Suppose a nation was so blessed with natural resources that it almost could not be poor. Suppose that this nation led the world in gold and chromium production, that it was second in the world in platinum, zirconium, and manganese production, third in vanadium production, fifth in diamond production, seventh in iron and coal production, and produced large amounts of many other minerals and valuable elements as well.
Now suppose that this nation was also among the most richly endowed agricultural areas in the world — that it produced very large export crops of apples, apricots, pears, lemons, tangerines, grapes, and oranges, and that it also was among the world’s major producers of corn and wheat. Such a land would be even more blessed than Saudi Arabia, because as valuable as oil is today, it is affected by the market price of energy for that single resource.
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Photo: A nurse, left, explains to patients, right, that abortion proceedures are performed only during the week at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa: AP Images