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FIRE AWAY….Max Boot says that America is still fundamentally strong and will bounce back from its current economic woes. I think he’s right about that — though with the caveat that we probably have some tough times ahead as we wind down our current account deficit, as we have to. But then he tells us exactly why America’s economy is such a winner:

Looking deeper at the causes of American competitiveness shows that we score especially strongly not only in domestic market size (No. 1 in the world) but also in such areas as time required to start a business (No. 3), venture capital availability (No. 1), the cost of firing an employee (No. 1), ownership of personal computers (No. 2), university/industry research collaboration (No. 1) and quality of scientific research institutions (No. 2).

Italics mine. Look: I’m on board with the idea that many European countries make it so hard to fire employees that it ossifies their economies and hurts growth. Some of their rules pass understanding. Still, is it really something to be proud of that America is the easiest country in the whole world in which to get fired from your job? No wonder Boot’s party still can’t escape the shadow of Herbert Hoover.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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