Same good earth, different harvests

by Dave

Just like in harvests, severe economic and political limitations restrict the income of individuals around the world, as well.
Case in point:
Within India – $1trillion economy 1billion individuals – $1000 per capita
Overseas Indians: $350 billion annual income 20 million individuals – $17500 per capita
(rough figures, not adjusted for PPP)

As far as I know, there has been no large-scale blood transfusion/brain transplant in Indians overseas. It’s the institutions and policies for the most part that account for the staggering difference in per capita incomes/output.
The best land for farming corn, wheat and soybeans looks remarkably the same around the world, though the results could hardly be more different.

From the Argentine pampas to western Ukraine to central Illinois, the topsoil is flat, dark and deep. It retains moisture but drains well. It can be tilled without forming a crust or blowing away on the breeze. More often than not, it gets favorable weather. And it recovers quickly from the abuses of mankind.

If the world is going to grow enough food to meet rising demand, these acres must produce more. Yet in many countries where the blessings of sky and earth combine, farmers labor under severe economic and political limitations. Crop yields vary drastically even with identical weather and soil conditions. So Ukrainian farmers produce a fraction of what their U.S. counterparts grow on comparable land.