Saturday, July 18, 2015

Every Binary Choice Is a Lie

I'm not saying this is official doctrine or anything, but it's something I've come to believe is true. Any time you are given an "either/or" choice, both options are wrong.

It's a great tool of Satan's, because when you find out the one option is wrong, you assume you should oppose it by supporting the other option. Don't like Democrats? Vote Republican! (Except Republicans are terrible, too.) Don't like terrorism? Support the War on Terror™. (Except war won't work.) Whenever someone comes to you and says, "If you oppose X you should favor Y," you can know that Y is just as terrible as X.

This attitude makes it impossible for me to take online political affiliation quizzes, because most of my answers are "it depends." (Remember, "it depends" is always a correct answer.) I recently took this quiz and wished I could choose "it depends" about half of the time.

Specifically, I disliked the statement, "Immigration to my country should be minimized and strictly controlled." This is the great divide on the open borders debate. But the correct view is that immigration should be maximized AND strictly controlled.

A country without a border isn't a country. Some people who try to come to America want to harm Americans. A nation should restrict the ability of criminals to prey on its population. This is why I support strict control of immigration. But the greatest humanitarian aid project of the 1800s was the lax immigration restrictions of the United States. Six of my eight great-grandparents were either immigrants or the children of immigrants. Our Founders wanted to create a land of liberty, not a rent-seeking project to enrich their posterity. Wealth should accrue to those with skills, not to those born on the correct side of an imaginary line. This is why I support maximized immigration.

Protectionist arguments are ignorant, almost intentionally so. Millions of additional Americans means millions of additional consumers who need their demands met, not millions more unemployed workers. And if your skill-set can't withstand competition from uneducated peasants who don't speak the common tongue, you've got bigger problems, friend.

I hate that the immigration debate is a binary choice between Donald Trump and La Raza. No one in the public space is saying anything in between, though. The true answer is in between.

PS: How'd I do on the quiz? Well, I've taken it twice now, and both times I ended up on the X-axis, more than halfway between the origin and the right-hand side of the graph. This is why I self-identify as "conservatarian" on Facebook.

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