Open Borders

The right of consenting individuals to be left in peace by the government is the heart of freedom.  It doesn’t matter if the individuals are white or black, men or women, Christian or atheist; consenting adults of all stripes have the right to engage in consensual capitalist acts.

The case for open borders begins with a follow-up question: If race, gender, and religion don’t matter here, why should nationality?  Suppose I want to hire a Chinese citizen to work in my factory, and he wants to work in my factory.  Or suppose I want to rent my apartment to a Romanian citizen, and she wants to accept my offer.  It seems like government should leave us alone, too.  If it did, open borders – a world where every non-criminal is free to live and work in any country on earth – would result.

Via The Freedom-Loving Case for Open Borders, Bryan Caplan | EconLog @ Library of Economics and Liberty.

Oregon’s Minimum Wage Hike

The real problem is not that Oregon’s minimum wages vary relative to each other, but that they vary relative to the rest of the United States. According to the purchasing power index, $1.00 in Oregon is worth about $1.01 in the rest of the country—in other words, roughly average. While higher minimum wages would be less unreasonable in a place such as San Francisco (where a dollar is worth just 83 cents), a sensible public policy would expect Oregon’s minimum wage to be right in line with the national average. Instead, it is one of the highest in the country.

Via The Oregon Trail Ends in Unemployment @ Economics21.

Free markets in capital, goods, and labor

Hugo Ortega crossed over the Mexican border and arrived in Houston, Texas, without documents and without knowing any English. Over the next few years, he would become a citizen through President Reagan’s amnesty program and go from washing dishes to owning multiple restaurants. Now, he and his wife, Tracy Vaught—whom he met while working as a dishwasher in her restaurant in the 80’s—are the “reigning powerhouse couple of Houston’s competitive restaurant scene.”

In this documentary produced by Katherine Wells for The Atlantic‘s American Dreams series, Ortega reflects on his journey within the industry. “I have a great responsibility to represent the Mexican cuisine in a proper way,” he says. “It’s a magnificent cuisine.”


Economically-ignorant concern

“The fact that so many third-world workers willingly endure the harsh conditions and low pay that now prevail in third-world garment factories is powerful evidence that these workers’ alternatives are even worse.  Therefore, if Mr. Morgan and other activists succeed in their efforts to reduce the rich-world’s demand for clothing produced in the third world,…

Minimum-wage legislation

“To answer your question: I would still oppose minimum-wage legislation even if some miraculous means were devised to ensure that governments never erred in identifying the presence and degree of monopsony power, and if governments – by some means even more miraculous – could be confined to imposing minimum wages only when and where monopsony…

The GOP’s problem with free markets in labor

The GOP – the ever-larger nativist part of it – has never believed in free markets in labor when those markets might include immigrant-workers. Phyllis Schlafly’s a good example: she bluntly encourages the Republicans to solicit “white votes, the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election.” Can’t say she’s not a plain-speaking, race-limiting…

DREAMers and the American Dream

Hope for America: That a group of individuals without voting rights or political representation, across disparate nationalities, could demonstrate the power of American-style civic engagement calls for reflection, given much hand-wringing over the question of whether native-born Americans have become disengaged. Here’s where DREAMers may have something to teach us. While critics charge that the…

The GOP shift on immigration

Having embraced these recent years a restrictive, anti-market approach, the more liberty-oriented parts of the GOP have begun to assert themselves. Just green shoots for now, but ones good for Republicans and all America. Ilya Somin notices that It is also noteworthy that both Rubio and Paul linked support for immigration with a more general…

Immigration as Voluntary Exchange

It’s not only markets in capital and goods that should be free. It’s markets in labor, too. What’s immigration, at bottom? It’s a voluntary and peaceful transaction between employer and employee. Government interference in these many transactions is presumptuous, oppressive of individuals, and stifling of economic growth. One hears, more often since Gov. Romney’s defeat,…

Why Immigrants Are Important for Disaster Reconstruction

Needing, and receiving, all the help we can get: A tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April 2011 left 43 dead and tore a path almost a mile wide through the city. Immigrant Hispanic workers in Alabama responded with alacrity. “Hispanics, documented and undocumented, dominate anything to do with masonry, concrete, framing, roofing, and landscaping,” said Bob…

Immigration Myths

Prof. Ben Powell dispels myths about immigration in a concise, thoughtful video. Well worth watching, as a quick reminder of the power of free markets in capital and labor.

The Right and Immigration

Steve Chapman, writing in a reposted 2007 article at Reason, explains Why the Right Shifted on Immigration. Chapman thinks the shift began with the fall of the Berlin Wall, when many conservatives no longer saw immigrants trying to reach our shores as proof of America’s sound economy and society. If so, consider the cynicism of…