Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Arabs In Foreign Lands

Moisés Naím

Dear Mr. Naím

The answer as to why Arabs in America do better than in Europe or their native lands is quite simple. Arabs are assimilated into American culture, whereas in Europe they have remained separate. Add to that the greater freedom resulting from lower taxes - in Europe high taxes to maintain the social welfare system have kept total employment stagnant for over two decades - and Arabs, just as other recent immigrants to America, have a field day of opportunity. You undoubtedly will find similar success statistics among Chinese, Vietnamese, Nigerians, Indians, and other recent immigrants to America. Among current Americans, Blacks have maintained a culture that has held them back; it is unbelievable that a Nigerian refugee, black, with no English skills and just the shirt on his/her back, will in a generation have accumulated more wealth and achieved a higher level of education than a Black whose family has been here over a hundred years. Only the Mexicans, who bring their culture with them, have difficulty prospering in America as a group. Needless to say, many Mexicans also do very well in America, much better than they would in any other part of the world given that they usually start here with no education, no capital, and no marketable skills.

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