Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on November 24, 2015

in Crony Capitalism, Economics, Immigration, Myths and Fallacies, Terrorism, War

At Cato@Liberty, Doug Bandow reflects realistically on the motives of terrorists and on the manifestations of their evil-doing.

On his Facebook page, Bob Higgs offers an important lesson about immigrants.  Here it is in full:

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many millions of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as well as some from Japan and other parts of Asia, entered the USA. Their assimilation was not easy, and many of the native-born Americans and earlier immigrants (from Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Germany in large part) detested them, considering them unsavory in a variety of ways, such as religion, ideology, and personal habits. Many members of this so-called New Immigration held radical political views. Some were or became anarchists; many more were or became socialists of various stripes. One Polish couple gave birth to a son who later, in accordance with his understanding of anarchism, shot and killed President McKinley. Just think how wonderful it would have been if the Americans had denied these people permission to enter the country.

Except that without these people and their descendants, the country would have been deprived of countless entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals, skilled workers, and ordinary workers who, as the saying goes, built America. It would be an interesting exercise, for example, to see how many of the American recipients of Nobel prizes in science, medicine, and literature have been descendants of the New Immigrants. In short, for the USA, refusal to admit these people would have greatly slowed economic, technical, and scientific progress and possibly condemned the country to an economic status somewhere in the pack, rather than increasingly far out in front of it.

Eventually, of course, the members of these groups assimilated more or less completely into American society, notwithstanding the confident declarations of many WASPs and members of the Old Immigration groups that the newest arrivals were different and could never fit in here. Time after time, the same story has played itself out in U.S. history. Will this time differ? If so, it will signal the triumph of ignorance, fear, and bigotry and a steadfast refusal to learn from history.

While we’re on the subject, David Friedman asks a probing question that should be obvious but, apparently, doesn’t occur to the great majority of people who are hostile to immigrants from Syria.  (The title of this blog post by Friedman is spot-on correct.)

George Will rightly decries a scheme by the State of Texas to rob its citizens of some of their economic freedom – and, in the process, to enrich rent-seekers and make poorer consumers and entrepreneurs.

My former research assistant Mark Perry reports that solid evidence that irrational discrimination creates a large gap between the pay of women and that of men is as elusive as is solid evidence of Big Foot and of the Loch Ness monster.

David Henderson offers an excellent example of the power of economic reasoning.

Arnold Kling shares his thoughts on today’s campus unrest.

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