And since I’m already Spamming up the joint …

November 16, 2013 at 12:10 am (Icepick)

… while looking for something buried in archives, I may as well post a link to something else interesting.


Well, I find in interesting. Also, good to see how I’ve been wrong and right about certain things. Turns out there WAS one more meaningful national election (2010) and that Rahm wasn’t able to screw up the census as badly as I suspected. I largely stand by most of the doom and gloom related to, but not directly a part of, the link above.


  1. wj said,

    Perhaps the most significant point is one that gets all too little attention in American political debate. That immigrants strongly tend to be those who are most willing to take risks, and to do new things. The result of being (for a couple of centuries, although far less so the last one) the country most willing to accept immigrants is that America got to be the most innovative country on earth.

    And we still see that today. Look at the kinds of people who have come here in the last couple of decades from, for example, south Asia. Look at what they are doing, as scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs. Consider where the country would be without them. And then try to wrap your head around the massive reluctance of our politicians to welcome as many more as possible. Talk about self-destructive behavior.

    Good thing for us that the countries most likely to compete with us economically are, for the moment, substantially more xenophobic than even our xenophobes. If any of them manage to revise their culture on that front, we would be in serious trouble. But changing a culture is not a trivial exercise, nor a quick one. So we should be OK for a while yet.

  2. Icepick said,

    The country shut down immigration to a very large degree from 1920 to 1965. That didn’t seem to lead to bead outcomes.

  3. wj said,

    Well, there was the detail that most of the rest of the world spent the early 1940s thoroughly trashing their infrastructures and economies. While the US did not. Which meant that it wasn’t exactly a fair race across that time.

    I would also note that, while immigration was cut way back, we did still manage in that era to get some of the best and brightest out of Europe, as they fled Hitler and the war.

    But overall, I suspect that what makes the difference is a combination of genetics and culture. We keep adding to our gene pool people who are inclined to try something new (if that is genetic, of course). And our culture has settled into one where new technologies, at least, are simply expected. What new technologies they will be is, of course, unknown. But that they will happen is taken by virtually everyone as expected. (Maybe not liked, but still expected.) And that means the someone with a new idea can get it considered far more easily than they would elsewhere.

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