Assorted links

1. More on rollout glitches for the insurers.

2. Rogoff responds again to Krugman.

3. On open borders, Nathan Smith responds, but I consider it a surrender.  What he calls “open borders” I call “not open borders.”  Price and quantity are dual.

4. Some further results on risk and uncertainty shocks (pdf).

5. The New York Post covers Average is Over.  And here is James Pethokoukis on the book.

Comments

3. Because voters are stupid and aren't paying attention we can't talk like adults? I say because voters are stupid and not paying attention we can discuss like adults.

3. Milton Friedman said, “You can have a welfare state or open borders, but not both.”

But can you have a welfare state, really? We have record debt and deficit levels and a government that is officially "shut down." I agree that the welfare state is unsustainable and foolhardy. There is no need to drag immigration into that debate.

Immigrants are more pro-welfare state then natives, so obviously its very related.

No one is more pro-welfare state than natives. Take a look around you.

Almost everyone everywhere in the world is more pro-welfare state than pre-1965 Americans. In Europe, you can see this in practice. In LatAm and Africa, you see it only in theory because they are too poor and dysfunctional to actually make it happen. When they come to America, they put that theory into practice (using your money).

All these ostensibly libertarian anti-immigration arguments boil down to "People are statist, therefore we should ban people."

If they were European statists I could deal with it. But statism goes a lot worse in Latin countries than it does in Europe. Do we really want to be a Latin American country?

What's the worst left-wing country in Latin America? What's the only country in Latin America that has virtually open borders with the US (i.e., the moment their feet touch US soil, they are entitled to legal residency)? Really, if Latin American migrants are such horrible statists, then Miami/Florida would be a socialist "paradise" right now.

(Yes, you can argue the Cubans are qualitatively different from other types of Latin American immigrants. But point me to a substantial Mexican-American political movement aiming to make the US welfare state more like Mexico's. Point me to any Venezuelan-Americans who want to make the US in Chavez's image.)

No one is more pro-welfare state than natives. Take a look around you.

Well, it's getting late, and we have a new, strong contender for "most ignorant comment of the year"

I guess it depends on the definition of "welfare state."

Methinks there are more than two meanings of
this term in comments and replies above.

Milton Friedman also favored greatly increased *illegal* immigration [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eyJIbSgdSE]. With illegal immigration, we get benefits of immigration without needing to provide welfare benefits to the immigrants. So, anyone that says that they like legal immigration but are opposed to illegal immigration has it backwards.

I am surprised that Republicans have not tried to link entitlement reform with immigration reform. That would be the ultimate Grand Bargain. Entitlement reform would certainly be a much bigger win than more border agents, e-Verify (aka requiring all Americans to get permission from the government to take a job), and other symbolic moves to "secure the border". A more clarifying name for "illegal immigrant" would be black-market worker. Given the potential economic gains from immigration --- doubling of global GDP comes to mind --- stopping the black market for labor would seem no easier than stopping the black markets for alcohol during Prohibition, gambling, prostitution, untaxed cash and barter exchanges between neighbors, etc. From a political perspective, if immigration reform in exchange for entitlement reform failed in part due to too much Democratic opposition, then at least Republicans would not be solely blamed for immigration reform's failure. So, succeed or fail, Republicans would be better off than the present strategy of trading immigration reform for "securing the border".

N. Smith seems to accept restrictions on the immigrants that no country except possibly Singapore could credibly impose. The U.S. doesn't even kick out many illegals who violate other laws while here. The idea that it could successfully tax all immigrants and prohibit all immigrants from receiving welfare and otherwise stop immigrants who don't abide by these rules seems naive, at best. And at worst, it seems like the usual shell game. Promise some kind of rules, but once in, allow politics to dilute everything so that we have totally unpriced free entry. This sounds like those libertarians who say that we should get rid of welfare for immigrants and allow open borders, never mind if welfare never goes away.

We are arguing about this because there are too many immigrants already here to do anything about anything. It might be easier to create a vesting program than keeping or kicking people out...as we have shown. And as I've said, make the border a revenue stream for the government and that sucking sound you hear will be the doors slamming shut.

It would not be that difficult to get all the illegals to leave, if the political class were willing to do it. The idea that it's "impossible" is a bogus piece of conventional wisdom propagated by said political class to squelch discussion of the issue.

Valid concerns, to be sure. In my book "Principles of a Free Society" (http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Free-Society-ebook/dp/B004J8HV0Q/), I try to make a principled case why no, governments don't have the right arbitrarily to exclude peaceful foreigners, but yes, governments can discriminate through the tax code, and no, they don't have an obligation to maintain a social safety net, among other things. If something like the political philosophy advocated in my book, which has its roots in the philosophy of John Locke, were widely believed, then a "Don't Restrict Immigration, Tax It" (http://openborders.info/driti/) policy would be politically sustainable.

"If something like the political philosophy advocated in my book, which has its roots in the philosophy of John Locke, were widely believed"

If only people were like the way I want them to be and agreed with me it would all work!!!!

Christ, that communist "New Man" stuff never dies.

Do you know who John Locke was?

re: "If only people were like the way I want them to be and agreed with me it would all work!!!!"

In fact, social norms have changed a lot over the years, and made new kinds of policies and polities possible. Democracy was once regarded as utopian, and in a sense, rightly so. There was a time when most people couldn't have imagined a world without slaves. There was a time when racism seemed to be an indelible part of human nature.

I think that if undocumented immigration really coalesced as a mass popular civil disobedience movement, with the firm backing of the Christian churches, it could get established as a quasi-constitutional principle that deportation is unacceptable. In the sense that anyone who suggested deporting an illegal immigrant would lose half their friends and jeopardize their career, like if you use the n-word or have a swastika bumper sticker on your car. Society's conscience could just stop condoning such a thing.

Abolishing deportation would be tantamount to recognize the right to migrate. Then people would be forced to think through the ramifications of that. Fundamentally, as vicious as the immigration bureaucracy is, it's not ruthlessly barbarian enough to make migration restrictions incentive-compatible. Our values don't allow that. So despite everything, it's still worthwhile for undocumented immigrants to come. If we want to restore real rule of law, some kind of open borders, such as DRITI, is the only option.

I agree it is possible that deportation could become anathema, the part that is super super unlikely is that any of the other, absolutely critical elements of your plan could be enacted.

I would be quite happy if we could abolish deportation as a punishment (I'd be willing to make an exception for heinous violations). I think that gets us a good deal of the way to open borders.

Yes, we're mostly there to deportation being unacceptable in large portions of society. We're also closer and closer towards “If something like the political philosophy advocated in my book, which has its roots in the philosophy of John Locke, were widely believed" becoming more completely irrelevant.

You're begging for disaster.

"governments don’t have the right arbitrarily to exclude peaceful foreigners, but yes, governments can discriminate through the tax code"

So basic property rights can be trampled but the power to tax is sacrosanct. Got it.

And if you say "well, we don't have those policies, so we can't open the borders," then we can get into a large discussion of transition issues. But at least we know where we should be trying to get to.

"What he calls “open borders” I call “not open borders.” Price and quantity are dual."

So you don't take issue with the arguments that open borders advocates are making. You just take issue with what they've chosen to call "open borders". Well what would you call it? Nathan says that open borders does not mean "open access to welfare" or "open access to citizenship". Are you saying that open borders must by definition mean "open welfare" and "open citizenship"? Because if so, then I think you are the one with the strange and unconventional definition of "borders".

To be charitable, I think he is channeling median voters who think like this:
Almost 15 years ago now (!) I told people at (basically) a JBS meeting we need to fix the welfare state and open the borders. They said they'd never heard a libertarian say it like that before and I thought "that can't possibly be possible...can it?" I am still fascinated by this phenomena. It's like when the politician told me he didn't like term limits because his party lost the committee chair. (I wanted to say) "Awwwww. Nooooooo. That's not... Really? You didn't really listen to us, sir, please don't think you did. You slapped a self-term limit in yourself to get elected when it was hot. You never really spent any brain calories on term limits."

Exactly what real world examples lead you to believe that immigrant rights as related to governance, welfare, etc can be permanently separated from native rights, and that such a separation doesn't have other third order effects? What counter examples against your point can you think of?

Real world examples? Try Saudi Arabia and the gulf states.

+1 to Therapsid. The trouble I have with economists is that they talk past each other, then try to say it's debate. I score this one for N. Smith over T. Cowen. You can indeed have voodoo practicing, cannibalistic forest tribes living next to you, if they obey all the laws and regulations of the USA, so long as they don't vote and get welfare (but they have to pay taxes, for stuff like national defense, roads, and other public goods). M. Friedman is right, N. Smith is right, Alex T is right, and Steve Sailor and T.C. are just reactionary dinosaurs, afraid of foreigners. Nuff said!

So I take it you are pro slavery.

"Exactly what real world examples lead you to believe that immigrant rights as related to governance, welfare, etc can be permanently separated from native rights, and that such a separation doesn’t have other third order effects?"

Last I checked, the US doesn't have any issues preventing green card holders from accessing most federal benefits/entitlements, or from voting. Nor do I see much reason to believe that green card holders (present or prospective) would be so terribly upset if you were to increase the bars/waiting periods here, to the point that they would riot. The welfare and voting rights story is pretty similar in other Anglosphere countries.

"What counter examples against your point can you think of?"

Well, many states and communities in the early US had no problem granting voting rights to non-citizen immigrants. Similarly, some countries in the EU today grant voting rights of some kind to non-citizens. Most countries today grant welfare access of some kind to immigrants, but most also impose restrictions of varying degrees. I don't know how these counterexamples help your claim that it's impossible to deny resident foreigners voting or welfare rights.

Plenty of illegals access public services. And we give them amnesty with regularity. If amnesty is a political outcome that happens with regularity it stands to reason that its the most likely political outcome to letting in more illegals. The idea that we could stop immigrants from being given amnesty has no track record in the US.

Every time there is an amnesty people say, "this is the last one." It never is. All of these people will eventually be made citizens. It has been and will be the case. You have no leg to stand on here.

In addition, birthright citizenship is in the constitution here and unlikely to change. So once these immigrants are here their kids will get full citizenship rights. Since the problem with immigrants is mainly genetic this is a problem.

"I don’t know how these counterexamples help your claim that it’s impossible to deny resident foreigners voting or welfare rights."

I don't have to prove its impossible (not political outcomes has a 0% chance) only that it is improbable. Nearly every instance of limited enfranchisement of immigrants or any other minority group has given way to the granting of full rights over time. So empirically its overwhelmingly likely that immigrants that are denied XYZ will eventually be given XYZ down the road.

"The problem with immigrants is mainly genetic."

Sooner or later it always comes down to this howler. What happens when the people decide they'd like to vote you out of the gene pool?

On the one hand, we're expected to believe that people are not fungible resources, so "plunking" a bunch of genetically inferior non-people onto the back of the goose that lays the golden egg will result in outcomes inferior to "plunking" a bunch of birthright citizens onto the same goose.

But then, on the other hand, we're expected to believe that people are at least fungible enough that all Mexicans (or whomever is the enemy-immigrant class du jour) possess the same set of negative traits while all Americans do not.

Well, which is it? Are people fungible or aren't they?

+1 to RPLong

You seem to be saying that intra-group fungibility is logically equivalent to inter-group fungibility. Unless you a priori rule out the possibility of average group differences, that argument is nuts.

"What happens when the people decide they’d like to vote you out of the gene pool?"

I imagine I get thrown off the cliff. However, the in-group I want to cast is pretty wide and includes myself. Because I'm not a sperg I have some understanding of why in-group/out-group distinctions get made sometimes and the sound reasons behind them.

Scrutineer comments below.

+2 to RPLong. "These people are stupid losers; worse, employers can't get enough of them!"

"Plenty of illegals access public services."

You're always going to have some leakage in any welfare system. (You mean to tell me all those citizens on Social Security for disability are actually incapable of holding down any kind of job?) Which is easier and cheaper to restrict -- taking welfare benefits, or physical crossing of a border? You tell me.

By the way, most illegal immigrants in the US only benefit from the welfare system at all because they live in the same household as citizens. You can tighten citizenship policy and/or welfare policy without tightening immigration policy.

"Nearly every instance of limited enfranchisement of immigrants or any other minority group has given way to the granting of full rights over time. So empirically its overwhelmingly likely that immigrants that are denied XYZ will eventually be given XYZ down the road."

There's nothing wrong with gradual enfranchisement as long as it is concurrent with assimilation. That is exactly what has happened with prior cohorts of immigrants in the US, and there is no reason (other than pure, 100% speculation) to expect it to be different going forward.

If your beef is "I don't want to give welfare to people with Hispanic genes" then you can just say it. We'll have to agree to disagree on that particular point.

To asdf - Do you think calling me a "sperg" buttresses your point, or detracts from it? Basically, anyone who wants in is genetically inferior, and anyone who wants to let them in has mental problems. Ultimately, your argument reduces to "everyone is stupid or crazy except me."

Color me unconvinced.

@johnleemk

Assimilation of Hispanics and assimilation of southern/central Europeans is fundamentally a different question because these two groups have very different genes and culture compared to the host society. The host society itself is also different form the one that assimilated those earlier groups, so there is no reason to believe it has the same ability to assimilate.

@RPLong

Sperg is a word to describe someone who lacks normal levels of intuitive understanding of people and social interaction. Such people often have no clue how actual human societies work and try to replace them with crude intellectualized models that are wildly inaccurate. In this case its really obvious to normal people what the problem with immigration is and why in-group/out-group distinctions are needed and when they are appropriate, but spergs literally can't see it. It's like a kind of blindness.

Well Australia and Canada (and others I am sure) have a points-based system that is race blind but instead focuses on productivity, etc., to ensure that person is adding to the welfare of the country when they immigrate. I think that would be quite adequate in eliminating the flow of unproductive people without being explicitly race biased. So in the end it doesn't really matter, right?

"Assimilation of Hispanics and assimilation of southern/central Europeans is fundamentally a different question because these two groups have very different genes and culture compared to the host society. The host society itself is also different form the one that assimilated those earlier groups, so there is no reason to believe it has the same ability to assimilate."

So your arguments are primarily predicated on speculation and conjecture about how genes affect cultural/sociological relationships, and lack empirical basis.

"Sperg is a word to describe someone who lacks normal levels of intuitive understanding of people and social interaction. Such people often have no clue how actual human societies work and try to replace them with crude intellectualized models that are wildly inaccurate. In this case its really obvious to normal people what the problem with immigration is and why in-group/out-group distinctions are needed and when they are appropriate, but spergs literally can’t see it. It’s like a kind of blindness."

Well, mainstream political views are pretty "spergy" nowadays, considering they have this "unintuitive" belief that all human beings should be treated more or less equal, regardless of race. Really, all your "spergy" arguments apply just as well, if not even more so, to applying domestically the exact same oppressive international borders regime. Whether it's by domestic states discriminating against citizens of other states (no more immigration to Chicago! Detroiters, stay home!) or domestic racial communities discriminating against other domestic racial communities (no blacks or Irish need apply), it's the same "natural in-/out-group" thing.

Cliff:

"Well Australia and Canada (and others I am sure) have a points-based system that is race blind but instead focuses on productivity, etc., to ensure that person is adding to the welfare of the country when they immigrate. I think that would be quite adequate in eliminating the flow of unproductive people without being explicitly race biased. So in the end it doesn’t really matter, right?"

Well they primarily accomplish this by defining most blue-collar workers as unproductive, which is patently untrue.

The theme I see generally is that most arguments for restrictive immigration regimes boil down to social engineering. This is pretty funny, since in general successful capitalist or libertarian societies have never been known for their social engineering, whilst their fascist and capitalist counterparts have never shied away from social engineering. Immigration restrictions as a matter of practical necessity for policy reasons (e.g., national defence -- you probably don't want open borders for AK-47 toting guerrillas) are one thing. Immigration restrictions because you want to engineer a particular cultural or genetic mix or "productivity" mix are something else altogether.

re: "Exactly what real world examples lead you to believe that immigrant rights as related to governance, welfare, etc can be permanently separated from native rights, and that such a separation doesn’t have other third order effects? What counter examples against your point can you think of?"

It's obvious that immigrant rights can be separated from native rights. The most basic understanding of public administration suffices. Have you ever been to the DMV and asked to show a passport? QED. Examples are hardly necessary, but Green Card holders don't get to vote, undocumented immigrants don't get Social Security benefits even when they paid, etc. So far, the burden of proof is too easy.

But "permanently?" That's not fair. Nothing is permanent.

As for "doesn't have other third order effects"-- well, presumably it would, since "other third order effects" is so vague that it could include anything. Are these effects important? Are they positive or negative? No discussion can take place until some clarity is given. But it's absurd to suggest that open borders advocates have to provide evidence that there would be no "other third order effects."

You can't transfer the burden of proof to us and ask for real world examples unless the grounds for your doubts have been much more clearly stated and supported. Still, it might be relevant to mention that ancient Rome gave out bread to populace of the capital, but only to the 130,000 or so official citizens, not to the larger number of non-citizen residents. Again, "metics" in ancient Athens, i.e., foreigners/immigrants and their descendants, continue for generations not to enjoy the rights of Athenian citizens. Are those the precedents you're looking for, or did you have something else in mind?

"That’s not fair. Nothing is permanent."

Why isn't it fair? I care about the kind of society I leave to future generations of my progeny. You can't help giving amnesty once a generation.

"You can’t transfer the burden of proof to us"

Of course I can. It's my country and your trying to destroy my way of life and that of my family. Mostly for selfish and evil reasons.

"the grounds for your doubts have been much more clearly stated and supported"

Out in the real world immigrants have been crushing wages and employment (despite cherry picked studies that end in 2000 and 2007 respectively and involve absurd models). Crime, drugs, social decay. It's obvious to anyone who isn't living in a Caplan Bubble (paid for by the plutocrats he hawks immigration for).

"Still, it might be relevant to mention that ancient Rome gave out bread to populace of the capital, but only to the 130,000 or so official citizens, not to the larger number of non-citizen residents"

You do know the third order effect of all those slaves and non-citizens had on the Roman Republic right? You do read history before giving really bad examples that counter your own case, right?

"You do know the third order effect of all those slaves and non-citizens had on the Roman Republic right? You do read history before giving really bad examples that counter your own case, right?"

Maybe you'd like to enlighten us as to why the relationship here is causal, instead of a spurious correlation. "They banned immigrants from accessing their welfare state, therefore they collapsed" is a pretty strong statement. As is "They let immigrants in, therefore they collapsed." Scaremongering isn't going to suffice to back these up.

Too many errors here to refute them all. I'll just give a couple of examples, and respond in a way that tries to display a more appropriate style of debate, which ASDF is hereby invited to emulate.

1. "Out in the real world immigrants have been crushing wages and employment"

Certainly not so for employment. Immigration was fairly high during the 1980s and 1990s, then slowed a bit in the last decade before a sharp drop in 2008. Employment was doing fine in the 1980s, and was extremely high during the 1990s, when unemployment fell below what economists had thought to be the NAIRU, and labor force participation rates were at historically elevated levels. In the period after 2008, when unemployment did rise sharply, this certainly had nothing to do with immigration, which had in fact slowed. It was due mainly to the financial crisis, and Casey Mulligan has argued somewhat persuasively that a lot of it had to do with a higher minimum wage and other redistributive policies.

As for wages, I think empirical researchers attribute little of the wage decline for unskilled workers to competition from immigrants; technology and automation are more important factors. Globalization and trade are sometimes blamed, too, and the decline of unions. Of course, under the DRITI policy that I advocate, I would expect to see quite a steep decline in wages for many native workers, which would be offset by transfers financed by migration taxes. In case anyone is tempted to call me clever for thinking of this idea, I have to disillusion you. This is just cross-applying the absolutely standard recommendation of international trade theory-- free trade, but tax the winners to compensate the losers-- to migration.

re: "You do know the third order effect of all those slaves and non-citizens had on the Roman Republic right?"

I know enough Roman history to know that there is no episode in Roman history about which this remark would be particularly accurate or astute. The collapse of the Roman Republic has to do with factional infighting and military insubordination, not immigration. Rome ruled over many non-citizens from a very early date, long before either the gradual collapse of the Roman Republic in the 1st century AD, or the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. The Romans also practiced slavery in the heyday of the Republic. It is utterly unhistoric to suggest that the incorporation of non-citizens under Roman rule, or the practice of slavery, distinguished the period of the Roman Republic's prosperity to the period of its turbulent disintegration.

Bread provided to the Roman people was mentioned, in order to show that separate welfare rights for citizens were maintained for centuries without being assimilated into mere rights for residents. Admittedly, some subtlety is needed to apply the example properly, but ASDF's original comment was not obviously polemical and caused me to misjudge the level of discussion. Perhaps this anecdote will be more suitable. At the time that Alaric and his Visigoths were starting to march on Rome, a general of Germanic origins named Stilicho led the Roman armies, and kept the Visigoths at bay for several years. Courtiers envious of Stlicho's glory persuaded the emperor to assassinate both him and the families of many of his German troops, opening the way for Alaric's sack of Rome in 410 AD. I believe it could be accurately said that Rome fell because a nativist conspiracy killed the talented immigrant general, and the brave immigrant troops, who were doing the jobs the Romans wouldn't do, namely, defend Rome.

Nathan,

Real income is down since the 70s for the median household. It's even worse below the median. Unemployment is up, labor force participation is down, and long term unemployment has reached a longer term high.

"this certainly had nothing to do with immigration"

Did all the immigrants that came here the past 30 years just go home? Or are they still around. Most of them are.

Measuring things where you cut out the recessions is cherry picking.

Real minimum wage is much lower then it was in the 70s, that isn't the problem.

"It is utterly unhistoric to suggest that the incorporation of non-citizens under Roman rule, or the practice of slavery, distinguished the period of the Roman Republic’s prosperity to the period of its turbulent disintegration."

When Rome was a Republic is had a citizen farmer who owned a small plot of land. After it conquered Carthage the slaves started to pour in. Wealthy people bought up their land while they were away fighting the wars, then when they returned they couldn't even get a job working the land because there were slaves for that. The influx of cheap labor to Rome destroyed the roman middle class which was the backbone of the Republic. The middle class, dispossessed of their land, could no longer qualify for military service. And so instead of being loyal to Rome because they had a stake in its defense they became loyal to commanders that said they would get them land through conquest.

This is of course what you are doing now, destroying the middle class by importuning slave laborers. The middle class is also losing its property and going into debt, thus losing its independence and stake in the system.

"who were doing the jobs the Romans wouldn’t do, namely, defend Rome."

The Germanic people brought into the legions and hired as mercenaries were disloyal. They were ok with using the empire but weren't primarily loyal to it. This is no surprise, people are loyal to their own blood first not ideals of nation states. The fall of Rome in the west is the story of the job of empire be outsourced to German peoples by treaty until there was no more empire.

If Rome wanted to defend itself Romans had to do so. You're correct that outsourcing your work to another is a poor policy that will lead to your downfall. The problem with the Roman's is instead of doing their own work they tried to let immigrants into to do it, then those immigrants turned on them. The moral of the story is not to let yourself get soft, do the hard work yourself, and don't let in immigrants as a way of taking the easy way out.

My guess is that Cowen thinks you can have open borders without "open access to citizenship" or "open access to welfare," but that when I advocate migration taxes I'm no longer advocating open borders. I don't think that's strange and unconventional.

Of course, I would draw the line in a different place. In terms of auctions, tariffs, and taxes (http://openborders.info/blog/auctions-tariffs-and-taxes/), I would say that if visas are auctioned, that's not open borders; if migrants have to pay an up-front tariff to get a visa, that's probably not open borders; but if migrants merely have to pay higher taxes than natives after they arrive, that's still open borders. People could still come, travel, study, and work.

Website functionality comment: Tyler and Alex, the links in this post and earlier ones today seem to be spawning a new tab rather than rendering the target page within the same browser window. Frankly, I've always appreciated that MR respected my own ability to navigate back from other sites when I wanted. Spawning a new tab makes me have to pay attention and spend time later cleaning up my tabs. You might want to track whether the average links clicked goes down now (I know that I hesitate to click at EconLog more than I do here). Or maybe it's a bug, and your team can just fix it :-)

Directly speaking about my country, I´m supporting the idea of open borders. It stems from my libertarian belief, which states that people are not illegal. They are constantly searching for new opportunities, and I don´t blame them for going to live to another country. Actually, I admire them, because it is so hard to imagine how it feels to leave everyone behind, while you work low wage jobs somewhere on the other side of the world. It is so sad that Canadian government is dealing with immigration by introducing quite harsh restrictive immigration laws. I hope that there will be someone smarter in the charge, who can see the advantages of letting people come and live in your country.

Sure, if all people were equal. Will you admire them when they vote in Chavez and he takes away all your rights?

Hmm, where have I heard that before..?

"
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
"

I guess you're right, nothing about migrating across national borders.

I hope you are not arguing that all people are literally created equal? Because that would be asinine. Nobody in the history of the world has ever believed that, including Jefferson. And you are quite right that the Declaration of Independence does not somehow mandate open borders.

1. The strategy is clear: use the gov't shutdown to obscure the Obamacare website failures to obscure the Obamacare policy failures (e.g. premiums going up, people losing insurance, $10K deductibles) to obscure the abuses by the IRS to obscure the abuses by the DOJ to obscure the abuses by ATF to obscure the Benghazi massacre coverup...

It's brilliant, really. Can't wait to see what's next!

That doesn't make any sense. The only way for POTUS and the Dems to avoid the shutdown would have been to agree to defund and/or delay Obamacare. How can they be using it to obscure the failure of the thing that wouldn't be rolling out if they agreed to the Republican's demands?

Make sense? Ha! I thank the genius of "fair and balanced" reporting. It is very difficult to ascertain the truth when everything must be fair and balanced. This has got to be politicians' dreams come true. I suspect third party and independent politicians are intentionally suppressed since the requirement to be "fair" to an alternative viewpoint would wreck the system. Are there really conservatives that were happy with Bush and liberals that are happy with Obama? Seems unlikely. Yet there are no alternatives...

Sorry, Nathan, your name is similar enough to mine that I can't permit you to keep using it. Please change your first name to something that begins with a letter other than "N". Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience.

LOL

Don't even try Adam. That's taken, too. Maybe Bubba wouldn't mind that you use "his".

Vladimir N., is that you? After all these years! What's it like on the other side?

"The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness....That this darkness is caused merely by the walls of time separating me and my bruised fists from the free world of timelessness is a belief I gladly share with the most gaudily painted savages".

Forget Vivian. That's *my* answer. And, were it not for the fact that I've slipped out of that prison, you would not have read that answer.

consider Psmith ("the p is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan").

My suggestion for the healthcare.gov "volume" problem. Take the visitor's IP address mod 5 and only admit visitors matching that weekday. Tell all the others which day to return. Keep the weekends open.

By the way, if I didn't have such a high opinion of Tyler Cowen, his comments "price and quality are dual" would have raised it. It's not a full answer, but to show he understood my argument thoroughly and deliver a cogent partial response to it IN ONLY FIVE WORDS is quite an impressive feat.

@#5: on freestyle chess (aka Centaur Chess) , where a human plays another human aided by chess software: the NY Times review took a page out of TC's book and states: "Consider the new trend of “freestyle chess.” Though a machine can beat the world’s best chess players, that same machine can be beaten by another computer that is aided by an expert player. Raw technological prowess, impressive as it is, can be made even better with the human factor — but only if that human exercises modesty. The computer is going to make the optimal move most of the time, and the more arrogant the player, the more likely he is to make the unwise decision to override its decisions."

This stylized fact makes TC's point that humans and machines will collaborate, and as such does its job, but is in fact wrong in general. I play chess above average, and take lessons from chess masters who use PCs, and I can assure you that if I, or a weaker player, play a master at freestyle, most of the time I will lose, even if I pick the "top move" suggested by the computer (chess software has a list of candidate moves with scores assigned to each move, and what I am saying is that a chess master can pick a second or third or fifth suggested best move and it will end up winning, whereas I can pick the first suggested best move and lose). This is because the master can see certain pawn formations will win in the endgame--or, for you that don't play chess, the master can "see further" with or without the machine than I can. When the master overrides the machine and picks a non-first best move, the master is right more often than me. Now it's true that if an arrogant master overrides the PC every time and consistently picks a decidedly weaker move, he will lose most of the time to me, but that's the exception that proves the rule it seems to me. Most of the time, machines will give the edge to people already good without the machines. Sports analogy: giving steroids to world class sprinter Usain Bolt will help him run faster than giving steroids to an average track star.

That whole article was drivel. I think the author is trying to impress a lady friend.

Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really useful
& it helped me out much. I am hoping to provide
something again and help others like you helped me.

Comments for this post are closed