Friday, March 5, 2021

Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Robinson

This book’s full title is Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. This is a great book and quite insightful. I very much like the idea that inclusiveness works. I am an old fashion liberal, a capitalist and a strong believer in the rule of law.

Basically, this book puts forward to the idea that the successful nation are inclusive nations. The includes both economic and political inclusiveness. The more inclusive a nation is the better it is for all the people of the nation. In inclusive nations, everyone gets a chance to rise to elite status. You never know where the next great ideas or next great leader could come from.

I live in Canada, a land of immigrants. Sometimes we have been more or less accepting of new immigrants and sometimes we have been incredibly awful to new immigrants. What we need to realize is that we would all be better off if everyone got a chance to contribute to our society. We put too many people in jail, especially from minority groups and natives. And, even though our last liberal provincial government throw a lot of money at education, we still have poor schools in poor areas.

There is a lot we need to fix. However, I am still grateful that I live in a country like Canada. We are quite provincial, but we do generally live a good life. We have a diverse population, which is our greatest strength. However, I do not think we use this strength as best as we could.

The authors also believe in “creative destruction”. This is a process in which industry continuously destroy the current industries and incessantly create new ones. There is an article on Wikipedia about this subject. I know a number of reviewers had problems with this book. See Randal Samstag’s long review on Good Reads, I must admit I greatly enjoyed reading this book and I think that their main points about inclusivity is good.

This book has its own Wikipedia page. It is very long, but worthwhile reading, or worthwhile reading parts, especially some of the criticism near the bottom of the article. There is a much shorter and very good review of the book by Warren Bass at the Washington Post. There are some really good reviews on Good Reads.

Daron Acemoglu gives a short overview of this book at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) . James Robinson at Ted Talks talks about this book. There is a speech by James Robinson at Carnegie Middle East Centers in Lebanon. Daron Acemoglu discusses Why Nations Fail at MIT Center for International Studies. Q&A starts about 45 to 46 minutes into this video. Daron Acemoglu discusses Why Nations Fail at The Cato Institute. The second lecture is shorter version of the one at MIT.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.