If you hate the state, you should love immigration

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Ilya Somin

“Conservative and libertarian critics of immigration like to cite Milton Friedman’s observation that ‘[y]ou cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state,’ which co-blogger Ken Anderson recently endorsed. The fear is that, given relatively open borders, immigrants from poor countries will flock to wealthy ones and undermine their economies by consuming huge amounts of welfare benefits. I am a great admirer of Friedman and his scholarship. But he was not an expert on immigration, and, as far as I can tell, he never systematically studied the evidence on the impact of immigration on political support for the welfare state. That evidence overwhelmingly shows that ethnic heterogeneity greatly reduces support for welfare state spending because voters are less willing to support welfare programs if they believe that a large percentage of the money is going to members of a different racial or ethnic group.” (05/09/17)