A recent article explains why Donald Trump has gained so much traction among Republicans, independents and even some Democrats by emphasizing the immigration issue.
According to the FoxNews.com story, which examined data from several unaffiliated sources to come up with the numbers the government doesn’t want to give, the nation’s approximately 11.7 million illegal immigrants are responsible for 12 percent of all murder sentences, 20 percent of all kidnapping sentences, 16 percent of all drug trafficking sentences, and 13.6 percent of ALL sentenced offenders in the U.S.
Additionally, according to the Heritage Foundation, American taxpayers are on the hook to the tune of almost $20,000 for every low-skilled immigrant household, which pays roughly $10,000 in taxes while using $30,000 in government services. In fact, 57 percent of all immigrant household with children use at least one welfare program.
The problem with immigration is not immigration; the problem is the welfare state.
In a free society, nobody but self-responsible persons would want to enter the country, at least for the most part. Why? Because strictly speaking, a free country is one where private property is respected, and all charity, schooling, medical care and transportation are privately funded. If you make $100, or $100,000, or a billion dollars, it’s all yours, in a free country.
If the United States did not have a multiple-trillion dollar welfare state — free schools, free health care, free food, free cell phones, on and on — then the only immigrants coming in would, for the most part, be self-responsible individualists who seek to fend for themselves. You know the type: the kind of people who founded the American colonies and the early United States, in the first place. While some immigrants entering the United States today are like this, some are not. Some who enter undoubtedly start out this way, but when a stagnating economy makes it hard to find work and opportunity, and government offers handouts at every corner, it’s tempting, if not inevitable, to become dependent on government for all these benefits and handouts.
None of this has anything to do with racism. It has everything to do with incentives. If you create a gigantic, unaccountable and corrupt transfer-of-wealth state in an otherwise rich and free country, then you will continue to attract the best; but you will also attract way more of the worst than you otherwise would.
Why is this so hard to understand? It isn’t. It’s almost self-evident. The real question is: Why is this so hard to accept?
Leftist, socialist Democrats and Establishment Republicans (same thing) do not want to accept that government is the problem. They wish to maintain government control, high taxes and everything else as we know it. Why? Because they’re comfortable with it, it makes them feel morally superior, it gives them power and it enables them to feel like they’re in control. These are all unhealthy reasons, and the cause of liberty and individual rights has paid the price for this neurosis bordering on psychosis on the part of our career politicians and the people who keep supporting them.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump and many drawn to him look at immigration statistics/problems and blame immigration itself. By getting rid of illegal immigrants, they say, we will solve the problem. While there’s certainly logic and justice in requiring the government to follow its own immigration laws, and while getting rid of some of the bad immigrants fostered by the existence of the welfare state will probably be a good thing, attacking the idea of immigration itself will never solve the problem. Immigration is dysfunctional only because the rest of the country is dysfunctional. Why is the rest of the country dysfunctional? Because the government does way too much, spends (and borrows) way too much, and gets in the way of personal responsibility and prosperity.
22 million Americans are currently looking for full-time work while at least 8 million full-time jobs are held by illegal immigrants. But but but… our elites tell us we must bring in more, and in ever increasing numbers, yet ordinary Americans wonder why … and side with Donald Trump.
The solution is not to get rid of immigration, at least not legal immigration. In a free market, all should and would be welcome, aside from terrorists or criminals, of course. What we can do is change the incentives, not just for people seeking to live in America, but for those already living here. End the welfare state. Get government out of the compulsion business, and let government concentrate on punishing frauds, crooks, violent offenders and international enemies.
If only America changed its course in this respect, so many other problems would diminish or go away. No, there’s no such thing as utopia. But the glorious breath of fresh air that renewed economic and individual freedom could bring to this once great society is so possible, and yet — because we’re all in our own way — so sadly elusive.
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