Choosing your parents

by Russ Roberts on January 15, 2007

in Family

Walter Oi once told me that the two most important choices you make in life are your wife and your parents. By the latter "choice" he meant that your parents have a big impact on who you turn out to be. One of the important things included in that influence is where you are born and grow up. I am so fortunate to be born and raised in the United States. (HT: Donald Luskin) I think most immigrants to the US understand that—the overwhelming reason they come to the United States is for their children.

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{ 10 comments }

undergroundman January 15, 2007 at 2:19 pm

It's also the simple fact that there are more jobs that pay better in the United States. Also, they can send the money back (remittances) and help their home. There are a number of factors in why people flee to the United States.

Mo S. January 15, 2007 at 2:22 pm

That truly helps put things in perspective. Unfortunately, many folks in this country have no clue, and our politicians prey on that discontent and fear.

As a child/grandchild of immigrants, I know it to be a POWERFUL truth. My relatives came from totalitarian societies, but came here, and (without government help) made successful lives, with some hard work and good fortune (both help!). The big thing was that America, as a land of the free, gave them the opportunity, and me and my children are blessed because of it.

Sean January 15, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Not really sure on how they arrived at the 11% homosexuality rate. Also more than 7% have access to Internet through Internet cafes, schools, libraries, etc.

Robert Coté January 15, 2007 at 4:24 pm

11% homosexual? Toss that aside. Everybody tries to slip in a little bias.

More to the point is that the US had nothing but a history of self selecting for success. At least until November 6, 1986.

Steven Plunk January 15, 2007 at 6:09 pm

I've lost count of the number of times I have told my son how lucky we are to live in the United States. It's not a patriotic statement, though I do teach him patriotism, but a simple matter of fact.

We are one of the best educated, richest, and fairest societies in the history of the world. We have no real class structure or caste system to limit potential. The poor have social and government networks so no one need starve to death or sleep cold. We can criticize our government with no fear of reprisals under the law.

All it takes to appreciate where we live is to take a good look elsewhere. Maybe not point by point but ceratinly overall we win hands down. Could it be better? Perhaps. We should all continue to work toward that goal. Until something else comes along this country and this society are the best. My son knows it and we should be teaching all of our children that fact.

Ray G January 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm

A few years ago, I worked with a Bosnian couple who were on the verge of taking their citizenship test. While in one of their offices, I was explaining the difference between pure democracy and a representative republic, and that led to other things.

The wife was an auditor in quality control, and so she had a lot of traffic. I told them that once they were done with their studying, they would know more about America, than most Americans. They didn't believe me, so I started quizzing various people that came through the office on the things we had been discussing.

They were greatly amused, and I was a little depressed.

ben January 15, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Steven Plunk – absolutely right.

Martin January 16, 2007 at 1:33 am

Russell,

Most migrants tend to migrate because they need to, er…eat…

All this 'For the children' stuff is hoeey, Russ,and you know it.

Take the case of one Ramon Estevez, better known as Martin Sheen. Spanish father, Irish mother, parents met in citizenship school. Don't think either would have come to the USA 'for the children'.

Is it politically incorrect to mention the occasional popularity of serials such as 'Abie's Irish Rose', which give the lie to this contention –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abie's_Irish_Rose

sleepingbeauty March 1, 2008 at 2:20 pm

I truly value my relationship with my parents. The role of my parents and my siblings in my life can hardly ever be overstated. To begin with, I should state that my parents have always provided me with support. Their opinion has always played a significant role in my decision making process. Whenever I had a problematic situation over the course of my life I would necessarily talk to my parents about an issue that generated a seemingly irresolvable dilemma. I could go talk to my father about almost anything.

sleepingbeauty March 1, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I truly value my relationship with my parents. The role of my parents and my siblings in my life can hardly ever be overstated. To begin with, I should state that my parents have always provided me with support. Their opinion has always played a significant role in my decision making process. Whenever I had a problematic situation over the course of my life I would necessarily talk to my parents about an issue that generated a seemingly irresolvable dilemma. I could go talk to my father about almost anything.

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