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.

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