Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Loves Me a Good Chart

Charts have been off the hook describing our dilemma. In almost every category, our mistakes are staring at us in the starkest of terms in ways that make even a non-economist sit up and say "Wow, that was a good one!"

I have been posting charts that really point out how deep our depression has gotten in terms of job loss, I have posted charts that show how incredibly bad the public is taking all of this. The charts continue and continue to point out just where we need to go, what we need to do. And yet...  all movement in the direction most likely to provide a successful path for our country in the future have been blocked in a mountain of inactivity that would make a darn good chart, if that were possible. :)

Here is the chart of income inequality. This is the trend from 1979 - 2005. This is the period dating from the Reagan Revolution where we stopped paying for our government and started handing out money in the form of tax breaks at regular intervals and building up our debt. Here are the results in terms of where you stand, whether you did well with all the deluge of tax breaks or whether you didn't. Or as Reagan might have put it, "Are you better off than you were 30 years ago?"

The first half of the chart shows the general U.S. population broken down into segments. The last segment is so very skewed. But then when we break that down in the second half of the chart, low and behold, most of them too were screwed ummm skewed. Only the very wealthiest 1 percent show they have made substantial gains from our failed policies that have led us to the edge of bankruptcy.

Good luck climbing that ladder to prosperity.

Analysis of data from the CBO (2010)