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Monday, July 30, 2012

'Palestinians' seethe over Romney fundraiser comments

At a Jerusalem fundraiser on Monday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney told his Jewish donors exactly what he thinks of the 'Palestinians' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
"As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that "culture makes all the difference."

"And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.
The 'Palestinians' are seething in response.
"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people," Erekat added. "He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority."
A few points. First, Romney understated the disparity. Israel's GDP is $31,000 and the 'Palestinians' GDP is $1,500 per person.

Second, assuming that 'Palestinian' GDP is in fact restrained by Israel (an assertion I will challenge below), for an indication of what the 'Palestinian' GDP might be without that restraint, one only has to look at other countries in the region. Jordan's is $5,900. Egypt's is $6,324, Syria's is $5,262 and Lebanon's is $15,600, all far below Israel's $30,975. It seems far more likely that an unrestrained 'Palestinian' economy would be closer to any of those other countries than to Israel.

Finally, with all the seething about Israeli restraints on the 'Palestinian' economy (backed up by the politically motivated World Bank), there are many restraints on the 'Palestinian' economy that are self-imposed. These include the highly centralized nature of the 'Palestinian' economy, the amount spent on several competing 'security services,' and the culture that values 'martyrdom' over economic achievement and education.

So no, Romney's assertion was not unreasonable and it wasn't 'racist.'

But you all knew that.

The explanation for where I was in the last several hours will be in the overnight music video, which resumes tonight.

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2 Comments:

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Hell, no, Romney's speech wasn't racist. It was un-PC truth.

Culture does matter. The Israeli culture is constructive and encourages progress. The Palestinian/Arab culture is destructive and discourages progress. It's that simple. Where Israel and it's neighbors were economically in 1948 and where Israel and it's neighbors are today, shown by Carl's quoted stats, bears this out.

Cultural difference is also why most of the West generally steadily prospered after WW2, while the Soviet Union ultimately collapsed. Ultimately, social, political and economic, basic civil liberties, the rule of democratic law - freedom - are unavoidably intertwined. The word for this is "culture" and it matters.

Which is why, IMO, in this century, China's economy will either ultimately collapse or the Communists will try their own version of glasnost and perestroika, and fail, like the Russian version did. Economic freedom and social/political tyranny can't long coexist.

The ancient Chinese word symbol for "crisis" was a duality, the symbols of the two words "danger" and "opportunity" leaning against each other. The old Chinese saying was also a duality, the blessing/curse "May you live in interesting times." Yin-yang. The 21st century will be "interesting times" for the Chinese people...and most certainly for the Arab peoples. This current "Arab Spring" is only the start of their upheavals. Like the rest of humanity, the Arab peoples' great problems are self-imposed. This is only more blatantly obvious with the Arabs, notwithstanding their irrational hypersensitivity to any criticism, however constructive and well-meant, and general denial of this cultural self-imposition of their severe social/political/economic problems.

Sew dot reap.

 
At 11:32 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

And one thing I would have brought out more strongly, which applies around the world and inside the U.S.: Education! Reading everything under the sun on any and all subjects!

There was an article last week that I can't find now that talked about people who can't or don't read have a substantially higher and earlier incidence of dementia. Unbelievable! So the systems, families, and the peer pressure groups that put down reading and math achievement (as "too white" in my part of the world, speaking of racism) actually cause a physical brain deficiency, a stunting of physical brain capability.

BTW, LDS (Mormons) are in the high achiever education league, just FYI for anybody who hasn't hung out with them. It may not even have crossed his mind because he may take for granted that families will do everything possible to make sure their kids are good readers.

 

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