: : : *Sounds very similiar to the story here in California about 6 months ago when 12 "illegals" (those men/woman/children/ who slave for less than minimum wage in the 100°+ heat to protect you and I from having to pay one nickel more than we need to for that head of lettuce) were found asphyxiated to death in the back of the moving van employed to transport them to the field... including two girls aged 9 and 11. No charges were filed against the owner of the field.
: : Don: Are you sure they were not in a moving van that was smuggling them into the country? I know that quite a few have died when their coyotes abandoned them. I see lots of illegals being transported to fields in the back of stake-bed trucks; I've never seen moving vans used for that purpose. On the other hand, it is common for smugglers to use various kinds of closed vans, and to show complete disregard for the safety of their charges.
: **According to the LA Times report at the time, it was a used moving van owned and operated by the owner of the field. Exhaust fumes had apparently killed everyone in the back of the van during the 30 (or so)mile drive.** --K
: : Don: It is also interesting that people feel the need to sneak *into* the US, and out of places like East Germany and Cuba. That should tell you something.
: **Absolutely. It informs me that statistics like the US containing 4% of the world's population while consuming 22% of the world's natural resources are spot on. Now given these proportions, extrapolate exactly how this could be accomplished *without* the systematic transfer of wealth from the Third World to the First World? Perhaps (just perhaps mind you) capitalism is not such a good thing from the point of view of a Nicaraguan peasant farmer or Guatemalan villager?
Well, I imagine that a lot of the Third World countries are run by despots and dictators who pocket the revenues from bananas and oil. That makes the dictators responsible for the plight of their people, not the US. That's the case in a lot of those cess-pits. I will say however, though, that even if capitalism reigned supreme tomorrow in a lot of those benighted places it wouldn't improve anyones standard of living because capitalism requires a suitable culture that places a premium on certain values such as personal initiative, drive, vision, a desire to excel etc. Also a bunch of laws that protect private property and a populace that believes in the rule of law.
: Lastly, Were capitalism to reign supreme in Cuba tommorrow... do you honestly believe that Cuba would more closely resemble the US or the Dominican Republic? Has East Germany become a supercharged economic engine since it's inclusion into West Germany? If not, then why do you suppose?** --K
If capitalism were to reign supreme tomorrow in Cuba, I'd wager that by Dec. 1, 2000 the gambling casinos and resorts and cigar industry and a shitload of other projects would be well under way with a large infusion of dough from Cuban-Americans. There would be money to be made and it would be made. And everybody's standard of living would sky-rocket.
E. Germany? Nope, it hasn't become an economic giant. Part of the reason why not, I suspect, is because the population figured that money would fall off of trees once W. Germany took over. The Russians expected the same thing when Communism fell. The opportunity was there, but other things are needed too; rule of law, incentive, native ability, etc.
It's possible that capitalism, absent other necessary inputs, cannot succeed by itself. Let's not forget though that capitalism without a democratic form of government is like Marx w/o Engel.