Hypocrisy Central

by Jacob G. Hornberger
Aug. 06, 2012

One of the things about liberals that really fascinates me is their hypocrisy, especially when it comes to one of their favorite attacks on libertarians for opposing the welfare state. Whenever libertarians call for the abolition of the moral and economic abomination known as the welfare state, liberals have their standard knee-jerk attack: “You hate the poor! Libertarians hate the poor!”

The implication, of course, is that liberals love the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Liberals love power and money as much as conservatives do. Their “love the poor” bromide is nothing more than a convenient way to justify their ardent support of the money and power that accompanies the welfare state way of life.

How do we know that this “love the poor” bromide is nothing but a sham?

That’s easy. Just look at how liberals treat illegal immigrants, who are among the poorest people in the world. They treat them as badly as conservatives do, perhaps even worse. In fact, President Obama has more deportations than his predecessor, President Bush. And he’s proud of it! His recent exception for American children born of illegal immigrants is obviously nothing more than a well-timed campaign gimmick to garner Hispanic votes.

Here’s a good example of how much liberals love the poor. The Los Angeles Times reports that a woman named Encarnacion Bail Romero and 135 other illegal immigrants were arrested in 2007 at a Missouri poultry processing plant. She had used a fake Social Security number to get the job and so the Obama feds charged her with federal “aggravated identity theft.” She got sentenced to two years in prison and was sent 1000 miles away to serve her time.

Now, let’s reflect on what’s really happening here. This woman is doing nothing more than trying to sustain and improve her life through labor. At the fundamental level, that’s her “crime.” She crossed the international border to seek employment with someone who wished to employ her. She found a job and an American employer hired her. It was a consensual transaction. Both sides benefited. She obviously worked hard, as most immigrants do, because she stayed employed.

But under federal law, she was required to produce a Social Security number, so she used a “stolen” number. But who got harmed here and who benefited by the use of that unauthorized Social Security number? Her employer extracted a certain percentage of her salary and sent it to the Social Security Administration. But her Social Security account was credited with the money. It was someone else’s account that got credited. She didn’t benefit at all. Several decades from now when she’s ready to retire, she won’t be able to claim that Social Security “benefit.”

Okay, so she used a “stolen” Social Security number to get the job. But isn’t it the government that steals her money? Yet, she’s the one who goes to prison!

Two years in prison for that? Two years in jail for coming to the United States to work through a consensual labor relationship with an American employer who liked her work.

Oh, but that’s not the end of it. Guess what the love-the-poor liberals are now doing to Encarnacion Bail Romero. They’re taking away her son. Missouri state officials, under Democrat Governor Jay Nixon, have instituted legal proceedings to terminate her parental rights over her son and give the child to an American couple.

Their ground for termination? They say that she abandoned her child when she went to prison.

Don’t you just love it? Have you ever seen such rank hypocrisy? They claim to love the poor and then they punish a poor woman who is just doing her best to sustain her life and the life of her child with labor. They send her to jail and then use the incarceration to take her child away from her.

Of course, conservatives aren’t any winners in this area either, but then again at least they don’t purport to love the poor, as liberals do. Conservative immigration hypocrisy arises when conservatives say they love “free enterprise, private property, and limited government” and then enthusiastically support the mistreatment and abuse of foreigners who are just coming here to work for American employers who like hiring them.

There is only one political philosophy that is consistent with moral and religious values. That philosophy is libertarianism. It is only libertarians who embrace open immigration, a way of life that truly helps the poor through the defense of such fundamental, inherent, God-given rights as freedom of movement, freedom of travel, freedom of association, freedom of contract, and freedom of commerce.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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