May 25, 2006

Almost beyond parody

Alex Tabarrok, author of that "open letter" of economists retailing all the hoariest sentimental tripe about immigration, now explains on his Marginal Revolution blog the reason that so many economists don't like to think hard about immigration: the moral superiority of economists!

I have an article in TCS today on why economists tend to be more in favor of immigration than the typical person. Surprisingly, the ethics of economists may be part of the answer! Here's an excerpt:

Economists...tend not to distinguish between us and them. We look instead for policies that at least in principle make everyone better off. Policies that make us better off at the price of making them even worse off are for politicians, not economists.

For centuries, economists have been explaining that you shouldn't trust people who say, "Trust me, my motives are pure." Self-rationalizations are typically motivated by self-interest. But, now, in a stunning breakthrough, economists have discovered the one kind of human being who is above such tawdry concerns, whose viewpoint is wholly Olympian and disinterested: economists!

I've outlined a counter-philosophy of citizenism not because it is perfect in all regards, but because it is less easily corrupted than the alternatives.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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