US Economy Archive:

An excellent annotated analysis by the NYT looking at federal, state, and corporate tax brackets.

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From the generally impartial Pew Center:

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Increase in federal support to states during recession:

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Where the federal grant money went as percent of state revenue:

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One of my favorite economic dashboards. It highlights major macro indicators, what direction they are trending, what the typical ranges are, and lets you drill down to explanations of why you should care. Looks like a lot of indicators are finally in the “typical” range.

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So how are most of us doing in terms of achieving the “American Dream”?

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Interactive graph of where the money comes from to pay medical bills (private insurance, medicare, out of pocket, etc).  It’s interesting that private insurance still only covers a small amount of total expenses (~39%).

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A look at drought through the years. There’s also a nice article about the design decisions and process that went into it.

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Prepared for a PBS-UK television show (also available on DVD), these visualizations are stunning:

Electrical grid:
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Flights:
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radio towers:
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Here’s a preview of the show:

The debate over whether it’s cheaper to rent or buy a house is complicated (where you buy, down payment, size of house, etc). But looking at median prices across the nation and current insanely low mortgage rates can make now look like the best time in a while to buy. Read the comment thread on the linked blog if you want more nuance.

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If you want even more nuance, particularly if you’re buying a house as an investment, I recommend Barry Ritholtz’s 5 part article Debunking the Housing Recovery Story.

I usually don’t like viewing stacked bars over time – it’s too hard to see what’s changing. This one still isn’t perfect, but the deficiencies are moderated somewhat by clear labels and only having the three columns. Content wise, it’s pretty fascinating too.

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James Hamilton takes a crack at explaining why gasoline prices vary so much across the country. I think he’s right that taxes, regulations, and transportation explain most of it, but I suspect that refinery shenanigans also play a role. Brad Plumer over at WashPost has additional insights.

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(the original version of this map over at Gasbuddy is fun to zoom around in)

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One of my favorite economic dashboards. It highlights major macro indicators, what direction they are trending, what the typical ranges are, and lets you drill down to explanations of why you should care about these numbers.

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There’s are a lot of nonsense charts and projections in Paul Ryan’s new House Republican budget, but rather than get into political arguments, I’ll just post the ones I thought were actually insightful:

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A recent study compared the cost of procedures across different countries. It’s interesting to me that some people think our “free market” medical system is the best, without realizing that health care services here in no way resemble a market.  The related article runs through a number of ways our system is dysfunctional.

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A wonderful post over at The Big Picture that takes both liberals and conservatives to the wood shed over their abuse of economic indicators and charts that show correlation but not causation.

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Note: The comments over there are worth a read as well.

Updated for January: one of my favorite economic dashboards. It highlights major macro indicators, what direction they are trending, what the typical ranges are, and lets you drill down to explanations of why you should care. In other words, it’s a very sleek example of how to graph snapshot data while still providing valuable context.

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