Open Borders Is a Lunatic Idea

The Quote Below: More Misinformation from the Media

“Open borders are not only just the most promising shortcut to global prosperity. . . . To see the massive missed opportunity of which Is speak, consider the immigration of a low-skilled Haitian. . . . In Haiti, he would earn about $1,000 per year. In Miami, he could easily earn $25,000 per year. How is such upward mobility possible?  Simply put: Human beings are much more productive in Florida than Haiti—thanks to better government policies. . . . Standard estimates say open borders would ultimately double humanity’s wealth production. How is this possible? Because immigration sharply increases workers’ productivity—and the world contains many hundreds of millions of would-be immigrants. . . .

“I’m not joking. Standard estimates say open borders would ultimately double humanity’s wealth production. . . .

“The simplest objection to open borders is logistical: Even the largest countries cannot absorb hundreds of millions of immigrants overnight. True enough, but no reasonable person expects hundreds of millions to come overnight either. . . . Puerto Ricans have been legally allowed to move to the United States before Puerto Ricans in the United States came to outnumber the population left on the island.

“Who knows how vast numbers of new immigrants would vote? Indeed, shouldn’t we expect people from dysfunctional polities to bring dysfunctional politics with them? These are fine questions, but the answers are not alarming. . . .  So while it would not be alarmist to think that immigration will slightly tilt policy in an economically liberal and socially conservative direction, warning that ‘immigrants will vote to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs’ is paranoid.” – Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea, Foreign Policy, Bryan Caplan, 11/1/19 [Link]

Fact Check on Quote Above: In ancient Greece there was a class of skilled orators called sophists. For a fee they could argue any position, no matter how absurd, and make it sound at least plausible. Mass immigration advocates have much in common with the sophists. Some of them, such as Caplan, even attempt to rationalize the absurdity of open borders, i.e., an invitation to any and every foreigner who wants to move here, with native-born American citizens having absolutely no say-so in the matter.

Caplan, however, is right about one thing. There are hundreds of millions of foreigners who would like to move to the United States. Specifically, a Gallup poll abroad found that 158 million people would like to settle here. If they brought their spouses and minor children the total could easily be twice that. And should we broadcast to the world that our doors are wide open, probably even more would like to come.

But Caplan says not to worry because they probably wouldn’t want to come too quickly. To support that claim he notes that it took a hundred years for the population of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. to exceed the number of them in Puerto Rico. The problem with this argument is that he leaves out a key fact, namely that residents of Puerto Rico are eligible for U.S. welfare benefits and most are exempt from paying federal income tax. In other words Puerto Ricans have what amounts to a subsidy to remain where they are. Despite that, a great many come here anyway. Would Caplan propose we provide a similar subsidy to the entire globe?

Our country’s extensive public assistance is a magnet for migration. As economist Milton Friedman observed It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” Today immigrant-headed households in the U.S. are much more likely to receive welfare than those of native-born Americans.

Immigrants qualify to receive welfare, in large part, because mass immigration keeps their wages down. Caplan says an immigrant makes more money in Miami than in Haiti, but if enough immigrants arrive, wages in Miami will plummet toward the level of Haiti. Mass immigration ultimately weakens productivity by discouraging automation. Why pay for machines when there’s an endless supply of cheap workers?

Caplan tries to reassure his readers that immigrants will not vote to cripple free enterprise, but that is exactly what has happened in California, the state with the highest percentage and number of immigrants. Thanks to immigrants voting two-to-one for Democrats, a state once typified by its vibrant middle-class economy is now a terrible place to do business. Most immigrants today come from countries where our concepts of freedom and the rule of law are dimly understood. Unending mass immigration ensures that most of them will never assimilate.

But worst thing by far about having open borders is that it means, for all practical purposes, that we have no borders—and that means no country. If American citizens cannot decide that they want less immigration, they have no control over their national destiny. This means that our citizenship, our democracy, and our nationhood are meaningless. The open borders doctrine, at its root, is treasonous and anti-American.



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