Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson: Uncultured ... Mitt Romney's Economic History

Roundup: Media's Take

Daron Acemoglu is the Elizabeth and James Killian professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and James A. Robinson is the David Florence professor of government at Harvard University.

"Culture makes all the difference," Mitt Romney told an intimate gathering of Israeli businessmen at Jerusalem's posh King David Hotel. "And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things."

The U.S. Republican presidential hopeful, whose own net worth is estimated at roughly $250 million, went on to compare Israelis' economically comfortable existence with the more straitened circumstances in Palestinian areas. The comment predictably drew the ire of Palestinian leaders, with one senior official deriding it as "racist."

Despite the controversy, Romney then doubled down on his argument in a short op-ed for the National Review, asking, "But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture?"

Unfortunately for Romney, the answer is: quite a lot...

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