‘Our citizenship is expensive!’

Kristin Surak

  • BuyThe Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
    Columbia Global Reports, 166 pp, £10.00, November 2015, ISBN 978 0 9909763 6 3

In 1987, the free-market economist Gary Becker proposed selling the right to live and work in the United States. For $50,000 potential residents, especially the rich and successful, could leap over the bureaucratic hurdles that confound most would-be Americans. But Becker didn’t think the poor should be excluded: he proposed that the government or employers should loan them the money to pay for entry. It has been a while since the US relied on indentured labour, but why shouldn’t it work now as in the past?

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