Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Benefits of 40 Million Illegal Aliens

I wouldn't call immigration my favorite issue. But it is certainly a pivotal issue. A lot of assumptions come to the surface in a discussion of immigration, and that presents an opportunity for clarification of thought.

When I decided to run for Congress, I debated over which Party to run under, whether the Libertarian or the Constitution Party. I like the pro-Christian rhetoric of the Constitution Party; the Libertarian Party is secular, with some strong anti-Christian elements among its supporters (e.g., the Objectivists). But in my opinion the Libertarian Party is more Christian in its policies than the Constitution Party, and the immigration issue was the issue that shifted the balance in favor of the Libertarian Party.

The Constitution Party is anti-immigrant. This stands in stark contrast to the Biblical position. It's a huge theme in the Bible: Israel emigrated to Egypt during a famine, had favorable status under one Pharaoh, but was oppressed by a later Pharaoh, becoming in a sense "illegal aliens" in Egypt. After the Exodus, God reminded Israel:

Exodus 22:21 Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

Leviticus 19:34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 10:19 So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

I could cite many more passages. It is a major Biblical theme, and the Constitution Party misses it! The CP's thinking is based on numerous unBiblical socialist and collectivist assumptions. David Chilton, in his book Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, has done a fine job of summarizing Biblical law on this issue:


Socialist thinking runs deep on this issue. Every Candidate for office in the CP (and the LP) should be required to complete George Reisman's home study course in capitalism.

Reisman's treatise on Capitalism is gigantic (1000 8x11 pages with two columns of 10-point [or less!] type) but eminently readable. One of my all-time favorite books. The retail price of $100 is worth the investment. A pdf version of the book is available for free on Reisman's website:

Essential reading on this issue is in chapter 9, "The Influence of the Division of Labor on the Institutions of Capitalism," Part C, "Economic Competition," Section 6, "The Population Question," and Section 7, "Free Immigration."

Competition benefits everyone, even the one who is out-competed. Henry Ford out-competed the horse-and-buggy manufacturers. Obviously we all benefited, but even the displaced workers in the horse-and-buggy industry ended up living in a better world. They benefited from decreased transportation costs, and other benefits provided by their competitors. Unions and anti-immigrant forces are competition-phobic. They want their Big Brother the government to protect them from those mean ol' competitors.

More people is good. Hard-working aliens are good for America, as long as America follows God's Law with respect to aliens (which we are not at present). More aliens means more jobs can be created. More human potential will be unleashed. Specialization and economic development will increase. Reisman shows that arguments about America being unable to absorb immigrants into the economy reflect a crippled and stagnant view of capitalism. In 1880 there were 50 million people in America. Ask the anti-immigrant crowd in 1880 if America could possibly absorb four times as many people, and they would have said "absolutely not." But 100 years later, our population was four times as great (200 million). And our economy is 100 times larger. By 2080 the population will be 500 million. And if our economy isn't 1000 times larger than it is today, it will be the government's fault -- and the fault of socialist-thinking anti-immigrants, seeking government protection against growth and change. Christian Capitalism should give us clean, nuclear-powered cars, genetic engineering should make food almost free . . . who can even imagine the possibilities? And if we have immigrants mowing our lawns and hammering the nails, the rest of us can develop our specializations: curing diseases, programming computers, discovering free energy, and developing the capital infrastructure that will dramatically increase production and lower prices on everything. And the next generation of immigrants moves up the ladder of the division of labor as well.

La Raza claims there are 40 million immigrants in the U.S. In terms of capitalist economics, this is not a problem. It could be a cultural problem, and I'll discuss that in the next post.

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