How and Why Countries Reconstruct

The example of Finland recovering after World War II without any Marshall Plan funding and under an obligation to make massive war “reparations” to the Soviets reminds me of a statement by the economist George Horwich:

Destroy any amount of physical capital, but leave behind a critical number of knowledgeable human beings whose brains still house the culture and technology of a dynamic economy, and the physical capital will tend to reemerge almost spontaneously.

The more I read about other countries and travel within them, the more convinced I am of something which sounds like a truism, and would be one, if there weren’t so many people who dispute it: Countries are the way they are because the people who live in them are the way they are.

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