Saturday, September 04, 2010

Tommy, the heroic trespasser

It is interesting how so many Americans speak admiringly of illegal aliens. "They're trying to get a better life. They brave the desert and the thirst and the coyotes in order to escape their hellholes back home." 

That's like admiring Tommy whose from the wrong side of town for having the guts to pick your lock. He lives in a hovel, and when everyone else is sleeping peacefully, he walks miles and miles to the good part of town where he finds the Johnson home. It's a very hot night; there's no water anywhere around to drink. Undaunted, Tommy works away at the lock on the front door until finally, finally he unlocks it and quietly moves into the basement. Without anyone finding out, he heroically cleans it spotlessly every day.

We don't care about your motives or how nice you are. If you enter and live in our house without getting our permission, you are a common criminal. And you remain a common criminal until you leave.


  1. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Hey, this is not post-specific but I really love the work you do for this blog. Please don't let the trolls discourage you.

  2. Will Wilkinson discussed the analogy with crime here.

    The problem with the Tommy analogy is that in real life you just know he'd steal. I know it's a sort of philosophical thought experiment, but that's the instant reaction.

  3. Rob S.5:19 AM

    This is no thought experiment. I once sneaked into a place to clean it - with my buddy, who an unrealistic hopes about this gorgeous girl who lived there, they were all wild bohemians as was I at the time. Hence the door was unlocked. It took about three hours to clean - there was cat dung and fat maggots involved; these folks didn't clean up much. It was because they were such morose artists, but try telling that to their landlord. We put the five bags of trash in a rich guy's giant plastic can a few houses down the street, and got out of dodge undetected. Nevertheless, this girl easily named the chief culprit just from the circumstances.

    Since they weren't strangers, I guess it's not quite the same.

  4. Your analogy breaks because illegal immigrants reside in homes with the permission of the owner, and spend time at worksites with the permission of the owner.

    So, who is the putative person against whom they are tresspassing? Does the owner of the house where the illegals sleep not have the right to host guests? In property that be bought and paid for, the government has a right to tell him who can sleep there? Does the business owner not have the right to host and employee who he will on property that he bought and paid for?

    If you want to claim that illegal aliens are tresspassing, then you have to weaken property rights.

    That's not a tradeoff I want to make.


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