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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Human Intellect, Not Resources, Create

Cute story.

It seems that the Palestinians, who have taken over the Gaza after the recent forced removal of Israelis, are unable to grow the quantity and quality of produce in the greenhouses in the Gush Katif community. They now are asking the evicted Israelis for assistance in improving their crop.

Gush Katif had:

[F]eatured some of the most technologically advanced agricultural equipment and accounted for more than $100 million per year in exports to Europe. The greenhouses also supplied Israel with 75 percent of its own produce.

The World Bank had brokered the purchase by the Palestinians of those greenhouses. But the produce is not the insect-free organically-grown version that was so popular. One of the expelled residents, Anita Tucker, said:

"I am not at all surprised the Palestinians are failing. When they worked in our greenhouses they needed to be monitored closely. Many didn't understand certain things, like not using different kinds of chemicals. "

She does not plan on accepting the offer. She said:

"We see the terror coming out of Gaza, coming out of the neighborhood I used to live in, and it's just horrible. Hamas has taken over different parts of Gush Katif and are firing rockets into Israel. I am not saying the Palestinian farmers are involved, but it seems they are not doing enough to stop the terror."

Especially if any of the food will feed Hamas. Unintended consequences of terrorism?

This recalls the similar situation in Zimbabwe when France's favorite African leader Robert Mugabe forced the white farmers off of their land and gave it to blacks to farm. Years later Mugabe had to admit the "land reform" had failed.

The News.telegraph reports:

His land grab had made Zimbabwe "self sufficient", Mr Mugabe repeatedly claimed, and the national maize crop was a record 2.4 million tonnes.

The Commercial Farmers' Union said that Zimbabwe grew only 850,000 tonnes of maize last year, not enough to meet domestic demand. In 1999, the last year before the land grab began, Zimbabwe grew 1.5 million tonnes. Then, Zimbabwe also earned about £263 million from tobacco exports. Last year, production had fallen by more than 70 per cent and earnings were down to £77 million.

Same land and same climate in both cases. One group was successful and one group failed. All men are created equal, I thought. Then why are there such discrepancies in output among various peoples of the world? The Malthusians always think production comes from resources. As Julian Simon has taught us, creativity and production come from the mind.


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