About That German Open Border Policy

I was born and raised in Germany, and I lived there for the first 28 years of my life. That is not to say that I feel particularly German. I have always been an individualist. What ties me to Germany is more family and friends rather than a patriotic feeling about this artificial political construct. But with all of my family still living there, I still have strong ties and I visit often. That is why, even though I never want to go back and live there again, I think I still have a good idea of what is going on in the country.

These days, at political gatherings, when I mention to strangers that I am from Germany, I get often worriedly asked, how horrible the place must have become, since Merkel opened those borders at the start of the refugee crisis. There seems to be a theme in certain political circles that Germany is almost on a verge of destruction and civil war, thanks to the crazy policy of open borders. And for some strange reason, these circles overlap with the libertarian movement. To many, it proves that open borders just do not work. In other words, Germany would have done better if it had had stricter government regulations of people.

This is a very strange perception. The basic facts seem to be false and it is a wrong analysis of what the problem is. Let me assure you that Germany at no point in this century had anything even remotely resembling an open borders policy. That is to say, at no point was it legal to enter and live in Germany without the government regulating the whole process. What is referred to as open borders, in reality was something very different. Here are the facts: People licensing in Germany is very strict. You will not just be checked for a valid Government license going into Germany from a non-Schengen country, you are also checked going out. Even if you are a full citizen in Germany you have to register all your homes with the government. You also have to carry a valid identification card with you at all times.

It is very difficult for a non-Schengen citizen to obtain a license to live and work in Germany. A foreigner would usually need to have a high income job offer, which requires high qualifications. To obtain a citizenship, and therefore being freed from future visa requirements, is even harder. Someone would need to live in Germany for at least 8 years to apply. And even then, he or she would usually need to give up any other citizenship in return for a German one. So, far from having open borders, the picture is actually very grim for freedom of movement in Germany.

One of the few positive things however is that Germany has signed a lot of international law. Under this law, everyone fleeing political prosecution and violence has the right to seek refuge in a save state. And Germany definitely qualifies as one of the latter. This forces the state to not deport people whenever they are not save in their home country. People like Syrians, who are fleeing the civil war in their home region.

At least on paper, this looks good. In practice however, the government has even made that a difficult endeavor. If a person wants to apply for refuge in Germany, he or she will have to be on German territory. It is impossible to make the application from abroad. However, without a visa, crossing the border is illegal. That means someone who wants to make use of the right to seek asylum, first has to break the law.

One could make an argument that this is actually not as bad as it looks. The harshest punishment for breaking this law is that the person can be deported. But this can only happen, if there is no valid reason for seeking asylum. That means that if someone does have such a valid reason, it does not matter whether he or she breaks the law or not.

Unfortunately, that is not the whole story. This law matters in a different way. Because of it, everyone who does help someone to enter Germany without a license, even if that person has a valid asylum reason, does also commit a crime and potentially faces punishment. This is especially the case if that help is frequent and organized. Therefore, airlines, and other professional transport service providers, are not allowed to transport people without a valid visa. That is why we are seeing scary looking hordes of refugees marching through Europe, instead of simply taking the next Ryanair flight. Clearly the purpose of this law is to make it very difficult for anyone in need of asylum to actually reach a secure country like Germany. In other words, there is in practice a very cynical regime in place, in which on paper the state pretends to be a humanitarian, moral actor, while at the same time having all sorts of policies in place that reveal those gestures to be essentially a scam.

Another important restriction to the right of asylum is the so called Dublin agreement. It demands that refugees can only apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter. This is because all EU countries count as save. So if the goal is safety, it technically does not matter where they seek refuge. But in practice of course it does matter. Since no one is allowed to help a refugee entering a country like Germany without a visa, most refugees have few other choices than to walk. That way, there is hardly any chance that a refugee first enters the EU via Germany, since Germany is surrounded by other EU countries and Switzerland. On the other hand, states on the outer part of the EU, like Greece, Italy or Spain, have to deal with almost all refugees entering the union.

And when it comes to that alleged German open border policy that people ask me about, this was the real problem. Since violence escalated in the middle east, a huge amount of people were fleeing simultaneously. Most of them entered the EU through Greece. Greece is a very small country. In addition to that it had, and still has, a lot of economic problems. So it simply was not able to handle the large numbers of people coming in. And most refugees where not really keen to stay in Greece anyway, since there are no opportunities in this ruined state. Hell, even a high number of Greeks do not want to stay in Greece at the moment. So most refugees headed for the richer, northern countries, like Germany, since this is where the opportunities are.

This follows the example of historical migrations, which always tended to be from poor economic areas to richer ones. It is the market in action. People leaving unproductive areas for productive ones is employing existing capital more productively, and is beneficiary for everyone.

Because of the solvency crisis in Greece, there were, and still are, a lot of tensions between the mediterranean state and Germany. The Greeks accused Germany for behaving like a dictator, for insisting that they had to cut spending in return for new loans. The German public on the other hand, perceived the Greeks to stealing their money. There is certainly some truth to the latter, but what the German public did not understand was, that it was a bit too late to save their money. The government in Berlin had a big interest of bailing out Greece, since German banks were already holding a lot of Greek dept. That meant that German savers would have been in danger if the government in Athens had become insolvent. In other words, the German government really wanted to bail out the banking system rather than Greece. In addition to that, a bankrupt Greek government was likely to leave the Euro, which could have caused a loss in confidence in the relatively young currency.

And that is where German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted. She announced that everyone who reaches Germany with a valid asylum reason will be granted asylum in Germany instead of Greece. She added that people from Syria are automatically seen as having a valid asylum reason.

She must have though, ok let’s kill two birds with one stone. We take the refugees off the shoulders of the Greeks. Germany can handle the refugees, and Athens in return will be pleased. In addition to that, the very unpopular solvency crisis will disappear from the headlines in Germany and replaced by news about refugees. Once out of the headlines, Greece, and the banking system can be secretly bailed out. And that is exactly what happened. At least at first.

It is important to understand that non of the German people licensing laws where at any point repealed. The borders remained just as closed as before. The only agreement that was broken was the Dublin agreement. Merkel did not say, everyone can come to Germany. She merely said, if you somehow make it to German shores, and you are a Syrian, we will not send you back to Greece, and give you asylum in Germany instead. That is all, no open borders here. It remained illegal to enter the country without a visa, making anyone essentially a criminal that helped refugees across the border. And if someone wanted to stay in Germany, they still needed a valid asylum reason or a visa. Since many people had neither, there have been a lot of deportations since.

What about the consequences?

Some people might now say that this is even more a reason against open borders. Merkel just liberalized the laws a tiny bit and you already have this disaster. How bad would the situation be, if there were truly open borders and everyone could come.

Not so fast. I agree there are problems with refugees in Germany, and many Germans are not happy about Merkel letting in those people. But the reason for the problems is not too few regulations. The reason is that there are way too many. A lot of the problems came from the attempt to regulate the situation. I warned about this in my article “Soviet Migration Chaos” which I wrote at the time.

As an asylum seeker in Germany, you first of all only have a right to be on German territory. This does not come with the right to choose where you want to live, seek employment or run your own business. For the first 3 month, asylum seekers are forced to live on taxpayer money. They have to live in an accommodation that the government provides. After that, they can apply for a very limited amount of jobs. But every time they do, the employer has to proof that there is no German who can also do the job. This is a hassle that few employers want to go through, when it comes to low qualifying jobs. So this regulation affectively prevents that refugees are able to work. It is only after 18 month that people with a valid asylum reason are allowed to freely work in Germany. That is a lot of time of forced inaction.

The whole thing is essentially a completely centrally planned endeavor. And so we are seeing the same problems we are always seeing with central planning. It appears that there is not enough space and work for all these people. This however, is unlikely a real problem. Short of super abundance, there is always more than enough work to do, if only the government does not put in work prohibitions of any kind.

But it is this welfare chaos that Germans in my experience are most unhappy about. They see all these poor people coming in, getting all this free stuff from the government. The government has even closed schools and outright confiscated private flats, in order to house refugees. This is the main cause of a lot of anger among Germans. But remarkably, many are blaming the ‘lazy’ refugees, who ‘only come for the welfare’, instead of blaming the real villain, which is the government trying to control everything. Unfortunately, we see this all too often. The government creates a big problem and then the market gets blamed for it. As a consequence, more regulations are proposed as the solution. Sadly, even some ‘free market’ people have fallen for this nonsense. But in order to fix a problem, one needs to have a correct analysis of what the problem is. And it ain’t open borders, as we do not have those.

What about security

Besides welfare, another concern of some people is security. On all kinds of nationalist blogs, I can read how places like Germany have apparently turned into war zones. This is largely based on individual report of bad experiences with refugees. Individual cases however, do not necessarily present an accurate picture of the overall situation. Of course, Germany too has an active, and in parts even violent, nationalist movement. These people never liked foreigners, and are now out on the internet, completely misrepresenting the situation. These are the kinds of people that describe the migration from unproductive and dangerous, to save and productive areas, as an invasion. ‘Invasion’ is of course a military term, which describes a forceful and hostile takeover of a territory.

But immigrants, including refugees, are usually neither armed nor hostile. To the contrary, they come in order to better their lives, and because they are attractive to the place they go to. Most of them are completely unpolitical. The use of the term invasion to describe such a peaceful market process is very revealing in my view. It shows that these people are predominantly driven by fear rather than good rational arguments.

Let us look at the facts. How dangerous are the refugees really. On the surface, there seem to be slightly more crimes being committed by them compared to locals. There is no statistic however that shows that a high number of asylum seekers are criminals. The vast majority are completely peaceful. So we are talking about a small group of trouble makers.

At a closer look, it turns out that this group of trouble makers, percentage wise, does not seem to be bigger than criminals among Germans. A significant portion of the crimes being committed are dodging public transport fares and forging documents. The latter has to do with the fact that there are people licensing laws in the first place. So these are crimes that Germans do not have to commit. And the former, while not ok, is not a damage that could be prevented with closed borders. After all, if they are not in the country, they would not pay for a ticket either. Both are crimes that more come from poverty and desperation rather than real criminal energy. If you deduct these crimes, the difference between criminal Germans and refugees disappears.

In addition to that, a lot of crimes committed by refugees are being committed in the state run accommodation facilities. So the victims are also other refugees. It turns out, locking up a lot of healthy young men of different backgrounds in small facilities, and condemn them to do nothing all day, is not a recipe for harmony. Who would have though. And once again, this is a result of state planning and not of too much freedom. If we had free migration, which of course includes free association, these people would just go out of each other’s way.

As recently released numbers show however, there is one area of crime in which the latest refugees are disproportionately often involved. And that is sexual motivated crimes. This goes from sexual harassment to rape. The difference is not huge, but at least according to crime statistics, it is there. This seems to indeed have something to do with different cultural attitudes towards women. There can of course be no tolerated for this in any shape or form. But again, we are not talking about a large number of trouble makers. Overall, the vast majority of refugees are not engaging in any criminal activity. So the correct way to deal with this type of crime is on a case by case basis and not with collective punishment.

None of these things seem particularly dramatic or worrying. And yet there seems to be some Germans who are very worried about an increase of crime. The number of licenses issued for carrying defensive weapons has gone up significantly over the last few years. I however, have yet to meet one of those people who is really altering his or her behaviors, because of a fear of refugees. The facts do not seem to merit this. Objectively, Germany remains a fairly save place with the usual western levels of crime.

What about terrorism

But then of course there is terrorism. Last year, there were a number of terrorist attacks in Germany, some of which were indeed committed by immigrants. The most lethal one was the one on 19th December at a christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 55.

The reason why terror is so scary is, because our brain is inherently bad in dealing with probabilities. People see this and think their own lives might be in danger. The reality however is, that even in the bloody year of 2016, the chances of being caught up in a terrorist event in Germany are statistically negligible. Terrorism is factually one of the smallest problems on earth. And yet we are constantly spending a lot of time and resources solving this none problem. All because of our brain being unable to handle probabilities.

Terrorism on the whole is almost a non problem. And it certainly is not any kind of serious problem when it comes to the free movement of people. Over 1 million people have made it to Germany with asylum reasons in the last few years. But we have not even seen a handful of terrorist attacks resulting from this. The only rational conclusion to draw from this is that the number of terrorists among those coming in is indeed negligible.

The humanitarian disaster caused by closed borders

What is not negligible however, are the tens of thousands of people who have died trying to get into the fortress Europe. These people die, because they have nothing to lose, and we have nothing better to do than to put stones in their way. This has now lead to the building of huge criminal mafia organisations in northern Africa, who earn handsome returns ripping off these poor, desperate people. We are even literally seeing slave trades re-emerging in Libya.

Whoever wants to argue that we cannot have open borders, needs to make a case that open borders are worst than the humanitarian horrors we are witnessing on the outer borders of the fortress Europe. These are a direct consequence of the government trying to license people, and they seem to completely dwarf any kind of crimes and terror we have seen from refugees in places like Germany. And as we have seen, most of these problems too come from government intervention and not from free movement, which Germany never had.

So even if one wanted to argue that there was a distinct security problem with immigrants, clearly the immigration controls are not creating better outcomes. In fact, people licensing is probably the most destructive state policy after war. It just increases the misery. Unless of course, the argument is that only the misery of Europeans count. We should not care about the misery of all the other people. It is therefore perfectly legitimate to take away their freedom. This is essentially what the nationalist argument comes down to at the end. But do not call them xenophobic or racist! That is offensive and not PC. Although, even that is a too generous representation of this agenda, for they do not even care about Europeans either. They also want to tell us that we cannot associate ourselves with these foreigners. I am sorry, but as a libertarian, who believes in individual liberty for everyone, I have no respect for this line of arguing whatsoever. It is collectivism at its worst.

Soviet Migration Chaos

In many ways, Europe seems to be in a crises at the moment. Economic problems of some EU states, most importantly Greece have been constantly in the news over the past few years and no end is in side. The people in charge to manage the crises are our completely clueless politicians. They have identified all kinds of causes, except the real one, which is of course themselves. And so every new ‘solution’ presented is really only trying to solve the ever bigger mess that their last one caused. Every time they come up with a new solution, everything seems to go quiet for a moment before the disaster resurfaces.

In the first half of this year, it was Greece that was heading the news. They put a bandage on this problem and so everything has gone quiet for now, until in a few months, the bandage will come off and will reveal an even bigger wound. But it seems we are not going to get to enjoy the holiday in the mean time. This summer, a new crises has emerged. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people are trying to get into the fortress of Europe. Of course there have always been many people trying to get into Europe, but because of the horrendous devastations that various political groups, including and probably most importantly our own governments have caused in the middle east, the numbers of refugees, looking for a better and in many cases simply any life have become so big that it cannot be ignored anymore. We have a problem!

However, just like in the economic crises, the reasons presented to us in the mainstream media for what caused this crises are false most of the time. First of all, the real reason why the middle east has become such a hell hole has a lot to do with the foreign policy of our governments in that region, at least since WWII. However, the details of these policies shall not be the topic of this article. Let us instead focus on the refugee crisis itself.

Since the collapse of the soviet union, most people and even politicians seemed to have learned the lesson that outright centrally planning the economy does not work. Few people however seem to understand why exactly that is. Most just seemed to accept the empirical case without understanding the mechanism behind it. That is probably the reason why we still have a few bastions of real central planning left. One especially bizarre example in the UK is the NHS. It is bizarre, because most countries in Europe are pursuing a much better, less centrally planned alternative. And yet, despite of that, the NHS seems sacrosanct.

But one area in which every state I know of still prefers economic central planning is the movement of people over state borders. Of course there are other aspects to migration than economics, but economics is usually one of the main arguments in favour of this policy. Migration control really is classic central planning and we are seeing all the problems we would expect from such a system.

Every person who crosses a state border, needs to have a permission from the state in whose territory he or she is traveling. Sometimes, he even needs a permission from the state from which he is traveling. This includes citizens, who also need to be ready to proove their membership in that state if requested. From this follows logically that every lip service to private property by any state is an illusion. If the state can prevent me from entering my property and if it can prevent me from inviting strangers to my property, then it cannot really be my property. The real owner seems to be the state.

To select who can pass and who cannot, the criteria are as always in central planning completely arbitrary. We have a classic soviet style system of licensing based on arbitrary criteria and quotas in place. On the surface, all these criteria are openly and precisely laid out. So it looks like we are dealing with an organised system. However, since these rules do not relate to the real needs of people in the world, what we really get instead is what Ludwig von Mises called a planned chaos. What does that mean? For example, while I was studying a Masters at Bournemouth University, I lived with a guy from Japan, who was doing a language course at one of the many language schools in Bournemouth. On a student visa, the central planners had decided, he could work for 20h a week. Why 20h, I don’t know, but that was the number the comrades came up with. He worked in a restaurant as a waiter. In that job it is sometimes hard to keep track of hours worked and so one week he worked a little bit longer. Unfortunately, the restaurant documented this, because he got paid for the extra hours. When the central planners discovered it, they gave him 2 weeks to leave the country. In addition to that, since he had caused such a damage to the UK economy, he was banned from re-entering the country for 10 years.

There you go, that is central planning at work. The people who planned this system were doing it under the assumption, that if someone with a Japanese passport works for more than 20h then that is bad. However, if a student with a Spanish passport or for that matter an English one would do the exact same work, then that is perfectly fine. There is no way of making sense of this. It is a complete chaos, disconnected from any common sense and the real needs of the people involved. But it is a chaos organised with merciless brutal precision. This is of course just one example of one regulation. But every state migration regulation works like this. There are no free market prices involved in these decisions. We just have arbitrary bureaucratic categories, based on whatever the central planners think is sensible. And since everyone crossing a state border needs to be categorised in one of these, I would expect to see quite a bit of chaos from this.

Migration control is not a minor little policy. With this policy the state claims nothing short of the right to control everyone who is on its territory. It is therefore violating the rights of everyone on both sides of the border, not just migrants with foreign passports. Of course, it cannot succeed in ever really controlling people. There has never been a closed border, or for that matter even a completely tight prison. People who really want to cross the border, will cross the border. The state merely raises the costs to do so. But since the state claims the right to control everyone, every person crossing the border without state permission is seen as a problem. And so, further, tighter restrictions on freedom need to be put in place. It is like with all interventions. The state is causing the problems that it is trying to solve. Therefore, we are constantly moving towards more and more

But the chaos is completely unnecessary. We have a real tool of order in the word which is liberty. The truth is of cause that in every voluntary agreement, both sides always win. If this simple economic principal holds true then no migrant crossing a state border without violating anyones private property rights can possibly cause any damage. On the contrary, if it is indeed voluntary, then there always is a net economic benefit from it.

We also live in a world economy in which goods are being traded all over the globe. Talking about a national economy as if this existed as a separate entity is simply nonsense. There is no such thing, outside of North Korea at least. And even they are not completely cut off. If that is true, then we have a self interest that people move from areas in which they cannot be productive to productive ones. Not only will this not hurt our standard of living, it will improve it.

So if we are now seeing people fleeing areas in which productivity or even pure survival is not possible anymore, we should be happy that they have decided to do the right thing and move to peaceful, productive areas. This is the market trying to solve the problem and the market knows better than the central planners. This is completely leaving aside the fact that there are of course strong moral reasons to let them in.

But what do our politicians do? They do the only thing politics can ever do, which is preventing people from solving problems. Once the solution has been prevented, Leviathan then can have its own go at it and so justify its existence. And again, since their solution will only make things worse the beast will then claim that it needs more power and grow.

The chaos that we are now seeing of hordes of poor migrants interrupting traffic and trains in search for a ride, or worse bodies of drowned migrants including children being washed on the shores of the Mediterranean is the consequence of Leviathan’s solution. Although, thanks to capitalism we now live in a world in which a journey of thousands of miles is affordable to almost everyone, immigrants from a lot of countries to Europe do not get to enjoy these benefits. The state has threatened everyone with punishment who is trying to give one of these people a ride. That is why on every international flight, airlines will ask you about your passport and visa details. Without those, they will not let you on board. Thanks to immigration controls, the state has forced them to be a part in their border control force. This is a good example of one regulation following another. As a consequence, everyone, even legitimate asylum seekers will have to come into Europe on dangerous hidden routes. This shows how serious our governments are about helping the poor. It is a bit like praising oneself for providing free healthcare, but then making it very difficult for people to get to the hospital. Actually it is worse. With asylum, nothing extra needs to be provided actively. The state simply has to go out of the way. But the reaction of many states to this crises has been the opposite. They have build higher fences and hunting down so called traffickers who are transporting

As a result, migrants who are determent not to die and make it to Europe often have to pay a lot of money for a ticket on the black market. On the 23rd August this year, the German newspaper ‘Die Zeit’ published an article about a young family of five fleeing Iraq. Amir Shamo, his wife Maha and their three young children, 4 month, 3 and 5 years old, had to flee, when the Islamic State marched into their town and started to terrorise the locals. They are Yazidis and faced the choice of either converting to Islam or being executed. Since they did not want to convert, they decided to flee. They paid traffickers with their whole savings of 34000 Euro (about £25000 or 38000$). That comes down to about an average british year salary. In other words, even for western standards that is real money. 5 plane tickets from Iraq to Germany on the other hand would have cost them just 500 Euro. But thanks to the state, that was not an option. And so, after a long and dangerous journey, their traffickers kicked them out of the van near Passau at the German part of the German/Austrian border. They were dehydrated and hungry and only had a small pack of possessions left. All their saving, that they could have used to start a new life are now in the hands of traffickers. Probably not the nicest people to give the money to. But one can hardly call them criminals. If they were not providing this important service, even at a high price, the family would now most likely be dead.

The reason why they wanted to go to Germany is because Amir’s brother lives in Munich. So he had savings and relatives in Germany, but since neither is a category in the bureaucracy of the central planners, none of that helped them to get into the country ‘legally’.

Normally we would not see pictures of flocks of seemingly poor migrants walking through Europe. They would simply arrive on a plane, train, bus or ship and no one would notice any difference to the other passengers unless you were to ask them for their passports. A lot of these people are not the poorest of the society they are fleeing from, they are among the stronger. The really poor don’t even get out. It is the state that is producing the chaos that we are witnessing.

And the chaos does not end when they finally arrive at their destination. In Passau Amir went to the Police and that put him into the hands of the bureaucracy of the welfare state. Instead of reaching his brother in Munich, he will now have to spend several month in a state organised refugee camp. Even if he is granted asylum in Germany, he will not be allowed to work for at least 1 year. That means he is forced to live on welfare. That also means that he will end up in a statistic of foreigners getting welfare. These statistics then serve as proof that these new people arriving here really are no good. Not only is he actively prevented from being productive, but resources have to be used to keep him unproductive. Only Bureaucrats can come up with such a nonsense. And as Mises pointed out, they really only can come up with nonsense, no matter how hard they try. These refugee camps then end up being another tool in the propaganda of liberty haters. Showing all these people locked up in one location, like bad guys is water on their mills and a good target to attack or to protest against. The latest fashion in the chaotic world of central planning are demands for quotas for states in the EU. Instead of letting people go where they are most needed, bureaucrats will distribute them all over Europe. The criteria used for that will of course again be completely arbitrary and will only spread the chaos. But that is good news for the state, as more chaos means again we will need even more central planning.

The closed border policy often also prevents people from going back. Humans, as well as some other mammals are psychologically programmed to experience loss of something they have more negatively than not having gotten it in the first place. For example, it is more painful to lose £20 then to not get a promised £20. “Illegals” do not have the chance to simply come here, see if they like it and then go back if they don’t. That leads to often completely wrong expectations. Because of their illegality, they also do not have the chance to arrange things from afar. When I moved to England, I didn’t just jump into my car and se what happened. I made sure that I had a place to stay and something to do here before I came. The same is probably true for almost any legal migrant.

But illegals do not have that possibility. Everyone trying to arrange their stay here would commit a crime. So they have little other chance than to somehow make it here and then see what happens. Even if what they find that life here does not meet their expectations, they will be very reluctant to go back. First of all it would make their huge investment that they had to pay to get in look like a loss. Secondly, if they go back, they then cannot easily change their mind and try to get into Europe again. In other words, the closed border system is putting huge costs on ‘illegals’ to go back. And we know that a lot of immigrants at some point will end up going back to their homeland. They often just want to earn some capital that will give them a big advantage in their home country. If we did not have central planning in immigration, all this chaos would play out quite differently. People would come and leave for all kinds of reasons ranging from having been offered some kind of job to having to flee for their lives. According to their needs and expectations, they would need to make arrangements with the locals. Not collectively of course, but on a one on one basis. If their expectations are not met they will go home again. But if they are met and they can improve their lives here it will be a win for everyone. The masses of people that we hear about at the moment, would probably not be very noticeable. What is half a million people in a country like Germany that has already about 80 million.

But yes, over time things would change. We will see multiculturalism. This multiculturalism however, is a fundamental part of the market process. Markets are not very conservative. In fact the big advantage of markets is that they are quicker to adapt to an ever changing world than any other institution. However, the idea that this is like an invasion of a foreign army is simply nonsense. People come here because they value what is here. If we embrace liberty and offer them a part in this society, they will take the offer. But of course, if we fight them, then they will fight back. At his point people often start to mention the welfare state as an excuse to keep the central panning in place. This however is not very persuasive. Let us assume the argument is correct and open borders would bankrupt the welfare state. In that case people who believe that the welfare state is good because it is helping the poor will have to answer the question, how they can seriously argue that we need to not give all these poor people in the world a chance to come here in order to protect the poor. Clearly if that is the outcome of the welfare state, then it is not worth having and protecting it under its own moral principals.

And those who already understand that the welfare state is not helping the poor, they really have nothing to object. I heard some libertarians argue that with a welfare state, immigrants would violate their property rights and therefore we cannot have open borders. But it is not the immigrants that are violating your rights, it is the welfare state. We should not stop opposing one state intervention because of another. With the same logic, someone could say that as long as we have the welfare state, it is libertarian to be in favour of state birth control. Afterall a number of the people who are born will become welfare recipients. Therefore, should we not argue that everyone who wants to have a baby first needs proof that that child will never be at risk to go on welfare? I better stop here, because I don’t want to give anyon ideas. If the welfare state really is so important to you, then build a fence around the welfare state and not the nation state. That means exclude immigrants from welfare.

The world is too complex to let central planners run it. We need now more than ever to bring the order of liberty into the statist chaos. So comrades, go home, do something productive for a change and open the damn borders!