New book sets out the case for open borders
Economists are not usually known for writing cartoon books. But US academic Bryan Caplan wanted to get his radical argument about migration to the widest possible audience.
So he teamed up with illustrator Zach Weinersmith and the result is a bold distillation of the moral, economic and practical arguments for open borders.
Global policy-makers have of late been locked in a heated battles over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in their countries.
Those in favour of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favour of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens.
But George Mason University economist Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy – greatly benefiting humanity.
With a clear and conversational tone, exhaustive research, his graphic book ‘Open Borders’ makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny.
A dizzying tour of the arguments and evidence behind the debate around open borders, the book is a refreshing response to zero-sum pronouncements about migration.
Caplan responds to the likely criticisms of his thesis in thoughtful and generous ways. Nobody is accused or racism or some other less-than-pure motivation. He is not afraid to admit when those who have a different view make a good point.
This distinguishes his work from other polarised argument on this issue.
The book may become a landmark in economic education and how to present economic ideas and the integration of economic analysis and graphic visuals.
The book has been touted as one of the very best explainers of the gains from trade idea ever produced, and it has the capacity to teach anyone lots about issues around migration as well as the associated economic arguments.
Bryan Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and one of the world’s leading advocates of free migration. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter, named “the best political book of the year” by the New York Times