Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Palestinian economy is in a shambles

And that might eventually force some realism on them. Post below excerpted from Daniel Pipes. See the original for links and more

Western financial aid to the Palestinians has, I showed last week, the perverse and counterintuitive effect of increasing their rate of homicides, including terrorist ones. This week, I offer two pieces of perhaps even stranger news about the many billions of dollars and record-shattering per-capita donations from the West: First, these have rendered the Palestinians poorer. Second, Palestinian impoverishment is a long-term positive development. To begin, some basic facts about the Palestinian economy, drawing on a fine survey by Ziv Hellman, "Terminal Situation," in the Dec. 24 issue of Jerusalem Report:

* Palestinian per year per-capita income has contracted by about 40 percent since its US$2,000 peak in 1992 (before the Oslo process began) to less than $1,200 now.
* Per-capita Israeli income, 10 times greater than the Palestinians' in 1967 is now 23 times greater.
* Deep poverty has increased in Gaza from 22 percent of the population in 1998 to nearly 35 percent in 2006; it would be about 67 percent if not for remittances and food aid.
* Direct foreign investment barely exists, while local capital mostly gets sent abroad or is invested in real estate or short-term trading.
* The Palestinian Authority economy, Hellman writes, "is largely based on monopolies in various industries granted by PA officials in exchange for kickbacks."
* The PA's payroll is so bloated that the cost of wages alone exceeds all revenues.
* A dysfunctional judicial system in the PA means armed gangs usually decide commercial disputes.

Unsurprisingly, Hellman characterizes the Palestinian economy as "in shambles." Such shambles should come as no surprise, for as the late Lord Bauer and others have noted, foreign aid does not work. It corrupts and distorts an economy; and the greater the amounts involved, the greater the damage. One telling detail: at times during Yasir Arafat's reign, a third of the Palestinian Authority's budget went for "expenses of the President's office," without further explanation, auditing, or accounting. The World Bank objected, but the Israeli government and the European Union endorsed this corrupt arrangement, so it remained in place. Indeed, the Palestinian Authority offers a textbook example of how to ruin an economy by smothering it under well-intentioned but misguided donations. The $7.4 billion recently pledged to it for the 2008-10 period will further exacerbate the damage.

....whatever reduces Palestinian confidence is a good thing. A failed economy depresses the Palestinians' mood, not to speak of their military and other capabilities, and so brings resolution closer.



There has just been a big conference of IQ researchers and there is a report of it here. A lot of it is probably pretty heavy going if you have no background in psychology but there are still lots of interesting bits in it -- including that Flynn does not now expect his eponymous effect to narrow the gap in black/white IQ. Since many years of that effect have shown no sign of doing so, that conclusion was rather forced upon him. Since the Flynn effect is the sum effect of environmental improvements (genetics don't change that fast), it does show that the inextinguishable THEORIES about environmental causes of the black IQ deficiency don't correspond to the FACTS about it. Environmental improvement has helped blacks but no more than it has helped whites.

Although people could be forgiven for thinking that I spend all my time thinking about IQ, I do in fact have other academic interests -- one of which is analytical philosophy. So I was rather fascinated by this report of a big and very public feud between two prominent philosophers over the nature of consciousness. After consulting with Keith Burgess-Jackson on the matter, however, we seem to have arrived at a joint conclusion: Both the protagonists are nuts! My own reflections on such matters can be found here

Wow! Anne Coulter detonates bombs under the dimwitted Huckabee here. Excerpt: "Huckabee is a "compassionate conservative" only in the sense that calling him a conservative is being compassionate"

Good God! Don't tell me we have to take this dimwit seriously!: "Former Governor Mike Huckabee has won the Iowa Republican caucus, surging past better-known rivals to triumph in the first nominating contest of the 2008 US presidential election, US media reported. Mitt Romney has come second. The Iowa victory gave Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and ordained Baptist minister, momentum and national credibility for his shoestring campaign as he headed toward the January 8 primary vote in New Hampshire, where polls showed him running a distant third."

Shrillary in trouble in first test: "With 97 per cent of the precincts counted, Senator Obama was leading with 38 per cent of the Democratic vote. Former vice-presidential nominee John Edwards looked to have edged out former first lady Hillary Clinton, with 30 per cent to 29. Senator Clinton's third placing is seriously damaging to her ambitions given that until a few months ago she was considered the inevitable Democratic nominee. An Obama win in Iowa is a remarkable feat for an African-American in a state that is 95 per cent white. Two of the Democratic laggards, senators Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, abandoned the race after the result."

Passengers sue after being stuck on airplane: "Two passengers who were stranded for hours on American Airlines airplanes diverted during a major storm over North Texas have sued the carrier, accusing it of false imprisonment, fraud and negligence. Kate Hanni, of Napa, Calif., and Catherine Ray, of Fayetteville, Ark., were on flights diverted from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to Austin on Dec. 29, 2006. After landing, passengers sat in the planes for more than eight hours, unable to leave despite overflowing toilets and little food or water."

Jihad targets Hindus too: "The media rarely mentions the desecration of Hindu religious sites and the constant intimidation of Hindus. While special concessions have been granted for Muslims in India, the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh have long supported a policy, based on Islamic law, of religious discrimination against non-believers. Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh are unable to obtain positions of power, have great difficulty procuring business loans, are subjected to spurious blasphemy claims for defaming the prophet Mohammed and are specifically identified as non-Muslims on their passports".


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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