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March 08, 2016


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If you even can realistically move to Canada, you're probably a privileged enough person that the disruptions associated with a horrible presidential administration affect you less than average. (There are exceptions: rich members of persecuted minorities could well find that their money only goes so far, if they can keep it.)

At any rate, bailing out means you won't be there with your vote to help the people who don't have that option.

A related peeve for me is the "we should have LET them secede from the Union" bit I often hear white Northern liberals going on about. They're basically saying they regret Johnson giving away the South when he signed the Civil Rights Act of '64, and want to just write all that off.

Sometimes they add that we'd graciously allow any put-upon black people to migrate to Yankeeland no questions asked. I seem to recall some friction the last time that happened. (In recent years it's actually been going in reverse.)

"Let them secede from the Union" is more than a peeve. Anyone who raises it deserves full rhetorical and intellectual evisceration.

Which you did quite well, Matt.

But who are these people you're talking to?

Oh, mostly blog commenters who are frustrated at total Republican obstruction in Congress and the role of the South in electing awful Presidents.

I really wish liberals would stop it with the whole “I’m to moving to Canada” schtick. It’s only slightly less annoying than the conservative “time to secede from the Union” crap.

There is a simple fix for that. Have the liberal majority states join Canada and have the conservative majority states remain as the US but with constitutional changes that make it more perfect in their eyes. ;-)

Being serious though, yes those schticks are annoying.

Although, really, it is weird that there are any labor market restrictions between the U.S. and Canada at all, no?

It doesn't seem all that weird to me. Consider this: in 1995 Canada's federal government and provincial governments signed an Agreement on Internal Trade to reduce barriers to labour mobility and free trade within Canada.

It wasn't because most Canadians couldn't move freely in Canada to work. They could. But some occupations were regulated/certified/licensed by the provincial (and territorial) governments. And they had barriers when the certification requirements differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

So if you had barriers to labour mobility within Canada up to the point where in 1995 they had to sign a big agreement to rectify that, it isn't surprising that there continues to be labour market restrictions between the US and Canada.

In essence between the United States and Canada you have 72 jurisdictions (2 federal jurisdictions, 50 US states, 6 US territories, DC, 10 Canadian provinces and 3 Canadian territories). And that's just the jursidictional hurdles. Never mind the fact that Canada's de jure labour mobility historically was rooted in the Empire until about 1910 when Canada's Immigration Act required all other British subjects who were not already connected to Canada in someway to get permission to land. That said there was de facto labour mobility from the 1880s until the early 1900s as this article makes clear: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/opinion/bonjour-america.html

- no US federal officials really monitored the northern border until 1895 and no records were required to be kept of the entry of Canadians into the United States until the Naturalization Act of 1906. Canadians were exempt from the immigration quotas instituted in 1921 (until 1965 in fact) and didn't need to get a visa to move permanently to the US until 1926.

So free movement of labour between the US and Canada would have been unlikely given the trend in the US and Canada to strengthening border controls from 1900 to the 1960s.

Matt: I am showing my age, in that I imagined you had to be talking about in-person interactions.

But I am accurate in another sense: I would bet you large sums of money that none of those commentators would seriously avow a "let 'em go" position in person, especially if a black person was in the room. They might joke, but they'd walk it back immediately.

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