Capitalists Support Immigration
by Nate Gorman, June 28, 2002
[Editor's note: the following comments were submitted in response to my article at http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/immigrants.html. I find very little here with which to disagree. --Ari Armstrong]
I have to comment on the immigration issue. I believe your article spends too much time on racism as a factor. From my perspective, the more relevant impact of immigration for libertarianism follows:
Americans who believe that capitalism is most efficient means of producing goods, creating wealth and improving the lives of the masses should strongly support more immigration, not less. America was founded by people who were willing to jump on a wooden ship and travel for months to a new and strange land, leaving behind all they knew.
When the words of Adam Smith reached the English colonies in America, they were embraced by people who understood the benefits of taking risks like no other people in the world. With the Revolution, the United States th rew out a King, a system that drained the resources of the land and labor of the masses and the belief that government could take care of people better than people could take care of themselves.
Monarchs, and dictators ruled the world before our great democratic experiment based in capitalism was launched. The monarchies still exist, but most have evolved into quasi-democratic, socialist systems where wealth remains the property o f the government. The majority of people in those countries do not have a history that values the concept of risk and reward. Capitalism is acknowledged, but politely declined. Yet many people born in these countries dream of the opportunities free markets provide, and a few hearty souls choose to leave behind all they know in order to participate in capitalism's risks and rewards.
Today's United States remains the most capitalistic country in the world. But, as our nation has aged, the words of Adam Smith have faded. The percentage of our population commited to the principal that wealth creation and distribution is not the role of government has shrunk as fewer immigrants are allowed on our shores.
Today's Americans have been conditioned to expect government to fund more programs for "victims" of one social crisis after another. Liberals recoil at the suggestion that their taxpayer funded programs are socialisim. Conservat ives are afraid of being labled "hateful" if they oppose these socialist programs.
Immigrants know first hand how inefficient and corrupt government is when charged with producing and distributing wealth. The socialist countries they leave offer little opportunity. Immigrants are among the best advocates of&nb sp;capitalism in our nation. They have lived in systems where risk is eliminated, reward is parsed out "fairly" by the ruling elite and incentive to produce is non-existent.
Critics of capitalism point to greed and corruption, citing Enron, Global Crossing or WorldCom as the latest examples of how evil free markets are. With capitalism, however, if a large company becomes corrupt, it is punished appr opriately by the markets.
Those same capitalist critics choose to ignore the more harmful effect of governments in socialist countries becoming corrupt. An entrenched corrupt government is much more difficult to punish (and usually bloodier) than a company. The masses choose to accept less control of their work, wealth and future and hope that life does not get "too" unbearable.
Immigrants and their spirit are needed today more than ever to keep our great experiment alive in America. We must open our borders to more people of the world who are willing to risk it all in order to have a chance at the American dream. Risk is the key word, though. Immigrants must not be granted the benefits of a socialist "safety net".
It is destructive enough to capitalism for our own citizens to demand confiscatory wealth distribution with a simple majority. Non-citizens must not be allowed to grow as fondly attached to handouts, lest we lose the very benefit we seek t o gain by welcoming them into our country. The United States is and will remain the best country on earth as long as we embrace risk-takers and reject government as a provider, as immigrants to our lands have done for centuries.
I welcome your reply so I can read your comments.