Sunday, August 3, 2014

On who is allowed to get rich

One way to know when people are corrupt is what kind of transportation they use. For example, the Sandanistas in Nicaragua who resisted US terrorism were easy to recognize as horrible people:

Most important, the U.S. is continuing to provide covert support to thousands of Nicaraguan insurgents, known as contras (counterrevolutionaries), whose hit-and-run attacks along Nicaragua's northern and southern borders have, according to the Sandinistas, claimed more than 700 lives. President Reagan has justified U.S. support for the contras by accusing the Sandinistas of having "betrayed" their countrymen, calling the junta members "counterfeit revolutionaries who wear fatigues and drive around in Mercedes sedans." (Source: subscription required)

But this doesn't just hold true for Hispanics. As Karin Brulliard of the Washington Post pointed out it generalizes to Arabs as well.

Hamas has hired more than 40,000 civil servants, and analysts say the top tiers are filled by loyalists. Members of the Hamas elite are widely thought to have enriched themselves through investment in the dusty labyrinth of smuggling tunnels beneath the border with Egypt and taxes on the imported goods. That money has been channeled into flashy cars and Hamas-owned businesses that only stalwarts get a stake in, critics say.

You can bring this up about US elites of course, but there's a very good answer "What is this Russia? We're not allowed to get rich anymore?" When Americans make money it's because of "the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work." Unfortunately, despite their flashy cars, we're still waiting for Arab creativity to solve the problem of decades of deliberate attacks on their infrastructure. Maybe it's time they upgraded to private jets that creative American businessmen use to visit tropical islands?

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