Friday, January 11, 2019

Walls don't work

Some of my friends claim that I have too much respect for the study of economics.


But I find that the discipline of economics provides tools and insights that are not available elsewhere.

For example, economics suggests that raising prices nearly always causes a decrease in demand. There are a few, rare exceptions but I will touch on those later.

If the cost to enter the United States increases then the number of migrants to choose that option will decrease by some amount.

That cost might be the cost of renting a boat. That cost might be months spent in a camp with little prospect of making money. That cost might be the cost of digging a tunnel or the cost of a broken leg or blown-out knee from scaling and then jumping off the fence.

Will every migrant be stopped? No, of course not. But neither will fines or jail sentences deter every criminal. Do we hear politicians claiming that traffic tickets, IRS fines and incarcerating felons should be eliminated because they are not 100% effective?

Of course not. The system keeps chugging along because it is a system. Each element contributing to the performance like overlapping shingles.

It is disingenuous to say "Walls don't work."  Walls are ONE part of a system.

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