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Archive for September 23rd, 2022

I’ve written many columns about the migration from high-tax states to low-tax states.

The obvious takeaway is that people want to move to places where they can keep more of their money. And if they don’t have money, they want to move to places where lower tax burdens create more economic opportunity.

The same principle is true when considering international migration.

Nations with lower tax burden attract more investors, entrepreneurs, and job creators. And they also attract the people who want the new jobs that are created.

We’re seeing an example of this in the Western Hemisphere.

Charles Lane of the Washington Post has a very good column today, explaining a big reason why so many migrants are coming to the United States.

…the exodus from failed left-wing Latin American regimes has global repercussions…many people seeking relief from poverty and oppression go to the wealthiest and freest nation in their own hemisphere: the United States. Right now, escapees from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua make up a rapidly growing share of the influx at the border between the United States and Mexico. …All of the above should inform the debate about “root causes” of migration… the historic debacle represented by the departure of over 6 million from Venezuela… That is a fifth of the entire country. …The foreseeable failure of subjecting the economy to top-down control and denying people basic freedoms can.The exodus is thus a tremendous compliment to the United States and other democratic capitalist countries.

As I said, a very good column. I feel obliged to point out that Mr. Lane was being redundant when he wrote “failed left-wing,” but let’s conclude by examining a couple of policy issues.

First, some people argue that illegal migration can be reduced if American taxpayers send foreign aid to Latin America. But since foreign aid tends to subsidize bad policy, that approach almost surely will backfire.

Second, we should make sure the people who come to America are arriving for opportunity rather than handouts. That’s true whether we have a restrictive policy or an open-door policy.

P.S. The second point doesn’t apply for potential migrants from countries such as Denmark that have overly generous welfare policies.

P.P.S. It’s a problem that Biden wants to drive away highly productive people.

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