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Bryan Caplan Says Milton Friedman Is Wrong About Open Borders

Milton Friedman famously said you cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state. Economist Brian Caplan begs to differ. Caplan makes his case in his latest book,
“Open Borders The Science and Ethics of Immigration.” It’s a graphic novel he co-produced with artist Zach Weinersmith, who’s best known as the creator of the popular web comic, “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.” The book takes on all the arguments against open borders one by one. From concerns about assimilation, terrorism, and fairness, to Friedman’s oft-quoted libertarian objection. Caplan sat down with us to talk about why immigration works, if he thinks he’ll see open borders in his lifetime, and why he likes to pick fights in his books. Bryan Caplan you seem to love to pick
fights basically all of your books have been insanely controversial topics this
one is no exception open borders is generally considered a
radical idea are you a radical yes I am but
especially I’m someone who figures that if is a conventional idea someone else
write the book or the books already written 20 times so I feel like my value
added is to find the orphan topics topics where they have great merit
position has great merit but almost no one else loves them and I like to adopt
them and say look I love you I will raise you I will make you strong and
then I will unleash you on the world and let the world see how much they should
have given you how much credit they should have given you how how quickly
they were to dismiss you when actually this was a great idea so yeah that’s
really what I do with all my books is I try to find ideas that otherwise
probably the book wouldn’t be written at all and then I write the book India for
me that’s very motivating because it’s the thought of if I don’t do this no one
will and that’s why I picked the topics I do have you always been in favor of
open borders or did you have a conversion moment let’s see so when I
was in high school I actually had to write an essay on immigration for my
bioethics class and I was definitely not in favor of open borders then I was
someone who basically said immigrations good as far as it goes we need better
simulation so still when I actually changed my mind probably it was actually
just reading libertarian authors and saying this isn’t a proper role for
government but what really radicalized me was
the philosophy it was actually seeing what research were saying about the
actual games of open borders because there’s so many different policy reforms
you could talk about but what really counts what would make an enormous
difference in the quality of life for large numbers of people one of the
biggest things in fact the biggest results that you can get out of
empirical research is no one in economics has ever come up with a better
policy reform than radical liberalization of migration because
there’s so much human talent that goes to waste in countries where they aren’t
able to accomplish much and they could just move freely to another country
people could do so much more they could lift themselves out of poverty by their
own bootstraps but the law doesn’t allow it
Soniya work by researchers like Michael Clements he has this famous piece of
subtitle trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk and that’s what got me thinking
not only is this a good idea but it’s an incredibly important idea and since very
few people are pushing it I should be someone that does it why a graphic novel
why would you make this sort of abstruse academic argument in graphic novel form
so several reasons so one of them is that a lot of the arguments that I make
about open borders involve thought experiments and I found thought
experiments just work a lot better if you can see them rather than just
picture them in the eye of the mind also I notice from reading a lot of these
nonfiction graphic novels cuz I’m a voracious reader of the stuff that’s the
very best of them don’t give a simplistic low-level story instead the
very best of them combine words and pictures just convey a lot of
information extremely economically and I wanted to model myself after the greats
like Larry donek whose cartoon history the universe and five volumes is a
fantastic work and I would just make it the textbook for history across the
whole world if I were given that power so I mean I just realized there was so
much opportunity to go and combine words and pictures to convey a lot of
information very readily and in a short amount of time and then you know finally
it was just something very different and I thought it was really fun and you know
I’ve seen if I could do this wouldn’t this be a great experience for me now
there’s a problem I can’t draw which is where Zach Weiner Smith comes in you
also added probably about one out of five jokes
buddy and since he’s also a professional humorist as well as an artist a lot of
this role was to tell me my jokes did not suck and so people say the books
funny of course authors gonna say that but this is a funny book read it it’s
true in the opening of the book you do have a sort of historical section where
you look back at the history of immigration of restriction in this
country and you say one reason we know that open borders can work is because we
had them essentially until really the 20s yeah that argument I have attempted
to make in similar conversations I find that you get the instant response but
things are different now so Brian aren’t things different now oh so they are as
to whether that makes immigration better or worse as a very interesting question
I deal with this later in the book so me on the question of assimilation many
people have rightly said well now it’s a lot easier to move to a country and then
use modern communications and transportation to not really adapt new
country and that’s true as far as it goes
however modern communication and transportation have also already moved
Western and especially American culture outwards to the rest of the world so you
can see things like now there’s about a billion people who don’t live in
countries that are officially english-speaking and yet speak fluent
English in 1900 it would not have been so in 1900 a Sicilian migrants is not
just going to show up a bellows island speaking probably no English never
having seen electricity maybe and now you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in
the whole country of Italy that is so out of touch with modern culture so what
I call this pre assimilation I say that we have in the modern rose a lot more
pre assimilation where immigrants are already not only linguistically but
culturally and economically adapted to life in more advanced countries so they
really can hit the ground running you know I’ll also say it’s new it’s
there’s a big difference Mena policy that’s never been done and a policy it
was very successful for a very long time and then stopped and especially why I
think the history does matter is that it’s very hard to find anyone including
the most ardent immigration restriction s who think that it was a good idea to
stop the immigration in the way that it was done almost everyone looking back
will say all right the complaints they had then were off base and if the
complaints are so similar to the complaints now and they made sense to
people the time which really should make you wonder
could there be some built-in human bias towards xenophobia and pessimism that
leaves human beings to overrate the dangers of immigration such that when
you will have some distance in perspective you see how silly that the
complaints are but when you are caught up in the moment you have trouble
accepting that maybe you could be wrong you said earlier that it was reading
various libertarian thinkers that kind of brought you into the open borders
mindset but there are certainly a plenty of libertarians self-described
libertarians who don’t favor open borders you address some of those
arguments in your book there they’re literal they’re not straw men I guess
they’re stick men but they’re little they’re little stick figures in taxation
is theft t-shirts who are clamoring across your lawn given our expected
viewership here at Reason TV could you talk a little bit about those arguments
and your replies to them sure so there’s two sets of arguments
that we can think about here that libertarians have made so the kind of
argument that I think are terrible and fairly clearly so are the ones saying
look well just as I can exclude people from my house American can slewed people
from the country because this is our collective property and it might apply
to people like this is that’s what you think you really shouldn’t be a
libertarian because if that’s what you think then you have no principled
objection anything government does people are not allowed to set up a
church inside my house therefore government should be able to decide what
religions are able to be practiced here you can’t set up a store or an export
import firm inside of my house the air force should be the people the united
states that decide which businesses to license attend which for which countries
we get to trade with and so on so if you really think that the country
collectively Bron belongs to the citizens and we the people of the right
to do with this country what we want then you have abandoned any kind of a
principled libertarian argument certainly you don’t have a right to have
a gun in my house right so who why should he be able to have a gun in
America if America doesn’t think that you should show me a that’s a kind of
argument that is popular with people who like principled philosophical arguments
although you know it’s just such a terrible argument and one where the
people are making it on such an ad-hoc basis where it’s only for that purpose
they ever make the arguments they would never allow government to do anything
else by the same logic now the libertarian arguments that I
think are vastly better and I try to address them with great seriousness
are especially one saying first of all that due to the welfare state we can’t
afford to let immigrants in because it would break the bank right so there’s
that one in Milton Friedman as many libertarians have keep emailing me as if
I’d never heard of it but yes so have you heard it yes guys it’s Milton
Friedman in the book this tells me the quote that I have heard from any other
vegetarians saying essentially you cannot have free migration and a welfare
state right so I have a chapter right just go over the numbers say well it
depends it’s complicated you can’t do this kind of math in your head you’ve
got to actually do this the slow painstaking boring work of crunching the
numbers or at least reading the slow boring painstaking work that other
people have done and in that chapter I come away saying look we can imagine a
welfare state so generous that it would break the bank but the u.s. is not such
a welfare state for a bunch of reasons which I’m happy to go into then and then
you know the argument that I take it as much more serious is maybe the
immigrants are gonna come from countries where they love liberty even less than
Americans do and we’re going to vote to turn us in to Venezuela or something
like that so yeah this is an argument where I understand the logic of it but
it comes down to an empirical question is it really true that’s non-native
people in this country or that bad if we go and look at subgroups or we try to
figure out how would the composition of immigrants change if anyone who wanted
to could come how bad would that be me and so I mean I just go through the data
there and I just say look this there may be some small effect but it is no one
even in the right ballpark to justify this extreme violation of human freedom
which is what immigration restrictions really are this is not like saying that
you’re not allowed to go and have a bonfire in your backyard or something
like that this is something where you are taking
billions of people who would like to move from desperate poverty to the first
world to get a job and rent an apartment to capitalist acts of seemingly
uncontroversial seemingly a seemingly uncontroversial pedigree and say well
tough luck you’re stuck in Haiti right subi and why because you don’t have a
piece of paper from the government so I mean am I going to get mad bill that you
can’t go and cut hair without a license but look
at the way the US government treats would-be Haitian and migrants and say
that’s fine it’s it is a great and bizarre feat of moral blindness and your
case for the most part rests on the argument for increasing legal
immigration although you do address the various iterations of illegal
immigration over the years because I do think that’s the other place where
sometimes you get libertarian disagreement is okay maybe more
migration would be good maybe it would be good for people be good for the
country but what about the rule of law right and you know for that for that
what I say is when someone says I’m against illegal immigration sometimes I
am totally Institue because I think it should be legal right now I have found
that is a totally unpersuasive argument because most people who are worried
about illegal immigration it’s not just the fact that it’s illegal that bothers
them they think the law serves a good purpose something I don’t think I
actually talked about that much in the book but I have blogged on it is when
exactly is it that a law is sufficiently bad that it’s okay to break it all right
now there’s a knee-jerk reaction of you should never break the law no matter
what’s and I think sometimes even your rule of law libertarians will say this
and then for them I’ll say okay so you always try the speed limit every single
time you never go mile over the speed limit and then it’s like so alright fine
idea right well are you doing something evil right and for this it’s like well
here’s the thing it would be kind of inconvenient to drive the speed limit so
it’s okay to break the law it’s like well it’s okay to break the law for just
a matter of inconvenience then how about if the law is trapping you and your
children and dire poverty when all you want to do is move to Miami and shine
shoes is it okay to break that law right and you know to my minds you know the
the case for breaking immigration laws is much stronger than the case for
speeding speeding laws actually serve some very plausible social function
right and the harm that you could do to someone from driving too fast it really
is a very serious one and it’s a small cost to you so that was the kind of
thing that maybe libertarians should Bend on but for this when you’re saying
look you have no right to live anywhere in the first world no right to do any
job in the first world tough lock you’re born in Haiti too bad suck it up that’s
the kind of law where for libertarians to stand up for that seem
very odd to me so in addition to sort of answering these libertarian arguments
you also I think like one page each just bang through the basic ethic and ethical
and moral systems available so you do utilitarian argument you do a Content
argument you kind of hit all of those and then there’s a moment in this book
where after you have devastatingly established the case for open borders
you say okay but we might not get open borders so now let’s talk about what
else we can do and you call them keyhole solutions right why do you call them
that I’m actually borrowing this from economic journalist Tim Harford and so
he notes that it’s standard in modern surgery to try to not do a lot of extra
damage to the patient while you are helping them so old-school civil war
surgery just involves hacking off body parts and hoping that you don’t get more
gangrene but modern surgery you’ll usually try to do the smallest incision
you can to address the very specific problem so you don’t wind up causing
further harm in the process of fixing whatever was bothering in the first
place and Tim Harford said so similarly for a lot of different policies that we
have we can usually think of a cheaper more humane way of dealing with the
problem so you know there’s things like what to do about air pollution you could
go and write a phone books worth of regulation or you could go and say
there’s a tax on pollution and you can do as much as you want but you have to
pay for it which then gives people incentives to always be looking for
better and cheaper ways to reduce pollution and gives incentives for
innovation to figure out better ways of doing it so that you can then sell this
products so it’s much better in terms of cleaning up things at a low cost
right and then similarly for immigration borrowing Tim’s idea I said why don’t we
go and listen complaints and try to figure out cheaper more humane ways of
addressing the concerns again things like Milton Friedman’s story you can’t
have unrestricted immigration and a welfare state all right great let’s just
take that for granted and say how about we go and let immigrants in but we give
them reduced access to benefits for a while which by the way we already do
some extent so it’s not like a science fiction idea rather it’s one that was
already on the books and we just turn up the dial to a higher level until people
finally calm down so I talked about this for many other concerns
people have but again each case the idea is first listen to the complaint what
exactly is it the same about immigrants that’s bothering you and then second is
there anything any way of addressing this problem other than saying kick him
out and keep him out right and this is actually something that I was struck by
in that last section it seems like you spent much more time reassuring readers
or reminding them that the status quo was already morally worse or that we
were already doing the thing that you might intuitively see as morally
objectionable in these various solutions I mean I found even as I was reading you
said okay sure let’s let people in but give them you know fewer access to
social services let’s only let some subset of people in from a region or you
know a culture and I had but I imagine isn’t very common intuitive reaction of
like well wait that’s not fair and both before and after each argument you sort
of said we’re already doing this we’re already doing this my thing is still
better why did you feel like that section of the book needed those
reassurances when the much more radical arguments earlier in the book didn’t or
you didn’t do it as much right so in the first five chapters of the book I’m
trying to convince people of what I think in the next chapter I’m trying to
bargain with people that I have failed to convince that’s really what’s going
on right and you know I’m an economist and I’m a parent so I’m used to the idea
of bargaining with people and trying to say all right what exactly is it that is
keeping us from getting your signature on the page and so that’s what I’m
really trying to do in that chapter let’s close we’re talking about the
dedications to the book which I thought were very striking um tell me about
yours and then if you can tell me a little bit about tax mom my wife got out
of communist Romania when she was six years old and then was stuck in Italy
for another six months while the US government tried to figure out whether
she and her dad were spies right and so yeah so you like your family well it was
a classic immigration story they came to this country with nothing
her dad especially he had been a Alecto manager and electrical plant when he was
back in Romania and then at the US he’s 43 and has to learn a new language and
be a janitor right and he did all this so that his daughter could have a better
life and so I dedicated the book to my wife and her family for being part of
the country story and just for being an
example of the kind of people that so many people say should not be allowed
here because they’re not good enough for us and only why do you think they’re not
good enough what exactly is it about them that is so horrible that you don’t
want them breathing the same air as as we do and then for a Zak
so my co-author had family in Poland and the former Soviet Union and some of them
got out before the US immigration laws made that almost impossible and he is
descended from that branch of the family and then the rest stayed and as far as
you can tell they all got murdered by either the Nazis or the Communists and
so he actually put out a request if anyone knows of any surviving relatives
of mine who might have made it out or somehow kept their head down if you
could just let me know have you gotten anything back about that I don’t think
that he has unfortunately but maybe some viewer at reason will know where the
long-lost branches the Weiner stiff of the Wiener Smith family have ended up so
final question do you think that you will live to see open borders or
anything that closely approximates it hmm let’s see how old am I again no so
yeah seems highly unlikely so a big part of my work is distinguishing between
what should happen and what I actually think will happen so I mean honestly I’m
just one person I think this is a book that is very persuasive as far as books
go but the most persuasive book in the world just isn’t that persuasive to most
people unfortunately I wish I could do better if someone else knows how to be
more persuasive that would be really good this is my best shot I think it’s
the kind of thing where you’ve got to win people over very gradually you got
to focus on the young because older people have generally just locked down
and made up their mind and actually I do all say I feel better about the fact
this is the only book I’ve ever seen where my little kids reading over my
shoulder so this is a book actually while it isn’t written for adults and
yet people who are much younger I’d say a precocious 7 year olds could read the
book with profit so of course I have dreams and fantasies about a whole
nation of children read this book and so then within 25 years they’ve won things
over and we do get this my honest answer is I think open borders will happen
eventually but unfortunately happen after
so rich that most the games are no longer there and on that pessimistic
optimistic note thank you very much Brian Catherine thank you very much
always a great pleasure

100 Replies to “Bryan Caplan Says Milton Friedman Is Wrong About Open Borders”

  • Milton Friedman was right. It still is today, because we can't support the entire world. I'm for legal immigration which benefits the United States. Immigrants should have good to excellent American English, have a talent, willing to adopt our values, and not on our welfare system.

  • so he did not in fact debunk welfare state vs open borders, he simply said we gotta crunch the numbers? Then why buy the damned book?

  • Wallstreet needs a wall more than the USA border. Selling capital control to anti-american foreigners like chinese communists and saudi pedophile sunni kings is economic treason.

  • you can most definitely have free immigration and a welfare state, as long as the immigrants dont get the welfare. Friedman said illegal immigration only works if its illegal, meaning that illegal immigration is its own culture and economy, and it works in its own way, and gives opportunity for those who want to rise up and achieve their goal of citizenship.

  • So he is okay with no restrictions on how many people come to the country or who comes to the country (i.e. open borders)…how do millions and millions of people (there is 1 billion people living in abject poverty in India for instance) who will come to the country if there were open borders? He is a nutcase! I bet he doesn't have open borders to his house!!

  • 10:00 From personal experience being from somewhere other than California, and having people from California migrate here who do not have the same level of concept of liberty as we do, they really do try to apply the policies that made them leave California to wherever they move. Thus, we should have free immigration from other countries, but there should be a wall around California. 😉

  • You can go to just about anywhere from America. No border stopping you. Go to Somilia and try out perfect libertardianism.

  • He amazingly avoids the central question of the interview. As a libertarian he should know that’s all about incentives, and welfare state gives all the wrong incentives. Just sad.

  • Curious as what the response would be to open borders would be if a large percentage of Communist China wanted to immigrate here knowing that assimilation will not be required. Legal immigration in a streamlined process should cut down on illegal entry through trespassing on private property. And when would this happen? Tommorow? Or when the threat of terrorism is ended by changing our interventionist blowback foreign policy?

  • So many people complaining that immigration makes places turn Democrat as if the Republicans are better. I get being against fully open borders, but don't be partisan hacks!

  • If he’s going to reference the benefits of open border immigration during the first century of US history, then he must acknowledge the state of federal purview, naturalization, and suffrage during that same era. Otherwise it is intentionally dishonest conflation.

    Roll these things back to functioning equally to their functioning during that era, then bring on the immigration.

  • I've seen Bryan Kaplan in debates contradict himself in this immigration platform. As conservative libertarian borders & immigration restrictions are necessary evil in order to neutralize the big government policies.

  • You cannot have open borders when there are forces dedicated to destroying your civilization (i.e. the Left and Islam). The immigrants moving to the US aren't looking to assimilate but to keep their culture and to become Americans in name only. Not the same as the Italians, Poles, and Jews who came before. The ones who came during the 19th Century had a desire to be Americans and succeed. Not the ones coming now. Additionally, the quote from Milton Friedman is not correct and misquotes what he actually said:

  • “Modern communication and transportation have also already moved Western, and especially American culture outward to the rest of the world. So you can see things like now there’s about a billion people that don’t live in countries that are officially english speaking and yet speak fluent english. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that is so out of touch with modern culture. I call this pre-assimilation. What we, in the modern world, have is a lot more pre-assimilation where immigrants are already not only linguistically but culturally and economically adapted to life in more advanced countries. So they really can hit the ground running.”

    They learned some english, watch and listen to American pop culture, are consumers, and want to make money? Open the floodgates!

    This is not much more than a superficial understanding of assimilation. We no longer understand it is necessary to assimilate our natural born into the principles of liberty. What chance have we with mass immigration?

  • The guest once stated, and I quote, "The only difference between Haitians and Americans is where they live." That should tell you all you need to know.

  • Reason is such a disappointment. The only content they publish anymore is either Trump agitators or third world invasion talking points.

  • He does not address the fact that immigrants overwhelmingly vote for big government (anti freedom) policies. It will undermine all freedom in this country eventually.

  • This guy is SO WRONG and targeting children with indoctrination is evil. He made his book a picture book because he was targeting children and people who are unable hold their attention to a block of text. People who are against open borders do not HATE anyone! We stand to protect ALL countries and all nationalities, because of the domino effect, if one country starts open borders, others will follow. The goal of open borders is a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, since communism doesn't work unless Everyone is equal with no one to be jealous of. "The Grass is greener on the other side" – this should be a motto. A world with open borders is incredibly dangerous, because all laws will be "universal" and there will be no other country to move to if you don't agree.

    Want to home school your kids? What if it was illegal world wide? it is already illegal in more than half a dozen first world countries. Want to avoid fluoride or lithium water? Vaccination? Want to breed your dog or cat? Want to give birth to more than 1 kid? Want to eat Meat? Want to eat organic? to drive a gasoline powered vehicle? Want to walk in the forest or camp in the forest? What if all that was illegal? The EU (European UNION which acts like a government for most of Europe) already has problems with making laws that destroy economies, for example Fishing quota laws, and much more you can ask someone pro Brexit about.

    Imagine if we had open borders, people who come and do not have enough money and resources would be living on the STREET. Being incredibly poor they are going to "gamble" by taking their situation from one shanty town to the next. All new immigrants need to immediately rent a place, and have enough money for first months, last months rent, damage deposit, credit check, referrals etc… in some cities the costs of rent are through the rough because not much is available. Where are we going to house the millions of new arrivals? They need to come prepared to be able to AFFORD shelter, HEATING (burning wood or coal or need electricity and the purchase of a heater), and entertainment for MONTHS while looking for work, and have money left over for a trip back home if they FAIL. (The only bills these people will be paying are their cellphone bills so they can have access to Data for entertainment.) But almost ALL of the immigrants you receive will be the poor desperate ones who do not think this through and end up living in tents and pooping in holes in the ground and throwing their garbage around because no one has paid for garbage collection. None of these people will see any improvement in their quality of life and they will get STUCK here without a way to get home and without a home to return to because they probably SOLD everything before coming! Meanwhile Citizens will be donating and charities will be helping them when we haven't even helped our OWN poor and disadvantaged people who are citizens.

    Do you know why Bangladesh is the poorest country in the world? Because of population density and the lack of jobs. If one person will quit their job, more than 10 others are ready to do that job, even if it is for less money. There will not suddenly be more jobs available, since having a standardised minimum wage prevents this "race to the bottom" for cheap labour. We all know, where there is cheap labour, huge factories start up. So asking for open borders is asking for the removal of the minimum wage (read: a living wage) we have fought for decades to get and yet we keep asking for it to be increased. Why don't we pressure those other countries to invent a minimum wage – a living wage? Couldn't that easily be pushed by the U.N? Furthermore, we can not even adequately get our homeless citizens off the streets, so how are we going to handle a huge increase in more shanty towns? The country will immediately turn into a 3rd world country and have no option but to make shanty towns "semi-LEGAL" like they do in most third world governments, just turning a blind eye and refusing to send police into them, resulting in instances of all the bad things you can imagine that are associated with such living conditions. Furthermore, electricity and water hook ups will be required, if not illegally hooked up then perhaps they will be compensated for by your tax dollars if your local electricity/water company IS nationalised (almost all are privately owned). So these big companies will refuse to supply for free.


    If you believe Diversity is your strength, do not forget the DIVERSITY OF NATIONS. In fact we need more autonomous regions. Our countries are TOO BIG to govern effectively! So many regions get neglected, with their tax money not even returning to their locality. Every tribe, every culture, every nationality is precious like a seed. Take a lesson from mono-agriculture and recall how dangerous it is considering a virus can destroy a whole crop and how rare subspecies can get bred out and lost forever like a language. I could write a book to debate this too but since I do not have a nepotistic religion to help me market it, there is little point. SPREAD THE WORD, DEBATE YOUR FRIENDS. GET INFORMED. America is the ONLY country on earth where freedom of speech exists. USE IT AND DON'T YOU EVER LOSE IT.

  • If you made the exact same argument but swap out the west for isreal you would be deplatformed, debanked and could even be fired from your job.

    This propaganda piece serves as an excellent example of two things: how out of touch Conservative Inc. is and the consistent hypocrisy with which they operate.

  • Caplan is either demented, naive, a leftist globalist, a Star Trek fan that takes the premise of the show's societies as gospel, a fool, or all of the above. The quickest way to turn the First World into the Third World is to open the borders.

  • you don't need to do "pain staking hard number crunching" you commie, all you need to know is incentive; If I'm a poor African making 3 dollars a day and I can get a loan to travel to America so I can collect welfare that pays me 1,000 a month to do nothing. its a no brainer commie retard.

    You can become a billionaire just by making those loans to people wanting to migrate for the welfare. it'll only stop when you run out of people to sell to

  • It's good to have naysayers who can articulate their thinking instead of marginalising their opponents.
    I still believe that open borders are okay but to do so the welfare state needs to be minimalised until the people wishing to enter a country do so to be productive and not to Sponge off the economic benefit.

  • There won't be any white people left by 2100 and ugliness will be the aspect of everything

  • I live in a small, former mining community in the UK. The pit was closed in the 1990s. As a way of offsetting increased unemployment and social breakdown, the government re-developed the site for small manufacturing and warehousing.

    However, thanks to the policy of the then Labour government of opening borders to new EU countries, the bulk of the new jobs went to Polish and Lithuanian citizens recruited directly from their home countries. They were employed at minimum wage and below, and under oppressive working conditions. The population of the village increased by some 25% over 2-3 years.

    This led to considerable resentment among local people, including some conflict with the new arrivals. But the lasting resentment is against the company which had profited from the open border policy, and especially against the government for failing to ensure new jobs went primarily to local people. In 2016, the local people voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, something repeated across communities in the UK with similar expereinces.

    My objection to open borders, then, is:

    1. it disadvantages disempowered local working class communities;
    2. it advantages exploitative, unprincipled employers;
    3. it engenders inter-communal conflict;
    4. it undermines existing low-levels of trust in the political system and leads to support for populists of both left and right.

    All this to salve the consciences of the metropolitan middle-classes.

  • His argument completely breaks down at 9:53. Suddenly logic is out the window and he begins appealing to emotions. Fraud hack.

  • Friedman’s words is often cherry picked. In the same lecture he also stated “… we ought to be welcoming immigrants. In the same tradition, as the tradition, which enabled the rest of us to get here.”

  • 'Human talent'. Is that what it's all about? Uh Huh. Ya right. Read up on the plight of the Bolsheviks my friends. Ps- it didn't end well…

  • Advocating for extreme Libertarianism while simultaneously welcoming in people from socialist countries that will never vote Libertarian. Also a lot of wishful thinking on the assumption of virtue, merit, and english fluency of people that already sidestep the legal immigration pathways.

  • If you are AGAINST open boarders you hold a non individualistic, non libertarian, anti market position. Open boarders is not the socialist position, it is the freedom position. Be aware and own that you are arguing for a socialist and nationalist policy. We can debate culture, welfare, and all the rest, but don't be one of the people in the comments who mixes up socialism and liberty.

  • It's not that people aren't good enough to be citizens. A country has the right to regulate immigration. We do want to make sure we aren't letting in hardened criminals.

  • Also why are they immigrating at all it’s not like there is a monopoly copyright on the constitution other countries can adopt liberalism they didn’t have to choose socialism and they don’t have to put up with it

    Where did the founders immigrate to when the British government oppressed them

    Should we not force them to stay in their countries and be the change in it they want to see and liberalise them

    Have you ever wondered why isn’t Haiti like America or a liberal democracy that the reason Haiti is a shit show might be because of shit cunts that live there

    how would importing these shit cunts be beneficial for the social security of the individuals that live in the host state

    And I also remember these now failed states in the past demanding that us white evil exploitive imperialist to decolonize their countries

    now they show up on door step demanding refuge, welfare access to our economy And then call our institutions racist and our people white supremacist in the countries that our four fathers built through blood sweet and treasure

    I am well aware of my privilege and don’t want to see it squandered by these locust who have no allegiance to our freedom, our security to our future

  • Immigration should be up to the owner of the property. If you want people on your land starving with caps in hand, that should be up to you.

  • If you open the borders Mexico is going to open it's prisons, go North. Let in the gangs that killed the women and children a couple of weeks ago. These professors need to get out in real life. We use to ride horse and buggy but we moved on.

  • Quite an interesting title for his book, considering science and ethics are no where to be found near an open borders argument.

    "Slavery: the science and ethics of owning another human being."

    For any open borders loons, if this statement looks absurd, now you know how I feel. Also, ib4 some neoliberal comes in crying ' false equivalency', it's only because you refuse to see the unethical nature of having open borders. I mean, how can slavery be unethical when you're also providing shelter and food to them? It's all post modern bullshit with these people.

  • Most of our immigrants are coming from Mexico. It is a third world country, not exactly up to speed.
    Changing demographics is the biggest threat to liberty in the USA
    Not because of the color of their skin but the ideas in their heads

  • Bryan Caplan, how about you take a look at Robert Putnam's studies on immigration and diversity: less societal trust and less community involvement. Putnam is a leftist as well.

    Also, open borders is an affront against one of the basic tenants of libertarianism: the non-aggression principle.

    When someone starts a club that only allows a certain group of people to join but other people attempt to force themselves into the club meetings without invitation, that goes against the non-aggression principle. It's called volunteerism and forcing one self onto another or into a group of people is NOT volunteerism!

    These open border "libertarians" aren't libertarians at all when they break the basic principle of non-aggression via open borders…

  • This is all great theory but in practical terms of how humans work out society in reality, I say it is bunk. "Moral blindness" because foreigners can't just come here?
    This is coming from the same guy who admits his own privileged tenured position as a professor is basically robbing college students. (Generally speaking).
    I do not understand why the argument or comparison to the United States being like one's home is invalid. Why can't we as a collective Nation decide who comes into our country the same as we as a family decide who comes into our home? Maybe a better analogy wouldn't be a home but it might be our property and businesses and everyday life? Don't we have a say in how others are allowed into our life? Before I get labeled some sort of xenophobe and white supremacist let me say this: I could care less what color somebody is or what country they're from. The only thing that matters to me is that someone that will come here will assimilate and put the United States first. That may be an old-fashioned idea but I'm sticking with it.

  • Reading the comments it is clear that people just don't listen to arguments. The majority of commentators did not even watched the video, just keep repeating the same old regurgitated talking points. You can't change someone's opinion using facts and logic if the opinion isn't based on facts and logic. The biggest irony of all is that the people with the weakest mental capacities are the loudest ones about the IQ of the foreigners.

  • That poem was written by Emma Lazarus (proto-socialist, proto-zionist), had nothing to do with original meaning of Statue of Liberty, beacon of Liberty. Emma was in her career concerned mainly about Eastern European Jews. According to Paul Gottfried ( this ethnic group being responsible for apparent Leftism in US Jewish population, which was until the influx from Eastern Europe, mainly Conservative.
    Bringing thoroughly vetted anti-Communists from Romania is arguably better idea then bringing millions unchecked from countries where Socialism is very popular.
    Economic benefits are highly disproved. Societal costs are not taken in to consideration – trust and cohesion takes very long to built. Political costs are obvious. Conservatives losing state after state just to ethnic makeup and Libertarians can close the shop completely.
    Yes, Mexican immigrants won't compete with Mr. Caplan any time soon for his job in CATO institute.
    And since he states "I rejected Christianity because I determined that it was, to be blunt, idiotic." he probably welcomes the dilution of WASP element in USA.

    Don't forget to advocate for open borders in Israel. They gonna love you.

  • My main objection (worry, really) is that too many of the immigrants don't seem to value freedom, or come from countries that do, and so might end up outvoting the rest of us freedom-lovers in the medium and long run. Bryan didn't address this one to my satisfaction here, but I'm getting the book, and if he does so convincingly there, then that'll settle for me.

  • They speak of Milton Friedman as if he is a strange, distant reference (“have you heard of this character?”). Friedman is a hugely influential name in the history of economics. Whether you agree with him or despise him altogether.

  • Why is there ALWAYS a jew at a center of open borders, socialist agenda(s) and finance(straight out of true-&-proven toolbox for undoing nations) meanwhile in Israel they build border walls everywhere and ever so higher it seams?

  • It's easy to argue against dead men. Friedman would invite him to argue and genuinely listen to his point of view. Then a slight smile would come across Milton Friedman's face as he begins to annihilate his argument with such devastating finality that his soul is debunked from existence, replaced with a burned-in shadow of Milton's smiling face and glasses.

  • I try to defend my Jewish colleagues against accusations that they all wish to dilute (Christian) White countries for their own subjective safety and economic benefits. It gets harder every day. Big irony is they are creating the monster they so fear – White Tribalism. I sincerely feel sad for the common sense Jews. Because they will catch the flak, meanwhile this pseudo intellectual will be sailing to Israel or Argentina. I recommend interview two brave German Jews (from Ukraine and Uzbekistan) did supporting AfD party in Germany (slandered as Nazi by mainstream), denouncing Jewish Community leadership which takes part in 'welcome refugees'.

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