Walter Block makes a wonderful point in this paper: Can “the state determine what and to whom to allow and forbid on public land, based on what the taxpayers would decide as it concerns their own private property? This becomes impossible, for states cannot make such economic calculations.” It is “unrealistic” to expect the state to keep out “immigrants in any way that emulates the market decisions and choices of the taxpayers.”

But what if, per impossibile, it could?

Let’s consider some public properties like parks and libraries. Why are they government-owned and free in the first place? Presumably, libraries are such, because “we” want everyone, regardless of how poor, to be able to enjoy the knowledge contained in the books for free. Similarly, we want healthy recreations to be available to everyone at no charge. If government were to run these enterprises “in the interest of the taxpayers” or “as if they were private,” then it would defeat the purpose of having them public in the first place. Why not just privatize them and be done with this charade?

Roads are a special case; I believe they uniquely fulfill the natural right of men to “walk the earth“; they are not private properties but connect private properties with each other.

Let’s assume that forced integration / exclusion applies to public properties only. The taxpayers pay for them and hire an entity called “government” to manage them. Presumably, the government should seek, in managing them, the greatest good for the greatest number, or to maximize total utility, or some such lofty end. But if the number of people in the area increases due to an influx of immigrants, then so perhaps is the greater good. Surely, the more people use the public libraries, the smarter the population becomes which is good for the economy in a variety of ways.

Stephan Kinsella argues that if 99% of natives prefer to limit the use by new immigrants of public properties, the government should satisfy their desires as a form of restitution. Walter points out a number of problems with this position, but the clincher, I think, is, can there really be a class of people with the following unique status: they live in a town, possibly even own property there, but are not authorized to use roads, parks, libraries, firefighters, the police, etc.? Even my political incorrectness has its limits.

The only problem is that public properties are designed to serve a limited population. If the population triples over a month, then severe strain would be put on them and hence on the natives. But the reasonableness of prevention of mass migrations does not entail that normal immigration, as would occur under global laissez faire, should be limited.


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