The Illegal Immigrant: The Conservatives' Best FriendSubmitted by -fred on Mon, 02/18/2013 - 07:38
Fiscal-conservatives strive for an America less fraught with heavy overspending from Washington, and almost all Republicans, until some were apparently castrated by Obama's second victory, believed and preached the importance of low taxes as the catalyst to economic growth. The term "fiscal-conservative" can loosely be coupled with "Constitutional-conservative," "Tea Party conservative," "libertarian," or just plain ole "conservative". Ron Paul introduced me to conservatism based on libertarianism and the Constitution. I don't know how many videos I've watched of Ron Paul throughout his career, various articles I've read on the Daily Paul, or arguments I've partaken in with family members, but nothing made me laugh out loud so much as listening to Milton Friedman talk about illegal immigration. Built on Friedman's argument, one can make the argument that the illegal immigrant is the conservatives' best friend.
Friedman comically points out the correlation between U.S. immigration law and social welfare programs, and how the two are incompatible. What's funnier, is that while the Democrats seem to be on the better political side of the current immigration reform debate, it's actually social welfare programs and laws like "Obamacare" that make free immigration illegal. Friedman points out that "the United States...before 1914, had completely free immigration." He says it "is a good thing" for all parties involved. My "laugh out loud" moment came not when Friedman points out that illegal immigration "is a good thing", but that "it's only good so long as it's illegal." He sums it up so elegantly in that "[i]t is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare."
The illegal immigrant of today lives in a world that fiscal conservatives can only dream of. They don't pay taxes! Perhaps more specifically, illegal immigrants don't pay the federal government a dime. They aren't required to pay into social security, or medicare, and they don't receive any of those benefits. The Constitutional-conservatives only dream of people opting out of these programs. The under-the-table employers don't have the expense of payroll taxes either. There is some real evidence that absent the taxation burden of state and federal governments and the government sponsored welfare programs, people are still willing to come to America in search of a better life, and free market capitalism is alive and well, regardless of its darker shade of legal gray.
The illegal immigrant is making a better life for himself. The U.S. businessman is receiving cheaper labor. The U.S. investors make more profits. The U.S. consumer is paying a cheaper price for a manufactured good, and as a result, more consumer capital is available to buy more goods or services. It's easy to see the win-win relationship between the illegal immigrant and the U.S. economy.
Conservatives are supposed to be supporters of free markets, so perhaps the current state of illegal immigrants provides the closest thing to a free market that America will ever see. Conservatives, and many so-called "conservatives" get a bad rap as being anti-immigration reform. I hope their "anti-illegal immigration" rhetoric is only focused on the realistic burdens that incorporating all those 11 million illegal immigrants into the U.S. population could incur. I don't for a second doubt their work ethic or their drive to succeed, but I know the repercussions of the welfare system in regards to many individuals getting "stuck", unable or unwilling to make the next marginal increase in income, once the need for self reliance fades. If President Obama wants to make immigration to the "land of the free" more free, he would help repeal the root cause of illegal immigration, the current welfare state.
Milton Friedman - Illegal Immigration - PT 1: