https://fee.org/articles/why-botswana-is-better-off-than-zimbabwe/ "I’m pontificating on this topic because a reader sent me this very stark contrast between market-friendly Botswana and the statist hellhole of Zimbabwe. I can’t vouch for the specific numbers, though it appears some of them are from the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. The obvious lesson is that good policy is producing vastly superior results in Botswana. But I wanted independent confirmation since not everything one sees on the Internet is true (shocking!). So I checked Human Progress, the invaluable data portal created by Marian Tupy, and downloaded more than 50 years of data for inflation-adjusted ($2010) per-capita GDP in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The results, to put it mildly, are stunning. Botswana has enjoyed much faster growth than South Africa, and Zimbabwe has suffered horrible stagnation. South Africa’s anemic performance doesn’t surprise me. And I guess the gap between Botswana and Zimbabwe shouldn’t surprise me, either. After all, Marian wrote about the difference between Botswana and Zimbabwe back in 2008. How different, I thought, was Zimbabwe from Botswana, the latter of which is safe and increasingly prosperous. But what accounts for such striking differences between the two neighbors? It turns out that much of the difference stems from the degree of freedom that each populace enjoys."