Charts of the Day: If Only Every State Could Be As “Out of Control” As California

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


I feel like someone ought to defend the honor of California against our president, so why not me? Here you go:

Since the state GDP series started in 1997, California GDP has grown 12 percent more than the country as a whole. The number of workers has grown 7 percent more. If only every state could be as out of control as California.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten a bit of grief from folks suggesting that this difference is just because California’s population has grown faster than the rest of the US. Not so: between 1997 and 2015, California’s population increased about 20 percent while total US population increased about 18 percent. If the difference were bigger I would have gone to the trouble of calculating GDP and employment per capita, but there wasn’t much point.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest