Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Monday, August 6, 2018

Would Open Borders Really Be So Bad?

To hear conservatives tell it, "open borders" would mean an "infestation" of gangs and drugs, and of course, massive job loss from all those un-white migrants working on the cheap, taking gainful employment away from deserving white American Christians.

That's pretty much bullshit.  The borders of most nations have been essentially open for most of recorded history.  There have been exceptions, of course, in America and elsewhere, but most of my distant relatives (and yours too, I bet) entered this land without much, if any, difficulty.  And the same has been true for so many other lands.

Why do people immigrate?  Some for safety, to escape life-threatening violence.  But most leave their homelands to escape poverty, to better themselves financially, for economic opportunity.  'Twas ever thus -- the Mayflower pilgrims were looking not so much for religious freedom as to get rich quick.

The prospects for economic security depend largely on your location.  It's not so much who you know as where you're from.  A person from an impoverished country -- Haiti, Ethiopia, wherever -- doing a particular job can move to a different country, do the same thing and make 5 to 10 times more money.  The incentive is strong.

Most of the immigrant's new-found "wealth" (relative term) stays in the new country, spent on local goods and services, and so improves the economy of the new country.  But a good chunk of the immigrant's new income is often sent back to family in the home country, and helps bolster the economy of the old country too.

And massive job loss is just a myth.  Immigrants are not stealing anyone's existing job.  They're either filling a need by working in jobs that few others want, or they're carving out their own niche, creating their own jobs.  (The new West African restaurant run by that nice Moroccan couple did not steal your job, white boy!  You can't spell Marrakesh, let alone find it on a map!)

From the 1600's to the 1800's, my distant relatives who first arrived here from France, Denmark, England and Germany sailed over for economic opportunity and strolled onto a new continent.  It was challenging, but the border was open -- they encountered no wall, no border patrol.  There was no Baby Jail -- they were permitted to keep their families together.  They settled in, learned new languages and did the best they could for themselves.  They did OK, and so have subsequent generations.

There's no reason to believe today's immigrants would not -- do not -- do the same.  It doesn't diminish America in the slightest.  On the contrary, it's what we've always done, what most of the world has always done.  Generally, it's been a win-win.  Immigration has made us -- all of us, globally -- who we are.

Would it really be so bad if Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, just walked in unimpeded? 

The bigoted anti-immigration policies of our Asshole-In-Chief are immoral, an American embarrassment. 

Walls don't work.

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