What is it, really, that makes a country great?
Surely not size. Russia has 56 times the territory and more than twice the population of Italy. Yet Italy’s economy, troubled as it is, is 44 percent larger than Russia’s.
Nor is it sheer scale. China’s G.D.P. may eventually outstrip America’s. But per capita Chinese G.D.P. is lower than Mexico’s, making it a rich country of relatively poor people.
Raw military power? Vladimir Putin controls what is probably the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, capable of blowing up the world many times over. But the Russian Navy can barely operate a single aircraft carrier far from its shore.
A better measure of national greatness is the ability of nations to cultivate, attract and retain human capital. People tend to vote with their feet. To trace the rise or decline of nations is to watch where those feet go — and where they leave.
Take Hungary. Since 1960, seven Hungarians have won the Nobel Prize. Not bad for a small country — except that all of them left Hungary to make their lives and careers elsewhere.
Read the full story from New York Times: “If You Want to MAGA, Save DACA”