Bryan Caplan  

Me and the Students for Liberty: Immigration Webinar 2/9, Conference 2/18-2/20

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On Wednesday, I'm doing a Students for Liberty webinar.  The topic: "Immigration Restrictions: A Solution in Search of a Problem" - or as SfL calls it, "Why Immigration Restrictions are Wacky." 

Anyone can sign up to participate here.  There will be a Q&A at the end.  If you've got burning immigration-related questions for me, here's your chance.

I will also be speaking at the Students for Liberty International Conference in DC on February 19.  My topics:

  • "The Truth Hurts: How Government Really Works"
  • "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Making More Libertarians is Easier Than You Think."
Register for the conference here.

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (5 to date)
josh writes:

"Even Huntington, who fears cultural effects, admits that over 90% of second-generation Mexicans speak fluent English."

Language= Culture, or at least is so perfect a proxy for culture that one can infer cultural assimilation despite the fact that these people live largely within self-segregated communities of people with similar background and ethnicity.

"Deeper problem: America’s cultural centers (CA, NY) have high immigration, and its cultural wastelands (ND, SD, AK, AL, MT, WV) have low immigration!
Is this causal? At least for food, clearly yes."

But people in CA, NY, ND, SD, AK, AL, MT, and WV speak English. Clearly we can infer that they have the same culture despite the fact that they generally live in self-segregated communities of people with similar background and ethnicity? Oops.

Just say it. You don't like certain types of people. Referring to their culture as a "wasteland" is pure bigotry. You want them replaced by cultures you find more romantic and exciting. You could at least say as much without making self-contradictory statements that boil down to "immigrants don't change culture, they make it better at least for the only important measure of human well-being, high-fat, high-sodium, high-carb junk food!"

flawed writes:

Ed Hanson writes:


This is probably the third time I have asked this question to you in this forum. I am still waiting for an answer and continue to like an answer.

There is no question that in human history a major factor of change of culture, tribe and country has been migration from outside. I ask, what is the difference between unrestricted immigration and migration? And again, I point to the most recent and American example. The Native population of the western hemisphere had an open and unrestricted immigration policy. Its culture died. Perhaps you, as an economist, can celebrate the greater economy and the culture around you (just as you celebrate the coastline cultures of today), however, although I benefit from that change, I can recognize that there is now a dead culture and people who probably did not benefit.

Mr. Econotarian writes:
Language= Culture

Tell that to the Assyrians, Persians, and Jews who spoke Aramaic or the Kassites and Babylonians who spoke Akkadian, despite having their own individual cultures. And the cultural divide between the US and the UK is not insignificant despite us both speaking English.

However I do think that linguistic differences can create higher barriers to cultural mixing - but language instruction is easier today than ever (think Rosetta Stone software, iPods with language courses downloaded online, etc.)

"immigrants don't change culture, they make it better at least for the only important measure of human well-being, high-fat, high-sodium, high-carb junk food!"

Without German immigration, we wouldn't have hamburgers. And without Italian immigration, we wouldn't have pizza. So even our high-calorie foods are highly based on the freedom of immigration we had before we started shutting the doors in 1921.

josh writes:

'Mr. E,

You missed the sarcasm. I was directly responding to Caplan's slides which I quote.

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