The Rule of Law
It’s easy to tell a rich society from a poor one. In a poor one, such as Indonesia, someone who saves time by cutting in line may be regarded as “smart”, or “savvy”. In a rich society, where certain ideas are culturally embedded, such a person is just regarded as a jerk.
Sure, there are plenty of people who get away with stealing in rich societies, and profit by criminal action. But such action is the exception, not the rule. Poor societies can’t create wealth because of massive and endemic corruption. When former Brazilian president Fernando Cardosa was asked if he envied anything about English society, he quickly replied “the rule of law.” Brazil is beset by systematic