From a riveting interview (on many subjects) between two heroes of mine: Matt Ridley and Ron Bailey:

I was at a Cato Institute function where the British development economist Peter Bauer was giving a lecture, and I had a really smart-ass question: Isn’t the problem with a lot of poor countries, Africa in particular, that there’s corruption and we have to get rid of corruption? And he leaned back on the podium and smiled and shook his head, no. And he said when the United States and Britain were developing in the 19th century, their governments were as corrupt as anything you’d find in Africa, but the governments in Britain and the United States had control of 1 percent or 2 percent of the economy when those countries were growing. In many African countries, the government controls over 60 percent of the economy. That’s the difference.

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