Other than touching on it in this morning's audio commentary, I doubt that I would have devoted much time here on the blog to this particular topic. That was, however, until I listened to Mr. Brat this morning in a CNBC interview.
I swear, the man said "free markets" at least a dozen times. He even quoted Adam Smith once or twice. He lambasted cronyism on Capitol Hill. I say Great!, Great!, and Great!. He then, however, and alas, began humming the Tea Party tune on immigration. Dang! I have to tell you, almost nothing frustrates me more than politicians and political organizations (or anyone else for that matter) who claim allegiance to free markets, then turn around and entirely exclude labor (to put it in market terms) as a component.
Please! Don't tell me you believe that folks should be free to transact their affairs unhindered by government, then tell me that government should hinder the movement of foreign workers into our "free" marketplace.
Speaking of Adam Smith, here's an excerpt from the December 2013 Adam Smith Institute article titled Immigration controls are the New Corn Laws. Why don't more free marketeers care?:
What puzzles me is that my fellow free marketeers are often very indifferent (if not openly hostile) to policies that make it easier for foreign people to work in Britain. They cannot believe the economic claims that immigrants 'steal jobs' in an overall harmful way unless they also think that free trade does. There are many keyhole solutions to prevent immigrants from sponging off the welfare state. The cultural arguments, if they can be classed as such, are worth considering but certainly not so powerful that they invalidate the economic arguments. And free marketeers are usually pretty happy to let society adjust itself rather than try to engineer it to become or remain the way they like it.
And here's one from a Friesian School article titled Smith's Law, Free Trade, and Free Immigration:
Another hot public and political issue, not just in the United States but elsewhere, as in France, is immigration. Apart from a simple xenophobic dislike of foreigners, hostility of immigrants is often based on economic ideas that immigrants, like "cheap" foreign labor, drive down wages and take jobs away from natives. Again, however, workers qua workers are producers and labor costs are production costs. Driving down labor costs drives down production costs, which will benefit consumers, either by the reduction of prices in a competitive market or by an increase in profits which will attract competition that will also drive down prices.
I'm thinking Mr. Bratt, being an admirer of Adam Smith, should---as have the members of the above referenced organizations---study a bit more of the great Scottish philosopher before rambling on further about free markets!