Sunday, April 21, 2019

On the Problem of 3 Billion Immigrants Crashing the Border

The following email exchange took place between Dr. Walter Block and Drew Brekus.

I will make several comments with regard to the exchange in a post tomorrow.


Dear Professor Block: 

I am still trying to come to your final book club meeting for the summer this upcoming Friday. I won't know for sure until the next couple days if I can make it. 

But I saw an email posted on Lew Rockwell's website saying that you changed your mind on open borders. All I have to say is, say it ain't so! Why would you care if 3 billion people use the highways? We can fit the whole world population comfortably into Texas, a fact I'm sure you'll recall from debates on "over-population." If it's voluntary, who cares? 

The highways are not privately owned. There is no way to tell who has the rightful claim over the highways. I personally believe the best claimants to government assets are the family members of the people killed by our military. But there's no way we can get full justice on all these matters precisely. Should we determine who has the best claim via net tax burden, or perhaps usage? After all, is it not the libertarian homesteading theory that those who mix their labor with the land deserve it? Wouldnt using net tax burden as the determining factor mean that those who pay the most taxes, but are also very in bed with the government through corporatism, have control? Does that not violate libertarian ruling class theory? And since the roads haven't been properly homesteaded, wouldn't letting the government decide who gets to use that land not be just a blatant act of land monopoly as Rothbard described in the Ethics of Liberty?

 We should treat the government roads as unowned. The Koch brothers don't have a right to point a gun at me if I use the highways, saying that they don't want me on them, and they're the biggest net taxpayers in the country, so their say goes. That is simply coercion. And it's coercion if this is done to migrants as well.

Taking into consideration possible criminality, why don't we remove all former criminals from our current society? What form of justice is that? So in that world, not only would we have a criminal justice system that forces victims to pay for their assailants well being (taxation for prisons,) but now anyone who wants to interact with a former criminal must have his voluntary association violated by the state? And he will again be robbed in order to pay for this violation of his right to association?! What happened to consenting capitalist acts between adults???

I could understand if you said we couldn't allow migration because of hereditarian interpretations of migrant voter data. I personally am a herediterian (race realist) but I don't believe voting differences between racial groups is highly heritable. So I would disagree with Garrett Jones and Richard Lynn that demographics is destiny, and I don't believe allowing migrants in would lead to socialism or a permanent loss of liberty. That however is an empirical debate. I could theoretically understand why if Lynn and Jones were right, one would want border restrictions. But I did not see you make any such argument.

You must forgive me Professor Block. I've always viewed you in the highest regard. You refused to retreat on open borders when I clearly saw Hoppe and Rothbard make deviations on this issue, and poorly justified ones in my opinion. Rothbard justifying his deviation with the case of Kosovo's mass migration, Hoppe justifying his with a theory of public property being owned by net tax payers and that we want to only let culturally similar people into the US.

To see you retreat from this issue weighs heavily on my heart. I am deeply saddened that I might have to continue this course in the Austrian, Rothbardian tradition on my own. Perhaps I am wrong. But at this time, saying closed borders is the libertarian position is like telling me 2 + 2 = 5.

Thank you for your time.

I beg to remain, Professor, your faithful servant, 

Drew Brekus


Dear Drew: 

What is the evidence for the claim that I changed my mind on open borders. Not so, not so. 

You’re now in New Orleans? 

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Loyola University New Orleans


Not yet, I'm still trying to get a flight down, or alternatively, I'm going to just drive down on Thursday. 

I was shown this article, with someone telling me you changed your mind on open borders.

My apologies for thinking wrongly.


Who told you I changed my mind?

All I said in that blog was that I wouldn’t LIKE 3 billion immigrants to come to the US.

I did NOT change my mind on this.

See below for my views on open borders

What are you now doing with yourself?

It would be great to see you this Friday at my seminar, or, at any other time

Block, 1983A, 1983B, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2004, 2011A, 2011B, 2013, 2016A, 2016B, 2017; Block and Callahan, 2003; Deist, 2018; Gregory and Block, 2007;

Block, Walter E. 1983A. “How immigrants CREATE jobs,” North Shore News, p. A6, January 30;

Block, Walter E. 1983B. “Protect Canadian Jobs From Immigrants?” Dollars and Sense. February 7; reprinted in Block, Walter E. 2008. Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable.  London, UK: World Scientific Publishing; Perspective/dp/9812705686/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336603241&sr=1-7;

Block, Walter E. 1988. Dollars and Sense: “Migration patterns tell real story.” January 12;

Block, Walter E. 1990.  “Immigration,” Fraser Forum, January, pp. 22-23.

Block, Walter E. 1998. "A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration," Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, summer, pp. 167-186;

Block, Walter E. 2004. “The State Was a Mistake.” Book review of Hoppe, Han-Hermann, Democracy, The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order, 2001May 25.

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623;

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Rejoinder to Hoppe on Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies Vol. 22: pp. 771–792

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Todea on the ‘Open’ Contract of Immigration.” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies, Vol. 8, No. 5, March, pp. 52-55

Block, Walter E. 2015. “On immigration.” December 21;

Block, Walter E. 2016A. “Contra Hoppe and Brat on immigration.” Management Education Science Technology journal, Vol 4, No. 1, pp. 1-10;;; (1333)

Block, Walter E. 2016B. "A response to the libertarian critics of open-borders libertarianism," Lincoln Memorial University Law Review; Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 142-165;;

Block, Walter E. 2017. “Immigration and Homesteading.” March. The Journal Jurisprudence. Vol. 35, pp. 9-42;

Block, Walter E. and Gene Callahan. 2003. “Is There a Right to Immigration? A Libertarian Perspective,” Human Rights Review. Vol. 5, No. 1, October-December, pp. 46-71;

Deist, Jeff. 2018. “Block on immigration.” September 4;
Gregory, Anthony and Walter E. Block. 2007. “On Immigration: Reply to Hoppe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 21, No. 3, Fall, pp. 25-42;;


Ah I see. Often "like" can be interpreted both as meaning personal tastes, and what one believes the government should do. I would probably be in complete agreement on you on this issue. I misinterpreted what you were saying.

Currently, I am finishing up a double major in mathematics and economics at West Chester University. I've also been working with the Mises Caucus. Hopefully, we are going to get a candidate in the city council, Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter. I'm excited about that.

I would love to be in New Orleans on Friday for the book club meeting on For a New Liberty. I also need to force you and Michael Huemer to sign some books. 


Dear Drew:

I hope and trust you don’t mind that I copy on this two friends of mine, one of whom, also, misinterpreted what I wrote.

Dear Bob and Michael: 

Drew is a former student of mine, one of the best students I’ve ever had.


Dear Bob: 

Please feel free to publish anything I’ve said on this thread, but don’t mention Drew without his permission. 

Best regards,




  1. I'm starting to be convinced that the major issue is that of 'Social-Coyotes', which have studied the government programs, laws, etc...and have an exact roadmap of how to navigate it, just like the actual smugglers do to cross the border. The Welfare Wall needs to be built before a Real One ever does. The Incentives, provide the Moral Hazard to cross Deserts with Children. That's the main difference between Migration in the 1900s and now...

  2. Happy Easter to you Robert, from a former Libertarian. I disagree with you on the Open Borders thing, but I truly appreciate the forum you have created here.

  3. I suppose since I disagree with open borders as well, I can no longer claim to be a Libertarian! I moderate my opinion in a world of extremes and divisiveness and to many how can I claim to be what I am!

    When you realize the Idiocracy will not be swayed and cannot be reasoned with is when you open your perspective and realize what you are up against will not be affected with dogma.

  4. Robert What? and Shegottawideload,

    I seem to be in your boat. Open Borders is the issue that pushed me away from pure libertarianism. I mirror your sentiment, Robert What? and agree with your reasoning Shegottawideload.