Why ‘Open Borders’ Is A Foolish, Untenable Idea:
I broke it down once for my cousin using a nightclub analogy, to make it simpler.
Open-borders, based on supply & demand, seems great in theory. Individuals will gravitate where they are needed and/or where there is a demand for their services. Others in that nation may decide to move on to another nation where their own skills are in demand. In other words, both the quantity of residents in a particular nation, and their entry and exit, would sort it self out to equal what that nation needs, much as it does with goods in the marketplace where supply & demand struggle nicely and ultimately settle on/determine a price for certain goods.
All sounds like it would work, right? Why the need for silly ‘borders’ when we can rely on the supply & demand forces to self-regulate our population, just as we do to self-regulate the price of a computer?
But herein lies the rub: supply & demand functions on the premise of “all other things being equal.” It almost requires a controlled environment. For instance, supply & demand doesn’t work very well in determining prices for housing in NYC because you have external factors screwing it up — e.g., rent-controlled units, etc.
Well, it’s the same with immigration. For supply & demand to function and to validate an open borders system, there could be no extenuating factors. But, alas, there are.
So let’s consider using more direct imagery of an actual flow of people. Indulge me, if you will, on this nightclub analogy.
Picture an area known for its hub of nightclubs and bars within a few blocks: the Meatpacking in NY, Landsdowne in Boston, the FrenchQuarter in New Orleans.
For purposes of this exercise: Each of those clubs is a sovereign country and customers/bar-hoppers are immigrants.
Supply & demand would indicate that there’s no need for a velvet-rope or even for fire-code capacity limits because the ‘forces’ would see to it that the perfect ebb-and-flow would occur naturally. For instance, customers might gravitate to Club A but then hear that Club B has better music, according to their own tastes, and move there. If Club B gets too crowded, people will voluntarily leave to Club C, where there is more space and thus a better ‘home.’ Perhaps they may even return to Club A later, known for its DJ. See? The ‘ebb and flow’ would need no regulation because it would all be determined on where the best opportunities are for certain individuals, and thus the people/populations at each club would sort themselves out accordingly.
But what if there was one Club in particular, Club America (yes, obvious title and yes, no self-respecting club would ever name itself that but bear with me) where EVERYONE wanted to be. Club America is known for its opportunities of hanging with A-list actors, the possibility that Tiesto might get on the decks, its extreme cleanliness, its luxury, and — most importantly — its generosity towards patrons who cannot pay. Unlike other clubs, despite being THE spot on the strip, Club America gives free drinks to its cash-strapped guests, free mints, free bottle service, and sometimes even kegs of beer to take home. Heck, there aren’t even long lines at the bathroom.
All of a sudden, Club America has thrown supply & demand for a loop. Compared to Club America, all other clubs pale in appeal. No one wants to hang at any other club, as they all fall short in comparison to the opportunities and freebies found at Club America. So now everyone, no matter how crowded Club America becomes, wants to hang out there. Club America is thus forced to put a velvet rope outside, because it simply cannot let everyone in. Some gossip rags sneer that Club America is being mean or snooty with its policy, but Club America maintains that it either has to stop being so cool to its customers (something the customers have grown accustomed to so it can’t stop now) OR keep up the velvet rope.
Essentially, this is why open borders and a nation of generous entitlements/welfare/goodies (whatever you want to call it) are mutually exclusive.
And no, it’ll never work in America — or Club America. (Come back to reality and my apologies for such a cheesy club name.)