Immigration Benefits America
A bipartisan group of senators has proposed basic principles that could lead to a reform of the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system. That’s not only positive for the country, but bullish for the markets as well.
Imagine you lived on a remote island with just 30 other people. You have a small economy: a few farmers, a doctor, someone making clothes, a shopkeeper, even some lazy slackers. One day 10 new people get shipwrecked onto the island. They’re peaceful and hard working: One guy is skilled at fixing houses, another is an excellent cook. Some are good managers, or inventors, others are just good at following assignments.
In America, this would be called an immigration crisis, and politicians on our little island would immediately send troops to prevent these “illegals” from coming ashore, lowering wages, stealing jobs and ruining the country. Yet if you care about your life, it is unquestionably in your best interest to let them stay.
In a free economy, more people allows even greater specialization of labor. Instead of one doctor, you’d have three each focusing on becoming experts at specific kinds of medicine. An additional engineer might specialize in more efficient building techniques, freeing up others who previously laid brick to create new jobs and new types of wealth. The pie isn’t redistributed, but grown.
Would our lives really be better had Alexander Graham Bell (pictured above), an illegal immigrant back in 1873, been unable to scale a barbed wire fence at the Canadian border?
Along with eliminating the entitlement state, open immigration in the United States would be an unquestionable boon to the economy. Because there is no limit on the amount of wealth and prosperity that can be created, we should welcome more immigrants to this country just as we should on our remote island.
The term “illegal” itself simply doesn’t apply. There is nothing objectively criminal about being a foreigner, working at a construction site or renting an apartment. Beyond screening for Islamic terrorists, those with infectious diseases or other obvious risks, the doors to this country and the ability to work and live here should be open.
Hard-working immigrants are an unquestionable economic benefit. The fact that foreigners are eager to pick crops, clean houses, bus tables and produce allows more of us to afford cheaper food and better services, affording us even more wealth to enjoy and invest. It’s not the immigrants, but the taxes, spending and entitlements (most of which immigrants don’t even receive) that have drained the economy dry.
Alexander Hamilton (founding father), Domingo Ghirardelli (chocolatier) John Jacob Bausch (founder, Bausch & Lomb), Andrew Carnegie (industrialist), Joseph Pulitzer (publisher), Johnny Weissmuller (Olympic athlete), Ayn Rand (philosopher) and Bob Hope (entertainer) would have all been considered illegal immigrants and refused entry if they came to this country today. How much wealthier are our lives now because they were not?