Thursday, May 10, 2007

Evolution, Immigration and Trade

Paul H. Rubin discusses free trade, immigration, and evolution. He argues for the restrictions of trade to be dropped and to let immigration work. He also says that evolution has a lot to do with this. But what I find most intriguing is his view on a static world:

Our primitive ancestors lived in a world that was essentially static; there was little societal or technological change from one generation to the next. This meant that our ancestors lived in a world that was zero sum -- if a particular gain happened to one group of humans, it came at the expense of another.

This was one of the topics we discussed at length this past semester. There are so many people today who cannot see the world in any way but a static view. They also therefore see economics as static as well. Rubin thinks, like I do, that the economy (in particular immigration and trade) are evolving. We can not view these two policy issues as we once did. John Stossel had a good piece on 20/20 concerning outsourcing ( In his piece he argues the benefits of outsourcing. Aside from the obvious union objections, many see outsourcing, like immigration and trade, as static views and therefore it must be bad.

Rubin is correct. We need to be looking at out world, economics, as evolving, or changing. When we can open our minds to the non-linear model, we might make more progress.

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