With this ball of wax you end up contemplating the nation state object and what makes it, ie, its boundary, what we call ‘borders’. Artificial lines as Donald Trump would understand them.
To have commerce, ya know, is to at the macro level produce wares and sell them, and this is all done with a pursuit of efficiency built into the process, because to be in commerce is to be in competition at the micro level. Millions of little micro operators making commerce trying to take each others business.
If you achieve efficiency in dribs and drabs, macro or micro, it is basically always because you learn to make your product with less inputs. And the thing that happens is it becomes less expensive in money or labor. The difference between what the money price was and what it is now? The difference between what the labor expenditure was and what it is now? Yeah some of it accrues to the capital owner… for a time… but most of it does not. Most of the difference just floats off to the macro economy to be reallocated to something else that is useful. We call this ‘productivity’, and it’s good….
Except ya know, when someone partners across a border to realize a price efficiency on labor or material. Then it’s bad….. becuz USA workers. To protect them they are allocated a certain inefficiency as we force commerce to not utilize efficiencies across ‘borders’.
But….we shouldn’t use our border to maintain an upward pressure on the price of labor within its bounds, we should just let everyone in, and it’s racist if you don’t agree…. I am not an immigration hawk by temperament, but see this is why I think it’s right to understand the Democrat’s position on immigration as an electoral project and nothing but, since a view of borders as that porous would accommodate free trade.
I dunno, maybe the Republicans would do better for their electoral prospects by combining more protections for displaced workers with their current free trade platform. But ya know, they were apparently getting some of those rust belt prole votes via social issues and I have a hard believing they get a bunch of people that are voting for Sanders because they make an earnest overture to worker retraining. But they would get them by making an overture to barriers and tariffs apparently.
It’s no win.