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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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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