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By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

In America a dollar today is worth much less than a dollar in 1980. Americans marvel at how much cheaper things used to be in the past, when Coca-Cola and movies only cost five cents.

In Japan the story is quite different. For long periods in the past two decades, nominal prices have in fact declined.

These facts reflect a conscious decision made by the authorities of both countries.

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By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

It’s a common thing when Americans visit other countries. They get sick. An American visits a friend in a foreign country, consumes everything on the plate her friend has prepared (out of politeness, not because she actually likes the food), and spends the rest of her week sitting on top of a toilet.

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By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

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Animal Farm is one of the most famous tracts of the 20th century. It’s a prescient warning against totalitarianism. Its influence is such that phrases such as “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” are still used today.

Yet for several years before its publication in the United Kingdom, Animal Farm was censored. Why did this happen? Well, the answer is quite simple.

It criticized the Soviet Union.

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By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 photo Fax-Machine-US-CPSC-CC-Flickr_zpse37fce4b.jpg

Japan is one of the world's most advanced economies. In some ways, however, its economy is quite isolated. This is a result of both geography and history. Japan is both an island alone and a former colonial power heartily disliked by its immediate neighbors.

This is different from most other advanced economies.

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Sat May 04, 2013 at 03:53 PM PDT

The Hillary Clinton Gender Gap

by Inoljt

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

Four years before the 2016 presidential election, and before we even know who is running, some enterprising pollsters have released polls matching Hillary Clinton against an assorted group of potential Republican candidates. Clinton does well; she leads in a number of red states.

In these polls, one interesting constant is the massive gender gap that Hillary Clinton opens up.

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By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

North Korea has been in the news in the past few days and weeks. Most of the attention has been negative; tensions have risen between North Korea and the United States. Not that this is new. The two countries have had bad relations – to say the least – for many decades now.

Coincidentally, just today I was watching a BBC documentary on life in North Korea.  The documentary is very good. It shows that North Koreans are just humans as well with dreams like the rest of us. On the other hand, there is something strange and broken about the society in the film.

Anyways, skip to 5:04.

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I was recently writing a post on how news organizations still haven’t updated their election results. As part of that post, of course, I tried to track down the “real” popular vote. That is, how many votes did President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney actually win, in reality?

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:21 PM PDT

Idiocy at the State Department

by Inoljt

 photo pakistan_kindle_zps719de173.jpg

I recently had the opportunity to watch a presentation by the State Department. Making the presentation was an intense, broad-shouldered diplomat. He talked about his recent posting in Pakistan and the department’s attempts to improve America’s image in a country where it’s less popular than Osama bin Laden. He showed pictures of events he’d held, full of smiling Americans and Pakistanis. The pictures were similar to the one above.

I couldn’t help but notice one thing. In all these events the only language that appeared was English. There would be a presentation of awards given by the American government, for instance. On the background there would be a seal of the American government and signs like “furthering our partnership with Pakistan” or “a gift from the United States.” In English.

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The previous post looked at the economic history of the United States over the past two centuries. In that post, what stood out most was the fact that the economy of the United States has always been one of the strongest in the world.

There are three defining moments of American history after 1800, and this post will examine them. They are the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War. How did these events affect the economy?

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The United States economy is a subject that is very much on the mind of Americans today. It’s also a very obviously influential part of the world; the American consumer market, for instance, often sets trends around the world.

Let’s take a look at the history of the United States economy. How did the American economy become as big and influential as it is today? We begin two hundred years ago, in 1800. Note that the next post will look at three specific moments during the American economy.

1800
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By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

A number of political analysts have labeled Hurricane Sandy as one of the factors that helped Barack Obama win re-election. Here, for instance, is a typical news analysis about it. Some conservatives have even gone so far as to say that the hurricane gave the election to Obama. It wasn't the fault of the Romney campaign that he lost; it was the hurricane.

By the by, Obama wasn't the only president who managed to get a hurricane to hit a major American city during his term.

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Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:21 AM PST

Tourism in the United States

by Inoljt

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

A lot of people visit America. According to the latest estimates, about sixty million people came in 2011.

One interesting way to track tourism in America, and by association the country's openness, is through looking at the number of nonimmigrant visas granted to other countries. The State Department has a number of interesting statistics on the issue, which can be accessed here, here, and here.

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