Sunday, March 15, 2009

Random Borders

Stuart gets a little bleak that there aren't more coherent, less aggressive advocates of more relaxed immigration laws.

Not that I am new to the opinion, but further to my observations after reading the opening of 'The Red Queen' about the randomness of distinguishing people by borders, Stuart's point about the moral questions that should get raised is a good one.

I am all for people reaping rewards for being productive. I think it leads to a better world. I am also all for removing restrictions that don't make sense. Immigration laws are one of those. The aim, I imagine is protect 'wealth' for future generations of those who have created the wealth.

There are a couple of holes here.

First, the wealth is not created in one generation. It is there because of previous generations... and the people in first world countries get this benefit, not because of hard work or skill... but because of luck.

Second, there are arguments that large portions of this wealth are attributable to dispossession of resources from other countries. This is a thorny issue, and reparations for slavery and colonialism would be hard to quantify. Freeing immigration laws may go a long way to doing this.

Thirdly, along with the 'Red Queen' observation... Your great-great-great-great grandchildren are likely to be joint descendants of you and people in the other countries anyway given the freer movements of the worlds population. So, freer immigration rules are in favour of your descendants.

Getting visas is not pleasant and full of bureaucracy. You would think it would be best to do it once. I would be willing to be subjected to just about any level of scrutiny if it meant I only had to do it once, and then had a life long visa to go wherever I wanted in the world.

Bring on saliva tests for DNA, a full battery of psychometric tests and interviews with people who know me. Take my finger prints and imprints of my dental records. Whatever...

Then leave me alone if I obey your laws and pay your taxes.
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