January 6, 2013 at 12:09 am #19610
I would like to hear your opinions on the subject of immigration. Two years ago a new party was elected to the Swedish parliament. It is a party whos first priority is to restrict immigration to Sweden. They propose that the numbers of immigrants who are allowed to enter into Sweden every year should be reduced by 90% from current levels.
The reason for this is that they argue that current policies is failing and parts of our cities are being ghettoized and that the policies now in place is coastly for the tax payers. Another party has now proposed that Sweden instead should institute a policy of free immigration. The argument leveled against the liberal party is that such a policy would not work if the welfare state is to remain.
What is your view on this issue? I find it somehow backwards to for liberal politicians to start with proposing free immigration BEFORE they have proposed to dismantle the wellfare state. To me, it would seem more appropriate, to first ask for the dismantling of the welfare state and than ask for free immigration. In fact immigration to Sweden is not beneficial in economic terms. And to than allow for free immigration would lead to higher coasts for the tax payers. In what order would you say a party claiming to be liberal would go about to make its stance on theses issues. Don´t you think that at first they would ask for the removal of the wellfare state and than they would go about and ask for free immigration instead of the other way around?
Milton Friedman discussed this topic ones:January 7, 2013 at 11:57 am #19611samghebParticipant
Hans Hoppe has argued that free immigration isn’t a liberal/libertarian policy so we shouldn’t hold it up as a goal to be reached. I believe Tom agrees with this point of view or at least he did back in the early 00’s after Hoppe’s book came out. Rothbard changed his mind from the standard libertarian open borders to the Hoppe view as well after the Berlin Wall fell. Here is the issue of the Journal of Libertarian studies where different views were presented:
Personally I have come to the conclusion which Hoppe holds and which most libertarians reject. Economically and socially I think it is problematic as well with open borders.
I’m from Denmark and the problems with immigrants from the third world have been huge. Mind you I’m a son of immigrants from a third world country but I can still recognize the flaws with this policy. Thankfully Denmark has more sense then Sweden which is completely under the politically correct spell and refuse to talk about this which is why the party you referenced the Sweden Democrats have gotten popular despite the right wing government refusing to allow them in their coalition and basically every part of the establishment refusing to have anything to do with them. In Denmark we have a similar party who managed to become mainstream and now that the leftists have come to power they don’t dare reverse the restrictionists policies that our anti-immigration party put in place while in government.
Europe is much more threatened than America because while latinos have been problematic it is not a question of a clash of differen’t civilizations in the stark way it is in Europe. Muslim immigration into a Christian society(even if it is post-christian) has been very troublesome and this will only get worse when you have a welfare state and multiculturalism as the standard policy teaching people that any preference for the historic majority of Danes is racist and no culture should be superior.January 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm #19612KO_TKOMember
I agree with you. Countries shouldn’t have a welfare state and if they don’t have welfare, they than can have free immigration.
Because immigrants improve there lives, because they other wise wouldn’t immigrate.
And the country that get’s the immigrants also improves, because those immigrants are encouraged to work or to create a business, because there is no welfare. If they don’t do that they will live on charity and that is below the welfare standard.January 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm #19613
Is is a complicated question. As Friedman states different freedoms are interconnected. If you erode the freedom for citizens to dispose freely over their incomes and taxates them in order to create a welfare state there arises a need to restrict immigration in order to preserve effective welfare systems.
All these wars that the US has started in the middle east in recent years is also the pushing factor for emigration from countries in the ME to Europe. Sweden have taken on alot of iraqi and afghani refugees in the few years past. These immigrants have great diffuculty in adopting to their new country and to become a part of the regular work force.January 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm #19614porphyrogenitusMember
The first prerogative of any political community worthy of the name – and this would include a stateless anarcho-capitalistic community – is to distinguish between who is a member and who is not, and to establish standards for non-members to join (and those standards are not and cannot be “any warm body with a pulse” – unless you’re a progressive, that is, whose movement thrives on the basis of low-information throngs pulling levers on your behalf; see below).
“Open-borders” libertarianism is common but IMO insipidly moronic because it is self-defeating for this very reason; in almost every case it involves immigration of populations who will not support libertarian policies, anarchistic or otherwise. They usually think “we can at least work with the statists on this area of common ground,” but they have things exactly backwards and have, as I mentioned in another thread, taken themselves out behind the barn and shot themselves in the back of the head by supporting this failed project (failed from the PoV of advancing the libertarian/freedom cause). Only the progressive statists (both in America and Europe) have properly understood the political-ideological impact.
Libertarians and anarchists should *first* make a free/libertarian society, and then welcome those who want to share in that (and only those who want to share in that). Inviting as many indigent people into the existing welfare-state societies, who come because they are attracted to those existing welfare-state societies, for whatever reason, and then expecting those people to support dismantling them is. . .moronic. Predictably self-immolating.
*(This definitely includes a stateless anarcho-capitalist community; lets say an excentric billionare who happened to live in it wanted to change it to a stated society – perhaps because he wanted to be in charge. He pays a bunch of people to come into that anarchistic society, who he plans to be his minions for organizing that society into a state under his control, by any means necessary. IMO it would not be morally objectionable for the members of that community, if they learned of his aims, to prevent those people from entering it’s area, without waiting for him to initiate force first. Now, people say this can be done because private roads et al but IMO the members of the community could resist such a plan, even if the owner of the roads said to himself “I’m a businessman, if his guys pay the same toll to use my roads as anyone else does, I’m not interested in their political ideology.”)January 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm #19615
It is very tricky indeed this question. I am very torn between radically different positions on this issue. On the one hand I belive it is very hard to argue against the argument that free migration have the potential to change alot of peoples life for the better. Even restricted forms of immigration from underdeveloped countries impose coasts on the citizens allready living in a rich country and paying taxes. Free migration after the removal of the welfare state should, however, be beneficial for both the immigrants and the citizens of the country where to they migrate. A state without a welfare system would have a natural barrier against seekers of welfare benefits. Only those beliving themselfes capable of getting some sort of employment and improving their lot would migrate to such a country.
On the other hand this means the welfare state have to be dissolved all together. And, as all libertarians know, this seems to be a goal that is impossible to achieve. As long as one lives in a society with a welfare state I think it is very hard to declare support for free immigration. The practical result of supporting such a policy is to impose on one-self an ever greater tax burden and offering non-contributors part in the welfare pie so that you also get ever smaller slices of this pie yourself.
Off course not all immigrants impose coasts on a society even when the society in question is a welfare state. People with large amounts of capital or people that are highly skilled will contribute to the economic development even in such a situation. Than there is the question about equality. People seem to choose to live among people on the same socio-economic level as themselves. I think this is because only that way can people relate and interact with eachother in the private sphere without there arising any feelings of inferiority or supremacy. You can have the best relationships with people that you share economical and educational background with. No antagonistic feelings of hatred does arise under such circumstances.
In countries where there are great differences between rich and poor different social classes seem to live very separate lifes and often seems to feel hatred towards eachother. But somehow the life inside a welfare state is hypocritical. Because the welfare state reduces the freedom of movement for poor people it is only an illusion that these are more compassionate states than the night watchmen state. In a night watchmen state you may be exposed to more sights of poverty than inside the welfare state. But the welfare state actually imposes more poverty overall than a night watchmen state. It is just that the inhabitants of the welfare state have the luxury to not see this poverty. And, over the long run, a state with minimal taxlevels and freedom of choice should improve everyones standard of life faster and more effective than any welfare state can.
But than there is the problem Porphyrogenitus mentions. If you allow very poor people to immigrate to a rich country and that country is a democracy you almost certainly will see the rise of political parties with an socialist outlook. So in that situation you will destroy freedom and impose on yourself a welfare state if you support free immigration.
It would be interesting to hear the differing opinion. I would like to hear what counter arguments libertarians in favour of an open bordes policy have to say on this issue. How is it possible to preserve freedom and stop the rise of socialist parties in a situation where very poor people are allowed to immigrate to a rich country?January 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm #19616maester_millerParticipant
I believe that a lot of the libertarian objection to immigration law comes from issues surrounding respect for private property. The argument, as I have seen it, is that if you own a piece of property, you also should be able to control who can and who can not be present on your piece of property.
But immigration law subverts this, and declares that certain people (namely, those who lack permission by the state) may not be present on your property, even if you invite them. This is a violation of property rights.
Now, in an anarcho-capitalist society, this would easily be handled by contract. If a bunch of property owners wanted to get together and form some sort of mutual defense collective, they would be free to do so. One of the conditions for joining the collective might be “by joining, you agree not to allow any ‘undocumented individuals’ access to your land.” However, in the current statist model, nobody ever agreed to any of this. It is a pre-existing arrangement forced upon us by the state. If the state is allowed to tell you who can and who can not be present on your land, do you really OWN the land?February 3, 2013 at 9:06 am #19617gutzmankParticipant
What these discussions tend to elide is the effect of immigration on culture.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that immigration from Spain and Portugal must be carefully limited. Spaniards and Portuguese, he said, came from societies in which both government and religion were top-down, and so they were not prepared for republicanism. While a limited number of such people could be assimilated, he concluded, if too many were allowed to immigrate, it was America that would be changed, not the immigrants.
I think that as usual, Jefferson was on to something. Exhibit A: today’s California.
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