In a free country, it’s self-evident that there’s room for everyone. This is because free people are also, by definition, self-responsible.
The only people who need to be kept out of a free country are violent criminals and others who are objective, physical threats. In a totalitarian country, nobody would want to get in, so, in that case, immigration is a moot point.
But the United States, while certainly not totalitarian, is no longer entirely free, either. It’s a mixture of individual freedom/personal responsibility and, at the same time, a land of freebies and a haven for moochers who want to live off the government.
In a transfer-of-wealth/entitlement state based partially on giveaways and partially on freedom, immigrants start to become a threat. This is because the personally responsible don’t want more moochers, and understandably so, as they’re already paying the way for moochers who already live here. And the moochers who already live here are naturally threatened by having to compete with more moochers coming over the border.
The difficulty today is that it’s socially unacceptable to talk this way. It might be all right to think it, but never to say it. We don’t want to hear words like ‘moochers’ and (especially) ‘personally responsible.’ Because of this, we’re forced to regard immigrants as either one or the other. Liberals speak of immigrants as if they’re all virtuous, self-responsible people, while anti-immigration conservatives speak of them all as evil, mooching threats. Both are unfounded generalizations.
More than that, it’s not all immigrants who are the problem, any more than it’s all natural born citizens who are the problem. The problem is with the moochers (alien and/or homegrown alike), and the enabling/codependent government that makes such mooching possible. I wish there was a way to get rid of all the moochers, illegal, legal, alien and naturally born, and keep all the self-responsible—regardless of their country of origin.
Better yet, I wish we had a free country once again. The immigration debate would be resolved, and self-responsibility would be the dominant trend. Nobody, whether born in North Dakota or El Salvador, could use the force of government to live off of another.
People who claim that immigrants ‘take jobs away’ are all wrong. The premise of this accusation is that there are a finite number of jobs. But in a free, productive and rational society, there is no limit to what needs to be done. There is no limit to consumer demand and there is no limit to the requirements of a work force to make it all possible—in a prosperous, growing economy. If immigrants take over jobs in one sector of the economy, the increase in overall productivity will lead to more demand and greater need for better types of jobs in other parts of the economy.
This, of course, presupposes that the economy is unhampered by government interference, taxation, and regulation. If immigration were the disaster for the job market that many claim it is, then the unemployment rate would have skyrocketed even higher than it has, long ago. Our presently stagnant economy is not the fault of immigrants; it’s the fault of government policies which hamper private markets, create real estate and stock market bubbles, and the like, by interfering in the private economy. If the government got out of the economy and stuck to its Constitutional limits, there would be continuous growth and far greater opportunities available for immigrants and natives alike. If the government continues to act like the economic wrecking ball it is—bankrupting our treasury, nationalizing medicine, nationalizing the lending industry, creating incentives for more and more to depend on government handouts—then keeping immigrants out of the country won’t solve a thing.
If economic decline continues, it won’t be the fault of immigrants. Immigrants will merely be the scapegoat for politicians who seek to undermine and hamper the free economy with ever-more taxation and regulation.
Concluded in tomorrow’s column.
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