Interview: Libertarian Economist Wants Free Immigration

Interview: Libertarian Economist Wants Free Immigration


I’m joined today by Professor Brian
Kaplan is professor of economics at George Mason University is also a
blogger for econ log and author of the myth above the
rational voter and selfish reasons to have more kids so it’s really great to have you I saw
your reddit ask me anything where you talked about being an advocate for both 3 immigration and free trade and you
talked about your mostly libertarian economic believe so I’m very interested
in both these a free immigration in free trade let’s
start first with reintegration talk about how Bell you
developed your rationale for free immigration well it’s really pretty similar to the
economic rationale for free trade sale you know the usual calm a story about
free trade is that when people are allowed to trade with anyone they want
to on the entire planet people are as rich as they could possibly be I said oh oh
oh over overall well-being is as high as is possibly going to be I’ll be in for free migration for free
immigration it’s really just the same ID apply to labor the idea that’s you have the richest the
best world where anyone can go in take any job anywhere on Earth where they can use their talents to the
fall extent that they can arceneaux when you think about what it would be like if you were
sucking it hard to cut how little you could actually accomplish their on you realize in the most countries in
the world are economically speaking a lot like antarctica where people are not
able to make anywhere near for use their skills people really do want to move to
countries where they can take more advantage are what they know how to do but it’s
generally a legal right and then me on top of this
economic arguments there’s the deeper point that’s unlike
free trade which it would we we are not that far away
from free trade and most estimates say it’s the only with the barriers we have
we’re not doing that much charm appears on migration really are doing
enormous harm are we there really are trapping billions of people and desperate poverty
in the third world when they’re perfectly good jobs for
them to come over here and do when they could take care of themselves if they were just allowed to do it so
let’s explore this a little bit you know within the context first just to frame
this within the context that the american political landscape it we have
two parties it is essentially Democrats and Republicans Democrats favor more immigrate migration
mobility then republicans but neither favors a
completely open system and Republicans are increasingly
interested in actually limiting that migration so let’s talk short-term and longer-term sure we open
the borders okay up short term what happens in my
mind I think that you will see more movement from people coming from depressed countries to countries
where the economy is better certainly Canada and the United States Western European countries is that what
you would see is happening in the short run and what would be the immediate economic impact of such
movement yes ofcourse are there are right on to people who are
ready to pack their bags and calm as soon as they are not to do so the main reason why it wouldn’t be quite
as much a deluge as people think is an important factor in immigrations
was called the how the Dr diaspora so generally I L a big factor is whether
to move to countries where there’s already a lot of people from your
country in that country with your friends and relatives and people speak
your language sell for the US especially what we
should expect it first is it on immigration for America because
there are already a lot of Latin Americans here and they have friends and family that
will help them to just so that we should expect to see in the
short term our course other things they should exceed the short term is are using a little lower wages for
low-skilled workers because there are so many low-skilled workers wanna come are you should try to see a lot more
this will already so I don’t want to sugarcoat it are selling like if poor people not to
calm you would see poverty the important thing to remember is there
much for back in their home countries it’s just that when therefore they are
you don’t work it right so in a quality might be more
visible in the United States but you’ll have less if those people that
are living on a dollar a day in parts of the world
that we don’t even really think about when we’re here in the United States so let’s think about the CL really
horrendous which one that was understood that would render the most important
thing is Shazia very large increase in production right now my there so many people on
earth were stuck in countries where they really just can’t make anywhere near
anywhere near the for use their talents and the man what are the main things we
see when someone comes from 400 rich country is that their production drastically
increases you I have a haitian in miami is about
20 times as productive as a haitian in Haiti its even if they are illiterates and
lacking in skills by our standards still they can accomplish so much more
if they’re able to go to a country where there are businesses that are ready to
channel their energy and right away so let’s explore a little bit of what
might start to happen then in the medium and longer term is a reaction to this my initial instinct is that there may be
assertive balancing effect in that the move away from so many of
these areas like he said on in the and the Western Hemisphere from
Latin America to North America in in Europe maybe from northern Africa
into europe that we would maybe see very cheap property low taxes and favorable
conditions in some of the areas that are vacated in the short term and might we see people start moving in the opposite direction because if the
economic opportunities and maybe favorable
conditions could that happen %ah that’s a great question now the
short answer is yes are really we don’t you speculate that this week look at her
Rica so hurry gone when it was taken by the
United States after the spanish-american war are they got open borders with United
States I first there was no there was only a very small amount immigration be
for these the aspirations my mentions however first you had a few adventures
from ricans came to try their luck and they did well and then the next group
are slightly less adventurous parisians can try their luck eventually that happen to recollect I’ll
then occurs over time what you’re saying I happened which is that all the you have all these poor ratings
United States making much better money than they ever got home they send a lot of that money home and
many of them lined up to turning away might wind up eventually want to retire
back in their in their home country right
where their own territory so does this general idea with money
mobility and and people mobility does it go in the
direction %uh really eliminating I don’t know if I
wanna say they need but does it in some way make obsolete
the entire system up countries with borders is it in the
direction of a one-world government or a a collective government sorts now there’s been there’s no reason for
this to be anything like what like one more government even a free trade
without having all without having a role governments
are you can and it’s possible for people to move between borders without having a
one-world government so in the nineteenth century with a few
glaring exceptions for Asian immigrants United States had some nasa had had
essentially open borders on that didn’t mean the United States
was gonna become part of some united nations or anything like that israeli policy that any one country can
adopt unilaterally course the larger the country larger
country is the the smaller the thanks for going to
seem GL I by s on everlasting audits no its not
the kinda policy require anything like government in actually the other the reasons to be
scared if they were all governments the main one being is the one is that one world government
source get bad where you go so then my last thing I wanna touch on
is what in in your presentation and discussion of this with both the more progressive and conservative
Americans what are the biggest gripes that the
American Left an American right have with your
proposal and I’m assuming that they’re different concerns are well so in in many ways they’re not
as different as you think because the differences between
conservatives and progressives in the United States are generally greatly
exaggerated are they they know they are I i think im
is being like Catholics and Protestants where the essentially have the same
views but they measure to guess a few minor doctrinal points and blow
them on her portion in order to be very angry each other are my cell UN General both
conservatives and progressives they are nationalists so they think that it’s important to
focus on americans first are really with very little attention
paid to the consequences for people in other countries and of course you’re both conservatives
and progressives our social democratic in that they do want to take
arab-americans and what governments do its is a discreet about how much but I say
it’s not nearly as large as people think our buddy how you are right that’s their
the complaints do wind up being being somewhat different
on immigration in silver conservatives in LA are they did they do tend to
emphasize the Nationals me even more the idea that we should be taking care of
first writing them I say lookin is not your
cell immigration are you allowing allowing person to come here get a job
it’s not sure it’s not for dade is leading a person go and get a job
from work employer see you think that if conservatives care
about free market principles at all that’s they want to stand up for the
right of a person to get a job are so that’s that’s the end the
medicine that is near asheghetam conservatives just thinking what this is
our country and we don’t help you know people from other
countries anything I said we’ll on a matter going and things just a matter of
letting them get a job like anybody else are progressing in there there’s a lot
of concern about immigration putting a strain on the
American welfare state the idea is if we have a lot of progress
com then with this is this means they’re not
going to be enough resources to take care of poor people already here all noted I see well response seems odd
that you be so concerned about relatively poor Americans who by Ross
energy are generally doing fine compared to genuinely poor people the
third world we’re just looking to get a job so I think that know that there is a bit
odd anti-gay Cliq that’s really is your concern there’s no reason why you
couldn’t have things like eligibility requirements for new
immigrants welfare saying that you can’t quite welfare Intel you been in the
country for ten years art 800,000 taxes are beginning to that
progresses tend to freak out about your attitude your system you have a two-tier system right now
says right now to your number two means you aren’t even allowed to legally
change is much less quite government money arceneaux are you know that’s the %uh
that has general generally been might my experience with dresses is there any
other very concerned with I’ll leave you with it without with what
we think it was for Americans although as to why you’d be more concerned about
them than desperately poor people are people in
Haiti where leading dirt’s I don’t know yet what it comes down to
this idea that the the lines between the countries are
more than just imaginary lines right that’s really were a lot of that kinda double double-standard early still
shifting views are different views i think comes from it’s a fascinating idea a professor
Bryan Caplan professor economics at George Mason University check out the myth of the rational voter
as well as selfish reasons to have more kids really great to have you on thanks so
much thanks for having me

49 thoughts on “Interview: Libertarian Economist Wants Free Immigration

  1. Imagine how much more productive they'd be if they were paid properly in the USA rather than being forced into poverty and exploitation within the USA, too.

  2. Just because somebody is 'unskilled' doesn't mean they don't need to survive, or can be exploited, but you can't explain that to irrational libertarians.

  3. Last night, when i was laying in my bed,
    I was looking at the stars,
    Then i realised,
    Where is my roof? ._.

  4. actually, in the 18th century, it was unlimited immigration ONLY for white people. Asians and Africans were turned away.

  5. The thing that I think is being skipped over here is that poverty leads to crime and increasing one would increase the other, I don't think any policy that encourages decreasing wages will have any beneficial effects to society.

  6. I've noticed that libertarians are either for full on open borders (everywhere) or they are those "anti-racist is code word for anti-white" people. there's usually no middle ground. I'm a progressive but I agree with this dude. 

  7. You don't make life "better" by expanding the sea of cheap workers for the corporations to exploit and play off of one-another.  As soon as you get money out of politics, this guy's fanciful immigration philosophy might have some merit. Otherwise, it's meaningless tripe.

  8. I just heard about a guy talking about scenarios that never exist, hypothetical scenarios, and not a shred of evidence to back anything up.

  9. Violence, that would be, I think the first thing to happen. Don't think that a lot of americans would not see it as a hostility against "our way of life/culture" and want to  do violence against immigrants..

  10. Caplan said that people who favor helping other from their own country are nationalists?  That's a pretty low mark to be a Nationalist.  You guys also both kept referencing "short term" and "long term" without giving any idea how long you think that is.

    When Caplan said "it will bring more poverty in the short term I'm not going to sugar-coat it."  How short is that? A decade?

  11. Free trade kills the American middle class. It sends our prosperity to other countries. Only the rich will benefit from free trade in the long run, because they will be able to provide labor for free or for minimum wage. They also mention how people are much poorer in other nations. It's very expensive to live in the US compared to other countries. The prices that we pay for goods are marked up, so we pay for every step that's completed from the beginning to the end. Also, there are millions of people unemployed because they have to so why make the problem worse.

  12. Interesting David. Glad you had this guest on. Will have to look into this 'free immigration' more. It sounds like a great, fair and humane policy. And when I'm PM of Australia (ahahahem) or a congresswoman in U.S.A I might try to legislate this policy (wishful thinking I know) 😛

  13. Another economically illiterate economist.  Doesn't believe in overpopulation, so presumably thinks resources are infinite and climate change isn't a problem. Oh, and isn't free trade working out well for everyone?
    Studying economics tends to warp the brain; or people with warped brains tend to study economics. Someone should study it.

  14. "Wages in rich countries are determined more by immigration control than anything else, including any minimum wage legislation. How is the immigration maximum determined? Not by the ‘free’ labour market, which, if left alone, will end up replacing 80–90 per cent of native workers with cheaper, and often more productive, immigrants. Immigration is largely settled by politics. So, if you have any residual doubt about the massive role that the government plays in the economy’s free market, then pause to reflect that all our wages are, at root, politically determined."

    –Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

    Here's a great excerpt for anyone interested.
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/1505:there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-free-market

  15. Great idea, when the lawyers and doctors in the U.S. start competing with their counterparts that make less money I'll go for it. .

  16. See this fucking psycho KNOWS FULL WELL what this meansbut thinks itwontaffect him. So someone from China is currently willing to work for 1/6th the pay that an american is. So if you want to compete with that brace yourself for for an 85% drop in pay. Competeing with an Indian immigrantdrives your pay dosn 98%. Then theres the finite resource supply. YOUR FAIR SHARE of pay evey year is 6,700 a year. So this is NOT about immigration but EXPLOITATION by rich Americans. But this asshole will likely reject unionisation and hight tax on the rich…

    And is he avocating having MORE fucking kids? The SICK SICK SICK bastard…

  17. You can work anywhere. Just go there and find a job maybe as an illegal immigrant. If you like it then over stay your visa and nevr leave until you qualify for some govt grandfather immigration program. Maybe have a baby or two and there you go. Mission accomplished.

  18. Productivity has nothing do with the availability of labour though?  It has to do with the power labour has over the productivity being produced.  Does this man know that there are already 3 applicants for every available job?  Free immigration would only increase the amount of power capitalists have over labour increasing wage slavery.

  19. People need to stop giving the insane philosophy of libertarianism a platform for credibility. It has no place in modern, civilized society.

  20. Watch this guy change his tune when millions of Libertarian Economists from India come to the U.S. and take his job away because they work cheaper.

  21. So, basically, you can just compare well-off countries with poor countries and eventually, everywhere will turn into the average.

  22. Besides the obvious problem so many people below these comments already brought up, what about the brain drain effect? Attracting all well educated and innovative people from around the world to your country leaves those underdeveloped nations with an intellectual deficiency, a bankruptcy of development potential.

  23. Get yourselves over here in the UK and see what open borders is doing and has done and will potentially do if not restrained.
    The ramifications of open borders is a complete nightmare especially for the wealthier nations.This libertarian is talking out of his well polished arse.
    Open borders for sure, so long as the migrant has proof of employment in the country he wants to migrate to.If not,then stay where you are.Simples 🙂

  24. Wow! This Libertarian guy is talking about out and out Exploitative Imperialism in no uncertain terms. So, he has no problem with certain nations controlling the majority of wealth and sucking the labor resources from third world nations. How can a third world nation built up it`s economy if first world nations are taking the majority of their labor resources? 

  25. remember when you killed all those people in the middle east? yeah open borders isnt that good of an idea ya hipster douchebag

  26. Americans are shocked, a lot of typical conservative Americans who are very much opposed to mass immigration which is transforming our nation into a third world country, they are very surprised to learn that immigration, the change in American's immigration policy, the opening our border, that this policy was almost entirely lead and affected by the Jewish supremacists. 

  27. All White countries are being flooded with millions of non-White third worlders. They are being forced to assimilate and integrate with them and these conditions will end in White genocide.
    Its genocide because it results in White people intentionally being made a minority in historically White nations.

  28. The fact that we broke down certain rules of association, basically caused leading African Americans to leave the Black community and that caused a great decline in the quality of the Black community across America. We saw an implosion of the inner cities of America, because those African Americans who could, who had the money and the success, they could get out of that environment. Where as in years pasted they pretty much felt a responsibility to be among their own people and lead them and to make sure that the environment they lived in was decent for their children. It was kind of like a beheading of the Africa American community. Its very similar to what goes on in terms of mass immigration into Europe and America. Where people go get trained in Europe to become doctors or scientists or whatever and so what do they do, they stay in Europe. They don't go back home and help their people who need scientists and doctors and educators and, you know, government knowledgeable people and economists. they don't do that, they end up going to Europe and so that nation is continually beheaded because the individual gets a little better life in the United States or in Great Britain or France.

  29. "Dey terk mer jerbs!" – Jobs aren't your property. If a foreigner is better suited for a job than you, there is no reason I shouldn't be able to hire him over you. Being born on a certain part of a map doesn't entitle you to a job, merit does.

    "Buy they'll commit crimes and terrorism and stuff!!!!!" – Because citizens totally don't commit crimes. Maybe we should make it illegal for people to be born.

    "But they'll get welfare!" – Argument against the welfare state, not immigration. I somewhat agree that you can't open the borders while the welfare state exists, but that's just another reason to get rid of the welfare state ASAP.

    "They'll vote in statists!" – Except in a libertarian society, the government wouldn't have the power to force people's statism (the statism of immigrant and natural born citizen alike) on others, no matter how many statists there are. Or if you take libertarianism to its logical conclusion and go full ancap, there would be no government at all.

    "Muh white race!!!"/"A nation without borders is not a nation!!!!" – GTFO. You are a conservative, not a libertarian (applies to my first and second points too).

  30. This guy uses terms and definitions very loosely.
    "Nationalism" is not people being most concerned with how their government/nation operates.

  31. We had better be very careful about increasing without limit the population of the US. Population is the big game-changer in human affairs. It has driven up the price of real estate and land in this country drastically over the past few decades, and made it less possible now for people of ordinary means to secure a home. Is no one doing any thinking on the subject of what constitutes an optimal population for the US? We've built up a very fine country over the past 400 years here, we don't want it to turn into a third-world slum, which is what it would become with unlimited population growth. We have a lot to preserve here, and we have the right and obligation to preserve it. Let's have some clear thinking on this all-important subject.

  32. Climate scientists: climate change is happening

    The left: listen to the experts!

    Economists/social scientists: free trade is extremely beneficial to society

    The left: fuck the experts

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