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An Open Letter to “Libertarians” Against Immigration Amnesty

May 6th, 2010

If you are one of these ‘libertarians’, who oppose amnesty for migrant workers, who oppose open borders and freedom of travel, employ and commerce, this letter is addressed to you.

Dear “Libertarians”,

I notice a lot of you like to say that brown people in third world countries accept low-wage, hard-labor jobs because that’s better than the alternative (namely: subsistence farming). You argue that this is how the invisible hand of the “free market” works.

No, it’s fucking not.

The only reason they are condemned to these choices is because they had the misfortune of being born in some banana republic, some petty dictatorship, or some ass-backward third-world country. Viz., some place you ‘libertarians’ would never — ever — want to find yourselves; you would kick, punch, claw, gouge and shoot your way out. You would climb mountains, cross deserts, or navigate shark-infested oceans in order to find something better.

But when I bring up immigration, I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about them. You’re worried that if people emigrate, you might not pull down $18/hour plus benefits to be a high school custodian — as if being compelled by the forces of supply and demand to accept a $13/hour gig instead is a degradation even remotely similar to being locked in some craphole third-world country making $100 shoes for 8 cents a day.

You’re saying, “I’m all for the free market as long as I get to play by a different set of rules [than immigrants and residents of LDCs]”. But that’s not how a “free market” works.

You do not get to exempt yourself from the workings of the free market and still call it a “free market”. The same forces which might compel a migrant worker to pick cherries in Traverse City, or to work ‘illegally’ doing midnight shifts at the gas station, may also compel you to sacrifice that vacation home, or the third flat-screen TV, or the brand-new car for your daughter’s sweet sixteen, or your microbrews, or your Marlboros or your expensive tennis shoes and video games — so that those oppressed and disenfrachised can feed their fucking families.

Take a good, long, hard look in the mirror. You are not an advocate of the ‘invisible hand’.
You are an apologist for the ‘invisible fist’, punching all of humanity in the throat, forever.


David Zemens




no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics