Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

The Syrian-Lebanese have a long history in Haiti, and in fact they account for most of Haiti’s very wealthiest families.  They are also sometimes resented by the other Haitians for their extreme commercial success.  Here is one illustrative but not fully objective account from Wikipedia:

Since the early twentieth century there was a Syrian community in Haiti. This consisted of roughly 500 people, mainly engaged in trade and many of them were Syrian Americans. The entire business community of Syrians, however, tended to sell their products to the United States. Over time, the importance of these merchant foreigners grew, reaching positions in the political order of the country. It is of enormous importance to the country, that surpassing most of the Haitians in government (one that was formed by the social elite of Haiti, against a poor majority), caused major uprisings against the Syrians and the idea widespread among Haitians was that they should be deported. Therefore, the Syrian American club sent a letter to the U.S. State Department of Washington D.C., explaining the reasons why the island was purchased for trade with the U.S. and asked for help and advice from the U.S. Federal Government. At that time the Syrians had also addressed the majority of imports of goods to Haiti, both in the field of provisions as in beverages. Syrian traders also were, at present, the only foreign traders willing to work under native conditions than other groups of traders that were rejected. So, they sold wholesale. However, these traders were occupied all trades with the country, which made them gain rejection of a significant part of the population. Thus, the Haitian government launched a new political program that limited the Syrian trade in the country.

Of course Haiti could take in more “Syrian-Lebanese” too, but this would be unpopular in some circles because…the previously Syrian-Lebanese have been…too successful.


A general lesson of history is that you are best off growing your own middle class rather than importing one.

Bingo, Steve. Couldn't have said it better.

Why are the options mutually exclusive?

Because one thing that makes these market-oriented minorities so dominant is that they stick together. They tend to think everyone is out to get them. They are often right. But that just drives the cycle of paranoia on both sides. As people get more hostile, these minorities tend to stick together even more.

For young people in really poor countries, it tends to look like the market for the best jobs is rigged. They tend to think normal people cannot get a fair shake or entrance into these sorts of jobs because, you know, Those Other People have cornered the market.

This is not healthy.

Middle-man minorities like East Indians in Africa and Jews various loci make their living in distribution, which is characterized by low profit margins. No one's cornered the market nor could they absent some sort of cartel. It's just that it takes an alert man to make a living in wholesale trade.

All well and good, but let's check the real world we live in. Who gets hit the hardest when our own local underclass goes Full Ferguson? The middle-man minorities of Indians, Arabs and East Asians. The friction is there. Now, in these cases, it's mostly the paranoid, self-vicitmizing culture that sets these two groups against each other, but the friction is there nonetheless.

Who gets hit the hardest when our own local underclass goes Full Ferguson

Orientals and East Indians make up about 1.5% of Ferguson's resident population. Perhaps they're a higher share of the merchants therein.

This has to be one of those fake posts Art Deco is bitching about. I can't imagine even he goes around calling people 'orientals'.

No, it's a straight up post. It's a plainly descriptive word, commonly in use in my lifetime. If it's not fashionable among portside twerps, too bad.

How lucky we are to have people on the internet from before the Great War. What would we do without that old school perspective on things?

How lucky we are to have on the internet juveniles who cannot tell the usage of 1915 from the usage of 1975.

Same with the hebes, wops and micks.

Are her daughters still speaking to Prof. TigerMother??

Does it matter to the Haitian situation? Does it matter to you, Pharisee?

Well at least one of them is speaking to her as of 8/20/2015.


It's a good book. Chua starts out the book recounting the murder of her relatively well-off Chinese-Filipino aunt by the aunt's (not so well off, not-Chinese-Filipino) personal driver in Manila. The official police report described the motive as, simply, "revenge." She knows of what she speaks.

Steeve, gentrification is precisely importing middle class into "bad neighborhoods".

Could you please explain me the general lesson of history does not apply to neighborhoods?

It applies.

Poor tenants in gentrifying places like Brooklyn would have been better off developing middle class skills themselves. In the long run, having their neighborhoods gentrified by middle class people arriving from, say, Westchester County just means they'll eventually wind up exiled to dumpy burghs far from anywhere. Their descendants stuck in, say, decaying towns in the Poconos on Section 8 vouchers will look back with dismay on how their ancestors used to live in great locations like Brooklyn, but let it all slip away.

Steve you're conflating two distinct phenomena. About 3/4 of the population lives in multi-class areas. The proportions of each class differ, but you always have a mix of people from various strata at different points in their life cycle. Even tony suburbs and slums usually have more than one strata within them. Gentrification amounts to childless bourgeois moving into areas which had a mix of impecunious wage earners and lumpenproletarians. Urban neighborhoods are not fixed in their land use or social character and its quite unremarkable for some to be rising and others to be declining at any given point in time.

Nobody needs to 'develop middle class skills'. At any one time, 2/3 of the population are wage-earners. People merely need to be able to earn a regular living at whatever they do so long as it's within the law. A neighborhood populated with industrial workers is an agreeably congenial place as is, whether bourgeois urban pioneers are moving in or not.


The middle-man minorities in loci like Haiti are completely different animals. To some extent they are displacing less productive indigenes, but what they're mainly doing is developing productive enterprise where it had not been before. The services provided by distributional enterprises are often opaque to people and the communal distinction between the middleman minority and the surrounding population is an occasion for alienation and envy.

"Poor tenants in gentrifying places like Brooklyn would have been better off developing middle class skills themselves."
It would be even better if they got rich themselves. Unfortunately, people usually don't magically develop skills because immigration is banned.

The claim is that a native middle class is preferable to an imported middle class, not that an imported middle class is inherently bad. If, in Haiti or in Harlem, the choice is between an imported middle class and no middle class at all, you go ahead and import a middle class.

You do not need a middle class living in Harlem (though there are such people as we speak). You need a vigorous police force to protect the local merchants and the resident wage-earners from the feral sons of the lumpenproletariat. You'd also benefit from revised tax policies and some supplementary city services to clean up trash and graffiti and induce landlords to take better care of their property. What you do not need (though you might benefit from it) is to persuade a mess of schoolteachers and insurance agents to rent apartments in Harlem.

gee art, you're sure hard on those 'feral sons' for someone who wouldn't even let their mothers abort them in the first place.

People who commit robberies, deal in street drugs, and have violent rivalries with youths on the next bloc belong in prison. This is, by the way, a perfectly unremarkable viewpoint to hold.

People who MIGHT commit crimes don't deserve life/liberty/POH, ibaien?

of course they deserve those things. I just find it remarkable that art can write off a huge group of people as unredeemable thugs and yet forbid young economically and socially unprepared women from not having yet more 'feral sons'.

Art is trying to make contraception illegal? Where did you read that?

Which 'huge group of people'? Slum neighborhoods encompass about 1/6th of the population in a densely settled metropolis. Maybe a quarter of the population therein are problematic, and that's often for reasons other than a propensity to criminal violence. As for 'irredeemable', that's in your imagination. Some people take the hint and get out of the criminal subculture, some do not.

Reading comprehension, it's great stuff.

Steeve, gentrification is precisely importing middle class into “bad neighborhoods”.

No it is not, because the process is not an artifact. 'Gentrification' is bourgeois people buying into sketchy neighborhoods because those neighborhoods have undervalued assets. They're there to reside, not to engage in business or industry (though some do that too).

Agreed. Where social strata and occupational subculture follow ethnic cleavages, you have an unhappy situation. Inter-war Poland would be one example.

I am unaware of any contradiction between the two.

Is America not a country of immigrants?

My ancestors were colonists, pioneers, and conquerors. Other's ancestors were slaves. The nation of immigrants discourse is an innovation of the post-bellum period. We used to speak of 'ourselves and our posterity'.

It's even more recent than that. "A Nation of Immigrants" was the title of a pamphlet supposedly written by JFK. It was published posthumously by the Anti-Defamation League. The concept is basically a Jewish retconning of American history to make themselves feel more important and morally superior relative to WASPs. It was then picked up by talented Italian-American movie directors who used it as a rationale for replacing the WASPish cowboy movies that had long dominated the popular image of the American past with period gangster movies.

Every influential group retcons history -- e.g., Southerners invested heavily for generations in writing the history of the Civil War to make themselves look good.

The concept is basically a Jewish retconning of American history to make themselves feel more important and morally superior relative to WASPs.

Maybe it's having grown up in a provincial city with a certain standard of politesse, but I've never actually met anyone in the flesh who trafficks in the sort of chauvinism Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier did in the pages of their magazine, and my circle of friends was about 25% Jewish. Vociferous people can differ systematically from ordinary people.

Don't you believe that IQ and whether you have "middle class" traits is determined to a great extent by genes, and that most Africans simply don't have the capacity?

OMG. In a hundred year's time when there is equal access to education, or when school funding formulas are revamped in the USA so that poor and wealthy people all have access to the same quality of schooling, perhaps it will be "worth" visiting this question so we can debate about whether some 0.5 points difference is worth worrying about.

Why don't you go to Africa some day? You will find that they are brilliantly witty people. They just don't have very good education.

And besides which, even it, after everyone has access to education of equal quality, we ultimately discover that Africans have 0.5 points higher or lower IQ, it will still be largely irrelevant. Things like the ability to work well in teams, active listening, work ethic, etc. are far more relevant than some simplistic measure of "intelligence".

Nathan W September 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

OMG. In a hundred year’s time when there is equal access to education, or when school funding formulas are revamped in the USA so that poor and wealthy people all have access to the same quality of schooling, perhaps it will be “worth” visiting this question so we can debate about whether some 0.5 points difference is worth worrying about.

One of the interesting things about the recent riots is that it turns out that Baltimore spends the second highest amount of money per student on education in the whole of the United States. Only New York spends more. Can we agree that the Baltimore education system is not under-funded?

But we have done this experiment. In 1985 a Federal judge took over the Kansas City education system and enforced a massive spend-all-you-can education plan on the district and made the tax payers pay for it:


For decades critics of the public schools have been
saying, "You can't solve educational problems by throwing
money at them." The education establishment and its supporters
have replied, "No one's ever tried." In Kansas City they
did try. To improve the education of black students and
encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas
City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-noobject
educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers
to find the money to pay for it.
Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil--more
money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any
other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money
bought higher teachers' salaries, 15 new schools, and such
amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater
viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics
lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United
Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field
trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was
12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the
The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the
black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not
greater, integration.

Whatever is going wrong for African American students, it is not a question of money or resources.

One of the interesting things about the recent riots is that it turns out that Baltimore spends the second highest amount of money per student on education in the whole of the United States.

Whatever is going wrong for African American students, it is not a question of money or resources.

A bit of self-plagiarism and for your amusement, this commentary and exchange here:


If the people distributing the 'money and resources' have the mentality of Susan O'Doherty, PsyD, you will likely have ineffectual schools, the reason being manifest in the exchange: Susan O'Doherty, PsyD cannot recall that the purpose of the school is to educate a bloc of youngsters, not to be a chaotic gold-plated day-care center run along principles designed not to induce Susan O'Doherty, PsyD. to feel bad about life (by having to forcibly sanction the 'already disadvantaged').

Public monopoly allows the addle-patedness of occupational guilds to go on an on as long as it is expressed in venues which render it something the broad mass of humanity is willing to tolerate.

If the schools in Clayton County stink, dollars to doughnuts, these are are among the reasons:

1. There are no serious sanctions administered to trouble-makers

2. The students are not adequately tracked so that teacher and student time is put to optimal use.

3. Teacher training programs add few skills and screen out people who cannot tolerate the humbug.

4. Schools are required to limit their hiring to people who have passed through state-approved teacher training programs.

5. Programs for training administrators add few skills and screen out teachers and general civil servants who cannot tolerate the humbug.

6. As a consequence, administrators commonly carry with them a fatuity which exceeds that of their workforce, who do not respect them because they are stupid.

7. State regents' examinations fail to identify problem schools (and problem teachers) because they are analyzed for the wrong variables and the league tables are improperly constructed.

8. State regents' examination fail to identify problem schools (and problem teachers) because the regents were to cheap to send their own proctors to administer the tests, and allowed the schools to do so (and cheat).

9. Sundries re judicial interference, interference by the federal executive, politicians' interference, labor meatheads, &c.


You want satisfactory schools in Clayton County, you need to correct these problems one by one and replace public agency as a delivery vehicle with voucher-funded philanthropic agencies for all students except the incorrigibles we turn over to the sheriff's department to house at detention centers while teachers attempt to stuff bits of remedial education into them in groups of six.

I'm pretty sure the problem in Africa is lead paint. Once we deal with the problem and invest in education I'm sure they'll dominate the science Nobels.

It's not "half a point." It's nearly two standard deviations. And few dispute the results; the argument from Progressives is that IQ tests aren't relevant and/or they are biased.

Allright. Second test comment "Black".

"Things like the ability to work well in teams, active listening,"

-Just as bad as their IQ scores indicate.

"work ethic,"

-For the most part, a complete and utter disaster. Even worse than their IQ scores indicate.

Nathan W, how often have you been around Blacks? I've learned not to trust too much in almost any of them. Even though the smartest person I've ever met (went to Harvard, and probably deserved it) is Black, pretty much all other (male) Blacks I've met I wouldn't hire for anything, if I was the owner of anything.

Also, Nathan, here's a fact for you: there's only one first-world Black-majority country (Bahamas, indepedent for 42 years and counting). There's only one third-world (non-Hispanic, non-Arab) White-majority country (Afghanistan, although bordering Tajikistan comes close -independent for centuries). Ever wonder why that is?

"Why don’t you go to Africa some day?"

-I fear malaria.

Most of my clients are black (I work as a translator, primarily for African academics).

Malaria is a very fair reason to not want to go. I would never go during the rainy season, and fully cover up even on the hottest of days.


do you have much experience interacting with everyday black folks in rough neighborhoods? I mean for example, taking a walk around West Oakland and making conversation with the locals loitering on the sidewalks. Or even just listening to their conversations as you walk by.

anon - not a lot, but I get your point.

I haven't spent a lot of time in the USA. It is expensive to travel in, the cities are dangerous and the natural sites are almost impossible to get to if you don't have a car.

One time I was in LA and out for a walk at night. I ran into a group of about 20 black guys hanging out in the Venice Beach area. I sat down to chat for a few minutes. I was asked for a cigarette, and understood quite clearly that it wasn't exactly optional (I'm pretty sure that sharing one cigarette prevented me from getting mugged). After chatting for a few minutes, I went on my way.

There was a black guy working at the hotel I stayed at. He was pretty funny.

This is the sum of interactions that I've had with black people in the USA.

I've been to a lot of different places. I know when I'm walking down the "wrong street", but have never been mugged or violently attacked (a few close calls, but it helps if you have nothing worth stealing and are ready to fight). By and large, I see violence as a social issue, not genetic. Black communities in America have some serious social issues. I don't know how they will be fixed, but UNTIL black Americans are willing to acknowledge that, despite historical and existing racism and numerous other current disadvantages, they ALSO have to "step up", I don't have much hope for major changes.

"is equal access to education, or when school funding formulas are revamped in the USA so that poor and wealthy people all have access to the same quality of schooling"

- See Econlog's "Inequality in Education".

Since the late 1990s, the B-W test score gap has only widened. Probably due to Black dysgenics and White lack of significant dysgenics. See "Black Suits, Gowns, & Skin: SAT Scores by Income, Education, & Race".

"Mr. Costanza, I find your belief system fascinating!"

In America, I attribute most of the education problems of blacks to broader social dysfunction more so than anyone else. Why is there broader social dysfunction? I dunno, but I think that jailing a quarter of the black male population over petty drug charges can't help with family dynamics. I am unconvinced that skin colour itself can degrade intelligence.

After 100 years of equal quality education and an end to systemic breaking down of families via the "justice" system, I might be willing to entertain thoughts of natural differences. By no means do do I deny the POSSIBILITY that different groups of people MIGHT have natural differences, I just highly doubt that they would be very relevant compared to a variety of other social issues.

But any indicator that tells you that YOU are superior are just too pleasing to the ears for some, and a litany of other explanations are rapidly written off in short order.

Maybe they have a different social culture and simply don't highly prioritize school?

Right, all those social scientists are just falsifying research. All those white racists who think that East Asians and Jews have a higher average IQ than whites must have a superiority complex. Lets pretend that all the research on heritability of personality and other traits have been falsified.

Nathan W September 8, 2015 at 10:11 pm

In America, I attribute most of the education problems of blacks to broader social dysfunction more so than anyone else.

Welcome to the alt-right. Anything that does not blame White people is fascism apparently.

Why is there broader social dysfunction? I dunno, but I think that jailing a quarter of the black male population over petty drug charges can’t help with family dynamics. I am unconvinced that skin colour itself can degrade intelligence.

I am unconvinced that skin color can degrade intelligence as well. On the other hand there is a genetic component to intelligence and so no two individuals get an equal start in life. There is no reason to think that any two distinct historically-non-inter-breeding human populations do either.

However a quarter of all Blacks are not jailed for petty drug crimes. It is next to impossible to be jailed for a drug crime unless there is some serious repeat offending or a very nasty reason unconnected to drugs. Most people are in jail because they are nasty people. Not for minor possession.

Maybe they have a different social culture and simply don’t highly prioritize school?

That is almost certainly true. There is good work showing more or less exactly that.

Maybe they have a different social culture and simply don’t highly prioritize school?

BINGO. Blacks do fine in the USA. They do well in what we all want to do well in sports, music and entertainment. They are mostly good citizens 2/3rds are middle class or higher. They do well in the military contribution to the USA in that way. There is a crime problem but it is diminishing and does not spill over much to non-blacks. There is certain bravery and demand for respect in blacks. Maybe over the years the high crime among blacks will result in more politeness.

If blacks think, like you said, that it is not good to spend your youth doing boring school work in order to get a well paying boring job as an adult who can blame them and would it even be moral to push our ideas on them?

BTW if we swapped the teachers and coaches from predominately white schools with predominately black schools, do you think whites would start to dominate the Basketball and football?

Re: Asians and Jews

It seems to me that when Asians get high IQ scores people attribute it to studying hard, but when whites get higher scores than blacks, it is due to genetic superiority (and ignore all other explanations).

Floccina - I am not so silly as to outright deny genetic components. You hone in on sports achievements. It is pretty easy to look at a bigger and stronger guy and assume that he will do better in sports.

When the many genetic components of "intelligence" have been found, perhaps the discussion will be have some merit. Observing that people who, as a group, attend worse schools and don't study very hard ALSO don't do well on tests of "intelligence", in my mind tells me more about their schools and study habits than their "intelligence".

Nathan W I agree with you on that it is more about values (you mentioned poor study habits) than IQ but I think that what you call bad schools are called bad because the students have different values (poor study habits) not the other way around. Further I think we do not have the right to, for example, take black children from their parents earlier and indoctrinate them on the value of studying hard because no one can say what is a better way to live. For some folks enough is enough.

Africans should invent an "intelligence" test and then administer it to white people.

Then they can also claim their own falsified "evidence" of superiority.

Better brush up on your ebonics and black history before you get labelled "stupid".

Nathan I've got a bridge over the East River to sell you.

Nathan W September 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

OMG. In a hundred year’s time when there is equal access to education, or when school funding formulas are revamped in the USA so that poor and wealthy people all have access to the same quality of schooling, perhaps it will be “worth” visiting this question so we can debate about whether some 0.5 points difference is worth worrying about.

There are communities of African origin across the world. Not all of them in countries that have the same historical issues as America. Students of African origin do not do well in Britain. Nor do they do well in Sweden. Naturally they do not do well in Jamaica either.

But even in America there are schools and communities that have become heavily African American in very short periods of time. That means existing schools, that were built with relatively wealthy White tax payers' money, became majority African American in a matter of years.

Take Clayton County in Georgia. In 1980 it was 91% White. In 2006 it was 80% non-White. It used to have a solid education system. And then in 2008 it lost accreditation - only the third school district to do so since 1969. In that short space of time, the teachers are unlikely to have changed a lot. The buildings and facilities certainly have not. But the students did.

And besides which, even it, after everyone has access to education of equal quality, we ultimately discover that Africans have 0.5 points higher or lower IQ, it will still be largely irrelevant. Things like the ability to work well in teams, active listening, work ethic, etc. are far more relevant than some simplistic measure of “intelligence”.

Actually no, they are not. IQ matters. Even though, of course, you work on the assumption that people of African origin are so much better at working in teams, actively listening, working hard etc etc

Nathan W September 8, 2015 at 11:52 am

Africans should invent an “intelligence” test and then administer it to white people. Then they can also claim their own falsified “evidence” of superiority. Better brush up on your ebonics and black history before you get labelled “stupid”.

I wish they would. IQ tests do not, actually, require any particular knowledge of non-White history - and it is absurd to think that African Americans know a great deal about the largely recently invented field of Black history. But by all means, I would encourage all Africans to come up with their own version of the IQ test.

Does anyone really doubt that if IQ tests were administered in Ebonics and were required for admission to the Ivies that Amy Chua's children would *not* still ace them and be on their way to Harvard?

Given that they are not asking for IQ tests to be administered in Chinglish or Yiddish.

The test exists. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Intelligence_Test_of_Cultural_Homogeneity Now we just need to get some school to use it as an admissions test and see what Amy Chua's kids do.

Of course, it's from 1972, so it would be interesting just to see how black kids in 2015 do on it.

Naturally they do not do well in Jamaica either.

Actually, there is huge variation in income levels and in social metrics re negroid populations. Again, Mark Steyn: if you want to know why Haiti is Haiti and Barbados is Barbados, biology does not get you very far.

That would be interesting. Notice, though, it is not really an intelligence test. It is a test of your understanding of 1970s Ebonics. Nothing changes faster than the hip slang of the young. I doubt many Blacks would do well on it today. In fact I wonder whether Airplane!'s Jive scenes could be shown on TV these days.

However if Yale used it for admission, I have no doubt cram schools across East Asia would be teaching 70s Ebonics well past 11 pm every night of the week.

As a fan of Shaft and Pam Grier's work I was disappointed to see I got zero on the sample words in that article: apple alley, black draught, blood, boogie jugie, and boot.

Presumably blood did not mean then what it means now. As in Crips.

Actually, they do do somewhat well in Britain.

Art Deco September 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Actually, there is huge variation in income levels and in social metrics re negroid populations. Again, Mark Steyn: if you want to know why Haiti is Haiti and Barbados is Barbados, biology does not get you very far.

Actually Barbados is like Botswana - a small country that is majority Black with a small number of White people providing high value services which pay the taxes which pay the Black people in their government jobs. Barbados is not providing all those off shore banks. They are providing a location for them. Barbados' main industry is tourism followed by tax evasion. If they had gone down the politically radical route, like Jamaica and more so Haiti, those tourists and White bankers would not be there.

And then Barbados would not look so different from Haiti.

Actually Barbados is like Botswana – a small country that is majority Black with a small number of White people providing high value services which pay the taxes which pay the Black people in their government jobs.

No, that's the alt-right fantasy of both loci. The white population of Barbados is 3% of the total, insufficent to supply more than about 20% of an ordinary size professional-managerial element.

Art Deco September 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

No, that’s the alt-right fantasy of both loci. The white population of Barbados is 3% of the total, insufficent to supply more than about 20% of an ordinary size professional-managerial element.

I doubt anyone on the alt-right has the slightest interest in Barbados. I also suspect that most of the people who work in the finance sector are from the US, the UK or Canada. Not locals of any color.

The public service remains Barbados' largest single employer. Total labour force has increased from 126,000 in 1993 to 140,000 persons in 2000, and unemployment has dropped significantly from over 20% in the early 1990s to 9.3% at the end of 2000.
In 2010 Barbados' population was tabulated at some 281,968 with 80% at working age yet less than half (106,241 or 38%) were actually registered as employed.

An economic success story it is not, except relatively speaking.

That "intelligence test" would also show Blacks to have lower intelligence than Whites. There's no "falsified" evidence of superiority, Nathan. It's just a fact: the average Black is in every way (except some types of muscle) much inferior to the average White.

That's interesting, because I saw this just as I finished reading this piece by Thomas Sowell http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/09/08/the_past_and_future_of_the_refugee_crisis_128006.html

The irony here is that Sowell was the one who wrote at length about the "middle-man minorities". Arguing that some migrant groups, but not others, will make a positive contribution because of the social capital they bring from the old country.

That's not irony. Completely different fact-patterns. As someone downthread pointed out, those middleman niches are well-filled in Europe already.

I applaud Sowell for his broad sympathy for the refugees, which I share. It's a sad situation.

Which is not to say there is a whole lot Europe (or America) can or should do about it. It's not like human suffering is a new thing.

Tyler is curiously one-sided in his views here, perhaps to distance himself form the uglier anti-refugee/anti-immigrant views.

Where is the milk of human kindness for the indigenous working people? In this country, those who stand to suffer the most are likely poor blacks and whites.

It is fair to point out that, to people like Tyler and me, there is little cost to accommodating refugees. Mostly warm fuzzies.

... those middleman niches are well-filled in Europe already.

You can build a completely reasonable theory in which immigrants of certain personality types fill various niches in their destination country. But Sowell's theory emphasizes the importance of whole cultures, not individuals. (Of course he is no collectivist, he simply thinks that individual personality is imporant for the outcomes of individuals, not groups).

So there is an irony, Sowell's article expresses compassion, but also speculates that the Syrians will be one of the less function groups. The next thing I see is an article showing evidence that Syrians might be one of the higher function groups according to Sowell's theories.

It would be nice if someone could explain to Tyler that "Syrian" is not an ethnic group, nor is "Lebanese". These places have degenerated into vicious ethnic strife precisely because they are not homogenous. Looking at "Syrian" emigration is almost as senseless as looking at "Hispaniolian" emigration and not distinguishing between Haitians and Dominicans.

Whether it is or is not depends on what field the population is operating in; you have 'Italians' in America who arrived in this country as Sicilians or Venetians or Genovese. You can still see a bit of the rivalry in Italian families with a northern and a southern wing. You can see this in the old country as well. Lebanese Druze have a set of nested loyalties based on lineage, of which the most general would be the factional affiliation (Jumblatti v. Yazbacki). Other people have nested loyalties as well. I against my brother, my brother and me against my cousin, my brother and my cousin and me against the world.

The conflicts in Lebanon turn on confessional distinctions which delineate ethno-national ones. Fifty years ago, they pitted Maronites who understood themselves as Lebanese against Sunni Muslims who understood themselves as Arabs.

L.A. riots, anyone? Ferguson? Baltimore?


The Chinese were also killed in great numbers in Indonesia, for the same reasons the Jews were in Nazi Germany- being over-represented in the Communist Party as well as being too commercially successful.

I actually had an Islamist in Indonesia approach me for such a confirmation "are the Chinese the jews of Asia?"

It should be said that the Dutch ran an apartheid state in Indonesia where the Chinese were allowed certain jobs the locals were not. One of these was tax farmer. Not popular.

The apocryphal story is the Chinese tax farmer in charge of a toll bridge attempting to charge a tax on children carried by their mothers as "goods" not people.

> It should be said that the Dutch ran an apartheid state in Indonesia

And the result? The Mount Tambora eruption.

Why the hell did they go to Haiti of all places?

Nobody else was there, so the rate of profit was higher.

Since we are lumping Syrians and Lebanese together, the former Jamaican Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, is Lebanese.

Syrian flat bread is still well-known in Jamaica. Syrians are part (but very small?) of the business elite of Jamaica.

In many parts of the West Indies, Syrians have inter-married with Portuguese and to a lesser extent with Indians.

Again, Tyler, you are ignoring by not mentioning the distinction between Christian Arabs, like the ones who went to Haiti, and Muslim Syrians, who the former were fleeing from. Fail at History 101.

Tyler's failure is more a failure of geography - "Syria" is a geographic term that from classical times right up until the end of the Ottoman Empire meant basically the eastern end of the Mediterranean between Egypt and Anatolia, including Palestine and Lebanon. The modern nation of Syria is a post WWI political construct. Using "Syrian" as an ethnic identity, the way Tyler continually does, is as misleading as talking about "Balkan immigrants" or "Yugoslavs".

No, it's not. It distinguishes Arabs who speak Levantine dialects from other Arabs. Also, some portion of the population does maintain a 'Syrian' self-understanding and the Syrian Popular Party (or Syrian Social Nationalist Party) was built on that.

Does that linguistic difference have any bearing on the current civil war? Do you not think it's relevant to consider subgroups in refugee policy?

You could substitute Yugoslav for Syrian in your example, South Slavic for Levantine and Slavs for Arab and it would be just as true. I still submit that "Yugoslav" is too lumpy an ethnonym if looking at outcomes of immigration, as is "Syrian."

No, Yugoslavia encompassed four major linguistic boundaries within one of which confessional distinctions demarcated ethno-national loyalties as well. You also had competing dynasties. There were no competing dynasties in the Fertile Crescent, merely Hashemite and non-Hashemite territory. The competing confessions in Lebanon have tended toward geographic clustering, not so much in Syria. There are ethnic minorities in Syria, but they are contextually small and on the geographic periphery.

Alawites from Syria at least drink alcohol. From a certain perspective, Alawites are less conflictive with modern society than 7th day Adventists and Mormons.

I don't drink. Does that make me conflicted with "modern society"?

(but pass over the green stuff please ... )

I know correlation causation but for the sake of trolling Muslim haters........Lifetime abstinence is population 15 year and older who have never drink alcohol. Less than 20% of US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan and South America are lifetime abstinent to alcohol. India, South East Asia and East Africa are 70% lifetime abstinent, while the Muslims in West Africa and Central Asia are close to 100% lifetime abstinence.

So, be part of the West Team: drink!

There's a lesson to be had here. People don't care if things are a mess as long as its "our" mess. It's why there haven't been race riots in Southern, majority black cities. It's more meaningful to have an identity and structural power than have measurably good outcomes.

This is part of the appeal of Trump the Establishment GOP doesn't understand. Sure, MOAR IMMIGRATION will lead to higher GDP, but it changes society un sometime unpredictable ways. See Sweden's rape crisis.

Don't think there is a Syrian component, but the Lebanese are a very successful business community in Nigeria.

They are successful in much of West Africa. They account for most of whatever passes for private industry in Sierra Leone & Liberia.

My dad's Nigerian, and my mom's Sierra Leonian. I never understood why my maternal grandmother is lighter than everyone else, and one of my uncles is white. But that's because he has a different, Arab, father from my mom, and my grandmother also had an Arab grandfather.

The Arabs dont mind their men to marry African women, often times it can improve business fortunes. To that end there are quite a few mixed Arab/Africans in West Africa. A couple Nollywood stars are of mixed parentage for example.

However Arab women are off limits to African men, this is a source of friction between the groups.

I know of a black Haitian who owns the only Mercedes-Benz dealership in Haiti who is married to a Lebanese woman of a business family settled in Haiti.

There are always exceptions, Nkrumah's wife was Arab. Look at the example you provided, the black man had to be extremely well off in order to marry his Lebanese woman.

I think there was a difference in income so that may have played a part. Her brother owned a hamburger joint in Port-au-Prince which is a fairly dangerous job (he must do store closing every evening and PAP is a dangerous city). So the Lebanese family wasn't rich.

However, how many Lebanese and Syrians could there be in Haiti? The economy is too small to support many minority merchants. Maybe 1000? How many are Lebanese/Syrian women of marriage age? Given the small population, several exceptions are cumulatively a trend.

I’ve found trading part time can make me a lot of extra money that I needed. Google the website Superior Trading System they are very good at teaching new traders like me.

Sorry Bobby but I have no interest. You might try the Syrian refugees, they're looking for a good gig.

Tyler will eventually need to introduce a button to flag span like this.

hahahahahaha!!! contexual spamming, i love it.

Carlos Slim is from the Levant. He is pretty successful.
Ralph Nader another Levantine.
Najeeb Halaby another.
Helen Thomas.

No shortage of famous successful people from that neck of the woods.

Najeeb Halaby ran businesses and public agencies. Ralph Nader ran advocacy and litigation offices with donor and foundation dollars. Helen Thomas wrote copy for UPI from the White House Press Room, which Nicholas von Hoffman once described as 'the only day care center in America Ronald Reagan hasn't closed down. Najeeb Halaby had a wife and children. Ralph Nader was famously a bachelor. Helen Thomas was a childless divorcee. These three do not resemble each other.

You can look at pretty much any group of migrants to the U.S. and pick out a few success stories. The plural of anecdote is not data.

Ha ha ha. You can play the same game with any nationality, class, race and almost any ideology. Hitler was a single almost to the end, Goebbels was married with children. Trotsky's (second) wife survived him, Stalin's (second) wife killed herself, and Lenin was childless. Not alike, I tell you!

Carlo was born in Mexico though and his father came at a real young age. So he's not really "from" Lebanon.

What I find interesting about the Slims is that I think most of his kids married other Arabs. Don't know much about his grandkids but I wonder if they will too?

At last an idea we can all get behind. Bring the Syrian refugees to Haiti! All of them. And the others too.

Many a true word is spoken in jest. But where would you park the displaced Haitians? New Orleans? Detroit? Camden NJ? I know: Manhattan.

Surely you know that following the population the density of Paris, we could fit 4 gazillion refugees in Haiti.

We invaded Haiti in 1994 specifically so they would stop coming here.

European countries and the United States have an ample population of merchants, artisans, professionals, and salaried officials. The productivity benefit of imported personnel is going to be minimal even if the human capital they possess is ample. Given how poor Syria was prior to the war, the notion that there is a mass of untapped human capital readily accessible and potentially beneficial to us all beggars belief.

Again, we're in this hole because Eurotrash elites keep sending mixed signals (or the wrong signals). Build and maintain the camps in Turkey and Jordan. That's how we used to handle these problems, and there's no good reason to do it differently now accept that for open-borders fanatics, there's never a good reason to refrain from importing people.

Given that we've had a week now of "Syrian Refugee Blogging" here, with several posts racking up 100s of comments, it might be useful for Tyler to do a post summing up how he thinks this conversation with his commentators has gone.

Is there a bigger issue in the world today?

The conversation has not gone well because the moderator's emotional investments induce him to make bad arguments and the usual portside insult-specialists are abroad. The person appropriating others' handles (which she did to at least two participants) adds a little dollop of unpleasantness.

The above is a fake post from a sock puppet. I don't know what kind of game you are playing at, but it isn't at all funny.

I suspect msgkings.

The above post actually is fake, and, yes, that is the most likely perpetrator.

The above post is another fake.

The fakeness would be more credible if all didn't link to the same Web page.


Why would AD fake a sock puppet impersonating him? Anyone can figure out AD's webpage, but unless they have his e-mail, Tyler should be able to delete the fake comments, which he should do.

This crap only serves the interests of those who wish to disrupt dialogue.

It's really not me sock puppeting. Although if that were my game that's what you'd expect me to say....

The internet can be treacherous. Best to remember that comment boards are literally just a game.


What conversation? Do you think you are having a conversation with the anchor when you comment at Fox News, too?

Pretty shameful to imply that Tyler Cowen doesn't treasure each and every comment that appears on this site.

Tyle does read the comments, and uniquely in this instance he is pretty clearly addressing the previous comments with his new posts.

he's probably shaking his head sadly at the dawning realization that there is no future to his cosmopolitan libertarianism in America; that it will be forever shackled to ugly John Bircherist nativism.

ugly John Bircherist nativism.

I take it the signatures of the John Birch Society are unfamiliar to you.

ibaien: don't let a double handful of ugly commenters affect your view of the real world.

honest question: is there a current libertarian blog with a more level-headed commentariat? or are the level-headed libertarians simply not the commenting type?

Tyler's brand of libertarianism is popular among the SF tech crowd and not totally unknown in certain parts of academia. I'm sure, all things being equal, that's who he'd prefer to have commenting on his blog. Instead he gets paleo-conservatives and NRX neo-fascists united because of Gresham's law.

@ibaien: not sure, although most blogs have fewer of these types of comments because they are more heavily moderated. It's a worthy goal to apply such a light touch, but then as asdfG says Gresham's Law applies. Frankly, ibaien, the internet is just like this, in the real world normal folks don't get off on posting the way we do. Like I say, treat it as a game, it's not the real world, and you can be sure that anyone with any real power to actually affect how we handle immigrants or health care reform or anything else doesn't have time to post here.

If by "level headed" you mean "politically correct," try the reason.com comments section.

The man who tosses about descriptors like 'neo-fascist' fancies he's the class act.

Gitmo is 45 sq miles (28.8K acres). At DC's population density of 9,856.50 people/sq mi* the US could resettle over 443k people. Gizmo's also hosted as many as 30k Haitian refugees in the early 90s, so this is knowledge we already have. Just make sure New Gitmo falls under the UN's jurisdiction to avoid anchor babies.

Hey Tyler, use your influence to start a movement to move gizmo detainees to Supermax, and redevelop the base as a permeant refugee center:

*NYC 26,403/sq mi ~1.2M
Houston 3515 ~158K
Chicago 12,750.3 ~574K
LA 2,750 ~124K

I'm from Trinidad (& Tobago). By FAR, businesswise, our most successful citizens are those of Syrian/Lebanese descent. There's a little bit of resentment towards the big families, but mostly because they tend to keep their money in the family. They're still massive employers, and probably contribute a not-insignificant portion of the country's GDP. Maybe a slight bitterness when a massive black SUV drives by and someone mutters "Syrians...", but not much more than that. They're powerful enough to significantly influence the government's decisions.

Recently (<5 years), we've had an influx of new native Syrians and Lebanese people. I'm interested to see how they fare.

Interesting so how are their relations with Indian Trinis? I'd think they'd have common interests in terms of politics.

Haha interesting question. Trinidad is probably about 40% visibly Indian descent, 40% visibly African descent, probably less than about 1-2% visibly European/Chinese/Arab combined, then the rest is racially ambiguous - what we call "red skin" or "sugars".

Ethnically, I think we all consider ourselves Trini, with the exception of some chinese and some syrians, who are our most recent immigrants (<70 years), and some still speak their native languages and cling to some native culture. Politically, the country tends to divide tribally - PNM, the party for black people and UNC, the party for indian people, an everyone else divides between the other two. That's become a little less important in the last 10 years though - now, those of us with any brains at all just try to vote whoever is in power out, because they've usually gotten too corrupt.

So to get around to your question. While the big Syrian names - Sabga, Aboud and Matouk - run the major manufacturing industries, Indo-trinidadians tend to run more of our smaller businesses. Politically, the african-descent party has been better to big business in general - particularly in the management of our oil and gas, but also in our relationships with latin america. Our most recent government, the UNC, was awfully nepotistic and, in my opinion, pretty incompetent. Some of our bigger manufacturing companies - Angostura, Carib, Matouk's - were complaining that their caribbean markets were tapped out and the government was offering no support, or even hurting their ability to expand into central and south america. We just put the PNM back in power - yesterday, in fact, was the election - so we'll see how things change.

So. Yes, and no. You'd think the Indians would align with the Syrians politically because of shared business interest, but it isn't as simple as that. From my perspective, it has to do with their respective scales of business more than anything.

"Damned if they do and damned if they don't" explains in a nutshell how the tenured godlings of government and academe profit from open borders. The wholesale importation of grievance-collecting identity groups who work hard to prosper in cut-throat competition scurrying about Fairfax County like so many exotic rose-petals to be trod beneath the pious feet of the trite colossi. Then, when the bruised petals exude injury and rancor, the exalted ones may condescend to be paid to lecture the unwashed nativist masses about their intellectual and moral shortcomings that must surely be the cause of such bitterness. And that gives you Tyler, Baptist and bootlegger in one smug bourgeois blogger.

Cool story bruh

Do you really think you going to change anyone's mind with sort of crap? Or does yawping into the void make you feel somehow less insignificant?

You think it changes someone's mind when you kvetch about nomenclature?

Apparently so, given that no one in public life uses that term, and even you only do so behind the cloak of anonymity.

and even you only do so behind the cloak of anonymity.

Really? You've been recording my table talk in the staff lounge?

And the correct word is pseudonymity.

I name Art Deco winner of this thread: Fine show today, Art.

See, people? It's just a game.

Whether or not they become successful or are not successful, the bottom line is that they are a foreign and hard-to-assimilate group of Middle Eastern people. Americans would be "damned if they do and damned if they don't."

The Syrian Jews in America are very financially successful:

One of the rules of the community forbids indulging in promiscuous chit-chat with outsiders. This is a practice the Syrians brought with them from the old country, where a nosy stranger might be a business rival or a representative of the tax collector. Reporters, an American inconvenience, are equally unpopular. The community is still stewing about an article published in The New York Times last year that revealed the astronomical cost of real estate in the enclave — one house sold in 2003 for $11 million, which may have made it the most expensive house in Brooklyn.

My first trip to the enclave was conducted by a guide who insisted on being granted anonymity. He emphasized the need for discretion by recounting the cautionary tale of a man I later learned was named Sam Toussie. Some years ago, a reporter had come from some unremembered publication to write an “inside” story on the enclave. At the time, Toussie was a member of the community in good standing, but he made the colossal error of talking about SY affairs, on the record, to the journalist. When this was discovered, he was ostracized. But that did not go far enough for some of the hardliners, who, I was told, actually prayed for his death. When he did die, at a relatively young age, his passing was taken as a sign. “Somebody put the evil eye on him,” my guide told me darkly.


Greenfield, who once was a staff member for Senator Joe Lieberman, is currently running a voter-registration drive in the enclave. Traditionally, the SY’s haven’t voted much, largely because of an aversion to showing up on government registries. That has changed, though, mostly because of the realization that voting can result in money for faith-based enterprises. The community is 2-to-1 Democratic, but they are ardent free-traders and hawkish on Israel and security; it is generally assumed that Bush took a majority of the community’s votes in 2004.


The Crazy Eddie case became a cause célèbre, shattering longstanding community rules of silence and decorum. Eddie’s J-Dub wife, Debbie, caught him in flagrante delicto with his mistress, who also happened to be a J-Dub named Debbie, on the last day of December 1983 — a confrontation remembered among old-timers as the New Year’s Eve massacre. The massacre was a real bean-spiller, and it was followed by the testimony of Eddie’s first cousin (and partner and C.F.O.) Sam E. Antar on how the illegal schemes had been carried out. This gave the United States Attorney prosecuting the case, Michael Chertoff (now the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security), more than enough to work with. Eddie went away for six years.

Unlike the late Toussie, however, Eddie Antar was not expelled from the community. In fact, both Sam and Eddie live in the enclave today. Sam has a simple explanation. “They don’t usually take back rats,” he told me. “But everybody in our community knew that Eddie was setting me up to take the fall, especially after he skipped out to Israel leaving me holding the bag. I had worked for the Antar family my whole life. But because of the betrayal factor, I haven’t been ostracized. There was no edict against me.” As for Eddie, he is still considered mi’shelanu, “one of us.” “He did his time,” Sam said. “He paid the price. That’s the way people see it.”


Importing a group of people with radically different ethnic identities and radically different ethnic interests, who are "successful," can be far worse for the health, stability, and unity of a society than importing a bunch of farm workers.

When they right the history of the Fall and Decline of American Civilization, surely the smoking gun will be deciding to let in Syrian Jews.

No, that was obviously freeing the slaves.

A general lesson of history is that you are best off growing your own middle class rather than importing one.

That is a very good point. England expelled all its Jews in 1290 and developed a very successful indigenous middle-class in the ensuing centuries. While in places such as Poland in which Jews were prominent in non-agrarian sectors of the economy, there was little development of an indigenous middle-class.

Portugal and Spain also expelled its jews (probably in the 16th century) and the result was...

Spain & Portugal had a couple of decent centuries after 1492. Besides many Jews & Muslims simply converted so whatever benefits Jews brought to the economy didn't vanish completely.

Spain and Portugal didn't expel the Jews like England did. They forced them to convert.

But once they converted didn't they just become 'crypto' Jews, hiding their baby-killing and horn-growing in secret while still preventing good Christians from becoming middle class?

According to Wikipedia:

The history of the Jews henceforth in Spain is that of the conversos, whose numbers, as has been shown, had been increased by no less than 50,000 during the period of expulsion. As Spain took possession of the New World, in Mexico, the US Southwest (formerly New Spain), the conversos attempted to find a refuge from the Inquisition in both the East and the West Indies, where they often came in contact with relatives who had remained true to their faith, or had become reconverted in Holland or elsewhere. These formed business alliances with their relatives remaining in Spain, so that a large portion of the shipping and importing industry of that country fell into the hands of the conversos and their Jewish relatives elsewhere. The wealth thus acquired was often sequestrated into the coffers of the Inquisition; but this treatment led to reprisals on the part of their relatives abroad, and there can be no doubt that the decline of Spanish commerce in the seventeenth century was due in large measure to the activities of the non-conversos of Holland, Italy, and England, who diverted trade from Spain to those countries. When Spain was at war with any of these countries Jewish intermediation was utilized to obtain knowledge of Spanish naval activity. Jews could, however, often escape their Jewish heritage. If enough respected non-Jews stood up for them, they could obtain the status of Christians. While persecuted, if the Jews stayed under the radar and did not flaunt their faith, they could remain in Spain with little problems. Life for Jews was difficult, but if they were willing to compromise, it was bearable. Throughout the sixteenth, seventeenth and part of the eighteenth century, there was a steady migration of conversos from the Iberian Peninsula to places like London, Amsterdam and other locations where Judaism was free of persecution, where they would reconvert to Judaism and join the community of Spanish and Portuguese Jews.</blockquote

So according to that excerpt if the Jews had just not gotten all snippy about having to forsake their faith (like ISIS wants Christians to do) and turn over their assets to the Inquisition, Spain would be rocking right now! After all, if those dumb Shi'ites and Christians in the Middle East would just play ball, life for them under ISIS would be "difficult, but if they are willing to compromise, bearable"

Now I wonder why South America and Africa are so behind Europe economically. Very few Jews in either place, especially before the 16th century.

Well, Brazil, which got the first synagogue on the whole continent, expelled her Jews--many of them migrated to a little city called New Amsterdam. As the fact that we are all speaking Portuguese now proves, it worked very well. This is why Brazil started the Industrial Revolution and defeated Napoleon.

And put a man on the moon, and cured polio.

And crushed Nazi Germany and nuked Japan. And is the sole superpower despite those Chinese upstarts' schemes.

The American middle and upper class have historically been dominated by WASPs. Jewish extreme overrepresentation in the US is relatively recent and correlates with the decline of the American middle class and the relative decline of the US overall.

There is no 'decline of the American middle class' bar in the imaginations of chronic complainers. The 'relative decline of the U.S.' has five major sources: European reconstruction, the reconstruction of Japan and its efflorescence, the advance of the peripheral Asian Tigers, the advance of China, and the (more qualified) advance of India. None of this has anything to do with American Jewry.

In addition, what exactly is wrong with a 'relative decline' of the US if it just reflects other parts of the world catching up? Our absolute metrics have improved quite a bit, but those outside the US have improved even more so (from a lower base). It's a decline in global inequality without any decline in absolute status for the US....how is this a bad thing?

Of course, there are plenty of 'chronic complainers' as you mention, and they live on boards like these to talk about the 'end of America' and all that rot. These are not people happy with their own lives.

Actually, Colin is correct. Elizabeth Warren's work on two income families, including her cites of Hacker's numbers on income volatility, show that real inflation figures provided by the government are gross underestimates when the items priced are the large, fixed recurring expenses critical for family formation, such as home, medical insurance, food and transportation.

A more accurate statement of what is really happening is that (contrary to the Pew Research study claim that 150 have moved up, out of middle income for 100 who have moved down, out of middle income) the entire middle has moved down into the real lower income group and that for every 150 who managed to stay in the real middle income group, 100 moved into poverty.

This decline certainly correlates with the increase in the representation, power, and influence of American Jewry.

Actually, Colin is correct. Elizabeth Warren’s work on two income families, including her cites of Hacker’s numbers on income volatility, show that real inflation figures provided by the government are gross underestimates

We're going to listen to a law professor (Warren) and a political scientist (Hacker) with a long history of making a hash of descriptive statistics (see Alan Wolfe on Hacker's cack-handed handling of same) and disregard government statisticians? We only do that if we're bound and determined to adopt a particular narrative.

WASPs were extinct by the roaring 20s and rare after the civil war outside of rural ew England.

Today if you want to find someone with only Anglo-Saxon ancestors in the United States you'd need to check the nursing homes in Maine and keep your fingers crossed.

But you'll find plenty of mutts with one AS great-great grandfather and the rest of the tree filled with Germans, Scotch-Irish, Norwegians, and the occasional raped Indian or black slave, that make a big show of being WASPs.

And yet England did far better once Jews were let back in the country.

You're welcome.

Jews weren't involved in the Industrial Revolution, which made England great. Jews like Disraeli put England on a negative trajectory by pushing the UK into the "new imperialism" of the late 19th century into India and Africa, from which it has been able to fully untangle itself, despite the end of empire, leading to demographic displacement.

Huh? The erection of the British Raj in India was a centuries long incremental process that was nearly complete 'ere Disraeli ever held an executive position in the British government. Britain's holdings in Africa were limited to the Cape Colony, Sierra Leone, and a scatter of coastal factories at the time of Disraeli's death in 1881.

I don't see anything to oppose in a reasonable policy and effective regulatory apparatus for accepting a limited number of refugees each year. (Even the Vatican seems to have set a limit of what -- two -- refugee families?).

It's also clear that some who claim to be refugees are not truly refugees.

In a crisis year like this one, if a nation's immigration limits are being partially consumed by people who are not refugees, is it fair for that nation to reject the non-refugee immigrants in order to make room for the true refugees?

Does anyone have any ideas for how to create a link to distinguish fake commentators from the real ones? As Tyler seems to be a do-nothing.

Generally the best way to get rid of trolls is to ignore them.

▲ ▲

Of course, we all define 'trolls' differently. And Art, if that's you, I assure you I'm not the one sock-puppeting you or anyone else. That game may be fun for some, but for me the commenting game is better when we're more up front about it.

Or more seriously, you can sign your posts à la tripcodes. Though without server side support they'd have to be manually verified, and I think Art Deco is probably too dim to figure it all out.

This is a fake, BTW.

Crap; Tyler, if we're going to have impersonators here, then why have required emails?

Maybe he is selling emails to the marketing people. Is Ray Lopez getting lots of bride catalogs?



Come on quit it, this isn't even mildly funny anymore.

To the guy posting above, you are very upset about the comment policy considering you're not even the real E. Harding.

Yeah, those two above aren't the real me.

I am Sparticus.

I am not. And I've finally come up with a verification option, which I will be using beginning the comment after this one.

Will the real E. Harding please stand up?

OK, so there are two "Hardings" on this site. One who is a complete moron, and another who I disagree with about a lot of things but generally has pretty good arguments and challenges me to think harder about some things.

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