Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over immigration. It has little to do with principle, and plenty to do with posturing and camera preening for the sake of their victims — or rather, their constituents.
Here’s a question rarely considered, when it comes to immigration. Why do so many Mexicans wish to get to the United States?
Consider the findings of the Heritage.org / Wall Street Journal economic freedom scale:
Over the 20-year history of the Index, Mexico has advanced its economic freedom score by nearly 4 points. Improvements in half of the 10 economic freedoms include strong gains in fiscal freedom, business freedom, trade freedom, and financial freedom. Double-digit declines in property rights and freedom from corruption have limited overall progress. Mexico’s economy has generally been rated “moderately free” in the Index, dropping below that level only briefly in the late 1990s.
Despite some progress, Mexico’s overall economic freedom is still constrained by institutional weaknesses including corruption and labor market rigidity. The government’s reform agenda has been extensive, but progress has been sluggish. The judicial system is slow to resolve cases and vulnerable to corruption.
The United States, while no longer at or near the top of the list for economic freedom, ranks 12th when compared to Mexico’s 55th. (Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada all rank higher than the United States as of 2014.) More than that, the United States has a long history of high economic freedom (now in decline), and still resembles a land of plenty which is hard to extinguish. Mexico, on the other hand, has made some economic reforms comparatively recently, and still suffers from a great deal of government corruption. The more corrupt the government, the more a nation’s economy suffers in proportion to that corruption, particularly when government’s involvement in the economy is considerable, as it is in Mexico.
Advocates of “immigration reform,” such as Obama, are usually the very same people who support more and more welfare, entitlement programs, high taxes, and extensive control of the private economy by the government.
If their hearts truly bleed for the plight of the immigrant, then why turn the United States into the very kind of country the poor immigrant is trying to flee?
Economic freedom is not the most fundamental, nor the only variable reflecting overall conditions of a country. But it’s highly and obviously significant. On our present course, the United States will continue to decline in its ranking as a country with economic freedom. Obamacare alone will probably drive us down the list in another few years.
It stands to reason that the more someone feels authentic compassion and concern for the difficulties faced by an immigrant seeking to escape Mexico’s corrupt economy and government, the more one would support liberalization of America’s economy, rather than the opposite.
Given the continuing lack of growth and high employment in America’s economy, how can immigrants or present American citizens hope to benefit? To the present citizens, immigrants represent a threat to our already imperiled economic situation. To the immigrants, they’re coming into an America where growing taxes, sad economic growth (at best) and less job creation are part of the “new normal.” Nobody wins, and the fault doesn’t lie with immigration. It lies with the lack of economic growth.
Yes, Obama refuses to enforce existing laws or practice rational immigration control. Why should he? The more prospective dependents on government aid, government health insurance, government unemployment, government welfare and government schools — the better. He and his political party, the party of an ever-expanding entitlement/transfer-of-wealth state, stand to benefit the most (or so they think, at least.)
Obama’s passive-aggressive resistance to doing anything about the immigration and border crisis will ultimately backfire on everyone, including his own party. Yes, his party will probably continue to gain in its control over the mass of the population, particularly as the number dependent on government grows. But what kind of society will this be? Who wants to have control over such a society? And how can people living in such a nation be of any benefit to anyone — including themselves?
I’m not suggesting that immigrants come to the United States primarily for government aid. But the fact is, they’re coming into an economy not nearly as robust as it might be, and where government is overtaking the private sector bit by bit. In such a climate, there will be more and more poor people (which all immigrants start out as), and more new citizens who will consequently depend on government programs. And with the private sector more burdened all the time with regulations, taxes, crazy laws and all the rest, there will be fewer opportunities for those who sincerely wish to work.
In the end, reality will always be its own avenger. Obama’s smug stance, left unchallenged and corrected — not just on immigration, but on everything — will eventually come back to bite in ways none of us can, at the moment, specifically predict. If you wish America to remain a place worth immigrants struggling to get to, then you had better support the opposite of all of our present policies. Otherwise, we’re on our way to becoming a Mexico ourselves.
Be sure to “friend” Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest.