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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Much Of The Problem Of Illegal Immigration Is Government

Thomas Sowell, in the 2nd of his, thus far, 2-part series on today's disingenuous immigration debate in Congress, asks why both the borders and amnesty must appear in the same legislation? He opines that if we close the borders, we will be able to see exactly what is the efficacy of that solution and then we can tackle what to do with the remaining illegals within our borders. However, the reason both issues are tied into one package is clear.

Who would lose anything by this separate consideration of the two pieces of legislation? The country would not lose anything. Neither would the illegal aliens already in the country. The biggest losers would be politicians. They could no longer be on both sides of the issue by voting for a package deal but would have to stand up and be counted on border control.

William Buckley compares the plight of American blacks with Mexicans and sees a marked difference:

Several questions of vital interest need to be pondered. When will the liberal interventionists looking about for a new class to sponsor ring in with affirmative action for Mexican illegals? Whip up the kind of concern shown for blacks in the past 50 years? Granted, there is the emotional factor, here missing. The great effort made to help American blacks was reasonably fueled by the historical indebtedness felt for a people who had been uprooted from another continent and brought here to serve as slaves in the land of the free.

The Mexican illegal has no properly formulated brief against the America he entered athwart American laws. He might curse his relative burden: He came into a land where they speak another language. That disadvantage translates into lower-paying jobs requiring only manual skills, and his immobility stems from the need to send money home for relatives to eke out life in a country straitened by the impositions of left-welfarism.

It is because Mexico is such a terrible structure that private effort and entrepreneurialism is unrewarded. Mexico wantonly exports its citizens and then criticizes America for defending itself.

No one but the libertarians sees the inherent cause of the problem. It is the corruption of the Mexican government that squanders/steals the country's oil fortune while providing little opportunity for its citizens. It is a classic socialist example (and keep an eye out for the other socialist countries of South America over the next few years as they nationalize businesses and head down the path of despotism and penury).

What is ignored is the costs of socialism that tends to create the next series of problems which are then likely solved by more socialism. Look at how socialism in the provision of public education spawns correctives that increase government involvement---No Child Left Behind, higher property and local taxes---with minimal improvement if no continued decay.

On a more mundane matter, look at the simple government intrusion of the enforcement of seat belt laws. Whether one wears them or not (and I wore them before they became mandatory) should be an individual's decision. The harm is to oneself. But, the supporters say, the increased injury becomes the state's and the other citizen's burden!

Walter Williams responds:

Each of us owns himself, and it follows that we should have the liberty to take risks with our own lives but not that of others. That means it's a legitimate use of state power to mandate that cars have working brakes because if my car has poorly functioning brakes, I risk the lives of others and I have no right to do so. If I don't wear a seatbelt I risk my own life, which is well within my rights. As to your statement 'Lack of safety belt use is a growing public health issue that . . . also costs us all billions of dollars every year,' that's not a problem of liberty. It's a problem of socialism. No human should be coerced by the state to bear the medical expense, or any other expense, for his fellow man. In other words, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another is morally offensive.

The problem-solvers skip past the government created boulder in the way. Because we force everyone to assume the responsibility for other's conditions, created by the "victim's" irresponsibility or accident, then anyone's injury becomes our problem.

Williams quotes John Stuart Mill from his treatise "On Liberty:

"That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise."

3 Comments:

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