In Jared Diamond's study of human history, Germs, Guns, and Steel, he talks about the question that prompted him to study the course of human events. As an avid bird watcher, Diamond took many trips to New Guinea where he befriended a man named Yali. Yali asked Diamond why it was that the European descendants had so much while the people of New Guinea had so little. Diamond's fascinating account of the forces that shaped human history and the distribution of wealth is great reading. However, if Yali's question was answered by an economist, it would have only taken a chapter.