In response to such problems,
There is a need to establish specific requirements for higher incomes and then to look at the history of regions, economies and policies.
This has had an impact on these requirements, so that countries can see if generalizations can be made that will be helpful to country leaders and their competitors.
In doing so, we must acknowledge that we are committed to a value judgment: the acquisition of material wealth is "good", and not to do so is "bad".
This statement notes the leadership of countries who renounce these values,
Who would prefer to pass on the studies and work of their people to the pursuit of spiritual richness,
Who regard material wealth as a necessary evil that must be tolerated only to the extent that it supports life and no longer. Note also that we speak of relative wealth, that is,
The wealth of rich countries vis-à-vis the wealth of poor countries.
There will always be an increase in absolute wealth, in different quantities,
by all countries because some wealth will inevitably spill over from the rich countries to the poor ones via trade, industrial globalization (the transfer of businesses from rich to poor countries)
And repatriated earnings from nationals working overseas.
The direct causes of growth in per capita income and living standards are new and old technologies.
These are tools, machinery, materials, energy sources, medications, manufacturing and commercial practices)
Which are turned into consumable goods and services with basic living standards which are summarized in per capita income statistics.
Technology impacts living standards in 3 ways:
But don't have. Cars, telephones, most medications and medical care did not exist at one time, but were created by innovators. (2) They enhance the quality of goods and services already available to individuals. Medications, food, clothing, health care were better than what was available in the past.
They make goods and services more accessible to more people by reducing effort, wastage and production costs.
Food, clothing, shelter, medicine and healthcare have become cheaper and, at the same time, their quality has long improved.
Technologies and associated incomes devoted to preventing people from killing and stealing from each other, i.e., judiciaries, prisons, police and military personnel and institutions, restrict their being used to raise incomes and basic living standards,
However necessary they are, they are in a world of aggression and acquisition, they are counterproductive to rising incomes.
There are other ways to increase per capita income, of course, but there are only so many.
The leadership can make more people work and make them work harder. But to what extent can you push people? Perhaps another 10%, and then what? They can extract more raw materials (ores, lumber, etc.), assuming they are available for exploitation, but there are limits on how much can be obtained and used.
They can grow more land, but that too is restricted by people's appetite.
If not, a poor country that wants to enrich itself cannot expect to develop its own technology.
That would be futile because it would take a very long time, and in the meantime, the rich countries would have made it obsolete with newer technology,
Or conquered the country with its more advanced military technology to utilize its lands and resources for the people of the conquering country.
Therefore, a poor country needs to import technologies that produce more and better goods and services for its people and for the production of goods and services for trade with foreigners.
This acquisition of technology requires large amounts of money ("capital"), which cannot be accumulated at home because this requires technology.
It's a vicious cycle: technology is dependent on capital, it's dependent on technology, and so on.
Those countries will continue to be relatively poor.
Even within countries with relatively few mountains and many waterways, such as in the U.S., the government of which has spent enormous sums of money, effort and technology to reduce the inequalities of location, the poorest people today are located in mountainous, waterless regions.
However, its geographical disadvantage is offset by its geographical location at former trade routes between rich countries that allowed it to accumulate sufficient capital and technology to "move mountains" (or, at least penetrate them with tunnels and cross the valleys with bridges) and prosper. The Balkan countries in southeastern Europe did not enjoy such an advantage and suffered from economic stagnation.
Switzerland also has the advantages of culture, economy, and politics. We will find nations with too many mountains and too few navigable waterways: Tajikistan, Nepal, Mongolia, and Bhutan.
If we included Afghanistan and Tibet, they would probably belong to this group for the same reasons. As a result, a country's geography is an important determinant of its ability to attain greater wealth.
In particular, countries with too many mountains and too few waterways are unlikely to become richer relative to other countries, although they certainly will become absolutely richer because of the inevitable trade of cheaper goods and services provided by their richer neighbors.
However, absolute wealth breeds envy by its citizens who see the richer countries enjoying goods and services which they cannot afford, and this envy may lead to revolution or emigration, or both.
The use of technology is dependent not just on geography but also on culture. Nations that do not have basic schools will forever depend upon the largesse of rich nations.
How can you teach a farmer or a plant worker to perform simple tasks effectively if they cannot read or write?
Those nations that have a developed educational system, but whose leaders prefer to teach children how to read and interpret their holy books rather than mathematics, science, engineering, and programming may achieve spiritual wealth, but surely will not achieve material wealth, because technologies depend on technical education.
We are talking here, not only of innovative scientists and engineers, the unattainable for the poorest countries, but technical operators, i.e., "technicians", the people who must know enough math and science to make small decisions involving the operation of increasingly complex machinery. Again, scan the list of countries below and you will clearly see that the rich have highly developed primary, secondary, and university scientific, engineering, and technician educations available to most of its population, both men and women.
Therefore, even if these countries had the right technologies, which they do not do, they would not even be able to properly maintain the imported technologies due to their poorly educated technicians. As regards religious practices, still from a materialist point of view, the rich countries have long subordinated the pursuit of religious values to those of the acquisition of wealth.
Their schools provide an education consistent with that end. On the other hand, those countries that prefer to spend time and education on religious matters cannot expect to enjoy high per capita incomes unless they are among the fortunate few that sit above precious petroleum, gold or diamonds required by the rich countries.
The use of technologies depends not only on geography, but also on the economy and policy of nations.
The subsistence economies, like those of the aboriginal nations, have resulted in their subjugation and unhappiness by people with more advanced economies that have involved the division of labour, technology, and trade, economies.
Redistribution benefits the poor at the expense of the rich, but it does not encourage greater incomes in general.
In summary, the kind of economy and polity determine the ability of poor countries to become rich and the successes of the economic reform system have prevailed over other forms the world over.
From the above discussion, it is clear that a country with an unfavorable geographic, or economy or polity is severely handicapped to make sufficient technological advances that increase the wealth and living standards of its people.