If libertarians support work over welfare, why also support open borders?

Michael Tanner of CATO produces one of those infuriating studies showing that if you pile up seven different welfare benefits** you can wind up getting more than you’d make working full-time at a low-paying job in many states. That’s true. Too bad CATO’s open-bordersism*** would have this sort of low-paid work pay even less–much less–because those workers would now be competing with desperate, hungry immigrants from around the globe. **** You knew I would say that. But you’d think Tanner would at least acknowledge the contradiction. …

P.S.: One of the lessons of welfare reform was that Tanner’s type of economistic comparison between welfare and work only takes you so far. For one thing, liberals always have an answer ready, which is to make the welfare-state’s benefits available to workers too, or even to everyone. Does Medicaid make it pay to be on the dole? Well, hey, give Obamacare to people who aren’t on the dole, etc. Many of the attempts to provide a smooth incentive ladder off of welfare wind up making welfare programs both bigger (because benefits are extended up the income ladder) and perversely more attractive (because you can now go on welfare and mix it with a bit of work–one of Charles Murray’s big points).