In Ezra Klein’s Vox, which doesn’t allow reader comments, Dylan Matthews writes a long article:
“What would you think about a law that said that blacks couldn’t get a job without the government’s permission, or women couldn’t get a job without the government’s permission, or gays or Christians or anyone else?” George Mason economist Bryan Caplan asks. It’s a pretty easy question. Obviously, such a law is discriminatory on its face, serves no rational purpose, and is unacceptable in a liberal democracy. But Caplan continues: “So why, exactly, is it that people who are born on the wrong side of the border have to get government permission just to get a job?”
This is Caplan’s elevator pitch for open borders, an idea that for years was treated as deeply unserious, as an extreme straw man that nativists could beat up in the course of resisting more modest efforts to help immigrants. It had its defenders — philosopher Joseph Carens primary among them — but they were relatively lonely voices.
Nobody remembers nuthin’ … At the absolute peak of its influence in the 1984 through 2000 era, the Wall Street Journal repeatedly editorialized for a five-word Constitutional Amendment: “There shall be open borders.” Open Borders’ isn’t some lonely genius’s great new idea, it is the traditional reductio ad absurdum of one of the dominant ideologies of the age.
We are also treated to a long interview with Bryan Caplan on the need for Open Borders.
As Caplan himself observed last year:
Think about it like this: Steve Sailer’s policy views are much closer to the typical American’s than mine. Compared to me, he’s virtually normal. But the mainstream media is very sweet to me, and treats Steve like a pariah. I have to admit, it’s bizarre.
This pattern can be explained by a general trend among, say, intelligent commenters dissenting from mainstream media increasingly sounding like me. In response to repeatedly losing the arguments over immigration with anonymous commenters, the MSM is becoming even more extremist and thus turns to Caplan’s not-quite-right-in-the-head moral absolutism to justify their positions.