Thursday, August 24, 2006

Joanna Nails It

I think this is quite interesting.

Tending towards knee-jerk open-borderism myself, I am interested in the articles she links. Maybe open borders are bad....

But her main point, that the real justification for draconian immmigration restrictions is our inept welfare state provisions and disastrous education policies, seems spot on. Don't blame the immigrants. Maybe we need to regulate immigration, but the reason is that we can't get our act together on core issues.

And the result is a second-best or third-best world where we don't know if we are doing good or doing harm. The theory of the second best tells us stuff is complicated, once you depart from the path of righteousness. But second best is a two-edge sword: if the deviation from optimality is the RESULT of bad policy, then additional policy interventions (like immigration restrictions) may make things worse, not better.