Just finished this. Very interesting. And generally supportive of the long time Cutlass world view that freedom and democracy is critical.
Essentially the thesis is that political inclusiveness is necessary for economic freedoms that allow for nations to become wealthy. And then wealthy nations can lose that wealth if they then lose the inclusive political and economic institutions.
Some economic growth may be possible without inclusive politics. However that always has limits because the limits on economic freedoms follow from the limits on political freedoms. And so non inclusive states encounter limits to growth below true national prosperity.
Loc: Wandering, but not lost
Good call, Cutlass. I also enjoyed his Wealth of Nations lectures - interesting ideas on geographical effects on government. I also agree that freedom is critical - but I don't necessarily agree that democracy is as well.
Well they sort of go hand in hand. The thesis is that it requires democracy to have freedom. Now it's possible to have some of the aspects of political and economic liberty without free government. But it's unlikely that you will have as much of it as you get with a democracy. And that will limit the economy as well as the people.
I think these days some people see democracy as some kind of magic pill, ignoring that democracy comes in various flavors, that reality of democracy is quite different from the ideals of democracy, that Western notions of democracy won't necessarily work in countries elsewhere, that you can have democracy and still have serious problems (e.g. special interest groups and powerful lobbies), etc.