Frederick Douglass on Immigration

by on February 1, 2017 at 4:39 pm in Economics, History, Law | Permalink

Let’s recognize Frederick Douglass more and more for his terrific views on immigration:

I submit that this question of Chinese immigration should be settled upon higher principles than those of a cold and selfish expediency.

There are such things in the world as human rights. They rest upon no conventional foundation, but are external, universal, and indestructible. Among these, is the right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no particular race, but belongs alike to all and to all alike. It is the right you assert by staying here, and your fathers asserted by coming here. It is this great right that I assert for the Chinese and Japanese, and for all other varieties of men equally with yourselves, now and forever. I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity, and when there is a supposed conflict between human and national rights, it is safe to go to the side of humanity. I have great respect for the blue eyed and light haired races of America. They are a mighty people. In any struggle for the good things of this world they need have no fear. They have no need to doubt that they will get their full share.

But I reject the arrogant and scornful theory by which they would limit migratory rights, or any other essential human rights to themselves, and which would make them the owners of this great continent to the exclusion of all other races of men.

See also this earlier post by Ilya Somin.

1 Colin February 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

From my time in Rochester, I know it’s Douglass with two S’s. He definitely gets his recognition there.

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2 Colin February 1, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for changing it!

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3 Turkey Vulture February 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm

I hope you had some garbage plates. They are the best thing about the region aside from chicken finger/wing pizza, and chicken finger subs. And of course the latter two (I assume) trace to Buffalo. There’s also the Finger Lakes and all, but they don’t taste as good.

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4 bob February 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Chicken fingers are for children. Adults eat wings.

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5 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Chicken hearts are much more tasty. Both fried or boiled.

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6 Gian February 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

humm…coracaozinho

7 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Yep.

8 Ray Lopez February 1, 2017 at 11:33 pm

They have chicken hearts on a stick in the Philippines, BBQ. They also have chicken intestines if you want, and chicken blood coagulated and BBQ’d.

9 Turkey Vulture February 1, 2017 at 5:23 pm

(guy who has yet to eat a chicken finger sub)

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10 Art Deco February 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm

IIRC, the ‘garbage plate’ is a signature of Nick Tahou Hots. Never been there myself (and never heard of it during the years I actually lived there). Try Jine’s on the corner of Park and Berkeley.

The Chicken wings are commonly styled ‘Buffalo Chicken Wings’. The Rochester delicacy is ‘White Hots’, which you can hardly find anywhere else.

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11 Turkey Vulture February 1, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Yes, it is their signature, but I’ve seen it (often called different things like the “Demo Plate”) at a variety of little diners and bars. It managed to be good at every place I’ve had it (usually small towns south of Rochester). Not that I eat it all that often (or buffalo chicken pizza or subs), as I’d be dead by now. It was just the first “Rochester food” I was exposed to, so it retains prominence.

I’ve yet to get on the “white hots” train. We bought a couple big packs of Zweigle’s red and white hots for a few summer cookouts last year, and there were a lot of white hots remaining each time.

Never been to Jine’s, though it sounds familiar. I think a friend of mine mentioned it within the past few months as a place to check out. I really have amazingly little experience with different Rochester eateries given that I’ve spent the majority of my life in the area. Though I guess most of that was childhood.

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12 Colin February 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Definitely had some garbage plates, but not enough to kill the novelty or give me a heart attack.

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13 Turkey Vulture February 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

The upshot would seem to be absolutely no restrictions on any migration. It is certainly easier to make elevated statements about absolute positions which will never come to pass. The eloquence of the anarchist or the prophet.

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14 The Other Jim February 2, 2017 at 7:45 am

Close – the upshot is that unless you favor open borders, you are a racist, and the conversation is over.

Even Frederick Douglass said so! Whenever he and you disagree, Fred is obviously right.

Signal the right virtues, people.

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15 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 10:37 am

No. You are a racist if your argument against immigration is “We can’t let those Hispanic Catholics in because they are so different they will destroy American (by which we mean white) culture.”

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16 Aaron February 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

Straw man alert. TOJ just took the argument to it’s conclusion. You made one up.

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17 The Anti-Gnostic February 2, 2017 at 10:56 am

Change the people, change the country. When the Han atheists outnumber the Tibetan Buddhists, it’s “China” not “Tibet.” Same thing when the Jews migrate to “Palestine” and make it “Israel,.”

Hispanics skew Democrat by 60-70%. There is no good reason for conservatives or libertarians to let them in.

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18 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 11:22 am

If they skew Democrat it is probably because Republicans have spend the last 50 years arresting and deporting their friends and neighbors, and telling everyone they are useless welfare cases who can’t be allowed to steal jobs from white people.

You should consider than many Hispanics are socially conservative. They are often religiously devout, and tend to have intact two-parent families. They share traditional family values with conservatives, including opposition to gay marriage. But they aren’t out there making the women wear headscarves and doing genital mutilation. Hispanics are an opportunity to import socially conservative people that aren’t crazy Muslims.

19 James C February 2, 2017 at 1:56 pm

They skew Democrat because theyre emptyheaded socialists. Hispanics being socially conservative doesnt stop them from voting Democrat. So all in all, theyre not needed or wanted. Unless of course, one desires to import a permanent Democratic majority.

20 A Black Man February 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I’m the only one here who gets to decide who is and who is not a racist. You are a racist for trying to appropriate my special status.

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21 MMK February 1, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Anyone who extols open borders should wear a yarmulke and walk around in a Paris banlieue.

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22 Heorogar February 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Or, obtain an Israeli passport and try to travel to one of the 11 nations that ban Jewish Israelis.

Open Borders!

Refugees Welcome Here!

In 2016, Sweden took in 162,000 refugees, 494 are employed. Who pays?

Milton Friedman paraphrased: You can have open borders. You can have the welfare state. But not both.

No human has the human right to take another human’s money or property.

Nations have the right to secure borders. America not so much.

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23 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 5:50 pm

“Nations have the right to secure borders.”
Unless American soldiers want to cross those borders and kill civilians of course.

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24 msgkings February 1, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Shoulda fought harder in 1891 if you didn’t like Americans whipping Brazilian butt

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25 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm

There was not such a war in 1891. In 1891, Brazil crushed the Navy rebellion and repelled the British aggression. Brazil is invencible.

26 msgkings February 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Please stop lying, Thiago. Just because Trump is a big liar doesn’t give you permission to be one too.

27 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 6:56 pm

I am not lying, I have studied hard Brazil’s late Imperial history and early Republican history and I can say there was no such war. Books and books were written about the heroic resistence of the legalist Brazilian forces against the rebelled traitors who tried to overthrow our legitime leaders. Brazil prevailed then as will always prevail. As my home state anthem puts it, “we are the present’s phalanx marching towards a glorious future”.

28 Heorogar February 1, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Of course, American soldiers don’t want to kill civilians, and they only go where the civilian authority sends them. .

In the U.S. foreign wars (since 1917) America fought the only land they seized “for keeps” was the land needed to bury the dead.

Anyhow, President Trump (I love the sound!) could deploy a battalion of WAC’s to conquer Brazil. The WAC’s are needed because the men would be stopped at the beaches . . . by the topless sunbathers. Just kidding.

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29 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Brazil is the only nation in the world that never lost a war and never fought a war of aggression. Peacefully, Brazil earned a territory bigger than the Roman Empire at its height. He has favored our undertakings.

Who elects the “civilian authority” (well, except 1824, 1876, 2000 and 2016, and I forgetting any election?) if not “We, the People”? The American people is marching through the road of jingoism and obscurantism. The American regime has become the biggest threat to peace since the days of Hitler and Stalin.

30 Heorogar February 2, 2017 at 8:06 am

Thiago, I love you, man.

One point: Trump cannot be “Hitler”. Reagan and both Bushes already were “Hitler.”

And, he cannot cause a nuclear holocaust. Reagan already destroyed mankind by talking “mean” to the USSR. No, wait! “What is this USSR of which you speak?”

31 Thiago Ribeiro February 2, 2017 at 9:07 am

Really? I thought Saddam was Hitler and he was to invade Poland because not destroying Iraq was appeasement. But I may be wrong, I have also seen pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache. At least now, for a change, we are in 1933. Since 2001, we were told every yesr was 1939.

The important point is, Americans habve turned jingoist to desguise the failure of their system and want to enslave Mankind, but they will fail because Brazil is a bulwark of all free peoples and, as Prophet Bandarra predicted, Brazil will rise like a lion and crush the Serpent with its heel.

32 Josh February 1, 2017 at 6:56 pm

That the us government has been captured for a century by corrupt oligarchs with evil and destructive policies is the point, Thiago. It’s called invade the world; invite the world.

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33 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 7:03 pm

And I say Americans want it this way. Like the Soviets, they like the idea of having their own Empire even if it is unsustainable in the long run. Like Brezhenev was fascinated with the idea that people in the Central Americsn jungles were i terested in Lenin’s ideas (and asking for free weapons and development aid), Americans like to know they have satellites. Knowing no matter how many school girls American soldiers rape, the Japanese are too dependent on America’s military to ever ask the Americans out.

34 Thor February 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

As loveable as you are, Thiago, I am not certain which of the following is the greater untruth: that Brazil is invincible or that America is Stalinesque or Hitlerian.

35 Thiago Ribeiro February 2, 2017 at 3:45 am

Both are true. Brazil has never been defeated and, according to Prophet Bandarra, can’t be defeated. The United States have become a jingoist country, its refime intends to achieve world domination.

36 FG February 2, 2017 at 9:57 am

It’s almost beside the point, but – is there a reference for this 494/162000 figure somewhere? Googling it just takes me to Breitbart-level sites.

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37 The Anti-Gnostic February 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Abolish Title VII and related laws, and welfare transfer payments, neither of which were present in Frederick Douglass’s day, and I might consider it. Otherwise, immigration is the State importing its own constituency.

For a contrasting view, see Booker T. Washington, “Cast down your bucket where you are!”

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38 The Anti-Gnostic February 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Among these, is the right of locomotion; the right of migration

This is not really correct. All movement off your own property requires the permission of adjacent property owners.

Global libertarianism would look more like Labadie, Haiti, which does not have Open Borders. In fact, it doesn’t even have Open Markets.

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39 Jon Murphy February 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

All movement off your own property requires the permission of adjacent property owners.

That’s not really correct. Only crossing other private property requires permission. If the property isn’t owned or restricted, you don’t need permission.

Besides, the fact a right is restricted doesn’t mean it’s not a right. Rights are restricted all the time on the bounds that they restrict other’s lawful use of their rights. For example, I have the right to move my fist up until the point it reaches your nose. So, saying I cannot violate your property with my property doesn’t mean that the right to property ownership doesn’t exist (indeed, quite the opposite!).

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40 Jon Murphy February 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm

The two are really two separate issues, aren’t they? I mean, you’re confusing immigration with naturalization. If you want to limit “voting damages” (for lack of a better term) and welfare abuse (something which doesn’t seem to be much of an issue, given immigrants tend to use welfare at lower rates than domestics), then make the naturalization and welfare rules stronger. Immigrants, I hasten to remind you, can’t vote so denying someone entry and the ability to make themselves better off because of something they can’t do seems an especially weak argument for closed borders.

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41 Borjigid February 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm

+1

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42 Cliff February 1, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I know you’re being purposefully obtuse, but- birthright citizenship

I’m sure your next gambit will be “Just change the Constitution around completely to accommodate my crazy guest-worker scheme and it would work fine” Go home, you’re drunk

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43 Jon Murphy February 1, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Cliff-

You are aware immigrants do not qualify for birthright citizenship? You have to be born here for that. Their children qualify, but not the immigrants themselves. Which means that the case for immigration restrictions based on possible voting preferences is even weaker.

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44 James C February 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Immigrants naturalize after 5 years of residency. Then they vote just like natural born Americans. So youre argument is still invalid.

45 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 10:47 am

Immigrants cannot legally get welfare transfer payments. They may benefit indirectly from schools and roads but so do poor Americans who have children.

Also, how many Hispanic immigrants do you know. In my experience, they are some of the hardest working people I have ever met.
Last summer when my AC went out I had three Hispanic guys show up and work from 8AM to 11 PM at night installing a new unit in 100 degree heat. My Hispanic neighbor at one time used to get up at 2 AM to commute to whatever job he was working (apparently an early morning shift). These people bust their ass mowing lawns and cleaning rooms and end up having money to send back to families in Mexico. They are far more the embodiment of the American spirit of hard work and entrepreneurship and pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps than the white working class union douchebags who think the country is morally obligated to buy their products instead of the Chinese – the people who voted for Trump.

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46 Turkey Vulture February 2, 2017 at 11:19 am

You really hate white working class people.

You here argue for the superiority of one ethnic group over another, which I believe you have defined as racist at many points.

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47 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 11:27 am

Don’t be a moron. “white working class union douchbags” aren’t an ethnic group. They are a particular slice of one demographic. I’m not conflating ALL whites with the dipshits that represent Trump’s voting base. Obviously, hipsters in Portland don’t belong to the same demographic as a factory worker who lives in a trailer park in Michigan.

And if I’m pissed off at working class whites, it’s for fairly obvious reasons. They betrayed the values that America represents by voting for the orange-haired Caudillo now in office.

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48 Turkey Vulture February 2, 2017 at 11:50 am

Most of the people who are opposed to hispanic immigration that are posting here will tell you that they are only focused on a particular segment of that group. Namely, low-skill, poor hispanic immigrants. Yet you freely call them racists. Applying that standard to you, you are a terrible racist. The hate for that group just pours out of you at every opportunity.

You are pissed because your racist generalization of these people has betrayed an imagined ideal of American values which have absolutely never existed.

49 msgkings February 2, 2017 at 11:52 am

+1. Their stupidity justifies the elites’ disdain. This election proves it.

50 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Many of the people posting here who oppose Hispanic immigration argue that Hispanics are somehow congenitally destined to vote for authoritarian socialists. As if they are genetically incapable of absorbing American values with respect to free market capitalism. Despite the fact that it’s white working class guys who just voted for an authoritarian anti-free-trader. Despite the fact that Hispanics are more entrepreneurial than whites

http://www.renewoureconomy.org/research/better-business/
Hispanic immigrants now have higher entrepreneurship rates than the U.S. population overall. While 10.2 percent of the U.S. population was entrepreneurs in 2010, 11.0 percent of Hispanic immigrants were. By 2012, that gap had widened to 10.0 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.

When a bunch of people attribute behaviors to a demographic that are demonstrably false, I think it’s fair to say that racism plays a role in their false perceptions.

51 Turkey Vulture February 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm

“Many of the people posting here who oppose Hispanic immigration argue that Hispanics are somehow congenitally destined to vote for authoritarian socialists.”

I can’t recall many arguing that. Though it is a common trope on the left that they are congenitally destined to vote for Democrats – “Demographics is Destiny” and all that.

“As if they are genetically incapable of absorbing American values with respect to free market capitalism. Despite the fact that it’s white working class guys who just voted for an authoritarian anti-free-trader.”

You are mixing up a number of ideas in there. Free market capitalism does not need to be free trade, and it can exist within an authoritarian environment (though I also think the “Trump as Authoritarian” meme is retarded, but whatever). Most of the people who argue for limits on hispanic immigration, and particularly low-skilled hispanic immigration, do not advocate a completely free market or completely free trade. And the white working class hasn’t supported a completely free market or completely free trade – you even referred to them as “white working class union douchebags” so you are clearly aware that they believe in restraints on a completely free market.

“Their stupidity justifies the elites’ disdain. This election proves it.”

Nah. That’s stupid. It justifies the disdain the elites feel for you too.

52 msgkings February 2, 2017 at 12:29 pm

@TV: OK now I’m confused. I thought I was elite because I look down on deplorables. Am I deplorable instead? But I didn’t vote for Trump?

53 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Most of the people who argue for limits on hispanic immigration, and particularly low-skilled hispanic immigration, do not advocate a completely free market or completely free trade. And the white working class hasn’t supported a completely free market or completely free trade – you even referred to them as “white working class union douchebags” so you are clearly aware that they believe in restraints on a completely free market.

That is exactly my point!
The anti-immigrationists and the white working class types they are attempting to shield from competition are absolutely NOT representatives of America’s libertarian free-market capitalist traditions. And yet they have the gall to accuse Hispanics of being “socialists”. It’s the white working class douchebags who voted for Trump who are the socialists. If anything Hispanics are better Americans than Americans.

54 Turkey Vulture February 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm

“That is exactly my point! The anti-immigrationists and the white working class types they are attempting to shield from competition are absolutely NOT representatives of America’s libertarian free-market capitalist traditions. And yet they have the gall to accuse Hispanics of being “socialists””

You can be against free trade and against socialists. In fact, that has been a common theme through American history. We have been protectionist far longer than pro-free-trade, and have been (to varying degrees) fairly strongly anti-socialist, at least if “socialist” is defined as the direct redistribution of wealth after it has been created.

Similarly, a pro-labor group can take a view that favors redistribution of the economic pie after it has been created, or they can favor structuring the system in such a way as to give the working class a larger share of the economic pie to begin with (that is really the entirety of the labor movement in this country, in terms of supporting unions, labor laws, minimum-wage laws, etc.). A pro-labor group favoring the latter can reasonably dislike a pro-labor group favoring the former.

55 Turkey Vulture February 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm

msgkings,
I don’t think any of us are elite. We wouldn’t be arguing in a comments section otherwise. We would at least have our own popular blogs. What you’ve done (along with Hazel Meade) is constructed the apparatus of a narrative on a foundation of bullshit.

White college graduates voted for Trump too.

“Trump won whites with a college degree 49% to 45%. In 2012, Romney won college whites by a somewhat wider margin in 2012 (56%-42%). Trump’s advantage among this group is the same as John McCain’s margin in 2008 (51%-47%).”

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

56 peri February 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Absolutely agree.

But only as regards the first generation ….

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57 Chris February 1, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Frederick Douglass certainly believed that all immigrants should be treated with equal respect, but it would be unwise to include him as an apostle of unrestrained immigration. He was very aware that immigration was being used in order to exclude freedmen from being employed or at the least to reduce the wages of blacks. Here are some other quotes.

“The former slave owners of the South want cheap labor; they want it from Germany and from Ireland; they want it from China and Japan; they want it from anywhere in the world, but from Africa. They want to be independent of their former slaves, and bring their noses to the grindstone.”

“The old avocations, by which colored men obtained a livelihood, are rapidly, unceasingly and inevitably passing into other hands; every hour sees the black man elbowed out of employment by some newly arrived emigrant, whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place; and so we believe it will continue to be until the last prop is levelled beneath us . . . It is evident, painfully evident to every reflecting mind that the means of living, for colored men, are becoming more and more precarious and limited. Employments and callings, formerly monopolized by us, are so no longer.”

“Our people in the South have a monopoly of the labor market. They are the arm, the muscle and the hand, with the vantage ground of the constitution behind them, men sympathizing with them in every State, and the power to say, “Give us fair wages or your fields will go untilled.” In the North and West they will have no such advantage. They will be confronted by Irishmen, Germans, and Chinese, who can do all kinds of labor, even to handling the wood saw and the whitewash brush.”

“. . . These gentlemen have turned their attention to the Celestial Empire. They would rather have laborers who would work for nothing; but as they cannot get the negro on these terms, they want Chinamen, who, they hope, will work for next to nothing. Companies and associations may yet be formed to promote this Mongolian invasion. The loss of the negro is to gain them the Chinese, and if the thing works well, abolition, in their opinion, will have proved itself to be another blessing in disguise.”

“In the vigorous efforts now making to import Coolies from China — a kind of Asiatic slave-trade — with a view to supplant the black laborer in the South.”

All quotes from here: http://cis.org/articles/1996/paper10.html

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58 Brian Donohue February 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm

+1.

Historically, immigration was NOT a left/right issue. Those older than millennials recall how Labor was always anti-immigration while Capital was always pro-immigration.

Sometimes, the line runs through individuals even, like Frederick Douglass: half-Caplan/half-Trump. Half-visionary liberal/half-deplorable.

Immigration only appears left/right now because of the left abandoning labor (sorry, public sector unions don’t count) and the right’s growing suspicion of big business.

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59 Sieben February 1, 2017 at 6:02 pm

I’ve been having trouble lately even figuring out what distinguishes the left from the right. It’s not clear why the left can synthesize pro-Islam immigration with pro-LGBT messages. This was brought to light briefly during the Orlando shootings. A brief google shows that a slight majority of UK Muslims support banning homosexuality.

It’s not even clear why the Left is pro-choice. Bringing a child to term is analogous to wealth redistribution arguments. For the relatively small cost of getting pregnant (70 years). Conversely the Right ought to support family planning as a means to reduce single-parent households and help support traditional family structures.

There’s probably an endless list like this. But one other prominent “flip” I can think of is the racist origins of the minimum wage, which the Left has heavily supported for a while now. I kind of suspect that if we were to have another war, the Left would be the ones calling for humanitarian intervention and nation building whereas the Right would argue that we should turtle up and not play world-police.

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60 Thor February 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Isn’t that sorta kinda what happened with the neocons? Namely that a bunch of Trotskyites pushed for muscular Wilsonian foreign policy (humanitarian intervention and nation building)?

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61 FG February 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

You can be both pro-Islam immigration and pro-LGBT if you’re generally in favor of letting people do what they want provided that it doesn’t hurt other people. What gets murkier is that what “hurt other people” seems to divide left and right, e.g. pro-LGBT people would say transgender bathroom use and gay marriage hurts nobody, while the anti-LGBT crowd might claim moral offense; pro-choice people would say that a fetus isn’t yet a person to hurt, anti-choice people would not.

Add in to this an overarching faith in the seductive qualities of the progressive platform (if you immigrate here, at least your kids will probably grow up to be one of us) and it doesn’t seem so crazy.

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62 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 10:51 am

It’s not hard to synthesize considering that we don’t really get very much Muslim immigration.

Why is it that anti-immigrationists keep talking about Muslims when the vast, vast, majority of our immigrants are Spanish speaking Catholics?

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63 peri February 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Perhaps it might be useful at this juncture to remember that there are a couple senses of the term “Reconquista.”

64 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Also the Alamo Drafthouse secretly has a mosque in the basement.

65 Ricardo February 1, 2017 at 6:08 pm

“Labor was always anti-immigration”

There were exceptions, of course. I don’t think the IWW supported supported the 1920s immigration restrictions. One of the most vocal opponents of the 1924 Immigration Act was Emanuel Celler, a life-long Democrat, who would later criticize FDR for not accepting more Jewish refugees during WWII and later still supported the civil rights acts of the 1960s.

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66 Brian Donohue February 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Yes, to be sure, there were always “internationalist lefties” and “nativist righties” too, which is my point.

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67 Ben February 1, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Maybe that is the real split now — nativist vs internationalist.

68 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 10:58 am

That’s what everyone is saying. National socialists vs. international socialists.

69 msgkings February 2, 2017 at 11:53 am

@Ben: Not maybe, that’s the story, worldwide.

70 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

Those older than millennials recall how Labor was always anti-immigration while Capital was always pro-immigration.

It’s always been a contradiction, which is why immigration law is such a mess – Republicans had their nativists and Democrats had their labor unions – both opposing immigration. Trump managed to bring Labor and Nativists together in an anti-immigration alliance.

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71 Tarrou February 1, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Sure Alex. How about you accompany Tyler on his travels, but don’t take any documentation. Just turn up and demand your human rights to enter the country of your choice. Oh, make sure to video it. I want to watch.

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72 Decimal February 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

dumb

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73 Con February 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Frederick Douglass is underrated

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74 JC February 2, 2017 at 5:41 am

Indeed.

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75 Thiago Ribeiro February 1, 2017 at 5:48 pm

The American regime has become thuggery writ large.

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76 msgkings February 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm

The Brazilian state remains a clowny shithole.

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77 Thor February 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Carnivally is not spelled clowny. Apart from that, as you were.

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78 msgkings February 1, 2017 at 10:42 pm

LOL, touche

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79 Thiago Ribeiro February 2, 2017 at 3:46 am

No, it is not. Brazil has become the lighthouse of Mankind.

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80 msgkings February 2, 2017 at 11:56 am

Yes, it is. Brazil has always been the shithouse of Mankind.

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81 Ben February 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm

I love lofty and expansive views of human rights.

Especially when they coincide with plutocratic economic interests.

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82 Dave February 1, 2017 at 6:01 pm

This quote was from long before the welfare state, making it consistent with Friedman’s admonition that you can have open borders or a welfare state but you cannot have both. To the commenter who mentioned the Parisian suburbs, it is the same- except that the European regulatory state makes integration even harder than it would be otherwise (and as it is here in the US). So the welfare dependence is.combined with forced ghettoizariom due to labor restrictions (and all sorts of other cultural problems in France particularly).

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83 Jack February 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Stirring language but the language of rights is intellectually empty.

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84 dearieme February 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Quite so. “There are such things in the world as human rights” is simply false: rubbish left over from 18th century advertising campaigns.

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85 GoneWithTheWind February 1, 2017 at 6:38 pm

100 years ago one could argue that this nation needed immigrants. Today with over 330 million citizens we don’t “need” them. The immigration; legal, illegal and special visas, is something mandated and managed by the elite and intended to redistribute the wealth of the citizen middle class. It serves no national purpose other than to dilute the vote and reduce the power of the citizens. It should be ended. That is no immigration period and a vigorous effort to find and deport all non-citizens including green card holders and other categories of resident aliens. Entry into this country should require a tourist visa, limited to 90 days out of any consecutive 365 day period and a system should be implemented to assure all of them leave when their time is up. It should be a felony to be in the country illegally.

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86 Cliff February 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm

I say lure the brightest and most industrious from all over the world and make our nation stronger and more prosperous

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87 The Anti-Gnostic February 1, 2017 at 10:10 pm

They can stay put and make their own nations stronger and more prosperous.

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88 msgkings February 1, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Why do you hate America?

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89 The Anti-Gnostic February 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

How do you derive that? I can want a humbler Republic versus a stronger, wealthier Empire, unlike rapacious Han.

90 msgkings February 2, 2017 at 11:57 am

You literally just said you would prefer not to make this nation stronger and more prosperous. So you hate America.

91 James C February 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Rejecting the flooding of the US with foreigners=hating America. Only in clown world.

92 GoneWithTheWind February 1, 2017 at 11:04 pm

If our immigration system had been designed that way from the beginning I would agree. But we waste our own human resources and that isn’t right. We need to make those opportunities available to our own citizens. Fix our education system, improve job opportunities, remove some of the impediments to success. There is so much we could do to make things better for our won citizens.

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93 Cliff February 1, 2017 at 11:22 pm

And I think one of those things is to import innovators and job creators

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94 GoneWithTheWind February 2, 2017 at 10:35 am

And again I would say that makes sense except we already have 330 million people. Get rid of 90% of our bureaucracy and anti-business regulations and we don’t need immigrants. IMHO if someone from India or China is so capable that they are the worlds greatest innovators and job creators then they should stay in India or China and help them, they need it.

95 Alain February 2, 2017 at 1:20 am

No problem with that, it makes sense.

How does that intersect with refugees?

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96 GoneWithTheWind February 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

I would have no problem with a vigorous effort by our government to carve out safe areas in those countries where conditionss have created refugees. Additionally it would be a suitable solution to encourage other countries in the same neighborhood with similar cultures to absorb refugees. It makes zero sense to take 50,000 Africans or Syrians and plunk them down in the U.S. and not expect serious problems. Additionally because they are unable to assimilate we have to support them on welfare for generations. If you tried to create a worse system for all involved you could not.

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97 Ron February 2, 2017 at 10:08 am

Should the same notion be applied by other countries? There are hundreds of thousands of Americans living and working abroad who would become persona non grata. How would their exclusion help our security?

There are a huge number of non-citizens here creating a lot of wealth that benefits us all. Why would you deport them without knowing whether how they could be replaced?

I’m sure you can make up some emotional answer to my questions, but can you come up with one that stands up to reason?

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98 GoneWithTheWind February 2, 2017 at 10:43 am

What other countries choose to do is their business. That is exactly the point.

That huge number of no-citizens here are in every case displacing an American citizen. Do you honestly believe that our own citizens cannot create jobs and welath

The “reason” in all this is simple. There is no end to this problem. Every year it accelerates and more and more Americans are pushed out of the labor force out of greed by the employer. I don’t so much blame the employer I blame our government who have lost their understand of “their place” we hire and elect them to protect and benefit US not to benefit foreign companies or foreign workers.

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99 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

That huge number of no-citizens here are in every case displacing an American citizen.

Why is that? Don’t you think it strange that many employers seem to prefer to hire an illegal Hispanic worker over a US citizen? You realize thqat US citizens can break the law and work for below minimum wage too, right? Nothing is stopping US citizens from busting their ass mowing lawns and cleaning rooms for the same wages that Hispanics are willing to work for.

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100 James C February 2, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Those Americans expatriated and left our country. Theyre no longer our concern.

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101 Marcux February 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

“It should be a felony to be in the country illegally.”

So you take those people and… give them a criminal trial with a public defender and then lock them up for years at taxpayer expense, instead of letting them work or deporting them? Smart.

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102 GoneWithTheWind February 2, 2017 at 10:48 am

No. You take these people and offer them a simple choice. They can admit what they did, accept deportation and are then deported and flagged to never be allowed to re-enter the country. IF they choose a trial then you charge them with everything you have against them. Once convicted you opt for immediate deportation and they can never again legally enter the U.S.

Do not forget that all illegals are here at taxpayer expense In addition to killing citizens raping women, molesting children, selling drugs and breaking numerous other laws we support them and the total expense for illegal in the U.S. is approaching a trillion dollars a year.

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103 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 11:05 am

Yes, none of them actually do work that provides valuable services to US citizens. They are all 100%, to a man, raping women, molesting children, selling drugs, and living off welfare. All of them.

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104 Ricardo February 2, 2017 at 11:07 am

“the total expense for illegal in the U.S. is approaching a trillion dollars a year.”

That is not even remotely close to being correct.

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105 James C February 2, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Being an illegal in turn means they committed an assortment of crimes besides theyre illegal entry. Just charging them for stolen identities alone is enough to warrant a long prison stint.

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106 So Much For Subtlety February 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm

His views on immigration are not terrific. They are insane.

The world is full of people who hate you. They can’t do much about it because you are surrounded by Republican-voting men with guns who man the walls that protect everyone. Inviting them in next door is inviting them to kill you, eat your children and steal your home.

Ask the Moriori about the wisdom of unfettered immigration. Israel built a wall. Fewer children blown up in pizza parlors.

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107 Kris February 2, 2017 at 6:50 am

The world is full of people who hate you.

So irrational, this hatred! Occasionally, those Republican-voting men with guns have stepped outside the wall (well, enough steps to go halfway around the world) and smash countries to smithereens. But why would that bother anyone? So irrational….

eat your children

That’s a new one. I didn’t hear Trump promising to protect Americans against foreign cannibals, but at this stage I wouldn’t put it past him.

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108 Hazel Meade February 2, 2017 at 11:03 am

Because all those Spanish speaking Catholics want to kill us, eat our children, and steal our homes.
Do keep in mind where the overwhelming majority of our immigrants actually come from.

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109 lolz February 2, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Where do you get this garbage from? Were you not cuddled enough as a child?

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110 Josh February 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Douglass appeared to have viewed marriage vows as similarly immoral restrictions.

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111 Arun Ezhutachan February 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm

Douglass was just indulging in ‘cheap talk; But, when push came to shove, he was not so stupid as to clamour for letting my people- starving black people- in.
No very question his own maternal people had better physiques and IQs and ‘Deservedness” and so on but people like my ancestors could live a lot cheaper than his ilk. Moreover we brought horrible reactionary misogynistic norms with us which enabled us to do better, in the long run, than people who were twice our size and way more intelligent.
I said people ‘like’ my ancestors. I did not stipuulate to anything further.

What is the point being made here? That Douglass was a fool? That he wanted what happened in Trinidad to happen in Texas?

Is this blog on auto-pilot?

What is the point of this post? Seriously.

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112 Thor February 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Tyler is smart and knows full well that Douglass would be an unlikely convert to full on, open borders. He is almost certainly aware of the pertinent and quite excellent quotations posted by Chris above. He is either trolling us or engaged in low level Straussian thinking. Or both.

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113 Arun Ezhutachan February 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

We’re all smart. But also lazy. And Self Righteous. Hence preference falsification based availability cascades.
Heck, I still cringe to recall that my first journal article featured the oxymoron ‘Gandhian Economics’.
Brain farts happen to everybody. Why not be up front about this feature of our senescence?

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114 Abersouth February 2, 2017 at 5:44 am

Lol. This is an Alex post.

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115 Josh February 1, 2017 at 7:15 pm

Blacks and whites have yet to find a modus vivendi after 400 years, but you know what this country needs? Another intractable race problem, only this time let’s make sure the combatants have mutually incomparable totalitarian world views. Who could possibly be opposed to that? This is going to end really well.

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116 Dan W. February 1, 2017 at 7:46 pm

GMU denies enrollment to 20% of students who apply to attend the institution. Why not universal enrollment? Why do Alex and Tyler associate themselves with a school that discriminates?

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117 Ethan Bernard February 1, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Alex, what are your thoughts about Han Chinese immigration into Tibet, which has gone so far as to make ethnic Tibetans a minority there? No harm done? Are ethnic Tibetans bigoted for protesting this policy?

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118 Massimo Heitor February 1, 2017 at 8:43 pm

I doubt he will answer. I’m pretty sure that the answer from Alex, Bryan Caplan, and the Open Border crowd would be yes, that the ethnic Tibetans are bigoted and wrong for objecting.

They must submit to the morality that their ethnic identity has an economic value of zero or in other words, it is worthless and that any action to preserve it would be morally wrong. They wouldn’t use such direct language, which is controversial, but I’m pretty sure that is their ideology.

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119 No name February 1, 2017 at 9:37 pm

+1 to the sentiment, we almost certainly won’t see a response by Alex, however, it’s not true that Tibetans have been reduced to a minority. The natives of east turkestan to the north have been reduced to a minority by Han migration.

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120 Massimo Heitor February 1, 2017 at 10:03 pm

I assume you are right, but that’s irrelevant to the question: is it morally acceptable for ethnic Tibetan’s to take any effort or action or even want to preserve their ethnic group and identity and demographic majority. Whether they actually have been reduced to a minority is irrelevant to the concept of the question. I’m confident that Alex+Caplan and the rest of the open border group believe that no, it’s not moral to take any action whatsoever to preserve their ethnic group, ethnic identity, or demographic majority.

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121 Massimo Heitor February 1, 2017 at 8:38 pm

What is ironic is Chinese and Japanese have been more fiercely resistant to ethnic migration. Japan is generally wealthy, has low birth rates, but has adamantly chosen to remain a homogeneous single ethnic group nation state, and has more aggressively blocked immigration.

Tabarrok is just making easier points for his tribe and avoiding the strong points of the opposition.

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122 Ricardo February 2, 2017 at 6:43 am

Just recently, it was announced that Japan now has 1 million foreign workers in its country. One has to distinguish between openness to foreign workers and willingness to naturalize long-time residents. These two issues are routinely conflated in the U.S. but other countries seem to be able to distinguish them.

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123 James C February 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Japan is proudly xenophobic. And good for them. They built a beautifu country, and fully intend to keep it for themselves and their posterity. If only Europeans would take after their example.

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124 Ricardo February 2, 2017 at 3:37 pm

And yet there are one million foreign workers there, especially from China and Vietnam.

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125 V February 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm

The US is a country that is used to immigrants–sometimes not so voluntary… but we work through it (gets ugly sometimes, and it’s hard work that isn’t completed). We are not melting pot, more like chunky soup, but that chunky soup gives us awesome enclaves (like a gritty Epcot) and restaurants that produce tasty food because there is enough of those people to sustain the importing and growing of foods for that cuisine. China and Japan are not cultures used to immigration or different cultures. Japan isn’t doing so hot and collapsing under the weight of their old peeps. China had a civil war like 70 years ago, so they don’t have their ducks in a row yet either, time will tell if they got it more right than we did…

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126 Edgar February 1, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Alex has persuaded me that the US’s century long total ban on all immigration has been a mistake. Maybe we could start by letting in a nice Canadian or two. And while he is in India he should share his Douglass quotes with the folks quarreling in Kashmir. All will be solved and the sentiments much appreciated I am sure.

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127 Brian February 1, 2017 at 8:48 pm

but.. Alex Tabarrock isn’t Japanese and this isn’t Japan.

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128 Cliff February 1, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Ah yes, the human right of being able to enter sovereign countries of which you are not a citizen. Maybe someday someone will be able to articulate why this is different from the human right of being able to enter houses that you do not own without an invitation.

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129 Walt Guyll February 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

I think the issue is rather: should (or may) the state restrict a citizen’s right to rent or sell property to immigrants, or to restrict the private use resources to employ them.

Whether or not an immigrant may trespass on private property is an easier question.

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130 The Anti-Gnostic February 2, 2017 at 11:04 am

Yes. The correct libertarian position is not Open Borders but No Borders, so people get to draw their own.

But I don’t think you are getting rid of the State any time soon.

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131 lolz February 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Very simply because many people believe human rights take precedence over state rights, except where the humans have deigned to give the state rights.

This is certainly the intended basis for the existence of USA.

Douglass is simply parroting that: the human right to move about freely is more fundamental than the state itself. Not a difficult concept.

There is no human right to the property of others. Also not a difficult concept.

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132 foobarista February 1, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Strong principles are luxury goods.

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133 blah February 2, 2017 at 10:31 am

+100

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134 Adrian Gabriel February 1, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Surely any knowledgeable being is aware of the benefits of immigration, especially if they are ardent Capitalists. It was the religious Quakers from Pennsylvania, the colony Rothbard claimed to be the first anarchist state in the colonies, which advocated the freedom of all men. Hence, they were the first abolitionists.

It was William Penn that lived perhaps the most pious life and touted a society espousing God’s Love. Essentially, they were open to immigrants and embraced their arrival.

William Lloyd Garrison inspired Douglas, and Garrison was himself a contributor of writings to a Quaker newspaper. Garrison was inspired by a Presbyterian Reverand’s book, and one could essentially proclaim with certitude that Garrison himself was a religious man.

We should take this time to remind ourselves that God’s children are aware of truth which diffuses freedom and liberty.

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135 jorod February 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm

And I will flap my wings and fly away. So if that’s true why does everyone hate the United States of America?

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136 Ray Lopez February 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm

Douglass: “I have great respect for the blue eyed and light haired races of America” – but, anachronistically, there’s no such thing as a “blue eyed AND light haired race”, so this statement is either ignorant, Steve Sailor-like, or itself racist. There is a phenotype that fits the Nordic meme but it’s not a separate race, it’s more of a ethnicity (http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race). Arguably skin color is a race but nowadays that’s suspect too, less so in Douglass’ time.

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137 derek February 2, 2017 at 12:23 am

What Canada is missing is our nude beaches patrolled by people with submachine guns. We need more immigrants, obviously.

Open immigration leads to a police state.

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138 prior_test2 February 2, 2017 at 12:46 am

‘Open immigration leads to a police state.’

Well, the German example is that a police state builds a wall to stop open immigration – from itself.

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139 prior_test2 February 2, 2017 at 12:50 am

Not a single person seems to be aware that Prof. Tabarrok is an immigrant.

Who might not be fully assimilated, as he still does not seem to have adopted the typical real American attitude of ”I Got Mine, the Rest of You Are on Your Own.’

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140 Art Deco February 2, 2017 at 10:51 am

I’m aware of it. I’d be delighted if he went somewhere else. He could take Bryan Caplan with him.

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141 steveslr February 2, 2017 at 1:42 am
142 blah February 2, 2017 at 8:40 am

Isn’t this a sort of religious belief owing to the degree of normativity? Nothing wrong with religious beliefs, but aren’t they better stated as such rather than as absolute truths?

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143 shrikanthk February 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

Frederick Douglass’s views predate the Welfare state. They also predate the rise of modern insurgency movements, and terrorism. They predate socialism and Marxism as well, which were both fairly nascent ideologies in Douglass’s time.

So I don’t understand the relevance of these views for today.

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144 Abelard Lindsey February 2, 2017 at 11:58 am

Frederick Douglass is correct providing the following two caveats are met:

1) The recipient country has a free market economy generating lots and lots of economic opportunity and a limited government that does not much imped economic growth with regulation.

2) The immigrants themselves are people who are genuinely looking to create new lives for themselves as “pioneering types” in a new land of opportunity. This was certainly true for East Asian immigrants such as Japanese, Chinese, and the like and is probably true for Latin American immigrants. Is this true for the Muslim immigrants? Or are the Muslim immigrants looking to expand their religion into new lands?

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145 V February 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Most immigrants move to find opportunity–for themselves (a job they can’t get in their home country, to avoid conflict or other coercion, or to more easily exploit a support system), for their children (better schools, cheaper or better healthcare, better future employment), or their parents. They assimilate as much as they can to survive, not because they LOVE America and its values (good or bad). No matter the motivation and end result, it’s not trivial to up and move to another country that is not your native land, to leave family and friends, language and food, culture and traditions. If it were, you could and would move to Switzerland and start the citizenship process would you not? As a working woman, child of Chinese immigrants, I would up an go to wherever I can get paid maternity leave and a cushy retirement with access to good healthcare. BUT WE DON’T because that opportunity doesn’t override the costs to uprooting family and leaving behind what we cherish. You’re trying to say that Muslim immigrants came ALL THE WAY to the US to proselytize? The ones I work with just want to work and raise their kids here…sure they still don’t eat pork, make their daughters cover up and something-or-other that doesn’t sit well with “American culture”. Why are they more or less worthy of being allowed the opportunity to immigrate? I’m not arguing for totally open and free borders (we aren’t ready for that yet, although the Star Trek state of the world seems awesome), but targeted immigration restriction of that sort is morally indefensible. The goals should be to keep criminals, people intent on doing harm, and un-trainable/lazy/dumb people out. How to design such an immigration policy to filter out those people effectively is the true debate.

The first point is harder to address. It’s the “I got mine, now let me make sure you don’t get yours…especially if it might make me or my kids have to work harder…” Incentives wise, of course we need to keep immigration at reasonable levels and control things so that we don’t have resentment and unrest. But economics wise, them’s the breaks and we should always strive to only reward the best and brightest and most motivated at the cheapest cost. Of course that assumes we all have the same opportunities and the same barriers, level playing field, etc. which is why I think this is harder to think through today than it was during Douglass’ time.

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146 Tom February 3, 2017 at 12:15 am

I couldn’t disagree more with Frederic Douglass here.People have a right to build a country and defend it. I’m generally in favor of immigration – it’s a better problem to have then emigration – but you have a right to protect yourself. If a people follow a religion that teaches so antithetical to American values, we have a right to limit those immigrants. Unlike other cultures/religions that have come over in waves to the US, Islam does not believe in separation of church and state.Immigrants have always been expected to assimilate and many Muslims don’t want to, they just want our($$$$) standard of living.

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