Understanding the USA (or not)

There are many ways in which the USA is different to the rest of the World, and many ways that the rest of the world does not understand the USA.

Sometimes, as Europeans who see the US on their screens ALL THE TIME, it's hard to understand how deep that lack of understanding is. In both directions.

I've previously written about how European and US differences can be illustrated by showing Americans the characters in this picture. The vast majority of Americans don't know who they are. And that is amazing to Europeans.

One more dimension where the US is particularly different from Europe is in the scale and longevity of the military spending. It's only one dimension, but it feels like a big one. Particularly when you see the growth of China and the decline of Russia and that the US has maintained huge military spending and military involvement around the world at a level so much higher than any other country.

Note: The charts more or less work on a mobile phone in landscape mode.

Most Americans don't know who these people are. Europeans practically ALL know who these people are.
It's surprising, and unexpected.

Military spending doesn't explain why the USA is different.

But it does illustrate that the USA is different.