L-C

Immigration and the welfare state

45 posts in this topic

As Milton Friedman pointed out, you cannot have a liberal immigration policy and a welfare state at the same time, and I think the current state of Europe proves Friedman's point rather eloquently.

Exactly, and this, among other things, is precisely what Sweden is a world champion at doing. And rtg24's point is highly related; most of the immigrants we get are not Westerners looking to produce but Middle Easterners who, on top of bringing 10 relatives with them and going on welfare, are culturally Middle-Eastern with all that entails. Not everyone is like this, but not everyone needs to be for the system to fail catastrophically, and fast.

It is at this point that (due to Leftism) I almost reflexively point out that this is not about race, but then I remember where I am and I thank you preemptively for your reason.

As a quote attributed to Pythagoras says: "Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression." Production is the ticket out of misery. Not that one should forget the fact that the problem exists and that one should get out of it, but generally I find there's enough reminders of that fact as it is.

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More seriously, I think pretty much everyone here is advocating for liberal immigration.

I disagree that "everyone here" is doing this.

Myself included, though I do make lifting the welfare state a precondition. As Milton Friedman pointed out, you cannot have a liberal immigration policy and a welfare state at the same time, and I think the current state of Europe proves Friedman's point rather eloquently.

What, in your opinion, is the precise connection between the welfare state and liberal immigration policy?

A country without a welfare state and open borders will be much better off than one with a generous welfare state and open borders. It's about attracting the right kind of immigrants.

While your first sentence is true, rtg, I don't see how it answers my query to Brianna. Can you demonstrate how open borders are *necessarily* connected to the welfare state?

Regarding your second sentence, it is not a government's role to "attract the right kind" of anybody. The "right kind of immigrant" is a terribly loose stipulation which has been used by every sort of busybodying anti-capitalist in history.

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As Milton Friedman pointed out, you cannot have a liberal immigration policy and a welfare state at the same time, and I think the current state of Europe proves Friedman's point rather eloquently.

Exactly, and this, among other things, is precisely what Sweden is a world champion at doing. And rtg24's point is highly related; most of the immigrants we get are not Westerners looking to produce but Middle Easterners who, on top of bringing 10 relatives with them and going on welfare, are culturally Middle-Eastern with all that entails. Not everyone is like this, but not everyone needs to be for the system to fail catastrophically, and fast.

It is at this point that (due to Leftism) I almost reflexively point out that this is not about race, but then I remember where I am and I thank you preemptively for your reason.

There is a kind of "race-based" underclass in the United States as well, living off welfare. But, this underclass is native, with virtually no roots in immigration.

Is the problem open immigration as such, or is it multiculturalism and a pacifist foreign policy?

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Is the problem open immigration as such, or is it multiculturalism and a pacifist foreign policy?

Without multiculturalism, pacifism and statism, open immigration wouldn't be a problem. But those things are given here, and so open immigration is a problem. As a matter of self-defense, if I can't get rid of welfare - and that's impossible in Sweden - I'll oppose open immigration. I believe Leonard Peikoff talked about this is one of his casts.

The fact that open immigration doesn't need to be a problem is of no use to me so long as I'm stuck in a country where the condition needed to make it beneficial will never come true.

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Is the problem open immigration as such, or is it multiculturalism and a pacifist foreign policy?

Without multiculturalism, pacifism and statism, open immigration wouldn't be a problem. But those things are given here, and so open immigration is a problem. As a matter of self-defense, if I can't get rid of welfare - and that's impossible in Sweden - I'll oppose open immigration. I believe Leonard Peikoff talked about this is one of his casts.

What you should oppose is not open immigration, but immigration by agents of foreign enemies (which may or may not mean all Muslims). Do you see the difference? By advocating against open immigration instead of the latter, you strengthen the hand of the Left, which allows the foreign agents in anyway.

Leonard Peikoff said one or two good things in that podcast, but his position is wrong. I wrote a rebuttal which I posted on Facebook two weeks after the podcast. I posted it on the Walls of some of the most fiery pro-Peikoff, pro-conservative-position-on-immigration Objectivists you are ever likely to come across. None of them has been able - till this very day - to articulate a response. I might post it here later today when I get home.

The fact that open immigration doesn't need to be a problem is of no use to me so long as I'm stuck in a country where the condition needed to make it beneficial will never come true.

I understand the despair, but you will find when you come to America that it is not the enemy agents America is mollycoddling that are being affected by the "closed immigration" policy people are championing.

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Is the problem open immigration as such, or is it multiculturalism and a pacifist foreign policy?

Without multiculturalism, pacifism and statism, open immigration wouldn't be a problem. But those things are given here, and so open immigration is a problem. As a matter of self-defense, if I can't get rid of welfare - and that's impossible in Sweden - I'll oppose open immigration. I believe Leonard Peikoff talked about this is one of his casts.

The fact that open immigration doesn't need to be a problem is of no use to me so long as I'm stuck in a country where the condition needed to make it beneficial will never come true.

I think that investing my limited resources in a fight against free immigration would be a waste of time. I think that I would do better to concentrate on the much more important task of opposing the welfare state, and statism in general.

L-C, since you are a Swede, like me, you must have heard of that saying which the Conservatives love - "Laat inte det baesta bli det godas fiende" - ("Do not let the best become the enemy of the good"). The Conservatives use that popular saying to justify compromise. They say that it is "impractical" to fight for a lofty ideal. Your chances of success will be greater if you do not "aim for the stars", so to speak, but content yourself with aiming for the treetops, so that you get the low-hanging fruit. Well, Ayn Rand disagreed with that policy emphatically, and so do I. I do not think that it is a good idea to settle for modest values. You should go for the ideal, even though you may not succeed.

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By advocating against open immigration instead of the latter, you strengthen the hand of the Left, which allows the foreign agents in anyway.

This is indeed what is already happening here.

On one hand you have the multiculturalist-leftists advocating a more open immigration. On the other hand leftist-nationalists are getting more influential. Since people are getting more and more unhappy with the multiculturalist approach, they turn towards the only alternative present. However, they are just different sides of the same coin. They are two, only slightly, different poisons. Whatever you prefer, you still lose.

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On one hand you have the multiculturalist-leftists advocating a more open immigration. On the other hand leftist-nationalists are getting more influential. Since people are getting more and more unhappy with the multiculturalist approach, they turn towards the only alternative present. However, they are just different sides of the same coin. They are two, only slightly, different poison.

True, especially since they are, as you say, leftist-nationalists. But if they can offer some additional measure of self-defense to buy us more time to get out, that's a good thing.

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"Can you demonstrate how open borders are *necessarily* connected to the welfare state?"

Simply put, one of the best ways to integrate someone into your society and make sure they are contributing to it is to make sure they have to get a job in order to support themselves. If someone must either work or starve, that is a great incentive to make them learn the local language and accommodate themselves to local customs without applying any government pressure whatsoever. If they can eat without working, this creates a permanent underclass which is apathetic to your society at best and subversive at worst. Most of America's underclass is domestic; therefore they are mostly apathetic and most of the violence with comes from them is essentially directionless. They may have been raised to hate the system, but that is not the same thing as being raised with the idea that they should replace it. In Europe however, most of that underclass emigrated from countries with a very different idea of how civilization should work, so they are subversive. If that subversive underclass were not supported by your welfare system, they would either have to get jobs and integrate, or go home. As it is... well, as a European you probably know the results far better than I.

The larger your welfare state is and the easier it is for someone in your country to obtain welfare, the more stringent your immigration controls have to be in order to be sure that an immigrant will have neither the opportunity nor the desire to draw from that system until you can be sure that he will not take the chance to work against your society while using your money to do it with. Therefore, so long as the US has a welfare state, I think it is better to control immigration than not (though I think we could do a better job than we are currently doing). Should we ever manage to destroy the welfare state, I would have no problem with a liberal immigration policy, and I regularly put forward the idea that we should both loosen immigration policy and destroy the welfare state, a proposal which, as far as I can tell, would be win-win all around.

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There is a kind of "race-based" underclass in the United States as well, living off welfare. But, this underclass is native, with virtually no roots in immigration.

Is the problem open immigration as such, or is it multiculturalism and a pacifist foreign policy?

Of course the problem is socialism, as it is anywhere else in the world. A welfare state breeds a welfare underclass. But open borders act as a catalyst for rapid, durable expansion of this class, with added problems such as 11,000 "potential terrorists" in the UK according to MI6 (who are not known for outlandish headline statements).

It helps also that South American immigrants (those coming for welfare into the US) do not come from war torn states. The Bosnians brought Kalashnikovs to Marseille, decimating the local mafia (with collateral damage). The Nigerians bring their moral relativity. The Liberians are quiet and stay underground and bring tales of horror which are difficult to imagine for those not well acquainted with the history of warfare (I personally find tales of Saddam's era more horrific).

Marseille makes US ghettos look peaceful and quaint.

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If they can eat without working, this creates a permanent underclass which is apathetic to your society at best and subversive at worst.

Indeed, and welfare also makes violating rights a very "clean" and easy thing to do compared to having to rob people yourself. I also agree with the rest of your post. It is disastrous to combine welfare with open immigration, and when such immigration is from the Middle East into a Marxist, multiculturalist, pragmatist nation (I could add more adjectives), the result is inevitable doom.

There is an absurd amount of negative factors pooling in Sweden. It is as if Wesley Mouch and his crew had orchestrated an experiment to display, within a country, the meticulous dismantling and destruction of Western values.

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It is disastrous to combine welfare with open immigration,

*Is* it a sheer disaster to combine welfare with open immigration? Well - "no cloud without a silver lining.

Maybe I am perverse for holding this view, but I feel that maybe more open immigration to Sweden would be a good thing. Because it would make it more difficult for the socialists to preserve the welfare state. If we get lots of immigrants, and they overburden the system, then maybe the government will be "forced" to cut back on the benefits in order to save money.

And I would feel quite a lot of schadenfreude if a lot of my parasitical fellow countrymen lost some of those unearned welfare benefits which they treasure so much. I am incensed by the egregious hypocrisy of those fellow Swedes of mine who whine about the "hordes" of immigrants who allegedly come here in order to mooch on "our" welfare. And which fellow Swedes at the same time think that it is perfectly OK for they themselves to mooch, by receiving various types of welfare payments from the government.

The idea that it is wrong if immigrants receive welfare benefits, but that it is perfectly OK if Swedes do the same, seems to me to imply racism.

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It is disastrous to combine welfare with open immigration,

*Is* it a sheer disaster to combine welfare with open immigration? Well - "no cloud without a silver lining.

Maybe I am perverse for holding this view, but I feel that maybe more open immigration to Sweden would be a good thing. Because it would make it more difficult for the socialists to preserve the welfare state. If we get lots of immigrants, and they overburden the system, then maybe the government will be "forced" to cut back on the benefits in order to save money.

And I would feel quite a lot of schadenfreude if a lot of my parasitical fellow countrymen lost some of those unearned welfare benefits which they treasure so much. I am incensed by the egregious hypocrisy of those fellow Swedes of mine who whine about the "hordes" of immigrants who allegedly come here in order to mooch on "our" welfare. And which fellow Swedes at the same time think that it is perfectly OK for they themselves to mooch, by receiving various types of welfare payments from the government.

The idea that it is wrong if immigrants receive welfare benefits, but that it is perfectly OK if Swedes do the same, seems to me to imply racism.

Well, by your own admission it is a disaster, because you openly state that more immigration would bring the system to the state of collapse. The only difference between your opinion and Cloward's and Piven's opinions is that you think this will force the government to see sense, whereas they advocate this strategy in the hopes that the government either be unwilling or unable to adopt more sensible policies and will thus collapse instead. Personally, I think Cloward's and Piven's view of what would happen is likelier than yours, and that either way it's not exactly a gamble I'd want to take with my own country.

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Maybe I am perverse for holding this view, but I feel that maybe more open immigration to Sweden would be a good thing. Because it would make it more difficult for the socialists to preserve the welfare state. If we get lots of immigrants, and they overburden the system, then maybe the government will be "forced" to cut back on the benefits in order to save money.

Unfortunately, that is not what happens, because as you increase the number of welfare receivers, you increase their voting power and therefore their ability to infringe your rights.

The Soviet Union and India pre-IMF bailout were the ultimate examples, with no producers and all welfare receivers. The result was sheer horror, starvation, and a life which in some ways was worse than in medieval times (where at least you could satisfy your hunger).

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Well, by your own admission it is a disaster, because you openly state that more immigration would bring the system to the state of collapse. The only difference between your opinion and Cloward's and Piven's opinions is that you think this will force the government to see sense, whereas they advocate this strategy in the hopes that the government either be unwilling or unable to adopt more sensible policies and will thus collapse instead. Personally, I think Cloward's and Piven's view of what would happen is likelier than yours, and that either way it's not exactly a gamble I'd want to take with my own country.

Well, I am so disgusted by the Swedish welfare state that I would not consider it to be a *catastrophe* if it collapsed. It was not a catastrophe that the Soviet Union collapsed - was it? Because the Soviet Union was such a rotten society that it *deserved* to collapse.

Well, today´s Sweden is *almost* equally rotten as the Soviet Union. So I would be almost as happy if Sweden collapsed as I was when the Soviet Union collapsed. Still, I live in Sweden myself. So I would be unhappy about the bad things which would happen to me, and to my wife, if Sweden collapsed. So I am working to try to prevent Sweden from collapsing.

But in the privacy of my own heart, I am almost rooting for a collapse. I suppose that that is because there is some element pf schadenfreude in me. And I would therefore actually be glad to see many of my morally depraved countrymen get hurt. Many of them deserve to get hurt.

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Maybe I am perverse for holding this view, but I feel that maybe more open immigration to Sweden would be a good thing. Because it would make it more difficult for the socialists to preserve the welfare state. If we get lots of immigrants, and they overburden the system, then maybe the government will be "forced" to cut back on the benefits in order to save money.

Unfortunately, that is not what happens, because as you increase the number of welfare receivers, you increase their voting power and therefore their ability to infringe your rights.

The Soviet Union and India pre-IMF bailout were the ultimate examples, with no producers and all welfare receivers. The result was sheer horror, starvation, and a life which in some ways was worse than in medieval times (where at least you could satisfy your hunger).

Well, I suppose that many of my countrymen are so depraved that they *deserve* to starve. Still, I do not want to starve myself, so I am doing what I can to prevent a collapse.

Except that I will *not* try to victimize the innocent, i.e. the immigrants, in order to postpone a collapse. Reducing immigration might postpone a collapse. But what would be the point? For a collapse would come anyway, eventually, if we did not eradicate the welfare state itself.

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Except that I will *not* try to victimize the innocent, i.e. the immigrants, in order to postpone a collapse. Reducing immigration might postpone a collapse. But what would be the point? For a collapse would come anyway, eventually, if we did not eradicate the welfare state itself.

Well, look at it this way. If the immigrant's intention is to hasten the collapse, you have legit reason not to want him in your country. If the immigrant's intentions are honest, then for his own sake you don't want the immigrant in the country when it collapses. Why needlessly bring suffering down on innocents, after all?

Also, it's not just the collapse you have to worry about. After a collapse, there is an effort to rebuild, and that effort will be made according to the ideas in the culture. The ideas that society was built on before the collapse, the ideas that brought the collapse, the ideas the new society should be built on in order to avoid another collapse. One of the things I look to in my country (the US) is that IF we collapse, then someone needs to be around to say that it was because of collectivist ideas, and the solution is to go back to the individualist ideas of the Founding. Do you really want to admit a bunch of people into your country who will say the collapse came because of decadent and flawed western ideas, and the solution is obviously that everybody needs to live by sharia?

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Except that I will *not* try to victimize the innocent, i.e. the immigrants, in order to postpone a collapse. Reducing immigration might postpone a collapse. But what would be the point? For a collapse would come anyway, eventually, if we did not eradicate the welfare state itself.

We already know what kind of immigrants Sweden gets. It's not Westerners fresh out of college.

And the point of delaying the collapse is to buy time to get out of here. There is no valor in shoving water from a ship that's had its hull split open from the inside.

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We already know what kind of immigrants Sweden gets. It's not Westerners fresh out of college.

No, those are on tourist visas ;)

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Except that I will *not* try to victimize the innocent, i.e. the immigrants, in order to postpone a collapse. Reducing immigration might postpone a collapse. But what would be the point? For a collapse would come anyway, eventually, if we did not eradicate the welfare state itself.

Well, look at it this way. If the immigrant's intention is to hasten the collapse, you have legit reason not to want him in your country. If the immigrant's intentions are honest, then for his own sake you don't want the immigrant in the country when it collapses. Why needlessly bring suffering down on innocents, after all?

Also, it's not just the collapse you have to worry about. After a collapse, there is an effort to rebuild, and that effort will be made according to the ideas in the culture. The ideas that society was built on before the collapse, the ideas that brought the collapse, the ideas the new society should be built on in order to avoid another collapse. One of the things I look to in my country (the US) is that IF we collapse, then someone needs to be around to say that it was because of collectivist ideas, and the solution is to go back to the individualist ideas of the Founding. Do you really want to admit a bunch of people into your country who will say the collapse came because of decadent and flawed western ideas, and the solution is obviously that everybody needs to live by sharia?

Well, *ideologically* and *morally* I think that the immigrants in Sweden tend to be better than those of my countrymen who were born and raised in Sweden. In my experience, those of my former workmates who were immigrants, and most of them came from non-western countries, were more open-minded, and would listen to me for a longer time when I tried to explain my views to them. Most of my Swedish workmates, on the other hand, would not hear me out at all.

Of course, there are *some* enemies of western civilization among the immigrants. But far from all of them are. And how then, am I or the Swedish government going to be able to tell *which* of the prospective immigrants belong to the "enemy"? How to separate the wheat from the chaff in other words. I adhere to the principle of regarding every man as innocent until proven guilty, in the question of immigration just as in all other questions. So I advocate free immigration - as well as an all-out war on the Irani theocracy!

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Except that I will *not* try to victimize the innocent, i.e. the immigrants, in order to postpone a collapse. Reducing immigration might postpone a collapse. But what would be the point? For a collapse would come anyway, eventually, if we did not eradicate the welfare state itself.

We already know what kind of immigrants Sweden gets. It's not Westerners fresh out of college.

And the point of delaying the collapse is to buy time to get out of here. There is no valor in shoving water from a ship that's had its hull split open from the inside.

See my answer to Brianna. In my experience the immigrants, even those from non-western countries, tend to be *better* and *more* open-minded than my own countrymen (I say *tend to be*, of course there are exceptions, such as you and I, L-C).

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"Can you demonstrate how open borders are *necessarily* connected to the welfare state?"

Simply put, one of the best ways to integrate someone into your society and make sure they are contributing to it is to make sure they have to get a job in order to support themselves. If someone must either work or starve, that is a great incentive to make them learn the local language and accommodate themselves to local customs without applying any government pressure whatsoever. If they can eat without working, this creates a permanent underclass which is apathetic to your society at best and subversive at worst. Most of America's underclass is domestic; therefore they are mostly apathetic and most of the violence with comes from them is essentially directionless. They may have been raised to hate the system, but that is not the same thing as being raised with the idea that they should replace it. In Europe however, most of that underclass emigrated from countries with a very different idea of how civilization should work, so they are subversive. If that subversive underclass were not supported by your welfare system, they would either have to get jobs and integrate, or go home. As it is... well, as a European you probably know the results far better than I.

The larger your welfare state is and the easier it is for someone in your country to obtain welfare, the more stringent your immigration controls have to be in order to be sure that an immigrant will have neither the opportunity nor the desire to draw from that system until you can be sure that he will not take the chance to work against your society while using your money to do it with. Therefore, so long as the US has a welfare state, I think it is better to control immigration than not (though I think we could do a better job than we are currently doing). Should we ever manage to destroy the welfare state, I would have no problem with a liberal immigration policy, and I regularly put forward the idea that we should both loosen immigration policy and destroy the welfare state, a proposal which, as far as I can tell, would be win-win all around.

I have not forgotten this thread, and intend to respond to you and others soon -- hopefully, on the weekend.

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"Can you demonstrate how open borders are *necessarily* connected to the welfare state?"

Simply put, one of the best ways to integrate someone into your society and make sure they are contributing to it is to make sure they have to get a job in order to support themselves. If someone must either work or starve, that is a great incentive to make them learn the local language and accommodate themselves to local customs without applying any government pressure whatsoever. If they can eat without working, this creates a permanent underclass which is apathetic to your society at best and subversive at worst.

There is some collectivism and question-begging here when you write "contributing to [your society]." But, I'll grant that you meant "creating not mooching wherever they are."

Besides, what if they can't find out whether there are jobs until they get here? This is especially so because of all the immigration and employment controls the government has emplaced. In any case, I don't think those day-laborers everyone knows - and could see - were helping build houses all over America were mooching. As for language difficulties, this has historically been the way of immigration. The newcomers are slow to learn the new language but their children and grandchildren become thoroughly versed in it. It is the rare immigrant who learns a new language easily and effectively. The level of the immigrant's education or earning-power is not a strong determinant in this context. Even highly-educated immigrants with high-paying jobs struggle somewhat with a new language for as long as ten or fifteen years. I have observed this in my ten years in corporate America.

As for "eat[ing] without working," please allow me to share some personal experiences.

I arrived the U.S. on a J-1 visa. A J-1 visa is an exchange student visa granted to individuals whose skills, according to the State Department, are "needed" in his "home" country. The skills list these great minds had come up with included Information Technology skills, and since I was going to complete a Masters in Mgt. Information Systems, they "awarded" me a J-1 instead of an F-1 visa. The J-1 visa had a 2-year "home residency requirement" attached to it. A "home residency requirement" meant that the visa holder must return to his "home country" for two years upon completion of his degree. In other words, the official policy of the State Department in 1998 - at the height of the dot-com boom and corresponding skills shortage - was to return the holder of an IT degree to his native country for two years. It is possible that they chose to issue me a J-1 because of my not-too-loose ties to a large company or because my father paid for the degree. But, it is nevertheless strange that U.S. foreign policy included [includes?] returning U.S.-trained Africans to African dictatorships. (At the time, General Abdulsalam Abubakar had just assumed office in yet another coup.) Two years after the degree, the visa holder could apply for jobs in the U.S.; but, anyone who has ever worked knows that two years are an eternity in business - your freshly-acquired skills may be unmarketable by then.

When I got to grad school in Texas, I met another Nigerian who was in similar visa circumstances, only that he had actually "won" the Green Card lottery. Yet, the Warren Buffetts at the American embassy had given him a J-1 visa, thereby complicating his immigration status. For this and other reasons, we became friends. His apartment and mine were barely 150 metres apart. We were two of the African students who didn't have to work to remain in school. Some of the other guys, against the laws which forbade students to work off campus, would take work in newspaper delivery so they could send money to their families. These were Masters and PhD students in Sciences or Engineering who already had Teaching or Research Assistantships which kept them in school, but who still took on the extra work. (I later got an Assistantship myself but that's not relevant here.)

The only way to get rid of the home residency requirement was to apply for a waiver from one's "home government" even though the government was not your sponsor or employer. My friend, being quite resourceful, contacted someone in the Nigerian consulate who wrote a waiver. I asked him to introduce me to the individual and a waiver was also produced on my behalf.

When graduation came, like every other foreign student who had received a job offer, I applied for a change in visa status (the company applies actually). The H-1B was granted but in the 4-month interim before it arrived, I was not allowed to work in the U.S. You're probably thinking, How was I supposed to support myself?

Well, even though I come from some privilege, the idea of going back to my father for money when some of my peers had been working 2 or 3 jobs while in school was too undignified, so I worked in pizza delivery while I was in Texas, then later in merchandise stocking and shoe sales in New Jersey. (I had worked odd jobs in the past in the UK, so elements of this lifestyle were not entirely new to me.)

It's this Texas pizza delivery part that was instructive in regard to "illegal immigrants." I would deliver to factories, wealthy neighborhoods, middle-class neighborhoods, student neighborhoods, ghettoes, trailer parks, majority-"Hispanic" neighborhoods, and sometimes, even to campus addresses. (I drove an old Tercel I had bought for $1,500. Unlike the even older Nissan my mother had bought me upon graduation in Lagos, it had no air-conditioning, but I didn't care: I was in America and that's all that mattered.:blink:)

The students usually bought pizza during games or on nights when they couldn't or didn't want to cook. They would buy in large groups, so the tips were almost always good. The people in the ghettoes almost never tipped, and I saw the worst of America in these places (drugs, unwed teen-mothers, and once, the heavily-tattooed cop who had his hand on his holster the entire time I was on his doorstep). The trailer parks were a mixed bag; you would get the occasional heavy tip (although my car was once chased out of one of the parks by two "mischievous" young men). The factory orders were almost always made by South American immigrants. Sometimes I would see them walking to work very late at night to start their shifts. The bigger factories were heavily staffed with them. Sometimes, on Friday and Saturday nights, I would have to deliver to an "Hispanic" neighborhood and would almost always find the men - in groups of between 5 and 10 - wearing their work clothes as late as 1 a.m., drinking Bud Lights, and waiting for their pizzas. They always looked alert and pleasant, and you could tell from the paint splattered on their jeans and boots that this was their only enjoyment.

(I got more exposure to these South American immigrants years later, but that is another story.)

I have two brothers, both now U.S. permanent residents -- one from H1-B to Green Card by employment, and the other from H1-B to Green Card by marriage. So, it hasn't been - in the aggregate - tragic for my family. But, even in both their cases, extraordinary measures had to be taken at some point(s) in the immigration process. I will discuss the case of the brother who became a Perm Resident by employment, since he is the one who introduced me to Ayn Rand.

He is my youngest brother (I am the eldest), and they had both left Nigeria 3 years ahead of me for undergraduate work. My brother - like our middle brother - was the best student in his class, and was accepted at Dartmouth on an almost full scholarship to study Computer Science. When we applied for the visa at the U.S. embassy so he could begin school, the embassy refused his visa on the grounds that he wasn't likely to return to Nigeria.

My brother fell into a deep fever. He had always been the most introspective and intellectually dedicated of all the children. It took my father's brother's intervention to save the day. My uncle (himself a Bowdoin and Cornell graduate) had married an American in the '60s. So, he had some access to the U.S. diplomatic community in Nigeria. We were able to get another visa interview on appeal, and that is how my brother was able to leave the country. At Dartmouth, he came across a copy of "The Fountainhead" and the rest is history.

What if my family had not been so well positioned and resourceful?

Most of America's underclass is domestic; therefore they are mostly apathetic and most of the violence with comes from them is essentially directionless. They may have been raised to hate the system, but that is not the same thing as being raised with the idea that they should replace it. In Europe however, most of that underclass emigrated from countries with a very different idea of how civilization should work, so they are subversive. If that subversive underclass were not supported by your welfare system, they would either have to get jobs and integrate, or go home. As it is... well, as a European you probably know the results far better than I.

But, none of this demonstrates that the Welfare State is necessarily tied to immigration. All you are doing here is raising the threat of immigrants who may be useful to a hidden demographic agenda. (Parenthetically, I disagree that the people who keep the domestic underclass in the ghettoes are directionless. See: http://www.breitbart.tv/jesse-jackson-call...erican-economy/ . The Reverend Wrights and Reverend Sharptons and their counterparts in the mainstream elite know what they're doing.)

The subversiveness of the new European Muslim underclass is not so much an individual ambition. By that I mean, I very much doubt that the individual Muslim arrives Europe with jihad on the brain. I think the cry for jihad is (i) foremost, theoretically, in the religion; (ii) cultivated by the intellectual leadership the Muslim meets in the new country; and (iii) materially abetted by the heavily-controlled economy of the new country which generally kills ambition and helps whet any mosque-kindled resentment.

The last reason is partly why jihad is not catching on as quickly in North America as it is in Europe. Muslim immigrants here are not as ghettoized as they are in Europe.

The larger your welfare state is and the easier it is for someone in your country to obtain welfare, the more stringent your immigration controls have to be in order to be sure that an immigrant will have neither the opportunity nor the desire to draw from that system until you can be sure that he will not take the chance to work against your society while using your money to do it with. Therefore, so long as the US has a welfare state, I think it is better to control immigration than not (though I think we could do a better job than we are currently doing). Should we ever manage to destroy the welfare state, I would have no problem with a liberal immigration policy, and I regularly put forward the idea that we should both loosen immigration policy and destroy the welfare state, a proposal which, as far as I can tell, would be win-win all around.

Surely, you can't expect immigrants acting well within their rights to sacrifice themselves to the statists in America or anywhere else in the world. And even if you screened immigrants by pre-existing wealth, you might lose the Ayaan Hirsi Alis and Ayn Rands but gain the George Soros and Warren Buffetts (if one were to grant the collectivism behind this premise of societal "loss" and "gain"). Obvious, material wealth is not the sole or primary determinant of one's value as an individual.

And, if we are saying that today's welfare state is so advanced that it has created an emergency context in which we have to violate the rights of some men in order to preserve what's left of the country, then that means the country is something of a dictatorship and thus ripe for overthrow by any freer state or group of Objectivist-type individuals seeking to create a freer state. When a country has so violated individual rights that it is advocating further violations as policy, then it is itself open to conquest, on those very terms. This would still mean any foreigner who does not seek to go on welfare or to violate anyone's rights is "free" to come to America, as morality ends where a gun begins. If anyone tries to stop him, he is well within his rights to kill them if necessary.

Now, I hope you can see the ridiculousness of declaring today's Welfare State an emergency. Look around you. Draw the full context into mind. Are we yet at the point where an innocent man should have to kill another innocent just to gain entry into America to work an honest job?

Imagine if the Southern slaves of the antebellum had had some kind of voice and had protested the immigration of Europeans to America on the grounds that Europeans meant more potential slave-holders. Looking back now through history, would this have been a valid proposition? Morally? practically? What would this have meant for the country from slavery through segregation? Think of all the immigrant "contributions" that would have been lost.

So, why would internal statism be grounds for controlled or closed immigration today? Because the country was in the those days moving towards freedom then but is moving towards dictatorship now? But, how would one know this for certain without some DIM-like deterministic construct? To the abolitionists of the time, especially with the "relapse" a generation later into segregation, it wasn't obvious at all that full freedom was around the corner. Many Americans of all "ethnicities" died in order to cast off that last vestige of Old World norms (which reportedly still thrives in parts of Africa and the Middle East). And they didn't even have the internet, talk radio or Fox News in those days, nor the much wider array of freer countries and individuals, to inspire the cause of freedom.

The welfare state and controlled immigration (qua controlled and not for specific security purposes) stem from the same root: statism, i.e., the idea that the state has primacy over the individual. One cannot combat one idea by giving the other moral power. You can observe this in those people who do not really want or expect the welfare state to end; they just want the "filthy outsiders" to not "take our money." These native moocher-advocates are not oblivious to the collectivism involved in these statements. We hear this all the time in Canada, and whenever I broach the idea of ending the welfare state to these people, not one of them ever agrees that the welfare state should be abolished.

The natives claim they want the welfare state ended, but reserve their anger for immigrants while muting considerably any such rage when it comes to the welfare state. Can you imagine if we were able to get even half the anti-immigration outcry we get from the restless natives channeled toward immigration? The Welfare State would be over in five years.

But, the deeper issue here is this: are immigrants - illegal or otherwise - simply moochers in a welfare state and non-moochers absent the welfare state? Is this all they are? Are they never job creators, taxpayers, revolutionaries, professors, innovators, capitalists, activists, scientists? Are they here only for "jobs"? Is this the summit of their possibilities? And what about the children they have and their possibilities? Or, doesn't this matter to the drum-beating natives?

This is what I call the fallacy of the Frozen Demographic: the idea that human beings are to be regarded as fixed elements of a fixed or static population or demographic, not as individuals moving from one demographic to another with varying roles and potentials within whatever segment, which is itself changing. In the immigration context, this fallacy appears whenever people regard "immigrants" as some kind of fixed bloc, bearing no unexpected possibilities. On this view, immigrants are almost always either systemic ballast (workers seeking "jobs" who may become "Si se puede" reconquistas) or malevolent destroyers (Sharia-law trojans). There could never be an Ayn Rand or Albert Einstein or Andrew Niccol or Chris Nolan or Sergei Rachmaninoff or Ayaan Hirsi Ali among them. The immigrant, on this view, is, like the small-town beauty moving to the big city, the semi-autonomous outsider ready and willing to be the unquestioning vessel of some kind of vice or evil.

The fallacy of the frozen demographic also operates in other realms. We see it in economics when payment of the national debt is discussed. "We" - the government insists - have to raise taxes on taxpayers since the debt accounts "for the services and infrastructure provided by the government." Never mind that some of those who will pay this debt weren't born or even in the country when the debts were incurred. The immigrant innovator must "pay his fair share," and so must the just turned fifteen-years-old citizen. What about taxes being a violation of individual rights? Well, you'll be told, what does the individual matter here, after all, "We've got a country to save. Someone's got to pay the price for our freedoms."

The overall welfare-state-necessitates-immigration-controls position is that the country's freedom is precarious, we musn't let it go to pieces; therefore, someone must be sacrificed for "our freedom" even though this actually means that it is Freedom which is to be sacrificed. (Freedom is freedom of somebody: only concretes exist.) Those who advocate this sacrifice recognize that republican government is a system that needed extraordinary talent to be created but somehow, now we have it, the internal population is sufficient to improve it or to defend it from threats. But, ask yourself: Could a Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin do the work of an Ayn Rand?

But, let us even grant the premise of the Frozen Demographic fallacy. Let us say that all South American immigrants and their progeny remained field workers, janitors, hotel staff, etc, forever. That they were somehow frozen in these jobs for eternity, never to go to college or night school to complete degrees or diplomas; never to rise in status or stature. What is their "contribution" today?

"Free-market" types residing in Canada or Europe frequently bemoan the cost of goods and services in these countries, especially when compared to prices within the United States. It is not just a tax thing, because taxes alone cannot explain the huge mark-ups, and besides, the corporations get some huge deductions in those places. It is more likely a regulatory problem, specifically that there aren't below-minimum-wage workers in the proportions present in the U.S. What I'm saying is that the low cost of many goods and services in the U.S. owes partly to the presence of so many people ready to work - "under the table" - for whatever they can get. For the low-earning professor seeking time to spread Ayn Rand's ideas, the low prices of goods and services are indispensable.

Economist Julian Simon addresses the immigrant vs. welfare state issue in part in this 1995 appearance on Charlie Rose.

So far, I have tried to demonstrate that population growth per se is not to be feared (whether within a country or state, or across countries), and that it is not true that the immigrant qua immigrant represents a threat, even in a Welfare State.

But, what about the best evidence for the "mooching illegal" position? The emergency rooms being closed down in California. How do we explain those? And what about the criminal illegals bringing vice to our cities, especially in the border towns?

The emergency room problem is likely caused by the inability of the illegal immigrants to buy private insurance. A lack of valid documentation is a problem in these matters, and these people do not have other options. In some places, you can buy a "Green Card" or "Social Security card" for as little as $150 (certainly on Columbia Rd in DC barely 2 miles from the Capitol), but you can't use these in too many places. The illegals who use these cards know they can only use them to work. Most of them are people who would like to have nothing to do with criminals but who take the risk to come to America knowing there's no future in their native countries where criminals are in government. They, on some level, realize, contrary to any rationalistic grasp of human nature, that they only have one life to live and that nobody gets hurt if they get a job. Illegal immigration is basically a victimless crime.

The cartels that make these cards, like the drug and human smuggling cartels, are the ones who profit from the drug and immigration laws which are unnecessary and damaging controls on the economy. As we saw with Capone during Prohibition, the more these controls are tightened, the more powerful the cartels become. Today, the anarchy on the U.S./Mexican border is a bloody tribute to the efficacy of government controls.

Sadly, rather than advocate repeal of these controls, some who should know better have chosen to join in the siege mentality that created and maintains them.

Okay Mercury, you say, what about the voting threat from La Raza and the Reconquista movement? Should we just ignore these? The country is going straight to hell in a multiculturalist handbasket. Or, to borrow from Donald Trump: "We are losing this country." What if these South Americans are Trojans just like the Sharia-sympathetic Muslims? This is, in my view, the most serious argument for not allowing a large influx of foreigners. I agree that this could be a serious problem if not carefully managed.

Regarding the Reconquista, yes it is true that these La Raza-type groups have an agenda. But, La Raza is a creation of American citizens not South American immigrants. (In fact, the "ethnic" category 'Hispanic' was created by Republican Richard Nixon who wanted to use the category to counter the so-called black vote.) The La Raza people exploit the yearnings of the immigrants - "The racist Republicans don't like you; stick with us; we're with you; we'll fight for you." And it may be working. The more hysterical the conservatives get about the border, the more likely the illegal immigrants here grow more and more distrustful of the Republican party. Such that, even if the immigrant parents don't get "amnesty," their citizen children will vote in vengeance. The Democrats know this, and, as such, have no real intention of ever passing any such "amnesty." All they have to do is pretend to pass some kind of allegedly pro-immigrant legislation (e.g. the DREAM Act) and then pretend to get "stopped" by the Republicans in congress. The immigrants and their children take note of all these moves, and even if they don't agree with the economic policies of the Left (as we saw with the recent election of right-winger Rob Ford in immigrant-studded Toronto), will be bound to act in self-preservation. Life outside the law is not conducive to long-term goals.

In this respect, Bush was ahead of his party. Like Reagan recognized before him, it would have been wiser to steal the Democrats' thunder and have a Republican president roll back the immigration controls, but the siege-mentality demagogues in his party wouldn't have it.

So, now the La Raza folks on the Left are likely to be succesful regardless: the citizen children will likely vote Democrat, largely because the Republicans are too short-sighted and too timid to embrace individual rights.

But, what about the Muslims? How do we keep them out, or at least manage the Muslim population?

This would have been much easier in a de-controlled atmosphere. But, it would be difficult to implement today because of the cartels empowered by non-objective laws. On the I-485 application form for the Green Card, there is a list of questions, one of which goes something like, "Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" Perhaps something like that could be done for Muslims. And/or, maybe for a period of 50 years, Muslims could be barred from citizenship. These are just ideas I'm throwing out for consideration. I know quite a few Muslims myself, but I realize the rapid deterioration in culture that woud occur were a large population to establish here without Western conquest of the major Islamic states. The moderates are not likely to stand up to the radicals in their midst.

Notice here that the large number of Christian Catholics from South America would be a benefit in this respect, i.e., keeping the Sharia threat at bay. The South Americans are unlikely to vote for Islamic law.

To sum, no free country in history has ever been anti-immigrant, and America will not be an exception. I see the outcry in America today as a manifestation of a siege mentality largely caused - or accelerated - by the 9/11 attacks. The Americans who advocate or cheer the immoral imprisonment of non-criminal illegal immigrants reap what they sow in the TSA's violation of the most basic liberties and the legalization of physical molestation of adults and children.

Do not camouflage the evil of advocating the application of false pinciple by rationalizing it, i.e., by saying "Oh, the Left will violate our rights anyway, so let's join "our allies" the conservatives in their contortions." Ayn Rand wrote conservatism's obituary for a reason.

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Now, I want to say something very final to any self-respecting immigrant anywhere in the world reading this. Do not be cowered by the views of anyone in this respect. Your life belongs to YOU. Do whatever is necessary within reasonable boundaries to achieve your freedom bearing the long-term consequences in mind. If you want to develop a public persona at some point, then reckless law-breaking, even if successful, is not in your interests. But, barring those kinds of circumstances, do whatever it takes. You don't owe anyone anything, so long as you are not out to violate the rights of others.

Even if Ayn Rand were to have advocated what today's conservatives are advocating - which she certainly did NOT - I would advise you follow your own judgment. As I wrote several years ago in an immigration debate with a man I admire: Men only live so long, but ideas live forever. Do not sacrifice yourself - your concrete existence - to bad ideas.

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Mercury made many good points in his long post, #63. But I will not quote from Mercury´s post, since it was so very long. I would just like to focus her on one of Mercury´s many good points.

Mercury pointed out that the opponents of free immigration are themselves *not* opposed to statism. And that when they use the argument that many immigrants - "come here in order to take advantage of our generous welfare state" - those opponents of free immigration do *not* themselves want the welfare state to go away. Those xenophobes (I do think that at least most of the men who rail against the immigrants -"who want to take advantage of our generous welfare state" are xenophobes - since, for one thing, they are making *collectivistic* generalizations about the immigrants) want to reduce immigration in order to *preserve* the welfare state! By saving money for the welfare state (there will supposedly be a larger share of the "national cake" available for each individual citizen, if less immigration leads to there being fewer individual citizens in the country who are to share that "national cake").

So, therefore, I think that advocating restrictions on immigration, on the grounds that it (free immigration) will create economic problems in the context of the welfare state, is a fool´s game. We must oppose *both* the welfare state and (illegitimate-i.e. not related to the protection of individual rights) restrictions on immigration at the same time.

And remember this - since the welfare state is fundamentally a *moral* issue, we must oppose it primarilly on moral grounds. And the fact that the free immigration is moral, combined with the fact that the welfare state logically leads to restrictions on immigration, means that coming out as pro-free immigration enables us Objectivists to take the "moral high ground" in the fight to abolish the welfare state.

It is * very* effective to use as an argument against the leftists the one that they are coming close to being racists, when they oppose free immigration in order to preserve the welfare state. Because the leftists themselves usually rail against racism. Racism is one of their biggest "bogeymen". So the leftists are *very* embarassed when we catch them flirting with racism (xenophobia is, obviously, related to racism since both are variants of collectivism).

But how are we Objectivists going to be able to do this wonderful thing (And it is a wonderful act of justice, isn´t it? It makes my heart warm when I see the leftists squirm when I throw this argument in their faces.) to the leftists, if *we ourselves* advocate restrictions on immigration in order to preserve the welfare state?

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