Notes Book


The government is pushing to reform immigration. I think there is a deeper motive here. Immigrants work off the books, but so do a lot of citizens. The underground economy is now large enough to be a serious target for government tax collectors. Laws that target immigrants working off the books could also target citizens working off the books. That is the real cause of much of the passion on both sides of the debate. There is lots of money at stake.

Chances are the border between your home and the outside world are very well controlled. You probably know in great detail who is in your home and when they come and go. And you probably also feel find it fairly easy to refuse someone entry if you so choose, or to make them leave if you feel they are no longer welcome.

The smaller the territory, the easier it is to control the border. In part this is because of the relationship between the border of a geometrical shape and its area. A two by two square has a border length of eight and an area of four . That makes an area to border ratio of one half to one. A four by four square has an area to border ratio of one to one and and eight by eight square has a ratio of two to one. Calculating the land area and border of the USA in miles gives us a ratio of more than 700. The same ratio calculated in miles for a one third acre suburban lot is about 0.00057.

Nearly every member of a family acts as a border guard. Children as young as 3 or 4 years old will assist in notifying the family of any visitors. The entire family, including the family dog, will cooperate in ejecting or controlling unruly visitors. Among the US population of 301,139,947, only around 10,000 are border patrol agents. Virtually 100% of the people in the family are watching the border closely. But for the USA there are only about 0.0033% of the population acting as official border guards.

This difference contributes to the difficulty the population at large has in understanding the problems with controlling the national border.

The truth is that a national border can't be completely controlled without an unacceptable loss of liberty. As a anarchist/libertarian, I don't support the State, so I also don't support State controlled borders. But I do support the border around home.

Perhaps we should concentrate less on controlling our national borders, and more on controlling local borders.

Next to a family, a small town has the easiest border to defend. Not only is the size of the border smaller with respect to the area of the town, information is more freely available. As the saying goes, everyone is a small town knows everyone else's business. That is a definite advantage in keeping track of visitors.

Governments that are not based on towns or cities have a much harder time controlling borders. In these cases the border goes through sparsely populated areas which makes it much harder to enforce. The internal communications are not nearly as good because communities in the same governmental unit are geographically separated.

So the borders of the United States can properly be viewed as an interlocking system of progressively larger and weaker borders. Perhaps some thought should be put into how to make all these borders work together as a system to keep out the bad and let in the good.

What is viewed as good to one group may be bad to another group.

This all seems to me to indicate that tranquility and order would be served by moving as much of the responsibility as possible to the smaller and more efficient borders.

Local defense is nearly always more efficient than global defense.