PAUL SOLMAN: Of all the cultures you've studied that have tried to deal with severe economic dislocations, what's the marker of resiliency?
JARED DIAMOND: It seems to me that one of the predictors of a happy versus an unhappy outcome has to do with the role of the elite or the decision-makers or the politicians or the rich people within the society.
If the society is structured so that the decision-makers themselves suffer from the consequences of their decisions, then they're motivated to make decisions that are good for the whole society, whereas if the decision-makers can make decisions that insulate themselves from the rest of society, then they're likely to make decisions that are bad for the rest of society.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Online NewsHour | February 13, 2009 | PBS: