Jacob Sullum of Reason Magazine
has a post in which he says that
In the debate over the immigration bill, left-liberal Democrats are emerging as champions of the free market.
[ What Is the Way a Market-Based Capitalist Economy Works Best?| June 6, 2007]
This should make him more suspicious than it does. He quotes former immigration lawyer,
now California Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren in the New York Times:
But Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, said she had found no one in her Silicon Valley district who thought it was a good idea.â€?The point system is like the Soviet Union,â€? Ms. Lofgren said. â€?The government is saying, in effect, â€?We have a five-year plan for the economy, and we will decide with this point system what mix of skills is needed.â€™ That is not the way a market-based capitalist economy works best.â€?A Point System for Immigrants Incites Passions, New York Times
Sullum goes on to say
Lofgren is right, but I`m not sure she`s willing to follow this reasoning to its logical conclusion, which is not somewhat more flexible central planning but a system in which employers and consumers decide which skills are needed. If only we had a catchy name for that.
The political point here is that Democrats, and here I include both Lofgren and the New York Times,
want to import more poor people. They like poor people, who vote Democratic, and they feel that they`re being charitable in admitting them. The point system is intended to select people who will be net taxpayers—engineers, computer people, business owners.
Of course, all this does is displace a better class of people, but it doesn`t add to the welfare rolls.
But if "employers and consumers"
want to import a poor person, they`re volunteering to add to other people`s tax burden.
It`s rent-seeking by employers, and imported voter-seeking by Democrats, and that`s why it`s legitimate for the government to interfere in the market—because it`s a market in tax dollars.