Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2010
Immigration in a Division of Labor Economy

The government (federal and state) owns 95.8% of Alaska, 87.8% of Nevada, 75.2% of Utah, 70.4% of Idaho, 60.4% of Oregon, 56.8% of Arizona, and smaller percentages of every state in the union. Is there enough land to support 20 or 30 million additional immigrants? Would there be enough land to support the 40 million human beings who have been aborted since 1972? We aren't even close to being "overpopulated" in America. If private property and the Bill of Rights will once again have meaning and function in America, a free flow of immigrants could only be a tremendous positive economic stimulus. [Federal Lands in the US]

Our teacher is Prof. George Reisman. His book, Capitalism, is one of the best economics texts ever written. It is thoroughly Free Market in perspective. We recommend purchasing the book using the link at right. You can also view the book online for free here.[pdf] We are drawing this information from chapter 9, "The Influence of the Division of Labor on the Institutions of Capitalism," Part C, "Economic Competition," pages 358-366.


Now it is necessary to realize how important are the gains a larger market provides not only in allowing the existence of further specializations and sub-specializations, but also simply in allowing existing specializations and sub-specializations to be carried on, on a larger absolute scale. Our medical school example can illustrate this point very well.

Some kind of very small market, say a few hundred people, is necessary to allow one person to specialize as some sort of primitive doctor. A larger market of several million, that permits the existence of several thousand doctors, also permits them all to be trained in a medical school and creates the sub-specialization of brain specialist. A still larger market increases the absolute number of brain specialists. And here we can easily see something that is vitally important. Namely, if the market is big enough to support 400, or better still, 4,000 brain specialists, rather than just 4, the likelihood of some important discovery being made about brain diseases is substantially increased. For there will be 400 or 4,000 highly intelligent and experienced people thinking about the problems involved, instead of just 4. And whatever any one of them discovers, can, of course, be quickly communicated to all the rest—through the journals, seminars, and so on that their number is large enough to support.

Again, exactly the same principle applies throughout production. The larger the size of the market, the greater is not only the number of the scientific and engineering specializations and sub-specializations, but also the absolute size of all of them—and, equally important, the larger the absolute number of intelligent, innovative individuals prepared to go into the various lines of business. Thus, throughout the economic system, the chances of new discoveries and inventions being made, being quickly communicated throughout the fields concerned, and then being implemented are greatly increased. And thus the rate of economic progress accelerates.

In a truly capitalistic society, where immigrants do not become trapped in a government-funded welfare dependency, and in a Christian society where there are an abundance of voluntary associations on a mission to bring literacy and moral character to immigrants, the second generation of immigrants will likely contain an abundance of geniuses, because their parents demonstrated great character in leaving a corrupt government, heading for a capitalistic nation, and enduring the hardships of emigrating from their home. They demonstrate a strong work ethic and competitive spirit. Prof. Reisman explains how a division of labor economy takes advantage of the talent that is potential in a larger population:

The potential gains of this kind from a larger-sized population in a division-of-labor society can be thought of in terms of a doubled population having a doubled number of Edisons and Fords and the like. Indeed, in a division-of-labor society, a doubled population even with just one-tenth more of such innovators would probably be easily capable of overcoming any problems of diminishing returns and poorer-quality land and mineral deposits, and of doing so by an ever widening margin. It would do so through the greater technological progress that the existence of a larger number of such outstanding individuals would make possible. For the existence of each additional productive genius serves to raise the productive power of the whole human race. Because essentially what he supplies is ideas. Ideas can be used by everyone who has need of them without in any way diminishing their ability to serve others. They are an inexhaustible gift.[112]

What we have here in the existence of a larger population in a division-of-labor society is a further step-up in productive power along the lines of the multiplication of knowledge used in production and the raising of the level of such knowledge to a standard set by the most intelligent.[113] For now we have a larger absolute number of the most intelligent, which is bound to mean a more rapidly rising standard of knowledge used in production.[114]

Thus, the effect of population growth in a division-of-labor society is radically different than in a non-division-of-labor society. In a division-of-labor society it means a greater, more intensive division of labor, including the larger absolute size of the various specializations and sub-specializations concerned with making new discoveries and implementing them in the form of new products and better methods of production—in a word, it means a greater absolute number of productive geniuses, whose work operates to raise the standard of living of everyone. These advantages enable a division-of-labor society easily to overcome any problems that would otherwise be associated with the need to produce more food and minerals for a larger population.

[112] 112. Cf. von Mises, Human Action, p. 128; Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, pp. 1064–1065.

[113] 113. See above, pp. 123–125.

[114] 114. For an account of how more rapid technological progress contributes to capital accumulation, see below, pp. 629–631.

We have now reviewed the background to the immigration issue: population and the division of labor economy. Now Prof. Reisman will apply these principles specifically to the issue of immigration.

Continue to Immigration Part 6

 George Reisman's Program of Self-Education in
the Economic Theory and Political Philosophy of Capitalism

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Gary North's essay on Darwin, Malthus, and a Biblical world-view

In his book The Myth of Over-Population, R.J. Rushdoony shows that the symptoms of "overpopulation" are actually symptoms of government intervention. Darwinian and Malthusian assumptions govern the modern State, and both the Republican and Democrat Parties.

Order Now:
The Myth of Over-Population

Recent Blog Posts

In the Next Two Years, Congress should:
  • expand, or at least maintain, current legal immigration quotas;
  • increase permanently the number of H-1B visas and deregulate employment-based immigration to facilitate the entry of skilled immigrants;
  • remove the new one-year time limit on filing for political asylum and reform the "expedited removal" laws;
  • repeal employer sanctions;
  • stop the move toward a computerized national identification system and the use of government-issued documents, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards, as de facto national ID cards; and
  • reduce restrictions on the movement of workers within the North American Free Trade Agreement area.
By the end of the decade, Congress should:
  • Abolish all anti-immigration laws.

As soon as possible, America should:

  • Create a vast network of voluntary social service agencies to meet all immigrants at the borders or piers and ensure their literacy and familiarity with American values.
  • Commit to on-going transmission of American values to immigrants in all areas of life. Read more about this.