"Suppose a man in Mexico wants to work at a car wash in LA, and suppose the owner of that car wash wants to hire him. Should these men be free to do business? The question here is not whether it is legal for them to do business, but whether it should be legal. What moral principle governs this situation? The principle of individual rights does. Each individual has the right to act on his own judgment, so long as he does not violate the same right of others. Accordingly, these men should be free to do business.
Similarly, suppose a man in India wants to move to North Carolina, and suppose a landlord in North Carolina wants to lease him an apartment. Should the Indian be free to move? Should the landlord be free to lease him an apartment? Again, the governing principle is that of individual rights.
We could multiply examples, but the point should be clear: Foreigners have a right to move to America, and Americans have a right to hire, contract, and associate with them by mutual consent. A government that prohibits or limits immigration thereby initiates force against would-be immigrants—and against those Americans who want to associate with them—and thus violates the rights of both parties. The principle of individual rights forbids this prohibition and mandates open immigration." ~Craig Biddle, from the article Immigration and Individual Rights
One of the political hot buttons today is the subject of migration. Those who
are well read in the history of the United States will recognize most of the
positions taken and the complaints about the migrants by those who arrived earlier.
What is not recognized is that those complaints and the perceived problems associated
with migration are a product of the nature of the money we use.
We use a physical object money (POM),
a money which is or represents physical objects. This kind of money has many
harmful consequences because it is amoral,
it cannot be controlled, it can
be taken from you against your will, its supply
is independent of the supply of things for sale, and it simulates a zero-sum game
relationship which often makes us act as enemies to each other, even within
families. (See the other articles in the POM Education
section for a detailed
exposition on each of the above points.)
It's easy to see that because money makes economic interaction seem like a "dog
eat dog", "every man for himself" situation, then any group
that we don't belong to must be working against us. When we see others win
economically we feel that they must have won at our expense. So when we see
people who don't look like ourselves or who don't speak our language or who
don't worship at our church or who don't eat the same foods or who don't listen
to the same music, we naturally feel that they are our opponents. If they have
jobs and I don't, it must be because they took my job. If they have more money
than I do, it must be because they cheated in some way. Our money makes us
have these feelings even though they are silly and harmful to everyone.
What would the situation be like with a non-POM economy? Non-POM transactions
do not give the impression of a zero-sum game relationship. One can only win
in a non-POM economy if others also win. What benefits others benefits me.
So the feeling that those others are my opponents does not occur. If they have
money it must be that they are doing good things which benefit me.
But how can they get money? In our POM economy they might be involved in organized crime. In a post-POM economy there is no organized crime at all. They can't
steal money since non-POM money is not transferable. If they steal property
they would have to transport that property out of the nation to some POM economy
in order to sell it for money. There simply is no way that they can gain money
without helping others (us) in some way.
What about jobs? Wouldn't those immigrants be taking our jobs? Well, no. They
wouldn't. There is no unemployment in a non-POM society. Anyone who wants to
work to help others may do so. The number of jobs is not limited by the supply
of money because the more work that is done the more money comes into existence.
What about illegal immigration? Let's say Michael (the most common man's first
name in the U.S. the last time I heard) illegally enters the U.S. In order
to get money Michael must have an account with the money computer system. To
have such an account Michael must be identified. If Michael attempts to get
an account he identifies himself as an illegal immigrant. If Michael does not
get an account Michael cannot be paid and Michael must live without money.
This means that Michael will be consuming a minimal amount of resources in
the U.S. Also, no one is required to help Michael in any way. No one is required
to give him food or housing or medical care. Under those conditions, I don't
think Michael will stay very long. Also, no mechanism for enforcement of immigration
law is necessary since the situation, the circumstances in which Michael finds
himself will take care of him without effort on anyone else's part. If that
weren't bad enough for Michael, he will be unable to travel except by the free
transportation so after he crosses the border it is walk or hitchhike to get
almost anywhere beyond the city bus lines.
What about legal immigrants sending money that they have earned in
the U.S. home? They can't do that.
POM can be sent home. Non-POM is not transferable. It can't be given to anyone
else. It cannot be sent anywhere to anyone. Money
earned here can be spent only here. Of course, the immigrant could buy things
and carry them home or send them out of the country. But that's just like barter.
The immigrant is trading work for goods. I don't see any problem with someone
What about immigrants coming in just to get the free necessities which are
available to everyone in a non-POM economy? Keep in mind that no one is
required to give their property to anyone else. No one has to give anyone else food
or clothes or housing or medical treatment. So it will not cost U.S. citizens
anything if some citizen wants to feed someone else with their own food. Is
it any of your business if your neighbor chooses to give to the poor? Remember
that non-POM economies have no taxes at all. They have no State welfare system.
All property is private property owned by individuals. Therefore, if immigrants
come for the necessities and no one wants to give them anything then they get
nothing. In other words, with a non-physical object money migration isn't a
problem for U.S. citizens.
But let's consider a worst case situation in which some deranged killer enters
the U.S. by crossing the border away from the normal entry points. Lacking
an account, this maniac would be noticeable since the computer system must
be able to identify all persons who have money and all persons who are authorized
to credit accounts (two mutually exclusive groups, of course). Therefore, when
interacting with anyone in a store or other business, the crazed killer would
be identified as an outsider. It would be quite appropriate for any citizen
to ask the stranger who he was and what his business was there. As described
in the non-POM criminal justice article, any citizen who helps to prevent crime
or enforce the law is paid to do so. Therefore, suspicious actions such as
not being known to the computer system, would tend to generate considerable
interest on the part of ordinary citizens. Lacking money, the killer would
find travel slow and difficult so getting away would be unlikely. All this
makes enforcement of immigration law, even in the worst case, easier and more
effective and efficient than is currently possible.
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