October 3, 2020

FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS AND PEOPLES:

Tear Down the Global Berlin Wall (Sir, Michael Cianci September 27, 2020, Exponents)

Whether it's wily immigrants stealing jobs, the perceived loss of culture, or demographic shifts threatening the 'whiteness' of America, there's nothing the populist-right likes to raise more than the threat of immigration. A triumvirate of Tucker Carlson,  Laura Ingraham, and Donald Trump want Americans to know that Joe Biden and the 'radical left' want to bring open borders to America. Sadly, that is not true. Like much of the developed world, we've put up a 'Berlin Wall' of our own, keeping millions out.

America is an immigrant nation, and American attitudes towards immigration are largely positive. Despite that, a sizable portion of Americans harbor many of those anxieties about immigration, and they are fueled by President Trump and his cronies. For them, open borders, would be chaos. And, contrary to what the right may say, those on the left aren't very receptive to the notion either. But the case for open borders is clear--not just as immigration policy, but also as foreign policy.

Imagine a world, to quote economist Bryan Caplan, author of the nonfiction graphic-novel, Open Borders: the Science and Ethics of Immigration, where "all nationalities are free to live and work in any nation they like". That's the world of open borders.

There is no denying that over the last quarter century global incomes have increased, poverty has decreased, and total global inequality has decreased. Seemingly, we live in the most prosperous era humanity has ever seen. Despite this period of global prosperity, suffering still persists. This begs what Caplan calls the "hundred-trillion-dollar question": why don't people from poor countries just go to rich countries to share the prosperity? [...]

Caplan's case for 'open borders' is pretty simple. First, Caplan establishes the economic benefits of such a policy. For many reasons, especially technological advances, workers are more productive in the developed world. If workers were able to come to the U.S. and work, they'd be massively more productive--even low-skilled ones. This is great for the economy because more productive workers produce more goods and services. [...]

Open borders would be even more of a boon for U.S. soft power. Soft power is the ability of a country to get what it wants through co-option rather than coercion. The U.S. already enjoys cultural hegemony and continues to be a top destination for immigrants. Imagine the boost the U.S. could get if it opened its borders to all who could come? Forging even greater societal and cultural links with the world would allow for the U.S. to exercise its power in restrained, cost-effective manner (rather than relying on force), to achieve its national needs.

Posted by at October 3, 2020 10:10 AM

  

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