May 30, 2008: Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality

Not all conservatives are Milo. Very few conservatives are Milo, in fact: Rakesh Bhandari: "Some conservative Cal students have falsely complained that they are penalized by GSI's or Profs for their political views. One student falsely said an econ prof forced him to write in favor of open borders; another complained that he was penalized for a realism paper in IR..."

To be overly fair, it is very difficult to make an anti-open borders argument within the framework of rootless cosmopolite neoclassical economics.

There are people in country Y who want to work in country X. There are people in country X who want to hire them. Blocking that transaction destroys wealth. The argument that blocking that transaction produces a better income distribution that boosts the greatest good of the greatest number by more than decreased wealth reduces it can be made—but is not very convincing. And other considerations that might weigh against open borders are hard to make at all in an economic framework.


Unfair to most conservative students. Most conservative students at Berkeley do not attract the eye of California Hall. Most are just trying to figure stuff out—not hoping for a Fox cameo by trying to make A-As, Latinos, immigrants feel small. The highly estimable Nils Gilman is unfair to the typical conservative Berkeley student here:

With respect to the atypical conservative Berkeley student, however, he has their number...