If your hands are in my wallet you have my attention.
Thus speaks Stefan Molyneux (5:22) as he goes through the latest statistics on welfare usage between native-born Americans and immigrants. Without revealing what should be obvious to most, this is the most important video I have watched this year and probably will be the most important one for you if you’re an American.
As someone who is a native-born American and an ethnic minority in the same neighborhood I grew up in, surrounded by immigrants both legal and illegal, the stats match my personal experience. When I worked a minimum wage job at the local grocery store to pay for college, I would be approached later in the night by customers who could hardly speak English, asking me to help them pick out their groceries according to their food stamps, which they could not read. Immigrant kids who attended my local high school wore brand new shoes and had cell phones, paid for by welfare, then begged the community for food when the local teachers union went on strike (no free lunches).
I was not shocked by what Molyneux presented, just utterly frustrated that libertarian outlets like the Cato Institute, Reason, and others like Jeffrey Tucker – the worst offender of all in this issue – pretend like this disparity in welfare usage doesn’t exist. And if they talk about welfare use at all, it’s a miracle. Most of the time it’s ignored.
They act as though racism or nativism is the sole motive for opposing open borders; they don’t seem bothered at the idea of people entering a community, refusing to assimilate into the culture, refusing to adopt the values, all while using resources stolen from the natives and then voting to take more in addition to restricting other people’s rights.
Naturally, I don’t like borders, and I don’t like the state having any say over who can come and go. Those who can restrict who comes in also can restrict who leaves, the latter of which is of more concern to me.
What’s missed is that a defining feature of a free society isn’t that it allows anyone in but it allows anyone to leave. As one West German said of visiting East Germany, they didn’t care what was brought in, only what was taken out. The Berlin Wall wasn’t constructed to keep enemies out, but to keep its own people from fleeing.
Democracy and the welfare state also create external elements which makes this more than a mere “freedom of movement” matter that it is portrayed as. People don’t just cross invisible lines in the ground. They gain the power to vote to take away my rights.
When there is an enormous hole in the boat, it needs to get plugged. Instead, they keep insisting that we bail out the water, then gaslight us into thinking there is no hole and if there is no one it’s fine.
This ship will not stay afloat indefinitely.
So what’s the solution? There is no silver bullet. I’ve provided some ideas. Honestly, I think we crossed a line a while back in which a purely peaceful solution is no longer feasible. At some point conflict and strife will arise regardless of the direction we ahead. I don’t like it, but there it is.
Somebody is going to have to pay for all this welfare eventually; debt financing will ultimately end in the future. When that happens, do you think it is going to be those using it who will pay? Or do you think it will be you, or your children and grandchildren? Even if you leave the country to escape paying the debt, you will still have to pay income taxes, and should someone find a way to protect the wealth of emigrants, then that’s when the country will have open borders coming in but closed borders coming out.
Putting all that aside, though, something people like Tucker and Reason and Cato should consider: The vast majority of libertarians are white, which will soon be a minority in this country. When that happens, do you think immigrants and the descendants of today’s immigrants are going to become libertarians and read Reason articles? Do you think they’re going to support libertarian activism? Do you think they’re going to sign up for an account at Liberty.me or download and listen to the Cato Home Study Course?
What do you think is more likely an outcome: That the vast majority of immigrants will advocate for libertarianism, or support the very policies these publications and individuals are opposed to?
Do you think they’re going to vote to reduce the state, or expand it? (Molyneux addresses this at 33:10). In the interest of pure self-preservation, they might want to consider the question.
The reality is that not only are they consuming welfare, but their attitude on gun rights are not in our favor.It is the one liberty which Americans have refused to budge on and will probably start a revolution over. If you don’t see the horrific potential for racial strife and pogroms as a result of this disparity when immigrants and their children become a voting majority and pass gun control laws, you need to get new glasses.
If immigration is going to lead to an overall bigger state and make it harder to abolish, then libertarians are justified in wanting to see it reduced or controlled in order to prevent such people from coming here and undermining our efforts.
It is as simple as that.