Statist generation

See also deportation to Africa

This analogy was made by Bryan Caplan in response to concerns about the negative political externalities of immigration. In a blog post titled The Political Externalities of Open Borders: Digest Version, Caplan writes:

But in the final analysis, perhaps it’s best to respond to the political externalities question with another question: “If you favor markets and liberty, how can you oppose the deportation of the entire statist generation?” Native voters under 30 are more hostile to markets and liberty than immigrants ever were. Why not just kick them out? Part of your answer, hopefully, is that mass deportation would be a vastly greater crime against markets and liberty than anything voters under 30 are likely to manage. My position in a sentence, similarly, is that immigration restrictions are a vastly greater crime against markets and liberty than anything immigrant voters are likely to manage.

The structure of the argument is more general: if your complaint is that immigrants are on average more likely to do some bad thing X, why not concentrate on deporting the natives who do bad thing X, in addition to, or in place of, restricting immigration?

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