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Immigration

Tons of immigration is great given your country is good at:

1) capitalism
2) assimilation and cultural confidence

If your country is bad at capitalism and has a welfare state, then it works better to limit immigration to people who have money or valuable job skills (e.g. fully trained doctors), not people who will go on welfare.

If your country is bad at assimilation, it works better to limit immigration to people who already share similar values. For the US, that means mostly immigration from the English speaking nations.

The US needs to limit immigration – like Trump proposes – because we're bad at both these points. Yes I'm a classical liberal who would like free movement of persons as a matter of principle similar to free trade. But we don't live in a classical liberal society. Many classical liberal policies don't work when individually used in a culturally-relativist welfare society. Bringing in a bunch of anti-liberal immigrants who are going to stay anti-liberal is not a classical liberal policy!

Taking tax money from some Americans to give handouts to other Americans is bad enough. Bringing in a bunch of immigrants, then raising taxes (or debt) to give them handouts too, is stupid and destructive. Immigration should be for people who will support themselves.

Having millions of citizens who dislike our country is bad enough. Bringing in millions more people who don't like our country is stupid and destructive. Immigration should be for people who like American values and, while not necessarily understanding our values very well already, are willing to learn and change. (For example, someone who doesn't know English, and doesn't want to learn it, should not immigrate to the US.)


Elliot Temple on October 25, 2016

Comments (18)

I considered saying the US should focus on immigration from Western countries. But Western Europe is further gone than us. It's more leftist and anti-liberal.

Immigrants from Israel, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore may be better than immigrants from France, Germany, Spain and Denmark.

I'd be interested in discussion of this point.

curi at 10:39 PM on October 25, 2016 | #7027
The US already limits immigration harshly, so I don't know what the problem is. Who is being allowed in freely? Isn't your problem people sneaking into the country versus laws not being strict enough?

Do you believe in "birth right" as welfare is concerned?

Uncontrolled immigration where foreigners can use the welfare system can cause problems, because suddenly you get a wave of people coming in and burdening the system. But doesn't the problem lie in the welfare system itself? Doesn't it make more sense to limit the welfare system to everyone?

Also, what makes you think there would be more immigrants claiming welfare than people in your country birthing children to claim more welfare?

Why do you think only very skilled workers like doctors should be allowed in? What about other workers? They are necessary and unless the welfare system gives them privileges, they will work harder and longer than nationals, because they won't have family support or other resources. Free immigration in this sense will also "punish" bad countries who do give people the right opportunities and force them to improve or lose their workforce.

As for assimilation, I agree. People who hate the country should not be allowed in. But I don't know how that could or should be tested.

Anonymous at 3:02 AM on October 27, 2016 | #7096
> The US already limits immigration harshly, so I don't know what the problem is.

you seem unfamiliar with the situation.

my suggestion is you read Front Page Magazine, Ann Coulter and Breitbart regularly for a few years.

just today the first paragraph of Ann's new article:

http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2016-10-26.html

> Every ethnic group except whites bloc-votes for the Democrats. Coincidentally, the Democrats have brought in another 30 to 40 million nonwhite immigrants in the last few decades.

that's actually a lot.

and i think that figure is low considering illegal immigration is over 30 million. (that's not ignorance on Ann's part, it's avoiding debating everything at once)

---

if you have a different proposal, e.g. a long discussion to a conclusion, let me know. but i think you just need more familiarity with the background facts.

curi at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2016 | #7100
I'm curious how would Ayn Rand have been allowed in the US under limited immigration? She had family in the US and a degree which wasn't useful to get her a job in the US. Then she married an American in order to stay. Ayn Rand fiercely defended what she believed to be true American values more than Americans at the time.

Maybe you think the US as it is now has enough "Ayn Rands" in or that people born in the US are more likely to become "Ayn Rands"? If that was true, then you wouldn't have a problem now. You seem to be blaming it all on immigration, but that is not true, even according the Ann Coulter article you linked to.

It seems that you suggest rejecting people on the grounds of nationality and only allowing people from certain countries in. You didn't include the UK in your suggestion. Why? I'm guessing perhaps because many British nationals are Islamic and lefties?

Do you mean that anyone from those countries should be allowed in or just people with degrees and a certain reputation? Wouldn't that make a case for status and second-handed traditions?

Under your rules Rami Rustom's family would have never been allowed in the US. What does he think of this, being that he is your number 1 fan? Does he agree with you? Wouldn't he have to accept that he should not have existed to agree with you?

How do you solve problems like this?

>> Every ethnic group except whites bloc-votes for the Democrats. Coincidentally, the Democrats have brought in another 30 to 40 million nonwhite immigrants in the last few decades.

How did the Democrats bring in millions of immigrants to the country? And how come the immigrants have the right to vote? It makes sense for immigrants to vote for the party that benefits them, so you can't blame them. I guess the argument is that the Democrats support criminals and do not care if they trash the country as long as they have power. So they don't care who is voting for them, just that they get votes.

From the page:
> The Chinese immigrant who got probation for murdering his wife, for example, came to America based on his specialized skill of being a dishwasher.

How did he get in? Did he marry a national?

Anonymous at 2:45 AM on October 28, 2016 | #7103
#7103 I am 5% sure you are the banned member of curi

ff at 8:17 AM on October 28, 2016 | #7106
I think I am 100% sure now..

ff at 8:34 AM on October 28, 2016 | #7107

Immigration conversation w/FB friend #1

Here's a conversation on immigration between me and an FB friend (#1).

Quoting is like this:

> [me]
>> [friend #1]

> Immigration is only good with capitalism and assimilation. Having a bunch of immigrants doesn't work well if they don't learn our country's value system or they go on welfare. http://curi.us/1925-immigration

>> What does bad at capitalism even mean? If it means tying capital acquisition and financing towards pure market meritocracy, than the inheritance tax has to be looked at as a means of limiting the generational transfer of wealth.
As far as bad at assimilation, what's the measure there? Is it the fact the media produced by the us is one of its highest grossing exports? Is it that "lifestyle" associated products like clothing companies? The US is so good at assimilation that it has turned culture into one of its leading exports.

> Being good at capitalism involves knowing (at least implicitly) a bunch of ideas about private property and individual rights. I consider the USA to be the best country in the world at capitalism, so by my definition citizens of other countries are on average worse at capitalism than us. By "assimilation" I had in mind how well and how quickly people who come here learn American ideas. As you pointed out, our entertainment industry is good at making certain American ideas popular, or at least well known, throughout the world, but there are many other important things for a new citizen to learn. People who come here from cultures that are similar to ours in important ways will on average have less to learn and will "assimilate" better.

>> Cultural assimilation isn't a linear equation. You can come from a very different culture and assimilate quickly if one of the traits of that culture is to value the group wellbeing over self. Conversely, you can be from a very similar culture that values individualism very heavily and maintain a separatist streak over many generations.

> I agree that the speed of assimilation varies depending on one's background, but I think you've got the relevant ideas backwards: American culture is relatively individualistic, so people who value individualism will assimilate to American culture better and faster.

Alisa at 12:10 AM on November 1, 2016 | #7286

Immigration conversation w/FB friend #1

The paragraph beginning with "As far as bad at assimilation" was written by Friend #1.

Alisa at 12:11 AM on November 1, 2016 | #7287

Immigration conversation w/FB friend #2

The conversation continued from there with FB friend #2:

>> Witness how well we, or the colonists who came here before us "assimilated" into the Native American culture. Ha!

> Good thing we didn't - our culture was infinitely better.

>> According to you. The native residents were not "advanced" in the way that those of European descent might describe it, but they took infinitely better care of their environment than us invaders and illegal immigrants ever did after the arrival of Columbus.

> Objectively. For details, see The Beginning of Infinity, by David Deutsch (specifically, chapter 15, which deals with static societies). If you'd prefer not to read it, I can make the same points myself, but not as well or as eloquently as Deutsch.

>> What you call a static society I call a balanced one in which the needs of everyone are met and each person contributes to the system but no one has to exploit others to survive. Capitalism in its present form seems unfortunately to depend on constant growth, creating a society of excess, in which goods are easily discarded and replaced. Not good at all for our planet or our psyche. that's just me I guess. I like the Yankee saying: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." If that is static, I like it.

> Static societies survive essentially unchanged for millennia by brutally suppressing individual creativity and differences. If they allowed those things to flourish, their societies would have changed and made rapid progress, the way non-static societies have.

>> I see no evidence of brutal suppression in indigenous societies. Native Americans even honored what we call mental illness by giving individuals special sacred status. I have no illusion that all was peaceful between tribes, but within them the society seemed to work quite well. Progress is sometimes overrated when it brings us scourges like nuclear weapons.

> The evidence for suppression of creativity in static societies is that they didn't make progress. There's no other way to stay stuck for so long without suppressing innovation. Progress brings with it a continual stream of new challenges, but staying static doesn't help. (See every species that went extinct when its habitat changed.) The only thing to do is to keep increasing our knowledge and wealth without limit, and to adopt ideas that support those things.

>> Our "innovations" have also brought us to the brink of environmental disaster, or are you one of those who thinks climate change is a hoax??

> How would climate change be a hoax? The Earth's climate has been changing throughout history.

>> Of course I meant man's impact on the environment which indeed has been responsible for the rapidity of recent and irreversible climate change. Your Mr . Trump seems to believe it is a hoax fostered by China, or so he has said.

> It's probably worthwhile to determine what global average temperature of the earth is best for humanity. (AFAIK, no one knows what that that is.) After that, we could try to figure out what it would take to keep the climate within that range. Finally, we could try to make those changes happen if it seemed beneficial overall.

>> Meanwhile it is just fine to flood island nations with rising ocean levels because they are just not "advanced" enough to be worth considering I suppose.

Alisa at 12:13 AM on November 1, 2016 | #7289

Reply to #7289

>Capitalism in its present form seems unfortunately to depend on constant growth, creating a society of excess, in which goods are easily discarded and replaced. Not good at all for our planet or our psyche.

Being so poor that if you ruin your one pair of shoes you're in big trouble isn't good for the psyche. Much better to be able to easily replace stuff 😀👍💵

Mysterious J at 8:30 AM on November 13, 2016 | #7578
I'm working on writing a fictional world.

In some ways I am inspired by Ayn Rand in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The world I am creating is a demonstration of the consequences of ideas.

An idea I am considering for this world is a split in the USA after years of liberal progressiveness take their toll.
Half split to form their own union, having decided that the country is going to continue on that path so they would be better off going their own way.

The remaining states are left to continue the progressive liberal agendas, with welfare and immigration and medicare for all.

Change will be gradual, but the new union will phase out welfare and medicare, establish a border wall, deport illegals, and bring back human rights for legitimate citizens.

Does this seem feasible? Possible?

Anonymous at 2:20 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7731
sounds like a big project requiring lots of good ideas to do well -- which means doing things like discussing Mises, Popper and Rand. depends on your goals though. some authors get a substantial following and income writing stuff like this using bad ideas.

Anonymous at 11:48 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7740
It is a big project and will take a lot of time and work. I don't know how long it will take me to get far with the time I can put into it. Multiple years, at least.

I don't particularly want to get paid for bad ideas. Learning bad ideas for money is self-destructive. The bad ideas I will present in the world will be in a similar way to Rand, including the bad ideas to explain them and what's wrong with them.

I've read quite a lot of Rand and I discuss here and some FB groups. I don't know much about Mises yet (and know only a little about Popper). Where would be a good place to start learning about them?

I like audio books. I can get "Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition" and "Human Action: A Treatise on Economics" on Audible.

Liberalism seems like a good place to start for this, but both seem relevant.

Popper doesn't appear on Audible. Audio books for Popper generally seem rare.

Anonymous at 4:33 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7743
> Popper doesn't appear on Audible. Audio books for Popper generally seem rare.

Voice Dream Reader.

> I've read quite a lot of Rand and I discuss here and some FB groups.

do you think you've figured it out enough to plan what to do with your knowledge (e.g. this story)? have you written anything more explaining your ideas, e.g. a short essay, and exposed it to criticism? how did you decide your ideas are developed enough that you're working on this story instead of on improving your ideas?

you missed the point about bad ideas which is: without extensive study -- and some other stuff -- you can expect to be sharing bad ideas (like the point of the book will be bad, not just the villains). even with extensive study, most people still fuck it up. most intellectuals are badly wrong. most academics are badly wrong. what are you doing differently and what have you done to expose your plan to criticism?

do you think your ideas for the book are comparably good to Popper, Rand, Deutsch? To someone you will name who wrote worthwhile books about ideas? there are much lesser thinkers who still made good books like The Selfish Gene, Godel Escher Bach, and Economics in One Lesson. do you have a plan for how to do that? if not, what's the point?

Anonymous at 7:22 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7748
>> Popper doesn't appear on Audible. Audio books for Popper generally seem rare.

>Voice Dream Reader.

I'll try it out.



My focus is on world-building rather than a specific story at the moment (yes I said "writing" earlier, that was misleading)

> do you think you've figured it out enough to plan what to do with your knowledge (e.g. this story)?

Not yet. Still in early stages. I have some concepts that I will put into stories when it's time for them, but I'm sure I will think of more as I learn.

> have you written anything more explaining your ideas, e.g. a short essay, and exposed it to criticism?

I discuss ideas in a few relevant groups, currently trying out discussing it here

Will do stuff like essays/short stories in the future as I develop further

> what are you doing differently and what have you done to expose your plan to criticism?

Differently to what? To being "badly wrong"? I'm not sure what I'm comparing to. Vague. I'll try some answers anyway.

I haven't read Rand's book on The Art of Fiction yet, but it's in my to-read list.

I will avoid contradictions. Fictional worlds need to be internally consistent. If they contradict themselves they're a disaster.

I will be critical of "conventional" wisdom. Avoid using tropes just because they're expected, but use them when they're good/communicate relevant information.

I wont vary for the sake of variation. Changing something for the sake of it and being different for the sake of it might be attention-grabbing, but doesn't help create something good.

Does any of that answer the question?

And what I've done to expose my plan: Early stages yet, not an awful lot. Will discuss with writers/readers/editors/whatever people who know a lot about stuff I will include in stories, as I need to.

> how did you decide your ideas are developed enough that you're working on this story instead of on improving your ideas?

(taking it as why I'm working on this world, which seems to warrant the same question)

I didn't. I don't need to fully develop my ideas to start developing the world. Building now allows me to try ideas out, think about the consequences. Also helps reveal my knowledge gaps so I can find out what I need to learn about more. (eg I want to study economics and politics more now)

I continue to improve my ideas. If that reveals something wrong with the world, I fix it.

> if not, what's the point?
Practise. It's a way of experimenting with new ideas. Even if it does turn out irredeemably bad, I'll scrap it and work out how to do better.

Also, I like building things, it's fun.

Anonymous at 9:36 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7751
> > even with extensive study, most people still fuck it up. most intellectuals are badly wrong. most academics are badly wrong. what are you doing differently?

> Differently to what?

it said to what and you deleted that part from your quote.

differently than what those academics and intellectuals do which doesn't work. differently than the various typical ways people fail and end up having and sharing bad ideas rather than good ideas.

this looks like a typical large literacy problem to me, which is a big issue for writing a story.

> Does any of that answer the question?

It answers by saying you plan to do nothing much different. What you listed has been tried by a million people who failed! It's very standard conventional common sense tips.

> Will discuss with writers/readers/editors/whatever people who know a lot about stuff I will include in stories, as I need to.

how would you know when you need to? and you said the story is about ideas. so the primary people to talk to would be ones who know about ideas, not any of the groups you listed.

> Practise. It's a way of experimenting with new ideas.

if you want to learn about ideas, there are much more time-and-effort-efficient ways than writing a story.

Anonymous at 10:45 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7752

media lies that most terrorists in the US are White Americans

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5jqe0i/french_mayor_under_arrest_for_acknowledging_that/dbicaic/

>The Independent just ran a story referencing a study by New American (liberal think tank) claiming that most terrorists in the US are White Americans. I followed the links and discovered that their dataset of 396 names of terrorists shows they are mostly Muslim... but since they are born here, and genetically Arab, they are listed as...White Americans. This study has been linked to major news networks with pictures of skinheads and confederate flags. But if you download the data set, you see something entirely different.
https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5jnus1/a_recent_study_reveals_that_white_americans_have/

Alisa at 1:09 PM on December 22, 2016 | #8021
the reddit guy quoted in #8021 deleted his comment and provided this explanation

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5jqe0i/french_mayor_under_arrest_for_acknowledging_that/dbicaic/#dbj0d16

>I deleted it because I have been going back and looking at this chain of information, and now I realize that, although I was right that they were mis-using the information from the New America study, I was wrong about HOW they were mis-using it.

>I thought they were saying that the study concluded that most Islamic terrorists in the US were born here, and then were grouping them in with Neo-Nazis to inflate the numbers.

>Now I realize they weren't, they were referencing a graph at the end of the study which was NOT the conclusion of the study, but merely a graph meant to illustrate a point unrelated to the conclusions of the study. They lied about what the graph implied, so they are still lying liars who lie. But they weren't lying about the dataset, they were lying about this unrelated graph.

>I'm pretty embarrassed to have jumped to the wrong conclusion. I changed my original post to explain my mistake, but I still feel like putz.

Anonymous at 7:09 PM on December 25, 2016 | #8099

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)