Bryan Caplan/George Mason University: a true "economist" and "intellectual"

Bryan Caplan is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University. His "thinking abilities" as well as his "economic" skills are on full display in the Economist guest post "Immigration Restrictions: A Solution in Search of a Problem". Let's take a look at this public "intellectual":

Every blogger I know tells me the same story: The fastest way to provoke angry comments is to post a kind word about immigration. In the blogosphere, as in real life, complaints about immigrants abound.

Of course, those complaints aren't usually about "immigrants" either in general or about "immigrants" personally. Usually, the complaints are about illegal immigration or large concentrations of illegal aliens, such as in our cities.

The funny thing, though, is that the complaints are diverse, but the cure is almost always the same: Cut immigration quotas, reinforce the border, and deport the illegals.

The last is, of course, quite close to - and probably meant as - the usual false choice offered between a massive amnesty and mass deportations.

Suppose, for example, that the complaint about immigrants is that "They take advantage of the welfare state." If that's the problem, the simplest solution is not the get rid of immigrants, but to make them ineligible for benefits. Make them pay the usual taxes, but make it clear that welfare, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Social Security, and the like are only for native-born citizens.

Yeah, what if. What if I could build a time machine? Wouldn't that be great? What people like Caplan are too ignorant to understand is that there's a great deal of pressure placed on local governments and even the federal government to continue such benefits. Some of that comes from racial power groups, others comes from corrupt businesses that enjoy corporatism. When Caplan does things such as offer false choices or conflates illegal and legal immigration he plays right into the hands of such groups. And, of course: no one wants to "get rid of immigrants".

What if the complaint is that immigrants endanger our political culture โ€“ in short, that they vote the wrong way? I'm sympathetic to this concern, but it's easy to tailor a solution: Don't let immigrants vote.

At this point, I'm laughing. It's easy to state such a supposed solution, it's not so easy to carry such a thing out. Unless we want think South Africa or Saudi Arabia are good American models.

In brief, Caplan is truly an "intellectual", and he's truly a top-tier "economist".


Whatever the problem is that is associated with immigrants, on this theology that Caplan may adhere to, the immigrant is never to be blamed. Loyalty to fellow citizens is ruled out as 'tribalism', even though the nation cannot mean less than that we owe loyalty to fellow citizens when they're attacked by foreigners here.

"....the simplest solution is not to get rid of immigrants, but to make them ineligible for benefits. Make them pay the usual taxes, but make it clear that welfare, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Social Security, and the like are only for native-born citizens." First of all, who wants several levels of citizenship? Anybody who is a citizen should have the same rights and responsibilities as any other citizen. Right now this is the case except that only a US-born citizen can be President. However, in 1996, Congress DID pass legislation that tried to cut back on immigrants bringing their aged parents to the US (good old family re-unification!) and dumping them on SSI as soon as they could. Naturally the ACLU hopped into action and filed a lawsuit. Congress, as usual, relented. This to me is totally different. These parents (1) had never paid taxes to the US and (2) their children had promised to support them as conditions for their coming here. If we can't enforce a commonsense law like this, what is the likelihood of enforcing what Caplan is proposing? This argument is the typical libertarian tactic: Let's have open borders and abolish the welfare state aspects of the US. They never seem to get it that most US citizens don't want open borders but they do want at least some of the welfare state, which is a perfectly logical position. Who wants to take away Gramma's Medicare? Or perhaps the question is better phrased as "Who wants to assume personal responsibility for paying for Gramma's health care?"

D Flinchum is dead on the money and that is what this fight is all about money and who get's it, the people who paid into the system or the people who are nothing but Rat's attacking our system for the money and who want us dead. "If a government", help's our Enemies that government becomes the Enemy of Freedom and the Enemy of life and the people of freedom have one Obligation to remove that Enemy And by the way it's my duty to write what I mean under law and by the power of the bill of right's.