While I agree with you about Canada (one of our sons was a war refugee there
for 17 years, and I have been visiting Canada -- both coasts and the prairie
provinces as well -- for half a century), I agree that people who come here
for non-economic or not purely economic reasons regard it as the freest
place there is. It is not only because it provides refuge from the
particular persecution each individual suffered (compulsory military service
in a great many cases, ethnic or religious persection), but because there
is, to this day, less of a feeling of class stratification than anywhere
else. When I first visited Canada it was very British (Anglophone provinces,
of course), and Britain wasn't very much better than India in terms of class
and caste consciousness.
Please note that I wrote "less" and not "no." When I was a kid, rich
Americans wanted their daughters to marry European nobility, preferably
British but, if worst came to worst, Georgian. Quite literally. There is
plenty of the snobbishness of wealth in this country today, but many really
rich people remain entirely democratic in behavior. I have known such, who
deliberately raised their children to carry that on.
Jerry West wrote:
> Seth Williamson wrote:
> Oppressed minorities from all over the world want to come to this nation
> because there is more justice, not to mention material wealth, than
> anywhere else at any time or place in human history. Conversely, almost
> none of them wish to leave. These facts are a mute but huge reproach to
> your notion of America.
> JW reply:
> Can you substantiate the statement that people come to the US for more
> justice? I would think that most minorities emmigrate to the US to flee
> a specific persecution, often life threatening, or in the hopes of
> expanded economic opportunities in a less crowded society. The fact
> that people choose the US for either reason does not exonerate the US
> from the guilt of its own forms of persecution, some of which they
> newcomers will fall victim to, not from its worsening record of the
> widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.
> It is not much praise to say that one place is good because all of the
> other options are worse. The fact that almost none of them wish to
> leave, as you put it, may speak more to the conditions in the place from
> which they came or could possibly go to, than the conditions in the US.
> Also, as for leaving the US, I know lots of people up here in Canada who
> did just that, me included, and a number of minority and other
> immigrants are also arriving here daily. This place has its problems
> too, but on the average it is a much safer and humane society in which
> to live with more public regard for the welfare of its citizens than
> most places in the US.
> Jerry West
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