Trump's immigration ideas are fantastically stupid, but could an ideology test work?


#1

Interesting and amusing article by libertarian philosopher Jason Brennan:

Donald Trump

Closed borders and migration restrictions are a form of economic protectionism, a type of import quote on labor. Just as economists can reliably estimate the deadweight loss—that is, the economic value destroyed—from restrictions on trade, they can and have estimated the deadweight loss from restrictions on labor mobility. The estimates are staggering. In a survey article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Michael Clemens notes that the typical estimate from economists, both Left and Right, of the total deadweight loss from immigration restriction is about 100% of gross world product.** In other words, immigration restrictions so distort our economy that the total economic output of the world is roughly half what it could be. An entire Earth’s worth of wealth is destroyed because Trump and many others don’t understand economics but have the power to foist their ignorance upon the rest of us.**


#2

Well, if having open borders and immigrants swarm in at will is a recipe for economic success, I guess Europe is about to be kicking our economic ass pretty hard in the coming decades.

I guess we’ll also get to see if the Invisible Hand can tame a rising crescent. My money is on a repeat of the Dark Ages.


#3

Brennan argues that economic success requires not just immigration, but also the existence of liberal values such as embrace of diversity, freedom of religion, etc. The United States has Europe beat on both counts, for now, which is why, according to Brennan, we’ve had far greater success than has Europe in assimilation of immigrants. Of course, if Trump has his way, we will look a lot more like Europe. It really is striking the extent to which Trump is European in his ideas and sentiments. His values are very East European. Brennan was right, amusingly, that Trump might not be able to pass an entry test into the country based upon holding traditional American political values.


#4

LOL!. Democrats lying is what they do best. Diversity is killing us. “Immigration” (illegal aliens) is killing us. Go Trump. I don’t think I have ever seen as many people living here that hate America as I have lately. I’d say send all of them to Mexico too.


#5

A series of amazing statements considering that almost every country in the world protects it’s borders & limits those coming across them. My guess is the people making those statement would be totally shocked if & when a biological weapon was to be put into LA’s or New York’s water supply & 5 or 6 million people were to die. Shocked because they probably wouldn’t see the connection between the two things.
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As for the predictions that they made coming true, well anyone can predict anything & while it’s nice to have some knowledge on the subject, it’s more important to have common sense. I don’t think these people have much common sense.


#6

No country controls aggregate immigration.

Immigration is apart of socioeconomic trends that governments can influence but they don’t control.

It’s for the same reason that draconian gun control laws in France, haven’t prevented illegal imports of weapons. Those too are apart of socio-economic trends.

And inanimate objects are far easier to control than people.

> My guess is the people making those statement would be totally shocked if & when a biological weapon was to be put into LA’s or New York’s water supply & 5 or 6 million people were to die.

No biological weapon would kill so many; we’re a first-world nation, with well-developed response infrastructure.

MIT has done estimates on WMD scenarios:

http://web.mit.edu/cis/pdf/Audit_6_05_Macfarlane.pdf

The only thing that kill on the scale you’ve set is a Nuke. It’s the only thing sudden enough that no form of mitigation could control the damage.


#7

There’s not much “diversity” in your world. The government taxes, regulates and runs everything, and the people are slaves to it. A true libertarian would oppose all of that, and I can’t understand why you keep citing libertarian thinkers in view of the fact that you are a statist who wants to expand the role of government as much as possible.

You buddy Bennan is one of these elitist ivory town types who thinks that most people have an obligation not to vote. That fits right in with Hillary’s “despicable” model which is based on the premise that 50% of those who aren’t voting for her are “irredeemable.”

In your world a small number of expert elitists run everything, and now that you have brought Bennon into the mix voting would be limited also to like minded supporters. That’s no different than the monarchies were in Europe with voting limited to the noble class who were the only people who had any right to oppose the king’s policies, sometimes at their peril. That’s why I call people of your stripe “regressives” instead of “progressives.” You want to go back to the political systems of the 19th century and before.

I know you don’t like the “progressive” label for reasons I don’t understand. Perhaps you can explain why you don’t want to be called “a progressive.”


#8

Every system has pluses and minuses. One of the biggest problems with nearly every economic view, is that they want to believe that their way will lead to a super productive utopia, where everyone has virtually everything they want, and there are virtually no downsides.

This is just a childish fantasy. Nearly every system has trade-offs. If one system were really so much better, everyone would be using it. That’s not how it works. If the government isn’t exerting control on you, big business is. We’re not a magical system away from everything humming along as a perfect economic machine.

Any economic system is flawed because of the very people who design them, and will have to exist and operate within them. You won’t have a perfect economy without perfect workers, perfect customers, and perfect operators. I wouldn’t hold my breath on those things.


#9

> Every system has pluses and minuses. One of the biggest problems with nearly every economic view, is that they want to believe that their way will lead to a super productive utopia, where everyone has virtually everything they want, and there are virtually no downsides.

We have had a hybrid system here for a long time. The pure capitalist, “kick the unemployed, the invalids and the old people out in snow,” has been disappearing since the New Deal and even before then. I support the system helps people for a short while when they hit a rough patch and the system that the truly aged and handicapped people over the long haul.

BUT even people who fall into that category can and should do something for themselves when they can. At my super market, for example, mentally challenged people are hired as baggers, cart retrievers and other jobs that are within their abilities. They do a bang up job, and I admire them for it.

What I really oppose are the people, who are mentally and physically fit, who say, “I deserve a free ride.” I oppose the people who don’t put in the effort who say, “I deserve as much as you. Why should you have more income than I do? Give it to me!”

THAT is where we have been headed under Obama, Hillary and the Democrats, and I can’t believe that Obama and company really think that will fix the country’s problems. Their goal is to establish a permanent dependent class that will always vote Democrat. That’s the reason why they want on the immigrations to come in and demand and consume government services. It’s a Democrat power play, plain and simple, and it is a formula that will ruin this country for everyone, including the dependent class. If you want to see an example of how it ultimately works, check out Venezuela. After years of socialist CaesarChavez and his chauffer, their nation is going down the toilet.


#10

Brennan is a bright fellow, with meticulously considered reasons for why he believes most people have a moral duty not to vote. You’re also correct that Brennan is an elitist who opposes “democracy,” i.e., majority rule. But then again, the framers of the constitution believed the same thing, and for similar reasons (the constitution was originally a fairly elitist and anti-populist document, which gradually became less so with modifications). I personally don’t agree with Brennan on these points, but it’s absurd to call him a “progressive”; he’s a free-market libertarian.

A “progressive” is someone who generally supports government intervention as a first-pass solution to problems. A “liberal” is someone who generally opposes government intervention as a first-pass solution to a problem, and who believes that liberty ought to prevail until proven untenable. Hence, I’m a “liberal,” not a “progressive.”


#11

The framers to the Constitution did their work more than 200 years ago. At the time they did it, it was a “radical policy” that extended voting rights to White male property owners. The rest of the world did not have that much democracy. Even so those property owners could only vote for their representatives to the House of Representatives. The senators were selected by the state legislatures and the president by the Electoral College.

Over time more of the electors in the Electoral were selected by popular vote. In 1800 75% of the electors were picked by the legislatures and 25% by popular vote. By 1824 75% of them were selected by direct vote, and the first presidential candidate who took advantage of that was Andrew Jackson in 1824. The last holdout with respect to Electoral College voting was South Carolina, which didn’t go to direct voting until after the Civil War.

The senate didn’t change in all states until the Constitutional Amendment was passed circa 1914. All of these leads to the fact that Brennan is trying to turn back the clock by more than a century.

As for the problems with democracy that Brennan points out, much of it is due to “low information voters” who have no idea about what they are voting for when they go to the polls. It’s also due to voter fraud, which is much larger than has been reported and makes the low information situation worse. This idea of having people vote without showing an ID only exacerbates that problem.

I don’t what the issue is with IDs. You are going to need them to combat health care fraud and every other kind of government service fraud. Liberals should pushing for the IDs if they have any hope of getting their big government systems to work honestly. Of course they are not really interested in honesty and efficiency in government. They only want power and size.

If you look at the history of presidential races, the people made the right choice in many cases. There have been elections where both of the major party candidates were lousy. Take a look at 1856, 1872 and 1972. Close behind for two lousy candidates is 1852 and 1964. Conservatives will jump on my back for 1964 because that was year when Johnson and Goldwater ran. I have problems with the way Goldwater approached the issue of nuclear weapons. As for 1852, Winfield Scott was a very talented military general, but he also had a big ego and was very thin skinned. If he could gotten over that he would have been a much better choice, than Franklin Pierce, “General who never lost a bottle.” (Yes, he drank too much.)

As for you definition of Liberals as people who use government intervention as a last resort, you should look at the realities. Obama, Hillary and most of the rest of the National Democratic Party are not “liberal” by your definition. They long for as much government control as possible, and will do anything to get it.


#12

True, but only one system is the manifestation of emergent order; of people holistically affirming their own ideas and plans throughout the society, rather than having it be left to a handful of individuals to plan for everyone.

The knowledge problem is something no central planner can overcome. The only way to mitigate it is by deferring most decisions to people’s own judgement, or that of their immediate representative. In short, subsidiarity.

It’s not that this system will always do right by people; perfection is not of this world. It’s simply, that it’s the best one amongst the muck. Just like Democracy itself.


#13

Here’s something interesting. I’ve been accused of being “a statist who wants to expand the role of government as much as possible.” Here is every position I’ve taken here in the last few months:

  1. We should have free markets. (smaller government)
  2. Reduce power and size of police force. (smaller government)
  3. Radically reduce restrictions on immigration. (smaller government)
  4. Defend woman’s right to control her own body. (smaller government)
  5. Reduce military spending. (smaller government)
  6. End death penalty. (smaller government)

I’ve not taken a single position which advocates for an increase in the size of government. Please name one in support of this accusation. The amusing part: I’ve been opposed on each and every one of these views by the same person accusing me of wanting to increase government. This is why “conservatism” has lost all intellectual integrity. It claims to support principles in the abstract which are opposed, clearly and objectively, to nearly all “conservative” policy positions.


#14

No one designs an economic system. An economic system exists the moment two people trade or the moment a person must decide to do one thing instead of another, foregoing the benefit of the other while gaining the benefit of the first choice. Economics observes and describes these kinds of decision-making. The only designs are when a group of individuals or individuals decide that people are not allowed to trade. That is a control system – maybe even the right thing to do at times, but it is not an economic system. A true free market is not a designed system any more than a wild river.

Rivers are far easier to control than an economy. Controlling them raises a number of controversial issues. Controlling an economy is all but impossible, with vastly more variables and chances for unintended consequences and flat-out victimization. Imposing a system of control on an economy also raises vastly more ethical concerns and controversy.


#15

> 1. We should have free markets. (smaller government)

Then why are you voting for Hillary who wants to enact more more government regulations? Why do you support Cap and Trade to combat global warming?

> 2. Reduce power and size of police force. (smaller government)

Do honestly think that is going to make you safer from crime? Do you think going to fix the carnage in Chicago with less police? Do you want to call gang banger or Black Lives Matter the next time a crime is committed against you?

> 3. Radically reduce restrictions on immigration. (smaller government)

You already have that. Obama and Hillary won’t enforce the laws that are on the books. Do you honestly want open borders? Do want every drug dealer, murder, terrorist and thief to come into this country and take over? Yea, I guess you do since you want to cut back on the police force … unless it’s in your neighborhood. And of course most of them will vote Democrat, which what you want.

> 4. Defend woman’s right to control her own body. (smaller government)

You and I agree on that one to a point. Although you should be upset when Planned Parenthood sells body parts. But maybe that’s part of your “free market.”

> 5. Reduce military spending. (smaller government)

Terrorism and threats to our homeland get worse and worse, partly because you are opposed any sort of border enforcement, and yet you want to cut back on the spending for the people who protect you. Do you know that there is such a shortage of jet fighter parts that the military is going to museums to get them? Does that bother you at all, or do you view that as “cost savings.”

> 6. End death penalty. (smaller government)

I think that the death penalty should have a narrow, limited use, but it does have a place in law enforcement. Why spend millions of dollars keeping a low life terrorist alive? If they are captured alive after they have killed a lot of people, send them to Allah where they wanted to go in the first place to enjoy their 73 virgins. (Actually is going to be 73 mother-in-laws.)

That’s where that scum bag who killed the people at Fort Hood deserves to go. We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on him, and he’s nothing but a sack of manure. It would lower spending if we simply applied the death penalty to the low lifes, like him, who deserve it instead of spending 20 years litigating their appeals.

You’re a liberal. If you want to be something else, perhaps you could find a 12 step program that can cure your addiction. There are plenty of people here who could help you.

I once thought I was liberal … then I got robbed in Newark, NJ and found out that my career prospects were severely limited by “quotas and set asides.” That combined with the free market views brought me to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980, and I’ve never looked back.


#16

I notice you’ve still failed to provide any support for your assertion that I’m “a statist who wants to expand the role of government as much as possible.”

> Then why are you voting for Hillary who wants to enact more more government regulations?

Because Trump is manifestly a far larger threat to American liberty than Clinton, and it’s a moral imperative that he lose, given that he’s a national disgrace.

> Why do you support Cap and Trade to combat global warming?

The real question is, why do you make things up out of thin air? I’ve said nothing of the sort.


#17

> The real question is, why do you make things up out of thin air? I’ve said nothing of the sort.

Oh, then can we include you among those who don’t support the global warming hoax? If we can, that’s progress.

> Because Trump is manifestly a far larger threat to American liberty than Clinton, and it’s a moral imperative that he lose, given that he’s a national disgrace.

I’ll have to disagree with you on that one. Mrs. Clinton is the worst presidential candidate ever nominated by a major political part. She takes bribes, she is incompetent and she is a congenital liar. The only other major party candidate who perhaps took as many bribes as Mrs. Clinton was James G. Blaine who ran on the Republican ticket against Grover Cleveland in 1884. He took lots of money from the railroads and got caught red handed at it every time he ran for president. Check his problems with “the Mulligan letters” if you would like to see what did him in politically.

Blaine was a much better secretary of state than Mrs. Clinton, however. So he avoids the “worst candidate” label for that reason.


#18

What is this, the fallacy of false dilemma thread?

I said that you’re just making stuff up by accusing me of supporting cap and trade. That doesn’t imply that I support your lunatic view that global warming is a hoax. Why am I bothering with this, ugh…

I don’t believe there is any evidence to support the view that cap and trade is a sensible solution to the very real problem of climate change.


#19

> I don’t believe there is any evidence to support the view that cap and trade is a sensible solution to the very real problem of climate change.

I’ll leave that one to hash out with your liberal friends. They love Cap and Trade. It brings in loads of tax money and controls human behavior. It shows that they can use economic principles to push their agenda. What’s not to like if you are a liberal?

Exxon is running ads about how they are working on carbon capture technology. If they can do it, why would the liberals be against it? Instead the liberals are threatening the company with fines for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Besides there are windmill and solar companies that have ponyed up with contributions to the Hillary campaign and foundation so they go to the front of line. Hillary is telling us in her ads here in Florida that she is going to win the race for “clean energy” ahead of the Germans and the Chinese. That’s just code for, “These clean energy people have paid me, and I owe them.”


#20

Only for independent people. Who are a minority. There is a reason the government keeps getting bigger and bigger. Most people can’t manage their own lives, and need a perpetual parent. How many people live with their actual parents until they’re pushing 30? What would you expect but a desire to have a pseudo-parent in the form of a government system from there on?

There was a time when I was attracted to a watered down version of libertarianism, until I realized that while it would work for me, it would never work for most people, and they’ll never vote for such a thing in a fully representative democracy.

Of course it is. The concept of trade itself is a system. I give you this, you give me that. That’s a system. And it has pros and cons, just as choosing not to trade has pros and cons.