During a February 25 CNN town hall event, Senator Bernie Sanders – a self-described “democratic” socialist – sang the praises of cradle-to-grave welfare states which are built on numerous “rights,” namely health care. While the Vermont Independent singled out the Scandinavian system as the model to emulate, he ignored several key facts.
First and foremost, the United States already has numerous and costly welfare programs. Second, Scandinavia is much less socialist than Sanders would have us believe. However, those are discussions for another time. The important point here is that the thinking of much of the left is marred by what Marx liked to call an “internal contradiction.” The socialist left that calls for the further expansion of the already bloated welfare state simultaneously advocates for open borders and mass immigration.
The economist Milton Friedman – himself a proponent of “free immigration” – pointed out that a country cannot have both “free immigration” and a welfare state. This makes a great deal of sense. Many migrants from poor countries are attracted to the US and other Western nations by the social “safety net.” Many legal immigrants – and even quite a few illegal aliens – are collecting some form of government assistance in the U.S. Given our massive national debt and unfunded liabilities, this will undoubtedly overload the system. This is not only unsustainable and irresponsible, but grossly unfair.
Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and other proponents of large-scale government spending on generous welfare programs must choose between the welfare state and open borders/mass immigration.
On second thought, perhaps they are not as inconsistent as they appear. After all, mass immigration and open borders offer a way to redistribute wealth on a national and global scale: from the “bourgeois” middle classes and the prosperous West to those whom the left sees as victims of Western colonialism and “imperialism.”