Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
‘Illegal immigrant’ is a broad term, encompassing any individual on domestic soil born in a foreign land who has been unable or unwilling to navigate the often nightmarish, time-consuming or impossible barriers-to-entry placed in his way by the State. However, the illegal immigrants we seem to mind most are the ones who are the most distinguishable from us by linguistic preference or visual appearance. Recently, ‘illegal immigrant’ has become almost synonymous with ‘undocumented Mexican immigrant’.
In this article, I will examine a few of the most common objections to Mexican immigration from the part of those who hold this point of view with the aim of debunking any such opposition.
They take our Jobs!
To ‘earn your bread by the sweat of your brow’ should not be considered the pinnacle aspiration of human existence. It is good for jobs to disappear! Whatever happened to all the Buggy-Whip, Cobbler, or Collating jobs of yester-year? They disappeared. Good! What happened to the people who once filled these ranks? They found other occupations for which they possessed a comparative advantage! If you are unable to find an occupation for which you possess any comparative advantage to society, I have no sympathy for you.
They work here and send the money back home!
Money is not wealth! If we doubled the amount of currency in circulation, would our nation be twice as wealthy? Let’s imagine an extreme example: Let’s say we allow Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to send 50% of
1) 50% of
2) 50% of all dollars are voluntarily given to Mexican immigrants in the U.S. in exchange for goods and services, and the recipients of the dollars then send them overseas to friends or relatives. In this scenario, the Mexicans (in
a. Goods and services in the U.S.A – creating those jobs you thralls seem to love so much.
b. Goods and services in
All of the voluntary, reciprocal exchange of goods and services that took place in the second (and more realistic) scenario is what is known as an ‘Economy’; and having more of it is a good thing if you want to live in a prosperous society – even if you are a Xenophobe.
They are supplanting our culture!
Who cares? Mexicans have great food and awesome wide-brimmed sparkly hats! Individualism is cooler than Collectivism anyway – which leads nicely to the next concern –
They take advantage of our social services!
Since there is a great dichotomy in thinking on this subject, I will identify and address two possible viewpoints in my attempt to refute this concern:
1) You think it our (Christian?) duty to provide for any person unable to provide for himself or herself, and thus see compulsorily-funded social service programs as a necessary function of any healthily operating society. I am assuming that the basis of this belief rests on the idea that all human animals have a ‘right’ to such things as medical care, education, housing and fodder - regardless of their ability to pay for such goods or services. I applaud you, Good Samaritan and Noble Utopia Planner! However, if this is the case, what ‘right’ do you have to exclude others from such services based upon which side of an imaginary line they were born? If you answer that some MUST be excluded or the whole system collapses, I have to wryly smile and ask if you really think that setting up imaginary lines on the ground is a more equitable and sensible method of choosing who is excluded from access to scarce resources than unrestrained competition and voluntary exchange.
2) You think compulsorily-funded social service programs are a cancer, an affront to personal liberty and societal vitality – If this is the case, may I assume that you would like to see these systems abolished? If so, I ask you to peruse the historical record and observe that no system of social privilege has ever been abdicated by those who benefited thereby without tremendous resistance. Have you considered that perhaps the imminent (or actual) collapse of the system might be prerequisite to mustering the national will required to bring about change? Might those who take advantage and strain the viability of such systems even be perceived (with enough squinting) as heroes!? Can we at least acknowledge that the root of the problem is the mentality that sets up such perverse systems of resource-reallocation in the first place, and not the poor souls who simply (and inevitably) respond to incentives?
They commit crimes!
Certainly – at a significantly lower rate than our native population. Still, good citizen: I applaud your supreme respect for and abject genuflection to the LAW
My conclusionWelcome North, my south-of-the-border, brown-skinned brethren! Bring your renowned work-ethic, tasty tortilla-sandwiches, family values and Mariachi music with you! We want you here. We need you here!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
What gives you the right, presumptuous resolution maker, to bind me with your oaths? Is it possible that you have not yet learned that a promise poisons everything? Well! Permit me to spread the poison evenly! I will make a promise to you as recompense for your hubris and conceit in thinking yourself qualified to command me, your self-evident superior: I will foil all your best laid plans and break in pieces all your pretty pictures! 'Your' New Year belongs to me. Do not forget it!
Friday, December 4, 2009
The party was going nicely. There was food and karaoke. Neicy and I had eventually ended up in a corner talking with some of her co-workers, when I noticed that Santa was working his way across the room in our direction. He stopped in front of me, and exclaimed, "Jean-Baptiste Say! Mises.org! Fantastic!" I was shocked. I had no idea that Santa loved freedom.
I suppose I should have known. All the clues were there. Could it be mere coincidence that Santa's workshop is located at the North Pole, in an area where - under international law - no state can claim ownership over the territory or the region of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it? Would it not require a regulation-free environment in order to produce the staggering variety and output of toys required by his international operation? Who better than this man without a country to understand the idiocy of statism and patriotism? Indeed, could any living individual possibly be better acquainted with the human condition than Santa himself, intimately acquainted as he is with the secret actions and desires of all, whether asleep or awake? I learned that Santa has two sons who both work as videographers - one for Reason and the other for the Cato Institute. Santa "cut his teeth" as a young man on the works of Albert Jay Nock and cited as his favorite works from that author his 1935 book, Our Enemy, the State and his 1936 essay, Isaiah's Job.
Curious to learn more, I asked Santa about his political views and got a surprisingly refreshing reply. Santa told a story about a man named Otanes in Persia in the 6th century BC, mentioned in Herodotus' Histories in Book III ch 80-83. It seemed that Otanes took part in a coup, along with Darius and five others, to overthrow the king of Persia. Following the murder of the king, the conspirators argued amongst themselves over what kind of government should be established. One, named Megabyzus argued in favor of oligarchy. Darius argued for monarchy, and the other four conspirators agreed with him. Otanes was opposed to all of this. Herodotus quotes him as reasoning,
"How can monarchy be a fit thing, when the ruler can do what he wants with impunity? Give this power to the best man on earth, and it would stir him to unaccustomed thoughts."
Still, the call for a monarchy carried the day. Otanes, seeing he was defeated, then addressed the others,
“Fellow partisans, it is plain that one of us must be made king (whether by lot, or entrusted with the office by the choice of the Persians, or in some other way), but I shall not compete with you; I desire neither to rule nor to be ruled; but if I waive my claim to be king, I make this condition, that neither I nor any of my descendants shall be subject to any one of you.”
To these terms the six others agreed. Otanes did not participate in the contest to rule others - content to rule himself - and Herodotus noted that to the day of his writing, the house of Otanes remained free.
Added Santa: "That's about as close to anarchy as you can get."