Most Americans want immigrants to gain citizenship legally, but that is impossible for most immigrants. It is possible to come here legally if you are: a high skill immigrant, have family members in the United States or are a refugee. Our immigration system leaves out a legal pathway for most people in the world. Low skill immigrants, that do not have family in the USA, do have the opportunity to apply for a diversity visa lottery. Last year only about 50,000 people won visas through the diversity lottery, but over 10 million people applied. Winning the immigration lottery is literally the only legal way most people in the world can come to United States legally. Arbitrary government restrictions on immigration artificially keep the number of immigrants down. Immigrants are more likely to start small business and are less likely to commit crimes than average Americans. We need to rework our failed immigration policy that hinders our economy. Allowing more people in the United States will improve our economy and will reduce poverty around the world.
A Libertarian society, with a strong belief in private property rights, would have open immigration. This society would not necessarily have a larger number of immigrants and this is a crucial distinction. Anyone would be allowed to immigrate anywhere, but conversely property owners would have to grant access to their property. Property owners could prevent immigrants from coming onto their land and that would decide the level of immigration. We do not live in an Anarcho-capitalist world and our government currently subsidizes the level of immigration. Undocumented immigrants frequently have free access to public roads, schools, and emergency rooms. As Lew Rockwell said, “these migrations in short are not market outcomes”. Additionally, welfare use is higher among immigrant households than non immigrant households. This can make some immigrants a drain on taxpayers.
Trump has relentlessly taken on the Neocon establishment throughout his campaign. He rightly calls our current foreign policy a disaster and is unafraid to blame those at fault. Trump has slammed Hillary for supporting Iraq because that war has completely destabilized the Middle East. In a national debate, Trump forcefully attacked Bush for lying us into war. Pundits widely proclaimed that Trump ruined his chances in South Carolina by taking a stand against the Bush foreign policy. Additionally, Trump has questioned US involvement in NATO and has suggested removing troops from Germany, Japan, and South Korea. In 1999 he even took some issue with Bill Clinton’s bombing campaign in Kosovo. Someone that is not sold on Trump’s foreign policy should take notice of the Neocons hate for Trump. Max Boot even said “I would sooner vote for Stalin than I would vote for Trump. In my book, having the war hawks scared should count for something.
Trump sometimes speaks out against the United States military empire, but his unpredictable nature makes his potential presidency dangerous. Trump lacks a clear philosophy and is an intellectual lightweight. He does not spend time reading anti war scholars or renowned Paleoconservatives. His statements on foreign policy brings back memories of Obama’s 2008 run of president. They both seemed somewhat anti war, but reading between the lines reveals a scarier narrative. Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, has bombed almost twice as many counties as Bush and he escalated a drone program with a horrendous record. The public could have predicted Obama’s hawkish actions by paying attention to his view on Afghanistan in 2008. He always wanted the United States to be more involved in Afghanistan, but after 14 years the Taliban is stronger today than when the war started. Sadly, Trump could end up being another Obama. Trump wants a larger military budget and he wants to bomb the innocent family members of terrorist. Before the attack in Paris he wanted Putin to defeat ISIS, but now Trump wants the USA to defeat ISIS and take their oil. As Scott Horton said, “I dont know exactly how he imagines to just leave with the oil because that sounds more like staying forever to me”. While Trump may sound anti war sometimes, his unpredictable and rash nature could keep our military involved throughout the Middle East.
Switzerland recently overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative for a universal basic income. A basic income would have provided all adults in Switzerland with 2500 Swiss Francs per month regardless of income. Some, in the United States, are suggesting a similar program to overhaul all welfare programs. A universal income actually has significant intellectual roots among Libertarians. Milton Friedman proposed a negative income tax, but that would have applied only to Americans under a certain income level. A basic universal income would be an entitlement program for Americans of all economic classes and would be intended to replace all other anti poverty programs. Currently the United States spends about one trillion dollars on anti poverty programs at the federal and state level. Transforming the War on Poverty into one universal income would help slash the gigantic bureaucracy. Additionally, altering the War on Poverty could end the “welfare trap”. Frequently welfare programs can discourage people from working. A loss in benefits occurred by working may exceed the new income from their employer.
Reforming the welfare system in the United States may sound appealing, but the entire War on Poverty should be evaluated. Since 1964 the poverty rate has been relatively flat, but before LBJ’s Great Society, poverty was falling drastically. The federal government has spent about 19 trillion dollars and the United States will spend about one trillion dollars this year alone. In fact, since 1970 means tested welfare spending is up ten fold, but the poverty rate is still stagnant. A basic income will give people free cash without having to work and that may cause the labor force participation rate to shrink. Decentralized free market Capitalism has proven to raise the standard of living greater than government aid. Additionally, it is unlikely that all other welfare programs would disappear with the addition of a universal basic income. As Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and for government to gain ground”. Social Security and Medicare started off as somewhat controversial programs, but now the electorate universally loves these programs. A basic income, if adopted, would probably gain support from society over time. Adding another entitlement program would prove politically impossible to repeal.
Gary Johnson clearly represents the most Libertarian option in the general election. Johnson wants to balance the budget, reduce military spending, and end the War on Drugs. Spending increased significantly in New Mexico, while he was governor. But he faced a state legislature that was largely Democrats. Progressives pushed the budget higher, but Johnson tried to rein in spending. As governor of New Mexico, he vetoed more bills than all 49 other governors combined. Clinton and Trump give the Libertarian Party a golden opportunity. Right now Johnson polls 8.5% nationally and up to 16% in some states. Johnson has a legitiment possibility of making the presidential debates and spreading the message of liberty. Lovers of liberty should vote for and actively support the most Libertarian candidate in the election. Will Johnson ultimately be successful? Maybe
Gary Johnson and Bill Weld represent the mushy middle, not true Libertarianism. Weld supported Obama, Romney, and Kasich. He did not even endorse the man at the top of his own ticket. On policy, Weld horrendously supported the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Gary Johnson, in a slap to the face of all Libertarians, called Weld the “original Libertarian”. Will a man that demonstrates profound ignorance rekindle the flame of revolution? I think not. We need a candidate with a strong understanding of libertarian philosophy. The Non Aggression principle, a central tenet of Libertarianism, is too difficult for Johnson to comprehend. Gary Johnson is not running on a substantiate Libertarian ideas because he does not understand Libertarian ideology completely. We should be looking for the next Ron Paul not the next leader of the Koch Institute.