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January 23, 2011



Well, I confess I don't really follow this, and I'm not in on all the arguments that have been presented, and I have lots of other things to read so I'm not likely to become familiar with all the arguments presented, until perhaps I finish my academic program and am unemployed and have lots of time to sit around on the internet reading blogs.

That being said, I agree that in many ways borders seem unnatural, and impossible to maintain. I don't know if I really see it as a "right" to live in one place or another, I hear the word "right" thrown around a lot and given that I don't have mental resources to sort through all the claims, I'm leery of it for the moment. But yes, it's really hard for me to condemn a person who, for example, has the option of working 12-hour days for a month and earning, oh, $75, or breaking some laws to work 15-hour days for a month for $1000, and takes the second choice. This is a real case of someone I know. You only get one life, how long are you going to slave away for $75 because it's too bureaucratically inconvenient to put a viable work visa program in place? It's a bad situation, and I can't imagine nativism/nationalism doing much to make it any better.

I've read that the emphasis used to be more on keeping people in than out. Apparently, Catherine the Great sent Cossacks to chase down and return some Kalmyks when they tried to leave, but the Kalmyks were faster and ended up under the protection of the Chinese ruler. If you want to forcibly maintain communities by means of state regulation, a faster group of Cossacks, or in modern times a strict system of exit visas, would seem to be the most efficient means to the end.

One argument I commonly hear is that illegal immigrants use public resources without paying in to the tax base. I don't know whether immigrants are really a net drain on the system, it seems unlikely to me, but whatever. OK, so if we let people in and then taxed them, they would be paying in for services, and you wouldn't have the same problem. But I think the thing that really puzzles me about opening borders are these problems of regulation, provision of services, etc. The overhauls required to open borders would be so massive, I can't see how it could be accomplished.

Just my ignorant two cents before going back to my (assigned) reading.

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If not, it would be best to sell out and cut your losses rather than lose more.

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