The Logic of Closed Borders

by on February 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm in Economics, Law | Permalink

Bloomberg: At least 100 workers at the construction site for Tesla Motors Inc.’s battery factory near Reno, Nevada, walked off the job Monday to protest use of workers from other states, a union official said.

Local labor leaders are upset that Tesla contractor Brycon Corp. is bringing in workers from Arizona and New Mexico, said Todd Koch, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada.

“It’s a slap in the face to Nevada workers to walk through the parking lot at the job site and see all these license plates from Arizona and New Mexico,” Koch said in an interview. Those who walked out were among the hundreds on the site, he said.

Erik Brynjolfsson tweeted “Build a wall! And make New Mexico pay for it.” Or perhaps require that Nevada carpenters be licensed.

1 Urstoff February 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Arizonans are notorious for their bad culture, so Nevada should definitely close their borders.

2 mulp February 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Makes sense given the Nevada mandate prohibiting manufacturing batteries for export to customers in States other than Nevada. Nevada needs all the batteries built in the Gigafactory to stay in Nevada to store the solar power and use it in cars driven in Nevada.

Obviously Nevada is going carbon free to beat the requirements of CPP.

3 Art Deco February 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

There’s no logic here, merely a demonstration that Prof. Tabarrok is incapable of understanding the complaints others have and why they have them.

4 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 5:26 pm

I think the point is that their complaints lack logic and are prima facie absurd.

5 So Much For Subtlety February 29, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Where is the lack of logic? New Mexicans and Nevadans form part of the same community. You can reasonable expect them to come to the defense of each other. If one is sick or old, the other will contribute money. It is a tribal thing. Within the tribe, members of that tribe retaliate against outsiders for offenses to their fellow tribal members, but solve their problems internally peacefully.

Mexicans are not part of that community. They will not come to the defense of Americans. In fact a few wars ago they openly conspired with the Germans. Americans are to them as antelope are to the wolf. It is not insane to try to keep them out when they owe the community nothing and cannot really be expected to understand or obey its rules.

6 David H. February 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Thank you for the preview of how debates will look in Trump’s America. Oh boy.

7 Pshrnk February 29, 2016 at 7:39 pm

The people living on the East side of my street are my community. Those folks living on the West side can go pound sand.

8 Cooper February 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Screw those shady West Siders. What, with their dance fighting and switchblades and all.

9 Ray Lopez February 29, 2016 at 9:13 pm

Knife, bleed! <–reference to the musical West Side Story for you youngsters. No, I've never seen it except in soundbites, but I'm well educated.

In fairness, union membership peaked in the 1950s at around 35% of the workforce and is at record lows now, so AlexT's complaint is a strawman (but still a valid strawman).

10 So Much For Subtlety March 1, 2016 at 1:32 am

Pshrnk February 29, 2016 at 7:39 pm

The people living on the East side of my street are my community. Those folks living on the West side can go pound sand.

You could take that view. Some people in the US do. For instance, even though the Catholic Church has been treated very badly by child sexual abuse witch hunts, it continues to co-operate with the State. Because it sees itself as part of the same community. Not all religious groups in the US feel that way:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_abuse_cases_in_Brooklyn%27s_Haredi_community

Sexual abuse within the community is often not reported to police. Many feel that to report a Jew to non-Jewish authorities constitutes the religious crime of mesirah:[1][2] Samuel Heilman, a professor of Jewish studies at Queens College, writes that one reason why cases or patterns of sexual abuse are rarely reported to law enforcement is because “they think that anyone who turns over anyone to the outside authorities is committing a transgression to the community at large.”

Notice that the “community at large” does not refer to the whole of the US.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesirah

Maimonides further explains: “It is forbidden to hand over a Jew to the heathen, neither his person nor his goods, even if he is wicked and a sinner, even if he causes distress and pain to fellow-Jews. Whoever hands over a Jew to the heathen has no part in the next world. It is permitted to kill a moser (informant) wherever he is. It is even permitted to kill him before he has handed over (a fellow Jew).”

As it happens I think the Haredi are right. They can expect better treatment than the Catholics, but they cannot expect fair treatment. The mainstream US community does not share their values. They cannot look to it for protection. I am willing to bet they would build a wall if they could.

Now carpenters from Nevada and other workers from New Mexico and Arizona have a lot more in common. They do regard each other as the same community I expect. I can’t imagine the circumstances in which an Arizonan would argue against reporting sexual abuse to the authorities in Nevada because the people of Nevada are all Cossacks. If someone invaded New Mexico I imagine the draft would not be resisted in Arizona. Hence the humor about the wall. It is not a friendly act among people of the same community.

11 Thiago Ribeiro March 1, 2016 at 8:22 am

“child sexual abuse witch hunts”
Yeah, witch hunts…

12 Paul Zrimsek February 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

“I have a theory which predicts that Nevada workers will not respond the same way to competition from New Mexico workers as they do to competition to Mexico workers– which I will insist upon even in the comments to a news story about Nevada workers responding exactly the same way to competition from New Mexico workers as they do to competition from Mexico workers.”

13 So Much For Subtlety March 1, 2016 at 12:49 am

But they are not responding exactly the same way. Nor do we. That is the point of laughing at them by calling for a Wall. If these workers were obviously from outside the community – if they were flown in from India – we would understand calls for a prohibition on doing so and there would be no joke. It is precisely because the Nevadan workers come close to Trump’s position on workers from Mexico that the author can mock their demands.

14 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Yes, America the antelope and Mexico the wolf.

America is soooooo WEAK! We need to make America great again.

America is prey.

15 Alvin February 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm

The logic is simple. Socialism for me, capitalism for everyone else.

16 Adrian Ratnapala February 29, 2016 at 11:17 pm

Insofar as “the complaints people have” is about the effect of immigrants on labour market, then this post is completely relevant.

17 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Sounds like union busting to me. Is that legal there?

18 Jan February 29, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Union busting is now legal in most US states. Have you been tracking the Kochtopus these past few years?

19 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 9:02 pm

You’re asking whether voluntary agreements between employers and employees are legal?

20 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Whether representatives of capital holders and representatives of labour providers are regarded as having similar rights to negotiate on behalf of the collectivities they represent (shareholders and workers).

21 Dzhaughn February 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm

I see no suggestion here that any negotiated agreement was violated by the contractor. Do you have evidence?

22 Pashtun March 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

You must be new here.

Nathan doesn’t have facts, just opinions. And soooo many opinions he has no time to listen, think, observe or collect facts.

23 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 12:42 pm

It is soooo important to you that I not be taken credibly. I must be pretty credible then.

24 Cliff February 29, 2016 at 3:50 pm

More like “The Terrible Flawed Logic of Alex Tabarrok”

25 Chris S March 1, 2016 at 9:28 am

So are you agreeing with the complaint of the Nevadans, that out of state (!) workers are an affront to the workers’ rights of native Nevadans?

I guess it is in Reno, which is kind of a haul from New Mexico and AZ. If it were CA..

26 John Mansfield February 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

What tax breaks did Tesla line up from Nevada , and what justifications did Tesla give when asking for them?

27 Art Deco February 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Justification? You think Nevada is run by Ted Cruz types?

You get to put on your press releases and campaign brochures that you ‘brought jobs to our area’ (Louise Slaughter’s preferred formulation for the pork bon bons she secured). No justification needed, for a certain kind of pol.

28 Dzhaughn February 29, 2016 at 11:46 pm

Does receiving a tax break mean every citizen of Nevada a veto over the project?

29 Steve Sailer February 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Nevada is giving Elon Musk $1.3 billion in tax breaks.

30 RPLong February 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Right, I’m sure that’s why the workers walked off the job, because they don’t want the Nevada state government to lose out.

31 Steve Sailer February 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

They’re taxpayers.

32 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 9:03 pm

Appropriating less money from Tesla doesn’t mean the State of Nevada is appropriating more money from taxpayers. It could just appropriate less overall.

33 Bob February 29, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Do you support border controls for states?

34 mort dubois February 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Works for the insurance industry.

35 Jan February 29, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Just get rid of the lines. That will obviously solve health care prices.

36 Steve J February 29, 2016 at 8:58 pm

I am still waiting for the explanation of how removing the individual mandate and maintaining the pre-existing condition allowance can work.

37 Chris S March 1, 2016 at 9:28 am

It doesn’t have to “work.” Its merely an opening bid.

38 Slocum March 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm

“I am still waiting for the explanation of how removing the individual mandate and maintaining the pre-existing condition allowance can work.”

Easy. You’re allowed to go ‘naked’, but only at your own risk. If you’re uninsured and get seriously ill, then you don’t get coverage until you’ve spent down your own resources (just like old folks can’t get Medicaid nursing home coverage until they’ve spent all their own money). What about poor uninsured with no assets? Not really a problem — they were going to require subsidized coverage anyway, so keeping them out of the pool initially is no real loss to the system.

39 Steve J March 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Slocum your proposal sounds like Medicaid – is there a difference?

40 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 9:05 pm

So that’s why people argued for interstate health insurance, because binding trade across imaginary lines was *working*…

41 anon February 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I consider such tax bidding immoral, would that it were illegal as well.

42 David H. February 29, 2016 at 6:33 pm

I don’t get why. Without it we’d never have a battery superfactory, at least not inside US borders.

43 Pshrnk February 29, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Lowering corporate tax rates across the board….improves the overall economy and decreases corruption!

44 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Never heard that before. How would lower corporate tax rates reduce corruption?

45 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 1:22 am

A smaller budget and less power to determine economic outcomes would lead to an overall reduction in political corruption, I would say.

46 kevin March 1, 2016 at 10:42 am

It gets rid of negative externalities, lobbyist/corruption, etc. but it also gets rid of positive externalities, Less polution, R&D, etc. I don’t think its a clear case that the economy would be better (although you could surely simplify the tax code and maintain positive externalities)

47 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

I think you would need to tackle corruption before you could simplify the tax code. But maaaybe it can be done.

48 anon February 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Kind of the point. If a battery is not a good deal under a uniform tax code, then it is not a good deal. Maybe it needs more R&D.

We should have done more research and built fewer generations of bad wind power, etc.

49 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm

You consider taxes to be moral. That’s the more interesting proposition.

50 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:16 pm

Could always mandate volunteership and conscript people’s expertise to contribute to addressing collective problems. Taxation seems easier.

51 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 12:48 am

“Mandate volunteership”

???????????

Sure, I guess it’s “easier” to make everyone a slave to the state in order to “address” collective problems.

Seems like that would become *the* collective problem.

52 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 6:28 am

Taxation seems vastly superior to conscription. Collective problems are real, as are the existence of positive externalities and the moral imperative to be less than completely indifferent to those who are down and out.

53 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm

“Collective problems” are not separate from problems faced by individuals.

A group of individuals who have found themselves forced into involuntary servitude to the state are facing a collective problem – that of their right to liberty and self-determination collectively violated. This problem dwarfs any other perceived “collective” problem. It becomes *the* collective problem.

Taxation – involuntary appropriation of property, and conscription – involuntary appropriation of labor, are to the same degree detrimental to the health of society and the protection of rights and liberties.

The state is expert at creating external costs. It knows nothing of reducing them, only transferring them to politically expedient parties.

54 anon March 1, 2016 at 4:47 am

I consider civilization moral, and civilization has always and everywhere been paid for my tax.

55 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

We could always try the law of the jungle. I bet that would work out REAL well.

56 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 9:52 pm

I consider civilization moral, and taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society.

57 David H. February 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Musk is bringing in people from out of state who are paying Nevadans for rent and services. How is this a loss for Nevada? I don’t think the state is doing any complaining, only some construction workers who thought that they’re entitled to win contracts even when they don’t submit the best offer.

58 BC March 1, 2016 at 3:18 am

That’s Open Borders logic.

59 Floccina February 29, 2016 at 7:01 pm

A good reason to use the Commerce Clause for that which it was intended.

60 Alvin February 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Is there state action? Hard question. Unions protected by Collective Bargaining laws, so probably yes. On the other hand, workers not state employees.

61 Careless February 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

It is pretty funny that the Commerce Clause is never actually used legitimately

62 Unsympathetic March 1, 2016 at 10:44 am

Tesla did not receive those tax breaks for existing. He received tax breaks because he asserted he was “Creating Jobs In Nevada.” Which he is not doing. So, those tax breaks should be revoked.

Musk is simply stealing the money of Nevada citizens.

Those tax dollars aren’t magic – they’re TAKEN from others and given to him.

You know, welfare.

63 Chip February 29, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Is the “build a wall” tweet supposed to illustrate that boundaries between US states are just as absurd as boundaries between countries? It’s such a lumpish comparison that I’m not sure.

Has Alex trumpeted the benefits of hundreds of thousands of new illiterate migrants in Sweden yet? Might have missed it.

64 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 5:29 pm

That is the point. Binding economic activity across political borders only hurts those on both sides of the imaginary line.

65 Tarrou February 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm

You’re right, and you should demonstrate this by crossing the imaginary line into North Korea.

66 So Much For Subtlety February 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm

Tell it to the Pequots. Ask them how their immigration enforcement worked out.

However you are changing the subject. The wall is not to stop economic activity with the Mexicans. It is to stop America becoming something other than America. It is to limit immigration. Trade would continue.

67 cowboydroid February 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Limiting immigration is limiting economic activity. Immigration is an economic action.

68 So Much For Subtlety March 1, 2016 at 12:55 am

Limiting one type of economic activity does not mean reducing over all economic activity. Immigration is a quasi-economic activity. So is slave trading. By banning slave trading one type of economic activity is reduced. But over all economic activity is likely to be higher because people can trade without fear of kidnap, wars reduce and people work harder for themselves than for fear of the whip.

In the same way, reducing California to a Third World basket case does not help California, nor the Mexicans moving there, nor Mexico as a whole. Mexico did more trade with California when it was under a Republican government than it does with Guatemala. Importing voters from Mexico and Guatemala is unlikely to produce political and economic results any different from those in Mexico and Guatemala.

69 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 1:20 am

Actually, limiting one type of economic activity necessarily limits overall economic activity.

Immigration is an economic activity. There is no “quasi.”

Slave trading is involuntary exchange. Quite different from immigration, where immigrants make voluntary agreements with landlords and employers and retailers. There is no involuntary exchange in the act of immigration.

Is California reduced to a “third world basket case” when Mexicans immigrate there and take low paying jobs to help provide for their families and at the same type make prices more affordable for the rest of us? No… sounds like the opposite of a “third world.”

70 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 6:43 am

The problem of Mexico and Guatemala largely has to do with the narco-state, a result of the corrosive influences of the costly and ineffective war on drugs.

“importing voters” (most people consider them primarily as workers, whether legal or not) would not lead to any of the scenarios which manifest in your bad dreams.

71 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 7:40 am

The problem of Mexico and Guatemala largely has to do with the narco-state, a result of the corrosive influences of the costly and ineffective war on drugs.

Mexico’s homicide rate is Latin American normal, Nathan, drugs or no drugs. Guatemala’s is about 1/3 higher than Latin American normal (and lower than it was 20 years ago).

72 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 9:44 am

Art – we haven’t tried the no drugs scenario, or the no War on Drugs scenario. While you refer to factual things, they are not contradictory of what I said, which you seem to think they are. Or, perhaps, I’m missing some part of your logic?

73 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 9:50 am

Nathan, the drug trade in Mexico has not a bloody thing to do with the homicide rate in Puerto Rico, Brazil, or the Dominican Republic. The social dynamics in these loci give you that.

74 Stephen March 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm

They’re also poorer countries, which tend to be more violent. Or are you saying that Latinos are inherently violent regardless of economic status.

75 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Probably in the super long-run, but it is a rather dogmatic perspective. There are often losers in trade, and they are almost never compensated unless they are large corporations.

76 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 12:54 am

There are only losers in involuntary trade.

77 Jan February 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm

They’re not completely illiterate. They read palms and stupid white governments very easily.

78 AIG February 29, 2016 at 5:24 pm

While the arguments of the Trumpeters and fellow close-border idiots are often absurd and misguided (and of the workers in Nevada protesting)…this attempt at logic by Alex isn’t exactly much better either.

79 Jamie_NYC February 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Ok, to sum up the argument as I understand it:

– The state of Nevada gave large tax breaks to Tesla in order to get it to locate the factory there. The assumption was that the factory jobs would go to workers that live in NV (i.e. the NV residents/taxpayers). Now Tesla seems to be saying: “what you are complaining about – you got the jobs, they just happen to be filled by people from NM and AZ, heh, heh”.

– In comes professor Tabarok who doesn’t get what people in NV are complaining about, but wants to use their ‘unreasonable’ complaint to bash people who want the national borders (and laws) to be respected.

Is there anything else to this post?

80 Gene Callahan February 29, 2016 at 8:08 pm

No.

81 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Maybe they just haven’t changed plates yet and now live in Nevada? Since it is future taxpayers (including people who move there for work) and not taxpayers of the past who foot the bill of short-term subsidies, perhaps this is less unreasonable than it seems in the way you portray it, even though it clearly wouldn’t be working in the way that it would be sold politically.

82 stan February 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm

You have to admire the strength of the religious faith of libertarians and how resistant it is to logic or reason.

83 anon February 29, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Even if you think a Mexican wall is important, a Nevada wall should be funny. Someone has in fact gone off the deep end.

84 So Much For Subtlety February 29, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Why would a Nevada wall be funny? Since the break down in the social order in the US walls have been going up all over the place. Apparently Grosse Point now has one:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2799262/no-entry-haves-wealthy-michigan-suburb-erect-fences-middle-streets-stop-detroit-nots-driving-city.html

Or may be not. You can see why they would want one though. More and more Americans live behind walls in gated communities. That is not funny at all.

85 AIG February 29, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Daily Fail, failing again.

Look at Google maps of those locations. Daily Fail idiots took a picture of the new intersection blocked off while due to it being under construction. The intersection isn’t actually blocked off. And only 2 roads entering from Detroit to Grosse Point (out of several dozen!) seem blocked off; both dead-end streets and only one seems to have a wall. The other is just overgrown vegetation.

The level of British journalism is disturbingly stupid.

86 Stephen March 1, 2016 at 2:11 pm

The break down in social order leading to a decreasing murder rate?

87 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:31 pm

I’m pretty sure he was joking.

88 Adrian Turcu February 29, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Libertarianism is not against borders and controlled immigration. Just like it isn’t against locking your front door for the night.

89 AIG February 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Let me introduce you to the brilliance of Bryan Caplan.

90 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 7:36 am

I don’t talk to illusions.

91 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 12:52 am

Actually, it is. And any libertarian would recognize the absurd fallacy in your second sentence.

92 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 6:51 am

It’s not quite a fallacy, rather, it’s applying some modicum of logic to an absurd conclusion. For example, having taken one step towards the sea, I do not consider my eventual drowning to be inevitable.

93 cowboydroid March 1, 2016 at 9:40 pm

It’s a fallacy.

It’s a fallacy because it conflates the private property of a person’s home with the territory under the jurisdiction of a government – which is not private property.

Immigrants are not “invaders” that must be defended against.

94 chuck martel February 29, 2016 at 7:05 pm

While they’re at it the Nevadans can protest the arrival of non-resident gamblers at McCarron Field. Those invaders are running away with the slot winnings that belong to the locals.

95 msgkings February 29, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Ha, well done. +lucky 7

96 Pshrnk February 29, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Only Virginians should comment on MR!

97 prior_test1 March 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

Native born Virginians, thus excluding both Profs. Tabarrok and Cowen.

98 AIG February 29, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Also, isn’t the practice of hiring construction workers from all around the country, common? Many construction workers are transitory for this reason, so what are these idiot workers complaining about? Don’t…THEY…travel to construction jobs in other states too? I’d bet anything that they do.

99 Jan February 29, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Construction workers are transitory? I always thought they lived pretty close to their jobs. Do tell.

100 AIG February 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

I said many. Many are. As are many civil engineers and all the other support staff associated with construction projects.

I’m not talking about roofers and house builders. But people who work construction in large projects like this. If you limit yourself to only 1 small geography near your house, how many factories do you think are going to be build in that radius?

How do you think you find workers and engineers and project managers to build oil wells or roads or anything else, in the middle of nowhere North Dakota?

So, do these idiots who are protesting, also go to work sites in California or Idaho or Utah or Arizona as well, when they are needed? Hmm, I’m going to go ahead and guess yes.

101 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 7:35 am

http://engineering.und.edu/

https://www.ndsu.edu/coe/

Strange as it may seem to you, they actually do have roads in North Dakota. They have cities, too. Which have commercial developments in them.

102 Brickbats and Adiabats March 1, 2016 at 9:53 am

… but they import chumps like me to do well completion.

103 Josh February 29, 2016 at 7:19 pm

I love how Alex is so completely crazy that his reductios are comparatively sane.

104 Roy LC February 29, 2016 at 7:40 pm

As a native Texan who works occassionally in Nevada while residing in another state, I can see why the New Mexican workers would be feared and hated by Nevadans. While far from punctual, the New Mexican worker will generally show up every day at some point, will be less likely to fail to give notice, and is much less likely to steal supplies for resale as opposed to personal use. While I generally have a low regard for Arizonans work ethic and probity, the low opinion of Nevadans makes me think they may have hidden virtues.

Of course this is for physical labor which generally requires better character than some other fields, I would certainly favor Nevadans over other workers in other fields.

105 AIG February 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

As a Texan, I generally favor Houstonians over West Texas. West Texans seem to be lazy and stupid, and they smell bad due to over-eating of tacos. Actually, I prefer West Houstonians over East Houstonians. East Houstonians are generally lazy thieves who always have an excuse for showing up late to work. So I would certainly be in opposition to you coming over to my part of Texas for work.

I am, after all, full of virtue. It’s oozing out of my ears, I’m so full.

106 Sam Haysom February 29, 2016 at 8:45 pm

This is some out of this world tone deafness here. Every single one of your comments, on an article written by the kind of the virtue signalers, has been nothing but greasy, treacly virtue signaling.

107 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Has it ever crossed your mind that some people actually have virtue, and don’t give two shits about signalling?

108 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:37 pm

It is one thing to disagree on the meaning of virtue, another altogether so supposed that all statements relating to said virtues are insincere.

109 Sam Haysom February 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm

You are so tiresome it’s almost exhilarating. The commitment to the bit is impressive. I’d struggle to emulate your level of insipidity for even half a day. You even have the hyper-long winded reply to your own comment tick down.

110 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 6:52 am

I actually feel sorry for you, a little.

111 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 7:32 am
112 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Art – Virtue signalling on a date isn’t exactly the same thing as anonymous online commenting. One would assume that the real views, free of signalling, are what you would find in anonymous online boards.

113 Roy LC March 1, 2016 at 1:57 am

As a West Houston insider, you know nothing, for one, tacos are not eaten that much in West Texas, that is San Antonio, west Texans are stacked enchilada folk.

West Texans while not too clever are smarter than they look and as to smell, coming from dry heat they are just sort of leathery. A true citizen of West Houston would know that West Texans come in a variety of types including some with insane amounts of old money, who are by definition wonderful, and those who have been artists in residence in Marfa who can get you hooked up with visitors who have even more money than rich West Texans. Of course if money is not your thing: get out of Houston, it is people like you who will bring us zoning.

East Houstonians are excellent people much better than anyone who actually lives in the city of Dallas, or certain parts of West Houston (say outside the loop and south of a certain very long street, but it is important they stay in their own neighborhoods where they won’t bother anglos or anyone with money. With all the Eado buzz it seems like silly yankees are moving in on them, fortunately though they have nothing to do there and there is still no reason to ever go there since Ninfa’s has been a lost cause for decades.

As to virtue, I never brought up virtue, I just proclaimed my preferences in workforce. If you think I was proclaiming my virtue you must think I am an objectivist or something.

As a native Houstonian, I guess my virtue is loving money more than hating people, or at least people with money. Rich Mexican, poor Mexican, what can you do for me? The only rich people I hate are from that other gulf, but I love their money, though I love it when they get in trouble with HPD for abusing their slaves.

114 AIG March 1, 2016 at 2:13 am

Your lack of a sense of humor is indicative that you are nothing but an illegal immigrant into West Houston from East Houston. Too bad we can’t build a wall to keep your kind out of my West U neighborhood. If it were up to me, I’d send you all back to your taquerias east of 288.

Sure, there are some good West Texans. They’re not all rapists, thieves and criminals. Just most.

115 Roy LC March 1, 2016 at 3:20 am

West U, better than Bellaire I guess. Build that wall and no more revenue from the giant speed trap that is your entire tacky corrupt burg’s raison d’etre, so go for it. What does your virtue say about running a speed trap. Especially one that delusionally thinks I am too important to give a ticket to. That has never happened with HPD.

Somehow I’ll manage to cut through to Holcombe some other way.

I started out as half a joke, but man you take it seriously. Yes, I am a native Houstonian and you haven’t a clue. If you only knew how offended my neighbors get when someone thinks they live in West U.

116 AIG March 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm

We don’t need your money in West U. We’ve got so much winning, we’re tired of winning. Just stay out of our neighborhood.

117 Alvin February 29, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Any difference between Texans and Arizonans? Both hate immigrants and love to shoot people. But you never hear about New Mexicans complaining about illegal immigrants from Mexico.

118 DF February 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Many do, it’s just that NM doesn’t see the national spotlight the way its neighbors do.

We shoot a lot of people too.

119 AIG March 1, 2016 at 12:09 am

You’ve clearly never been to Arizona or Texas. I can tell.

True, we have our fair share of mouth breathers. But you’ve got mouth breathers up where you live too.

As for shootin’ people. Ok you got us there. But, so what?

120 Tarrou February 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm

This would seem pretty simple to me.

State X gave Company Y a gagillion dollars worth of tax breaks to locate a project in their state, on the promise of jobs. Company Y hires people from out of state to do the work. The taxpayers of State X are on the hook, and getting no benefit. Hence, I would think it perfectly logical that they would ring their representative and complain. Presumably open-border enthusiasm does not extend to the government paying people to come take your jobs?

If one wishes to draw the corollary to international migration, which is a whole different kettle of fish, we can leave the question of those pesky borders for now, and focus on the monetary aspect. The analog here is not that workers cross borders, but that they cross borders and impose costs on other polities. Unless these externalities are internalized, the demand that the people of a given polity pay other people to come to their location against the local will is pretty insane.

It is one thing (which I disagree with) to argue that logical morality supersedes all of human history and politics, and therefore people should be able to go where they like.

It is quite another to argue that the citizens of (let’s say) Britain owe it to the world to pay for the health care, the housing, the travel costs, the living expenses and the retraining costs for everyone who wants to go there.

121 Nathan W February 29, 2016 at 11:45 pm

I think in acknowledging the existence of some sort of “logical morality”, as you put it, makes the opposition to free movement of labour altogether more palatable. However, you overstate the counter case, since in most countries immigrants do not get free housing, free travel, free living expenses or free retraining, although few advanced countries refuse emergency health care to anyone, and can only hope to recover the cost through traditional approaches to collections.

122 AIG March 1, 2016 at 12:29 am

Lets put it this way: in about half of European countries, immigrants are actually MORE productive than the local native population. In the other half, they are much less. Sweden being the extreme case of the less, and south/eastern European countries the case of the more. There are, after all, some countries where the natives are so f**ing useless, like Greece, that most immigrants are actually better in economic terms.

So there happens to be heterogeneity in the quality and economic contribution and costs that different immigrant groups create. Without recognizing this wide heterogeneity, you’re simply legitimizing the Trumpeterian and the Libertarian lack of logic which absolutely see no distinction and absolutely refuse to recognize benefits or costs.

So is Somalian illiterate immigrants in Sweden probably a terribly bad idea? Yes.

Is Indian software programmers in California a bad idea? Hell no its not.

123 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 7:51 am

Lets put it this way: in about half of European countries, immigrants are actually MORE productive than the local native population

Which half, and which immigrants?

124 AIG March 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Well that’s exactly my point. If we don’t recognize the heterogeneity here, and instead keep talking about “immigrants”, then we are legitimizing both the extreme libertarian nonsense and the extreme Trumpeterian nonsense. The libertarian nonsense would have us believe that illiterate Somalis in Sweden is just fine, and the Trumpeterian nonsense would have us believe that Indian computer scientists are not fine.

125 AIG March 1, 2016 at 12:16 am

Brilliant. I keep telling the Mayor of my city to stop allowing other people from living in my neighborhood because they impose externalitites on me. After all, I have to look at their ugly mugs every day, hear their ugly children scream, and have to drive around their cars every day.

Alas, they keep living next to me despite being in violation of my will.

PS: How is it possible that both strong-form Libertarian and strong-form Trumpeterian are both so equally stupid and illogical? WTF happened to normal people who could string two logical arguments together? WTF indeed.

126 Roy LC March 1, 2016 at 2:39 am

Clearly you are talking to the wromg person, it is the zoning commission you want.

127 Steve Sailer March 1, 2016 at 3:56 am

That’s precisely the view of the nice liberals of Malibu and Beverly Hills, and they’ve been very effective at keeping the population from going up.

128 Art Deco March 1, 2016 at 7:49 am

Beverly Hills has a density of 6,000 people per square mile. That a core city density in an ordinary American metropolis like Omaha. More people would mean razing handsome residential architecture and putting up apartment blocs. Malibu has a density of 640 persons per square mile – more exurban than suburban.

129 Ex-Pralite Monk March 1, 2016 at 8:13 am

That’s precisely the view of the nice liberals of Malibu and Beverly Hills, and they’ve been very effective at keeping the population from going up.

Don’t forget the liberal utopia of Boulder, Colorado. When I lived there in the 1990’s the Ku Klux Klan held a rally at the outdoor Pearl Street Mall. Their leader was quite impressed with the Boulderites’ ability to keep blacks and hispanics out of their town using building restrictions. The town wasn’t happy.

130 Steve Sailer March 1, 2016 at 7:41 am

“I keep telling the Mayor of my city to stop allowing other people from living in my neighborhood because they impose externalitites on me.”

That’s exactly the view of Rob Reiner in Malibu and he’s been highly successful at getting Malibuites to vote against anything that would allow more outsiders in.

I’m not a Malibuite so I don’t like it, but then I don’t think Reiner is behaving all that much worse than, say, tenured George Mason U. professors of economics who insist upon their perqs rather than let their jobs be put up on Craigslist for the lowest bidders to do.

131 AIG March 1, 2016 at 12:35 am

“…to come take your jobs?”

A truly dumb comment. So according to the Trumpeterian logic, any job not given to you…is a job taken from you?

Wow.

PS: You obviously failed to read the article. The expectation of the tax breaks was that 50% of the factory workers would be from Nevada. So in either case, 50% would be from elsewhere. And these are the construction workers building the site, not the permanent employees of the site which hasn’t been finished yet.

132 Nathan W March 1, 2016 at 7:00 am

Kind of like anyone who didn’t get into the uni they wanted to get in to, and then blames it on affirmative action. Statistically there is an effect, to be sure, but harbouring resentment towards an entire class or ancestral group for the fact that you couldn’t find a job or get into the right school seems a little over the top.

It’s the kind of thinking that makes me want to shove one of their favourite kinds of lines fed to African Americans: “Stop blaming everyone else for your failures and just go get a job.”

133 LR March 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

No large commercial installations get done in the US anymore without state tax breaks and other economic development incentive packages. These packages almost always have targets and schedules for job creation and many have financial clawbacks if those targets are not met. It’s possible they are using non Nevada workers during the factory construction phase, but eventually (obviously) the factory will be mostly staffed by Nevada residents, or relocated workers who settle in Nevada. It’s actually difficult for stated like New Mexico where I live to compete with states with larger incentive packages for these types of large projects.

134 Chris S March 1, 2016 at 9:36 am

I for one think this is an important right, that of the poor NV-ians against the carpet bagger AZs and NMs.

I am tired of driving around on my Michigan freeways and seeing all these Ohio license plates. Do you realize that they took Toledo from us, by force?? Okay, we got the Upper Peninsula from Wisconsin as part of the brokered deal, which kind-of makes my point.

Every fall we conduct a violent game of attrition against them. Lately they have been winning, but with the newly installed General Harbaugh we may again have a chance to smite them.

Did you know that people from Ohio now even dress like people from Michigan, watch the same TV shows and consume the same foods? All part of their plot to water down the unique culture of the Great Lake State (don’t even get me started on how bad they messed up Lake Erie! Look at our lakes Superior and Huron in particular, which we and Canada keep immaculate).

135 Brickbats and Adiabats March 1, 2016 at 10:23 am

Poetic justice, in my opinion. The state of Nevada gives a beggar-thy-neighbor subsidy to Tesla, and Tesla takes their money and does whatever they felt like in the first place. Sort of giving a middle finger to cronyism, like a prestigious college rejecting a rich scion but politely thanking the family for their million dollar donation.

136 collin March 1, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Yes, we can all roll our eyes at state borders but you’re post goes a long way in explaining (with reverse psychology) Trump success.

Nevada gives the farm away to a factory owner and in turn the factory owner does little for Nevada.

137 Chris March 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

This isn’t an open/closed border issue. This is typical union complaints about a company (Tesla) bringing in non-union workers (Brycon, the nonunion contractor). The union is just trying to dress this up as costing Nevadans jobs. The local union would prefer to have more local union members.

138 N. Joseph Potts March 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Shows the poor judgement in hiring unionized labor in the first place.

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