Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Economists in favor of open immigration

Economists often write in favor of open immigration, thereby giving the impression that American citizens benefit from increased immigration. But often the argument is really based on benefits to the immigrants.

A libertarian professor writes:
As [economist] Tyler [Cowen] argues, it is wrong to ignore the welfare of potential migrants when making immigration policy.
Cowen makes that argument in a NY Times op-ed:
ECONOMICS is sometimes associated with the study and defense of selfishness and material inequality, but it has an egalitarian and civil libertarian core that should be celebrated. And that core may guide us in some surprising directions.

Economic analysis is itself value-free, but in practice it encourages a cosmopolitan interest in natural equality. ... The obvious but too-often-underemphasized reality is that immigration is a significant gain for most people who move to a new country.
Another prominent economist writes:
“I am very disturbed at a visceral level by people who think that we should care more about people who happen to share a nationality.”
On the other hand, there are Americans who believe that American elected officials should be primarily concerned with advancing policies that favor Americans. You can bet that Greek officials favor Greeks and Chinese official favor Chinese people.

Update: Steve Sailer ridicules Cowen as an economics professor for his phony morals and adds:
As time goes by, the brighter sort of economists are less often promising that mass immigration is good for Americans and have turned instead to insisting that submitting to mass immigration is Americans' moral duty to Mexicans.

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