Bryan Caplan  

Open Borders Logo Contest

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The Open Borders blog is sponsoring an Open Borders logo contest.  Fab Rojas explains:

The Open Borders movement seeks a symbol that embodies the spirit of free migration. To achieve that goal, we are sponsoring a logo contest. The winner of this contest will get $200 and their design will become the official logo of the Open Borders web site.

  • The goal: Create a simple logo, like the peace sign, that represents free migration.
  • How to enter: Go to the Open Borders Logo Contest Facebook page and post your image. Join the group and send me a message so I can add you. Then, you can post.
  • The criteria for selection: We seek something that is simple and powerful. Think of an image that a person with little artistic skill could paint on a sign or banner.
  • Who will choose the winner: The Open Borders website editors and the contest sponsors (Bryan Caplan and myself).
  • The winner will be announced on October 1, 2013 or later.

You can't win if you don't play...



COMMENTS (25 to date)
8 writes:

I think you should open up the borders of Open Borders. Let the public vote on the logo, whether they are for open borders, limited immigration, immigration bans, etc. It doesn't seem fair that Open Borders chooses a logo that everyone else has to look at, it is better to let everyone have a say and then maybe the open borders people aren't as happy with it, but the immigration restriction people will be less unhappy with it, so net gain!

F. Lynx Pardinus writes:

I support more immigration, but the joke here is too good to pass up. The phrase "Open Borders" where the O is a variant of this logo.

FredR writes:

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Daublin writes:

I wish it were not on Facebook. Is this a serious effort?

Delphin writes:

[Comment removed for rudeness.--Econlib Ed.]

Magus writes:

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Ghost of Christmas Past writes:

Why would you want a new logo when you already have a famous one created by an American Indian professional artist? I suggest you avoid re-inventing the wheel.

(I don't use FB so I invite someone else to submit this proposal there.)

Foobarista writes:

How about the "Arms of Chaos":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol_of_Chaos

Fabio Rojas writes:

Daublin: It is serious.

Ghost: That one is a great symbol, but it would be hard for the average person to draw. It's also unclear to people who don't know the original reference.

We're looking for a simple symbol that would be simple and easy to make, like the dollar sign,t he peace symbol, or the anarchism symbol.

We used Facebook because it's easy to upload photos and we can easily contact you if you win.

We already have 6 entries. Can't wait to see more.

Justin Irving writes:

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John Bragg writes:

Two Powhatan on the shore seeing ships in the distance, captioned "What could go wrong?"

johnleemk writes:

Justin:

Interesting suggestions, but considering that open borders is about permitting peaceful movement of people, not violent or hostile movements, I think those would probably be rather inappropriate sources of inspiration. Indeed, one of the whole points of having more graphical representations of open borders is so we can clarify what it is and what it isn't: it is about rights for peaceful and innocent people, not violent criminals or invading armies.

John writes:

A chance at $200? You are offering WAY below market value and the quality of the logos are going to reflect that. It takes a lot of strategic thinking and a lot of skill to make a logo, especially a powerful yet simplistic one. Furthermore many in the professional design community find these kinds of contests offensive so much of the best talent out there will automatically not enter.

It's also important to note that a logo is just one piece of your visual identity. Your visual identity is the entire, well-designed system of decisions made on things like the name, the logo, the color of envelopes, pattern on the website, typefaces, standard fonts sizes, etc. ALL of those elements should be cohesive and work with each other. If you're just getting a logo you're not even half way there.

Best of luck, but I hope you consider hiring a real designer to take care of your design needs.

Alfonso Dupont writes:

[N.B. Cursing at the webmaster for sending you a routine email address validation check is not a promising strategy for being allowed to post comments.--Econlib Ed.]

NZ writes:

@John:

Apparent to me, at least, is the irony of crowdsourcing a logo for Open Borders, and offering only $200 to the winner (way below current market price for similar graphic design work, as you pointed out). A sign of the way things will be done if Open Borders gets its way.

8's comment was pretty incisive, too. I'd take it a step further:

Why have just one logo? A single logo is rigid and closed. It forces people to associate one symbol with one organization. This is not only coercive, but further implies that the organization has boundaries which make it distinct from other organizations. Shouldn't Open Borders dissolve its own borders, and blend seamlessly in with other organizations, including those promoting immigration restriction?

johnleemk writes:

NZ:

Interesting comments, but the point of open borders is not to dissolve differences between countries or peoples. It is to abolish arbitrary government policies aimed primarily at victimising individuals for making choices that do not harm others.

The point of abolishing racial segregation wasn't to dissolve differences between ethnic groups or cultures. Some might have hoped to accomplish such dissolution via the abolition of segregation, but that wasn't the goal of the movement. Some open borders advocates may hope to abolish the concept of the nation-state, but that's not what open borders is about.

NZ writes:

@johnleemk

It is to abolish arbitrary government policies aimed primarily at victimising individuals for making choices that do not harm others.
If that is the stated goal of Open Borders, then it simply is what it is and I can't comment. If that is the actual goal, then many people would take issue with the claim that open borders do not harm others.

I don't think abolishing racial segregation is a good analogy. For one thing, after racial segregation was abolished in letter, we've observed that for the most part people segregate themselves by race in practice anyway.

With national borders, the results would be far less even. For example, something like a quarter of all Mexicans say they would like to move to the US. What percentage of Americans say they would like to move to Mexico? The resulting equilibrium would likely lower the quality of life for Americans while raising it for Mexicans. Maybe it's not as zero-sum as Steve Sailer et. al. claim, but it's definitely not the opposite either.

NZ writes:

@johnleemk

Actually, the racial segregation example can be instructive.

On net, do you think all parties benefited from the end of racial segregation? If so, do you think all parties benefited equally?

For example, I'm in an interracial marriage. It is uncommon because my wife is black while I am white. Way more often, black/white interracial marriages consist of a black husband and white wife.

Why does this matter? White husband/black wife marriages have a lower divorce rate than white/white marriages. Black husband/white wife marriages have a higher divorce rate than white/white marriages, and if I remember right, higher than black/black marriages too.

If interracial marriages were illegal, then true, my wife and I might be significantly less happy, either because we couldn't legally marry or because our marriage would have to be secretive, dangerous, and excessively complicated. However, a much larger population of black men and white women would not be able to marry and would be spared a relatively high probability of divorce.

(And here I'm downplaying the negative impact of divorce. Divorce, obviously, doesn't only impact the individuals who were married but often also their families, employers/coworkers, friends, and children. Children who grow up without two parents around are more likely to commit crime, do drugs, receive welfare, etc. So, divorce sends shockwaves throughout the whole society.)

Just to be clear, I am not advocating racial segregation in our laws. I clearly benefit from racial integration and I know many others who do too. I'm simply using it to illustrate that tearing down boundaries does not necessarily have a positive effect for everyone.

johnleemk writes:
If that is the actual goal, then many people would take issue with the claim that open borders do not harm others.
I'm happy to have that debate. As the Open Borders website states, we operate based on a presumptive freedom of movement -- a presumption that can be rebutted when clear and convincing evidence of harm is shown. We can debate what is a reasonable burden of proof and what constitutes harm, but let's have that debate, rather than trying to shut down the discussion by blithely saying that national governments have the right to do whatever they want to innocent foreigners trying to cross the border.
I don't think abolishing racial segregation is a good analogy. For one thing, after racial segregation was abolished in letter, we've observed that for the most part people segregate themselves by race in practice anyway.
Open borders isn't about abolishing personal prejudice against foreigners; it's about abolishing government immigration policies that don't have any justification beyond prejudice.

The struggle against racial segregation no doubt meant to reduce/eliminate personal prejudice, but I hardly think one can say that it's been unsuccessful because racial prejudice isn't gone yet. A major goal of the anti-segregation movement in the US was to end government policies that were justified primarily or solely using racial prejudice, and they were terribly successful in this regard.

The resulting equilibrium would likely lower the quality of life for Americans while raising it for Mexicans. Maybe it's not as zero-sum as Steve Sailer et. al. claim, but it's definitely not the opposite either.
This seems to be assuming the conclusion. The most frustrating thing about immigration policy debates is how quickly people assume that current immigration restrictions are optimal and/or much more optimal than anything looser.

This assumption is totally unjustified when one considers that most modern immigration restrictions can't be tied back to any clear empirical factors. Why has the UK decided to reduce net immigration to under 100,000 per annum? What analysis was used to determine that this is the right number for the UK? Nothing other than a mere feeling that more than 100K net immigrants/year would be disastrous.

The notion that immigration is "obviously" negative-sum in of itself lacks empirical backing. The best peer-reviewed result for this claim suggests that current rates of immigration to the US reduce the wages of low-skilled natives by maybe .3% / year, while raising wages for everyone else. You certainly can use this as an argument for restricting immigration, but this seems like a very odd solution to the problem of low-skilled Americans' poor earning power. If there's a stronger peer-reviewed evidence of harm to natives from immigration, I have yet to see it.

I am open to the suggestion that immigration restrictions aimed at preserving native earning power are justified; they just seem like a very suboptimal way to do this. Why would we choose a suboptimal policy unless we are being somehow motivated by prejudice? I can see stronger arguments here for very gradual opening of the borders; it seems more reasonable to suggest that opening the borders overnight would be difficult to feasibly accomplish without large adjustment costs. But it hardly seems reasonable to suggest that large adjustment costs will remain a problem once the existing pent-up demand for the right to migrate has been satisfied (which will be some day in the distant future if you pursue gradual loosening of restrictions).

NZ writes:

@johnleemk:

It is good that Open Borders accepts rebuttals based on evidence of harm, and is willing to debate what constitutes proof of harm. Has Open Borders's position on these ever changed as a result of debate?

...but let's have that debate, rather than trying to shut down the discussion by blithely saying that national governments have the right to do whatever they want to innocent foreigners trying to cross the border.
I understand and am willing to accept that, but I still think it's relevant to point out that many other countries do closely protect their borders, and that it is something one does when one has something worth protecting. (Of course, all arguments are meant to be winners--i.e. to shut down the discussion--but I use this one here as I would any other, not as a way to silence you.)

A lot of your continued analogy to racial segregation seems to be based on assumptions that 1) desegregation was a success and 2) all groups benefited from it, or benefited equally. For example, you said

A major goal of the anti-segregation movement in the US was to end government policies that were justified primarily or solely using racial prejudice, and they were terribly successful in this regard.
Would you say that affirmative action, or the way the President's administration behaved regarding the George Zimmerman case, are marks of a government that has successfully abandoned policies that are justified using racial prejudice?

I don't know the answer to this, but sometimes I wonder whether black rates of education, employment, marriage/legitimate birth, etc. were better under segregation. If so, then either black people--and many whites--valued freedom of association above these other things, or they somehow failed to maintain these other things while enjoying freedom of association. If the former, then was this value properly weighted?

Arguments which cite studies in support of freer immigration often fixate on numbers about wages and earning power. But I'm actually not terribly worried about my earning power being impacted by low-skill immigration, and I think many immigration restrictionists aren't either. I'm more concerned about population density, real estate prices, environmental conservation, cultural practices and standards, the qualities of my children's public school classmates, and so on. I don't know what studies say about these things, but my experience says they are all made worse by immigration--at least immigration from the places we get it most.

Salem writes:
Interesting suggestions, but considering that open borders is about permitting peaceful movement of people, not violent or hostile movements... it is about rights for peaceful and innocent people, not violent criminals or invading armies.
I'm glad to hear that the Open Borders organisation isn't actually for open borders, but instead wants the borders strictly policed to keep out criminals and those prone to violence. I assume in addition that any immigrant who later commits a crime will then be promptly deported.

It seems I owe Open Borders an apology. I heartily approve of your campaign to tighten immigration rules, and hope to hear more of your successes.

john hare writes:

I don't do Facebook either or I would take a shot at a logo. Stick figure man carrying a torch a la Statue of Liberty

----------O----A
------____I____I
------I---I
----------I
---------/ \
--------/---\

This is a crude attempt to render the idea. I added the dashed lines to attempt to make everything line up.

American writes:
Interesting suggestions, but considering that open borders is about permitting peaceful movement of people, not violent or hostile movements... it is about rights for peaceful and innocent people, not violent criminals or invading armies.

So i guess I shouldn't worry about the new immigrants committing crimes, stealing our money through socialism, or suppressing our right to free speech, gun ownership, ect. It wouldn't happen in libertopia, so we shouldn't worry about it happening in real life.

Grant writes:

Why not just use 99designs or crowdspring, and link to the contest from here?

marieinbethpage writes:

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