Monday, August 21, 2006


The newly idolized Bryan Caplan on immigration:
Suppose two men, John and Julio, are heading to a job interview. Julio tells John: "I need this job more than you do. Please drop out of the race so I get it." It's perfectly reasonable for John to make Hardenberg's reply: "No. You're a stranger and I don't owe you anything." At this point, Mangan and I are in full agreement.

But suppose instead that John handcuffs Julio to a tree to prevent him from going to the interview. Julio says "Let me go. I deserve a shot at this job too." At this point, it's ludicrous for John to reply, "No. You're a stranger and I don't owe you anything." Julio isn't demanding help; he's just demanding that John leave him alone. And if John were to object, "You're not leaving me alone. That job is MINE, and you're trying to steal it from me!" we'd have to answer, "The job isn't yours. It's up to the owner of the business to decide who he wants to employ."

The "Mangan" he refers too is objecting to this post.


Tracy Leigh said...

It's a good argument/analogy.
People believe that being a citizen in a country means that you are entitled to certain things, which outsiders aren't. "We", as a nation work towards (if people even manage to think this big!) building a nation, but not a global village, hence we should get priveleges in that nation.

Personally I think it's about time we took on a more global attitude. Nature has no boundaries. It would help to create a more responsible behaviour.

Rich Palmer said...

Of course nature has boundaries. Oceans, mountains, rivers, planets and galaxies.

But i do agree on the immigration thing.

stuart said...

hey rich! you made it!

Of course you are right about the boundaries in nature. they are actually very important to speciation (hence us) as i understand it.

"But i do agree on the immigration thing"