The Visa God

Okay, so this article about the “visa god” seems hilarious at first…

Balaji is one of the most worshipped local incarnations of the Hindu god, Vishnu. His adherents flock to his many temples to pray for things such as happiness, prosperity and fertility.

Lately, the deity has grown particularly popular at the once quiet Chilkur Balaji temple here, where he goes by a new nickname: the “visa god”. The temple draws 100,000 visitors a week, many of whom come to pray to Balaji for visas to travel or move to the US and other Western countries.

Mohanty Dolagobinda is one of the visa god’s believers. Three years ago, a US consulting company applied for a visa on his behalf. It was rejected. When the company tried again the following year, Dolagobinda’s friends told him to visit the Chilkur Balaji temple ahead of his interview at the US consulate. Weeks later, he sailed through the interview. “I’ve never heard of anyone who’s gone to the temple whose visa got rejected,” says Dolagobinda.

..but I find it really sad.  First, I find it sad that people are so superstitious and out of touch with reality, but second, it’s sad that people have to resort to wishful thinking instead of action to better their lives.  If you’re not violating other people’s rights, why should you be restricted from moving elsewhere to accept work?  Does a person not have a right to their own life and happiness?  Does an employer not have the right to hire whomever they please to work in their business? 

The only feasible answer to the first question is the god-awful welfare state.  It’s not fair to taxpayers for someone to move into their country and go on the government dole, right?  But is that an immigration problem or a welfare state problem?

I think it’s a welfare state problem.  Frankly, I don’t care whether someone is an immigrant, was just born here today or has lived here all their life, it’s a blatant violation of my individual rights to forcibly redistribute my income to anyone else.

Perhaps the first step in doing away with the welfare state could be to disallow immigrants access to those services and eliminate the proportionate taxes they pay for them.  Then wean the rest of the population off as well!

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