Ekonomen Bryan Caplan är senast känd för The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money och kanske mest känd för The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Båda dessa böcker är härligt provocerande och välskrivna.
Hans senaste bok verkar minst lika intressant. Caplan har samarbetat med illustratören Zach Weinersmith och gett ut en seriebok som pläderar för öppna gränser. Jag finner både konceptet och ämnet högintressant.
Boken har fått hyfsat bra kritik. Så här skriver David R Henderson:
Caplan considers virtually every argument against open borders and demolishes each with a figurative Howitzer.
Henderson har dock viss kritik:
Caplan, to his credit, looks boldly at the strongest objection that immigration critic George Borjas, an economics professor at Harvard, has made. Borjas and his Harvard colleague Lawrence Katz reported in 2007 that in the long run increased immigration from Mexico had reduced the wages of native U.S. dropouts by 4.8 percent. That’s a small change. But it also leads to my one substantive criticism. The 4.8 percent number is the result of about 1 million legal immigrants a year and about 11 million illegal immigrants. What would the number look like with the tens of millions of new relatively unskilled immigrants who would likely come here in just a few years? It might be a bigger drop; it might even be an increase as U.S. dropouts find that their English-language skills give them a leg up. We simply don’t know.
Det amerikanska perspektivet är tydligt - och på många sätt informativt. Så här kommenterar Henderson Caplans diskussion av Friedmans klassiska påstående om invandring och välfärdsstat:
Even Milton Friedman, a strong advocate of economic freedom, stated, "You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state." Caplan’s response to Friedman’s objection is one of the strongest parts of book. He admits that immigrants would be disproportionately low-income but points out that a large part of the federal government’s budget is for defense and it doesn’t cost more to defend a larger population in the United States than it costs to defend a smaller one. Taxing immigrants, therefore, lightens the fiscal burden for those of us who are already here. [...] He also proposes a keyhole solution that would cut the cost of immigration and is, in fact, already in force under the Welfare Reform Act of 1996: make even legal immigrants non-eligible for welfare for a certain length of time.
Även konceptet att göra en seriebok (med massor av fotnoter och källor) verkar gillas av de flesta. Ett exempel: