I’m writing from a cybercafé in Trinidad, where The Boss, the Young Whipper-Snapper, and yours truly have now been for two weeks for my Indo-Trinidadian father-in-law’s funeral, and in the apparently futile attempt to get his affairs in order. (…)
Of late, some of my sisters-in-law have loudly declared that they have nothing to do with Obeah (the British West Indian equivalent of Voodoo), while running around, secretly spending small fortunes on Obeah priests in a sort of black magic arms race, and wearing “guards” on their persons. (…)
I remarked to my neighbor that I couldn’t imagine how it could pay for Continental to give a passenger $500 and a hotel room to give up his seat. “They’re in cahoots with each other!” he said of the airline and hotel. “Oh,” I said, slapping my head,” so the hotel is kicking back money to the airline!”
This was obvious to my neighbor, who added, “That’s your culture!”
I retorted, “As opposed to Trinis bringing over their culture of bribery!”
Trinidadian culture, like virtually all Caribbean, Central American, and Mexican culture, is corrupt to the core.
When my wife and I closed on our home in 2004, she thought that it would only be natural to pass the union lawyer who handled it a bribe of $200 or $300.
PLUS: Sailer writes:
A quarter of a millennium after [Benjamin] Franklin explained the economic impact of immigration, Peck is intellectually shackled by the code of silence prevailing around the topic today. He only mentions immigration twice in his ten thousand-word article.
* First, he cites sociologist William Julius Wilson’s research on the disastrous ramifications of black men exiting the work force. (In 1960, 90 percent of black men were employed versus only 76 percent in prosperous 2000.)
Peck paraphrases Wilson on how new competition for jobs worsened black behavior:
“… downwardly mobile black men often resented the new work they could find, and displayed less flexibility on the job than, for instance, first-generation immigrant workers. As a result, employers began to prefer hiring women and immigrants, and a vicious cycle of resentment, discrimination, and joblessness set in.”
Presumably, Prof. Wilson can afford to mention the I-word because he’s 74-years-old, tenured at Harvard, and black.
* Secondly, toward the end, Peck himself cites Harvard economic historian Benjamin Friedman worrying that “When material progress falters … anti-immigrant sentiment typically increases …”
In other words, Peck (and Friedman) appear to think that the point of Americans having jobs is that then we can afford immigration.
American public debate is so stultified by this immigration omerta that a couple of allusions to immigration over 10,000 words might be considered progress toward a new era of intellectual realism.
But Peck himself claims we’re facing a “New Jobless Era”. How long does it have to go on for before our political class can bring itself to consider some new (or at least repressed) ideas?