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Free Minds & Free Markets

Immigration Brings Out the Social Engineers

If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.

Sam Gangwer/ZUMA Press/NewscomSam Gangwer/ZUMA Press/NewscomImmigration brings out the social engineers and central planners across the political establishment. We see this clearly in the debate over Donald Trump's support for legislation that would cut legal immigration in half while tilting it toward well-educated English-speakers and against low-skilled non-English-speakers.

Even establishment opponents of Trump's position believe "we" must update the immigration system to better serve "the economy." But they disagree on particulars. Trumpsters think the economy needs only scientists and inventors (preferably future Nobel Prize winners, I suppose), while Republican and Democratic anti-Trumpsters counter that the economy also needs some unskilled workers to pick crops in the hot sun and do menial work in luxury resorts, which Americans apparently don't want to do.

But what is this thing they call "the economy," which has needs? Social engineers of all parties and persuasions talk as though an economy is some kind of mechanism to be centrally fine-tuned and overhauled occasionally according to a plan. Even those who style themselves free enterprisers display the central-planning mentality when it comes to immigration.

Contrary to this establishment view, the economy is not a mechanism. It is, rather, hundreds of millions of American producers and consumers, who also happen to be embedded in a global marketplace. Why can't they be trusted, without the direction of politicians, to decide for themselves what they need and to engage in social cooperation—that is, among other things, to trade goods and services—to obtain it?

It is we whom the social engineers wish to manipulate. In the process they would cruelly keep poor people in perpetual misery and political oppression by locking them out of America. Why? Because the economy doesn't need them.

Like all central planners, the immigration planners exhibit what F. A. Hayek called "the pretense of knowledge." Do these presumptuous frauds know what specific skills will be demanded in the future? To know that, they would have to know what products will be demanded in the future. But we don't know what we'll want because lots of things have not been invented yet. And we can't predict who will invent them. People who today have few skills and who speak no English will be among those who make our lives better. Let them come here to make better lives for themselves. That's their right, which is justification enough. But we will benefit too.

Notice, also, that advocates of immigration control—progressive and conservative—often say the economy doesn't have enough jobs for the people already here. So how can we let more in? This assumes the "size" the economy is fixed and that more people would result in smaller shares for everyone. But if we stop thinking of the economy as a mechanism and start thinking of it as an unending series of exchanges between people seeking their betterment, we can see through this fallacy.

Newcomers are both producers and consumers. Therefore their entry into our society presents new opportunities on both the supply and demand sides. In a freed economy this would portend higher living standards for everyone. (Regarding today's wage pessimism, see Bryan Caplan here.)

Resources are not fixed, as evidenced by the fact that seven billion people are far wealthier today than much smaller world populations were in previous ages.

In fact, resources—that is, useful materials—are not even natural. As the great economist Julian Simon taught us, what we call natural resources are merely useless things and even detriments until someone exercising intelligence—"the ultimate resource"—discovers how we may use them to make our lives better. Not so long ago, you would have paid dearly to remove crude oil from your land. Then a chemist distilled kerosene from it. Kerosene was better and cheaper than whale oil for lighting lamps; and so, suddenly, finding oil—"black gold, Texas tea"—on your land turned you into Jed Clampett.

We indeed live in a world of scarcity, but that doesn't mean total wealth does not grow, making everyone richer. Because of human intelligence, we get more and more output from less and less input. A growing population makes us not poorer but richer—if we are free.

My favorite line in Ludwig von Mises's Human Action is: "The fact that my fellow man wants to acquire shoes as I do, does not make it harder for me to get shoes, but easier." What did he mean?

Because many people or even all people want bread, clothes, shoes, and cars, large-scale production of these goods becomes feasible and reduces the costs of production to such an extent that they are accessible at low prices.

Let's also dispense with the nonsense that current immigrants are a subversive element in society because they have their own cultures and speak their own languages. That nonsense was spoken about every immigrant group throughout American history. We will thrive when people are free to live in any peaceful way they choose. The nationalists are simply wrong. Attempts to plan society must come to grief. (See my "In Defense of Extreme Cosmopolitanism" and "The Religion of the State.")

If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.

This piece was originally published by The Libertarian Institute.

Photo Credit: Sam Gangwer/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • SQRLSY One||

    " Because the economy doesn't need them."

    I don't care what the economy needs or does not need!

    I need fruit pickers, veggie pickers, monocle polishers, piss boys who will hold a bucket for me, and butt-wipers when my hand is tired! And I can NOT find 'Murikans who will do this for me at a reasonable pay rate! They are all holding out to be doctors, lawyers, inventors, and regulators, and such!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yeah, our immigration policy should be based around attracting millions of folks aho will wipe your ass for $5 per hour.

  • timbo||

    If we get rid of minimum wage, immigration will find equilibrium. Also, that is a perfect answer to the mass displacement that will come with automation across all business sectors. Cheaper wages will allow certain companies to not have to automate immediately and they will be able to keep many people employed with lower dictated wages. If the worker does not like, work somewhere else.

  • Mockamodo||

    As long as the federal government is allowed to commit charity all millions more poor will do is send us further toward fiscal insolvency. As far as who may enter this nation, it is actually a federal responsibility to decide who may or may not enter, unlike the imagined federal power to take my money and commit someone else's charity with it. A nation without borders is just a patch of land between real nations. We do actually need to know who is entering our nation, we have plenty of criminals and contagious people and terrorists already without them streaming into our country, and while the federal government may not do a good job of keeping them out it is at least a federal duty to attempt to do so.

  • CE||

    Why not let free people decide for themselves who they want to hire, or who they want to rent or sell homes to? What about the freedom of Americans to enter into peaceful voluntary exchanges with non-Americans (resulting in those non-Americans moving here)?

  • Paper Wasp||

    I look forward to doing this the day after we eliminate the welfare state. As soon as the "free people" are no longer getting "free" childbirth services and medical care, "free" educations for their many, many kids, and "free" welfare and gov't handouts as soon as they steal someone else's identity, I'll be ready to open the doors. I'm tired of paying for all of the "free" people's "free" shit.

  • Lester224||

    There is no perfect mobility. The poor need help to move.

    https://tinyurl.com/hq8mrlu

    \Without a minimum wage at all anywhere, we have even more welfare required to keep roofs over heads and emergency rooms supported, at least in the short term. The sensible thing is to let the states set minimum wages but abolish the federal floor in tandem with federal supports for the poor to move for work-related reasons, since cost-of-living varies so widely state to state.

  • Rich||

    In other "social engineering" news:

    Cafe charges male customers 18 percent 'man tax' and seats women first in bid to address gender pay gap

    Feminist vegan owner hopes the move will provoke people into discussing unfair treatment of women

    Uh-huh. Xi better hope the move will not kill the business.

  • SQRLSY One||

    What about trannies? What about hermaphrodites? Do they inspect your genitals? And / or your DNA?

    Or, if I am a man, can I just wear a dress and some makeup, a ribbon in my hair, and get the discount?

    Inquiring minds want to KNOW!!!

  • Rich||

  • Agammamon||

    yesterday and today we were jam-packed with customers showing their support.

    You know, its funny, we're told by statists that the state is necessary to prevent discrimination because if people are allowed to discriminate then those being discriminated against will have no options - they'll starve in the street.

    Yet here is an example of someone running a business catering to those who wish to discriminate - and no one is harmed by their doing so.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    They're "jam-packed" right now, but once the novelty wears off the place will be closed in about 2-3 years.

  • Paper Wasp||

    This sounds like a really great place to get served a small, overpriced serving of shitty coffee and an inedible hockey-puck of "gluten-free" coffee cake, all served snottily by a sullen Lena Dunham dyke who needs a bath, a hair-brushing, and some makeup.

    I give it a year before they're no longer making their rent.

  • mpercy||

    No need to go that far, just claim you're gender fluid and despite having dressed like a man this morning before you left the house, right now you feel like a woman.

  • ||

    -I would LOVE to see pictures of the cucks and naifs who willingly go in as patrons.
    -How is this not discrimination again? I didn't know you could arbitrarily do stuff like this. Labour laws and all that.
    -Logically, you would figure this plan is going to fail.
    -At which point, naturally, they will probably blame misogynistic white men.

  • Mark22||

    In other "social engineering" news: Cafe charges male customers 18 percent 'man tax' and seats women first in bid to address gender pay gap

    That isn't "social engineering", that is a private business making a private business decision.

    Social engineering is when competing cafes are hauled into court for doing the same with female customers.

  • ||

    Idiots are gonna idiot.

    But yes, not an example of social engineering. Not until progressive academics and government force get involved.

  • Longtobefree||

    Social engineering is when competing cafes are hauled into court for doing the same with female customers.

    Instant fantasy; cafe refuses to serve females, insists they make the coffee and serve it to the men. Oh, wait, middle east.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    I'll be damned; it's the Elizabeth Nolan Brown cafe!

  • BambiB||

    "Because of human intelligence, we get more and more output from less and less input. A growing population makes us not poorer but richer..."


    Sheldon:
    Please send me your address so I can dump every toxic substance known to man in your living room. Not all "...useless things" or "detriments" are "natural resources" waiting to be discovered. Sometimes the dregs of our species are just that - dregs - and nothing more. In a sane society, their numbers would be limited. The evolution of our species is largely the result of such winnowing of the unfit. Should you not fully understand how wrong is your position, Stefan Molyneux has several videos that explain it in depth.

    Here's hoping Xi's PC challenge is an unmitigated disaster with not only the failure of the restaurant, but the loss of jobs for everyone working there.

  • SIV||

    If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.

    Up against the wall, consequentialists !

  • SIV||

    Cigarette? Blindfold? We don't have all day, cuck.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So Sheldon is against the constitution? As regulating immigration is actually one of the federal governments enumerated powers.

  • buybuydandavis||

    All the writers are functionally anarchists.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Maybe not all.

    Damn no editing.

  • Bra Ket||

    "In the process they would cruelly keep poor people in perpetual misery and political oppression by locking them out of America."

    Hrm not sure about this angle. The cruel people in the story would be the oppressive and corrupt govts people are trying to flee. The problems of the billions of poor victims of bad govts out there in the world, will not be solved by our immigration policy. So the next step, are you then cruel for not doing whatever further charity to lessen their misery? It never ends. Without some kind of birth control at least.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Follow the logic. What needs to happen, if you accept the premise, is the American conquest of the world, in the manner of Victorian England, complete with paternalistic colonialism. Which we are temperamentally unsuited to.

    Reason's 'open the borders' fetish is getting annoying. All it would succeed in doing is swamping the culture,with the social problems of the immigrants. Kind of like what the California refugees keep trying to do to Texas. If we had the stones to insist that immigrants learn english, and follow American customs to a large degree it might - MIGHT - be different. But we don't have the stones and a large part of our politically active population is prepared to champion the right of barbarians to mutilate their womenfolk, and treat them like chattle, in the name of 'diversity'. Open borders are a pipe dream, like non-polluting cars, and the dream falls apart the moment youinsist on looking at details.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: C.S.P. Schofield,

    Reason's 'open the borders' fetish is getting annoying.


    I don't know why it would be annoying to you, considering Reason is a libertarian magazine wih libertarian-leaning contributors and journalists. What were you expecting? Mercantilism? Protectionism? Get real.

    All it would succeed in doing is swamping the culture,with the social problems of the immigrants.


    Hogwash. This "we must protect our precious bodily culture, Mandrake!" argument is ridiculous. It's an admission that the local culture is too fragile to widthstand the pressure from other ideas, a curious admission to say the least since it is not true. And what social problems are you talking about? You would want one to think that immigrants are invadera from Mars.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "This "we must protect our precious bodily culture, Mandrake!" argument is ridiculous."

    Oh, is it really? So the problems that intractable immigrant enclaves are causing in various European countries won't happen here? Care to explain why? Or maybe you think they are right wing fantasies? Have any evidence?

  • chemjeff||

    Do you think it is a suitable role for the state to enforce a type of cultural homogeneity?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I think setting conditions for immigration is one of the few roles of the State spelled out in the constitution. And while I am prepared to debate the worthiness of each and every part of that document, I would prefer to start pruning the power of the State with matters farther removed from its actual authority.

    As to cultural homogeneity; I doubt such a thing is possible. I want immigrants to be able to speak to people outside their community, if only to prevent self-appointed ward heelers from lying to them unchecked. I want honor killings to be investigated with a ferocity that makes them unpopular in the ethnic communities in which they occur (You want to kill your daughter because she won't marry the man you tell her to? Ahmed, if you do that everybody in the neighborhood will tell the police because of what happened LAST time somebody did that!). I don't want to hear bullshit about 'diversity' and 'being sensitive to other cultures' right up to the moment some passionate throws acid on some girl's face (whereupon the diversity fans seem to find something else to talk about very earnestly).

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Cntd:

    I'm not a Trump-ist. But I'm not a Libertarian either (pr, Gods forbid a Progressive!). I'm a Crank. And I insist on the right to look at policies being proposed as they are working - or not working - elsewhere.

    No interest in Single Payer. Lots of States have tried it; the results range from poor to horrifying. The policy may have been due some benefit of the doubt at one time. Say, about 1905. It has none now.

    Similarly; there is enough history of policies approaching open immigration, and enough of it is bad, for me to say "No thank you please, it only makes me sneeze".

  • chemjeff||

    "Similarly; there is enough history of policies approaching open immigration, and enough of it is bad, for me to say "No thank you please, it only makes me sneeze"."

    Look at places with very restrictive immigration, like Japan. Their culture is literally dying out because they refuse to bring in elements from outside of their little world.

    If you are interested in promoting liberty, then continually playing defense is simply not going to work. Erecting walls and barriers for keeping out all of the supposedly unclean masses is simply not a winning strategy in the long run. Libertarians have to persuade people to adopt liberty. And if liberty is such a hard sell, then it doesn't matter what the immigration rules are, it's not going to work anyway.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I am not primarily interested in promoting Liberty, or I would be calling for the return of Colonialism, which for all its flaws was noticeably better than what replaced in almost everywhere. What I am interested in is curbing the government's buttinskiism outside of its Constitutional concerns, killing off the last spasming of Progressive Tyranny, and keeping sentimentalism from allowing an influx of people from cultures that are, in my (admittedly bigoted) opinion are toxic.

    I think the natural solution to the problem of Hispanic illegals would be the annexation of Mexico and a serious attempt to foster a form of self-rule there...as opposed to rule by thuggery and corruption. Maybe, if we find a solution for Mexico. we can apply it to places like Detroit, and Jersey City.

    As to refugees from the boiling pot of idiocies that is the Islamic World, I have no solution for them, barring conquest (for which we are unsuited). But the experiences of England, Germany, France, and so on lead me to a pessimistic caution.

  • Robert||

    I would prefer to start pruning the power of the State with matters farther removed from its actual authority.


    Unfortunately that leaves federal & state taxation nearly untouched, yet it may be the single most important thing to prune. Same w war-making; even if you tried to limit it technically, the pressure to make war is great enough that they'd still do it quite constitutionally.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The problem doesn't seem to be war-making, but Nation Building. We made war fairly effectively. Our mistake was in not saying "Annoy us again, and we'll be back." and leaving. If we weren't going to make a colony of either Iraq or Afghanistan (and I can think of things I'd much rather do, like hit myself in the head with a mallet), that was the only realistic course.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Do you think it is a suitable role for the state to enforce a type of cultural homogeneity?

    It was indeed behind the establishment of compulsory education.

    So if you don't think government should be enforcing cultural standards - and I don't - then you should be putting your libertarian bonafides toward dismantling of public schools and compulsory education. If you aren't, then you have no room to complain about Schofield's position.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    "So if you don't think government should NOT be enforcing cultural standards"

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    "So if you think government should NOT be enforcing cultural standards"

    (pardon my public school education)

  • mtrueman||

    "So the problems that intractable immigrant enclaves are causing in various European countries won't happen here? Care to explain why?"

    America has its own intractable enclave of African Americans. American immigrants are already granted a leg up over their European counterparts just by not being African Americans, the traditional underclass.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Not sure your argument makes me any happier about open immigration. Would, in fact, move me to support African-American deportation if I thought it would work. But it isn't THEIR fault; its the fault of wave after wave of Progressive bullshit excuses that keep African Americans from being held to any real standards. One day they may wake up to how badly they have been used by their White Liberal Benevolent Masses and their own Quislings, and then hell is going for a walk with the sleeves rolled up.

  • mtrueman||

    "Would, in fact, move me to support African-American deportation if I thought it would work. "

    You find yourself in agreement with Abraham Lincoln and many other racists. Trouble was, the African Americans seem content where they are and non African Americans don't have the stomach to force them back where they came from.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If we want to talk about racists, how about Sharpton and the Black Studies academics? The issue isn't racism, per se. The issue is that we (as a culture) allowed the progress of Blacks to be hijacked by the Progressives, who have pounded it down a rathole in exchange for political power. It is the Progressive controlled cities where the African American culture festers. The Blacks that make it out of such pestles live pretty decent lives, but the inner cities are as bad or worse than they ever were for the Irish immigrants, and there are all kinds of mechanisms in place to KEEP them that bad.

  • mtrueman||

    If anything, it's white america that's festering. Blacks are living longer while whites are dying sooner according to latest statistics.

    I'm not sure what you want to say about Sharpton and the Black studies profs.

    I have no fears over the vitality of black culture, even urban black culture. They're not going away and may out live white culture, whatever that is.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: C.S.P. Schofield,

    Oh, is it really?


    Yes, really. And I explained why. It would be a strange admission that the current culture is too fragile to widthstand the pressure from different ideas. But if that were really the case, then what makes the culture worth protecting? And if you believe the culture is robust, then why using the culture as an excuse?

    So the problems that intractable immigrant enclaves are causing in various European countries won't happen here? Care to explain why? Or maybe you think they are right wing fantasies? Have any evidence?


    Who the fuck is asking to emulate European policy of ghettoing immigrants?

    Grow up.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    It's an admission that the local culture is too fragile to widthstand the pressure from other ideas

    Yeah, it's not like history shows us what happens when certain demographics reach critical mass over the native culture.

    What particular "ideas" did Germanic tribes bring to the western Roman empire?

    And what social problems are you talking about?

    Just check out majority immigrant schools for that answer.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yeah, it's not like history shows us what happens when certain demographics reach critical mass over the native culture."

    Preserving 'native culture' is not a Libertarian project. It's a conservative one.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Perhaps, seeing that to my knowledge (do correct me if I am wrong) our native Protestant English Speaking culture is the only one in history that has produced a Libertarian impulse, it should be a Libertarian project.

  • mtrueman||

    You are confusing Libertarianism which is extremely marginal in the US, with Puritanism, (AKA the Protestant work ethic) which has always been dominant. A Libertarian doesn't give a toss what language you speak or what god you worship.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "You are confusing Libertarianism which is extremely marginal in the US, with Puritanism, (AKA the Protestant work ethic) which has always been dominant."

    No, I'm not. I'm agnostic, but I notice that Protestant societies were the first to produce actual anti-slavery movements (as opposed to slave revolts), the first to give even lip service to equal rights for women and minorities, the first to put forward the idea of equality before the law. And I don't think that's an accident.

    And I notice that the Progressives who want to stifle the openly Protestant aspects of society are also the ones who seem to want special laws and treatment for certain segments of society. And the ones who are more exercised about 'microaggressions' on campus than about the resurgence of the slave trade in the third world.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Preserving 'native culture' is not a Libertarian project. It's a conservative one.

    Libertarianism doesn't thrive in progressive cultural environments.

  • mtrueman||

    "Libertarianism doesn't thrive in progressive cultural environments."

    I think that just about the only place in the world where Libertarianism is thriving is in Russia, on account of their ditching the communist system in use in America today for a 13% flat tax.. It's not Reason's favourite country, though. Not long ago editors were bruiting about yet more economic sanctions to prevent you and me from doing business there.

  • Robert||

    What particular "ideas" did Germanic tribes bring to the western Roman empire?


    Equal social standing of the sexes.

    Freeholding of land; though they lost that one later.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I don't know why it would be annoying to you, considering Reason is a libertarian magazine wih libertarian-leaning contributors and journalists.

    And Libertarianism is nothing if not a mutual suicide pact.

  • Azathoth!!||

    If you go to Mexico, and go outside the tourist enclaves, you soon discover that, if you don't speak the language of the European conquerors of Mexico, Spanish, you're shit out of luck. There aren't helpful signs in English--or, god help you if you speak one-- any other language.

    If you're in the US, and you go outside the tourist enclaves into rural America, there are signs in Spanish and English in most stores--and translations into other languages are seconds away.

    EVERYONE else is allowed to protect their culture--they're celebrated for doing so(well, so long as they're not white). Our culture, Western culture, the culture that provides all that prosperity these endless waves of immigrants seem to want is routinely denigrated for trying to keep providing that culture.

    THEIR cultures provide second and third world shitholes--dark dismal places without freedom like Europe or Asia--or places without freedom or other basic survival services--like South and Central America and Africa

    So yes, we MUST protect our culture--because it appears to be the only one anyone on this planet actually wants.

    Which is probably the reason why 'marxians' want it torn apart so badly. It's weird how you're on their side in this......

  • chemjeff||

    "So yes, we MUST protect our culture"

    Perhaps you could start by precisely defining what "our culture" is.

    Does "our culture" include letting people be free to pursue their own choices if they aren't harming anyone else? That seems to be a Western idea, anyway. And yet you seem to object to private business owners putting up helpful signs in different languages so as to better serve their customers...

    Does "our culture" include confiscation of private property and state ownership of the means of production? Because that is most definitely a Western idea (see: Marx, Lenin). I would hope that we would not want to protect this aspect of our culture.

    I mainly think that the people who scream PROTECT OUR CULTURE! the loudest, what they really mean is, they want to enforce a right-wing dogma upon the land. They pick and choose which Western ideas they wish to preserve (market economics - good! communism - bad!) even though they are all part of the traditions of Western civilization. Now I am all about promoting free markets over socialism. But I don't couch it in terms of "protecting our culture". It's not about that. It is about promoting a culture of liberty to supplant the culture of collectivism, both of which are part of the broader American culture (or Western culture) that are in tension with each other.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I wasn't pointing out the signs as a problem--I was pointing out that we're among a VERY small group of nations that care enough to offer translation in places outside tourist areas.

    It's revealing that you leapt to a negative interpretation though.

    I would suggest the what we call 'Western Culture' is more the culture of the Anglosphere--of breakaway British colonies(sadly, the UK is dying in the same fashion as the rest of Europe) that had a sort of cosmopolitany forced upon them by locale that they absorbed into their society. Everything is okay--so long as the first lens it goes through is an anglospheric one.

    It is a culture that, despite it's prejudices, is so open that it tries to make functional citizens from enemies.

    And "promoting a culture of liberty" is an integral part of the culture I am saying that we must protect. But you can't promote it if you don't protect it--and you can't protect it if you don't promote it.

    con't

  • Azathoth!!||

    con't

    And yes, I would prefer a right-wing philosophy(not a 'dogma'--dogma stinks of all the other leftisms that have been attached to try to discredit the right) to be the operating system. It's the better option.

    So much of what is hated about the 'right wing' is stuff that has nothing to do with it--and a whole lot that is antithetical to it.

    Social conservatism is NOT right wing. Like 'social liberalism', 'social justice' and all the other ideologies that start with 'social' it is socialist. It values society over the individual.

    Racism is collectivism.

    As is nationalism. And the endless attempts to try to make nationalism a synonym for patriotism are part of the Gramscian March.

    Every foul deed the left has done they have insisted, with the force of our institutions, is somehow right wing--while they still revere most of the perpetrators as left wing heroes.

    We have not been protecting our culture--because we've been convinced that all that is good is ill. That to even suggest 'protecting a culture' means that one is racist, xenophobic, nationalist--and whatever other evils the left chooses to tar us with this day

    But the are wrong.

    A culture of liberty is still a culture. And liberty, individualism, personal freedom and responsibility are all hallmarks of the right. They do not exist on the left. At all. We need to never forget that--and never let anything leftist spread.

  • chemjeff||

    Oh good Lord. More screeching about "OMG LEFTISTS ARE EVIL". So every single Leftist on the planet abjures personal freedom and responsibility? Please.

    And yes I leapt to a negative interpretation about the multilingual signage because I have heard on multiple occasions self-described "culture defenders" complain bitterly about the utter outrage of having to "press 1 for English" when they make a phone call to a large company. If that is not what you meant then I apologize.

    And here is a news flash. Conservatism IS a form of collectivism. It is a collectivism that is built around adherence to traditional social standards and patriotic cheerleading (conservatives were all about waving the flag harder than anyone else even way before Trump). What you are describing is libertarianism, not conservatism.

    "That to even suggest 'protecting a culture' means that one is racist, xenophobic, nationalist"

    But it IS xenophobic at the very least. By its very nature it is fearful of foreign influences that might "corrupt" the "purity of essence" of the culture that you want to preserve. How is this not an accurate description? You cannot have it all ways. You cannot complain about an accusation hurting your feelings when the accusation actually has some merit.

    I think you need to be honest with yourself with what PRECISELY you are trying to defend.

  • chemjeff||

    There are a lot of things about American culture which IMO shouldn't be defended. For instance, American cultural arrogance. We export our culture and insist it is the best on the planet. But we don't know what is best for anyone and we shouldn't preach to everyone presuming that we do. But go tell that to the self-proclaimed "defenders of the culture" and see what your reaction is.

  • Azathoth!!||

    American cultural arrogance?

    Like promoting a culture of liberty?

    Because that's central to American cultural arrogance--our promotion of liberty is what gets us called 'the Great Satan'--because to some cultures promoting liberty is promoting libertinism.

    And we don't force our culture on anyone (if we did, the USE would be a much nicer place). We sell it to any and all buyers.

    You really need to make up your mind. On the one hand, you say promoting a culture of liberty is good--on the other, you say "we don't know what is best for anyone and we shouldn't preach to everyone presuming that we do". Which is it?

    Promote a culture of liberty or not?

    The right answer is "promote a culture of liberty". Because it IS best for everyone. Know why? Because in a culture of liberty you get to do whatever you want--have whatever culture you want--so long as you don't try to impose that culture on others by force.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Conservatism? The only time I mentioned conservatism was to note that social conservatism isn't right wing--so I'm not sure what you're responding to there.

    You suggest "promoting a culture of liberty" and then say that protecting a culture is xenophobic. How do you square that? Do you deride that culture of liberty as you promote it? Do you make it plain, as you're promoting that culture of liberty that you will not, under any circumstances, defend what you've just promoted?

    See, we ARE the culture of liberty that you're talking about promoting--we don't quite have a government of liberty, and our society has festering knots of idiocy all through it--but the things we promote, free speech free press, right to self defense, to own property, to own yourself and all the rest ARE that culture of liberty you talk about.

    And only in the US is there an approximation of it that you can actually live in.

    It isn't a culture of concrete tradition(of the type you've been taught 'conservatives' want). It is fluid and welcoming--to those who have begun to understand how much better it is than anything else.

    It is an affront to everything that is decent to those who haven't--or to those who reject the very idea.

    And while trying to convince them is a noble task, giving them the power, via the ballot box, to take away liberty is stupid and counterproductive to liberty and to a culture of liberty.

  • chemjeff||

    How is it consistent with principles of liberty to start imposing my views on others? That is NOT the culture of liberty I am referring to. If someone wishes to live in a socialist paradise then I will defend their right to do so. My opinion is that people should reject socialism. If asked I will argue against it. But in the end if people choose otherwise then that is their call to make and I won't interfere in their choice. What would you do? Force people not to live as they freely choose? If so then that just makes you a different flavor of social collectivist conservative, demanding that all revolves around your choices.

  • Azathoth!!||

    You're the only one suggesting that anyone impose anything.

    Suggesting that someone not seek out and swamp themselves with individuals who either do not share their beliefs or actively oppose their beliefs is not suggesting imposition.

    While promoting a culture of liberty is a noble task, sometimes one wants to STOP proselytizing and actually get to LIVE those beliefs instead of endlessly trying to convince the people who want to tear them apart to not do that just yet.

  • chemjeff||

    "All it would succeed in doing is swamping the culture,with the social problems of the immigrants."

    And this is the heart of the matter right here. At the end of the day, the border restrictionists do not view immigrants, legal or otherwise, as equivalent to themselves or their forebears when it comes to their potential of becoming "genuine Americans". Instead they are riff-raff, lowlifes, cultural invaders, moochers, criminals, and otherwise deplorable human beings.

  • chemjeff||

    I have read enough conservative commentary on immigration to know better. Go to any right-leaning site that discusses immigration and you will find a very common opinion being the one that I expressed above, that immigrants, particularly today's immigrants, just aren't equivalent to themselves or their ancestors, and are less worthy of becoming Americans. Just look at the relatively polite discussion herein. It is simply taken for granted by many on the restrictionist side that immigrants are hostile to liberty and are unwilling to learn, that they come from socialist hellholes and will remain socialists forever. Why should we accept this premise? Why wouldn't the same techniques that were used to persuade myself and everyone here of making a commitment to liberty work on recent immigrants? Answer: Because they are "just different". Meaning, inferior.

  • chemjeff||

    But they were the "correct" immigrants. They "promoted Western values". (Of course so did Karl Marx, but shhh.)

  • Azathoth!!||

    Go to any right-leaning site that discusses immigration and you will find a very common opinion being the one that I expressed above, that immigrants, particularly today's immigrants, just aren't equivalent to themselves or their ancestors, and are less worthy of becoming Americans.

    You are aware that, to everyone except a few cosmos on this site Reason is not just A 'right leaning site', but one of THE 'right leaning sites'? That's it's considered nothing less than an arm of the kochtopus?

  • chemjeff||

    I think discerning people are smart enough to understand that Reason is qualitatively different than, say, Breitbart.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why yes, they can.

    But that doesn't alter the fact that, as I said "to everyone except a few cosmos on this site Reason is not just A 'right leaning site', but one of THE 'right leaning sites'? That's it's considered nothing less than an arm of the kochtopus?"

    Breitbart is rightwing populism.

    Reason is rightwing intellectualism.

    There's a HUGE difference.......but not in the side of the aisle it falls upon.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    No it is not.

    Libertarianism is the only ideology that is not Right or Left. Why?

    Because the Right and Left are the right and left *sides* of something... of the State. And Libertarianism FACES the State.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Yeah....no.

    'right' and 'left' are retarded anachronistic names we give to the two basic ways that governance occurs.

    On one side there is collectivism, statism--methods that suggest that the best way to govern humans is to make them all equal parts in a total overarching society. We typically call this 'left'

    On the other side there is individualism, voluntarism--methods that suggest that while humans may occasionally need assistance with greater endeavors, they are best left to governing themselves. We typically call this 'right'

    Libertarianism is fully contained within one of those sides. The idea that it is not is derived from the fact that so many people have had it beaten into their heads that 'right' or 'right wing' means bad and thus the fact that libertarianism is not just a right-wing philosophy--but one that is further to the right than 'social conservatism'(which is actually leftist), conservatism(which still holds on to collectivist aspects), and the entirety of the GOP(which wavers between center left and center right at this point).

    Sorry, if you're a libertarian, you a far right winger.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    You are completely and utterly wrong. The Right and the Left are BOTH statist and collectivist. The only difference is the goal of the statism.

    The Left uses violence to artificially create Equality. The dream world of the farthest Leftist is a world in which everyone recieves the exact same paycheck (Socialism); in which men, women, black and white are all identical in physical capability (Cultural Marxism); and humans and animals are valued equally (Environmentalism). And because this is unnatural, they have to use force.

    But the Right uses violence to *artificially* create Inequality. The *farthest* Rightist dreams of a world in which government uses law to help the rich and keep the poor down (Crony Capitalism); in which one race (whatever race the Rightist happens to be, white or not) is given mastery of the rest (Racism); and in which women, gays, religious minorities and animals are all treated as property and nothing more (Misogyny, Homophobia, Theocracy, Anthropocentrism, etc.).

    BOTH of those ideologies are centered on Statism. "Individualism" and "Voluntarism" form a THIRD IDEOLOGY, separate from *both*.

    Your own insistence on divining the motives of immigrant voters is itself a form of collectivism: *ethnic* collectivism, aka Nationalism, aka Right-Wing Socialism.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Aren't you the commenter who said in the thread below David Harsanyi's article on affirmative action a few days ago that, and I quote, "black chicks are gross"?

    Or, let me guess, that was meant *ironically*...

  • buybuydandavis||

    At the end of the day, the border restrictionists do not view immigrants, legal or otherwise, as equivalent to themselves or their forebears when it comes to their potential of becoming "genuine Americans".

    And they are not.

    People are not stamped out of a cookie cutter with the same values. Liberty is a minority value in the world.

    When people immigrate, their political culture immigrates with them.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Open borders is the "what about the children" shibboleth for cosmos.

  • mtrueman||

    Do you believe in the free movement of people, goods, and ideas? That's what defines a Libertarian.

  • mtrueman||

    Nobody is forcing you to be a Libertarian. Don't like it, find yourself another team to join. Have you considered the Republicans or Democrats?

  • CE||

    I think it's short for M. True (Scots) Man.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Do you believe in the free movement of people, goods, and ideas? That's what defines a Libertarian

    Libertarianism isn't a suicide pact.

  • chemjeff||

    That's right people. We must restrict the liberty of millions because of Red Rocks' crappy Hispanic relatives. Why did they have to ruin it for everyone!

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    That's right people. We have to let in millions of welfare-demanding immigrants because chemjeff might not have enough taco trucks to buy from.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Isn't it funny how the obsession with open borders destroys any sense of reason, pragmatism, or self-preservation for some?

  • JuanQPublic||

    Immigration is where some "Libertarians" eviscerate how Statist they really are. Pretty obvious.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Do you believe in the free movement of people, goods, and ideas? That's what defines a Libertarian.

    No.

    What defines a Libertarian is the desire to enjoy, protect, and preserve Liberty.

    Liberty and democracy are incompatible with importing voters opposed to Liberty. Not rocket science.

  • JuanQPublic||

    "Liberty and democracy are incompatible with importing voters opposed to Liberty. Not rocket science."

    What's not "rocket science" is the colossal contradiction here, which also drips with projection.

  • chemjeff||

    "Liberty for me, and to hell with the rest of you! Amirite?"

  • Azathoth!!||

    No, jeff. Liberty for me--and for you if you want it. But if you don't, go the fuck away and stop trying to remove MY liberty because you don't want any.

    That's what people are saying. You can't expand a culture of liberty when you're welcoming people who want to REMOVE liberty.

  • chemjeff||

    How do you know, a priori, whether someone wants to remove your liberty? Are you a mind reader? Maybe, instead of trying to divine someone's unstated intentions, we should stop such usurpations of liberty if and when they occur?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Because they have voted for and support unlibertarian issues? Because they've openly supported socialist ideas?

    Why do you just assume their intentions are unstated?

    Do you think they're mute?

    A bunch of undocumented immigrants screaming 'la raza'(collectivism) and waving Mexican flags(nationalism) while demanding that 'they' were here first(xenophobia) needs to be shown the border--at the point of a rifle in necessary--not welcomed as if they're budding libertarians.

    Show me you're a libertarian in YOUR country, and then I'll accept that you might be one here.

  • chemjeff||

    Okay then let's imagine this thought experiment. Suppose the Mexican flag wavers and La Raza devotees are American citizens. Would you still kick them out? If not why not? After all they are still not 'budding libertarians' in your view. In fact if they are citizens they have even more power to take away your liberty via the ballot box. Which is an additional reason to show them the door, right? So, kick them out?

  • Azathoth!!||

    No.

    They're citizens. With every right to bitch about their country.

    And every right to try to convince others to follow their ideas.

    Are you not understanding 'don't import more'?

    Let me stress the 'more' part--more.

    The country is already filled with people who can't stand libertarianism. Importing more is not a win for libertarianism.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    What if you don't let them vote?

  • CE||

    Seems like most immigrants to America throughout history are pretty pro-liberty.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Do you believe in the free movement of people, goods, and ideas? That's what defines a Libertarian.

    No, it doesn't. It doesn't define anything. Not one living thing on this planet moves freely. Not one. Everything fights for a place to exist. Goods move when someone pays to make them move. And ask an IP devotee if ideas should move freely.

    The concept of free movement of peoples and goods was created to promote internationalism in the service of international socialism. It has absolutely nothing to do with any ideology that values private property.

  • BambiB||

    Actually, the cruel perpetrators of misery and oppress are those who would let them emigrate. If the best and brightest come from other countries, doesn't that leave them with dreck? And how is the dreck supposed to rise from the muck without competent leadership? Therefore, no immigration would be kinder to the source nations than increase immigration.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hold on now! SQRLSY One rides to the rescue!!!

    First, we exclude legal immigrants who are not highly skilled. Then we raise the minimum wage to $25 / hour, pay people to not work (SS disability, welfare, unemployment compensation), and wonder why fruits and veggies rot in the fields, unpicked.

    Just pass some laws that require the fruits and veggies to pick themselves! Problem solved!

  • Rich||

    Hah! The highly skilled legal immigrants will produce fruit- and veggie-picking *robots*!

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Highly skilled" people are also highly skilled at excluding competition! Just look at doctors and lawyers, and their endless degrees, licences, credentials, etc.!

    By the time that these "highly skilled" immigrants invent fruit picking robots... Lemme interject, apple-picking robots are becoming practical just about now (think FIRM fruits), but strawberries (very soft and delicate) will be WAY hard to pick robotically, for a LONG time to come... By the time all this happens, then...

    These "highly skilled" people and their robots will have "food" declared to be "medically necessary" (well, duh, yes, sure!), and you will have to see your "foodologist" (picker-robot-designers and food-prep-robot-designers, dieticians etc.) every week, to get your food prescription renewed! Food prices will skyrocket!

  • Longtobefree||

    Better idea. Make the cows eat the fruits and veggies, then we eat the cows.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Way ahead of you. I'm already eating the cows.

  • scipw||

    Sheldon, what about the socialist welfare programs? Don't we need to get rid of those first before opening the borders? And the only way to get rid of the welfare state is to end the fed. So I disagree with your conclusion. In our current keynsian state where govt pays you not to work and uses the threat of force to guarantee you healthcare, open borders would be a huge economic mistake. We need to first get rid of the fed and the welfare state (as well as return to free market capitalism etc), only then will open borders lead to economic prosperity.

  • ||

    I think this is key. In Europe they come for the welfare but stay for the welfare so to speak.

    Some may counter the welfare is not much but it's enough for them. And some even demand more and are willing to riot in the street for it. THAT'S the main difference, I think, whenever we bring up 'old immigration' from Europe and China. There was no social safety net. And while indeed some couldn't make it, the majority of immigrants did succeed and left behind quite a legacy.

    Welfare act to enable. People see it as a 'compassionate' act and while it most certainly in cases where people ACTUALLY need it, it's a poison to perfectly healthy people who get on the dole.

    Funny how incentives work, eh?

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    There's more to welfare than that, Rufus.

    Minimum wage is a socialist program. An illegal alien is the only person who can agree to work at a wage less than minimum wage, and many are happy to have that opportunity.

    So you don't even have to partake in welfare handouts to be enabled by the existence of socialist programs in the first place.

  • Bra Ket||

    The welfare state would come right back the following election if you opened the borders, unless you can somehow get rid of democracy too.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: sclpw,

    The welfare state is no excuse to impose yourself on completely peaceful and voluntary transactions between nationals and immigrants. In fact the productivity from immigrants keep the welfare state alive without taxing the income of nationals too hard, unlike places like Denmark where welfare costs the average Dane 50% of his or her income.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Libertarianism is a suicide pact.

    Because muh principles.

  • mtrueman||

    Nobody forces you to become Libertarian. If it's not 'statist' enough for you, there's always the Rs and the Ds.

  • CE||

    Not letting in young working immigrants makes Social Security a bankruptcy pact.

  • Longtobefree||

    " - uses the threat of force to guarantee you healthcare"

    Not sure where you live, but in the USA, the feds just require you to buy unusable health insurance, it does not force actual healthcare on anyone..

  • Mark22||

    If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.

    Sure, right after we dismiss the social engineers from our tax system, welfare system, education system, health care system, labor law, and system of corporate welfare. Right after we limit the federal government to what it was supposed to be under the original US Constitution. Otherwise, you are forcing me at gunpoint to pay for the subsidies and fruits of rent seeking and lobbying of these various interests groups.


    But, then, that's what you really want, isn't it, Sheldon Richman? Fuck off, slaver.

  • Mark22||

    Sheldon calls for opening borders without making abolishing the welfare system a precondition. As such, he increases the liberty of non-Americans (to move to the US) and decreases the liberty of Americans (who have to pay the bill).

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Your obsession with open borders has destroyed any shred of common sense you had. And your analogy is shit.

  • Mark22||

    One freedom is not contingent on another freedom.

    Opening the border to millions of low skill, poorly educated immigrants most certainly increases the infringement on my property rights, as my taxes have to go up to pay for them.

    It would like saying you can't liberalize the gun laws until we end the drug war, because of drug-related gun violence.

    The reason you can change gun laws without ending the drug war is because gun laws have no demonstrable influence on drug-related gun violence. If there actually were an influence, then we certainly would have to consider the order in which we tackle these issues.

  • CE||

    What about the liberty of the Americans who want to hire those non-American workers, or rent homes to them, or sell them clothes, food and cars?

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    You want perfection, Mark22?

    Dishonest. Very dishonest.

  • Tony||

    Honesty would be admitting that the welfare state excuse is just an excuse, and a lame one. For one thing, immigrants skew younger and so serve only to buttress the system, not take away from it. So you can't hide behind that crap. Just say what you really mean in your heart. If it's correct and true, you shouldn't feel ashamed.

  • Mark22||

    Honesty would be admitting that the welfare state excuse is just an excuse, and a lame one. For one thing, immigrants skew younger and so serve only to buttress the system

    Immigrants, in particular illegal ones, skew heavily towards lower income and lower education. Those people are never going to make a net positive contribution as US tax payers.

    So why don't you stop lying and face facts, Tony?

  • Tony||

    Citation needed.

    If you can't find one, will you change your mind, or will you come up with some other excuse for why you don't like brown people living around you?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, you're stupid and evil. Not sure if you're more stupid or more evil. As you are so much of both. You love the welfare state, and you love the racism that consumes your foul progressive heart. After all, progressives always project the filth inside them by accusing actual humans of those same things.

    You should really consider giving somehting back, and turning yourself over to an organ harvesting ring.

  • Tony||

    I'm racist for calling your motivations racist. Totally something a nonracist would say.

  • JuanQPublic||

    "Tony, you're stupid and evil. Not sure if you're more stupid or more evil. As you are so much of both."

    This isn't how persuasive arguments are formed. This is how children communicate.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Take that cloud!

    It is fantastic that our resident open borders whore thinks marks post is asking for perfection, then calls someone else dishonest.


    But Mark22 is asking for perfection, and using it to argue that we can't have nice things until those things are perfect: "No welfare state, no taxation, no public education... Until then, no immigration for you!"

    There's no difference between such a requirement and the argument from leftists that humans cannot be free because they're not perfect beings.

  • Mark22||

    But Mark22 is asking for perfection, and using it to argue that we can't have nice things until those things are perfect: "No welfare state, no taxation, no public education... Until then, no immigration for you!"

    Stop lying and misrepresenting my position. Nowhere have I called for "no immigration". What I oppose is "open borders".

    The kind of immigration system I would like for the US under the current conditions is the same as Canada, Australia, and Germany have: with fairly generous annual quotas, and prioritized by skills and earning potential. You know, the kind of immigration system most liberals and classical liberal favor.

    "Open borders", on the other hand, is your nutcase anarchic approach and isn't even libertarian.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    A more libertarian approach would be a privatized immigration system, like they have in the Gulf States. You can bring whomever you want in the country, but if they screw up, you are liable. You are also liable for their expenses (e.g. health insurance etc) as their sponsor. A private individual or a company can sponsor an immigrant (o as many immigrants as they can afford). It works great. It might not work in a democracy, where these immigrants represent a juicy temptation of mass votes. But it works in other societies.

  • chemjeff||

    I would be generally fine with this idea as a compromise proposal.

  • Mark22||

    Dishonest. Very dishonest.

    Not at all, I simply want a different order. We first need to reduce government spending and restrictions on free markets, then we can open borders.

    You know, just like I believe that you first earn the money and then take the vacation. And that you first put on your seatbelt and then start driving.

    What is "very dishonest" is for you to pretend that the order in which you implement policies doesn't matter.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Mark22,

    Not at all, I simply want a different order. We first need to reduce government spending and restrictions on free markets, then we can open borders.


    Immigration has little to no effect on spending, so asking to reduce spending first is asking for an irrelevant requirement, something that does not say you're interested in honest discourse. And asking to end all restrictions in the free market while accepting a big restriction in the meantime, is evidence of chutzpah.

  • Mark22||

    Immigration has little to no effect on spending

    First of all, you cannot use current legal immigration as a predictor for what happens when you open the borders.

    Second, that's simply wrong. Both legal and illegal immigration impose high costs, in particular on local and state budgets.

    something that does not say you're interested in honest discourse

    Honest discourse? You keep repeating the same false arguments over and over again. It is you who isn't interested in "honest discourse".

    And asking to end all restrictions in the free market

    I'm not "asking" for anything. I am pointing out that Richman's position isn't the libertarian position. And I am pointing out that you are either ignorant or a liar. Beyond pointing that out, I'm not interested in "discourse" with you at all.

  • Tony||

    That's not really your problem is it?

    I'll never understand why people hold political beliefs they know aren't acceptable to mention in polite society. Isn't there a reason for that?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, why don't you share all the racist beliefs that permeate your dark heart? You're certainly obsessed with it. You want to make the latinos your field slave underclass, and keep the blacks down with welfare and abortion mills. You are more racist than every other poster here put together. You're the kind joined the KKK back in the old days. That your racism is more paternalistic, as opposed to antagonistic, doesn't make you better, it makes you worse.

  • buybuydandavis||

    SJWs always Project

  • buybuydandavis||

    I'll never understand why people hold political beliefs they know aren't acceptable to mention in polite society.

    Because maybe their values are not determined by what everybody else thinks.

  • Texasmotiv||

    I think using the term "polite society" is a weasel term. It really depends on what you mean by polite society. If you mean what is acceptable to say in coastal progressive enclaves or college campuses then that excludes an increasingly large chunk of political thought.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Social engineers of all parties and persuasions talk as though an economy is some kind of mechanism to be centrally fine-tuned and overhauled occasionally according to a plan.


    That has been the prevailing understanding among Neoclassical and Keynesian economists. For instance, economist and tinkerer William Phillips designed a hydraulically-driven contraption called the MONIAC computer, which purported to simulate the economic effects of money circulation. The contraption was an awfully simplistic simulation that gave the wrong idea to Phillips' students that the economy was like a blackmbox with inputs and outputs, rather than understanding the economy is a network of millions upon millions of interactions between economic actors.

  • CE||

    Did the MONIAC computer include a magic multiplier effect for government spending?

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    My favorite line in Ludwig von Mises's Human Action is: "The fact that my fellow man wants to acquire shoes as I do, does not make it harder for me to get shoes, but easier." What did he mean?


    The question was answered above but it is clear that Mises was criticizing that very-often-used economic fallacy known as the Fixed Pie fallacy which Trumpistas love to premise most of their arguments against immigration from it.

    But like Mises said, the fact that my neighbor wants shows does not mean we're getting into a knife fight, but that entrepreneurs and producers will see our wants as opportunity. The same can be said about immigration and the labor market. Trumpistas like to argue that jobs are limited and immigrants would only either take them from Americans (conveniently ignoring the fact that jobs belong to capitalists and not workers) or that immigrants would bid wages down. Both arguments are fallacious, precisely because the economy is not a fixed pie and only The Market decides who gets jobs and who doesn't. Not Trumpistas. The Market.

  • Longtobefree||

    "(conveniently ignoring the fact that jobs belong to capitalists and not workers)"

    Look around you; the jobs belong to the government, who determines who does what (occupational license requirements, union rule preferences), where the jobs can be (zoning restrictions), what the jobs can be (no prostitution, recreational drugs, etc), what the jobs can pay (minimum wage), how long the jobs can last (labor regulations), and on and on.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Longtobefree,

    Saying that government regulates or licenses jobs does not invalidate what I said: that the ownership of those jobs rssides with the capitalists, the employers, and not "Americans" or some other group unrelated to who owns the capital and means of production.

    If you want to try to argue that jobs belong to "Americans" by virtue of existing or because you prefer Americans had those jobs, or for whatever other reason, be my guest. But dont use irrelevant arguments.

  • buybuydandavis||

    But like Mises said, the fact that my neighbor wants shows does not mean we're getting into a knife fight

    And if your neighbor wants blasphemy laws? Will beat your daughter if she leaves your home with her hair uncovered?

    It's just pathetic to have Libertarians, who struggle to sell Liberty to Americans, think they can sell it to people from cultures that do not and have never valued Liberty.

    Immigrants vote. Voting points the guns of government. Open borders puts that gun in the hands of people who don't value Liberty and points it at Americans. No thanks.

  • Cy||

    Every pro-open border poster keeps avoiding this point like the plague. It's so obvious, yet their ideology won't let them see it.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    In the process they would cruelly keep poor people in perpetual misery and political oppression by locking them out of America.

    So Americans have no right to demand their quality of life be protected - but foreigners do?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Richman doesn't live in a majority immigrant neighborhood, so he doesn't have to worry about it. Like a lot of open borders advocates, he's a "beep-boop magic_dirt.exe" autist that believes human society is a collection of industrialized cogs that just need the right environment will turn them into libertarians.

    They're the equivalent of the Colonel at the mass grave in Full Metal Jacket--"Inside every beaner is a libertarian, trying to get out."

  • chemjeff||

    So what is the alternative? Human beings are immutable unchanging pillars of stone who never change their views and are pre-ordained to believe whatever they are taught at birth forever and ever? Once a socialist, always a socialist? So there's no point to schools or education then. No one ever learns anything new as they grow older.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I'm not interested in turning the entire country into a macrocosm of my Hispanic relatives' shitty barrio, with all the unwarranted ethnic chauvinism and massive entitlement complex that accompanies it. You don't have to live or send your kids to school in these shitty enclaves, but as long as the people there act as a unobtrusive servant class for you (while agitating for increased gubmint handouts), nor live in your neighborhood, you don't have to give a damn.

  • chemjeff||

    "I'm not interested in turning the entire country into a macrocosm of my Hispanic relatives' shitty barrio, with all the unwarranted ethnic chauvinism and massive entitlement complex that accompanies it. "

    No, having a white trash trailer park ghetto with ethnic chauvinism and massive entitlement complex is SOO much better, amirite? /sarc

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    At least I know the white trash won't steal a bike off someone else's porch.

  • chemjeff||

    Wait, they won't? Are white trash just somehow superior to Mexican trash?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    It's okay, you live in a middle-class whiteopia, I could hardly expect you to understand.

  • chemjeff||

    You make a lot of assumptions about where I live. I can state on the basis of my own personal experience that a lot of white people don't really give much of a damn about private property rights either.

  • Mark22||

    So what is the alternative?

    The alternative is simple: as long as we life in a modern liberal social welfare state, we adopt the immigration policies that work for such states, which means fairly generous annual limits on total number of immigrants and prioritization based on skills and earning potential.

    If libertarians manage to scale back the social welfare state, then we can expand immigration accordingly. It's a simple, organic, incremental process. Only nutcases and demagogues talk about false the false dichotomy of "no immigration" and "open borders".

  • chemjeff||

    " as long as we life in a modern liberal social welfare state, we adopt the immigration policies that work for such states"

    Funny how the argument of "do it like they do things in Europe" doesn't seem to carry much water around here when it comes to virtually every other issue...

  • Azathoth!!||

    probably because we don't make the argument that we should do things the way they do them in Europe.

  • Tony||

    Demand from whom? Improve your own quality of life.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, we both know you want to steal the fruits of other men's labor to improve yours. Socialist piece of shit that you are.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

  • chemjeff||

    Bottom line: Either you believe in maximizing liberty for all, or you are only concerned with maximizing liberty for Americans, or even just yourself, and everyone else can fuck off.

    If you are genuinely interested in maximizing liberty for all, then *even with* the welfare state that we have, how is it better for individuals escaping e.g. Haiti, and who successfully make it here, for us to send them back to that hellhole of a country?

    But if you only give a damn about your own liberty, or the liberty of other Americans, then yeah, who gives a shit about the damn Haitians.

  • Mark22||

    If you are genuinely interested in maximizing liberty for all, then *even with* the welfare state that we have, how is it better for individuals escaping e.g. Haiti, and who successfully make it here, for us to send them back to that hellhole of a country?

    First, you're maximizing the liberty of Haitians by pointing a gun at my head and forcing me to pay for their migration to the US.

    Second, the people most likely to come to the US are the very people needed to change a place like Haiti from a shithole into a tolerable country; by supporting brain drain, you are not "maximizing liberty".

  • chemjeff||

    "First, you're maximizing the liberty of Haitians by pointing a gun at my head and forcing me to pay for their migration to the US."

    I said nothing at all about how these Haitians came to the US. Suppose they came here with zero government support at all, but without the proper papers. Would you still forcibly send them back? Answer: yes. So the whole cost argument is a red herring.

    "Second, the people most likely to come to the US are the very people needed to change a place like Haiti from a shithole into a tolerable country; by supporting brain drain, you are not "maximizing liberty"."

    So which are you more interested in, the people of Haiti, or the government of Haiti? Suppose these Haitian immigrants don't really give a damn about the government they are leaving behind and simply want better lives for themselves. What is so wrong about that? Why is it presumed that these Haitian immigrants have some patriotic duty to fix their government before attempting to make life personally better for themselves?

    You're regarding these immigrants as just "other people", who need to fix "their problems" before imposing upon you in any way, even in ways that don't affect your liberty whatsoever. That is, you don't really give a damn about them. Screw the Haitians! Liberty for me and to hell with thee!

  • Mark22||

    I said nothing at all about how these Haitians came to the US. Suppose they came here with zero government support at all, but without the proper papers. Would you still forcibly send them back? Answer: yes. So the whole cost argument is a red herring.

    It is impossible for anybody to come to the US with "zero government support at all, but without the proper papers". The only way you can have net zero government support is if you have an above median income and pay taxes, and you can only do that if you're in the country legally.

  • chemjeff||

    It is impossible for anybody to come to the US with "zero government support at all, but without the proper papers"

    Really? Tell that to the Mexicans crossing the desert on foot, or the Cubans crossing the Caribbean in boats. IF they make it here, they MAY receive government assistance, but the journey here itself did not involve any sort of government subsidization.

    Border restrictionists routinely want to deport illegals regardless of how they got here and regardless of who paid for their journey here. Is this not your position? Again the cost issue is a total red herring.

  • Mark22||

    Why is it presumed that these Haitian immigrants have some patriotic duty to fix their government before attempting to make life personally better for themselves?

    I'm not "presuming" any duties at all. You made an argument that letting more Haitians into the US "maximizes liberty for all", and I'm simply pointing out that that argument is wrong.

    That is, you don't really give a damn about them. Screw the Haitians! Liberty for me and to hell with thee!

    Nation states are like very large home owner's associations, where citizenship gives you joint ownership in the national assets. Haiti mismanaged those assets and membership in that association is worthless. The US has managed its assets well and hence membership in the US association is valuable.


    Ideally, we'd trade these "memberships" in a free market; that would be the libertarian solution. We don't have that, but we have something pretty close to it: if you have enough money or enough expected future earnings, you can immigrate to the US.


    What you want to do is give away shares in the US association freely, and as a joint owner, I object. My objection is perfectly consistent with libertarian principles.

  • chemjeff||

    Nation states are like very large home owner's associations, where citizenship gives you joint ownership in the national assets.

    No. You do not have any sort of joint ownership in government-owned assets. You have zero legal claim to any portion of any public property. (For that matter, HOA's don't give you joint ownership in the property of the association either. The property is owned by the HOA itself, not its members.)

    And I think you misunderstand my position. I do not favor instant citizenship for anyone arriving in country. I simply do not believe the state should interfere with the free association of individuals who were born on opposite sides of an imaginary line. If a Mexican wishes to work at an American place of employment, and both parties freely agree on terms for said employment, why should ANY third party get in the way? Not a closed-shop labor union boss, not a busybody minimum wage activist, not a Trumpian nationalist, and not the state either. Just let free people do their thing. It's not that hard. Don't be a busybody.

    As a general rule, we want businesses to be free to operate how they see fit, do we not? If an employer wants to refuse to hire atheists or Christians or Jews or blacks or whomever, even if we disagree with their choice, because it's *their property*. Why does this argument suddenly change if the potential employee is a Mexican?

  • Fk_Censorship||

    Who does the trading? The government? What about a privatized system where a private US citizen can sponsor anyone, at their own expense (and risk) to come legally to live and work in the US?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    The US government is responsible for protecting the rights of US citizens. Period. Not Haitians who don't have US citizenship.

  • JuanQPublic||

    That argument is like professing to support free speech, as long as it only applies to people we agree with. Not coincidentally, there are countless "progressives" who routinely practice that while denying they have a disdain for free speech.

    If one doesn't follow the principle that humans are entitled to liberty, only citizens within certain man-made borders, then liberty isn't one of their guiding principles, and they aren't fooling anyone with their arbitrary application of those principles. To do so is a direct contradiction.

    The truly principled don't look for exceptions to all their principles. They abide by them, even if it means resisting reflexive tendencies to obsess over other people's lives.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Bottom line: Either you believe in maximizing liberty for all, or you are only concerned with maximizing liberty for Americans, or even just yourself, and everyone else can fuck off.

    False dichotomy. I don't think in terms of maximizing liberty for sets of people, but for geographic areas. I'm for maximizing liberty in as many geographic areas as possible.

    Uncontrolled immigration into American territory makes it less free, while not increasing liberty anywhere else.

  • chemjeff||

    Are you serious? Piles of dirt do not possess liberty. Only human beings do.

  • JuanQPublic||

    "False dichotomy. I don't think in terms of maximizing liberty for sets of people, but for geographic areas."

    This is absurd.

    It's just another way to flout principle while attempting to abide by principle. It's a direct contradiction.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I don't believe in maximizing liberty for all. I am not everyone--I have no right to 'maximize' something for them that they may not want.

    I believe in maximizing liberty for those who want liberty and promoting the IDEA of liberty to those who are too unaware to want it yet. Once they want it, welcome aboard....if some don't ever want it, well, then kindly stay away.

    See? Not hard at all.

  • tommhan||

    Fuck everybody else.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Equating immigration policy with central planning ignores the proper role of democracy. It's the same thing with taxation--libertarians shouldn't oppose congress cutting taxes on principle because that smacks of central planning. No taxation without representation is actually a libertarian statement.

    We need to be careful not to conflate the appropriate place for representative democracy with central planning when we criticize wars, immigration policy, etc. There is a fundamental difference between opposing a particular war and saying that congress shouldn't have the power to declare any war. Likewise, there's a difference between saying I want open and legal immigration and saying that congress shouldn't have the power to set immigration policy.

    Setting immigration policy isn't central planning; it's an enumerated power of congress, listed in the same place with the power to declare war and the power to tax--as well it should be--because inflicting an unpopular immigration policy on the American people is like inflicting an unpopular war or them or an unpopular tax.

    The purpose of libertarianism is not to use the coercive power of government to inflict our favorite immigration policy on the American whether they want it or not. The purpose of libertarianism is to persuade our fellow Americans to insist on a more open immigration policy, etc. from their representatives. If you want to inflict your opinion on everyone else, go be a progressive or a communist.

  • mtrueman||

    " If you want to inflict your opinion on everyone else, go be a progressive or a communist."

    Libertarians want to inflict freedom on people, including the freedom of people to move as they want. Libertarians want to inflict free markets on people, and it's free markets which should be deciding who comes and goes, not government bureaucrats.

  • Tony||

    As long as the name of your policy contains the word "free," it's not an imposition. This I've learned.

    Henceforth my scheme for universal public healthcare shall be called Freedom Care.

  • Brian||

    Just call it "free healthcare." That's what everyone else does.

  • Mark22||

    You seem to think that a society in which the aristocracy is free and the peasants are subject to draconian rules is more free than a society in which both the aristocracy and the peasants are subject to draconian rule.

    Liberty doesn't work that way. Open borders with a progressive welfare state is not a more libertarian society than controlled immigration with a progressive welfare state.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Liberty does work that way.

    A little bit can go a long way and a little more is always better.

  • chemjeff||

    "Open borders with a progressive welfare state is not a more libertarian society than controlled immigration with a progressive welfare state."

    It's not?

    All else equal, permitting free migration of people is not more liberty-affirming than restricting free migration of people?

  • Mark22||

    All else equal, permitting free migration of people is not more liberty-affirming than restricting free migration of people?

    Correct. Just like removing, say, removing trade tariffs for a few big lobbyists is not more "liberty affirming" than imposing the same tariffs equally on everybody.

  • chemjeff||

    What? You're kidding, right?

    Even if tariffs were removed on just a few politically-connected companies for corrupt reasons, *it's still less state interference in trade* than if the same tariffs were imposed on everyone.

  • Cy||

    Choosing who wins and who loses is a far cry from freedom.

  • David Nolan||

    . Open borders with a progressive welfare state is not a more libertarian society than controlled immigration with a progressive welfare state.

    Only if you don't know that immigrants are far less likely to actually draw on the welfare state. On YOUR point, liberty would obviously do much better if we simply replaced all current welfare recipients with immigrants, an exaggeration to illustrate your fallacy.

    Or ... if modern libertarians actually knew how to replace the welfare state, instead of merely bitching about it.
    But that hasn't been true for over 20 years,.

  • Mark22||

    Only if you don't know that immigrants are far less likely to actually draw on the welfare state.

    First of all, you're conflating (1) legal immigrants, (2) illegal immigrants, and (3) the population of immigrants we would get if we opened borders. You cannot apply statistics derived from (1) to (2) or (3).

    Furthermore, I was talking about the progressive welfare state, not explicit welfare. Everybody who makes significantly below median income or who has a below median education "draws on the welfare state" even if they never receive any form of explicit welfare.

  • David Nolan||

    First of all, you're conflating (1) legal immigrants, (2) illegal immigrants, and (3) the population of immigrants we would get if we opened borders. You cannot apply statistics derived from (1) to (2) or (3)

    You said "controlled immigration," which is what we have now. And/or you don't know that legal immigrants are far less likely to be on government support.

    Furthermore, I was talking about the progressive welfare state, not explicit welfare.

    So was I.

    Everybody who makes significantly below median income or who has a below median education "draws on the welfare state" even if they never receive any form of explicit welfare.

    Only if you don't know what "draw on the welfare state" means.

  • JuanQPublic||

    "Open borders with a progressive welfare state"

    And no capital-L libertarian advocates for a welfare state, nor do they advocate for huge amounts of money to combat immigration.

    Nor do they like the state telling them, or the immigrants, when to pee.

    Modern progressives, nationalists, social
    conservatives, etc want everyone to ask their paternalistic/maternalistic government when they can go pee.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Ken Shultz,

    Equating immigration policy with central planning ignores the proper role of democracy.


    Sure, why not start the post about immigration with a Non Sequitur?

    Even if the policy decisions are democratic, based on a popular vote of 50 per cent plus one bigots against fifty per cent less one non-bigots, the decision has to be implemented against a market. It's central economic planning whether you like it or not.

    And I am not using the word bigot lightly, because it's impossible to have a population vote on every single economic decision possible, so decisions will be driven by politics, pettiness, envy and other base feelings. Again, whether you like it or not.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Even if the policy decisions are democratic, based on a popular vote of 50 per cent plus one bigots against fifty per cent less one non-bigots, the decision has to be implemented against a market."

    If the only decisions the government were allowed to make were those that didn't have any impact on markets in the real world, they wouldn't be allowed to make any decisions. We argue against policies all the time for having bad impacts on markets and advocate others because they're pro-market. That doesn't make libertarianism equal to central planning.

    I want low taxes collected in as voluntary a form as possible. If we're going to tax people, congress needs to be in charge of that.

    Wars have economic impacts, as well, and they should generally only be fought in cases of self-defense. Congress has made big mistakes on war policy in the past, but congress needs to be in charge of declaring war. Fighting wars that the American people oppose would be atrociously un-libertarian--regardless of whether fighting was has an impact on markets.

    Immigration has economic impacts, as well, and I'd like us to have an open borders treaty with Mexico, so that their citizens can come back and forth across our border without a visa at will--so long as they can show ID and we can confirm independently that they aren't convicted criminals, have been immunized against certain diseases, etc.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Is letting Mexicans come back and forth across the border central planning because it has an economic impact? The answer is no. Lifting barriers to entry is pro-free market, not central planning. However, imposing some system like that on the American people against their will is authoritarian--even if it isn't central planning. We need to persuade our fellow Americans to want that system--not condemn democracy for being in its proper place.

    If the government has any legitimate responsibilities at all, it's to protect our rights. Immigration policy should reflect that and respect the First and Fourth Amendment rights of immigrants--legal or otherwise. But that doesn't mean that the American people shouldn't have a say and who and how many people can come across our borders through their representatives in congress. And there isn't anything like central planning about that. It's just democracy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If the government has any legitimate responsibilities at all, it's to protect our rights. Immigration policy should reflect that and respect the First and Four[teenth] Amendment rights of immigrants--legal or otherwise."

    Fixed!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Equating immigration policy with central planning ignores the proper role of democracy.

    But for anarchists, there is no proper role for democracy, or government.

    Representative government should represent the people governed, and not appoint itself the keepers of everyone, everywhere. The responsibility of the US government is to US citizens.

  • Robert||

    The US libertarians I've heard interested in what you're calling engrg. focus on the point you dismissed quickly in the next-to-last para., Sheldon: concern that immigrants from some places will infuse America w more authoritarianism. David Brudnoy was one who said that. I can't dismiiss that concern so easily, although I can think of reasons it might be wrong.

    One reason is that immigrants to the USA come for the freedom, so they're more likely to infuse the culture w libertarianism than authoritarianism, even if they come from authoritarian countries or societies. But that might not be the case from everywhere, or even on avg.

    Another is that even if they carry authoritarianism w them, the carry it away from where they were, so the net libertarian-authoritarian balance worldwide remains the same. Of course then it still might be the selfish concern of American libertarians, but also there may be dynamics such that the loss of persons from an authoritarian milieu doesn't diminish its authoritarianism; not sure how that works.

    People say there's evidence within the USA in the form of interstate migration, such as Massholes bringing authoritarianism to NH, or Californicators taking it to Texas.

  • mtrueman||

    "concern that immigrants from some places will infuse America w more authoritarianism"

    God forbid that when immigrants move, they bring their goods and ideas along with them! We Libertarians have to take a stand against such effrontery.

  • Azathoth!!||

    We do.

    What happens when Dave Libertarian, hewing to the perfection of his principles, is suddenly surrounded by a thousand Joe Authoritarians.

    Where, in that scenario, is the victory for libertarianism?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    immigrants to the USA come for the freedom

    1. I know it's true for SOME immigrants, but no evidence it's true of all or even most. Giant red blinking [citation needed].

    2. Even if they do have that motivation, they could still unintentionally cause freedom to be diminished. Thousands of Maryland Democrats move to Virginia every year to escape MD's taxes and regulations, but then continue to vote for Democrats who raise taxes and increase regulations in VA.

  • Tony||

    I'd throw a bone to the "libertarians" who conveniently manage to find a legitimate use for the jackboot of the state when it means keeping brown people out of their neighborhoods: Even doing nothing and letting people cross borders freely, or doing nothing and preserving the status quo, is an active policy choice with consequences, not necessarily resulting in more or less freedom than another choice.

    Same as with anything else, there is no true laissez-faire option. There's just equating political laziness to freedom.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I'd throw a bone to the "libertarians" who conveniently manage to find a legitimate use for the jackboot of the state when it means keeping brown people out of their neighborhoods

    I'm not interested in having more people like my hard-left Hispanic relatives in this country, its true.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Red Rocks Baitingn Inciting,

    I'm pretty sure the ladies of the Temperance Party didn't want their husbands to get drunk but even that does not justify alcohol prohibition. Neither does your fear of "hard-left Hispanic relatives".

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I'm pretty sure the ladies of the Temperance Party didn't want their husbands to get drunk but even that does not justify alcohol prohibition

    You do realize that 1) Prohibition's been repealed for about 80 years, and 2) even at that, there are laws regarding alcohol purchase and consumption?

    What do you believe is the "proper" age for someone to begin drinking? If you believe there should be no restrictions at all on alcohol use, then at least you can claim a stupid sort of consistency. But acting as if any restrictions on immigration is tyranny is an intellectually dull stance to take, given human history.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting,

    1) Prohibition's been repealed for about 80 years


    You seem to be predisposed to missing the point.

    Here, let me help you:

    IT WAS STILL AN IMMORAL PROHIBITION.

    What do you believe is the "proper" age for someone to begin drinking?


    My feelings about when should someone taste alcohol for the first time do not serve to support a policy on alcohol drinking. Don't you agree?

    So what makes YOU think YOUR fears and hangups should be taken into consideration for anything? Who the fuck are you, anyway?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    You seem to be predisposed to missing the point.

    The point was stupid. You cited a long-dead law while ignoring the numerous other laws that are already in place regarding restrictions on alcohol purchase and abuse.

    My feelings about when should someone taste alcohol for the first time do not serve to support a policy on alcohol drinking. Don't you agree?

    Oh, so it's not a big deal to let a five-year-old get passed out drunk on a nightly basis? Are you that dense to think that any cohesive society isn't going to start making laws that restrict certain activities, whatever they may be, because they'll be deemed degrading to good order and community trust?

    So what makes YOU think YOUR fears and hangups should be taken into consideration for anything? Who the fuck are you, anyway?

    Someone who'd rather not see the United States become Central and South America. Of course, you could always visit one of our nation's Indian reservations and ask them how they feel about the mass immigration of a foreign culture. Make sure to mock them about their "fears and hangups," too, I'm sure they'll be extremely sympathetic.

  • chemjeff||

    start making laws that restrict certain activities, whatever they may be, because they'll be deemed degrading to good order and community trust?

    Are you seriously arguing this position on a libertarian website? Seriously?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Are you seriously arguing this position on a libertarian website? Seriously?

    It's okay. You're too fucking dense to understand how human society works.

  • chemjeff||

    Just as an aside. Do you realize that most countries in Europe do not have a legal drinking age? So in most of Europe, it is completely legal for a 5-year-old to get passed out drunk.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    So in most of Europe, it is completely legal for a 5-year-old to get passed out drunk.

    In most of Europe, there are restrictions on purchasing alcohol.

    Nice own-goal there.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    And judging by Europe's low alcoholism death rates, it must be really, really effec-

    -oh, no, wait, they all have equal or higher rates of alcoholism-related death than we do... Huh. But that would indicate that households in Europe have the same rate of alcohol possession in irresponsible parents' households that we do... Huh, indeed.

  • chemjeff||

    "In most of Europe, there are restrictions on purchasing alcohol."

    Yes, there are. But unlike in most places here, it is LEGAL for a 5-year-old to CONSUME alcohol.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Yes, there are. But unlike in most places here, it is LEGAL for a 5-year-old to CONSUME alcohol.

    And it also demonstrates that Europe is hardly a libertarian paradise when it comes to that. They've clearly set an arbitrary limit on when someone can buy alcohol because the social norm is that only adults are going to be consuming it on a regular basis.

  • chemjeff||

    "So what makes YOU think YOUR fears and hangups should be taken into consideration for anything? Who the fuck are you, anyway?"

    See, Red Rocks has personal experience. And as we know, in the age of SJWism and Trumpism, personal experience trumps statistics, economics, reason, principles and logic.

    If you would only live in a Hispanic neighborhood, you would learn to hate Hispanics just as much as I do! This is supposed to be a persuasive argument?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Go ahead. Buy a house in the barrio and see how long your open borders fetish lasts. Or do you, like most progressives, love diversity at a distance?

  • Tony||

    Maybe the point is that you can be in favor of big-government means to further white nationalist end, but not while calling yourself a libertarian.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Maybe the point is that you can be in favor of big-government means to further white nationalist end, but not while calling yourself a libertarian.

    This sort of thing has been going on since 1790, during a period that your kind believes was a dystopian libertarian nightmare.

  • chemjeff||

    You know, a long time ago - back when I still considered myself a Republican - a liberal friend of mine tried the whole "personal experience" appeal with me. He said, "If you only lived in the poor neighborhoods of Chicago, you would become a bleeding heart liberal like me, and support welfare for the poor!" He was wrong then with his appeal, and you are wrong now with your appeal. Personal experience does not change the fundamental unjustness of welfare, and personal experience does not change the fundamental unjustness of wanting to take away people's liberties.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Personal experience does not change the fundamental unjustness of welfare, and personal experience does not change the fundamental unjustness of wanting to take away people's liberties.

    There's nothing unjust about a nation deciding who will be allowed to settle there. There's no such thing as magic dirt.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're wasting your time with that one Red. He's a zealot, and not capable of honest cognition on this subject. I have an acquaintance that is like that about religion. His hatred of all religion prevents him from having any kind of logical discussion when religion is involved in any way.

  • mtrueman||

    Who better than the government at maintaining the purity of our sacred soil? We certainly can't trust the free market to arbitrate on such matters.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nukes for everybody, because obviously we can't trust government with them.

  • mtrueman||

    You trust government more than I do.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    If nukes didn't cost a billion a pop, "Nuke Control" wouldn't work either. Don't confuse a natural monopoly with an artificial one.

    If nukes were legal, there wouldn't be any more nuclear detonations than there are now: regular citizens and small-to-large NGOs couldn't afford them, and nation-states would be too scared to.

    And while large NGOs probably could, most- like UNICEF or the Sinaloa Cartel- would find them more trouble than they're worth. And as to Al-Qaeda or ISIS... Well, have you ever read about how weak India and Pakistan's protections around their arsenals are? Or that time Russia left a half-dozen ICBMs in a sub dock completely unattended for 20 years?

    There will be a nuclear terrorist attack in the next century. The laws will not stop it.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Live in a majority Hispanic neighborhood for a while and get back to me.

  • chemjeff||

    Because tens of millions of immigrants are all just like Red Rocks' relatives.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Yeah, pretty much given their voting patterns and political causes. Sorry those facts are inconvenient for you.

  • chemjeff||

    So you're a cynical collectivist who is bigoted against Hispanics because of your personal and emotional connection to immigration. Does that about sum it up? Why exactly should we be taking our cues on immigration on this basis?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You sound just like Tony. Dissent and you're a racist.

    The fact is that keeping out millions of indigents that largely vote for people like Maxine Waters and go on the dole is just good thinking.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    So you're a cynical collectivist who is bigoted against Hispanics because of your personal and emotional connection to immigration.

    The personal experience just underscores the socio-economic realities. Too bad you're in complete denial about the latter.

    Who's more racist, someone who's actually lived in, blood-bonded to, and knows the community, or someone who projects their own ideals onto people who hate their guts?

    Because make no mistake, dipshit, the Hispanic community hates your white ass.

  • Tony||

    "People with different political beliefs than mine shouldn't have the same freedoms as those who do."

    Even without accusations of racism it sounds pretty bad, huh?

  • buybuydandavis||

    The issue is not that I don't think they should have freedom, but they don't think they should have freedom, and they don't think I should either.

    That's the problem. They want to take my freedom. I don't want that.

  • chemjeff||

    IF and WHEN someone tries to take your liberty away, whoever that person is, I will be the first one to stand up for you and push back against depriving you of your liberty.

    But trying to take away people's freedoms on mere SUSPICION that they MAY take away your liberty is not just. That is the thinking of the panopticon security state. If you like the government spying on you, then you'll LOVE buybuy's newsletter!

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Even without accusations of racism it sounds pretty bad, huh?

    Sure, if Hispanics themselves didn't have a history of voting based on ethnic identity and self-interest.

    Shit, even in relatively blue New Mexico, a Republican governor was elected in no small part because she was Latino and her opponent was white.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The Cult of the Anecdote is alive and well, it seems.

    As is the capacity of certain people to refer to groups of people as collectives, while extolling the benefits of Anglo-Saxon individualism, *with no sense of irony*.

  • chemjeff||

    You are the one making negative generalizations about an entire category of people based on race, according to your necessarily limited interactions with just a few members belonging to that category.

    I am not actually projecting any ideals onto anyone. I don't claim that Hispanics as a group are either angels or devils. They are human beings, just like everyone else, and like all human beings, some are decent people, and some are downright scumballs. According to your own testimony, it sounds like your Hispanic relatives fall into the latter classification. I'm genuinely sorry to hear that. But your personal experience alone has no business forming the basis of any rational argument regarding immigration. It would be no different than me trying to argue for banning immigration from Canada because "I once met a Marxist from Toronto who was an awful person", or even "My in-laws are all crazy Quebecois separatists who are dangerous and nuts!" Not every single person in Canada is a Toronto Marxist or a Quebecois nutter, and not every single person in Mexico is like your Hispanic relatives.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    But your personal experience alone has no business forming the basis of any rational argument regarding immigration.

    Fine. Then let's use data instead.

    In the last 15 years in the Denver area, particularly in places like north Aurora, the rate of free/reduced lunches in schools has grown in a near correlation with the number of Hispanic kids attending those schools (you can pull the stats up on schooldigger.com). And it's not just the issue of food welfare, which is just as symptom--because they're told by Hispanic race-hustlers that they're entitled to government largesse due to white oppression, they expect some bureaucrat to snap their fingers and magically turn every child in these dysfunctional communities into upper-middle-class wage earners with a college degree. We all know that's not how real life works.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    And that's the problem with the open-borders shibboleth when extolled by libertarians. It presumes that everyone is simply looking to increase their personal liberty. But it doesn't work in a world where people instinctively group themselves according to ethnic and cultural commonalities. Sooner or later, one culture becomes dominant over the other when an immigrant population reaches critical mass over the one already living there--our own nation's history being evidence enough of this in action. And when one culture has a history of combining ethnic solidarity with socialist political ideology, it shows the presumption that open borders will naturally foster libertarianism is just question-begging.

    The mere fact that a lot of commenters on this board complain about the cultural effect of Californians and New Yorkers/Massholes migrating to red states, and the subsequent changes in voting patterns that occur when it happens, ought to be evidence enough of this dynamic in action. And this is just internal migration, not foreign.

    To deny that socialist-sympathetic immigrants won't do the same is sheer naivety. It's not exactly an accident that progressives have been at the forefront of demanding more Hispanic immigration--if these populations were known for supporting free-market ideologies rather than socialism, do you really think that Democrats would want open borders, or would they be demanding a wall bigger than Trump's?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Again we see the Right-leaning libertarian's presumption that the Republican party is more inclined to liberty than the Democratic party.

    It is not. Commenters here complain about Mass/Cali immigrants because those immigrants reduce liberty *for those commenters*: eg, old straight white men. They bring gun control, higher taxes, higher regulation and all the other Left-wing tyrannies. But they ALSO bring greater liberty for those who are *not* straight white men: abortion access. Marijuana legalization. Gay marriage. Resistance to the surveillance state. Reining in cops in minority neighborhoods.

    And, yeah, I know what you're about to say: "Democrats ban marijuana and fuck with minorities too!". And yeah, they do. But you know what? Sometimes Republicans raise government spending and support protectionism too. Sometimes they even vote for gun control. And sometimes it's even old white male voters driving them to do so.

    Heck, sometimes they even knock water bottles out of dying illegal immigrants' hands in the desert and then have the gall to call it "defending liberty".

    That actually happened, you know. It was in an article here a few weeks ago.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Again we see the Right-leaning libertarian's presumption that the Republican party is more inclined to liberty than the Democratic party.

    You don't have to vote Democrat to limit liberties rather than Republican. But it helps.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    No it doesn't. The Right is AS TYRANNICAL as the Left.

    You are simply blinded to this, because, I'm just going out on a limb here, you are white, male, straight and Christian: eg, the group that the Left loves to tyrannize. And so you think of the Left as tyrannical, because that is the only part of the Left you ever see: the pointy end.

    If you were a black kid, an unintentionally pregnant woman, a native-born Hispanic pulled over because a cop thought he was an illegal, or a 3-year-old in a mud hut in the Pakistani Tribal Region, you would know first hand that the Apparatus of State is just as horrible a leviathan, its strength just as hideous, when it is wielded by a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant male.

    I note you also avoid addressing what Jeff Sessions's DoJ has been doing to immigrant aid groups.

  • chemjeff||

    "It presumes that everyone is simply looking to increase their personal liberty."

    Because it defies belief that illegals would risk deprivation and incarceration for the specific purpose of wanting to stick it to Red Rocks.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Because it defies belief that illegals would risk deprivation and incarceration for the specific purpose of wanting to stick it to Red Rocks.

    You can go on remaining in denial about the political ideologies and ethnic solidarity of Hispanics. But the facts don't lie.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Most rural white men voted for Trump.

    Given Trump and his cronies' statist attitudes towards asset forfeiture, drug usage, free trade, single-payer healthcare, and surveillance, clearly rural white males are culturally inclined to statism.

    This is especially true given the Republican party's history of starting the Iraq War, passing the Patriot Act and beginning mass surveillance, significantly increasing federal spending and passing No Child Left Behind during the Bush Administration, initiating the Drug War and allowing George H. W. Bush's gun control EO, and vigorously opposing even moderate abortion laws.

    Clearly white male immigration will need to be heavily restricted, if the Republic Is To Persist.

    Along with every single other group ever. The only way to eliminate the Statist Impulse from the American populace is to KILL EVERYONE.

  • buybuydandavis||

    However much you want to complain about white males in America, they support freedom more than any major demographic in the world.

    There is no Libertarian population anywhere. But people are still more or less libertarian. And white males in America are about as good as it gets for promoting and protecting Liberty.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    No they are not. Or, more accurately: no WE are not.

    Your entire argument is a Spotlight Fallacy.

    In the past, OFWG-WASPs were responsible for Slavery, Jim Crow, and, for that matter, almost all of the Left-socialist initiatives of the 20th century.

    But even if you arbitrarily rule all that out, our *current* crop of OFWG-WASPs is primarily responsible for the continued advocacy of asset forfeiture, the Drug War in general, stop and frisk, mandatory minimums, suspicion of private encryption, restrictions on first-term abortion, mass surveillance, and last but most lethal, the ongoing, entirely pointless Droning of Waziristan.

    Plus that whole "giant publically-funded wall" thing.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Slavery is an institution that predates white, Anglo-Saxon, and protestant.

    It's fail right from the start for you.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I thought it was quite clear from the context that I was talking about slavery *in the United States specifically*. Or did you think I was blaming WASPs for Maoist socialism's failures too?

    I was in no way implying that white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, cis-het males are UNIQUELY inclined to tyranny. That is what Leftists do, and I am as vociferously opposed to Left-Wing Socialists like Tony as I am to Right-Wing Socialists (Nationalists) like you.

    The truth is that there are THREE sides: those who believe OFWASPGs are uniquely tyrannical (Leftists); those who believe *everyone but OFWASPGs* are uniquely tyrannical (You, Red Rocks, Right-Wingers); and those who believe that *everyone* is *equally* inclined to tyranny (Me, Chemjeff, Reason Staff).

    TL;DR:
    We. Are. All. Equally. Evil.

  • Tony||

    "Only people who share my political views should be free."

  • chemjeff||

    From my reading, this unfortunately sounds a lot like "thick" libertarianism or "Hoppe-ian" libertarianism. Liberty is reserved only for those willing to pledge allegiance to it. That is wrong in my view. Liberty is the birthright of every human being who has ever lived, whether they willingly embrace it or not.

  • buybuydandavis||

    But some people have no interest in claiming that birthright, while they do have an interest in claiming yours.

  • Tony||

    And we must build walls around such people.

  • Tony||

    You know, for freedom.

  • Brian||

    "Even doing nothing and letting people cross borders freely, or doing nothing and preserving the status quo, is an active policy choice with consequences, not necessarily resulting in more or less freedom than another choice."

    Actually, that's completely not true: letting people cross the boarders freely would, necessarily, result in more freedom.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The Tony Motto:

    Because Government *Not* Shooting You In The Head Is Just As Much An Intervention As Government *Shooting* You In The Head.

  • Tony||

    Given a scenario in which the choice is presented, it's equally much a choice, don't you think?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    But the results are not.

  • ||

    It's ludicrous nonsense that some policy choices don't result in more freedom than others.

  • ||

    So, by your logic, all choices are result in equal amounts of freedom. So why not have a totalitarian dictatorship? All policy choices are active choices with consequences not necessarily resulting in more or less freedom. Bring on the gulags, it's all the same to me.

  • JakeLenihan||

    It's phrases like this that always make me wonder if I'm really more libertarian than liberal:

    "Why can't they be trusted, without the direction of politicians, to decide for themselves what they need and to engage in social cooperation—that is, among other things, to trade goods and services—to obtain it"

    Because if you do that, the 2008 financial collapse happens.

    Or is the argument that occasional disasters are a necessary part of a truly free economy, IE it would naturally self correct over time if left unregulated to the point where the disasters became fewer and farther between?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    No, it doesn't happen, because that entire housing crisis was the result of government trying to lean on real estate companies so that everyone could buy a house (NINJA loans anybody?), IIRC. I'm sure other commenters could do a better job of explaining it (my knowledge of the 08 crisis is limited).

    You are confusing crony capitalism with free market capitalism.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Agreed, as usual it was government and not lack of government that created the crisis. And then of course their solution was terrible.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I would agree to keep the social engineers out of things and just let people be free. That works both ways. It appears that the pro-immigration social engineers in Europe are doing more harm than the anti-immigration social engineers here.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Of course if Europe allowed the immigrants that they are shipping in like cattle to actually participate in the economy as opposed to regulating them to ghettos due to their cumbersome and protectionist labor laws things would be better on that front for them.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They would still have to deal with their political correctness preventing them from dealing with the criminal elements though.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Would be great to post all that in one comment. Need to really look at how your submit and preview buttons show up inside of the text boxes and then disappear altogether when using Android on a phone.

  • Woodchipper of the Apocalypse||

    QUESTION: So is open borders like the minimum wage, where some arbitrary ceiling should be set? Why $15 when you can do $50, or $100? If Robert Mugabe packed the entire population Zimbabwe onto a massive naval flotilla and arrived at Ellis Island, do we hand them all a US Passport and a mini-Constitution?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm not sure that is the best comparison but I get what your saying. I've wondered the same thing. Is there an annual number that would cause an overload of the infrastructure or massive unrest. I suspect there probably is but that we're pretty far away from it. Interesting thing to

  • AlmightyJB||

    Interesting thing to me is that many of the border state governments seem to not think it's an issue and certainly they see the greatest impact from it. There is plenty of space here. Would be a lot more if the Feds stopped hoarding all of that land out west.

  • Woodchipper of the Apocalypse||

    Yeah, maybe not the best comparison. Especially since Richman was arguing for immigration for it's own sake, and against it for the good of the economy. But the latter seems to be brought up on reason a lot, or at least in the comments among the pro-open-borders folk.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think it's a good question. Even though Shikha never addresses it directly in her post. I read some response she wrote to someone that seemed to indicate that she accepted at least the concept of a limit. Not sure if she meant to. Wish I had the link. It may never even be an issue but it's still worthy of consideration.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    A. Open Borders does not *have* to mean Open Citizenship.

    B. Open Borders does not *have* to mean Free Stuff.

    Obviously, Europe is an example of what happens when you combine those 3 things (along with #4, Mass Disarmament). But you know what? America is an example of what happens when you combine "Free-Market Healthcare" with "FDA Regulation" and "Frivolous Lawsuits".

    A libertarian should be able to understand that the solution is always to eliminate what government intervention remains in the system, not to try to fix the problem with more of the initiated violence that was its progenitor.

  • chemjeff||

    Yes!

    Just let free people do their thing. This isn't all that complicated. We advocate for free people doing their thing in virtually every other sphere of life. But when it comes to immigration, suddenly there's this huge blind spot.

  • Woodchipper of the Apocalypse||

    A. Open Borders does not *have* to mean Open Citizenship.

    B. Open Borders does not *have* to mean Free Stuff.

    It doesn't have to, but it will! Do you think our political overlords are interested in the free movement of people and capital? They want voters and are willing to buy them at tax payer expense.

  • chemjeff||

    "Do you think our political overlords are interested in the free movement of people and capital?"

    No of course not, but we should be. Should we not advocate for what we believe is the correct position because those in positions of power might not act in the most honorable manner?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Repealing the Fourth Amendment does not *have* to mean Police Searching Your Home Every Day And Installing Cameras in Every Room.

    Still probably not a good idea.

    the solution is always to eliminate what government intervention remains in the system, not to try to fix the problem with more of the initiated violence that was its progenitor.

    That solution is not anywhere near viable in this environment. You have to support policies in view of the political landscape you have, not the one you wish you had.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Heroin needs to be legalized too, you know. Try that one on the general populace right now. "Political viability" is a question for congressmen and campaign managers, not human beings.

    Besides, it wouldn't actually be that complicated. The only thing that would be required for "Open Borders" would essentially be a Shall-Issue Green Card program: you keep the existing, laborious process for people who want to become citizens, and everybody else with a passport is free to travel and live here, as guest workers or residents, while remaining non-citizens, and thus ineligible for non-emergency services and voting.

    That is, of course, the only way an Open Borders bill could possibly pass anyway. So it is sort of a given that welfare mooching and vote-buying wouldn't be a problem.

    We can make it an omnibus with the DEA Dismantlement Act and Social Security Privatization Act...

    ...unless you'd just like us to give up on *every other* libertarian dream that can't realistically be passed in the next 25 years. This is all predictive.

  • chemjeff||

    "You have to support policies in view of the political landscape you have, not the one you wish you had."

    Yes when it comes to policies you wish to advocate. But not when it comes to the underlying idea, and the eventual goal. Our principles and our beliefs should not be dictated by whichever sad bunch of assholes happens to be in charge.

    So as a practical matter, no, abolishing all immigration laws instantly is not going to fly with the larger public, I agree. But the practical challenges should not get in the way of our eventual goals.

  • buybuydandavis||

    A. Open Borders does not *have* to mean Open Citizenship.

    Which means a society with a permanent population of second class uncitizens.

    Some people are eager for that. The citizens do get some benefits, and least temporarily. It's not like it hasn't been done.

    But I'm not eager for it.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Nobody said the foreign residents would be ineligible for citizenship. They would just have to earn it the long hard way.

    We would also probably have to end birthright citizenship, but there would still be an expedited process for foreign residents' children to become citizens, so it wouldn't create a "permanent underclass", either. Any non-citizen's kid that grows up mostly in the US, and doesn't commit any crimes, get citizenship at 18. But even if they're disqualified from automatic citizenship, they still have the normal citizenship process available, and are not ejected regardless.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Woodchipper of the Apocalypse,

    So is open borders like the minimum wage, where some arbitrary ceiling should be set?


    Minimum wage is a price floor. It's intervention. Open borders means NO floors or ceilings except those indicated by market forces.

    If Robert Mugabe decided to place the entire population of Zimbabwe onto boats, there wouldn't be enough shipping to move goods. I do have to wonder about what kind of mind comes up with these analogies where people from the continent of Africa are always portrayed as undesirable invaders...

  • Woodchipper of the Apocalypse||

    I do have to wonder about what kind of mind comes up with these analogies where people from the continent of Africa are always portrayed as undesirable invaders...

    Africa gets used a lot in these analogies generally because of the abject poverty that is widespread on that continent.

    Just kidding, it's because everyone who disagrees with you a racist, as you're clearly implying.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Not just poverty, but political corruption and incompetence.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Second point:

    Q: What is the "free-market solution" if the entire population of America voluntarily chooses to get drunk, get in their car, and engage in a nation-wide series of carnage-heavy demolition derbies, all held in playgrounds, kid soccer stadiums and other venues with large crowds of unprotected children present?

    Statist Answer: Alcohol Prohibition! Cash For Clunkers! Derby-Free Zones!

    Libertarian Answer: there isn't one, because *that will never happen*.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Not to the people here. If all 7 plus billion people decided to come here all at once, they would have every right to do so according to Chemjeff and the like. Because they're 'free'.

    To them, citizenship means nothing. we're all just territorial residents.

  • chemjeff||

    Read my statement above. I don't actually favor instant citizenship for everyone who comes here. All I am arguing in favor is for the state to not interfere in the free choices made by individuals separated by imaginary border lines. If an American wants to hire a Mexican, or vice-versa, for whatever employment terms that both sides agree to freely, then LET THEM. Why should you or I or anyone else have a say in the matter?

  • buybuydandavis||

    If I want to have an uncitizen indentured servant, and he agrees because being my servant allows him to live in the US, who is anyone else to complain?

  • ||

    How about if you just want to hire a foreigner on normal terms of employment. Is that okay with you?

  • chemjeff||

    Oh this is too funny. Now buybuy starts channeling his inner social justice activist and starts declaring some employment arrangements to be unjust based on his subjective third-party determination.

    How about this instead: Free people should have the liberty to engage in whatever contractual relationship that they wish so long as you are not directly harmed. Sound good?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Free people should have the liberty to engage in whatever contractual relationship that they wish except getting together and declaring that what is on this side of the border is theirs and they get to decide who comes in.

    Because that's rayciss!

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    And if they decide that there will be no guns or drugs in that "land that is theirs"?

    Or that there will be private accumulation of wealth within it?

    After all, you said it: it's "their land", right? And if "they" own it, who is to tell them what to do with the land "they" own?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    *be NO private accumulation

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I'd like to just address one thing, which always seems to come up in these threads:

    The "Fall of Rome" analogy. Specifically, the part about it being a bad thing, somehow.

    Why are libertarians evidently to mourn the fall of one of the most warmongering, imperialistic, crony-capitalist, and above all else slave-holding empires of the era?

    That is not to say history should judge Rome to be worse than other nations of the period. It was also racially tolerant and technologically advanced and such. But the Barbarians could not be said to be much different, when one balances Rome's advances against the systemic tyranny they brought.

    And those technological advances did not require their suzerainty to maintain: the term "Dark Ages" has now been rejected by most historians- the period between the Fall of Rome and the Crusades brought as many advances as it lost (stirrups, for example).

    This really illustrates the presumption of the "Libertarian Nationalist": that They Alone Can Bear the torch of Liberty. But the West gave rise to Marxism and Fascism as much as it did Libertarianism.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    The "Fall of Rome" analogy. Specifically, the part about it being a bad thing, somehow.


    The argument that Rome fell because of "open borders" is one I believe was peddled by Bionic Mosquito, who became INSANE the moment Trump announced his candidacy by asserting that more than half of immigrants from Mexico are criminals, drug traffickers and rapists, with "some, I assume, being good people".

    But many were quick to point out to BM that Rome fell because it couldn't expand militarily beyond the Rhine and Parthia and so was unable to plunder any more from her neighbors.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Why are libertarians evidently to mourn the fall of one of the most warmongering, imperialistic, crony-capitalist, and above all else slave-holding empires of the era?

    Because the alternatives are worse.

    You think a world run by the Chinese Politburo will be more free?

  • mtrueman||

    "You think a world run by the Chinese Politburo will be more free?"

    On paper, no. In practice, yes maybe. Chinese tend to ignore government as much as possible. That's perhaps a consequence of living in a land where pretty much everything is illegal. Unlike Americans who turn to their government when they need help, Chinese rely on their families. If only we were to adopt Chinese attitudes, we may well have more freedom. The government would also be afraid of us, too.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I wasn't referring to the United States. I was referring to the *actual* Roman Empire.

    The United States of America is an order of magnitude freer than the Roman Empire...

    ...just as Mexican and Chinese immigrants are an order of magnitude less inclined to tyranny than the Barbarians were.

    Naturally, I'm sure you disagree with that. But you are wrong. Immigrants self-select as less criminal and more entrepreneurial than the countries they leave.

    Think of it this way: if someone in Mexico wants to commit crime with abandon, and rent-seek with the local bureaucrats to make money... WHY WOULD HE EVER LEAVE?

  • buybuydandavis||

  • David Nolan||

    Richman spent his entire time here ranting against central planning and social engineering, preaching buzzwords to the choir, while displaying near-total ignorance of the issue. Immigration. For example, nobody on the planet argues about labor force needs in the 2020s, only about current needs. That doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, but it shows that Richman doesn't either.

    Yes, markets expand and adjust, but Richman has only slogans and soundbites on how that works. Progressives have been kicking our butt for decades on taxes, healthcare and the economy, and now it's also the Trumpsters (who are faux conservatives).

    But it is so very comfortable in our own tribal bubble, right? We have libtards, contards and libertards, but no champions of individual liberty. Sad!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    David, expecting anything insightful from Sheldon is pointless. You will never get that from him.

  • David Nolan||

    I've noticed that. For several years now!

  • posmoo||

    The u.s. government can't obtain immigration rights for United States citizens when it unilaterally gives up immigration to foreign national freely, it's greatest bargaining chip.

    Why are the writers always so concerned that everyone in the world have access to America but don't give a whit that any American citizen have access to immigrate anywhere else? It's a very one-sided open border equation, and it makes me think they are more interested in social engineering than anyone else.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    This is actually an angle that doesn't get covered nearly enough.

    I would never support an Open Borders agreement with a country without 100% reciprocity.

  • buybuydandavis||

    If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders

    Opening the border is social engineering.

    Thanks for playing.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Don't any of you find it odd that Libertarianism--the ideology that is the bastion of individualism, personal freedom and responsibility, private property-- and protected private property at that has one of the basic planks of international socialism--an anti-private property tenet as a supposedly core belief?

    Don't any of you find that strange?

    It's almost as if someone wanted to have libertarians support a position in which they would advocate for the minimalization of their already minimal voice.

  • HTuttle||

    Peace through Dhimmitude.

    Morons like this actually believe that will be a GOOD thing.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Immigration Brings Out the Social Engineers
    If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.

    Let's face it.
    We need the social engineers because all us little people are so unenlightened and need the wisdom and prudence of those who spent their entire meaningless live hiding in some ivory tower of academia studying a bunch of worthless shit.
    How else is our oppressive capitalist society going to evolve into a glorious socialist slave state?

  • Peter Schaeffer||

    Real libertarians oppose illegal immigration, and some legal immigration, because more immigrants means higher taxes, more welfare, and more left-wing politics. In you claim to be a libertarian and support Open Borders, you are just lying. You really believe in Open Borders, not limited government. Like it or not illegals bring Big Government with them. A few quotes should make this clear.


    "It's just obvious you can't have free immigration and a welfare state" - Milton Friedman


    "There's also been a lot of fake fog thrown into the the question of whether immigrants pay their way in the welfare state. It's time for some sanity in this matter as well. The welfare state is specifically designed to transfer resources from higher-income to lower-income persons. Immigrants fall disproportionately into the bottom part of the income distribution. It is downright ridiculous to claim that low-skill immigrants somehow end up being net contributors into the public treasury." - George Borjas (America's leading immigration economist)


    One often-heard justification for ignoring that contradiction (the welfare state vs. Open Borders) is that "it's better to build a wall around the welfare state than build a wall around the country." My reaction to that statement has always been: Which parallel universe are these people living in? - George Borjas (America's leading immigration economist)

  • Peter Schaeffer||

    Importing welfare-dependent immigrants is fiscally responsible? Fake news at its best.


    The sad truth is that Reason has ceased to be a libertarian/limited government advocate. In the real world, our nation can have limited government, or it can have Open Borders. It can not have both.


    Reason has chosen Open Borders over limited government. Just the facts.

  • Orf||

    This is another ignorant essay like Sullum often writes. You rich elites have walls around your places but the rest of us are not allowed to have walls around all of America, the country everyone else wants to live it. No way, Jose! Why can't you people on the misnamed Reason understand that millions of Americans are out of work and you think it is OK to allow millions more of illegal aliens to flood the country and destroy the economy by leeching off the government?

  • Myk||

    There's a reason no country in the world has open borders, you don't have a country without borders.
    The only people who want borders open to undocumented immigrants are those who want slave labor. The lower wages may be free market but the artificial push to drive wages down below livable wages is not libertarian. That is collectivism. The libertarian would be for freer immigration to fill needed jobs not driving down the wages of all workers so they can keep their workers controlled because they owe their soul to the company store.

  • CE||

    Social engineers of all parties and persuasions talk as though an economy is some kind of mechanism to be centrally fine-tuned and overhauled occasionally according to a plan.

    I believe 5 years is the preferred increment for the periodic overhauls of central plans.

  • XM||

    Even without social engineering, immigrants will naturally gravitate towards certain regions and career. Most Asians would favor coastal cities and a career in healthcare, science and the corporate world.

    If you knew where most immigrants want to work or where their services are needed the most, than creating an immigration policy around that is less "social engineering" than bowing to reality. And this comes into play even if you take social engineering out of immigration policy.

    Because most immigrants will seek jobs in field that are well represented by "natives" and existing immigrant population. Allowing people to flood into the country with no limits will seriously saturate the market and overwhelm demand. Many immigrants will flee their crappy homeland first and figure things later even if their future here uncertain. It's already happening now. Asians settle into ethnic enclaves all over Orange County and the older ones latch onto some low paying jobs in the shadow economy.

    Immigrants will buy iphones and go to Disneyland just like everyone else. The malls here have tons of stuff for trend driven Asians. But they're not the answer to America's problems. I worked for immigrants for chunk of my life. The pay is nothing special, the benefits are non existent, and the pressure to do things under the table is palpable. All the benefits of immigration touted by the media can be easily achieved if we let in only qualified individuals.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "overwhelm demand"

    You fail economics forever.

  • Azathoth!!||

    So, you've never encountered the term 'flood the market' before?

    It's like you revel in failure.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Material goods have limited fungibility. Human beings have almost-unlimited fungibility.

    Demand always expands to meet supply. A given commodity may become "oversaturated" and drop in price, yes. But human labor always shifts to the newest sector, because humans have a monopoly on wages. So long as human population does not exceed the resources needed to sustain it (and contra Ehrlich, it won't), there is no such thing as "too many humans" in a market.

    Have you never heard of the "Lump of Labor Fallacy", oh my contemptuous friend?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Wow. This is incredible. An actual explanation to describe that you do not, in fact, comprehend the idea that a market may be flooded.

    What is most amazing is this--"A given commodity may become "oversaturated" and drop in price, yes" You actually include this.

    And then follow it with a big ol' 'but' and some gibberish.

    I think you're trying to elevate 'fail' to an art form.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    So, Azathoth declares that there is, in fact, such a thing as a "Lump of Labor", and, Lo! Because he has willed it, it must be so!

    Human labor IS NOT like other commodities. You are exhibiting the same fundamental wrong-headedness that Keynes did when he predicted that automation would leave the workforce unemployed... In the 1930s.

    Because think of it this way: what is the difference between automation shoving a bunch of Appalachian manufacturing workers out in the street, and a bunch of immigrants doing the same? Answer: None. And in both cases, in a free market (eg, free of occupational licensing, zoning regulations, and a monopolized education system), new jobs will be created for those put out of work, because the only use of currency is to *pay humans to do things*. Put another way: human beings have a *monopoly on wages*. And increasing the immigrant population- like increasing the number of robot arms in a factory- increases the "pie" of wealth that wages redistribute, via greater efficiency (in automation) and diversification of labor (in immigration/trade), thus ensuring that extra currency, to create those new jobs, exists.

    TL;DR: Free Trade and Free Immigration are the same thing: either you bring the factory to the workers, or the workers to the factory.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Advocating for issues like these are why people think libertarians are fringe extremists. No drug regulations and open borders are not issues to die on and demonstrate remarkable naivety. It is as if libertarian extremists truly believe things like culture do not exist and humans are just interchangeable pieces of clay.

    If the Brits did not found America but the French would this country be the same? If the Chinese did? If Native Americans withstood colonialism and created their own kingdom/state? Do extremist libertarians truly believe a Japanese, a Mexican, a Somali, and a Scot are interchangeable, that states and the cultures enclosed within them are immaterial, and we are just economic units seeking to maximize our own utility?

    Remarkably ahistorical and naive. There is more to the world than economics. Garbage like this article and author live in the same reality that Marxists live in, a fantasy land dominated by economics and wishful thinking.

  • ||

    You can only have open immigration in a non-welfare state. That's pretty much the equation.

  • Badger O Stripey One||

    I am English so I can't comment on American attitudes to immigration.

    What I can say is that I resent the character of England having been irrevocably altered to the extent that only 40% of the people who now live in our capital city are not people like me, native born British. I was born in England with a distaff heritage stretching back to Saxon times, with an Irish great grandfather, a knowledge of British history, inculcated with British and Christian values, well read in English literature (and American) and respectful and proud of English Common Law.

    Twenty years ago my part of London. Whitechapel, was about 95% white. Today it is 95% muslim.

    The economic benefits of immigration take a far away second place in my list of priorities.

    I want to live in an England that is populated by English people. What is wrong with that?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "Why won't you all just hold still?!?"

  • ||

    Because you're white, and the old marxists and other totalitarians run the show. they are hell bent on destroying any semblance of the European nation state, and "the West". They wish to make Europe into Yugoslavia, with all previous allegiances dissolved in order to gear it to international bodies such as the EU, UN...

  • Rosemary||

    There is a country for you Sheldon. Many countries, in fact. But this one is not it. We are not the world's vacuum cleaner. That would be so easy. What's hard is working with governments that alienate their own people (particularly criminals) and force them to deal with their social issues, instead of inflicting them on the American taxpayer.

    I suggest that you go to Ecuador or India or Somalia and begin a program that will improve the lives of the people there. You might even get the Pope to light a fire under his lazy bishops in Central and South America to actually help engage the governments and to work with educating the poor instead of just the rich.

  • ||

    I'm no expert but when you're a welfare state, doesn't "tilting it toward well-educated English-speakers and against low-skilled non-English-speakers" make absolute sense? I mean even the SJW nations do this, despite no one talking about it much.

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