Conservatives Should Adopt Free-trade Policy


The following is a letter submission I made to the Detroit Free Press in regards to the recent debate over immigration.

Since the passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, Americans have split into two distinct groups, namely those who acknowledge the benefits and moral obligations of open immigration and those who clamor over the increased size of the welfare state. Ultimately however, it is an erroneous assumption to conclude that immigration controls improve the economy. In actuality, additional labor increases economic productivity and therefore everyone is made more prosperous.

Also, conservatives should not abandon their belief in Ricardo’s theory of free-trade, especially as it pertains to labor markets. Immigration control is a barrier to entry and acts as a protectionist policy. Furthermore, opponents of free-entry should consider that border controls unfairly punish the geographically disadvantaged. No one should be discriminated against based solely on nationality. Nationalism holds little difference than racial prejudice. True believers in civil liberties and free-markets should endorse open borders, while still rejecting the welfare state.

— Clint Townsend
Mackinac Research Intern

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