Centuries of Economic Endeavor - Parallel Paths in Japan and Europe and Their Contrast with the Third World
"Why were monarchs unaware, for centuries,
of the great potential to themselves of permitting greater freedom to business ventures?
Monarchs do not always foresee the greater economic output that comes with freedom to
trade, but if they do, they do not always value it as highly as their power to suppress it.
When power is factored in as a desideratum, mercantilism has its logic."
-- (Concluding remarks in the chapter "The Great Divide [of medieval peasants and lords in Iberia]", p227/228)
[After advances in Iberia before 1990...]
"the downturn of the 1990s has revealed the familiar characteristics of underdevelopment:
corruption, bloated budgets, lack of accountability, and high, stubborn unemployment."
-- (Concluding remarks in the chapter "Industry [of Spain and Portugal by reflection]", p238)
"The decline of Spain in the 17th century is not difficult to understand. The fundamental
fact is that Spain never developed to begin with."
-- Carlo M. Cipolla, "Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy, 1000-1700", 1980 (as quoted Chapter "Industry [of Spain and Portugal by reflection]", p238)
"While the cautious optimism of many observers depends on the goverment's success
in managing the society, my optmimism depends on its failure."
-- (Concluding remark in the chapter "What hope for China", p188)
"At every stage, the strongmen -mostly parasites- would
try to suck the blood of new enterprises to their own benefit.
... Historical precedents exist for many scenarios, optimist and pessimist.
But the central plan endorsed by seven industrial nations and the IMF
is not among them."
(In the chapter "The 21th century: a possible scenario" [for reforms in Russia], p219/220)
"The Russian monetary system before the twentieth century reflects
its primary purpose: to finance consumption of the elite."