The 'similarities' between the US and Argentina at the turn of the 20th century have been commented on endlessly. I'm not so sure they were such similar countries. Argentina's prosperity lasted for a relatively short time whereas the US has been on the upswing throughout its history - with obvious burps here and there such as the Great Depression and possibly the present moment. The ethnic mix of the US until recent years has been radically different from that of Argentina. Anglo-Saxons, Germans and Dutch were the dominant immigrant groups of the 17th and 18th centuries. They came to settle permanently, their work ethic was strong and reinforced by Protestant, especially Calvinist, teaching that emphasized the godly nature of work. Many were in fact religious refugees whose motivation for emigrating was religious, not economic. Pennnsylvania and Massachusetts were two such colonies. From the start education was highly valued by Americans. The Quakers in Pennsylvania (the colony was founded in the 1600's by Wlliam Penn as a "Holy Experiment") established many schools, some of which are around today and are considered among the best in the world (President Obama's daughters attend a Quaker school, Sidwell Friends). By contrast, education in Argentina was limited and poor for a very long time. In the 19th century President Sarmiento saw the need for change, traveled to the US to study education and the American system. He came back with a team of qualified teachers to work in Argentina. I recall reading that when Don Bosco first sent the Salesians to Agentina his goal was the conversion of the Indians in Patagonia however when the Salesians arrived they were appalled at the dreadful conditions under which the Italian immigrants were living; the lack of education was terrible. As a result, the Salesians remained in BA for years so that they could help improve these conditions before they began their task of missionizing the Indians. Many have observed that the Argentine ethnic mix, dominated by people of Italian and Spanish descent, has traditionally lent itself to authoritarianism and to a statist government with all that that entails. Consider that during WW II Argentina remained officially "neutral" though it was well known that the Perons were pro Axis and that there was plenty of pro Nazi / fascist support in the country. Argentina became a haven for Nazi loot during and after the War with many Germans settling here. The strain on relations with the US could not have helped economic development.