In response to:

Culture Still Matters

Harrison Bergeron Wrote: May 31, 2012 3:56 PM
And you see the same thing on this side of the pond. Why did resource-rich, temperate, civilized South America become a basket case after the Spanish and Portugese colonization, while harsh, cold, resource-poor North America prospered when colonized by the English? This didn't used to be a big mystery. We used to celebrate our Anglo-Saxon heritage (which originated in Germany). Every school kid knew that Anglo-Saxon culture explained American success.

RUDESHEIM, Germany -- This week I am leading a military history tour on the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. You can learn a lot about Europe's current economic crises by just ignoring the sophisticated barrage of news analysis and instead watching, listening, and talking to people as you go down river.

Switzerland, by modern standards, should be poor. Like Bolivia, it is landlocked. Like Italy, it has no real gas or oil wealth. Like Afghanistan, its northern climate and mountainous terrain limit agricultural productivity to upland plains. And like Turkey, it is not a part of the European Union.