Friday, October 28, 2005

"Iron Curtains?"

John Zmirak in FrontPageMagazine.com (edited by David Horowitz) writes on illegal immigration into the USA, “Securing America’s Borders (Finally)”, 28 October 2005 http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=19972

“As corporations have been driven by short-term numbers such as quarterly growth in stock price or earnings, longer-term investments and social responsibility have been almost forgotten. It’s refreshing to visit Starbucks for a coffee – knowing that the company provides health care and 401k plans for its part-time workers. Why? Because its founder, Howard Schultz, has a conscience; he was inspired to found his company by reading Small Is Beautiful, penned by the Catholic social philosopher E.F. Schumacher. Similar sentiments can be found in the work of free-market stalwarts Adam Smith and Wilhelm Röpke, who knew that a free society and free economy depend on social stability and the hope of upward mobility for one’s children.”

This sensible slant is a part of John Zmirak’s trenchant case against illegal immigration. Presumably he supports legal immigration, though much of what he reacts to would apply, though on a lesser scale from legal immigrants from poorer countries replacing American unskilled workers. However, I won’t go there as the internal affairs of another country are not my business, except to say that for the UK, I am relatively unconcerned about immigration, legal or otherwise, because on balance it is a positive fillip to economic growth and stability.

Nice, though, to see Adam Smith in his proper place: “in the work of free-market stalwarts Adam Smith and Wilhelm Röpke, who knew that a free society and free economy depend on social stability and the hope of upward mobility for one’s children.”

Where immigration becomes a law and order question, the remedy is to rely on legal norms to deal with such problems, from custodial sentences through to deportation. The latter sentence is not available to the domestic miscreants from gangster, criminal or ‘under class’ participants. Education for the children of such parents is another part of a remedy for the next generation.

Where immigrants and the children of immigrants invest in their human capital (which may mean seeking employment in low wage sectors to gain a toehold, as exemplified in Hong Kong for many years, and for the accumulation of frugal savings, to invest in the education of the children, to gain places in higher wage sectors) they add value to the country that adopts them.

There is something uncomfortable with forming an ‘iron curtain’ at borders to keep people out, having recently got rid of the original iron curtain in Soviet Russia to keep its people in. Most of the 9/ll terrorists entered the USA ‘legally’ and the British version 7/7 terrorists were born here; some of the people captured in Afghanistan were US born citizens.

1 Comments:

Blogger t11s said...

Recently I visited Tijuana. All I have to say is "Mr. Bush, tear down that wall!"

8:17 p.m.  

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