Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mexican Immigration

Another mid-term election is coming up (yawn) and with it, the old bogeys have been dragged out of cold-storage in an effort to focus the attention of the masses on something – anything! – other than the incompetent avarice of their overseers, and to incite them to GO TO THE POLLS to provide the ruling caste with the mandate they so desperately need as pretense for their continued exploitation. One tried and true motivational scapegoat heard much about these last few years is the ‘illegal immigrant’.

‘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 ALL dollars in the U.S. to Mexico! What would be the result? Let’s look at two possible scenarios:

1) 50% of ALL dollars are shipped to Mexico with NOTHING given in return. –To understand the effect of this, we need to understand one of the functions of money: to serve as a medium of exchange. The Mexicans (in Mexico) in possession of all of these dollars would have a tremendous claim on goods and services for which no value was provided in return. A catastrophic misallocation of resources! A perversion of incentives! Admittedly a bad situation.

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 Mexico) would still have a tremendous claim on goods and services, but that claim would have been procured by CREATING VALUE in the United States. Those who traded the dollars would only have done so for goods or services which they found worthwhile. It doesn’t matter if the dollars were exchanged for picked fruit, landscaping, neurosurgery or drugs, because value is perceived subjectively. All participants perceive a benefit from voluntary exchange, or it would not take place. What happens next? The Mexicans (in Mexico) will eventually re-exchange the dollars that have been sent to them for -

a. Goods and services in the U.S.A – creating those jobs you thralls seem to love so much.

b. Goods and services in Mexico or anywhere else they accept dollars – only postponing temporarily the return of those dollars to the U.S.A. Even if we assume that these dollars never again see their sovereign soil (not a realistic assumption), we still have lost nothing! Every dollar removed from domestic circulation proportionately increases the demand (job-creating power) for every dollar that remains! No net loss to national prosperity has occurred!

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 AND ORDER imposed upon you by your Elected Overseers – MAY THEY ALWAYS BE OBEYED!

My conclusion

Welcome 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!