December 10, 2004

Get Your Chrenkoff On

My favorite blogger from Down Under (OK, so I like Tim Blair too, but isn't the underdog always the one to root for?) has some interesting thoughts on why a revitalized Palestinian economy is of such critical import. His post touches on some themes I've wanted to broach but haven't had the time to. (What I've wanted to discuss is why Middle East democratization efforts through the broader Middle East might best be spearheaded via economic reforms preceding political ones, ie. more of a China model). More on that soon. Until then, go read Arthur for his take on the importance of Palestinian economic reforms accompanying any political liberalization there.

Posted by Gregory at December 10, 2004 11:32 PM

[1] It seems to me that they could have their own country if they would stop supporting homicide bombers.

[2] In order to have an economy it is first necessary to have some sort of trade. Don't they need to establish some sort of real government and then set about doing something besides throwing rocks at Israelis and Americans and start getting into some kind of employment.

Sorry, I believe thay have to stop the war first.

Posted by: Ramrod at December 11, 2004 06:40 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I say open up the Jordanian border and stop with the monopolies.

Posted by: praktike at December 11, 2004 06:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Maybe if certain US neocons would stop advising and encouraging Isreal to scrap the roadmap to peace/Oslo, etc things would move along a little smoother.

At any rate Arafat was a source of trouble for the Palistinian economy and his departure may open new opportunities for reform.

Maybe the Palistinians could become as politically liberal as our favorite ME kingdom, Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: avedis at December 11, 2004 08:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In all seriousness, Chrenkoff, in the referenced post, does what he does best - blow little snips of unsubstantiated sunshine up the reader's backside.

I find his comments - and the T. Sowell link - regarding ethnic groups in the diaspora versus old country, to be retarded.

Of course the diaspora performs better. 1) they had to be ingenius simply to survive. 2) there's a selection bias in the diaspora for adventure seeking, risk taking, vision and faith. 3) the old country had some very serious life and social structure threatening problems, hence the diaspora. The old country is mired in warfare, genocide and other massive destructive forces not conducive to the carry out of industry and commerce.

Chrenkoff sites Armenians in Armenia versus the diaspora. Duh! Armenia is lucky if its heating oil supply isn't cut-off by the avowed enemies on its borders. What was left of Armenia after a genocide that killed or displaced two thirds of its population had to flee into the arms of Soviet Russia for protection; where she remained until a few years ago.

Similarly, how can you compare Palistinians in a free country versus Palistinians in a world where Isrealis bulldoze homes and grab land and where militancy - not commerce - is a way of life (survival really).

Posted by: avedis at December 11, 2004 09:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Finally, Chrenkoff laments that economic problems seem endemic to the region. Well yeah. It's a desert. Other than oil what is there to base an economy on?

Of course the oil and profits derived from it are concentrated in the hands of a few. I have a sneeking hunch that they won't be ready to give it all up so soon. Since their pretty cozy with Bush and since we need certainty in the oil market I have a related sneeking feeling that we won't be too quick to cause them to give up their cartels.

Sure, a few small areas here and there support farming. Maybe some opportunity for small scale shop keeping, but where is the real big economic growth to come from?

Details, details. Always getting in the way of the masterminds' visions.

BTW, Iraq, under Saddam, had a very excellent economy by ME standards. Modern healthcare. religious tolerance for diverse faiths, a prosperous middle class.

How could that happen under a dictator? What does that do to your theories? Or are the theories just an excuse for war and imperialism (US + Zionist)?

Posted by: avedis at December 11, 2004 09:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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