life boat ethics and immigration

For those in a crowded life boat in heavy seas, there is a moral dilemma when too many persons in the water attempt to get up into the life boat.  The more persons allowed in, the greater the likelihood the lifeboat will either sink or become unstable and capsize putting all persons at risk of losing their lives.

Today, throughout the world there are tens of millions of people on the move.  In the future, this figure may swell to hundreds of millions.  Many of these people are heading north.  Europe, Canada and the US are primary objectives for these migrants, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, jihadists, displaced persons, etc.

Here we put forth an idea that some social justice warriors may find radical and distasteful.  Rather than merely treating the symptoms, why not effectively address underlying causes of this phenomena?  Yes, it is a very serious problem indeed when many countries of origin can claim as their primary export their unhappy citizens.  We are all for the corporal works of mercy and for humanitarian aid and assistance.  But, if this is all we do, then this growing problem will only perpetuate itself.  We have previously written on this blog about the need for these countries of origin to break down their barriers to growth and opportunity for their citizens, and to work to curb, if not eradicate, their endemic corruption.  As well, the ongoing sectarian violence that plagues many of these countries must be stopped.  Will any of this happen any time soon?  No, realistically no, necessary reform will not come soon.

What are Europeans, Canadians and Americans (and, to a lesser extent, Australians) to do?  If these “life boats” become over crowded, then these will begin to resemble economically the Third World hell holes from which so many are fleeing.  This will not serve the world economy well.  (Socialist economic policies in recent years have not served the developed world well either.)

It is a real dilemma, and it is pressing upon us with increasing urgency now.

Back around 1995, I read a letter to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle on this issue.  The letter writer (a woman with a Hispanic last name) said with some understandable sarcasm that there were 6 billion (at that time) people in the world and they cannot all live here (i.e.. in the US).  She went on to suggest that we just send them all a welfare check in the mail and save them the arduous trip here (to the US).  More than 20 years have passed and we still cannot get any consensus on what to do to constructively meet this challenge.

other related thoughts

Building up an economy and raising material standards of living takes time, and ongoing sacrifices.  The American economy was not built in one generation. It took the sacrifices of many generations for the US to become the economic power and wealthy nation that it is and has been for some time.  Free market economies and capitalism are what eliminate poverty long term.  Socialist and Marxist economies fail to deliver the goods.  Thus, the social justice warriors that advocate for Marxist schemes are not part of the solution.  Prosperity can be achieved in other nations but it requires sustained sacrifice and hard work.  There is no quick fix or easy way here.

We will add one item worthy of note that is often overlooked or misinterpreted about the US economic dominance in the post war years.  The US emerged from the conflagration of the 1940s with its industrial plant intact.  Much of the rest of the free world was in ruins.  It was this in addition to the entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic of Americans that propelled the US to economic dominance for many years after 1945.  Basically, the US helped to destroy the 2 nations that would have been its biggest competitors in world markets, namely Germany and Japan.  As well, the Americans looted German intellectual property after the war.  (We note the vindictive Morgenthau Plan to de-industrialize post war West Germany, but we digress.)

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