Benedict and Lou

by Don Boudreaux on April 22, 2008

in Immigration

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that CNN’s Lou Dobbs is angry at the Pope for speaking out in
favor of immigration during the recent Papal visit to America.  According to the WSJ, Mr. Dobbs fulminated
that "I really don’t appreciate the bad manners of a guest telling me
in this country and my fellow citizens what to do."

Memo to Mr. Dobbs: I really don’t appreciate
your bad-mannered habit of incessantly telling me, my family, and my
friends what to do.  If we want to hire – or to befriend, or to live
with, or simply to enjoy as neighbors – non-Americans in our own
hometowns, you rudely tell us that we should not be allowed to do so.
You insult us with myth-laden bombast and uninformed accusations.  The
Pope, in this case, spoke out for greater freedom of association; you
continue to champion obnoxious restrictions on this important freedom.

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{ 9 comments }

The Dirty Mac April 22, 2008 at 10:33 am

Lou Dobbs came to speak in my town, taking a job away from a local xenophobic speaker.

John Dewey April 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

I've wondered for a long time how Lou Dobbs gets away with mis-informing the American public. One would think that rival networks would take him on. My guess is that Dobbs' message is welcomed by union-funded liberals as well as by conservative commentators who thrive by generating fear of Asians and Latinos.

Yeah, I think it is racism that motivates conservative demagogues. I don't remember Perot and Buchanan objecting to the U.S.-Canada free trade agreement of 1988. Dobbs does not object to European investment in U.S. equities, just investment by Asians or by our Middle East allies.

Matt April 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Tancredo and Dobbs lie in wait for the Pope to say that we, in particular, have a duty toward immigration. That, of course, would be market inefficient and rejected by Hayek.

The Pope did not say that, as near as I can tell, the Pope simply stated what the Catholic Church recommends to all world bishops what his estimation of labor utility.

But, the point remains, over what integration period did the Pope calculate the utility of immigration, because I remember times when immigrant utility approached zero in some parts of the globe, and the Pope had better make sure his economics is correct.

Remember, if the Pope is procyclical in his utility estimation, then more immigrants will suffer, not less, over some period of the cycle.

Keith April 22, 2008 at 1:07 pm

"I've wondered for a long time how Lou Dobbs gets away with mis-informing the American public."

Like any elitist spouting dogma he expects everybody to accept it on faith (much like the Pope himself). Neither seem to be wanting for followers.

Mr. Econotarian April 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Forget religion and guns, getting a CNN show makes you bitter (Dobbs/Beck)…

Josh Nankivel April 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Amen.

scottynx May 1, 2008 at 9:16 pm

49.9 percent of hispanic births are illegitimate.

Sarah May 11, 2008 at 11:34 am

"If we want to hire – or to befriend, or to live with, or simply to enjoy as neighbors – non-Americans in our own hometowns, you rudely tell us that we should not be allowed to do so."

I don't get this. Fine, befriend, live with and "enjoy" illegal aliens in your home town. Just don't break the law by hiring them.

And what do you mean, "freedom of association… this important freedom" ? I didn't realize associating with criminals is an important right that a tv anchor should not speak about negatively.

In this case I agree with Lou Dobbs, And btw, the only people I know who "enjoy" illegal immigration in their hometowns are ones who are making money off of them.

ATaylor May 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Consider this: Illegally entering the US requires that the individual (1) subject themselves to mortal risk, (2) bring only what they can carry, and (3) in the case of a Mexico/US border crossing, part with considerable wealth to pay a "coyote". These costs are not very different from those faced by the waves of European migrants in 1900. What I suggest is that they are, De facto, a filter in so much as the less industrious are not likely to take this route. Rather they would be far more likely to try the course of legal migration, which requires that the individual submit paperwork and have the good fortune of winning the lottery.

The caveat: The benefit should be, as it was in 1900, the opportunity to be rewarded for hard work. If however, the expected benefit is receiving government handouts, then all bets are off.

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