    Consider a particular legal immigrant. This person might be a doctor, coder, fruit picker, who knows. We have no idea. Now suppose the government decides, whether legitimately or not, to revoke this particular immigrant’s legal status. Nothing else has changed about this immigrant except the piece of paper granting this person legal status. So the only difference between this person before, and this person after, is the piece of paper. Get it?

                    Now, you brought up a different situation. Considering all of the legal immigrants in the country, sure, it’s possible that in that class of people, there may be more doctors than fruit pickers. And considering all of the illegal immigrants in this country, it’s possible that in that class of people, there may be more fruit pickers than doctors. But all it would take is a government edict to make both classes of people to be both all legal immigrants, or both all illegal immigrants, regardless of whatever occupation they held. Whatever government edict is issued, the people remain whoever they were. They don’t suddenly change into superior people if the state grants them the magic paper of legal status, and they don’t suddenly change into inferior people if the state revokes their legal status.

                4. Dude… You’re arguing for something to work like it would in a world that doesn’t exist.

                  If low skill immigrants in a welfare state are a problem, AND THEY ARE… Then the welfare state needs to be GONE first before you can consider endless unskilled immigration.

                  The fact is it’s not about anyones personhood… People are all people. But the fact is that a doctor IS a more useful person in the current paradigm in a 1st world country. Period. Even if we had no welfare state an engineer or doctor would STILL bring more to the table.

                  1. “But the fact is that a doctor IS a more useful person in the current paradigm in a 1st world country.”

                    Sure. When I am looking for someone to mow my lawn, the first thing I ask myself is, ‘Where can I find a quality doctor to mow my lawn?’

                    Do not be so arrogant as to presume you know what is best for everyone.

                    1. Listen you retard, we have nearly 15 MILLION fewer people employed as per the labor force participation rate than we did before the Great Recession.

                      We have ZERO shortage of potential labor. This is why participation rate has been slowly inching up, but we’ve hardly seen any wage gains until recently… There were so many people not working that are finally being drawn back into the workforce. Look at teen and young adult unemployment lately?

                      Not to mention that half the jobs that have been created are next to useless anyway. Putting those on the sidelines back to work is vastly preferable to endlessly flooding the labor market to suppress wages.

                      And in any event, the cheap lawn guy you apparently want… He’s still going to be eating our tax dollars as a net negative tax payer. My native born lawn guy actually makes enough money to cover his shit.

        2. Also have you added up the billions spent in border security, INS, detention, the wall, and legal costs. The mere fact that you are concerned that so many people are here illegally is proof that the current system is not working. Doubling down is like increasing penalties for drugs. Doesn’t work.

          Why not have a lower cost more simplified system. You will end up with more workers. You do not need to give welfare benefits or social security unless those people complete a path to citizenship which should be a straightforward process.


          1. Why not have a lower cost more simplified system.

            Because it’s the government, and notably no one is suggesting a ‘lower cost more simplified system’. Open borders has no inherent meaning, and plenty of people around here are willing to stake out the ‘all immigration rules and laws and inherently illegitimate’ argument.

          2. If we end voting rights, and birthright citizenship such thoughts might be able to be entertained… Until then it would destroy the nations freedom, and hurt the hell out of native born people.

            The ENTIRE Hispanic population in the US has an average income that is so low they are a net negative tax paying group as a whole. In other words if the entire Hispanic population weren’t here, taxes could be dropped dramatically on everybody else.

            I’m part Mexican myself, and I do love tacos… But how many entire massive groups can we really support if every single one of them runs in the red in even supporting 1st world levels of basic infrastructure?

      2. Cato institute in an extensive study debunked the myth that immigrants consume more welfare benefits than natives

        This is a flat out lie.

        Cato showed that to be true for “similarly situated” natives, i.e. immigrants use less welfare than high school dropouts.

        1. And it’s easy to forget that a ‘high school dropout’ still has more education than your average illegal immigrant. Whoops.

        2. Nope they do not use education level at all. They report data as either all immigrants which includes illegals, or further break it down by naturalized citizens, immigrants, natives, or non citizens. They also show data for children vs adults and poverty adjusted. In all cases the results are the same or similar.

          I don’t know where your information comes from but it is not from the Cato study. It is very straightforward and the terms are well defined.

          https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-research-policy-brief/immigration-welfare-state-immigrant-native-use-rates


          1. They report data as either all immigrants which includes illegals…

            And you don’t seem to understand how it could be that this is a moronic way to use data to prove points.

            All you’re doing here is inserting a lot of high-education high-skill labor into a group of low-education low-skill labor and then claiming that unfettered immigration of the lowest end of that spectrum will have the same effects.

            That’s quite the leap of logic there. No one seems to be under the impression that Doctors and I.T. professionals are going to vastly outnumber the construction workers and fruit pickers except you and Cato.

            1. In science you need to formulate a question first.

              The question is do immigrants overall use more welfare or other government programs than native born Americans?

              The answered the question with data clearly referenced.

              Did you read it?

              1. The question is do immigrants overall use more welfare or other government programs than native born Americans?

                That’s a retarded question for the purpose of estimating the impact of hundreds of millions of third world immigrants.

                1. That is not what they did. They just did not address what you wanted them to.

                  For example if a research article came out with the result that “medical abortion has a 3.5% complication rate” it does not answer anything about the morality or legality of abortion. That was not the question they asked.

              2. They answer a question no one is asking, then claim it answers the question that is being asked. So yeah, I read the study and know what’s being pushed when it’s cited.

              3. That’s a bogus way of viewing the data.

                Who cares if immigrants that make $25K a year use welfare at the same or lower levels than natives that make $25K a year… The POINT is that natives are FAR less likely to make $25K a year!

                And also we can CHOOSE what types of immigrants we let in! We’re stuck with native born losers, but there’s no reason we should be importing them.

                If we allowed in 1 million doctors, engineers, scientists, etc a year, and ZERO low skilled immigrants… We could be making the tax burden LOWER on native born people, making the country RICHER, etc. Whereas if we let in 1 million all low skill people, the tax burden will go up, and the nation will become poorer on average, AND get all the social dysfunction that comes with it.

                Look up the crime states for Hispanic Americans. It’s a LOT higher than Indian Americans, or Chinese Americans. The reason is because almost all Indians and Chinese got in here on skills based visas. So why would you ever want to let in blow it cases?

                1. “Who cares if immigrants that make $25K a year use welfare at the same or lower levels than natives that make $25K a year”

                  Well if you want to compare apples to apples, it’s an appropriate way to look at the data. By controlling for the variables of income, education level, and household size, the studies show that immigrants are no more prone to consume welfare than native born citizens are. It cast doubt on the claim that “they only come here for the welfare”.

                  1. But that’s a useless way to look at it!

                    If 20% of Americans in X income bracket consume welfare, and in Y bracket it’s only 1%, and for immigrants it’s the same… If there are 10x more immigrants in the X income bracket than the Y, then they STILL are more likely overall to use welfare.

                    How fucking hard is that to comprehend? If you let in all poor ass immigrants, they will use more welfare! If you let in wealthy immigrants, they won’t. Which is why I like skilled immigrants.

          2. Comparing immigrants to high school dropouts for welfare, crime, etc. is a Cato and Reason trick going back at least a decade. I see your preferred studies uses a different trick: not counting welfare used by the people who use the most welfare (children). Nowrasteh is a Dalmia tier fraud.

            1. Read the study. It is an easy one. I even provided the link. Pay attention to table 2 and table 4.

              1. And how is the study relevant to anything? Rates of welfare use are irrelevant in determining whether a population contributes to, or lives at the expense of, US society.

                1. I suspect that if immigrants consumed those resources at significantly higher rates many people would find it relevant.

          3. It doesn’t matter. Even if immigrants and illegal migrants both consume “welfare” at a rate less than natural born US citizens, that does not mean that they are of net economic benefit to the US or aren’t a drain on US coffers. That’s because most of the cost individuals impose on the US government are not welfare and because in order to improve US living standards, people need to actually be more productive than average, not just have positive net productivity.

            1. Now you are making some sort of assertion, or hypothesis, several actually. It is up to you to prove it.

      3. No, the red herring is whether immigrants consume more or less welfare states than natives. The question is whether they pay more in taxes than they receive in government services on average, and whether they produce more than they consume. Unless they do both of those things, they make the US poorer.

        Welfare has nothing to do with it, since costs that people impose on US tax payers go far beyond welfare. And comparisons with “natives” have nothing to do with it either because we already have a problem with insufficient revenue and productivity from “natives” and you are making it worse.

    9. While I dislike our welfare state and would be happy to use immigration as a pretext to dismantle it, if you look at the actual predicted gains from unrestricted immigration (by which I mean, no quotas, permitting anyone who wants to work here to come and do so) the magnitude is so large versus the expected outlays in social welfare it’s mostly a non-issue. The majority of people immigrating to the US for work are already past the age of public education but well before the age of eligibility for medicare/SS. If you’d like those latter two programs to remain solvent (if you must, I guess) the simplest fix is to remove immigration quotas.

      The book lays this out more eloquently than I do, and responds to your other arguments as well. It also has copious references to check, if you’re so inclined.

      1. It is indeed as if politicians want to create a special class of American citizen that pays into American welfare programs (specifically medicare and social security) while being ineligible for those programs. This, plus their willful devaluation of the dollar, appears to be the federal plan to keep things afloat.

        Or, in more incendiary language, they plan to create a lower caste level to a full citizen that pays for the upper caste’s indolence.

        That seems like a stable type of society, and I’ve definitely not heard about anyone else trying out such a system in another country or in another era.

        /sarc

      2. You do realize that lower income people who pay into SS get out more than they pay in, and higher income people subsidize them… Right?

        Adding 2 low income people to every high income person isn’t going to even improve the SS situation in the long haul. It would be better to phase the program out in a reasonable manner, since it’s just a ponzi scheme anyway.

    10. One figure currently circulating put the cost of criminal aliens at $116 BILLION a year. It’s easy to believe. 800,000 “Schemers” are covered by DACA. That’s about half. If American taxpayers forked over the cost for K-12 educations for each, they’ve burned through an aggregate of $120 billion in education costs alone. That doesn’t include welfare, food stamps, unpaid medical bills. And 800,000 is only about 4% of the total criminal invader population.

      What we need is a law that penalizes landlords and employers $1000/day for each criminal alien they negligently rent property to or employ. “Negligence” would be defined as failure to use E-Verify. So no one is required to verify anyone – but if you hire a criminal alien to work for your company for a year, the penalty is $365,000. The same penalty would apply to any government worker who negligently grants government benefits to a criminal alien.
      No jobs. No place to live. No welfare.
      Self-deportation would become a cattle-rush.

  3. This ought to be good…

    *pops popcorn, settles in to enjoy the shit show*

  4. I have never, not even on blog comment sections, heard or seen the argument that immigrants “lower our average standard of living”. That is simply NOT the same thing as arguing that increasing the supply of low skilled laborers will decrease the price of low skilled labor, since in fact that influx doesn’t increase the demand for low skilled labor.

    1. And there are other issues beyond the price of low skilled labor. If you have fully open borders, the labor market for anyone but the highest skilled worker will always be slack. Anyone who isn’t a super star or doesn’t have a very marketable skill is subject to being replaced as soon as someone more desperate than they are walks in the door.

      The open borders advocates never consider that there are costs to having such a society and perhaps people have legitimate reasons to object to it. A tight labor market gives people security. You are never going to feel secure if you know you can be replaced easily and that you have little or no leverage over your employer. And if you don’t feel secure, why would you not look to the government for the security the market is not providing you? What good is all of the opportunity that comes with freedom if you can’t use it or it comes at the price of having any job or economic security?

      1. Report: Illegal immigration harms blacks, robs social services from legal Americans

        Quote:
        A new report that put the cost of illegal immigration at $113 billion a year shows that the burden falls disproportionately on urban blacks who have to pay taxes to fund free services to undocumented aliens and then compete with them for those same programs.

        In seeking a “better deal” for black Americans, the report from Project 21, part of the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research, is calling on Congress and the White House to bar illegals from receiving public aid except emergency services and prosecute groups that use federal funds on those in the country illegally.

        “Blacks and the working class shouldn’t be taxed to pay for illegal immigrants,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper.

        1. We tried that in California a couple of decades ago – it didn’t work out.

          One judge denied the franchise of 59% of Cali’s voters.

      2. Anyone who isn’t a super star or doesn’t have a very marketable skill is subject to being replaced as soon as someone more desperate than they are walks in the door.

        I don’t think this is true. Replacing an employee, especially in higher-skilled professions (even if they are not superstars) isn’t cheap.

        At any rate, the libertarian answer would be freedom of association. People should be allowed to form companies for only Americans, and those who support such an ideal can put their money where their mouth is and buy from American-employing companies.

        1. It is not true to the extent I claim. I was engaging in hyperbole. But it is absolutely true for lower skilled workers. And it is a valid question to ask whether the extra wealthy by making it so is worth the societal costs that come with that. Not everyone is destined to be a high skilled worker. Not everyone is going to always be the perfect middle class high achiever that most Libertarians are. So, what are we going to do about that? Do we just say “fuck them” and grab the extra wealth? I would argue that that wealth comes with a price that isn’t worth paying.

          Those people who are affected by this and see their economic security end are not just going to go away. They will look to the government for that security and demand social services to give it to them. So you will be paying for that security one way or another. Do you want to pay for it with slightly higher prices and have a society where people of even modest skills or the most checkered pasts can get a job and feel secure or do you want to pay for it in the form of welfare with all of its accompanying social effects?

          I will take the former thank you.

          1. You are right that not everyone is destined to be a high-skilled worker. But does it not seem alarming that so many Americans, born and raised in the richest country in the world, can barely compete with people derided as illiterate peasants? To be honest, I think a lot of the blame for that lies in public schooling + excessive regulation that discourages entrepreneurship, but whatever the reason, it doesn’t seem right.

            The fact that libertarian suggestions like “just have businesses that only hire Americans” fall flat tells me that when it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, people balk, which means that people don’t actually care that much about immigrant vs. native born employment.

            I think your last argument is a bit of a false dichotomy. Of course I would prefer people to be able to get jobs. But the problems of joblessness, addiction, etc. come down I think to more than economics and policy: they are related to culture. In the past, communities in America (sometimes native, sometimes immigrant) would take care of each other, perhaps bound by some shared religious or cultural beliefs. I think that system works as a third option. Sadly, it has been largely destroyed.

            1. Nice summaries John and Metazoan. You’ve explained both sides well.

            2. I think you get the causality backwards. People choose drugs and bad behavior because they don’t see a reward to good behavior. Create a job market where it is impossible for anyone but the high skilled to have a secure job and a lot of people are going to do drugs and self destructive things because the rewards for not doing so are so low.

              Giving people a job and a way to make an honest living is giving them an alternative to the things you describe. Taking that away gives you more of that. Somehow people have reversed the causality and concluded that at a societal level social pathologies cause unemployment and unemployment can never cause social pathologies.

              1. Those are individual pathologies and I am not even sure about that. I do not know what a social pathology is. Many a successful person has been brought down by drugs or criminal activities.

            3. If you want to know what open borders would look like, simply look at 2nd and 3rd world nations today.

              There are PLENTY of rich people in Latin America and Asia. Tons. But ya know what? Look at the quality of life middle of the road people even have, and that tells you what would happen.

              An accountant or similar middle of the road person in Mexico doesn’t have a fraction of the standard of living they do in the USA. If we had TRUE open borders it wouldn’t JUST be the high school graduates that get kicked in the nuts, everybody below the top tier would lose out.

              An accountant in Mexico ain’t starving… But they’re not living like an accountant in the USA does. And rest assured trained accountants from Mexico, India, Laos, every damn where would be willing to move here to do the work for cheaper… Until of course wages equalized.

              All open borders would do is average out wages globally to a very large degree. It’s the logical end conclusion. It wouldn’t just hit blow it cases as many seem to think.

          2. John,
            So what would “job security” look like in your world?

            1. It is called a tight labor market, you half wit. It is a job market where anyone who is willing to work has a chance to do so even if they have been to jail or fucked up in some way. It is also a market that people have leverage over employers enough where they don’t have to be as desperate as the next person coming from Mexico to keep their job.

              1. It doesn’t exist in mine. Always be ready for a new job.

              2. Should government policies be specifically designed to promote a tight labor market?

                For example, something that is actually done in other countries is to have mandatory retirement for workers after a certain age, to make sure that there are always at least some jobs available for newer workers. Would you support that?

                1. “Should government policies be specifically designed to promote a tight labor market?”

                  They are for all but those labor markets most impacted by immigration

        2. Replacement at the lower rungs is pretty affordable. There’s a reason we have highly successful industries with >90% turnover. People are dispensable and interchangeable.

          1. Replacement happens because people get better jobs or decide they want a different job and leave. That is different than replacement by someone willing to work for less money. The latter is what open borders advocates want. No job is safe unless there is literally no one else in the entire world more desperate than the current employee.

        3. You honestly think we’re getting high-skilled professionals sneaking across our southern border in the dead of night with 3 niñas in tow?

          Give me a break.

          It’s the welfare train.

      3. “Anyone who isn’t a super star or doesn’t have a very marketable skill is subject to being replaced as soon as someone more desperate than they are walks in the door.“

        You are one of those. Not just desperate. Younger, smarter, willing to start at a lower rate. Your partnership, firm, or whatever can go down like a bag of rocks.

        But you know that council.

    2. It’s a very common argument by people who do not want the cartel living next door

    3. Too bad you’ve never seen Tyler Cowen argue that we need to get used to favelas and bean based diets for out future Brazilified country.

      1. We need more immigrants, because our homeless can’t even create favelas

      1. Yes it does. But open borders advocates won’t address that issue. They just pretend the facts are something other than what they are and when confronted with the facts pretend that the people made poorer by this have no moral standing to complain because the market decrees it.

        1. The thing that’s funny about this is that I am a business owner… I would almost certainly personally benefit from a flood of immigration in direct economic terms… But I’m sane enough to realize the benefits don’t outweigh the costs!

    4. Don’t forget, they plan on making these newly minted lower caste society members eligible for minimum wage protections as well. You know, one of the specific things that makes them attractive being the ability to pay them below market wages. I see no second order consequences of that…

    5. If people moving to the US end up being less productive or earn less on average than the average American, then pretty much by definition they “lower our average standard of living” since they become part of the average and lower it. How is that even remotely in doubt?

      Think of it this way: if a tiny country populated with 10000 bankers and software developers making $200000/year admits a million blue collar workers making $20000/year, does the average standard of living go up or down?

    6. That model assumes that all other inputs are fixed and inelastic.

      Say there is a fixed demand for strawberries. Increase of labor supply will in theory reduce labor cost and increase capital to the farm owner.

      But we know that in reality that is a simplified model. For example. The farmer can reduce the price of strawberries to compete with other producers which will increase demand. To meet the increased demand requires more labor and other services such as transport, packaging and so on. Also if labor of strawberry picking exceeds what the pickers find worth it they may go on to the pear crop up north which is paying a higher price per pound. That will require the farmer to pay more, and so on.

      So the argument that sudden large changes both in labor supply or demand influence wages and prices is true. I have seen both in my own career. Yet there are those of us who trust more in the market of free movement of goods, people, and services than we do in central control and planning.

      1. No, there’s those of you insulated from the consequences of your emotional idealism

  5. Imagine you’re in a room full of NBA players.

    Holy Shit is this analogy dumb.

    1. We should focus on individuals, not averages.

      *Proceeds to cite 5 hypothetical averages.*

      I mean, FFS. I can only assume this cartoon is aimed at children.

      1. It’s aimed at children and progressives. But I repeat myself.

    2. There are around 400 NBA players. If I were one of the 400 best in the world at what I did, I wouldn’t give a shit about foreign competition either.

      The analogy is “imagine you are in a room with a 1000 people each one able to do your job as well or close to as well as you do and 990 of them in a position where they would live in a one room shack to do it.”

      1. The same people routinely point out how much of America (or the world) is one paycheck or minor health calamity away from financial ruin.

        Imagine you’re playing game against NBA players and a single sprained ankle could make you -4′ 6″ tall. Imagine marrying someone or starting a small corporation and rather than being a two-person team, you morph into a 12-ft. tall monster.

        1. The same people routinely point out how much of America (or the world) is one paycheck or minor health calamity away from financial ruin financially irresponsible.

          ftfy

          1. The same people routinely point out how much of America (or the world) is financially irresponsible.

            Right. All those NBA players got to where they are by being very responsible with their height and doing so repeatedly/generationally/culturally. Adding in a bunch of toddlers won’t affect anyone’s height responsibility so, why not allow toddlers in the NBA?

            1. It’s really not a bad analogy, but they’re describing essentially how it can be that statistics can be misleading. As in an average might go down, but one particular group very well might go up. In this case, the ‘American’ goes up, and the ‘immigrant’ goes up, but since you added so many ‘low income’ immigrants the average itself goes down while individually everyone experiences gains.

              It’s a valid enough point, but it assumes many things. As someone above noted, they still use averages themselves instead of individual outcomes so…yeah. Basically they’re saying ‘trust this math over here, instead of that math over there’ and it has little to do with individual outcomes.

              1. Right I think because this is an emotional issue people miss the statistical point.

                1. It’s also because they commit the very fallacy they’re trying to lambaste in the comic, which is hilarious on a fundamental level to me.

                2. I think a lot of people get too emotional about it… But it is mostly the open borders crowd.

                  Most people aren’t against ALL immigration. They just want rational policies that make sense and mitigate some of the issues TRUE open borders would clearly have.

                  I think the refusal by the open borders crowd to accept that there ARE in fact a lot of things many people find undesirable about mass, uncontrolled immigration is 99% of their problem.

                  They rarely ever try to actual grapple with the real world issues that would pretty obviously pop up. People often mention that low skilled natives would get hosed… This is totally true. Most people however ALSO miss that most middle skilled people would ALSO get hosed. How many accountants are there in the world? How many of them make A LOT LESS MONEY than accountants do in the USA or Europe? Almost all of them. With true open borders accountants, lower level engineers, maybe architects, nurses, etc etc etc would all see their wages fall.

                  This should be painfully obvious to anybody with a brain. If a day laborer can 4 fold their income by moving here, they will. If an accountant can 4 fold their income by moving here, they will too!

      2. I think in the NBA analogy you would worry about foreign competition if you were the 400th best player in the USA. If the NBA was restricted to American citizens you would be in. If not the job would go to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

        It sounds like that is what you are advocating for the country as a whole.

    3. Yea, nobody pays a hefty premium to live in a district with no pre-schoolers.

  6. Sure! just look how much enrichment is going on in Sweden!

    https://apnews.com/430bf7e182cd480886e2beeee9f8f84f

    It’s almost as if your utopian ideas are bullshit and the real world doesn’t care about fairy tales

    1. At present, we’re importing shit from south of the border.
      We should stop all immigration – cold. No more. Not one more immigrant until we figure out what kind of immigrants will benefit America, this generation, next generation and into the future.

      Until then – no more.

      1. What is your metric for deciding if a potential immigrant would “benefit America”?

        1. Well, not being a net negative tax payer is a damn good place to start!

          Which in the USA means making about $60K a year. So that can be step one of determining who can move here. I don’t even think we’d need a 2nd step, but if anybody comes up with a good one I’m open to hearing them out!

          1. Well, not being a net negative tax payer is a damn good place to start!

            Which in the USA means making about $60K a year. So that can be step one of determining who can move here.

            So what is your argument against imposing a similar restriction on, say, native-born families?

            If a native-born couple wants to have a child, perhaps that couple should first have to prove to the state that the couple can support the child without being a public charge before being granted permission to have a child.

            Why not?

            1. Your retarded games, as always, are old.

              The fact is America WOULD be better off if we didn’t have so many native born losers… The thing is basically no nation ever has taken to kicking their losers out.

              It’s like family… Your brother may be kind of a screw up, but he’s still your brother. Which is why you invite him over for dinner sometimes. What you DON’T do is invite over a never ending stream of people that are equally big, or even worse, screw ups than your brother to eat for free at your house… Because you have no relation to them, and bringing losers into your life is a dumb idea.

              That said, I DO support ending all subsidies to native born people that encourages blow it cases to breed when they can’t afford it. Welfare programs SHOULD go bye bye. We should even privatize all schooling.

              You’re not going to get me with your retarded game of trying to pretend two things are equivalent when the absolutely are not the same.

              1. “The fact is America WOULD be better off if we didn’t have so many native born losers… The thing is basically no nation ever has taken to kicking their losers out.“

                It has been tried. Perhaps you would have been more comfortable there.

                1. No it hasn’t. Not really anyway.

                  First off, society needed more brain dead laborers in the past, so they were relatively more useful. 2nd, name a country that ever tried to kick out the stupidest 10-20-30% of people! Never happened.

                  Incidentally a few places that have been mega magnets for high skill immigration, like Singapore or maybe Luxembourg, Switzerland, etc actually kind of show you how a society with a lower percentage of idiots might function. They didn’t boot the idiots, just diluted their share of the population. It’s not the worse results really.

                  Almost all crime and social dysfunction comes from low IQ people. Without said people society WOULD be far better. That’s just reality. The thing is it’s just not morally or practically feasible to do it. When designer babies are a thing someday then people will realize just how much dumb people fucked up the world throughout all of human history.

                  1. Humans are the only animal to intentionally stop evolving.

                    We call our defective offspring, “Special,” and abort many of the rest.

  7. Caplan is a smart guy, and this book looks awesomely approachable. Adding it to my Christmas wish list.

  8. I will gladly trade all the brittle millennials for a fresh set of hard working immigrants.

    1. The relevant — and desirable — exchange (or replacement) is immigrants for stale-thinking clingers.

      1. Like those that can’t handle become adults and what to cling to government to support them.

        1. Or perhaps desiring a edit function.

      2. Well said, Art. Immigrants — especially those crossing the US / Mexico border — tend to be affluent, educated, and not at all superstitious. That’s why they’re prime candidates to join the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

        1. There you are! Why don’t you make a joke about deporting people and putting them in camps. Bonus points if you can do it without mentioning Obama or Clinton.

          1. When I saw that heartbreaking viral photo of children sleeping on the floor behind a chain link fence, I slammed my fist into the desk and shouted “This. Is. Not. Who. We. Are!!!!!!” Because I knew Obama would never do anything like that. And since the Democratic Party has almost totally embraced Charles Koch’s open borders agenda, no future Democratic President will cage or deport people either.

            #VoteDemocratForOpenBorders
            #BillionairesKnowBest

            1. Obama would never do anything like that

              You lose.

              What I like about you Trumpian is your ability to use humor to justify authoritarian violence. You are a funny goose stepper.

            2. When I saw that, all it did was give me a boner.

    2. I will gladly trade all the brittle millennials for a fresh set of hard working immigrants.

      While I don’t mean to disregard the labor factor at all and don’t mean to inject too much sophistry; a willing slave working against you isn’t exactly better than a petulant ingrate who refuses to work one way or the other.

    3. I will gladly trade all the brittle millennials for a fresh set of hard working immigrants.

      As an employer, I will do. They’ll come cheaper and I get to laugh at unemployed millennials with college debt.

      1. And they’ll get to vote that your tax dollars will pay it off.

    4. The sad thing is that all the pussy millennials are still like 3x as economically productive on average as the illiterate peasants… So even if we want to go all in on “economics is all that matters!” it’s far more economically efficient to just buy extra Kleenex for them to wipe their tears and build them a safe space room at the office!

  9. Immigration is just like free trade

    Yeah, we know. Now tell us why we should be celebrating them when they mostly seem to be bringing us a whole lot of shitty things.

  10. so expect my contribution equivalent in exotic foods when?

  11. Immigration is indeed like free trade. It is protectionist. And the protectionist are correct. Ideally we should all be self sufficient as individuals and as a nation. Import nothing. Allow no one in. We should produce everything ourselves. We should all live on farms, producing our own food! Hire no one! No imported labor! Do it all ourselves! Let every man eat only what he produces, life only in what he builds, write with quills since he can’t make a pencil by himself! Then we will all be rich!

    1. So are we saying that suddenly Democrats and Republicans are going to be anti-public spending and anti-regulation? You know, two things that are required for the supposedly noble goal of open borders to function even close to what people like Caplan claim?

      Especially, people like Caplan seem to believe that society can be perfectly reordered and things like political trade offs don’t exist.

      They construct their own microcosm of the world and claim that world is reality. Sadly, that is provably not the case.

      1. As many people often say, get rid of the welfare state and burdensome regulations… And then we’ll talk.

        The order of operations MATTERS in lots of things in life… Open borders is SURE AS FUCK one of those areas. Also, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Cuz they’ll fuck up our civil liberties too even if they don’t mooch off my tax dollars.

  12. Open borders is so obviously the correct policy that only a bigot would oppose it. Well, except when it comes to Israel — they’re allowed to have a giant wall. But the US, Canada, Australia, and all of Europe must have open borders.

    1. If Hamas was on the Texas border we would not need a wall. There would be no Hamas.

    2. And don’t forget the Japanese! The Japanese aren’t white, and therefore can’t be racist like evil white people for wanting to maintain their civilization!

  13. I’m generally sympathetic to open borders. But, this is a pretty blatant straw man. Critics of mass immigration argue that the immigrants displace native workers at a lower wage. So, the worker’s wage isn’t rising from $50k to $60k, but falling to $20k to compete with the immigrant. Now, you can argue that the difference is made up by gains to the employer. But, that’s still ignoring the distributive elements of mass immigration. Now, in the long run, that pay cut may be made up. But, my guess is, in a lot of cases, probably not. And gains by future employees of other companies is little compensation to the guy whose wage was cut.

    1. This is the crux of the dilemma. There is no question that “textbook” immigration (where there is no welfare state) is a net benefit to society. But there is also no question that this will suppress the wages of some workers, versus the absence of immigration. So in the hypothetical pure case it comes down to whether you want to protect some Americans at the expense of our overall standard of living. There is no right answer to that question. Caplan and Weinersmith apparently think there is, and surprisingly it matches their personal preference! What is the especially galling about their article is that they totally ignore the impacts on the pure case of introducing a welfare state.

      1. And there is a vast difference between immigration and migration.
        Immigration is more of an individual, or small family unit, endeavor.
        Migration is the wholesale relocation of collective groups of people.
        The individual or small family unit, in order to prosper, must adjust and integrate into the community they move into.
        A collective group, in order to prosper, can conquer and replace a community where they relocate, or force the community to adjust to their group. The collective group actually inhibits, both actively and passively, the integration of individuals within it.

      2. The reality in the USA today though is that even if your income rises by some small amount, with the current level of government spending you’re going to have to have most of it taken straight back in taxes to cover the costs of the new low wage immigrants!

        Depending on the study, one needs to make $50-60K a year to be a net tax payer in the USA. It of course varies on an individual basis. Somebody who is single, doesn’t drive a car, never used welfare, no kids, etc might be break even at a lower number than somebody else, but that is the average.

  14. Caplan is a pretty good econ professor, but the analogy to basketball players is terrible – heights don’t change… but the price of labor does.

    Acting like the price of low-skilled labor is static is incorrect on its face. The labor market is a market just like any other. Increasing supply, ceteris paribus, will cause the price to drop.

    There are plenty of arguments to be made for why more immigration of low-skilled workers it is beneficial over the long term for everyone, but this is not one of them.

  15. I think the only arithmetic fallacy is the one in the cartoon.

    The question isn’t “do we all shrink” the question is, if you flood a particular economic band with cheap/low cost labor, does it depress wages IN that cheap/low cost labor band, and does it make employment more difficult for the existing population in that band? The answer is almost certainly: Yes. If you flood a market with a thing, the price of that thing goes down. Caplan’s not much of an economist if he doesn’t know that.

    As Peter Hitchens noted: Refugees and Immigrants tend to settle in the lower economic scale of the employment spectrum. And he suspected the if all the immigrants and refugees were competing for Television Producer and Anchor jobs, you’d get a different take from the media. As he wryly noted– the working class people all competing for those jobs don’t necessarily feel “enriched” by the new Restaurant on the corner or by the fact they can hire a nanny for much cheaper than they could a year ago.

    Now as a good little Libertarian, I do agree that over time the economics will correct themselves and at some point down the road- tides and waters re-seek their levels and yes, probably everyone is better off… probably. At least in terms of economics. But even then, maybe not depending on what second-order effects occur. But it doesn’t create an answer to the problem of how do we respond to the working class people in that lower band now.

    1. And since Immigration policy is under direct control of the Government, the government is or can be responsible for what areas of labor are more impacted by immigration than others. Sure, it’s a wild and wooly free market for labor! *cough* for jobs between the $7-12 an hour range!

    2. “Everyone” is better off because those who aren’t die off

    3. And he suspected the if all the immigrants and refugees were competing for Television Producer and Anchor jobs, you’d get a different take from the media.

      The problem with this general line of thinking is that a group that’s mostly high IQ white collar workers will actually create firms that provide high wage jobs — the thing libertarians keep claiming third world immigrants will do but never actually happens.

      1. If citizens with higher education can’t understand the labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape for creating a business, why does anyone expect lower education foreign-born workers with no knowledge of U.S. law to be better at navigating it?

        Honestly confused about this notion. Are illegal immigrants in particular more capable of navigating bureaucratic hurdles? If so, why and how?

        It seems we’re saying that we should ship all U.S. children down to Mexico for their formative years since it would make them more productive U.S. citizens. If you ignore the obvious problems with such a policy, does it seem like a logically plausible thing that doing so would increase their productivity? If so, how and why?

    4. Over time has not proved fruitful. The large waves of immigrants started in the 1980s and continue through today. Since the 1980s, wages have been stagnant and have even decreased for some segments.

    5. Anybody ever notice that the time the nation was the happiest, the middle class was the biggest, and wage disparities were smallest in this country… Just so happened to be the same time period when we had the lowest immigration levels in our history?

      Yeah. It’s because people finally assimilated in, and there wasn’t an endless flood of cheap labor coming in undercutting the native born working class.

      People like to forget that the Irish, Italians, etc were flooding the labor market and dropping wages for the people already here back then too. They had lower standards than many that were already here. Today is no different… Other than the fact that the disparities in education, skills needed in the work force, etc are even greater now, AND there’s an even greater number of people who want to move here!

  16. And per his second frame:

    At her private English classes in Damascus this week, Selma, 23 and her classmates made presentations on job prospects. The lesson got heated.

    “It’s impossible for us to get ahead here – there are no opportunities,” says Selma, drawing deeply on her cigarette in a courtyard.

    “I want to leave; I want to emigrate to Canada.”

    […]

    The average salary in Syria now stands at $300 a month. The official unemployment figure is 10%, although many estimate the real figure is much higher. It is estimated close to 50% of those unemployed are under 30. Some 14% of the 23 million population are regarded as poor.

    It appears all that mass exodus that moved from Syria to Europe hasn’t improved the economic conditions of the Syrians a whole lot.

    1. It seems to me that Syria could benefit from an injection of a few million Scotsmen. Or Irish… or even Texans. I’m not picky.

      1. You know what the funny thing is?

        If we traded every Syrian for saaay Americans, Syria would become a 1st world nation in a decade or two. Because the people, and their culture, matter. It’s not magic dirt, it’s magic people that make the difference.

    2. It appears all that mass exodus that moved from Syria to Europe hasn’t improved the economic conditions of the Syrians a whole lot.

      Yeah, this makes me skeptical of the whole “I’ll take hard working immigrants over millennials any day.” argument.

      Sure, we all would, but that doesn’t avert the issue of putting labor screens in place at the border and *still* incurring a bunch of ‘millennial immigrants’ who think that universal healthcare, votes, and $15/hr. wages are a human rights.

      1. The difference is that immigrants typically want to work hard in exchange for the comfort of having a decent wage.

        A quote from the article:

        “I work so hard here, for nothing. I want to get an education, I want to do a master’s degree, but the degrees here are not regarded anywhere else; the courses here are worth nothing.”

        “It’s not like I want a huge salary. I don’t need to buy fancy clothes or to go out to restaurants every night, I just want enough money to be comfortable.

        “People in other places around the world have the right to work hard and earn enough to live on – we don’t have that. There are engineers and lawyers working as taxi drivers – it’s not right.”

        1. You don’t think Americans are the same way?

          1. I do think Americans are the same way. I think a lot of Americans think millennial Americans are not the same way.

            I happen to be a millennial American and I work my ass off. A lot of my peers are lazy as fuck, but I am inclined to believe the same is probably true for gen Xers and boomers.

            1. Notice how those people that hate on “millennial’s” the most also fail to notice that those ‘kids’ are almost in their 40’s today?

              1. I’m a millennial… And I think millennials suck.

                BUT, there are 2 types of millennials. There are the older ones like me who are really closer in characteristics to the later Gen X people… And then there are the ones who got trophies for being losers, never got to ride their bikes around, etc. Most of the stereotypes seem to be about the ones a few years younger than me. I feel like I can really tell the difference in mentality when I meet people.

    3. Yup Syria is hosed because of the war. Same thing happened with Lebanon and still has repercussions there. Rather than abdicate Assad chose to reduce the country to rubble and decimate the population. Now he is the lackey of Russia and Iran. He is too weak to prevent a Turkish invasion.

  17. The arguments in this opinion piece are fallacious. There is nothing to back up the assertion that adding competing workers increases the salary of existing workers. In fact, the opposite occurs. When cheap labor is available, wages go down. This is well established in economics.

  18. When the public school system, government unions and defined benefit pensions are abolished, and, the favelas start going up in Beverly Hills, Marin, Manhattan I’ll glance at your argument. Until then, its all global corporatist nonsense.

    1. What’s the real difference between the favelas and the tent cities of Silicon Valley?

      1. Density density density. The worlds population is tipping at 8 billion. Forgot about the favelas and pursue the coffin Japanese pod capsules, by the billions.

  19. When it comes to the arguments about “economics” and immigration, the problem is always that the open borders lobby obfuscates who they are talking about.

    Words like “we” abound in this thread. Who is “we”? In the headline here, who is “Their Countries?”

    When folks start talking about immigration making “us” better off economically, this is like a government official telling you that raising taxes will make “us” richer. A low grade con and sleight of hand.

    The reality is admitted by George Borjas, the most prominent immigration economist in the US.

    1. Immigration to the US represents a $500 billion REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH among Americans. Generally, it is a $500 billion annual redistribution of wealth from poorer Americans to richer Americans.

    2. The “immigration surplus”—the net increase in the total wealth of the native population— is about $50 billion.

    3. Unfortunately, this surplus is offset, “Immigrants receive government assistance at higher rates than natives. The higher cost of all the services provided to immigrants and the lower taxes they pay (because they have lower earnings) inevitably implies that on a year-to-year basis immigration creates a fiscal hole of at least $50 billion—a burden that falls on the native population.”

    4. “What does it all add up to? The fiscal burden offsets the gain from the $50 billion immigration surplus, so it’s not too farfetched to conclude that immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all. Instead, it has changed how the pie is split, with the losers—the workers who compete with immigrants, many of those being low-skilled Americans—sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners. Those winners are primarily their employers.”

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/trump-clinton-immigration-economy-unemployment-jobs-214216

    So in summary, this is all sham upon Americans. Idiots repeat phrases like “net gain” because of course overall GDP goes up. That is meaningless. And of course the immigrants themselves benefit. If you want to be altruistic with other people’s livelihood in a way that just so conveniently happens to benefit you, come out and say it, coward.

    1. I would also add to the above that our mass legal+illegal immigration scheme of the past few decades is unprecedented in the history of the planet.

      And, it is an interventionist government policy in its overall nature. One that has been foisted upon the people largely undercover and against their will.

    2. So in summary, this is all sham upon Americans. Idiots repeat phrases like “net gain” because of course overall GDP goes up. That is meaningless. And of course the immigrants themselves benefit. If you want to be altruistic with other people’s livelihood in a way that just so conveniently happens to benefit you, come out and say it, coward.

      That is by far the most annoying lie they tell. They take the immigrant’s improvement in standard of living and then use that as a justification for open borders, the implication being that everyone is better off. No. He is better off. Lots of other people are worse off. The fact that his improvement is larger than their reduction doesn’t make their reduction any less real or deprive them of the right to object to it.

      The bottom line always is that it is someone else’s job to suffer for these asshole’s principles. None of the people who make these arguments ever think they will do anything but benefit. And they expect those who won’t to not just suffer but be happy about it.

      1. Libertarian-ish autists like Caplan and Clemens are actually pretty honest about this. It’s the low IQ propagandists like our hosts here that are the shameless liars.

        1. ^ This. Caplan is mostly honest, it’s the regurgitated versions of his work that seem to omit anything they don’t like about his work.

      2. it is someone else’s job to suffer for these asshole’s principles.

        Why should *I* suffer for *YOUR* principles, John?

        1. And that’s where political fights come from Jeffy!

          The problem with immigration is that it gets the bleeding hearts pussies wet, because they’re emotional idiots… AND it lines the pockets of corporatists too. With both those forces at work it’s why we’ve not done anything about it.

          I own a business, and would probably benefit from dirt cheap wages… But I have enough of a soul, care enough about maintaining freedom in America, and don’t want to see my culture destroyed, that I’m willing to go against my economic interests. Lots of other people don’t have the scruples to do that though I guess.

          1. that I’m willing to go against my economic interests.

            Oh, so you’re willing to vote against your economic interests.

            But all of those other people, you are certain that they are just voting for ‘free stuff’ and not voting based on other perceived interests… Unlike you, who is able to resist the siren song of ‘free stuff’…

            1. That’s right Jeff, I don’t vote for free stuff for myself, or anyone else for that matter.

              I’m not saying there aren’t retarded, indoctrinated semi-affluent people who believe morally that it is the right thing to do to destroy entire communities through multi-generational welfare dependency… Idiots DO think it’s the right thing to do. But they’re idiots.

              But most people who support stupid shit tend to be poor idiots who think they will benefit from more handouts. Also, even with other dumb crap like trains almost nobody rides, it tends to be the sub set of people who think they’ll benefit from that stuff that vote for it… Even if they know it will be a horrible choice financially overall.

              I would prefer some sort of private funding source being that I’m not a commie… But if certain public infrastructure things like trains, even lame ass bike lanes, etc were actually used in sufficient numbers to make any sense, I would be okay with them. But they’re not in most places. Hence I oppose them.

              Most people always vote with their perceived interests. Especially emotional thinkers, which is the type of wiring most commies and bleeding hearts have.

    3. —-“When folks start talking about immigration making “us” better off economically, this is like a government official telling you that raising taxes will make “us” richer.” —-

      This is the kind of misdirection and dishonesty coming from mothetfucking Trumpistas. Immigrants are not the same as taxes. Immigrants are labor, they’re productive. See if you, you stupid Trumpista, can make the case that babies are like taxes also, because that’s what your ridiculous comparison can lead to with no effort.

      We’re dealing with ignoramuses, liars and cheats here, folks. Also known as: Trumpistas. They’re mirror images of their great leader, the man who can’t spell ‘hamburger.’

      1. Immigrants are labor, they’re productive.

        Some are. But not all. Are people who end up in jail productive? Are old people who can’t work productive? Are people who can’t get jobs productive? Are children productive?

        You make the same tired, stupid arguments. They are no more convincing now than they ever are.

        1. Well old people who cannot work are often productive. Grandma helps out with the kids. Grandpa takes care of things around the house and provides a stable family structure. Their children can then work. Family is well known to be a basis for a prosperous stable society. There is more to it than a paycheck.

          Children have intrinsic value obviously and most will contribute to the economy eventually. Which is why society as a whole gives them more protection and resources.

          Crime occurs at all levels. For all I know the guy down the street is a serial killer. Even if you screen for past activity to gain admission which is a good idea you are not going to predict future behavior.


      2. Immigrants are labor, they’re productive.

        This is not a logical statement. Just because someone is alive doesn’t mean they are producing anything, and ‘immigrant’ says nothing about individual immigrants labor productivity. It’s a legal status, not an employment status.

      3. “Immigrants are labor, they’re productive.”

        LOL, what? Go ahead, pick up a 25 year old immigrant on the street, get him off his iphone and try to get him to do some labor.

        Immigrants are just human beings who come from another country. They have no special powers, abilities and perspectives that can uniquely benefit America or host nations on the fly, they have to train and educate themselves to participate in the market like everyone else.

        Less than 1% of the immigration population work in farms. Doing physically demanding work “natives” won’t do isn’t an indication of work ethics. The quality of work depends on the individual and a process.

        The immigrant advocates have a prototype of an immigrant instilled in their minds and will not allow reality to challenge. Immigrants can be hard working and productive. They can also be drunkards, sexists, and spouse abusers, and will screw over their own people to save a buck. That’s what humanity is.

        Immigrants in America contribute to the economy because our system allows them to do so. The investments and the bridge to their motherland allows them to expand businesses here. If 20 million Mexicans illegally entered Canada they would be deported on the spot or they’ll be stuck in somewhere limbo because they ain’t getting housing or medical care. The things America do for people isn’t usually the norm elsewhere in the world.

        1. “The immigrant advocates have a prototype of an immigrant instilled in their minds”

          The noble savage

      4. So let’s say a Mexican single mom comes to the US with her kid, works a job that earns $20000/year, and her kid goes to school. Yes, she has a greater than zero productivity. But the cost of her and her kids’ healthcare and education alone is more than what she earns and is paid for by taxes on others.

        So, you’re conflating immigrants and illegal migrants; you’re misrepresenting immigrants and migrants as if all of them work; and you fail to account for the costs that immigrants and illegal migrants impose on society.

        You’re right: “we’re dealing with ignoramuses, liars and cheats here”: people like you.

        1. I was going to use the same example!

          Some floor sweeper who makes $20K a year and has 4 kids is actually costing the country $28K a year JUST for schooling their kids, as $12K a year is the average IIRC.

          Throw in roads, them inevitable mooching off free lunch, etc, and it’s a LOT bigger hole than that in reality.

          As I often say, we’re stuck with the native born fuck ups… But that doesn’t mean we need to import more.

  20. Immigration Enriches Migrants and Their New Countries

    Until they vote in Elizabeth Warren who destroys the economy. But what the hell the immigrants are still better off than they were in Mexico so no big deal.

    1. They never like to admit that EVERY SINGLE IMMIGRANT GROUP is far to the left of the average American. With the exception of Cubans.

      But that is a very real factor. If you look at polling, if we still had the demographic makeup we had in the 70s or 80s, Trump would actually be the left wing Democratic candidate, and we might actually have a proper conservative/libertarian running on the right.

  21. Let’s ignore reality so we can all pay more taxes!

    Great ideas fellas, hard to believe this doesn’t gain more steam in the public eye

  22. I came in expecting Trumpistas (who proved they’re not only stupid but also homicidal*) would attack the arguments brought forth by professor Caplan with a buch of whataboutthisms and racist tirades against Mexicans and other immigrants and, oh boy, was I not disappointed.

    Motherfuckers WILL be replaced — by far BETTER people. And before John comes back with another ridiculous insituation that I just hate white people, let me tell you: I love ALL people. All colors. Except Trumpistas. That’s all.

    *After one of them murdered Hispanics in cold blood in El Paso.

    1. Motherfuckers WILL be replaced — by far BETTER people.

      ^That moment when you become so dedicated to your ideology that you become a literal fascist for it.

      1. I think someone took over Old Mexicans’ account. he was always annoying but he was never this stupid. This is just a parody. I can’t believe it is serious.

        1. Nope, old mex has always been this stupid. It would be difficult to tell if someone spoofed his account since he was so wildly out in left field that he became functionally impossible to parody.

    2. You seem healthy.

    3. After one of them murdered Hispanics in cold blood in El Paso.

      I thought Mexicans were hot blooded.

      1. “After one of them murdered Hispanics in cold blood in El Paso.”

        YOUR people murdered a Mormon family and drive thousands of their own countrymen to America with their gang warfare. See how that works? Or doesn’t?

        1. And if OUR people did not have an insatiable demand for meth and heroin there would be no cartel butchers there.

          1. Stop saying this, the cartel have other business interests all over their region and are starting move onto human trafficking. Reason will be the first ones to tell you that only small amount of drugs will are ever caught near the border.

            Otherwise Donald Trump would be proven right and we can’t have THAT.

    4. You are a racist piece of garbage Mexican. You really are. Like I said above, I think maybe someone had hijacked your account, because I have a hard time believing anyone is as stupid, racist, and hateful as you are.

    5. Motherfuckers WILL be replaced — by far BETTER

      The Democratic front-runner should go with this as a campaign soundbite any times he or she gets asked about immigration. It’s a sure winner.

      1. But he loves everyone. He just hates evil Trumpistas and wants them dead and replaced by better people. You know, he is all about the love. Just trying to do the right thing.

        If this is the same Old Mexican, Trump really did break him. The guy is a full on raving lunatic now.

        1. I thought he was crazy the previous ten years when his entire argument was typing COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE over and over.

          1. Yeah, that and one might ask if importing another nations comparative advantage in labor wages is really what the average American wants.

            If it is, the average American is in favor of cutting off their noses to spite their face since it’s hard to imagine a world with fully open immigration who’s labor wage doesn’t drop like a stone in any industry that doesn’t require specific credentials or education.

            Of course, the open borders people have a difficult time noticing that credentialing and specific education for certain industries isn’t going anywhere so citing those people as ‘winning’ in open borders is putting it mildly.

            When ‘construction worker’ wages fall to $2.50 an hour, making $20 an hour as an office worker makes you part of the aristocracy. That’s before you consider that Mr. $20 an hour also is eligible for social security and a raft of benefits while Mr. $2.50 an hour would have to live with 20 or 30 other people just to afford a bed.

            Sounds great, if you’re landowner or business owner. If you’re not, you’re fucked.

            1. We have how many immigrants both legal and not? Has any of that happened ?

              1. Because it’s limited. You’re basically saying the current system is successful by asking the question in the first place.

            2. That’s a mistake a lot of people make… The office worker won’t be making $20 an hour anymore either.

              If India and China can train an endless number of high skill computer programmers, doctors, etc to move here… Do you not think they might be able to send over some accountants, nurses, and moderately competent clerical workers?

              The wages for everybody below REALLY high end specialists is going to drop. We’ll look like any other 2nd world nation with a few very wealthy people, a middle class that doesn’t have it that good anymore, and a shit ton of poor people.

    6. Old Mexican… I’m partly Mexican… And I want every single illegal immigrant, ESPECIALLY the DACA kids, sent back to where they came from.

      Am I an evil race traitor who is an enemy in your eyes because I can see reality objectively and conclude illiterate peasants don’t bring anything good to the table?

  23. my god, yet another intellectually lightweight article from Reason on this issue

    1. Has reason had anything but intellectually lightweight articles in the last 5 or 6 years? Longer? (Articles that are braindead don’t count)

      1. My introduction to Reason was Stiglitz’ (IIRC) pants on head retarded review of The Bell Curve. It’s been downhill from there.

        1. Too bad for you that Reason didn’t turn out to be the alt-right paradise you thought it would be.

          1. Too bad IQ is distributed on a bell curve… And that different groups have different distributions.

            It’s fucking science dude. As I have said before, you can HOPE that there are environmental factors causing the whole gap… But the science says it’s likely only 30-40% MAX that’s environmental. The rest is genetic.

            If you just accept the science for what it says in EVERY SINGLE STUDY EVER, it explains all the differences in outcomes the world over. There’s a reason South Korea became a 1st world nation in a matter of a couple decades, yet other nations that were given a leg up by Europeans centuries before that still can’t get their shit together.

            If it makes you feel better my optimistic side is happy that designer babies will someday be able to ACTUALLY make people equal, since we sure as hell aren’t naturally like that.

            1. It’s not about the “fucking science” behind IQ. It’s your, and the alt-right’s generally, misuse of the science.

              First, whatever IQ bell curves exist, they overlap so strongly among different groups, and the results of the IQ test itself are so sensitive to environmental and cultural factors that have little to do with one’s innate intelligence, that trying to draw sweeping conclusions on that single variable is fraught with peril.

              Second, these conclusions that you draw about the outcomes of different groups completely ignore all other related factors except for IQ. It is “IQ determinism”, that IQ determines all. THAT is the fallacy in your analysis.

              1. But it’s not a fallacy! It’s an inconvenient reality.

                Within nations IQ scores are the BEST predictor of positive life outcomes there are. High IQ people make more money, have lower divorce rates, better health, live longer, lower crime rates, etc. Basically anything anybody ever thinks of as being a positive thing correlates with IQ.

                OBVIOUSLY the ability to learn highly complex subjects also correlates with IQ. Namely somebody with an 80 IQ is literally incapable of EVER becoming a medical doctor… Whereas somebody with a 140 IQ could easily become a medical doctor if they wanted to.

                So how is that not deterministic? The fact is that it IS, at least to a degree. Somebody born with a low IQ is inherently limited in their options because of that low IQ, whereas somebody with a high IQ is limited by other qualities they may have, but not their intelligence.

                Nobody ever says that hard work, people skills, other positive qualities don’t matter at all… They’re VERY important. However there are still hard limits based on IQ. There are no 70 IQ rocket scientists, nor can there ever be. A guy with an 85 IQ may be able to make money if he’s a really personable super salesman personality type, but he cannot be a brain surgeon. Somebody who is smart enough to be a brain surgeon may not be able to be a salesman too! IQ isn’t everything, but it explains a large enough chunk of outcomes to easily be considered the single most important thing.

                In other words, I understand the REAL WORLD limitations of IQ, but accept that it is a super important fact.

                Amusingly enough all the outcomes we see at different IQ levels WITHIN countries (to get rid of your retarded assertion about cultural stuff etc), magically work out internationally as well. If IQ tests are biased in favor of Europeans, explain why Asians always beat us… AND do better in every other objective measure of intelligence too! They’re really not very biased, it’s just that some groups are less intelligent on average, which you cannot stand.

                Your entire belief is retarded. You WANT to believe that people aren’t different, because you have bought into false egalitarian propaganda. The fact that ALL objective science in the entire world says that is not true doesn’t sway you. You’re being illogical and retarded.

                As I said, even if you think it isn’t genetic, and believe Somalis can have 105 average IQs too with proper nutrition etc… The fact that Somalis have IQs in the 70s today STILL explains why Somalia is a shithole TODAY. If you really believe the environmental hypothesis then figure out the EXACT mechanisms for boosting Somali IQs and then Somalia can be a wealthy and awesome country too!

                Because intelligence IS the main factor in whether a nation kicks ass or is a shithole. There’s too much evidence to back it up for it to not be true. Everything about the real world backs this up, including all manner of statistics.

  24. and what if I do not want to be “enriched” by them….then what is the argument?

  25. The “average” salary for a BA holder is supposed to be something like 50 thousand dollars. Has Reason supported free college education?

    It’s a silly notion that 20 million people randomly moving into country X would be a key to prosperity in and of itself. America isn’t some mid sized whitebread nation like Canada, we’re the center of global economy. The immigrants who move here have unprecedented access to the best education system and support from taxing paying citizens. Some illegal Mexican won’t get free healthcare or serve in school boards in Korea.

    Reason rightfully laughs at Koombayah sentiment from the ruling class but won’t do so for immigration. Seriously dudes, most typical immigrants have nothing special to offer to America. The jobs with the most growth are retail or healthcare, and there’s no shortage of interest there. If you were “trading” with the USA and enriching our society you were already an asset, and even Trump would welcome you in.

    For that theoretical “average” salary, we’re supposed to overlook the skyrocketing housing and living costs, overcrowded schools, and an entitlement system that will go boom when immigration increases. I’m sorry, but if you’re saying SS pays out 3 times what someone puts in, then you can’t say immigrants are sustaining that program. You can’t argue for abortion for the sake of the planet and resources and then also support open borders.

    Freedom is the cause of prosperity. Diversity and immigration are products of freedom. Are we going to be freer and more libertarian if we increase immigration? Most American oppose the 1A now, what’s the percentage of immigrants who would favor hate speech laws? Socialized medicine? Free healthcare?

    1. That’s another factor nobody ever talks about…

      It may be selfish, but having a smaller population is generally nicer for the people here. When the population in LA was half as high, it was WAY more awesome to live there. I know somebody who bought a house in the Pacific Palisades on a public school teachers salary. That are is as awesome as Malibu for those that don’t know the area.

      The fewer people, the less competition for the best spots to live. What is THAT worth to people? Or the environment? I’m no hippie, but if we have 600 million people in this same space someday, that’s going to require wrecking a lot of awesome landscape.

  26. I agree with the “arithmetic” part. But here’s something libertarians overlook: people aren’t just economic units of production. They bring other baggage with them.

    And without getting into the propensity to crime, religious extremism and all that (because I think those things are largely manageable in modern-day America), the main reason I’m opposed to MASS immigration is this: most today’s immigrants vote Left. They vote for socialism.

    So yes, while they’ll help up raise our GDP for a while, they’ll also give the Democrats greater power and end up ruin the very free market they’ve come to supposedly enrich. Just look at the states going blue recently thanks in large part to the Hispanic influx (Virginia, Nevada, Arizona, etc.)

    1. You suggest a political loyalty test for immigration?

      Only Republicans allowed? Maybe we should deport the Jews, Blacks, gays, and Asians or at least not allow any new ones.

      Political victory by controlling population demographics.

      Im sure that has happened before.

      1. If the average newcomer had a fifty-fifty chance of going either way, I wouldn’t have really cared. Or even 60% Democrat. But Asians and Hispanics (who makes the vast majority of today’s immigrants) vote 70-80% Democrat. ASIANS, for crying out loud, who outearn whites and generally do well in life, vote for the freakin’ socialists! Overwhelmingly! I don’t know why, and I wish it weren’t the case, but that’s where we are.

        I don’t want a political loyalty test. I just want to slow the influx of people who are going to turn the country socialist. Otherwise, you’d just be basically trading temporary (international) freedom of travel for long-term Soviet-like government intervention in the economy. Why would I be for that?

        And “political victory by controlling demographics” hasn’t just happened before; it’s happening RIGHT NOW. Why do you think the demographics have gone so open borders recently? Because they know it’ll end up ensuring them political hegemony like it did in California and is about to do in Texas.

        1. Political engineering by the government of immigration based on estimated votes for legal American candidates for political office so as to influence the outcome for your chosen affiliation and beliefs.

          Jeez, can’t see why anyone would have a problem with that.

          1. BECAUSE IT’LL TURN THE COUNTRY SOCIALIST! That’s not enough of a reason? And for God’s sakes, let’s stop with the “engineering” as if I were advocating some complex government intervention that target specific demographics. I just want immigration slowed down to gain a couple more decades of liberty before the whole country goes Democrat once and for all.

          2. You do realize that choosing principles over practical outcomes can be suicidal sometimes right?

            Like saaay it’s after the zombie apocalypse, and you run into somebody who looks really sketchy, maybe wearing a human ear necklace around their neck… They give you a mean look… You can either cap them in the head, OR you can be “moral” and not shoot them, and risk them killing you.

            Maybe they won’t kill you… But given the situation, they probably will. You’re a lot better off just shooting them.

            It is not a matter of hypotheticals. ALL immigrants, including European immigrants, are to the left of the native born US population. Period. End. Of. Discussion. It is not up for debate. Every survey ever done shows this.

            So do you want to destroy freedom in the USA to protect some bullshit, next to useless supposed freedom known as international freedom of movement? I’m not big on suicide myself.

            1. I am ready for that. My plan in such a situation is to have a human penis and scrotum necklace and a sharpened bloody walking staff with a severed head on top. Thus outdoing him in the gruesome crazy bling contest. That should scare those sorts away.

              One of the primary rules in surviving the zombie apocalypse is never waste ammo. The guy could turn out useful and I could always kill him later.

              1. And if he doesn’t get spooked by your extra crazy outfit, and instead makes the rational decision to immediately kill you before you react?

                That’s my point dude. Sometimes “hoping” for something that is HIGHLY improbable to work out is just a losers game.

                If I wake up in the middle of the night and there is a stranger in my house, they’re going to get a 3 second warning to hit the floor while I’m getting a good aim at them, and if they’re not dropping to the floor by the time I have a clear shot, they’re getting shot until they stop moving… Because I ain’t fucking around with trying to play nice guy to home invaders.

                Every sane, rational sign points to everything good about America AT LEAST being severely watered down, if not outright destroyed, by mass immigration… Especially the poor 3rd world ones. But as I mentioned above even Europeans and affluent Asians fuck us up politically. So why fuck around with this shit?

                I don’t want to live in a socialist country, but that is clearly what these people have been bringing with them if you look at surveys of political beliefs. White, native born Americans are the ONLY group where a majority supports all the basic freedoms in America.

                I don’t like that fact, but it’s true. The rational decision is to stop letting in foreigners if you care about freedom, including ones from Europe.

            2. “If you keep seeing everyone as an enemy, then enemies are all you’re gonna find.”

              Tara
              The Walking Dead

              1. SPOILER ALERT:

                That bitch is dead! You going to take advice from chubby chicks who died? I won’t.

        2. The demographics have gone open borders? Does Trump know because I thought we were cracking down on it and only citizens are allowed to vote anyway.

          The rest is just whattaboutism. They are doing something wrong so it is OK for us to do it too. This has been going on with gerrymandered voting for years. It sucks.

          I don’t agree at all with socialism but we have this thing in America about political rights and all that.

          1. I meant the Democrats have gone open borders. Typo. And I don’t see how slowing the influx of Hispanics and Asians is going to infringe on political rights.

            1. Dude you said this

              “I just want to slow the influx of people who are going to turn the country socialist. Otherwise, you’d just be basically trading temporary (international) freedom of travel for long-term Soviet-like government intervention in the economy. Why would I be for that?”

              So if the influx of people were not “ going to turn the country socialist” would you be be ok with that.

              1. I think he already said yes.

                And frankly, if they were also economically self supporting, I would also be totally fine with it.

                As a strongly libertarian leaning person, I accept the theoretical morality of open borders… But the practical reality is fucking horrible. As I said in my post above, I’m not up for committing suicide over some bullshit nebulous moral issue.

                Restricting immigration isn’t like having to mass murder 1 billion people or something… If that was what had to be done to prevent the US from turning socialist, I would have to consider my choice a lot harder… But just making people live in the fucking country they were born in??? Give me a break! That’s no horrible thing.

      2. You suggest a political loyalty test for immigration?
        Well ya —- Dumb A$$. The USA is a Republic not the USSR. Do you know what they call mass immigration by people trying to “Change the fundamental government” of a country??!?!?!

        Treasonous Invaders.

    2. the main reason I’m opposed to MASS immigration is this: most today’s immigrants vote Left. They vote for socialism.

      You know who also supports socialism? Millennials.

      Maybe the reason why many immigrants are supporting left-wing politics is not because they were born in a different country, but because the anti-socialists have done a piss poor job at marketing liberty, not just to them, but to everyone.

      It also suggests that restricting immigration won’t prevent the nation’s politics from drifting left, because you’ll just have new native-born citizens taking their place in voting for socialists instead.

      That immigrants and young people tend to support more left-wing politics is not the root problem per se; it is a symptom of a deeper problem, that we in the liberty community have to take responsibility for, that we do a bad job at selling liberty. As long as liberty is marketed as the ability to say “I got mine and screw you”, no wonder people are turned off by that message.

      1. Millennials can move to Mexico where their “dream” socialist government exists. There is NO-EXCUSE for them to be lobbying to change the USA into Mexico when Mexico is SO DANG CLOSE..

        Tell them — that’s what you want; You got it!!! I might even donate to the “Buses to Mexico” foundation.

      2. Maybe so. It’s still disheartening to see so many Hispanics and Asians go Democrat. And I know they’re not all uniform — in Texas, Hispanics vote Democrat but with moderate majorities than elsewhere; and in Florida, Cubans vote Republicans, and so on. But it’s just weird that so many come to the Land of the Free only to give their voices to avowed statists.

        1. Perhaps it is because they do not conceive of freedom and liberty in the same manner that you or I do.

          Perhaps it is because no one has made a persuasive case to them of a feasible alternative.

          Perhaps they are so turned off by the ugly rhetoric of those who claim to stand for liberty that they vote for ‘the lesser of two evils’, and are not actually socialists themselves.

          But here is the larger point. Suppose a person’s vote is determined not by demographics but by that person’s reasoned choice, in the moment, of his/her perception of what’s in the best interests to the country. If that is the case, then manipulating demographics via immigration policy won’t change the leftward tilt of the nation’s politics, because those would-be immigrants will just be replaced by native-born citizens WHO WILL VOTE FOR SOCIALISM AS WELL because the pro-liberty arguments that are ineffective on immigrants are just as ineffective on native-born citizens as well.

          It’s not about the demographics, it’s about the persuasion. Immigrants don’t support left-wing politics because they’re “born that way” after all.

          1. You know why the really do it Jeff?

            It’s because they’re mostly voting in what they perceive to be their group interests.

            Hispanics are far poorer on average than whites, and the commies have promised them free shit. Since they’re not paying for it anyway, why wouldn’t they want free shit? Also throw in racial solidarity on immigration, which the Dems support, and that pretty much seals the deal.

            And that’s pretty much it.

            With Asians they actually used to vote Republican up through the 90s. I read an interesting article that talked about the switch in Asian voting. Their main theory was that most Asians in the USA until then had either been here for a long time, or had been allowed in as refugees from communist countries. Then we started getting in a lot of Asians from different countries, like China, who were fresh off the boat and not running from political persecution.

            In short, they brought their bad native politics with them. Also, I think the left wing indoctrination in colleges hits the Asians hard because they have really high levels of college education compared to other demographics.

            I do have hope that the Asians will come to their sense someday… But I still don’t think we need to let in 300 million more of them. We need to fix the ones we already have here first!

      3. You’re not part of any “liberty community”. You’re a Canadian socialist pretending to care about liberty in the US, but actually just hoping that you can convince Americans to turn the US into the same kind of s*thole that you live in.

      4. The millennials spent their formative years listening to left wing agendas in their schools and college campuses. And this crowd is getting older. If you were 20 years old when Obama first ran, you’re about to be 32.

      5. Jeffy, you know who isn’t socialist?

        White millennials. Like the people that aren’t new arrivals. The only reason millennials overall lean so far left is because of the demographic shift that has happened.

        Next time you try to support your argument with a shit argument, you might want to look up the facts to make sure they don’t actually support the position you’re trying to argue against!

        1. “White millennials. Like the people that aren’t new arrivals. The only reason millennials overall lean so far left is because of the demographic shift that has happened.“

          Aha.

          See I am learning here. Eventually I might even write about it. My question is what happened to libertarian ideals and movement.

          White millennials.

          That is worth remembering.

          1. Well, like it or not, it is true.

            White millennials are slightly to the left of older white generations, but a majority still supports capitalism, gun rights, freedom of speech, etc. The same cannot be said of any other ethnic group.

            The demographic shift in the USA is almost entirely responsible for the sharp leftward turn we have taken. It’s what has flipped several states to being permanently blue. Texas will be flipping in the next several years too. You know what THAT will do to politics in the USA?

            Either we’ll have one party democratic rule for all eternity, or the Rs will have to shift as far left as the Dems currently are to stay electable, and the Dems will probably become full on Marxists.

            Reality sucks, but I don’t run away from accepting uncomfortable truths.

          2. “what happened to libertarian ideals and movement.”

            People such as yourself turned it into a useful idiot for progressive totalitarianism

            1. THIS! Most libertarians used to be sane, real-er world thinking people. People like Ron Paul, for instance.

              The libertine dildos who really only care about Mexicans, weed, and butt sexxx then took over the movement.

              I don’t mind either of those 3 things within reason… But they’re not the ONLY things that matter. They’re not even the 3 things that are the most important. The whole thing has been turned into a crusade for mostly irrelevant side issues.

      6. you really need to learn the term “non sequitur”, bro

  27. The NBA is an interesting example, because there’s basically no Mexican players in the NBA. Apparently 2 in the history of the league.

    I suspect that those who advocate for open borders were not be so eager if it were their jobs being threatened by a flood of labor. Perhaps Reason should fire everyone and hire Mexican libertarians?

    But of course, that illustrates the other point – pretty much all the immigrants to the US vote for socialism. Even if there is a net gain at first, it’s going to be lost when the country becomes a single party country, like Mexico was for 70 years.

    1. It is interesting that the writers here who would agree with “diversity is strength” also don’t have dissenting views on many arguable subjects for libertarians. I’d also be interested in whether Shikha (gag) is the only non-white contributor at the moment. The race thing doesn’t ultimately matter to me, but if they’re going to keep acting like elitist whites then it stands in stark contrast to their supposed ideals

      1. Yeah, it’s quite pathetic that they don’t really have a single right-libertarian writer around here who makes THOSE libertarian arguments anymore. Stossel is kind of there, but that’s about it.

        There’s a whole world of libertarians out there who aren’t insane and have sensible opinions on a lot of the issues where libertarians split… But Reason clearly doesn’t feel confident enough in their idiotic ideas to allow space to those that differ. The comments section tears them enough of an asshole I guess.

  28. The textbook case for free trade says that if two countries specialize and trade with each other, total production rises—raising living standards for people in both countries.

    Too bad that this textbook case applies to no real world situation right now because there is nothing even remotely like free trade or free markets in either the US or any of its major trading partners. Too bad that this bogus argument keeps being pushed by people with a self-serving interest in asymmetric, restricted trade with totalitarian governments, a situation in which rent seekers in the US and foreign oligarchs enrich themselves at the expense of average people.

    The same logic holds for immigration

    Free movement of people does not exist between the US and anywhere. What we have is a disorderly, illegal mass migration of people from violent and dysfunctional environments into a social welfare state. That certainly benefits the people migrating, but it depresses the standard of living of the target of the migrants, in this case the US. To claim that this is anything like free trade is even more absurd than the claim that unilateral removal of trade barriers with totalitarian nations amounts to “free trade”.

    1. Plus, every time Trump tries to move the USA toward Free Trade he gets attacked by reason.

      Trump at G-7 Summit:
      “No tariffs, no barriers, that’s the way it should be — and no subsidies,” the president said at a press conference.

      The president, however, did not elaborate on how or whether the United States would reduce its tariff barriers. Instead, he pointed to Canadian duties on U.S. dairy.

      “We don’t want to pay anything — why should we pay?” Trump said. “Ultimately, that’s what you want. You want a tariff free, no barriers and you want no subsidies.”

  29. Grrrr! I hadn’t been reading here for a couple months… And then I come back, and it just pisses me right off!

    These idiots are ignoring:

    1. The welfare state, and how all these people won’t pay in enough to support basic infrastructure, let alone real welfare.

    2. They all vote left! Shooting yourself in the dick out of the belief that it’s somehow the moral thing to do doesn’t make it a good decision…

    3. Distribution of the so called benefits go entirely to the immigrants themselves, and the upper-upper middle class on up… You think accountants can’t be replaced for people from India or Argentina at half the wages??? The middle-middle class would NOT be spared!

    And the 1,000 other things people already said above. God these people are idiots.

  30. Sure it does, if you count uninsured pickups and leaf blowers as “riches.” Gotta keep that cheap labor coming in, dontcha know. As far as your NBA players, they have to pay more in taxes to support those illegal aliens, so of course their income goes down. You are spreading the ‘rising tide’ fallacy.

  31. 100 years ago. “We need to keep these dirty Italians out of our country. They are a bunch of criminals, like Al Capone, and the Mafia. If we let them in here, the next thing you know our youth will be eating pizza instead of pot roast.”

    1. You do realize that that had implications beyond pizza right?

      FDR ONLY won because of the immigrant vote. He took the overwhelming majority for fresh off the boat people, and their children. If we hadn’t taken in all those people, who DID commit crimes at higher rates, and DID suppress wages, we quite possibly never would have ended up with Social Security, and all the other big government BS that ended up dooming the country.

      We eventually managed to “fix” the Italians… But I think the lesson to be learned is that low and slow, at a speed where fresh immigrants are irrelevant in terms of their vote, is probably a better way.

  32. In the back pages of that comic there’s an ad for X-Ray glasses that lets you see through bullshit.

    1. Harold von braunhut

      One very weird dude. He also did the amazing sea monkeys.

      Made a fortune.

  33. When Mexicans vote you get Mexico.

    Import Not Americans, Become Not America.

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