I usually read a few verses before retiring each evening. Last night I came across this:
Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria, Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden, since it is close by, next to my house. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or, if you prefer, I will give you its value in money."
Jeffrey A. Miron is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron blogs at http://jeffreymiron.com and is the author of Libertarianism, from A to Z, from Basic Books.
Arizona's new immigration policy, which requires aliens to carry immigration papers and directs the police to detain "suspected aliens," has re-ignited debates over how to reduce illegal immigration. Most of this debate involves wishful thinking: the claim that stricter border controls or Arizona-like measures can make a real difference. The reality is that only four policies can significantly reduce illegal immigration.
The first is allowing more legal immigration. This point is obvious but worth emphasizing. The United States has an illegal immigration problem because it restricts legal immigration. So long as large wage differences persist between the U.S. and other countries, especially Latin America, the desire to immigrate will persist and occur illegally if it is not permitted legally.
Legal migration, moreover, is good for America and rest of the world. Immigration allows people in poor countries to seek a better life here, bringing ideas and energy with them, and it shows the world that many people still regard America as the land of opportunity. Many immigrants are far poorer than the poorest Americans, so helping them makes far more sense than operating a generous welfare state.
Restrictions on immigration are also costly, since they create black markets, generate violence, and spawn corruption. Fences and borders patrols are expensive, and they do not seem to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants. So any attempt to reduce illegal immigration should eschew enhanced enforcement and instead increase legal immigration.
The below article was recently published by Newsweek. I heard it being discussed on Free Talk Live this weekend. During their discussion they didn't seem to realize that it was written as satire in the vein of Jonathan's Swift famous article on how to deal with poverty. It shows how unlibertarian it would be to increase the power and size of government along our borders.
by Christopher Dickey
Immigration and IDs: A Modest Proposal
All Americans-whether brown, white, or black-should be required to carry a passport showing they are red, white, and blue.
"As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport," declared Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes, one of the sponsors of a resolution to boycott Arizona's businesses because of its new immigration law. "If I come across an officer who's having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be…deported, no questions asked," the hyperbolic Reyes told the Los Angeles Times this week. "That is not American.''
As it happens, when I was in Arizona for a conference last month I carried my passport everywhere I went. Not that I really expected to be asked for it: I was born in Tennessee and my Scots-Irish, English, German, and Danish forebears got me an exemption from such tribulations, even in Arizona, simply because they were all white. The fact is, I always carry my passport. After years living and working in Europe, the Middle East, and Central America, I've grown used to the idea that cops can ask me for my "papers" any time they choose.
Whenever I see a public opinion poll, and it shows what the majority opposes and supports, I sometimes ask this question: Can a majority of the people be wrong? If one were to look at history, the answer would be at times "yes," the majority can be wrong.
There was once a majority of people during the 18th and 19th centuries that believed that women should not have the right to vote. They further believed that women should not go to law school nor should they be allowed to inherit or buy property. It was not until the late 19th century and early 20th that the people realized the fallacy of this belief and worked hard to change it.
This just in from the NJ Hall Institute of Public Policy:
Written by Richard Lee
With great fanfare earlier this week, the New Meadowlands Stadium submitted a bid to the NFL to host Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.
"Hosting the Super Bowl in the New York/New Jersey area will not only place the game of football on the largest stage it's ever seen, but the positive economic impact for the region will be substantial," Woody Johnson, Chairman and CEO of the New York Jets, said after the bid was submitted on Wednesday. "Studies have shown that the economic benefit would exceed $550 million, providing a major boost to this area on many levels."
Johnson's comments about the economic benefits of the big game were echoed by other leading figures from the world of sports, as well as state lawmakers promoting New Jersey's efforts to host the contest. In addition, most news accounts of the bid submission reported that the host committee is projecting that a local Super Bowl will generate $550 million for the region. Likewise, a Senate resolution supporting the proposal promises that "the economic benefits of a Super Bowl in this state would be substantial, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity."
But you may not want to count that money too soon.
On Saturday, May Day, my wife and I went to Broadway to see the King Tut exhibit and also a new musical on the early years of Sun Records and its first stars. It was almost a pleasant afternoon, and we had dinner and then easily caught a cab back to Penn Station. Sometime later, a loon drove a SUV up to the very corner we stood at and set it up to explode and kill innocent people. Luckily, an alert vendor and then an NYPD officer cleared the Times Square area, and had the police disarm the bomb. This is the eleventh time since 9-11 that New York City has experienced a real terrorist threat. At least this guy did not have the courage of his convictions -- he decided he did not wish to be a suicide bomber, but vanished down Shubert Alley and then out to JFK airport where he was picked up by the authorities.
In 1987, the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee was taking on the question of whether there should be a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Economist Milton Friedman was one of the men who testified on its behalf. During a question and answer period with then-Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the discussion got a little heated. During this period, Milton Friedman said to the Senator "Socialism has not worked in a thousand years of recorded history, why don't you give it up, Senator Kennedy?" Kennedy got up from his chair and replied the following to Milton Friedman: "The reason socialism has failed for a thousand years is because they didn't have me running it." This exchange is recorded in the Congressional Record.
Dear Friend of Liberty,
The recent legislation in Arizona has put immigration back in the news.
The Libertarian Party has a long history of defending immigration. Our website has an article discussing immigration. I think that if there's a problem with massive illegal immigration, then one of the best solutions is to make legal immigration easier.