Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Rule of Law

Instead of fleeing their homelands to escape pogroms, today’s illegal immigrants are coming here to earn higher wages. “To make more money” is not a valid excuse for breaking the law. If it were, the United States would be full of subprime mortgage scammers and Ponzi schemes. The country would descend to third-world status in short order. We can see this in our current economic crisis. A portion of real estate agents, mortgage brokers, securities rating firms, bankers, and investment banks broke rules, regulations, and laws, and now we are in a very bad situation. The entire economy is structured on the rule of law and would collapse unless the vast majority of people follow the law the vast majority of the time. Ironically, Paul Krugman an economist forgets this. What Krugman describes as “outrage” over the lawbreaking by illegal immigrants stems from Americans’ intuitive grasp that the rule of law is our civic religion, and it has that status for a darned good reason. The United States is as racially and ethnically diverse as the entire world; one of the only things Americans have in common is our lawmaking process and respect for the laws that we have made. Our alternate national anthem, “America the Beautiful,” contains these words,
America! America!God mend thine ev'ry flaw,Confirm thy soul in self-control,Thy liberty in law.
Illegal immigrants want the liberty, but they would destroy the law to get it, and Krugman doesn’t get that.

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