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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Free Enterprise versus Immigration Socialism


Well, the GOP candidates had all the correct libertarian, free-market mantras out last night: pro-free enterprise, pro-capitalism, pro-free market, pro-private property, pro-fundamental rights, pro-Constitution, anti-socialism, and anti-regulation.

And then came immigration, and all those mantras went out the window.

It was actually amusing, not only because the candidates didn’t seem aware of the contradiction, but also because neither did the mainstream commentators. It’s just one of those fascinating disconnects that people just treat as normal and rational.

It’s as if the candidates were saying, “We firmly believe in free enterprise but we don’t believe in enterprise that is free from government control.”

Under the freedom mantras that the candidates were espousing, my money belongs to me, not to society and not to the government. I have the fundamental, God-given right to do whatever I want with my money.

If I choose to use my money to open a business, that’s my right, just as it’s everyone else’s right to avoid buying things at my business. But regardless of what consumers decide to do with their money, it’s still my business. It was purchased with my money.

It’s my natural, God-given right to hire anyone I want in my business. Why? Because it’s my money and my business, not society’s and not the government’s. If I wish to hire an American, that’s my right. If I choose to hire a Mexican, that’s my right. If I choose to hire no one, that is my right. Again, it’s my money and my business.

This might come as a shocking notion to Republicans but the term “free enterprise” does not mean that the government is free to control and regulate enterprise. It means, instead, enterprise that is free of government control.

Under what moral authority does the government raid my private business, check identity cards of my employees, and seize them if they happen to be people from another country? Don’t natural, God-given rights mean that people are immune from such government interference? Would we permit the government to raid my business to stop employees from publishing pro-Marxist (or pro-capitalist) books? Why is freedom of association any different in principle from freedom of the press or freedom of speech?

People respond, “But the law is the law.” That begs the question: Is the law legitimate or illegitimate? Should it be illegal for a business owner to do whatever he wants with his own money, including hiring whomever he wants? Is such a law moral?

Shouldn’t people be making moral judgments on laws? Or do we want to take the same position that many Germans took in the 1930s — that the law is the law and must always be obeyed until it is changed? When Germany enacted laws making it illegal to hide Jews in people’s homes, would we have condemned people for disobeying the law?

When man’s laws violate God’s laws, isn’t it incumbent on Christians to obey God’s laws and disregard man’s laws?

Immigrants come to the United States seeking work in order to sustain and improve their lives and the lot of their family. They enter into mutually beneficial arrangements with people who wish to hire them with their own money. Isn’t all that consistent with God’s laws?

Statists say, “But American employers have a duty to hire Americans rather than foreigners?” Oh? And pray tell, where does that “duty” come from? If someone feels such a duty, he’s free to open his own business and hire nothing but pure-blooded Americans. But neither he nor the state has the legitimate authority to dictate to someone else what he should do with his own money.

There is one — and only one — reason that there is a perpetual crisis in immigration. It’s the same reason that there is a perpetual crisis in health care, the drug war, foreign policy, terrorism, the economy, and most everything else — federal government central planning and intervention. That’s what causes the chaos and crises.

Look at immigration. You’ve got the federal government planning the economic activity of millions of prospective employers and employees. It decides how many immigrants should come from each country, what their qualifications should be, how long they should wait, and a multitude of other factors.

That’s socialist central planning in its purest form. How can it surprise anyone that there is a perpetual crisis in immigration? Central planning always causes crises. It’s called “planned chaos.”

There is only one solution to immigration: the free market, fundamental rights, free enterprise, and private property. Yes, all the pro-freedom mantras that the GOP candidates employed last night. All we have to do is apply them to immigration and everything comes out fine. No more crises, no more chaos. Nothing but peace and harmony.

We don’t need to be building walls or fences or sending troops to the border. Let’s leave that to totalitarian regimes. We need to “tear down this wall” and restore our nation’s heritage of open borders — the free movements of goods and services across borders, just as we have between the respective states. That’s our heritage. That’s the gift that our American ancestors gave the world. We need to embrace, not shun, the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of their teeming shores, the homeless, the tempest-tost. We need to relight the lamp beside the golden door.

We need to reject the isolationism that Republicans and Democrats are foisting upon our land. The future of our country lies not in isolationism but rather in free trade, open relationships, and free enterprise, free markets, private property, and the protection of natural, God-given rights.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.