Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Bizarre and the the Enlightening

The Bizarre :


THE Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents.

Moscow archives show that in the mid-1920s Russia's top animal breeding scientist, Ilya Ivanov, was ordered to turn his skills from horse and animal work to the quest for a super-warrior.

The Enlightening :


Once the analytical framework is set up, what the researchers at the World Bank find is fascinating. "The most striking aspect of the wealth estimates is the high values for intangible capital. Nearly 85 percent of the countries in our sample have an intangible capital share of total wealth greater than 50 percent," write the researchers. They further note that years of schooling and a rule-of-law index can account for 90 percent of the variation in intangible capital. In other words, the more highly educated a country's people are and the more honest and fair its legal system is, the wealthier it is.

Let's consider a few cases. The country with the highest per capita wealth is Switzerland at $648,000. The United States is fourth at $513,000. Overall, the average per capita wealth in the rich Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) countries is $440,000. By contrast, the countries with the lowest per capita wealth are Ethiopia ($1,965), Nigeria ($2,748), and Burundi ($2,859). In fact, some countries are so badly run, that they actually have negative intangible capital. Through rampant corruption and failing school systems, Nigeria and the Republic of the Congo are destroying wealth and ensuring that they will be poorer in the future.

So much for the "it's not their fault" theory of foreign aid.


Delta said...

So much for the "it's not their fault" theory of foreign aid

Yep, you definitely proved it wrong. QED.

Probably the sickest part of the libertarian position is their incessent praise and protection of those who have power and eternal disdain for those who are without it. The assumption that people who are uneducated and live in a country which has rampant corruption and a unfair legal system is their own fault is just mind-blowing. But in some sense I understand. It's an urgent matter that we put these poor and powerless in their place, before they start messing up the establishment. I'd like to hear your opinion about how the handicapped deserve what they got, or maybe about how the stupid Walmart employees don't deserve a living wage because they're scum!

Francois Tremblay said...

I think you have me confused with Pat Robertson. Just so we're clear, this is a libertarian blog, and more exactly an individualist blog. We are explicitly against all forms of political power and class warfare of the kind you describe. This is not the blog for you.

Bye, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Delta said...

You're not truly against class warfare though, you're only against the poor retaliating. The wealthy can continue to exert more and more control over other's lives and you not only will accept it, but will be most thrilled in the outcome. Being against political power doesn't mean too much when you simply replace it with economic power.