Libertarians on the War

Because I felt incredibly terrible yesterday, I wasn't able to attend the Cato debate on the War. Do check out, however, Raimondo's account of the event, and Chris Sciabarra's smart attempt to defend Rand against her defenders.

  • Let me recommend again, as I did in another tread, Saskia Sassen’s book _Guests and Aliens_. It’s more about migration in Europe than to and from the US but also covers that to some degree. It’s a bit old now but still very useful and is an excellent book on this subject. It’s important not to over-state the case. About 30% of Italians and the like who moved to the US eventually returned to Italy. That’s a lot and a lot more than Americans usually think, but it’s obviously also a pretty clear minority. The particular features of different migrations also need to be kept in mind when trying to say what will happen in any given case. But, what most people “know” about the subject is mostly made up. Sassen’s book is a good place to start.

  • Stentor

    A related point is that stepped-up border enforcement in the US (and the continuing paucity of opportunities for legal immigration) has made more Mexican immigrants decide to settle here in a more permanent fashion (including bringing more whole families), because it’s not worth the expense and risk to go back and forth over the border to maintain ties back home.

    • jumbolachi

      There is empirical evidence that backs this hypothesis up. The Public Policy Institute of California put out a a paper a few years ago suggesting that increased border enforcement actually caused an increase in the level of unauthorized migrants living in the country.

      Let’s see if disqus allows html links: Here is a press release for said paper.

  • John Thacker

    Thomas Sowell’s Ethnic America is a bit old these days, but also made this point. It’s quite an interesting book with a lot of data, focusing on particular ethnic groups and their experiences, similarities, and differences.

  • jumbolachi

    I’d like to add that increased labor market integration with Mexico would probably improve the U.S. economy as well. However, a few people, particularly some of those who compete with Mexican immigrants for jobs, would lose out.

  • ancestors –> descendants

  • A genuine guest-worker program would encourage just that to happen, perhaps by prohibiting them from staying beyond a certain amount of time (if there are quotas, it would even assist in making it equitable by preventing some laborers from hogging the slots continually). The danger is that like the German minister said we will expect guest-workers and instead get people who settle here.

  • John Thacker

    The danger is that like the German minister said we will expect guest-workers and instead get people who settle here.

    And worse, people who settle here but who never assimilate (and/or are never allowed to).