Posner & Weyl: Wheeling, WV Needs Indentured Servant Dog Walkers
No, really: A new kind of visa would let individual Americans—instead of corporations—reap the economic benefits of migration.
By ERIC POSNER and GLEN WEYL February 13, 2018
… Under this new system, all citizens would have the right to sponsor a migrant for economic purposes.
Here’s how the program would work: Imagine a woman named Mary Turner, who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia. She was recently laid off from a chicken-processing plant and makes ends meet by walking and taking care of her neighbors’ pets. Mary could expand her little business by hiring some workers, but no one in the area would accept a wage she can afford. Mary goes online—to a new kind of international gig economy website, a Fiverr for immigrants—and applies to sponsor a migrant. She enters information about what she needs: someone with rudimentary English skills, no criminal record and an affection for animals. She offers a room in her basement, meals and $5 an hour. (Sponsors under this program would be exempt from paying minimum wage.) The website offers Mary some matches—people living in foreign countries who would like to spend some time in the United States and earn some money. After some back and forth, Mary interviews a woman named Sofia who lives in Paraguay. …
That damn William Wilberforce got in the way of economics.
While the program might seem crazy at first, it would not be that different from the existing H1-B program, except that individuals like Mary rather than corporations like Google and Exxon would sponsor the workers. Second, the program is not that different from the au pair program run by the State Department, nominally under the J-1 cultural exchange visa program, but in reality a nanny migrant-labor program used by upper-middle class American families.
Eric Posner is a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
Glen Weyl works at Microsoft Research and teaches at Yale. Their book, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society , will be published in the spring.
Weyl & Posner have been doing this liberaltarian shtick for years: e.g., their 2014 New Republic article “A Radical Solution to Global Income Inequality: Make the U.S. More Like Qatar:” USA should adopt Qatar’s indentured servant laws.
I can’t tell if they are trolling or just autistic.
Coming up from Weyl & Posner: Economic Theory proves it’s time to bring back the slave trade, little boy chimneysweeps, and human sacrifice. Also, billionaires should be allowed to throw guys out of helicopters, but only if they cite Weyl & Posner.