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"Build a Wall Around the Welfare State"



For a long time, I've been meaning to post a pithy comment on immigration policy from the Cato Institutes's Bill Niskanen.

The comment was related to the proposal to erect a wall between the United States and Mexico, in order to reduce illegal immigration. Some libertarians favor open immigration. Others believe that so long as we have a large welfare state, open immigration would impose high costs on the taxpayer, and thereby reduce economic growth. (I believe that I read Milton Friedman supporting this latter position, in the year or two before he died in 2006.)

In this context, Niskanen's pithy comment has appeal:


"Build a wall around the welfare state, not around the country."


Source:

William A. Niskanen on 11/19/07 at the meetings of the Southern Economic Association in New Orleans.





Comments

Pithy, indeed. The trouble with these walls is that everybody talks about them, but they never get built. What politician wants to fence in a sacred cow?

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