No, America Is Not a Poor Country

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When Donald Trump says America is a loser, apparently he’s dead serious. Judging by some of his answers during his interview with the Washington Post editorial board yesterday, he genuinely thinks we’ve all but slipped into third-world status these days. Here he is on American support for NATO:

NATO was set up at a different time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. We’re not a rich country. We’re borrowing, we’re borrowing all of this money.

On South Korea:

That’s a wealthy country. They make the ships, they make the televisions, they make the air conditioning. They make tremendous amounts of products….I think that we are not in the position that we used to be. I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we’re a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation.

And on Saudi Arabia:

If you look at Germany, if you look at Saudi Arabia, if you look at Japan, if you look at South Korea — I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?…We pay billions— hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting other countries that are in theory wealthier than we are….I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?

“We’re a poor country now.” I wonder how many people believe that just because Donald Trump keeps saying it? In case anyone cares, the actual truth is in the chart on the right. There’s not a single country in the world bigger than 10 million people that’s as rich as the US.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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