Economic Graphs and Videos

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.

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. See Shadow Government Statistics. 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. 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.
-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


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

Obama renews focus on the still struggling middle class

The American Labor Movement, 2.0

 Median Household Incomes Five Years After the Great Recession

The Middle Class Is No Longer America's Economic Majority - It's the first time that's been true in 40 years.

The Tipping Point: Most Americans No Longer Are Middle Class

6 Terrifying Facts About The US Economy: Infographics

9 Graphs

Five Trends Shaping America in 2016

Bad Policies Cause Bad Trends-(8) Facebook

Economic Recovery? 13 Of The Biggest Retailers In America Are Closing Down Stores

Income Inequality: The Shrinking of the American Dream - Bloomberg Business

1 Chart Every Middle-Class American Needs to See - You might be surprised to find out how the American middle class stacks up against the rest of the world.

9 Graphs Showing It is That Bad

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014

Here's how America's middle class stacks up against the rest of the world's

How to Suffocate Your Economy: Drown it in Massive Private Debt. - The whole world has too much of it. History suggests this won’t end well.

Income inequality today may be higher today than in any other era

The American Dream has moved to Canada: By every measure, Canada is the true place to find ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Let’s stop squandering our good fortune.

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

The world's largest hedge fund breaks down how the US workforce got screwed over the past 20 years

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.

U.S. consumer debt is now above levels hit during the 2008 financial crisis


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.
-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

Professors of Inequality

The wedges between productivity and median compensation growth

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

New Stats Show a World Even More Unequal

Piketty’s Ugly Projection for US Inequality

Next Time Obama Boasts About The "Recovery", Show Him This Chart

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

New Evidence that the Rich Have Prospered while the Poor Got Poorer

 “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

America, Land of Low Pay -- The Numbers Will Surprise You - Each American produced an average of $140,000 in goods in 2013, but median wages were less than $28,000. Who's getting that money?

The Ultimate Corruption

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

inequality and tax-Facebook

“The most important chart about the American economy you'll see this year”

Inequality 1947 to Now

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

Inequality 1947-2007

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)

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

Chart About Income Inequality that will make your blood boil

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

“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

Total American Income

Better Schools Won’t Fix America

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

Distribution of Average Income Growth During Expansions


3. 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

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

Common Core is just the Latest of the Billionaire Scams

The miraculous story of Iceland

11 Charts on Taxing the Wealthy and Corporations


4. 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.

Stunning Data on Maldistribution of Wealth in U.S.

Are Canadians Richer Than Americans?

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

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.

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

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

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

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




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