Immigration: Why the Debate is Tragically Flawed

by | Mar 4, 2009

In a free country, it’s self-evident that there’s room for everyone. This is because free people are also, by definition,self-responsible. The only people who need to be kept out of a free country are violent criminals and others who are objective, physical threats. In a totalitarian country, nobody would want to get in, so, in […]

In a free country, it’s self-evident that there’s room for everyone. This is because free people are also, by definition,self-responsible. The only people who need to be kept out of a free country are violent criminals and others who are objective, physical threats. In a totalitarian country, nobody would want to get in, so, in that case, immigration is a moot point. But the United States, while certainly not totalitarian, is no longer entirely free, either. It’s a mixture of individual freedom/personal responsibility and, at the same time, a land of freebies and a haven for moochers who want to live off the government.

In a welfare state based partially on giveaways and partially on freedom, immigrants start to become a threat.

This is because the personally responsible don’t want more moochers, and understandably so, as they’re already paying the way for moochers who already live here. And the moochers who already live here are naturally threatened by having to compete with more moochers coming over the border.

The difficulty today is that it’s politically incorrect to talk this way.

We don’t want to hear words like “moochers” and (especially) “personally responsible.” Because of this, we’re forced to regard immigrants as either one or the other. Liberals speak of immigrants as if they’re all virtuous, self-responsible people, while conservatives speak of them all as evil, mooching threats. Both are unfounded generalizations. More than that, it’s not immigrants who are the problem, any more than it’s natural born citizens who are the problem.

The problem is with the moochers (alien and/or homegrown alike), and the enabling/codependent government that makes such mooching possible. I wish there was a way to get rid of all the moochers, illegal, legal, alien and naturally born, and keep all the self-responsible–regardless of their country of origin. Better yet, I wish we had a free country once again. The immigration debate would be resolved, and self-responsibility would be the dominant trend. Nobody, whether born in North Dakota or El Salvador, could use the force of government to live off of another.

People who claim that immigrants “take jobs away” are all wrong. The premise of this accusation is that there are a finite number of jobs.

But in a free, productive and rational society, there is no limit to what needs to be done. There is no limit to consumer demand and there is no limit to the requirements of a work force to make it all possible. If immigrants take over jobs in one sector of the economy, the increase in overall productivity will lead to more demand and greater need for better types of jobs in other parts of the economy.

If the economy continues to sour because of the threat of increased taxation, increased government spending (especially through national health insurance), and increased regulation (e.g., in the real estate market),then employment (along with all economic growth) will suffer.

But, it won’t be the fault of immigrants. Immigrants will merely be the scapegoat for politicians who seek to undermine and hamper the free economy with ever-more taxation and regulation.

It is true that some politicians support immigrants for the wrong reasons.

Politicians who feel they have the most to gain will naturally support policies such as government welfare, government health care and public education benefits for illegal immigrants. The ferocious debate over these matters tends to boil down to two sides, both of them wrong. 

One side argues that, “These immigrants shouldn’t get benefits. Benefits are for legal Americans, not illegal Americans.”

The problem is that nobody is morally entitled to these forcibly attained benefits. The Constitution does not provide for a health/welfare/education state, and robbing some of the population to force them to pay for the health care, welfare and education of others is, in fact, nothing more than tyranny.

 

The conservatives propose that we keep the tyranny in place, but only for natural born Americans. The liberals (in what is clearly a grab for more political power) say we should expand the tyranny to include those from other countries, legally here or not. So long as the conservatives concede the point that such tyranny is warranted and justified in the first place, their liberal opponents will continue to win in the long run.

 

I sympathize with some of the conservatives on this issue, because many of them state or imply that the end of the road is some kind of U.N. system of world government in which Americans will eventually be taxed and forced to pay for the welfare benefits of everyone on the planet.

That is, of course, the end of the road where welfare state liberalism will take us, if left unchecked as it is now.

Yet conservatives are na

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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