Tag Archives: economics

Tax Day and Income Inequality

Tax Day for Americans seems like a great time to talk about income inequality. The article from which this chart comes talks about a recent book exploring the parallels of the 19th century’s inequality—as the article reminds us, the time of “Please, sir, may I have another?”—and the forecast for the 21st. Anyway, the graphic is a nice use of small multiples and highlights that despite the damage done to capital wealth by Great Depressions and two world wars, it is well on its way back to unequal levels.

Income inequality

Income inequality

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.

Comparing Urban Statistics

Sometimes when you are considering moving, you want to look at some broad statistics on the area in which you want to move. In Boston, the Boston Globe has put together a neat little application that does just that. Type in two settlements in the metro area and then get a quick comparison of the two.

Comparing Boston metro cities

Comparing Boston metro cities

Credit for the piece goes to Catherine Cloutier, Andrew Tran, Russell Goldenberg, Corinne Winthrop.

Chicago’s Disappearing Middle Class

President Obama has made a big deal recently about income inequality. The story in short is that the rich in the country are getting rich; the poor are getting poorer; and the people in the middle are fewer in number. Here in Chicago, this has meant that over the last few decades, many of the former middle-class neighbourhoods have been gutted of, well, the middle class. Daniel Kay Hertz has created a series of maps to show just how drastic the change has been since 1970.

Chicago's disappearing middle class

Chicago’s disappearing middle class

Credit for the piece goes to Daniel Kay Hertz.

Changing the Minimum Wage

Here’s a piece from the New York Times where I have to quibble with some minor design decisions. The story behind the graphic is various state actions on the minimum wage compared to where President Obama wants the minimum wage raised. This is a good story and broadly I like the execution. But these arrows, these arrows pierce my design heart. (Too much of a metaphor?) Instead, I think a simple dot plot would have sufficed. But as I noted above, this is more of a quibble than a shame-on-you.

Changes to minimum wages at the state level

Changes to minimum wages at the state level

Credit for the piece goes to Alicia Parlapiano.

Acquiring Technology via Purchases

Last week Facebook acquired a company specialising in virtual reality. The Wall Street Post put together a timeline of technology company acquisitions over the last several years. Each line is a different company and sizes of dots represent the value of the different purchases.

Technology company acquisitions

Technology company acquisitions

Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal’s graphics department.

Spilling the Oil

A few weeks ago, Bloomberg Businessweek published a nice graphic that summarised the last 25 years of oil spills. I’m finally getting around to posting it. But what it does really well is show just how bad the Deepwater Horizon spill was compared to the other big name disaster: Exxon Valdez. Of particular note is the bar chart at the bottom right comparing the millions of gallons of oil spilled.

Oil spills

Oil spills

Credit for the piece goes to Evan Applegate.

Smoking in the US

Today’s piece comes from the New York Times. It fits within a broader article about smoking in the United States. The map is a choropleth that compares the smoking rate across counties and states in 1996 and 2012. However, as the article talks about how difficult it has been to decrease the smoking rates among the poor, I wonder if even just a third map would be useful. This map could have shown the actual decline, perhaps in percentage points, of counties between 1996 and 2012. Or another related graphic could have tried to correlate income and said change.

Map of Smoking in 2012

Map of Smoking in 2012

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.

Income vs. Life Expectancy

Today’s post comes via the New York Times. It’s a simple concept, but shown clearly in this collection of scatter plots. Growth in income for many counties has meant a growth in life expectancy. Unfortunately, not all counties are prospering and so the gap between rich and poor, and therefore the long-lived and shorter-lived, has grown.

Household income vs. life expectancy for men

Household income vs. life expectancy for men

Perhaps the only criticism I have about this piece is that for the highlighting of Fairfax County, Virginia and McDowell Country, West Virginia, an additional component could have summarised the growing gap between the two. For example, a bar chart along the axes of each could measure the growth in income disparity and the growth in life expectancy disparity.

Credit for the piece goes to Alicia Parlapiano.

One Proposal to Simplify the Tax Code

Republican congressman Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (basically responsible for the tax code), wants to simplify the tax code. This nice graphic by the Washington Post basically sums up the changes.

Proposed bracket simplification

Proposed bracket simplification

Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.