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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bad Lawsmakers Make Ineffective Laws

Funny post at Kling and Caplan's blog Econlog on US immigration policy. Apparently, we allow in foreign students so long as they state they will return to their home country with their increased knowledge.

Caplan writes:

As one immigration lawyer puts it: "the student must have 'nonimmigrant intent' – that is, an intention to return to their home county and not remain in the U.S." In other words, our laws try to make people go away after they finish their studies.

Conversely, Russia once admitted they would not allow their educated citizens to leave for fear of a "brain drain". Seems logical.

The positive is the intelligent foreigners find loop-holes to escape having to return to wherever. These students are smart and our rules beg gaming. Sounds like our immigration policy is in chaos generally.

Caplan quotes Von Mises:

Let us be grateful for the fact that there are still such things as those the honorable gentleman calls loopholes. Thanks to these loopholes this country is still a free country and its workers are not yet reduced to the status and the distress of their Russian colleagues.

I liked the "old saying" Caplan quotes more:

"It's a good thing we don't get as much government as we pay for."

Since so much government intervention would strangle production and the economy, maybe the saying should go:

"It is a good thing lawmakers are incompetent at enforcement."

Or maybe:

"Thank God for bribes".

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