All in United States

Why is Latin America Poorer than the United States?

It is hard to believe how much richer the United States is than Latin America. Each year, the US economy generates more than three times as much wealth as the twenty countries of Latin America combined. Before Columbus arrived in 1492, the largest, wealthiest, and most technologically advanced societies were in South America and modern-day Mexico. What changed? Why are garages in the US larger than many homes in Latin America?

Why is South Korea So Rich?

The competition for Korea’s most famous cultural export is now closed. With more than 3 billion views, Gangnam Style has done more to put South Korea on the map than anything else. The video portrays South Korea as confident, stylish, and prosperous—and that’s accurate.

What’s remarkable is how quickly South Korea became one of the most advanced economies in the world. In 1960, the average South Korean was poorer than the average person in Senegal, Honduras, or the Philippines. Today, they are more than ten times richer. How did that happen?

What is the Electoral College?

Every four years, people all over the world watch as the results of the American presidential election come in. By the end of the night, the result is usually clear but how the process actually works is anything but. The source of confusion is the Electoral College. To win, a candidate needs to have 270 votes in the Electoral College. But what is it? What is the relationship between the few hundred voters in the Electoral College and the tens of millions who went to the polls on election day? It seems a bizarre way of choosing the president of the most powerful country in the world.

Why is Iraq So Unstable?

If you’re in search of bad news, you can rely on Iraq. Terrorists, internal conflict, poor government, lethal explosions—these are the all too familiar headlines. Iraq’s recent past is sad. Much of its distant past is sad, too. Why? What did Iraq do to deserve all this pain? Very little. Most of Iraq’s troubles have been caused by outsiders. But our story starts in the days when Iraq was powerful and majestic.

Why Doesn't the US Have Universal Health Care?

What does the United States have in common with Peru, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan? Answer: none of them have a universal health care system. The US is the only country in the developed world that does not provide health care to all of its citizens. The rest of the world thinks it’s strange and even heartless that the richest country on earth doesn’t seem to be able to look after its own people. That judgment may be harsh, as we’ll see. But the health care set-up in the US is certainly unusual. Why?