Chart of the Day: Done By 40

Brad DeLong is surprised by this chart:

I suspect this is surprising only to people like Brad and me (and most of our readers): that is, college educated, white collar workers who make pretty good incomes and work in jobs where continual lifetime advancement is the norm. But that’s definitely not the norm for the vast majority of the country. If you work as a truck driver or a waitress or an accounts payable clerk, then by the time you’re 40 you’ve peaked out. Your job pays what it pays, and once you’ve accumulated a few years of experience you make as much as you’re ever going to make. It’s a different world from the one lived in by the upper middle class, and unfortunately, it’s an increasingly foreign one to a lot of us.

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

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