What Exactly Is the Conservative Theory of Free Markets?

Conservatives say they are for free markets and free enterprise, but then I read stuff like this (have have added the bold):

Lynch supports Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty, believes illegal immigrants should have the same rights to employment as American citizens, opposes voter ID laws, advocates federal intrusion in local law enforcement under the guise of civil rights, supports the government taking private property on flimsy grounds, and offers no opposition to using drones against American citizens.

I agree with some of these concerns, but the one in bold is a real head scratcher.   What theory of free markets do Conservatives hold that accepts as valid the government licensing of labor?  On what possible grounds should a government bar me from hiring, say, a Russian immigrant to do my programming?  Or crazier still, why can I hire a Mexican in my Mexico office but can't have the same person working for me in my Phoenix office?

I have a theory about the Romans that is probably shared by nobody.  The Romans were strong and powerful and vital when they were creating a variety of citizenship types to accommodate multiple peoples who entered the empire in multiple ways.  In particular I think of civitas sine suffragio or citizenship without the vote.  But this was just one of many variations.   By the first century AD  (or CE per the modern academic trend), a lot of people of a lot of cultures and races and over a wide geography called themselves Romans.

By the end of the empire, the "reforms" of Diocletian and Constatine purged all flexibility from both governance and the economy (in sum, their laws amounted to the Directive 10-289 of the ancient world).  By the time the Empire started falling apart, they had lost all ability to integrate new peoples or innovate with citizenship models.  What was eventually called the Barbarian invasions began decades earlier as the attempted barbarian migrations.   The barbarians wanted to just settle peacefully.  And Rome desperately needed them -- their system was falling apart as their farms and countryside was depopulated from a combination of government policy and demographic collapses (e.g. plagues).  Rome desperately needed new people to settle their farms and form the new backbone of the army and the barbarians desperately wanted to settle and had a lot of military skill, but they couldn't make it work.

  • Mike Powers

    I think that the commentor you is trying to say that Lynch wants to bribe Hispanic voters by letting Mexicans compete for American jobs at half the labor cost, but used a poor wording.

  • roystgnr

    This isn't the first time I've heard the claim about Roman history, "What was eventually called the Barbarian invasions began decades earlier as the attempted barbarian migrations," but I think this is the first time I've heard it made as a *pro*-immigration argument.

    You've recently convinced me that although net neutrality (the simple rule about how packet shaping and advertised service quality have to relate) is a good idea, Net Neutrality (the rules-as-they-may-get-enacted, with hundreds of pages of counterproductive regulation in progress and likely thousands to follow) is a bad idea. Is it possible that unrestricted immigration (the simple rule about how anyone can come and find opportunities via voluntary exchanges) is a good idea, but Unrestricted Immigration (the rules-as-they-may-get-enacted, with immediate full citizenship and a political wing that thinks trying to "integrate" people into American culture is a racist plot) is a bad idea?

  • Mercury

    The difference between Rome then and the USA now is the later doesn't desperately need new people.

    The reason why not everyone is cool with you moving your Mexican worker form your Mexico office to your Phoenix office is that the Mexican will likely bring 20 relatives with him whose presence here probably won't benefit anyone but you and the Mexican(s).
    For further illustration ask your wife about the possibility of adopting a teen-age girl into your "open borders" household.

  • https://www.teepublic.com/user/ECM ECM

    This isn't the first time I've heard the claim about Roman history, "What was eventually called the Barbarian invasions began decades earlier as the attempted barbarian migrations," but I think this is the first time I've heard it made as a *pro*-immigration argument.

    I have to say it's a novel--if completely divorced from reality--interpretation, which is why you've probably never heard it mentioned before.

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    I'm a conservative supporter of free market capitalism, and I would support free immigration to/from certain developed countries with advanced economies and comparable welfare support systems. The obvious problem with allowing free entry and competition for jobs from all of the poor countries around the world is our welfare system.

    Look at what is expected to result from the social security numbers that Obama plans to give to illegals - Koskinen, head of the IRS, has said that this would immediately allow illegals who had paid no income tax for the last three years to file for three years of back payments of the EITC (so when Obama says they'll pay their fair share of taxes, he means they'll get subsidies). Even without that, illegals already are filing for the 'refundable tax credit' for children, getting an average of $1,800 per year per household (from something I read). This is in addition to free education for their children, etc., and any children they have while here automatically are granted citizenship, even though the mother had no legal right to be here when she gave birth.

    Low skilled, low income people are net recipients of payouts from the government. This makes total sense to me, and I support it, but if we let in unlimited numbers of new low skilled people who immediately qualify for similar payouts (and who will easily, although illegally, be able to vote - another 'unwanted' side effect of Obama's actions), we will also have to support those low-skilled Americans who now can't find a job, and the payouts just keep multiplying.

    We're already working to reduce the number of low skilled jobs through a higher minimum wage. Given that barrier to the market, it doesn't seem fair to also make low skilled Americans compete with unlimited number of foreigners for the few jobs available.

  • Jim Collins

    Obama's goals for immigration are a good fit in a Cloward-Piven strategy.

  • ErikEssig

    "Or crazier still, why can I hire a Mexican in my Mexico office but can't have the same person working for me in my Phoenix office?"

    Er, because that's the law?

  • Dan Wendlick

    In short, you can have a welfare state, or you can have open borders. trying to combine the two is a recipe for bankrupting the country.
    The system I like is that to immigrate legally, you need to have a job that pays a minimum of $24,000 a year per member of household (and make continued residency contingent of keeping it), or $100,000 in cash or negotiable securities, plus no government cash assistance for 4 years. In case you want to cry racism, I offer that it is pretty much a simple reflection of Mexico's requirement for US nationals to get permanent residence.

  • Jeff Bishop

    That's a very unhelpful answer. He was clearly asking for the rational basis for the law. Do you have one?

  • jdgalt

    I don't understand why your first sentence is there; that quotation about Lynch doesn't contain a single conservative position.

    Nonetheless, I do believe allowing unrestricted immigration is pro-liberty, at least if we don't extend either the welfare state or the vote to immigrants until they've been here and been productive long enough to deserve to be citizens.

    So I hit the "hypocrisy" ball back at you. If free-market principles should extend to war policy, why shouldn't they extend to immigration?

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    "The obvious problem with allowing free entry and competition for jobs from all of the poor countries around the world is our welfare system."

    So, your justification for wanting politicians to abuse some innocents, is that politicians already abuse other innocents? Or in the case of American employers, the same innocents?

    I never did understand the conservative belief the abuse of innocent A justifies the abuse of unrelated innocent B. At least when collectivists justify the abuse of innocents, the interchangeably of victims is confined to the same collective. If decency comes down to how one person treats another person, conservatives are surely lacking.

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    Why do you assume Mexicans aren't racist? And why do you think Americans should look to Mexico for what a free country should look like?

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    "the simple rule about how anyone can come and find opportunities via voluntary exchanges"

    Rather, the simple rule about what deserves to happen to someone who peacefully trades labor with another, against some distant third person's notion of political propriety.

  • Another_Brian

    The conservative position on free markets is, "We will talk about free markets to people that don't know anything about free markets, but anyone that's paying attention to any of our other platforms knows we don't really support free markets."

  • bigmaq1980

    "the abuse of innocent A justifies the abuse of unrelated innocent B"

    The innocence of B is presumed. But innocent of what? There is a difference between people who migrated to the US following the legal process and those who have not. It is an ill gotten gain, under current law. We can talk about if this law should be in place separately.

    Now, one could say, but "their children must be innocent"... Perhaps, but what of a thief who steals $1M and passes it on to his children? Surely, they are innocent? Perhaps they lived an exemplary life since here, so, do they really have the right to keep the money? Maybe statute of limitations do have an application here (5-10 years average across states for criminal cases ), but that is not being argued.

    But, one could say, "nobody is hurt" by legalizing B... But often there is no direct "hurt" identified for trespassing, yet our laws hold that one can be sued for it, nonetheless. Perhaps one could argue that the Bs are ignorant of the violation, as they are children. The law does not excuse this, but the punishment ("liability") may be adjusted to a demonstrable "hurt".

  • bigmaq1980

    Disagree on two counts:

    1) The difference is not the "(desperate) need (for) new people". Rome was a CONQUERING state. They had control of those states. We are talking about citizens from other sovereign nations crossing our border into our country.

    The Rome example might be more appropriate parallel for Britain and Hong Kong. Even then, citizens in HK held British passports, but were not allowed to migrate to the UK at the end of her lease of HK (1997).

    2) One can legally "hire" workers around the world, and can readily do so for a large variety of work from their desktop computer (Amazon Mechanical Turk, etc.). The problem is crossing the border without following the legal process.

    Our laws today allow for people to immigrate legally, and to bring their families (in separate applications). That is not a "problem" that Coyote is talking about here. Coyote is referring to the quote about illegals.

    I cannot abide by not following the process. One can argue how wide that aperture for acceptance should be, but once here the rest is open to them.

    However, Coyote is hinting at a process that separates citizenship from ability to work here (similar to HK citizens and UK above, pre-1997). That is a different discussion.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} Lynch supports Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty, believes illegal immigrants should have the same rights to employment as American citizens,....

    This isn't the conservative position, it's the libertarian one. And, as with the Iraq War -- on this one, libertarians are a bunch of idiot twatwaffles that match up with liberals for inane stupidity and cluelessness.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} If decency comes down to how one person treats another person, conservatives are surely lacking.

    WOW. a more cluelessly idiotic post by a probably trolling jackass has rarely been identified on this blog. I'm too busy to respond at the moment, but I'll come back later if I remember to do so, and eviscerate your brain-dead position.

    In the meantime, please identify our collection of "innocents" involved. And identify the manner in which "collectivists" (aka: socialists... let's avoid weasel word excuses for modern pure red liberalism, thanks) are so much more well-founded in "decency" over conservatives. This should be amusing.

  • bigmaq1980

    Actually, took the bait...made me re-read the original post.

    Coyote is referring to the conservative who is reporting about Lynch and that her stand is something anathema to conservatives, not that Lynch's position is conservative.

    BTW, you use to be better than this. I have reasons to disagree with Coyote on his stand, but I've got to say that there is a lot more thought behind them than "idiot twatwaffles" and "inane stupidity and cluelessness" as a rationale to disagree.

    What happened?

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    You apparently have a different definition of 'abuse' than the standard one. I can't respond until you're more specific about what "innocents" you're talking about, and how they are being "abused".

    Are people being abused if they are not allowed to take someone else's money? Are they being abused if they voluntarily accept a job? Please be specific.

  • marque2

    He has a good point. Free immigration is not, and has never been a conservative position. Free market in products, and support of free market in products, does not necessarily imply that one should support the free flow of every poor person in the world to suck up our benefits and destroy our country.

    This actually was tried by socialists, and they succeeded in bankrupting New York, by massively increasing the welfare roles there until the city imploded. Do Libertarians want our country to implode? Seems like it. It is interesting that Libertarians hold socialist views.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloward%E2%80%93Piven_strategy

  • marque2

    Why can't I legally kill myself? It's the law.

    Sometimes, the best answer is the simplest.

  • Nimrod

    Forget about the issues of economic production or liberties for a second and lets get to what even libertarian philosophy says the purpose of government is: physical security.

    Even if you have the goals of 1) "anyone" can immigrate and 2) everyone has equal right to work and get paid accordingly, you have physical security concerns. This means that you want everyone to go through a process of 1) criminal/terrorist background checks and 2) health checks to avoid introducing communicable diseases into the population.

    Ideally it would be physically impossible for anyone to enter the country without going through these processes, but in reality this is impossible. Even if you had a massive fortress wall and minefield around the country there would be other ways in. (Nevermind for a second that we're not even anywhere near to having that.)

    As a result you'd still need to make it so that anyone who did get here bypassing security would have a hard enough time continuing to live here that they'd either self deport or turn themselves in for the necessary security checks.

    Furthermore, if they do turn themselves in for these checks you'd want to make sure they went to the back of the line and gained no advantage over people outside the country waiting to get in. Otherwise bypassing border checks and later turning one self in for the process would become standard practice.

    So even in a libertarian pluralistic state that would allow anyone in who isn't a security/health threat, you would still not give people work permits until they had been through these checks and you wouldn't give them preferential treatment over those who were following the rules.

    It sounds like maybe you're making the usual mistake of conflating "legal immigrant" with "illegal immigrant" which is exactly what the zero-sum Marxist left wants you to do. After all, to them it makes no difference as long as the immigrant will vote for them, security and health issues be damned. History has shown these sorts of people to be elitist oligarchs that would rather rule in their carefully guarded security threat free palace in hell than serve in any sort of "equal protection under the law" "heaven". (Yes I know it wouldn't be a socialist utopia but it would be much better than the Panem oligarchy that we seem to be headed for.)

  • Nimrod

    It didn't seem to me that he was assuming those things, but unfortunately people stupidly romanticize Mexico in this manner. Those people need to read the reports from amnesty international about the huge percentage of illegal migrants in Mexico that are raped and robbed by the police while attempting to reach the U.S. from central and South America. Obama apparently couldn't care less about this given that he encourages as many people as possible to illegally traverse Mexico at extremely high risk of victimization.

    If he were morally worth anything then he'd be denouncing the Mexican government over their immigration policies and the government corruption that facilitates these atrocities.

  • Canvasback

    Well, Coyote. Why have nations at all? Your theory that we should let every knucklehead who can wade the Rio Grande set immigration policy for the United States is the real head scratcher.
    It's not like they walk up here with a job offer in hand.

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    “Answer this: Innocent of what?”

    Innocent of any action meriting violent retaliation by members of the state police apparatus or by anyone else.

    “but what of a thief who steals $10M and passes it on to his children?”

    So, do most conservatives think that involuntarily absconding with another person’s property is as offensive as voluntarily agreeing to peacefully trade?

    “Often there is no direct "hurt" identified for trespassing”

    We’re not talking about trespassing. We are talking about conservatives wanting to bring the violence of the state police down upon Americans who *WANT* certain people to peacefully inhabit their properties.

    “I would then ask you "Why do we have borders for our nation?””

    In my naivete I used to think it was to define the jurisdiction of state security forces--forces ostensibly used to defend the innocent against the malicious. It turns out conservatives think (and are de facto correct) that borders are concocted to define when security forces can themselves be malicious against the innocent (American or otherwise).

    ““For our property?"”

    If an American owns his property, then the state has no moral justification for forcefully preventing him from inviting peaceful others to it. Immigration laws are in large part today massive violations of the property rights of Americans.

    “Our laws are only effective / recognized within those boundaries (and we agree internationally to keep our enforcement within those bounds). Our laws also confer rights as it relates to our property. We assume those laws have legitimacy because we have a "say" in the process of their creation, and we mutually agree to (largely) abide by them in our daily lives.”

    A lot of “our” and “we”, here in the context of legislation, none of which has any hope of ever being remotely true.

    “"Ok, that is all true right now, but the law is 'wrong' and we should allow free movement of people"”

    A peaceful stranger crossing the open desert to sell his labor to anyone willing. Is it decent for you to run him down, point a gun in face, attack him, kidnap him, and transport him against his will? How about the American who chose to hire him, does he deserve the business end of a gun? Regardless of whatever papers the likes of Nancy Pelosi may have had transcribed, treating a gentle person like this with violence is everywhere and always indecent.

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    “You apparently have a different definition of 'abuse' than the standard one.”

    There is a standard definition of “abuse”?

    “I can't respond until you're more specific about what "innocents" you're talking about, and how they are being "abused".”

    If you were wandering about the earth, being polite in all human interactions, freely trading only with the willing, and then one day armed men threatened to shoot you unless you obeyed their commands, allowed them to bind you, to drag you to cage and lock you up, then to ship you somewhere you don’t want to be, would you not call that “abuse”?

    When do the peaceful merit violent retribution? For most people, who haven’t followed some dubious hand-me-down reasoning, the obvious answer is NEVER. For conservatives, there are several reasons for employing violence against the nonviolent, not least of which is the GPS coordinates of his--or his employee’s, or his relative’s or his tenant’s or his friend’s--birth.

    “Are people being abused if they are not allowed to take someone else's money?”

    Not allowed? You mean whatever level of violence is necessary to prevent peaceful individuals from a voluntary money transaction? Yeah, that would fall under most general notions of abuse.

    It really isn’t conceptually hard. You see a nonthreatening stranger. What is an appropriate way for you to act toward him?

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    “please identify our collection of "innocents" involved”

    You mean “collections”. One collection consists of peaceful taxpayers. The other collection consists of peaceful migrants.

    “And identify the manner in which "collectivists" ... are so much more well-founded in "decency" over conservatives.”

    I didn’t know they were. Are they?

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    "people stupidly romanticize Mexico in this manner"

    I didn't know that. All I ever hear, and have ever heard, about the Mexican government, is how thoroughly corrupt it is at all levels. I thought widespread corruption was the common knowledge, not romanticization.

  • bigmaq1980

    "So, do most conservatives think that involuntarily absconding with another person’s property is as offensive as voluntarily agreeing to peacefully trade?"

    Not sure how you even come up with this conclusion. First off, I'm not speaking for conservatives - I just take issue with how you frame this on "conservatives". Second, the parallel is to an ill gotten gain. The "innocent beneficiary" was explained. Has nothing to do with "voluntarily peacefully trade", as there is nothing voluntarily traded in this case when someone crosses the border outside the process we have in place.

    "We’re not talking about trespassing. We are talking about conservatives wanting to bring the violence of the state police down upon Americans who *WANT* certain people to peacefully inhabit their properties."

    Um, yes we are - crossing the border without following the process we lawfully set in place is a form of tresspassing. If one disagrees with the law, that is another question altogther that you had not directly addressed.

    "In my naivete I used to think it (border) was to define the jurisdiction of state security forces"

    I'll ignore the rest, an ad hominem attack. Jurisdiction...what does that have to do with anything, if not about where the laws apply? Again, if one disagrees with the law, then address that.

    "A lot of “our” and “we”, here in the context of legislation, none of which has any hope of ever being remotely true."

    Look, we have two choices, follow the law and work the process to change them if we dislike them, or armed conflict with either anarchy or simply might makes right. The "our" and "we" is from the fact that we are citizens here and the process is of "our" collective making. Again, the way it works is that we can convince enough others to join us to organize in getting laws changed. THAT is the reality. Or, you somehow get your own army to force change.

    "A peaceful stranger crossing the open desert to sell his labor to anyone willing."

    Motives don't make the arguement. The point is that a "peaceful stranger" can cross onto YOUR land, and you have the right to have them charged with trespassing. That was what the whole Bundy case in Nevada was about... they tried an armed blockade, but where did that get them? We have immigration laws that tell one how to "peacefully" enter the country, otherwise there are consequences. Again, if we don't like the law, we need to organize and petition within the process we have to get it changed.

    "the state has no moral justification for forcefully preventing him from inviting peaceful others to it. Immigration laws are in large part today massive violations of the property rights of Americans."

    No, the same body of laws that govern us within the borders all have the power to be enforced. We cannot cherry pick laws individually to abide by, thus, one individual is not empowered to just "invite" someone to cross without processing. Again, if we don't like the law there is a process to change it.

    Ad Hominems:
    You generously laden your argument with attribution of malice on the part of conservatives, as if: 1) there is uniform agreement with the law as it stands (Ann even identified one area where she'd move to more open borders); 2) enforcement of borders and the process in place to "peacably" pass through them is any less important than enforcment of property against trespassers; 3) the laws are a one way street that only conservatives had a hand in making.

    Cut this out, if you have a serious point to make.

  • bigmaq1980

    Not saying any about "the point", other than two issues that cloud the point being made:

    1) Conflates, by juxtaposition, the quote (which is a comment about Lynch, a liberal, highlighting the liberal position) as if it were the conservative position - confusing as heck.

    2) The bluster in place of proper argument - just doesn't get us anywhere. What makes a "good point" is a well reasoned argument.

  • marque2

    It does get a tad confusing. It is a conservative quoting a liberal, to get us to think Oh my gosh, what a crazy. And Warren, picking a small piece of this because he is upset that he can't have his house servants and gardeners legally.

    And then there is the assumption on Warren's part that if you support free markets for goods and services, you must support unlimited unchecked immigration as a conservative, because well labor is a market as well, which is false. Allowing unchecked immigration and filling the welfare roles with poor immigrants is actually a trick to turn the country into a socialist nation - so it is a socialist position.

  • Jeff Bishop

    Any law absent a rational basis is petty (or gross) tyranny. "The law is the law" is a useless tautology.

  • marque2

    You are asking a different question. You are asking what the rational is behind the law. If you had stated that you would get different responses.

  • marque2

    That is actually interesting. Many people came to the United States via Ellis Island, with a job offer in hand, from a relative, who came earlier - however, it was illegal to emigrate to the USA at the time if you already had a job lined up. When they asked if you had a job when entering Ellis Island, you would have to say no, or you would be deported back home.

  • Jeff Bishop

    Coyote asked, rhetorically, why he couldn't do something. Clearly he knows that it's the law that's stopping him. So the implied question, if you ignore the fact that he probably expected no answer, was _why_ the law existed in that form. So a tautological answer of "it's the law" is unhelpful at best, and snarky at worst.

  • stanbrown

    Free markets and free enterprise depend on the rule of law. What theory of economics do you subscribe to which works without it? Free markets require an effective state providing national security and local law enforcement. What theory of economic do you subscribe to which doesn't require a state to enforce obligations and protect persons and private property? What theory of economics posits that economic growth will occur when no one has any faith in the law because it is flagrantly violated?

  • marque2

    Illegal Mexican laborers have an unfair competitive advantage because they can work for wages not allowed US citizens. Sure I'll pick your plants for $7 an hour, wait I am a us citizen and want tondo the same. Sorry, since you are a legal citizen you must charge $10 for the same service.

  • bigmaq1980

    Immigration is a challenging question.

    Where Libertarian theory falls down is that it doesn't answer the real world conditions we live in.

    It is one thing to maybe argue that there ought to be free migration between US and Canada / English Speaking "Western" Nations / Europe, etc where there is a (largely) shared culture, and existing heritage of strong (non-corrupt) rule of law, democracy, property rights, a similar level of prosperity, etc.

    It is quite another to argue open borders for one and all in the world.

    I've not seen any Libertarian argument that delves into how that transition would work and what assumptions that is based on.

    For instance, what do we do about known people associated with ISIS, AQ, or any regime that is actively engaged in disrupting our society or relationships globally? If they are not allowed in, then we must be talking about some controlled borders, right?

    Taking it further, how many people would likely be coming into the US? Given the recent surge on the southern border (based merely on a rhetorical "promise" of "legalization" by our President), and given the known migration of the last 10 years, it seems that we could well see up to a doubling of our population in five to ten years.

    Does Libertarian policy allow them to vote? If not, when it is such a political football now just to require something as simple as presenting ID for voting, how are we going to deal with the potential (probability) of fraud? If so, well, you know how receptive people would be to that!

    We certainly will have a mix of well educated, well to do, and poor. Are we prepared to let the poverty exist? A large portion of our society flips out (and some politicians use this to their advantage) over the "poverty level" in the US (a level that is so far removed from poverty experienced elsewhere in the world), and is a key motivator in many of the social programs and schemes we have in place (e.g. Obamacare for the uninsured)? We have trouble getting housing built now with all the restrictions and political NIMBYism. How are they all to be housed within that time frame? Seems likely that it would take some time (if ever), even under the most optimistic free market assumptions, that the new population would be absorbed into the workforce at a level of income above our current sensibilities for "poverty", and have "proper" housing available.

    Is it likely that jobs will expand to keep up with the supply of labor coming in, or are we likely to see salaries and wages plummet, along with job security for those employed today for the duration of the surge (until some "equilibrium" is reached)?

    In the meantime, what do we do with the new levels of demand on our infrastructure?

    The questions go on, and if the Libertarian concept of open borders is to be "sold", it had better address the realities we face and explain how that transition happens. People intuit the problems and there may be decent answers to them, but most discussion stay in the 30000 foot high level theoretical.

  • Zachriel

    Coyote Blog: What theory of free markets do Conservatives hold that accepts as valid the government licensing of labor? On what possible grounds should a government bar me from hiring, say, a Russian immigrant to do my programming?

    You are conflating conservatism with libertarianism. Conservatives generally support the status quo, including historical inequalities and national boundaries. Conservatives would point to social disruption, erosion of wealth, and unintended consequences of unregulated immigration.

  • fd

    "believes illegal immigrants should have the same rights to employment as American citizens"

    They shouldn't have the same rights because they don't have the same responsibilities. Government currently favors illegal immigrants over citizens and legal immigrants in many areas subject to government power. Where is the justice in that? Some of us apparently subscribe to a quixotic concept called "equal treatment before the law". Rather than treating citizens and legal immigrants worse than illegal immigrants, I'd rather abolish immigration law entirely. At least then 1. the distinction between citizen and immigrant (legal and illegal) would vanish, and 2. The shackles that government places only on citizens and legal immigrants would vanish, too, which will restore equality in that particular domain.

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    “Not sure how you even come up with this conclusion. First off…”

    First off, context. Read the title of the blog post. Second, you erroneously equate thievery with peaceful voluntary travel and trade.

    “there is nothing voluntarily traded in this case when someone crosses the border outside the process we have in place”

    Nothing? Let’s see...the traveller, voluntarily, gets on an airplane. The airline, voluntarily, sells him a ticket. The landlord voluntarily rents him an apartment. The employer voluntarily purchases his labor. The grocer voluntarily sells him food. Is it “voluntarily” you don’t understand, or “nothing”?

    “crossing the border without following the process we lawfully set in place is a form of trespassing.”

    Please explain how a person whom I invited onto my property is trespassing on my property. Or do conservatives also believe in the supremacy of state ownership over private ownership?

    “If one disagrees with the law, that is another question altogether that you had not directly addressed.”

    By “law”, I presume you are referring to those government rules dictated and enforced by the likes of Nancy Pelosi. Why you keep bringing that up is a puzzle. Is it because without the commands of distant politicians you are at a complete loss as to how you should treat other human beings?

    “your statement is heavily leaning towards an ad hominem attack.” … “I'll ignore the rest, an ad hominem attack” … “Ad Hominems”

    I grant you, use of the phrase “ad hominem” ad nauseum among blog commenters is both interesting and uncommon, but if misusing latin makes you feel clever, I’d suggest a different sort of diversion by endeavoring to grasp “justificet et leges, est superius ad legistlationem” or “lex autem cognitae non dictavit”.

    “Jurisdiction...what does that have to do with anything, if not about where the laws apply?”

    Right. A state declares for itself where its own rules apply. The existence of such boundaries wasn’t what I was referring to as my naive mistake. My mistake was instead the purpose a state dictates such rules.

    “Again, if one disagrees with the law, then address that.”

    You are the one who keeps talking about legislation, not I. Your fawning over the interpretation of magisterial dictates might be interesting to law school academics, officers of the court, or those trying to avoid state retribution, but it has no place in any discussion about human decency--except perhaps as a sophistic defense of indecency (where it has a long inglorious history).

    “Look, we have two choices, follow the law and work the process to change them if we dislike them, or armed conflict with either anarchy or, simply, might makes right.”

    You have a choice every time you encounter another person. What you choose to do is entirely your responsibility. Your actions may or may not be excused by your own legitimate fear of state retribution should you act otherwise, but claims that distant politicians permit or require your actions do not relieve you of that responsibility.

    Although your insertion of political doctrine into this discussion makes it appear otherwise, I doubt (and certainly hope), that you don’t use legalism as a moral philosophy in your personal life. To avoid trouble with the state, you must consider the imposed legislation. To be a good person, you must not. I would think there are enough examples from the past century, let alone the origins of this country, to make this point horrifyingly clear.

    “The "our" and "we" is from the fact that we are citizens here and the process is of "our" collective making.”

    Now you put quotes around the pronouns. Without the quotes, the statement couldn’t be more false.

    “Again, the way it works is that we can convince enough others to join us to organize in getting laws changed. THAT is the reality. Or, you somehow get your own army to force change.”

    The reality, is that when you are faced with a stranger, you can choose to harm him or not. The reality, is that state institutions are about violent coercion, not friendly persuasion.

    “The point is that a "peaceful stranger" can cross onto YOUR land, and you have the right to have them charged with trespassing.”

    Again, please explain why I would invite someone onto my land and then charge him with trespassing when he arrives.

    “We have immigration laws that tell one how to "peacefully" enter the country,”

    No, the government has immigration rules to tell people how to avoid government retribution. That is, it tells people that if they don’t follow those rules, the government will break the peace.

    “Again, if we don't like the law, we need to organize and petition within the process we have to get it changed.”

    The more you go about the dictates of politicians, the more morally vacuous you appear. You ever wonder what legislators appeal to in order to create legislation? Or do you imagine legislative ideas are handed down by a computer employing a random number generator? Moral arguments cannot appeal to legislation--you have the process backwards.

    “No, the same body of laws that govern us within the borders all have the power to be enforced.”

    And an armed mugger has the power to enforce his dictates when he encounters you in a dark alley. So?

    “We cannot cherry pick laws individually to abide by”

    Unless you want to live a moral life. In that case you MUST consider what kind of person obedience to state dictates makes you. Always.

    “thus, one individual is not empowered to just "invite" someone to cross without processing. Again, if we don't like the law there is a process to change it.”

    Again, the fact that every state in the history of states has some process to change its rules does not make obedience to every state dictate good, decent, appropriate, or not abominable. It may be how you infect your arguments, but I truly hope this is not how you lead your life or raise your children.

    “You generously laden your argument with attribution of malice on the part of conservatives,”

    If you turn down your hypersensitivity throttle, you’ll see “malicious” refers to a general form of human interaction, one that I erroneously once believed government existed to counter. Given the topic of this blog post, I am asking if conservatives believe these things.

    “as if: 1) there is uniform agreement with the law as it stands”

    On and on and on. I make no such assumption. The legalistic sophistry is yours. I am speaking of human decency.

    “Ann even identified one area where she'd move to more open borders”

    Good for Ann. I’m glad she’s willing to be moved to futility, if that makes her happy. Romanticization of the political process is not what this blog post is about. It is about how one human being chooses to treat another.

    “enforcement of borders and the process in place to "peacably" pass through them is any less important than enforcment of property against trespassers”

    They are, obviously, conflicting doctrines. As currently employed, the former violates the latter. And it breaks the peace to do so. My previously naive view of American culture was that Americans viewed with hostility any government rules that violated rights as fundamental property. It was what for me made America inspiring. Too bad I was wrong.

    “the laws are a one way street that only conservatives had a hand in making.”

    I don’t know what you’re going on about. The blog post is about conservatives. Maybe you should read it.

    “Cut this out, that is, if you have a serious point to make.”

    Stop with the legalisms, and you may make your arguments relevant.

  • skhpcola

    You seem stubbornly stuck on the notion that "your property" is a sovereign state. It isn't, whether you like that fact or not. You can't own land, set up Al Queda training camps, and tell the US government to fuck off because you invited the ragheads onto your property. "Illegal aliens" are, definitionally, illegal. Libertarians are incapable of acknowledging the sovereignty of US soil...you people daydream about separating your property from the nation, but would undoubtedly desire government assistance if your property were to be stolen by your neighbors, foreigners, or something else. I'm sure that your ideology seems perfectly rational to you, but it is devoid of pragmatism, historical perspective, or logic.

  • bigmaq1980

    Millions, billions of people don't just coexist without some mutual agreement (legal structure) in place.

    Each and every law is ultimately about the threat of "violent coercion". The fact that it is so, does not make it wrong.

    Yes, there are plenty of laws people can disagree on (and choose to
    disobey). Yes, there are consequences to not following laws , but, ultimately (even if flawed)
    there is a process to change them (if we care to do our part to convince
    folks for their support).

    It is not a fetish, nor "sophistry", it is how our world
    exists.

    Your argument sums up to your standard of "human decency", but you won't
    define it, nor explain how differing views of "decency" get adjudicated
    when they collide, and how that gets translated into the legal structure that enables all this (where
    "violent coercion" is required).

    Easy to criticize the world as it exists, but how do you get to the point where what you conceive is possible?

    This requires much more than just "open borders" as an answer. Fundamentally, this means you need to (succinctly) explain how your world model works, how laws come to be
    (or if there are any, really), whether there are legitimate borders, how
    without all the above one even has "property" that one can
    "invite" others to.

    But, if one "checks out" and says it's all illegitimate (nor delineating
    how legitimate laws come about), and cannot articulate the basis and
    assumptions for their position, instead hiding behind the darts they
    throw, well...

    At least we will know you are not serious.

    Oh, and come on! The nature and implications of the questions posed by Coyote have a far different flavor than yours, despite the "context".

    Don't throw darts out and cast (not so well hidden) aspersions on the character of the people who disagree with you, or feigning innocence, claiming "hypersensitivity".

    Stand up to your argument without all that baggage.

  • bigmaq1980

    " I'm sure that your ideology seems perfectly rational to you, but it is devoid of pragmatism, historical perspective, or logic."

    Right. Theories and ideologies are not much good unless they can be argued, applied within real world circumstances.

  • Nimrod

    The fact that you had the Mexican president lecturing the U.S. congress about immigrant rights is proof of this romanticism. It was complete hypocrisy and I didn't see a single person in the media challenging it.

    Mexico is romanticized in the same manner as Cuba, but not as much because, while they're marxist, they're not complete totalitarian communist like Cuba and you can actually get news out of Mexico. Basically, if a country is marxist, the more extreme it is then the more its romanticized. The more "theoretically fair" it is, the more it gets treated like it's fair in reality by people who are out of touch with reality.

    The only exception I know of is North Korea, and that's probably only because they're constantly threatening other countries.

  • Nimrod

    If you're going to talk about the Roman Empire, you might want to read this:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/02/cicero_and_obama.html

    "an empire of laws, not an empire of men."

    Also, to whoever claimed that libertarians were anarchists: You've fallen for the leftist slander intended to paint the tea party as a bunch of "violent extremist soverign citizens." Even the most extreme libertarian ideas (and the tea party isn't anywhere near this extreme) recognize the purpose of government as being (at the least) security, law enforcement, and national defense. Anything like the "soverign citizen" nonsense is just anarchy.

    At this point the tea party groups are just trying to stop the slow creep toward despotic oligarchy that is evident by breakdowns in Montesquieu's separation of powers (which started decades ago), and economic collapse from unsustainable government debt. In fact they seem to be the only people who care about these issues.

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    “The fact that you had the Mexican president lecturing the U.S. congress about immigrant rights is proof of this romanticism.”

    Admittedly, I hadn’t considered that you were referring to a politician romanticizing his own government. Hardly surprising. As for Americans, I can only speak to my own decades of cultural immersion, and I’ve seen zero romanticism, and nearly complete derision (perhaps deserved). Maybe you and I go to different movies or watch different newscasts.

  • markm

    The problem is that the combination of laws severely restricting immigration for jobs with our (sometimes deliberately, IMHO) effed-up enforcement means that there are millions in the USA who have bypassed the security and health checks. These laws are not making it bad enough to discourage adult immigrants, because the worst jobs in America are better than what they had in their own country. It only screws their children over, and creates permanent pockets of a not-fully-American underclass.

    One thing I doubt many anti-illegal-immigration people understand is just how screwed up the legal process is. It's not just the quotas that make for waiting queues decades long; it's that INS is utterly incompetent at processing paperwork. Remember when the INS mailed a visa for flight school to one of the 9/11 terrorists, nearly six months after he quit flight school and died on a suicide mission? Their explanation was that the visa was issued before 9/11, when the FBI and CIA weren't sharing info, then passed on to a contractor to mail - six months later! That is, it's entirely normal for the INS to sit on completed paperwork for six months, and then send it on without checking whether anything changed.

    If you are here on a legal, renewable visa, it's going to take over six months to get it renewed, so a fair portion of the "illegals" came here legally, have the right to stay, put in the correct paperwork on time, and are "illegal" only because the INS hasn't issued the renewal. OTOH, I knew a gentleman from El Salvador, back when that country was in a civil war. Maybe he should have received political asylum status, but he had no proof that some faction back home wanted to kill him. They refused to talk to US agents and confirm that they were going to kill him if he came back... So legally, he should have been deported - but unlike most immigrants he was _not_ a peasant and knew how to hire a good lawyer. Every time his case came up in court, his lawyer found a defect in the INS filing, so it was delayed for another six months or a year - and this continued for over ten years, until he was ready to go back. I don't know whether he finally let the INS pay for that flight home, or booked it himself...

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    “Millions, billions of people don't just coexist without some mutual agreement (legal structure) in place. Each and every law is ultimately about the threat of "violent coercion".”

    Mutual agreement is about violent coercion? Psychologists have a famous term for that, and I’m not talking about 3 month loan to your local bank.

    BTW, every law is most definitely NOT about coercion, not by a long shot. Only, it seems, the “laws” you care about. The “laws” you care about are in your mind somehow simultaneously “mutual agreement” and (with minescule exceptions) experienced by everyone as unilateral top-down unavoidable commands. And you see nothing wrong with that.

    “The fact that it is so, does not make it wrong.”

    So, it makes it right? It doesn’t even make it relevant.

    “there is a process to change them (if we care to do our part to convince folks for their support)”

    Let’s see. Your argument is that instead of just knowing how to treat another human being, an individual only has to change a country’s laws. Or maybe the more likely chore of getting struck by lightning 300 times in a row on a Wednesday. And for what should an individual be inspired to this herculean task? The saintly goal of persuading one mob of people to violently impose their wills on everyone else.

    “It is not a fetish, nor "sophistry", it is how our world exists.”

    What exists isn’t sophistry. What is argued is. If your argument depends upon persuading coercion, or one person changing the US government, or abandoning the free market to save it, or defending a system by ignoring what it means to individual flesh and blood people, that is sophistry.

    “The only barrier to open borders is the law.”

    While I’m happy to follow you on your diversions, governments and legislation and process and systems and open borders are your insertions into this. All I’m arguing, is that YOU choose and YOU are responsible for how YOU treat another person. You can’t blame Nancy Pelosi and her ilk, or some external process for what you do or want to do to others. What human behaviors you claim justifies violence, is entirely on you. That is true, regardless of all of that other “system” nonsense (and most of it is ridiculously contradictory).

    “You must be conceiving some sort of world with some kind of laws that people abide by”

    Every sort of world has some kind of laws that people abide by. Unless you are talking about a world of corpses, nothing else is possible. But fewer of your kind of “laws” there are, the more desirable and humane and *LAWFUL* that society tends to be.

    “But you fail to make the connection to how that would work in the real world”

    It is so much easier than you think. You are faced one-on-one with another gentle human being. What do you do? Do you point a gun at him, kidnap him, forcibly transport him? Or are you a different sort of person? Arguing top down as a man of system, only leads to legalistic fallacies. Arguing bottom up from the desired goal--how one person treats another--avoids the outcome conflicting with the goal.

    “Easy to criticize the world as it exists, but how do you get to the point where what you conceive is possible?”

    I’m not trying to get to any point. Nor am I criticizing the world. I’m criticising how one person treats another, and the untenable excuses he gives for mistreatment.

    “Fundamentally, this means you need to (succinctly) explain how your world model works,”

    For starters, a person should not insert brute force into a peaceful nonthreatening exchange between two other strangers.

    “how laws come to be”

    It’s pretty clear from your perseverations about legislative dictates that you have no interest in how actuals laws come to be, only in what dictates have been commanded by whatever strangers you deem have the authority to relieve you of responsibility for your own choices to violate the basic precepts of morality--one-on-one human interaction. I see you didn’t even attempt the latin translations.

    “The nature and implications of the questions posed by Coyote have a far different connotation than yours”

    So, you agree that it is hypocritical for conservatives to claim to be for free markets, and yet insist on bringing the violence of the state down upon those freely trading labor?