Rhetorically Immigration and Trade are not Comparable

In the broad scope of topics covered by this blog, particular focus is dedicated to, paraphrasing Confucius, the correction of the classifications.

We enthusiastically make this noble task a centerpiece of our cause.  We do so happily as it is done for the benefit of the non-liberal who cannot, without the greatest incredulity, take direction from the mainstream right seeing that ship pitifully lost at sea; and lost in no small measure due to erroneous thinking throwing off any sense of sound navigation.

Adrift and heading for the rocks their party’s direction was seized and set aright (for the general election at least) by the USS Trump.  The mainstream’s first of many mistakes was to define Trump’s action as a hijacking.

In the Hamiltonian viewpoint this was no criminal work at all but a rightful Restoration of Hamilton’s principles of state over the successor Party to Hamilton’s Federalists.  These principles were those that governed so brilliantly during the Republican Golden Age of 1865 to 1932 .

Trump, without realizing it, is proudly flying Pragmatically Distributed’s tricolour – The Black and White of Alexander Hamilton and the sound Union Blue of Abraham Lincoln.

May he long fly the flag of Hamilton and Lincoln and may the Restoration forever rule the Republican party, which should never have abandoned Hamilton’s winning formula in the first place.

At this, the home of the Black, White, and Blue, the Hamiltonian lighthouse now, for the sake of directing you the reader towards safe harbors, sparkles its great wisdom on two aspects of policy that this November swept the Rust Belt:  Trade and immigration.

These have both been the subjects of wrong thinking by too many conservatives and libertarians.  In their minds they see immigration and trade as analogues.

To Hamiltonians they are no such thing, not even as rhetoric.

This is so, firstly, because in the case of immigration there is no exchange of populations between the West and non-West while there is in trade usually an exchange of goods between nations.  For various reasons white Westerners cannot immigrate for work and citizenship in non-Western nations as non-Westerners can do in the West.  Or, at least, those Westerners who do immigrate permanently outside the West are so small in number that they should be, for policy reasons, considered to be zero in number.

In fact, modern immigration cannot be compared to any example of unfair trade practices. Immigration is best compared to a One-Sided Trade War – a situation where a trading nation allows its goods to be completely banned from export to a protectionist state while the free trading nation allows in all imports from the protectionist one.

The field of economics has no real world example of a One Sided Trade War – a total trade war initiated by one side for whatever reason is always soon met with retaliatory measures by the other party.

In the real environment of trade, unfair trade practices short of complete import bans are usually not made so obviously one-sided by protectionist governments.  The methods preferred by protectionist states are much subtler in appearance, making them harder to label as clear violations in international trade forums.

And yet this ridiculous arrangement is exactly what Western immigration amounts to.

Without an exchange of labor forces, white Americans are placed in an impossible position regardless of the quality of their skills.  Immigrants have the option of competing with their fellow citizens in their homelands for jobs; they also have the option of competing with white Americans in America for jobs.  White Americans on the other hand cannot nearly so easily “export” themselves to immigrant exporting nations to compete for overseas jobs, if they can leave at all.

The obstacles in the way of a theoretically pure “trading” of populations are sometimes intentional, most naturally occurring.

Some barriers which are the result of deliberate policy are the immigration and job licensing restrictions of non-Western states.

Others are naturally occurring facts not planned in advance, but which simply materialized over the course of centuries.  Included among this type are differentials between standards of living (nations with low standards will not attract many immigrants from those with high standards), and some languages being more globally distributed than others due to Colonialism and the modern world balance of power (e.g., English and French speakers are more numerous world wide than Burmese speakers thus making Anglo and French nations inherently more attractive to immigrants generally than Myanmar).

The fact there are some nations which have more “natural” barriers to “trade” of immigrants means that the distinction between immigration and trade would hold even if all intentional legal immigration barriers were lowered because the natural barriers would remain to direct immigrant flows very unevenly.

The issue of immigration for the Hamiltonian is primarily a matter of citizenship, secondly one of economics; before any debate over the potential economic benefits of immigration are considered, Hamiltonians must insist that immigration be treated as a qualitatively different topic than trade due to its affect on the quality of the citizenry; and in regard to quality citizens Hamiltonians must also insist as Hamilton did in the 1790 Immigration Act and Lincoln did later that all immigrants must be white before their applications may be considered.