Sunday, May 27, 2007

TOWM Quote of the Day

TOWM quote of the day comes from this excellent column by George Will:

It would be wonderful if every time someone like Paucar comes to America, a native-born American rent-seeker who has been corrupted by today's entitlement mentality would leave.

"Paucar" is an industrious immigrant who moved to Minneapolis hoping to set up a fleet of 15 taxis. Unfortunately, he found a government-enforced cap on the number of cabs allowed in the city. He fought this and won, but in a truly perverse move the cab-owners are trying to claim that their constitutional rights (erm "rights") have been violated - in effect, that Paucar is stealing their property (erm, "property") by forcing them to charge market prices rather than government-inflated prices. Of course, my all-time favorite NGO IJ was in charge of his case. In another life, I would have gotten a law degree and devoted 5 years of my time to volunteering for them.

In any case, Will's line gets right to the heart of what's screwed up about the immigration debate. I agree that immigration laws should be enforced, and I agree that the US has the right to control who enters the nation. Non-citizens do not have a right to come when they please and set up shop. However, all other things being equal (meaning if they are not sercurity risks) we should let in as many immigrants as we can - simply because there is nothing about being born here that gives you a right to be shielded from foreign competition either. I'm all for border control over security concerns; not so much a fan when it comes to economic "concerns."


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