It’s no secret that immigration is a hot-button – one of the hottest button – topics in current events. One one side, we have those who would welcome new immigrants, for cultural and humanitarian reasons; on the other, those who want to restrict the flow of people into the country, whether to protect the current citizenry, the culture, or the economic status quo. Economist Bryan Caplan has written Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration as a proposal to both sides. He argues in favor of open borders, noting that doing so could eliminate poverty worldwide, not spiral us deeper into it; raise the global education and skill level, and lead us – as a whole – into a new age of prosperity for all.
The book, masterfully illustrated by Zach Weinersmith, presents Caplan’s argument using comprehensive research, communicated with a plain-English tone and artwork that’s colorful, multicultural, and translatable to audiences who don’t have a background in economics. The book is conversational and never preachy, and Caplan takes on reasons detractors have fallen back on time and again to argue against open borders, showing, using hard numbers, why open borders may be the next best way for us to advance.
This should be used in high schools and colleges: there are lists of resources and further reading; copious notes and references, and the straight-talk explanations, with clear illustrations, will really assist students, especially those who may stumble with pages of numbers, charts, and data. Once presented in the frame of a story, with a real-life, current events situation to anchor it, the numbers take on a life and meaning.
Open Borders has a starred review from Booklist. Author Bryan Caplan’s webpage is a treasure trove of articles and information, including cartoons and role-playing resources(!).