5 verk 89 medlemmar 1 recension

Om författaren

Ilya Somin is a professor of law at George Mason University. He is the author of The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain (2015) and writes regularly for the Volokh Conspiracy blog at the Washington Post.

Verk av Ilya Somin


Allmänna fakta

Det finns inga Allmänna fakta än om den här författaren. Du kan lägga till några.



This is a very academic presentation of the case for treating immigration as a superior form of political decision making by individuals, superior to voting in most cases. There is a lot I agree with -- the fundamental arguments that most ballot box votes don't count, and so most voters don't put much effort into evaluating candidates or elected officials, and how little effect one could realistically hope to have through the democratic process. Instead, exercising political voice by moving makes more sense, as it's obviously effective for the individual, and the individual has plenty of reasons to research the decision well and course-correct if it was a mistake.

There's also a lot of argument presented that in addition to individual benefits for those moving, it also provides political and economic benefits to both the losing and gaining nations. A lot of these seem very solid.

The one area where I disagree with the book is in the costs of migration (primarily to the "gaining" nation). Somin seems to present "immigrants might vote 60:40 in a way different than natives" as a straw man argument that he thinks dramatically overstates the case; in reality it's even more than that for some immigrant groups and some areas, and even a 1% change has compounded (due to second-generation, etc.) to cause major political changes in the US (and especially in specific states and cities). His example of Estonia vs. Russian immigrants might still be the most extreme, but while there's no valid economic argument against the overall economic increase of educated immigrants, there is a political and cultural one at a certain scale. He says "restricting political franchise would be less of an imposition than restricting all access", but we have no way to do that, and a lot of the economic costs of low-end immigrants are not direct welfare benefits but other costs. As well, he repeatedly makes the standard argument of "if there are costs, they can be covered by redistributing some of the gains" -- of course that's theoretically correct, but never happens.

I like the argument, and mostly agree with it, except for the underestimated costs. It's a great way to present the argument, and the example of "entirely foot voting, with no democratic voting" is interesting -- imagine a bunch of cities/states run by non-democratic institutions (companies, individuals, perhaps automata) into and out of which people could freely choose to migrate -- basicall the Internet in physical form.
… (mer)
octal | Jan 1, 2021 |


½ 4.5

Tabeller & diagram