Do nice people or nasty people get ahead, in our economic system? This is a vague and complicated question but not a meaningless one. Here is a data point.
Rebecca Roache beautifully illustrates my point about group identity in politics.
Michael Clemens argues that if the EU opened its borders completely, the sky would not fall in:
Gallup pollsters go to pretty much all countries, and in each country, they ask around 1,000 adults the same set of questions every year. One of the questions is about whether or not they would like to emigrate, and if so, where.Indeed. My suspicion is that this is not very informative. It's like when people threaten to leave the UK after the Tories get in; some will, most won't. I would find it more interesting to look at historical examples of countries with open borders (actually almost everywhere, pre-1914: the real age of mass migration was in the 19th century). In any case, this is a great read:
The bottom line is that Europe's overall population would rise by 10 percent if everyone who told Gallup they would like to move to Europe could do so. Germany's population would rise by 23 percent, because it is a particularly prosperous and desirable destination.
This is the best direct evidence we have. I say this evidence is only suggestive, because we don't know the extent to which stated desires reflect real behavior.
In the United Kingdom, asylum seekers are net takers of benefits because they are banned from working. That is, UK voters apparently support policies that force asylum seekers not to generate tax revenue. Then some of the same voters complain about asylum seekers because they do not generate tax revenue.