By Bryan Caplan
How does Canada’s immigration “points system” work? While I have no plans to move to the Great White North, curiosity led me to the this online calculator. Sadly, my Princeton Ph.D. isn’t good enough for Canada. The most revealing part of the test, though, is the health question:
Have you or any of your immediate family had any serious health problems?
Most will no doubt take it for granted that a single serious health problem disqualifies an entire family. But to me, it’s a Monty Python, “Come and see the violence inherent in the system!” moment.
The health exclusion clearly isn’t about contagion; it’s about socialized medicine. Canadians don’t want to pay for foreigners’ health care. Why not admit the sick, subject to the proviso that their health care is their own problem? Unthinkable! By the twisted logic of the welfare state, Canadians have to pay for the health care of anyone within their borders. Thanks to these odd qualms, foreigners endure sickness and poverty at home instead of sickness and prosperity in Canada. And who knows, maybe a First World job would let foreigners pay for the health care they or their loved ones need, allowing them to enjoy health and prosperity without burdening Canadian taxpayers?
Canadians are hardly alone, so why single them out? Because their blatant exclusion of sick foreigners directly contradicts their stellar international reputation for compassion and common sense. As usual, the welfare state isn’t about helping the poor and desperate. It’s about helping relatively poor and desperate members of your tribe while keeping absolutely poor and desperate human beings comfortably out of sight. Sick.