Why do nations fail?
Lessons from Venice provide cautionary clues to the future of the US
Several centuries ago, there was a nation that rose to become a world power, on the strength of its innovation and its dedication to capitalist enterprise. It became a major center of trade, a financial powerhouse whose name well known across the planet. It was blessed with an unusual society that rewarded talent and hard work, not social position - one of the few places where a person who had nothing could realistically dream of a far better life. And then this vibrant place, the envy of the world, suddenly collapsed. Its economy shrank; its people left.