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October 1, 2010

An incredible article appeared on Times Live today, authored by Iv0 Vegter, featuring a quote by Per Bylund. The piece addressed the issue of Zimbabweans illegally immigrating to South Africa to escape the economic hardship imposed by their dictator. The piece not only addresses the specific case of South Africa but also migration as a whole.

Vegter concludes that free, unrestricted, unconditional movement of labor is in the best interest of consumers and allows for a higher standard of living.

The simple fact is that people are naturally attracted to localities where they can be most productive – that is, where their expenditure in labour and capital attracts the best possible return. This benefits the places that offer such conditions – in this case, South Africa. Its people will find goods and services relatively more plentiful and less expensive, thanks to the productivity of immigrants.

For the same reason that governments should not grant robber-barons exclusive licences to produce their goods and services, or protect big companies from better competitors by means of subsidies or tariffs, it should not grant South African workers immunity from competition. Such competition is good for consumers – a group which includes the workers or producers themselves – by raising the quality and productivity of labour.

Do take the time to read this brief, but insightful article.

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