Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quote of the Day: Free Migration would be Great for the World

If First World governments simply respected everyone’s right to accept job offers from willing employers, most of the world’s poor wouldn’t need charity. They could take care of themselves. Any able-bodied person living in poverty would be free to sell his labor to the highest bidder in the world. Instead of paying years of income to coyotes, the global poor could migrate for the cost of a bus or boat ticket. Instead of crossing the border in fear to compete for illegal jobs, the global poor could cross the border openly to compete for any job they’re qualified to do.

Wouldn’t this simply drive First World wages down to Third World levels? No. Basic economics tells us that trade barriers don’t just redistribute wealth; they destroy wealth. Confining able-bodied workers to the Third World is like confining agriculture to Antarctica. Standard economic estimates say that open borders would roughly double world output. While trade liberalization never benefits absolutely everyone, free migration would be great for the world and great for the world’s poor.
(italics original)

This is from Professor Bryan Caplan in a debate over negative and positive rights” at the Cato Unbound

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