I’m a huge supporter of free trade and immigration, in principle. I find it increasingly worrying that Americans, proudly led by our political leaders, are irrationally blaming both free trade and immigration for our economic problems, rather than looking deeper for the actual causes. I mention this only because I just read a great essay by Julian Sanchez on these topics. It also provides me with a nice segue into something else I’ve been meaning to say.
Lately I read often about negative population growth in the United States and Europe (maybe other rich countries as well). The statements are generally written in foreboding tones, and say something like, “If not for immigration, the population of country so and so would be shrinking.” Or warning that this trend will begin soon. Who cares? There are people all over ther world who are dying to immigrate to rich countries, so that they can start a life that involves working hard and paying taxes until they retire. If negative population growth becomes a problem, you simply liberalize your immigration policy and start letting in the kinds of workers that you need. The only reason to oppose this is bigotry, because the immigrants you get won’t be white. Thanks to centuries of imperialism, they will speak the language at least.