Author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman sat down for an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson about Friedman’s new book Thank You For Being Late.
Their discussion revolved around Friedman’s optimism about the future of the economy in a time when so many people are concerned about having their jobs taken because of services being automated and performed by computers or robots.
He said that we’ve gone through these changes in the past as a country, and this time is really no different. There will be new opportunities that are for now unforeseen, but he fully expects there to be new types of jobs and industries.
During his discussion with Tucker, the subject of immigration came up, and as it turns out, Friedman’s very much in favor of a closed border – though with a large gate. “I say in the book and have always said I am for a high wall with a big gate,” he said. “I believe our country has to control its borders.”
CARLSON: And I’m glad you’re optimistic. I am not. But I am glad that somebody is. I don’t understand at a moment of change this profound why you would want to add demographic and cultural and economic change on top of economic change. And I know it benefits a small number of employers who want cheaper labor. But why would you want to let in low-skilled labor, no promise for participating in this new economy, how does that help anybody?
FRIEDMAN: My view on openness in general, I say in the book and have always said I am for a high wall with a big gate. I believe our country has to control its borders. I’m a big believer in that. But I also believe that what has made America great is we’ve accrued more high-IQ risk-takers than any country in the world. And high-energy risk takers — the lower skilled, the higher the energy. That’s what made us great.
CARLSON: Shouldn’t we screen for them? Because our current immigration system says that if you have a relative you get to come. Shouldn’t we say, wait a second, are you impressive or not?
FRIEDMAN: That may be, I’m really agnostic on how we best bring in these people. But what I would hate to see us do, Tucker, is to close off America as this giant magnet. We are who we are as a country because we’ve attracted more of these risk takers. My great grandparents and somewhere your great grandparents, they left somewhere bad and came to somewhere they thought were better.
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