Immigrants and Utilization: Why Social and Economic Value Shouldn’t Drive Immigration Policy

President Trump’s America First rhetoric is motivated by a stated desire to protect native-born citizens and advance their interests. But by doing so, he takes away from individuals the ability to define their interests for themselves. Immigration is often made palatable in terms of the value brought by new citizens to communities with established social and cultural traditions, as if immigration were an act of utility, benefitting primarily the community receiving an individual who, for…

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Individualism, Value and Economic Protectionism

Value is not all things to all people. Tools such as money create a framework of empirical worth that acts as a mediating agent so trade can be effortlessly conducted between motivated parties, but the idea that a dollar is worth the same amount regardless of whether it is used in Seattle, Washington or Boston, Massachusetts is only one aspect of the way in which value operates in society. Value can be intrinsic to a…

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The Inherent Pluralism of Currency’s Value

Money is a tool for measuring value. It creates an empirical framework, making it possible for individuals who have different hierarchies of values to be able to trade to their mutual benefit. Money creates a baseline which entities with different ends in mind can gauge the fairness of their transaction. For example, suppose you are hungry and go into a deli to purchase a sandwich. The owner of the store charges you $5. To him,…

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Money is not “good” or “bad”; it is what each individual makes it

A unit of currency, even those based on elements with empirical worth, has absolute value. But this value is relative, both against other systems of measurement and in context of time and shifting events. Fiat money, like the American dollar, derives its worth as a unit from government mandates and regulations, making it much more malleable than non-fiat currency, which is based in a commodity, such as gold, with intrinsic value. Yet, even the values…

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