Arnold Kling  

Paul Romer on Haiti

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He writes,


There is a natural complementary approach that is a much better bet than giving colonialism another chance--letting Haitians migrate somewhere with better governance and rules. This is the surest answer to the question posed in the beginning. It can give them access to the urban infrastructure, buildings, equipment, and the know-how that can support jobs in areas like garment assembly.

I agree.


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COMMENTS (10 to date)
SydB writes:

Immigration would be significantly cheaper than rebuilding and would break the cultural cycle that afflicts them.

Zdeno writes:

So every time a natural disaster hits a third world country, we should just write it off and invite the survivors to come live in the wealthier nations? Never mind that those immigrants will most likely become a part of a Democratic political machine that votes against the sort of policies that would result in America's continued ability to afford such luxuries as disaster relief, or that announcing an open immigration policy will immediately divert the efforts of Haiti's best and brightest from rebuilding their country, to escaping it.

Arnold, once the planet has been converted into Libertopia, I will join you in advocating for open borders. In the world as it is though, doing so is counterproductive to the cause of human freedom.

Cheers,

Zdeno

Billy writes:
Jonah writes:

Yeah! And we use Haiti Island to build Galt's Guch, OK?

agnostic writes:

Why to the US? Let them move to Mexico -- GDP (PPP) per capita there is between $14K - $15K vs. only $1.3K in Haiti. The climate won't be so radically different. Spanish is closer to Creole than English is.

The corruption and low trust will be familiar. But again Mexico is on the high end of the developing world, so they'll be a lot better off.

Carter writes:

"[A country's] infrastructure, its amenities, its public order have been built up by generations of its inhabitants. These things have value that belongs to their builders and the builders' heirs, and the latter are arguably at liberty to share or not to share them with immigrants who, in their countries of origin, do not have as good infrastructure, amenities and public order. Those who claim that in the name of liberty they must let any and all would-be immigrants take a share are, then, not liberals but socialists professing share-and-share alike egalitarianism on an international scale." - Anthony de Jasay.

Mike writes:

I think that the counterargument is that allowing large numbers of people from poorly governed countries into well runned nations is that eventually their habits, traditions, beliefs and cultures - all of which led to their countries being poorly run - will swamp those of the countries that admit them, making those nation's more poorly run.

Adam writes:

Mike writes "allowing large numbers of people from poorly governed countries into well runned nations is that eventually their habits, traditions, beliefs and cultures - all of which led to their countries being poorly run - will swamp those of the countries that admit them, making those nation's more poorly run."

This is not true. A large number of Italian and Greek immigrants show little of the corrupt ways of the land they left behind. The children of Indian and Chinese immigrants that are crowding up the Ivies are culturaly indistinguishible from their American peers (except in their superior work ethic).

Adam writes:

About good insitutions, De Jasay writes, "These things have value that belongs to their builders and the builders' heirs, and the latter are arguably at liberty to share or not to share them with immigrants."

Well, then it is also fair to hold the heirs accountable for the crimes of the "builders." Bring on, all those repatriation claims for slavery and colonialism.

Carter writes:

Adam, countries do make payments for past acts. Whether slavery and colonialism were "crimes" is a seperate debate.

"The children of Indian and Chinese immigrants that are crowding up the Ivies are culturaly indistinguishible from their American peers."

It is true children of those immigrants excel academically, that's not true of the children of Mexican immigrants or Haitian immigrants.

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