May 1, 2012

Capitalism and Immigration

Howdy fellow 3sourcers!

I haven't been able to post in a while due to a very hectic schedule.

I know that immigration has been a hot topic on 3sources in the past, and I thought I would try to reignite the debate. I tend to have a more "open borders" approach when it comes to immigration instead of the more "protectionist" approach favored by mainstream conservatives. I came across this article today that makes a great economic argument for the liberalization of human capital flows in the same way and for the same reasons as the liberalization of traditional capital and trade markets.

It is interesting to note how many "free market" folks out there adopt immigration polices that are totally inconsistent with their views on free trade.


An Economic Case for Immigration

Immigration Posted by Bryan at May 1, 2012 5:49 PM

Haven't read the link yet but wanted to establish a few more parameters that relate to this topic:

Residency and right to work vs. citizenship.

Poor regulation of the electoral franchise thus diminishing the right of living, single voting citizens.

Public accomodation at public expense of non-English speaking residents.

Uncontrolled cross-border influx of hazardous materials, weapons, contagions.

So in other words, my largest single complaint about the immigration of foreign individuals is the negative consequences our national government has bestowed upon them - in many times, for political reasons. Now on to the [possibly] academic discussion of the subject.

Posted by: johngalt at May 1, 2012 6:19 PM

All great points JG.

The author of this article touches on most of your concerns, although this paper is certainly not a treatise of economics and immigration.

The points the author makes in regards to security issues really hit the nail on the head.

Paraphrasing: Liberalization of human capital flows via deregulation and decreased barriers to entry will allow the government to focus on the people we want to keep out (criminals, terrorists, etc..) instead of having a "one sized fits all" immigration policy where our boarder protection resources must be used for both criminal and non-criminal immigrants.

Let me know what you think of the article and we can discuss further.

Posted by: Bryan at May 1, 2012 6:45 PM

Welcome to ThreeSources!

I enjoyed the linked article and it mirrors my beliefs pretty closely.

Posted by: jk at May 1, 2012 10:15 PM

Ah yes, yet another paper on immigration used to raise the subject of illegal immigration.

Let's go with the conclusion:"Absent a market process, there is no way to centrally plan the optimal number and mix of immigrants any more than it was possible for the Soviet Union to centrally plan its markets. Instead of restricting labor flows at arbitrary places where politicians happened to draw lines on maps, we need a free market in labor. That means open borders. Not only would free immigration make the native-born population richer, but also it would be an effective way to help the poor of the world.

I'm all for open borders for workers since we have open borders for business.

However no matter how open a border for either business or workers, there will be paperwork involved.

Should those without proper paperwork be given a pass every 10 years or so?

Passing laws that allow for more people to enter this country and be given access to markets etc. would be a general good.

The more people who enter with the entry level jobs will (with legal papers) then progress to good jobs with good pay and fewer welfare and then more will follow to start off with the crap jobs etc, etc. I'm all for that.

BUT - those that enter in the first place need to be legal. Having mass amnesties every so many years only invites those without paperwork. And those without paperwork are a different group than those that Mr. Powell is describing.

Posted by: Terri at May 2, 2012 10:37 AM

I enjoyed the linked article and it mirrors my beliefs pretty closely. (Yes I did cut and paste JK's comment.)

It doesn't address citizenship, voting or bi-lingualism, but does speak to controlling hazards at the border: "Open borders" includes "legal check points" in Mr. Powell's formulation. (A better term might be free borders, as "open" border implies uncontrolled - at least to me.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 2, 2012 2:59 PM | What do you think? [5]