By Robert Wenzel
Govs. Cuomo and Chris Christie have announced that, effective immediately, anyone traveling into Kennedy and Newark airports from countries plagued by the Ebola disease must spend 21 days in isolation at home or hospitals if they had direct contact with patients, reports NyPo.
The new measure far exceeds the self-monitoring recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I am in favor of this quarantine and believe that something similar would develop in a Private Property Society.
Hans-Herman Hoppe correctly notes, in a different context:
[O]n what grounds should there be a right to un-restricted, “free” immigration? No one has a right to move to a place already occupied by someone else, unless he has been invited by the present occupant. And if all places are already occupied, all migration is migration by invitation only. A right to “free” immigration exists only for virgin country, for the open frontier.I believe this insight has application to the current Ebola crisis from a libertarian perspective, especially when Hoppe discusses his insight in relation to "public property" and the state:
[T]he fact that government property is illegitimate because it is based on prior expropriations, it does not follow that it is un-owned and free-for-all. It has been funded through local, regional, national or federal tax payments, and it is the payers of these taxes, then, and no one else, who are the legitimate owners of all public property. They cannot exercise their right – that right has been arrogated by the State – but they are the legitimate owners...First off: What would immigration policies be like if the State would, as it is supposed to do, act as a trustee of the taxpayer-owners’ public property? What about immigration if the State acted like the manager of the community property jointly owned and funded by the members of a housing association or gated community?
At least in principle the answer is clear. A trustee’s guideline regarding immigration would be the “full cost” principle. That is, the immigrant or his inviting resident should pay the full cost of the immigrant’s use made of all public goods or facilities during his presence. The cost of the community property funded by resident taxpayers should not rise or its quality fall on account of the presence of immigrants. On the contrary, if possible the presence of an immigrant should yield the resident-owners a profit, either in the form of lower taxes or community-fees or a higher quality of community property (and hence all-around higher property values).Applying this observation to the current Ebola crisis, it is certainly true that the citizenry in general does not want more cases of Ebola to be let loose on the streets of America. That would be a cost on the taxpayers in more ways than one. And since there is no such thing as a "right to unrestricted 'free' immigration," than anyone arriving from Ebola, Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), where the disease is prevalent should be required, at their own cost, to be under monitored quarantine for 21 (42?) days upon on arrival in the United States. This should also hold for American citizens who have visited Ebola, Africa, since again, they have the potential to spread numerous types of very high costs on the general public if they are infected and travel about in public.
In an ideal Private Property Society, I can envision much the same sort of quarantine rule, no one wants to allow to be brought in to a geographic region where they live such an aggressive disease. Indeed, anyone who is at strong risk of carrying such a disease would be in violation of the non-aggression principle by being out and about in public.
It is really not very different from a blind man shooting a gun in public. He may or not hit anyone by his blind random shooting, but the very act of shooting under such circumstances would need to be stopped. The same goes with those who have a possibility of being Ebola positive. They need to be prevented from wandering about in public.
To be sure, it is always a dangerous thing to call for restrictions on action, but in the case of a blind man shooting or a person potentially infected with Ebola, common sense dictates that action needs to be taken. But recognition must be made that the restriction of actions is always a slippery slope that must be extremely limited.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at EconomicPolicyJournal.com and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics