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Poll

If America becomes the only industrialized nation to completely open its borders to uncontrolled immigration, as Ian suggests, how many people would move here?

More than 4,000,000,000
- 22 (32.4%)
More than 3,000,000,000
- 0 (0%)
More than 2,000,000,000
- 0 (0%)
More than 1,000,000,000
- 2 (2.9%)
More than 500,000,000
- 6 (8.8%)
More than 250,000,000
- 5 (7.4%)
More than 100,000,000
- 5 (7.4%)
More than 50,000,000
- 8 (11.8%)
More than 25,000,000
- 5 (7.4%)
More than 10,000,000
- 7 (10.3%)
Less than 10,000,000
- 8 (11.8%)

Total Members Voted: 30


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Author Topic: If we had open borders ...  (Read 34138 times)

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Ed

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2007, 09:50:08 AM »

How 'bout, anyone can come here, but if you commit a felony you're out. That includes homegrown criminals.
How about no? It's a felony to do a lot of things that are perfectly within my rights.

I mean, real felonies. You know--like the sort of crimes that actually hurt people. Murder, rape, sending out spam--THAT sort of thing.

You implement that and I'll be flying a plane with my left buttcheek.

What?

I think that's the point.

How bad is god? I aint lookin for nobody to judge.
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Charles

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2007, 05:36:13 PM »

I always thought banishment/exile was a great punishment for 1st degree murderers, rapists, constant robbers, and so on.  You'd need ultra secure borders to manage that though.

I've always thought the best way to handle it would be to convert one of our larger swabs of public land into a large outdoor prison with a large fence surrounding it where the prisoners will have to build their own society.  It will all be televised.  Basically The Truman Show for prisoners.  They'd have those RFID chips put in them when they go in, so when their term is up or evidence is found vindicating them they will be picked up have the chip removed, and allowed back into society.

It'd only be doable for the serious criminals though, and victimless crimes have to become legal.
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markuzick

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2007, 11:14:39 PM »

What would happen if Ian's position on unrestricted immigration came to fruition?

The Latino "Reconquista" will no longer be a major issue...  I imagine the horizon of both our oceans, but especially the Pacific, filled with boats as far as the eye could see!

Sure, some people in the third world love their homeland and won't come to America even if they could, but most would.  And they'll keep on coming as long as the wages and the quality of life in America are better than in the old country.  The population of the United States is about 0.31 billion, current consumption levels average at over $100 a day.  The people who'd want to come here, on the other hand...  1.1 billion people in the world presently have consumption levels below $1 a day, and 2.7 billion live on less than $2 a day.  And yet even the poorest of those people would be able to make it to this country by signing a contract to work off their transportation.

The people that stay behind in the old countries, by the way, will become poorer as the result of their best and brightest leaving, and the hopes of those countries industrializing will be diminished.  And the most afflicted, famine-ravaged persons won't be able to compete very well in a physically demanding factory environment, so it's up for debate whether the third world will be better off as the result.  Many would come here and not be able to find a job, wasting whatever savings they had in the process.

Now, I do believe that any person, of any race and from any country in the world, is capable of attaining success in a free economy.  Unfortunately for most this success doesn't come until 1-2 generations later, and that's with the help of the current welfare infrastructure.  Most of the people coming off those boats will only be capable of physical labor at first.  Being a Russian immigrant myself, I've seen a lot of Ph.D.'s from the old country babysitting and washing dishes in America because of the language barrier!

Other industrialized countries, the best example being Japan, will continue to limit immigration to what they perceive to be in their national interest, and invest in robotics and other technological innovations to compete with America.  Cheap labor is the reason why China didn't have an industrial revolution a thousand years ago, and America might miss out on the next revolution for the same reason!  Countries like Japan will also invest in overseas factories where the labor is cheapest, thus helping those countries industrialize and, in effect, buying their support on the geopolitical stage.

It's up for debate whether the total GDP of our nation will decline, but the per-capita GDP will definitely be in a free-fall!  With a near-unlimited supply of cheap labor, wages will decline toward the world average.  Or, if there are minimum wage laws, very few people would be making above minimum wage, and the unemployment would skyrocket even more.

(I will not speculate on what effect all this will have on the sanitation and health infrastructure of our country.  For the sake of political correctness, I will pretend that hygiene and infectious disease management standards are the same in Ethiopia as they are in this country.)

Now, whatever magic wand Ian waved to open the borders ought to also work for getting rid of minimum wage laws, welfare, and other all government services and regulations as well; local, state, and federal?  Unfortunately those things are more complicated.

If Michael Moore is willing to advocate government theft for the sake of some idiot who sawed off his fingers, what would he do if there were 40 Nigerian migrant workers sheltering in a basement next door, or politely picketing for work on street corners while their children fainted from hunger?  He'd tell them that property is theft, and the rich American next door is stealing from them!  Even if the majority of them had the moral sense not to turn to theft, enough would.  Sure, you'd have your firearms, but they would have weapons as well, and pretty soon there would be more of them then there are of you.  If they can't get the government to give them welfare, they'll take it by force themselves!  Whether it takes a little violence or a lot of violence, sooner or later the majority of the wealth holders (at least those that haven't fled to some country with a more discriminating immigration policy) would agree to "fairly redistribute their wealth".

This is what happened in all countries filled with poor people competing for low-wage jobs, most notably in Russia in early 1900's.  If America opens its borders and the ratio of "have"s to "have-not"s increases, then Socialism, maybe even Communism, would come back with a vengeance, and free market capitalism would be blamed for all society's ills!

Freedom is only possible in a wealthy and stable society, with a well-developed culture of education, hard work, self-reliance, and charity.  Freedom is not for everybody, it must be earned.  Just as entry to a free society should be earned, and we're talking about a lot more than just a boat fare or a walk from Mexico.

So, while I agree with Ian on most things, the position I hold on immigration is the minarchist / gradualist position, similar to that of Ron Paul.  There are very few things that the federal government should be responsible for, but keeping our borders secure (and enforcing non-citizen visitation duration limits) is one of them.  It will take decades do phase out welfare, and for those decades the illegal immigration must be halted, and those here illegally should be heartlessly deported, just as an American citizen would be deported if he overstays his visa in Japan or Switzerland.

If there is such a thing as the United States of America, be it a legal fiction or not, it is not a universal concept.  There are stakeholders in this legal fiction, known as citizens - either you are one or you're not.  And it's in the common interest of those existing stakeholders that the in-flow of new stakeholders be limited -- not unlimited and not closed off completely -- to prevent the scenario described above.  Sure, I don't like the idea of a "common interest", people should be able to choose for themselves whenever possible, but unfortunately there are a handful of policy questions for which all American citizens are in the same boat, and immigration is one of them.

That doesn't mean we seal the borders completely, just control it for our national interest, like all industrialized nations currently do.  It's definitely in our interest to let in a million or so immigrants per year, a pretty significant number.  We might even be extremely generous and limit it at 3 million (that's 1% growth per year from immigration - 130,000,000 legal newcomers by 2050), but there must be a limit.  And since there'll be many people competing for those limited spots, we can choose the applicants that would serve our national interest the most.  Why should a high school drop-out from Mexico (no offense to both those groups) have an unfair advantage over the next Einstein from India or China just because of an accident of geography?

There will come a day, probably within our lifetimes, when the third world becomes more "industrialized" (and the first world less welfare-prone), and the need those barriers to immigration will gradually fade away, and all first-world countries, not just the U.S. will open their borders as Ian suggests.  But not yet!


Immigrants will only come here as long as there is a great enough benefit to their presence here to overcome our greater cost of living and we will only offer them jobs and business opportunities which give immigrants incomes sufficient to overcome these costs if doing so improves our own standards of living. It's a self limiting process. When the costs of living here start to outweigh the benefits, then migration will start to flow in the opposite direction.

If you're worried about state welfare programs upsetting this balance, well, even state welfare is a self limiting process. If the burden becomes too noticeable, then there will be a justifiable demand to remove immigrants from state welfare, and if too many immigrants find a way to work around this obstacle by becoming citizens, then there will be a justifiable demand to limit or even stop the naturalization process.
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As the state feeds off of the limitation and destruction of legitimate government, anarchy is its essence.

To claim "economic rent" from someone Else's labor when applied to land, which is something no one can own outright, is in itself, to claim landlord status over raw nature. It is an attempt at coercive monopoly power that is at the root of statism.

Alex Libman

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2008, 12:14:12 AM »

The discussion 70 minutes into the March 8th podcast prompts me to ask again:

Given open borders, what will keep America from eventually reaching the same population density as India or China?  And will that many poor immigrants act differently in political terms than they did in their old country, or would they turn the country just as Socialist as India or China?

I have to take a minarchist position on immigration, unfortunately.  There is such a thing as a nation-state, at least for now, not because it's a good idea but because other parts of the world believe in it.  That doesn't mean another country would roll in the tanks, but there are other ways to annex territory and resources.  Remember what the British Empire did to China leading up to the Opium Wars?  They would LOVE, LOVE to do the same thing to us!

I do believe in large-scale immigration, but it should be merit-based.  If Japan prefers millionaires and Ph.D's and we let in anyone who can swim the Rio Grande, their average IQ (and other per-capita indicators) would rise even more significantly above ours!  I say: anyone wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt should be stopped at the border!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 12:19:11 AM by Alex Libman »
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markuzick

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2008, 12:43:51 AM »

The discussion 70 minutes into the March 8th podcast prompts me to ask again:

Given open borders, what will keep America from eventually reaching the same population density as India or China?  And will that many poor immigrants act differently in political terms than they did in their old country, or would they turn the country just as Socialist as India or China?

I have to take a minarchist position on immigration, unfortunately.  There is such a thing as a nation-state, at least for now, not because it's a good idea but because other parts of the world believe in it.  That doesn't mean another country would roll in the tanks, but there are other ways to annex territory and resources.  Remember what the British Empire did to China leading up to the Opium Wars?  They would LOVE, LOVE to do the same thing to us!

I do believe in large-scale immigration, but it should be merit-based.  If Japan prefers millionaires and Ph.D's and we let in anyone who can swim the Rio Grande, their average IQ (and other per-capita indicators) would rise even more significantly above ours!  I say: anyone wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt should be stopped at the border!


You, apparently, don't trust the market. Pessimistic projections about immigration, like scary projections of every other non-aggressive human activity, fail to take into account that they are self limiting.(See my post, just above yours.)
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As the state feeds off of the limitation and destruction of legitimate government, anarchy is its essence.

To claim "economic rent" from someone Else's labor when applied to land, which is something no one can own outright, is in itself, to claim landlord status over raw nature. It is an attempt at coercive monopoly power that is at the root of statism.

Harry Tuttle

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2008, 12:47:03 AM »

You pessimists might also consider that a rapid influx of immigrants would force a change in the welfare system - probably by crashing it sooner. It might actually be a good thing.
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jimmed

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2008, 12:48:37 AM »

You pessimists might also consider that a rapid influx of immigrants would force a change in the welfare system - probably by crashing it sooner. It might actually be a good thing.

What happens when they start to riot?
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Alex Libman

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2008, 01:16:07 AM »

You, apparently, don't trust the market. Pessimistic projections about immigration, like scary projections of every other non-aggressive human activity, fail to take into account that they are self limiting.(See my post, just above yours.)

I've already addressed that earlier in this thread.  There's free market, and then there's magical thinking.  Absence of welfare is only possible if the mob that demands welfare can be kept at bay.  We already have welfare in this country in spite of limited immigration (compared to what it would be with open borders), with the overwhelming majority of immigrants voting for it.  The only immigrants who don't vote for welfare are the ones who would make it here anyway: hard-working professionals.  So this country cannot remain free without some controls over immigration!

Yes, there would come a point at which a person in India would rather stay in India than come to America, but if that point is reached America would very much resemble India today: filled with poor people who do nothing but breed and blame rich people for "oppressing" them.  With cheap labor the incentive for labor-saving technical innovations will go away, so it will be closed-borders countries like Japan that will gain the technological edge, first with robotics and then with other things as well.  The top brains from all over the world will find it in their best interest to immigrate there, making it the Galt's Gulch of sorts, while the open-border socialist countries fall apart further as the result.  A nation of 100 million scientists will wipe the floor with a nation of 2 billion rice farmers, even more so in the future than we can imagine today!
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Harry Tuttle

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2008, 01:23:36 AM »

You pessimists might also consider that a rapid influx of immigrants would force a change in the welfare system - probably by crashing it sooner. It might actually be a good thing.

What happens when they start to riot?

Its just circular thinking to assume that millions more coming into this country to leech off of it will not impoverish the country and, therefore, make it less appealing as a destination.
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jimmed

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2008, 01:28:15 AM »

You pessimists might also consider that a rapid influx of immigrants would force a change in the welfare system - probably by crashing it sooner. It might actually be a good thing.

What happens when they start to riot?

Its just circular thinking to assume that millions more coming into this country to leech off of it will not impoverish the country and, therefore, make it less appealing as a destination.

I'm talking about the moment you have to cut off benefits. What do you do when 10 million Mexcians riot because they can't get free milk for their 8 children? Sure, they'll go back eventually. Maybe.
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markuzick

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2008, 01:43:47 AM »

You, apparently, don't trust the market. Pessimistic projections about immigration, like scary projections of every other non-aggressive human activity, fail to take into account that they are self limiting.(See my post, just above yours.)

I've already addressed that earlier in this thread.  There's free market, and then there's magical thinking.  Absence of welfare is only possible if the mob that demands welfare can be kept at bay.  We already have welfare in this country in spite of limited immigration (compared to what it would be with open borders), with the overwhelming majority of immigrants voting for it.  The only immigrants who don't vote for welfare are the ones who would make it here anyway: hard-working professionals.  So this country cannot remain free without some controls over immigration!

Yes, there would come a point at which a person in India would rather stay in India than come to America, but if that point is reached America would very much resemble India today: filled with poor people who do nothing but breed and blame rich people for "oppressing" them.  With cheap labor the incentive for labor-saving technical innovations will go away, so it will be closed-borders countries like Japan that will gain the technological edge, first with robotics and then with other things as well.  The top brains from all over the world will find it in their best interest to immigrate there, making it the Galt's Gulch of sorts, while the open-border socialist countries fall apart further as the result.  A nation of 100 million scientists will wipe the floor with a nation of 2 billion rice farmers, even more so in the future than we can imagine today!


Immigrants are not allowed to vote, until they become citizens. Instead of closing borders to immigrants, why not simply end their eligibility for all state welfare programs and putting an end to naturalized  citizenship?

Immigrants also shouldn't be taxed to pay for "services" that they don't receive. They could set up, pay for and govern any free market alternatives to these services that may be of value, thereby setting an example of voluntary free market government for those, unfortunate enough to be citizens, to emulate.
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As the state feeds off of the limitation and destruction of legitimate government, anarchy is its essence.

To claim "economic rent" from someone Else's labor when applied to land, which is something no one can own outright, is in itself, to claim landlord status over raw nature. It is an attempt at coercive monopoly power that is at the root of statism.

Alex Libman

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2008, 02:04:33 AM »

That would only work if we shoot all the democrats first!  :lol:

But even then - a mob of tens of millions of people doesn't need the right to vote to have influence.  If there are no democrats to vote them into citizenship and welfare, then the republicans, who'd obviously see them as a threat, would vote to close the border and have them deported.

The only way to have large-scale sustainable immigration into this country is to only allow controlled amounts of middle-class non-socialists on a competitive basis: the more you have to offer this country, the more likely you are to gain an entry visa, a work permit, and eventually a citizenship.
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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2008, 02:14:17 AM »

Well, just remember this:  For every pair who arrive here and are capable of producing offspring, they will equal ten or so within fifty years. 
[...]

Most likely, they will not equal ten or so in fifty years.  A household's fertility decision is strongly determined by the opportunity cost of having children - i.e., the cost of everything foregone in favor of a given choice. 

The biggest opportunity cost of having children is time, because it takes a lot of time to raise a child.  As the parents' time becomes more valuable due to economic advancement, the opportunity cost of having offspring increases (as measured in foregone earned income), creating a very strong tendency not to have offspring.
Do you know any Mexican immigrant families?  Most of them have at least 4 or 6 kids even though they are poor!  Most American families on the other hand are only having 2 kids, which will only sustain the population at its current level.  I know a couple legal Mexican immigrant families with 10+ kids in each.  This is not uncommon.
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markuzick

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #58 on: March 10, 2008, 08:10:37 AM »

That would only work if we shoot all the democrats first!  :lol:

Why do you think that locking down the boarders is more politically feasible than making immigrants ineligible for public welfare?
Quote
But even then - a mob of tens of millions of people doesn't need the right to vote to have influence.  If there are no democrats to vote them into citizenship and welfare, then the republicans, who'd obviously see them as a threat, would vote to close the border and have them deported.

Not if they have no incentive to come here seeking welfare. Then only the responsible and productive people will have any reason to arrive.

Quote
The only way to have large-scale sustainable immigration into this country is to only allow controlled amounts of middle-class non-socialists on a competitive basis: the more you have to offer this country, the more likely you are to gain an entry visa, a work permit, and eventually a citizenship.

Some of the immigrant groups that have contributed the most productive and creative energy to this country were largely uneducated, but made up for that with ambition.

Until they or their children achieved their ambitions, they did the essential low level jobs that established Americans preferred not to do.

If we let only highly educated immigrants into the country, then it will be established Americans that will tend to end up doing the menial labor for the immigrants. How well do you think that will go over, politically?

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As the state feeds off of the limitation and destruction of legitimate government, anarchy is its essence.

To claim "economic rent" from someone Else's labor when applied to land, which is something no one can own outright, is in itself, to claim landlord status over raw nature. It is an attempt at coercive monopoly power that is at the root of statism.

Porcupine_in_MA

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Re: If we had open borders ...
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2008, 12:09:36 PM »

What do you do when 10 million Mexcians riot because they can't get free milk for their 8 children?

Bribe them back across into their old country with tacos and burritos of course.
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