Believe it or not, there are a number of economists who argue that nations with abundant natural resources are destined to be poor.  As evidence, they showcase oil rich countries like Iraq and Venezuela as prime examples.  But according to the National Center for Policy Analysis, such claims are unsupported, as recent studies reveal it is government policies, not rocks and minerals, that are to blame.  These studies point to the real world example of the United States, for instance, which experienced great economic development while becoming the world’s leader in iron ore, timber, and zinc production, among others.  Britain and Australia, with their vast coal reserves, similarly prospered.  With a World Bank study also finding no link to support the claim, it appears abundant resources can indeed translate into abundant wealth.

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