If you believe you need politicians to save you from a virus or from someone’s gun, then you’ll keep handing control of your life over to anyone who promises to rescue you. Whether they actually can or not.
All First World countries are already social democracies. Their governments continue to allow markets to provide most goods and services, but they heavily regulate these markets, heavily subsidize favored sectors like education and health, and heavily redistribute income. The U.S. is moderately less social democratic than France or Sweden, but the idea that we have “market capitalism” while they have “social democracy” is hyperbole.
Moderately pro-immigration thinkers often worry about “backlash.” Tyler Cowen’s the most energetic worrier, but Tim Kane said the same at my Cato book party. Backlash is what you bring up when none of the popular complaints about immigration make sense to you. Then you get meta and reflect, “Immigration does have one serious cost: it inspires bad arguments. Such arguments could ultimately lead to bad policies.”
I love to see kids reading Open Borders. When my daughter was five, she read it over my shoulder as I wrote it – and I knew I was right to make it a graphic novel. Since then, I’ve heard about dozens of kids enjoying the book. When I advertise it and add #ThinkOfTheChildren, I’m not joking. I really would like to put Open Borders in the hands of every kid on Earth.
I first journeyed to Guatemala 20 years ago, hosted by Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Two weeks ago, I returned for a delightful extended visit, accompanied by my Spanish-speaking elder sons and former EconLog blogger Jim Schneider. I spent over a week doing guest lectures at UFM, then gave Friday’s keynote talk for the Reason Foundation’s Reason in Guatemala conference. During our trip, we were also able to visit the awesome Mayan ruins of Tikal and Yaxha. Here are my reflections on the experience.
Careful examination of real-world conflict does occasionally uncover not moral equivalents, but moral approximates. Though the two sides’ moral status is not precisely equal, they are morally more-or-less the same.
I just returned from cruising the Caribbean on Anthem of the Seas. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Fortunately, no coronavirus panic marred our vacation, and the concluding scare at the dock turned out to be a false alarm. Though I’d seen a little of the Caribbean before, this trip was a heavy dose: after a stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico, we sailed on to St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. Here are my social science reflections.
This episode features an interview of economics professor Thomas Sowell from 2008 by Russ Roberts, host of EconTalk. They discuss the misleading nature of measured income inequality, CEO pay, why nations grow or stay poor, the role of intellectuals and experts in designing public policy, and immigration.
Economics textbooks are full of clever-and-appealing policy proposals. Proposals like: “Let’s redistribute money to the desperately poor” and “Let’s tax goods with negative externalities.” They’re so clever and so appealing that it’s hard to understand how any smart, well-meaning person could demur. When you look at the real world, though, you see something strange: Almost no one actually pushes for the textbooks’ clever-and-appealing policy proposals.
I encourage anyone and everyone who wants to come to the United States in search of work and/or safety to do so, and to stay here for as long as they please, whether the US government likes it or not. I just broke the law.