China Is Still Just a Jumbo Version of Albania


I don’t want to pretend to some kind of faux naivete here, but can someone tell me why there’s suddenly a big frenzy about whether China is now the biggest economy in the world? China has 1.3 billion people. Of course they’re eventually going to eventually be bigger than the US. If not this year, then next year or the year after. Everyone knows this. Everyone has always known this. It’s no surprise, and it’s no big deal. They’ve still got about the per capita GDP of Albania, and it will be decades before they become even a middle-income country.

So who cares if they’re fudging the official numbers or the PPP calculations are being done wrong or whatever? Why does anyone even remotely care about this supposed milestone?

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.

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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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