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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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