Countries With No Natural Resources Are The Luckiest Countries

Should a country be considered lucky if it sits on top of vast oil reserves? Or have caves studded with gems or mountains of gold?

Perhaps not.

Columnist Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times wrote an interesting article about how there's an inverse correlation between a country's natural and its human resources:

EVERY so often someone asks me: “What’s your favorite country, other than your own?”

I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. “Taiwan? Why Taiwan?” people ask.

Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of — it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction — yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence — men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: “You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas — and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today.


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It couldn't feel more true when living in Argentina.

Argentina has overabundance of resources: oil, copper, gold, silver, natural gas, uranium, lead, very fertile land, wood.
Yet it is squandered. Creating an unstable, uneducated and poor country.
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Taiwan is a barren rock? I guess Thomas Friedman has never been there, even though he claims it's his second favorite country. Another incredibly stupid statement in what's looking like some kind of world record for serial cluelessness. Sometimes I think he just says stuff he knows is incredibly wrong and stupid just to see if anyone is gullible enough to publish it.
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Thomas was being metaphorical. Natural resource-wise, Taiwan is a "barren rock in the middle of a typhoon-laden sea".

It has no mining to speak of, no timber, no oil, no natural gas and no gold. It does have some coal, but that's not very significant.
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