Wall Street Journal: Auction Citizenships Worldwide to Fund Federal Government

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: New U.S. citizens wave American flags at a naturalization cere
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The federal government should pay off its self-inflicted debt by selling Americans’ valuable citizenship to wealthy foreigners, a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on Thursday states.

Instead of being a nation of citizens with reciprocal duties and rights, the government should “Consider America like a club, with initiation fees required for admission,” the May 23 op-ed said.

The government could start by printing and selling two million shares of citizenship per year, or roughly one extra share for every two Americans born each year, according to the op-ed:

One way to modernize our immigration laws would be to allow market forces to decide who should become new citizens.

An example: Sell 8,000 visas to the highest bidders for 250 days a year. Suppose the average price is $30,000. Of the $60 billion in annual visa revenue, devote one-third to more-intense border enforcement, one-third to income-tax reduction (an “immigration bonus” to taxpayers), and one-third to increasing the anemic defense budget. Or apply the money to debt reduction, helping delay the fiscal armageddon threatening the pensions and healthcare of elderly Americans.

The United States “is not a shopping mall,” Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told Breitbart News in response. “This proposal assumes that citizenship is merely a business arrangement when it is, in fact, more like joining a family, he said. “Citizenship is not an economic issue. It is a political and social and moral and, even arguably, spiritual issue. It’s not just about money. By reducing the citizenship to dollars and cents, you’re eliminating any rationale for the duties and responsibilities of citizenship that aren’t remunerative. In other words, if it’s just a matter of money, then why would you, why would anybody, volunteer to defend your country?”

“Almost certainly, this kind of proposal would devalue the citizenships they’re selling by making America less American,” Krikorian said, adding, “Maybe if they were selling ten citizenships a year, then it wouldn’t make a difference. But if they’re talking about two million a year, that would inevitably have a significant effect on the underlying social arrangements that make America successful in the first place.”

He went on to say, “They’re vulgar materialists, [thinking] as though everybody is the same, that a Pakistani is indistinguishable from somebody from Peru, when, in fact — other than the basic fact that we are all created in the image of God — we have very different cultural assumptions, and those cultural things don’t just go away.”

Even if the U.S. were a mall and people were the same, the $60 billion gain per year would also be offset by additional costs to the government and citizens, such as higher housing prices and fewer births.

The citizenship sell-off would also dilute the value of citizenship held by 330 million Americans and their future children — and minimize the pressure on the federal government to cut wasteful spending or fix problems, such as poor education and slow productivity growth.

In general, the Wall Street Journal champions the interest of investors and strongly opposes proposals that would dilute the value of shares held by its readers. In April 2021, for example, the Journal‘s editorial board denounced a plan to raise tax on capital gains:

If you need more evidence that ideology more than common sense is driving the Biden Presidency, look no further than its trial balloon to raise the top tax rate on capital gains to 43.4%. It’s the dumbest way to raise taxes for many reasons, not least because it will cost the government revenue.

So why raise a tax rate that would reduce investment, reduce wage growth and reduce revenue for the government? Temporary economic insanity is one possible explanation.

The Wall Street Journal op-ed does not recommend the government pay its growing debts for forcing companies to issue extra stocks for subsequent sale by the federal government. The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 93 percent of stocks, while the bottom half of Americans own just 1 percent of all stocks, according to Yahoo.com

The Wall Street Journal‘s economic view of citizenship is shared by many wealthy investors, few of whom wish their economic ambitions to be restrained by the normal obligations to their fellow citizens who maintain their society. For example, Elon Musk, an immigrant from South Africa, frequently calls for much greater legal immigration:

New York billionaire Mike Bloomberg told the San Diego Union-Tribune in January 2020:

This country needs more immigrants and we should be out looking for immigrants … For those who need an oboe player for a symphony, we want the best one. We need a striker for a soccer team, we want to get the best one. We want a farmworker, we want to get the best one. A computer programmer, we want to get the best one. So we should be out looking for more immigrants.


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