Nothing Left To Steal

The anecdote of the day comes from Paul Collier’s book, The Bottom Billion:

Some years ago I found that my neighbor at a conference was was a former vice-president of Ghana. He explained that he was delighted to have been invited to the conference: the invitation had actually prompted his release from prison. He had been imprisoned following a coup d’état, and so we talked about that. He told me how unprepared the government had been for the coup; it was totally unexpected. Surely not, I said; coups are pretty common. He explained why the government considered itself safe: “By the time we came to power, there was nothing left to steal.”