Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I can has boycott?

A few remarks on the "Boycott Arizona" idea:

  1. SB 1070 doesn't go into effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session.
  2. ICE decides which police forces can and cannot enforce immigration law, and can render this moot.
  3. Governor Brewer has noted that AZ law enforcement will be expected to comply with Constitutional standards of reasonable suspicion and probable cause. To remark--before the law goes into effect--that SB 1070 will bring about violations of basic rights is premature. It will do so if the various police forces and Sheriff's departments screw up.
  4. In light of the above, if Brewer is right, this is a policy that at worst willhurt AZ policing by tying up police time (and wasting taxpayer money) on doing ICE's job and enforcing bad Federal policy.
  5. The people pushing for a boycott, mostly Democrats, are hypocrites until they call for an open-border immigration policy. By "protecting" union labor against competition, they created this problem--this problem exists because there is not an open immigration policy--and leftists are largely responsible for the popular misconception that open immigration hurts Americans. That this was picked up by populist reactionaries on the Right doesn't change history.
  6. This is really a bad road to go down.

    Shall we boycott Vermont because they sent someone who identifies as "socialist" to the Senate? (If socialism isn't as morally repugnant to you as racial profiling, you need to think harder about socialism. It's government interference in almost everything in life that matters.)

    Or, getting to more practical concerns: Shall we boycott every state that has a Democratic senator? The ban on major-medical insurance (and the killing of HSAs that will result), the tighter coupling of health care to health insurance and health insurance to employment, the mandate of community rating, all of this harms people at least as much as the racial profiling that will supposedly result from SB 1070. And given the opportunity to pass sensible reform, decoupling insurance from employment, moving the US off of the insurance-as-insulation model, the Democrat health care bill was a disgrace. Shame and harm. Where's the boycott of California? Arizonans have as much reason to boycott San Francisco--San Franciscans put Nancy Pelosi in the House--as San Francisco would have to boycott AZ were the hyperbolic claims about SB 1070 actually true. And why didn't we boycott Massachusetts when they enacted a Europe-style health care system, one that has been a failure yet served as a model for the Democrat bill?

    Why aren't we boycotting Chicago (responsible for IL's backwardness) over firearms policy?

    Oppressive firearms policy and health care policy is, again, at least as bad as the cynical fantasy versions of SB 1070. If boycotts will be the response, we might as well dissolve the Union.
  7. Talk of "revealed preference" is usually bluster--it fails to take into account irrationality--but it applies directly to boycotts. Talk is cheap. That ordinary people--not publicity whore celebrities--will cancel trips to the Grand Canyon or conventions in Phoenix is doubtful.

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