Arnold Kling  

The Henderson Club

The Quants... Mandel on FP2P...

Or we could call it the Let Them In club. Elliott Abrams is a member. Mark Krikorian is not. Krikorian is one of the people who makes it difficult for a libertarian like me to feel comfortable with the conservative movement.

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COMMENTS (9 to date)
Zdeno writes:

I think Krikorian deserves more of a response than just, "He makes me uncomfortable."

Haiti is in a world of hurt right now, but poverty and suffering were the norm before the quake - did they cross some sort of threshold? Also, Haiti is probably still not the worst place in the world to live right now. Does your position not imply a moral obligation on the United States to admit huge numbers of Somalian, Afghani, and Congolese refugees as well?

And if you wouldn't support literally unlimited refugee admittance from all non-OECD countries, why not? Could it be that the quality of life of current Americans (not to mention their ability to provide disaster relief and global governance to the rest of the world) is decreasing in the number of refugees we admit who do not speak English and have little to no experience with western culture and market economies? Also, do you think that most refugees will be more or less prone to vote for policies that accelerate America's decline into a banana republic?



Dave writes:

If we had a government that respected our liberties, I would be all in favor of "letting them in". As long as a simple majority vote can serve to undermine individual liberty, the "let them in" movement strikes me as hopelessly naive and appropriate only in an ivory tower.

cvd writes:

I also think this requires more of a response.

A bunch of immigrants to Florida from Haiti would move US politics significantly to the Left. Anyone who supports increased immigration from Haiti is therefore supporting a significant leftward shift in politics. You can't pretend that this is not an obvious consequence of increased immigration from Haiti.

You can do all the advocating for a more libertarian US that you want, but you will undermine all your efforts if you favor electing a new, more anti-libertarian people.

Eric H writes:

I just skimmed Krikorian's post; I didn't find anything to make me terribly uncomfortable. I don't read Krikorian on a regular basis, though, so maybe I'm missing something.

Providing further incentives for Haitians to leave their country is like subsidizing a Haitian brain-drain. Why should the U.S. benefit at Haiti's expense during the middle of the crisis? I think it is fair to assume that those Haitians that choose to leave will be those more likely to succeed in the American economy than those that remain. If so, what will that mean for Haiti as a country? Could one predict economic disintegration past Haiti's abysmal state pre-quake?

I don't disagree with the "let them come" concept but I think it's reasonable to consider that the costs of a mass Haitian immigration will be born by Haitian citizens too.

Carter writes:

Ask Abrams what he would do if his daughter married a Haitian.

Shakes writes:

I have to side with Krikorian, and I usually side with you on everything (at least the things I can understand what you are talking about).

If we didn't have a massive welfare state, immigration wouldn't be a problem, or at least not so much of one.

I favor selective immigration. Put people that learn English at the top of the list. I think they would start teaching English in Mexican and Central/South American schools if that was the case.

Jeff Singer writes:


You should check out this new blogger who has some great posts that agree with Krikorian:

lukas writes:


of course English is taught in Latin American schools, especially private schools (who tend to get all the good teachers: quality English lessons are highly valued by parents who want to open up opportunities for their kids.)

MikeP writes:

You should check out this new blogger who has some great posts that agree with Krikorian:

Judging by his most recent post, he suffers from extreme myopia in matters of immigration.

In particular, he assumes that helping Haiti means helping the territory or the country or something besides helping, you know, Haitians. So he refuses to count any benefit of immigration to Haitian immigrants themselves, counting only their remittances instead.

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