It is often the case that, at least from the standpoint of economic achievement, a people has a great personal culture but a bad political culture. The Jews are my favorite example: great work ethic, strong emphasis on education, etc. that allow them to prosper given decent economic policies, combined with deep-rooted support for socialism and antipathy to free markets. Thus, Jews are more prosperous in the U.S. where they are a tiny minority, than in Israel where the median voter is Jewish.
Now Pete Boettke asked me if there are any peoples with the opposite combination: bad personal culture, good political culture. The best example I've come up with so far is the Irish, who at least lately have adopted relatively sound economic policies, but still appear to have stereotypical problems of alcoholism and the like.
Has anyone got better examples? -- Prof. Bryan Caplan Department of Economics George Mason University http://www.bcaplan.com [EMAIL PROTECTED]
"It is a talent of the weak to persuade themselves that they suffer for something when they suffer from something; that they are showing the way when they are running away; that they see the light when they feel the heat; that they are chosen when they are shunned." Eric Hoffer, *The Passionate State of Mind*