The evolution of a long list of factors suggests that no matter what some chiefs of state are saying in contemplating conditions favorable to growth, these will not show up till the economy can find a new base. This will not materialize as long as increases in entitlements and other public debt create an investment world characterized by doubt, while:
• Risks are ominously mounting in western economies, and
• Uncertainty sustains the global economic crisis.
At the same time, nepotism and cleptocracy foster economic inefficiency and inequality. Nations decline because of the lobbying power of distributional coalitions, which represent special-interest groups.
This aftereffect is worsened by living beyond one’s means over long ...