A libertarian rethinks immigration

Instapundit recently linked to an article at the libertarian Reason magazine with a premise I found – considering the authors and the magazine – surprisingly dimwitted. No, a border wall is not necessarily morally equivalent to the Berlin Wall, or anywhere near it. Consider Hadrian’s Wall, or the Great Wall of China. Sometimes there are actual barbarians on the other side of it.

But this does motivate me to try to clarify my own thoughts about libertarianism and immigration. Is there, in fact, any libertarian defense of border and immigration controls?

Let’s dispose of a red herring first. The fact that immigration controls are enforced by a government is not dispositive for at least two reasons. One is that one may be a minarchist libertarian, holding that governments have a legitimate but small and rigidly constrained set of duties including national defense; to the extent that border and immigration controls are construed as national defense, there’s no problem in principle with them. That’s the easy case, which I’m going to ignore for the rest of this essay except to note that I think this is how the founders of the U.S. would have conceived the matter.

Even for anarcho-capitalists like myself, government enforcement of law may be regarded as a historical accident that in itself doesn’t tell us much about which laws arise from the natural rights of individuals. The question to be addressed here is whether any system of law founded on those natural rights could include border controls on a defined territory.

The first question on the way to answering that is what “natural right” could border controls possibly be a defense of? The obvious one is that they might be justified as a form of collective self-defense. If you’ve got a peaceful, prosperous libertopia going, you’d really prefer not to have a bunch of people who haven’t signed on to your social contract walking in. Because you’re likely to have to kill or expel a lot of them in self-defense, and who wants that aggravation? Better to keep them out in the first place, allowing in only those who are willing to contract. Or who are sponsored by a citizen who is willing to post a bond against their behavior for the first N years.

(I’m being vague about how the process of binding oneself to the libertopian social contract works because there are a couple of different theories about that. None of the differences among these theories is relevant to the present essay. I will note that under any of them, “libertopia enforces the law” would cash out to “insurance companies pay security agencies to do it because the alternative is profiting less on those crime-insurance premiums”.)

Generally speaking libertarians don’t have a problem with border controls when the people trying to cross them are organized invaders, or individual criminals. The problem case, related to why immigration has become a hot-button issue in today’s politics, is whether border controls that keep out peaceful immigrants protect any natural right of the libertopians.

Libertarians like to avoid making nebulous ethical claims about groups, so let’s reframe this. J. Random Foreigner shows up at the border of libertopia, claiming he wants to become a member in good standing. What policy should the insurance companies tell their security contractors to have in order to optimize the expected change in payout on their crime-insurance policies?

Notice how this helpfully concretizes the problem. Instead of having abstract arguments about rights, defense of the rights of libertopians is priced into the insurance company’s decisions by people with skin in the game. Notice also that this gives the insurance companies an incentive not only to keep out bad actors, but to let in good ones. Criminals are loss generators; people who genuinely want to join the libertopian social contract, and are capable of doing so, are profit generators.

Let’s start with some obvious extreme cases. The guy has MS-13 tattoos? Nope, nope, nope. Obvious high risk. The guy is wearing Amish plain clothing and has a Pennsylvania Dutch accent? Let him in – those people are famously law-abiding and we can always use good farmers. In both cases one could in the extreme be wrong; Amish guy could be a sociopath and MS-13 guy could have given up gang life. But no rational person would bet on this and the insurance company won’t if it wants to maximize its profits.

Let’s continue by disposing of some obvious objections. Will the insurance companies exclude black- or brown-skinned people? I don’t think so. And if you think so, you’re probably a racist I want nothing to do with.

Why do I say that? Remember, the insurance companies are trying to optimize the effect of immigration on their profits. If you believe that having a black or brown skin is a sufficiently reliable predictor of being a loss generator for the insurance companies to use it, there are only two possibilities. Either you are wrong, in which case you have an irrational fixation about race and should be deeply ashamed of yourself. Or you are right, in which case the entire objection to “racism” as a belief system pretty much vanishes. I think the former is much more likely.

On the other hand, screening for a minimum IQ threshold would make a lot of sense from what we know about the correlation between IQ, time preference, and criminality. Set at any reasonable level, almost all Ashkenazic Jews will pass that screen, while many Australian aborigines and sub-Saharan Africans will fail it. This looks like racism, but isn’t; the only ethical question here is how predictive your tests are of the qualities required for an individual to function as a libertopian.

(Which also disposes of the usual nonsense about cultural bias in IQ tests. Cultural bias is actually part of the point here; you want immigrants who can function, speak your language or at least learn it rapidly, assimilate. A bit of cultural bias in the tests might be a good thing, though I’d myself be inclined to try to tune it out.)

Since you probably don’t want a repeat of the Rotherham/Cologne/Malmo rape-gang atrocities, there are some combinations of age, religion and country of origin that should be a crash landing. Anyone you have good reason to suspect of believing infidel girls are fair game to be “taken with the right hand” (as the Koran puts it) should be turned away. Worst case there’ll be a rape or murder victim, best case somebody will have to shoot him.

The predicate for this isn’t as simple as “Muslim” or even “Muslim male”. The university-educated 40-something Persian engineer I used to have as a downstairs neighbor would have been a good bet; anyone aged 13 to 35 from the back county of Afghanistan or the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, on the other hand…

Now let’s talk about the subtler aspect of the screening problem, which our hypothetical tribesman is a good lead-in to. This is the part I didn’t understand until recently, and why I’m more sympathetic to immigration restrictionists than I used to be.

Libertopia has both tangible and intangible assets. The intangible ones include, for example, the intelligence and pro-social traits of its people. Another is its voluntary consensus about how things ought to be done – and (which is not quite the same thing) the social contract itself. If I am a member of the contract network of security professionals and arbitrators that enforce libertopia’s norms, I’m not going to think my job ends with defending the tangible assets of libertopians. In fact, I’d consider identifying and defending the intangible assets more important, because they’re more fragile.

Again, let’s concretize this. One of the intangible assets I benefit from as an American – and which I would expect libertopia to have – is that in my society, I can usually make handshake deals with strangers and expect them to be honored. I live in a context of what people who study this sort of thing call “high social trust”. (In part because I avoid the places in the U.S. where social trust levels are low.)

This is more important than anyone who has never lived outside a high-trust society really understands. In low-trust societies, you can’t count on anyone outside your family or tribe not to betray an agreement for short-term advantage. Large-scale cooperation is difficult. Rates of crime and violence are high, the law is unreliable, and at the extreme blood feuds are a common way of pursuing disputes.

The sociologist Robert Putnam is now (in)famous for noticing that diversity – whether it’s linguistic, ethno-racial, or religious – erodes social trust. This is why in “diverse” societies people tend to self-segregate into groups of like kind; they want to deal with neighbors whose behavior they can predict. But what Putnam found is that diversity does not merely erode trust across groups; it erodes trust within them as well.

If I’m a citizen of libertopia, one of the things I want defended with my crime-insurance premiums is the high trust level of my society.

This is why my position about immigration policy in the real world is different than it used to be. I started with the usual libertarian disposition in favor of open borders. I also started with – I’m now ashamed to admit – the usual Blue-Tribe presumption that opposition to unrestricted immigration is at best vulgar and plebeian, at worst narrow-minded if not actually racist.

I should have listened more and reflected the class prejudices of my birth SES less. I now understand that the core complaint of the anti-immigration Trump voters isn’t even about illegals low-balling them out of jobs, although that’s certainly a factor. It’s “I want to keep the high level of social trust I grew up with, and I see mass immigration – especially mass illegal immigration – eroding that.” They think the political elites of both parties, and corporations profit-taking in the labor market, are throwing away that intangible asset to plump up a bit more power and profit.

I now think that is a serious – and justified – complaint.

In the short term, the willful denial of this problem by our soi-disant “elites” is probably Donald Trump’s best hope for reelection in 2020. And no, I’m not excluding the booming economy; I think this matters more to his base, even if they have trouble articulating it. And I don’t think that priority is wrong.

In the longer term, what is to be done about it?

I think I’ve already shown that the contingent fact that real-world border controls would have to be enforced by a government is not really a bar to designing them. Americans made choices over generations to build the asset called “high social trust”; the fact that they must now, practically speaking, use government to defend it is no more problematic than are government-enforced laws against theft, rape, and murder. How we transition from the current system to libertopia is an orthogonally different question.

To begin with, I’d have the Border Patrol and ICE do what libertopians would do. Screen by individual merit and by culture of origin, deliberately excluding people from barbaric low-trust milieux, people who don’t speak English, people with seriously subnormal IQs.

Because I think I know what policies are ethically proper for libertopians to do to defend themselves, I think I know what is ethically proper for Americans to do. And it all has to begin with the premise that coming to the U.S. is not a right, it is a privilege you earn from the expectation that adding you will be good for the health and future of America.

517 thoughts on “A libertarian rethinks immigration

    • I didn’t see the uncorrected version, but I assume Eric used ‘abos’ or similar. Yes, now regarded as extremely offensive, although a better comparison would be describing Native Americans as Red Indians. The nigger equivalent in Australia would be ‘blackfella’ – commonly used by blackfellas themselves, not acceptable for outsiders.

      In case you want to make a further correction Eric, ‘aborigine’ should be capitalised ‘Aborigine’ when referring to Australian Aboriginals to distinguish them from the generic term.

      Oh wait, it should be Aboriginal (not Aborigine because that has colonial connotations) and should be suffixed with ‘Peoples’ to make it clear it’s not a pigeon hole.

      Of course, the term Aboriginal Peoples is deprecated now, most Australian writers now refer to Indigenous Australians or possibly First Nations People.

      Basically it’s like the People of Colour thing – whatever you write, you’ll never be right.

      Here’s a handy style guide if this ever comes up again, with more information than you ever wanted to know on how to hit a moving target.

      https://www.commonground.org.au/learn/aboriginal-or-indigenous

      • >Basically it’s like the People of Colour thing – whatever you write, you’ll never be right.

        Got it, thanks. I guess I need to have a policy about this. Here it is:

        I will not use ethnonyms that a reasonable person might interpret as belittling or intentionally offensive.

        I will not refrain from using ‘deprecated’ ethnonyms when it appears that the push to abandon them was an obvious political maneuver engaged in to demonstrate the ability of some gang of grievance paddlers to manipulate the language.

        I would never have used “blackfella”. I used “abo” out of ignorance of its connotations and will not again. But at the point where people are trying to Newspeak away a neutral descriptive phrase like “Australian aborigine” I bail out.

        No, PC hall monitors, you do not impress me with your demand that I conform to every memorandum from the Ministry of Truth. “Fascism masquerading as good manners”, indeed.

  1. Anarco-capitalism? I don’t know about that, but the unfettered capitalism we have now privatises the gains, but socialises the losses and future costs like climate change. It favours profits over people. Governments should be humanist e.g. temper capitalism with social and environmental protections for the public good.

    • >socialises the losses

      There’s your hint that it’s not capitalism. Bailouts, “too big to fail”, the FED, financial markets regulations (there’s a lot of that, and none of it accomplishes it’s stated goals) are very much not capitalism.

      >It favours profits over people
      What’s profit?

      >public good
      That’s not really an objective concept.

    • “unfettered capitalism”?! What have you been smoking and where can I get some? Must be some really good shit, man.

      The simple fact is that business staggers under massive piles of sometimes contradictory regulations enforced mainly by arbitrary, capricious unelected bureaucrats. We don’t need more government regulation. We need less. Much less.

      • The essential problem of over-regulation is the problem of sociopaths bribing judges. The way around that is to make the regulations clear and exact enough that a judge will lose their reputation by ruling for the sociopaths. Solve the problem of sociopathy and all the rules for a nation could probably fit into a single book.

          • That’s a similar, but related problem. The problem I’m considering is akin to the problem of how much of a particular, very old and much-used program is code which is intended to fix defects and bugs. The original program may have been a very useful 2 megs. The newest version is 26 megs and growing, with 20 of those megs used to detail what happens when using the program with a buggy Brand_X video driver or a common user error, or whatever…

            Code, whether legal or in programs, evolves to address the defects of previous code. Sometimes it does so well, and sometimes it does so poorly, mainly because it has to cover too many edge cases. In computers complex code can be designed to address the kinds of errors fallible users makes. In law, complex code is frequently designed to address the actions of sociopaths who found loopholes in previous versions of the legal code.

            • Well, the problem is that adding complexity doesn’t even work. The more complex the code, the more loopholes there are for sociopaths to find. In extreme cases you end up with Anarcho-Tyranny, i.e., code so complex it’s only usable by sociopaths.

              • Very much equivalent to that moment when it becomes more useful to rewrite the whole thing than add more code for dealing with the bugs in the newest version of the AE-35 unit (or whatever.)

                I wonder whether it would be possible to build some kind of a regulatory simulation engine…

        • > The way around that is to make the regulations clear and exact enough

          So you think your elected officials are smart enough to come *anywhere* close to doing this?

          Or do you think they should have the regulatory agencies actually write the clear, concise regulations?

          • “It’s a trap!”

            In case anyone was unaware, having the regulatory agencies write the regulations has been tried. It’s an ongoing horrific disaster.

    • environmental protections

      No one gets to use this against the free market in this universe. Not when around the start of the industrial revolution Governments broke the back of the common law mechanisms for handling pollution.

    • I call Poe’s Law. This is too textbook an example of leftie duckspeak, you wouldn’t get this many discredited tropes in such a small space by chance.

      At least, I hope it’s not possible for anyone really to be that daft.

      (Before anyone criticises me for not addressing his remarks on the object level: I think the other replies have done that sufficiently.)

  2. I don’t have a complete response to this question, but I think there are three points to be made about it:

    1. In a libertarian analysis of the Constitution (I think it may have been by Randy L. Barnett), I saw the point made that in the phrase “under such regulations, and with such exceptions,” the word “regulation” does not mean, as it now does, the prohibition of an activity; that’s covered by “exceptions.” To regulate is to provide a regular way of doing something that people have a right to do. For example, getting married is a regular way to carry on a lasting sexual relationship—”making it legal,” as the old phrase has it. If you have a border (whether national or between jurisdictions of protection agencies), and youi provide a procedure for crossing it, one that includes checking for such things as violent intent and contagious disease, that isn’t inherently antilibertarian.

    2. While open immigration is fundamentally desirable, it’s not a stable situation if you have a welfare state; it will attract migrants who have no intention of doing anything productive but simply want to use the tax system to prey on the current residents. In fact that’s an issue in the United States now, with California’s generous welfare policies attracting a disproportionate number of welfare consumers. Of course it could be said that jurisdictions that pay welfare deserve to be destroyed to encourage the others, and that open borders will help this happen, but on the other hand it’s hard on the productive population if the welfare system is made steadily more of a burden for them to carry.

    3. An even worse effect, which Rotherham illustrates, is that the immigrants may be actively protected from penalties for criminal behavior. Indeed I remember discussing this with a grouip of progressive friends, and one of them said to me that I should remember that these were people froma different cultural background—which apparently meant that if they traveled to a country that had laws against forcible rape they ought not to be expected to follow those laws. Knowing that immigrants will be allowed to commit crimes with impunity is a strong argument for keeping such immigrants out.

    In sum, unsound policies toward immigrants that enable them to gain from violation of the rights of residents make open immigration a problem.

    • Great points. Your third point is, I think, another thing Trump voters understand that liberal elites fail to understand.

      It is easy to see that the progressive stance towards illegal immigrants offers them a near complete capability to break minor laws at will with no consequence. People have seen all over the country stories of an illegal immigrant who finally commits a heinous crime having previously been released many times for other crimes because of the “We can’t deport illegals!!” stance of the progressives. In my small town, closer to Canada than Mexico, we had one of these people end up killing a high school aged kid in a drunk driving accident even after having committed other crimes that should have sent him packing. It’s all over the place and it’s insidious and people KNOW it.

      We are importing a no trust society in bulk. This doesn’t end well.

      If the left continues to get the unfettered immigration they want you will be able to see the effect by looking to their elites. In the future when their gentried neighborhoods are guarded by full riot gear troops at the gates and the walls around the neighborhood are 20 feet high with discretely hidden razor wire at the top, you’ll know the society is now a new low trust neo-feudalist society. But of course we won’t be behind walls, and if the progressives get our guns like they desire so much we will be defenseless living in a dystopian nightmare.

      This is how you get more Trump.

    • “While open immigration is fundamentally desirable”

      This seems to be a massive unsupported assumption. Why is it fundamentally desirable?

      • Fair question. It’s fundamentally desirable according to libertarian ethics. The usual response is that immigrants are, like nearly all human beings, much more likely to be prosperity generators than prosperity sinks. In general, you want more people, not less.

        The more subtle point Eric is trying to make is that there’s an unwritten assumption here: you want more people like you, not less.

        • And an unwritten assumption wedged in by pro open immigration types is that all people are really like us, and the differences are just veneer, “socially constructed” – and can be just as easily deconstructed.

          • Also known (by Steve Sailer I believe) as the Magic Dirt theory: once a foreigner sets foot here, they “become an American.” It’s “racist” or something to point out the unsupported assumptions.

          • Plus the well-documented assumption that we’re lousy people hell-bent on destroying the world, and any immigrants are therefore by definition better.

            There is, of course, never an attempt to reconcile these two contradictory claims.

        • That may be true when we’re able to attract the cream of the crop from the rest of the world to live here. But managing diversity has proven to be such a massive time and money sink, that I’m not sure whether there is a net benefit in a complete analysis. This definitely fails once we’re starting to talk about family reunification and illegal immigration.

          > The more subtle point Eric is trying to make is that there’s an unwritten assumption here: you want more people like you, not less.

          Wut? I thought diversity was our greatest strength. J/K

          • There’s another problem with the “cream of the crop” concept: that can create a feedback loop of shitty countries losing their “cream” and becoming even shittier countries, causing even more residents to want to flee.

            • Yes, that’s the story of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, with the United States as the shitty country. But I think I’d go with Rand’s two moral points: Why does the shitty country have any right to demand that its better residents stay there and keep suffering from its shittiness, and why does any other country have an obligation to care what happens to it?

              • They don’t and they don’t — except for the pragmatic concern that we are safer if the rest of the world is affluent and peaceful. I don’t have a clear notion of how you make that tradeoff.

          • We’re not usually managing diversity. We’re usually managing people who react badly to diversity. The best and easiest way to manage diversity is an attitude of lassiez-faire; go be diverse, have fun! We’ll be over here.

            The worst we encounter (aside from managing the anti-diverse) is the preference for translating signs into multiple languages or having ESL programs in schools. (Note that I have no sympathy for recent immigrants who don’t know our laws and don’t put significant effort into learning out language. When I traveled as a young man I was very careful about making sure I knew the laws/customs of any country where I traveled, plus as much of the language as I could pick up. If I planned to settle down I’d certainly find someone to teach me the formal version of their language!)

            • >We’re not usually managing diversity.

              We absolutely are. The biggest troublemakers are not the racists, who have zero social capital, but the virtue-signalers from the majority (i.e., progressives) and the proportion of minorities that are very bitter about being minorities. They have single handedly created parasitic industries like diversity training and grievance profiteering. They have reduced social trust to an extreme degree, and have been instrumental in restricting fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech.

          • I would be inclined to say that diversity is *a* strength. But I would also say it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and that *no* “good thing” is so “good” as to avoid that fact.

            On immigration itself: I’m inclined to the stance that immigration is, in the long term, a net positive. However, I would postulate that there is *some* upper limit on the *rate* at which any society can absorb, integrate, and acculturate new immigrants. And that this rate varies depending on the condition of the receiving society, and the degree of cultural difference between said society and the arriving immigrants, just to name two main factors.
            What this rate *is* is probably as hard to pin down as the Laffer Curve, made worse by the fact that it’s almost certainly a moving target over time. I have to wonder: has anyone done any serious sociological research into how well a society can absorb immigrants, and what factors drive that rate?

            I would also postulate an economic limit: even ignoring the societal limit, it would seem obvious that there is some maximum rate at which an *economy* can absorb new workers, regardless of whether those workers are immigrants or “native.” And this would *also* be a moving target, because no economy is constantly stable over time.

            Of course, making determinations of these rates is complicated by the simple fact that there’s such a long lag time between action and result, at the national level of economic and immigration policy. Not to mention the difficulty of nailing down exact cause/effect relationships, or the tendency of people in general towards confirmation bias.

            This is another reason I (speaking as an American) tend to lean towards federalism over centralized federal power — the idea of the States being competitors in a market of policy ideas seems like the most effective way to get “test data” back in usable time frames.

            • The problem here is that Trump has done as much damage to sane immigration policy as McCarthy did to sane anticommunism. Just fucked it all up for anyone who has concerns in this area.

              • Trump: says something vaguely dumb about immigration
                CNN/NYT/NBC/et al.: spends millions amplifying what Trump said, ignores how vague it is, and instead explains how it could mean something horrific
                Trout: “It’s Trump’s fault!”

        • Freedom should include freedom of movement. If you don’t like the way your state/nation regulates, for example, abortion, you can find a better place.*

          “Better” obviously being a matter of personal taste.

      • Well, there are two responses to this:

        1. As a consequence of basic libertarian principles: the ethical idea that sapient beings have a right to engage in any actions that are based on mutual informed consent, and the economic idea that mutually voluntary and consensual transactions (such as renting a house or taking a job) are welfare improving.

        2. As a corollary of David Ricardo’s arguments for free trade as against protectionism, including the principle of comparative advantage.

    • it’s not a stable situation if you have a welfare state; it will attract migrants who have no intention of doing anything productive but simply want to use the tax system to prey on the current residents.

      Or if you simply have a democracy so the migrants can vote themselves a welfare state.

      • That’s why I’m opposed to democracy. As James Madison warned, it can lead to “paper money, or the abolition of debts, or the equal division of property, or [some] other improper and wicked scheme.”

          • Depending on how warped your definition of “welfare” is maybe Stalinist Communism? ;)

            Seriously though, I think he mean’t you can only have a welfare state with open borders if most of the people living in it don’t get a say on the matter.
            Because, I assume, the productive would have to be forced to provide welfare for the lazy/incompetent.

            I think the “strong” only want to cary the “weak” if the weak are somehow theirs. Once they feel they have to carry people that fundamentaly disagree with their ways/undermine their society (erode social trust?) the willingness to provide welfare goes away.

            I can’t, however, think of a real-life example of such a state.
            They probably break down before going down in history as a “state”, both in the sense of a “body of government”, as well as in the sense of a “condition that prevails over a minimal amount of time”.

          • Rome pretty effectively met those criteria, leading up to the collapse in the west.

            Might tell you something.

          • You would have a bread-and-circuses state where the people are generously rewarded for existing by the King in order to keep starvation and public disorder to a minimum.

            Classically, the city of Rome during the early Empire.

            In modern times: Singapore, maybe? I don’t know how much of a welfare state they have. There are probably others. Singapore fails on non-open borders. Never mind that one. I can’t really think of any modern state with truly open borders, probably because everyone intuitively knows it’s a really terrible idea.

          • The Warsaw Pact states. They welcomed anyone who actually wanted to come to them, but in fact almost nobody wanted to (with the exception of some spies and RAF terrorists). But the majority of their people (especially in the GDR) wanted out, and were not allowed to. So you could make the point that their borders were only semi-open.

  3. One possible reason that an insurance company might choose racism in your libertopian society is that although there might be no individual differences based on race, it’s still possible that a racially homogeneous society would be lower risk. Because of that factor, whichever race started the nation would exclude others. A nation that adopted such a policy would not be my choice of an ideal place to live, but I’m not an insurance company.

    If potential founders of similar societies all have equal access to capital, that could lead to a society of separate but equal nations. But trying to get there from the world as it stands now would likely be a disaster for black and brown people, who would largely lack the means to start a successful society due to the effects of previous discrimination. It’s possible that non-black investors would choose to offer capital to black nations, as those investments could be financially successful even for investors who are not eligible to live in that nation.

    Unless there were also a significant number of non-homogeneous nations, such a world would not work out well for small minority groups that are out of favor with most of the rest of the world and lack the numbers to form their own nations. Widely oppressed groups like the Romani might have difficulty finding anywhere to go.

    • >One possible reason that an insurance company might choose racism in your libertopian society is that although there might be no individual differences based on race, it’s still possible that a racially homogeneous society would be lower risk.

      That wouldn’t be racism, because it wouldn’t be a disposition to believe false things about individuals based on their race. It wouldn’t be an irrational response to facts. I have to insist on that distinction – because otherwise (for example) it would be racist of doctors to treat all American blacks as intrinsically at risk for hypertension, leading to avoidable deaths.

      Anyway, I can’t see the kind rational but absolute color bar you propose surviving the existence of extremely talented black musicians and athletes.

      • The steelman form of “racism” is precisely the sort of -statistical- argumentation you yourself perform, in terms of IQ, cultural compatibility, “reliable predictor of being a loss generator”, etc.

        • Congratulations on making “racism” into a good thing then I guess?

          Someone has yet to learn the lesson of Not Ceding The Truth to Racists.

        • >The steelman form of “racism” is precisely the sort of -statistical- argumentation you yourself perform, in terms of IQ, cultural compatibility, “reliable predictor of being a loss generator”, etc.

          I reject this, because I have observed racism to be irrational – driven by the believer’s emotional needs even if those are obscured by factual argumentation. Are you really going to tell me that doctors are racist for differentially treating hypertension in American blacks?

          • “Are you really going to tell me …”
            Please don’t cathy newman me.

            You are starting from an impressionistic definition of racism – that is what you label others’ perceived irrationality. Fine. That is not the dictionary definition, and therefore I don’t care to defend it.

            My point is though that from the point of view of someone who has been accused of “racism” (either by your or by a dictionary definition), may be doing nothing more than applying the exact same statistical argumentation as you think insurance companies should do.

            An outside observer may not tell the difference.

            • >My point is though that from the point of view of someone who has been accused of “racism” (either by your or by a dictionary definition), may be doing nothing more than applying the exact same statistical argumentation as you think insurance companies should do.

              In that case I’m going to say that either that “racism” is good rather than evil, or that the definition of racism has been blurred to the point where it is not useful, or both.

              I don’t care about the map. I care about the territory. I refuse to be cowed by arguments of the form “this booga-booga word could be applied to you by careless or malicious people, therefore you must change what you think and speak.”

              • That sounds entirely right. With that in mind, perhaps those two paragraphs (preemptively disavowing the word, blurry as it is) need not have been there. But hey, it’s your blog. :-)

              • As your point about hypertension demonstrated, racism involves unprovable differences between races. (The definition of “provable” is another matter and results in considerable argument.)

            • Being racist is not about *if* or *how* you treat people differently, it’s about *why*.

              It is true that the *why* might not be directly observable from the outside, but it still matters.

              With what you call steelman form of racism I suspect you mean the statistical argumentation is not the real *why* behind the behaviour, but only a front, a rationalization, right?

              I don’t think this is the case with ESRs arguments.

  4. No, a border wall is not necessarily morally equivalent to the Berlin Wall

    I never knew that the Berlin Wall was intended to keep people out of East Berlin. [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

    • This.

      It infuriates me that people try to conflate the Berlin Wall with border security, and when people object to the fact that the Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany The problem was not that it divided people; it’s that it improisoned some of them. I wrote about this distinction over a decade ago, and I stand by every word of it today. The right of exit (which the Berlin Wall violated) is such a valuable protection against abuse and exploitation that I consider it one of the fundamental human rights (because it helps to protect the others).

      • It’s probably worth it for you to read the Reason article Eric linked. It specifically addresses this distinction in the case of Trump’s deal with Mexico to have Mexico lock is own emigrants in, as well as other Central American refugees currently within its borders.

        • While having American immigration policy enforced on Mexican territory is questionable it only becomes wrong when in intend or practice it prevents people from moving to other countries who do in fact allow their immigration.

  5. Nothing I have read since the election has gotten as close to the mark on why I think Trump was elected. Conservatives are tired of having these feelings about immigration chewed up and spat back at them with invective, being called names, and then having people stick their fingers in their ears and say, “La la la CAN’T HEAR YOU,” when they try to explain this nuance. So the “soi-disant elites” continue to forcibly misunderstand the problem, because they can’t bear to concede that the conservatives might have a point about it, and are presently engineering his re-election. The visible edges of their efforts, like using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to police conservative thought, is their present collective blind spot. Reddit’s re-jiggering of their algorithm so that it keeps /r/t_d off the front page is another. These things only fuel the machine that got him elected the first time.

    The amplifying problem, here, is that this exact same argument applies to other social-justice issues as well.

    Additionally, it’s starting to look like a Sanders/Warren ticket, and Trump/Pence would TROUNCE them.

    • I think it’s going to wind up as Warren/Buttigieg, myself. That lets them check off two intersectional boxes on one ticket.

      • >I think it’s going to wind up as Warren/Buttigieg, myself. That lets them check off two intersectional boxes on one ticket.

        Plausible, except that given that ticket blacks would stay home in droves, and even a 5-10% erosion in black turnout would be fatal to Democratic chances of winning a national election.

        • The “black vote” is already going to be a serious problem for the left ever since the Kayne incidents. The DNC is staring down the barrel of permanent non-reelection.

          Which is hilarious given the number of people who absolutely insist to me that all is lost and Trump will be the last republican president.

      • Flip it; Warren ticks the same race/gonad boxes as Hillary. It’s some other groups’ turn this cycle.

        • “But Hillary wuz robbed by those mean old misogynistic deplorables!” Electing Warren would be seen as righting a wrong.

          • >Electing Warren would be seen as righting a wrong.

            I don’t see her pulling the black vote, either. The Fauxcahontas crap with gaming the AA system is going to rankle a lot of them. Even without that, that schoolmarm-from-New-England presentation she has going seems unlikely to gain her any fans in the ‘hood. Worse, to get the nomination she’ll need to have pushed Kamala Harris and Cory Booker aside.

            • Cory Booker’s campaign is going nowhere fast, and Kamala Harris’s is floundering because she was *gasp!* a prosecutor who put black people in prison!

              I don’t think either of those will survive into next year, never mind get nominated.

              And don’t forget we’ve had a black President, which takes a lot of the edge off of their candidacies…because to the SJWs it’s time to give another intersectional victim class their shot.

              • Eric’s point here is that people who care about getting a black candidate aren’t likely to say “oh well, Harris and Booker were crumpling anyway, may as well vote for Warren”. They’re likely to hold the Dem nominee at least partially responsible for their favored candidate losing, and stay home on election night, feeling that neither candidate is likely to represent them well.

                As you say, there will exist some black voters who don’t like Harris’ record as a prosecutor, and would rather for a different Dem anyway. However, most of them probably live in CA. The rest probably aren’t as familiar.

              • As a Democrat, I don’t think anyone in the party cares about “giving another intersectional class victim a shot.”

                Essentially the mainstream Democratic voters (as opposed to the Democratic Party) are concerned with three things:

                Climate change, laws/regulations which reverse the concentration of wealth (very few democrats want communism, but most of them want our current capitalist system with extra fairness plus middle-class people getting a better piece of the pie,) and getting rid of Trump.*

                Beyond those three, everyone probably has a special selfish thing they want, but those three predominate.

                * “Getting rid of Trump” is very probably a shorthand for “arresting Trump and his family, plus all the people Obama should have arrested but did not.”

                • As a Democrat, I don’t think anyone in the party cares about “giving another intersectional class victim a shot.”

                  *COUGH* reparations for blacks and gays *COUGH*

                  • Well to be fair to Troutwaxer, he is correct that in a sense most rank-and-file Democrats don’t “really” care about reparations.

                    Except they’re being told to care about them by their thought leaders and they tend to care about what they’re told to care about.

                • “laws/regulations which reverse the concentration of wealth”

                  Word of the day is ‘iatrogenic’.

                  You’re apparently looking to cure the disease by applying the cause extra good and hard.

            • -gaming the AA system is going to rankle a lot-

              Meh. She’s a D party hack, AA is D party pork. Who can she lose, Justin Smollett? If anything she’s liable to gain support from D party hacks who liked the Clinton’s taking a half-billion dollar bribe from Microsoft’s competitors to sic the Justice Department on Microsoft, and worry Warren’s too prissy. Warren’s consumer affairs fiasco looked like honest bungling, and she’s never cashed in like she could.

              • I don’t see how honestly bungling being dishonest is somehow a plus.

                (And if it were, Trump oughtta be getting even more votes…)

                • I think Warren honestly thought there was a lot of low-hanging fruit for a consumer affairs bureau that was immune to short-term politics. Well, after fifty years of Consumer Reports and everyone calling their Congressman, no, not unless you really know what you are doing. And she doesn’t. Thus, honest bungling.

                  It’s not like taking a half-billion dollar bribe and selling the Justice Department’s services, which is dishonest. Even if Mueller does a coverup for you. And bungled into ending the dot-com boom.

  6. First, a good video is by Hans Herman Hoppe that addresses some of the same subjects

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=TICdCM4j7x8

    Second, in a high-trust society, you don’t need the insurance or security nonsense and tyranny. You own a gun and enforce your idea of the NAP yourself. In a low trust society, the insurance companies won’t let you have a gun and basically use their security services to lay seige to you (no power, no water, no roads, no trade – Molyneux FDR3255 podcast at 50 minutes in describes it) if you don’t “voluntarily” get insurance, but no coercion here!. Also how do you avoid infinite regression – who secures the security agency, or are they just thugs to the highest bidder – apply “low trust” to insurance and security where they might cheat and steal?

    The high trust societies came out of western Civilization – Christendom – Christian Europe. We’ve discarded that and wonder why our liberty erodes, and why it is being replaced with SJWs finishing the cultural suicide. You don’t want Puritans around but need their work ethic, thrift, and built in NAP. Sitting near someone in church won’t be replaced by a credit score. Your example was an Amish farmer (that would need horse powered infrastructure), not an Atheist professor.

    I also have to add universalism (something is right or wrong for no one or everyone), and low in-group preferences, which is related but different than trust.

    • >Second, in a high-trust society, you don’t need the insurance or security nonsense and tyranny

      Discussion of general libertarian theory would rathole this thread. Don’t go there.

      • The problem is YOU WENT THERE talking about insurance and security companies. Very specifically.

        This is like having several paragraphs about a sorting algorithm, then saying that discussing sorting algorithms would derail the conversation.

        HOW an ancap society would do things IS CENTRAL to the argument, as you posted. The problem is the errors and inconsistencies in Ancap theory.

    • being replaced with SJWs finishing the cultural suicide. You don’t want Puritans around

      That gets a little awkward; because SJWs are the Puritans.

      Back In The Day they nearly killed themselves with pre-Marx communism, and broke up families because that was how to bring about the religious utopia.

      Now they try to kill everyone with post-Marx communism, and break up families because it is how to bring about the (totally not religious! honest!) New Socialist Man.

      A good sized chunk of what is bad in our society has its roots in them. The religion is a sideshow and distraction: plenty of people have been Christians without being monsters. But the way they approached problems and the utopian streak is evil. A pity the fools didn’t finish the job of starving themselves to death when they had the chance.

      • What’s hilarious is that calling modern socialists in America “Puritans” is historically accurate, too. It’s no longer taught well in schools, but the original charter for the colony had “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” clauses. From Governor William Bradford’s “History of ‘Plimoth Plantation'”, pp. 56-57 [spellings exactly as in original via HTML text]:

        It will be meete I here inserte these conditions, which are as foloweth.
        Ano: 1620. July 1.

        1. The adventurers & planters doe agree, that every person that goeth being aged 16. years & upward, be rated at 10li., and ten pounds to be accounted a single share.
        2. That he that goeth in person, and furnisheth him selfe out with 10li. either in money or other provissions, be accounted as haveing 20li. in stock, and in ye devission shall receive a double share.
        3. The persons transported & ye adventurers shall continue their joynt stock & partnership togeather, ye space of 7. years, (excepte some unexpected impedimente doe cause ye whole company to agree otherwise,) during which time, all profits & benifits that are gott by trade, traffick, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of any person or persons, remaine still in ye com?one stock untill ye division.

        10. That all such persons as are of this collonie, are to have their meate, drink, apparell, and all provissions out of ye com?on stock & goods of ye said collonie.

        Of course, the same source tells us of the end of this arrangement in the winter of 1623-1624 (Ibid., pp 162):

        All this whille no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expecte any. So they begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a beter crope then they had done, that they might not still thus languish in miserie. At length, after much debate of things, the Govr (with ye advise of ye cheefest amongest them) gave way that they should set corne every man for his owne perticuler, and in that regard trust to them selves; in all other things to goe on in ye generall way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcell of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no devission for inheritance), and ranged all boys & youth under some familie. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted then other waise would have bene by any means ye Govr or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente. The women now wente willingly into ye feild, and tooke their litle-ons with them to set corne, which before would aledg weaknes, and inabilitie; whom to have compelled would have bene thought great tiranie and oppression.

  7. The problem with how you portray race in your immigration argument is that it assumes a society with negligible racial biases. The examples you mention are all extremes, so they avoid any interesting nuance. Closer to the cutoff point, optimizing for function in aforementioned society doesn’t judge everyone by the same standards — it raises the bar for those already biased against in society while lowering it for those who people assume would just fit in. I’m not sure there’s a way to address that without reducing the effectiveness of immigration policy. The clearest measurable way to see if this is happening is to see if marginalized immigrants are succeeding more than non-marginalized immigrants, but that already presents itself as a contradiction.

    • The problem with how you portray race in your immigration argument is that it assumes a society with negligible racial biases.

      Yes, because profit-seeking drives out race bias. Jim Crow laws were passed because powerful people who wanted to maintain a racial hierarchy knew that markets would chase money even when it was in black hands. Apply that lesson here.

      • That situation only existed because they lost the war and were forced to give up the economics of racial slavery. Mindsets perpetuate and those in power want to keep the status quo. Jim Crow laws only mandated segregation, not inferiority and were upheld as such even by the Supreme Court. It was how they were implemented in practice that was the problem, and took a long time to be recognized as such. I think its rather difficult for even the most talented black individuals to have succeeded in those conditions.

        Things didn’t change because angry profit-seeking business owners wanted to provide better service to get more money when that money is in black hands. Apply that lesson here.

        • The first, failed challenges to Jim Crow were assisted by the business interests. East Louisiana Railroad co-operated in staging the arrest that led to Plessy v. Ferguson. The railroad didn’t want to have to buy another set of passenger carriages and then run two sets of carriages that were half-full instead of a single set that was full.

  8. A good post with good comments so far. Immigration (a.k.a. “freedom of movement”) is now the one issue that causes me the most heartburn with libertarianism. I still mostly align that way, but this issue seems like a classic example of “In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.”

    Some societies are better than others, and that happens not because of geography or climate but because of the people in them. With the ease of long-distance travel, people from shithole countries can move to better ones. A few immigrants of any sort are little problem, but quantity matters. Too many libertarians cling to idealism and ignore the practical issue of scale. Even with bonded, non-criminal, “ideal” immigrants with skills, 50 million would be too many. One can always have too much of a good thing.

    I think it’s not a coincidence that the USA did pretty well during the 1920s-1960s, when immigration was restricted. I think we need a similar “pause.”

    • A related problem specifically with immigration and democracies is an adverse selection effect where people move from shithole countries to better ones and then vote for policies that made their home countries shitholes in the first place. Heck, this problem even exists with migration between states, e.g., what “California refugees” are doing to many western states.

      • I assume you are referring to people who move from the shithole state of California to here in Arizona, and then vote in the same policies?

        Anyway, yeah, in Arizona we are hammered with the consequences of too much immigration across both our western and southern borders! So far, the southern is more destructive. I’ve been here decades, and the changes are terrible – large areas where you can no longer drive safely due to barrios, signs warning about smugglers even on active bombing ranges (I’ve seen them) and Air Force security police who have to defuse the IED’s that the smugglers use to protect their drug stashes.

    • The problem with “freedom of movement” is that it (deliberately?) conflates the right of exit with some putative right of entry. To go back to the Berlin Wall example, Ossis’ right to exit the DDR was combined with a provision in the BRD constitution that granted citizenship to them. But that was a rare situation. Only the Israeli policy of Aliyah is comparable.

      Someone’s right to exit an oppressive government does not grant them a corresponding right of entry to any particular polity of their choice. Guatemalans who say they want asylum must accept it from Mexico, not insist they have a right to get it in the US.

    • I actually believe that geography and climate has an awful lot more to do with societies than what people ordinarily think, far more so than just “the people in them.”

      • Those factors have some influence, sure, but can’t explain vast differences between neighboring countries like Haiti vs. the Dominican Republic, Israel vs. their neighbors, etc.

        • Israeli-Arabs differences were and still are strongly closing in very much by the last decade but also before that.

          Started as Jewish-Europeans and Jewish-Russians cast to the Arabian deserts (kicking your problems to some one else’s world – how considerable of the winning powers and the world – how come I’ve never thought about that), the arabic world jewish immigrants had a lot of trouble fitting in and growing accustomed to foreign customs. Coming from the European world Jews were educated, well-versed in the European social (and financial and educational and….) system while the immigrants were mainly old handcraft workers. “Coals” were burning inside of them and the constant clashes with arabs of the area led some demagogue politicians to hear to the voices of the uneducated, simplistic and ignorant calling the educated ideas of Professors and Leftists to be sneered with mock and disavow. (If you’ve never seen a cucumber hits the farmer – come to Israel )The hatred to the “Elites” started. And ofcourse just like always with unthoughtful idiots – as America sells their left over weapons to the old world – ended up hurting innocents.

          The theme of anti-Ashkenazi, anti-European and anti-Educated has caught on in the overwhelmingly growing Arabic-Jews population of Israel, led first by such figures as Rabbi Kahane (American born) and coming to fruition with the murder of leftist prime minister Issac Rabin, ending with the now-unbeatable Bibi Netanyahu on his ~13th year.

          When a lot of teenagers are fond of spending their time sitting at public parks, smoking arabian hookah and cursing in arabic tongue. speaking in loud voice and causing nuisance to neighbors.
          When european and russian born jews starting to adopt such attitudes, when the education is slowly and gradually eradicated to be on the sides of the immigrants with monkeys-parents who only know and seek to use violence to bend according to their will the normative machines set in place by European standards for the good of everybody descent and caring, resulting in forceful disregard and attack on everything European by political powers who sought & seek nothing but their own power and surfing on political waves probably never to-be-seen in the Greek-Roman democracies (which probably considered and called those outside desert beings – Barbarians).

          The tendencies towards religion, theocracy and fascism (think Arabian monarch-king or someone like Erdogan) won the state of Israel. The rich & educated fled the country. Students go abroad for their Doctorate and don’t return. Television caters to wickedness of the local desert people (which is way way more wicked than anything in western countries – imagine no classification over TV content – one size fit all, no protection for (white?) children souls) . Western values are trampled in public and on national platforms. Basic reason voices for peace and non instigating of violence are shutted down as traitorous. Trying to explain democracy and rights to your faulty-country-coming neighbors usually gets you swarmed by “gangs” who will not hesitate to attack you. Israel is no more. It was probably burried in the ’77 revolution of the “Liberal” party of Menachem Begin of which it ever since keeps being control (while still crying and wanting to topple the supreme court, the human rights groups, freedom of creativity and more). This ridiculous joke (which is obviously not funny, it feels more like a torture chamber in some 3rd world for normal people) in which we, who in America would be sought of as good contributing people accepted & respected in America and probably any other 1st world country, are treated like scumbags and become victims of extreme degradation and humiliation. In the name of some old non-existent resent (which I actually deem as an excuse to incapability on the side of the African-migrants) towards the Ashkenazi elite.

          Israel is blending in the middle east. Not really well blending – but – losing its human side- becoming ignorant, lawless and chaotic – just like our fellow countries – but perhaps even worse than them as education has come to be stressed now in places like Egypt, Saudi Arabia while Israel still curses its own children with bad everything, and the less religious unfortunate are succumbed to religious studies from low age that prevents them from learning basic English & Math and having the skills to support themselves in the modern world.

          The people have hated/been brought to hate the educated and so they must perish now. But the white American machine of eternity (USD) will keep this ludicrous criminal torture going for at least more decades, it so seems. While keep pointing at China’s muslims education and penitentiaries as bad, immoral and inhumane. If only we had those set in place in the 60s, when the large wave of immigration from African and Islamic countries went in, we probably would have been more similar to European countries now than to North African countries. Not to say about the last American fashion of PC multi-cultarlism which served to crash the last remnants of decency and right-way-ness presentation of things.

          Unless something else unexpected will happen.

          • “Coals” were burning inside of them and the constant clashes with arabs of the area led some demagogue politicians to hear to the voices of the uneducated, simplistic and ignorant calling the educated ideas of Professors and Leftists to be sneered with mock and disavow.

            Many of the ideas Professors and Leftists have produced deserve to be at least sneered at with mock and disavow.

            • Yes, but only WASPs can be smart enough and honest enough not to throw the baby with the bathwaters and not to give up completely on rational and education and exploratory creative freedom.

          • the voices of the uneducated, simplistic and ignorant calling the educated ideas of Professors and Leftists to be sneered with mock and disavow. (If you’ve never seen a cucumber hits the farmer – come to Israel ) The hatred to the “Elites” started. And of course just like always with unthoughtful idiots – as America sells their left over weapons to the old world – ended up hurting innocents.

            The uneducated, simplistic, and ignorant are indeed often wrong, but they are rarely as wrong as professors and leftists can be. Village idiots never invent new forms of tyranny and economic destruction. “There are some ideas so stupid that only intellectuals will believe them.” One of their current stupid ideas boils down to: “Mass migrations are best for everyone, morally and economically necessary, and anyone who objects is not just wrong, but evil.”

            • Immigrants from non-western, generally oppressive, dark, backward countries; pardon but I don’t know of much non-western which aren’t (maybe in outer space?) – should not be allowed to set policy for the established participators and kindred of western free countries. Even if it doesn’t looks so good to “Leftist Professors” who seem to care so much for them [ try to find out why do they ] . A generational gap (or multi generational gap) is often due for assimilation, also a tribal spirit which the breaking of which was once the hallmark symbol of Western society.

              And why not ? Simply because the damage that “our own” already established citizens can experience because of bad, malignant policies (or lack of policies) which will pop up because of being too much in favor of those aliens and their backward traditions. Thus far outweighing the damage imposed on one of “their-own” who actually knows no better, can probably not imagine knowing better and as far as I am concerned will have trouble, 99% incurable disease to begin to understand even some of the basic values we share but all too often with primitives will launch an attack reflex at our core values .
              Be it due to tribal tendencies, lack of aesthetic apprehension, memory deficits, genetics or some or all of those combined.

              As of now Idiots (& idiocy) are only given actual power and mass idea distribution by the United States of America, even indirectly by creating a Leftist world tendency favoring Africa and minorities over original and surviving citizens of Western countries.

              Backward societies might be backward but often nature have in place for them their own mechanisms of ensuring rightness, even ones as simple resulting from being simply backward secluded primitives in the desert.

              Professors might be wrong but that’s why academy should be mostly disconnected from politics and power as much as possible. Science today is mostly used for war and even the social sciences were lately brought to bring about social change. When the government sets to implement an academic idea it will almost certainly end up bad, especially if many uncontrolled variables (mass immigration) is put into it.

              • As of now Idiots (& idiocy) are only given actual power and mass idea distribution by the United States of America

                It only seems that way now because the USA is the main world power so everything involving power seems to come from it. Historically many western countries have had problems with Leftists generating bad ideas, most infamously France.

    • Yes for the pause x 1000. It’s good policy and it’s reasonable, unlike the idiotic “white ethnostate” nonsense that’s currently associated with immigration restriction.

      We just took in an enormous amount of people from different cultures, and despite the elites repeating “diversity is our strength”, “freedom is slavery”, “war is peace”, etc…, anyone with a brain can see that the social fabric is now tearing at the seams. Let’s spend some time together and forge a coherent American identity together. We cant do that when the demographics are constantly shifting.

      • I didn’t notice this before, so I’m going to make a very late reply, mainly to note that the forces tearing us apart come from both directions; Faux News, Breitbart, etc., on the one side, pushing some very racist and ugly views, versus the rather crazed ideas about the various chauvinisms coming from the left, in which the obvious content of one’s character is left in the dust by the need to parrot the latest version – and it seems to this fifty-plus white, hetero dude that they change things weekly – of the latest version of PC-speak.

        • by the need to parrot the latest version – and it seems to this fifty-plus white, hetero dude that they change things weekly – of the latest version of PC-speak.

          And yet you’ve been doing just that elsewhere in this thread.

  9. The question that occurred to me is a side effect of “high trust society”.

    Trust is relative. It reduces to “Given situation X, I assume that person or organization Y will perform action Z, and I will do what I do assuming that will be the case”. We trust others to behave in manners we find acceptable to us.

    The problem immigration presents to high trust societies is acculturation. Immigrants may well come from societies that are high trust internally, but what action Z would be in their society may be a rather different thing than it is here.

    Acculturation is always hard, because most of the critical rules in societies are unwritten. They are absorbed through the skin beginning at a pre-verbal age, and learned by observing and imitating the actions of the adults around us. They become matters of unthinking reflex, not consciously thought through decisions. The person being acculturated must learn a completely new world view and develop a new set of reflexes. (And this will go beyond learning a whole new language, which is likely to be a necessary first step.)

    The problem presented today that folks are reacting to is probably less immigration per se than the sheer volume of immigrants. Immigration in small numbers is manageable because a trickle of immigrants can be absorbed into a society and acculturated without too much fuss. When the immigration is high volume, and consists of lots of folks trying to escape really bad conditions back home, you have problems. How do you absorb them and integrate them into larger society? Chances are, you don’t, and you get indigestible lumps with lots of friction between them and the surrounding society.

    No surprise folks who might be sympathetic to the plights of individual immigrants trying to escape from dreadful conditions back home will have problems with mass migrations.

    >Dennis

  10. Sure, Libertopia might have some ‘restrictions’, but I think it’s pretty obvious that its immigration system would allow far more immigrants than currently (and a very different vision to what Trump supporters think about).

    In particular, I expect it to adopt something similar to the N-year bond scheme you mentioned. (Just as landlord right now expect a deposit or third-party guarantors). Given that scheme and competitive financial markets, I see no reason why the vast majority of IQ100+ people wouldn’t want to immigrate from the developing world.

    • >I see no reason why the vast majority of IQ100+ people wouldn’t want to immigrate from the developing world.

      IDK. You can live very well on an engineer’s salary in the less developed world; better I’d argue, than in SFO. Not to mention, the benefits of being closer to family and in a cultural milieu that ‘feels right.’

      Particularly now that those salaries are more-uniform globally.

    • I’m not a Trump supporter (I voted for Gary “What’s a Leppo” Johnson), but I know a lot of them, and I think they’d be just fine with an immigration scheme that lets in anyone (who doesn’t have an existing criminal record) willing and able to post a substantial bond (and don’t qualify for welfare programs here).

      A lot of IQ 100+ people might want to stay home if they have the opportunity to be part of the ruling class. Those kept out due to membership in the wrong tribe would absolutely rather come to the Anglosphere (US/UK/CAN/AUS/NZ/IRL).

      • If a large portion of the population wanted more immigration, you would see more immigration. As it is, most people (especially Trump supporters) are opposed to even the trickle of immigration currently happening, let alone the massive influx that would happen in Libertopia.

        • most people (especially Trump supporters) are opposed to even the trickle of immigration currently happening

          This is the exact opposite of the sentiment I hear from Trump supporters. They oppose illegal immigration, go out of their way to say so, and only get frustrated because journalists play the telephone game and report them as anti-immigration in general.

          • That’s completely orthogonal to my point.

            In Libertopia, the currently illegal immigrants would be legal (and in all plausibility, many more would come). If people are opposed* to them, they would be opposed to the legal immigration in Libertopia.

            * As a separate point, I don’t think people are *actually* opposed to immigrants (legal or illegal). This is one of those areas (like most government involvement) where what people say (and how they vote) is totally different from how they behave.
            On the market people are fine with them: landlords are fine giving shelter to immigrants, employers are fine with employing them, shops are willing to sell them stuff, etc.

            • That’s completely orthogonal to my point.

              Objection! My point is completely thogonal!

              Your point was that Trump supporters “are opposed even the trickle of immigration currently happening”, and that if so, “they would be opposed to the legal immigration in Libertopia”.

              I’m saying the antecedent is false, and therefore you haven’t shown that they’d be against more libertarian-style immigration.

              Indeed, as Monster says, they indicate no problem with people who have no other criminal record and who aren’t going to just use up welfare services. I’m sure there exist ethno-nationalist Trump supporters, but I have yet to catch even a single one of the Trump supporters I personally know – including at least one who is herself an immigrant – saying no to anyone whom Democrats consider the central example of immigrant (wants to come here to be productive and unoppressed).

              As a separate point, I don’t think people are *actually* opposed to immigrants (legal or illegal). […] On the market people are fine with them: landlords are fine giving shelter to immigrants, employers are fine with employing them, shops are willing to sell them stuff, etc.

              In many cases, yes. It’s trivial to sell nearly anyone a bag of nails from the hardware store or a ticket to the ball game. But I’m guessing you haven’t thought of a heap of edge cases, such as customers being rowdy in a restaurant, scaring off the regulars at the bar, or a bank lender trying to decide if the fellow in front of her is likely to pay back the loan he’s asking for – while that guy wonders if she’s going to hit him with a predatory rate. People get antsy really fast when they’re aware a transaction will be more expensive than they’ll get back if it goes sour, like a painter who knows he’ll lose the whole day if he screws up the next coat. They try to nail down every risk they see.

              • Same mindset as a voter trying to patch societal problems with regulations, come to think of it.

              • My working theory is that most people are irrationally opposed to foreigners. Not just Trump supporters (although especially them), and not just in the US. This isn’t a problem in a market — as market discipline cures people of irrational biases (but politics doesn’t).

                Your theory seems to be that people (or at least, Trump supporters) dislike immigrants primarily because of 1. welfare and 2. crime. Otherwise, they are perfectly fine with foreigners.

                I really wish you were right, I truly do. But I find it unlikely for several reasons:

                1. The primary target seems to be illegal immigrants, who (edge cases aside) don’t use welfare. Most of them are also not criminals — so under your theory, people should be perfectly fine with most. It also implies that the effort should be spent identifying the small problematic subset, not building a wall.

                2. Many popular objections to immigration are clearly false (‘They will take our jobs’). Irrational bias explains that, but it’s hard to square with your theory.

                3. People are even distasteful towards high-skill immigrants! The first two waves of immigration restrictions were against the Chinese and then the Jews. Even today, the number of H1B visas is limited below 200k. Why the stark limit under your theory?

                4. The public is biased on objective facts. Whenever you poll people, the number of immigrants is vastly overestimated, their workforce participation underestimated, etc.

                Again, I truly wish you were right. It would present a very simple solution to immigration: accept everyone with 3rd party liability insurance. But I don’t think that will ever come to pass.

                • 1. The primary target seems to be illegal immigrants, who (edge cases aside) don’t use welfare. Most of them are also not criminals — so under your theory, people should be perfectly fine with most. It also implies that the effort should be spent identifying the small problematic subset, not building a wall.

                  Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “trespass”.

                  By definition, every illegal immigrant is a criminal upon entering the country. If the very first thing a person does in the US is ignore a law they dislike, what evidence do I have that they will respect any of our other laws that they happen to find inconvenient? If they’re willing to ignore laws they do not find convenient, why would they be expected to follow mere customs that they dislike?

                  Knowing nothing else about a person, the fact that they were willing to show enough respect for the country to follow its immigration procedures and enter the country legally is a good indicator that they are likely to follow other laws, wish to leave their old society, and are therefore also likely to accept instruction on local customs.

                • I must humbly disagree with you. I have been exposed to immigration my whole life — my mother wrote textbooks for English as a Second Language. I fully and totally support legal immigration.

                  I am against illegal immigration. I am concerned with the problems involved with importing a large body of people that have good reason to not completely assimilate, that have completely rational reasons to operate outside the law, that fuel the underground economy.

                  I’m very concerned about the large class of people that right now operate in a cash economy with the strong economic advantage of being able to completely ignore the “paperwork” costs of taxation, minimum wage, health insurance, safe working conditions, etc. I am willing to ponder how to re-prioritize these, and consider how to make them work better for all, but I am very worried about how some can ignore and be winked at, and others — natives — must toe the line with strict compliance.

                  The high-trust society angle is a new one to me, but parallel with the other concerns I have. If we want to have more immigration, I’d be happy to see our laws adjusted. In fact, in general, I want most of the folks that come. I see people willing to brave difficulties to come and work hard as being assets to our society, with a bit of assimilation and encouragement. But I want it done inside the law, not outside of it.

                  Claiming that I dislike the people that are coming here is incorrect. I admire many of them. But I want our laws to match the needs of our society, and I don’t want a blanket excuse to ignore not just some but many of them.

                  • > In fact, in general, I want most of the folks that come.

                    We probably don’t disagree that much.

                    And the solution is pretty straightforward: as you legalize more people, you naturally shrink the black market. (Just as you legalize drugs, people will prefer to get them legally).

                    • Sure. But the current situation — just open the door for illegal immigration — isn’t OK in my book. And I think that more than just drugs have to be looked at. I think the success of illegals in our society points more than a bit towards the difficulties imposed on “Mom & Pop” level entrepreneurship, and on labor jobs. I think things like minimum wage will also need a serious look. Is this really helping more than it is hurting? I think the underground economy shows that it isn’t.

                • 1. I’m admittedly not familiar with the extent to which illegals use welfare. If I had to guess, I’d say your central example would be someone who has to register for some welfare program, which is absurdly difficult to do without proof of citizenship. The other side’s central example is probably someone who gets into trouble and then makes use of emergency services that don’t check for citizenship first, or someone who uses non-emergency services that either don’t require citizenship or are accepted anyway by some idealistic low-level bureaucrat who wishes to help needy people and doesn’t see the load that puts on the system when enough of them do that, and that there are so many of the latter that the real costs of providing for them run into the millions of dollars.

                  I suspect anti-illegalists are being a bit sloppy, and mushing a few government services under the “welfare” category that technically aren’t. That doesn’t matter to them, because they don’t care what it’s called; they only care that taxpayer money is going to illegals that ought to be going to people who pay taxes.

                  I think the actual central example of illegals are mostly just people who entered legally on a visa, didn’t leave after it expired, and are expensive for enforcement to locate. They might use welfare that only requires proof of visa. I honestly don’t know how much of that exists. I’m guessing anti-illegalists aren’t terribly familiar with this example, either, but they might be using more actual welfare than I do (virtually none), so maybe they know something I don’t.

                  Again, though, it’s easy to imagine 11 million people who use infrastructure that again, isn’t technically welfare, but is nevertheless taxpayer-funded. Illegals put that much wear and tear on US roads and bridges. They create pollution that other people must clean up. They start fires that must be put out. They cause traffic accidents that others must eat the cost for. “Welfare” is just a catch-all label for all of this.

                  2. The popular objection I see to illegal immigration is “they jumped in line ahead of legals who are busting their butts to get in”. This is roughly true by definition. “They’re taking our jobs” is a popular objection I hear from pro-immigration people characterizing anti-immigration people. Again, I’m sure there exist Americans who are complaining about job competition, but they seem fewer than indicated. …And the few who complain might even be right AFAIK, because they’re in specific occuptions where the competition is real – say, a guy who lost his job due to the housing bubble, would normally work parttime or gig jobs to tide him over, but can’t because those jobs are filled by people hoping they won’t be caught without papers.

                  3. I think anti-Jewish immigrant sentiment is historical – no longer a huge concern (except Israel/ME foreign policy, an entirely different issue). Chinese immigrants are likewise opposed for modern concerns; people are now worried about them stealing intellectual property and exploiting that in a country with less regard for it (which, it turns out, they really do). I don’t know exactly why H1B visas are limited, but if I had to guess again, I’d guess it’s competition with American high-skilled workers who maybe have more political pull to compensate for it being a smaller market.

                  4. Where are you going to get poll data on what people think the illegal immigration rate is? Every poll I see asks for opinions on policy, not facts. I would expect most people to not know the exact numbers in a field they don’t study for a living, but only because that’s true of people in general, including people who think illegal immigration isn’t a serious problem.

                  Again, in my experience, Trump supporters might not care about welfare per se, but they do care where taxpayer money goes. (Sorry if that appeared to scoot the goalposts a little.) They care about abiding (just) laws, including INS policy, and don’t like when it’s ignored. They don’t seem to particularly care where these illegals come from; only that they’re illegal. (They do seem a bit unaware of how many are mere visa expirations, but the other side is too busy calling them xenophobes to point out a much less damning error of fact.)

                  I don’t think welfare use and crime are their only concerns. Like I said above, they’re uncomfortable around foreigners, too. But only in the general sense that everyone is.

        • A trickle? The US has about a million legal immigrants a year, and at least that many illegal immigrants (probably quite a bit more since it’s estimated that only about a quarter of illegal immigrants are actually caught–and then for the most part released to never show up for their court dates).

  11. Can we just go Nozick on this and admit the “private security contractors for the libertopian insurance provider” are simply a State, if a minimal one?

    It makes things much simpler in the language, and I think he was simply correct about the devolution of anarchy to at best minarchy (if serious libertarians are trying) [vs. a warlord tyrant, elsewise].

    (I was rather confused when I read ASU, because I was all “what the hell is Nozick arguing against? Who’s suggesting anarchism?”

    Then I read Man, Economy, and State, and it all became clear … and I’ve never been able to take Rothbard seriously on the State, despite my admiration of his handling of Man and Economy – too much handwaving, not enough argumentation.)

    • No, because “performs the same functions as an idealized good state” is not the same thing as a state.

      And the ancaps are the only people I have ever seen give a remotely coherent definition of government. All the other definitions become circular, contradictory, or meaningless, and they do it like they are competing to be the worst.

    • >Can we just go Nozick on this and admit the “private security contractors for the libertopian insurance provider” are simply a State, if a minimal one?

      No. They lack the one central attribute of a state, a monopoly on the use of licit force.

      Having said that, please stay on topic. This is not really a thread about libertarianism at all and I don’t want it to rathole.

      • “A libertarian rethinks immigration” isn’t a thread about libertarianism at all? One can’t discuss libertarian thinking on a particular subject without discussing libertarianism.

        The best that can be hoped is to avoid pissing contests between ancaps and minarchists by acknowledging that both are legitimate subsets of “libertarian”, and covering both bases where we diverge, without arguing the superiority of one over the other.

      • @esr: This is not really a thread about libertarianism at all and I don’t want it to rathole.

        You are explicitly discussing how a Libertarian society might handle immigration, but this is net a thread about libertarianism?

        I’m missing something here…

        >Dennis

        • Because it is about why you would want to “handle immigration”. The particular mechanisms mentioned are only of interest to mollify the libertarians who would just start reeeeeing, and to help distill the core question that lies underneath the immigration issue.

          • >Because it is about why you would want to “handle immigration”. The particular mechanisms mentioned are only of interest to mollify the libertarians who would just start reeeeeing, and to help distill the core question that lies underneath the immigration issue.

            That is exactly correct.

            • @esr: That’s about what I thought. But in that case, talking about libertarianism in your preface just opens the rathole you didn’t want to chase down.

              The reasons you might need to “handle immigration” will exist regardless of the political basis of the society doing the handling. Once you clarify why handling might be required, you can talk about why the way a libertarian society might do it is preferable.

              Before you can solve a problem, you need to understand what the problem is, and without an accurate understanding, you have no hope of a solution. First, clarify the problem.

              >Dennis

      • That was my point in the comment.

        They may TECHNICALLY lack a monopoly, but as Molyneux and Woods pointed out, they will effectively lay seige to you (think the Branch Davidians), cutting off all access, utilities, etc. – total deplatforming – if you don’t totally non-coercively volunteer to buy their insurance.

        You can avoid the “state monopoly” by avoiding all income and living maybe on a ship out at sea. Going into port, you “volunteer” to be subjected to taxation? Earning income means you “volunteer”?

        This is a very specific “feature” of “insurance”, etc. that they can basically lay seige to you for not “volunteering” to buy insurance and try to starve you out. Maybe an oligopoly instead of a monopoly, but that is a distinction without a difference.

        Either I am coerced, whether by a state (auto, obamacare), or the insurance companies (via agreements with road owners or utility companies), to pay a fee, or I am not. But all the examples – as I said Molyneux FDR 3255 (0:50:00) says I TECHNICALLY don’t have to but I will be laid seige to and starved out.

        It is worse than that. Who decides “licit” force. If someone attacks me, and I shoot them, is it licit? Is laying seige licit?

        Are the 55 page EULAs no one reads that someone might insert actual chattle slavery into licit if you click the I Agree button?

        No, Ancaps have a privatized tyranny in an attempt to replace INDIVIDUALs enforcing the NAP, or on behalf of, e.g. widows, with a complex machinery that is far more tyrannical maybe except China (but I’m not certain) yet calling all the intimidation, the blockades, the sanctions “voluntary” and “not-coercion”.

        • >They may TECHNICALLY lack a monopoly, but as Molyneux and Woods pointed out, they will effectively lay seige to you (think the Branch Davidians), cutting off all access, utilities, etc. – total deplatforming – if you don’t totally non-coercively volunteer to buy their insurance.

          Molyneux and Woods are wrong, and you’re off topic. The post was using libertarian premises as a way to remove obstacles to thinking clearly about immigration policy in the world as it is. Treat it the way you would a thought experiment in physics, where you accept premises that may not be realizable in order to gain insight into real laws.

    • >Can we just go Nozick on this and admit the “private security contractors for the libertopian insurance provider” are simply a State, if a minimal one?

      I’ll not argue the point of whether or not it will give better results than a state (or even state my views on that point) to avoid ratholing the thread, but as to whether the two cases should have distinct terminology:

      1) Such security companies might very well not exercise other functions of a state, leaving that to other types of company.
      2) The service areas of such security companies might overlap with each other, and might not coincide with the service areas of companies performing other state functions.

  12. Pingback:

    Vote -1 Vote +1Did you want to know the politics of ESR (notorious) wrt to immigra… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (??)

  13. I’ve “heard” (as in I haven’t encountered them) that there are people who believe that Nazis built the Berlin Wall. :sad:

    • That’s not so far off. Many of the SED’s cadre were “converted” Nazis, as the DDR (GDR) was never de-nazified in the way the BRD (FRG) was. And when you look at their propaganda, they were nationalists and socialists.
      This resulted in the fertile bed for Neo-Nazism in the “new states” after the reunification of Germany. When the pretty socialist veneer was removed in 1989/1990, the real body of the state came to light.

  14. If you believe that having a black or brown skin is a sufficiently reliable predictor of being a loss generator for the insurance companies to use it, there are only two possibilities. Either you are wrong, in which case you have an irrational fixation about race and should be deeply ashamed of yourself […]

    From the free market capitalist’s POV, “deeply ashamed” doesn’t matter nearly as much as “leaving good money on the table which will be used by your competitors to clear you out of the market”. Or to put it another way, you should be deeply ashamed of yourself only because you’re being terrible employing capitalist principles.

    Cultural bias is actually part of the point here; you want immigrants who can function, speak your language or at least learn it rapidly, assimilate.

    According to a new book Bryan Caplan is publishing this October, there is good news here: most immigrants assimilate quickly in just this way. (I think the study looked at first-generation immigrants and their children.)

    A bit off-topic: Caplan himself appears to be an avid gamer in addition to an economist. (He hosts Capla-Con at his house every summer. I hear he’s especially good at Wits & Wagers.) It’d be interesting to hear you two jaw about immigration if you two were to meet at some gaming event.

    But what Putnam found is that diversity does not merely erode trust across groups; it erodes trust within them as well.

    It’s been a long-simmering theory of mine that diversity is the largest single driver for the US’ unusually high homicide rate. It’s not direct, in a sense of people killing people not like them, but at least a step removed – more like people self-segregating into homogeneous groups, whose members then interact between groups with more violent intensity, because each individual perceives an entire group against him rather than a mish-mash of individuals each going their own way.

    If it turns out my theory is accurate, then cultural enclaves in cities might be a problem. It might save lives to break them up faster than their current natural rate of evaporation, but then it definitely feels unfair to force them. Then again, many such enclaves are only too willing to sell their stuff to outsiders, so maybe I’m only really worried about the enclaves that isolate themselves. But then that puts people like the Amish in the hotseat. So maybe I’m really worried about isolationist and violent – that seems to properly catch rough cases such as certain stretches of Chicago, Detroit, LA, New York, and Baltimore.

    • According to a new book Bryan Caplan is publishing this October, there is good news here: most immigrants assimilate quickly in just this way. (I think the study looked at first-generation immigrants and their children.)

      My knee-jerk reaction is to point out the large areas of Chicago–and several other major cities–where English is a second tongue to the third generation. Hamtramck, MI (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/federal-judge-rules-law-banning-female-genital-mutilation-is-unconstitutional-dismisses-charges-again-michigan-doctors), Minnesota’s 5th congressional district (Ilhan Omar) etc.

      But then he says “most” immigrants, which may mean that large numbers of Asian, Indian and European immigrants *do* assimilate, but large numbers of, say north east African, Middle-eastern, and Central/South American do less well in this regard.

      This goes back to race being a questionable proxy for culture.

    • Paul,
      I looked at the homicide statistics some years ago and your theory is wrong (or at least, not reflected in the numbers).

      As a general rule, blacks kill blacks, whites kill whites, and hispanics kill hispanics. My thought is that the self-segregation you speak of (which _is_ real) means that the non-violent are “locked in” with the violent of predominantly the same racial characteristic. Most violent crimes are crimes of opportunity, and a white bad guy is going to have far more opportunities to victimize whites in an area that’s predominantly white that blacks or hispanics. Ditto for the other racial groups.

  15. >I should have listened more and reflected the class prejudices of my birth SES less. I now understand that the core complaint of the anti-immigration Trump voters isn’t even about illegals low-balling them out of jobs, although that’s certainly a factor. It’s “I want to keep the high level of social trust I grew up with, and I see mass immigration – especially mass illegal immigration – eroding that.”

    The problem I have with the anti-immigration Trump crowd is this: I think they’re shooting themselves, and the rest of us, in the foot on exactly this point. I’m much more worried about what white Californians moving to Texas from the west are doing to the trust level of society than what Hispanics entering from the south are doing. Hispanics are outperforming everyone else on practically every point of conservative good citizenship, until, that is, their kids go to school and get educated by white liberals from California. Now, something certainly needs to be done about illegal immigration, but I don’t think that overall immigration rates need to go down much, if at all, we just need to turn the illegal immigrants volume into legal volume.

    • Related is the finding that we apparently need an electoral college at the county level as well as the state level. Too many states run by one city imposing it’s will on the rest of the state.

      • @Ian Brune Too many states run by one city imposing it’s will on the rest of the state.

        I live in New York City. New York State politics can be in part described as “New York City attempts to get State funding comparable to what the City contributes in tax revenue. The rest of the state lines up to block it.” A Democrat State Asssemblywoman from NYC described discovering her closest ally in state capital Albany was a Republican Assemblyman from NYC, because the divide was not Democrat vs Republican – it was upstate vs downstate.

        Decades back, the late novelist Norman Mailer and newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin ran for Mayor and Ci9ty Council head respectively, in an independent campaign with the pitch line “Let the rascals in!” A key plank in their platform if elected was trying to secede NYC from the rest of the state and make it an independent entity. They felt that NYC was viable as a stand alone entity and could exist apart from the state. I don’t think they could have pulled it off if they were elected, but it was fun to contemplate.

        >Dennis

      • We used to have something comparable to that, back when state assemblies were chosen by population-based districts and state senates by countries. Then in the 1960s the Supreme Court decreed that this was racist and mandated that both houses of state legislatures should be chosen by population-based districts.

    • The problem I have with the anti-immigration Trump crowd is this:

      The first thing you should do is stop lying about what the “Trump crowd” is complaining about and what they want.

      They are NOT anti-immigrant. They want the LAWS ENFORCED. They are anti-ILLEGAL immigrant.

      Hispanics are outperforming everyone else on practically every point of conservative good citizenship, until, that is, their kids go to school and get educated by white liberals from California.

      No, they don’t. They have very different ideas on how government should behave.

      Oh, and why don’t “white” kids have the same problems when educated by white progressives?

      • Oh, and why don’t “white” kids have the same problems when educated by white progressives?

        They do.

      • -They are NOT anti-immigrant-

        We are too. We oppose the bipartisan consensus in favor of lower wages through higher immigration. Trump is Bad Orange Man because he won after saying he was one of us. Trump lied, of course- he’s aiming HIB visas targeted at remaining high-wage jobs. It’s not just tactical- Trump has always liked paying lower wages. He’s not just sucking up to the establishment, from Katrina vanden Hueval to the Koch brothers, who want lower wages through higher immigration. And it won’t work as a suck up, because they hate him too much for winning an election pretending to oppose them.

        Anyone can have an intelligent argument with a righty who favors lower wages. Class isn’t money, but they rhyme, and the consensus in favor of lower wages is a consensus in favor of low-class behavior. Too bad, but being a trad righty means a long tradition of good arguments for crushing the revolting proles.

        No one can have an intelligent argument with a lefty who favors lower wages. There is no left wing case for helping the bosses crush the workers. They can pound the table, they can form a hen party to shun you and ban you, they can nark on you to the bosses. No argument.

        • “We oppose the bipartisan consensus in favor of lower wages through higher immigration.”

          You need to go one step further back: The problem here is the idea that it’s OK to pay an immigrant less. “We’ll bring in a Ph.D from India (to solve a hard problem) and fire him if he wants to be paid as much as an American Ph.D.” In this case both the American Ph.D. (who presumably wants a job) and the H-1B visa applicant are both being abused by the same deliberately damaged system.

          or

          “We’ll bring in Hispanic dishwashers and pay them less than American dishwashers would demand.”

          The problem here is not the immigrants. The problem is the “paying less.” You voted for Trump because you imagined he would protect you from immigrants. Instead he’s protecting himself and his rich friends from “paying more.”

          On the other hand, if you were supportive of giving both immigrants and locals a good wage, and you voted accordingly, you’d probably be doing better now. Your primary problem here is that you didn’t carefully examine the idea that “immigrants should be paid less.”

          • My primary problem here is a fifty-year bipartisan consensus in favor of lower wages through higher immigration. If that makes me plebian, well, lots of plebian aristos did better than consular aristos.

            When Trump aims H1B visas at high-paying jobs, which aren’t limited to PhDs except in college brochures, he’s not doing it for the sake of giving both immigrants and locals a good wage. He’s doing it to please Troutwaxer.

            I voted for Trump because he said he opposed lower wages. Too bad he lied. Politicians do. But they look at who wins too: How much does Nancy Pelosi want an opponent telling voters that a vote for Nancy Pelosi is a vote for lower wages? Or any other politician who’s supported the establishment for the last fifty years. They will always have the donors.

            Who on earth could believe employers import a reserve army of the unemployed from the ends of the Earth in order to keep wages good? Never happened, never will, straw man. The bipartisan pretense of supporting both immigrants and locals has lowered wages for the last fifty years. Hard line right wingers can rejoice openly in grinding the worker’s faces. When you argue from the left you have to blow smoke.

            • Well this particular segment of the problem can be laid at the feet of every person who demanded increased regulation of employment, or higher minimum wages, or stronger protections from the law for unions, etc, etc.

              They priced American labor out of the market, and the inevitable consequences came in the form of entire regions collapsing.

              Cue Chinese and Mexican boogeymen to hide the fault…..

              • This particular segment of the of the problem can be laid at the feet of the law of supply and demand controlling wages. Increase labor supply, wages decrease. Use the world’s population as a standing army of the unemployed, wages decrease. Aim H1Bs at remaining high wage jobs, wages decrease. That’s why Trump does it. That’s what the 2019 left applauds.

                American labor supply wasn’t inevitably priced out of the market. Fifty years of bipartisan effort for lower wages through higher immigration wasn’t inevitable. Those pesky workers vote.

                It takes real effort for Counterpunch and The Nation and Katrina vanden Heuval to agree with the Koch brothers that lower wages are the summun bonum of public policy. The Nation and Counterpunch hate agreeing with the Koch brothers. It’s blowing their cogs.

                No lefty likes fighting for lower wages. Marx fought for higher wages. Debs fought for higher wages. MLK went to one mean strike after another fighting for higher wages and winning until he was killed, as effective labor organizers often are. No union says, Go Union! Strike For Lower Wages! Troutwaxer hates that he’s fighting for lower wages, as well he should. Bernie hates fighting for lower wages. Wages are basic. Crass no doubt. Indeed plebian.

                Which side are you on?

        • When you have legal immigration you control the rate of immigration and the qualities of people coming here.

          Have heard very few non-nutcases on the conservative side argue for completely shutting down immigration. Controlling it, yes. But stopping it completely? No.

  16. Will the insurance companies exclude black- or brown-skinned people? I don’t think so. And if you think so, you’re probably a racist I want nothing to do with.

    So if I think that insurance companies would exclude black or brown skinned people I’m a racist regardless of whether I think they should?

    Thinking insurance companies will says more about what I think about large bureaucracies than what I think about race.

    And regardless of what I think about race (it is often used as a proxy for culture. Sometimes a reasonable proxy, sometimes an unreasonable one) I think that in the libertopia you’re describing absent other information insurance companies WILL select on race in addition to other characteristics, because that is how large bureaucracies work.

    • >So if I think that insurance companies would exclude black or brown skinned people I’m a racist regardless of whether I think they should?

      No. My assertion is that if you believe racism is the optimal strategy selected for by profit maximization, then you are revealing racist (irrational) assumptions.

      >absent other information insurance companies WILL select on race in addition to other characteristics, because that is how large bureaucracies work.

      Not arguing that, but the “in addition to” is important. A racist sees traits like black skin and stops trying to evaluate the individual. The insurance company wants to evaluate the individual but may use race as a proxy in its likelihood estimates when it has no way to gather more specific information. These are two fundamentally different stances; one is diseased and anti-rational (thus, ineffective profit-seeking), the other is not.

      You may be trying to ask if race is a cost-effective form of screening. I don’t think it is. Who in their even approximately right mind wants to turn away Prince or Usain Bolt?

      • “These are two fundamentally different stances; one is diseased and anti-rational (thus, ineffective profit-seeking), the other is not.”

        FWIW those seem like differences in degree, not in kind. Information gathering & retrieval & classification all have a cost. Some are willing to pay/work for exact personal information; some take liberties and make do with quick heuristics. The cost/benefit curve is unlikely to reward only the former. IOW stereotypes can be economical instead of anti-rational.

        “Who in their even approximately right mind wants to turn away Prince or Usain Bolt?”

        Noone. And how many insurance companies would work to uncover Prince/Bolt-potential amongst ordinary clients?

        • >Noone. And how many insurance companies would work to uncover Prince/Bolt-potential amongst ordinary clients?

          They don’t have to ‘uncover’ a damn thing. All they have to do is notice is that a “BLACKS KEEP OUT” sign at the border is a bad idea because you lose Princes and Usain Bolts that way. Racism is inefficient. What’s efficient is discriminating on traits that are more relevant to what you want, like IQ and time preference.

  17. This is actually not from Reason magazine’s staff. This is a post from the Volokh Conspiracy, which is a separate blog that has moved from the Washington Post a year or so ago to post on Reason’s blogging site. You can tell their stuff from the normal reason stuff because they always have their Volokh Conspiracy header at the top.

  18. It is rational to minimize costs related to analysis. If brown and/or black skinned people have a higher crime rate and will cost more to insure, it is RATIONAL not to try to spend extra cash to determine if you have a unicorn among the herd of horses. You simply assume everyone is a horse.

    Beyond that, you are the evolutionist. If different selection pressures made Africans, Asians, or Latin Americans have different IQs (see the Bell Curve by Murray), or different levels of aggression, or self-control, etc. and the insurance company uses 23&Me to determine – not health but crime dispositon – it isn’t bigoted or irrational.

    (As a Christian who believes all can be redeemed I reject this at least partially, but on what basis do you say different races would NOT have different costs to the insurance companies, and why should insurance companies ignore STATISTICS – after all insurancee is based on actuarial tables which are statistically based – and go through some expensive process to see if an individual is an outlier?)

    It does work both ways. Some “favored races”, to quote the subtitle of Origin of the Species, may have a criminal, and a few may die early (so life insurance would pay), but insurance is about the aggregate, not the individual. Finding the bad apple is also expensive when the barrell seeems all good.

    • But it isn’t about finding an unicorn among horses. The majority of black people are law abiding citizens who one would want to have as customers. So there’s quite the big financial incentive to find cheap ways to identify this subset.

      • >So there’s quite the big financial incentive to find cheap ways to identify this subset.

        And doing so is pretty easy. While a hard IQ cutoff at 80 wouldn’t do a perfect job, it only takes the most basic knowledge about the IQ distribution of criminals to predict that it would do a pretty good one.

        • Hrrmm. People do not typically have convenient readouts on their faces announcing their IQ. We can only tell for sure by measuring, and that measurement costs time, and would start yielding disputed results faster than you can say “Goodhart”.

          This would matter a great deal for immigration, for reasons hopefully obvious.

    • “So there’s quite the big financial incentive to find cheap ways to identify this subset.”

      As productivity is dependent on schooling, asking for educational qualifications would get you quite some way. Trying to measure IQ in illiterate people is anyhow pointless, unless you want to send them to school.

      Btw, any link between IQ and criminality is severed in traumatized people.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3386595/

      • As productivity is dependent on schooling, asking for educational qualifications would get you quite some way.

        Then you get into the problem of monitoring every foreign educational institution to prevent grade inflation.

    • “…what basis do you say different races would NOT have different costs to the insurance companies, and why should insurance companies ignore STATISTICS…”

      The question is whether your statistics measure the right thing. For example, Eric notes above that Black people are more likely to have hypertension than members of other races. But do you find the people likely to have hypertension by, from the first, segregating by race, or do you find more people with hypertension by seeing who eats more salt and who is overweight? (Or whatever the current indicators for hypertension might be?)

      Keep in mind as you read this that “Black” is, among other things, a good proxy for low income, if nothing else.

  19. The above said, what about actual differences in IQ, Behavior, etc. that correlates to race?

    If people with black or brown, or even yellow skin correlate with higher or lower payouts? Asians tend to commit FEWER crimes.

    Or maybe this is a semantic confusion. There is a spectrum between “racism” (irrational assumptions about an individual based on his perceived race), and “racism” (SJW says bad if different outcomes).

    Consider “sexism”. Women live longer. But they have a fertility window men don’t. Childbirth is a bit risky. The are less assertive/aggressive.

    How much of the “women only make 70 cents for every dollar men make” is sexism?

    And that would go to the “insurance” question too.

    • >Or maybe this is a semantic confusion. There is a spectrum between “racism” (irrational assumptions about an individual based on his perceived race), and “racism” (SJW says bad if different outcomes).

      Right, it is semantic confusion. That’s why I said to another commenter that I don’t care about the map, only the territory.

      People using the SJW definition can’t be reasoned with. “Bad if different outcomes” means reality is racist, because you can’t force anything like same outcomes without a mind-numbingly oppressive system of coercions that entrenches and justifies racist attitudes rather than eliminating them.

  20. I doubt dialog is possible until terminology is improved and made more specific.

    At present we lump together all sorts of people (formerly known as “foreigners” or “aliens”) as immigrants. The components groups include defectors, migrants, refugees, guest-workers, au pairs, expatriates, students (and former students), and even in some small percent invaders. Just as we used to have words for the categories we once had laws and processes for sorting out who was who and ensuring those so sorted agreed and complied with our rules.

    Sadly the nearest historical term and category that applies to too many is from the 18th century — indentured servants. Natives of one land take on huge debt to be transported to a second land where they are basically enslaved to back-breaking work, for pitiful pay, until the debt can be discharged. Should a “servant” escape the plantation, brothel, or sweatshop the law puts them in jail, and if released from jail the workers’ choice is return to slavery, or return to country of origin.

    • Trouble is, the people you’d need to have that dialog with consider that semantic confusion a FEATURE, not a BUG. It’s completely intentional (at least to the rational among that group) because it allows them to redefine pejorative terms to fit their narrative and/or be weaponized against their ideological opponents.

      Heads I win, tails you lose.

  21. Essentially unlimited immigration.
    Generous social welfare state.

    Pick at most one.

    I fear it may be too late for saving the high trust society. We have lost high trust media since, at the earliest latest, media shilling for Clinton because he had the right policies. At the latest latest, Dan Rather and ANG memo.

    On my side of the aisle, trust in media, tech companies and bank is as low as I have ever scene it. The feeling of persecution by the same for wrong think (the bitter clinging to Judeo-Christian religions, the 2nd Amendment, etc.) by the tech and finance oligarchs is palpable.

    Frankly, I think the Neal Stephenson ‘Snow Crash’ burbclaves (quasi national semi autonomous collectives) may be a best case. But I am a pessimist.

  22. Let’s continue by disposing of some obvious objections. Will the insurance companies exclude black- or brown-skinned people? I don’t think so. And if you think so, you’re probably a racist I want nothing to do with.

    I would indeed want and expect whoever passes for immigration authorities to do a more thorough job of vetting the members of some demographic groups than others, based on crime statistics. This is no more racism than it is sexism when men get charged higher prices for car insurance than women.

    Re. trust level — I very strongly agree, which is why I believe it’s important that we re-legalize at least some forms of voluntary demographic exclusion. Make it legal once again for people to form communities (or on a smaller scale, apartment or condo complexes) of all one religion, ethnic group, or language is a great way to enable that trust to reappear. Such communities could also be gated, largely eliminating risks of stranger-crime and clearing out bums, too.

  23. Call me a liberstalinatarian, but I don’t have a problem with advocating Libertarianism In One Country. The libertrotskytarians want libertarian principles to apply to everybody in the world all at once, and I think that’s a recipe for failure. Let’s get to a optimal minarchist-libertopian state here *first*, and see if it’s something that will export at all.

    • Exactly. Note that many libertarians simultaneously advocate open borders and the Free State project. It strikes me as idiotic self-sabotage.

  24. It seems to me that the OP is trying to find moral arguments to protect the current natives from what they did to the earlier natives. The reference to the aborigines of Australia is also telling. It happened to them too.

    It is also a very good example of the “latest wave of immigrants” claiming that new immigrants are not fit for immigration. That has happened with every single wave of immigration to the USA. If earlier generations had implemented this program, the US would not have been what it is now, far from it.

    What your program does not address is the reason there are so many people desperate to migrate to the US, and what the role of the USA is in the creation of these circumstances.

    For instance, you reference MS-13. The history of this group is intricately linked to US politics in El Salvador, the war on drugs, and the lawlessness and gang cultures in US inner cities, e.g., failing law enforcement.
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/how-the-u-s-fueled-the-rise-of-ms-13/
    https://theweek.com/articles/758360/rise-ms13

    A much easier way to remediate large scale migration from Central America would be to end the war on drugs and to work to stabilize the region economically in ways that benefit the people.

    • “It seems to me that the OP is trying to find moral arguments to protect the current natives from what they did to the earlier natives. ”

      You are trying to divert the discussion from general principles (i.e. applying to Poland, USA and Japan..) into rant about how whites are immoral. Don’t do this, please. And not just because in that discussion it would be all about “pokemon points” of who did the most wrong to whom, and hence who has the right to migrate to whom.

      • “from general principles (i.e. applying to Poland, USA and Japan..) ”

        Actually, the history of Poland and Japan have many examples of ethnic cleansing and blatant racism, using the very same arguments as the OP.

        It is very nice to write up a “general theory on the morals of immigration”, but then you should not complain about people asking you how YOUR ancestors ended up where they did. It is perfectly clear that the USA has had many waves of immigration where EACH wave was resisted with the same very arguments written in the OP.

        • My ancestors lived in more or less the same area for some last 1.5 thousand years, probably more (because DNA of ancient graves indicates population continuity in Poland. My grandparents were then expelled from their homes and settled into areas which were given to Poland by foreign powers as a compensation for war losses (for war started by Germany) and compensation for territories conquered by USSR – lands which were previously conquered from Poland by Germany. Taking that into account during discussion about immigration is absurd. Poles can’t refuse immigrants from Nigeria, because Poles are descendants of ancients Slavs, who conquered local Venets and Germanics! Or maybe we can’t only refuse the people who descend from conquered Germanics? Poles must accept Vietnamese, because we expelled Germans! That would be idiotic even if taken out of context of 6 millions Polish citizens (half of them ethnic Poles) murdered during war and hundreds of thousands expelled earlier by Nazi Germany.

          Simply, the whole idea that because your ancestors did bad things to A, you must accept immigrants from B who live thousands of kilometres from both A and you, and who are not related to B at all, is illogical and absurd.

          It’s like “because your grandfather stole a watch from Adam, you must allow Eve (not related in any way to Adam) to steal your watch”. Does not follow.

          • “Simply, the whole idea that because your ancestors did bad things to A, you must accept immigrants from B who live thousands of kilometres from both A and you, and who are not related to B at all, is illogical and absurd.”

            That is a perversion of arguments, a straw man if you like. When your society is literally the direct product of waves of immigration that displaced the original inhabitants, you should contemplate what the consequences are if you now stop immigration. When you decry immigrants now, you should be willing to do so with your (great-)grandparents who did the same under the same circumstances.

            So, yes, you can deplore the poor illiterate Central American peasant who enters the USA. But he is probably not different from the poor illiterate peasants from foreign backwaters that entered the USA and became the ancestors of your neighbors, or your relatives.

            The Poles used arguments like the OP to justify pogroms against Jews, and many other people. And these persecutions went on during WWII (although the current government made it illegal to suggest that they did). Now they use these same arguments against any immigrant not being a Conservative Catholic Pole.

            Likewise, the Japanese used the same arguments to deny citizenship to people of Korean and Chinese descent whose ancestors were brought to Japan before WWII.

            • “When your society is literally the direct product of waves of immigration that displaced the original inhabitants, you should contemplate what the consequences are if you now stop immigration.”

              This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a while. And I think you know it.

              By what rule are we required to continue – forever evidently – the immigration policies of our ancestors? Just because letting in a (relatively) few, say, Germans some tens of decades ago seemed to work out ok, that proves that doing the same with 80 million invaders from low-IQ, violence-prone 3rd world hellholes will be fine also? Stupid.

              By your argument we would have to re-open the Atlantic slave trade as we can’t be seen to dishonor the methods and aims of our ancestors.

              • “By what rule are we required to continue – forever evidently – the immigration policies of our ancestors?”

                Not, but it is telling if you are silent about it when you want to deny others the things that have benefited you or your ancestors.

                “By your argument we would have to re-open the Atlantic slave trade as we can’t be seen to dishonor the methods and aims of our ancestors.”

                An argument that shows you are not wanting to have a reasonable discussion.

                • “Not, but it is telling if you are silent about it when you want to deny others the things that have benefited you or your ancestors. “

                  I am silent about it because it is completely irrelevant to policy-making for today.

                  • The OP is talking “morals” but does forget some points. And as of “conservative” politics in the US today, I have written before that I see it as “Might is Right”. For that kind of politics, you should not try to do moral window dressing.

                    • I have no idea what point you’re trying to make.

                      ““conservative” politics in the US today, I have written before that I see it as “Might is Right”

                      Let me tutor you, Winter:

                      All politics everywhere is “might makes right”.

                      This is equally true whether the version of “might makes right” is a totalitarian communist like you adore. Or some self-righteous corporatist feathering his nest. Or some democratic moralizer who says “my voting bloc is bigger than your voting bloc so we’re gonna do things my way”.

                      The only question is whose ox is getting gored and what sort of “moral window dressing” is being applied by those in power.

                      (The American constitution and the libertarian principles that somewhat underlie it was a laudable attempt to break this curse. Pity it failed.)

                      You really should aspire to be a better observer of human nature and human affairs.

                    • “All politics everywhere is “might makes right”.”

                      No, it isn’t.

                      You sound just like an embezzler will argue that everyone is stealing.

                    • “Or some democratic moralizer who says “my voting bloc is bigger than your voting bloc so we’re gonna do things my way”.”

                      To be more precise, Most established democratic countries have structures in place (checks and balances) that prevent any single party from overtaking the state. Most important of these checks are voting systems that prevent any single party from getting a 50+ % majority in both houses.

                      Few things are as effective against power grabs as the requirements to form coalition governments.

                    • To be more precise, Most established democratic countries have structures in place (checks and balances) that prevent any single party from overtaking the state.

                      What do you think causes any given group of people to adhere to these structures, if rejecting them would accord said group more power?

                    • “What do you think causes any given group of people to adhere to these structures, if rejecting them would accord said group more power?”

                      The lack of the power to do so?

                      In a two party system, either of them will get “in power” sufficiently often to subvert the system. See all the shenanigans going on in the US to make make voting for some people harder and make their votes less worthwhile.

                      If you have 10 parties, it is unlikely any of them ever gets “in power” long enough to subvert the system.

                      Power corrupts, so to end corruption, do not give people power.

                • you want to deny others the things that have benefited you or your ancestors.

                  Our civilisation gained from unlimited CO2 emission and lack of care for natural environment. Hence, it’s immoral to demand developing countries to limit Co2 emission and care for environment.

                  • “Hence, it’s immoral to demand developing countries to limit Co2 emission and care for environment.”

                    That is like the slave trade argument before. It shows you are not interested in a discussion of morals at all. And that is what I see in all comments. People make high flung moral arguments about Freedom etc., but they neglect the fate of those would would be impacted. Whether or not the policies proposed are justified and proportional, you will not really know until you also look at the people affected.

                    But to address this point. Climate Change is exactly like the hurricane Katrina disaster. Rich people are protected, but the poor drown.

                    It is the developing world that is paying the price of climate change. The rich people can pay their way out of any disasters. It is the poor that will die.

                    The politics proposed by the OP would not touch the rich but would disadvantage the poor. In that it, is just like any other natural or man made disaster.

            • (1) Current society is a result of many evil things our grandparents did. Rape, murder, you name it. It does not mean we should accept them now.

              After all, if your society is literally a product of centuries of war, murders and rapes, then you should contemplate what consequences are if you stop war, rape and murder.

              It does not follow.

              To reiterate, if my grandparents did something stupid or evil to X, it does not and it cannot force ME to accept Y (unrelated to X) to do same stupid or evil things to me. Also, if X did something nice to me, it does not follow that I am mandated to do something nice to Y (unrelated to X).

              Therefore, using argument “your society is a result of immigration, hence you must accept immigration” is not sound and should not be used in a honest discussion.

              Unless, of course, you accept the premise that we should accept rapes, murders and so on just because our ancestors were raping, murdering and so on.

              Also, the argument “some evil people used the argument, hence the argument is invalid” is also unsound and should not be used – unless you agree that we will use the same logic to fight leftwing concepts, as the anti-nationalist rhetoric, pro-social justice rhetoric etc were used by people to justify deaths of millions of people.

              (2) “The Poles used arguments like the OP to justify pogroms against Jews” When? First of all, pogroms were motivated either by religion or by economic competition, and not often by “they are people eroding social trust” – well, maybe they did, but because pogroms were made by individuals who left no written elaborates on why they participated, we don’t know.

              Second, the political parties and philosphers who actually were writing about Jews were not calling for pogroms. Political writers were calling for boycotts, affirmative actions etc, not for violence.

              The second part suggest you mean specific events before WW2. The problem is that there were not many pogroms in pre-WW2 Poland. There were riots, which are sometimes called pogroms by historians with certain agenda. Remember: this was a time when every party had their military groups and everyone was attacking and beating everyone.

              For example, in Przytyk (one of the most often brought into the discussion) a Polish member of Endecja called christian buyers to boycott Jewish stands (BTW Jews were also calling for boycotts of Polish shops). He was kicked by Jewish merchant, he hit the Jewish merchant in the arm and was arrested. Other peasants went to the police and long story short, they were attacked by Jewish selbschutz – possibly, because it was impossible to establish decisively, because some random peasants attacked in other part of town three Jews. In ensued fight random Poles were beaten and one was shot. This started all-against-all fight, while police was beating everyone (according to Polish sources) or only Jews (according to Jews).

              In total. one Poles and two Jews died, many (both Poles and Jews) were wounded.

              If this was a pogrom, then you had regular pogroms in USA during last few decades. Or maybe we should say, that in Przytyk there was first anti-Polish pogrom, which then turned into anti-Jewish pogrom?

              (3) these persecutions went on during WWII (__although the current government made it illegal to suggest that they did__)

              That’s a lie, and it heavily erodes you trustworthiness if you are willing to repeat such a blatant lie, which you can easily check.

              The current government made a law which made illegal false allegations against whole nation, so you can still say “individual Poles” or “group of Poles” did so and so. It’s only illegal to say “Poles as a nation are responsible” AND the law specifically exempted researchers and artists. I do not defend the law, as I am against most restrictions on free speech, but I am tired of people repeating this idiotic lies.

              • “That’s a lie, and it heavily erodes you trustworthiness if you are willing to repeat such a blatant lie, which you can easily check.”

                There were heroes because there also were horrible villains.

                https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/02/poland-holocaust-death-camps/552455/

                Perhaps the most infamous of these episodes was a massacre in the town of Jedwabne in summer 1941 when several hundred Jews were burned alive by their neighbors.

                In May 1942, non-Jewish residents of the town held hostage some two to three dozen local Jews. Over the course of several days, they tortured and raped their hostages before finally murdering them. Yet recent interviews with locals reveal that other Christian Poles in Gniewczyna ?a?cucka tried to shield Jews. These and countless other episodes muddy the waters between victim and oppressor in the chaotic environment of wartime Poland.

                It is not that the Poles repented and anti-semitism has been banished:
                https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/confronting-anti-semitism-in-poland-today-memoir

                https://www.timesofisrael.com/anti-semitic-attack-on-workshop-of-stonemason-who-made-polish-holocaust-monument/

                More relevant, very many Poles emigrated, e.g., to the US. So, the Poles want to get the benefit of Emigration, but deny other the benefits of Immigration.

                • What has Jedwabne to do with the law? You wrote that a Polish law forbids talking about Poles participating in anti-semitic violence during WW2. There is no such law. You can easily check that : you CAN freely talk, discuss and propagate knowledge about Jedwabne and other few similar pogroms during WW2. The law only requires that FALSE accussation AGAINST WHOLE NATION is punished. For example, it’s ok to say “Poles organized Jedwabne pogrom”. It’s ony illegal to say “Polish nation was reponsible for Jedwabne pogrom” or “Jedwabne pogrom was organized by Polish state”.

                  Since it requires the court fo decide whether accusation is false or not, and since historians and artists are exempted from the law, the law is effectively totally toothless – IMO it was designed as “virtue signalling”.

                  To repeat, your claim that “although the current government made it illegal to suggest that they did” (ie to suggest the persecutions went on in WW2) is false.

                  Heck, even the very atlantic article you’ve linked is very clear on this! How you could read and the link this article and still claim that Polish current government made a law criminalizing suggesting individual Poles participated in Holocaust in beyond me.

                  As for emigration/immigration, who cares about Poles in the US? It’s like demanding that since I got discount from company A, then I must give discounts to my own consumers.

                  Absurd.

                  If USA decided that at one point, in a specific context, it was beneficial to grant Poles right to immigrate to USA, then it’s an US decision which obviously has nothing to do whether Poland NOW, in different context, should or should not allow others (non-Americans) to immigrate into Poland.

                  • “The law only requires that FALSE accussation AGAINST WHOLE NATION is punished.”

                    That is silly. How can a “nation” be slandered? It is not the State, because the government at the time was established in the UK. It is not specific people, as, according to you, you should be allowed to criticize specific people. What is there left to slander?

                    But the silliness has been the result of the ruling PiS party back pedaling the intended harsh law:
                    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/revised-law-still-alters-history-of-jews-in-poland-862210.html

                    You write about judges who decide? But the current PiS party has stuffed the (lower) courts with cronies. They have worked hard to dismantle the rule of law in open admiration of the Hungarian example (and Putin’s grip on the law).
                    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-poland-chronology/chronology-poland-clashes-with-eu-over-judicial-reforms-rule-of-law-idUSKBN1JU25U
                    https://www.justsecurity.org/59466/poland-failing-law-justice/

                    “If USA decided that at one point, in a specific context, it was beneficial to grant Poles right to immigrate to USA, then it’s an US decision which obviously has nothing to do whether Poland NOW, ”

                    The OP was a post about morals. The idea that you do not have to be grateful for the opportunities others gave you in the past is in itself a moral stance that is worthy of being expressed clearly.

                    Yes, Poles have all the rights in the world to be ungrateful and be Proud of It.

                    • That is silly.

                      Of course it is silly. I am not defending the law. I am only saying that it doesn’t say what you implied.

                      For the record, we already have (since many years) similar law about slandering Polish nation in general. We have many such restrictions on free speech.

                      OTOH, why slandering the whole ethnos is silly and how that’s different from slandering the whole race? IE. if it’s silly to say all Poles as a collective did bad thing, then is it also silly to say “all Jews did something”? Do you mean we should remove all hate speech laws we have in Poland?

                      But the silliness has been the result of the ruling PiS party back pedaling the intended harsh law:

                      No, that’s wrong. The initial wording was exactly this: false accusations of the nation or state, plus exemptions for researchers and artists. From the very beginning it was about STATE and NATION, not about individual people. That’s why the whole outrage was so surprising, especially since so many people spread lies about the law.

                      The revision was mostly about removing the harsh punishments.

                      You write about judges who decide? But the current PiS party has stuffed the (lower) courts with cronies.

                      Because the cronies who previously stuffed the courts were surely better. “We are the better caste of people”, as one of them said on the conference.

                      The OP was a post about morals. The idea that you do not have to be grateful for the opportunities others gave you in the past is in itself a moral stance that is worthy of being expressed clearly.

                      Being grateful is one thing. Acting is another. Moreover, you are missing “being grateful” to someone who gave you the opportunities with expressing gratitude to someone else, who is in no way related to a guy who helped me. I am not sure why you are distorting this, though I am still willing to attribute this to confusion on your part.

                      Imagine ten years ago you started a company and you get huge discount from Bill. Because of that, your company was able to act at all and only because of that you NOW have a company.

                      Now Adam arrives and demands you should give him similar help, as Bill gave you.

                      That’s absurd. Yes, you should be grateful to Bill. It would be definitely commendable and moral to help Bill, if he would demand such help; and it is commendable to help others; but not helping others is not immoral per se. For example, it’s moral to give away all of your clothes and possessions; it’s moral and commendable that you would go to Africa and help poor kids or whatever. But if you won’t do this, this is not immoral.

                      If receiving charity includes an obligation to give back, then it’s no longer a charity.

                      If a stranger would help you from being drown, then you surely should be grateful to him. But if you can’t swim, then not risking your life to help another stranger is not immoral and it does not mean you are not being grateful.

                      Continuing, surely I owe something to Bill, a gratitude. But I do not owe anything to Adam, who is in no way related to Bill. I could help Adam, and that would be commendable. But not helping Adam is not immoral, or at least no more immoral than not helping Adam in a different scenario, where Bill have note helped your company.

                      Continuing, in this scenario the context is important. If Bill helped you AND was a billionaire, while you are now a small company barely making your own, then it’s totally unreasonable – and I would even say immoral! To demand that I should help Adam in exactly the same way as Bill helped me.

                      Or, as in swimmer example, if a stranger helped you from being drown during a calm weather on a lake, then refusing to try to help someone drowning during a storm on a ocean is not being ungrateful.

                      Context matters and it changes all the time.

                    • To finish the thread about IPN law, you can check it yourself: http://dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2018/369/1

                      Art. 55a. 1. Kto publicznie i wbrew faktom przypisuje Narodowi Polskiemu lub Pa?stwu Polskiemu odpowie-
                      dzialno?? lub wspó?odpowiedzialno?? za pope?nione przez III Rzesz? Niemieck? zbrodnie nazistowskie okre?lone
                      w art. 6 Karty Mi?dzynarodowego Trybuna?u Wojskowego za??czonej do Porozumienia mi?dzynarodowego w przed-
                      miocie ?cigania i karania g?ównych przest?pców wojennych Osi Europejskiej, podpisanego w Londynie dnia
                      8 sierpnia 1945 r. (Dz. U. z 1947 r. poz. 367), lub za inne przest?pstwa stanowi?ce zbrodnie przeciwko pokojowi,
                      ludzko?ci lub zbrodnie wojenne lub w inny sposób ra??co pomniejsza odpowiedzialno?? rzeczywistych sprawców
                      tych zbrodni, podlega grzywnie lub karze pozbawienia wolno?ci do lat 3. Wyrok jest podawany do publicznej wia-
                      domo?ci.
                      2. Je?eli sprawca czynu okre?lonego w ust. 1 dzia?a nieumy?lnie, podlega grzywnie lub karze ograniczenia wol-
                      no?ci.
                      3. Nie pope?nia przest?pstwa sprawca czynu zabronionego okre?lonego w ust. 1 i 2, je?eli dopu?ci? si? tego
                      czynu w ramach dzia?alno?ci artystycznej lub naukowej.

                      This is the initial law from 26.01.2018 which caused so much outrage. You can use google translate to check it (though google translates “Narodowi Polskiemu” (Polish nation) as “Polish” which changes the meaning, and it ignores “nie pope?nia przest?pstwa” (“s/he does not commit a crime if..”) in pt 3rd.

                      At no point it was punishable to say some Poles collaborated with Nazis or participated in Nazi crimes. That’s why the whole outrage seem so strange. Why people wanted to have a right to ascribe collective responsibility to all Poles, or why they wanted to have a right to say that Polish state was responsible for Nazi crimes, while at the same time being perfectly OK that THE VERY SAME LAW also forbid denial or minimizing of Nazi crimes, and were OK with hate speech laws?

                      Once again, I do not defend the law, it was silly and stupid, agree. But it was grossly misrepresented and lied about, with people pretending that the law was about something different.

                      correction: backpedaling was removing the whole article in June

                    • “Because the cronies who previously stuffed the courts were surely better. ”

                      That is the argument of a bully: They started.

                      It is also the main argument of the populist and GOP: We do things not because they are good, right, or just, but because we have the power to do what we want.

                      Might is right.

                    • It’s not “they started”. Rather, the system was corrupted, inept, and filled with communist judges. It’s like saying “cleansing of courts from Nazi judges in 1945 is wrong. You are saying courts were filled by Nazis? That’s an argument of a bully. They started it”

                      The courts in Poland have low social trust, are infamous for many grotesque judgments and were never, I repeat: never reviewed after communist system fall. The judges promised that the system will clean itself and there is no need for intervention. Well, thirty years on, and system has not cleansed itself, and judges who were happily persecuting opposition in 1981 were still active. Enough is enough.

                    • “The judges promised that the system will clean itself and there is no need for intervention. Well, thirty years on, and system has not cleansed itself, and judges who were happily persecuting opposition in 1981 were still active. Enough is enough.”

                      Nice rant. But the people doing the “cleansing” are openly admiring the work of Orban in Hungary and openly speak about repeating his destruction of democracy in Poland.

                      PiS will not clean up the judiciary, they are about to replace “communist” judges with anti-democratic “PiS” judges to prevent any future elections from pushing them out of power.

                      And about other rights:
                      Women’s rights
                      “Limits on contraception, end of domestic violence protection, and an ongoing push to ban abortion — and that’s just the start.”
                      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jinamoore/polands-far-right-is-trying-to-take-away-womens-rights-and-t

                      Gay rights:
                      “Kaczynski calls LGBT rights a ‘threat’ to Poland”
                      https://www.france24.com/en/20190425-kaczynski-calls-lgbt-rights-threat-poland

                      And Freedom of the Press is under attack:
                      https://freedomhouse.org/report/special-reports/assault-press-freedom-poland
                      https://ipi.media/press-freedom-in-poland-takes-hit-at-years-end/

                      Poland is a wet dream for many in the GOP.

                    • For Darwin’s sake.

                      (1) There are no changes of LGBT rights in Poland. There is no progress, but if lack of LGBT rights means democracy is in danger in Poland, then Poland was never a democracy after 1989. You cannot honestly claim that because PiS sticks to the past and does not progress LGBT cause, it means LGBT rights are under a threat.

                      (2) Freedom House report is a sad joke. I mean, seriously. Compare freedom of press in Poland during last two decades and similar, other countries. Now consider: under previous gvt the member of the government actually conspired to remove a chief editor of opposition paper, because it was too critical of government. The special forces invaded the HQ of opposition paper in order to force it to reveal its sources of information. There was widespread (legal) spying on opposition journalists. As soon as president Lech Kaczy?ski died in a crash and no longer he could veto the new media law, the PO-PSL introduced new regulations which allowed it to cleanse the public TV from right-wing journalists.

                      Currently, most of the mainstream media is still friendly to opposition and hostile to government. The public TV was cleansed from non-servile journalists and turned into propaganda tube, true, but that’s the only thing which got worse – except that, there is nothing comparable to the abuses of press freedom previously.

                      So – previously government spied on journalists, conspired to remove critical journalist, raided the opposition paper HQ, while almost all media had distinct pro-government bias except few niche medias – BUT HEY, now PiS stopped subsiding some papers and turned public TV into propaganda!!

                      (3) The complete ban of abortion was proposal by a rightwing NGO. If this was threat to abortion law, remember that different NGO proposed relaxing abortion laws. Kaczy?ski said in interview MONTHS before the law was introduced and before protests started, that he will block this initiative. The fact that some people then said it were the protests stopped Kaczy?ski only have proven that they never actually read anything written by Kaczy?ski and they live in their own alternative reality.

                      Not to mention that you are trying to frame discussion as if conservative position on abortion is per definition anti-democratic. Shame on you. People with wrong views can’t have their say in democratic government.

                      (4) The hysterical screams about preventing freedom of election are repeated since 4 last years. During those last 4 years I got enough of warnings that soon opposition member will be arrested, activists put in jail etc. Nothing of sort happened. The funny thing is that when PiS was is in opposition and was saying about irregularities in local elections, were there was record number of invalid votes in voivodship where PSL (member of previous government) was winning, the same people warning about lack of free elections were then laughing that rightwingers are hysterical and believe in conspiracy theories. This is not just hypocrisy, but astounding lack of self-reflection.

                      OTOH, since many still support one protester who was involved in a trade of women (hey, maybe he traded women, but at least he was anti-PiS), I am not that surprised.

                      (5) Any article calling PiS “far-right” is not reliable and should be dismissed out of hand. PiS in context of Poland has normal, mainstream views. Those views were also mainstream in western Europe three decades ago. Not to mention “”It was a kind of anger Marcinek had never seen before” sure, because he never cared to look at the rallies by rightwingers, were masked police was beating random passerbies (as during independence march) or arresting en-masse group of hundreds of people because some in the crowd were behaving badly (and then torturing arrested people to enforce admissions of wrongdoing). However, because police was beating rightwingers, and arrested were also bad people, all was OK.

                      But at least the article discusses honestly how extremely delicate is “eugenics” in Poland.

                      for the record, I am pro-choice, though for reasons which cause most of my feminist and left-wing Polish friends cringe (in short, I am atheist and a big eugenics fan, plus a believer in partial heritability of social attitudes).

                      And, BTW, quite a few of changes PiS made in a court reform, which were decried by my friends as “undemocratic” and “turning Poland into dictatorship” are simply reversion of the reforms made since 2007 (special powers for minister of justice, for example). Some of them were declared unconstitutional in IIRC 2006 or 2007 (it wasn’t easy to find this sentence, and I won’t bother to search for it again), so obviously I am no big fan of the reform, but still – either Poland was fascist dictatorship without free courts until 2007, or it wasn’t then and wouldn’t be now with all the reforms in place.

                      I am ready to admit Poland is flawed democracy or even it is not democracy. But only if you will admit that Poland was flawed democracy or no democracy before 2014.

                      Anyways, I find it very strange that in a discussion on immigration you are continuing to introduce more and more slogans about how bad and fascist my country is. And saying how bad is court reform, while linking article about how bad Polish judges were before PiS took power.
                      It seems like a Gish gallop: you are introducing more and more arguments, and setting every straight would require me several hours of work, searching legal documents etc – and discussing all at once increase probability that I would make some stupid mistake, and in my previous experiences of discussing with people using similar arguments, the discutant then declares the victory. Therefore, no. I won’t continue the discussion. At least I hope you see that original version of IPN law never forbidden anyone talking about Jedwabne and individual cases of collaboration with Nazis.

                    • But the people doing the “cleansing” are openly admiring the work of Orban in Hungary and openly speak about repeating his destruction of democracy in Poland.

                      So a popularly elected prime minister pursuing popular policies is “destruction of democracy”, whereas unelected bureaucrats forcing unpopular policies down people’s throats and arresting anyone how dares complain for “hate speech” is “democracy working like it’s supposed to”? I must say, this is a new level of Orwellian doublethink even for you.

                    • @Eugine Nier
                      “So a popularly elected prime minister pursuing popular policies is “destruction of democracy””

                      So it all boils down again to “Might is Right”.

                      Als this talk about Freedom, Free Speech, Justice, Values, Morals is just pretend. When in power, silence all dissenters. That is the modern Right.

                      Democracy is free and fair elections, free press, and the rule of law. Attacking one of them is an attack on all of them. It is irrelevant whether the majority agrees or not.

                    • @szopen
                      “(1) There are no changes of LGBT rights in Poland. …”

                      PiS has not made a secret about their intentions and plans. I take them on their word that they want to strip women, lgbt, and the press of their rights and to end the rule of kaw.

                      This is just what the PiS have campaigned about for years. And which they have tried to implement piecewise.

                      I give the words of Kaczynski more weight than your outside opinion.

                      Any arguments defending limiting unfavorable pres along the lines “they started” shows the mentality of a bully.

                      Again, “Might is Right”.

                    • I take them on their word that they want to strip women, lgbt, and the press of their rights and to end the rule of kaw.

                      Ha! Strip of their rights, so deprive them of something that they already have. Let’s start with LGBT, please. Could you please quote exact words of Kaczy?ski in which he proposed stripping LGBT people in Poland of the rights they already have?

                      (Please do not link some vague articles by activists saying “Kaczy?ski wants to strip us of rights”. Concretes. What kaczy?ski have said, what rights LGBT had and Kaczy?ski wants to take them away).

                    • Als this talk about Freedom, Free Speech, Justice, Values, Morals is just pretend. When in power, silence all dissenters. That is the modern Right.

                      Democracy is free and fair elections, free press, and the rule of law. Attacking one of them is an attack on all of them. It is irrelevant whether the majority agrees or not.

                      So Poland and Hungary are locking up people who post true things on social media for “hate speech” while covering for rape grooming gangs? Oh, wait that’s England, France, Germany, and Sweden, i.e., the countries you presumably consider “good democracies with free speech”. Seriously, are you even capable of *not* engaging in “censorship is free speech” level doublethink at this point? I suppose you’ll be trying to argue that freedom is slavery next.

                    • >I suppose you’ll be trying to argue that freedom is slavery next.

                      Remember, Winter introduced himself here as a “good Commie”. That means the “Freedom is slavery” horse left the barn looooong ago.

                    • “Could you please quote exact words of Kaczy?ski in which he proposed stripping LGBT people in Poland of the rights they already have?”

                      When you condemn someone or something a “threat to the nation” and a “danger to children”, what should we expect?

                      Kaczynski calls LGBT rights a ‘threat’ to Poland
                      https://www.france24.com/en/20190425-kaczynski-calls-lgbt-rights-threat-poland

                      “This danger is an attack on the family, and an attack conducted in the worst possible way, because it’s essentially an attack on children,” he told party loyalists.
                      https://www.politico.eu/article/polands-law-and-justice-plays-the-lgbt-card-ahead-of-elections/

                      In 2007, the government of the Kaczynski brothers already tried to ban discussing homosexuality in school:
                      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/mar/20/schools.gayrights

                      The twins also banned Gay Pride marches.

                    • “Remember, Winter introduced himself here as a “good Commie”.”

                      I remember that. It reminded me that there is no humor in fundamentalists.

                      An about “Slavery is Freedom”, please look at the GOP, with your own VP whose fight for the “freedom” of women and LGBT is legendary (yes, this is sarcasm).

                      This discussion here is exemplary. All these people standing up to fight for a party that wants to abolish the Free Press, the rule of law, as well as women’s and LGBT rights.

                      The fact that they have not yet succeeded is not for a lack of trying.

                    • >I remember that. It reminded me that there is no humor in fundamentalists.

                      You probably wouldn’t consider introducing yourself as a “good Nazi” to be funny. Yet you claim to think “good Commie” is humorous. Failing to see the equivalence is a problem with you, not with us.

                    • Winter, for Darwin’s sake, have you not understood the question? Can’t you read?!

                      You said “stripping LGBT of their rights”. That means that LGBT had or have some rights, and now they won’t have rights they had.

                      You cannot say that because Kaczy?ski is against giving new rights to LGBT, it means that LGBT people are stripped of their rights.

                      Nor you can say that because the government refused them funding, because no one is entitled to government money – were conservatives stripped of their rights, when they got next to nothing gvt money before, and most was directed to leftwing organisations?

                      Nor you can say that because they are talked badly, it means they are stripped of their rights – rightwingers were and are talked badly all the time. You CAN say this is a bad thing, homophobic, whatever, but it is not the same as “Stripping LGBT of their rights”.

                      Similarly, since in the past in Poland nationalist organisations were refused entry to the schools and liberal press in Poland was all in favour of that, then you must apply the same standard and say that government may require schools to be kept agnostic and concentrated only on learning.

                      BTW, Giertych from your link is not from PiS. He was in coalition with PiS, got screwed and then changed the front. He is now against the PiS and forgiven all his previous sins, while also forgetting all his previous views. He is now liberal progressive, though only publicist and lawyer, not a politician.

                      To conclude: in short, you have provided no examples. It’s because there are none. Once again, when LGBT have not many rights compared to the west, then refusing to give them new rights is not “stripping” . Rhetoric, when Kaczy?ski insist that the new rights LGBT people demand will endanger Polish style of life might be deemed stupid, homophobic, you might say it impedes the progress, whatever you want – but Kaczy?ski had not said anything about stripping the rights, but only about refusal to make a your progress there. The speech was made in a specific context of Polish politics, when Polish supposedly “healthy, conservative culture” was contrasted with a “degenerate culture of death in the west”, with stories being circulated about specific cases in UK, France etc and promises that Poland with resist this “culture of death”. To reiterate one more time, because it seems you can’t understand when I’ve written it once, you CAN say it’s wrong, it’s backward, you CAN say LGBT rights in Poland are not enough, Kaczy?ski is against LGBT rights, homophobe etc – but you CAN’T say Kaczy?ski wants to strip LGBT of rights. You can’t abolish something it’s not there, capisci?

                      Once again, either no LGBT specific rights means Poland is no democracy now, but then it means that since Kaczy?ski/PiS government made no changes in this regard (except in rhetorics: previous government was against changes – and it’s confirmed even in the links you have provided – but stated its position with milder rhetoric, saying more or now “it’s no time now”) then Poland was no democracy under PO/PSL (which actually is my position: Poland was and is flawed democracy); OR, if Poland was a democracy under PO/PSL rule, then Poland is still democracy now. You can’t have both.

                      But, of course, this is very typical. Previous government limiting freedom of speech and freedom of association: good! Because they were good progressive europeans. Previous government spying of journalists, raiding opposition papers, conspiring to remove journalists from position – all good! But now, when the situation is much better except from public TV begin turned into much more blatant propaganda – OMG it’s attack on Free Press! And it’s not even that public TV was objective before. It was just using more subtle propaganda.

                    • All these people standing up to fight for a party that wants to abolish the Free Press, the rule of law,

                      Sorry, the only one here defending the mainstream parties of western Europe, at least by implication, is you.

                      as well as women’s and LGBT rights.

                      Ah yes the typical Orwellian technique of insisting on supporting “rights” far leftists pulled out of their ass a decade ago to divert attention that actual fundamental rights, like free speech, are being destroyed.

                    • @Vote +1szopen
                      “You said “stripping LGBT of their rights”. That means that LGBT had or have some rights, and now they won’t have rights they had.”

                      As I wrote above: People discussed homosexuality in schools, the government of the Kazcynski brothers tried to forbid that (and they were in it to the full). People organized Gay Pride parades, they forbid it (Kazcynski was major of Warsaw). And PiS leaves no doubt that they want to run Poland as a strictly Catholic country where Gays are seen as a severe danger to society in general and children in particular.

                      What more should they have to say before you admit they want to censor the LGBT out of Poland?

                      But it seems you are utterly unconcerned about the Freedom of LGBT’s and women. Which is a good description of the US right, the GOP not excluded

                      @Eugine Nier
                      “Ah yes the typical Orwellian technique of insisting on supporting “rights” far leftists pulled out of their ass a decade ago to divert attention that actual fundamental rights, like free speech, are being destroyed.”

                      What more basic right is there than to chose yourself whom you love and share your life with? Is that what Free Speech means for you? You can say what you want, but Gays are not allowed to talk about their love? Not allowed to show whom they love?

                      Your idea of Freedom seems not to include people who are different from you. And it specifically does not seem to include gays and women.

                    • What more basic right is there than to chose yourself whom you love and share your life with? Is that what Free Speech means for you? You can say what you want, but Gays are not allowed to talk about their love? Not allowed to show whom they love?

                      So by your argument “freedom” didn’t exist until a decade ago?

                      But seriously, your conception of freedom appears to be “you can have as much and as perverted smut and sex as you want as long as you keep your mouth shut about politics”.

                      During the great pornography debates of the late 20th century the pro-pornography side was arguing that if we censor porn its a slippery slope to censoring political speech, i.e., the actually important right. Now it turns out a lot of people, like yourself, are arguing that smut is free speech but political speech isn’t.

                  • @esr
                    “You probably wouldn’t consider introducing yourself as a “good Nazi” to be funny. ”

                    By that time I had been called all kind of names on your blog already, including IIRC a communist. I have since been called a stalinist/maoist and accused of planning death camps here.

                    I stand by my earlier statement “there is no humor in fundamentalists”.

                • BTW: a small diggression. The second linked article states “the vandalized shed previously belonged to a Jewish Polish football team.”

                  That’s a halt-truth. The ?KS team was associated with Jews before the war but it still exists today and most of its so called “fans” deny the connection. ?KS still exists today. The ?KS hooligans vandalize Widzew buildings and call them “Jewish” (stupid and antisemitic, I know, they are not the brightest bunch) while Widzew hooligans vandalize ?KS buildings and call them “Jewish”.

                  There is also “Cracovia” which is commonly called “Jewish club” and their hooligans (100% Poles) often embrace that identity, proudly calling themselves “Jewish club”.

  25. ESR,

    Libertarianism is well suited for solving a set of problems. I don’t think it is well suited to this kind of problem. It is good at solving economic problems, so that kind of immigration that merely suppresses the wages is something libertarians can tackle well. But that kind of immigration that will end up erecting a caliphate or turn a country into a crime-ridden third-world hellhole? That is very much war by other means and libertarianism is not well suited to solving war-complete problems. Or civil war -complete, or levels-of-crime-that-amount-to-ethnic-cleansing-complete problems.

    https://www.unqualified-reservations.org/2010/02/from-mises-to-carlyle-my-sick-journey/

    “But the libertarian artillery officer faces a serious moral dilemma. Does artillery violate the natural rights of the target? I would say: the entire purpose of artillery is to violate the natural rights of the target. Clearly, if you could get your hands on the people your artillery is pointed at, and subject them to a full and fair judicial trial for whatever their offenses may be, you would have no need at all for artillery. Since you have no means by which to achieve this, you subject them to a 120-mm shell instead.”

    “Just as Newtonian rules only make sense at low speeds, Misesian rules only make sense in a secure order. Mises himself once wished for a praxeology of war, which is fairly good evidence that he didn’t have one. Carlyle was not a place he would have looked. (…) Here is the Carlylean roadmap for the Misesian goal. Spontaneous order, also known as freedom, is the highest level of a political pyramid of needs. These needs are: peace, security, law, and freedom. To advance order, always work for the next step—without skipping steps. In a state of war, advance toward peace; in a state of insecurity, advance toward security; in a state of security, advance toward law; in a state of law, advance toward freedom.

    The Newtonian envelope of libertarianism is the last of these stages. Once the state of lawful government is reached, that state can generally improve itself by minimizing its interventions and applying a policy of laissez-faire—advancing from enforced to spontaneous order. With the caveat, of course, that this policy not jeopardize the more important achievements of peace, security, and law.”

    Libertarianism simply presupposes a level of public order and it can build upon it. But that level of public order is not established by libertarian means. Granted, for people of very good culture and genetics it can arise spontaneously. For not that kind of people, not.

    So I think libertarians better focus on the economic. Like, immigration depressing wages. Free trade also depressing wages. Clearly, the only libertarian way to fix that is to make Western workers actually *deserve* high wages by utilizing their higher intelligence for the purpose of higher productivity. Alrenous has an idea how to do this: https://alrenous.blogspot.com/2008/01/factory-assembly-lines-evil.html

  26. The part of the common good (e.g. commonly shared laws, customs, high trust etc) there is also the assumption about rationality. Despite saying reasonable things about tribality and untangible assets ESR still does not seem to wholy _grok_ this, as in: not just understand it, but grasp it by heart. The whole idea of treating people as individuals, not as groups is a nice example of this. Imagine J. Random Foreigner appears and he is intelligent, hard working, law-abiding. Then appears his nephew, brother, cousin and bunch of other A. B. C. D. Random Foreigners. As individuals, they are all law-abiding and great additions to libertopia. They have just one flaw: they are extremely tribal. They try to work only with their tribe, buy and sell from their tribe, in case of trouble they would always or almost always put with their tribe. This would blew up the libertopia within few generations.

    (a digression: That was my mine confusion when I was first introduced to the libertarian argument by Friedman, I think , who said something as “imagine that a guy A comitted crime on B. B calls insurance company, A call insurance company, and because violence is costly, then they would try to find out who did what and make a settlement..” I was confused, because for me the another option would be A calls his brothers, cousins and friends and they fight with cousins, borthers and friends of B, because refusing to go for violence would be costly and would destroy the family reputation…)

    • The whole point of the insurance company (or government) is to protect everyone against the consequences of A calling his brothers and B calling his brothers. We have people who are not A or B adjudicate the issue exactly to prevent the whole tribal feud thing from happening.

      • I was saying about this particular argument as it was used by IIRC Friedman: that because violence is costly, insurance companies will surely avoid violence. The problem is of course that it assumes rationality, and it ignores the fact that for certain people lack of violence is costly too.

        • I believe such a system doesn’t require rationality, but merely self-interest. Self-interested people naturally dislike having violence committed upon them, and are thus motivated to seek ways of preventing it.

          Rationality certainly helps – the more rational people are, the longer term their planning, and thus the more likely they are to act in ways that do not motivate others to violence farther out. This implies that the best systems are those which also motivate people to become more rational.

          • But this example still ignores that for some, the violence might be better option, because of honour, allegiance to the family or simply because one want to built a reputation “better do not f* with those people”.

            • I agree that is the case. Violence does not have infinite negative utility.

              But your earlier claim was that Friedman’s claim, that insurers will avoid violence – relies on an assumption that they are rational, and that that assumption does not always hold. And I’m saying that assumption isn’t necessary (it’s merely desirable). Do you think I am mistaken?

              I’ll even go one further, and claim that Friedman himself doesn’t expect violence to be absolutely unavoidable. Some insurers – and indeed, some committed libertarians – will have no choice but to use it to survive, particularly against other individuals who have run amok. There’s at least one talk on YouTube, where Friedman discusses the failure modes of libertarianism, and I think he even says pretty much this.

              • POssibly you are right. I was talking to a discussion between Friedman and few sceptics on usenet – but I can’t find it, in which he explained how solving theft would act in a world without government, but with insurance companies and detectives.

                I was mostly a passive watcher, exchanged only few posts with him. Most of his adversaries were calling him nuts, while he kept unusually cool. I can’t even remember whether he linked this example, or posted in usenet group.

                Strange thing the usenet group had nothing to do with libertarianism. One of the discutants even suggested that Friedman simply kept watch on who was mentioning his name and that it was saddest thing in the world :D

                • I had a short phase when I used to watch every Friedman event I could find online. Some of his books are still on my short-term to-do list (Legal Systems Very Unlike Our Own, IIRC, and more importantly his book on price theory). If you find a link to that convo, post it here, and I’ll likely read it.

                  (I recall James “Kibo” Parry was much more assiduous in responding to any mention of him on Usenet. Everyone seemed to think it was pretty funny.)

                  I might depart from Friedman’s views on anarcho-capitalist society in practice, in that I think it wouldn’t effect radical change wherever it happened. In the US, you’d probably end up with about the same amount of violence and fraud, and about the same purchasing power. In Japan, you’d have about the same discomfort with outsiders, the same suicide rate. Mexico would have the same problems with Central Americans, and with violent cartels.

                  Culture still drives the car; economics just tweaks the fuel efficiency. It’ll take a generation or so before you notice you could put in a much nicer stereo and sight-see more.

                  • Culture still drives the car; economics just tweaks the fuel efficiency. It’ll take a generation or so before you notice you could put in a much nicer stereo and sight-see more.

                    Yes, but Culture is a response to the Environment, the envelope of which is determined by Technology. And what Technology can be brought to bear is also determined by Economics.

                    It’s twisted causality all the way [non-euclidian direction].

  27. Game of Thrones has made us all aware of the need for walls commensurate to the threat: against hordes of white walkers you build 700-foot walls of thick ice, for the neighborhood kids a short picket or chain-link fence. We build to requirements. But we should also conduct at least a cursory analysis of alternatives, including an examination of the causes of the problem, like why the white walkers appeared, and why the neighborhood kids hate you. Memories are short. The MS-13 gang did not arise out of nowhere, and its activities are not random crime but, first and foremost, drug trafficking.

    Which brings us to your second problematic notion, social trust. In a black market, without normal mechanisms of dispute resolution, trust is a scarce and valuable commodity. It is thus no surprise that so many drug gangs are ethnic: as Putnam found, homogeneity increases trust, and drug gangs need as much as possible. However:

    “The sociologist Robert Putnam is now (in)famous for noticing that diversity – whether it’s linguistic, ethno-racial, or religious – erodes social trust.”

    “Erodes” is a poor choice of words, even deceptive. It suggests a gradual, ongoing process of destruction, and that is not how diversity affects social trust. Diversity produces a basically one-off drop. Of course, the dynamics can be more complicated, e.g. nonlinear and evolving, with feedback loops, but it is certainly not the case that a diverse society will see its social trust erode to nothing. Diversity, like many things in life, has costs and benefits, and your utilitarian approach requires some attempt at quantification. You sound like a Greenist railing against pollution or nuclear power. I suggest that the low-trust society that you fear (and I have lived in one for many years) results primarily from factors other than diversity. Diversity amplifies, but it is not a root cause. However, to people with certain instincts, diversity is salient. I wish that such people, especially those with pretensions to rationalism, would at least acknowledge the root causes before indulging in their pet issues.

    I would have no problem at all with right-libertarians on both sides of the Atlantic opposing immigration as incompatible with current government policies on welfare, war, and drug prohibition. However, even in long articles they somehow can’t manage to insert even a single mention–strange for libertarians. You’d think they would use immigration as leverage to achieve reform in these other issues, but they reveal what really matters to them.

    • >I suggest that the low-trust society that you fear (and I have lived in one for many years) results primarily from factors other than diversity.

      Of course. I am sure low average IQ and high time preference are prominent among these factors, possibly dominating all others. But that is another reason to beware of “diversity” if what it means in practice is importing a lot of stupid people with short planning horizons.

      >You’d think they would use immigration as leverage to achieve reform in these other issues, but they reveal what really matters to them.

      I have no idea how I might do that. I’m open to suggestions.

      The drug war is of course an atrocity and a botch. And I would abolish all income-transfer programs in a second if I could push that button. I fail to see how anything I say or don’t say about immigration could possibly move the needle on those issues.

      • I summarized for a leftish friend my disappointment with libertarians losing their reason and ideological bearings over the picture of hordes of violent, brown-skinned, low-IQ immigrants at the gates. Given that many immigrants are:
        1. Fleeing war, corruption, and violent crime caused by US meddling (e.g. wars on terror and drugs)
        2. Attracted to western countries with excessively generous welfare polices (especially in Europe)
        3. Prevented from working normal jobs (at least here in Germany) by labor regulations
        4. Recruited into criminal gangs whose activities are overwhelmingly in the traditional areas of prohibited vice (especially drugs, prostitution, and gambling)

        I would really expect libertarians to spend more time talking about the eliminating the moronic and immoral government policies that create the problems instead of creating yet more government policies antithetical to our values—sounding just like our adversaries on the left and right. I would at least expect them to acknowledge these root causes in any article where they propose anti-liberty policies. The root causes are few and easily mentioned.

        • >I would really expect libertarians to spend more time talking about the eliminating the moronic and immoral government policies that create the problems

          You’re confusing what we ought to do as propagandists with what we ought to do to improve our ideas.

          Precisely because we already understand the problems you cite, there isn’t much need for theorists like me to rehash them.

          • Even theorists can be propagandists, especially celebrities who write well-read blogs, and I thought my concluding propagandist suggestion was pretty simple: “I would at least expect them to acknowledge these root causes in any article where they propose anti-liberty policies. The root causes are few and easily mentioned.” Maybe I’m wrong, and even such a token mention would occupy too much space. But it would keep you (and us) from getting confused with conservatives.

  28. >Will the insurance companies exclude black- or brown-skinned people? I don’t think so.

    What would a rational insurer do if it’s a terrible predictor, but also much cheaper to test than the alternatives e.g., a $0.01 picture vs a $100 IQ test? I’m thinking the profit maximizing strategy is to use skin color iff there is small quota relative to relative to the pool of new applicants/immigrants.

    • >I’m thinking the profit maximizing strategy is to use skin color iff there is small quota relative to relative to the pool of new applicants/immigrants.

      Whose quota? Why?

      I’d like to engage this statement, but I don’t understand it.

      I don’t think estimating IQ enough for the first stage of immigration screening is difficult at all, especially since the major goal would be low-pass filtering rather than fine distinctions in the median and higher ranges. I myself could do it by eyeball just by watching eye saccades and a few other queues – obvious stupid is obvious stupid. I can also think of easy ways to train this skill and test whether your ICE candidates actually have it.

      If the process looks arbitrary to the immigrants, that’s their problem. The insurance companies aren’t in business to please anyone but their stockholders. If libertopia has any constituency for taking in your tired your poor and your huddled masses outside the insurance consortium’s merit decisions, they’ll have to do it by posting bond for individuals.

      • The issue is most of them show up as asylum seekers, which process is explicitly defined as needs-based, not merited.

  29. …why does everyone magically finds Trump’s logic so irresistable all of a sudden?

    All of you would have viewed ANY politician who said scat like this as a Larouchie in 2010. But now it is the eternal wisdom of the ages.

    • Trump is the symptom, not the cause. He didn’t come up with an immigration action plan that a substantial minority of the public suddenly glommed onto after treating it as craziness in the previous decade. He espoused an immigration plan that had been requested by that minority for three or more decades, and said that he really meant it unlike the other compromises and phonies.

      Specifically, anti-immigration opposition to the various Bush era comprehensive reforms (McCain-Kennedy in 2005 and the successor bills in 2006, 2007) were all based on the feeling that the compromises were too much in favor of the illegal immigrants. People wanting much stronger border enforcement have been pushing this issue for a long time and nothing in ESR’s post would be unusual in 2010.

  30. Let’s continue by disposing of some obvious objections. Will the insurance companies exclude black- or brown-skinned people? I don’t think so. And if you think so, you’re probably a racist I want nothing to do with.

    Insurance companies discriminate based on color today. It doesn’t matter what your driving history looks like, or whether it rolled off the same assembly line as a black Corvette — if you own a red Corvette, you will pay higher premiums.

    Pointing out that insurance companies might discriminate based on skin color when assessing risk is not racist unless you assume diligence and good will on the part of insurance companies which they haven’t displayed in real life. In reality, such companies will assess initial risk with heuristics considered “good enough” that are easy to measure and then fine-tune those assessments with increasingly intrusive measurements. Imagine people of certain races and ethnicities only being admitted if they consent to wearing an ankle monitor that tracks their movement. That sort of thing.

    Which brings up another, scary point: in general, the libertopian reliance on insurance companies to take over functions like law enforcement will result in surveillance capitalism that will make the current Google-Facebook axis of evil look like spit in a hurricane. Insurance companies are already in the business of offering premium discounts in exchange for increased surveillance, as is the case with auto plans where you can lower your premium by installing a GPS dongle or smartphone app that reports your position, speed, and driving patterns to the insurance company — or skipping the discounts altogether and tying the surveillance directly to the coverage, as with CPAP machines that phone home to your health insurance provider. Once you make the entities doing such data collection the primary underwriters of law enforcement, you have an instant police state, no communism needed.

  31. An unrelated question, but one that is on my mind a lot:

    Where did all the libertarian hackers go? Are they still out there?

    Why is SV turning totalitarian so openly now?

    • >Where did all the libertarian hackers go? Are they still out there?’

      We’re still here. Most of us are keeping our heads down, because doing otherwise can be a career-wrecker until the sociopolitical tide turns against the SJWs.

      >Why is SV turning totalitarian so openly now?

      Gramscian long march, which see. Establishment conservatives were fucking useless at stopping the Communists – it’s been decades since they even had enough cojones to name the enemy.

      • Apologies for drifting off-topic, but I have to say this. Libertarians have to rethink more than immigration. I think it’s time for libertarian hackers to publicly confront the anti-speech left by at least temporarily aligning with Trump and supporting some sort of free speech protections re social media/Silicon Valley. Because if the Democrat wins in 2020, you will see an SJW/SV/DC alliance that will suppress all non-leftist speech as “hate speech” or “managing a civil conversation” or “we’re just expressing our free speech rights.” Whatever they’ll call it, anyone who offends a leftist will be punished. Any criticism of immigration, of any victim group, of anyone not white, of anyone not heterosexual, of anyone not Christian, of any leftist cause at all, will end your career.

        That’s what the SJW left wants, and they might get it.They have now seized the commanding heights of SV and social media: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, the Apple App Store, and the rest. There are countless examples. Today Reddit put The_Donald in quarantine for a handful of heated posts about Oregon. (Where they are sending police to round up Republican legislators who want to prevent a quorum and stop a stupid climate bill.) I suspect more subreddits, the chans, Discord servers, and Mastodon instances will be targeted next. The left already largely controls the mainstream media, public school systems, academia, unions, the non-profit sector, the big cities. They increasingly control big non-tech corporations. (Notice all the corporate celebrations of Pride month?) If they also get control of SV and DC, say goodbye to liberty.

        Open source is not enough. Alone, it cannot can’t stop the SV giants from swinging elections. Libertarian hackers have to compromise and get behind Trump and some sort of legislative fix to prevent tech companies from suppressing political speech they don’t like. For legal precedents I point to Marsh and Pruneyard.

        Yes, I know: “It’s not libertarian to ask for government regulation.” But without it, leftist Democrats might well win in 2020, and then the SJW/SV/DC left will control the national political conversation. Then they’ll give citizenship to millions of present and future illegal immigrants, guided by social media to vote Democrat forever. We’ll become a one-party state. Your career will depend on a panopticon “social credit” communication and surveillance system run by the likes of Carlos Maza, Anita Sarkeesian and Winter. Good luck with your mandatory diversity retraining, you racist fascist badthinkers.

        Libertarians can’t “keep their heads down” and wait for a turning of the tide. It’s now or never.

        • This. More or less.

          If you think that SJW intimidation is bad in the US, look north. The Canadian Liberal Party recently commissioned a report which basically calls for the resurrection and expansion of the “Canadian Human Rights Tribunal” – a free-ranging kangaroo court empowered to punish any sort of “hate speech”. In its previous incarnation, the CHRT had a 100% conviction rate, and most of its prosecutions were brought for complaints filed by a former employee.

          The CHRT was brought down when it tried to prosecute Mark Steyn, who had the stature and resources to resist. (Over an essay in Macleans, Canada’s largest news magazine, in which he made a “disparaging remark” about Moslems that was actually a quotation from an Islamist imam.) The embarassment over this, and the resulting publicity given to the CHRT’s practices, led to the repeal of the empowering law by the next Conservative government.

          Fortunately, there isn’t time before the next election for the Liberals to enact a new version of that law. But if they win…

          Here in the US, the enemy does indeed control the high ground. One hill omitted from the list is the regulatory state. The political weaponizing of the IRS has already been noted – but the SEC, FTC, OSHA, EPA, BATFE, and many others are in use.

          For instance, Operation CHOKEPOINT, run through the FDIC, pressured banks to deny any services to “bad” businesses and organizations – nearly all of which were entirely legal.

          The case of True The Vote is very relevant. TTV was founded to fight vote fraud by Democrats. TTV’s founders had a business which had operated for decades with no government problems. With a few years after they started TTV, they were subjected to multiple IRS audits, EPA and OSHA inspections, and BATFE and FBI investigations.

          State agencies have also been weaponized. In NY, Governor Cuomo used insurance regulation to attack the NRA – forcing the insurer which provided the NRA’s gunowner insurance to cancel the program or be run out of the state.

          The Left has already called for criminalizing dissent from “climate change” orthodoxy.

          My only caveat is that Trump is a very poor vehicle for the cause of liberty. He was a contented member of the left-bending elite for nearly all of his life, his personal character is… questionable, and he has already failed to deliver on key elements of his platform. (As John Derbyshire noted, on immigration, Trump is “all hat and no cattle”.) But he’s what we’ve got.

          Also, don’t imagine that an SJW regime would be so visibly offensive that it would produce a successful counter-landslide. The example of Venezuela should be observed. The chavista regime has ruined the country, but between “controlling the high ground” (of mass media, state-owned enterprises, courts, and national police) and a “rope-a-dope” strategy of allowing some political opposition success, they have kept power. The opposition has been divided, harassed, blocked at key moments, vilified, and simply worn down. It could happen here.

          • “My only caveat is that Trump is a very poor vehicle for the cause of liberty.”

            Indeed, as he is against liberty, in any form, for anyone but himself. And the GOP is going along well with that.

            • You do lie boldly and without shame, must come with the Commie thing.

              If any of that were even remotely true, why has Trump been working to reduce the power of the executive branch and restore separation of powers? Reduce regulation? Reduce taxes?

              What Trump is actually achieving is the best result for individual freedom (and because of this thread, I should note, for libertarians) in decades.

              • >What Trump is actually achieving is the best result for individual freedom (and because of this thread, I should note, for libertarians) in decades.

                Confirmed. And especially noteworthy because the dominant wing among establishment Republicans talked a libertarian game but implemented less actual rollback of regulation over decades than Trump has in two years.

              • Except when you talk about free trade, women’s rights, LGBT rights. We can also include his failed attempts to restrict journalism, science (selective funding cuts), and all kinds of calls for censorship.

                The fact that the people around him protect us from his most stupid actions does not mean Trump is not totally against freedom for others.

                • women’s rights, LGBT rights.

                  You just can’t stop using your Orwellian language can you? Doesn’t lend credibility to the rest of your claims.

                  We can also include his failed attempts to restrict journalism,

                  I’m not sure what specifically your referring to, however, I am familiar with a lot of things Trump did that the media called “attacks on journalists”. Nearly all of which consisted of Trump refusing to treat “official journalists” like they were an aristocratic elite with a kinds of rights and privileges over and above ordinary citizen journalists.

                  science (selective funding cuts),

                  So are you arguing that “official scientists” have an absolute right to government funding?

          • My only caveat is that Trump is a very poor vehicle for the cause of liberty.

            Trump is trying to get strong encryption outlawed in the U.S. Because apparently the price to pay for free speech is that anything you do say is subject to inspection and review by law enforcement — and yes, can and will be used against you.

            This policy alone would be reason enough to vote against him in 2020.

            • >Trump is trying to get strong encryption outlawed in the U.S.

              Not yet. So far it’s some people in his administration floating trial balloons. There are neither legislative nor regulatory proposals on the table. The Donald hasn’t issued tweet one.

              This needs some hard public pushback so it doesn’t go further.

            • >This [anti-strong-encryption] policy alone would be reason enough to vote against him in 2020.

              Even if it means voting in a Democratic candidate hostile to the right to bear arms? Nope, nope, and nope.

              Sometimes you do have to choose the lesser of evils. Democrats are openly choosing to be the greater.

        • “Your career will depend on a panopticon “social credit” communication and surveillance system run by the likes of Carlos Maza, Anita Sarkeesian and Winter.’

          Except, I am a staunch defender of privacy rights and object to anything like the panopticon. I am not aware of any post by me that would even give the slightest suggestion otherwise. If you know of such a comment, please warn me so that I can clarify that point.

          “Yes, I know: “It’s not libertarian to ask for government regulation.” But without it, leftist Democrats might well win in 2020, and then the SJW/SV/DC left will control the national political conversation. ”

          Like the GOP has done for many cycles now? A party that wants to strip women of the right to control their own body? A party that locks up babies in cages, and then loses track of them? With a president who sabotages free trade wherever he can? With a president whose admirers murder Jews and burn churches? With a WH that lies whenever they utter a phrase?

          You mean that “national political conversation” will be in danger?

          • I was partly teasing you. I don’t think you a fire-breathing leftist, but I don’t sense you would object to deplatforming and otherwise suppressing whatever the left defines as “hate speech.” Correct me if I’m wrong. You’ve certainly drunk a lot of the MSM Kool-Aid, as your paragraph on Trump and the GOP shows.

            • I consider calling for ethnic cleansing, racial segregation, expelling women or people who differ from the norm etc. in the same way as putting a bounty for the murdering of politicians.

              We have seen that such practices have had devastating consequences in Yugoslavia, Ruanda, Syriah, and Myanmar.

              I will not put hundreds of thousands of lives on the line for an abstract principles.

          • Except, I am a staunch defender of privacy rights and object to anything like the panopticon.

            Given that you’re trying to get away with arguing that “censorship is free speech” in the other thread, I don’t see why I should believe you.

            A party that wants to strip women of the right to control their own body?

            Can you at least come up with some original euphemisms for “murder”?

            A party that locks up babies in cages, and then loses track of them?

            Are you trying to claim the Obama was a GOP president now? Well, I suppose once you go full doublethink this kind of lying is natural.

            • @Eugine Nier
              “Can you at least come up with some original euphemisms for “murder”?”

              Positing that an inseparable, non-conscious part of a human body is a separate person is a faith-based religious position. Forcing faith-based religious convictions upon other people is the opposite of freedom.

              Btw, PiS is also opposed to contraceptives. They are a fundamentalist Catholic movement.

              @Eugine Nier
              “Given that you’re trying to get away with arguing that “censorship is free speech” ”

              I do not see where I made that point?

              • Forcing faith-based religious convictions upon other people is the opposite of freedom.

                The whole notion that people have inalienable rights is a faith-based religious position when you get right down to it. You’re sawing off the branch you claim to be sitting on.

                • >The whole notion that people have inalienable rights is a faith-based religious position when you get right down to it.

                  Wrong. “Inalienable rights” can be derived from a game-theoretic analysis of what sets of rules lead to stable cooperative equilibria, no faith need apply. I have sketched the argument here specifically as it applies to free speech rights. Developing it in more depth and breadth would not be difficult

      • It’s pretty rich for a libertarian to blame conservatives for failing to stand up to the Gramscians, since it was the libertarian faction that paralyzed the American right from taking any effective action against them.

        Supposing libertarians got their way, SJWs have proven that profit motive is wholly insufficient to deter corporations from pursuing totalitarian and long-run unprofitable strategies. So what happens when a particularly cohesive group, whether ideological, religious, or ethnic, infiltrates the insurance companies and starts changing its policies to suit their own interests? Are companies in libertopia somehow immune from this sort of infection?

        • To be fair, I suspect the only reason these strategies are even short run profitable is that they partially keep the regulatory state of their backs.

          • These strategies aren’t short-term profitable, though, they’re actively killing the companies that adopt them.

            And that’s an absurd argument. The regulatory state is absolutely not pushing banks to close the accounts of companies that hold contracts with border enforcement.

            Libertarianism is AIDS, it kills the immune system of any political body it infects.

            • The regulatory state is absolutely not pushing banks to close the accounts of companies that hold contracts with border enforcement.

              During the Obama administration, the regulatory state pushed banks to hire lot’s of SJWs.

        • >It’s pretty rich for a libertarian to blame conservatives for failing to stand up to the Gramscians, since it was the libertarian faction that paralyzed the American right from taking any effective action against them.

          That’s not how I read the history. I don’t think libertarians ever wanted to prevent anti-Communist action, and supposing we had we’ve never had the numbers or the power to make that desire stick. What makes you think otherwise?

          • Libertarians provided the ideological cover for business interests that wanted mass immigration and amnesty. They might not be much of a political force on their own, but they have had HUGE influence on economic policy within the Republican Party.

            Well, they got what they wanted. Reagan passed amnesty and California promptly turned a deep shade of blue, giving the Democrats enough electoral power for the Marxist wing to come into the ascendant. And while I understand that Gramsci is about much more than electoral politics, remember: Reagan took on the UC system when he was governor. Can you imagine any California governor even trying to do the same today?

            I am genuinely dumbfounded by libertarians who believe they can build their ideal society with anything OTHER than a hundred-foot wall armed with machine guns and a very small door. It’s all well and good to judge immigrants as individuals, but if they see themselves as part of a group, then it doesn’t really matter what you think.

            • >Libertarians provided the ideological cover for business interests that wanted mass immigration and amnesty.

              Supposing that were true, you still don’t get to pin conservatism’s post-1960 paralysis against Communism – its refusal to even name the domestic enemy – on either the Chamber of Commerce or us because of an immigration position, of all the marginal things.

              And I don’t think it is true. While libertarians have been strongly pro-free-trade and willing to put a lot of persuasive energy on that issue, this almost never extended to arguing for open borders on more than a rather theoretical level. And the Chamber of Commerce was going to get its open-borders position regardless of anything we said or didn’t say, because it was paying the bills.

              No, after the Army-McCarthy hearings American conservatives slid into a state of moral cowardice from which they never recovered, probably fearing that if they spoke the truth about Communist infiltration they’d be mocked. I briefly thought this might change when the first Venona transcripts went public around ’95, but no. And you cannot pin that failure on us.

              • I will certainly not defend conservatives against accusations of moral cowardice. But running away from battles is one thing; sabotaging the entire war is quite another. Ideological sturdiness is irrelevant when demographic shifts subordinate all politics to identity politics. That’s the paralysis I was referring to.

                And that’s simply not true about libertarians’ role in amnesty. Increased immigration (never mind illegal immigration) has always been a tough sell in America, especially on the right. The Chamber of Commerce needed every bit of firepower it could get to pass amnesty, and even then it only barely succeeded. The Reaganite free-marketeers, heavily influenced and supported by the libertarian movement, were absolutely essential in this.

                Here’s Ron Paul speaking on open borders in 1988: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3m41mkA1dY

                It’s all there. Labor mobility as a necessity for a free society. The exclusive focus on the economy, with no consideration of the impact on culture. The specious comparison of Mexico to Canada, another affluent Anglo-Saxon country. He even dropped an insinuation of racism, which has had conservatives running for cover ever since!

                Which brings us back to the heart of the matter. Who are the actual Marxists in Congress today, the true totalitarians with vengeful gleams in their eyes? It’s the AOCs and Ilhan Omars, elected by coalitions of immigrants playing the inevitable game of identity politics.

    • Where did all the libertarian hackers go? Are they still out there?

      Some of them are doing things with bitcoin.

    • Where did all the libertarian hackers go?

      Organized crime probably attracted quite a few. Both Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, and Paul Le Roux, the creator of TrueCrypt and most likely candidate for Satoshi Nakamoto’s real identity, are self-described libertarian hackers and international crime lords.

  32. I’ve currently read the first two paragraphs. I’m mentally making a bet with myself. If this post looks like a set of right-wing talking points, regurgitated through a Libertarian lens, I win. (That is, I’m expecting to read exactly that.)

    If the top post is thoughtful and actually embodies intelligent, non-Republican thought, I lose, (though I may disagree with Eric’s ideas) as I am not actually expecting to see non-Republican thoughts here.

    I may also decide that there’s a little both, in which case I will accord myself a tie.

    Here goes! Replying to myself in a few minutes!

    • Surprised myself by losing the bet. This is one of the most intelligent things Eric has published recently, and there’s not much more than a whiff (mainly by reference) of the usual right-wing arguments.

  33. I mostly liked this one, with the caveat that imagining the kind of society you propose involves some setting aside of disbelief; that done, your expectations of the insurance company’s “security contractors” are mostly intelligent and carefully thought through. However, there are a couple exceptions, which I’ll note below.

    “Since you probably don’t want a repeat of the Rotherham/Cologne/Malmo rape-gang atrocities, there are some combinations of age, religion and country of origin that should be a crash landing. Anyone you have good reason to suspect of believing infidel girls are fair game to be “taken with the right hand” (as the Koran puts it) should be turned away. Worst case there’ll be a rape or murder victim, best case somebody will have to shoot him.”

    Just before coming here I read an interesting blog entry on the idea that the real problem with religious men committing rape is “modesty culture,” which is a feature of Islam, Hinduism, and various (usually American versions) of fundamentalist Christianity. Essentially the claim was that by evaluating ordinary occurrences such as “breasts moving while a woman exercise” as sinfulness on the part of a woman, rape is encouraged. Men who are enmeshed in modesty culture as part of their religious paradigm expect to be forgiven for rape “if a woman has tempted them.” This is not a fundamental part of Islam per-se. If someone is a member of modesty culture, the insurance company’s security force could find out with a leading question or two, which would probably elicit a rant on the subject of female sinfulness.

    “Boom! You’re outta here!” (But not until the screening is complete; you don’t necessarily want people guessing what they did to trigger the whole “you’re outta here” response.)

    “I should have listened more and reflected the class prejudices of my birth SES less. I now understand that the core complaint of the anti-immigration Trump voters isn’t even about illegals low-balling them out of jobs, although that’s certainly a factor. It’s “I want to keep the high level of social trust I grew up with, and I see mass immigration – especially mass illegal immigration – eroding that.” They think the political elites of both parties, and corporations profit-taking in the labor market, are throwing away that intangible asset to plump up a bit more power and profit.”

    I’m not sure this whole idea, and the paragraphs leading up to it are accurate. To me the main driver of a “low trust” society is stuff like the Well’s Fargo Account Fraud Scandal or the recent Boeing 737 Max issues. We see poorly regulated businesses, which have almost certainly paid for some serious regulatory capture, engaging in despicable behavior. To me the definition of a low-trust society is one in which you can’t trust your banker to take good care of your money! I think your ideas about how a society becomes a low-trust society could use a little work; things rot from the top down!

    Essentially, the driver of the kind of low-trustfulness you’re talking about above is racism (or other -isms) which cause someone to be suspicious of another person for reasons which don’t involve the standard rules for setting trust; that is, instead of asking for references or checking someone’s credit score, or watching to see how they treat those around them, (particularly their children) we make assumptions because they are a recent immigrant or Gay or Black.

    The problem here is not that “diversity” discourages trust. It is that inappropriate reactions to “diversity” encourage people to use measures of trustfulness – skin color instead of credit rating – which are probably not very useful. Essentially, Putnam is putting the cart before the horse here, particularly in the present time, when there are so many intelligent ways of gathering data on someone. The idea that you’d judge someone by their skin color instead of running a background check ($10-50 on the web depending on how thorough you want to be) or checking their credit rating is ludicrous!

    • The problem here is not that “diversity” discourages trust. It is that inappropriate reactions to “diversity” encourage people to use measures of trustfulness – skin color instead of credit rating – which are probably not very useful.

      Except they are. They correlate remarkably well with all sorts of things.

      Essentially, Putnam is putting the cart before the horse here, particularly in the present time, when there are so many intelligent ways of gathering data on someone. The idea that you’d judge someone by their skin color instead of running a background check ($10-50 on the web depending on how thorough you want to be) or checking their credit rating is ludicrous!

      So you’re going to run a credit check on everyone you meet? Stop being daft.

      • I don’t run a credit check on everyone I meet. As you said, that would be silly. But I do look at how people dress, how people move, how they talk, how they do their hair, what “axis” of fashion they are on, etc. Simple stuff that quantifies where people are socially. And generally, I’m not a frightened person, so I accept a wide range of styles as “passing.”

        If I was doing business with someone that would be another matter, of course.

    • “the real problem with religious men committing rape is “modesty culture,” … various (usually American versions) of fundamentalist Christianity. Essentially the claim was that by evaluating ordinary occurrences such as “breasts moving while a woman exercise” as sinfulness on the part of a woman, rape is encouraged.”

      God forgive me, here I go again…

      I have spent most of my near six decades of life involved with various flavors of “American fundamentalist Christianity”. And yes, “modesty culture” is often a feature. So what? I’ve yet to find a single example where “rape is encouraged”.

      The fact that you would write such a thing says more about you than anything else.

      But thanks for the laugh.

      • You can start here for a very intelligent discussion of the theological issues, mainly as applies to Christianity. Note that at the bottom of the post there are links to the rest – this is a multi-part series, but if you read the first 3-4 entries you’ll be clear on where the author is going. I think he nailed it.

        • “You can start here for a very intelligent discussion of the theological issues”

          Wait. You stated that American fundamentalist Christians were “encouraging rape”. Now you want to switch to a discussion of “theological issues”. The discussion of “theological issues” surrounding encouraging rape will end up being rather short.

          Ok, I spent about 2 minutes at the link you posted. If he actually understands the “theological issues” in any way, it doesn’t show up in a quick read of Part I.

          Hint: mining the internet for a few extreme cases that support your preconceived notions doesn’t prove anything. (Nevermind whether those cases are even real or not.)

          So please, reconsider if you want to describe that as a “very intelligent discussion”. At best it’s a rant. But it just looks mostly like a typical SJW hit piece. Yawn, same crap, different day.

          • Sigh. You read very poorly. I didn’t say that American Fundamentalists were encouraging rape. I said that modesty cultures encourage rape, and mentioned, “…Islam, Hinduism, and various (usually American versions) of fundamentalist Christianity” (all of which practice modesty culture.)

            I’m not blaming American Fundamentalists as a whole. I’m looking at a particular subset of religious practices, apparently based on poor scholarship around certain passages in Timothy.

            Note that I’m not a Christian, so I can’t speak to the interpretation of my link above, but it seems solid to me. (Once again, go back to the previous link, and notice two things; first, that the writer is very much a Christian* who has been involved with Churches which preach modesty culture, and second that it is an introduction to a much longer piece. It does sound a little like SJW complaining, but all he does in the introduction is to lay out the problem. His solution is entirely based on his interpretations of The Bible.)

            * I wouldn’t take his theology seriously if he wasn’t a Christian and experienced in the issues he is addressing. I think it’s appropriate for a non-believer to complain about how the believer interfaces with larger society, but the internals are for the believer to address/resolve.

            • You’re backtracking. And all you’ve done is given “modesty culture” a conveniently circular definition of “that which encourages rape” and painted a very broad brush of the alleged guilty parties.

              “Note that I’m not a Christian, so I can’t speak to the interpretation of my link above, but it seems solid to me.

              Of course it does, as it speaks to your preconceived notions. Based on that one article I would not look to him for any credible exegete of scripture.

              But should he wish to move into agriculture, he does have a great future in picking cherries.

              While, as he says, you can certainly find cases of nominally Christian organizations who sometimes exhibit “cultish” (his word) behavior. They are not mainstream. They are few in number. And it is not nearly the crisis you imply it to be. Certainly not comparable to Islam as you seem to wish us to believe.

              “…previous link … the writer is very much a Christian* …”
              All you know is what he claims. Exposing and tossing out wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing is a near full time job, this looks like a good candidate. But I don’t know and neither do you.

              His solution is entirely based on…”
              If you could do me the kind service of telling me in which of the twelve parts he succinctly lays out his solution, I might bother to read it.

              • I think it goes back to the second link I posted on this thread. (A different person, BTW.) If the theology there seems intelligent to you, we’ve probably got something to talk about. Otherwise, I suspect I’m wasting my time…

        • >mainly as applies to Christianity.

          You’ll never get Islamic levels of rape and abuse from Christianity as it is; “modesty culture”, though certainly contributory, is not enough on its own. Islam does, however, show us exactly what doctrines would make Christianity worse on this score.

          * Divide all the world into the “House of Christianity” and the “House of War”, and teach Christians that they are obligated to fight and subdue all infidels until Christianity reigns over all the world.

          * Teach young horny Christian males that all non-Christian women are sluts and whores and that the Christian male’s prerogatives include punitive rape.

            • Number of paedophiles amongst the Catholic clergy is not particularly larger than amongst other proffession. it’s not even the highest risk – the highest risk exists for teachers and similar profession. What it made scandalous was not the prevalence, but the attempts to ignore the incidents, lack of punishments and keeping the secrecy.

              • What it made scandalous was not the prevalence, but the attempts to ignore the incidents, lack of punishments and keeping the secrecy.

                Also the fact that the media is interested in sensationalizing scandals in the Catholic church and covering up scandals in public schools.

            • Not to be too defensive about my denomination, but according to the Southern Baptist Convention’s site at:

              http://www.sbc.net/becomingsouthernbaptist/fastfacts.asp

              there are 14,813,234 members of 47,456 churches across the United States and territories. If this article is correct, over the past 20 years (since 1998) roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct. That’s 19 per year, across almost 15 million members.

              It’s awful that anyone is abused. But over that entire 20 year period, we are talking a total (if they were spread out as thinly as possible across the church, maximizing exposure) of less than .8% of churches, and 3/1000s of 1% of members. I think it would be difficult to find any institution that involves such numbers of human beings that didn’t have any problems.

              As far as the angle on rehiring, you may or may not know that the Southern Baptist Convention is not actually a governing body. It is a way for these nearly 50,000 completely independent self-governing churches to pool resources, and to work together. Each church is responsible for it’s own hiring, firing and job searches. Some are more thorough than others, but in the absence of anything like an actual conviction, it can be difficult to know for sure the heart and mind of everyone that you hire. This isn’t a situation where a knowing organization assigns a person that has had problems in one parish to another unwitting one — no central body to do the assigning exists.

              I can say that finding ways to make sure that children’s departments are safe is something that many churches of all denominations struggle with. At ours, we require background checks and multiple, unrelated people in each classroom at all times. But (being independent) each church has to make their own decisions about how to protect their members and member’s children.

              • “But over that entire 20 year period, we are talking a total (if they were spread out as thinly as possible across the church, maximizing exposure) of less than .8% of churches…”

                So being a member of the Southern Baptists (.8%) is .2% less safe than hanging out in a crowd of immigrants (.6%). Eric, can we use the “minefields and automated turrets” on the Southern Baptists now?* They’re worse than immigrants!

                * Note that I’m not threatening you or yours. Eric used the phrase in one of the other threads and I’m calling out the silliness of his proposed solution.

                • >Eric, can we use the “minefields and automated turrets” on the Southern Baptists now?*

                  No. We’re already stuck with the Baptists; they’re citizens. We don’t have to be stuck with the illegals.

          • It would very much help if Christian societies were organized in such a way that most young Christian males had no prospects for getting laid. (That includes marriage)

  34. You’re not a libertarian of any stripe if you’re putting your own level of “social trust” ahead of other people’s right to free movement. You’re just not, sorry. I’m not saying your argument is incoherent – we can certainly have a reasonable argument over the merits of the values claims you’re making in this blog. But your position is not a libertarian one, and you’re not doing yourself any favors by continuing to claim this identity which looks increasingly distant from every political position you hold.

    Lots of people become conservatives when they get old, there’s no particular shame in it. Just stop bullshitting yourself.

    • >You’re not a libertarian of any stripe if you’re putting your own level of “social trust” ahead of other people’s right to free movement.

      This seems to me to be exactly as wrong as the claim “You’re not a libertarian of any stripe if you’re putting your right to control who enters your property ahead of other people’s right to free movement”, and in exactly the same way.

      • Consider if the decision was over letting a given immigrant into a town of 5000, in which everyone expects to be no more than two degrees of separation from everyone else.
        Who does the libertarian believe has a stake in that decision?
        Who does the conservative believe has a stake in that decision?
        How does each of them visualize the tradeoff?

      • While I disagree with the tone, he does have a point. How many other regulations would you support that increase ‘social trust’?

        > This seems to me to be exactly as wrong as the claim “You’re not a libertarian of any stripe if you’re putting your right to control who enters your property ahead of other people’s right to free movement”, and in exactly the same way.

        To me this seems clearly false. While you have a near-absolute property right over your house, there is no communal property over a nation. If there was, how many other regulations would be justified?

        I haven’t read Putnam. I have to confess, I am skeptical (for the same reason I’m skeptical about most social science). And even if his results are true, I’m not sure how much weight I would put on ‘people will distrust their neighbors’ when deciding on how much coercion is justified.

        And while I don’t have a strong opinion, there is also this piece that argues that the effect is real, but the size is miniscule (going to maximum diversity on Putnam’s measure would decrease trust by 0.14 on a 4-point scale):

        https://www.econlib.org/archives/2017/06/trust_and_diver.html

        • >While you have a near-absolute property right over your house, there is no communal property over a nation. If there was, how many other regulations would be justified?

          So, here we are in libertopia again. Citizens who own property have delegated part of the job of defending their property to the crime-insurance vendors, who notice that the most efficient way to do this includes border controls and do that.

          I’m not really interested in wrangling over whether this makes the defended territory “communal property” or not. That would be an argument over labels, not reality. The point is, individual libertopians have a right to defend their property, may delegate that right, and since defense has economies of scale certain consequences that resemble a communal holding of property naturally ensue.

          This isn’t an alien idea. It’s the same theory under which U.S. citizens delegate their right of self-defense to a Constitutional government, and was a central idea in British republicanism well before the U.S. was founded.

          As for what other regulations are justified by “defending social trust”, ask your arbitration board. I do expect that there would be laws enforcing handshake contracts under some circumstances, just as there are in Anglo-American common law.

          • It’s not just a matter of labels. Yes, if everyone in your neighborhood agrees to exclude Joe, then Joe would indeed be justly excluded in Libertopia.

            However, if your neighbor wants to rent out his spare room to Joe, you would have no control over that.*

            Note how it doesn’t matter whether Joe is an immigrant or not. Conditional on their risk profile, native’s and immigrant’s insurance premiums would be the same. The market would force that to be the case.

            People from many ethnic origins would pay more than natives (justly so), others less. (For example, East Asian females probably have a lower risk profile than American males.)

            * Except for edge cases of course. If Joe is a criminal, has infectious disease, etc. But that pretty much just brings us back to the standard libertarian position.

            • if your neighbor wants to rent out his spare room to Joe, you would have no control over that.

              And if your neighbor wants to post a bond guaranteeing Joe’s compliance with libertopia’s social trust requirements, then Joe can immigrate.

              • Presumably the landlord would require third-party liability insurance (or a deposit) from Joe.

                But again, this has nothing to do with immigration. The landlord would require this from a native as well.

                In Libertopia there are no first and second class citizen. There are only people — with varying risk profiles.

                • this has nothing to do with immigration

                  It doesn’t once Joe is inside libertopia, true. But how does he get in? In esr’s scenario, libertopia’s borders are not open. You can’t stop your neighbor from posting a bond to allow Joe to come in, if that’s allowed in the rules. But if Joe is outside the border and doesn’t meet any of the rules for getting in, he doesn’t get in, without you having to take any individual action.

  35. Roughly 6% of the population of the US commits roughly 50% of the homicides

    I should ignore this?

  36. For what it might be worth, in the Wikipedia article on Robert Putnam, from his “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and community in the twenty-first century”, he describes the reduction of social trust from an increase in diversity as “in the short term”, and (it seems to me) sorta broadly suggests that the opposite is true over the long run.

    His conclusion based on over 40 cases and 30,000 people within the United States is that in the short term, other things being equal, more diversity in a community is associated with less trust both among and within ethnic groups.

    Putnam says, however, that “in the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits.”

    • >sorta broadly suggests that the opposite is true over the long run.

      Remember Putnam’s political commitments. When he talks about loss of trust, he’s describing something he’s measured. When he speculates about future benefits, he’s not talking about something he has measured. He’s wishcasting. The tip-off is the weasel-word use of “likely”.

  37. “I also started with – I’m now ashamed to admit – the usual Blue-Tribe presumption that opposition to unrestricted immigration is at best vulgar and plebeian, at worst narrow-minded if not actually racist.

    I should have listened more and reflected the class prejudices of my birth SES less.”

    Several years ago, I saw a comment quoting a veteran pollster, who said that in all his years of surveying public opinion, he had never seen as deep a divide between elite opinion and mass opinion as then existed on immigration. It’s only gotten deeper since then, IMO, and is very deep in Europe.

  38. ¨I don’t think estimating IQ enough for the first stage of immigration screening is difficult at all, especially since the major goal would be low-pass filtering rather than fine distinctions in the median and higher ranges. I myself could do it by eyeball just by watching eye saccades and a few other queues – obvious stupid is obvious stupid¨.

    Thank you for the hearty laugh and the clarification that you only _appear_ to think seriously about the topic.

    Also looking forward to ESR´s guide to picking the stupid people out of a lineup.

    • >Also looking forward to ESR´s guide to picking the stupid people out of a lineup.

      Not being autistic helps a lot. I’m guessing you might have a problem with that, based on your puzzlement.

      So here’s a clue: neurotypicals are actually pretty good at this kind of evaluation. It’s within the kind of social-advantage gaming their brains are designed for. They don’t know how they do it, of course, but they do it.

      • I’d like to read ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gauging IQ By Looking at Faces’. Is it like guessing age at the fair, just practice, most people can do it, some have a real knack?

        • >I’d like to read ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gauging IQ By Looking at Faces’. Is it like guessing age at the fair, just practice, most people can do it, some have a real knack?

          I think all those things are true. Most of what I know about it I’ve learned from a combination of 50 years of direct observation with accounts of some studies on how much information about personality and ability people can extract from a still picture of a person’s face.

          Which turns out to be quite a lot. Enough to greatly surprise me before I realized that, human being being the social animals they are, selective pressure to be good at face-reading would be pretty intense.

          • Hmmm. It’s one thing to claim there exists a face-reading talent, and that there exist people who are good at it.

            It’s another thing entirely, to claim that such people can be reliably detected by everyone else, to the point they trust that everyone working in INS is that (or can point to specific people who aren’t), or that the system will give everyone the incentive to fill INS with such people.

            I don’t see how “I know stupid when I see it” can objectively hold up under such conditions.

            • Today, you can probably already automated the whole process, and have a machine learning model give predictions rather than a human.

              Also, while you indeed shouldn’t trust the government with it, the Libertipia case is different. Companies that don’t accurately judge risk profile would either go bankrupt or loose customers.

              None of which is related to immigration specifically; natives would be tested for their riskiness as well.

  39. And the children? Will we allow the smart children in, and reject the dumb parents?
    or allow the smart parent(s) in, and reject the dumb children?

    • Heinlein might split families that way. I want small whole stable families having multiple members of high IQ and no felons, financial competence, and keep the numbers low for fifty years to fight the last fifty years of successful bipartisan effort to get lower wages through higher immigration. Heinlein would have been cool with felons.

      • It used to be that felons were, by definition, dangerous people whom you would do well to keep out of society. These days, however, because the American justice system (like everything else about American governance) is a race to the bottom, all sense of proportion is lost and fucking everything is a felony. Our esteemed host, for example, has knowingly committed at least one felony (trafficking in copyright circumvention materials, a violation of 17 U.S.C. §1201 punishable by up to five years in federal prison). So in today’s environment, Heinlein was right to be welcoming to felons. At least take them on a case by case basis.

        • I’m using the word ‘felon’ in the old sense. And they’d be felonies by some other country’s standard, but yes, ‘case by case’ sounds good.

  40. As is usual, Eric produces a rational analysis and cogent endpoint for a very difficult societal problem. But it’s essentially an intellectual exercise conducted within a blog community that is dominated by high intelligence individuals. In other words, it’s not even remotely reflective of the cauldron of chaos that exists across the spectrum of all citizens.

    History is littered with highly intelligent persons who made significant contributions to social analysis and then reach endpoints of wisdom that later were largely ignored because “average people.” Smart thinking can be false hope in an echo chamber, whereas observation of reality can be a much more useful predictor of future outcomes because it does not depend on hope. Idealism can be soothing to the ego, but it won’t keep you alive if the chaos goes exponential.

    • I’ve read that the so called “communication gap”* is myth, an urban legend. However, when you see many such analyses which then got drowned in mass of stupid, simple slogans, it’s easy to see why the “communication gap” myth persist.

      * The “communication gap” or “communication range” myth states that the communication is impossible between people with difference in IQ larger than 2SD (and, in some variant, even only 1SD). In a modification, leadership is impossible with gap too wide. Hence, it’s postulated that sweet spot for leadership is 130, or at most 145 because they can have heir sergeants (with IQ 115) who then translate the leader message for the masses. However, it’s the myth. The original research which started the myth was about leadership _in children_: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2017/08/31/myth-30-iq-communication-range/#.XRb-_q1nsYM

      • The problem isn’t that “one IQ level can’t talk to another.” The problem is that “one IQ level has a different working vocabulary than another.”

        It’s like the bit about the sergeant and the lieutenant setting up the tent. The lieutenant says, “Sergeant, I want our housing set up at three meter intervals so nobody trips over the tent-ropes. Set them up in parallel rows, with their entrances pointed north, and clear the ground of any debris under the tents so the men are not disabled in the morning.”

        The sergeant knows that a dumb grunt who just heard what the lieutenant said will be slackjawed with incomprehension, so he says, “Ok Guys, we’re gonna put up the tents. I want the doors pointed that way, and take three great big steps between each tent. We’re gonna pick up all the rocks and sticks before we set up the tents.”

        The lieutenant could say exactly the same thing the sergeant said, but he doesn’t, for a lot of reasons having to do with the lieutenant’s working vocabulary, his need for precision, his habitual uses of grammar and syntax, the social signaling uses of vocabulary, etc.

        But if the sergeant isn’t there to translate, the grunts won’t understand the lieutenant, unless the lieutenant asks himself, “what would the sergeant say.” The communication problem isn’t based on IQ, it’s more a matter of how someone perceives and acts upon the vocabulary differences.

  41. eroding the libertarian tradition for individual freedom, which includes the freedom of movement without permission from government. to protect and conserve social & demographic stock. I think we should call this “socialism”

  42. One way to think of immigration restrictions: They’re a social contract in restraint of trade. So… Let’s look at how governments that are competing with each other (i.e., the US states) differ on the legal status of contracts in restraint of trade.

    As far as blue-collar jobs are concerned, the most important such contracts are those negotiated by unions. The right-to-work states have been gaining jobs relative to union states.

    As far as technology startups are concerned, the most important such contracts are non-compete agreements. California has had a disproportionate share of such startups.

    It looks like competing protection agencies won’t be that restrictive of immigration.

  43. I’d like to see some cites on that.

    As a businessman, he’d like to keep his business matters private from the government.

  44. Here’s the real problem. The level of illegal immigration has fallen dramatically. The level of rhetoric about illegal immigration has risen dramatically.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/12/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

    Here’s another, similar article:

    https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/oct/07/immigration-5-charts-2018-midterm-report/

    Essentially, the anti-immigrant faction doesn’t have much more than rhetoric to support the idea that this is a major problem, and the general trend in illegal immigration is substantially downward, from around 1,600,000 in 2000 to around 375,000 in 2017 (the last year for which the chart has full data.)

    Ultimately, the right-wing concern about immigration is not data-driven.

    • >Ultimately, the right-wing concern about immigration is not data-driven.

      Does not follow from the facts presented.

      For one thing, it seems to me that right-wing concern about illegals is driven by the expected population of illegals and unassimilated offspring. A fall in illegal inflows does little to assuage that if the cohort of illegals in the country is already larger than they think they can live with.

      • “…driven by the expected population of illegals and unassimilated offspring.

        That’s complete, utter, stupid bullshit, and it’s been bullshit since someone put up the first NINA (No Irish Need Apply) sign, (which was a common-enough occurrence in both early America and also England that there are Irish folk songs about it.) Even as late as Kennedy’s election, we still had to deal with stupidities like, “He’ll take his orders from Rome.” Then on to prejudice against Eastern Europeans, Asians, Hispanics, etc., as well as the ongoing hatred of Black people. It was literally so stupid that during World War II they asked second and third (boggle!) generation Japanese Americans (in the camps) whether they had loyalty to the Emperor… Stupid, stupid, stupid.

        And guess what. Despite all the propaganda, despite all the attempts to prevent citizenship and keep them in ghettos, they assimilated like crazy. Became citizens. Attended night-school to learn English. Went to college. Became capitalists. Got jobs at American companies. Opened businesses that weren’t ethnic restaurants.* Sent their kids to public schools. Became Christian (if they weren’t already) or pagan in at least one case I’m aware of. Joined the Rotary Club (or the Shriners or the Elks.) Sponsored little-league teams… all the stuff Americans do, they did.

        And they did it calmly and quietly, without hurting anyone, despite the best efforts of the American Right to “keep them in their place” and prevent them from assimilating. (If you really want to consider how utterly fucking stupid all this is, note that wingnuts complain about how the newly arrived won’t assimilate, then they try to prevent them from assimilating. “I’m not prejudiced against the Chinese, but would you want your daughter to marry one?”

        I get that the concern itself is real but how fucking stupid does anyone have to be to imagine that assimilation isn’t happening at an incredible rate?

        My own family history bears this out. The first generation did what they had to in order to survive. It includes a prohibition-era alcohol smuggler (he had a perfumer’s license and could buy barrels of ethanol) and a genuine Jewish gangster – when did you last hear about one of those – who died in a famous mob killing. But the next generations were shopkeepers, and the generations after that include at least one Ph.D, an MD (he had to change his last name to get into medical school due to prejudice) a network engineer, a social worker, and a golf-pro.

        A golf-pro. You don’t get more middle-America than that! (Well, maybe a tennis pro, but one of my cousins almost married one of those!)

        Are there enclaves of unassimilated Jews, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, etc? There certainly are, but they are a huge minority even among their own people, and even taking into consideration phenomena like China Towns, New York’s Hasidic Jews, or the Amish, the argument that “they won’t assimilate” is still ninety-percent stupid. (And you might consider how the “not assimilated” variable of any particular group connects to the level of prejudice against that group.)

        (And fuck you, Chris Matthews!!!!)

        * As much as ninety percent of the donut trade in California is run by Cambodians. The backstory to this is that there was one Cambodian refugee who somehow became a donut-shop owner. He immediately hired more members of his community and they learned the donut trade too. A couple decades later if you go to an independent donut shop in my area, it will almost certainly be run by Cambodians.

        • >I get that the concern itself is real but how fucking stupid does anyone have to be to imagine that assimilation isn’t happening at an incredible rate?

          You can go to Minneapolis or Dearborn and be easily surrounded by women wearing burqas. This is new; there hasn’t been any previous wave of immigrants that didn’t adopt American dress immediately.

          There are parts of the Southwest where more Spanish is spoken than English and the local percentage of non-English-speaking immigrants is rising not falling. Inland of the coasts California is becoming Alta again.

          Trump’s base thinks the machinery of assimilation has (a) been overwhelmed by unprecedentedly high inflows, and (b) been actively sabotaged by PC/multiculturalist ideology in the schools and Democratic politicians who see advantage in keeping a lot of impoverished, unassimilated illegals handy as a vote bank.

          I think both charges are at least partly true.

          We’re in a race between two horses: assimilation on the one hand, and the tribalization of the U.S. into a low-trust society resembling a random Third-World shithole on the other. I’d consider assimilation a sure bet to win if I didn’t think our educational system, media, and elites had been captured by identity politics. We used to have an overclass that wanted immigrants to become American; it is, at best, doubtful that that is still true.

          • “We’re in a race between two horses: assimilation on the one hand, and the tribalization of the U.S. into a low-trust society resembling a random Third-World shithole on the other. I’d consider assimilation a sure bet to win if I didn’t think our educational system, media, and elites had been captured by identity politics. We used to have an overclass that wanted immigrants to become American; it is, at best, doubtful that that is still true.”

            What we have a an overclass that is schizophrenic about wanting immigrants to become American. On one hand, they’re happy to ghettoize people with religions/skin color they don’t like. On the other hand, they’re utterly paranoid about people not assimilating, and in economic terms, the American dream is becoming harder and harder to realize. It’s a tough problem to fix because there are multiple urges which completely contradict each other.

      • Leaving aside the issue of “assimilation” things get really stupid when you don’t understand how bad each problem actually is. Let’s imagine that you make a list of America’s problems by the numbers. It looks something like this:

        1.) Foo
        2.) Bar
        3.) Foo
        4.) Bar
        5.) Foo
        6.) Bar
        7.) Foo
        8.) Bar
        9.) Illegal Immigration
        10.) Terrorism

        And the administration prioritizes like this:

        1.) Illegal Immigration
        2.) Terrorism
        3.) Don’t bother us until we’ve solved 1.) and 2.)
        4.) See 3.)
        5.) See 3.)
        6.) See 3.)
        7.) See 3.)
        Etc.

        This is how your country goes to shit!

    • >The level of rhetoric about illegal immigration has risen dramatically.

      I should have noticed this sooner. Whose rhetoric?

      The establishment GOP is pro-open-borders, both for creditable reasons (pro-free-trade) and discreditable ones (big donors love them some cheap illegal-immigrant labor and prefer it to hiring Americans). They’re still fighting Trump on this. In fact the only border-restrictionist constituency in American politics is at the grassroots; Trump didn’t create that voting bloc, he merely noticed it was large and underserved and acted as its tribune.

      A lot of Americans in flyover country are upset by what they believe the effects of mass illegal immigration to be. Even if they were entirely wrong, it would be snotty and elitist to dismiss this as “rhetoric”. It’s the kind of class-blindness mistake I used to make and am now ashamed of, implying that their concerns can be dismissed because some technocrat in a comfortable chair has waved around numbers.

      Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump.

      • “Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump.”

        I would agree, with some commentary below. I do get that other people have other priorities and concerns than I (with my magnificent education /snark) have. And I can certainly see why an ordinary person working in a factory takes the threat that they might be replaced by an illegal very, very seriously. (Bruce’s take on the problem, above, isn’t wrong, though I don’t like his solution.)

        I’d love to see a better immigration policy than we currently have, as well as a better form of penalizing American businessmen who hire illegal aliens (simply making them reimburse the illegals for every penny they paid below the local mininum wage and forcing them to pay the relevant taxes would probably suffice as a deterrent.)

        I don’t know what your current position is on Climate Change, but taking it as hypothetically correct, a billion climate refugees would ruin the U.S. as surely as a second Trump term, so we definitely need to address the issue somehow (and for all the other, non-Climate-Change reasons – don’t want to get bogged down in a Climate Change debate right now.)

        I think a big part of the problem is Mexican corruption and our treatment of that country as a third world nation. I think the best deterrent for immigration would be, essentially, a Marshall plan for Mexico with the intention of pushing their economy upward (and their corruption downwards,) but nobody will ever take that seriously, which is a shame.

        But it’s definitely a problem which needs to be solved, and it’s a problem which I trust neither the Democrats nor the Republicans to solve. You want something to think about? It’s obvious that you and I disagree on a ton of stuff. The fact that I find your take on immigration to be more sensible than anything I’ve seen from the Republicans or the Democrats really says something!

      • What exactly is the difference between the creditable pro-free-trade position and the and the discreditable cheap illegal immigration position? Isn’t the exact purpose of free trade that goods, services, and labor become cheaper? Will Guatemalans crossing an open border be any less willing to work for dirt than Guatemalans here illegally?

        • >What exactly is the difference between the creditable pro-free-trade position and the and the discreditable cheap illegal immigration position?

          Cheap Japanese cars can’t be used as vote banks.

          More generally, goods walking in don’t have the disruptive effect of unassimilated immigrants selected for willingness to break American laws.

          • “…selected for willingness to break American laws.”

            Or selected for their desperation to leave their home country. Breaking American law is a side effect of getting the fuck out of a third-world shithole. This isn’t like someone who decides to commit armed robbery, knowing it is a crime which will damage some other individual. This is someone who’s saying, “I will be damaged if I stay here. If I break some laws in the course of my fleeing it is justified by my need for survival.”

            I traveled in Central American during the mid-eighties. I totally get that desperation.

            • Identify theft, which a substantial minority of illegal aliens engage in, is not a victimless crime. It has very real effects on its victims.

              The fact that the pro-immigration forces want to ignore or downplay the reality of crimes (aside from crossing the border) committed by illegal aliens makes me distrust their willingness to engage in this issue at all.

              • “Identify theft, which a substantial minority of illegal aliens engage in, is not a victimless crime. It has very real effects on its victims.”

                I’ve got to give you that one, (though there is some evidence that previous generations of immigrants sometimes shared identity documents; this is no longer possible, but I don’t know how many recent arrivals understand that reality.)

                To make matters worse, it is much more difficult to police people who speak a different language and come from countries where the police are either corrupt or oppressive, so it would not surprise me to discover that it’s harder (in practical terms) to find the necessary witnesses/evidence to convict a recent immigrant of any crime. I suspect this factor is responsible for the statistics showing that immigrants commit less crimes.

                “The fact that the pro-immigration forces want to ignore or downplay the reality of crimes (aside from crossing the border) committed by illegal aliens makes me distrust their willingness to engage in this issue at all.”

                This comes down to the “rationality vs. propaganda” issue. While you’re right about identity theft (usually from other people of the same race for obvious reasons) the statistics don’t actually support the idea that immigrants are committing lots of crime, not to mention that “_______ commit lots of crimes” is a very standard racist trope. So from the point of view of a Liberal* the Conservative concerns aren’t worth engaging with for the simple reason that they are not supported by the published facts or statistics.

                Bruce’s arguments that the left needs to address immigration as a “pro-better-wages” issue has far more merit to a Liberal than the “commits crimes” argument. The other argument which might convince Liberals is the “not fitting in and forming un-American enclaves” argument, but only if it’s supported by facts and statistics. (In other words, someone would have to study it and the scientific papers would have to be of sufficient quality to be publishable and stand up to scrutiny from other scientists.)

                The last argument likely to convince Liberals is the “what about Climate Change producing billions of refugees” argument. This is a major concern for the left, and how to deal with the problem is still a matter of some controversy.

                TL:DR If you want to convince a Liberal, use a better argument!

                One thing I’ll note, very unscientifically, is the experience of my own family. The first generation did what they had to in order to survive, including at least two members with affiliations to organized crime, one of whom died in a famous gangland shooting. (This was during Prohibition.) Further, Eric will doubtless be appalled to note that one of my immigrant family members was issued a Communist Party card not long after his arrival. He was such an early joiner that there were only three digits in the membership number!

                However, the next generation did not include any criminals or Communists; instead, they opened small businesses or went to work in the trades or factories. (My grandfather was justifiably proud of his work in an aircraft factory during WWII, and also gave a ton of blood during that time period.) The succeeding generations – third, fourth, and fifth so far – produced multiple college graduates, including one Ph.D and multiple Masters/Bachelors degrees, and for all of them their primary personal identification is simply as “Americans.”

                * I’m not really Liberal. I consider myself to be scientific and reality based, so I caucus with the Liberals, who are generally more rational/scientific than the conservatives.

                • > Liberals, who are generally more rational/scientific than the conservatives.

                  Bullshit. Liberals are in determined, consistent denial about any science that would inform them that humans have a nature that is not malleable to social construction and intervention. It’s a form of hysterical blind spot as big as conservative sky-spook superstitions.

                  • I’ll swing back to your point below, but I’ll start by saying that a big part of the problem here is the nature of the argument itself; we no longer have a unified media in which to have our arguments; thus we have two opposing sides, neither of which is receiving negative feedback, both of which are going further and further out into space.

                    Going back to your point above, both the pro-genetic and pro-environment sides have good and bad points to make. The problem is sorting through their points and drawing the complicated conclusion, which probably simplifies (now I’m doing it) to this: Studies about societies address general cases. Studies about genetics address specific cases. Eventually some person will do the work of resolving this contradiction and telling us that ThisChild is genetically incorrigable. ThatChild is salvageable through social intervention. ThatOtherChild doesn’t require social intervention; she was born getting it.

                    Back to the idea of a unified media in which socially important arguments can take place, I want you to know how much I appreciate your blog; places like this are becoming rarer, and I appreciate the work you put into making this place available for the free exchange of ideas.

                • The IRS reported that 1.2 million illegal aliens engaged in identity theft in 2017 (https://www.numbersusa.com/news/irs-12-million-illegal-aliens-committed-identity-theft-fy-2017). That’s 10% of the illegal alien population and the source is coming from the IRS. I’m sure you’ll find some scientific, rational, and reality based reasons to ignore that study, but identity theft committed by illegal aliens is a real problem.

                  Out of curiosity, who would need to publish the study and what level of crime would you consider sufficient for criminal behavior by illegal aliens to be a good reason to strongly enforce our existing laws? My suspicion is that you would dismiss any study as propaganda, while patting yourself on the back about how rational you are.

                  • “My suspicion is that you would dismiss any study as propaganda, while patting yourself on the back about how rational you are.”

                    Nope. Not at all. You don’t understand a thing I’m saying. And do me a favor please. Read this really, really carefully before you reply.

                    I do believe that illegal immigration is a real problem. You identified a real issue immediately above. Both Bruce and Eric have done substantial amounts of intelligent thinking on this thread (even if Bruce is annoying.) What I’m objecting to is the hysteria.

                    Essentially, the problem is one of priorities, and the hysterical, overwrought behavior people engage in to put their problem on top of the stack. I don’t want to hear about Mexican rapists, or huge caravans which require a military response, and I don’t want to listen to idiots who think the problem is getting bigger when all the actual facts tell us it’s actually getting smaller.

                    Are there a million illegal immigrants using false papers? I’m a little mistrustful of the IRS under Trump, but there certainly are some number of illegal immigrants benefiting from identity theft, and the problem is worth examining and fixing.

                    Are scary Mexican rapists coming to steal our White Women? Just shut up. And when you’re done shutting up, shut up some more. Then just to keep in practice, continue shutting up.

                    So my issue goes like this. I’m happy to agree that the problem is large and messy. I’m happy to discuss the problems with immigration on the basis that they are large and messy.

                    I refuse to believe that the problem is gigantic and horrible and we’re all going to die at the hands of a huge caravan of caucasian-hating refugees. And I’m utterly fucking sick of people who have gigantic tantrums because I won’t agree that their issues are multiple orders of magnitude bigger than they actually are. They’re like repulsive, adult-sized babies having tantrums because I insist that the monster they see under the bed is actually the cat.

                    And more than that, I hate the attempts to manipulate with fear. I despise the operations of the Kaiju-sized fear-grifters stomping across our landscape doing their best to scare decent people into voting for monsters…

                    (I’ll note in passing that our government is gigantic. It can handle more than one problem at once. Our national government can handle a hundred multi-million-dollar problems at once. You may not be happy with the results, you may not like the way your problem is prioritized, but the capability to handle hundreds, maybe thousands of problems simultaneously… it’s definitely there in the U.S. government – the point being that we can handle realistic concerns with illegal immigration even if they’re not front-page news!)

                    So yes, I agree that illegal immigration is actually a problem. There are certainly things we could do to make sure that less illegal immigrants cross the border, and also to reduce the damage they do when they get here. And I think we should do those things, whatever they are. (Reasonable people can have differing opinions. I’ve got no problem with that.)

                    But speaking as someone who lives in one of the most diverse areas of the country, I don’t think illegal immigrants are anything close to an existential crisis. (The America I live in is awesome!) And if your response to my refusing to take your panic seriously is to scream that I’m a commie-terrorist-pinko-liberal-sissy-boy…

                    Then you have some shutting up to do.

                    Could I be clearer?

                    • Just of our curiosity: do you think alt-right and fascism in USA is a problem which needs to be addressed?

                    • Okay, fair enough, maybe I misjudged you.

                      Would you please answer these questions, though:
                      * What top 3 policies you you endorse reducing illegal immigration?
                      * What number of illegal immigrants, per year, do you think is an acceptable number past which America shouldn’t attempt any further enforcement?
                      * What total population of illegal immigrants should we tolerate and provide some method of legalization for?

                      A lot of people claim to impose illegal immigration, and also oppose every measure to control it and think we should welcome an extremely high number of illegal immigrants – so high as to make the idea of control meaningless. Which means that they don’t really oppose illegal immigration.

                    • I’ll note in passing that our government is gigantic. It can handle more than one problem at once.

                      Unfortunately, being gigantic large parts of it are also unaccountable and suffering from Pournelle’s law and thus their handling of problems frequently make them worse. What is in extremely limited supply is the attention from the public or outsider leaders like Trump that can force parts of the government to actually work sort of like their supposed to.

                    • “Just of our curiosity: do you think alt-right and fascism in USA is a problem which needs to be addressed?”

                      I’ll answer you below; things are getting a bit narrow.

                    • “What top 3 policies you you endorse reducing illegal immigration?”

                      Mark, I’ll answer your questions below, it’s getting too narrow.

          • One problem I have with the anti-immigration side is that they want to keep or reduce the current levels of legal immigration. In analogy to the “harder, more poisonous stuff” selected for by Prohibition and the War on Drugs, that selects for immigrants less willing to assimilate and more willing to break laws.

            They don’t just want less illegal immigration, they want less immigration overall, and that’s counterproductive to their own stated reasons for wanting less illegal immigration.

            • I’d be more willing to discuss increasing legal immigration if I felt the other side was debating in good faith. But from where I sit, there have been various legislative deals made and laws enacted with the understanding that the amount of illegal immigration would be substantially reduced: the 1986 amnesty being a key example. But the pro-immigration side got the amnesty, and the anti-immigration side got… 13 million new illegal aliens.

              And now the pro-immigration side, which in some cases is deliberately blocking the enforcement of our existing laws, is saying let’s make a new deal, where America trades off more legal immigration for less illegal immigration. Presumably, if the terms of the deal limit legal immigration too much for the pro-immigration side’s tastes, they’ll accept the deal and encourage illegal immigration again, like they did last time.

              Given that history and expectation, the anti-immigration is taking the position that they made a deal but didn’t get what they wanted the last few times. So the terms of the next deal pretty much have to go all their way, and the pro-immigration side’s cost of getting more illegal immigration for the last 30 years is getting less legal immigration in the future.

              There’s a large element of shooting themselves in the foot in the anti-immigration side’s position. But given the drama we just witnessed over the idea that the President would build a wall which was legally authorized a decade ago but never built, I think the pro-immigration side is paying the price for not holding their ends of the deals in the past.

    • Here is the real problem: no lefty can argue honestly for lower wages. The caravans aren’t made up by right-wing media. Your numbers are fake.

      • The caravans are a tiny upward blip in an otherwise falling graph. (And those are the government’s own numbers.) And I certainly don’t argue for lower wages.

        The problem here is that the moderate/centrist Democrats are being treated by the media as if they were commies or something. In reality, when it comes to voting for business, they’re just slightly to the right of center. They’re happy to join the Gay Pride Parade or pass laws about racial equality, but they don’t vote to have Blacks or Gays (or the rest of us) pick up any economic advantage… after all, there are billionaires who make big campaign contributions, and if we don’t act on their behalf we’ll lose office!

        In essence, the Republicans are socially Conservative and fiscally Conservative, while the moderate Dems are socially Liberal and fiscally Conservative. If you want to see how that works, Google Joe Biden holding his first fundraiser at the house of Comcast executive.

        • The caravans are theater, but real, and they got in. So do a million or so legal and a million or so illegal per year, and when you blow smoke over the law of supply and demand affecting wages you certainly do argue for lower wages. You, Cocaine Mitch, Trump when he dares, half of Fox, all of MSNBC and ABC and CBS and Public Television, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer, AOC, etc all argue for lower wages. You’ve been winning for fifty years. Sketchier neighborhoods, trashier behavior, lower wages- you’ve achieved them across America.

          Leave the Lower Wages Left, Troutwaxer. Come back to the Higher Wages Left. They have to lie about not really working for lower wages. We have Jefferson and Marx and Debs and FDR and MLK and we don’t have to lie, we really want higher wages. Honest.

          • I definitely see where you’re coming from.

            On one hand, I’m definitely not against immigration controls. On the other, the whole “anti-illegal” thing is such a gigantic racist dog-whistle that it’s hard not to poke at, and you can see the misconceptions throughout this thread; they won’t assimilate, they rape our women, they bring the general level of trust down, they’re the wrong religion, they form giant “caravans” which require a military response, not to mention all the ways immigration gets irrationally promoted into an ever-higher place on our list of problems… all the symptoms of irrationality are there and they are obvious, with levels of concerns ranging from “overheated” to “stupid beyond compare.” (To the credit of many of the commentators here, those issues are brought up only to dismiss them, but YMMV.)

            So what to do? This gets into more difficult territory. I don’t think any sane person wants kids drinking out of toilets or not being treated for diseases, and in many of the cases being cheered on by the far-right we’re breaking our own laws. (You want a low-trust environment? Live in a nation which breaks its own laws.) Meanwhile, building a border wall is a highly visible program, but not something that’s likely to work very well. (Yes, the Mexicans have heard of shovels. And boats. And ladders. And hacksaws and chisels. And I’ve met a couple Hispanic people who can drive cherry-pickers and hydraulic lifts!) If you want to track the course of stupidity in the U.S., track the people who think a border wall will affect illegal immigration in some meaningful fashion!

            I want good immigration controls. I don’t like to see my own countrymen getting underpaid due to the boss hiring illegals. On the other hand, I don’t want kids drinking toilet water or idiots wasting my tax dollars on border walls. Now that we’ve established some baseline sanity, we discover something: This is a hard problem. This is a really fucking hard problem.

            Now that we’ve both established our bona-fides, and we’re not dealing in slogans or half-assed border walls, or kids in KKKamps, do you have any good suggestions? And can you place the problem sanely in list of useful priorities?

            • >the whole “anti-illegal” thing is such a gigantic racist dog-whistle

              No. No it isn’t. That’s your Blue Tribe elite condescension talking.

              I’m just barely old enough to remember what actual racist dog whistling was like, back when it was a thing that existed in, like, George Wallace and Strom Thurmond’s day. I’m pretty sure you’re not. The worst nativist rhetoric of 2019 doesn’t have anywhere near the stink I remember from those days.

              • As I said above, this is a complicated problem. I’ll further note that there are at least 3 elements.

                ELEMENT 1.) It’s a real problem, with obvious and rational negative consequences, such as diluting the market for workers who are citizens and pay taxes, or allowing people to enter the U.S. without even the most cursory screening.*

                ELEMENT 2.) No. It’s also a really ugly racist dogwhistle. If you remember guys like Strom Thurmond, surely Trump’s comment that “These aren’t people. These are animals,” rings a few bells. Or consider Trump’s claim that “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” You can’t possibly have forgotten the old racist call-out about “raping white women.”

                3.) Illegal Immigration’s level of severity, as a problem, is both misunderstood and legitimately debatable. (But “Caravans” which require the U.S. Army to respond? If you want to pass a bill, this is exactly the kind of language which will cause Democrats and Liberals to dismiss you as a crank rather than working across the aisle.)

                Now here’s the part I hope you’ll take away: We can’t get anywhere solving the problem until we’ve worked out which issues are racist call-outs, which are real, and how bad the problem actually might be. And there are facts available to address all these issues – one thing the government does is gather a lot of statistics, and they make those statistics available.

                On the gripping hand, once the GOP stops talking about this in the language of the racist, and starts saying things like, “Each illegal immigrant who’s employed takes away .32 jobs from each American worker, and costs each Americn worker .83 dollars/hour,” ** you’ll get enough Democrats signing on for whatever sane, non-racist plan you might put forward that you’ll actually have a chance of passing a bill. (We Dems like fact-based arguments.)

                *I’m not a big fan of either “immigrants bring disease” or “immigrants cause crime” but I would prefer that felons and people without vaccinations be kept on the other side of our border.

                ** I have no idea whether these statistics are correct, or whether they’re too high or too low. I’m giving an example of how to discuss the problem with Democrats – use some facts and you’ll make some progress. Speak in the language of racism and Democrats will react against you at whatever volume guarantees their re-election.

                • We Dems like fact-based arguments.

                  Is that why you’re so keen on deplatforming and censoring anyone who brings up facts you don’t like, e.g., the correlation between race and things like crime and IQ?

                  • I don’t want to deplatform or censor you. You can post whatever fact-free bullshit you like, and defend it with whatever rhetorical tricks you choose to employ. I happen to prefer a fact-based approach, but if that’s not your cup of tea, it’s a free country.

                    • I don’t want to deplatform or censor you.

                      You personally haven’t done that in this thread. However, your party constantly does this.

                      You simply stick your fingers in your ears and go “la-la-la I can’t hear you, racist, racist”, e.g., the rest of your comment.

                      But yeah, keep telling yourself how “fact based” you are.

                    • If you want to talk about deplatforming or censuring, ask yourself who went through the thread and marked all my comments with a minus, including the one where I asked Eric about his ankle. Fake News. Very Sad.

                • >Trump’s comment that “These aren’t people. These are animals,” rings a few bells. Or consider Trump’s claim that “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

                  But it’s a press lie that this is Trump talking about immigrants in general. This is Trump taking about illegals, and specific elements among illegals. The “animals” referred to MS-13.

                  Trump has repeatedly said he supports legal immigration, and this is credible because his wife is an immigrant. Observing that concentrations of illegals are associated with outbreaks of crime and disease (including diseases like typhus that had been almost extinct in the U.S.) isn’t racist, because saying a thing that is true is never racist, and “illegals” is not a racial category. Racism would have to extend to condemning Mexicans and Central Americans that are here legally – same blood, same race.

                  This Trump has never done. And I observe only a tiny minority of his base doing it.

                  • Sigh. I’ll get back to Thurmond-speak in a minute, but for now I’ll start with this link, which states that between 2005 and 2014 ICE arrested 4000 members of MS-13.

                    https://cis.org/Fact-Sheet/Fact-Sheet-MS13-Arrests-ICE-20052014

                    In the same time-period, ICE stopped 6,373,825 illegal immigrants. (That’s per the “Immigration in 5 Charts” link I posted earlier.) In other words, 1 out of 1593 illegal immigrants is a member of MS-13, or around 0.06 percent. As national problems go, it’s minuscule. (Yes, we should still solve the problem, but a sense of proportion is definitely lacking.)

                    Getting back to Thurmond speak, “I certainly needn’t remind anyone of [Black] criminality.” In short, if you can’t hear the dogwhistle from Trump, coupled with a gigantic exaggeration of the problem, you’re deaf as a post!

                    • In other words, 1 out of 1593 illegal immigrants is a member of MS-13, or around 0.06 percent. As national problems go, it’s minuscule.

                      Would you drink 16 ounces of something if it had 5-6 drops of liquid feces in it?

                    • >between 2005 and 2014 ICE arrested 4000 members of MS-13.

                      4000 members of a gang with the motto “Kill, rape, control.”

                      4000. Dear goddess, that’s two orders of magnitude worse than I thought. And that’s just the ones they caught. And doesn’t count any other criminal gangs.

                      Congratulations, you’ve just actually changed my position. I thought the nativists who spoke of an “invasion” were being hysterical. I see I was wrong.

                      That right there is a strong argument that the Southern border should be sealed shut. Not just a wall, but minefields and automated turrets.

                • We Dems like fact-based arguments

                  Given my experiences in discussing over the internet with the American Democrats, Polish left-wingers and similar kind of people – all of them boasting how much they like science and facts – this sentence is hilarious.

                  The thing is that Dems/Left wingers/whatever like only the facts which fit their views. They are sceptical only of things which do not fit their view. Take the recent example from Scott Alexander’s blog, about the article “proving” that homophobia shortens lives of homosexuals, which was widely quoted and even in Polish foras (forums?) was thrown at me in a tryumphant fashion about “see, science proves it”. And now, after five years it is retracted and it’s admitted that the right-wing critics were right in pointing its flaws. Or take those all supposedly proving discrimination studies about IAT; or blind orchestra auditions; or stereotype threat BS; or domestic violence. Or, in European context: about how often people are saying “you have no proof to show immigrants cause crime”, and then we find out that there is either no data about criminal crime, or it is suppressed (as in Netherlands, google Mark Harbers and asylum-seeker crime report) -or ignoring that in Europe it is usually the second-generation which commits the most crimes, not the first generation – or lumping all immigrants together, ignoring the fact that Vietnamese immigrants have totally different characteristics than migrants from MENA.

                  Another thing is that because way too many (not all, but enough in number to make a difference) liberals at Academia are willingly discriminating against conservatives – there is strong bias for “science” supporting liberal (in American sense) position, because (a) all people have their confirmation biases, and fewer conservatives means fewer criticism free from liberal confirmation bias (b) more liberals obviously means more research confirming liberal point views.

                  Thanks God for people like Putnam, who despite having huge biases, are still honest enough to publish their own findings despite them contradicting their views.

                  Dems like fact-based arguments, yeah sure.

            • When you argue for the Lower Wages Left, you have no bona fides to establish. There are no good faith arguments for lower wages from the left. Middlebrow poddymouthing, crimethink accusations you promise to withdraw real soon now, twaddle about sanity? Best you can do, till you come back to the Higher Wages Left.
              Or join William Kristol and brag about impoverishing Employee-Americans, but remember America is a center-left country and we have no actual root stock of actual smart proud righties who know they are better than employees. You rely on his genius to make it all up, and William Kristol is one of the better thinkers on your side. Yes, your side is that dumb.

              • I do have some solutions I’d propose. But you’ve been negative and dismissive this whole time, so you get to go first.

                • I’ve been positive and filled with acceptance for higher wages this whole time. Higher wages provide more money for neighborhoods that are nicer and less sketchy, for that entire leisure without which no great creative act is likely, indeed for more of that magnificent gesture language of capital we call money. If we’d got higher wages through higher immigration I’d want higher immigration.

                  Instead, half a century of bipartisan consensus in favor of lower wages through higher immigration has given us lower wages and higher immigration: You on the Lower Wages Left have to weasel on this. And because Lower Wages Lefties are weasels: look at them. Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, AOC? These are not people you can respect.

                  We on the Higher Wages Left say what we mean and mean what we say: we want higher wages through less immigration. Leave them. Join us. We positively won’t dismiss higher wages.

                  • I’ve got some tough facts for you:

                    The left has lied to you. The left has been lying to you for your entire life. The left always betrays and eats its children and has been doing so since the French Revolution. If you beg and grovel them to rejoin you, they will simply betray you again.

                    The “high wage” big government model Marx and Debs and FDR promised you was never sustainable, it was always based on flim-flam and borrowing from the future.

                    In the end, the only way to have high wages is to produce something worth high wages. (Note: this is not the same thing as working hard, it’s possible to work arbitrarily hard on something that has no value.) During the heydays of the industrial revolution in the 19th century, British and American workers literally oversaw more machines per worker that ran faster. That’s why their workers made the highest wages while their industries were the most competitive.

                    As Ian mentioned above, since that time, the US has developed a lot of labor and other regulation. This means in order to employ productive workers, you must also employ lawyers and other compliance people even though the work they do fundamentally doesn’t produce anything of value. Thus the net amount produced per employee decreases and wages fall accordingly.

                    Trump is a businessman, he understands this. That is why he’s focus is on cutting regulation, with just enough tariffs to provide temporary protection for American industries while they restructure.

                    Autarky is not a viable long term economic policy. If one isolates one’s economy from the rest of the world, the larger of the two economic systems, i.e., the rest of the world, will advance faster and leave the autarkic country in the dust.

                    • The law of supply and demand has not lied to me. The bipartisan consensus in favor of lower wages through higher immigration has worked like a piston for fifty years. Sure, less regulation would be nice.

                    • >The bipartisan consensus in favor of lower wages through higher immigration has worked like a piston for fifty years.

                      Economics 101 has bad news for you. There are good thing immigration restrictions might do – denying evil politicans a vote bank, preventing further erosion of social trust, keeping out vicious criminals – but pushing up wages is not one of them.

                      Because Eugene Nier is right – wages go up only when workers produce more value per hour. If they don’t do that, illegal-immigrant labor will be replaced by robots. Or by offshoring.

  45. What’s your evidence for the majority of “anti-illegal Immigration” folks also being against Legal Immigration?

    The majority of “anti-illegal Immigration” folks that I know have no problem with Legal Immigration.

    One “anti-illegal immigration” person that I know is Sarah Hoyt (Baen Author) and she is a Legal Immigrant.

    • Considering that laws can be changed – mass amnesties granted as in the 1980s – it does not make much sense to categorically embrace “legal immigration” either just because it’s legal. Immigration in rates and from sources that benefits the nation, the people, the culture — this, most anti-illegal-immigration people can accept. Legal immigration in too high rates or of low quality materiel, they won’t.

  46. Nod.

    Immigration Laws can be changed and in some cases should be changed.

    However, the Rhetoric has been “If you’re against Illegal Immigration, then you hate any Immigrants, Legal or otherwise”.

    I reject that Rhetoric and plenty of “anti-illegal immigration” folks also reject that Rhetoric.

  47. A little off topic, but Eric, we haven’t had a recent update on your ankle. How’s the joint doing?

    • I haven’t posted because it’s quietly getting better. I’m walking. The ankle-immobilization brace (or as we call it Chez Raymond “Das Klompenboot”) comes of in a week.

      Bank account’s still looking pretty injured, but Loadsharers is gradually picking up steam. Those of you who haven’t joined yet, pleasse go to http://loadsharers.net and take the pledge. It’s about more than just me.

      • I’m glad things are getting better.

        Currently I can’t take the pledge. But I’d be happy to help man a booth if someone wants to set something up in So. Cal. And I’ll see if the next paycheck allows me to PayPal you a couple bucks.

  48. FROM ERIC ABOVE: “4000. Dear goddess, that’s two orders of magnitude worse than I thought.”

    Eric, I can’t help but think you’ve badly misunderstood the numbers. So let’s look again, with careful attention to what those numbers mean:

    1.) MS-13 members attempt to enter the U.S. as 1/1593 illegal immigrants caught by ICE. If we assume that MS-13 constitutes 10 percent of the criminals attempting to enter the U.S., (that is, there are other gangs involved, plus individual criminals, etc.) we get 1 criminal for every 153 illegal immigrants. Expressed as a percentage, that’s about .6%. (Note that my quick-and-dirty hack of multiplying MS-13 by 10 substantially overestimates the number of convicted criminals/gang members crossing the border – a quick Google search didn’t indicate a rate of criminality in illegal immigrants nearly as high as .6%)*

    2.) Per Wikipedia, in the U.S. we incarcerate about .7 percent of our population, (and this doesn’t count that part of the population which is out on parole or probation.) The numbers were 716 per 100,000 in 213, 754 per 100,000 in 2009, etc.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate

    So do the math; the .6 percent of the illegal immigrants entering the U.S. are criminals. The U.S. incarcerates .7 percent of the population. You’re (very slightly) safer in a crowd of illegal immigrants than you are walking down an ordinary U.S. street.

    You might argue that the people “walking down the street” haven’t been convicted by crimes, but keep in mind that the people crossing the border do not include those who are incarcerated in their own countries.

    Also, 4000 people over ten years is 400/year against a U.S. population of more than 300,000,000. Or to put it another way, if we imagine that the total population of parolees and probationers (about 4.5 million) indicates our reservoir of potential criminals, the 400 members of MS-13 who enter the U.S. every year increase the pool of potential criminals by… may I have the envelope please – a whopping .008 percent (less than 1/10,000th.)

    And keep in mind that even if the criminality of illegal aliens was twice that of the ordinary U.S. population, which including parolees and probationers is about 2.5 percent, you would be using your “minefields and automated turrets” against a population which is 95% innocent, including women and children.

    You really might want to rethink your math.

    * Other than the crime of crossing the border.

    • >Eric, I can’t help but think you’ve badly misunderstood the numbers.

      No, I have not. Forget all your talk of percentages and comparisons. That absolute number – and what it implies about the number of hardened criminals we don’t catch – is unacceptable.

        • Patrol the border, step up investigation and prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, amend the laws so that employers can confirm citizenship or legal residence before firing, and aggressively deport illegal aliens who have deportation orders outstanding against them, as well as illegal aliens who fail to appear to their status hearings. Also end TPS for most illegal aliens and deport them.

          If the US makes an honest attempt to deport 5 million illegal aliens and fails to do so, we can discuss alternate solutions to the issue that don’t involve murder.

  49. “Would you drink 16 ounces of something if it had 5-6 drops of liquid feces in it?”

    Wow. Once I thought about this I was really shocked.

    If a million people cross the border, and 650 of them belong to MS-13, you think they’re all guilty? They’re all contaminated with shit? You gotta watch your subtexts there – I’m hoping you’ll walk back the implications of what you just said – because otherwise you’ve committed yourself to a really ugly view of humanity. Unlike a mixed liquid, we can remove the bad ones from the stream of immigrants (and we do that regularly.)

    • You’re the one looking for subtexts here. Yes, a million people containing 650 MS-13 members are, as a group, “contaminated with shit” in the same way 16 oz of innocent water can be contaminated by a few drops. No, we can’t easily “remove the bad ones.” Many sneak across the border. Many lie about who they are. We can’t do background checks on every Third World villager. Some may be fine when they arrive, but then they or their children fall in with bad elements (which happens a lot with second-generation immigrants). Like many, your idealism leads you to vastly underestimate the costs of mass immigration.

    • Unlike a mixed liquid, we can remove the bad ones from the stream of immigrants

      Except people like you and the people you support constantly sabotage any attempt to do that. Everything from intelligence tests to gang databases get attacked and shut down as “racist” because the results inevitable correlate with race. Well, that’s because what they’re trying to measure correlates with race.

      Here is a test to see if you can meet the *minimum requirements* for talking about these things in a fact-based good faith fashion: Are you willing to acknowledge the correlation between race and things like crime and IQ?

      • “Except people like you and the people you support constantly sabotage any attempt to do that. Everything from intelligence tests to gang databases get attacked and shut down as “racist” because the results inevitable correlate with race.”

        Re: “gang databases” the problem is this: people were getting substantially penalized for simply being in a gang database, regardless of whether they had ever been arrested for or convicted of committing a crime. The particular case I remember happened at the state school my wife was attending. A kid with good SAT scores and decent grades was denied college admission because some police officer, without arresting or convicting him, had apparently observed him near a “known” gang member and put him into the database. (This kind of stuff is why brown people run from cops; even if you didn’t do anything, you can be denied college admission due to simply giving a cop your ID.)

        If you want J. Random Stranger penalizing people who were never arrested or convicted, we can have a gang database. Otherwise, I’d rather not. Or maybe you personally can take responsibility for a gang database and make sure it contains nothing that might possibly be a false-positive. (Here’s a hint. We already have a reliable method for identifying people you might not want to hire: It’s called a criminal background check, and in addition to showing convictions, they also show arrests going back seven years.)

        https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-calgangs-audit-20160811-snap-story.html

        “Are you willing to acknowledge the correlation between race and things like crime and IQ?”

        The problem is that people like you don’t admit the existence of confounding factors, like poverty, prejudice, lack of education and the difficulties of translating an IQ test to another language.

        BTW, are you the same Eugine Nier who was kicked off of Less Wrong for mass downvote harassment? If so, I’ve got some things to say about your earlier post regarding deplatforming people… starting with the question of whether you’re engaging in the same practice about which you accuse others?

        https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/NGc3Yjecg9pDMznWq/moderator-action-eugine_nier-is-now-banned-for-mass-downvote

        • Re: “gang databases” the problem is this: people were getting substantially penalized for simply being in a gang database, regardless of whether they had ever been arrested for or convicted of committing a crime.

          And you’re going to have a similar objection to any immigration vetting system of any degree in effectiveness that’s actually implemented in practice.

          Here’s a hint. We already have a reliable method for identifying people you might not want to hire: It’s called a criminal background check, and in addition to showing convictions, they also show arrests going back seven years.

          And people are trying to stop employers from using that system as well because racism.

          The problem is that people like you don’t admit the existence of confounding factors, like poverty, prejudice, lack of education and the difficulties of translating an IQ test to another language.

          The problem is that the correlation persists even when controlling for said factors. In fact high IQ groups can overcome them relatively easily. Furthermore, the persistence of a lot of those factors is largely caused by said low IQ.

        • The problem is that people like you don’t admit the existence of confounding factors, like poverty, prejudice, lack of education and the difficulties of translating an IQ test to another language.

          This is a total straw man argument. No serious person denies that those are factors. People have worked hard, for generations, to construct tests that take those factors into account. The trouble is, no matter how hard they try, they can’t seem to get those pesky racial/genetic factors to go away.

    • “we can remove the bad ones from the stream of immigrants (and we do that regularly.)”

      The parents of Kate Steinle (and so many others) beg to disagree.

      • The parents of children killed by aircraft machinists agree:

        https://theconversation.com/the-preferred-jobs-of-serial-killers-and-psychopaths-96173

        My point is that given a large-enough population of any kind, you can always find bad apples. Essentially, you’re not paying attention to the statistics, instead you’re arguing from atrocity, regardless of the atrocity’s rarity value. Meanwhile, let’s defend our society by putting aircraft machinists in cages! (And please don’t feel resentful that you were mocked by a Liberal; you walked right into that one!)

        • But that’s completely off topic! Your claim was “we can remove the bad ones from the stream of immigrants”. There is ample counter-evidence. Your example of a native-born bad guy does not support your claim or counter mine. Bringing it up is mistaken or dishonest.

          “don’t feel resentful that you were mocked by a liberal”

          I wouldn’t, even if the liberal were a serious debater. I have met a few, but not here.

          • Sorry, I phrased that poorly. Obviously no filtering system known to any human I’ve heard of will filter out all the bad apples. But we do put in a great deal of effort towards just that, we look into backgrounds, we ask questions, and we get good results all the time… just not perfect, unfortunately.

            Safety-wise, I rather be in a stream of people who’ve been accepted for asylum or admitted via a legal method than among an ordinary crowd of U.S. citizens – it would be much safer. Even the illegal immigrants are statistically safer, though I think this could be an artifact of some language/trust issues, as I discussed elsewhere on the thread.

    • The original analogy is flawed. It’s not feces, it’s Polonium-210. So yeah, a few drops per barrel is a lethal threat.

  50. The “high wage” big government model Marx and Debs and FDR promised you was never sustainable, it was always based on flim-flam and borrowing from the future.

    And capitalism wasn’t? Look around you. CO2 is at 410 ppm, and June was the hottest month on record — with summer not even well underway yet. Methinks the future is coming round to collect.

    • Climate activists when it’s colder than usual: “Weather is not climate!”

      Climate activists when it’s hotter than usual: “OMG the climate!”

      • “Climate activists when it’s hotter than usual: “OMG the climate!”

        The last five years were the hottest years, globally, ever recorded.

        When temperature rises were stalling around 2000, it was all “See Climate Change is over”. When the rises were picking up again, it was all “Nothing to see, move on”.

        The dishonesty is not in the science, but in the US Right not wanting to face the conclusions because they don’t care about the future of humanity.

        “I find it highly unlikely that democratic socialism could fix it: people like to consume”

        Democratic Socialism has been able to avert ozone layer collapse, pay for universal health care coverage, and pay for pensions for all, where USA style capitalism has not.

        I think the worst nightmare of the lot of you is that Democratic Socialism actually succeeds in solving the climate crisis. Because there are solutions to climate change involving states, but no solution at all without involving states. And that is ideologically unacceptable, therefore, the problem must be denied.

        The parallels with Creation Science, which is also a US invention, are obvious.

        • The dishonesty is not in the science, but in the US Right not wanting to face the conclusions because they don’t care about the future of humanity.

          To be blunt, there’s a lot of room for lies by the science communicators: the non-climatologists who nonetheless discuss this topic with an air of authority — such as Neil deGrasse Tyson [astrophysicist] or Al Gore [not a scientist].

          I’ll give you a concrete example: I’m sure you are familiar with the controversial “flooded NY” clip from An Inconvienient Truth. Even if you somehow knew it by heart, please go ahead and view that clip again with an ear to answer these two questions: what are the causes of sea level rise mentioned, and on what timescale does the science say this will occur?

          As to the first question: here is Gore, in his sequel movie, addressing claims he was hyperbolic. Listen again to the claimed causes of sea level rise — if it does not match the first movie [either additions or omissions], then Al Gore has to be lying about the science in one of those two clips.

          As for the second question: this could form a far more subtle lie by omission. Al Gore attempts to imply the threat will occur within his audience’s lifetime (60 – 80 years) by saying the causative events are happening “right now”. However, what if the actual science predicts the shown sea level increase occurring over a minimum period of 150 years– twice the implied length? That would be just as catastrophic, yet presenting an inaccurate time frame for predictions is to lie about the science — and the question is, does Gore provide his audience with the information to prove he is presenting the science accurately?

          Let me state definitively: my complaints here are not about the science. Even if we assume the scientific predictions are one hundred thousand percent accurate, every time a non-specialist presents the argument for climate change inaccurately or ambiguously, this does just as much damage to the efforts to fight catastrophic change than if the science itself contained thos inaccuracies.

    • Even if the whole climate change thing was true, I find it highly unlikely that democratic socialism could fix it: people like to consume, most people are not very future-oriented, and seriously the average guy cares more about present consumption that future weather. It would have to be a top-down, elitist socialism to fix it, a firm rule of the climatologically enlightened. Which may be what you want, but in my experience most socialists claim to be democratic socialists.

      Maybe you can argue that high levels of consumption are not a natural desire, but instilled in people by capitalism. To a certain level, that is true: much of consumption is about social status, and while social status is a natural desire, there are other ways to get it. Unfortunately, the other ways are often worse. Keynes, who was on your side, said that it is better to let people tyrannize over their bank account because the other option is that they are going to tyrannize over each other. I think he understood the problem: when you cannot get social status by showing off an expensive car, a lot of people are inclined to get social status by sheer violence, being the local tough guy who intimidates everybody, basically like how it works in prison. I suppose what you really want is that things like moral virtue, learnedness, knowledge, intelligence, culturedness should get social status. That sort of thing is a priesthood, effectively atheistic theocracy. That is how academia works. And that sucks, too, current academia does not look at all encouraging as a model for society on the whole. In reality, much of mainstream liberalism is already rule by academia and this seems the most likely alternative to capitalism as it keeps encroaching on capitalism. Woke Capital is basically surrender to academia.

      Seriously, buying expensive toys seems like by far the least dangerous avenue to compete for social status. That is, assuming climate change don’t real. I am about 80% sure it is not real. I mean, not catastrophic. I simply listen to those climatologists who actually got their predictions right. This guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Christy has a model that spits out correct predictions since 1994: https://www.thegwpf.com/putting-climate-change-claims-to-the-test/

  51. I’ve actually asked some leftists if they would be willing to post a bond for X number of years per immigrant and be responsible for room, board, and minimum health coverage. At best I get a look of confused incomprehension.

    • Honestly, I don’t see the problem with this. One of the things which bothers me about both the left and right is their reluctance to take responsibility for their beliefs. But by the same token, anyone who believes that cops should be able to participate on racist message boards should contribute to a fund which pays out to unarmed Black people shot by White cops! Actually, you do pay into such a fund… whose tax money finances the half-billion in payouts every year?

      Actually there’s insurance for these things too, but our taxes pay for this insurance, which would be far less costly if such shootings were rare – and the insurance companies are making a profit on this stuff too, right off your tax dollars!

      • But by the same token, anyone who believes that cops should be able to participate on racist message boards should contribute to a fund which pays out to unarmed Black people shot by White cops!

        Except unarmed is not the same as “shouldn’t have been shot”. For example, some who had just robbed a convenience store and was resisting arrest and going for the cop’s gun when he was shot, like say your movement’s poster boy.

      • I’ve seen relevant research by a dude from Harvard which suggests the police are not disproportionately shooting black suspects, in fact the opposite was the case. Plus there’s the fact that at least in big city police departments, minorities are over-represented in comparison to the general population. Honestly, as much as I don’t hold law enforcement in high regard, I’m having trouble buying the whole “White cops shoot poor Black people” narrative. I think they’re largely equal opportunity oppressors.

        • >I’ve seen relevant research by a dude from Harvard which suggests the police are not disproportionately shooting black suspects, in fact the opposite was the case.

          That is true. Per capita, a white encountering police is more likely to be shot than a black. This seems to be because police interaction with individual whites is somewhat more likely to relate to serious crime than to the traffic or public-order offenses that constitute most interactions of blacks with police.

          But aggregate the numbers across both populations and total police shootings of blacks are higher because blacks as a population are so much more crime-prone, enough so that at 12-13% of the population they account for 50% of murders and felony assaults.

          • Just to clarify something you didn’t quite make clear, Whites are shot more frequently that Blacks only as a matter of raw numbers. However, 70 percent of the population is White, while Blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. So in 2016, Whites were 54 percent of the police shootings while Blacks were 28 percent of the police shootings. Some quick-and-dirty math would seem to say that a Black person is about 2.5 times as likely to be shot by police as a White person.

            This was an easy statistic to find. I’ll note one more thing: no Federal agency is keeping a national record of all police shootings, which seems criminal in-and-of-itself.

            What’s interesting is that the numbers seem to be changing for the better in the last couple years, probably due to bad publicity. You can check this out and draw your own conclusions:

            https://thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/

            • You seem to miss the point ESR is making. The statistics you quoted is irrevelant without taking into account how many Blacks go into situation where they can be shot by police. I bet that many more males (armed or unarmed) are shot by police than females – but I suppose you wouldn’t argue police is prejudiced against males. It does not matter unarmed/armed here, only kind of encounter with a police.

              • I understood his point, but found that this sentence, “Per capita, a white encountering police is more likely to be shot than a black.” was not accurate. Once you take race/population figures into account, that’s not true. A Black person is 2-3 times more likely to be shot than a White person. That’s the only thing I was addressing.

            • >Some quick-and-dirty math would seem to say that a Black person is about 2.5 times as likely to be shot by police as a White person

              But what we’re concerned with is unjustified shootings, which means you need to divide your 2.5 by the factor 4x difference in criminal propensity.

              Human beings have notoriously bad statistical intuition, so you have to be extra careful interpreting these figures. One reason they look so weird is that the distribution of criminal propensity in white and black populations is quite different. In whites the average is lower but the peak of the distribution is higher.

              What this means in practice is that if you were a cop doing traffic stops on a equal number of white and black citizens, the white half is the more dangerous one in terms of the probability that you’re going to be lethally attacked even though that population has a lower average in criminal propensity. Your rational response is going to include more justified shootings of white people.

              The numbers aren’t equal. Blacks are 1/8th of the population. On the other hand they have 4x the aggregate criminal propensity of whites; that swamps the effect of a lower peak in the black population and pushes rational response back towards shooting more blacks. You can model the threat as though the black population were 4 times as large – 50% – with an equal criminal propensity. Confirmation that this is predictive is that blacks commit 50% of murders and felony assaults.

              Now take that 50% figure and set it against your 54%/28%. Relative to the threat model, whites will die in bad shoots (unjustified police killings) slightly more often than they should be if police were responding to the threat model with perfect rationality, and blacks only about half as often as they should be.

              (This model wants adjusting for Hispanics and smaller minorites – blacks plus whites don’t sum to 100% – but doing that’s not enough to move the needle much.)

              • >You can model the threat as though the black population were 4 times as large – 50% – with an equal criminal propensity. Confirmation that this is predictive is that blacks commit 50% of murders and felony assaults.

                There’s a simpler way to explain this. Convert into incident volume. Observably, blacks commit 50% of murders and felony assaults. Under the assumption that your odds of being shot by a cop are proportional to the number of criminal incidents you’re involved in, we don’t need to make assumptions about differing criminal propensity or even know what fraction of the population blacks are.

                All we need to know is that if cops are rationally colorblind, bad-shoot victims ought to be evenly distributed across the total incident volume with respect to race – 50% white, 50% black (actually non-white – difference is insignificant for the rest of this demonstration). There’s a coincidence here that’s confusing; if, hypothetically, whites committed 75% of murders and felony assaults, the colorblind “even distribution” of bad shoots would be 75%/25%.

                But given the actual 50%/50% split in criminal incidents that 54%/28% split in police shootings needs some serious explaining. If I reasoned like a typical leftie I would start screaming about systemic bias against whites. Since I’m not actually an idiot, I observe that 54% is a pretty reasonable casualty rate to be associated with 50% of serious criminal incidents, and the facts actually suggest a police bias against shooting blacks.

                And no wonder, if you think about the incentives and pressures on cops created by the perpetual racial-grievance machine.

                • Given America’s history of getting the racial issues wrong, over and over again, my response to the idea that these issues are genetic and unalterable by environment, is to say this:

                  Show me the code. (The genetic code, of course.) And prove with the code that the confounding factors – I won’t bother to list them; we’ve had this argument before – don’t confound, that there are no epigenetic issues, that the code you’ve identified provably relates to brain structures and the size of those structures, or maybe brain chemisty… or I’m not interested in this line of argument.