Monday, May 01, 2006
I agree that we need to lay aside politics, but I think that politics should be laid aside for completely removing the social security system.
Based on economic freedom, the government is coercing people to pay money into a system that does nothing to protect them from harm from others. There is no reason based on freedom why the government should force people to put money into a retirement program if they earn money.
Similarly, there is no market failure involved that I can see that would give the government any reason to have a social security program based on efficiency. It seems fairly absurd to think that there would be monopoly, externality, or public goods related to retirement savings, therefore, the government is only creating a problem (a system that is rapidly going bankrupt) rather than solving one and I do not think that is the role of government from any perspective! There is no reason to have a social security program based on efficiency.
I understand that there would be a struggle if social security ended, but I think that it needs to happen regardless of how many people complain. Eventually, if we are realistic, I think most people recognize that social security will have to end someday, and that someday should come soon. It will continue to be a problem, I think, unless we end it rather than trying to restructure it.
Mexico and Mary Jane?
However, being one of the pioneers in the drug legalization process, it seems that Mexico is getting quite a large amount of criticizm on the subject. And most likely will until the United States understands that the efficient amount of anything, drugs or otherwise is not an amount equal to zero.
Immigrants take jobs that Americans already here will not do; or so President Bush says.
President Bush says, "there are millions of them." That is why he wants to re-label illegal immigrants as "guest workers."
He must know something we don't. Americans do all sorts of unpleasant jobs. We slaughter hogs, vacuum pit toilets, hold umbrellas to shade Michael Jackson from the sun. We pick up road kill, guard mass murderers, and inseminate cows. Some very nasty work?
I suspect what the president means when he says there are all sorts of jobs Americans will not do is that there are jobs that Americans don't want for the pay being offered.
That's the crux of the whole immigration debate. Businesses large and small want immigrants so they don't have to pay people decent wages or benefits. And with a nearly endless supply of abjectly poor potential immigrants that can be imported at will in order to suppress labor shortages for even the most hard to fill positions (and so suppress the natural tendency for undesirable or specialized employees to bid up their wages), the natural flow of a free market for labor is distorted in favor of the owners of capital.
The aim of a guest worker program wouldn't be to fill open jobs. It would be to establish a permanent, low-cost, benefit-free underclass of workers who allow business owners to make more money.
That is how I see it.
So what about the Democrats? Well they think that most immigrants will end up voting for them and so they think the more the merrier.
Doing the job for less than Americans will is the immigrant's comparative advantage. And the fact that an employer obviously prefers labor as cheap as he can get it is no more profound than the fact that consumers want goods as cheap as they can get them. Ceteris Parabus anyway.
The natural flow of the market would seem better served by open borders and the freedom to associate without arbitrary political boundaries.