Designing A New Nation – Part 10 – Education and Immigration - Caleb Jones

This is the next installment in a series where I design, with your help, a small, hypothetical new nation called Ascendia, based on small government, personal liberty, and free markets. Please read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine if you have not yet before reading this article so that you’re up to speed.

Today, I will lay out how Ascendia would handle the issues of education and immigration. I’ve included these in the same article since they’re pretty straightforward and don’t require a very long explanation.

Education

The summary is that education in Ascendia would be 100% local. The Free Cities would be allowed to educate (or not educate) their population as they wished. The federal government would do nothing in regards to education.

As I’ve already talked about, Ascendia would have no states, provinces, or counties. Just a very small federal government and independent Free Cities who would be allowed to govern however they wished. These cities would be allowed to do whatever they want in terms of education.

Since most of the country’s culture would lean towards libertarianism and small government, most of these cities would likely provide zero public education and extremely low taxes, while encouraging churches, non-profits, and entrepreneurs to start their own private schools, in addition to home schooling. These cities would be a thriving marketplace of schools, all in competition against each other to provide the best education for the lowest cost. It wouldn’t be prefect and there would be problems, of course, particularly at the outset. But it would be far less of a cluster-fuck and ripoff the current public school system we’re familiar with is.

Other cities wouldn’t go quite that far into the free market zone, and would likely provide some level of basic public education, such as kindergarten and perhaps grades 1-5 or so.

Still others cities would likely embrace the current system of public education, but they would have to drastically jack up their taxes on their citizens to do so. This would perhaps cause many of these citizens to move to the lower-taxed cities that used free market education systems. (Sadly, this system has never been tried on mass scale like this so there’s really no way to know for sure.)

The federal government would provide no educational services to anyone, nor spend any tax dollars whatsoever on education, and would be clearly and strictly forbidden to do so by the Enforceable Constitution. At best, the federal government could run some kind of annual contest where students could compete academically against other students in other Free Cities; this would help foster a sense of competition between the cities and show how important education was to the country.

And that’s it! Pretty simple. As far was a specific educational system that I would endorse, that’s really a separate topic since Ascendia cities would be allowed to do whatever they liked, so there would be many systems. In a future article, I will write up what I would do if I was Emperor of a small country or city (not Ascendia) and describe exact specifics on how I would design an educational system.

Immigration

The immigration policies of Ascendia would be essentially as I described in this article here. They would look like this:

1. Ascendia would have a real border that would be zealously protected by the military against foreign military invasion, exactly as I described here.

2. In terms of peaceful, unarmed visitors, this border would be an open border, in that people from other countries would be allowed in with minimal hassle. Ascendia’s priority would be a thriving economy based on free trade, much like Hong Kong, so ease of travel would be paramount. Pretty much anyone would be allowed to come with the exception of big time international criminals.

3. Before you scream about terrorists, terrorism would not be a problem since Ascendia would never attack or occupy any other country (except in clear cases of self-defense against an invading military). As I’ve said many times, you don’t see terrorism problems in neutral countries that mind their own business like Switzerland or Hong Kong.

4. The federal government would not be involved in any immigration policy, other than to perhaps punish foreigners who committed crimes within the country. Foreign visitors would be allowed to stay for as long as they wished, but they would NEVER receive ANY welfare or government assistance or services of any kind from the federal government. The message would be “Anyone is welcome to come here and stay here for as long as you like, but while you’re here, you’re on your own. Go to work to contribute to our free and prosperous economy, or starve to death, or leave. The choice is yours.”

5. As always, the Free Cities can handle foreigners / immigrants however they liked. They could allow them, embrace them, restrict them, or completely keep them out of their cities. That would be up to each individual city and its voter citizens to determine on its own.

6. If, for some odd reason, a Free City went hard left, and encouraged immigrants to come there, and gave them shitloads of free welfare and other crap, that would be allowed. As always, it would be that city’s problem, and people would be free to move out of that city or vote its leaders out of office if they wished. However! If this policy got to the point where it caused crime problems in other cities, the federal government would be allowed to crack down on the immigrant-harboring city and override its immigration policies. The odds of all of this actually happening would be very low, for several reasons (the likelihood of a city like this even existing in such a strongly libertarian nation, the odds the city’s population would put up with the policies and ultra-high taxes, and so on).

7. Foreigners / immigrants would be treated kindly and would be allowed full property rights if they purchased items, invested in Ascendia assets or land, or started businesses. They would be subject to the same very low taxes as well. However, any foreigners / immigrants who broke the law would not be afforded the same rights as citizens, and would be in very big trouble, up to and including life in prison and permanent expulsion from all participating Free Cities. There would also be some kind of limit on the amount of land foreigners could purchase or own.

8. Foreigners could apply for citizenship after a reasonable waiting period, background checks, and so on. There would be a reasonable limit on this due to Ascendia’s small size, however.

That’s it! Again, pretty simple.

9 Comments on “Designing A New Nation – Part 10 – Education and Immigration

  1. There would also be some kind of limit on the amount of land foreigners could purchase or own.

    That’s interesting. My comment is a bit off-topic but I’ve been struggling to come up with an objective opinion on the Israelo-Palestinian conflict, and based on the above condition, the foundation of the israeli state would probably be considered illegal by Ascendian principles, even if one only considered the lands *purchased* in the 1920s-40s and ignoring the ones grabbed more forcefully. ie, the locals would be justified in demanding a ceiling on how much land a large wave of immigrants would be allowed to buy. Setting aside that those Arabs themselves were a clusterfuck to begin with, I generally conclude that their attitude in 1948 was at worst racist, but nothing more. People should have the right to be biased against immigrants buying “too much land” where they live.

    *withdraws and half-asses a vow to not participate in any flame war sparked by this comment, LMAO.

  2. 8. Foreigners could apply for citizenship after a reasonable waiting period, background checks, and so on. There would be a reasonable limit on this due to Ascendia’s small size, however.

    But no mechanism in place to allow the citizenship to be revoked at later place? That could potentially lead to problems.

    Also no quota on the percentage of foreigners allowed in total / per free city?

  3. When reading an earlier article in this series, I thought it would be a neat idea not to have citizenship at all. Anyone could live in the country but they’d have to deposit money sufficient to deport them to their country of origin if needed. Many crimes would involve deportation as punishment or part thereof.

  4. When reading an earlier article in this series, I thought it would be a neat idea not to have citizenship at all. Anyone could live in the country but they’d have to deposit money sufficient to deport them to their country of origin if needed. Many crimes would involve deportation as punishment or part thereof.

    These are some utopistic ideas that will never work in the real world. The reason is its based on the flawed assumption that all people are nice and want the same things. Any functioning society who stays that way long term can only do that with strong borders and strong immigration controls / restrictions to protect the culture, values, style of government and a way of life, freedom and the population ethnic balance and identity.

  5. I’ve been struggling to come up with an objective opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Let them kill each other. Neither group WANTS to resolve it. The Palestinians want to continue to believe that their great theocracy is in serious danger and the Israelis want to continue to believe that they are the “chosen people.”

    I look at both groups and laugh. Let them destroy each other, as long as they do not destroy others who are not involved in the process.

  6. But no mechanism in place to allow the citizenship to be revoked at later place?

    Sure, they could have that too.

    Also no quota on the percentage of foreigners allowed in total / per free city?

    I don’t quite understand your question. The federal government would set a limit on the number of immigrants / long-term foreigners based on the total population size of the country. There would be no other federal limits. Free Cities could do whatever they wanted within that limit.

    When reading an earlier article in this series, I thought it would be a neat idea not to have citizenship at all.

    Yeah, that would actually be a good idea. I’d need to give more thought as to how it would work in the real world though.

  7. Another possibility could be to have a “soft” immigration quota (making up all or part of the total quota). The quota would still be determined by the government, but, besides other requirements, would regulated by a marketplace.

    In other words, if citizenship became more desirable, the price of citizenship would become more expensive – or cheaper if less so.

  8. Any functioning society who stays that way long term can only do that with strong borders and strong immigration controls / restrictions to protect the culture, values, style of government and a way of life, freedom and the population ethnic balance and identity.

    That might or might not be true, very much a gray area. You see, to a rationally designed state that’s intended to attract rational people the idea of “protection of identity” is alien. Identity in this sense necessarily involves irrationality. “Who are you?” “Christians!” “What does that mean?” “We follow certain irrational rules and believe in certain unprovable concepts.” “Why did you choose to become Christians?” “What a nonsensical question.”

  9. That might or might not be true, very much a gray area. You see, to a rationally designed state that’s intended to attract rational people the idea of “protection of identity” is alien. Identity in this sense necessarily involves irrationality. “Who are you?” “Christians!” “What does that mean?” “We follow certain irrational rules and believe in certain unprovable concepts.” “Why did you choose to become Christians?” “What a nonsensical question.”

    You can still attract experts and best of the best, strong quota does not mean they are not allowed quite the opposite. They are the chosen few who are allowed so they are really the best. This also creates competition as opposed to just allowing random people.

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