Meanwhile in Europe
In Europe, and particularly in Greece, where money (when the banks let you get at yours) is scarce, hundreds of refugees arrive every day on the isle of Kos. There is no talk of making them wait for years and pay fines.
I’m not saying everyone in Greece, Italy, or the other impacted countries is happy about this, but by and large the countries of Europe deserve credit for doing what they can.
The contrast between European and American approaches to illegal immigration is telling. In the land of the brave and home of the free, those who got here first want all the pie for themselves. They don’t understand, just as the King Louis XVI didn’t understand, is that the greater the imbalance, the less sustainable it is. You push back against a system seeking balance at your peril.
When two fluids of different concentration, such as sea water and fresh water, are separated by a porous divider, fluid percolates through the divider until the water on both sides is equally saline.
This is one case of a general rule. Systems that are out of balance will seek balance. And so it is with populations. The poor will osmose to rich countries and the rich will become poorer. This does not mean that if an illegal immigrant moves next door to Donald Chump, half of Donald’s wealth will go to the other person. It means that over time, the most egregious imbalances will be corrected.
Impact of Osmosis on Wealth
You can see this reflected in the economies of affluent nations. As cheap energy and the internet make national borders permeable, companies seek lower cost labor and the wealth of the labor force in developed countries declines correspondingly.
The trend toward equilibrium is accelerated by technology. Those cabbies in New York who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the right to drive a yellow cab may lobby the Mayor against Uber, but the million-dollar taxi medallion is probably gone forever.
On the bright side (from the American point of view) osmosis is race, gender and income neutral. When an American worker’s wages decline, so does his ability to purchase. If you want to sell your house to him, you will have to lower your price.
Guaranteed Minimum Income
In the final reckoning, the wealth of an individual will trend towards the sum of all the wealth of the planet, divided by the number of people on the planet. If you have more than your share today, someone, somewhere has less. Those who don’t have enough must depend on those who do.
There is a solution to this imbalance. It’s called Guaranteed Minimum Income. Take a look at what they have in Denmark. This link is to an article posted on Senator Bernie Sanders’s senate web site. I neither endorse nor oppose Mr. Sanders’ presidential candidacy, however I think well enough of him that he does not get his name linked satirically on this blog to wildlife, as Sarah Palin does (Sarah who?).
The Archangel Mission
I predicted universal income in my novel The Archangel Mission. There is no other solution to the replacement of human labor by machines and artificial intelligence. Most people cannot compete with automata for a living wage.