There is a growing interest in the role of IQ in national economic performance. One recent study suggests that it isn't the average IQ that matters but the IQ of the smartest 5% of the population:
For each one-point increase in a country’s average IQ, the per capita GDP was $229 higher. It made an even bigger difference if the smartest 5 percent of the population got smarter; for every additional IQ point in that group, a country’s per capita GDP was $468 higher.IQ - like race - is a sensitive subject, to put it mildly. Even if, as I've noted before, it was we Europeans with our 'middling IQ' that succeeded economically rather than higher IQ Asians. Suggesting that there's rather more to economic success than IQ (see Niall Ferguson's current series on Civilization for the details). Which is good news for 'low IQ' nations. Apart from the persistent problem of measuring IQ we also have the Flynn Effect, i.e.: long run improvements in average national IQ due to a possible combination of diet, education, technology etc.
Even better news: evolution hasn't stopped. I recently read The 10,000 Year Explosion - a truly fascinating book. The authors describe an 'endless dance between biological and cultural change' that continues to this day. That evolutionary force means that Civilization will continue to be an intelligence-enhancing 'drug': one that holds out the promise that all of humanity can eventually enjoy a higher standard of living.
A higher standard of living is something we continue to enjoy here in Ireland, despite our embarrassing lapse into self-pity in recent times. The moral of the story? Don't get mad, get smart.