Posts Tagged ‘liberal’

Open borders, no excuses.

July 23, 2010 7 comments

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The first major lesson taught to a child in any American history class is the timeless story of the explorers, craftsmen, and pilgrims who left the European mainland to settle the New World centuries ago. Their motivations are known universally: They sought freedom from persecution, a new environment and culture to call their home, and, of course, an opportunity for very large profit. We remember their story as one of great heroism and moral triumph. Even though some chose the path of violence when interacting with the natives, still, overall, they worked hard, planned wisely, and eventually rose to achieve a higher standard of living and a more beautiful society through the productive actions of individuals. It is their struggle that formed the basis for the concept now known as the American Dream – the idea that America is a place where any motivated, industrious individual who will stay focused on his own life can ultimately fulfill his highest ambitions. Through the successes of the first immigrants, America became the land where nobody says, “That’s enough success.”

In modern America, though, this hallowed ideal has been flipped straight upon its head by many members of an intellectually lazy society and the careful obfuscaters of moral truth who guide them. Indeed, it shows great cunning and foresight on the part of the useless, parasitic busy-bodies who run the upper machinations of America’s legal system that they managed to turn the largest association of proud Americans and government skeptics – the religious right – against itself with regard to immigrants in the modern age. The Christian conservatives, who value a lifestyle of independence from government operatives and generally don’t feel that they need the government’s so-called “services”, cling to the border patrol and any macho-man politician who will break with politically-correct tradition by insulting Mexican immigrants as if their very lives depended on it. In some cases, they may even literally believe that this is the case. The problem with this perspective is quite simple to identify: There is simply and unequivocally no reason whatsoever that the government should control immigration in any way.

Every argument – or, “argument” – that has ever been raised in favor of immigration control is easily identifiable as deeply fallacious. At the outset, government action, which occurs by definition through the initiation of force against individuals, is unjustifiable when used preventatively against crimes that are imagined to occur. For the exact same reason that the government has no authority to confiscate a portion of every working man’s paycheck in the name of “social security”, so also border controls are just as evil. Immigration law is not law used to block, punish, or deter actual criminal activity, where there exists an assailant and a victim. It is an arbitrary prohibition, the punishment of a victimless crime. It is as unsubstantiated and subjective as asserting that a man has a right to drink alcohol in the privacy of his own home, but cannot also smoke marijuana, because that would be too dangerous.

After all, if walking across an imaginary line in the ground is something that requires the government’s permission, the government may just as well not allow any of it. Legal immigration could be capped at a quota of half a million people per year, or even zero people per year. Either way would be equally appropriate and morally valid, if the government had the authority to prohibit people from relocating. One cannot avoid the conclusion that the underlying assumption behind immigration law – the idea that borders represent a moral imperative in their own right, independent of any other justification – is deeply flawed and can straightaway be reduced to total absurdity.

With that assumption summarily destroyed, what remains in the void is a burning question: “Under what circumstances can there be a legitimate reason to enforce border control?” Indeed, a closer look reveals that there are no such circumstances. There is no violence, no infringement upon the rights of individuals, inherent in the action of traveling across a border. No assault is conducted; no person or property is harmed. Nor is immigration regulation necessary for the implementation of the more defensive functions of government. The FairTax and other taxes on final consumption do not require a list of citizens and permanent residents. The police are already available to protect everyone when necessary. The American courts can and should have a precedent of hearing any cases directly related to an action that transpired within the country. So the only government institutions left unaccounted for are, of course, the obviously illegitimate ones. An enumeration of the citizenry is reserved for functions such as welfare, income tax, espionage, and other corrupt and inexcusable violations of liberty. Lists of legal citizens and documentation of residences serve only to allow the imposition of property taxes, give the IRS too much authority to audit, and tempt demagogues to create terrorist lists in the name of national security. The government would have a much harder time invading the privacy of civilians if a certificate was not legally required for the simple fact of existing. If, for example, allowing uncontrolled immigration made enforcing the income tax so cumbersome and flawed that it had to be abandoned, that would truly be a wonderful day in American history.

Even with the victimless nature of the “crime” of illegal immigration identified, though, some authors and citizens continue to rebel against the obvious logical conclusion that the borders must be opened. This is where the brilliance and power of the social architects who oppose freedom and prosperity really shines. They argue distractions and obfuscations long after the core principles are elucidated. For example, one oft-repeated mantra is that opening the borders would violate the Rule of Law and thus expose society to any number of horrific effects. Amnesty for illegal immigrants is predicated on motives which could just as easily be used to justify amnesty for murderers, it is said. Columnists emphasize that illegal immigration is wrong because it is illegal, and therefore must be stopped. This argument, though, is self-defeating and evil. One cannot overstate the destructive capacity of deriving morality from legality. If breaking the law is morally wrong simply because it is breaking the law, then no form of dissent can ever be justified. If the government imposes a 99% income tax, or outlaws the possession of all weapons down to thumbtacks, surely the citizenry must obey, for that is the law. Clearly, laws which violently punish innocent individuals must be disregarded. In fact, the Rule of Law is a doctrine originally conceived for limiting governments, not civilians.

The aggravators frequently distract from the principles at stake by accusing illegal immigrants of harming the economy. Surely the enormous welfare benefits which are paid to illegals, in spite of the liberals’ frantic cries that this does not occur, must represent a significant portion of the national debt. Add to this the fact that it is all too easy for an undocumented immigrant to avoid the income tax while simultaneously outcompeting unskilled American citizens for the precious few remaining jobs in this depressed economy, and the sum of it all is one heck of a powerful argument … against government interventionism. This is the ultimate crux of the distractors’ and racketeers’ fallacious logic. They are unwilling to acknowledge that, in the most literal sense, all of the problems they attribute to illegal immigrants are actually caused by the government itself. The massive national debt occurs, not because illegal immigrants happen to be receiving welfare payouts, but because the government is willing and quite eager to tax and spend money from the working class in the first place. The unenforceability of the income tax is not a consequence of the population of undocumented immigrants, but rather of the illegitimate and frankly quite ridiculous nature of the tax itself. Finally, the jobs argument really attacks the government-imposed price floor on labor, which all economists agree will create shortages and reduce economic productivity. The logical position for any freedom-lover to take is that of opposition to the government interference that has rendered immigrants a resented class. The immigrants themselves are at worst guilty of being caught in the crossfire between middle class and bureaucracy.

Immigrants do not and cannot cause the federal debt to rise. Only government controls government spending. Uncovering this self-evident truth gives great insight into why illegal immigration is such a hot-button issue among the news media and liberal and conservative politicians alike. Establishment officials naturally fear authors and philosophers from the right wing, because the right’s opposition to government spending and waste puts the various government-corporate complexes and bureaucracies at risk. If the conservatives got their way, politicians and lawyers might have to find useful jobs instead of pushing papers at other people’s expense. Similarly, the establishment fears the left’s thinkers, as well. If any of a number of different liberal activists achieved real political pull, the government would not be able to arbitrarily outlaw simple personal behaviors. People could not be arrested and fined for harmless decisions. This, too, threatens to leave bullies of law enforcement out on the streets looking for work.

A simple solution to the government’s major problem is for the law enforcement and the bureaucracies to adopt a mutually beneficial stance of misdirection. Allegedly conservative officials dodge anger over government from real conservative voters by decrying those awful illegal immigrants for making the debt so high. Then, of course, it is not the fault of the Republican Congressmen that the debt keeps rising all the time. It must be blamed on the crazy liberals with their destructive love of illegals that somehow magically makes it impossible for Republicans in Congress to just vote “No” on spending bills. The liberals join in lock-step, demonizing the conservatives for ostracizing illegals, but not actually promoting a message even remotely related to true freedom. The two parties ultimately work together to increase border patrols, shoot innocent people, and not actually put any significant dent in the flow of illegal immigrants. A naive observer might wonder why so much effort is spent stopping illegal immigration when so little results are achieved. A libertarian observer, however, would note that the effort and expense was the goal all along. The government is simply generating more government activity. Stopping illegal immigration is one of hundreds of imagined causes the bureaucrats from the right and the left created to rationalize that. A few thousand people die, a few hundred thousand have their lives uprooted, but millions still make it through, because succeeding was never the object. Conservatives are mad at illegals instead of at the government that is wasting money, liberals have jobs and a way to buy votes by pretending to sympathize with illegals yet not taking any real action to open the borders, and the cycle continues.

If it should now be supposed that advocating for amnesty is the correct path toward freedom, let that idea be put to rest immediately. To use the word “amnesty” would imply that traversing an unseen line in the desert was ever a real crime at all. What would be appropriate at present is for lawmakers to agree that preemptive regulation against victimless crimes has not ever been a morally legitimate or practically feasible government scheme, that all who have been imprisoned by border patrol were thus mistreated, and, most astonishingly of all, that projects, codes, fences, arms, and soldiers dedicated to controlling the natural migration of human populations are and always have been a big-government racketeering project, that they are a waste of money designed to create work for talentless bureaucrats who otherwise would be incapable of competing in the job market, and that every working American would enjoy a much better quality of life without them.

The economic damage caused by the desire to prosecute against the victimless crime of traversing borders is difficult to estimate. Right off, it can be guaranteed that the entire cost of all border patrol officials as well as all the bureaucrats that handle paperwork for legal immigrants is entirely wasted money. Furthermore, had those workers not been employed in a destructive task, they could have sought jobs elsewhere, so their entire productive capacity over the span of their careers is potential profit and innovation which has not been brought to fruition. Finally, the tangible expenses of border patrol includes all the armaments and buildings used in the racketeering project. These expenses in total number in the trillions when considered over the past few decades. Then there are intangible and almost inestimable costs such as the productive power of more and cheaper labor as well as the interest accumulated on all the past expenses. Immigration control has been a continuous and severe blight on the United States economy for as long as anyone can remember. The accumulated cost with interest now exceeds that of the war in Iraq, the TARP bailouts, and the amount of money necessary to feed the entire continent of Africa for several years.

The unavoidable conclusion finally surfaces. Immigration laws are a racket and an excuse. They provide liberals with a moral crusade and demonizing talking points to draw attention away from confronting the economic sensibilities of the conservatives. Conservatives use them as a cover-up to hide their own unwillingness to actually cut government spending and repeal unnecessary laws. Ultimately, the dichotomy reveals itself to be just like all others – not one of left versus right, but of ordinary, freedom-loving individuals versus busy-bodies, elitists, and bigots. To employ a phrase that has recently become very popular in Washington, we need real solutions. Those real solutions are straightforward and obvious. The government can solve spending problems by just not spending. The abundance and frequency of illegal immigration can be solved by not outlawing non-violent behavior. As for what will be done with the new-found problem of massive unemployment among legislative paper-shufflers, department big-wigs, and bullying border gun-toters with badges, true American patriots neither know nor care.

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A Beginner’s How-To on Taking Over the World, Chapter 1

January 17, 2010 2 comments

Welcome philosophers, bloggers, and casual observers of politics. Welcome industrialists, entrepreneurs, artists, and thespians. I write to you today with an offer to give up your useful, productive lifestyle of such uninteresting things as building tools, growing crops, and designing software, in favor of more honorable occupations in the fields of leeching, deceiving, corrupting, and generally advancing interests contrary to those of humanity. Your reward shall be dominion over others, the ability to squander what honest men have created at will, and an interview on CNN. Sound like a dream come true? It can all be yours with this Beginner’s How-To on Taking Over the World.

Chapter One: Playing Both Ends Against the Middle

The most essential component of any strategy of world domination is the misdirection of concerned citizens with regard to critical issues. Nobody wants to hear that the man to whom they are submitting is going to destroy civilization and make everyone miserable. Yet they know, in fact, that this is exactly what is happening. Would-be dictators must use this to their advantage! Take the somewhat politically educated, the moderately concerned, and split them in half. Draw a false dichotomy between two equally reprehensible ideas and convince each side that the other’s plan is the reason the world is going to hell. While they argue Left vs. Right, take them towards Totalitarian. Use their desire to avoid corrupt politicians and bad laws to increase your own power at their expense.

This principle is golden, and very widely implemented! Oil companies have refined it to a science. They have worked with Congress to orchestrate a brilliant and hostile takeover of the world economy. To start, they sold high-quality products at competitive prices, causing them to accumulate substantial wealth quickly. Then, they changed tactics radically. They hopped on board a public outcry about the environmental damage done by drilling for oil, and so managed to negotiate highly agreeable legislation which made it completely impossible for start-up companies to obtain the paperwork to drill. Congress looked good for saving the whales. With potential competition eliminated, the oil companies began to raise their prices, decrease the quality of their service, and make extraordinary profits. As these prices really hurt consumers, it was no surprise what the next step would be: Congress would have to step in to give the oil companies a good thrashing. Nobody is quite sure exactly what they did or how it was supposed to help, but the result ultimately was that we have even fewer oil companies now than before and gas prices are still high. The CEOs are laughing their way to the bank, Congressmen keep getting re-elected for passing stupid laws, and no ordinary person is actually better off for it – but rest assured we all have our opinions about whether the oil companies or the regulations are at fault.

Union leaders are also experts at playing both ends against the middle. On the heels of the Industrial Revolution, Americans experienced prosperity and wealth like the world had never known. There was an explosion of job opportunities and a dramatic increase in the real value of wages. However, the rapid growth outpaced information transfer, and that left many people uninformed and unable to get the most for their labor. To ensure that every worker was well-educated on what sort of working conditions he could expect and how well he ought to be paid for his time, workers unionized, meaning that they chose to pay dues to an organization which represented them in employer-employee negotiations to argue on their behalf. Because this all makes perfect sense, cue Congress – to come in and decide things are going too damn well. Nobody needed coercion and legal battles to make the world a happier place, which conflicted with their desire to rule the world. Their response was to declare that unions and companies were incapable of negotiating fairly to agreeable conclusion, and that the only way to satisfactorily end disputes was through government intervention. Thus they created anti-trust laws while simultaneously using police forces to break up strikes, and, in doing so, they made it dangerous to be a successful company or a conscientious group of workers. This might seem like a bad PR move, but it was absolutely ingenious. The irrelevant-but-totally-binding third-party arbitration these laws created led to a deterioration of working conditions, a rise in prices as a result of inefficiencies, and a blossoming legal department in every major company. This gave the union leaders the ultimate opportunity to step up – and further their cause by declaring that industrialist malpractice, rather than Congressional interference, was the cause of the world’s problems. The unions informed the public that innocent workers were being subjected to horrible conditions and there was nothing they could do about it – except lobby Congress. Now we see the brilliance of the Congressional plan, for it is those same Congressmen that broke a working system in the first place who rushed to fix it, by tightening anti-trust laws and – you guessed it – forcing more disputes to court arbitration. The tremendous legal costs associated with arbitration roll over into prices levied against consumers, and the government sponsorship of unions makes it difficult for non-unionized workers to avoid penalties. The union leaders are laughing their way to the bank, Congressmen keep getting re-elected for passing stupid laws, and no ordinary person is actually better off for it – but rest assured we all have our opinions about whether the corporations or the unions are at fault.

One of the most profound examples of obscuring the course of action that most people want in favor of a constructed dichotomy is the alleged health care reform bill. Americans can’t agree on whether medical insurance should be nationalized or not. They can’t agree on whether mandatory 100% acceptance rate should be enforced. The interesting note, though, is that these aren’t the only issues considered – not even close. Everyone knows, for example, that there’s no sensible reason why Americans shouldn’t be able to buy insurance across state lines – but they can’t. Everyone knows that the tort system needs to be revised so that consumers can’t be forced to foot the bill for unreasonable lawsuits.  Everyone knows insurance contracts need to be enforced more rigidly so that claimants can’t be dismissed for irrelevant pre-existing conditions after they’ve already bought insurance. The consensus on this is universal among politically aware, working class or middle class citizens – which means just about everyone. But those aren’t really the issues this bill addresses! The Democrats are raving about how desperately this country needs to socialize insurance, and the Republicans are insisting that it doesn’t, and nobody seems to care enough to fix the problems that we all know are problems, that we all agree on how to fix, and that could be easily fixed pretty quickly. Nobody’s fixing those because it wouldn’t increase Congressional power. If this bill passes, Congress will have effectively granted itself a categorically new level of privacy invasion into the lives of every American citizen. If the bill fails, insurance companies will continue to deny legitimate claims with impunity and charge obscene prices because of the reduced competition and hyper-regulation. Whichever way it goes, one thing remains constant: The insurance companies are laughing their way to the bank, Congressmen keep getting re-elected for passing stupid laws, and no ordinary person is actually better off for it – but rest assured we all have our opinions about whether the Democrats or the Republicans are at fault.

In summary, the clever dictator-in-training must understand from this chapter these general principles:

1) The Left believes the government defends people from corporations, the Right believes corporations are victimized by the government, but all ordinary people lose out when the government and corporations work together.

2) The most obvious problems don’t get solved because they don’t provide anything to run against, which is to say they don’t involve a reason to increase power over others. Coercive power comes from controversy, not harmony.

3) Never let people realize what they have in common. Work constantly to prevent them from all waking up one day and not being able to remember why they hate each other. If people partially agree and partially disagree on an issue, televise the parts where they disagree, not where they agree. Turn “reduce deficit spending!” into capitalism vs. socialism. Turn “stop making useless regulations!” into Republicans vs. Democrats. Turn “let me do what I want!” into gays vs. Christians. Don’t let people live and let live – if they do that, you won’t have any excuse to take over the world.