The Resource Curse

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A country’s natural wealth often doesn’t trickle down to its citizens. This “resource curse” particularly plagues the world’s largest oil producing states. The chart below illustrates how the curse affects this small club and its newest member, Equatorial Guinea. – Michal Lumsden

Country

Daily oil production (thousands of barrels)

Corruption ranking**

Political rights / civil liberties ratings***

Development ranking*

Average annual per capita income

Annual per capita health expenses

Life expectancy

Infant mortality (per 1,000 births)

Saudi Arabia

9,817

71

7/7

73

$8,530

$375

72

23

Russia

8,543

90

5/5

63

$2,610

$115

67

18

Iran

3,852

87

6/6

106

$2,000

$363

70

35

Venezuela

2,987

114

3/4

69

$3,490

$307

74

19

Nigeria

2,185

144

4/4

152

$320

$15

52

110

Algeria

1,857

97

6/5

107

$1,890

$73

69

39

Libya

1,488

108

7/7

61

N/A

$143

72

16

Angola

885

133

6/5

164

$740

$31

40

154

Azerbaijan

313

140

6/5

89

$810

$8

72

74

Equatorial Guinea

249

N/A

7/6

116

$930

$76

49

101

United States

7,454

17

1/1

7

$37,610

$4,887

77

7

*out of 175 countries, 1=highest

** out of 146 countries, 1=least corrupt

*** 1= most free, 7= least free

All figures based on most current available numbers.

Sources: British Petroleum 2004 Statistical Review of World Energy (oil production), Freedom House (political rights, civil liberties ratings), Transparency International (corruption ranking), United Nations Human Development Report (development ranking, health expenditures, life expectancy, infant mortality), World Bank (per capita income, health expenditures)

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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