Sunday 4 February 2024

Can a Nation Plunder Its Way to Wealth?


A topical podcast here for you on this pre-Waitangi weekend, on the topic: 'Can a Nation Plunder Its Way to Wealth.'

Did nations get rich on the backs of other nations? Did the West get rich from imperialism? Noah Smith says no. But why not? If you can steal stuff, isn't that better than having to make it yourself? Listen as Noah Smith and EconTalk's Russ Roberts discuss the impact of imperialism and industrialisation on growth and wealth. Smith argues that understanding plunder and where wealth comes from is more than an exercise in economic history--it matters for today's world, too.
You can listen here, on on your favourite podcast platform. (Look for Econ Talk for Jan 15, 2024.)

If you must, you can watch it on You Tube.

And a transcript of the conversation here, along with more information on the topics and ideas discussed, and suggestions for further reading and listening. 

It all starts with this question: 
Our topic for today is the wealth of nations—not the book, but the concept. Although we may talk about the book a little bit. We're going to be referring to a recent essay at your Noahpinion blog that you wrote with the title "Nations Don't Get Rich by Plundering Other Nations." So, a lot of people would disagree with that, I think. So let's start with the idea of plunder. What do you think people have in mind when they explain the wealth of nations via plunder? And, what's wrong with it? ...


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