How to Make a Country Rich

How to Make a Country Rich

Most of what we call ‘politics’ really revolves around the question of what you need to do to make a country richer. Rather than ask this of any specific country, let’s imagine designing a country from scratch. How could you make it as rich as possible? Suppose the brief was to design ‘Richland’: an ideal wealth-creating society. What would be the chief characteristics you need to build into this society? What would a nation look like that was ideally suited to success in modern capitalism? Traditional economics guides to eight core requirements for Richland: Military security and law in order, lack of corruption and institutions, low amounts of red-tape around employment legislation and taxation, a technically, well-educated, mobile, flexible labour-force, a high-grade infrastructure and good telecommunications, fair, transparent, and competitive markets, reliably enforceable contracts, and low corporation tax (probably between ten and fifteen percent). But aside from these eight factors, there is one thing that invariably makes a critical difference to the wealth of society’s: what we might call ‘cultural factors’. To make Richland properly rich, you’d need to ensure that a number of cultural factors were firmly embedded in the national mentality. Here are some of these wealth-inducing attitudes: In Richland, at parties, the first thing people want to know is: what do you do? According to how you answer, people are either delighted to see you, or swiftly abandon you by the peanuts. In Richland, what’s on your business card is simply who you are. All the other stuff (what you were like as a child, what you think of late at night, who your parents are) don’t really matter. In Richland, friendships are usually linked to work and involve covert status rivalries. If you fall behind, your friends might drop you. You have to invest an enormous amount of effort in your career, not merely to make money, but so that you can have a functioning social identity; so that people will be nice to you. In Richland, parents place a tremendous emphasis on educational achievements. Children come away feeling not just that it’s nice to do well in exams, but they are more lovable human beings, more worthy of existence, if they triumph at school, especially in maths and science. You therefore learn early on that love comes from successful performance: the more you achieve, the kinder people will be to you. In Richland, everyone is encouraged from a young age to imagine that they might one day (perhaps by around 33) be the richest person in the country; if they work hard. Posters of rich and famous people adorn the walls of primary schools. The national anthem is called ‘I can do it!’… An ecstatic rendition of human possibility. This keeps the workforce highly motivated. Dreams of successful entrepreneurship abound. But by middle-aged, most people in Richland have by definition fail to measure up to the exalted hopes once placed in them. They keep their regrets hidden, however, and quietly prescribed tranquilizers and antidepressants. People don’t sleep very well in Richland. They’re often up at 4 am. That worries all relate to their careers. That’s because market capitalism in
Richland is very ‘efficient’. Efficiency means constant innovation and rivalry: the weaker players in any field are always driven out of business swiftly and without mercy. The stock market is ruthless about punishing underperformance (normally on a quarterly basis). In Richland, everything is geared towards the needs of the consumer: there must be low prices, that has to be excellent customer service, shops have to be open at all hours. There can be no sacrosanct high holidays or weekends. Even though most people are both consumers and producers, in Richland, they are taught to think of themselves primarily as consumers. In their minds, their multiple woes as producers are carefully disassociated from the scale of their expectations as consumers. There is ‘news’ everywhere in Richland: on websites, phones, and 24-hour channels… and it’s always catastrophic. Citizens thereby learn that the world is incredibly unsafe, and that terror, accident and cruelty await at every turn. There is utter silence about anything
positive. Every encounter with the media leaves one suspecting that the only way to protect oneself is through the accumulation of ever larger sums of money. In Richland, people don’t take many holidays. Generally they’re very self-denying and scared about what might happen if they don’t remain in the office long enough. They get up early, are suspicious of any kind of indulgence, and have sandwiches at their desks for lunch. On the other hand they’re very interested in paying a lot for what they call ‘fun’. They pay a significant premium to have a car that can go at twice the legal speed limit and flying far away on holiday many times a year. Activities that don’t cost much (like going for long walks around the local neighborhood, or writing poetry) are seen as an impressive slightly eccentric things. Though many of Richland’s psychologist speak of the benefit of parents spending time with their small
children, most children are brought up by staff from low-wage countries while their parents go to work. This lack of secure attachment does wonders for the children in turn: they grow up anxious, eager to please and desperate to attain security through work. In Richland, there are powerful currents of fashion around most things: what thickness your TV screen has, what kind of ethnicity of food you eat, what models of phone you talk on. People can get rapidly dissatisfied with their current possessions and quickly excited by new products. It feels very important to be up to date. It’s a serious blow to one’s self-esteem to feel that one is missing a trend. You can get into trouble if your phone is more than three years old. People speak highly of thinking for yourself, but sheep-like behavior is better for the shops. Every society has famous people in it, but Richland is very selective about it heroes: it doesn’t revere contemplative monks,
wise sages or philosophers. Glamour is monopolised by wealth creators, especially ones in films. Their doings are constantly reported on so that the lives of most ordinary people seem really squalid and awful by comparison. News of the famous means that people try much, much harder to work and improve their apparently miserable lot. Richland is seen as a very ‘fair’ place. If you work hard and a clever, you’ll get there. There’s no nepotism or inside a trading. The playing field is level. That’s a lovely philosophy for the winners, but more punitive for those who get left behind. They are termed ‘losers’, and a judge
personally responsible for their own shortcomings. It’s a culture that’s very hostile to the idea of luck. You’re the author of your own fate. If things go wrong, don’t blame anyone else. Has a very high suicide rate in Richland. In Richland, there’s no religion that energetically promote spiritual goods and sees kindness or wisdom a superior to wealth or power. In general, people are secular and mock the religious. But in so far as some people do believe, the God they believe in is remarkably materialistic: it’s a chap in the sky who believes in rewarding those who are good with dollops of money. Richland has very bad weather. It combines the worst of England and the Netherlands: brief, mild, unreliable summers with only around seven countless days in it and with a temperature rarely getting into the 20s. Then come long endless dark winters with gusty, icy winds and low heavy cloud. As a result, the natural world delivers a constant reminder that delight is never freely and bountifully provided by nature; good things don’t grow on trees, only unremitting human industry can provide salvation. The citizens of Richland can certainly be envied for their wealth: their shopping malls are extraordinary and their restaurants truly superlative. But they do also have to be a little pitied for some of their 4 am anxieties; for their relentless doubts about their careers and for the worry that no one can really like them outside of what they’ve managed to achieve this quarter.


  1. Richland sounds like spiritually and emotionally bankrupt land. Exactly where we're heading in the west.

  2. The USSR industrialised extremely quickly in less than 30 years because of its five year plans. something that the rest of the world took 300 years to achieve. And they did it without all that free-market materialistic nonsense in your video!!!

  3. This is when I'm glad to belong to a sunny, warm with smiley-fiesta people. I'm happy like this, thank you.

  4. I think this video is about how to achieve maximum productivity. I believe we should strive for a balance between excellent productivity and a good mental health.

  5. Youtube doesn't make countries rich just USA only. Advance Economic developed countries never got rich on youtube.

  6. looks like people in rich land are all prisoners and slaves to something, I wonder if there was a possibility for the people in rich land to attain stoicism or nirvana! Then everyone in richland will be happy and calm even in worst situations!

  7. How to make a country rich. First: Attack weaker countries in the name of God Gold and Glory, then make their citizen your slave, take over their resources, create a fake government preferred with religious suppressor so you can blame them as the reason why you are rich and why your slaves are poor.

  8. I just unsubscribed! This is too much like Bright Side. They too post inaccurate info just for clickbait. Waste of my time. I'm an old American school teacher and from MY experiences your video was just untrue. Most of my world is considered successful relative to the rest of the world, and in no way did those that I served hold the values you highlighted. Faith, family, friends, and fun rule my community. And a healthy respect for character and skill building. Hunting and fishing and a love of automobiles. Music. Church. Pets. Good food. And lots of hugs and laughter. People want to make enough that they have a roof over their heads that won't fall in. And a reliable car. Personally I have driven the same car for over 500,000 miles (thanks toyota!) We don't like to own too much–it just gets in the way and there's always someone else who can enjoy it. Whomever wrote this video has an agenda. In Southern terms, the people of my community would just respond with, "Bless your heart." and :God bless." May you find peace and contentment.

  9. Can we get a School of Life video about Happyland that compares and contrasts to Richland? Help us, philosophers! We’re “rich” (endlessly in debt) and unhappy!

  10. This is total socialist BS. The goal is purely for propaganda rather than trying to show how to create a successful country.
    The truth is success in a country comes from smart people who value freedom and ingenuity. This is why the US is one of the wealthiest and best places to live. However, there are those who seek to corrupt and destroy the US's success and they are known as socialists.

  11. The only thing missing is a tiny class of rich people who own almost everything and beome richer every minute by doing absolutely nothing.

  12. Can you make a video about how some richer countries have destabilize some governments through corruption to better exploits the resources of the poor country?

  13. What the ** was that bit about the climate about? I like rain. And the bits about religion: which rich country has a wealth-based religion and mocks the priests? South Korea? Japan? Germany?

  14. This is so USA, and all hail to money!!! USA is a world leader because we love money and if you don't have money or want money you have no place in society, and if your country has no money we will bully you and tell you what to do. If you dare to defy us while not having money, we will send deadly force to your country and kill your people, after all we have money we have the right to kill you.

  15. Singapore with a Northwestern European climate. Here in Australia one can prosper and design a laidback lifestyle for themselves.

  16. No. Today, most of what we call politics revolves around the question: "From whom shall we steal more and to whom shall we give it?"

  17. When he said bad weather, I immediately said to myself, fuck this, I would go back to financial crisis Greece any day…

  18. It's incredible, you are directly describing what the culture is like now in China!!! And what it was like in the USA for a long time!!

  19. I could not comment under ur video about poor countries because u disabled the comments on it. Even though, there were stuff that were right, I have to tell you that I have never been that upset about your content. You totally denied an important factor : history. U know something called colonialism and neo colonialism.
    Many people learn things on your channel, at least you could give them the broad picture!

  20. Europe Recited and understand Quran, they became rich, now any country would become rich like European countries if they follow Holy Quran.

  21. So, this video seems like a clever critique of the capitalist way of life, but then there is another school of life video that explains why there are rich and poor countries, and that one simply reproduces everything this one criticizes. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT.

  22. Looooool Mate, i expected shit like: people have to spend Money quickly and the currency shouldnt be inflationed and then THIS… this is a Mix of a fucking dystopian novel and Das Kapital

  23. ok i understand the meaning of this video in whole, BUT if you really want to know how a rich country is made look at all the Scandinavian countries, look at Switzerland, these are rich countries where the reality is way better than what is described in this video. Scandinavian countries are some of the happiest. If you think that they were lucky because of Oil and gas and not getting into wars and all this stuff just know that there are other ways to get the money, the real problem is how to manage it

  24. 7:19 – this is factually incorrect. As you can see, there's no correlation (let alone proven causation) between income and suicide rate. There are a lot of suicides in 3rd world countries.

  25. I watched this after watching their other video, "Why Some Countries are Poor and Others Rich" and I don't know anymore if I want my nation to become rich lel.

  26. Capitalism is a bit of a snake pit.
    But of course snakes are not immoral or out to profit at any cost,
    so this is an unfair and stigmatizing comparison for reptiles…

    Reptilian theme in Vigelandsparken Park, Oslo Norway

  27. Living in Africa, I would do anything to turn my country into such a rich land. In the end money is everything

  28. This video is.made by an idiotic socialist. If you don't like Richland, go to poorland asshole. Try that lovely life in Venezuela. Or Cuba , or the Eastern block.

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