Here’s a Good Example of How Charts Can Improve Your Life

The LA Times reports today that Chinese investment in the US “plunged” last year. “The pullback, which reversed nearly a decade of sharp growth, was underway even before President Trump threatened a barrage of tariffs on Chinese goods amid rising economic tensions between the two nations.”

I was musing about whether I should care about this when I flipped the page and found a chart showing Chinese investment over the past decade:

That puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? What it really looks like is that Chinese investment in the US is on a fairly steady upward path, with a sudden huge spike in 2016 that China’s State Council decided to rein in. So now my mind is made up: I don’t really care about this.¹

¹With the caveat that if something terrible happens next year as a result of declining Chinese overseas investment, I will naturally claim to have known from the start that this was a big problem the Trump administration ignored for far too long.


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