Saturday Link Thread

Economics vs culture as an explanation for rising living standards.

“The Bad History Behind ‘You Didn’t Build That’
By Virginia Postrel 2012-08-02T23:05:48Z”

“Capitalism, not culture, drives economies
By Fareed Zakaria, Published: August 1”

It's interesting that Zakaria considers capitalism to be something separate from Western culture, as opposed to being a part of it.

Also, this is probably how Mitt Romney meant to use the term "Anglo-Saxon" in contrast with continental Europe.

Freer — and Less Free
Published: August 2, 2012

PARIS — On freedom and equality, two of three rallying cries of the revolution of 1789, the French and Anglo-Saxon worlds have differed. Each finds both important, at least if equality is defined as equality of opportunity, but disagrees on how they should be balanced.

Liberty unchecked by solidarity does not make a French heart beat faster the way freedom untrammeled lifts the American spirit. Here the state is cherished as protector rather than reviled as predator. It is seen as the balancer of economic opportunity, not the brake on it.

History and geography explain these differences: French borders have not changed much for centuries while an American’s imagination always stands at some new frontier. The Gallic cake, of static size, needs fraternal division while the U.S. cake demands eternal expansion. "

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