Sunday, May 5, 2013

How Nations Succeed: What's the secret to ending poverty?

Ever since I started going to China for work, I've been haunted by the bone-grinding poverty that my Chinese friends endured for decades while places like Taiwan and Hong Kong (with almost no natural resources but the same language and ethnicity) were able to thrive and prosper. 

So I've been taking the Marginal University online course in Developmental Economics.  I want to know more about why El Paso and Juarez have such radically different standards of living.  Yes, I am a geek.  Check it out when time permits.  You watch a video, you take a test.  You watch another video, you take another test.  You take a mid-term.  Repeat.  With a final. 

And for those who don't have a couple of months to watch videos on why The Bahamas prosper and Cuba fails, this is a quick alternative.... Thanks to the Fund for American Studies, here's a six-minute video  which tells the story of a nation whose typical citizen had to work 6-7 days a week, with no cell phones, virtually no indoor plumbing, no internet and very few automobiles, and how those people were able to pull themselves out of abject poverty in a relatively short amount of time. 

Enjoy !

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