Random thought

"Milton Friedman famously observed that you can either have a welfare state or open borders but not both (hat tip)."

So how come you’re not considered a libertarian unless you believe in open borders in our current political system?

Was Milton Friedman making an un-libertarian comment here?


5 Responses to Random thought

  1. Dregs says:

    Many libertarians tend to focus on ideological consistency and theoretical politics over realistic analysis of how the world actually works. In the abstract, “freedom of movement” sounds like a libertarian position. In the real world, the demographics of the people exercising that right do matter. Friedman was well aware of this, and his position is, in my view, real-world libertarian.

    Both Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire have made this point in their tounge-in-cheek (due to the oblique reference to Stalin) references to “Libertarianism in One Country”.



    Derb also recently noted (accurately) that one of Ron Paul’s key shortcomings is “a too-strong adherence to ideological consistency”. He was referring in this case to the NY Mosque controversy, but the general criticism frequently applies to libertarians. (John Stossel anyone?)


  2. Ryan says:

    I think a lot of libertarians would say allow open boarders, but don’t extend welfare benefits to immigrants.

    There might be 14th amendment issues with that approach, though.

  3. Jehu says:

    More than 14th amendment issues, there’s the issue of them just voting goodies for themselves (or at least their kids doing so with ‘birthright citizenship’). In a liberal country (in the sense I mean this word in, just about any Western country post 1945 qualifies) you can’t just import workers, you’ll find you’ve imported a people also.

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