An Alternative for Refugees

I posted the following on my Facebook feed after watching all the pearl-clutching and crying over the fate of refugees under Trump. Couldn’t help it, and maybe I’ll start blogging again, now. Facebook does not really offer an appropriate platform for the long form and I feel I have a lot to say lately.


I am no stranger to the vagaries of the US Immigration system.

My wife of (then) 9 years applied for a green card and was rejected because I had done so well living overseas that there was no guarantee that she wouldn’t move to the US to take advantage of their generous welfare state unless I could post $67,000 into a US bank account (which I could not do unless we sold our house). This, at a time when there was strong bipartisan support in Congress for legalising illegals. i.e., sending the illegals to the front of the queue when rejecting the spouses of actual US citizens for legal immigration.

I, honestly, feel for those who may not be able to get visas for refugee status either in the States or here in the UK; I have experienced it. But you know what? I ain’t going to start cutting onions just because they have been temporarily removed from the front of the queue.

And if (the collective) we really give a sh** about people living in other countries and the improvement of the conditions in those countries, here is a prescription:

1. Open up free trade with those countries (something that is damn near impossible here in the UK, within the framework of EU trade policy, which is all about protecting German manufacturing and French agriculture)

2. Stop giving aid money to foreign governments. When we give money to a foreign government, we take away their impetus to create wealth, and a healthy tax base, locally. When we send our donations of goods and food to international charities we undermine local, job-creating businesses – such as small manufacturers and farmers.

If we must provide aid, it should be along the lines of helping other countries establish the institutional infrastructure to support a market economy. Don’t give a man a fish, teach a man to fish.

3. Stop stealing their best and brightest to do the work our own people are “too lazy to do”. Pay a bit more for those jobs here and I guarantee that you will find local people willing to do the work. As long as there is a steady stream of migrant labour ready to take the lower wages, there is no pressure on employers to pay more; and wages go down for everyone when this happens.

(And while I’m on the subject – do you want to see a “living wage”? Then stop taxing people on minimum wage. Our untaxed minimum wage has pretty much the same take-home value as the “Living Wage” being proposed here in the UK.)

4. Stop bombing the sh** out of their countries or arming the factions fighting in their countries. It would be far better for them than if we allowed them to come here.

Anyway, just the view from an unfeeling, uncaring conservative minarchist with a class warrior chip on his shoulder.

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