Economic Graphs and Videos

Updated 2024

Though economics is a dry subject, there is a very real human cost to getting economic policy wrong. Sondra Miller points this out in The Price of Economic Ignorance.  

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. Some may not be recent, but they illustrate concepts being proposed now. This is continuously updated with new references.

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 in the press and  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.

Help make your progressive case by using this documentation which is continuously updated.

1. Yes, It Really Is That Bad

-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.
-Also illustrating how close we are getting to third world status is Guess What Percentage Of American Children Are Living In Poverty.
-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.
-Also supporting how bad the unemployment problem is Alternate Unemployment Charts.
-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.

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

The U.S. ranks 2nd in child poverty

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.

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

What’s Wrong With Milwaukee in Seven Charts

By the Numbers: The Incredibly Shrinking American Middle Class

Missing Workers: The Missing Part of the Unemployment Story

SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013

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.

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

Top charts of 2017 - 12 charts that show the real problems policies must tackle, not the made-up ones

Making 9 Million Jobless "Vanish": How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics

America’s Middle Class is Vanishing. Nearly Half of Workers Earn Less than $30,000

10 Stats That Disprove Trump’s Claim We’re Enjoying the “Best Economy & Jobs EVER” - This much is clear: The Trickle-Down Effect doesn’t work.


2. 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.
-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.
-This illustrates useful information 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.

U.S. Wages Aren't Keeping Up With U.S. Productivity, Economic Policy Institute Says

Productivity Growth

In This Recovery, the Rich Get Richer

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

Inequality In U.S. Is Scarily High, Rising (INFOGRAPHIC)

US Inequality Now Literally Off the Chart

Documenting Inequality

9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact

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

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.

The wedges between productivity and median compensation growth

The Shocking Rise of Wealth Inequality: Is it Worse Than We Thought?

The Head of the IMF Says Inequality Threatens Democracy. Here Are 7 Charts Proving She's Right.

Chart: The Rich are Getting Richer, The Poor are....

Chart: The Minimum Wage in America Is Low Compared to Other Countries

 “The Most Remarkable Chart I’ve Seen in Some Time”: Rich Gain More Ground in Every US Expansion

Census: In 2013, inequality continued skyward, earnings stayed flat

Smart Chart: It’s Never Been a Better Time to Be Rich

Smart Chart: Six Ways to Tackle Sky-High Inequality

Smart Charts: An Economic Recovery for the 1%

U.S. income inequality is bad, but wealth inequality is a bigger problem

We Brought it on Ourselves: A Timeline of Choices We’ve Made to Increase Inequality

 America's Middle Class Is Unlucky

Smart Chart: The Black-White Wealth Gap Widened During the Great Recession

Three Signs That Young Americans Are Getting a Raw Deal  

Why the Gap Between Worker Pay and Productivity Is So Problematic  

Employers Complain of Rising Premiums, But Workers’ Comp Is at 25-Year Low

Concentrated Power Drives Extreme Income Inequality and Slows Economic Growth - The concentration of corporate power

Panama Papers: why tax havens matter, in one chart

The costs of inequality: When a fair shake isn’t - Harvard researchers, scholars identify stubborn tenets of America’s built-in inequity, offer answers

Wage inequality continued its 35-year rise in 2015

‘X’ Marks the Spot Where Inequality Took Root: Dig Here

No Wonder We're Poorer: Wages' Share of GDP Has Fallen for 46 Years

Productivity Is Slowing and Inequality Is Growing. Here’s What’s Causing it. - Productivity, Inequality, and Economic Rents

They Don’t Just Hide Their Money. Economist Says Most of Billionaire Wealth is Unearned. - The concentration of wealth from rent-seeking

US Income Inequality Reaches Historic High

Wealth Inequality in America   (YouTube)

Chart About Income Inequality that will make your blood boil

“If Poor People Knew How Rich Rich People Are, There Would Be Riots In The Streets”

Huge Human Inequality Study Hints Revolution Is In Store For U.S.

Our Biggest Economic, Social, and Political Issue

Wealth Inequality Is Higher Than Ever

Capital’s Share of Income Is Way Higher than You Think: Almost half of households’ market income is received for just being wealthy: owning stuff.

How the ultra-rich could save the world, if they wanted to, in 22 pictures and charts

No, Voting Democrat is Not “Harm Reduction”

Top charts of 2018: Twelve charts that show how policy could reduce inequality—but is making it worse instead

'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

Eight Reasons Why Inequality Ruins the Economy

The richest 10% of households now represent 70% of all U.S. wealth

The GOP Tax Cut Trickle Down Has Arrived: Worker Bonuses Went Up One Penny in 2018

Wealth, Income, and Power

'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion - "The top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing."

11 Charts on Taxing the Wealthy and Corporations

WTF Happened In 1971?  

Trickledown Economics  (humorous but accurate "Honest Government Ad" on YouTube)


3. The Rich and Corporations are Paying Dramatically Less

Cutting taxes drastically for the rich and corporations since the 1970s has resulted in a declining economy, declining middle class, and expanding the number of those in poverty. Only the rich and corporations have benefited. 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.

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 Surprising Truth Behind Tax Day: Where Your Taxes Go

Taxes: Who Pays How Much in Eight ChartCommon Core is Just the Latest of the Billionaire Scams

11 Charts on Taxing the Wealthy and Corporations


4. There is Enough Money, We are not Over-Spending on the Poor
Contrary to popular belief, we are not overspending on welfare, Medicare, and social security. There is enough money. For verification, compare us with other countries in terms of individual wealth.

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 both parties instituted and 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.

US Federal Budget Pie Chart

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

How We Won — and Lost — the War on Poverty, in 6 Charts

US Companies Hoarding Trillions Of Dollars Overseas

What America Could Buy With Offshore Tax Money

Poverty is Getting Worse

We Need a Bold Left to Challenge Government Downsizing

Treasury Report Shows Biggest Threat to U.S. Is on Wall Street

How 37 Banks Became 4 In Just 2 Decades, All In One Astonishing Chart.


5. 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. See also Make Your Case!  under 6-Videos, Movies, and Memes. 

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.

Trickledown Economics  (humorous but accurate "Honest Government Ad" on YouTube)

Inequality for All

An entertaining two minute animation that contains more than just a grain of truth.

Ed Asner narrates 'Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale' at

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

Unemployment Drops Mostly Because People Stop Looking: The New Normal in the Age of Black Political Empowerment

1 Minute On What’s Happening To The Middle Class. Hint: It’s Not Pretty.

An Economist With 2 Minutes And A Marker Explains The Greedy, Selfish Things Some Rich People Do

Saint Ayn Rand Visits the Day After Christmas!

How 'We The People' Became 'We The Corporations,' In Under 4 Minutes

Zeitgeist: Addendum a 2008 film available on Netflix
Surviving Progress a 2011 film available on Netflix






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