Friday, April 24, 2015

The Free Market is Not a Suicide Pact

Immigration has become the third rail of American politics.

At a time when the labor force participation rate has fallen to 62 percent and the employment growth for the last 15 years has gone to immigrants, opposing the Super-Amnesty of 12 million illegal aliens is still considered an extreme position… in the Republican Party.

So when Scott Walker merely suggested that Congress should make immigration decisions based on “protecting American workers and American wages”, he was denounced for it by… Republicans.

Walker’s belief that immigration should be based on “our economic situation”, rather than an ideological mandate for open borders, has become an “extreme right” position. And yet this scary “extreme” position that foreign workers shouldn’t be brought in to displace American workers is part of our immigration law. It’s just one of those “extreme” parts that, like the illegality of crossing the border, is being ignored. It’s not just being ignored by Obama. It’s also being ignored by the Republican Party.

Scott Walker’s common sense immigration populism was met with two sets of attacks. The first set came from senators like McCain and Portman playing the old song about all those “jobs Americans won’t do.” (Not that they’re given the chance to do them.) Senator Hatch claimed that, “We know that when we graduate PhDs and master’s degrees and engineers, we don’t have enough of any of those.”

America has no shortage of engineers. Companies aren’t bringing in Third World engineers on H-1B visas because of a shortage, but because they want to fire their American workers and replace them with cheaper foreigners. American IT workers are forced to train their H-1B replacements before being fired.

And that’s when the free market argument kicks in.

Walker was denounced for betraying “free market principles” and for “immigration protectionism”. But if lowering the rate of one million immigrants already arriving each year while Americans can’t find jobs is a violation of free market principles, then why have any limitations on immigration at all?

A poll showed that 13% of the world’s adults or 150 million people would move to the United States if they were allowed to. If 1 million immigrants can’t fill all those jobs that Americans won’t do, let’s try 150 million immigrants.

It would be a violation of free market principles to prevent the 37% of Liberians (genocide in the 80s and 90s), 26% of Dominicans (their last reported unemployment rate in the US was double that of Americans) and 24% of Haitians (Cholera, 14% of the country’s households had a rape in two years) from moving to your town or your city.

Just think of all the cholera, unemployment, rape, welfare and genocide that could be enriching the fabric of our country and your neighborhood right now if it weren’t for all that pesky protectionism.

Clearly we do believe in some form of protectionism. Even Obama hasn’t welcomed in a quarter of Haiti, yet, but the year is still young. The free market isn’t a top-down ideology whose principles require open borders and when it acts as a rigid ideology insisting that its pure application will lead to positive results while ignoring the problems, then it becomes no different than the ideological centrally planned economies destroying themselves.

If freedom is to mean anything, it has to mean the freedom of individuals, not of systems. Like Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion, the American free market is nothing if it is not the right of Americans to freely do business with each other.

That right unfortunately no longer exists. Americans are less free to do business in their own country than foreign countries are to dump subsidized products or surplus populations in the United States.

What does exist is a mantra of free trade that obligates the United States to accept products dumped from subsidized economies such as China and Japan in the name of free trade, to accede to the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries that aggressively develop and protect their industries and to the Third World immigrants displacing American workers to labor at extremely low wages while their real salaries are paid for by American workers in the form of food stamps and other social benefits.

None of this promotes free market principles. Instead free market principles are exploited to undermine our own free market. The right of Americans to freely trade is under attack from mass migration.

Not only are the new immigrants much more likely to vote to the left, but the mass destruction of American jobs is expanding the ranks of the poor who become much less likely to vote Republican.

In the last presidential election, the under $30K group was a wall of Obama voters. This group is twice as likely to identify as Democrat rather than Republican. It’s had the sharpest drop off in Republican identification. In Pennsylvania, Bush won 39% of these voters while Romney took 24% of their votes.

Does electing Democrats promote free market principles? Does reshaping the electorate so that a Republican in the White House becomes an impossible phenomenon serve free trade?

Free market principles, like any others, must be reducible to the individual. Can importing millions of people who reject free market principles individually be in accordance with free market principles?

Only collectively, and collectivist free market principles are a contradiction in terms and a suicide pact. This collectivist version of free market principles destroys our ability to implement any form of free market in the future. The perversion comes from viewing the free market as an abstract idea expressed through our entanglement in a global network. The free market isn’t a global policy. It’s how we live. It’s our freedom to engage in commerce as we choose. It exists only as long as we are free. Scott Walker hasn’t abandoned free market principles. His critics have.

True free market principles derive from the individual, not from national policies that import millions who collectively reject those principles. Protecting American workers who believe in the free market also protects a free market which, along with our other freedoms, would cease to exist without them.

Freedom is a covenant that comes with rights and responsibilities. Our fundamental responsibility to any freedom is to support and protect it. Those who reject a freedom should not be able to benefit from it.

Europe is in a state of growing civil war with Muslim immigrants because European leaders refused to understand that extending rights to those who do not accept them and do not reciprocate creates rights without responsibilities. A right extended to those who reject it is a failed effort at appeasement.

Freedom isn’t global, it’s local. It does not come from policies, it comes from people. It can’t be implemented internationally by creating hollow organizations and pretending that its member nations are free. International organizations of the left, such as the UN, have already proven it through their failures, but international economic organizations, such as the WTO, have proven it as well.

We can sacrifice the American free market to a non-existent global free market, or we can protect the American free market while letting it serve as a model of domestic economic freedom for other nations.

Immigration has an important place in American life, but it can never become more important than American life. It is not an unlimited good and its implementation must flow from what is best for Americans, not from warping the freedoms that we believe in until they become an abstract ideology that destroys the people who practice them.

Scott Walker is not betraying free market principles when he contends that immigration should be based around the needs of Americans, he is practicing and protecting them.

Senator McCain warned that anything but open borders will end all hope of Republicans winning the Latino vote. Republicans won’t win the Latino vote by recreating the conditions of cheap labor and cheap votes that made Mexico what it is, but through an economy where workers have the opportunity to earn a dependable living so that they don’t turn to the left for their economic salvation.

Our economy should not be a machine for importing cheap votes and cheap labor, because cheap labor feeds even cheaper votes. Republican senators trying to help their donors fill those “jobs Americans won’t do” are turning red states blue. They’ve already cost the Republican Party, California. Now they’re working on the rest of the West.

Republicans who are still uncertain should ask themselves who has a better vision for the future of the party; Scott Walker or John McCain.


Anonymous said...

Global "free market"?. What chance do Americans have to freely choose against Third World corruption before its effects are loaded onto our shoulders? What economic formula calculates the benefit of $7 an hour workers vs. the cost of the same labor force voting into office the next Obama, Hillary Bill de Blasio, or Jesus Garcia? When McDonald's pays Jose Gonzales $7 an hour who pays the remaining $293 hour for his wife and family on EBT, public housing and schools? Who gets the $40,000 emergency room bill when Marco stabs Rubio,? Marco Rubio? When we allow the fake science of "economics" tell us it all works out in the end, even if that end is 20 yeas after all sanity, and order has ceased to exist .. isn't it time to abandon these globalist bankster scams and return to nation state. with their defined borders, real cultures and accountable leaders?

erp said...

Knish, illegal immigration is an issue because, it's, well, illegal! We are (were) a nation of law. Legal immigration has worked wonderfully well because those who wanted to emigrate really were the best and brightest, those with ambition and courage who left the familiar and came here to live in freedom. The success stories are endless and heartwarming.

All gone now.

Do you really think there's a chance that we're not rushing headlong into another Dark Ages? I don't think there's any chance it can be avoided.

Joseph Wein said...

While I enjoy and agree with most of your articles, I think you're incorrect by arguing that most immigrants take jobs away from Americans.

As a factory owner, I can tell you that there is a huge cultural difference between American-born unskilled workers and immigrant unskilled workers. As long as our welfare culture thrives, we will have a substantial population of Americans who will not work at the wages offered. Immigrants are merely taking the jobs left fallow by Americans.

On the other end of the spectrum, I am also an engineer, and have used the H1B visa program. While we produce large numbers of engineers and scientists in America, a distressing number of them are foreign born. And those jobs are extremely portable. Do you think that coding can be done more easily in Palo Alto than in Kiev? Don't believe it for a minute. I am currently running a web site with a programmer in Ukraine and a social media person in the Philippines. Make H1B visas difficult, and you'll simply shift entire businesses overseas.

Keep up the good work - your articles are provocative, insightful, and compelling.


Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Joseph, with all due respect, it's certainly odd that there are Americans who can run factories, but no Americans who can work in them, or that people from dysfunctional countries have a work ethic that Americans don't.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Wein; Of course, the undocumented will work for the "wages offered" because they are desperate. They exist in a form of lower case slavery, constantly in fear, for ultimately they have, like slaves, no rights. You are correct that our welfare system needs to be curtailed but meanwhile those that hire undocumented or outsource jobs to save a buck should be honest enough to admit that ultimately they damage America

DenisO said...

The degree to which people are rewarded not to work proves Joe is right. Ignorant people look-up to friends who live off the "system", and work black market, cash jobs, while taking all the welfare that is encouraged upon them by employees in the welfare system. California is an extreme example, where illegals, who bring their children in for free medical and dental care, are handed Government pamphlets that advise them of other "free" benefits that are waiting to be taken.
When added-up, they constitute a rich life that would amaze you and it encourages these "takers" to call their families and tell them to come, quickly.
The more benefits to hand out, the more "customers" there are, and the more Government workers and supervisors needed. Job security and advancement.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, you once again blow a big, nasty hole in the idea that Libertarianism and the real world have anything to do with each other. Libertarian principles are fine, as general frameworks, but implementation of them in their purest form would be sheer lunacy. You point this out better than anyone else writing today.


Anonymous said...


American work ethic varies regionally in America, at least I have found that to be so but where the work ethic is strong it is very strong. Yes many engineers are foreign born but so what. The issue is not your needs but the overall needs of the USA. This is about creating a functional, orderly country where people want to live. Somehow the Japanese have managed to create profitable car factories in the South, Silicon Valley grew, etc. It can be done and quite profitably. Immigration is only increasing welfare and not decreasing it. Shift jobs overseas at your own risk. They start out working in your business and then they become your competitors with their own governments subsidizing them. Your choice.

Anonymous said...

We saw an earlier manifestation of this conflict in the American Party, founded in the 1840s to oppose unrestricted immigration of people with different cultural values (Protestant versus Catholic, and the Protestants had the massacres and persecutions by Catholicism of the past firmly in mind). They were originally clandestine (i.e., even in the 1840s, it wasn't PC to oppose immigration), so they were supposed to deny any knowledge of the organization, ergo, their opponents nicknamed them the "Know-Nothing Party." An early instance of "nativists" versus "swampers."

The effort of the American Party was doomed, largely by the war between the states. I'm not too sanguine about our current situation.

The Looters have tied America down and invited the rest of the world to gang-rape her, and that's what's happening with open borders, insanely lopsided "trade" agreements, corruption in high places, and no punishments for the Looters.

But if America goes down for the count, where are free men and women going to go? --Gail

Anonymous said...

Also: rights can inhere only in an individual human being -- you are so right about that, and it's a point that's too seldom made.

E.g., are you "free" if you're part of a group and compelled to act in concert with them? of course not. Is property "yours" if some government numpty can tell you whether you're "allowed" to keep it or not? well, no.

My point about the American Party is that none of this is new. We erected a shining city on a hill, and the Looters of the world have always wanted to get in and strip it bare. Greed, covetousness, envy, resentment.

One more thing: it's materialistic to the point of insanity to say, as "spokeswoman" Marie Harf (or was it Jen Psaki? same diff) that all the moslem fanatics in ISIS need is "jobs and economic opportunity." The Leftists call us materialistic -- but that is the only answer they have to any of the great metaphysical questions of life.

Crazy. --Gail

Anonymous said...

After a long career in public health, certain images are never forgotten. One that occurred almost daily was watching an illegal woman push a stroller, It was a miracle of physics. One baby in the stroller, two toddlers hanging on to either side, another baby in a sling over her shoulders, and one in utero. This was almost a daily vision, even though it was always different women.
The children were unkempt, often infected with one virus or another, and almost totally silent, when they weren't crying.
In those days, I could add the cost to the state for all that fertility in my head in two seconds flat. Even Democrats would be appalled.


Anonymous said...

To answer anon's very pointed question of who pays for stabbings, shootings, and the rest of the mayhem in ER's everywhere, every weekend..You do.
Hospitals have been getting the Jose's and the Michael Browns' on Medicaid before they ever get to the ER, in a NY minute, for pay for that too.

GT Kona said...

“jobs Americans won’t do.” Why does Governor Walker not take advantage such a statement. "Please come and perform tasks beneath Americans. Clean our toilets, toil in our fields, all at a below minimum wage, because, well, that is all you are good for. And please vote democrat". Blatant culturalism if not outright racism.

Anonymous said...

On the wall of low income support of dems, I don't get so excited about that these days; I'm struggling to see any significant polar difference between the 2 parties. Today's republicans would be called democrats 20 years back.

On the idea of defending freedom, it seems that everybody has outsourced their lives. The concept "first responder" is an example. If you dare to step in to that role, and don't have the creds, you're in trouble. Yet the FRs can't / won't reliably do the job. All the while, we move along; somebody else will take care of this. Point: if you can't be motivated about your near-term survival, will you ever be motivated about your not-so-near-term freedom? Nope. - djr

Johnny said...

What seems apparent to me is that most Republicans in the Washington establishment are not ideologues. They have no particular agenda on a social level and are doing what they can to stay in office. So they give this stuff a pass if it is the easiest thing to do. Perhaps it is no longer worth while voting Republican even as a protest against Democrats.

meema said...

Just wondering if today’s illegals who will do whatever job for whatever pay offered will want better wages once they are ‘legal’? If so, does that mean we bring in more illegals to do the jobs the first two groups won’t? Simple logic seems to be missing in action here.

Anonymous said...

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