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Is Bryan Caplan the world's looniest libertarian? (give every Haitian a green card)

The New York Times offers "Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger" (link) about high food prices having a detrimental effect on the third world, focusing on Haiti: "experts say there are few quick fixes" to the problem.

That causes "economist" Bryan Caplan of George Mason University to offer the self-evidently ludicrous "The Quick Fix: For the Love of God, Give Every Haitian a Green Card" (link). His grand plan helps show just how insane the libertarian support for open borders is:

Well, I've got a quick fix. Give every Haitian a green card. Invite the world's most precious resource - human labor - to leave a dirt-based economy and get an entry-level job in the modern economy. It's called doing well while doing good. And unlike everything else the world has ever done for Haiti, it works.

This isn't the first time Bryan Caplan has descended into self-parody, and it probably won't be the last.

There are over 8 million Haitians and having most of them come here would present a huge number of social costs, both financial and non-financial. Taking a glance at the CIA page on the country, their literacy rate is just over 50%, meaning that around half of those who came here would only be able to do manual labor, if that. And, the national languages of the country are French and Creole, not English. So, even those who can read and write would have to learn English in order to get a job other than manual labor.

And, the 2003 HIV rate was 5.6%. While not as high as Botswana at 37.3%, that's still much higher than the U.S. at 0.6%. They also have "pervasive corruption" and other issues that are ingrained in their culture. While eventually some or many would Americanize, in the intervening decades those negative cultural issues would simply be moved to the U.S. And, since there are hundreds of millions or even billions of people in the same or worse dire straits, why exactly we should favor Haiti over, say, Bangladesh, Belize, or Botswana is a mystery only Caplan can answer.

Discussing all the other issues with Caplan's beyond-childlike plan is left as an exercise for his students.

Immigration2008a · Sat, 04/19/2008 - 10:36 · Importance: 4

Sun, 04/20/2008 - 07:24
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

why not the world's people? after all are we not all just one big one world people without any countries or laws or borders and soon without any homes or money or rights or life? just hand out Green cards by the billions to anyone who wants one. maybe Bin Laden will run for President after the last muslim Barack is done with us and all our heads are on some third world stake and maybe we have it coming? and maybe the Haitian gangs can fight the mexican gangs? isn't that nice? after all we can always ask the haitians to fight our war can't we?

Sun, 04/20/2008 - 09:14
Libertarian

'It's called doing well while doing good.' I agree but why stop with just Haiti? Open borders is not just a big economic win for America, we have a moral obligation to move all 6.3 billion of the rest of the world's people to the U.S. People don't choose where they're born. Thus, the only fair thing to do is offer all the unlucky ones a chance to pursue the American Dream. We should even pick them up because today many who would be coming are not due to the cost of getting here. To the naysayers, can you deny that unlimited immigration would increase our GDP substantially? Who cares if they can't read--as the dynamic Tamar Jacoby once said, 'we need their muscle'. Immigration is the greatest anti-poverty program ever conceived. Not just because the immigrants are much better off but also because they send billions of dollars of their own money back to their home countries—a form of truly effective foreign aid. As for all the ambitious strivers already here, it's time to move beyond our broken politics and achieve real progress on immigration reform, not just for the sake of passing a bill, and not as a favor to immigrants, but so that we can finally address the concerns of the American people, and make real the hopes of all those who want nothing more than a chance at the American Dream.

Sun, 04/20/2008 - 12:06
dchamil
www.blogger.com/profile/09298960390582070502

I wonder if Bryan Caplan has much experience in hiring Haitians now residing in the USA.

Sun, 04/20/2008 - 14:29
petty bourgeois

"we have a moral obligation to move all 6.3 billion of the rest of the world's people to the U.S. " Ok, you first. Where do you live so I can come over to your house and make myself a home? I'm just trying to make a better life for myself, so you can be the first to implement this immigration policy of me "migrating" into your abode.

Sun, 04/20/2008 - 15:39
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/freddawes1776

Open the border's and forget about any sovereignty, forget race, the billions that will come here will murder each other by the billions and if you have any brains you can watch our little brown brothers mass murder each other that would save us all a hell of a lot of money and our leaders could get in line for mass beheading's I mean after all our leaders are all about love right? sad to say most love the little boys. when the next pig becomes the new head guy in office and moves into the white house and makes Amnesty the rule of the dead land once called the "usa", it will be time to make a real move for freedom against our enemies here inside the place that we call home against our real enemies of freedom but wait until the pigs show the real truth of things. Be happy for now soon the world will come and your life will really have a real chance to understand what the third world is all about, sell your guns to a gang member or a cop both are the same pig. sell your guns get in line for the shit Bryan Caplan or sand your kids to a u.s senator that would be justice, be happy inside the new world order.

Mon, 04/21/2008 - 13:24
AMW

_their literacy rate is just over 50%, meaning that around half of those who came here would only be able to do manual labor, if that. _ Sir, they're eating DIRT. Wandering our streets eating out of Taco Bell dumpsters would be an improvement. _And, the national languages of the country are French and Creole, not English. So, even those who can read and write would have to learn English in order to get a job other than manual labor._ Many, many immigrants come to this country speaking no English. Some never learn it (though their kids do). And yet they make a living that entices them to stay here rather than return to Mexico, or Puerto Rico, or any of a hundred countries with a vastly higher standard of living than Haiti.

Mon, 04/21/2008 - 22:03
explosions

'Many, many immigrants come to this country speaking no English.' That combined with very low education levels isn't exactly what the modern economy demands. Out of one side of their mouths some will tell you that our university educated tech workers aren't good enough and we need to import cheap Indian labor and out of the other they say we can replace highly educated and skilled retiring boomers with non-English speaking dropouts. Isn't it a lot smarter to just not allow in so many non-educated to begin with? Funny, Dowell Meyers never seems to mention that. 'Demographers, economists and employers are advocating more investment in training and education for the immigrants needed to replace the huge outgoing crop of baby boomers. By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 21, 2008 With baby boomers preparing to retire as the best educated and most skilled workforce in U.S. history, a growing chorus of demographers and labor experts is raising concerns that workers in California and the nation lack the critical skills needed to replace them. In particular, experts say, the immigrant workers needed to fill many of the boomer jobs lack the English-language skills and basic educational levels to do so. Many immigrants are ill-equipped to fill California's fastest-growing positions, including computer software engineers, registered nurses and customer service representatives, a new study by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute found. Meeting the challenge Photo Gallery Meeting the challenge Immigrants in the workforce Graphic Immigrants in the workforce click to enlarge Related Stories - Debate over LAPD's Special Order 40 heightens fears of day laborers - Migrants send less money back to Mexico Immigrants -- legal and illegal -- already constitute almost half of the workers in Los Angeles County and are expected to account for nearly all of the growth in the nation's working-age population by 2025 because native-born Americans are having fewer children. But the study, based largely on U.S. Census data, noted that 60% of the county's immigrant workers struggle with English and one-third lack high school diplomas. The looming mismatch in the skills employers need and those workers offer could jeopardize the future economic vitality of California and the nation, experts say. Los Angeles County, the largest immigrant metropolis with about 3.5 million foreign-born residents, is at the forefront of this demographic trend. "The question is, are we going to be a 21st century city with shared prosperity, or a Third World city with an elite group on top and the majority at poverty or near poverty wages?" asked Ernesto Cortes Jr., Southwest regional director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a leadership development organization. "Right now we're headed toward becoming a Third World city. But we can change that." http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-