Over the next month, we’re putting together a special report, the Money Report, about how and why we spend what we do. Economics is so often the economist-eye view of the world. We’re out to recreate the consumer-eye view of the world. We’re interested in what things cost, why they cost that much, and why they’re getting more expensive and less expensive. If you’ve got awesome and surprising stories about prices, costs and the flow of money, leave us a tip in the comment section.
To kick things off, we’d like to very briefly introduce one of the themes of the Money Report: Prices are people. […]
Across the 20th century, the labor force has shifted from farmers and foresters to manufacturers and then to professional and service workers. In 1900, we spent much of our manpower growing food and feeding ourselves. By 1950, the major economic industries were manufacturing and construction. But today’s labor economy revolves around services, not products.
Avoid the Center (Theo Deutinger & Theresia Kohlmayr, 2008) - physical size vs. prosperity
President Obama’s State of the Union speech was surprisingly bullish on reviving manufacturing, prompting one very clever person on Twitter to say something along the lines of: “Democrats want the economy of the 1950s, while Republicans just want to live there.”
It got me thinking: What did the economy look like in the 1950s? If you could organize all the jobs into buckets and compare the paper-shuffling professional services bucket to the manufacturing bucket, what would they look like around 1950, and how has the picture changed in the last 60 years? Read more.
[Image: Brian McGill and Peter Bell/National Journal]
In August 2006, real estate search site Trulia had 609,000 visitors. Five years later, there were 27 million. Trulia’s most recent visualization shows this growth (bottom bar graph) and where people are searching for homes (map). Press play and watch it go. It’s pretty much population density, but for me, the method is more interesting than the material in this case.
1975 Employment in the United States
Student loan debt has ballooned since the 1990s.
Need to prove something you already believe? Statistics are easy: All you need are two graphs and a leading question
Money - A Chart of All of It, Where It Is and What It Can Do [xkcd.com] by Randall Munroe’s webcomic xkcd is the epitome of all infographics: an immensely large chart, accompanied by some immensely small captions, that together compare the different amounts of money flowing in the world. From single dollar amounts to those huge trillion numbers that we now regularly hear about in the news, it’s all included by representing the individual quantities by an accompanying number of small squares.
Who owes what to whom?
Americans are enormously mobile: 37.5 million people moved from one house to another last year, with 4.3 million of them moving between states. This mobility makes us efficient seekers of economic improvement—moving into, and then leaving, cities like Phoenix as their fortunes rise and fall.
Change can be unsettling in a small town. But not long ago in this quiet farming community, with its familiar skyline of grain elevators and church steeples, the owner of a new restaurant decided to acknowledge the community’s diversity by adding some less traditional items to her menu. Cheeseburgers. French fries. Chicken-fried steak.
Occupy George circulates dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics about economic disparity