Bryan Caplan thinks that we should go vigilante and allow lots of immigrants into the US (let’s stipulate that we’re talking about immigration of poor Mexicans).
There’s so much wrong with his line of argument that it’s hard to know where to begin . . .
Perhaps the biggest problem with his argument is that he’s arguing that the US should do something that it’s already doing. Although the written laws of the US technically make many forms of immigration illegal, the unwritten laws of the country would seem to strongly encourage poor Mexicans to immigrate to the US.
He claims that prohibiting this sort of immigration is a crime against humanity. Presumably his line of reasoning is that bringing poor people into a rich country will make said poor people richer. This was a cool theory a few decades ago.
We now know what happens when you import a bunch of poor Mexicans into a specific geographic region. Shockingly, said region begins to resemble . . . Mexico. As Sailer puts it:
the evidence from a couple of generations in Southern California is [illegal immigrants and especially their descendants] mostly make wages lower, real estate costs higher, and public schools lousier for working and middle class Americans.
Instead of making poor people richer, mass immigration from Mexico will likely make Americans much poorer. In my opinion, such a policy would destroy a tremendous amount of wealth and innovation. As such, by Caplan’s logic, his policy is a crime against humanity, and I’m justified in punishing him. Hmmmm . . .
This blogger however, believes in order. I do not suggest or endorse vigilantism. All I ask is that we be honest about the consequences of mass immigration from Mexico.
If we follow Caplan’s policies, many things will have to change. Democracy and trial by jury are really bad ideas in a diverse society, for example. Inequality will skyrocket. Trust among citizens (I know that’s an archaic term) will plummet, etc. Let’s stop bullshitting ourselves about these facts.
Caplan likes to claim that he’s anti-democracy, but it appears that The People favor this policy. Mainstream Republican outfits certainly seem to.
Sonic Charmer has some thoughts worth repeating:
It’s kind of fascinating to see what a highly intelligent person can talk himself into. You have to be a special kind of genius to fail to understand basic points like: nation-states exist, and have borders, and have a fundamental interest in controlling those borders, meaning, ideally, via law enforcement rather than vigilantism and tit-for-tat guerilla raids (but the latter could just as easily be arranged). 99.999% of the world – even probably most of the people Bryan thinks he’s helping – understands all this full well and really without much controversy. Only if you get a special sort of education and ensconce yourself into a sufficiently comfortable bubble do you learn to forget it and talk yourself out of this sort of common sense.
Finally, I’d note that it takes a special kind of dick to demand vigilantism in favor of importing poor Mexicans while glorifying in the fact that you don’t ever have to, you know, actually interact with them.