Krugman‘s apparent embrace of this growth agnosticism is doubly puzzling. After a lifetime of study, a brilliant Nobel laureate still lacks anything useful to say about fostering growth? How is that even possible?
I believe liberty to be worthwhile, to say the least. I also believe it is objectively superior to any alternative. This means I should try to falsify this hypothesis to myself. If I can’t think of ways which– if they held up– would prove my belief is based on a falsehood if it is, my belief is worthless.
How many people want to immigrate to the U.S.? In my past work, I’ve appealed to both surveys and black market prices to ballpark the answer. Another approach, however, is to take a look at the U.S. Diversity lottery.
During our last debate, an audience member asked Mark Krikorian if his arguments for restricting immigration of foreigners were also arguments for restricting the child-bearing of natives. You might think that Mark would insist that native babies are somehow better than foreign adults. How hard could it possibly be to craft such an argument? However, Mark adamantly refused to compare the worths of different kinds of people. Instead, he informed the questioner that his question was based on a “category error.”
Man, I thought the culture wars were bad when I was a kid. It’s cliche to say now that people are more divided along political lines than ever, so I’ll spare you. You know it. And that divide is particularly evident when people try to communicate with each other.
No matter how awful their country is, people love to proclaim their undying devotion to folk and land. Why then have hundreds of millions of people left their countries of birth? Because the migrants don’t literally believe this flowery talk. Though almost everyone voices these sentiments, actions speak louder than words.
Thanks again to Gene Epstein and Reason for sponsoring last week’s immigration debate between myself and Mark Krikorian. Thanks to Mark, too, for debating before an unsympathetic audience. The resolution, you may recall, was: The current pandemic makes it all the more necessary for the federal government to tighten restrictions on immigration. Here are my extra thoughts on the exchange.
Coronavirus originated in China, migration brought it here, and suddenly life is terrible. Dogmatic libertarians can keep droning on about “liberty,” but everyone else now plainly sees that strict immigration controls could have stopped this plague – and only strict immigration controls can stop the plagues of the future. This argument sounds so right. What could possibly be wrong with it?
If people were free to take a job anywhere on Earth, humanity would have more agriculture, more manufacturing, more services. We would have more restaurants, more homes, more elder care. We would have more doctors and more janitors, more meal delivery and more cars to deliver the meals. If coronavirus can eliminate 90% of the restaurant business, open borders can add 90% to the restaurant business. You’ve seen the former with your own eyes, so you should have no trouble seeing the latter with the eye of the mind.
How much protection have 98% closed borders given us against the pandemic? The answer: Virtually none.