Why Were Europe’s Asian Colonies So Poor in the 1940s?

Before their occupation by Japan.

I have often been fascinated by this question: why, if European institutions were so good, did the Asian colonies (e.g., Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Burma) experience an economic stagnation under European rule? Indeed, why, while Japan experienced mild per capita growth, did Japan’s colonies also experience economic stagnation while they were under Japanese rule? Why was European investment into the Asian colonies so low, with most European investment going to the 90%+ White world (Russia, U.S., Argentina, Australia, etc.)? The Asian colonies had the people in place to allow for quick economic transformation. Some (Vietnam, for instance) even had the human capital to do so on their own. And, yet, the Asian colonies in 1940 were barely improved from their state in 1840.

And why did it take until the end of imperialism for first-world countries to begin mass importations of Asian labor to cheapen domestic labor in cases where capital could not be invested overseas? Couldn’t the capitalists of that age understand the wisdom of importing foreign labor in order to cheapen the wages of domestic labor? Yes; in America, the 19th century import of Chinese labor was blocked due to labor union and White nationalist concerns in a democratic context. But did those concerns apply in, say, Germany, which was not even a democracy? Today, the White-majority countries automatically allow millions of legal Asian immigrants to flood into their country every year. Why didn’t that happen in the 19th or early 20th centuries, when the mutual gains from migration could have been almost as large?

If anything, this shows that political integration does not have to translate into either demographic or economic integration.


Sunday Assorted Links

1. Douthat on the lyin’ press

2. “And so I say to all of you here: Let us resolve to reform our politics so that power and privilege no longer shout down the voice of the people. Let us put aside personal advantage so that we can feel the pain and see the promise of America. Let us resolve to make our Government a place for what Franklin Roosevelt called bold, persistent experimentation, a Government for our tomorrows, not our yesterdays. Let us give this Capital back to the people to whom it belongs.

3. “These policies of better international understandings, greater economy, and lower taxes have contributed largely to peaceful and prosperous industrial relations. Under the helpful influences of restrictive immigration and a protective tariff, employment is plentiful, the rate of pay is high, and wage earners are in a state of contentment seldom before seen. Our transportation systems have been gradually recovering and have been able to meet all the requirements of the service.

4. Sanders remains real progressive

5. Hope same as in early 2013

6. Betsy DeVos’s ignorance

7. Where Jebbo was wrong

8. Marching for no goal

Hillary Clinton Couldn’t Even Win Hillary Clinton Democrats

Greene County, PA (though this seems to be the only county of its kind in PA, due to the closed primary there restricting turnout and its 1828-2000 era Democratic affiliation [sole exceptions: Smith, McGovern] boosting it)

Trumbull County, Ohio (many other such counties in Ohio)

Jackson County, Arkansas (and most counties in Arkansas)

Reynolds County, Missouri (a smattering of other such counties exist in Missouri)

Vigo County, Indiana (many other such counties in Indiana)

…all had more Hillary votes in the first half of 2008 than in November 2016, sometimes far more.

Why did Clinton lose in 2016? Because she couldn’t win anywhere near all Her 2008 voters. Let’s not even talk about the Obama coalition (which she couldn’t win in its entirety; see the vote in Detroit and the Black belt), Clinton failed to win the 08 Clinton coalition.

Why hasn’t the Hillary 08/Trump 2016 voter in Ohio been examined anywhere near to the extent of his and her importance? Eastern Ohio is (mostly) not racist (though it’s always been protectionist); look at its vote in 1860 and 1964. Trumbull County went overwhelmingly for Lincoln. #NeverLincoln Monroe, OH [Democratic in every election from 1828 to 2008, exceptions in 1928, 1956, and 1972] and Greene, PA, though, are exceptional in both the length and strength of their Democratic affiliation, and were only kept Democratic by protectionism in the later 20th century, only to switch to the Republicans in the early 21st century when the Democrats slowly abandoned their late 20th century protectionist message.

Pre-Inauguration Assorted Links

1. Asians, Hispanics, have the highest mobility rate via college

2. Trump’s cabinet is filled with businessmen with no government experience, as was McKinley’s, Reagan’s, and Eisenhower’s; Clinton, Carter, and Truman had none

3. Bob Dole carried fewer towns in Massachusetts than Barry Goldwater

4. The country of the future, and always will be