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Quotation of the Day…

is from pages 279-280 of my former student Alex Nowrasteh’s and GMU Econ alum Benjamin Powell’s excellent hot-off-the-Cambridge-University-Press book, Wretched Refuse? (2021):

The economic case for international labor mobility, immigration, is similar to the economic case for free trade in goods. Both imply that, as a general rule, wealth is maximized when government does nothing to interfere with the free choices of individuals in the marketplace. Thus, the starting point for crafting policy should begin with a baseline presumption of free trade and free immigration. Any deviation from this baseline should be justified by appealing to a specific circumstance or situation that would clearly make free trade or free immigration suboptimal, and any such deviation in policy should be targeted as narrowly as possible, to only apply to the specific externality.