Voting With Your Feet

by Walter Block

Voting with your feet is a crucially important indicator of what is really going on, regarding the political economy. No, this does not refer to taking off your shoes and socks, entering the polling booth, pressing a button with your big toe instead of your thumb or index finger. Rather, it denotes migration patterns as the best way to determine human welfare.

The island government 90 miles off the Florida shore can brag all it wants about its health care and educational systems that have “made Cuba great.” But massive numbers of people have rejected that sorry system as demonstrated by their migration away from it, often at great bodily risk, to enter our country. Yes, there might have been a Bernie fan or two who moved in the opposite direction (Senator Sanders spent his honeymoon not in Russia, but in the USSR), but these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Were there any Jews attempting to enter Nazi Germany? Who knows; again, maybe one or two. But the virtual one-way traffic was in the very opposite direct. Ditto for the Berlin wall. In which way was the immense movement there? To ask this question is to answer it.

The U.S is a racist country that grinds down blacks? Then we ought to see large numbers of African Americans attempting to leave for greener pastures elsewhere, and observe very few people from sub Saharan Africa headed in the U.S. direction. But this does not occur. Indeed, the very opposite takes place. There is no better refutation to the claims of the Black Lives Matter Marxist movement. All the statistics about African American unemployment rates falling and a poverty rate of intact black families falling to single digits (before Covid) pales into insignificance compared to the primordial fact of migration patterns. Or, rather, lack of same.

What is the reaction of the governments from which migrants are fleeing? Some act responsibly, morally, justly: they do not try to shoot or incarcerate emigrants as they depart. Mexico is certainly an example of this, and ought to be congratulated for such civilized behavior. Similar accolades must be awarded to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe (formally Rhodesia) and Mozambique. They did not violently prevent their residents from entering even apartheid South Africa.

But others act in the opposite direction, and reveal themselves to be in effect, gigantic jail cells. The cases in point are too numerous to mention, but the following are certainly examples:

  • All too many Cubans have resorted to making the passage to Florida on rafts supported by inner tube tires and were shot at or arrested by authorities of that nation.
  • East and West Germany and the infamous Berlin Wall; in which direction were the feet voters headed!
  • The traffic in the Korean peninsula eight decades ago, and even in the modern era, was from North to South, not in the opposite direction
  • China. Recent headlines blare: “Hong Kong Residents Formally Arrested.” Their “crime?” They were caught attempting to escape to Taiwan. So much for the “One Country, Two Systems” agreed upon in a treaty signed by both countries when Britain in 1997 turned this island community over to the tender mercies of the People’s Republic of China. So far, no Uighurs have been imprisoned for fleeing, but it does not take too much imagination to suppose that if they had a prayer of succeeding in such a venture, they would also dearly love to do so.

Let us close with a U.S. example. In the 1930s, there was a strong pattern of African Americans leaving Alabama, Mississippi, and other Jim Crow southern states for Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other more receptive environs. Did the donor states attempt to in any way prevent this migration pattern? No. So they also garner honor roll mention in the litany of political jurisdictions that have eschewed the title of vast penitentiaries.

Editor’s Note: The Most Dangerous Economic Experiment Since Communism…

The most anti-capitalist presidency in American history is taking a desperate and foolish financial gamble that could wreck the US economy and destroy your financial future.

Yet those wise enough to make a few simple financial moves today could set themselves up financial for life no matter how ugly the economic situation gets.

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