Often graphs, charts, and videos can display a large amount of information clearly to make it easy to see trends. Many here illustrate how we are are trending in the wrong direction and have been for decades. These charts and graphs also serve as a supplement to the article The Economy.
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once said, "There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." There is also an old engineering expression, "Garbage In, Garbage Out." In connection with these quotes the reader should also know that many (Rachael Maddow, OFA, both democrats and republicans) use demonstrably false information or make very questionable assumptions in making misleading charts or graphs to support their point of view. Unfortunately, this practice is not confined to the subject of economics.
To make it worse, many economic assumptions taught as truth in Economics 101 and blindly accepted by governments are without a solid basis in fact.
The reason I have so many references is to show this is a steadily increasing trend that I continuously update. It is not a vanishing blip on the radar. Failure to deal with this trend will have disastrous consequences for the future.
1. Bad Economic Theory Starts It All
Economic theory has a reputation for being deadly boring. It is one of the most dreaded courses in college. One unfortunate consequence is we take economic assumptions as truths despite contrary evidence. We are taking misleading information then acting on wrong theories which is leading to an ever worsening economy.
2. Yes, It Really Is That Bad
-The graph Percent Job Losses in Post World War II Recessions clearly how serious our economic downturn is.
-Both democrats with their optimistic talk about how much the economy has improved and republicans falsely claiming this is all Obama's fault are demonstrably wrong. Both parties are following the same agenda as shown in The Economy under the Democratic/Republican Uni-Party.
-Also illustrating how close we are getting to third world status is Guess What Percentage Of American Children Are Living In Poverty.
-The Fed in a Vice: an Ugly Jobs Report and Real Unemployment at 23% – Dampening the Excitement have graphs which clearly show the magnitude of the unemployment problem. The text is not very illuminating and reflects an assumption that the democratic-republican Uniparty is the only way, but the graphs on unemployment illustrate the seriousness of the problem.
-Neo-liberalism, De-capitalization/De-industrialization, and the Res Publica clearly shows our manufacturing decline and illustrates that much of our "growth" is in mineral and energy extraction. Thus it is even worse than usually depicted. This sets the stage for long term decline and is not sustainable.
-RIP Middle Class: Americans’ Wealth Plummeted 40% from 2007 to 2010 shows what a serious and even desperate situation we are in.
-This graph shows that since the 1970s the benefits of increased productivity went to the rich while wages stagnated.
-Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low shows in three neat graphs how corporate profits are at an all time high, fewer Americans are working now than any time in the past three decades, and wages as a percent of the economy are at an all time low.
-Is America In A Depression? shows the number unemployed, the number of long term unemployed, the 40% loss of wealth for most Americans, the increase in wealth for the rich, and the dramatic increase in student loan and credit card debt.
-Also supporting how bad the unemployment problem is are these 7 Graphs and Unemployment and the Spin Cycle and Alternate Unemployment Charts.
-If you are willing to wade through the details, Ben Bernanke Is Bankrupting The Social Security Trust Fund illustrates how the democrats are destroying social security in a way the republicans could never get away with.
-The Purchasing Power of the Dollar Over the Past 76 years has Declined by 94% is illustrated.
-What the Economic Crisis Really Means (animation) is an excellent 12 minute animation that illustrates how we are on the wrong side of several economic and environmental trends and what we can do about it.
-These articles on Health Care and Poverty is Getting Worse also illustrate alarming trends.
-These 7 Graphs illustrate how bad we are economically. Other indications that it really is that bad follow.
- 40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage
- Less than 100,000 Payroll Jobs, a 58.5% Employment-to-Adult-Population Ratio Exactly Where It Was a Year Ago, and Labor Force Participation Down by 0.5 Percentage Points in the Past Year
- Here’s what chained-CPI really means: Up to $849 less for someone who retired in 2001
- More Than 101 Million Working Age Americans Do Not Have A Job
Arts of Magnification, Minimization, And Intimidation (Fooling people with statistics)
Which Side Are Your Senators on in Obama’s Social Security Cuts?
- The U.S. ranks 2nd in child poverty
- Unemployment Really is that Bad
- 10 Amazing Charts That Demonstrate The Slow, Agonizing Death Of The American Worker
- Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil: Why "efficiency" and "productivity" really mean more profits for corporations and less sanity for you.
- American middle-class prosperity is pure fantasy - New research reveals that the US ranks 27th in the world when it comes to middle-class wealth
- Big Lie: America Doesn't Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World...We're Ranked 27th!
- Hunger and the Sequester, By the Numbers
- Map of the Day: Where the Poverty Trap is Worst
- More Evidence That Our Middle Class Is Sliding Toward the Third World
- The depressing reality of ‘the recovery’: Americans aren’t getting jobs. They’re retiring.
- If You're Wondering What's Wrong With America, Look At These Four Charts
- What’s Wrong With Milwaukee in Seven Charts
- Our Fake Recovery
- By the Numbers: The Incredibly Shrinking American Middle Class
- Census report on 2012 Income, Poverty and Health Insurance; August reports on industrial production and consumer prices
- Long-term unemployment is a catastrophe
- Missing Workers: The Missing Part of the Unemployment Story
- SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013
- THE SCARIEST JOBS CHART EVER
- UnemploymentAlternate Inflation Charts
- BLS 7 Percent Jobless Rate for November is Nothing to Cheer About
- By the Numbers: The Incredibly Shrinking American Middle Class
- Financialization and Crony Capitalism have Gutted the Middle Class
- Charts: The Worst Long-Term Unemployment Crisis Since the Depression - Corporate profits have rebounded while more than four million Americans have been without work for six months or longer.
- Shocking Study: 4 out of 5 in USA Face Near-Poverty and Unemployment - Economic Insecurity Grows with Age
- This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
- US middle class no longer world's most affluent
- America's Lost Decade: Typical Household Wealth Has Plunged 36% Since 2003
- Chart: The Minimum Wage in America Is Low Compared to Other Countries
- The United States Leads in Low-Wage Work and the Lowest Wages for Low-Wage Workers
- New Federal Reserve report: US median income has plunged, inequality has grown in Obama “recovery”
- Feel Like You’re Earning Less? There’s a Good Chance You AreAmerica Is No. 1 In Low-Paying Jobs
- This is why the middle class can't get ahead
- Median Household Incomes Five Years After the Great Recession
3. Dramatically Rising Inequality
-The Triggers of Economic Inequality on the Bill Moyers website has an excellent graph charting actions by the democratic/republican Uniparty that gave rise to such wide inequality in the United States over the last 40 years. Click on the orange arrows at the top for further info.
-See also Top 1% Share of Total Pre-Tax Income 1913-2007.
-Annual U.S. Income Share of the Top 1% is a chart from 1910 to 2010 and illustrates how very far off course we are.
-Income Inequality & Educational ‘Performance’ shows the relationship between inequality, education, and health.
-Income Inequality: Physical Health and Life Expectancy also explores the relationship between income inequality and health. The point is not that poorer people do not do as well. The point is that when there is more equality as a society everyone - from the top to the bottom - does better. Unfortunately the United States has been increasingly on the wrong side of these graphs for years. Both articles are from Wilkinson & Pickett’s book: "The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger."
-The Death of the Liberal Bargain shows how since 1970 huge gains in productivity are not followed with equal gains in hourly compensation.
-Wealth is Being Transferred From Us to Them shows through a series of graphs how the standard assumptions we learned in Economics 101 do not apply. Wealth is being transferred from the poor and middle class to the rich because of laws and regulations, not because of the laws of supply and demand Adam Smith envisioned.
-The Great Capitalist Heist: How Paris Hilton’s Dogs Ended Up Better Off Than You illustrates how through the years laws and regulations either peculate wealth to the top or spread it out more equally. It clearly shows the last several decades have been devoted to making the rich richer at the expense of the middle class and poor.
-The United States is not immune from this Graph of Food Shortages and Riots.
-These Ten Key Charts About Inequality illustrate useful and disturbing information as do these two graphs about Unions and Shared Prosperity.
-Bowles-Simpson Social Security Proposal Not a Good Starting Point for Reforms: Relies Far Too Much on Benefit Cuts, Makes -Other Problematic Changes shows through a series of graphs that this "bi-partisan" way we have chosen is not a good path.
-1953 and 2011 Economic Comparison shows we are on the wrong path and have been for decades.
-Harvard Business School has this interesting bar graph about income inequality.
-See also Growth in the Share of Income Held by the Top 1 Percent in Developed Countries, 1979-2007 and this Graph of -Corporate Profits and Wages. (profits at an all time high while wages are at an all time low)
-The Great Prosperity vs. The Great Regression illustrates how pay rose with productivity from 1947 to 1979 and then did not from 1980 to the present. Other charts and graphs illustrating our growing inequality follow.
- Share of Total Income going to Top 10%
- U.S. Wages Aren't Keeping Up With U.S. Productivity, Economic Policy Institute Says
- Productivity Growth
- Global Wage Gap Continues to Widen
- In This Recovery, the Rich Get Richer
- Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs
- President Obama Wants to Give a Bigger Hit to Seniors on Social Security than He Did to the Wealthy on Taxes
- The Vanishing Middle Class
- Inequality in the Social Security Debate
- Income inequality in the United States (Wikipedia article)
- Income Growth For Bottom 90 Percent Of Americans Averaged Just $59 Over 4 Decades: Analysis
- The Poor Pay the Most Taxes
- Poverty and Inequality in Some of the World’s Richest Countries
- Inequality In U.S. Is Scarily High, Rising (INFOGRAPHIC)
- US Inequality Now Literally Off the Chart
- Documenting Inequality
- Unions and Shared Prosperity
- 9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact
- America’s Sinking Middle Class
- Despite Record Poverty, the US Has Made Most Gains in Global Wealth (with Charts!)
- Our Growing Racial Wealth Gap
- The Triggers of Economic Inequality
- Inequality for All
- Inclusive Growth: What the Experiences of Argentina and Brazil Tell Europe
- Who got what, then and now
- The global consensus: Inequality is a major problem
- The Real Reason for the QEs
- Barack Obama's Conservative Utopia in 7 Charts: While politicians on the far right scream socialism, President Obama has quietly created a conservative America. And the statistics prove it.
- Wall Street bonuses Far Exceed Earnings of All Minimum Wage Full Time Workers
- Comparative Pay of CEOs and Others
- Has the Tax Code Been Used to Reduce Inequality During the Obama Years? Not Really.
- Real Minimum Wage Compared to Minimum Wage if it was Tied to Productivity
- New Stats Show a World Even More Unequal
- Next Time Obama Boasts About The "Recovery", Show Him This Chart
- Chart: The Rich are Getting Richer, The Poor are....
- Chart: The Minimum Wage in America Is Low Compared to Other Countries
- inequality and tax-Facebook
- “The most important chart about the American economy you'll see this year”
- Inequality 1947 to Now
4. The Rich and Corporations are Paying Dramatically Less
-This graph clearly demonstrates how federal taxes are at the lowest rate since the Hoover administration over 80 years ago.
-Another graph comparing real US tax rates (after "deductions") with other countries is here.
-Cutting taxes drastically for the rich and corporations since 2000 has resulted in a declining economy, declining middle class, and expanding the number of those in poverty. Only the rich and corporations have benefited.
-No More Corporate Tax Breaks shows how drastically corporate taxes as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product have declined since 1945 from 7.2 to 1.2 percent and illustrates how further cutting those taxes is not the answer even if the democratic/republican Uniparty want it.
-If you needed more proof, Surprise: Tax Data Shows Top Earners Not Paying Their Fair Share is a neat bar graph showing that the rich really don't pay their fair share.
-US Corporations Are Taxed Less also illustrates this.
-Between 2008 and 2010 30 Big Corporations Spent More Lobbying Washington than They Paid in Taxes shows how much corporations are paying for lobbying and how little for taxes.
-This graph shows how much goes to corporate profits and how little (1%) goes to wages.
-This chart from 1918 to 2012 illustrates how lowering taxes for the very well off gets us into trouble rather than creating jobs.
-These charts illustrate US Debt from 1790 to 2011 and put much of the panic talk about needing to cut benefits into perspective.
-See also who is "advising" us at Who's "Helping Us" With the Fiscal Cliff?.
Other charts and graphs illustrating how the rich and corporations are paying dramatically less - sometimes nothing while collecting huge amounts of subsidies and taxes - can be found at the following.
- US Financial Industry Share of GDP
- Cumulative Change in Real Income, by Income Group, 1979-2007
- US Corporations Are Earning Higher Profits But Contributing Less Tax Revenue
- These Two Charts Show How The Priorities Of US Companies Have Gotten Screwed Up
- Six Rigged Rules Corporations Use to Dodge Taxes
- Corporations Pay Less
- Record High Corporate Profits, Record Low Wages
- Tax Cuts: Myths and Realities
- 3rd Quarter Corporate Profits Reach Record High-Worker Pay Hits Record Low:So How Exactly Is Obama The 'Anti-Business' President?
- The Green Giants (Money, not environmentalists!)
- The Sorry State of Corporate Taxes: What Fortune 500 Firms Pay (or don't pay) in the U.S.A. and what they Pay Abroard - 2008 - 2012
- Common Core is just the Latest of the Billionaire Scams
5. There is Enough Money, We are not Over-Spending on the Poor
Contrary to what republicans and democrats repeat incessantly, the cause is not overspending on welfare, medicare, and social security. There is enough money. For verification, compare us with other countries in terms of individual wealth with the following three references.
The cause of the budget not being balanced is both over spending on wars and under taxation and loopholes which let the rich and corporations dramatically and unconscionably increase their wealth at the expense of everyone else. Throughout most of the twentieth century we knew the proper balance of taxes for a good infrastructure and growing economy. It is not a mystery. Chinese, Greeks, and Romans knew and practiced such a relationship over two thousand years ago. It is only when Bush with both parties instituted and Obama with both parties eagerly followed this failed experiment of allowing great inequalities in wealth in hopes that would help prosperity. It did not then and has not throughout recorded history. See
- Tax Cuts, Wars Account for Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019
- Social Security Does Not Add to the Debt
- US Federal Budget Pie Chart for 2013
- Two Myths.
- The Government Is Quietly Giving Way More Housing Aid to Rich People Than Poor People
- The Time Has Come for $15 Minimum WageCorporate Profits Grow and Wages Slide
- Corporate Profits Grow and Wages Slide
- How We Won — and Lost — the War on Poverty, in 6 Charts
- Unglamorous End Of Largest Corporate Profit Bubble In History
- US Companies Hoarding Trillions Of Dollars Overseas
- What America Could Buy With Offshore Tax Money
- We Need a Bold Left to Challenge Government Downsizing
6. The Diminishing Dream of Education
One major factor in our economic success is public education for all and easy access to graduate education. Public education is now under a major assault by for profit charter schools who are not required to play by the same rules. See Education Under the Democratic/Republican Uni-Party and Does It Pay to Become a Teacher?. The situation is equally grave for higher education. At one time a financially secure student loan system had the government lend students money at small interest rates. The result was a huge increase in productivity. Now banks lend students money at high interest rates and the loans - unlike corporate loans - are not dischargable in bankruptcy even if no jobs are available. The result increasingly looks like a system of indentured servitude. This is illustrated in the following.
- Student Loan Debt Crisis Continues to Escalate
- Huge Increases in Student Debt
- Downward Mobility Haunts US Education
- More Disturbing Education Statistics
- As Tuition Rises, Opportunities Shrink
- The True Size of the Student Debt Crisis
- The Student Loan Debt Crisis in 9 Charts - Nearly $1 trillion in debt, millions in unpaid loans: the numbers behind how Americans are struggling to pay for college.
- Low Wage Workers are far more educated than they were in 1968, yet they make far less.
For a general discussion see Labor Under the Democratic/Republican Uni-Party. See also:
- As Unions Decline, Inequality Rises shows the clear relationship between the two.
- State-Level Policies Threaten to Further Weaken Unions
- Death of Organized Labor: Death of Middle Class Here compare graphs on productivity, compensation, and union membership. They are all clearly related.
- Labor Force Decline Driven by Young, Middle-Aged Workers | Economics21
8. Videos and Movies
These videos are a great way to introduce complex economic concepts. They vary in length from a few minutes to about an hour. They also vary in complexity. Choose what is appropriate for your audience.
- What the Economic Crisis Really Means (animation) is an excellent 12 minute animation that illustrates how we are on the wrong side of several economic and environmental trends and what we can do about it.
- Inequality for All
- An entertaining two minute animation that contains more than just a grain of truth. http://billmoyers.com/2013/06/06/you-vs-corporations/
- Ed Asner narrates 'Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale' at http://www.mrctv.org/videos/ed-asner-narrates-tax-rich-animated-fairy-tale
- The Simplest Explanation Of How To Get Out Of This Jobs Crisis I've Seen Yet
- The Top Secret Trade Deal You Need to Know About
- Over Easy: Capitalist Withdrawal and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
- Trade in Services Agreement Moves Forward, But How Will It Affect Consumers?
- Unemployment Drops Mostly Because People Stop Looking: The New Normal in the Age of Black Political Empowerment
"Surviving Progress" a 2011 film available on Netflix
"Zeitgeist: Addendum" a 2008 film available on Netflix
9. Other Insights
Funding a National Single-Payer System illustrates through an extensive series of graphs how single payer is the most efficient as well as the costliness and inefficiency of any other method. We remain the only major industrialized country to leave primary health care to for profit businesses. Germany, hardly a country known for inefficiency, has had single payer since the 19th century. See also Health Care under the Democratic/Republican Uniparty
Corporate Political Donations: Investment or Agency? has many tables and formulas to show political contributions lessen good corporate governance.
The Sunlight Foundation uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. It is continuously designing graphics to assist the public. Their collection can be seen in Data Visualizations.
Why you should not believe Government Reports: Shadow Government Statistics