South Korea’s Economic Miracle

By Hunter Wallace

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to Ha-Joon Chang’s “Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism”:

“Mozambique may or may not succeed in living up to my fantasy. But what would your reaction have been, had you been told in 1961, a century before the Mozambican dream, that South Korea would, in 40 years’ time, be one of the world’s leading exporters of mobile phones, a strictly science-fiction product at that time? Hydrogen fuel cells do at least exist today.

In 1961, eight years after the end of its fratricidal war with North Korea, South Korea’s yearly income stood at $82 per person. The average Korean earned less than half the average Ghanaian citizen ($179). The Korean War – which, incidentally, started on June 25, Mozambique’s independence day – was one of the bloodiest in human history, claiming four million lives in just over three years (1950-3). Half of South Korea’s manufacturing base and more than 75% of its railways were destroyed in the conflict. The country had shown some organizational ability by managing to raise its literacy ratio to 71% by 1961 from the paltry 22% level it had inherited in 1945 from its Japanese colonial masters, who had ruled Korea since 1910. But it was widely considered a basket case of developmental failure. A 1950s internal report from USAID – the main US governmental aid agency then, as now – called Korea a ‘bottomless pit’. At the time, the country’s main exports were tungsten, fish and other primary commodities.

As for Samsung, now one of the world’s leading exporters of mobile phones, semiconductors and computers, the company started out as an exporter of fish, vegetable and fruit in 1938, seven years before Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial rule. Until the 1970s, its main lines of business were sugar refining and textiles that it had set up in the mid-1950s. When it moved into the semiconductor industry by acquiring a 50% stake in Korea Semiconductor in 1974, no one took it seriously. After all, Samsung did not even manufacture colour TV sets until 1977. When it declared its intention , in 1983, to take on the big boys of the seminconductor industry from the US and Japan by desigining its own chips, few were convinced.

Korea, one of the poorest places in the world, was the sorry country I was born into on October 7 1963. Today I am a citizen of one of the wealthier, if not wealthiest, countries in the world. During my lifetime, per capita income in Korea has grown something like 14 times, in purchasing power terms. It took the UK over two centuries (between the late 18th century and today) and the US around one and half centuries (the 1860s to the present day) to achieve the same result. The material progress I have seen in my 40-odd years is as though I had started life as a British pensioner born when George III was on the throne or as an American grandfather born while Abraham Lincoln was president …”

He continues:

“In terms of these life-chance indicators, Korea’s progress is as if Haiti had turned into Switzerland. How has this ‘miracle’ been possible?”

Here in Alabama and Georgia, South Korea now builds automobile plants in Montgomery and West Point to conquer the American market. We are, however, a superpower in peanuts and poultry processing.

About Hunter Wallace 12387 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. It’s more than trade theories: Koreans emphasize scholastics in a way Southern people do not. It doesn’t matter how badly you want to export TVs if you can’t do Maxwell’s equations.

    In a like manner did the Jews dominate higher education and all the derived slots outside of academia. Whites, for some reason, are not passionate about education in the same manner.

  2. Listen to this:

    “The neo-liberal establishment would have us believe that, during its miracle years between the 1960s and 1980s, Korea pursued a neo-liberal economic development strategy. The reality, however, was very different indeed. What Korea actually did during these decades was to nurture certain new industries, selected by the government in cooperation with the private sector, through tariff protection, subsidies and other forms of government support (e.g., overseas marketing information services provided by the state export agency) until they ‘grew up’ enough to withstand international competition. The government owned all the banks, so it could direct the lifeblood of business – credit.

    Some big projects were undertaken directly by state-owned enterprises – the steel maker, POSCO , being the best example – although the country had a pragmatic, rather than ideological, attitude to the issue of state ownership. If private enterprise worked well, then fine; if they did not invest in important areas, the government had no qualms about setting up state-owned enterprises (SOEs); and if some private enterprises were mismanaged, the government often took them over, restructured them, and usually (but not always) sold them off again.

    The Korean government also had absolute control over scarce foreign exchange (violation of foreign exchange controls could be punished with the death penalty). When combined with a carefully designed list of priorities in the use of foreign exchange, it ensured that hard-earned foreign currencies were used for importing vital machinery and industrial inputs. The Korean government heavily controlled foreign investment as well, welcoming it with open arms in certain sectors while shutting it out completely in others, according to the evolving national development plan. It also had a lax attitude toward foreign patents, encouraging ‘reverse engineering’ and overlooking ‘pirating’ of patented products.”

  3. More here:

    “The Korean economic miracle was the result of a clever and pragmatic mixture of market incentives and state direction. The Korean government did not vanquish the market as the communist states had. However, it did not have blind faith in the free market either. While it took markets seriously, the Korean strategy recognised that they often needed to be corrected through policy intervention.”

  4. I was there in 85 and you would still see their little tiller/powered cart things chugging down concrete super highways hauling the family to somewhere. Also the mama sans who ran the whore houses rented teenaged girls for about $1000 per year, the families took that loot and put their sons thru college.

    • A hilarious story about Toyota:

      “Once upon a time, the leading car maker of a developing country exported its first passenger cars to the US. Up to that day, the little company had only made shoddy products – poor copies of quality items made by richer countries. The car was nothing too sophisticated – just a cheap subcompact (one could have called it ‘four wheels and an ashtray’). But it was a big moment for the country and its exporters felt proud.

      Unfortunately, the product failed. Most thought the little car looked lousy and savvy buyers were reluctant to spend serious money on a family car that came from a place where only second rate products were made. The car had to be withdrawn from the US market. This disaster led to a major debate among the country’s citizens.

      Many argued that the company should have stuck to its original business of making simple textile machinery. After all, the country’s biggest export item was silk. If the company could not make good cars after 25 years of trying, there was no future for it. The government had given the car maker every opportunity to succeed. It had ensured high profits for it at home through high tariffs and draconian controls on foreign investment in the car industry. Fewer than ten years ago, it gave public money to save the company from imminent bankruptcy. So, the critics argued, foreign car makers should now be let in freely and foreign car makers, who had been kicked out 20 years before, allowed to set up shop again.

      Others disagreed. They argued that no country had got anywhere without developing ‘serious’ industries like automobile production. They just needed more time to make cars that appealed to everyone.

      The year was 1958 and the country was, in fact, Japan. The company was Toyota , and the car was called the Toyopet. Toyota started out as a manufacturer of textile machinery (Toyoda Automatic Loom) and moved into car production in 1933. The Japanese government kicked out General Motors and Ford in 1939 and bailed out Toyota from the central bank (Bank of Japan) in 1949. Today, Japanese cars are considered as ‘natural’ as Scottish salmon or French wine, but fewer than 50 years ago, most people, including many Japanese, thought the Japanese car industry should simply not exist.

      Half a century after the Toyopet debacle, Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus
      has become something of an icon for globalization, thanks to the American journalist Thomas Friedman’s book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. …”

  5. I think we might be discounting the HBD effect: very high average IQ coupled with a very homogeneous population. Plus the aforesaid protectionism coupled with government investment and no doubt foreign investment from the US and other places.

  6. Am I understanding Afterthought’s point correctly? When he poses the question, “In a like manner did the Jews dominate higher education and all the derived slots outside of academia[?]”, do the OD people understand the answer is, “NO”?

    Educational achievements are so important and derive so much out of ingrained culture. I am not saying we need to be like Japan in the educational pressure on kids, but parents need to be cognizant of the need to push education. I think the Jewish thing can be overdone, but maybe that is because I’ve met so many dumb-ass Jews in my life. It is true, however, that I’ve met very, very few Jews who grew up in the US and did not attend college.

    The drive for education can come out of culture, but is it not ultimately up to parents? When 75% of an identifiable groups kids are illegitimate at birth, those babies are almost doomed to be one of the underclass. The same goes for every other group or sub-group (lower class whites!) slipping into complacency on illegitimacy. I think this the single most destructive force today in American culture. Not that there aren’t others, but this is #1.

    Like most people with my background, I was forced to handle at least one genuine criminal case. While visiting a prison (unpleasant experience) and chatting with my amiable new buddy, I was told rather forthrightly that if I was in a room with 100 inmates and asked for a show of hands how many grew up with a father I might get 5 or 6 hands. And parents can be divorced or even never married with the man still being a “father” to his children.

    We are not being pressured on accepting illegitimacy as OK. That battle has already been won by the same crowd that gave us “undocumented immigrant/alien”. As far as I’m concerned the only “undocumented aliens” around are whoever survived the crash at Roswell! (and in my case, since I think that conspiracy theory false, it means no one!)

  7. I have to agree with Thomas, you have to consider the innate traits of the people. Northeast Asians are high IQed, low crime people, so naturally they will do well, especially when their greatest strength is in math and they stick with very math/engineering intensive specialties.

    Consider the South, where both rich and poor came over to farm, the wealthy starting plantations and the destitute just acquiring cheap land in the hills. Both came because they were attracted to cheap land, and I’d say we are by nature a more agrarian people today because of it.

    I am not saying we should not seek to diversify for our own national security interest, and I am not saying we should not look around the world for inspiration. I am saying that what works best for one race may not work best for another.

    Another factor is in the fact that South Korea and Japan took their industries at a time of explosive growth and opportunity. Toyota during a time of booming automobile sales, and semiconductors during the semiconductor boom. Rockefeller was in the oil business at the time when petro oil was taking the place of whale oil. Bill gates took on software at the time of the desktop revolution, etc. The list goes on forever, but hitting the right market during the right era is a huge win. Once upon a time people got very wealthy in the whaling business, but not today.

    Also, there is the factor of being a small homogenous state vs a bureaucratic jungle that is the USA today. Small, homogenous states will simply be more nimble than aging empires. So if there is going to be any economy planning in the independent South, I’d much rather for it to be at the state level than the federal level. If there are 15 states, then that give 15 trial runs of economy planning rather than one big hit or miss at the federal level.

    With prison labor (which is already constitutionally protected) we could have a booming sewing industry or we could put them assembling electronic products, or tennis shoes, or whatever.

    With the fracking boom and Keystone, we could have a strong petro industry, and a strong chemical industry.

    I wouldn’t discount the peanuts and poultry for one second. We just need to add to them. From what I can think of, the best economy for prosperity and for economic autonomy would do well in all of the following sectors. I’ve listed them in what I believe to be descending order of importance.

    –Agriculture, fishing, processing, forestry
    –mining, including mineral, coal, and petro
    –manufacturing, textiles
    –chemicals, pharma, biotech
    –computers, Internet, software
    –music and cinema. I suppose we could export porn, but maybe we shouldn’t.
    –banking and trading

    If you’ve got all these sectors going strong, it would be hard for any kind of sanctions to bring you down economically. I think an independent South could EASILY hold its own in the first 4 sectors and could get there so fast it would make your head swim–providing we can get plenty of oil, gas, and coal either out of our own ground, or piped or barged in. If we don’t seek West Virginia and Kentucky to join us for any other reason, we should do it for the coal. And if we don’t seek Oklahoma to join us for any other reason, we should do it for the oil.

    But will we ever be super in the computer tech industry? I’ve got my doubts. Between East Asia and Silicon Valley, I’d say the competition is pretty stiff. We might just have to settle for “good enough’ in that department.

    Regarding cinema, I’d say we need just a little in order to truly be culturally autonomous. It’s just important, even if we don’t make a major industry out of it. I’ve been to poor countries without their own significant cinema and they were just missing something at the culture and national pride level. We’re already there when it comes to music if you ask me.

    Banking and trading aren’t that important for their own sake, but they grease the gears for all the other industries to do their best.

    • Jeff, I thought your post very interesting. Thank you.

      Could you give some examples of the music to which you refer?

    • As Ha-Joon Chang points out, Ghana had twice the per capita income as South Korea in 1960.

      South Korea actually casts doubt on strong HBD theories. No one can credibly explain the difference between South Korea and North Korea or West Germany and East Germany in terms of HBD. The difference is due to politics, economics, and the historical division of Korea and Germany during the Cold War.

      No one argues anymore that the Japanese or South Koreans are racially inferior. Instead, they are now held up as above average East Asians, whereas 50 years ago neither Japan or South Korea were known for innovation or high technology industries.

      South Korea’s leap forward over the past 40 years is a far more incredible feat than if, say, West Virginia or Arkansas had done it. It was also done 1.) in the teeth of prevailing HBD theories and 2.) in the teeth of laissez-faire, free-market, free-trade economics. According to both, it should have been impossible.

      By brutally punishing the consumer, limiting individual freedom, and crushing foreign competition, South Korea should have sent its economy back to the Stone Age. Japan was also foolish to spend 25 years trying to build an automobile industry. Neither Germany or the United States should have been able to catch up with the UK in heavy industry in the late 19th century.

      History shows that Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and now China were able to take American innovations and industries where Americans had long been market dominant – steel, consumer electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, and internet broadband to name a few – and relocate production and innovation to their own countries.

  8. Afterthought // November 20, 2015 at 12:11 am //

    “It’s more than trade theories: Koreans emphasize scholastics in a way Southern people do not. It doesn’t matter how badly you want to export TVs if you can’t do Maxwell’s equations.

    In a like manner did the Jews dominate higher education and all the derived slots outside of academia. Whites, for some reason, are not passionate about education in the same manner.”

    Korea got a lot of help from the Americans, so they wouldn’t turn Communist, the same as Japan got a lot of help after WW2. And sure they see education as a ticket out of poverty.

    We are told they are high IQ, yet almost no inventions come out of non-White countries, even the rich ones. They only build things White people invented a hundred years ago and more.

    And so what if not all Whites are interested in higher education? Why should they be? Most of it is junk. Can you tell me what over educated people have done for the West, other than destroying it?

    Asians in the education system, I would describe as worker ants. They work hard, but its just wrote learning. There is no introspection nor creativity that comes from it. They flood our university systems and crowd out naturally gifted people. Just another reason why we need Whites only Universities. We should not be bringing ourselves down to their level.

  9. “But will we ever be super in the computer tech industry? I’ve got my doubts. Between East Asia and Silicon Valley, I’d say the competition is pretty stiff. We might just have to settle for “good enough’ in that department”

    You would be super, as long as White inventions are not shared with non-Whites. The only time I hear of Asians making great strides in “science”, is when they send agents to White countries to steal it. How long can they profit from copying, when there is nothing to copy?

    • To the extent relevant or of interest, it seems to me the big difference between the higher intellectual achievements in the Western vs. Asian (in this case Oriental) educational cultures is in the Humanities. Also to some extent Social Sciences.

      I thought about this when I was visiting Cambridge (never went to school there, unfortunately). The top ten rated schools in the world are in the US & UK. Admittedly that includes MIT and CalTech. I think you have to go well into the send 10 before you get to one not in the US/UK, and it’s in Switzerland. You can toss Univ of Toronto & McGill in the top 25, I think.

      I’m doing this by my often wrong short to medium term memory, but I think it’s not until between 20-30 before a school in the Orient, in Japan, shows up. The point is that when it comes to education in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and many hard sciences the West is leaps and bounds better than universities in the Orient. This translates to superiority or latent superiority in those fields as part of Western Culture.

      Where there are big differences are in some of the sciences and especially engineering. I did not realize the value placed on education in engineering when you get out of North America. Not to say it’s not highly valued in the US, but in the rest of the world and especially in the third world, developing world, etc., it has a prestige value way beyond North America. Thus, when you look at world ranking of schools vs. rankings in the US there are all sorts of anomalies because of engineering programs. I do not remember any examples, but you sometimes, hypothetically, find a school like Pitt ranked higher in the world than in its US rankings. On a world ranking basis it’s a situation where you could see Pitt ranked ahead of Amherst sort of thing (again, hypothetical).

      The prestige in the US given to a small liberal arts college like Amherst, Swarthmore or Wellesley (I put in for Hillary) does not seem to exist in the Orient. It looks like the BS degree in Electrical Engineering from univ of South Carolina has far more prestige in Asia than a BA w/honors in Russian Lit. from Pomona or Williams.

  10. And lets not forget, America is browning out. Unless Trump is the next A Hitler, he isn’t going be able to halt that process.

    How long do you think Silicon Valley can remain a world leader, when America turns into Mexico? And already Black activists are demanding their affirmative action slice of the Valley.

    So your competition is a brown Silicon Valley and a high IQ Asia, that invents almost nothing.

    • I don’t think that Trump as Hitler thing is going to work out for you (not that you’re planning it anyway). Plus, if you know anything about Trump you’d know he would def put Jews in the “White” category. The best you could hope for would be an apartheid-era South Africa situation.

      You will have to look amongst the loony tunes for your man, or woman. And it also appears you will have a substantial gay community to add some diversity of sorts.

  11. I don’t expect anything but high treason from conservatives and liberals. Even if Trump wanted to stop America turning Spanish, he couldn’t. The sooner Pro Whites deal with that reality, the sooner they will get off their backsides and build their own representation.

  12. Hunter,

    Do you ever read books that challenge your world view rather than just engage in confirmation bias? If tariffs, government enterprises are the solutions to our problems, why isn’t everyone doing it? Why does Donald Trump promote free but “fair” trade? If complex problems are easily solved by your simple solutions of tariffs, why doesn’t everyone do it?

    • Sure.

      I read quite a lot of books about Austrian economics. I was taught Austrian economics while in college. The Ludwig von Mises Institute is located in Auburn. I lived across the street from it for years.

      In the end, I was more interested in history than economics, and when I began to develop an interest in economic history the realization started to dawn on me that Austrian economics and neo-liberalism couldn’t explain the economic development of the world’s most advanced industrialized nations.

      As for Donald Trump, he is playing politics and wants to capitalize on resentment over free-trade deals, but he isn’t proposing any real systemic changes. Mitt Romney hit all the same notes in the 2012 election. The goal is to sounds like you are going to do something about the problem and get the votes while maintaining the status quo.

  13. “The Korean economic miracle was the result of a clever and pragmatic mixture of market incentives and state direction. The Korean government did not vanquish the market as the communist states had. However, it did not have blind faith in the free market either. While it took markets seriously, the Korean strategy recognised that they often needed to be corrected through policy intervention.”

    This is a schizophrenic statement. If government is a superior institution for allocating capital, there is no need for a market. Period. If government intervention is superior to markets (that is markets fail but government intervention doesn’t), there is no need for a market economy. Why not have a 100% government economy?

    • Not really.

      From the perspective of libertarian ideology, it looks schizophrenic, but the practical approach that South Korea took to economic development was more concerned with results that processes. Ultimately, it didn’t matter if the state or the market was used to reach South Korea’s national economic development goals so long as the objective was achieved.

  14. If economics worked, all brown countries wouldn’t be poor.

    Just had a thought about your desire to return to royal rule Hunter. I think what has gone badly wrong with the West is scholars have gone from servants to masters. When the warrior nobility ruled, scholars were servants to be hired, fired, or executed on a whim. Now that scholars rule and what has been the result?

    Warriors must be practical or they die in battle, while scholars live in fantasy worlds of their own creation.

  15. No one can say they aren’t great at refining. However I suggest you find a forum that reports on science/inventions and see what you find there. What I have seen a silence when it comes to original inventions from Asia. Everything comes from what remains of the West.

    I also reading a story a few years back, where the Chinese government were concerned about their people’s lack of inventiveness. They were actually funding programs to address it.

    • From what I have read of innovation, it is something that tends to happen in a peculiar kind of environment. In the Northern states in the late 19th century, for example, you had all these manufacturing industries and it was in that environment – people tinkering around, working with others in an industrial ecosystem – that innovation tends to happen.

      The Japanese and South Koreans were similarly low-tech and imitative early on in the industrialization process, but that changed as those countries matured. If memory serves, both countries are now world leaders in industrial related patents. Japan is the world leader in robotics.

  16. Ughh. Typos.

    Regarding my warriors and scholars comment. What is the first thing a warrior like Putin does when he comes to power? He cracks down on the ruling scholars and retains the best his servants.

  17. People are throwing arond “the West” in a discussion about the south as if the two terms are synonymous. Per capita, England and Britain has the most patents and publications. The US accomplishes its success by importing scholars and by sheer size. The south has an abundant entrepreneurial spirit, but the thing about high technology is that you don’t just wake up one morning in your 40s and decide to fab microchips like starting a lawn mowing service. There has to be a massive superstructure which is why mercantilism / government policy is required. You also have to have a culture of scholarship. Inside the pale of settlement, the daughter of the wealthiest merchant married the best student at rabbi school, not the captain of the football team. I’m not even aware of sports in that culture. Day and night the home was filled with escalatingly complex discourse on various topics, many of which were developed by whites post Renaissance.

    When the Jews became atheists they had nothing to live for but the experiences of this life and the advantage of their children.

    Even assuming biological parity, whites cannot compete with cultures that live and die for scholarship. Even within whitedom, the cultural differences are decisive (germany vs France, for example) (the Irish vs the English).

    Leaders of an independent south need to forge the populace that will be best suited to stand tall on the global and historical stage, not “accept them as they are” which is the democratic trap.

    I have no doubt about the ability of the South to do this: just look at the transformation to date. It really wont take much to go one step further, in fact getting rid of the federal government and its welfare slaves would jettison the South and company into the economic stratosphere.

  18. Hunter Wallace // November 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm //”Japan is the world leader in robotics.”

    Not in research. When it comes to robotics, the cutting edge work comes from DARPA sponsored projects. I have seen work that is so far outside the box, it is shocking. The Japanese by comparison are trying to make mechanical men. Dull, dull, dull.

  19. Its not just America I see this kind of invention, I see it coming from White countries small and large. Asia by comparison all I see are refinements of existing technology. No breakthroughs forging new territory, they just build on existing work.

  20. I haven’t looked at robotics in a couple of years, Boston Dynamics were the American robots the last I followed it. They were making all terrain humanoid terminators, including robots that can break themselves apart and reform to make new functionality. They also had ones that look organic. Honda by comparison were making little greetings droids.

  21. If anything we do not capitalize on our inventiveness. We could learn a lot from the Germans and Japanese when it comes to quality manufacturing.

  22. I have worked in software for over a decade. In my experience, at least when it comes to programming, East Asians excel and producing quantity but white programmers excel at producing quality. The Asians typically aren’t nearly as interested in the art of programming or doing things in the most elegant and efficient manner. I don’t know if this is more biological or cultural.

  23. Re Hunter:

    “South Korea actually casts doubt on strong HBD theories. No one can credibly explain the difference between South Korea and North Korea or West Germany and East Germany in terms of HBD. The difference is due to politics, economics, and the historical division of Korea and Germany during the Cold War.”

    No, I don’t think SK casts doubt on hbd. I think it’s just what you would expect. East Asian countries do very well in engineering and manufacturing while the West continues to be highly creative, and you-know-who continue to excell at lending and trading–exactly what would expect based on hbd.

    Your North vs South Korea and East vs West Germany examples do control for hbd about as well as we can expect in a natural experiment and are excellent arguments against communism. South Korea did better because it had much less central planning than NK.

    Your examples do prove that gov planned economies can work as long as you don’t go full commie mode. We do not know that these countries would not have done even better without the gov planning.

    It is hard to argue against tariffs imho. At least tariff other countries to the same extent they tariff you. Regarding pet government projects, a 1 out of 10 success rate isn’t exactly something to brag about.

    The only problem w Libertarian style 100% free market, no regulations or subsidies model imo is you make yourself dependent on other countries and you are vulnerable to either getting cut of by your trading partner, or something unforseeable, like a crop disease, or boll weevil, or a disruptive technology like polyester.

    The only real reason for planning (aka regulating) is to foster economic national security, either political, force of nature, or market disruption.

  24. RichardBird,”If anything we do not capitalize on our inventiveness. We could learn a lot from the Germans and Japanese when it comes to quality manufacturing…”

    We invented that too. In WWII a guy named W. Edwards Deming invented statistical quality control and the methods used by Japan to engineer in quality by using the statistics to feedback into production. He was a big muckity muck in WWII and helped us win the war by increasing production and making sure we had quality engineered into our weapons.

    After the war GM was selling all the cars they could make here so they completely ignored him. He went to Japan and they paid attention because they didn’t have the resources to waste like we did. Each part had to count. You see the results today.

    However I do not believe for one second that White’s have some God ordained super inventiveness over the Japanese. I can’t remember where but there was an author that said the reason we invented so much stuff is we spent more money on research and making new stuff. That eventually as Asians caught up they would spend more on new research and become inventive also. I think he’s correct in the larger scheme of things.

    One of the best things we could do is continue spending on basic research but tell the multinationals that they can’t use any of it unless they manufacture in the US. They want to spend their own money on R&D, let them, but the stuff we pay for we keep here.

    • You have to give the Japanese kudos for their 1970’s actions in the auto industry. They were also assisted by the current events. First seeing a Honda in the early 70’s, we laughed. Silly, small, strange. Not the muscle cars we wanted as teens, or the Cadillacs, Electra 225’s & such we saw for successful people. Yeah, we had VW Beetles for free spirited folks, along with Mercedes & Jaguars for rich Northerners.

      I guess there were some novelties, the Datsun 240, etc., we (the U.S.) were so incredibly arrogant. Stupid and arrogant. Piss-poor Dodge Dart’s and Plymouth Dusters as Hondas leapt forward. Figuring out gas would never be .40/gallon again (plus giving stuff away) youngish folks looked around and saw cars like the Honda Civic or Accord being Vastly better than the garbage out of Detroit.

      My first Honda it was a revelation. Compared to my Mercury Monarch, damn! No more, “well, do you plan on keeping the car?” calls from Firestone. mechanic. I did not have a single problem with my first Honda & one with #2. And the car body didn’t fall apart (my Merc had a hole in the trunk from it rusting out).

      A huge number of what was called “Yuppies” became used to a foreign car (Japan) as their go-to choice. Second, German. US wasn’t even third back then! (people would buy Volvo or Saab). Yet, Detroit did not care & manufactured crap. There were no choices in US cars if you wanted quality & reliability, and US cars were overpriced. Tens of millions of middle class (esp. professional) people passed through the roughly 1973-1985 portal w/o an American car ever being an intelligent buying choice. What comes of that? In the Atlanta area, other than pick-up trucks, it is notable when a friend or acquaintance buys an American car (other than something like a ’65 Mustang, etc.).

      How stupid and arrogant were US auto manufacturers at that key moment? Answer: just take a gander at Detroit right now. And, btw, White males destroyed the US auto industry. We really screwed that one up!

  25. Sam J. // November 21, 2015 at 9:35 am //

    “However I do not believe for one second that White’s have some God ordained super inventiveness over the Japanese.”

    It is not a matter of faith, belief, or religion which is what you are describing. It is a simple matter of observation. Subscribe to a science forum that follows new inventions or scientific developments and take note of the countries where exciting developments originate.

    If you want a faith based explanation, conformist peoples are in general not going to invent, because it goes against everything they are. They have a saying in Asia, “The nail that sticks up, gets hammered down.” This is a conformist mindset.

    Sam J. // November 21, 2015 at 9:35 am //

    “After the war GM was selling all the cars they could make here so they completely ignored him. He went to Japan and they paid attention because they didn’t have the resources to waste like we did. Each part had to count. You see the results today.”

    So the problem lies at the management level. So if the leaders of industry won’t lead, then perhaps a DARPA of industry would be required to kick things along.

    • Ricardo

      Am I correct in inferring from your post your faith may include a belief “White” people are held in some sort of special relationship vis a vis G-d? One might call it a, say, Covenant?

      Perhaps I’m wrong, but if I’m on the right track what is the basis for such a belief? Is it Theological, based on Scripture? Scientific, based on your understanding of scientific evidence? Historical? Something else, or a combination of many things? I’m not writing to be critical, I would like to understand such a position.

    • Such a pleasant individual. Something very bad must have happened to you (or you perceived so) for you to be so bitter.

      I am not well-versed in economics, and will wait for a theological posting by Hunter. As a guest on Hunter’s site I am striving to be as courteous as possible. In fact, I believe Hunter offered some sound advice in encouraging me to dig deeper into my conceptions about Belgian rule over the Congo. It may ultimately only change my opinion of Hellish conditions from a 9 to a 7 ½ or 8, but that would still be significant.

  26. Are there any examples of rich and powerful countries that became rich and powerful as a result of following the laissez-faire, free-market, free-trade model?

    Great Britain’s economic history shows just the opposite was true. Going back to the beginning, Britain was a small, poor country that exported raw wool to the Low Countries until Henry VII launched the very first “catch up” national economic development strategy.

    The Tudors lured skilled workers from Flanders to England (Michael Cushman’s ancestors!), banned wool exports, created government monopolies and trade barriers to encourage domestic manufacturing and destroy the rival textile industry in the Low Countries – the “high tech” industry of the time – and bring it to England.

    16th century England then embarked on 150 years of piracy, warfare, and colonialism against its European rivals. In the Caribbean, which was “beyond the line” and an arena of incessant warfare, Jamaica and other islands like Barbados were seized from the Spanish. The American colonies were also established and began to provide England with raw materials.

    In the 17th and 18th century, England muscled its way into the sugar industry and took over the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. It united with Scotland and practiced colonialism in Ireland and India. The Navigation Acts restricted trade with Britain to the use of British ships to build up Britain’s shipping industry.

    In Ireland and the American colonies, domestic manufacturing of many items was outright banned or crippled, which is actually what drove the Scots-Irish out of Ulster in the 18th century. The American colonies, Ireland, and the British West Indies flooded the Mother Country with raw materials while the English produced value added goods for export back to the colonies. Then of course there was the creation of the Royal Navy which was created to project military power to control the world’s trade routes like the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. We’ve already discussed the tariffs Britain used until 1846.

    After Britain became rich and powerful as the world’s dominant military and industrial power by the mid-19th century, it looked back and attributed its rise to “freedom,” when nothing could have been further from the truth.


    South Korea may be an economic success story, but it is dying demographically, and its elites are total cucks of the US Empire.

    Koreans hate themselves and want to look ‘white’.

    They swallowed all the PC of the West, and they now promote interracialism and ‘gay agenda’.

    S. Korea succeeded materially but is a wasteland of culture and spirit.

    K-pop is controlled by homosexuals, and it turns Korean men into pansy boys and turns Korean women into wanna-be-white girls.

  28. Hunter,

    “The Tudors lured skilled workers from Flanders to England (Michael Cushman’s ancestors!), banned wool exports, created government monopolies and trade barriers to encourage domestic manufacturing and destroy the rival textile industry in the Low Countries – the “high tech” industry of the time – and bring it to England.”

    There are lots of factors at play here:
    –Human capital of Brits
    –Human capital of Tudors
    –wool export ban
    I seriously doubt that the monopoly was the key issue. You have already an endowment of human capital in the British stock, then add even more elite human capital in the Tudors. I think that had a lot more to do with it than the monopoly, or even the export ban for that matter.

    I’d say bringing in relevant human capital is the biggest thing you can do to build an industrial center.

    Why do you think Fayette county, KY is the Thoroughbred capital? Hint: It has nothing to do with the limestone or the water or the native grass species. It has everything to do with a wealthy man who built a stable there and invited his wealthy friends to come and race. From there you have the conglomeration effect.

    Ocala, FL has a similar history. Some people thought it would be a good place to train horses year round. Now it rivals Lexington as the horse capital. It has little to nothing to do with gov intervention (though laws could work to facilitate), nothing to do with the soil, water, bedrock, or magic. Everything to do with human capital.

    Could gov policies lure human capital into an area to start an industry. Absolutely. But I doubt a gov run monopoly will help much.

    A better way to look at it that is more culturally and hbd relevant to us is to look at net migrations among the 50 states and the correlation with policies:

    Of course there may be some aberrations from the norm bc of oil strikes and things like that.

    Best way to get industries into your state?
    Stay out of the way.

    Second best way?
    Offer subsidies.

    Now call me crazy, but I’ll bet it’s a lot cheaper for the state to stay out of way than to offer subsidy.

    Third best way?
    What difference does it make. Stick w #1 and #2.

    Want Alabama to be the world capital of steel production?
    -ditch antidiscrimination laws.
    -ditch minimum wage.
    -ditch over the top pollution/environmental laws.
    -ditch corporate tax.
    -use imminent domain if needed to acquire land for mills, mines, roads, or railways. (corporation can pay money, just use gov authority to acquire property as needed.)

    Do all these things and Presto! You’re the steel capital of the world so fast it will make your head swim. The steel business already wants to come in. Regulations and taxes are keeping it out.

    • Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.

      Once upon a time, there was no income tax, no environmental regulations, no minimum wage or anti-discrimination laws. We had a steel industry in Alabama, but before the Federal Reserve we had an economy that was extremely vulnerable to financial panics.

      As I explained in the latest thread, J.P. Morgan took over TCI during the Panic of 1907 after its investors got into trouble. He made it into a subsidiary of US Steel and an economic colony of Pittsburgh thereby ensuring that Birmingham never fulfulled its industrial potential. It was a textbook example of the dangers of unregulated foreign investment.

      Later in the 1950s and 1960s, German and Japanese steel imports began to destroy America’s steel industry. We lowered our trade barriers, but not before the Marshall Plan helped finance the creation of newer and better steel mills in Germany and Japan.

      • I don’t know about that Kentucky comment. Lots of UK folk would contest that point.

        Very interesting post on the Alabama economy. Between 1978 and 1998 or so, I spent a lot of time in Huntsville and then Birmingham. Wonder how Von Braun & Co. felt about all those years in Huntsville? Better than some city in Siberia, I guess.

        I do think you missed one point of interest on Alabama.

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