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George Mason U. economist and Open Borders enthusiast Bryan Caplan is once again explaining at length why I’m the terrifying extremist in “Why Sailer Scares.” The comments are pretty good.

That reminds me of a friend’s idea for how Neill Blomkamp should have made Elysium better: instead of a dull fable about how the One Percent is mean for the sake of meanness, the future should have been depicted as a truly horrifying dystopia in which America is ruled by the George Mason econ department.

 
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  1. Let’s stop beating around the bush and just concede a trial eugenic program as a possible solution to many of the persistent problems facing society today. Existing welfare programs of just throwing money at the problem have been ineffective.

  2. You’re an extremist, according to someone who embraces this imagery:

  3. My view is that analogies are tools to highlight certain aspects of a situation, in order to think more clearly about it.

    In Bryan Caplan’s original post (A Eugenic Experiment), he rolls out “Open Breeding” as a toy problem for Open Borders. In Caplan’s view, Eugenecists (bad) map to Real America’s Immigration Restrictionists (also bad). QED.

    This is a strange premise. If immigration is fraught, reproduction is yet more so. Toy problems that add complexity, are not.

    If Caplan wants to discuss Open Borders, he might do better to stick to that topic.

  4. In fact, Steve seems to find antinomian fun in scoffing at moral condemnation of draconian eugenic policies.

    In other words, “Steve won’t bend the knee and say what I want him to say, just to engage a ‘sperg like me.” Libs tend to be very fond of making their opponents bend the knee. And if you won’t, they assume their right to fill your mouth with whatever they’d rather their opponents were saying, to make their pseudo-white-knighting all the more dramatic.

    Does Steve genuinely favor denying half of Americans the right to reproduce? It’s hard to know.

    No, it really isn’t. You just have to not be a leftist. The people I know who argue in good faith don’t do this kind of thing – make assumptions and create straw men, and then demand you deny them. In fact, I find people who do that sort of thing tend to give off a whiff of projection; they’re not worthy of the benefit of the doubt, so they don’t think anyone will object when they don’t give anyone else the benefit of the doubt, either.

    We shouldn’t have to wonder if a thinker approves of denying half the population the right to have children.

    Precisely, you $#*@ing @(+!. You should know already. You should presume innocence until guilty is proven.

  5. Make that “does not approve of”.

  6. I stopped reading that “libertarian” economics blog when I found that they censored comments. Just like that nasty illibertarian blogger Broad DeLarge.

  7. When I was following EconLog, back when Arnold Kling still wrote for it, I came under the impression that Caplan has a mild form of Asperger’s. Ad hominem, yes, but true.

  8. I once got into an argument with an “Immigration Reform” enthusiast in which he eventually claimed that it was basically a good idea to let scary-looking strangers come into his house and sleep in his children’s beds (I am not exaggerating here). After admitting that he believed this, he accused me of being naive and out-of-touch with reality.

  9. Does Caplan think J-Date is immoral? We shouldn’t have to wonder…

  10. bomag [AKA "doombuggy"] says:

    Caplan et al seem to think the choice is between eugenics/no eugenics. Hah. They will never understand that it is eugenics to the core. Caplan’s advocacy of open borders is a form of eugenics, whether he wants to admit it or not.

    They may not be interested in eugenics, but eugenics is interested in them.

  11. If you want to do something about Caplan, show him wrong to his supporters. You can find them with this search. What I do with him and others is pick someone out, understand which side they’re on/what their issues are, and then tweet them something designed to undercut Caplan. If someone’s a liberal, tweet them how Caplan’s ideas conflict with liberal ideals, and so on.

    If just a few dozen people made a habit of doing that with Caplan and others, it would help to reduce their influence. Doing a search and writing a tweet can take just a minute or two.

  12. Svigor

    If ours is indeed a future where automation replaces most of the professional work of people, then the politics, public policy and ideologies which drive them will be unrecognizable to any of us. And yes, it will include forced sterilization.

  13. If Bryan Caplan didn’t exist, Paleos would have to invent him. He’s the perfect foil.

  14. BobX [AKA "Bob"] says:

    I have an option to set out that is a bit of a three legged Sailer/Unz/Caplan stool. We set the minimum wage to $12 an hour. Next we allow unlimited work visas to Canadian & Mexican citizens who must pay for and pass a background check annually for no felonies and require that they must be paid 1.5 times the US minimum wage. Violations of this guest worker minimum wage shall be punishable by both fines and jail time with corporate violations jail time to be served by corporate officers & board members in addition to those corporate employees found culpable. At minimum 10% of the time for those found culpable must be served by the corporate officers & board members collectively with each individual officer or board member to serve at least 1 week. Juries for these trials shall be drawn from unemployed US citizens. Upon 8 consecutive quarters with US national unemployment below 3.0 percent the guest worker premium shall be cut to 1.25 times the US minimum wage. Any guest worker who maintains their no felony record and is employed for more than 60 total months as a guest worker is granted US citizenship.

    I know it won’t make Caplan completely happy as I only invite that part of the world that shares a land border with us. The notion that our duty to others starts at home and then goes outward in concentric circles is hard for him to grasp. Steve and Ron on the other hand seem to be comfortable with it.

    Caplan’s Eugenic Experiment is flawed in that the children born are not “illegals” they are just children of criminals. Unless he also wants to repeal US birthright citizenship. These 5% are just as much US citizens as those children of foreign nationals both legal and illegal that are born in the US (concentric circles). It is doubly flawed in our Steve Hsu future of genetic understanding & spellchecking.

    Also posted at Caplan’s site.

  15. Another test comment. Sorry.

  16. Great new format. Appreciate the attention to clear up the RSS issue.

    Steve and Ron, this is going to drive a lot of traffic to unz.com, which is terrific. We need alt-media now more than ever.

    Don’t be shy about panhandling the hell out of us. Your work is important and you deserve to make a living.

  17. testing, hi steve. Also happy about RSS. This is great.

  18. Lot says:

    Bob, 3rd world immigration is a bad idea even if the immigrants can prove they have $18/hour jobs waiting for them here.

    First, the taxes someone making $36,000 a year pays does not even come close to covering the cost of public school education for their kids, much less the other services they use.

    Second, it is bad for the environment.

    Third, even talented 3rd worlders will have children who regress to a less talented mean.

    Fourth, their rate of social dysfunction and crime is higher than natives, and especially their children.

    Now if you want to make it $120,000 a year, maybe I’d bite.

  19. Lot says:

    ” the future should have been depicted as a truly horrifying dystopia in which America is ruled by the George Mason econ department.”

    Well let’s expand on this a bit:

    1. No welfare programs of any sort, so a massive increase in crime, riots, private security companies

    2. Elderly people begging on the street everywhere

    3. Hundreds of millions of Indians and Africans moving here. Anyone who can get their family to scrape together a loan of $500 for a one-way ticket. Actually, maybe only $300, since we don’t have airline safety regs and people can be packed into planes like those pictures of overflowing trains you see. So even more crime and poverty!

    4. Giant shantytowns ringing every city

    5. No restrictions on household occupancy, so if the 3-bedroom house next door rents for 1500, 15 Nigerians can rent it for 100 a month each. And they’ll be raising chickens in the backyard.

    6. A giant increase in drug addiction, with heroin and cocaine selling for $1 a high and marketed like beer on superbowl sunday.

    7. A return to blood sport on cable TV. Why can’t two consenting adults agree to fight to the death? Also, if we can eat animals, why not torture them for sport? So let’s bring back bear baiting.

    8. A big decrease in the production of books, movies, scripted high-budget television, drug research and software since they don’t believe in intellectual property protection.

    The small amount of software that does get made will be a massive pain in the butt to use with non-stop copy protection built into it.

    I would add “all the lunatics people let out of their asylums and wandering the streets” but libertarian hero thomas szasz already got that to happen.

  20. “7. A return to blood sport on cable TV. Why can’t two consenting adults agree to fight to the death? ”

    Call me crazy, but I think this is a fine idea.

    Screw boxing, give two guys a sword and shield and let them fight it out to the death. Maybe just what they do in Spartacus would be enough, where if one guy gets really injured, he can concede.

    I’m sure there would be plenty of guys lining up for this new sport. The fame and fortune that would go along with being a gladiator would be pretty extreme. We let guys bash each other and get brain damage in football, so this actually wouldn’t be that far off.

  21. Is Caplan yet another tribesman, out to make the West “safe” for Jews, by turning Whites into minorities in their own countries?

    I also wonder if it will be forbidden to mention Jews and typical Jewish behavior when Mr. Sailer have moved his blog to unz.com?

  22. I find it absolutely laughable when someone like Caplan pontificates about ‘morality’.
    He we have someone, a creature, who has made it his life’s work to reduce the incomes of vast swathes of the American population down to damn near beggary as you can possibly get. His ambition is to make Bangladeshi wages the American norm – whilst ensuring that the vast bulk of the world’s wealth is invested in the hands of a tiny elite of owners. In my mind this is utterly, utterly sick beyond belief.
    The laws of nature, of evolution and natural selection might be harsh and merciless, but they have at their end the notion of perfection and improvement. What Caplan, on the other hand, advocates is pure evil, violating all human reason and higher faculties. What he wants, in fact, and rabidly desires and fights for is for the natural heirs of successful societies to be dragged down to the level of the worst – which is not only deeply morally wrong and aginst the interests of all Americans – and their children – but in a word anti-evolutionary.

  23. DWB says: • Website

    What Caplan is engaging in here is a sort of tactic used in tabloid journalism. Gin up a straw-man that appears related to the position someone is taking, point out that the person has not explicitly condemned the straw-man, and then leap to the conclusion that the person is in favour of said straw-man.

    When I was in college, one of the school newspapers was famous for printing “John Doe did not deny that…”

  24. Caplan’s blog is notorious for deleting perfectly unobjectionable comments from people who dare to question his positions. He doesn’t support open virtual borders when it harms him, even though the damage is only to his feelings.

  25. I propose that Caplan, in moral solidarity with his support for open borders, begin by opening his all his windows and doors for the summer and sharing his air conditioning with the world. If that manages to leave his home’s temperature a little on the high side (though I hear Virginia summers are generally breezy and cool) he can leave his refrigerator doors open to mitigate. What could go wrong?

  26. The response you get when you try to post to Bryan Caplan’s blog:

    “Hi, …

    “Thanks for your EconLog comment, quoted below. It has been withheld pending confirmation of your email address.

    “Please respond in your own words to this email to validate your email address. A valid email address is required to post comments on EconLog.

    “In addition, your comment cannot be published because it violates our civility policies. Name-calling, remarks about someone’s character, and rude remarks will not be published. Specifically, your remark “That’s rather racist of you” about another commenter is not publishable. If you want to edit your comment to remove that remark, we will be willing to publish your comment.

    “Let me know.

    “We’ve tried to contact you previously to verify your email address in a routine manner. This is our final attempt to contact you. Your future comments are precluded until we hear from you. Please respond to this email if you would like your comment privileges restored. ”

    Etc.

    In other words, a blog which advocates mightily for open borders for the US polices its own borders like the Berlin Wall.

    What is the harm to their blog, other than a lively comment section where the bloggers’ arguments are routinely torn to shreds by facts and logic?

  27. I have not noticed the deletions commenting on Caplan’s posts in particular. It seems to me it was one of the other participants (Scott Sumner?).

    I tend to doubt Caplan is ever stung by anything or has a normal emotional geography at all.

  28. I don’t know what y’all are doing wrong. Caplan always publishes my comments, and they’re usually pretty caustic.

  29. I don’t believe Caplan personally moderates the comments there, he seems to have one of his students do that for him. I’ve had exactly the same response as “Wilkey” above.

    “We’ve tried to contact you previously to verify your email address in a routine manner. This is our final attempt to contact you. Your future comments are precluded until we hear from you. Please respond to this email if you would like your comment privileges restored.”

    They ignore all responses to this message.

  30. “I also wonder if it will be forbidden to mention Jews and typical Jewish behavior when Mr. Sailer have moved his blog to unz.com?”

    You need to read this blog before you say such silly things. Start with “How the Israel Lobby Works” on the front page.

  31. We shouldn’t have to wonder if Caplan advocates the slow genocide of European (“gentile”) peoples via mass immigration. He should come right out and say so if he does.

    Also, since starting charity at home is wrong, he should be focusing his open-borders attention solely where it is most lacking, and thus most needed: Israel.

    If ours is indeed a future where automation replaces most of the professional work of people, then the politics, public policy and ideologies which drive them will be unrecognizable to any of us. And yes, it will include war over forced sterilization.

    FIFY. I could see opt-in sterilization in return for access to welfare, but forced sterilization would turn every place its attempted into Fallujah.

  32. Lobone: Fifth, they’re not white. I’m white, and I want to live in an overwhelmingly white country, not in the third world. Every place white people live is not fair game for non-white people to make into a place where non-white people live, while the non-white people keep the places they live for themselves.

  33. What Caplan is engaging in here is a sort of tactic used in tabloid journalism. Gin up a straw-man that appears related to the position someone is taking, point out that the person has not explicitly condemned the straw-man, and then leap to the conclusion that the person is in favour of said straw-man.

    When I was in college, one of the school newspapers was famous for printing “John Doe did not deny that…”

    Like I said, it’s an attempt to dominate. Force people to answer your stupid questions, do all your homework for you, defend themselves from baseless accusations, etc.

    “Thanks for your EconLog comment, quoted below. It has been withheld pending confirmation of your email address.

    Right. E-Verify for opinions. But not welfare leeches.

  34. “We shouldn’t have to wonder if Caplan advocates the slow genocide of European (“gentile”) peoples via mass immigration. He should come right out and say so if he does.”

    No, because that’s just a yes or no response. Caplan should have to answer not just whether or not he favors the genocide of European populations, but how under his policies we would be able to genocide, displacement, or simply being made a racial, religious, ethnic, or political minority in our own countries.

    He should say whether he believes if the people of Western nations have any right to preserve their cultural dominance in their own countries, and why or why not. Are Danes allowed to keep Denmark Danish – why or why not? And if they aren’t allowed to do so, explain if the Danes at the very least are allowed to insist on reciprocal rights from countries like, say, Turkey or Iraq; and whether they’re allowed to insist not only on the right to move to Turkey, Iraq, etc., but allowed to verify that migration to Turkey and Iraq is as appealing to Danes as migration to Denmark is to Turks and Iraqis.

  35. “I don’t know what y’all are doing wrong. Caplan always publishes my comments, and they’re usually pretty caustic.”

    No, they eventually published some of my comments (though they wouldn’t allow accusations of racism, even when it was clearly sarcasm).

    That’s not really the point. The point is that they quite zealously guard their own borders, even though violation of those “borders” costs them absolutely nothing. To say it undermines their arguments for actual open borders is putting it mildly. And the comment I wrote pointing this hypocrisy out to they and their readers? Censored, naturally.

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