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Let’s call it for what it is

Immigration and emigration is simple to understand; it is a monopoly. What they are monopolizing are decisions over our movements. Nowadays it is impossible to move anywhere in the world at will. Every time we think of crossing a border, there are several restrictions. Even if we somehow manage to do so, there are a myriad of other restrictions placed on us, in terms of how much time can we stay inside, for how long and where are we allowed to go.

This kind of control must be viewed for what it is. It is a restriction over the use of our own body and mind. We can no longer move freely to seek better choices or options in the “pursuit of happiness” as one celebrated document would have us believe.

This type of restriction has another name, an ugly name that politicians shun: Slavery. Only slaves are restricted by their owners in their movements into other people’s properties.

It get’s worse. In the USSR, one of the most hated processes was the “propiska”; a process designed to control the movement of people. In the “worker’s paradise” you were only allowed to reside where you were told to reside. You were not allowed to move or travel unless by explicit permit. Other countries also used something similar at different times in history. Imperial Russia, France, the Confederated States of America, the Ottoman Empire, South Africa and so forth. This kind of control still exists in Russia, Ukraine and North Korea, although to different degrees

Propiska-style controls are the wet dream of politicians. They have already achieved total surveillance (at least at the financial and “security apparatus” levels) and now they are working towards total physical control. They are not interested in winning our hearts and minds, they are quite happy with control them.

The latest development of propiska-style documents have been seeping quietly and in small doses into regulations in all countries; under-developed ones including. Technology is nowadays so fast, that information on documents can be changed quite rapidly. This implies that it is now a crime in most countries, not to report changes of address to governments.

Most governments have been routinely fingerprinting their citizens. This practice is becoming more and more pervasive with the new-and-improved-and-less-intrusive biometrics. Don’t delude yourself. Many documents (particularly the ones that can be used to travel such as passports) are already biometrics-enabled. They are portable mini-databases of personal information. Many governments are already adding such biometrics into those documents. This tendency will only increase as the failures of democracy and managed economies become more terrifying. Control is the last thing politicians want to give up.

And why would they? There is a gigantic bureaucracy (see our lesson Politicians and Bureaucrats Job Security Through Misery) that requires employment; including all the “Security Apparatus” that have no other purpose.


Let’s review the consequences

Monopolies arise from free markets (as we have seen in We Don’t Need No Stinking Competition) however, artificial monopolies are the making of governments.

As with any other artificial monopolies, they achieve the contrary they set to achieve. Strangely enough, this is not the case here. Immigration monopoly is achieving exactly what it was set to achieve: population control (limitation of freedom) and higher taxes. This is exactly what politicians and bureaucrats want.

Hope you are happy with the result since it is being done in your name and with your money.

Mass migrations are preventable simply by preventing governments.



Immigration drive

It is clear that normal immigration is driven by economic factors. Mass migration, on the other hand, is driven by governments.

It is useful to understand the immigration mindset. Immigrants do not migrate because they wish to become a burden or because they wish to live from welfare or workfare or because they just love your safety network and health care system.

Immigrants migrate because they are looking for better economic conditions and opportunities. They do not ask for special privileges or special considerations. They are asking for opportunities.

Consider this. The decision to migrate is extremely difficult and it is usually taken as a last resort. An immigrant leaves everything he/she knows, their house, town, city, language, friends, relatives, culture, food… everything!

And they have to move into a place where they have no idea how it operates. They don’t understand the rules, the language, the culture; they have no housing, friends, relatives, financial means… or anything else for that matter. You name it, they don’t have it.

Worse. All this change happens overnight. Here today, there tomorrow. Very few people are prepared and willing to make such a sacrifice. It is not a paid vacation; it is a life sentence of hard labor.

It never ceases to enrage us the level of ignorance of all those who don’t understand immigrants and wish them shut out, gone or worse.

Normal people would have pity of beggars, however, when it comes to people who left everything behind for the opportunity to work, they suddenly become heartless executioners.

We are now going to assume that governments won’t behave as asses (gigantic leap of faith here requiring the complete and total suspension of disbelief). We will then be able to study what would happen if borders were open.


One open border

What would happen if one country from the First World would suddenly open its borders unrestrictedly? Come one, come all! Well… it is highly likely that they would be overwhelmed. They would experience mass migration from the entire world. Their safety nets would degrade. This is a fact quite easy to understand. They would experience an ongoing mass migration which no country can handle all by itself. This would indicate that, at least in principle, governments are right in restricting immigration… it would indicate….


All open borders

However, what would happen if all countries would to open their borders at the same time?

According to a recent survey, about 10% of the world population would like to migrate, primarily to US, UK, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Germany and Spain. This looks bad for these countries because their safety networks would be overwhelmed, however, what about the rest of the countries?

Considering that there are about 190 of them, this means that only about 4% would be affected. Sort of.

The countries receiving the immigrants would see their safety networks damaged, however, their economies would rise. The countries losing those immigrants, would see the pressure on their safety networks somewhat ameliorated, but their economies would suffer. Quid pro quo. There is no free lunch.

It is obvious that having overwhelmed safety networks looks bad, but consider this. Up to 1914 that is exactly what was going on, and yet, there were no politicians screaming nor people marching on the streets. As a matter of fact, politicians were welcoming immigrants because they understood that they would be creating wealth. What’s the difference between then and now? Safety Networks.

And the truth shall set you free!. Immigration restriction is based on safety network capacity. This capacity is dictated by taxation and borrowing/printing (which eventually leads to more taxation). As taxation is a negative vote generator (i.e. politicians lose votes every time they raise taxes), they restrict immigration. But at the same time, they restrict economic growth which would benefit all people by a larger amount. Politicians restrict immigration for a short (personal) gain while convicting everybody else to accept a long and continued economic loss.

Furthermore, would this 10% of the population be such a gigantic burden? No. Consider the West/East Germany integration. Literally overnight, West Germany’s population doubled. Yet, they not only managed but thrived. Even in overwhelming conditions over the medium term the economy overtakes all other concerns. In other words, it is worth it. Market size matters. Increasing this size, matters even more. Don’t belie us? Market size is the primary driver behind the creation of EU, NAFTA, Mercosur, Customs Agreement and an alphabet soup of other Free Trade Agreements (however restrictive and convoluted they may be).


No more excuses

Such a border opening initiative can be implemented at the world-wide level in the same manner that many other initiatives were coordinated every time there are oil fields at stake. Or any other highly valuable economic issue at stake. It is just a matter of shining light on the right economic truth to business people. It is quite simple: a larger market implies larger profits. What’s more, business would love to have larger markets in high wage countries as opposed to low wage countries. Open borders would provide exactly that.

In logical terms, there are no valid excuses not to implement open borders… but then again… politics does not concern itself with valid excuses.


Sacrifice and politics

Are we asking for a giant sacrifice from those few potentially affected countries? It would seem so… but only seem so. If a sudden open-border policy would sweep the world, those few countries most affected would also be the ones benefiting the most. They would automatically receive 10% of the most entrepreneurial people on earth! Consider what would that do to a freer economy.

Since politicians like to speak about social duties and solidarity so much, why would they oppose opening borders? Because they will invariably produce short term pain. Politicians can’t have that because it would lose them votes.

But politicians are supposed to be visionaries, isn’t it so? Yes, but their vision never extends beyond the next election.

For these reasons, however possible, it will never happen. At least not for as long as there are governments in place with politicians exercising power.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

Continue to Immigration policies are the ultimate monopoly - Part 4

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