Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world in 1900. Its GDP per capita, according to the Maddison Project database, was $4,583. At the same time, Germany’s GDP per capita was $4,758, Sweden’s was $3,320, and Japan’s $2,123, the same as South Africa one year earlier, while Indonesia ($1,151) and India ($955) were comparatively poorer.1
More than a century later, in 2018, the situation was very different. While Argentina was four times as rich in 2018 as in 1900 ($18,556 vs. $4,583, adjusted for price increases), Germany was ten times richer in 2018 than in 1900 – a country, one must remember, that had suffered defeat in two world wars. Sweden was fourteen times richer. Indonesia was ten and India seven times richer.