Open Borders: The Graphic Novel

In April, when Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration was available for pre-order Tyler wrote:

[Open Borders] is a phenomenal achievement.  It is a landmark in economic education, how to present economic ideas, and the integration of economic analysis and graphic visuals. I picked it up not knowing what to expect, and was blown away by the execution.

I’ve just gotten my copy hot off the press and Tyler is correct. I too was blown away. I expected the ideas to be good. What I didn’t expect was how well the graphic-novel format works to convey those ideas. It’s a joy to read. Bryan’s personality–friendly, welcoming, honest but also analytic, numerate and morally and factually serious–comes through on every page. Every page also contains something interesting. The interplay of graphics and words shows two craftsmen at the top of their game–the pictures offer wry commentary, cameos, and emphases and bear careful viewing. What’s phenomenal is that in addition to being fun to read this is also the most serious book on freedom of movement that has ever been written. Caplan and Weindersmith do not shy away from discussing all the major critiques–crime, politics, culture, IQ, deep roots and more. Anyone interested in freedom of movement, pro and con, should read this book.

Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration is a leading contender for an Eisner award.


Excellent Alex! This is one policy I think any true free-marketer and believer in American capitalism can get behind!!!

Even more excellent it's characterized as a graphic novel, i.e., fiction like most everything lese academics throw around.

After reading that, the must-read is the "Walking Dead" graphic novel series.

Milton Friedman, "You can have your welfare state. You can have your open borders. But, you can't have both."

It’s time that we as a society start picking up those proverbial trillion dollar bills.

"Mythical" trillion-dollar bills; you mean "mythical."

The notion that moving people across borders to increase the population will grow your economy is pure fantasy. If all it took were having a billion people then the Hindu wouldn't bother emigrating; they'd just stay there to lap up the riches in their billion-person Utopia.

There is some welfare improvement. George Borjas offered an estimate some years back that it amounted to 0.1% of gdp. He's had exchanges with Caplan about the fallacies incorporated the Trillion-Dollar-Bill contention.

It's the Toilet Paper argument. A million immigrants a year consumes a lot of toilet paper; 10 million a year would consume even more. And if only we could get an extra billion people in the US (two billion! three billion!) then we would be selling so much toilet paper that we'd all just retire on the proceeds of selling toilet paper to each other.

Again, if that's how it worked, high population-dense countries wouldn't have net emigration; they'd have net migration as all the academic economists and their friends clamored to get in and lap up this cornucopia.

No, that's not the argument.

What could possibly go wrong with millions of future welfare recipients being allowed to invade our country>

Also, according to the cover, it is of course SCIENCE. As is always claimed for every wildly-destructive idea pushed incessantly by lefties.

At least there's no denying it now... both clowns running this blog are on record as being completely thrilled by the idea of open borders. Phenomenal! And like all science, it's welcoming and friendly with great illustrations!

Doesn't seem to make sense to me to so easily dismiss the analysis of three, extremely smart and sharp economists so easily.

Just as Marx claimed to be writing the science of history.

But we can have much more open borders than we do and a more generous welfare state than we have. :)


They already ran out of other people's money at the national, state, county and municipality levels.

It's all good assuming they go to (already bankrupt) CA, IL, NY, MA, etc.

Ivory tower eggheads can propose any whacky idea whatsoever, including totally open borders. Tribalism, good or bad, is deeply rooted in the human brain. Even the people who imagine themselves to be the most welcoming of immigrants treat the other, the deplorables, with utter contempt, even hatred. They don't want them to be their friends or their neighbors and are willing to punish and exclude them. They have their own tribe and the deplorables are not in it.

No, it will never work. If you think we have divided politics now, you ain't seen nuthin yet.

You're assuming that a brilliant economist like Bryan Caplan hasn't thought long and hard about this.

No. I am sure he has, but like every human being he has his biases.

What do you think?

Seriously, do you think it would work?

I live in Southeast Asia. For many decades men just like Tyler, idealistic, brilliant....and heavy set and dorky...came here were flattered no end, even to the point they actually believed this globalization BS. Come to VN/Cambo/Thailand and there are almost no Western entrepreneurs. We are all employees. THEY don't believe in 'open borders' and think we are weak fools. Tyler has spent too much tim shoving bun cha in his mouth while a pretty girl pretends to like him. Hilarious

He's a rank-and-file economist who managed to land a position at a research institution.

There should be a small “science” experiment first, say open enrollments at the Top 10 colleges and go from there.

Open your own doors/homes first, professional and private.

Pierce your own bubble first, Bryan.

'how well the graphic-novel format works to convey those ideas'

Always enjoy seeing a term previously exclusively used for fiction now being claimed by people who don't care whether something is fiction.

Open borders will be the death of America.

I will "read" the book, becuase Bryan usually has interesting things to say, but there is little doubt in my mind that letting in too many unskilled POC will corrude the social foundations of america.

Trump has good instincts on this, but the problem I have with him (and the previous Republican president) is there is almost no conversation about federalism and delegating authority to the local level. The conversation is only about how to exercise power over others. You can't have this be the national ideology and also have a mixed society.

You can find social gatherings of skilled labor that is highly mixed (I was just at a BBQ where a white host invited Chinese, Indian, and Hispanic immigrants. But they were all engineers and spoke fluent English.

When is the last time you saw a bunch of white janitors handout wiht hispanic janitors? lol!

It has nothing to do with federalism. The President is a federal official and he address national issues, including immigration.

Almost everyone agrees that "too much" of anything is bad. It is frustrating that we can't have a discussion about how much immigration of immigrants of different skill sets IS too much. MY suspicion -- but because there has not been enough discussions along these lines is that the flow of low skill immigrants is about right and that the flow of high skilled immigrates is way too low,.

"MY suspicion -- but because there has not been enough discussions along these lines is that the flow of low skill immigrants is about right "

Low skilled wages have been stagnant for decades. Granted, their facing pressure from automation, global trade and immigration. However it's hard to logically make the case for it being about "right". Is too much when we get mass riots?

This is sort of what I mean by needing more discussion. MY possibly insufficiently informed view is that the present flow of low-skilled immigrants have a negative net impact mainly on incomes of recent immigrants for whom they are very close substitutes, not the wages of high-school-only workers that the data you refer to.

I've seen papers that tried to make that point, but what's the logical gap between the two sources of labor. Can a low skilled immigrant can do construction, landscaping, house cleaning, low end factory work, etc? Yes, obviously, because millions are. The numbers are too large not to effect the available job pool.

And indeed, the long term statistics, clearly show that exactly the effect you would expect. Over the last 40 years low skilled wages for men have declined about 10%.

Furthermore, the common refrain is that automation and trade are responsible for some of the stagnation. But lets look at the particulars. Construction, landscaping and house cleaning for example aren't subject to nearly the kind of trade and automation wage pressure as manufacturing. And yet they show no wage growth. Indeed, construction wages are down after adjusting for inflation.

"American construction workers make 5$/hour less than they did in the early ‘70s. The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank found that construction wages have risen from around $4.54 in January of 1970 to $26.33 as of January 2017. After adjusting for inflation, this works out to a drop of about $0.43 over the almost 50 year period."

Does the book really lead to the conclusion of open borders or of more open borders?

It's by Bryan Caplan, one of the few people who is quite literally for open borders. 100% completely open. You might think I'm exaggerating bc the idea is so absurd, but in the case of Caplan it's true.

I read this on 'immigrants' by Caplan. The epic cluelessness of his 'take' on Spain is something I've shared with Spanish friends, who howl. He reminds me of Friedman and his 'taxi drivers.' Of course middle aged academics looking for increased status like globalization! It's a strategy not an analysis.

Can you get me an autographed copy signed by Laura Ingraham?

Will this title be on Tucker Carlson's Graphic Novel of the Month Club list?

Treating a serious subject as a graphic novel may address one small audience, but it may inflame without creating any understanding in another, unless you believe that audience has a reading impairment. Which it might.

Will Bryan's Graphic Novel

Soon be made into a

You-Tube video?

With two 'reviews' by faculty colleagues this novel must be phenomenal. I'm glad that it will be short listed for the top comic book award in America and the Pulitzer Prize is surely forthcoming as well. This will undoubtedly lead to a whole new approach to economics writing. Forget the multi-$100 textbooks, let's rewrite everything as graphic novels. They are much easier for our video-game addled students to understand.

"Forget the multi-$100 textbooks, let's rewrite everything as graphic novels. They are much easier for our video-game addled students to understand."

Well, I hope they are cheaper. And I will pretend Friedman's Free to Choose: A Personal Statement were not both a book and a TV series.

I was a regular SMBC reader before Weinersmith started using it to pimp this book; if there's one place I want to get policy ideas from, it's webcomics about sex and poop*.

* (not generally at the same time, if you have not read it)

Is there any reason to assume that policy ideas are coming from Zach Weinersmith, as opposed to him being a hired illustrator for Caplan's book?

Well, he refers to himself as a "co-author", so unless he is stealing Caplan's thunder I think it's safe to assume they are.

According to Wikipedia, even if Zach was given a complete script and wrote zero words of it himself he would still be able to call himself a "graphic novel author" as an accurate representation of the work he put in setting up the panel layouts on each page (and other purely visual-arts stuff).

I'll admit I don't have any particular insight into their process, but it seems to me like this would be the most likely way for them to collaborate given their comparative strengths and weaknesses.

Freedom of movement is a great thing, but never forget is a 2 way street.

It should be easy to let people in, and also easy to kick people out. Until you have figured out how to take decisions on who stays and how to kick people out efficiently, keep the door closed =)

An insightful comment -- very rare for MR. Good for you.

Suppose such a mechanism exists and the state decides someone must leave? Where do they go? What if no nation will take them? What if they feel stuck and trampled upon at the bottom of the social hierarchy in the nation of their birth? Where do they go? How would they feel? What would they do? What about the mental health consequences? Would there be more isolation, depression, substance abuse, and suicide? Would there be violence? Terrorism?

The UN has worked a lot on that. If no nation will take an individual, the citizenship cannot be taken away.

So, there's a lot of margin to make things work. For example, let immigrants have keep their original citizenship when taking US citizenship (dual citizenship). The laws for dual citizenship are there, but dual nationality is neither common nor encouraged.

"What if they feel stuck and trampled upon at the bottom of the social hierarchy in the nation of their birth?" We're totally comfortable with India's caste system. Indeed, Tyler raised this question before and enjoy the comments

My proposal is to take some of these shithole countries we keep liberating for oil and setting up various colonies as a testbed for various ideas generated by the likes of Tabarrok, Cowen, and Caplan. So let's say you are a huge proponent of open borders, you get shipped off to the open borders colony. Same for Medicare for all, socialism, etc. Since they're such good ideas that should be unquestionably adopted by us uneducated yokels it should not be difficult to set up a utopia rather quickly given a free hand to implement your ideas.

The two way street ought to be Americans can also immigrate to any country whose citizens can freely move to ours. That would be revolutionary.


It is unlikely to happen.

What's the trade-off here? America is supposed to accept the huddled masses from any third-world country without regard to their suitability for our society, and in return we're free to move to a third-world country if we want?

You can live like a king there on six figures, as long as you're willing to give up indoor plumbing, potable water, 21st century medicine, and a few other luxuries.

I suppose if enough first-world citizens moved there they would be able to set up a functional infrastructure and instill a culture that maintains that. (Otherwise known as colonialism...)

Of course after they pulled that country into the first world presumably all the immigrants who left would want to come back.

I suppose that's our future under open borders, a small group of civilized nomads scraping together functional societies around the world while being chased by immigrants.

That place is called Baja by US people, or Baja California by Mexicans.

Hold on there, bigot. Are you suggesting that people make countries?

Absolutely not, fully-developed countries simply appear out of the ether. They just happen to all be in the West because of racism.

...look at these two lovebirds! (Probably the same guy though)

Seems like a bit of projection, does it not?

Sorry you were triggered.

Sonja gets it right. The two way street is each country being open to flows. You cannot kick people off of land you do not personally own, and citizens do not "own" the country. It is not a house, or a firm, or whatever other ill-conceived metaphor you think of, and attempts to think of it as such are idiotic and should cease at once and forever.

There it is folks, we've hit peak globalism. No more countries, just arbitrary economic zones you can enter and leave at any time.

citizens do not "own" the country.

Who does?

A country is an arbitrary grouping of people. It has uses, but will eventually not mean much. It's the human race. Eventually, we will evolve away major differences and hopefully start expanding to other worlds.

Countries used to be smaller entities, city-states, villages, before that tribes. The arrow always points towards larger polities over the long run.

It's going to be hard to become a multi-planet species with a bunch of 100-IQ diversitans who are spending all their money on universal benefits.

...” but will eventually not mean much.”

I love it when people visit from the distant (and hard-to-predict) future!

I won't be staying long.

The problem I have with that view is that the "No One Owns It" approach tends not to work very well in other contexts for tragedy of the commons reasons. Example: nobody owns the oceans, and the result is they get treated as an international garbage dump by second world nations all over the world, not to mention they get overfished to hell and back. That being the case, I'm not sure why anyone would want to possibly extend even a hint of that concept to places people actually live, unless your goal was simply to drive down property values in first world countries. The fact of the matter is that a peaceful, well-governed polity is a tremendously valuable asset, and only damned moron would want it its ownership to be treated communally.

Also, I'd point out that the arrow of history might point toward larger polities, but that doesn't imply anything about who owns them. Economically speaking, production keeps scaling up, too, from solo artisans and sole proprietors prior to the industrial revolution to partnerships to joint stock companies to the multinational corporations we all know and love, today. But who controls those entities, and who gets to enjoy the profits hasn't changed, and no serious person would argue that, say, Microsoft ought to belong to everyone. In fact, I think one could make a stronger case than the one you made that the arrow of history is just as much away from communal ownership and towards private ownership than anything else. E.G., nobody privately owns much of anything in a hunter/gatherer tribe; it's all shared communally. Nowadays, of course, in a developed nation, you can register ownership of an idea you had in the shower, via the patent system. This is progress. Idiotic "this land is your land" sentimentalizing by washed up hippies and too-clever-by-half GMU economists is not.

What if your goal was to dupe your constituencies into replacing themselves with a collection of migrants with lower intelligence, a higher tolerance for government corruption, and greater affinity for barely-disguised bribery via nanny state programs, all because it made it easier for you to make money from your position as a government official?

Well, I suppose in that case, I might be making a slightly different argument.

Historically different groups have coordinated in various ways to deal with the 'tragedy of the commons' problem. Nothing is perfect, but humans cooperate. Like I said, in the far future, countries will be less and less important.

Having multiple countries provides diversity in a useful way, same as multiple states in the US. Freedom to go elsewhere is good but there needs to be somewhere else.

"Countries used to be smaller entities, city-states, villages, before that tribes. The arrow always points towards larger polities over the long run."

I used to believe stuff like this when I was twelve. How old are you?

Should anybody care about the welfare of the left half of the bell curve? It's hard to see how they will benefit from flat labor supply curves.

I got whiplash from the shift from the quote to your last bit. Non sequitur much?

I'm only 7 years old but I'm very precocious. I'm even smart enough to open a history book and see that the arrow always points towards larger polities over the long run.

Also I'm an illegal Mexican immigrant and when I grow up I want to take your job.

Apparently, not smart enough to understand the problem of induction or why historicism is wrong or why your thesis as a whole is not correct for all arbitrarily defined historical periods.

This is an issue that I could never be a libertarian on. It seems the loudest yelps for open borders comes from those residing in gated communities.

Funny. It is the same kind of people who cheerleads for lower taxes for the rich and dismantling public services. I wonder...

At least that is internally consistent with Friedman's quote.

Sure, but I would rather have things rhe other way round. No immigration and treating Americans better.

A point system which prioritized high skilled immigration would almost certainly be a net positive.

Not for Americans displaced by invaders. Not for the national security that suffers from having people of dubious loyalty in key places in our edonomy and academy. Not for the social fabric subject to stress by the interlopers.

Does the book address the Friedman problem of the welfare magnet?

I have not gotten my copy yet, but I would guess their answer is simply not to give welfare to non citizens.

This is how the bulk of illegal immigration has operated in this country for decades.

Yeah you could just do roughly status quo on everything except stop deporting people and allow folks to work legally.

America, the land of the two classes! The richer natives and the poorer coolies working without any benefits.

What could possibly go wrong?

Why would that be particularly problematic? They're immigrating voluntarily, right? You don't like the deal on offer, don't come...

+5 internet points to Brian, eccdogg, and Bernard.

"Why would that be particularly problematic? ...You don't like the deal on offer, don't come..."

Come on think about this for a moment. Currently the deal is get in line and apply for legal immigrant status. If you don't like the deal on offer, don't come. How is that working out on the Southern border?

And of course try explaining Unionization in that context?

"They're working voluntarily , right? You don't like the deal on offer, don't come..."

How did that work out for GM last month?

There's zero chance a, "Work Here but go Home afterwards" policy would actually be sustainable. Such a condition would be untenable from the start and it would quickly change.

You're mistaking an ideal world for the real world.

Another point is that those guest workers would have children while they were here. All those children are automatically natives.

Maybe you should fix that.

Yes, it does.

Caplan’s children famously do not attend public school. This tells you everything that you need to know about his solution to the welfare magnet problem. If open borders are so fabulous, why don’t we start by testing them on public school attendance zones?

I always wonder about the term "morality" when it's used in contexts like this. Why is the "moral" thing always equated with putting the interests of the "other guy" first? Why does it always seem to involve self-abnegation? What good is morality if no one is left after your sacrifice to sing your praises?

I love this guy! Suck on that, Christians.

It wouldn't happened to be filled with an autistic understanding of people would it?

Tyler, how does Caplan address the continuing decline in low skilled wages for men. They are going up slowly for women, so combined they have been stagnant. This is over the last 40 years.

It's logical that immigration of low skilled workers depresses wages. Yes, the market grows, but the actual data clearly indicates that market growth alone can't compensate. Sure, automation and increased trade are factors also. However the numbers I've seen indicate both trade and automation have greater benefits and fewer drawbacks.

I'm open to reason, but a lot of the pro-immigration crowd tend to hand wave aside the data that doesn't support their point of view.

But why should successful people who want access to the skills and talents of increased immigration have to pay the price for the low wage worker’s failure to acquire proper credentials and skills?

Immigration actually retards innovation, which is why we're still hiring helots to put asphalt on roofs and spend hours bent over in a field picking berries.

When you say "immigration" to people in the GMU economists' demographic, they think about their intellectual cohort from China or India. The Aztecs doing hard labor who will be incapable of remunerative work by age 50 if not 40 are invisible to them.

In a previous world the successful people would want to help the low-wage workers because all parties shared a common bloodline, ideology, and culture.

But we don't live in a previous world anymore, we live in Open Borders Economic Orgy!™ Presented By Pepsi.

"But why should successful people .."

Well the reality is that you will pay for them. Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Chip, welfare, Employers Comp, Unemployment Insurance, etc are already there. Low wages for low skilled workers means less FICA contributions and more withdrawals for all those programs. That translates to higher taxes to fund everything.

Of course, if your question was philosophical....

These are points more relevant to the design of how welfare benefits are designed than about how to attract the optimal number and kinds of immigrants. [I do presume that "optimal" does not mean whatever number and kind show up under truly open borders.]

Low skilled labor is fungible.

Low skilled immigrants are in the same labor pool as low skilled natives. When the wages fall because of increased wage pressure, the natives get more benefits and pay less taxes.

Granted, if the low skilled immigrants never had any children it would probably still be a net gain. However, they do and all of those children are poor natives and require a lot of welfare costs.

I'd like our borders just open enough to load various Mercatus figures into a trebuchet and hurl them over the border with Mexico. (Where an enterprising Mexican will look at them and say "ver si tienen dinero en efectivo en sus bolsillos").

I believe this comment constitutes a violent threat. In our current political climate would advise the moderators take such comments seriously.

I see Mercatus isn't the only place which doesn't limit it's hiring to the neurotypical.

Some of Caplan's arguments are serious and have absolutely convinced me, but much of this is very deliberately manipulative. Even this coverage of the article reads like propaganda. I ordered the book and will read it with an open mind, but I'm definitely turned off by some of this.

The very phrase "Freedom of Movement" is certainly meant to be emotionally manipulative but instead reeks of academic contrivance -- much like "food insecurity," "white privilege" or "the right to choose."

When I was a kid I needed to travel through an Indian Reservation to get to school (in North Vancouver). At the time it was a rural slum surrounded by suburban prosperity. I was of two minds about this. On one hand I felt sorry for the Indians and the poverty they had to live in. On the other was the (very non-PC) thought that "whatever happened to them, it is vitally important that it not happen to me". Open borders was great for the economy of Canada, but a disaster for the Indians.

If we open our borders and the resulting immigrants come to join and support the community and economy to which I belong then I'm all for it. But if they come and displace me (even unintentionally) then no, I can't support it.

People are opposed to open borders because they are afraid. They are afraid of being displaced. They are afraid their communities and culture will be destroyed. They are afraid that even if the economy around them is booming, that they themselves will be alienated and shut out from that prosperity.

If we are going to open borders, or even increase immigration, then those fears need to be addressed. In detail. Arguing that world gdp will go up simply doesn't cut it. I will read Bryan Caplan's book with interest. Does he address the concerns that people have? Or does he scare people who are already scared?

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

Open Borders: The Graphic Novel.

Reading level: seventh-grade? sixth-grade?

Vocabulary: eighth-grade? sixth-grade?

Length: 24-pages? 48-pages? 72-pages? 144-pages?

Perhaps the bigger trouble with the cover than I noticed back in April: the discrepant depiction of everyone in America SMILING: Americans no longer smile, we sneer at everything . . . INCLUDING deserving comic books written by post-secondary academics.

Sadly you're right about smiling. How sad.

The art does not look good- looks like a sixth grade social studies study guide.

Here's a head-scratcher: White evangelical Protestants (WEPs) are the most likely group to say that immigrants are invading America and changing its culture; more than 90 percent of WEPs favor more restrictive immigration policies; and WEPs support the policy of family separation at the border more strongly than other religious groups and more strongly than Americans as a whole. Here's another head-scratcher: According to Ross Douthat, the crisis facing Christian institutions today is more of a Catholic crisis than a Protestant one.

This is where rayward openly shows his bigotry and makes up stats to support his intolerance.

My source? Conservative evangelical Protestant Michael Gerson, graduate of Wheaton College, once considered one of the most influential evangelical Christian Protestants in America, but since becoming a Never Trumper, persona non grata among WEPs. Gerson: Douthat:

+1, Ok, fair point. You have stats to support your statements. I stand corrected.

It shouldn't be surprising that the demographic group closest to that who founded America has the most trepidation about immigration policies designed to fundamentally transform America.

While, on the other hand, Wienersmith's grandfather came here in 1925. It would be interesting to learn Caplan's genealogy.

Trump and Fox News have adopted a new approach to the impeachment inquiry: attacking the witnesses as unpatriotic. Last night and this morning Trump and Fox have attacked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, questioning his loyalty to America based on his genealogy. Shark, following his leader, questions Caplan's scholarship based on Caplan's genealogy. At some point, someone must ask Trump and Fox and their followers this: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Your conception of decency is meaningless to me. The gloves came off when our elites decided we needed to be replaced.

It would be interesting to learn Caplan's genealogy.

His father is Dr. Lawrence Clark Caplan (usually styled 'Larry Caplan'), b. 7 June 1938 in Los Angeles. Dr. Caplan is apparently an engineer or perhaps a physicist. Has patents under his name, published in Review of Scientific Instruments

His grandparents (paternal side) were Ben S. Caplan (a pharmacist, b in Ohio, 1908; graduated from USC, 1929, d. 1991) and Sarah Caplan (nee Wasserman, b. in Illinois, 1910 d. 1942, a schoolteacher). Three paternal side great-grandparents born in the Pale of Settlement, the fourth in Germany.

Mother apparently Ann M Caplan (nee McCarthy, b. Boston, 13 Sept. 1933, decamped to Sacramento by 1961, m. L Caplan in April, 1964)

grandparents (maternal side) apparently Jeremiah McCarthy (b. Boston, 1888, d. 1951) and Francis McCarthy (nee Duncan, b. Boston, 1895 d. 1964). Two maternal-side great grandparents born in Ireland, two in the States.

A *phenomenal* achievement ... I might be more receptive to the idea if I weren't currently reading the book companion to Kenneth Clark's "Civilization."

The Statue of Liberty reminds me of Ted from Sally Forth.

There was a New Yorker cartoon - sorry! - around the time of that movie "Brokeback Mountain" that showed a couple of old codgers sitting in their rocking chairs on the porch of a cabin against a mountain backdrop, smoking their pipes. Caption: "Were we gay?'

Were we dumb?

But I admit it has a visceral pull in equal measure. It makes you feel like you're in third grade again. On one of those magic days when they handed out to everybody one of those crudely illustrated PSA comics. It didn't matter if it was Timmy Tooth reminding you of good brushing habits, or Buddy Fireplug urging you to stop, drop, and roll - you were just so grateful they'd given you something that was four-color printed, with kind of a story, instead of just the usual purplish mimeographed worksheets. You'd read it over and over the rest of the day.

Bill Keane of Family Circus, or perhaps the guy who does Garfield, would have provided more credibility

When I picked my daughter at school yesterday, she told me, "Dad, my teacher said
Representative Gabbard is too unexperienced to be an effective leader for America and the Free World. Is she?"

I told her, "Mrs. [Redacted] is woefully wrong and misinformed. Representative Gabbard is a war veteran who served two turns of duty in the Middle East, a region of the globe, you may be aware, America has many interests in. She has more military experience than any American commander-in-chief since 1977 with one exception. She was elected to the Hawaii State House of Representatives when she was 21. She was a legislative aide to Senator Danny Akaka. As a Representative, she has served on both the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee, helping to craft America's foreign and military policies. She is one of the most experienced, tenacious and qualified candidates ever to run for president of the United States.

Gabbard: Aloha in America

Thiago's current character is more amusing than usual. I wish I could figure out the logic....Brazil is great! Asians are terrible! Tulsi Gabbard is the messiah! It's so random.

I really don't know what you mean. I am Mr. Fulton from Provo, Utah. My point is, Representative Gabbard is, by far, the most qualified candidate for 2020.

The "science" of immigration! LOL, that's hilarious. Nothing could better epitomize the last-gaspiness of our current representatives of the Enlightenment.

The Risibility Quotient for "the science AND ethics of immigration" is higher still.

Neither overwrought academic economists nor lazy, beleaguered journalists tell us much about the "ethics" derived from or in concert with "science": the only categorical imperative known to Holy Science is "Can".

Is the last chapter about how the Chamber of Commerce and upper-middle class licensing cartels (e.g. lawyers, doctors, tenured professors, residents of highly-zoned communities) get the last laugh by rigging the rules to keep competition out while watching everyone else drown in the shock of massive and sudden migration?

Yes. That's right before the appendix that shows how increasing the labor pool of hotel maids will increase the wages of hotel maids.

As if what gives a country its character isn't the people in it and changing the people changes the country and the US isn't already far below where it could have been if we had controlled immigration better.

What a crock of nativist bullshit

Now do Tibet.

If it's pro-ZOG, you can count on Tabarrok to support it

I don't think my country should have open borders in the short term. But I do think opener borders are likely to be beneficial on average for humanity. (Of course, I may be overestimating how awesome we are.) I do think open borders are a goal to work towards. The first step would be to raise living standards in the world's poorest countries including, of course, the elimination of (easily) preventable disease. We just sort of kind of promised the Unites States a big chunk of foreign aid (Christ you guys are shameless.) I think we should unpromise that and spend it on something more useful, such as eliminating malaria or doing something else that is cost effective at improving lives .

James Burnham, writing in 1967:

"In real life, men are joined on a much less than universal scale into a variety of groupings — family, community, church, business, club, party, etc. — which on the political scale reach the maximum significant limit in the nation. Since there is at present time no Humanity or Mankind (socially and historically speaking), there cannot be a World Government - though conceivably there could be a world empire."

I can see humanity becoming a thing if aliens were to invade. Until then, it's a con or, rather, a political formula in the Mosca tradition which legitimizes a set of interests on the part of an elite.

There is a lot to be said about helping people, but the people who said that it is good if an American falls out of the middle class if 2-3 Chinese or Indians enter it are the ones who created the current political spasms, with populism and a tightening vice on the part of governments. And I do not know who were the more reprehensible ones: the WASPs saying it or the people who were referring to the economic advancement of their own ethnic, racial or religious groups as the winner. I think the former is more reprehensible. We have responsibilities that grow weaker the further out we go from te concentric circles of family, community, region, nation etc.

I've worked overseas. There were paperwork hurdles to overcome, but because of agreements between the two countries it wasn't too difficult. I think letting people share that type of advantage I had would be a good thing.

I paid the same taxes as workers in that country but I wasn't about to consume their old age pensions, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, child care subsidies and so on. If you okay with some moderate abuse of definitions, you could say the motility of labor is already Tobin taxed.

Much to my surprise I received a "gift" copy from Amazon. They don't say who sent it. It's very well done, persuaded me on multiple points.

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