August 05, 2005
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An Oregon Reader Ponders Martha Stewart
From: [Name Withheld]
RE: Bryanna Beven's blog item, Kimberly-Clark Relocates to Mexico
I really like your web site. It is clearly the best one out there on the immigration issue.
However, I was greatly disturbed by Bryanna Beven's blog post.
Firstly because it represents a distraction from the immigration issue, it does not belong there any more than posts about taxes, gun control or monetary policy.
VDARE.COM writers may have their opinions on such issues. But as VDARE supporters likely disagree, they should be expressed elsewhere.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly, opposing a move of production to Mexico is in effect opposing something that is likely to reduce illegal immigration.
What does Bryanna Bevens really think those Mexicans that Kimberly Clark plans to hire would do if they were denied good jobs in Mexico because of her protectionist attitudes? They will go north in many cases.
Opposition to the building of plants in Mexico is in effect advocating increased illegal immigration.
The most effective solution to the problem of illegal immigration is of course securing the borders and enforcing the laws against hiring illegal immigrants.
But while we wait for that, we should welcome Kimberly-Clark's move, and similar actions that reduce illegal immigration by hiring Mexicans in Mexico instead of in the United States.
Peter Brimelow replies: VDARE.COM is indeed a coalition of immigration reformers. We do struggle constantly to keep the members from quarrelling about their other views, although those views do creep in occasionally, especially with the syndicated columnists.
Personally, I still regard myself as a free trader for reasons outlined here. And from a theoretical standpoint, of course, free trade is a substitute for immigration.
But in practice this argument would be easier to make had NAFTA not been accompanied by an increase in immigration. Clearly, something else was going on as well.
Moreover, it is undeniable that free trade, whatever its overall advantages, has redistribution effects. Those suffering the effects are free to protest them, and to persuade sympathizers like Bryanna to join them.
What is really happening here is the alienation of Americans from their capitalist class—because of things like the NAFTA fiasco.
As none other than David Frum once said, in the end American capitalism will probably have to choose between free trade and open immigration. Otherwise, it will find itself politically lynched by enraged American nationalists. Right now, it is arrogantly unaware.