Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Open borders threaten free trade

By Aussiegirl

Pretty good article. There are a few things I'd quibble with. It wasn't only the unions and democrats who waged the war against the Dubai deal, it was lots of conservatives who had a gut-level reaction to the deal and the perceived threat to our security it posed. Also, free trade is good in principle. But it depends also how you define free trade. Many of these so-called "free trade" agreements like CAFTA are little more than complex sets of regulations and and hidden clauses that end up entangling the U.S. into all sorts of international standards -- in other words -- these agreements are like the EU Constitution - they will eventually regulate all sorts of behavior and commerce. The CAFTA bill, for instance, contains provisions that will eventually require U.S. vitamin manufacturers to adhere to standards that would make most OTC herbal and vitamin products that are now sold illegal.

The American Thinker

Free trade and liberal immigration policy are intimately linked in the minds of the more puritanical proponents of free trade. For them, “labor” is simply one more variable in a theoretical economic model, equivalent in every way to capital or raw materials or manufactured goods. Just as the free and unfettered flow of objects provides net economic benefit, they reason, so would a free and unfettered flow of human beings.

They thus believe it is hypocrisy to espouse one belief and not the other, and label all those who balk at applying free trade theory to the world’s population as “restrictionists,” a meaningless garbage-can term that attempts to explain every opponent from Ralph Nader to Lou Dobbs to Tom Tancredo as a single phenomenon, in an attempt to burden each with the baggage of all.

But this is nonsense. People and things are not equivalent; and most of the critics of abandoning our borders and thus eliminating distinct nations (nations are what borders preserve, after all) are not protectionists. I believe in the benefits of free trade. More than most, I am an opponent of government regulation, excessive taxation, and economic interference. I believe deeply in the supremacy of free markets as the best instruments to provide for the common good. [...]

If people are forced to choose or reject both free trade and uncontrolled immigration as a set, free trade will not last long. Those who believe in free trade would thus do well to step away from the illegal aliens and make an earnest effort to help secure our borders and restore the rule law.


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