No, America Is Not a Poor Country

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When Donald Trump says America is a loser, apparently he’s dead serious. Judging by some of his answers during his interview with the Washington Post editorial board yesterday, he genuinely thinks we’ve all but slipped into third-world status these days. Here he is on American support for NATO:

NATO was set up at a different time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. We’re not a rich country. We’re borrowing, we’re borrowing all of this money.

On South Korea:

That’s a wealthy country. They make the ships, they make the televisions, they make the air conditioning. They make tremendous amounts of products….I think that we are not in the position that we used to be. I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we’re a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation.

And on Saudi Arabia:

If you look at Germany, if you look at Saudi Arabia, if you look at Japan, if you look at South Korea — I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?…We pay billions— hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting other countries that are in theory wealthier than we are….I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?

“We’re a poor country now.” I wonder how many people believe that just because Donald Trump keeps saying it? In case anyone cares, the actual truth is in the chart on the right. There’s not a single country in the world bigger than 10 million people that’s as rich as the US.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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