|Posted on June 15, 2013 at 7:55 AM|
"That, they say, is the difference: countries like the United States have benefited from a history of inclusive institutions that have provided for economic prosperity; Latin America—like the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa—has been damned by traditions of rulers seeking gratification at the cost of the majority."
"One of Robinson’s favorite examples is the contrast between the present wealth of the United States and Canada and that of most of their southern neighbors. In the book, he and Acemoglu detail how the original Spanish conquistadors of Latin America succeeded in imposing their will on the native people, mining the lands for gold and silver, and setting up a system that would enrich only the colonial elite and the Spanish crown. The historical persistence of this same sort of extractive structure, they say—where the government violates property rights and concentrates wealth and power in a class of elites—continues to disadvantage much of the region."