Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Imagination needed

Milton Friedman famously argued for immigration -- on economic as well as liberty grounds. "Humanitarian" sounds good too but the essence involves giving people economic opportunity as well as greater political freedom. Friedman did warn, however, that his suggestion is complicated by welfare state policies that can add to the attraction of the destination countries. Receiving country backlash would increase,

But it is also true that large-scale immigration and the welfare state are both here to stay. What can be done? Massive vetting efforts are required.  Marginal Revolution cites a "markets in everything" private vetting service solution.

Expensive? Yes, but so are the alternatives. "Trillions" could be left on the sidewalk. Terror attacks are also expensive and so is homeland security. This may be one of the most important conversations of our day. I would put it ahead of climate change because what we see on Europe's borders right now is, I believe, just the start. Holman Jenkins sees the European status quo as just another Greek-debt approach, e.g.,  "Extend and Pretend."

It's not pretty that the shrillest (and least imaginative) view from the U.S. (somehow build a wall and have Mexico pay for it) is the one getting the most attention.