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Guest Post: The Cargo Cult Economy

After the outbreak of World War II, many isolated islands located in the Pacific Ocean became staging grounds for Japanese and Allied forces. This development unfolded before the primitive indigenous peoples, including those on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. According to Wikipedia:
The vast amounts of military equipment and supplies that both sides air-dropped (or airlifted to airstrips) to troops on these islands meant drastic changes to the lifestyle of the islanders, many of whom had never seen outsiders before. Manufactured clothing, medicine, canned food, tents, weapons and other goods arrived in vast quantities for the soldiers, who often shared some of it with the islanders who were their guides and hosts.

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