The Volokh Conspiracy

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Immigration

My Beta Shepherd Website List of "The Best Books on Migration Rights and Democracy"

I picked three books I largely agree with - and two that I mostly don't.

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The Statue of Liberty.

 

The Beta Shepherd website - which features authors' recommendations of books on topics related to issues they have written on themselves - just posted my list of the "Best Books on Migration Rights and Democracy." It includes excellent works by Joseph Carens, Bryan Caplan, Alex Nowrasteh and Ben Powell, David Miller, and Sarah Song. The first three are books I mostly agree with, while the latter two are ones I mostly don't. I deliberately chose books that cover a wide range of issues and viewpoints related to the topic.

I was invited to write this piece because of my own recent book on the topic, Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom. All of the books listed above have influenced my own thinking on these issues - even (perhaps especially) in cases where I reject their conclusions.

NEXT: “No One Has a First Amendment Right to Physically Assault Another,”

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  1. Rights of people already at the migrants' destination? Casually disregarded.

    Why should people who built a society get to decide anything over people who just showed up and never did anything for anyone in their new location?

    1. I don't think you read a lot of Prof. Somin's posts, because the costs and benefits to the destination country are absolutely part of his analysis.

      1. Say what you will about Somin’s conclusions on any particular subject, but I think he’s a fairly deep and thorough thinker overall.

      2. "costs and benefits to the destination country are absolutely part of his analysis"

        Alleged "benefits" sure, he won't shut up about those. He dismisses the mere possibility of "costs" as racist and stupid.

        His "analysis" is just warmed over CATO boilerplate.

        1. "His "analysis" is just warmed over CATO boilerplate."

          Well, this is an openly described 'often libertarian' website. Surely Pat Buchanan or Richard Spencer has one more in line with your views?

          1. This blog is every bit as libertarian as Peter Thiel, Ted Cruz, John Eastman, Donald Trump, the Tea Party, and the Republican Party. It calls itself "often libertarian" because it its operators are sheepish about acknowledging their right-wingery in modern America.

            How Prof. Somin started with or sticks with these clingers is beyond me. Maybe the wingnuts and the libertarians huddled together for warmth on legitimate campuses, and now Prof. Somin is so scarred he fears he could have no other friends beyond the misfits?

            1. Somin is a libertarian. Like him or not. He probably more consistently tracks the historical LP line than any other contributor here. He's worked hard to defeat important liberal endeavors (like the ACA to take one example), like it or not. Confusing him for a leftist would be a serious error.

        2. So even Bob allows that Rights of people already at the migrants' destination? Casually disregarded is nonsense. He just takes issue with the actual analysis for reasons unspecified.

      3. "…the costs and benefits to the destination country are absolutely part of his analysis."

        Why should an individual be more interested in "benefits to the destination country" than costs borne directly by his or herself?

        Sure, some analyst was able to massage the spreadsheet data so the number at the bottom is somehow positive. Analysts can almost always do that.

        1. "Fancy pants analysts with their fancy pants numbers!"

          "Why should an individual be more interested in "benefits to the destination country" than costs borne directly by his or herself? "

          Maybe they shouldn't, but a representative of all the individuals should certainly think of the overall cost-benefit analysis.

        2. Why should an individual be more interested in "benefits to the destination country" than costs borne directly by his or herself?

          Patriotism?

      4. If someone showed some analysis where GDP went up as a result of new laws designed to send minorities to prison, would you be for that? Positive GDP, right? Benefits to the country, right?

        1. You think his analysis is just number go up?

          You really don't read his posts, do you?

          1. Doesn’t answer the question.

            1. My opinion isn't really relevant to my observation you don't read Prof. Somin's posts before you go off.

              But no, I think GDP alone is a crap metric for societal success.

    2. It's common among conservative-libertarians to be almost comically hyper-aware of any perceived slight to their rights while casually ignoring or actively opposed to even a fraction of those rights for 'others.' Look at how the Founders they genuflect to called tax raises on tea tyranny and horrible affronts to liberty while they kept other humans literally enslaved. Nowadays masks are basically the Holocaust affronts to the rights of people of color are shrugged away. In that vein their freedom of movement cannot be restricted in the least even for the saving of thousands of lives while the freedom of movement of migrants are strenuously opposed. The idea of 'human' rights is an odd one to them, rights are things they and those in their group have and other people do not. FYIGM as a general philosophy of life.

      1. basically the Holocaust *while*affronts to the rights of people of color are shrugged away

    3. people who built a society

      You're claiming you built a society? You didn't. You inherited one, through no virtue of your own

      1. You don't treat random strangers you never saw before like your family, hypocrite. Nor do you provide for strangers as you do for your family.

        Your rules are for other people, not for yourself. But rich guys like you don't think about whether others can afford your rules. Too busy looking in the mirror.

        1. See? Told ya.

        2. Analogizing immigrants to random strangers is a pretty telling choice.

          rich guys like you don't think about whether others can afford your rules
          This kind of nonsense was old when socialist hippies rolled it in the 1960s.

          1. It fits the situation in America now really well though. Rich guys making rules because they can easily afford them, ignoring the suffering they cause everyone else, declaring themselves The Good Guys.

            Schools in rich progressive neighborhoods won't be hurt by a big influx of kids who can't speak English because those families can’t afford to live there. High fuel costs don't hurt the rich environmentalist guy with his Tesla and solar panels. Rich leftist guy, safe from crime in his gated neighborhood, votes to defund the police. Rich Democrat supports Covid lockdowns because he can work from home on his laptop, thinks he's a hero for putting waiters and retail employees and now even nurses out of work.

            1. Lol, let's win this class war by supporting the billionaire who literally lives in a country club!

            2. It's weird, because I could swear I saw Ben just a moment ago explaining that we shouldn't care about strangers, but only our own families.

              1. In fact, you did not. I was pointing out what you already do.

            3. Rich guys making rules because they can easily afford them

              This isn't true - at least not like you think it is, but it is also exactly the America our Founders envisioned.

              Look at what you've decided poor people want - cheap gas prices, strong police presence, no Covid restrictions, and an end to immigrant labor.

              No mention of healthcare, or workplace regulations, or housing.
              This is fake populism; you're not speaking for anyone, not even yourself.
              That's more what a middle class white Republican wants than actually what poor people experience.

              1. Rich homeowners are often seen opposing new development that would help solve housing issues, but that's not so much a left/right divide. Rich environmentalists oppose housing development because they prefer green spaces and energy poverty for The Earth over people being able to afford homes. Those two things together make it more-or-less impossible for Dems to do anything productive on housing, even if they wanted to.

                Keep saying "fake populism" while you intentionally make life worse for Americans and see how it goes.

        3. So you’d be okay with it if your neighborhood decided to run you out of town, right?

    4. Rights of people already at the migrants' destination? Casually disregarded.

      Ah, but what "rights" are you talking about?

  2. Spectactular that you include books whose analysis and conclusions you disagree with. Kudos.

    I have found that I rarely learn anything from interaction with individuals and ideas with whom I agree, and I almost always learn from interaction with individuals and ideas with whom I disagree. I find that few people share this trait, most want to engage in confirmation bias so it is refreshing that Prof. Somin is one of the smart people.

  3. Advocacy for a favored policy by sharing resources that favor said policy is a thing that exists.

    There is room for both advocacy and analysis in this wide wide world of ours.

  4. So what is Somin’s home address?

    Because I might want to migrate to his guest room.

    1. It's always interesting that in these discussions conservatives equate the nation with an individual's home. They wouldn't like many other things that follow from that analogy in other contexts...

    2. You think he only has one guest room?

      1. No war but class war, eh comrade?

        1. Regular Americans are noticing that Dems don’t care about their concerns and only look at regular Americans to name-call or try to shame people.

  5. Almost definitionally, beta shepherds don't look after any primary flocks' interests. They'd be too submissive and would yield to wolves or invading other flocks, yes?

    Maybe there's no such animal as an alpha libertarian.

  6. By the way, Brett, if you show up here, it's kind of on-topic. Josh Hammer admits what you pretend isn't true: the notion that you people are only against illegal immigration is just propaganda:

    The specifics of what Amy Wax says in any specific moment of any specific podcast are less important than her immense Overton window-shifting value in slowly helping to retire the long-standing GOP consultant class pablum of “illegal immigration bad; legal immigration good!"

    There is no issue on which the base and the establishment are more at loggerheads than legal immigration. The base is restrictionist, and has been for decades now.

    The sooner the party moves closer to that, and abandons the faux “illegal bad/legal good” dichotomy, the better.

    1. I checked - Josh Hammer is really his name.

      1. Just...that belongs in a satire.

  7. Now there are 'migration rights.' I didn't notice that term in the Constitution, but no doubt if you squint you'll find it.

    Next there will be a right for every blessed man on the planet to drink my beer and band my wife while I watch. Cuck rights. There, I said it, so it must be a thing.

    1. You think the Constitution is an exhaustive list of all rights?

      Cuck rights
      Oh, you're just a a refugee from 2010 with lingering masculinity issues.

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