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Sometimes raw data can point you in two different directions at once. Take poverty, for example. CBPP has the details here, but the basic story is that over the past half century we’ve spent a lot of money on social welfare benefits for the poor and it’s made a big difference:

Social welfare programs have cut the poverty rate nearly in half, and that’s true across the board. It’s true for children, for the elderly, and for the working-age population.

On the other hand, if you look at a consistent definition of poverty among our peer countries, things don’t look so good:

Both of these charts are true. There’s nothing sneaky about either one. But taken together, do they mean we’ve done pretty well addressing poverty? Or that we’ve done disgracefully badly? It’s your call.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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