John Jay Myers on Immigration

Email from John Jay Myers to contact.ipr@gmail.com. John Jay Myers is a candidate for the Libertarian National Party Chair and currently running for United States Congress against Pete Sessions in Texas 32nd District.
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Many Americans are looking to the Libertarian Party for answers, and it is important that the answers we give do not depend on the fantasy of a “Libertarian society” to work. We do not live in a Libertarian society. We live in a society where many abuses of government power interact to create complex problems that affect all Americans. It is not sufficient to speak of our solutions using the oversimplified and polarized catch phrases of the modern left/right political spectrum. Libertarians must remain faithful to their principles of limited government and free markets, while at the same time explaining how we can get there from where we are now.

As a candidate for both United States Congress and LNC Chair, it would be much easier for me to quietly ignore one of the most complex and challenging topics in politics: immigration. This topic is perhaps one of the most divisive issues, even within the Libertarian Party. Nevertheless, I believe it is also an opportunity for us to show our courage by taking this issue head on, and demonstrating how reduced government intervention and sound economic principles can tackle even the most difficult of problems in a fair, just, and practical way.

There are many in this country that propose sealing the borders because immigrants take American jobs and drain the American economy. They also cite drug related violence and the threat of terrorism as additional reasons to aggressively defend our borders. The problem with this very divisive solution is that it ignores the economic perversions that our government has created that are the real causes of our problems. Let us now review some of the government laws and programs that create the distorted incentives that are at the core of the problem.

War on Drugs

We have all heard about increasing drug-related violence in Mexico and the knee-jerk reaction has again been “close the border”. Now, there is no question that drugs are horrible, but, like we saw with alcohol, prohibition will only push the sale of those products into a black market. The insane profits of this black market create rich incentives for killers and gang members to dominate the drug trade. Buying and selling these substances legally will reduce those incentives. After all, why would you commit violence for drugs when the local tobacconist will sell them at a reasonable price in controlled conditions? And who knows, it just might create some positive economic activity while allowing our law enforcement agencies to focus on truly harmful crimes.

There will always be those who choose to turn to thievery and violence, but taking away the powerful profit motive by repealing prohibition will go a long way to bringing much needed peace to both Mexico and our cities here in America.

Welfare/Nanny State

Free and peaceful people deserve an opportunity to pursue the American dream, but our system of welfare and entitlements is the American nightmare that is killing us. If you open up a buffet and put a sign on the front that says “free food all you can eat”, you really have only yourself to blame when the restaurant fills with people. These welfare systems are already based upon the unjust ideas of taxation and wealth transfer, but they are also bankrupting this nation, even without immigrants. Ending the welfare state will be fiscally responsible and will make sure that no one comes to this country just to milk the system. We should welcome productive workers into our country because every new worker is a new consumer of goods and services. To think otherwise would suggest that having no people in your country would somehow make a strong economy. That’s ridiculous. Positive economic activity is self-perpetuating and should be encouraged. But let’s not offer a free buffet and then complain when it starts to cost too much.

War on Terror

I have been against occupying foreign countries from the beginning, but these wars relate to border security as well. As long as we continue fighting to fix someone else’s country, we inspire new terrorists all the time by forcing death upon their villages and homes. The latest terrorist attempt was done by someone that plainly said he was retaliating against drone attacks in his country. We were absolutely justified in trying to hunt down and kill bin Laden and his gang after 9/11, but taking over not one, but two countries was mistake. We cannot afford to be the world’s police, and we open ourselves up as a perpetual target by doing so. We have a long history of coerced intervention in foreign countries, even before 9/11, and it has to stop or we definitely will have someone cross our undefended borders in an attempt to attack us. The safest way to prevent terrorism, reduce deficits, and defend ourselves is to end wars and foreign military adventures. If we bring the troops home, we will have the resources available to defend ourselves from any violent incursion along our own border as well.

Open Immigration

Finally, we should make the process easy for peaceful, productive people to enter this country. It is important that we know who is here, but the process should be so inexpensive and simple that there is no incentive for anyone to cross illegally. It should be so easy that there must be something seriously wrong with you if you try to cross illegally (i.e. you’re a criminal or terrorist). The fact is that as the American population becomes older and more well educated, our economy demands new sources of unskilled labor, which immigrants can provide. We just need to take down the barriers and eliminate the quotas that prevent people from coming and working. We need not fear people that want to contribute.

The bottom line is that immigration is not the threat to our economy that some make it out to be; government is the real threat to our economy. Minimum wage laws, failed monetary control, government subsidies, spending programs, and a ballooning national debt do far more harm to our economy than immigrants. Every tax and wealth redistribution scheme robs from our prosperity and every regulation or price fixing creates every incentive to violate the law. Libertarians believe in the free movement of labor and capital in a free market, and there should be no problem allowing productive and non-violent people into our country. Furthermore, non-productive or violent people would be greatly reduced as their incentives for mooching off a free-lunch system or engaging in a black market would be eliminated.

Make no mistake, “close the border” is not the solution. Of course we have a right to defend our nation from invasion, but militarizing the border would be costly beyond belief and will only provide further profit motive to gangs and violent criminals. We must address all of the causes of our immigration problem, or we will surely succumb to the taxation and oppression of a police state. End the war on drugs, bring the troops home, eliminate the welfare state, and openly welcome productive people into this country. Together these are the keys to addressing the problem of immigration.

John Jay Myers
www.JohnJayMyers.com

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59 thoughts on “John Jay Myers on Immigration

  1. LP watcher

    Can we get Mexico to follow the same program and let others from Central America come into their country easily? How about Americans going to Mexico? Same rules?

    Until we shut off the welfare, get employers to quit paying under the table salaries (no taxes), and no longer recognize “anchor babies” as citizens, we are going to have problems.

    It is not fair to those millions of people that came in the correct AND LEGAL way.

  2. paulie Post author

    get employers to quit paying under the table salaries (no taxes),

    Why? I love getting paid “under the table.”

    It is not fair to those millions of people that came in the correct AND LEGAL way.

    When you have nation of origin quotas that are not fair to a country with a large US border and long history of people going back and forth to work, you’ll keep having problems. Legalize it, and problem solved.

    I came in “the legal way” only because we were considered refugees as a tactic in the cold war, yet many people with a much more legitimate fear of real persecution in their countries have not been given refugee status. So the unfairness goes all around.

    Why does the US government need to be issuing immigration quotas anyway? That’s what’s really unfair.

    The people coming in so-called illegally would be happy to do it the correct and legal way if they were allowed to.

  3. Don Wills

    paulie asks “Why does the US government need to be issuing immigration quotas anyway?”

    The standard of living provided by food stamps and welfare payments in the USA is far higher than what billions of humans around the world currently have. Thus we’d have a billion or more Asians and Africans show up on our shores in the next few years if unlimited immigration was allowed. The USA would break up from the stress.

    Far too many libertarians are ivory-tower idealists. That’s great if you’re a science fiction writer, but it’s death if you’re trying to do politics or if you care about keeping alive our great experiment in human freedom.

    FWIW, there are currently 39 million recipients of food stamps in the USA, and the number is growing at the rate of 20,000 per day.

  4. paulie Post author

    we’d have a billion or more Asians and Africans show up on our shores in the next few years if unlimited immigration was allowed.

    Right, because people who can’t afford to eat have money for international flights?

    Please, that’s absurd.

  5. John Jay Myers

    I have two hispanic employees who have relatives in Mexico, but they are full citizens.

    When talking to them yesterday they said that it is our entitlements particularly food stamps that have quite a few of their relatives crossing the border.

    Both of them believe we need to stop the programs. Because they can live better here just by milking the system then in their own countries.

    We have to take the steps to end entitlements. (for everyone)

  6. paulie Post author

    http://www.mercatus.org/MediaDetails.aspx?id=22554

    Why restrict immigration at all? The Constitution and the laws of economics compel us to welcome all immigrants
    Christian Science Monitor
    June 7, 2007
    Donald Boudreaux

    Just in time for summer, the Senate is heating things up with immigration reform. The bill it’s debating aims to shore up border security and start some 12 million illegal aliens on the path to citizenship. Despite passionate disagreement, voices across the political spectrum concur on two points: They insist the federal government should do something about immigration, and they’re sure immigrants threaten American jobs.

    People assert these claims as though they’re self-evident. But they aren’t, as even a basic understanding of the US Constitution and the principles of economics shows. And that means most of the premises about immigration are confused.

    Real reform must build on the secure foundation of constitutional and economic truth – not on political talking points.

    The US government has been tinkering with immigration law for decades now. Surveying the wreckage – heartbroken families, an underclass of exploited workers, and ruined lives – makes it clear why the Founding Fathers refused to trust the national government with power over immigrants.

    That’s right: The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to control immigration. Nor does it say anything about illegal aliens. We looked for a clause with directions for ranking immigrants on a points system – another feature of the Senate’s reform bill – but we couldn’t find one.

    Sadly, lawmakers have repeatedly interpreted this silence as license for ill-conceived legislation. Congress began barring entry to the nation in 1875 with prostitutes and convicts. Soon, all sorts of people fell short of congressional glory: ex-convicts in 1882, along with Chinese citizens, lunatics, and idiots. Paupers, polygamists, and people suffering from infectious diseases or insanity made the list in 1891, while the illiterate were banned in 1917.

    The biggest spur to antiforeigner fervor is always the same: natives fear that newcomers will swipe their jobs. Take, for example, the 1889 Supreme Court case challenging the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Court upheld the exclusion because the Chinese had competed “with our artisans and mechanics, as well as our laborers in the field…. [Californians wanted] prompt action … to restrict their immigration.”

    Why immigrants increase wages

    It seems neither Californians nor the Court understood a fundamental principle of economics: the division of labor. Too bad they hadn’t read Adam Smith’s “Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” Published in 1776, it explains how prosperity results from more workers and better specialization.

    Suppose that 10 workers produce 20 chairs per week with each worker building a complete chair. Those same workers can produce many more chairs every week if they specialize.

    When one worker saws the wood, another carves it into shape, and a third fastens the pieces, the total output rises dramatically. Greater specialization leads to greater production and greater prosperity. Adding another five workers to the original 10 multiplies the benefits.

    It’s true that immigrants can temporarily reduce wages for Americans whose skills closely match theirs. But falling wages raise profits. And higher profits are the soil from which better wages grow.

    Seeking those superior returns, investors bring more capital – more machines, expertise, stores, and new firms – while entrepreneurs learn to enhance employee output.

    Specialization deepens. Workers’ productivity soars, forcing employers to compete for their time by offering higher pay. Immigrants actually increase wages in the long run.

    For proof, look around. The US work-force has more than doubled since World War II, yet workers’ real total compensation (wages plus benefits) is higher now than ever. Notice that Manhattan’s employees make more money than Mississippi’s. If hordes of workers depressed wages, New York City’s crowds would earn far less than Mississippi’s few. But paychecks in Manhattan – even for unskilled workers – trump those of workers in sparsely populated Mississippi.

    Given the talk about point systems, guest-worker programs, and fenced borders, you’d think immigration endangers America’s cultural and economic wealth. But just as the unhampered flow of goods and services – free trade – blesses participants, the easy flow of workers – free labor markets – also brings unprecedented prosperity.

    By contrast, schemes to control immigrants hurt everyone, native or newcomer, and not just economically. Customs agents often abuse immigrants at the borders, but they also interrogate, search, and fine returning Americans.

    Immigrants must produce the proper papers for bureaucrats’ inspection, but so do their American employers and landlords. And let’s not even think about the scary implications of the draconian Real ID Act.

    As technology and globalization continue shrinking the world, people and ideas move more quickly and freely. Political borders become increasingly irrelevant. But that’s fine because the qualities that define Americans don’t depend on geography. Rather, it’s their history of liberty, pluck, ingenuity, optimism, and the pursuit of happiness. Culture is a matter of mind and spirit. Why entrust it to politicians, border guards, and green cards?

    The ideal immigration policy for this smaller world would harmonize with both the Constitution and common decency. It wouldn’t deny anyone the inalienable right to come and go.

    This freedom perishes under current immigration edicts – and so do people. The US Border Patrol estimates that almost 2,000 would-be Americans died along the US-Mexican border from 1998 to 2004, whether from drowning, exposure, car accidents, or violence.

    And who can forget Elian Gonzalez, the tragic Cuban refugee? This little boy watched his mother and 10 other adults in their battered boat die at sea, largely because both US and Cuban laws forbid Cubans to immigrate here. We expect such tyranny from Fidel Castro – but from America’s supposedly free government?

    If Congress seriously wants reform, it might begin by returning decisions on immigration to the individuals involved, in obedience to the Constitution’s Ninth and 10th Amendments.

    But Congress will need to go further. Requiring taxpayers to subsidize immigrants’ healthcare, education, food, shelter, or anything else breeds resentment.

    Plenty of private charities will extend a hand to newcomers, not to mention friends and families eager to help their countrymen adjust to American life.

    In fact, so eager are these folks that only severe penalties discourage them: Maybe that’s why the House of Representatives in 2005 passed a bill threatening to imprison for up to five years anyone who “assists, encourages, directs, or induces [an alien] to reside in or remain in the United States.”

    What do we do about the 12 million illegal immigrants already here? Apologizing for their poor welcome is a start. Then we can hire them, patronize their businesses, become friends. So long as we don’t control them, and they don’t expect our taxes to support them, goodwill should prevail on both sides.

    Illegal immigration: a false concept

    Laws labeling some people legal and others illegal aren’t just divisive, they’re unconstitutional.

    Defending America’s integrity doesn’t mean more rules and stronger walls; it means seeing foreigners as free agents with all the dignity and autonomy we demand for ourselves.

    These people often overcome unspeakable hardship to immigrate; why add to their sorrows by making it difficult for them to become Americans? Or by forcing them to buy their citizenship? Surely, the federal coffers are bloated enough that the government need not prey on the poor and vulnerable.

    Remember, too, that these folks aren’t terrorists; they’re here to work. And many experts argue that the safest antiterror policy is to focus scarce resources on genuine threats rather than to try to screen potential terrorists at the borders.

    The federal government has controlled immigration for more than a century now. During those years, it has violated the Constitution to oppress immigrants. It has ignored economic reality by implying that immigrants depress wages and steal jobs. Both tactics pit us against each other while boosting the government’s power.

    Quota-wielding bureaucrats should not define the country’s demographic destiny. It’s time to let the free choices of millions of individuals determine America’s complexion.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    If you think that food stamps and welfare benefits attract “the wrong sort of people,” the answer is to get rid of food stamps and welfare benefits, not to pile anti-freedom and economically insane immigration restrictions on top of those benefits.

    If you’d like an interim measure, fine — deny those particular benefits to immigrnts (and exempt them from the pro rata portion of taxes which is used to pay the costs of those benefits).

    The usual Know-Nothing response to that proposal is that the political will isn’t there to kill, or even wound, the welfare state. But if you think it’s hard to reduce the welfare state, think about how hard it would be to effectively police 95,500 miles of border and coastline to keep immigrants out. Hasn’t worked for the 50 years it’s been tried, and isn’t going to start working, either.

  8. paulie Post author

    To fully grasp how silly this is;

    Thus we’d have a billion or more Asians and Africans show up on our shores in the next few years if unlimited immigration was allowed. The USA would break up from the stress.

    There are already millions of so-called illegal immigrants. This includes at least tens or hundreds of thousands from Africa and Asia.

    So does Wills seriously think that the only thing keeping out “a billion or more” people is some paperwork? If so, what makes them so different from the Mexicans and Central Americans already doing it, who far outnumber the people from Africa and Asia who are here in defiance of the US regime’s edicts?

  9. Carolyn Marbry

    LP Watcher @ 1: You said “Until we shut off the welfare, get employers to quit paying under the table salaries (no taxes), and no longer recognize ‘anchor babies’ as citizens, we are going to have problems. ”

    I agree about the welfare and entitlements. Under-the-table salaries, not as much, only because I’m not a big fan of income tax anyway. But that’s a separate rant.

    Anchor babies, though… the problem is that a great many of us are American citizens because somewhere along the line, our immigrant ancestors had children in this country, and through them we inherit our jus sanguinis citizenship. So removing citizenship by jus soli or even modifying it in some bizarre way to explicitly exclude children of illegal immigrants will probably cause more problems than it’s worth. That’s not really the answer to the problem.

    I also agree that while we have laws on the books restricting immigration, allowing illegal immigration and free passage in sanctuary cities really is not fair to those who slog through the process and come in legally.

    On the other hand, the process for getting an immigration visa is so convoluted and so difficult that people are willing to risk their lives crossing a treacherous river or crossing the desert in 110 degree heat to bypass it. These aren’t lazy people. They’re desperate people who don’t see any other way.

    Whether or not we manage to get rid of welfare, food stamps and other government-enslavement programs, making legal immigration a reasonable option is really the first practical step. I absolutely agree that these gimme-gimme programs should end, but good luck selling that to the mainstream public who still believes anything is defensible in government as long as it’s “for the children.”

    Barring an end to those programs (which end would in turn allow for at least MORE open immigration), we need to reform immigration law so that someone wanting to get a green card actually has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting one.

  10. LP Watcher

    We need a survey of where US citizens can move to, once we are overrun with the welfare state on all levels. When income taxes get to the 50% to 70% level to pay off debt and entitlements, it will be time to “get out”. Maybe it is already time. But where does one go?
    Costa Rica, Baja Mexico, Belize, New Zealand.
    Somewhere that speaks English and the people can handle old and middle-aged people, WITH money.

  11. paulie Post author

    LPW,

    No doubt, if and when that transpires, leaving will be made illegal as well.

    Once the border fences and guards are in place, some Americans may be surprised that the guns will be pointed so as to keep them in rather than, as they were led to believe, to keep “furriners” out.

  12. Don Wills

    paulie writes “Right, because people who can’t afford to eat have money for international flights? Please, that’s absurd.”

    Not at all. It is not only plausible, I submit it’s virtually assured. A one way flight from Asia costs maybe $500 in a crowded plane. Even if that’s one year’s income for someone, they’ll recoup their costs in less than 4 months worth of food stamps + welfare. And that doesn’t even count the free education and healthcare. Plus, who says they’ll come by air. If our borders are open and unlimited, some good old capitalists would convert a convert a couple of super-tankers into ships that could move tens of thousands per trip.

    Static thinking like paulie exhibits on this issue is typical of statists, but unfortunately infects libertarians also.

  13. paulie Post author

    Hmmm. So, if millions of Latin Americans have done it already, where are all these Africans and Asians now? Why aren’t they here? What’s stopping them?

    It can’t be the border patrol, when thousands of people cross without their permission every day.

  14. paulie Post author

    Even if that’s one year’s income for someone, they’ll recoup their costs in less than 4 months worth of food stamps + welfare.

    So, let me get this straight. You believe that a billion or more people who are living on $500 a year can actually save money for a plane flight or supertanker – yet these same unbelievably enterprising people will just live on welfare when they get here.

    You also believe that these enterprising capitalists who can get supertankers going, etc., won’t figure out a way to get this fictitious army of people to work making a living.

    You also believe that under these rather hard to believe circumstances they will still get welfare.

    Right, that all certainly makes sense. LOL.

    And all that stands between us and a billion or more people who can figure out how to save money while making $500 a year (that is barely enough to not die of starvation or disease if they are very lucky) is the border patrol…the same one that can’t stop several million Latin Americans.

    OK, I can’t argue with logic like that.

  15. Don Wills

    paulie still doesn’t get it. It’s no big deal for a Mexican to cross every year, work for eight months, then go back for Christmas. Total transportation cost per year? Maybe $100. Plus if they get tossed out of the country, they just cross again.

    Compare that to a super-tanker filled with 10,000 Africans. The chance of getting turned back today = 100%. The chance of getting turned back in paulie’s pretend world = 0%. Big difference.

    All humans, even uneducated ones, understand risk and cost/benefit analysis quite well.

  16. paulie Post author

    Don, Don, Don….

    In “Paulie’s world”, the welfare benefits you keep referring to would not even exist.

    Incidentally, given that countless tons of illegal drugs and millions of Latinos cross the border all the time, why would the tankers be “100%” turned back?

    Your faith in the competence of government is touching.

    You also still fail to explain why all these folks would want to be on welfare, and why none of the capitalists you refer to could figure out ways to put them to work.

  17. Don Wills

    paulie – I like paulie’s pretend world. Very much. I truly wish for it to come to be.

    But it ain’t gonna happen. Not in my grandchildrens’ lifetime. Until the USA stops providing free food, shelter, education and healthcare for everyone without a job, we must control the flow of folks entering our country.

    The bottom line – ivory tower libertarians do more damage than good for the LP.

  18. paulie Post author

    But it ain’t gonna happen. Not in my grandchildrens’ lifetime.

    Oh, now you have a crystal ball as well…LOL

    Until the USA stops providing free food, shelter, education and healthcare for everyone without a job, we must control the flow of folks entering our country.

    Until the USA stops drug prohibition, we can’t have individual gun ownership.

    Until we end welfare, we can’t legalize drugs.

    These kinds of arguments are ultimately self-defeating.

    Notice, no answers…to any of my questions above in #17.

    And ivory tower? Who’s that? Certainly not me.
    But I guess that’s what happens when you assume.

  19. Don Wills

    paraphrasing, paulie asks “Why would a tanker with 10,000 Africans be turned back at our shores today?”

    Huh? Earth to paulie. I admit gummint isn’t particularly competent, but I bet they could spot 10,000 Africans unloading in Miami. Maybe not with 100% certainty, but I’d bet 1000 to 1 that they would figure it out and send them back (ie. 99.9% certainty).

    And for those few who are actually reading this stupid thread, the rest of Paulie’s arguments in #17 and #19 are ridiculous strawman arguments that are not worthy of comment.

    The reader can judge for themselves whether they believe that a person who advocates immediate opening of our borders to unlimited numbers lives in an ivory-tower.

  20. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, if everybody who might want to come here is already able to come here, then we already have the open-borders outcome that you advocate.

  21. paulie Post author

    I admit gummint isn’t particularly competent, but I bet they could spot 10,000 Africans unloading in Miami.

    Hmmm, yeah, it would be real hard to…say…park offshore and zip them up the Miami River in speedboats, or something.

    the rest of Paulie’s arguments in #17 and #19 are ridiculous strawman arguments that are not worthy of comment.

    Translation, Don has no answer to why all these folks would want to be on welfare, and why none of the capitalists you refer to could figure out ways to put them to work.

    Seems kinda odd, given what I have seen of human nature.

    For example, when I owned a furniture moving business in NYC, and when I worked on refurbishing abandoned buildings, and when I worked on factor assembly lines, etc, etc., I worked side by side with tons of “illegal” (undocumented) workers and they were dollar for dollar a hell of a lot more productive than the native born Americans, and damn happy to have a job.

  22. paulie Post author

    Paulie, if everybody who might want to come here is already able to come here, then we already have the open-borders outcome that you advocate.

    The paperwork and border guards are a hassle, and I would expect a rise in immigration if we had open borders.

    However, I don’t think it would be even close to the order of magnitude Don is talking about, I don’t think a high proportion of those coming would be interested in being on welfare, and any that did end up on welfare would be far outweighed by the people coming in, working hard, starting businesses, etc.

  23. LP Watcher

    Can Don Wills run for national LP chair?
    He makes sense that resonates with a majority of Americans. Don, please put your hat in the ring for something. You got stones man.

  24. Tom Blanton

    I would estimate that 40-50% of my neighbors are in America illegally. The downturn in construction jobs have left many unemployed. Yet, few if any of these “illegals” go to the government for welfare or food stamps simply because if they do they risk confinement and deportation. They trust government less than most libertarians.

    In Virginia, and most places, certain requirements must be met to qualify for food stamps (now known as SNAP). A quick trip to the social services website enabled me to find the basic requirements in about 30 seconds (try it yourself).

    Proof of identity (driver’s license or picture I.D.), residence, income, resource and shelter expenses are required. An interview is also required. If you apply at your local department of social services, the interview may take place at a later date.

    No ID or proof of residence? No food stamps (or card now).

    The whole thing about immigrants coming to get welfare is bullshit. These people are basically underground.

  25. Don Wills

    Tom B. writes “The whole thing about immigrants coming to get welfare is bullshit. These people are basically underground.”

    Wrong. Tom B. is also guilty of static thinking that doesn’t take into account the very different country we would live in if we let anyone in but didn’t do away with *all* welfare benefits first, including welfare, foodstamps, free healthcare, subsidized housing, et al. The fact that they are underground today is irrelevant; they would not be underground if it were legal for them to be here!

    As I said, I really like paulie’s (and Tom B.’s) pretend world where there are zero benefits for immigrants. In that world anybody could come into the USA who isn’t diseased, just like it worked until the end of the 19th century. That would be wonderful. However, such a libertarian utopia is not gonna happen in my lifetime, nor in my children’s or their children’s lifetimes.

  26. Brian Holtz

    Don, I don’t even want to live in the alleged libertopia of open borders and no government benefits for immigrants. Good little libertarians believe that private charity would do as well or better than government welfare, so ending welfare wouldn’t empty the honey pot.

    Begging on the streets in America is far more profitable than begging on the streets of Mexico City or any other third-world city. Inviting all the planet’s economic refugees to America would probably double our population in a decade. At what equilibrium would the tsunami of economic refugees stop? Only when the expected increase in one’s living standards became less than the cost of the travel. And travel is cheap and keeps on getting cheaper — even for the 2.7 billion people who earn/produce less than $700/yr.

  27. Erik G.

    Why is it that nobody’s brought up the following very important points?

    1.) The average immigrant puts $1,300 more per year into the “system” than he or she takes out.*

    2.) Numerous studies have demonstrated that not only do immigrants *not* affect native unemployment, but they don’t decrease wages for natives either.**

    3.) Were it not for our interventionist foreign policy that props up dictators and economic ‘friends,’ as well as our trade policies that keep the poor from entering the international marketplace, far fewer people would want or need to leave their homeland.

    * = J.L. Simon, Immigration: The Demographic and Economic Facts (Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 1995), pp. 31-32.
    ** = same document, but it’s a meta-analysis on pp. 19-30.

  28. Brian Holtz

    Why? Re-read what Don said about static thinking. As I said — twice — in the long recent thread on immigration: “Data about current immigrants is not very relevant here. My concern is about the very real possibility of two orders of magnitude more migrants, with a large portion of them being economic refugees. Migrants don’t currently come to America with a fallback plan of taking welfare or begging on our sidewalks, because they know they couldn’t get away with it. When you offer that fallback plan — an offer never made by any society in human history — you completely change the dynamics of who decides to come here.”

    Your 1995 data seem to be stale. I’ll quote again from the c.2004 Library of Economics and Liberty article on Immigration:

    An important consequence of the shift toward a less-skilled immigrant flow is a sizable increase in the costs associated with welfare use among immigrants. In 1970, immigrant households were slightly less likely to receive public assistance than were native households: 5.9 percent of immigrant households received cash benefits, versus 6.0 percent of native households. By 2002, immigrant households were much more likely to receive assistance: 22.7 percent of immigrant households received some type of welfare (defined as cash benefits, Medicaid, or food stamps) versus 14.6 percent of native households.

    Recent evidence on the national labor market impact of immigration is striking. The evidence indicates that the wage of the skill groups—defined in terms of educational attainment and labor market experience—that experienced the largest influx of immigrants grew most slowly over the 1960–2000 period. It has been estimated that the wages of native workers in a particular skill group will decline by about 3–4 percent for every 10-percent increase in the number of workers that can be attributed to immigration. So, for example, if there are 1,000,000 workers in a particular skill group and that group is expanded by 100,000 immigrants, the hourly wages of the entire group would fall by 3 to 4 percent.

    Although the entry of immigrants reduces the wages of comparable natives, it increases slightly the income of U.S. natives overall. Using a well-known formula in economics (a variation on the theme of the so-called Harberger triangle), we can estimate that immigration increases the real income of natives, but only by about 0.2 percent. U.S. natives’ economic gains from immigration, therefore, are relatively small: about $22 billion per year (in 2003 dollars). Of course, not everyone benefits equally from immigration; workers with competing skills lose, while owners of land and capital gain.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Of course, not everyone benefits equally from immigration; workers with competing skills lose, while owners of land and capital gain.”

    Which, of course, is why software engineers who take a generally libertarian view on most issues freak out and start babbling hysterically when the prospect of hordes of Indian coders pulling up stakes in Mumbai and planting said stakes in Half Moon Bay intrudes on their daydreams.

  30. Erik G.

    Brian,

    You say my numbers are “stale,” yet you just compared 1970 to 2002. Give me a break. If anything, I would have thought you’d have appreciated my citing Cato, given your love affair with the institute.

    From the Reason Foundation:

    “But, immigrants aren’t flocking to the United States to mooch off the government. According to a study by the Urban Institute, the 1996 welfare reform effort dramatically reduced the use of welfare by undocumented immigrant households, exactly as intended. And another vital thing happened in 1996: the Internal Revenue Service began issuing identification numbers to enable illegal immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers to file taxes.”

    Also, these fun bits:

    The presence of ‘illegal’ immigrants has aided/saved SS, as most immigrants pay into the “system,” but never retire or receive benefits from it. Per the NY Times in April 2005:

    “As the debate over Social Security heats up, the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United States are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year.

    While it has been evident for years that illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes, the extent of their contributions to Social Security is striking: the money added up to about 10 percent of last year’s surplus. ”

    According to an April 2, 2008 piece in the Times:

    “In the fine print of the 2008 annual report on Social Security, released last week, the program’s trustees noted that growing numbers of “other than legal” workers are expected to bolster the program over the coming decades.

    We’re not talking chump change. According to the report, the taxes paid by other-than-legal immigrants will close 15 percent of the system’s projected long-term deficit. That’s equivalent to raising the payroll tax by 0.3 percentage points, starting today.”

    In 2007, the White House Council of Economic Advisors had this to say:

    “The long-run impact of immigration on public budgets is likely to be positive. Projections of future taxes and government spending are subject to uncertainty, but a careful study published by the National Research Council estimated that immigrants and their descendants would contribute about $80,000 more in taxes (in 1996 dollars) than they would receive in public services. ”

    During a 2007 debate over the “Pathway to Citizenship,” the CBO estimated:

    “The analysis found that over the next decade, newly legalized immigrants and guest workers would generate $48 billion in additional tax and Social Security revenues, while using about $23 billion worth of tax credits and social services. Thus, the newly legal immigrant population would contribute a net of about $26 billion over the decade, the report said.”

  31. Erik G.

    Also, you essentially proved my point about wages with this nugget:

    “Although the entry of immigrants reduces the wages of comparable natives, it increases slightly the income of U.S. natives overall. Using a well-known formula in economics (a variation on the theme of the so-called Harberger triangle), we can estimate that immigration increases the real income of natives, but only by about 0.2 percent. U.S. natives’ economic gains from immigration, therefore, are relatively small: about $22 billion per year (in 2003 dollars). Of course, not everyone benefits equally from immigration; workers with competing skills lose, while owners of land and capital gain.”

  32. Erik G.

    Also, the “offer” of which you speak is a nefarious debate tactic, to say the least. I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone advocates we both allow full immigration *and* continue the welfare state.

  33. Brian Holtz

    Erik, every single thing you’ve posted is yet another reason why I support the current magnitude of immigration, and not an order of magnitude higher or lower. Thanks!

    Tom, I’ll keep repeating it until you ever bother reading it: I’ll take as many immigrants who 1) do not trespass, 2) pay for how much they pollute, congest, or deplete the natural commons, and 3) are sponsored by someone (perhaps themselves) who can afford to assume the same responsibility for their subsistence as parents do for native children.

    So I’ll take all the coders that Mumbai has to offer. In case you didn’t know, the last time my software job got outsourced, it prompted me to switch to a company with much brighter prospects, and I made hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock options over the subsequent few years. As I say in the bio page of my 2004/2006/2008 congressional campaign sites:

    My career is a good example of how the free market is an efficient allocator of resources. I had worked for eleven years on Sun’s proprietary Solaris operating system, which was a cutting-edge product in the 1990s but is being eclipsed by open-source operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD. Market forces prompted Sun to relocate much Solaris maintenance overseas, which freed me to work with an open-source OS at Yahoo in the rapidly-expanding matchmaking industry. In moving me to a more productive (and more fun and lucrative) position at Yahoo, Sun’s freedom to fire was as essential as Yahoo’s freedom to hire.

    Sigh. Erik, when you apologize for calling my comment “nefarious”, I’ll know you have finally comprehended this sentence: “Good little libertarians believe that private charity would do as well or better than government welfare, so ending welfare wouldn’t empty the honey pot.” Not before. (Why oh why don’t libertarians take their own dogma seriously?)

  34. Erik G.

    Brian,

    What you are forgetting is that you’re the one who chose to question the points I brought up, not vice versa. You brought in Don W.’s (abused) use of ‘static thinking,’ but to what end? I don’t recall the points I brought up being framed in a static manner. You were the one who chose to create a false choice dilemma and subsequently slot me into one side of this ‘debate.’

    Now, let’s also dissect this set of erroneous logic you’ve put worth.

    You claimed,
    “When you offer that fallback plan — an offer never made by any society in human history — you completely change the dynamics of who decides to come here.””

    1.) I didn’t offer this ‘fallback plan.’
    2.) There are far more choices than the ‘fallback plan’ of which you speak. Please take your false dilemma elswewhere.
    3.) You have yet to submit evidence that this would actually occur, even if that were the plan.
    4.) I believe your base assumptions on this topic are fundamentally flawed. It would appear you assume people would rather sit around on welfare than work, which generally isn’t true. I suppose this is the remnants of your conservative past haunting you with fears of lazy people everywhere democratically feeding off your wallet? Study after study confirms that most of the poor *want* to work. Free riding isn’t as widespread as conservatives and right-leaning libertarians think.

    As for my ‘comprehension’ of your sentence, perhaps I’ll apologize for labeling your tactic nefarious when you stop starting your sentences in the condescending fashion of, “good little libertarians…” Seriously, Brian, grow up – words aren’t bullets, and I’m not making personal attacks. I didn’t say *you* were nefarious, I said the tactic was (…and it is).

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    What you’re missing is that it isn’t your rightful option to “take” or “not take” immigrants under any set of conditions.

    The passage of people over arbitrary street gang turf lines, in and of itself, neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg.

    It’s my understanding that you plan to temporarily migrate to my neck of the woods next week. Who’s your surrogate parent/sponsor? If you don’t have one, why shouldn’t I pre-emptively stick you in a cage before you have a chance to trespass or pollute?

  36. paulie Post author

    However, such a libertarian utopia is not gonna happen in my lifetime, nor in my children’s or their children’s lifetimes.

    Now that’s what I call static thinking.

  37. paulie Post author

    The fact that they are underground today is irrelevant; they would not be underground if it were legal for them to be here!

    True. However, you seem to think that they would tilt the balance of the economy towards those willing to live on welfare, whereas I believe they would on balance tilt it much more towards those working more productively and adding to the per capita growth of the economy.

  38. paulie Post author

    2.7 billion people who earn/produce less than $700/yr.

    Right, because starving people can afford international travel?

    This whole doomsday scenario you and DW propose assumes that people would be coming over here to beg. The reason they are begging on the streets of third world countries is that those countries have government policies that stunt the economy, producing a shortage of jobs.

    To a lesser degree, so does the US today, yet those policies would be done away with under the scenario I propose.

    Existing businesses would expand and new businesses would spring up all over the place, and with numerous people willing to work hard for less, the cost of goods and services would go down. This would free up capital to create many other specialized jobs and promote technological innovation, thus creating a far higher standard of living than even the wealthiest person in the world can have today.

    And to the extent that unemployment would still occur in this booming economy, private charity would be much more efficient in meeting needs – and helping people transition into the workforce – than government “charity.”

  39. paulie Post author

    Were it not for our interventionist foreign policy that props up dictators and economic ‘friends,’ as well as our trade policies that keep the poor from entering the international marketplace, far fewer people would want or need to leave their homeland.

    Very good points as well.

    And, a free America would serve as an example to the world and lead people in other countries to shuck the government policies that are keeping them down as well.

    But we can’t have a truly free America while we have a massive government bureaucracy ham handedly trying to stifle the free movement of labor.

  40. Tom Blanton

    “Good little libertarians..”

    In this thread, Holtz reveals his bigotry, his hatred of libertarians, and his inability to distinguish his own opinions from facts.

    It never ceases to amaze me that libertarians take Holtz seriously as he obviously holds them in contempt.

  41. Brian Holtz

    Heh. I used the gentle sarcasm of “good little libertarians” to underscore what I see as my key insight — an argument that as far as I can tell is an original contribution to the libertarian immigration debate — and yet it still got blatantly ignored and my argument was instead called “nefarious”. (And I also got accused of petty personal self-interest in choosing my position. And I won’t even mention all the venom and abuse Blanton et al. heaped on my in the previous immigration thread.) And yet somehow I’m the hater. LOL. Blanton, there is indeed some holding-in-contempt going on here, but you apparently don’t understand how it’s aimed.

    Erik, all your points have been already addressed at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/04/libertarian-party-monday-message-dont-blame-immigrants/.

    Re: “dilemma”, see @27 and @157.

    Re: “evidence”, see @98, @125 paragraph 3, and @233.

    Re: “laziness” (and Paulie’s “begging”), see @103 paragraph 4.

    Erik, you were flat-out wrong to say it was “nefarious” that I did something that I did not do. I did not say any anybody “advocates we both allow full immigration *and* continue the welfare state”. Since you haven’t apologized, I conclude that you still have no clue as to what I actually said.

    Tom, the answer to your silly question about my travel to St. Louis is easy, and already given @158. As for migration as aggression, see @214 and @173.

    So who’s got next? Who thinks they’ve got an open-borders argument I haven’t already answered in that other thread? :-)

  42. Michael H. Wilson

    YO! People! You may wish to read what our friend (if he’ll have us) Jeffery Miron has to say on the subject. “Jeffrey A. Miron is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron blogs at http://jeffreymiron.com and is the author of Libertarianism, from A to Z, from Basic Books.”

    “Arizona’s new immigration policy, which requires aliens to carry immigration papers and directs the police to detain “suspected aliens,” has re-ignited debates over how to reduce illegal immigration. Most of this debate involves wishful thinking: the claim that stricter border controls or Arizona-like measures can make a real difference. The reality is that only four policies can significantly reduce illegal immigration.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/18/the-realities-behind-the-immigration-debate/#ixzz0oUBWE6mr

  43. Tom Blanton

    Heh. I used the gentle sarcasm of “good little libertarians” to underscore what I see as my key insight — an argument that as far as I can tell is an original contribution to the libertarian immigration debate — and yet it still got blatantly ignored and my argument was instead called “nefarious”.

    Holtz’s “key insight” is remarkably similar to that of Michael Savage and other self-styled patriot vigilantes. Of course, if Holtz is upset that his “original contribution to the libertarian immigration debate” is being ignored by all the good little libertarians, he is free to take his toys (in this case, his opinions that he peddles as facts), and get a job at some neocon think tank where his “facts” might be better appreciated.

    Holtz’s post @ 214 in the thread he references pretty much sums up what he has to offer in the way of “original thought”.

    I’m amused at how Holtz plays the “don’t be a hater” card when his contempt for libertarians is mentioned (or when called a neolibertarian). What’s next? I’m waiting for “don’t be hatin’ the playa, hate the game” from him.

  44. Tom Blanton

    My concern is about the very real possibility of two orders of magnitude more migrants, with a large portion of them being economic refugees.

    Let’s see, if there are 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants in America now, then two orders of magnitude more would be 1.2 to 2 billion more immigrants. This is a “very real” possibility?

  45. Tom Blanton

    Michael, the Jeffery Miron article is pretty good. But there are a number of problems.

    First, he doesn’t seem to have a sufficient amount of hatred for immigrants in general and for Mexicans specifically. This proves he is actually a bleeding heart liberal.

    Second, his ideas are far too radical for most talk radio listeners and tea party folks. People interested in “doing real politics” have to distance themselves from radical extremist absolutists like Miron.

    Third, he denies that immigrants come to America for welfare benefits. This makes him guilty of “static thinking”.

    Fourth, his ideas can’t be easily distilled to simple charts, bumper stickers, web graphics, or sound bites.

    Fifth, the name Miron is very close to the word “moron” and opponents would use this against him.

    Finally, he thinks legal immigration is a good thing and he wants to make it easier. This goes against conventional wisdom for those who care about language and culture. Immigrants don’t even know who Britney Spears and Lee Greenwood are. Our culture will be destroyed.

    I don’t think the neolibertarians will go along with Miron’s radical pro-welfare state ideas that will only bring as many as a billion paupers to America to pollute the commons.

    When trying to analyze immigration policy that could ruin the aesthetics of upper middle class neighborhoods and shopping malls, one must always ask, “What would Wayne Allyn Root do?”

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write:

    “Tom, the answer to your silly question about my
    travel to St. Louis is easy, and already given @158.”

    The answer is, indeed, easy: St. Louis isn’t my back yard.

    But that’s not the argument you gave @158 of the other thread.

    The answer you gave there was just an expansion of convenience of the back yard in your baseless “Not in (What I Wish Was) My Back Yard” argument.

    Your original argument is an epic philosophical/ideological fail. Changing the geographical parameters to which you wish to apply it doesn’t redeem it.

  47. Erik G.

    Brian,

    On your use of a false choice dilemma:

    Just because you link something, and say it’s been addressed, doesn’t make it so. I fail to see where at @27 or @157 of the linked thread that you comment on the false choice dilemma you proposed in *this* thread at @29. You stated, and I quote,
    “Migrants don’t currently come to America with a fallback plan of taking welfare or begging on our sidewalks, because they know they couldn’t get away with it. When you offer that fallback plan — an offer never made by any society in human history — you completely change the dynamics of who decides to come here.”

    Now, in doing so, you’ve presented a false choice dilemma. You state that “two orders of magnitude more migrants, with a large portion of them being economic refugees,” would have to a.) not come (your choice) or b.) come and “fallback” on the plan that they could take welfare, since now (supposedly) the only option is to continue the welfare state and allow them to pick your pocket. In arguing this, you’ve completely dismissed the idea that alternative paths exist (they wouldn’t come in the numbers you claim, welfare may cease to exist or be weakened immensely, etc.).

    If anything, your references to the other thread (particularly 157) *prove* that you’ve created this false choice dilemma, as you’ve equivocally stated that you think that’s the only possible outcome.

    It’s ironic that you reference Don W.’s ‘static thinking’ because this two-path approach you’re waving your arms about is as nearly static as they come.

    On your “evidence”:

    I (sadly) read the thread you reference. From what I see, your points @98, @125, & @233 are more or less summarized by your stating,
    “If I don’t have “objective evidence” that it would happen, then you don’t have “objective evidence” that it wouldn’t happen.”

    In other words, you believe things like space exploration shouldn’t occur, because while you could claim I have no evidence that extraterrestrials would annihilate us, I could likewise claim you have no evidence they wouldn’t! This is classic stall-tactic debating if I’ve ever seen it.

    The fact that you follow up this argument with the logic of tyrants (“an offer never made by any society in human history (!)”), citing the ‘uniqueness’ of the situation that grants your ‘appropriate’ response, is amusing. Sure, the founders of America advocated man support himself, but they could have *never* foreseen the machinations of industrialization (!), the tyrants have sworn. Sure, we love our civil liberties, but we could have *never* foreseen a world where terrorists have access to WMDs in unconventional settings (!), the tyrants have sworn.

    Now, to be sure, I’ve said you’re using the *logic* of tyrants; I’m not calling *you* a tyrant. I know how sensitive your feelings are, and that I should be sure to clarify this.

    On your views of “parasitic immigration”:

    You state @103,
    “My only objection is to being a target for parasites. I favor unlimited levels of non-parasitic immigration. Your position only differs from mine to the extent that you concede that some immigration will be parasitic.”

    By this same logic, shouldn’t you be weeding the “parasites” who do live here out? Why aren’t you favoring the deportation of the needy? What you’ve tried to goad everyone in to saying is “sure, *some* people will be parasites,” so that you can say “ah-ha! So you accept that we must prevent this from happening (since surely only a madman would claim we should support these “parasites” as “hosts”),” as if this magically justifies your position. Using your own ‘logic’ against you, while you state this is the only possible outcome of increased immigration, I’ll state that you have no evidence to the contrary. Spinning in circles doesn’t answer the question, however.

    You’ve done nothing to dispel my hunch that you view the poor as lazy and, if anything, you’ve only made this hunch stronger. Referring to potential immigrants as parasites surely isn’t your brightest moment, and the underlying assumption that many would make no effort to work and support themselves is both comical and horrifying. It’s almost as if you view the poverty in their own countries to be the work of their ‘parasitic’ laziness, rather than the flawed policies enacted by their governments.

    On your statement of this nugget:

    “Erik, you were flat-out wrong to say it was “nefarious” that I did something that I did not do. I did not say any anybody “advocates we both allow full immigration *and* continue the welfare state”. Since you haven’t apologized, I conclude that you still have no clue as to what I actually said.”

    To the contrary, I didn’t say you said we should “both allow full immigration *and* continue the welfare state.” What I said was that you used a debate tactic called a false choice dilemma to present this as the one of two options. Then, I said such a tactic is a nefarious tactic, but you decided it was time to cry victimhood rather than read what I wrote. I never called *you* nefarious, no matter how much you claim otherwise. There’s no need to apologize, because the *tactic* is nefarious. I didn’t realize tactics had feelings, and if they do, I suppose my apology to the tactic wouldn’t be any of your business anyhow.

    This is classic Holtz Debating 101:
    When you’re losing an argument, or you fail to counteract another’s point, you’ve often stated your argument repeatedly, waiting for someone to call you a name (or state something that you can, at the very least, take personal offense to), then feigning victimhood over the name calling and using it as justification to not address the topic further. I’ve seen you do this so many times, it’s getting ridiculous.

  48. Brian Holtz

    My specific claim, repeated above @27 from the other thread, is: “Inviting all the planet’s economic refugees to America would probably double our population in a decade.”

    As I said in the other thread: “I favor unlimited levels of non-parasitic immigration. Your position only differs from mine to the extent that you concede that some immigration will be parasitic.”

    Blanton, I’ve never seen anybody make the point in a libertarian discussion of immigration that the absence of government welfare is irrelevant in an open-borders libertopia because libertopians believe that private charity will do as good or better than welfare. I challenge you to cite anybody anywhere ever making that point before me. I’ve never seen it. It directly undercuts one of the essential open-borders libertopian arguments. I’m sorry if that upsets you.

    Blanton’s comment @47 employs too many obvious strawmen to bother rebutting it.

  49. Erik G.

    Brian,

    Again, that is not the same as the dilemma you presented on *this* thread.

    Moreover, my points about your ‘gotcha’ use of “I favor unlimited levels of non-parasitic immigration. Your position only differs from mine to the extent that you concede that some immigration will be parasitic” remain.

    That you continually choose to evade the points I argue and stick to one or two items you claim I haven’t dispelled… well, that’s your choice. But it doesn’t make you right. :)

  50. Tom Blanton

    Blanton’s comment @47 employs too many obvious strawmen to bother rebutting it.

    Does this mean Holtz agrees that Miron doesn’t hate commons-polluting deadbeat immigrants enough and is a static thinking, bleeding heart liberal whose radical ideas can’t be reduced to a Holtz-style chart or bumper-sticker slogan nor shouldn’t be?

    Blanton, I’ve never seen anybody make the point in a libertarian discussion of immigration that the absence of government welfare is irrelevant in an open-borders libertopia because libertopians believe that private charity will do as good or better than welfare.

    Holtz, this proves you limit yourself to only what you want to hear or read.

    Many libertarians have made the case for open borders without mentioning welfare at all. What you refer to is anti-immigration “libertarians” who speak from both sides of their mouth on the issue by claiming they are for open immigration, but not until the welfare state is ended. This is the language of neolibertopians that believe they have a clever strategy to appeal to those on both sides of the debate.

    Some libertarians have made the case that opening the borders might actually help end the welfare state.

    The only thing you’ve introduced into the debate that I don’t usually hear too much of in libertarian circles is your bigotry which assumes most immigrants come to pollute your commons and get welfare benefits. Of course, I don’t consider your fellow Californian, Michael Savage, a libertarian – although I’m sure that if you took “your” test for him, you would manage to find him in “your” libertarian quadrant somewhere. His perceptions of immigrants and your own aren’t too far apart.

  51. Brian Holtz

    Eric, I don’t see any dilemma, false or otherwise, in what you quoted from me. The lemmas I defend are @26 and @157 in the other thread. If you’ve attempted anywhere anytime to answer them, please point me toward your attempt.

    When you talk about “welfare may cease to exist or be weakened immensely”, you show that you still do not grasp my “honeypot” point that you labeled as “nefarious” without even understanding it. I wish you would take seriously my complaint that you haven’t understood it.

    Re: “nefarious”, I’ve never once complained that you called me nefarious rather than my argument, so would you please stop arguing against a strawman to the contrary?

    Re: “alternative paths”, see @26. Please.

    Re: “parasites”, see @195.

    Re: “evidence”, see also @53. I don’t see how your “annihilation by aliens” argument can be taken seriously.

    Re: “uniqueness”, see my facts @206. To suggest I’m simply hand-waving is completely unfair.

    Tom, calling my position @158 names doesn’t refute it. The reasons for my position are @26 and @33. If you can point me to a cogent rebuttal to them, I’d be happy to respond.

    Blanton, you fail to comprehend what I’m saying is novel. What’s novel is my rebuttal of the argument that we could have open borders if we ended government welfare. I’m of course not saying that this point alone rebuts the general case for open borders. For that, refer to my extended argument @26 and @33.

    Your suggestion that Michael Savage has a geolibertarian perspective on immigrants is ludicrous. Do you seriously think that anyone here is gullible enough to be persuaded by your baseless guilt-by-association smears?

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    I’ve refuted most of your arguments — all of them, in fact, that aren’t merely items of personal preference on your part, many times. But OK, let’s do this again, starting with Argument #1 @26 in that other thread:

    “Technology will continue to drive the costs (in money as well as social disconnection) of emigration dramatically lower.”

    Cost of travel by ship from China to California circa 1850-1860: $15 ($353.91 in 2009 dollars) to ($1061.74) in 2009 dollars

    Average (from 28 quotes at Orbitz) cost of one-way air ticket from Beijing to San Francisco for 30 May 2010: $1150.39.

    Next?

  53. Tom Blanton

    Your suggestion that Michael Savage has a geolibertarian perspective on immigrants is ludicrous. Do you seriously think that anyone here is gullible enough to be persuaded by your baseless guilt-by-association smears?

    Holtz, learn to read. I never suggested that Michael Savage has a geolibertarian perspective on immigrants. I merely stated that “his perceptions of immigrants and your own aren’t too far apart.”

    Do you seriously think that anyone here is gullible enough to be persuaded by your baseless guilt-by-association smears?

    Not at all. I didn’t engage in any guilt-by-association smear. I openly called you a bigot, a trait that you share with Michael Savage regarding your perception of immigrants. In fact your pathological obsession with categorizing and labeling all individuals, so that you can neatly sort them into boxes, and assign metrics and stereotypes to them is also shared by Savage, although he is not so much into the metrics as he apparently doesn’t share your obsession with graphs and charts.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for up to 2 billion “parasites” to forgo eating for one year so they cop some cheap seats on Travelocity for the next jet to California where they will bankrupt the state. Oh, wait, California is already bankrupt because of the white middle-class parasites with government jobs.

  54. Jose C

    A study conducted by the Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow Edwin S. Rubenstein on some of the costs of illegal imigration.

    The cost to taxepayers:

    Rubenstein found that each immigrant costs taxpayers more than $9,000, while every immigrant household of four costs $36,000 in taxes.

    The cost to pay for taxpayer supported education:

    Looking at education alone, Rubenstein found that about “3.8 million public school students — 7.9% of total K to 12 enrollment — are enrolled in classes for English language learners,” according to Department of Education statistics. These classes are significantly more expensive than mainstream English classes.

    Rand Corp. researchers discovered back in 1981 that added costs for language assistance instruction ranged from $100 to $500 per pupil. Added to that are program administration costs, staff development and functions such as student identification and assessment.

    The cost for crimes commited:

    Turning to the Department of Justice, the study found criminal aliens to be “an increasing burden on U.S. prison systems.” In 1980, federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens, Rubenstein said. But at the end of 2004, about 267,000 noncitizens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities.
    Of all prisoners in federal prisons, 27% are criminal aliens, he found, with a total cost of $1.5 billion. But that may be low-balling it. “A shortage of available prison capacity has forced federal authorities to release criminal aliens prematurely. Nationally an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes still walk the streets,” he said.

    The cost to victims of crimes:

    On top of that are the private costs criminal aliens impose on their victims. Analyzing the rap sheets of 55,000 incarcerated illegal aliens in 2003, the Government Accountability Office found that the average criminal alien was arrested for 13 prior offenses, 12% of which were cases of murder, robbery, assault and sexually related crimes; only 21% were immigration offenses, the rest being felonies.
    “The economic burden they impose on victims, including loss of income and property, uncompensated hospital bills, and emotional pain and suffering, has been estimated at $1.6 million per property and assault crime offender,” Rubenstein found.

  55. Tom Blanton

    Rubenstein found that each immigrant costs taxpayers more than $9,000, while every immigrant household of four costs $36,000 in taxes.

    Federal Budget: approx $3 trillion

    No. of Americans: over 300 million

    Approx. cost per American: $10,000

    Wow, each immigrant saves us $1,000!!

    Does the Rube report how much each immigrant pays in taxes, fees, etc. and how much they contribute to the economy, how many jobs they create, etc?

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