An Economist “Our Books of the Year” Selection
Economist Bryan Caplan makes a bold case for unrestricted immigration in this fact-filled graphic nonfiction.
American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens.
But economist Bryan Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy—greatly benefiting humanity.
With a clear and conversational tone, exhaustive research, and vibrant illustrations by Zach Weinersmith, Open Borders makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny.
In Caplan's concise and clarifying barn burner of an economics thesis, he declares: "I want to see two parties fight about who loves immigration more." The George Mason University professor lays out his pro open borders argument via wonky charts, data sets, and philosophical ruminations, brought to life by webcomics artist and science buff Weinersmith's clean, cheerful, and colorful drawings. Avoiding the nonfiction comics trap of info dumps, the science and art interplay in often amusing sequences that pan out to the bigger picture from cited facts and analysis. When Caplan points out that immigrants repopulate small, rural towns that have turned into "zombie economies," the image of a plague of zombies strolling a hollowed-out town center makes the idea stick. Both the arguments and visuals challenge toxic myths about immigrants such as that they are responsible for increases in violent crime in the United States. "Whatever you've heard, the answer is no. On average, the foreign-born are less criminally inclined than natives," Caplan says, coolly staring down a masked bandit in an American flag shirt. The combination of Caplan's deep research and Weinersmith's snappy storytelling adds up to a persuasive treatise that sees open policy around immigration as historically positive and a future potential rising tide of consumers and producers together lifting boats and bottom lines. \n
A must read.
Superbly written guide to the argument for open borders worldwide. Although a graphic guide, it does not lack in depth. Rather, depth of arguments are made easy to understand, & compare.
Thoughtful and charitable
This book is thoughtfully argued, persuasive, and not afraid to grapple with the best arguments against its thesis. A model for non-fiction authors. Like most everything from Bryan Caplan, I highly recommend.
Good information however focuses to much on being persuasive
This book is great and I recommend it to anyone with interested in the case for open borders. As someone who’s pretty well traversed in this topic I was really surprised to learn things I hadn’t already know.
However there is one big flaw and that is Caplan focuses a little too much on being persuasive that I would have preferred he just presented more facts, and statistics. Additionally a lot of Caplan's graphs make no sense and are hard to read/understand. I do believe however the graphs are acknowledged in the back of the book.
Overall, it was a very interesting read and I’d recommend the book to anyone know or just interested in the topic.