Call for papers on Adam Smith for special issue of Filosofia de la Economia
The Uninsured

“The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.”

By Jonathan B. Wight

Thomas Friedman at the New York Times can be irritating and boring, writing his books on the tarmac as he jets about the world.  The level of critical analysis, once deep and enriching, has disappointed in recent years as his fame has grown. 

Occasionally he makes good points.  Yesterday’s column points out an important truth: Putin’s economic power rests on oil and gas, both hydrocarbons that are so 20th century.  The 21st century will likely and hopefully make the transition to alternative forms of solar power.

Friedman notes: “The former Saudi oil minister, Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, once warned his OPEC colleagues something Putin should remember: ‘The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.’ It ended because we invented bronze tools, which were more productive.” Stone-Age-Man-4230

Whether it takes 20 years or 40 years, Russia’s long term future is not in doubt: it has to diversify or continue down the path of a dying state, admittedly with lots of weapons.  To change its course will be difficult if not impossible because one does not build a 21st century economy by restricting people’s freedoms. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)