Where Nationalism Meets Socialism
By Bryan Caplan
[R]eal free trade implies not only duty-free movement of goods and capital, but free movement of labour across borders, which neither the U.S. nor Canada can tolerate. Pure free trade is a utopian madhouse, even crazier in concept than communism. Just imagine the damage to the social structure — not to mention wages — if either country permitted unlimited Mexican immigration.
The naive, internationalist left can’t face these facts of life…
There is an alternative: The left could embrace the battered working class at home and unashamedly acknowledge that its first responsibility is to the citizens of the U.S. and Canada, now being sold out by the political elites. If Americans want to help the world’s poor we can lead by example, we can fight for more foreign aid, or — not the worst alternative — we can leave the dispossessed foreigners alone.
I expect this kind of tribalism from conservatives. When I see self-styled crusaders for the poor writing off foreigners who earn a $1/day for the sake of Americans who earn $10,000/year, I’m speechless.