Book Review – Poverty of Nations (8/8)

Why are some nations so rich, and some so poor? Why do some nations — improvised in natural resources — yet can become so rich, but some blessed abundantly with natural resources and still remain so poor? Or think about it this way, what can nations (even those deprived of natural resources) do if they want to move out of poverty into prosperity?The Poverty of Nations

The answers (un)surprisingly lies mostly within the system in which the country run by, economist Barry Asmus and theologian Wayne Grudem combine in this book to promote and defend their concept of free-market economy as the only solution for any nations to move out of poverty.

So steps can a nation take to move out of poverty? The main thesis of this book is that there is only one way for nations to do that — by producing more goods than they consume. However the book is not just about economics, good governance which this book see as fundamental to good economy are also entailed within this book.

This book is a tour de force of exceptional good writing, even with a minimal understanding of economics none of the concept was too hard to understand. Asmus and Grudem does show their depth of research and thinking through the solutions they propose which aim to help every nations. I cannot recall any other book which is so comprehensive and detailed in it’s depth which aims to explain how nations can start to be prosperous.

One minor areas that I thought might be good to be raised here in this review, although the book claims to be “Christian” with Grudem on board to explain the theological basis for such a system, I found some of the verses to be more of proof-texts in the initial chapters. I felt that the model proposed was more economically driven that theologically driven, though I do not disagree with the theological basis raised within the book. What is more, in the last chapter, I think Grudem has done a superb job of proving, explaining and defending the theological basis of the model especially in the cultural values. The other point is, some of the points can be rather repetitive, especially the point about private property (p. 140-149, 191-192, 325, etc), although they might be sometimes viewed from other perspectives on this issue, it was a bit too repetitive on this one point. These minor points does not in any way makes the book any less helpful and useful for nations though. Although this may be a bit of a long read, this book is easy to follow and comprehend. I highly encourage those who wants to have a good concept on economics or wishes to help their nations be prosperous to read this book, I’m sure you’ll see that these points are valid, practical and feasible.

Rating:4.5/5

If you’re interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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