The freedom to move

2017-01-28 2 min read

    I’ve had this thought for a while now but Trump’s latest executive order banning Muslim immigration is forcing me to put it in writing. The freedom to move should be a human right and can act as the foundation of all others. If you don’t like the policies of your city? Move to another one. Your state? Move to another one. Your country? Same thing.

    By giving people the freedom to choose where they live policies will arise that benefit the greatest number of people. If you’re keen on having a strong religious state you should be able to move there. If you want to live in a big city you should be able to move to one. If it turns out that a particular location is losing residents it will act as a signal that they need to do something. Over time the best policies will rise to the top and the world will have an rapid pace of policy innovation.

    Of course it’s not realistic since we all have family, friends, and jobs and aren’t able to get up and move whenever something bothers us. Beyond that the value in the world’s wealth is not equally distributed which would leave to some immediate shifts. One can argue that that’s good for the long term since it will smooth out the wealth distribution but it will be dangerously destructive. Cultures are also significantly different across the world and beyond the conflict we’ll have when some collide it’s a risk that the world’s cultures will blend into one and we’ll lose our uniqueness.

    This won’t happen any time soon but to have a fair world we must allow individuals to choose to live wherever they want. Most won’t take the offer since there’s always going to be something keeping them around but having the ability to move anywhere is powerful and liberating.