Social Question

Gifted_With_Languages's avatar

Why have some nations developed while others have not?

Asked by Gifted_With_Languages (1112 points ) March 31st, 2014

Why have some nations achieved material abundance (e.g. Qatar, Norway, Luxembourg) while others remain stagnant in subhuman misery (e.g. Mali, Comoros)?

You can use both objective and subjectiveness, or combine facts with your personal opinion.‎

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Society in which he addresses this very question. A 500-page 1998 Pulizer Prize winner.

(No need to keep thanking everyone at the end of each question.)

elbanditoroso's avatar

Compare national development to the way that a farmer works with crops.

For successful crops to grow, you have to have good seeds, a good growing environment (well prepared soil), and the proper combination of water and sun to cause the seeds to germinate and the flourish.

Same with national development.

The seeds in this analogy are the people – smart, motivated people with ideas and creativity and ambition and vision.

The prepared land in this analogy is and education system and governmental system that provides intellectual and financial support for creative people with new ideas that will develop approaches to fixing national problems. In other words, you need the infrastructure in that country to allow progressive ideas to take hold and flourish.

The “rain and sun” in my analogy is referring to the feedback loop between people with ideas and how those ideas are carried out. and how the original ideas change in order to flourish.

Without any of those three, the plants, and the national development, will starve and die.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Guns, Germs, and Steel was a great read, if you’re too lazy to read it there is even a three part documentary.

GloPro's avatar

Oil, guns (defense), technology. There are also many developed countries in which only a small faction are actually developed. Those are the folks with the above.

bolwerk's avatar

Notice how the best off have the best social safety networks?

ragingloli's avatar

Food, water, natural resources, infrastructure, industry, trade, social safety nets.
Mali for example barely has any exportable natural resources, safe for gold, limestone and salt. As such, most of the export comes from agriculture (which we know does not pay well), and that sector employs 80 percent of the population, while 15% work in the service sector.
That leaves almost no one to form any substantial industrial and manufacturing base, only aggravated by the lack of resources to fuel that sector.
It also does not help that the country is mostly desert and regularly plagued by droughts.

JLeslie's avatar

Industry, government, laws, luck of having land rich in what people desire and will pay for.

whitenoise's avatar

Coffee…

Blondesjon's avatar

One word.

Plastics.

rojo's avatar

Skin color. Lighter races develop first, darker last. Why? No one knows but maybe it has to do with what color controls the money.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Capitalism. we have it, they don’t.

ragingloli's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat
They do have it.
That is why they are poor.

josie's avatar

Some people have the resources and the freedom to pursue individual happiness, others do not.

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