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Yeah, because if there's one thing we're taught constantly at UNC, it's that we need to embrace free markets and small government.
I'm done commenting here; this debate has clearly descended into a cesspool of absurdity.
I'm not really willing to continue the debate in the comment section of my article, as it has rapidly descended into meaningless drivel. Your comment, however, is not meaningless drivel, though I do vehemently disagree with it, so I was hoping to continue the debate via our respective channels.
"As long as we have free public services and we have illegal immigration, we will have illegal immigrants taking advantage of those free public services."
Sure, but why single out the immigrants? As long as there are free public services, people will take advantage of them. Is there some reason why it's worse for illegal immigrants to take benefit from those services than anyone else?
The typical response is that illegal immigrants, unlike citizens, don't pay taxes, but this is bunk. While they don't pay income taxes, but they do pay payroll, excise, sales, and (indirectly) corporate taxes. According to the Cato Institute, the money that immigrants provide in taxes is roughly proportional to the welfare they receive (i.e.- they pay 46% as much in taxes as citizens and receive 45% as much in welfare; http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/pr-imsum.html).
Besides, do you honestly think that reducing immigration will help scale back government spending? The government will continue to increase its spending regardless of who specifically benefits from it. If the government loses less money to illegal immigrants, it'll just take it as a cue to start spending more money on something else. We need to start targeting the politicians and bureaucrats who engage in spending rather than any group of people that may or may not benefit from it.
You frequently state that because we don't have a free market, the libertarian argument for immigration doesn't apply. Perhaps, but how does increasing the power of the government remedy this? "Punishing employers who hire illegals, adding further border security," and so on would require a massive increase in government spending and regulation, and would put an enormous strain on small businesses. These measures would make the problems of big government and unfree markets worse, not better.
"Since illegal immigration CLEARLY has a significant negative impact on our economy"
Says who? I've seen no evidence of this. Indeed, a lot of the literature on the subject (such as the Cato Institute article I cited above) shows that illegal immigrants have a decidedly positive effect on the economy. On what basis are you claiming otherwise?
Syria is hardly the only alternative to the United States. There are plenty of other systems to choose from: Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and South Korea to name just a few.
That's not to say that any of those systems is better than the United States; I have no pretensions about that. Each system, however, is so very distinct from the next that it is impossible to definitively say that one is best. Calling the United States "the greatest country on earth" is bigoted; what gives you the right to judge?
"I honestly want to know why you put up with living here if its so bad in your eye? If you would be happier somewhere else, why not go there and be happy?"
Who said I would be happier somewhere else? I don't know that the United States is objectively WORSE than any other system; I just refuse to accept that it's inherently better. Even if the US DOES happen to have the best system in the world (and I doubt that, though I can't name a system that's better), that doesn't remove it from criticism. Indeed, the fact that I'm living here makes obligates me to be more critical of this country than any other, because I can most directly influence the U.S. more than any other power. To quote Chomsky, "I focus my efforts against the terror and violence of my own state for two main reasons: First of all, in my case the actions of my state happen to make up the main component of international violence... but much more importantly than that, it's because American actions are the things that I can do something about."
"if everyone in the world would play nice," etc.
The libertarian case does not depend on everyone's "playing nice." It simply recognizes that people respond to incentives. Economic liberty and free trade create an environment in which peaceful behavior will make you rich. If you have free trade, if you have a system in which all forms of exchange (including immigration, which is the exchange of labor) are unrestricted, different "countries" become dependent on each other, and are thus unwilling to attack each other. It is for this reason that, neocon prophecy notwithstanding, China will never go to war with the United States: China and the US trade so much with each other that it would be disastrous for both of them if that trade is disrupted.
Now, there are some governments that will never allow free trade or liberty in their domain. American military intervention, however, cannot change this. When the US makes war on these nations, that only inflames the hatred of the people living there or nearby, encouraging similar governments to directly target the US. The best that can be done for peace is to establish a strong national defense within American borders and leave the rest of the world alone.
I for one would be happy to see Congress grind to a halt.
1) There is no greatest country on earth. "Country" is just another name for a tax farm, and we need to stop thinking that the cattle on one farm deserve any better than the cattle on another.
2) In spite of his hypocrisy and (possible) racism, Paul is the best candidate available. Every single inhabitant of the Presidency has been a liar, a cheat, a hypocrite, and a mass murderer. I support Paul not because he's good (he isn't), but because he's better.
3) I never said I wasn't a supporter; I said I'm not fervent about it. I do support Ron Paul over anyone else who might conceivably be elected, but I hold my nose in the process. I've no trouble making up my mind.
I was re-reading the comments and realized that your earlier point regarding "wealth being returned" was not in reference to my bit about immigration, but rather to my statement about pork barrel spending.
The problem is that Ron Paul ISN'T returning that money. Even if he could carefully calculate the amount of tax money that was taken out of his district and send no more than that back in earmarks, the problem is that he has no way of knowing how much money each INDIVIDUAL has lost. The tax code is so complicated, and there are so many different kinds of federal taxes (i.e.- payroll, income, excise, tariff, corporate; not to mention all the indirect taxes that result from government actions), that it is virtually impossible to actually know who has lost more from the government. Thus Paul's earmarks could, and likely do, give a lot of money to people who have been taxed very little while giving little to those who have been taxed greatly. It ends up increasing, not decreasing, government redistribution.
In addition, much of the money that the Federal government spends is not taxed from Americans who are alive now; rather, that money is debt, to be taxed from future generations. Thus Paul isn't "returning" money at all; he's just changing who benefits the money that is stolen from people living decades in the future.
Sure, it would have SOME chance of making a difference, but so what? There's SOME chance that a myriad of things will happen. There's SOME chance that China will invade the US tomorrow. The question is, what's likely.
Now, if you want to write Ron Paul in, that's fine, but that's not a choice you can impose on others. To say that I don't deserve to be taken seriously (as Courseaire has said) simply because I don't think voting is necessarily worth my time is bigotry.
"I'm referring to your "not vote". If you do not vote, then you've got nothing worth saying."
Why, because I don't take "democracy" seriously? Because I recognize that the government is far more subservient to corporations and lobbyists than to the general public? Because I think there are other, more effective ways of influencing society (education, general strikes, boycotts, etc.) than participating in a coercive voting system?
If Paul is not nominated, writing him in would have exactly the same effect as not voting. The only difference is that not voting, I wouldn't have to waste an hour in line. Life is short; there are better things to do with my time.
If you can't respect a mere difference in opinion over whether voting is an effective tool, why even bother trying to debate people on the topic? Just vote and leave the rest of us alone.
"I view it as crazy to think you can allow our borders to be over run by foreign nationals who can one day effect a democratic shift away from the fundamental principles of our Republic. This only puts us on a course for more socialism."
That the immigrants may or may not one day vote for "socialism" is not an argument for the government to deport them and close the border. By that logic, the government should target any group that one day may vote for "socialism." Suppose, for example, that blacks are more likely to support socialism than whites (which as I understand is statistically true); does that mean that blacks should be stripped of their citizenship and deported?
The reality is that you cannot oppose big government and give the government arbitrary power at the same time. Immigration is a matter of free trade and free agency; if the government has the power to restrict that, it has the power to restrict any aspect of human life and commerce.
"He has stated if you subsidize something, you get more of it. Why not come to American illegally? The reward far out way the risks, Paul is merely stating this fact."
Sure, and I completely agree with him. But if the government is subsidizing something, and those subsidies draw more people, the solution is NOT for the government to punish those people; rather, the government should simply STOP SUBSIDIZING that thing. This is the only consistent libertarian point on immigration: if immigrants are coming to get public welfare, the only rational thing to do is to do away with public welfare.
Perhaps I did misstate his policy on upholding the law, and if so I apologize. My broader point, however, still stands. The reality is that you CANNOT be for free markets and free trade while opposing open borders at the same time. If people are free to buy and sell what they want from wherever they want, they must by definition be free to sell their labor wherever they want. The only way they can do that is if there are open borders. One simply cannot be a consistent libertarian and have any other position on immigration.
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