Causes of Poverty and Prosperity

Matt Ridley—author of The Red Queen, among others—discusses the causes of poverty and prosperity, offering new (to me) insights on innovation, technology and markets.

It’s very clear from history that markets bring forth innovation. If you’ve got free and fair exchange with decent property rights and a sufficiently dense population, then you get innovation. […]

The only institution that really counts is trust, if you like. And something’s got to allow that to build. […]

But human beings are spectacularly good at destroying trust-generating institutions. They do this through three creatures: chiefs, thieves, and priests.

via Arts and Letters Daily