Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

The Land Of the Fee

In Immigration on December 16, 2008 at 3:08 am

The Ayn Rand Institute suggests that foreigners be given Green Cards in exchange for buying houses in America.

Now I’m a foreigner and one who to boot doesn’t think America (in it’s history so far) is the root of all evil.  I, in fact, lived in America for many years and desperately wanted a Green Card till I got fed up waiting on their corrupt immigration laws and decided not to throw more of life away in the wait.  I’ve also done moderately well for myself and could afford to buy a house if I wanted.  I’m also peaceful (unless provoked by rancid things like socialism or faulty syllogisms.)  In many ways, I’m one of the people whom such a policy would try to attract.  Yet I reject this suggestion in it’s totality.

Given more rational immigration laws I might perhaps think of immigrating to America again but not on the terms suggested by the ARI because American houses are just piles of timber at present and they are going to be worth even less than they are now because of all the various “stimulus” packages.  All these packages will do is increase spending by the irrational (such as on houses) and also rob more responsible Americans of their money by loading them with inflation, higher taxes and a bigger government.  Crucially, there is still no solution to America’s production and savings problems.  Nor can any be seen on the horizon.  I am not alone in seeing this future for the ARI also says something similar.

If this money for Green Cards suggestion does come to pass (it won’t) then the Keynsians (the same ones who created this problem and control the economy) will treat the new money like cheap cologne to bid up the price of houses (or will invent some new scam like helping the auto industry) and give out money for free i.e. cheap credit  till the economy again reaches the same low point or searches for a new nadir.

I love the intention behind calls for open immigration.  I would love to see not only America but all countries open up their immigration laws and compete to attract bright people.  However, I  think this idea unattractive because it also comes with a wrong reason (at least partially) attached to it – that is, because it comes as an idea intended to solve the housing crisis –

Virtually overnight we would see money pour into the American real estate market, as millions of new businessmen and workers bought and rented homes.

– and a good idea for the wrong reasons is still wrong.  A good idea based partially on the wrong reasons is still wrong.  There is no such thing as doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

Come to think of it, isn’t this suggestion what has happened already?  A lot of money poured into the real estate market as businessmen and workers bought and rented homes.  What new can be expected to happen if a few million businessmen and workers are added when people already think irrationally? Where principles are corrupted and thinking irrational a few million more people can do nothing more than magnify existing follies.

And would this idea also apply to unsold cars made by American manufacturers? What if toothpick manufacturers need cash? Can I buy an All American land yacht or “personalised” toothpick holder and get a Green Card? Surely these guys are a long way from the boom too.

Open immigration must be supported for one reason and one reason only – man is a rational animal and a rational animal needs freedom to think, work, thrive and prosper.   The political expression of this idea (i.e. Capitalism) implies that immigration must be open on principle.  That by itself is sufficient and necessary.  No other reasons are required.

Nor as a potential immigrant do I want well meaning people like those at the ARI to “help me” on any other terms.

I will consider immigration only to a country where people see me and others like myself only as free, productive individuals.  I reject the notion of going to a country where I will be considered, even partially, a “quick fix”, or a “necessary evil (let them come and spent to solve our problem)” as pragmatically oriented xenophobes will think of it. For such a quick fix or necessary evil can and surely will be discarded in the fullness of time.  (By the same token, I do not think that there is any reason for Americans to run around the world saving people from themselves.  I would consider them moral if they would stop doing this.)

Around five or six years ago Americans were asserting that theirs was a moral country.  Assuming that America is a moral country, open immigration cannot be long now in coming, can it? Surely soon Americans will realise that new immigrants are good for them even if they do not buy houses (that are still overvalued.)

I will assert the opposite that most Americans do not possess reason sufficient even to accept the modest proposal of the ARI.

Postscript: America was once The Land Of the Free – “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” went the famous poem.  Now with such suggestions, where immigration will be given not to those seeking freedom but on condition of an immigrant being able to act as a tiny bailout package, it is perhaps time to rename America and realise that it is on it’s way to becoming The Land Of the Fee.

In memory of a better time:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”