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A Modest Wish List for the New Year

In my most-recent column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I offer a modest wish list for 2015.  The list includes elimination of that most anti-poor spectacle of current legislation, the minimum wage; abolition of the stranglehold that government has over K-12 schooling; elimination of America’s most blatant version of banana-republic-esque atrocities, civil asset forfeiture; and making immigration into the U.S. far easier and more abundant.  A couple of slices:

The minimum wage is among the most shameful scams ever perpetrated on the poorest and most disadvantaged workers. Just as con artists dupe unsuspecting targets with get-rich-quick schemes, politicians dupe unsuspecting poor workers with the get-higher-wages-quick scheme that is the minimum wage.


Human creativity and effort are the ultimate resource in free societies. This creativity and effort bring us fancy electronics such as smartphones and personal computers. But they also bring us an increased supply of food (through refrigeration and better packaging), cultural delights (such as recorded music that allows us to listen to Beethoven or the Beatles whenever we wish) and lifesaving drugs.

Allowing more immigrants to come here would allow a greater supply of the ultimate resource to move from societies that suppress this creativity and effort to a society where that creativity and effort will more likely be unleashed.

The benefits of liberalized U.S. immigration will flow not only to immigrants who thrive in the U.S., but to every American — indeed, to every person integrated into the global economy. Imagine a world with more Sergey Brins, Andy Groves and Pierre Omidyars. That world would have a larger number of entrepreneurial companies that expand economic opportunities for workers, offer better investment opportunities to people saving for retirement and supply more innovative products that improve our lives.