The radical left is rarely confronted with its own contradicting views on America. On the one hand, some progressives claim to hate America and think it is the worst regime in the history of humanity, best to be dismantled and forgotten. On the other hand, crowds of people from across the world are trying to get into America and leftists get screaming mad if anyone suggests that it might be an idea to halt the immigration flow.
How dare anyone prevent desperately poor people in hellhole countries from entering the Nirvana of American capitalism, brimming with wealth and job opportunities? Coming to America is a human right!
That sounds like a step too far, you say? The lead candidate for president in Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, recently expressed exactly such a sentiment:
“Soon, very soon, after the victory of our movement, we will defend migrants all over the American continent and the migrants of the world who, by necessity, must abandon their towns to find life in the United States; it’s a human right we will defend.”
Notice that he didn’t say people have a right to live in a country with the same liberties and individual rights as the United States. Obrador is running on a platform reminiscent of Hugo Chavez and his failed socialist revolution in Venezuela. Socialists want to have their cake and eat it too.
Bring America to Mexico
Here is a thought. Why not stop the flow of migrants by transforming Mexico and other Latin American countries into places that their people would prefer to live? Since so many of their citizens want to live in the United States, why not take the hint and emulate the successful U.S. formula of free markets, and security of person and property?
Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai
It took the West thousands of years of philosophical inquiry, bloody wars and conflict to finally discover the goose that lays the golden eggs, the formula for liberty. Copying it, however, is easy. Singapore went from jungle to prosperity in fifty years and fellow “Asian Tiger” Hong Kong went from fishing village to the financial center of Asia in the same amount of time.
Only half a century after it was a mere desert, Dubai is now the most vibrant of the Arab Emirates, despite having very little oil. Why? They have all followed the model of free markets.
The story is always the same: if a country decides to adopt the economic recipe of the West, good things happen very rapidly.
The Marshmallow Test
Mexico is right next door to the U.S.; it could easily become prosperous in no time. So why doesn’t it? There are multiple reasons, but one is that its government fails the “marshmallow test” which psychologists use to test the capacity for long-term planning in children. At age five, children who are offered one marshmallow right now or one hundred marshmallows in twenty minutes, typically choose the immediate gratification over the long-term benefit.
That’s what Mexico is doing right now. It could be an enormously rich country in twenty years, as evidenced by success stories like resource-poor Singapore, or it could just plunder its neighbors through socialism as much as it can in the short-term.
America Can Help
An absurd culture of crime and corruption stands in the way of a better life for all Mexicans. Fortunately, there is a way that America can help its troubled neighbor. For example, the U.S. can drop its war on drugs. We should have learned from the prohibition era that the only people we help with substance restriction laws are organized criminals. So too in Mexico.
Part of the reason that Mexico and other Latin American countries fail is because of drug cartels that have many politicians and police in their pockets. If we legalize drugs, all drug cartels instantly disappear.
“Not our problem,” you say? Oh yes, it is! The drug war is perhaps the number one reason for the flow of migrants into America. If you want to stop illegal immigration and get rid of most of the crime associated with it, then stop the war on drugs. The opiate crisis in America will be there regardless of whether the drugs are legal or not, and it needs to be handled by means other than prohibition.
Ending the war on drugs will help Mexico get its act together. It will not be enough, but it would be a start.