“Copenhagen Consensus:” Help the Tired, Poor, and Dispossessed to Stay Home
there more cost-effective methods of helping Third World
countries—and thus reducing
emigration—than invading and occupying them?
President is investing a few hundred billion dollars in
the Iraq War with the laudable intention of making the
Middle East a better place. But the Iraqis don`t seem to
appreciate his efforts. We`ve spent about $100 million
Ahmed Chalabi alone, but even that doesn`t appear to
have been sufficient to keep him from betraying American
secrets to the Iranians.
Bjorn Lomborg, the ambitious statistician who wrote
The Skeptical Environmentalist, recently
convened a panel of leading economists (such as Nobel
Laureate economic historian
Robert Fogel) to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of
plans for helping the developing world. In this, Lomborg
has the backing of
The Economist magazine.
I`m pleased to report that The Economist has
won back some of my respect by running a retraction of
that phony IQ-by-state table "So
Democrats Really Are Smarter" they printed in
their May 15th issue. The editors
mea culpaed: "Alas, we
were the victims of a
hoax: no such data exists.")
Lomborg rather pretentiously
calls his conference the "Copenhagen
Consensus." Perhaps he hopes that some prestige will
rub off from the famous 1927 consensus on quantum
mechanics known as the
Copenhagen Interpretation. Nonetheless, it`s a
worthy effort and the panel`s evaluation of the
17 proposals—ranking them from “Very Good” to
The economists found that the
most cost-effective undertaking would be, not
- "control of
But the runner-up in bang for
micronutrients"—little-known, except, he said
modestly, to readers of my April 4th VDARE.com column
The Truth Can Set Us (And Africa) Free."
For years, the heavyweight IQ researchers associated
with the much-reviled
such as Hans Eysenck,
Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn, and
J.P. Rushton, have pointed out that Third World
countries` average IQs could benefit from the food
fortification programs—things like putting
iron in flour and
iodine in salt, which began in First World
generations ago. But almost no one paid attention
until a UN report endorsed this view earlier this year.
paper presented at the Copenhagen conference concurs
with the Pioneer position, noting that
micro-nutrients can have a major impact on
development of intelligence. Lack of both iodine and
iron has been implicated in impaired brain development,
and this can affect enormous numbers of people: it is
estimated that 2 billion people (one-third of the total
global population) are affected by iodine deficiency,
including 285 million 6 to 12 year-old children… [L]ack
of iodine in childhood reduces brain development: a
study has shown, for example, that iodine-deficient
individuals score an average of 13.5 points lower in IQ
Micronutrient assistance won`t make Lagos into Palo
Alto. But it could narrow the 15 point gap in average IQ
between Africans and their African-American cousins.
on the Copenhagen list:
"trade liberalization"—especially eliminating
agricultural subsidies to First World farmers.
European Union is the
worst offender at keeping out Third World farm
products while lavishing taxpayer money on supporting
high cost European farmers. But the U.S. is guilty of
this too. Florida`s notorious
Fanjul family cajoles Congressional recipients of
their campaign donations into imposing import quotas
that keep the price of sugar three times higher here
than on the world market.
Americans aren`t allowed to import sugar from poor
Caribbean nations, the
Fanjuls import Caribbean migrant workers to cut cane
on their American plantations—which, in turn, pollute
immigrant workers would be better off back home with
their families growing sugar on their own islands.
fourth and last of the "Very Good" programs on the
“control of malaria" through rather inexpensive steps
like giving DDT-dusted mosquito nets to Africans. One
big reason for the terrible productivity of
tropic-dwellers is that so many are sick at any one
down in 14th place, and categorized as "Bad," is
"guest-worker programs for the unskilled."
four to five billion relatively poor people in the
world, it`s unrealistic to think that immigration to the
West could ever do much for the bulk of them. The
Copenhagen economists think it makes more sense for us
to help Third World peasants stay down on the farm
growing crops for us.
10th place, ranked only among the "Fair" ideas:
"lowering barriers to migration for skilled workers.”
this is too generous. It`s a little hard to understand
brain-draining the smartest people from poor
countries makes the folks left behind better off.
example, when a Zambian with, say, the desperately
needed skills to run a hospital in his home country
emigrates to America and becomes a dermatologist in
Marin County, it`s not clear that Zambia, or the human
race as a whole, is the winner.
Lomborg should be credited with a useful attempt to
focus attention on cost-effective ways to help our
fellow human beings … and ourselves.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and