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Why do you think the US catches so much grief for suggesting even a lower-level Merit type program when other countries already implement rather rigorous Merit-based immigration policies (and aren't "in the firing-line" for it)?
I really don't know for sure, but I think there are a few obvious possibilities.
- 1 - The "dream of America" has been fueled by all the 20th century hype and American self-congratulation abroad. The result has been the impression that the whole world has been invited to come and share in the dream. Therefore, the mere whisper of rescinding the invitation to some causes disappointment, distress, and entitled judgment.
- 2 - The despair and envy felt by some in oppressed and poor nations fuels the desire to go to better places, symbolized by the American Dream (discussed in number 1). This combines with the ignorant utopian fantasies of those who argue for borderless globalism. When those dreams are threatened, some people rage against it, or criticize those who would limit access to the dream, in the hopes of keeping the access open to all.
- 3 - Socialists, post-modernists, and other folks who do not understand economics think of wealth as limited, not created by free market capitalism. This combines with resentment of the abuses of the Colonial period, to create an assumption that the wealth of the US is the result of theft, as is the poverty of the third world. This results in the assumption of entitlement to share in the wealth of the US. Threatening to limit access by the poor, uneducated, and disadvantaged smacks of continuation of the "theft"
- 4 - Some people want to see the US be weakened by filling it with people without skills, with low IQs, who want to drain the US' social services, and who do not want to assimilate to American culture.
- 5 - Most people in the world do not have any problem with merit based immigration. It is just insecure and incompetent Americans who act like the world has a problem with a merit system because they know they could not compete for jobs with people who would meat the standards being discussed.
I want to start by distinguishing between races, which are broad categories applied to people based on phenotypes, and gene pools, which are specific groups of people who, by virtue of collocation and intramarriage, share genotypes.
The concept of race is generally misleading because it is based only on external traits (phenotypes), and is used to drive identity politics, societal division, and all manner of folly.
Gene pools, by contrast, differentiate people in different environments, generally in conjunction with natural selection and genetic drift, to broaden the diversity of capabilities of the human species.
For example the gene pool in northern Eurasia during the ice ages, developed through natural selection lighter skin that was better able to synthesize vitamin D with low levels of sunlight. This has enabled some humans to live healthy lives further away from the equator, and in cloudy environments like the Pacific Northwest and Great Britain.
As liberals, they can be accepted even as Christians if they wish to be. As human beings, not as "abominations" ...
Most Christians don't particularly care. Sure they may think that homosexuality is a sin, but they also think speeding is a sin. That doesn't mean they would screw with gays any more than with people who exceed the posted speed limit.
There were multiple gay people in the congregation (Lutheran) I grew up in, and nobody cared.
In reality, the religious right is just a loud but tiny group. Even if those intolerant bastards were not Christian, they would still be judgmental assholes.
A very good reason, they won't be accepted, otherwise.
Face it, the Left has a lot of judgmental assholes, too. Religion has nothing to do with it.
What is weird is that once the myth started that gays tend to be liberal, it almost became a requirement. If they break ranks, lots of lefties accuse them of being traitors. (Despite the fact that who you have sex with is completely related to your preferences about tax policy or entitlements.)
This is why so few gay conservatives come out of the conservative closet. They get too much crap for it.I know a flaming Southern gay guy who told me he got more crap from liberals who were offended by the fact that his dick did not hang to the left than he ever got from Baptists for being gay.
The main problem (but not the only one) is that there is no clear definition of what we want it to accomplish.
- Deter people from breaking the law?
- Punish the guilty?
- Rehabilitate criminals & modify behavior?
- Protect society from criminal activity?
Deterrent The fines and prison time are generally too divorced from the criminal activity to act effectively as a deterrent for further criminal activity. Instead they function to discourage getting caught or having a bad lawyer. Our recidivism rate in the US is high, as is the rate of criminal activity, so the system clearly does not work to do this.
Punishment This requires that the system reliably gets the guilty people only, and reliably convicts the guilty by imposing uniform sentences and punishments. Both of these requirements are undermined by plea bargaining, a chaotically wide range of punishments due to mitigating and aggravating circumstances that impact sentencing, lack of truth in sentencing, etc. ad nauseum.
Rehabilitation The structure of our prison system effectively sabotages rehabilitative activities by failing to resemble outside society, thus making it worthless as a place to practice healthy behaviors, and train for readmission to society.
We put undisciplined and antisocial people into a socially hyper-aggressive, and highly controlled environment wherein any healthy social skills and self-direction capabilities quickly atrophy. This leaves ex-convicts even less capable of running their lives and participating productively in society than they were when convicted.
On top of this, the reintroduction into society is done haphazardly, often without adequate support, and commonly with only poor opportunities for useful employment.
This contributes greatly to recidivism rates.
Societal Protection The fact that violent criminals rarely serve full prison terms due to parole and probation truncates the time from which people are protected from the thieves and sociopaths in question.
Worse yet, we lock non-violent criminals in the same places as the violent ones. This often puts otherwise non-violent people in the position of having to learn to be violent in order to make it through their time.
On top of that, prisoners are allowed to lift weights, etc., enabling them to get stronger and more dangerous than when arrested.
Were our system designed to tackle ONE of these, it could be designed to be more effective at that particular task.
Instead, the dispersed scope of the purpose and methods of the system virtually ensure failure of all possible positive functions of the US criminal justice system.
I don't allow just anybody to come into my house.
My company has standards for who they hire.
Harvard has EXTREMELY strict standards for who is accepted and allowed to attend classes.
I fail to see how it is not important to have standards that improve the quality of our country.
If the American economy suddenly collapsed, and you were fired and couldn't find another job. Would you be mad if you weren't allowed to move to, let's say Canada to get a job there?
There are Thousands of homeless people in the US. Should they be allowed to seek a better life by moving into YOUR house or apartment
"Would you be mad if you lost your home and weren't allowed to move into your neighbor's home?"
Your argument is based on the premise that one country exists for the good of people in other countries, not for the good of its own citizens.
Consider that there are BILLIONS of people living in conditions we would consider to be abject poverty and unbearable oppression. We cannot absorb them all.
I rarely hear either side of the Free/Limited/No Immigration debate address the most pertinent question:
What is the total number of people who should live in the US?
There are lots of things that might supply the basis for answers (e.g., current birth rates, retirement rates, infrastructure requirements, environmental conditions, water/power supply, etc..)
35 years ago, when the US population was 165 million, environmentalists (both conservative and liberal) were yelling that the population was already too large for the good of the environment, and that our natural spaces were too stressed by tourism, urban sprawl, roads, powerplants, etc..
I tend to agree.
Now we are twice that many, and nobody (conservative or liberal) addresses the loss of our wild spaces when discussing immigration policy.
My personal vote is that all immigration stops until we actually determine what our target population is, and what benchmarks for growth or decline are best for addressing economic and social impacts of population change.
The short answer is that the development of free market capitalism is the greatest driver of increases in freedom because it is the greatest driver of the creation of wealth. The prosperity that results from freer markets acts as a reward (per operant conditioning) to encourage the general continuation and development of free market capitalism.
The long answer is that some of the question depends on what exactly we mean by liberal and how strict we are about continuously.
If we think of liberal primarily (not exclusively) in terms of economic freedom and opportunity to exercise it, and continuously in terms of a broad trend over time, then what we end up seeing is the effects of the free market.
The movement from absolutist rulers (who essentially own everything) and theocracies (which place strict demands and restrictions on economic behavior) toward freer access to markets, and more freedom regarding behavior in those markets.
Over time, those places that allowed more freedom to make and sell, tended to prosper as a result of creating wealth, rather that invading a neighbor (for example) or oppressing a populace, and simply hijacking their wealth. More importantly, the more wealth individuals were able to keep out of the hands of the chief, monarch, state, or priests, the more they had to reinvest. This gradually developed into capitalism, which was a major step forward into personal freedom.
Obviously, cleptocratic regimes and institutions slow the process (or throw it into reverse) as does heavy taxation.
The stimulus-behavior-reward loop tends to encourage societies to generally move toward free(r) market capitalism, because that is how nations and people are able to prosper. The reason many parts of the world are so poor in contrast with others is that they have shorter capitalist histories and have less developed free market institutions. Prosperity is both an effect, and then a cause of economic freedom in the local economy, and correlates with the degree to which people can keep their profits from the grasp of the state.
Sure there have been major steps backward, such as Communist China, and the Soviet Union, but these devolved ultimately to permit more economic freedom, and as they have done so, the people and their nations as a whole have prospered.
At the same time we can contrast the development of free market capitalism with monarchial systems such as Saudi Arabia, where the majority of the wealth is owned by the monarch. Despite the citizenry being paid stipends by the government, the people have very little freedom to do with it what they want because of the interference of Islamic law. This stifles the economic development.
We see a stark contrast between Saudi Arabia between both Dubai in the UAE, and Qatar. In both, the religious limits are less strict, and as a result, these places prosper, and build wealth among a much larger base than just the royalty.
Again, the prosperity-freedom feedback loop encourages more and more freedom in the region because the freer the markets, the richer the nation.