The tragedy of easy wealth


Natural resources curse many nations because they lead to despotic governments which can wield power by controlling those natural resources. Insulation from the need to generate their own revenues out of the creativitiy of their people makes them less responsive  and responsible to their citizens.

Furthermore, these citizens do not have to rely on developing their own talents or education because the windfall of oil or other gifts of nature can "buy them off." Bravely, a few, reminscent of the "Talented Tenth" of American black history, can seek out other venues to develop their intellect and culture. Unfortunately, they often have to leave their native nations to do so. Here is a group of these ex—pats that bear watching. Perhaps with the rise of the internet their views and their hopes can be transferred to their home nations.

Mai Yamani, an Arab exile, writes movingly of the Arab experience of this phenomenon in the International Herald—Tribune.

Posted by Ed   9 3 04