19 Jun 2014

Milton Friedman on Protectionism

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Limitations on immigration (not required by National Security) are nothing other than a species of Protectionism, a way of limiting labor market competition.

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“There is no doubt that free and open immigration is the right policy in a libertarian state, but in a welfare state it is a different story: the supply of immigrants will become infinite.”


The only questions that should be answered is do we need immigrants? And do the citizens want immigrants. Not what we did a hundred years ago or what some “libertarian state” does. We clearly do not “need” poor, uneducated fecund immigrants who don’t speak English and prefer to not learn English. If we needed immigrants I would prefer doctors, nurses, engineers, educators, etc. BUT do we even need that class of immigrant? I don’t think we do. We have plenty of smart and educated Americans out of work many in those fields. If we had full employment and a crying need for specific people THEN and only then would I say we NEED imigrants. But secondly we should ask the people. A national referendum perhaps. I would suggest first we stop all immigration legal and illegal for a few years not to be resumed until we identify and deport everyone here illegally. Then we put it to a vote with full information. I think it is only fair that old retired people now that immigrants mean their property taxes and state taxes will increase to provide schools and to support them. It is only fair to let minorities know that immigrants will likely displace them in the job market, etc. Lastly I think we should decide how we pay for them. I would suggest a “tax” on all employers hiring immigrants to pay for the increased costs to government. Perhaps $5-$10 an hour. This would also help to keep citizens employed since they would e cheaper to hire. And last I would not give citizenship or the vote to immigrants. They would forever be on a visa status. Their children would of course be citizens but the initial immigrant would remain a foreigner here at our pleasure and easily deportable if they failed to live up to expectations.


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