November 14, 2007
Your World In Charts: Rap Edition
There are many more. I'm pretty sure this is why the internet -- and, for that matter, Microsoft Excel -- was invented.
November 05, 2007
Your World in Charts: Debtor Nation
Via Justin Fox comes this revealing chart:
Fox goes on to post another chart showing that, historically, the amount were paying to service our debt is not, as a percentage of national income, all that bad. But as he points out, the people with the national income (hint!) and the people with the debt are not, in fact, the same people.
November 02, 2007
How Subsidies Change Your World
Yesterday, we talked a bit about how transportation subsidies helped account for the relative comforts of air, rail, and highway travel. Over the e-mail today comes this great graphic showing how they help account for what you eat, too:
I wish the graphic gave you a sense of the numbers involved, but they're in the high hundreds of billions. Wikipedia has a breakdown here. If half of that cash was going to support the sort of sustainable, healthful agriculture society claims to want, the prices of fresh, nutritious food would plummet. For all the talk of the health costs, the most economically rational purchase on earth is a Big Mac. Or possibly a 99 cent double cheeseburger.
November 01, 2007
Your World in Charts: Immigrants and the Uninsured Edition
Like Kay Steiger, I do love it when I can post a graph to prove my points. And so I'm going to steal the one she found! You occasionally hear conservatives argue that the problems of the uninsured in this country are entirely due to immigration. No immigrants, no increases in the uninsured. I've shot this point up before, but EPI helpfully graphed the debate, showing what would have happened to the population of the uninsured had immigration been frozen in 2000.
As you can see, freeze immigration and the 2.1% increase in the uninsured population becomes a...1.9% increase in the uninsured population. Which equals out to 5.7 million more Americans uninsured.
October 29, 2007
Your World in Charts: "It's The System, Stupid" Edition
By now, you folks well know my obsession with pointing out that Medicare's costs will blow up not because of demographics, but because of the same cost growth afflicting the private sector Here, however, is a nice, colorful chart making the point:
As you can see, demographics make a rather small portion of the whole. If you want to save the budget, you have to get the system's spending under control. There's no other way.
October 25, 2007
Your World in Charts: War on Terror Edition
Via Mark Thoma comes this CBO report totaling "the funding provided through fiscal year 2007 for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and other activities associated with the war on terrorism, as well as for related costs incurred by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for medical care, disability compensation, and survivors’ benefits." The trend is telling:
The numbers are striking. 2001 and 2002 are straight efforts against terrorists, against the Taliban, in pursuit of those who harmed us on 9/11. 2003 and forward are those costs, plus Iraq. And Iraq's costs are huge. Imagine a strategy aimed at global jihadism which used the same resources, the same billions, to track terrorist networks, to improve intelligence gathering, to deploy soft power and humanitarian efforts aimed at improving our image, to increase financial incentives for Middle East powers to play a constructive role in the Israel/Palestine peace process, etc, etc, etc.
Instead, that money, those hundreds of billions, have funded a failed war, subsidized the deaths of thousands, destroyed our image in the Muslim world, harmed our global moral authority, recruited terrorists and trained them in urban operations, weakened our military and exposed the limits of our power. That is what we have spent it on. That is what we have bought.
September 05, 2007
Who's We, Kemosabe?
This isn't the most shocking data in the world, but in this period of stock market hysteria, it's worth remembering that the majority of the country doesn't own any stock. Indeed, the bottom 90 percent of us only own 20 percent of the market. The top 10 percent, by contrast, control 80 percent, with the top one percent of Americans controlling an astounding 36.9%. What's that you say? You want to see this represented graphically?
August 31, 2007
Graph of the Day: George Bush Doesn't Care About Black, Brown, White, etc, People Edition
From EPI's analysis of the Census data:
The Bush years have been really bad if you're black. But they've been pretty weak if you're white, Hispanic, or simply living in this country.
August 29, 2007
Wages for Crow Producers Shoot Up
In a customarily blase demonstration of data abuse, Mickey Kaus tried to argue that the multi-week crackdown on illegal immigration is already boosting wages across the nation. Kaus didn't have any non-anecdotal evidence of this, but no matter. Having not proven anything, Kaus went on to sneer, "Didn't Kevin Drum and other leftish bloggers sneer when I suggested that rising unskilled wages were in the offing? I think they did! ... How much do the people who serve crow make?" Dunno. Maybe Mickey could actually look up some BLS numbers and find out -- but then, non-anecdotal evidence is so old media.
Even so, now that the new census numbers are being crunched, here's some more fascinating data for Mickey to crow about:
Know what most of those states have in common? Immigrants! Lots of them! So the crackdown is working! Only problem is that these numbers are from 2005-2006, long before the crackdown. Think we'll be seeing this image on Kausfiles anytime soon? [Don't ask me, I don't exist -- ed]
July 19, 2007
Edwards, Race, and Poverty
I've got a post at Tapped that folks here -- particularly the pro- and anti-Edwards types -- might be interested in. As a general point, I tend to think that it's a really good thing to untether discussions of poverty from discussions of race as much as possible, though I can see how others would disagree. It's worth noting, though, that the plurality of those beneath the poverty line in this country are, indeed, white, as this graph shows:
While it's certainly true that rates of poverty are shockingly high in the African-American community, they do not, in fact, represent a majority, a plurality, or even a quarter of the impoverished. That "poverty" became a synonym from "Black' was a grave injustice, and has been a real obstacle to legislative progress on the issue.