Skimming the Top off of Foreign Societies

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Amy Chua’s The Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America focuses on eight prosperous minorities within the US. As Steve Sailer notes, many of these groups’ success in America is less the product of culture than of simply skimming the intellectual and financial top off of foreign societies:

Many Indians (total population back home: 1.237 billion) and Nigerians (169 million) in the US are here because they are related to somebody rich enough and smart enough to pursue graduate study in the US.

Cubans and Iranians (like the Vietnamese whom Chua leaves out) are refugees from the rich ruling class of extinct pro-American regimes. Cubans have recently been reinvigorated politically by the increasing ethnicization of politics. With all the emphasis on amnesty for illegal Mexican immigrants, blow-dried Cuban politicians have elbowed their way to the front as the Hispanic Talented Tenth, a mediagenic elite more TV-savvy than actual illegal aliens, who tend to be short, round, and inarticulate in any language.

In fact, many Iranians didn’t even have to start over. They’re not just benefiting from their superior human capital; they’re living off their financial capital they looted from their native land during the oil boom of the 1970s. Years before the Shah fell, numerous rich Iranians relocated much of their fortunes to Beverly Hills.

Moreover, the current Iranian government isn’t ideologically anti-capitalist like Cuba, so many Iranians in the US (including, perhaps surprisingly, many Jewish Persians), continue to profit from enterprises back home while enjoying the good life in the Hollywood Hills. I’m sure you would similarly find that, say, Russians in Cyprus and Monaco are doing pretty well for themselves, too, without looking too hard for their cultural secrets.


  1. ASDF says:

    One of the “advantages” middle man minorities have is even less of an attachment to the people of whatever nation they are inhabiting. Hard enough to get people not to exploit the exploitable, but add in ethnic, cultural, and religious distance and it becomes easy to dehumanize and take advantage.

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