Israel’s Not Terribly Corrupt

Comments at Steve Sailer:

* According to Transparency International, Israel is ranked #28 on its corruption perceptions index, just above Poland and Portugal:

It’s a credit to Israel’s institutions that it ranks that high, given that a lot of its citizens come from corrupt places (Russia, MENA).

* Russian Jews were the smartest and most entrepreneurial people in Russia. It is hardly surprising they are proving to be a net benefit to Israel. They have also proven to be, for the most part (other than a rise in organized crime), a net benefit to other countries to which they emigrated in large numbers – the USA and Germany. Russia’s long term cultural, scientific and economic decline is directly connected to the rapid decline in Russia’s Jewish population over the last 40 years.

* The Israeli immigration system is designed to reinforce the demographic dominance of the core ethnic group.

The American equivalent of the Israeli immigration policy would be unlimited immigration of White Evangelicals, combined with a total permanent ban on all other immigrants.

* In American terms, the analog would be getting a 20% population boost made up of northwest Europeans who, once here, take up voting overwhelmingly for the Republican Party.

* Hans-Hermann Hoppe and others have noted the obvious, that free market economics are not inconsistent with tight control of borders and immigration once you consider economic externalities and quantifiable “frictional costs”.

* Hoppe notes that every American citizen has a share of our limited public wealth, from the gold in Fort Knox to our B-2 bombers to the vast federal land holdings. Each additional immigrant dilutes existing citizens’ shares of such wealth, and can only be justified if the value to society of the immigrant outweighs the dilution.

* Most of the world’s jews are of European or near-european descent, so that didn’t inject as much shock into the system as inviting mass hordes of distinctly diverse peoples. Look at Israel’s problems with African jews and you start to see evidence that religion is but one screen of several that are necessary to prevent a melt-down of social cohesion.

* Understand that once you suggest that people aren’t perfectly 100% interchangeable, you’re a bigot. You lose. Once you ask why then didn’t Israel let in lots of non-Jews you’re an anti-Semite. You lose. Once you suggest that the Founders intended this country to be for a particular people you’re a selfish pig. You lose. If you have a change of heart and decide that the Founders really were good-hearted men who wanted America to belong to all of humanity then you’re denying their bigotry and support for slavery. You lose.

* Plenty of Russian Jews also made it to America thanks to the Jackson-Vanik amendment (as Steve is fond of pointing out). My not-very-scientific survey seems to suggest that every second one was a highly competent doctor or engineer. And their kids tended to go into medicine, law or engineering as well. A bit of crime and corruption came along with the culture, but I’d easily believe that wave of immigration was a net gain for the U.S. as well as Israel.

The thing is, my impression is that America used to be pretty good about getting the same result from Muslim immigration — they had to be screened more carefully than Russian Jews (whom you could basically let in blindly and assume you were getting high average human capital), but we were willing to screen them and limit their numbers, and through the 1970s and 1980s for the most part we got a steady trickle of educated, professional types who wanted better for their families, had the ability to contribute to our society, and were fairly willing to assimilate into mainstream U.S. culture. The Persians fleeing the ’79 revolution in Iran tend to be okay on average — at least the ones we saw fit to admit to America at the time. The Muslim world is so big that there are plenty of good apples out there, even if good apples only constitute a small fraction of that entire population.

We jumped the shark, though, when we started letting masses of “Stabby Somalis” and similar on the pretext they were “refugees,” without screening and without regard to human capital or willingness to assimilate.

It’s time for a moratorium on this madness; and we should make every effort to reverse it by deporting any such immigrant who even remotely deserves it.

* One of my many defects is that I have never been able to reconcile the claims that the Jews were discriminated against terribly in the Soviet Union with the fact that so many of them who entered the U.S. and/or Israel to escape that awful discrimination were at the same time highly-trained professionals. There must be an easy explanation, but I’ve never seen it.

* I also like the idea of a performance bond: if you are so anxious for immigrants, post a bond that would cover any shortfall in the promised performance of the new supermen.

* More citizens would take these jobs in their younger years, if they weren’t being filled with immigrants who drive down the wages, and make it difficult to find an opening. For example, it used to be that white teens and college students could rely on getting a service job. Besides helping to cover rent and tuition, it had a useful way of waking up many kids who grew up a bit sheltered to some harsh realities of working life and give them an extra incentive to make it through school. People didn’t look at a job flipping burgers as a lifelong career as many immigrants do, but as a job to pay the bills while they have no skills and work on getting more.

An issue that you seem to forget is that all of these jobs that “Americans (or Germans) won’t do” somehow got done by Americans for the first 90% or so, of America’s history.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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