Brock Lorber

More About: Immigration

The Debut of the Non-Book Review

Frosty Woolridge's review of Too Many People: Case for Reversing Growth by Lindsey Grant is so full of bias and invective that it is impossible to tell where Woolridge ends and Grant begins, so please bear with me if I miss-attribute to one or the other.  Though both are gifted writers, Woolridge and Grant both suffer from the defense mechanism of transference.

Transference is taking a perceived problem and placing the blame on another or class of person.  Both Woolridge and Grant have it within their power to alleviate their perceived problems.  Instead, they prefer to blame others for that problem and advocate, presumably, others or government take the step they are loathe to take themselves.  Luckily, as always, there are solutions to those problems that are economically sound and well within the moral framework of human rights.

Woolridge begins his non-review with an email decrying the growth of population in Arizona.  In a stunning display of hubris, Woolridge claims for himself the ability that no socialist has ever been able to exhibit; that is, the ability to divine the wants and needs of a populace that, like it or not,  possesses free will. 

Long before “civilized” man came to Arizona, water was scarce and valuable, thus population was scarce and paid dearly for their water.  Only since water was collectivized and promoted as a “right” has the population increased beyond what the local water supply could support.  No amount of xeroscape or restrictions on swimming pools can erase the fact that only holders of water rights in Arizona that drill their own wells pay the economic cost of water.  That's exactly why metro residents have lawns and fountains and the rest of Arizona is devoid of all but a few ram-shackle houses dotted among the Joshua trees.

The same goes for Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Alabama.  There are no property rights on water in that area, no true economic cost for watering your lawn, and so the drought there is far overblown than it need be.  As a property owner in Durham, NC, I was dismayed at the sight of my lawn in September, but not so much that I was prepared to run to the store for bottled water.  In fact, none of my neighbors were out sprinkling their lawns with Daisani.  However, the day before watering curbs went into effect, I did see them watering with the stuff from the city pipes which was the same price as last winter when we couldn't get it to stop raining for more than a few hours.

Pricing water, sewage, or waste disposal according to the market is far beyond Woolridge's agenda, though.  He wants nothing less than full-scale war against Mexican immigrants.  Although he undoubtedly benefits from immigration (unless, of course, he doesn't live in a home he built himself, drive on roads he didn't personally build, or eat food that didn't come from his own garden) he wants to paint all immigration as “illegal immigration”, even in his review of Grant's work.

Under the heading “Illegal Immigration; driving two-thirds of U.S. growth” he proceeds to quote Grant as saying “"Two thirds of this country's growth will result from immigration…given the magnitudes involved, an effort to mitigate the population growth of the less developed world by absorbing it is to put us in their predicament, without making a significant contribution to alleviating their plight."

I don't see any “illegal” in Grant's quote, but even if there was, my question is “so what?”  If there is no water, no food, no incentives to migrate to a certain area, why would people migrate to that area?  The answer is they wouldn't, but that's only half of it. 

If there were a true food shortage in an area, the price of food would rise to the point where it would benefit farmers from other countries to export their food to that area.  As food moves to that area, in the short run, the price of food throughout the world would increase.  In the long run, food production would increase to the point where the equilibrium price would be exactly the same as where it started.

Indeed, rather than decrying immigration, we should welcome immigration as a signal to the market that there is a dearth of supply to meet the needs of the area that the immigrants come from.

However, that would require getting government out of the way of property rights, human rights, and free markets; three things that Woolridge and Grant seem vehemently opposed to.

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