Immigration

When We Reject Immigrants, We Reject Trillions of Dollars in Wealth

Growing evidence confirms that barriers to immigration make us all worse off.

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Exactly 10 years ago, economist Michael Clemens published a paper in the prestigious Journal of Economic Perspectives called "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?" He urged fellow economists to consider a paradigm shift in their research about immigration. Though economists had mostly neglected the global economic losses caused by migration barriers, the existing estimates "should make economists' jaws hit their desks."

As a fellow at a Washington, D.C., anti-poverty think tank called the Center for Global Development, Clemens suspected this research would reveal that by restricting immigration, the amount of wealth we leave on the table globally is in the trillions of dollars. He notes it's essential to seek a better characterization of the gains to labor mobility globally—gains for the countries to which migrants go and for the countries they leave. He highlighted a few issues economists should explore, including "the magnitude and mechanisms of the effect of workers' location on their productivity, relative to the effect of workers' inherent traits on their productivity." In layperson terms: How much does where you live matter to your productivity?

Thankfully, many economists answered Clemens' call. In fact, it's hard to overstate the importance of this paper and the impact it has had on this field of research.

As George Mason University economist and renowned immigration scholar Bryan Caplan wrote to me, "Before Clemens' seminal paper, even immigration's biggest fans failed to understand the strongest argument for their own position. Namely: Virtually everyone, regardless of skill, is much more productive in the First World than the Third World." And that doesn't just apply to high-skilled immigrants. It also applies to very low-skilled immigrants, who, when they immigrate, can tap into labor markets with efficiently run firms, predictable legal systems, and ample capital (think of a tractor instead of a wooden hoe or an electric saw rather than an ax).

In his illustrated book, Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, Caplan asks, "how productive would you be in Haiti?" The answer is not very. Better yet, we now know that immigrants aren't the only beneficiaries of their relocations. Caplan explains: "(Immigrants become) so much more productive, in fact, that open borders turn out to be the world's greatest policy opportunity for humanity. Trapping human talent in poverty isn't just terrible for would-be migrants; it is also terrible for everyone who would have enjoyed consuming all the wealth that would-be migrants could have produced."

Here's one of the ways immigrants benefit all of us: A farmer who stays in his relatively poorer country contributes virtually nothing to the global economy. Yet that changes once he arrives in a country where he produces so much more food that a lot of it can be sold on export markets. The global food supply rises, benefiting all people who eat, including Americans. After all, more supply means lower food prices everywhere.

In addition, more immigration means a deeper market for housing, making home sales easier when you wish to move. More immigration also increases the ease of finding caregivers for children, nurses for aging parents, and landscapers for lawns—all of which improve prospects for others to pursue more lucrative employment. Parents, for example, can work longer and more certain hours, and the American who would otherwise mow lawns can become owner or manager of a lawn-care company.

More immigration also increases the construction of offices, retail space, and housing. And yes, while immigration may lower local wages by increasing the supply of workers, immigration also increases the number of consumers for other goods and services, which then increases wages by raising the demand for more jobs. Which of these effects win? That's one of the questions Clemens asked economists to tackle.

So far, the answer is that large-scale immigration hasn't made locals worse off economically precisely for the reasons spelled out above. Growing evidence confirms what sound economic theory predicts: Barriers to immigration make us all worse off.

There's so much more to say about this issue. But I'll conclude by saying that those who worry about the cultural or political risks of welcoming newcomers shouldn't ignore the trillions of dollars of wealth we reject when we reject immigrants. It's natural for immigration skeptics to consider proposals that ensure immigrants earn the right to receive government welfare, but it's not OK to leave enormous wealth untapped because of unwarranted fears.

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    2. And how would you know one way or the other? It’s not like the dollar you get says “made possible by immigrants” or “free from immigrant contribution”. At the micro level, we cannot know either way how we personally are affected. Maybe you have lost out from immigration or maybe you have your job because of it. But certainty either way is a fantasy.

      However, at the aggregate level, we can know that some portion of the dollars that reach us is enabled by immigrants. The question then is how much more or less of that dollar would reach us in their absence. In my field I happen to know that the overwhelming bulk is enabled by immigrants, but that’s specific to my field.

  3. LOL

    Reason is absolutely shameless. Stupid kochsuckers.

    1. “LET’S KEEP PRETENDING THAT THE OPPOSITION IS TO LEGAL IMMIGRATION AND NOT ACTUALLY TO CHARLES KOCH’S ILLEGAL GUATEMALAN SLAVES!”

      Sure I want to see minimum wage, payroll taxes and unnecessary regulation disappear, but I you can’t just have it for a tenth of the workforce. Libertarianisming doesn’t work that way, Reason.

      1. Why do you care about those things down here when you’re in Canada?

        1. How’s your trailer park?

          1. I don’t live in a trailer park.

    2. They love the koch.

  4. I don’t much give a fuck what it does for the economy. What, is the economy some kind of Volcano God we have to appease? I submit the economy is here to serve us, we aren’t here to serve the economy.

    I intend to leave my descendants a culture, a language, an identity and a country. Not an economy!

    1. You’re in luck then because everything you want to leave is exactly what immigrates give up when they move to America. They become like us. Our culture is so badass that they’re already influenced by it before they even get here.

      1. If you believe that you are oblivious to history. Every wave of immigration has changed the course of our culture, and over the years immigrants have become more and more resistant to assimilation and more separatist. The Immigration Act of 1924 saved the USA from catastrophe.

        1. “over the years immigrants have become more and more resistant to assimilation and more separatist.”

          Ever meet the Amish? They are some of our earliest immigrants and pretty much the most resistant to assimilation. If your read of history were at all true, enclaves like China Town, Little Japan, Little Greece, Little Italy and so many others wouldn’t be spread all over the country.

          This fiction that THOSE immigrants from back in the day were the good type has been tried by the CIS/Krikorian revisionists for years. But immigration today isn’t substantially different than it was in the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. People come here, settle around one another, mix culturally, and have typical cultural tensions with others- including the people who were here before them.

          1. You must have missed the Immigration Act of 1924 bit. Reducing the flood of immigrants into the country allowed the US as a whole to absorb the massive numbers of immigrants we had already taken in, and consequently for those Chinatowns and Little Italys to shrink into tourist attractions rather than the ethnic enclaves they had become by the start of the 1920s where one could live his entire life in such an enclave and never interact with an American of a different ethnic background.

        2. Our magic dirt will make them American.

          1. What if our magic dirt hasn’t yet forced (some of) the Amish to assimilate? After ALL of these generations here that they have spent in OUR Tribal Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave? Off to the re-education camps with them? Or shall we send the ingrates back to Europe, from whence they came?

            Does it even matter that these humble and un-assuming (if not so much patriotic) pacifists have been hurting no one? They have hurt MY precious Baby Feelings about Sacred Tribal Loyalties, so to HELL with THEM-NOT-US, right-makes-might, and might-makes-right, right-us bursitis, smite-us and bite-us, Titus the Mightiest? Right? RIGHT??!?!

      2. See MS-13’s adoption of c ulture as an example.

      3. You neglect the ascendance of multi-culturalism (salad bowl vs, melting pot). Look around the Americas. The admiration and promotion of native stone age cultures is remarkable. A wide rejection of modernity (and men) is under way.

    2. “I intend to leave my descendants a culture, a language, an identity and a country.”

      What is so fragile about your culture, language, identity and country that it cannot survive other people?

      Seriously- the US is home to hundreds of cultures that have survived for hundreds of years despite various waves of migration throughout the continent. The idea that your culture deserves some sort of special protection from other people expressing their culture is silly.

      1. It’s the breakdown of civic nationalism. If there’s a significant portion of American citizens that see themselves as something other than Americans first (eg. as an immigrant ethnicity), then they’ll start collectively acting that way, including voting for politicians that will redistribute wealth and power from the rest of the citizenry to the collective ethnic group.

        Ideally, people would see themselves as individuals and act accordingly, but that itself is a core part of the American identity and not everyone in the world has been taught to share that view, and even for immigrants with the best of intentions it takes years, even decades, to assimilate to that way of thinking. And to top it off most of our political establishment is working overtime to ensure that immigrants (and natives, for that matter) never adopt such a view.

        1. Basically what I’m saying is that a people without a common culture are more easily divided and controlled (just look at our urban/rural divide, where small cultural differences have turned into demands of politicians to punish the other side), and it takes years to assimilate into a foreign culture, even if it’s close to your own home culture (this I’ve observed from personal experience).

        2. If there’s a significant portion of American citizens that see themselves as something other than Americans first

          Ideally, people would see themselves as individuals and act accordingly

          These two statements are in conflict. Please pick one.

          1. Let me spell it out for your stupid brain: 1 is an individual
            2 is an American.

          2. Moonrocks seem to want people who are individuals but Americans. But most immigrants are exactly that. They seek the American dream of betterment and work hard to get it. Most retain importance part of there home culture only as remembrances.

    3. the economy is here to serve us, we aren’t here to serve the economy.

      Spoken like a true communist.

      1. Even you don’t know what you meant.

    4. I definitely agree that we should not use the economy as the primary determinant on whether a policy is good or not. Similar to my feelings on the science being used as the primary determinant. A few questions/thoughts:

      What exactly is American culture/identity? Would every American agree on the same way to describe American culture? Does every current American (we can even narrow this definition to multigenerational Americans) agree on and exemplify this same culture? Do other countries not influence Americans the same as Americans influence other countries even without moving to those countries?

      It seems a little strange to advocate for a singularly approved consistent culture as it sounds a little collectivist to me. There are a lot of things that can be seen as falling within American culture that I dislike (i.e. over emphasis on safety, overly litigious, “we’ll put a boot in your ass” mentality, sense of entitlement among many others). I don’t necessarily want my children to default into current “American” culture, I want them to see and hopefully accept the culture that I believe in and strive to exemplify, which is a lot more liberty focused.

      1. There is no single “American culture”. There are many thousands of microcultures existing within the American nation. Just look at Texas. The culture of Texas is certainly different than the culture of New York or Nebraska or California. And even within Texas it is not uniform, Austin is way different than El Paso or Amarillo.

        1. Exactly and the idea that America has a collective identity/culture is by definition not individualistic.

          1. Duality bitch!

      2. The Enlightenment is our culture. “The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the pursuit of happiness, sovereignty of reason, and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.”

  5. How many times have we been over this? We keep explaining here why open borders are national suicide, and we are never refuted, and this retarded idea keeps coming back. I guess I should dig up some responses that I can just paste in.

    1. You have to go over it until you come up with a good argument that makes sense. Because first we don’t have open borders and second our country was built on immigrants. There is no suicide, maybe some genocide to the native people of these lands, but nothing hurting the incoming people.

      1. Moderation4ever: sticks fingers in ears and sings LA LA LA.

  6. My phone misspelled immigrants

    1. Lord of Shit can’t spell, blames phone.

    2. Probably made by foreigners.

      1. Chinese, no doubt.

  7. My favorite thing about immigrants is that they bring their food with them.

    1. Well, sort of. The food at P.F. Chang’s, Olive Garden, and Taco Bell has only a slight resemblance to Chinese, Italian, or Mexican.

      1. What’s your point?

      2. Ohhhhh!

        You were making a joke saying those are what I think of as ethnic food!

        Good one!

        So original!

        1. Piss off, troll.

        2. Lmfao. Nothing like admitting you were too fucking stupid to understand when you were being insulted then being a sandy-cunted bitch about it.

      3. And yet you can get actual Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Greek, Lebanese, Polish, etc etc.

        And we wouldn’t be able to get them today if in history they sealed our borders.

        1. And no one here has ever suggested sealing the borders.

      4. Right, that why I look for places where the proprietor speaks English as a second language.

    2. Even Cuban Sandwiches?

    3. Agree wholeheartedly.

  8. An estimated 49 percent of households headed by legal immigrants used one or more welfare programs in 2012, compared to 30 percent of households headed by natives.

    https://cis.org/Report/Welfare-Use-Legal-and-Illegal-Immigrant-Households

    1. This is not surprising to me because being poor is a high correlation with being on some sort of welfare program, and a greater percentage of immigrants are poor than natives.

      I am curious to find out what happens when you control for income percentile- though the way our government basically forces people onto welfare programs would probably reveal not much difference between immigrant poor and native poor.

      1. Willingness to be a ward of the state is a learned behavior. I expect immigrants from countries that didn’t inculcate that behavior use such benefits less (when controlling for income) than natives. Native born Americans are the scions of 100 years of the New Deal’s purposeful effort to teach that behavior to a previously dignified populace.

      2. This is not surprising to me because being poor is a high correlation with being on some sort of welfare program, and a greater percentage of immigrants are poor than natives.

        Yeah. No fucking shit you stupid twat. Some people actually think that admitting immigrants who will become welfare recipients is a bad idea from a policy and economic standpoint.

  9. I think it’s fair to say that if we restrict immigrants, we restrict immigrants’ access to trillions of dollars in wealth.

    1. If you are talking about illegal immigrants receiving welfare, trillions is way off in order of magnitude.

      1. At 100 billion per year, how many years would it take to reach 1 trillion?

  10. the amount of wealth we leave on the table globally is in the trillions of dollars.

    Oddly these trillions of dollars never magically appear in the other countries immigrants come from. Last i check US was Trillions in debt with the highest immigration numbers of any other country.

    Where is this magic money growing at?

  11. Sorry, not buying it.
    The caveat here is legal immigration.
    (A caveat I don’t see mentioned anywhere)
    I.e. people who are allowed to immigrate because they have something to offer the US.
    Hundreds of thousands of the dregs of South American and other International societies in the form of illegal immigrants that sneak in and parasitize on the USA somehow add trillions to the US’s economy?
    Sure.
    Pull the other one.

    1. That isn’t even the caveat. It is from the theory that an immigrant from a 3rd world country produces more by magically transporting to a first world country despite ignoring all the costs associated with that transfer.

  12. If the fear is that immigrants will vote Democrat, then perhaps Republicans need to stop demonizing immigrants.

    On a related note, when did California stop being a source of Republican presidents, governors and congressmen? Yeah, this whole Democrat supermajority thing is relatively recent. The fact, the rise of the Democrats correlates with the increased anti-immigration fervor of Republicans. Anti-immigration used to be a core Democrat value, then the GOP took over the issue. Immigrants aren’t stupid. They know when they aren’t wanted.

    1. Every argument here is economic… brandy rushes to strawman it as being about voting. Amazing how you and sarcasmic have your prejudgments despite all evidence around you.

      1. The Trumpista Islamophobe is calling me judgmental.

        You’re funny.

    2. then perhaps Republicans need to stop demonizing immigrants.

      Except that they’re not. Perhaps Team Blue needs to stop pretending that the opposition is to legal immigration, and quit demonizing the working class and their concerns.

    3. Maybe Democrats should use their majority in congress to work on comprehensive immigration reform legislation instead of bullshit commissions and impeachments.

      Let me know when they decide to do that, and I’ll take them seriously about immigration. Until then, they just want to let hundreds of thousands of people pour into the country, with no legal status, to become a new class of slave labor for the rich liberal elite.

      Fuck off, slaver.

    4. The Democrats shored up their dominance in California when they convinced Californians to adopt open primaries.

    5. On a related note, when did California stop being a source of Republican presidents, governors and congressmen? Yeah, this whole Democrat supermajority thing is relatively recent. The fact, the rise of the Democrats correlates with the increased anti-immigration fervor of Republicans.
      You’re full of shit. The voting patterns changed when Reagan stupidly amnestied 4 million illegal aliens. The Clintons were savvy enough to get them registered to vote and they’ve been voting dem ever since.

    6. Funny…. “Immigrants aren’t stupid. They know when they aren’t wanted.” ….. but they sure did pile into that ‘aren’t wanted’ state like nobodies business.

      Anyways; partisan “what I can get for me” voting without any USA principle is exactly why CA sucks….. Immigrant or no immigrant principle-less *greed* isn’t something that’s going to save the USA from destruction.

  13. Few have ever said no immigration at all. We have said stop illegal immigration and work out a system for fair immigration. That means no line jumping, and less hassle trying to figure out who’s here.

    But the faux libertarians have doubled down on their absolutism and are now making wild ass claims of trillions of dollars.

    1. The post from JesseAZ above references a CIS study. CIS is absolutely against all forms of immigration. People who argue that they need to stop immigration to preserve their “culture, language, identity and country” only make sense if you are talking about restricting all immigration. (The fact that someone is here practicing their culture legally doesn’t change the fact that the culture is impacting yours.)

      So while I agree it is always important to understand what issue is being argued, it isn’t unreasonable to read a lot of these arguments as being against immigration in general.

      1. CIS is absolutely against all forms of immigration.

        No, you lying cunt hole, they are not.

        We are the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to the research of U.S. immigration policy to inform policymakers and the public about immigration’s far-reaching impact. The Center is animated by a unique pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.

        People who argue that they need to stop immigration to preserve their “culture, language, identity and country” only make sense if you are talking about restricting all immigration.

        No, you lying cunt hole, it’s fully possible to think that the preservation of language and culture can be accomplished with a lower number of legal immigrants given sufficient time to assimilate rather than turned loose into ethnic ghettos for multiple generations.

        So while I agree it is always important to understand what issue is being argued, it isn’t unreasonable to read a lot of these arguments as being against immigration in general.

        It’s also important not to be a lying cunt hole who lies about the issue being discussed and projects his own false dichotomy fallacies onto others. You should try it some time.

  14. I don’t know how accurate the data is, but one site says there are 142 million people who want to come to the US. Suppose they all show up next year. Imagine the chaos.
    The argument isn’t about eliminating immigration, no matter how much the progressives want to portray it as so, but rather if we should exert some measure of control of the process.
    If the only limit on immigration is transportation of bodies, I’m sure we could manage to get in at least 10 million a year. We can’t handle the 1 million illegals we get now.

    1. Immigration is always framed in broad, meta narratives that don’t specify timelines, localized impacts etc.

      Douglas Murray was very good on this subject when debating this data point– at least from the European context. Pro-open borders advocates would always note a particular event in English history where a bunch of foreigners came over, and per capita, the number was quite large as a representation of total population. Murray was always careful to note that that immigration event they were referring to happened over a couple of hundred years, whereas (during the immigration crisis of 2015) some small European countries were taking in those numbers every single month.

      Murray was often smeared as anti-immigration. He was not. When asked what his preferred alternative was, he always said that it just needed to be slowed down, more carefully managed, and more nations culturally similar to the source countries (safe third countries) needed to step up so it wasn’t exclusively a “European” problem. He also noted the problems of the EU structure which allowed a single country (Germany) to control immigration policy for all of Europe (unintended consequences of the EU).

  15. ” A farmer who stays in his relatively poorer country contributes virtually nothing to the global economy. Yet that changes once he arrives in a country where he produces so much more food that a lot of it can be sold on export markets.”

    This doesn’t happen.

    “Parents, for example, can work longer and more certain hours, and the American who would otherwise mow lawns can become owner or manager of a lawn-care company.”

    There it is- import menial labor so rich white people don’t have to pay full price for child care and lawn mowing.

    1. Youth who join gangs in foreign countries are not as efficient in exporting crime as immigrants who join gangs in the US or Europe.
      Also, much more efficient at sexual assault

  16. More immigration also increases the construction of offices, retail space, and housing. And yes, while immigration may lower local wages by increasing the supply of workers,

    I don’t wanna be that guy, but this feels like a seismic shift in Reason’s portrayal of this issue. As small a notation as the above is… at least we got someone at Reason to finally admit that immigrants to the labor market, like any other market, have the same effect: Increase the supply of the thing, the price of that thing lowers.

    1. I think that has always been a point acknowledged by libertarians, and definitely de Rugby. Indeed, it was when I realized that Republicans were using a socialist, price-control argument for immigration restrictions that I stopped being one.

      1. It wasn’t in the years past.

        Indeed, it was when I realized that Republicans were using a socialist, price-control argument for immigration restrictions that I stopped being one.

        And to this particular point, I don’t find it entirely inconsistent with libertarian principles that a politician might want to control immigration within certain parameters to keep citizens (natives/natural born/naturalized immigrants) from suffering a wage and employment collapse in a localized region.

        Yes, immigrants (going back to the meta narratives), once assimilated will slowly spread out across the nation, but if a rapid influx occurs, especially of illegal immigration, they will concentrate in localized areas and can have a negative economic impact to an employment class within a certain band of the economy. I don’t think it’s an abhorrent abandonment of free-market principles to keep an established class of employees from either being wiped out or forced into unemployment because of the second order effects of (primarily illegal) immigrants being willing to work outside the established national norms (including but not limited to minimum wage laws, employment insurance laws etc).

        And this is what angers me about the pro-immigration (which often is just a cynical open-borders advocacy) groups when they try to shift the conversation and make it into a subject of “white people”. The color is irrelevant. It’s about economic class, and if a rapid influx of illegal immigration causes a spike in unemployment in those lower economic bands, I think a politician trying to stay those effects is not ignoble.

      2. It is even worse than that.
        The modern Republican view of immigration, and tariffs, and “getting tough on China”, etc., is that the proper role of government is to rearrange the national economy so as to protect the American who slept through school and has no other career prospects other than menial labor. If an adult American has so few job skills that his/her job can be successfully outsourced to a Third World country and be done by illiterate 13 year olds, then the problem, from the Republican POV, is to restrict the outsourcing. No fair asking questions about why there are able-bodied adult Americans out there who think they are entitled to a factory job and don’t think they have to take any responsibility whatsoever for developing their own career prospects into something marketable in the 21st century. No, we must all pretend that it’s the 1950’s again and a guy with no bigger achievement than barely passing highschool should be able to support a family of four with a factory job. Telling these people to “learn to code” is a cruel insult rather than helpful career advice. They don’t need to learn to code! They need guaranteed factory jobs that won’t be outsourced by threat of government force! That is what ‘America First’ really means!

        1. If an adult American has so few job skills that his/her job can be successfully outsourced to a Third World country and be done by illiterate 13 year olds, then the problem, from the Republican POV, is to restrict the outsourcing.

          But enough about BuzzFeed employees.

        2. It’s amazing how uneducated American laborers are subhuman morons beneath our contempt and should be rightly jettisoned from society as the welfare-abusing Appalachian scum they are, while uneducated brown people illiterate in two languages are paragons of virtue without whom our society would fall to pieces. Then again, this is cytotoxic who famously said the quiet part out loud when he said explicitly that Mexicans are more deserving of American welfare than Americans. What a clown.

          Telling these people to “learn to code” is a cruel insult rather than helpful career advice. They don’t need to learn to code! They need guaranteed factory jobs that won’t be outsourced by threat of government force! That is what ‘America First’ really means!

          Lmfao. Hey, remember how Twitter banned the term “learn to code” from their entire platform because it was hostile and abusive toward high school dropouts who wanted to coerce their fellow Americans into paying for their high wages? Oh wait,that was journalists.

      3. I think that has always been a point acknowledged by libertarians, and definitely de Rugby.

        The Nationalist Right Is Wrong: More Immigration Doesn’t Reduce Wages

        1. Let Immigrants Take the Jobs American Workers Don’t Want

          According to Bier, H-2B workers help create better-paying jobs for native-born workers. “Economic research has repeatedly found that when immigrant workers come into an industry, U.S. workers shift to jobs with either better pay, better working conditions, or both,” he says.

          1. There are three reasons that low-skilled foreigners don’t, on the whole, depress native wages

            1. Shutting Out Foreign Workers Would Cost American Jobs

              What is clear from experience is that low-skilled immigrants mostly take jobs that Americans don’t want and that the effect they have on the wages of native-born workers is between slim and none.

              1. There Is No Line

                Existing Americans would reap economic benefits from this increased immigration. In the respected academic literature, the lowest estimate of the “immigration surplus” (the increased wages and incomes of native-born Americans that is a direct result of immigration) is that of George J. Borjas in his 2014 book Immigration Economics. Borjas calculated this surplus at 0.24 percent of GDP. That might not sound like much, but it would have amounted to a whopping $49 billion in 2018.

                  1. Democrats Need To Talk About Immigrants as Assets, Not Supplicants Needing Handouts

                    Democratic candidates ought to be reminding Americans day and night that immigrants don’t threaten their jobs and wages. To the contrary, they boost productivity and innovation.

                    1. Should I go to the 2nd page of Google, or has your lie been shoved up your asshole enough?

    2. more immigrants lowers cost of labor, conversely the more immigrants need more housing such that price of housing increases beyond the lower wage makers ability to pay. this also hurts working citizens who can now not afford the housing they are competing for. Its inflationary dollars and inflationary dollars hurt more than they help.

  17. “In his illustrated book, Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration”

    So it is open for immigrants or ALL illegal border crossers ?

    The writer of the book seems to treat ALL illegal border crossers as immigrants which is patently false.

    AND Reason seems to buy right into the false idea / propaganda – if not not promoting it

    1. If you don’t have borders you don’t have a country. Make of that what you will.

      1. ^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  18. Whatever everyone thinks of immigration, we can all agree that Gogol Bordellos’s Immigraniada rocks.

    1. in St. Paul tomorrow and Madison on Saturday …

      1. That must be one wild-assed show they put on.

  19. ‘Not rejecting immigrants. I have lots of great family, friends, and co-workers who are recent immigrants.

    I do, however, reject ILLEGAL immigrants. I’m not really fond of scofflaws and their enablers.

  20. “When We Reject Immigrants, We Reject Trillions of Dollars in Wealth”

    Exactly. And nobody demonstrates this concept more effectively than Charles Koch, the billionaire who funds Reason.com.

    In 2020 — the last full year of Drumpf’s draconian anti-billionaire policies — Mr. Koch actually lost $5 billion. This was largely the result of immigration restrictions that prevented him from hiring foreign-born labor, which he finds more cost-effective.

    Fortunately Biden is President now. That’s why 2021 has been far kinder to Mr. Koch; the Democrats’ billionaire-friendly immigration policies have helped him recover almost everything he lost in 2020.

    #OpenTheBordersToHelpCharlesKoch

    1. I’m perplexed why Mr. Koch still has Americans writing for Reason when we have all these immigrants who can do it far cheaper AND keep his taco trucks humming at night.

      1. Well, the only thing more desperate for a job than a starving immigrant right now is probably a Journalism major with student loans to pay off.

        As long as you can force them to work for cheap and feel grateful for your “generosity”.

  21. Doctor de Rugy, your premise is faulty. You posit that any unskilled labor (e.g. illegal aliens) coming here will do better (e.g. be more efficient) than where they came from. Of course they will because we are a hell of a lot more efficient than wherever they came from. Well duh!

    Your contention that this illegal immigration is somehow good for the American people (particularly those who are relatively unskilled) is total crap, given the higher rates of utilization of social spending on illegal aliens. C’mon, who are you trying to fool?

    Look, I am a huge believer in legal immigration. Heck, I would let 10MM people in every year if I could. But I also believe that we can and must be choosy on who we let in. These are the people who will help build the America of tomorrow. We want only the best and brightest doing that. A green card has intrinsic value and we should use that to our advantage. Personally, I want self-sufficient immigrants who are the very best humanity can offer, not illegal alien wastrels who suckle on the public teat.

    Physicians, engineers, scientists, mathematicians….hell yes.
    Lawyers and landscapers….not so much.
    Wastrels to live on the public teat….NFW. Drain your own country, not mine.

    There is a libertarian immigration argument, and then just a stupid argument. This article was the stupid one; it is utterly devoid of any common sense or appreciation of how businesses and people actually behave in the real world. Doctor de Rugy, open your eyes and look at the struggles our citizens are having in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. They come first.

  22. So, we’re stealing trillions of dollars from the immigrants’ home countries? It’s strange that the governments of those countries don’t seem to have a problem with it. Usually a government will call out an army of heavily armed men if someone takes their money, even if it’s only a few pennies.

  23. The premise of the article’s position, which astonishingly bows to a certain reality –

    “Well, obviously immigrants can’t make a rich country out of a place like Haiti, they need first world conditions”

    The obvious problem is that the immigrants tend to support economically illiterate positions and vote for a political party that advocates for them.

    The absolute upside to open borders in America is CA, where thousands are super rich but millions will be stuck in effective poverty even if they earn 20 bucks an hour, because cost of living and housing comes into play. We have to spend tons of money for the immigrants to create a trillion dollar wealth, which will go to a handful of people and not to the immigrants.

    The practical economic benefits of Immigration is no different that a college diploma. We’re better off with them than without them, but most of the money created isn’t coming to you, and you have to pile on the debt to make it happen in the first place. “Trillions of dollars in wealth” is just a sum total inflated by the top tier.

    America could smooth out some of the rough edges with generous benefits and a vibrant market with diverse tastes that are conducive to business. But covid is taking a bite out of that.

  24. The math checks out, fellas.
    If we import another 100 million foreigners, who have a net worth of $10,000 each, that’s another Trillion dollars right there.

    Think of how rich we will be

  25. No concern for the countries from which the immigrants come? I’m sure things will improve in Haiti once the best and the brightest have left its shores.

  26. Growing evidence confirms that barriers to immigration make us all worse off.

    That is simply false to fact

    1: Look at what happened to unemployment and wages for lower income US Citizen workers right after Trump became President.

    The only real change was that illegal immigration significantly dropped, and a bunch of illegals here self deported, because they expected the Federal to no longer be their partner in crime.

    And that, alone, cause unemployment to drop, and wages to rise, for the people who’d been left out of previous economic expansions

    2: Immigrants, especially low-skilled immigrants, vote Democrat. Every new Democrat voter harms Republican voters.

    Keeping out potential Democrat voters does not make “us all worse off”, it makes 1/2 of us better off, even if you ignore just how crappy Democrat policies are.

    I thought you had a brain. Stupidity like this makes me wonder.

  27. Totally worth it to save our culture.

  28. So, in other words, if you want to keep poor countries poor, send your best and brightest to the first world.

  29. We also reject debasing our culture. Freedom or diversity, you can only have one.

    1. What a horribly xenophobic comment.

      1. Labeling it xenophobic does not refute the truth of his statement.

      2. Yes, shreek here is a true humanitarian: he’ll fuck 5 year old kids of ANY ethnicity.

  30. When We Embrace Welfare, We Reject Trillions of Dollars in Wealth
    Growing evidence confirms that barriers to welfare make us all better off.

  31. If this is true, then it’s morally wrong to rob 3rd world countries of this wealth

    1. Don’t worry; biological warfare will put them out of their misery.

  32. There are costs to immigration. Right now congress is talking about spending 3.5 trillion bucks we don’t have on “infrastructure” Highways are packed, rest stops are overflowing, airports are overwhelmed, housing outpaces inflation, environmental mandates resulting from density and pollution have myriad costs throughout the economy and in government, water is overused/underdeveloped, the electrical grid is incapable of meeting demand.

    This is because of population growth. Immigration drives population growth nearly completely. The streets are clogged, the parks are clogged, the rural places are being filled with wide eyed citiots running from the crush driving up real estate value beyond the rural economy.

    New infrastructure costs all of us plenty, and it cost more than any calculation of immigrant value added. It’s easy for Reason to cite “trillions in wealth” if they only look at part of the ledger.

  33. One only has to pull the USA Welfare’s actual records of recipients to defeat this pile of garbage..

    The only country of immigrants who doesn’t chop off a wildly HUGE amount of welfare from the Nazi-Welfare System is Asians who are about equal to natives. All the others get a wildly more than normal share of welfare benefits.

    What’s the Nazi-Welfare System doing in the USA anyways?

  34. A 3 generation immigration moratorium.
    90 years of, “jump the fence, your corpse will be tossed back over.”

    Liquefaction is the reason. It doesn’t just apply to dirt – it also applies to society.
    The US is oversaturated with immigrants – both legal and illegal – who haven’t, can’t or won’t integrate into American society.
    With the societal shocks we’ve been dealt over recent years, society is beginning to turn to watery crap.

    Prove me wrong. I dare you.

  35. Does this not get tiresome?

    All articles of this type rely on ignoring the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.

    Immigrants are a plus, no one really argues about this. They might argue for a higher or lower number, but everyone agrees that legal immigration is, by and large, a good thing.

    Illegal immigrants on the other hand…..

    1. That’s because they rely on illegal immigrants to fix their roof cheap and give them their happy ending massages. Open borders are the New Slavery.

  36. Would you rather live in Switzerland ($0.8T GDP) or China ($14T GDP)? Which would you consider “wealthier”?

    The wealth of a country is not determined by the absolute size of its GDP, but by its GDP per capita.

    So, if you bring in low skill immigrants, even if they produce more per capita in the US than they did in their original sh*tholes, they still drag down the wealth of the US overall.

    Of course, the wealth of a country’s elites is not determined by per capita GDP. That’s why privileged pricks like Caplan, Clemens, and de Rugy have no problem turning the US into a third world economy, with elites like them at the very top and a vast army of slum dwellers supplying them with cheap labor. The American middle class can get screwed into oblivion for all these people care.

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