Found 7 comments on HN
neom · 2019-03-05 · Original thread
Absolutely fantastic book:- Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

fwn · 2018-06-23 · Original thread
> The Economist acts like good governance is a feature of geography

Where did they say that? It's a common and well researched problem that institutions are not easily transplanted.

I am also not really sure what "government is people" is supposed to mean. Creating and maintaining institutions that produce wealth and stability is very difficult and dependent on many conditions like path dependencies and global embeddedness. In no case it was ever as easy as saying something like: Those people are just great institution builders!

Things like corruption aren't personal traits but rational under specific systemic environments.

There is a great book by Acemoglu and Robinson on that topic named "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty":

jakozaur · 2016-11-25 · Original thread
After the second world war, Soviet Union was growing so fast that many smart people in western world that communism is superior to capitalism.

However, Soviet Union economic growth peaked in 1959. It was primarily based on catch up growth: recovery from WW 2 and moving ppl from agriculture to industry.

Is China similar story?

A good read on that:

I give 50/50 chance to China will avoid this fate, but not more.

alexqgb · 2016-06-26 · Original thread
As others have noted, the issue is that so many political terms are relative (e.g., the way 'terrorist' is applied to Middle-Easterners far more swiftly and casually than Americans who are equally violent for very similar reasons.)

An organization doing what Google and Facebook are doing must therefore (a) clearly articulate the position on which their judgments are based (b) openly assert that their position is fundamentally superior and preferable to the moral order that accepts the practices that are being suppressed (c) provide a open and defensible argument for selecting one set of values while forcefully rejecting another and (d) be willing to modify this position in the event that fatal contradictions appear, or excessively negative consequences result.

In short, these platforms must not just govern, but do so from a well-considered and articulated philosophy of liberal governance.

Fortunately, they need not start from scratch. There is an abundance of data to support the idea that nations that have broadly inclusive economies with widely and equitably representative policy making bodies are the most prosperous, stable, and desirable places to live. (For details, see "Why Nations Fail" by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

By adopting for themselves the governing principles that underpin the most successful societies, Internet platforms can become greater forces for good. At the same time this empirically grounded approach will better shield them from maliciously self-serving people who want to see political and economic power concentrated in the kinds of small and closed sets of hands (specifically, theirs).

As any number of examples from Egypt to Russia to Venezuela to Zimbabwe have shown, those who dominate closed economies and the political systems that reinforce each other invariably make life a living hell for everyone. To the extent that these systems are maintained by way of retrograde social norms, any platform committed to a more open, just society should have no qualms about disarming those who view civil society as anathema.

elcapitan · 2016-04-09 · Original thread
> The examples of China, Japan and the USA suggest the exact opposite.

I think the comeback of Japan after WW2 speaks against this. Also the US are probably a good example of copying the existing British institutions (with the exception of the crown, although you might argue that the US president is king-like).

More broadly speaking, it's probably not so much about "submitting to a rich nation", which is a pretty crazy simplification that doesn't apply to many former colonies. But I think you can find a strong correlation between former parts of the British Empire and now Commonwealth or Ex-Commonwealth and the successful implementation of institutions that give them wealth and freedom. Read "Why Nations Fail" [1] to get some examples of that, one that I remember was


crdb · 2015-04-18 · Original thread
As one of the more than 1.6 million French citizen living abroad [1] (2.5% of the French population [2]), I could tell you a lot about the actual effects of attempting to create barriers around the French market.

I'm also not sure French culture is preserved that well in France. Sir Colin Davis was a better Berlioz interpreter than any French conductor I ever heard (and I was born 50km from la Cote St Andre), and even traditional Haute Cuisine is better abroad (particularly in Tokyo - see Apicius).

On the upside, a castle in Normandie or the South West today [3] costs less than a 1 bedroom in the nicer parts of Sydney. And those mostly empty TGVs where first class can be cheaper than second are nice when you need to get between Paris and Geneva and avoid those awful Parisian airports.

Acemoglu and Robinson [4] describe how the descendants of the world-leading Venetian Republicans now serve ice creams on their ancestors' plazas to today's "Venetians", visiting from Houston or Hong Kong. Sometimes, going home for Christmas feels like that. Luckily, London is only 45 minutes away with EasyJet.



[3] is one of the best sites for castles. for Sydney prices.


alexqgb · 2015-02-25 · Original thread
"These circumstances have been happening since the creation of the United States."

No dude.

Gerrymandering has existed for ages but only in recent years - with the advent of seriously high-powered data mining - has it had anything remotely close to the influence it now possesses. Citizens United (which did a major number on campaign finance) passed in 2010. Key sections of the Voting Rights Act were overturned last June, less than a year ago. As far as powerfully damaging structural changes go, these are all very recent events. Your position is like saying "computers have always existed" while ignoring the differences between an abacus and a Xenon chip.

And saying "seats turnover in the House ever year" is even more meaningless. Intelligent people look at the rate of turnover - which is at record lows and declining relentlessly and not because people are satisfied. Indeed, approval ratings for Congress are setting record lows as well. The reason these trends don't correct each other is because Congress has - in recent years - secured an unprecedented level of detachment from the will of the public. This, in turn has become a major factor in driving inequality to unprecedented levels.

On the off-chance that you're genuinely interested in the relations between regulatory capture, extreme concentrations of wealth, and the proliferation of rentier economies, I can strongly recommend "Why Nations Fail" by MIT's Daron Acemoglu. One of the essential point he makes is that Inclusive economies (i.e., the good kind) can often give way to Extractive economies (the bad kind) following periods of retrograde policy change not unlike the ones we're presently witnessing.

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