On the Move

Humanity has always had a great migratory dimension. If it didn’t we’d still huddled in Africa.  Whether it was out of necessity, to seek economic betterment or curiosity or some combination, we have always been on the move. Yet today the idea of people changing their national location is under fire from one end of the globe to the other. Even the great melting pot, the United States, finds immigration both legal and illegal  under fire. The European Union is grappling with both internal and external migrations. Some nations such as Japan have never favored immigration. What a great time to determine what migratory policies are more likely to lead to “More”.

Throughout history a welcoming attitude towards “Strangers” seems to be associated an entity’s vibrancy and prosperity. Cross pollination of people benefited all. On the other hand those that cut themselves in self-contained entities remained stagnant backwaters. China and Japan limited contact with “barbarians” and lost their place in the upward march of mankind. Only when their leaders realized their own survival depended on a radical change of attitude did they crack open the door. Japan got the message looking down the cannon barrels of American  “black ships” and the Chinese communist party when they saw what happened to their communist brethren in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Opening up to the world while still not welcoming large numbers of “strangers” among them and without institutional changes that would attract them, they used lower wages initially and copying of other People’s innovations to gain “More” for their peoples. The jury is still out whether their restrictive policies can sustain them in the future. If history is our guide the future may be dim without greater opening.

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