Control of immigration (was: Multiculturalism)

Clay Shirky clay@shirky.com
Sun, 21 Oct 2001 23:10:52 -0400 (EDT)


> I don't even understand why you believe there is an important
> relationship between capital and labour mobility:

Say I am a businessman, and I am working on the next generation
Shirky-o-mizer, which requires a port from my current EDBIC-based
files to Oracle 9i. I have the ideal team for the project, 4 guys who
work as a team in Hyderbad.

The only thing standing in the way of my moving them here is
immigration laws, so now I can a) hire more expensive American
engieners (higher ongoing costs), b) open a Bangalore branch office
(higher fixed costs) or c) scrap the database port (higher opportunity
costs).

In an open market, I would only consider the needs of the project in
deciding whether to move the capital to the labor or vice-versa.
Immigration laws prevent me from doing that, so the relationship
between labor laws and capital is the same as, say, the relationship
between farm subsidies and capital. Immigration laws are plainly a
restriction on trade.

The rest of this post was actually stuff Russell said, not me, so I'll
let him respond.

-clay