Steve Landsburg reflects on David Brat’s commitment to free markets. (At various meetings over the years in Richmond and Virginia Beach, I’ve spent some time with David Brat. He’s a nice guy. But it’s sorely and deeply disappointing that he won his electoral victory over Eric Cantor chiefly by – if press reports are to be believed – promising to make it more difficult for people to immigrate to America and for people who have already immigrated to America to remain here without being hounded by agents of the government.) Here’s a slice from Steve’s post:
Now I’m not sure in which sense our congressional candidate [David Brat] considers himself a free marketeer, but surely if you’re a free marketeer in either sense, you’ll tend to endorse statements like these:
- I, and not the government, should get to decide who will be a guest in my home.
- I, and not the government, should get to decide who I’ll hire to mow my lawn.
- I, and not the government, should get to decide who I’ll go running with this evening.
- I, and not the government, should get to decide whose businesses I’ll patronize, who I’ll serve as customers in my own business, and who I can sell my house to.
Strict controls on immigration are, of course, antithetical to all these propositions because their entire purpose is to exclude a large class of people from visiting my home, mowing my lawn, joining me for an evening run, selling me products, buying my products, and generally being, at my discretion, a part of my life.
GMU Econ PhD candidate Mark Lutter ponders private cities. (One of Mark’s greatest intellectual influences is Spencer Heath MacCallum, whose 1970 tract, The Art of Community, is an unsung gem of scholarship and insight. I encourage all Cafe patrons to read Spencer’s book carefully.)