vicious circle of competition

From: Randy Smith (
Date: Sat Jan 13 2001 - 01:12:56 MST

An excerpt with comments:
Why has Poland prospered and Russia struggled since the end of the cold war?
[Because Poland outcompeted Russia for investment dollars, among other

Why is the economy of South Korea 15 times as large as that of Ghana when
they were comparable less than 40 years ago?

[Because S Korea outcompeted Ghana for investment dollars? (American aid
didn't hurt, either)]

Why have the Chinese minorities thrived economically in such different
places as Malaysia, the Philippines and San Francisco?

[Because out of all the people in China, the emigrants were among the most
motivated and...competitive? And when they got to their new homelands, they
outcompeted many others there, too? (not surprsingly since they were among
the most competitive of ~1 billion and they moved to countries where the
populationis much less)]

The answer, in all cases, is culture, according to a growing number of
scholars who have come to believe that social attitudes are more important
than politics and economics in determining why some societies are richer
than others.

[The culture of competition?

So, maybe we should all compete harder for investment dollars?
Ghana can start competing harder, and some of that investment capital will
flow to Ghana instead of S Korea. And then S Korea can compete harder to win
back those investment dollars from Ghana, and so on and so forth, squared,
and applied to every country on Earth.

We can all work harder for...what? Making and buying consumer geegaws?
Raising kids? Building property values?

These articles are talking about something that should have been obvious to
any well-read person 10 years ago. But they have just peeled one layer from
the onion, and act like it is a grand revelation....]

Me, I just wanna live forever, and I am not sure if all this energy being
devoted to corporate free marketeering is gonna get me there.
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