Je Vous Dis, Merde! 23: The MexiCanada Solution

As everyone knows, US President Donald Trump and his supporters want to build a Great Wall between the USA and Mexico, in order to keep economic immigrants and other refugees from Mexico and the rest of Latin America out of the USA.

And as everyone also knows, ever since 2015, and into the first 100 days of his presidency, Trump and his supporters have also wanted to ban Muslims from immigrating to, or even entering, the USA.

Hence Trump, his alt-right henchmen, and his Republican Party bandwaggoners, all think that Mexico, Muslims, and immigration are big problems for the USA.

But on the contrary, I think that the USA’s biggest problem is actually ITSELF, and that therefore, in order to save itself from itself, the USA should open its borders to Mexico and Canada, and then also to the rest of the world.

This is what I call The MexiCanada Solution.

The MexiCanada Solution would be implemented by the following plan, 2-Phase Universal Open Borders (2P-UOB):

· Phase 1: Starting in 2021, there will be universal open borders with Canada and Mexico, and everyone who moves across those borders and then claims residence in the USA, will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the USA, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents to depend on the current availability of (i) adequate funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the USA, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

· Phase 2: Also starting in 2021, the USA, Canada, and Mexico will collectively form a Global Refugee Consortium (GRC), with three-way open borders to any political refugee, economic refugee, or asylum seeker from anywhere in the world (aka “global refugees”), who will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA, Canada, or Mexico, and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the three GRC countries, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents, and the precise distribution of new residents among the three members of the GRC, to depend on the current availability of (i) funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the three GRC countries, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the GRC and elsewhere in the world.

I have three arguments for The MexiCanada Solution.

First, here is a 2-step argument I call The Argument from Immigration’s Benefits.

1. A recent study by Garth Davies and Jeffrey Fagan, “Crime and Enforcement in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City,” published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, shows that increased immigration actually lowers crime rates and improves neighborhoods.

2. Therefore, we should increase immigration to the USA.

Second, here is a 15-step argument I call The Argument from the Global Refugee Crisis.

1. All human persons, aka people, are (i) absolutely intrinsically, non-denumerably infinitely valuable, beyond all possible economics, which means they have dignity, and (ii) autonomous rational animals, which means they can act freely for good reasons, and above all they are (iii) morally obligated to respect each other and to be actively concerned for each other’s well-being and happiness, aka kindness, as well as their own well-being and happiness.

2. Because the Earth is a sphere, because planetary spheres are finite but unbounded spaces with no inherent edges or borders, and because all people live on our planetary sphere within essentially interconnecting surface-spaces, they must share this Earth with each other.

3. People are embodied conscious animals living in forward-directed time, and living in spaces whose inherent directions (right-left, etc.) are all centered on, and determined by, the first-persons embedded in those spaces.

4. In order to live, and in order to live well and be happy, people need to be able to occupy certain special spaces in which they eat, rest or work, sleep, have intimate emotional relationships and/or families, etc., aka homes, and also to move freely across the surface of the Earth, without having their dignity or autonomy violated, and without violating others’ dignity or autonomy.

5. By virtue of the spherical shape of the Earth, by virtue of their embodiment, but above all by virtue of their dignity and autonomy, all people inherently belong to a single universal cosmopolitan moral community, aka humanity, that transcends any political state.

6. By sharp contrast, everyone also accidentally belongs to one or more arbitrarily-established social institutions, nation-states, that occupy arbitrarily-divided areas of the Earth’s surface, and are ruled by special groups of people called governments, whose rule is enforced by police and armies.

7. The function of governments is to issue commands of various kinds, without regard to their specific moral content, justified instead by political authority, backed up by force or the threat of force, aka coercion, for the purpose of protecting various self-interests of certain people specifically enclosed, governed, and controlled by that nation-state, call them citizens. Other people who live within these nation-states, and are also controlled by those states, but are not citizens of them, are foreigners.

8. The current refugee crisis is, first, caused by authoritarian, wicked governments of certain contemporary nation-states, e.g. Syria, and also by certain brutal insurgencies, themselves wannabe nation-states, e.g. ISIS, that are violating the dignity of innocent citizens and innocent foreigners living within various states, mistreating them in various ways, and often torturing or murdering them, leading to massive migration of those oppressed people, in order to survive and in search of a better life.

9. This crisis is also, second, caused by the existence of arbitrarily-established borders between other contemporary nation-states, expressing highly restrictive government-imposed travel and immigration policies in those states, e.g. Hungary, including many states that are comparatively quite well-off, or even very rich, and also significantly less authoritarian and/or wicked.

10. But, by virtue of their dignity, autonomy, and essential embodiment, people need homes, and they need to be able to move freely, and they also need to be treated with kindness by others, most obviously by those who live in immediately adjoining nation-states, but also by everyone on the face of the Earth, even if they live very far away from those others, e.g. in North America, simply because everyone shares the same spherical space of the Earth and because they all inherently belong to humanity.

11.Therefore the citizens of all relatively well-off, and significantly less authoritarian and/or less wicked nation-states in the world, especially including those in continental Europe, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom/British Isles, South America, and above all North America, especially the United States, should voluntarily do the following:

each local community, as determined by a reasonable cadastral map of that country, guaranteeing fair distribution, should raise enough money to support one entire family, or, say, 4–10 people, and re-locate them to a safe place somewhere on the Earth, where their dignity and autonomy are respected and where they are treated with kindness, including finding them homes and providing them with free health care, schooling, a guaranteed minimal income, jobs, etc., and more generally, safe haven.

12. Ideally, the families or 4–10 people would be given safe haven in the particular local community that provides support for them. Since each re-located group would contain no more than 10 people, it would not constitute an “invasion of foreigners,” and since all re-located people would receive a new home, and experience the special benefits of safe haven in that local community, they would be extremely unlikely to move in large numbers and high concentrations to areas that lacked these special benefit.

13. This in turn would remove one major psychological trigger of nativist, xenophobic thinking, the irrational fear of Other-filled slums — the irrational fear of “District 9s.” But more generally, everyone should do their best to recognize and suppress in themselves, and to recognize and criticize in others, the irrationally fearful thinking expressed by such all-too-familiar slogans as “Foreigners get out!”, “Vas y étrangères!”, and “Ausländer raus!”

14. Canada leads the world in pioneering the safe-haven response to the global refugee crisis.

15. Therefore, the USA should open its borders to everyone and adopt the safe-haven response to the global refugee crisis, following the lead of the Canadians.

Third, here is a 7-step argument, based on a recent article in Vox by Sarah Kliff, that I call The Argument from Canada.

Canada has a great reputation internationally — the best reputation, in fact, if you look at an international survey from 2013 that asked 27,000 people across the globe what they thought about the safety, public policy, efficacy of government and other attributes of 50 different countries. Canada came out at the very top of those reputation rankings, edging out Sweden:

The OECD’s Better Living survey asks people in 36 countries to rank, on a scale of one to 10, their general satisfaction level with life. Canadians ranked their life satisfaction, on average, at 7.6, coming in third out of all countries. Residents of Norway and Sweden were the two countries that bested Canada, whereas Americans had an average life satisfaction ranking of 7. For what it’s worth, both Canada and the United States do better than the OECD average life satisfaction rating of 6.6.

Canadians report the lowest rate of assaults of any country in the same OECD Better Living survey.

An estimated 1.31 percent of Canadians report having been assaulted in the past year. Seventy-six percent of Canadians say they feel safe walking outside at night, which is higher than the OECD average of 69 percent. Canadians are significantly less likely to get murdered than Americans, too, although neither country’s homicide rate is really something to brag about: both fall in the bottom half of the 36 OECD countries when ranked on murders per 100,000 people annually.

A Canadian born now can expect to live to 81-years-old. This puts Canada more than two years ahead of the United States and one year above the OECD average.

Canadian students average top scores in the Programme of International Student Assessment, a regular survey that tests kids’ reading, math and science abilities in 44 countries. Canadian high school sophomores came in fifth internationally in the most recent PISA ranking with a score of 522, above the OECD average of 497.

Head across the border and you’ll find fewer pollutants in the air. The average large city in Canada like Toronto has a lower number of particles in the air than large American cities.

Given the combined rational force of The Argument from Immigration’s Benefits, The Argument from the Global Refugee Crisis, and The Argument from Canada, I conclude that

in order to save itself from itself, the USA should open its borders to Mexico and Canada, and then also to the rest of the world.

— Or in other words, The MexiCanada Solution.

And, as usual, to anyone who thinks it’s just impossible or simply can’t be done,

Je vous dis, merde!

***

“Je vous dis, merde!” (literally, “I say to you: shit!” or more loosely, “You’re so full of shit!”) is a morally and politically defiant slogan invented and first published by an early 20th-century Catalan anarchist who used the nom de guerre “Miguel Almereyda.” Almereyda, who was murdered in a French prison in 1917, was also the father of the famous French film director Jean Vigo, who immortalized the same slogan in his breakthrough 1933 film, Zéro de conduite, aka Zero for Conduct.

Here is the seven-part platform of The Wake The Fuck Up! Party , aka The WTFU Party —

1. Universal Respect for Human Dignity (URHD):

· Human dignity is the absolute non-denumerable moral value of every member of humanity, and everyone ought to try wholeheartedly to treat everyone else in a way that is sufficient to meet the demands of respect for human dignity, especially including (i) alleviating or ending human oppression, and (ii) actively engaging in mutual aid and mutual kindness.

2. Universal Basic Income (UBI):

· Anyone 21 years of age or over and living permanently in the USA, who has a personal yearly income of $50,000.00 USD or less, and who is capable of requesting their UBI, would receive $25,000.00 USD per year, with no strings attached.

3. A 15-Hour Workweek for Understaffed Non-Bullshit Jobs (FHW-for-UNBJs):

· Anyone 18 years of age or older who is living permanently in the USA, who has completed a high school education, and is mentally and physically capable of doing a job, would be offered an eco-job, paying a yearly wage of $25,000.00 USD, for fifteen hours of work (three 5-hour days) per week.

Thus anyone 21 years of age or older with a high-school degree and who is also mentally and physically capable of working, would have a guaranteed yearly income of at least $50,000.00 USD if they chose to do an eco-job.

The rationale behind the three-year gap between (i) being offered an eco-job at 18 and (ii) beginning to receive their UBI at 21, is that every young adult who has finished high school will have the option of pursuing three years of part-time or full-time free higher education without credentialing, i.e., for its own sake, after high school, before making longer-term decisions about what I call job-work and life-work.

***

Here are a few more details about UBI and eco-jobs.

(i) The UBI is to be paid by a monthly stipend check.

(ii) Eco-job income is not taxed.

(iii) For all individual yearly incomes of $50,000.00 USD or under, no tax will be levied; hence for someone receiving their UBI and also doing an eco-job, no income tax will be levied.

(iv) For all individual non-eco-job incomes, for every $1.00 USD earned above the standard UBI of $25,000.00 USD, the monthly UBI stipend is reduced by 50 cents, until the recipient’s UBI is reduced to zero; hence for those individuals with yearly non-eco-job incomes equal to or under $50,000.00 USD, the maximum UBI + non-eco-job income sum is always $50,000.00 USD.

(v) For all individual yearly incomes over $50,000.00 USD, for every $10,000.00 USD earned, that surplus income is taxed at the rate of 1%, with the highest surplus income tax rate being 50%; hence the maximum surplus 50% tax rate starts at individual yearly incomes of $550,000.00 USD, and applies to all higher surplus incomes.

***

4. Universal Free Higher Education Without Credentialing (HEWC):

· Everyone would be offered, beyond their high-school education, a free, three-year minimum, optional (but also open-ended beyond those three years, as a further option), part-time or full-time universal public education program in the so-called “liberal arts,” and also in some of the so-called “STEM” fields, including the humanities, the fine arts, the social sciences, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

· For many or even most people, their HEWC would fall between (i) the end of their high school education at age 18 and the corresponding availability of eco-jobs, and (ii) the beginning of their UBI at age 21.

· But HEWC would be open to anyone with a high school degree, no matter how old they are, provided they are mentally and physically capable of doing the program.

5. Universal Free Healthcare (UFH):

· Every human person living permanently in the USA will receive free lifelong healthcare.

6. 2-Phase Universal Open Borders (2P-UOB):

· Phase 1: Starting in 2021, there will be universal open borders with Canada and Mexico, and everyone who moves across those borders and then claims residence in the USA, will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the USA, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents to depend on the current availability of (i) adequate funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the USA, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

· Phase 2: Also starting in 2021, the USA, Canada, and Mexico will collectively form a Global Refugee Consortium (GRC), with three-way open borders to any political refugee, economic refugee, or asylum seeker from anywhere in the world (aka “global refugees”), who will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA, Canada, or Mexico, and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the three GRC countries, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents, and the precise distribution of new residents among the three members of the GRC, to depend on the current availability of (i) funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the three GRC countries, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the GRC and elsewhere in the world.

7. Universal No-Guns (UNG):

· No one in the USA, including police, internal security forces of all kinds, armies, and intelligence forces of all kinds, has the moral right to possess or use guns of any kind, for any purpose whatsoever, because the primary function of guns is coercion, and coercion is immoral.

· UNG would be implemented by repealing the Second Amendment to the US Constitution in 2021 and then universally banning the possession or use of guns thereafter.

I’m also assuming that Universal Public Education (UPE) — universal free access for all human persons of any age to good public education up to the end of high school — already exists in most countries, and needs no further justification.

Where UPE does not already exist, it would automatically become a necessary part of the seven-part WTFU Party package, thereby making it a eight-part package.

Mr Nemo, Nowhere, NA, 4 May 2017

The WTFU Party is a sub-project of the online mega-project Philosophy Without Borders, which is home-based on Patreon here.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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