He loves it, obviously. Roissy described the view best as “cheap chalupas uber alles.”
Anyway, here are his reasons why it’s ok to dislike democracy but still importing a new, less-libertarian people.
1. Open borders are an extremely important component of the free market and human liberty. The labor market is roughly 70% of the economy. Labor is the main product that most people around the world have to sell. Immigration restrictions massively distort this market, and deprive literally billions of people of the freedom to sell their labor to willing employers. So even if open borders made all other policies much less pro-market and pro-liberty, the (open borders + side effects thereof) package would almost certainly constitute a net gain for free markets and liberty.
I have no idea if this is true. Frankly, neither does the good professor. I think it’s dishonest (at best) to suggest that he knows that the scales of liberty balance in this manner. I think he’s almost certainly wrong, but at least I’m intellectually honest to say this question is impossible to answer with certainty. No one can be sure whether free immigration will enhance or detract from liberty.
My guess is that in our current society, with real life constraints, “open borders” will radically detract from liberty. First, we live in a welfare state. Second, “open borders” actually means allowing lots of uneducated Mexicans to immigrate to the US. Third, US politics are increasingly turning into a racial spoils system. The ideal libertarian version of “open borders,” this is not.
I’m willing to stipulate that in an ideal libertarian world the professor would be absolutely correct. We do not live in such a world. In a totally free society, no one would be more pro-immigration than me. In our current screwed-up, statist society, I think “open-borders” is a recipe for disaster.
2. The political effect of immigrants on markets and liberty is at worst modestly negative. The median American isn’t a libertarian, and the median immigrant isn’t a Stalinist. We’re talking about marginal disagreements between social democrats, nothing more. Immigrants’ low voter turnout and status quo bias further dilute immigrants’ negative political effect.
The “libertarian” policies that are electorally-viable in modern American would have been statist policies in the early years of libertarianism. How much longer can this go leftward shift continue before we need to rename libertarianism to stay intellectually honest?
Is this argument – that immigration will only make the country a little more statist – really the best that the professor can do?
3. Immigrants have overlooked positive effects for markets and liberty. Voters resent supporting outgroups; that’s a standard explanation for why ethnically diverse America has a smaller welfare state than, say, Denmark. So even if all immigrants want a bigger welfare state, their very presence reduces native support for redistribution. Immigrants are also markedly more pro-liberty and pro-market than natives in one vital respect: They favor more open borders.
Really? So if we compromise and get a little more statist then the next effect is that we’re likely to get even a little more statist in the future? Great! Libertarian society is sure to follow.
But in the final analysis, perhaps it’s best to respond to the political externalities question with another question: “If you favor markets and liberty, how can you oppose the deportation of the entire statist generation?” Native voters under 30 are more hostile to markets and liberty than immigrants ever were. Why not just kick them out?
WTF? Why are we talking about deporting citizens? This is why I have trouble arguing with pro-immigration types. This argument is ridiculous. Why does opposing immigration from poor, uneducated Mexicans mean that I should want to deport people under 30? I have no idea. This massive change of subject is evidence of how bad the professor’s case really is. Frankly, there might be conditions under which I’d favor exile, but let’s stop importing statists first.