Men’s Book Club Meeting
Please join the Men’s Book Club on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:30 pm at Joe Winder’s home to discuss Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. Please contact the Parish Office with any questions you may have.
In their acclaimed book, Professors Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson take on the daunting task of explaining the reasons for the enormous inequality in living standards among the nations of the world. They point out that the list of the richest and the poorest 30 nations today would be virtually unchanged from the list 150, 100, and 50 years ago. Why, they ask, have so many nations been so poor for so long?
For them, the answer lies not in geography, culture, religion, or the other conventional explanations. Instead, they find the answer in the differing political and economic institutions that have evolved in different nations. In the poorest countries, exclusive institutions have emerged in which a small elite control the government and economic growth is either stifled to avoid endangering the status quo or is limited in ways that assure that wealth can be extracted to benefit the few elite. In richer countries, more inclusive institutions have prevailed. Governments represent the broad mass of the peoples, elites cannot easily stifle innovation and the great mass of people can participate in economic opportunity. In support, Acemoglu and Robinson assemble a rich history of dozens of countries drawn from every region of the world and covering 400 years.