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  • 22

    Do You Have Prosperity in Your Genes?
    Issues; Posted on: 2007-08-26 12:19:40 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Here's an idea that's bound to raise hackles.

    Carlos Alberto Montaner

    It was launched by professor Gregory Clark of the University of California at Davis, a notable economics historian, in a book titled A Farewell to Alms.

    The theory is bold. The values that enable development and prosperity are not only transmitted culturally but may also have a genetic component. That's what Clark deduces from his study of English testaments written between the 12th and 18th centuries.

    The most prosperous families in the Middle Ages -- those that worked hardest, saved, invested and built a patrimony -- had more children than the families of poor people and were able to take better care of them. Those children survived in greater numbers, so the English in the 18th century came from those frugal and laborious ancestors and carried in their genetic code some sort of successful behavior that eventually led to the launching of the Industrial Revolution in England.

    The news coincides with another report, very interesting and somewhat contradictory. The Fletcher School at Tufts University, one of the finest U.S. institutions, has just inaugurated the Cultural Change Institute, a think tank devoted to promoting the values of prosperity and development in societies that are totally or partially backward.

    The project, launched by the indefatigable essayist and thinker Larry Harrison (later joined by Samuel Huntington), first broached the topic with a major debate at Harvard, resumed it two years later at Tufts and came up with a couple of books that compile the lectures and speeches of the participants: Culture Matters and The Central Liberal Truth.

    The record of those two events contains the seed of the recently created institute.

    News Source: firmaspress.com


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