“We have been borrowing massively abroad—some $850 billion in 2006 alone. With the government spending massively, and with American households saving zero, there was nowhere else to turn. We used to lecture other countries about what good economic policy meant; now they are laughing behind our backs—and occasionally lecturing us. While we seem traumatized by the idea of our government running a bank, we seem to accept the notion that a foreign government might have a major share in iconic American financial institutions—banks so important to our economy that they are too big to fail. Economists who have calculated the exchange rate required to end our trade deficit provide horrific numbers, suggesting that the decline in the dollar may have only just begun. Americans will no longer be able to even buy a cup of coffee in Paris. We can avoid these adjustments, which will be painful to us and our trading partners, but only by increasing our savings rate.”

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.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

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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