Bryan Caplan: "What the Swiss Vote Really Shows"

From EconLog:

What the Swiss Vote Really Shows 

Bryan Caplan 

The Swiss just passed a referendum to restrict immigration from the EU.  Tyler thinks this shows that open borders is a hopeless cause.  When immigration gets too high, public opinion naturally turns against immigration.. ...

But there's a major problem with Tyler's story: Swiss anti-immigration voting was highest in the places with the least immigrants!  This is no fluke.  In the U.S., anti-immigration sentiment is highest in the states with the least immigration - even if you assume that 100% of immigrants are pro-immigration

The natural inference to draw, then, is the opposite of Tyler's: The main hurdle to further immigration is insufficient immigration.  If countries could just get over the hump of status quo bias, anti-immigration attitudes would become as socially unacceptable as domestic racism.  Instead of coddling nativism with gradualism, we can, should, and must peacefully destroy nativism with abolitionism.

And, you’ll notice, not only are the Swiss having second thoughts about Inviting the World, for centuries they have failed to shoulder any of the burden of Invading the World. 

I say, this unacceptable Swiss majority vote just proves that it's time to put Victoria Nuland and the rest of the Kagans in charge of having the National Endowment of Democracy pay for a Color Revolution in Switzerland. There are probably some bored soccer hooligans in Switzerland who wouldn't mind a grant to camp out downtown for the Swiss Spring and battle the riot police in the name of Democracy.

And if that doesn’t work, well we tried to destroy nativism peacefully, but there are limits to our patience. So, let the drone strikes begin.

P.S., in the comments at Marginal Revolution, Paolo explains:

You are forgetting how small Switzerland is. Nearly the entire country is in commuting distance of the main centres Zurich, Basel, Geneva, or the secondary centres St.Gallen, Winterthur, Berne, Lausanne, Lugano, Neuenburg. 

That Yes vote regions are where people are living who were pushed ever further away from the centres due to huge rise in housing costs. A lot of those rural-semi rural areas have had very high population growth rates in the last 10 years due to the influx of commuters looking for affordable housing space. Both the expansion of the rail net and the real estate price inflation in the centres have been big drivers of this trend. 

The yes vote in those regions are both disgruntled commuters unhappy with being priced out of the centres and locals unhappy with the flood outsiders. 

As to the No vote of the centres, that’s no surprise. How can afford to live in the centres these days? Either people living in (subsidised) social housing or people earning enough to pay 4000+ CHF in rent or a million+ CHF to buy a flat. The first group aren’t really feeling the price pressure and tend to follow the Social Party and Union paroles, while the latter by definition belong to the winners of the current situation who can afford to pay those prices.