Monday, December 15, 2008
(Warning - this blog is among my "Swiftian" modest proposal type blogs)
As per the cartoon above - Aren't we all here illegally? It's like yelling "shotgun" or something, but as a nation we believe we should keep people from continuing to come here to try and find a better life even though that was the basis of how our modern society was founded (much to the dismay of the Native Americans who were here before us). But I want to quickly get to my point. I feel it isn't much of a stretch to state that many on the the right side of the political scale are for protectionism when it comes to immigration. A more extreme position has been to even identify and "round up" the millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the US and deport them (as if that were possible) but I'm not here to discuss that.
I'm going to take a tough "devil's advocate" position to defend in a recession (but thinking macro-scopically) - Doesn't this protectionism against immigration (either legal or illegal, which I will now call "pilgrim style") come from a fear of scarcity? As if there isn't enough to go around? That we need to block people out because they could be taking money from us either though "stealing jobs" or through public works projects and funds. I'm going to put that position against another "right side of the political scale" position of a free market economy.
What hit me this weekend when Dale showed me this cartoon, was that those on the right of the political scale who typically have a protectionism mindset on immigration are also generally on the side of a free market when it comes to the economy. Sooooo... why not just compete against immigrants for the resources - "free market" style. If it is so easy for "them" to steal "our jobs" then isn't that the free market at work? Besides isn't it a conservative position to take to say "everyone for themselves?" - yet we want government to help us keep "our jobs" and "our resources" and "our opportunities" just for the privileged of us who got here "Sooner".
In summary - my Devil's advocate position is to embrace an ever changing global world and remove artificial "protectionistic measures" and just compete for resources. This will drive the need for skilled labor, continuing education, and working hard. The best way to protect yourself is to make yourself move valuable to the economy through education, training, and work ethic. Besides - if someone wants to come to the US and is willing to work harder than some of our lazy, entitled teens, then our country will only be stronger for embracing the engines of the economy instead of fighting to protect the economic drains.