What exactly do you expect all these low IQ immigrants to do all day?
Let's say I bought that these low skill workers had some comparative advantage, and weren't just having their labor subsidized by the state (you pay for your cheap house cleaning through higher property and income taxes).
How many times does my house need to get cleaned a day?
How many nail salons can a town support?
Wouldn't there be diminishing returns to the value of their low skill manual labor as the supply increases to essentially infinity (billions of people move under open borders)?
What if the value of their labor in this scenario ended up being below whatever standard the state has deemed "impoverished"? Would they not then automatically end up becoming wards of the state? Would they not vote to maintain such benefits for themselves?
During immigration discussions, I'm often reminded of an essay by Peruvian writer and freedom advocate Mario Vargas Llosa, titled "Children of Columbus." (It's easily searched.) In it he contends, for a reason you can learn by reading it, that Latin Americans have difficulty distinguishing fiction from fact. That has been my experience during many years associating with Latins in the US as the long-time husband of a Guatemalan. I presently live in Mexico, have spent lengthy time in Guatemala, and lived in Puerto Rico for 6 years. Being legal Americans has not prevented Puerto Ricans from having a high percentage of workers employed by government and having a notoriously corrupt society. Can we not use PR as a case study? Corrupt Mexico and even more corrupt Guatemala reflect the customs and beliefs of their populations, not just the empowerment of ruling classes who have happened to seize power. Southern Florida, dominated first by Cuban immigrants (and descendants), and now by a spectrum of Latins, is another case study of Latin cultures transplanted to the US, and the habitual corruption of area politics is noteworthy. I have had mostly fine experiences with Latins, in and out of the US, but I have gotten used to verifying rather than trusting.
By some measures the Latins I've known have assimilated well. They buy big TVs, trade thanksgiving tamales for turkeys, and generally don't tangle with the law. But their familism and habits of duplicity remain, and these, I can attest, have a socially subversive effect.
My own disposition is to support liberal legal immigration, with very open worker policies. And I don't think immigration policies should favor intellectual workers. (Incidentally, it's distressing to see how Thomas Sowell, who documented the success of unskilled immigrants, has become a supporter of policies favoring educated immigrants, and borders on nativism.) But I can't bring myself to support open borders, since I'm confident that the anti-assimilationists do interfere with the natural process of blending.
I have lived in Ecuador for the last 12 years, and have seen a lot of people head from Ecuador to the US. However, the majority of these are Venezuelans who were already refugees here in Ecuador, fleeing from chaos and collapse in Venezuela. I would not consider most of them to be low-IQ as some here have described. I can think of two who are professional truck drivers and one who is a refrigeration/air-conditioning specialist. Blue collar, but hard workers and productive.
The chief handicap that most of them face is the language. There are Latinos who learn English, but they are a small minority, and to really function in most jobs in the US you need to be at least functional in English.
As to whether the borders should be open or not, I can see and understand good arguments on both sides. As long as the flows are moderate and the immigrants are made to understand that they will have to work and be self-supporting, I favor immigration. They should NOT be allowed on welfare rolls. At the same time, disasters in a given country can cause panicked or desperate refugees to cross borders in a way that transmits the catastrophe to the neighboring countries, and I do not advocate that any nation so impacted - or with potential to be so impacted - is under any obligation to receive and deal with all those who would like to flee.
As a final note, please consider that most people do not want to leave their native land or town. That they are willing to make the effort to move to a different country indicates that they have probably lived with suffering and privation that most of us will never know. This doesn't mean that we should just let them in, but we should have compassion on them.
Whatever happened to "direct and overall" liberty? See, e.g.: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4320056
We were told in past eras that the spirit of our civilization was threatened by the Irish, Chinese, Italians, etc. Such predictions were always wrong. If anything the opposite was true. The spirit of our civilization prospered because of the influx. I see no reason to think that what was wrong before will suddenly turn out of the correct now.
I was for closed borders all my life, but now that I am travelling the world, I feel like a hypocrite that I feel entitled to go to any country I want for any length of time but I don't think people should have the right to do so in my country.
I thought about writing a substack article "Open Borders for Me, But Not for Thee" but haven't gotten around to it yet
I've greatly enjoyed this exchange. It has been very thought-provoking. I probably am more with Bryan on this, if I try to imagine being born at random into the world, rather than as an existing well-off straight white male.
Bryan’s niche libertarianism blinds him from understanding the following words from David Hume: “[L]iberty is the perfection of civil society; but still authority must be acknowledged essential to its very existence.”
---If congress and POTUS agreed to declare open borders, that would be an exercise of authority.
The authority that Hume refers to depends on spirits alive in and among people.
---I hope these aren’t like the animal spirits of the stock market.
Political legitimacy and political decency are mutually dependent, and not hardy weeds. As they falter and deteriorate, so does liberty, as Hume indicated and history teaches.
---The legitimacy of the US polis rests on the Declaration, which claims human rights are universal and inalienable. Once you decide that for furriners, they're alienable, you forfeited your legitimacy already.
Libertarian insights and argumentation contribute little to understanding what Hume means.
---Hume already did a fair job at contributing little understanding to what Hume means.
Bryan looks at data spanning decades and assures us: “(a) the positives of open borders are massive, and (b) the negatives look trivial by comparison.” But the spirits span generations, centuries, even millennia.
---"The spirits" of nativism, on a map of the US timeline, correlate nicely with a host of other creeping illiberal spirits, from military adventurism, to the welfare state, to the IRS. It's no coincidence that as we cranked up the "authority" of the nanny state, we simultaneously cranked up "authority" to put people through the Rube Goldberg asylum machine.
Have libertarians like Bryan, Ben Powell, and Alex Nowrasteh learned what our friends Burke and Tocqueville try to tell us? If libertarians say little about authority, it is not because it is of little importance, but because they are little able.
---For statists, libertarians will always disappoint when they talk about authority, because they're always talking about individually exercised authority rather than central command and control. Self control is never a sexy topic.
If memory serves Thomas Sowell refutes this concern with data from Ellis Island in his book "Ethnic America." IQ doesn't make a difference in outcomes.
Bryan, what is the best arguement(s) you've heard against Open Borders?
Speaking about "polity stability". One reasons why people are sensitive, nationalist and arbitrary about nations is because nations are existing as part of our imaginations and social world. Thereby, nations are often as a house of cards, they can become worse and start collapsing when people feel or believe that their perceptions of reality are "triggered" by something as immigration, religion, culture etc. Individual interpretations and understanding of what a nation is, how it is, what things make it are also depending on the individuals experiences, development, lifestyle and many other factors. Nations are often presented as something stable, as a family, as holy and glory, but in reality are often very shaky, problematic, dogmatic while being to big for certain issues and to small for other ones. Also, people migrate between cities and local areas, not only between nations.
A modern 21st century liberal has to be in favour of freedom of movement for all law abiding humans, partly because it is about ideas of universal freedom, human rights and global citizenship in relation to economics and mobility . https://glibe.substack.com/p/the-welfare-state-does-not-legitimise
I appreciate the worry of Klein (and Garett Jones, and many others) that massive immigration might undermine U.S. political culture--might kill the goose that is laying golden eggs for us. But it is hard to assess the probability that this would actually happen to any given degree. Greatly eased immigration restrictions would probably result in immigrants from many different countries, with different languages and cultures, belonging to different races. Their diversity would make it hard for them to agree on a particular political program, and then to combine against the natives. The fact that they immigrated suggests their approval of the political system already in place in the U.S., which they might be unusually reluctant to change.
Of course, these points do not prove that Klein's fears are exaggerated; I find that hard to judge.