A reader has written to me because she’s puzzled why I wrote in yesterday’s posting: “Only those countries with leading edge research into genetics will survive reasonably well until world population is much reduced.”
“Why genetics?” she asked. I wrote “genetics” as shorthand for scientific research more roundly.
But what will happen to most countries of the world that can’t break into leading edge scientific research? They’ll get stuck at various levels of industrial production, exporting and thus at various levels of prosperity.
Thus Japan got stuck 20 years ago just at the point when it was about to overtake America’s standard of living. China has probably got stuck at about half-way. India and Brazil not a great way forward from where they are now. And so on for the rest of the 190 non-advanced countries down to the poorest countries like Haiti.