The curse of resources and the benefits of trade

Even the Dutch, those epitomes of seventeenth-century enterprise, fell under the curse of resources in the late twentieth century when they found too much natural gas: the Dutch disease, they called it, as their inflated currency hurt their exporters. Japan spent the first half of the twentieth century jealously seeking to grab resources and ended up in ruins; it spent the second half of the century trading and selling without resources and ended up topping the lifespan league.

Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist

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