Jim Burns - for all 299,999,999 million of you who didn't know - is a 2008 Libertarian party presidential candidate. An interview with him asks an extremely hypothetical question:
How would your administration deal with the threat of illegal immigration?
I believe that people should be allowed to live any way they choose so long as they allow other to do the same. That means, among other things, they should be allowed to trade with whom they choose and go where they choose. One of the major reasons the United States is a great nation is that we have free trade and freedom of travel within our very large territory. We do not need the permission of the government to come and go or buy or sell, and we are the better for it. When I lived in Oregon, many years ago, many of the people wanted to keep the Californians out of Oregon. As I see it, if they had had the power, the people of Oregon would have been much the worst off for it.
Of course, if they wanted to do it, Burns might be forced to use state power to make them let anyone who wanted to live in Oregon move there.
The problems that many people see with immigration are that it cost the tax payer money to provide, among other things, education and medical care to illegal immigrants. The solution is not to restrict freedom of travel, rather not to have the government provide medical care and education. Just as it is not fair for the people of Banger, Maine to be forced to provide medical care and education for people in San Diego, California, so to it is wrong to force U.S. tax payers to provide people from other countries with medical care and education. The problem is not "illegal immigration," the problem is government taking from some people in order to give it to other people (always taking some of it for themselves or using it to buy favor to get re-elected). When I am President, I will promote free trade and freedom of travel.
The odds of Burns becoming president are about 20 billion to 1, but in any case, his "freedom of travel" would allow any foreign country to send us millions of people with sinister intent. Those millions wouldn't have to be sent as an openly invading force; they could just be "immigrants". And, they'd be coming from a stronger country that wasn't just a group of people living in a territory; they'd be coming from a country that could make and carry out plans. Those foreign citizens could then form a political bloc in one part of the U.S. and even claim a part of the U.S.'s formerly "very large territory" for the country to which they owe an allegiance. Just as "liberalism" carries the seeds of its own destruction by protecting those who do not support "liberalism", libertarianism would be considered a weakness by stronger countries and they would assuredly take advantage of it.
In other words, Burns' "freedom of travel" scheme would result in the U.S. losing territory and perhaps having a drastically changed political system as well.
His scheme should be considered on the same level as that of those starry-eyed pacifists who, in a jungle environment, would become another tribe's slaves or dinner.
Note also that Reason Magazine shares his same dream of "freedom of travel". No one who believes in such a concept should be taken seriously and no one should for a moment think that they have the U.S.'s best interests at heart.
Politics · Wed, 08/30/2006 - 18:10 · Importance: 1