America Is the Place to Be

With Donald Trump overseas, I’m feeling in an international mood. First off, here are average earnings in America compared to other developed countries:

As you can see, the top four countries on this list are in a class by themselves, and all of them are quite small except for the US. Among largeish countries, average income in the US is 14 percent higher than the Netherlands; 27 percent higher than Germany; 38 percent higher than France and the UK; 42 percent higher than Sweden; and 65 percent higher than Italy.

And speaking of how rich we are, I mentioned a few days ago that I was less scared of China than most people because I think their demographic problems are going to slow them down before long. In fact, they already have: China’s growth rate has gone from 10-13 percent per year in the 90s and aughts to 8 percent per year and then 6 percent per year in the teens. The chart below shows just how unlikely it is for them to catch up to us anytime soon:

In the middle growth scenario, China is still only half as rich as us even by 2050. Today, they simply aren’t in our ballpark even after three decades of miraculous growth, and they’ll probably stay that way for the rest of our lifetimes.

We have plenty of problems, but I continue to maintain that no area of the world is in better shape than we are. We’re rich now, and we’re positioned to grow faster and stay richer than just about anyplace bigger than a city state. If you disagree, I’d like to know who you’re betting on.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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