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Measuring the Sacrifice of Open Borders
Garett Jones
George Mason University
November 2019
Preliminary: Corrections Welcomed

Abstract:
How would Open Borders — a policy of unlimited immigration — change the wages of current residents of the United States? To answer this question, I begin by running the same quantitative experiment that Caplan runs on page 133 of his graphic novel Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration. This experiment presumes that the only two drivers of national income per capita are national average IQ and an un-explained productivity residual. I use the same constant returns to scale framework as Caplan, in which the migration of every human being to the United States would increase global output per capita by about 80%. I then estimate that in the benchmark model, where IQ’s social return is much larger than its private return, the per-capita income of current U.S. residents would permanently fall by about 40%. This is not an arithmetic fallacy: this is the average causal effect of Open Borders on the incomes of ex-ante Americans. This income decline occurs because cognitive skills matter mostly through externalities: because your nation’s IQ matters so much more than your own, as I claim in 2015’s Hive Mind. Therefore, a decline in a nation’s set of average cognitive skills will tend to reduce the productivity of the nation’s ex-ante citizens.

 
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  1. anon[315] • Disclaimer says:

    That’s a lot of heresy in a small space. The ADL, SPLC, NYT, WashPo and other organs of the permanent state will be foaming first thing in the morning, if not sooner.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  2. Mr. XYZ says:

    But, I thought that blank slatists among our nation’s elite and media told us that there can be no thing such as genetic group differences in average IQ! Does that mean that our system was … GASP … lying to us? Can we … GASP … not trust our elite and our media?

  3. El Dato says:

    So the economic expansion would not be as fast as expected due to excessive amounts of dark matter?

    • LOL: Realist, Mr. XYZ
    • Replies: @reactionry
  4. How Much Would Open Borders Cost Americans?

    One country.

  5. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    I like Jones’s suggestion that South Africa would be a better target for mass immigration according to Caplan’s model.

    • Replies: @Gabe Ruth
    , @AnotherDad
  6. How Much?

    – Everything.
    Has Jones done a *Gedrunk* experiment?
    What is the per capita income of dead people?
    (yeah – some already vote)
    The per capita output during a no-holds-barred civil war – conventional, nuclear, chemical, biological- would likely become negative for years given massive destruction of physical wealth.
    If the Chinese are the last men standing, the national IQ would be higher than it is now – as might the per capita income a couple or so decades later – assuming much of the nuclear warhead and nuke plant meltdown contamination has decayed.

  7. Other Americans make too much money anyway, according to the elite media.

  8. @El Dato

    Would dark energy be repulsive?

  9. Whiskey says: • Website

    Open Borders gets White T. Particularly White beta males. That’s all that matters.

  10. Lot says:

    The income of journalists and economics professors wouldn’t decrease. Universities don’t have much trouble getting immigration permits for tenured professor positions, so they are already competing against foreigners.

    Journalism is increasingly all online, so foreigners again can compete. To some extent this has happened already for the really bottom tier and deceptive search engine spam clickbait sites that just rewrite real articles.

    In both cases, native fluency in English and 110+ IQs are bare minimum requirements, and there isn’t a pool of cheap foreigners who meet them.

    A more interesting question is income taxes after the Third World Invaders get the vote. 80%? 90%? Bernie and AOC will be New America’s center-right, and the left will be the pudgy low-IQ faces of the communist demagogues.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @El Dato
  11. Everything.

    The answer is everything.

    And the damage has already been done.

  12. Garett Jones assumes everybody would just stay in the wake of the catastrophe of totally open borders.

    but wouldn’t the majority of the high human capital people leave? then basically the country would become a flop house ghetto.

    so it’s not like you’re going to get America plus 1 billion third worlders. you’re going to get 100 million high ability people heading for the exits, and 1 billion dead weight people coming in.

    just as adding Mogadishu to Beverly Hills would not produce Beverly Hills + Mogadishu. all the Beverley Hills people would leave, creating basically another Mogadishu.

    then the smart fraction effect, which enables hard working IQ 90 people to earn 20 dollars an hour and own 1500 square foot homes, goes away, and the mean GDP reverts back to crappy country rates, where hard working IQ 90 people earn 20 dollars a day and live in shacks with their extended family.

    40% drop? more like an 80% drop in the long run.

  13. Hey Steve, are you going to review Prof. Caplan’s Open Borders comic book?

    • Replies: @SFG
  14. jo blo says:

    The dollar cost of such schemes are the least of it – How much would 300 million Americans pay to NOT live in a country like Venezuala? priceless.

  15. Anonymous[114] • Disclaimer says:

    Sure, but how great would it be for the top .01%? Hmm? Didn’t think about that, did you?

  16. BB753 says:

    Letting aside illegal inmigrants, family reunification, refugees, foreign brides, etc, isn’t letting in a yearly 500k legal immigrants per year de facto open borders? Americans live under the media – induced illusion that they don’t have open borders yet but the facts on the ground speak otherwise.
    Every decade misspent on pointless debates is negated by the sheer volume of the invasion, in excess of 10 or 15 million people every 10 years and rising, because who’s counting anymore?

    • Agree: Daniel H
  17. A123 says:

    A national may have only one of these two things:

    -1- Open borders
    -2- Government funded social “Safety Net”

    The purest Libertarians pass this test because they refuse the concept of government “Safety Net” programs; Medicaid, SNAP, Section 8, etc…

    Absent that level of purity the only way to avoid abuse of government programs is restricting migration. If you are not a citizen, your maximum benefit is a one-way ticket home.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @bomag
  18. A123 says:

    Have you considered an open thread just for Epstein memes?

    I don’t want to be off topic, but some of this is just too good to pass up.
    _____

    For today’s humor:

    Do You Have 20/20 Vision?

    • Agree: Houston 1992
    • LOL: Kronos, Alden
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  19. trelane says:

    Trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

  20. Kronos says:

    Incomes of ex-ante Americans would fall about 40%.

    It reminds me of the old phrase “socialize costs while privatizing profits.” The government subsidizes the cost of de facto slave labor (welfare, Medicaid) while agriculture/tech/etc companies increase profit margins.

  21. This income decline occurs because cognitive skills matter mostly through externalities: because your nation’s IQ matters so much more than your own, as I claim in 2015’s Hive Mind.

    I can’t understand his methodology at all. And his assumption that your IQ economically benefits others more than yourself — but only within your own country — seems dubious. (I guess you’d have to read his book to know what he’s talking about).

    Open borders would suck primarily for all sorts of cultural and political, reasons. But the net effect on ex-ante American income would probably be neutral. It’s just that the people currently at the top would end up making out like bandits* because they would then be at the top of a much wider and taller pyramid. Lower-skilled Americans, on the other hand, would of course see their incomes crushed down to third world levels.

    *But only temporarily, until the New Americans voted to take all their stuff.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  22. @anon

    That’s a lot of heresy in a small space.

    No, this guy is holding out that 40% as a good thing! He’s weighing it against the 80% improvement of the billions of foreigners who would pour into the USA, and saying it’s a net win for the world so let’s do it.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  23. @A123

    Agreed. There also needs to also be a new rule that you aren’t allowed to complain about “inequality” in America, while simultaneously advocating that we import unlimited poverty from the third world.

    Think for example, how much more equal California was in 1980 than today.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  24. A123 says:
    @Lot

    It is not the regalia itself…. It is the person wearing it. Score how various U.S. Presidents would look wearing that stuff:

    — G. W. Bush & Barak Obama — Doofus

    — Clinton & Reagan — Making it look good

    — Eisenhower — Consulting with Patton on which would be the best weapon. The mostly white one at the bottom looks like an ideal stabbing/slashing/raking blade combo.

    PEACE

  25. SFG says:
    @Stolen Valor Detective

    I may buy it secondhand and take a look. I’d get it via Kindle but I don’t want to give Caplan any money.

    • Replies: @william munny
  26. The cost is already too much. In the end, it’s going to cost native born citizens everything. Changing the demographics of this country is the political strategy of one half of the ruling elites. Their ideas are bankrupt so they will import voters to much whom will be promised.

  27. Sorry, but my vocabulary ignorance (not helped by a desktop dictionary) is preventing me from understanding this abstract. What is an ex-ante American? What is an ex-ante citizen (of what country)? What is a productivity residual?
    Also, “the migration of every human being to the United States” means a world in which everyone in the world has moved to the United States, leaving the continents of Asia, Europe, Australia, South America, and Australia as depopulated as Antarctic; right?

  28. Kronos says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    The book is pretty good.

    He also did a great interview with Stephan Molyneux a few years back on the book.

  29. @Hypnotoad666

    Think for example, how much more equal California was in 1980 than today.

    And Republican.

    Does anyone have a Gini coefficient and ranking for California for 1980 or 1970? Tofay, only Connecticut, Louisiana, New York, and DC have higher ones. The US figure is 0.486, slightly below California’s, and higher than 46 states. (In other words, states tend to be much more equal internally.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Gini_coefficient

    But wait! IndexMundi puts US Gini at 41.00. That’s lower than any state but Utah and Alaska. What gives?

    https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SI.POV.GINI/rankings

    There doesn’t seem to be much correlation between electoral votes and Gini, except at the extremes. Trump was very strong in the middle range, and at the bottom, i.e., the most equal.

    The unequal GOP states have a large black minority. The more equal Democratic states lack diversity.

  30. How Much Would Open Borders Cost Americans?

    Literally everything. We would be wiped out.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  31. @BB753

    Letting aside illegal inmigrants, family reunification, refugees, foreign brides, etc, isn’t letting in a yearly 500k legal immigrants per year de facto open borders?

    It has the same effect. It’s *unlimited* immigration. The annual rate of immigration doesn’t really matter if the immigration continues forever. And in every white country, that is what the rulers clearly intend.

    • Agree: bomag
  32. @International Jew

    That’s the sheep’s clothing that was necessary to get published. That it worked says that the publishers are also in on the con.

  33. Peterike says:
    @prime noticer

    “40% drop? more like an 80% drop in the long run.”

    The long run? Within two years of truly “open borders” many Americans incomes would decline 100% because they would be dead. Overall 80% is too generous even.

    The only thing that would slow the descent into chaos is the supply of aircraft to bring people here is finite. I suppose there would be a short term boom in passenger ship traffic.

    You’d have a billion new people here in a day if the transport were possible.

    But then, the mass starvation would somewhat decrease the population growth. Good times ahead.

  34. Kronos says:
    @Truth

    Any news on wall repairs/enhancements?

    • Replies: @Truth
  35. “How much would open borders cost Americans?”

    The question is incorrectly framed. The correct question is:

    Open borders: is it good for the Tribe?

  36. Truth says:
    @Kronos

    Oh, like new coats of stucco and replacing dead lightbulbs?

    Dude, it’s a FRAUD. Please come ti accept it.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  37. Beyond whether current Americans income goes up or down it seems living somewhere with so many more people has very negative externalities. If my income stays the same but housing costs 50% more and there is 50% more traffic on the roads it seems like my life has surely gotten worse.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Wilkey
  38. Wilkey says:

    Asking how much open borders might cost Americans is a rather ridiculous question. It’s based on assumptions about the fallout from a radical, untested, and irreversible policy proposal that it effectively amounts to a discontinuity. For any supposed expert to suggest he could make a reasonable estimate amounts to professional malpractice.

    If you ask me how much it will cost me to make Thanksgiving Dinner for my family I can give you a pretty good estimate of the cost, in terms of both time and money. There is some extremely small but non-zero possibility that I will die on the way to or from the grocery store, or cutting my arm off while slicing the turkey, but it is altogether unlikely, so it’s perfectly reasonable to exclude that possibility from my estimate.

    But how much would open borders cost the average American? Why not just as well ask a resident of 1930s Nagasaki or Dresden how much it will cost them if their country goes to war?

  39. Kronos says:
    @Truth

    Well, at least this is something…

    I’m far more sympathetic to Trump in regards to the lack of wall construction. The Clinton Democrats and Buckley/Neocon Republicans have done everything to delay/prevent any wall construction. If they didn’t exist, President Perot and Vice President Buchanan would’ve made an illegal immigration barrier decades ago. It’ll take time to cultivate political support for Trumpian policies. The wall might very well be a second-term project. There’s no point in building a wall, losing an election, and having President Harris/Booker tear it down. Trump (and Bernie) have to cater to that Boomer catnip which is the Stock Market. Trump has done just enough to almost guarantee re-election. (Thus the Democratic/ Rockefeller Republican impeachment strategy.) Upon Trump’s 2016 election, everyone knew this would be a stage-3 cancer fight. The policy objectives would be tough to implement. I’m still planning on voting for the guy in 2020.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trump-has-not-built-a-single-mile-of-new-border-fence-after-30-months-in-office

    The agency said that it had built 51 miles of steel bollard fence with funding that was set aside during fiscal 2017 and 2018. But while the funding was meant both to replace outdated walls and to place barriers where there previously had been none, the government has only completed the replacement projects. The projects to secure areas with no fence are still in the works.

    The 50 miles of completed replacement barrier is a 10-mile gain since early April. In Trump’s two and a half years in office, his administration has installed an average 1.7 miles of barrier per month, and none of it in areas that did not previously have some sort of barrier. A total 205 miles of new and replacement barrier has been funded in the two and a half years since Trump took office.

  40. Anonymous[273] • Disclaimer says:

    *Very Obviously*, through elementary axiom and logic, this horseshit peddled by Caplan, The Economist and others that a universal regime of ‘Open Borders’ somehow ‘creates wealth’, is its own self contradiction:

    This errant nonsense – I could never dignify it by calling it even ‘rational thought’ let alone ‘theory’, is predicated on the foolishness that *the mere import and the mere import alone* of warm human bodies somehow, by some occult agency, pulls ‘wealth’ out of the thin air. Shorn of all the bullshit, this is what the ‘reasoning’ essentially reduces down to. Really. An intelligent 10 year old wouldn’t be fooled by that crap.

    The obvious rebuttal – note that Caplan and The Economist are curiously silent on this – is this. No one but no one needs more ‘wealth creation’ than the world’s poorest nations. Therefore the logical corollary of their ‘reasoning’ is that *precisely these* nations should encourage the maximum possible levels of immigration, since as Caplan claims ‘ More warm bodies = more wealth creation’.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  41. Kronos says:

    The mere import and the mere import alone* of warm human bodies somehow, by some occult agency, pulls ‘wealth’ out of the thin air.

    Keep in mind, it likely provides “intellectual PR cover” for what might be really going on. That shipping off Latin American poor people to the US helps maintain these third-world political systems and thus the economic status quo of capital flight.

    https://michael-hudson.com/2018/07/argentina-loans-upon-loans/

  42. @415 reasons

    But your TV got bigger!

    • Replies: @Anon87
  43. Realist says:

    How Much Would Open Borders Cost Americans?

    Everything…it would cost our demise.

  44. @SFG

    Caplan talked about it on James Miller’s podcast a few days ago, probably enough to make it unnecessary to read the book.

  45. El Dato says:
    @Lot

    Top: Before Color Revolution
    Below: After Color Revolution

  46. bomag says:
    @A123

    A nation may have only one of these two things:
    -1- Open borders
    -2- Government funded social “Safety Net”

    Appears that a “safety net” invites open borders, evidenced by Bernie Sander’s latest policy proposal (and really all the Democrat candidates) where the US would be supplying gibs for the whole world in some kind of service to equality.

    Reminds me of when I was learning to drive; I was sternly instructed not to hold the accelerator pedal to the floor, or it would “blow the engine”. I mused that it can’t be too well designed an engine if it had that kind of flaw; but I see that same design in our immigration policy.

    The quip used to be that such do-gooders as our current immigration boosters wanted to “burn the village in order to save it”; now they just want to burn the village.

  47. bomag says:
    @prime noticer

    …all the Beverley Hills people would leave, creating basically another Mogadishu.

    The modern world seems to have developed the feature of Beverly Hills being able to wall themselves off from their policy results of Mogadishu moving in down the road; so they don’t need to leave, they just happily shelter in place.

  48. Rob McX says:

    If you’re framing the loss to Americans in purely economic terms, then you just don’t get it, or pretend you don’t.

  49. Wages would fall 40% but they will not cut prices to match. A rat infested shack in California will still be valued at 2 million dollars.

  50. @BB753

    Letting aside illegal inmigrants, family reunification, refugees, foreign brides, etc, isn’t letting in a yearly 500k legal immigrants per year de facto open borders?

    It depends how many people wish to immigrate. If there are still some people who apply who are excluded, even if it is only those with felonious records, then it is not truly open borders.

    We are seeing these problems all over the world, not just in the US. For example with the open borders within the European Union, impoverished gypsies from Romania can move to England where they get subsidized housing, free medical care, and free schooling for their children where they will at least learn English, if nothing else.

    People can enter the United States from the semi-failed states to the south just with the intention of working for a year or two to earn money to buy a home or plot of land back home, and if the need for labor is there, this could be beneficial for the US until you start taking into account the cost of providing schools and medicaid for the children they bring with them.

    What is probably needed is an expansion of the North American Economic Community to include everything North of South, so there would be reciprocal rights for member citizens to live and work anywhere within the zone and US citizens would get something back.

    Thus immigration to some parts of the US would be balanced by a large exodus of many Americans who would rather live in countries where the cost of living is much cheaper (and the cable TV much cheaper and better). This would particularly apply to people who work from home, or those on fixed incomes such as retirees.

    One benefit would be that larger expatriate communities would create more jobs in central America servicing their needs, and if those countries were better developed then there would be an influx of people from other countries. For example the Dominican Republic has sizeable Russian, German, and Italian communities and capital from those countries often finances the development of new resorts, hotels, and condominiums.

  51. Anonymous[161] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    For an Economic ‘law’ to be worth jackshit it has to applicable universally and apply to the ‘general case’, that is it must have explanatory power inherent itself transcending all other consideration. Otherwise, it is mere opinion or anecdote – and not worth a moment’s consideration or notice. In fact it verges on superstition and magical thinking, unworthy of post-enlightenment thought.

    It is exceedingly obvious that the ‘ massive uncontrolled immigration = wealth’ hypothesis is simply falsifiable by citing a few text cases. You can bet your boots that *not one single advocate* of the said hypothesis would recommend the nation of Mexico allow mass immigration of Bangladeshis to Mexico in order to ‘boost’ Mexican living standards – and it’s also obvious that Mexico is more in need of ‘wealth’ than the USA, and thus needs to implement the policy more urgently.
    As I said, if an ‘economic law’ doesn’t work in the general and universal case, it ain’t worth jackshit.

  52. Anonymous[161] • Disclaimer says:
    @ben tillman

    “…. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad…. We must be mad, literally mad as a nation ……”.

  53. Gabe Ruth says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Sort of changes the flavor of that tweet. Is he being serious? Open borders is a dogma of bugman morality, but since that creed has not been accepted universally they still need to persuade some non-bugmen to go along with a scheme this expensive.

  54. @A123

    This latest meme, is, of course, to fix the unproven central assertion: that Epstein is dead.

    It’s quite remarkable. The US can do a DNA test on Baghdaddi during a 20 minute helicopter ride in a war zone to dump the body but not one on Epsteins remains in three months.

  55. Wilkey says:
    @415 reasons

    Don’t forget that you also get the added benefit of feeling as if you now live in a foreign country, and you get to hear even more people blame your race for everything ally the time, even as they make it very clear, with all their actions, that they sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a country without lots of white people.

  56. nymom says:
    @prime noticer

    Where would 100 million high ability people go to escape this since it’s happening world wide not just in the US. Irresponsible over-population by the third world is driving out-migration from their countries to everywhere. So from Australia to California, Western Civilization is experiencing the overflow of human beings that is the legacy of the irresponsible behavior of other civilizations…

    NYC, for instance, in a desperate bid to try to save our decaying public school system forced some high ability people’s children out of Park Slope middle schools to allow in more minority kids…the result is that Black kids (who needed a good school the most) only increased from 6% to 10% whereas the vast majority of the increase went to Hispanic and Asian kids (many of these kids probably recent immigrants or the children of recent immigrants).

    Meanwhile the White population of the school dropped from 47% to 28%, probably most of those kids leaving the system forever destined for either private schools or schools in other parts of the country as their parents move to other places.

    But again how long can this continue…

    Other than Mars or moon colonies we are running out of places to avoid this onslaught of irresponsibility…

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Bert
  57. anon[162] • Disclaimer says:

    What is an ex-ante American? What is an ex-ante citizen (of what country)? What is a productivity residual?

    Questions, questions, questions! Look, all you need to know is this:

    Cheap Chalupas! Cheaper Chalupas! Yea, Even Cheaper Chalupas!

  58. But real world open borders convergence would not resemble what Utopian liberals or Dystopian conservatives are saying.

    The Economist Magazine crowd’s real (unstated)scenario would be something like: Global gated cities and rural ‘nice places’ (e.g the Rocky Mountain foothills) protected by hard core private-state security and by rocketing real estate prices. Then semi-slums or micro-home trailer parks for their massage and food delivery people, a safe commuting distance away. Then the rapid exodus of mid and low IQ persons from the aforesaid cities and nice real estate. Global scale gentrification! In 150 years’ time in this scenario there will have been an IQ based re-segregation of global populations, with white rednecks driven out to Chihuahua and South Indian Brahmins occupying Aspen, etc.

    Some of the commenters on here really seem to believe that globalists are dumb (or socialist!!). That Economist readers really want Bolivian welfarists flooding Massachusetts and demanding an 80% wealth tax! If globalists were that dumb they would be losing. And frankly many of the HBD / libertarian-conservative crowd on here wouldn’t do too badly out of the ‘real’ open borders scenario, which would be basically a bonanza for anyone with an IQ over 130.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  59. @ben tillman

    Yeah just like in math; as x->○○ you don’t literally plug in infinity. In fact, plugging in 1.5 million would likely be more than enough to figure out exactly what the function is doing as x approaches infinity.

    Doesn’t matter what the number is. 500,000, 800,000, 1.2 million, 1.9 million, 10 million, a billion… it’s all trending towards infinity.

    Think of it like that and realize how screwed we (whites) are.

  60. @Dave Pinsen

    There’s just something weird and very, very pathetic about “xenophobia!” protests. “You must let me in! You must let me in!”

    If people do not want you/your kind around … what does that say about you?

  61. @nymom

    Where would 100 million high ability people go to escape this since it’s happening world wide not just in the US. Irresponsible over-population by the third world is driving out-migration from their countries to everywhere.

    We have no choice but to stay right here and fight.

    We offer–in order to make the point about who the aggressor is–the minoritarians and “cosmopolitans” a “separate nations” deal. They can have their rainbow nation and we’ll have ours.

    But then we stand up to the genocidal demands of the Bryan Caplans, the Brett Stephens, Jennifer Rubins … etc. etc. and fight.

  62. Bert says:
    @nymom

    “Western Civilization is experiencing the overflow of human beings that is the legacy of the irresponsible behavior of other civilizations…”

    Once there was a Mayan civilization and an Assyrian one, judged by the general state of humanity at those times. But now what exists in Guatemala or Iraq is not civilization. What exists there are excessively large populations whose squalid living conditions are only sustained that well because of Western technology and the ingenuity of petroleum engineers. Real civilization produces knowledge and technical improvements. By that standard, currently only Caucasian and north Asian countries are civilizations.

  63. @ben tillman

    It has the same effect. It’s *unlimited* immigration. The annual rate of immigration doesn’t really matter if the immigration continues forever. And in every white country, that is what the rulers clearly intend.

    Exactly.

    Well, of course the rate does matter in terms of what we immediately experience.

    But yeah. “Nation of immigrants”, i.e. immigration forever, *must* mean that we end up being the shittiest nation on earth. Our genetic legacy reduced to a tiny fraction in a crowded, hellish nation that no one else on earth wants to come to.

    And it’s obvious that’s where we’re headed. We’ve made visible progress in that direction in my life.

    ~~

    One of the amazing things–to me–is that our so called “educated” “elite” spouts nonsense that is easily debunked by 6th grade math.

    We really have been captured by the evil yakking people. Endless noise, zero knowledge and reason.

  64. ATBOTL says:

    Has Caplan been promoting his book in Israel?

  65. Muggles says:

    I have long believed that reciprocity is a good doctrine in immigration matters. So here’s a thought:

    The US can adopt “open borders” when and if every other nation on the planet does the same. That way if we don’t like the influx we can readily move someplace else. No waiting!

    I mention this because every nation in Latin America (and Africa, etc.) where current illegal US immigrants are from has immigration laws as strict or stricter for illegals as does the US. Just try overstaying your tourist visa in Mexico or Guatemala, etc. Even Canada boots illegal out if you evade/avoid the legal process. Quickly w/ no fuss.

    If “open borders” is some newly invented human right, we should insist on that everywhere before we acknowledge that here. Let’s hear the deranged Left discuss that.

  66. @prime noticer

    Garett Jones assumes everybody would just stay in the wake of the catastrophe of totally open borders.

    but wouldn’t the majority of the high human capital people leave? then basically the country would become a flop house ghetto.

    You are correct PN.

    Jones’s algebra is no doubt correct. But the assumptions are ridiculous. The driving Caplan assumption is the whole world decamps to the US. Even then it’s an overestimate of Americans’ income because the US equation has a high coefficient of income relative to IQ. Accurate historically, but unlikely to be true in such a gloriously diverse future.

    But the biggest issue is the assumption that everyone would come. That’s just not the case.

    Once it’s “established” that the US has open borders, the US doesn’t even have to have already become a pit, its trajectory will be clear. And as a result, the motivation of intelligent and capable people to come will plummet.

    Take for instance the Chinese. It’s a middle income nation. It’s about four times as crowded as the US and its PPP a quarter of the US. So even though things are getting better in China, the US is at least interesting to Chinese–decent incomes, chance for a nice, bigger house, etc. But once the US is “Open Borders US”, there will be a mad rush of people into the US, and everyone will know that there is no end to it. A smart Chinese will see that the US is headed to and beyond China’s population density with a dumber, more chaotic population. The appeal of the US will drop to … nothing. Much better to live with your own people in a more competent nation–China.

    The same will be true for people from lots of middle income nations, and even for co””mpetent people–with options–from low income nations. Better to stay home–less crowded, better people–or opt to immigrate somewhere that is selective and is maintaining higher human capital.

    The *essential* logic of “nation of immigrants” (immigration forever) or “open borders” is that your nation *must* become crowded, chaotic, fractious and unpleasant so as to be as shitty as they shittiest nation on the planet. Only then will people stop coming.

    Only someone genocidal would wish that on a nation’s people. And yet there are a bunch of people who avidly campaign for exactly that.

  67. anon[801] • Disclaimer says:

    The *essential* logic of “nation of immigrants” (immigration forever) or “open borders” is that your nation *must* become crowded, chaotic, fractious and unpleasant so as to be as shitty as they shittiest nation on the planet. Only then will people stop coming.

    Sure, but look at the upside: wypipo will be mostly gone by then. Since the US and Europe are the homelands of wypipo, eliminating them from those areas will largely eliminate wypipo as any sort of organized society.

    Only someone genocidal would wish that on a nation’s people. And yet there are a bunch of people who avidly campaign for exactly that.

    It’s just a coincidence. Please to not notice the coincidence!

  68. Romanian says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    Many countries. The rot won’t stop in the US and misery loves company. Expect Europe to follow.

  69. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @blank-misgivings

    Look.

    All it would take is a successful Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn like figure to organize the proles.
    Doubtless, ‘cuddlier’, more ethnic and more photogenic versions of those rather seedy old men will emerge in the future, (AOC?), and will romp home with their black/brown underclass. After all, no one knows and feels economic inequality more than the Economist’s set cleaners/maids/serfs etc.

  70. Rob McX says:
    @BB753

    …isn’t letting in a yearly 500k legal immigrants per year de facto open borders? Americans live under the media – induced illusion that they don’t have open borders yet but the facts on the ground speak otherwise.

    The situation could be a lot worse than it is. It falls far short of the immigration enthusiasts’ dream. However, I think the level of immigration is pitched as high as the native population can be expected to tolerate without being provoked into an angry backlash. The secret of destroying a nation is to do it slowly.

    • Agree: BB753
  71. Anonymous[331] • Disclaimer says:

    Actually, in the case of the UK, the period of unprecedented enormous levels of immigration, (from 1997 onwards), pretty much equates with the period of the lowest economic growth, lowest industrial growth and longest period of wage depression and stagnation in British economic history.

    Oh, and reliable, clerk compiled – *NOT* retrospective estimates – economic statistics in the UK go back an awful long way. At least to the 1650s, if not actually back to the 16th century and beyond.

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