If you have "no place to go," come here!

Going critical...

In both senses, of course.


This is my favorite chart (originally referenced here). While the data of the chart is income distribution, the upward curve could be... An engine overheating, a nuclear power plant melting down, or ... global warming, for example.

Readers, do you have favorite charts with curves that look like this?








Mix 'em, match em, share 'em with your friends!

Post as IMGs in comments (ask someone, if you don't know how), or link. Let's go critical!

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orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

the "here" you cite is overwritten. maybe a post with a lot of comments?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The top graph, outlined in red, was put up by CD a while back. It caught my eye then because I had just been looking at another graph that is almost the mirror image, shown below outlined in blue.

The top graph charts the decline in the value of the US dollar from just before 1800 to the present, and at first glance seems highly alarming. Much more reassuring, however, is the lower graph showing the increasing per capita Real Gross Domestic Product over the same period, in constant dollars. The yellow line, which I've added, marks the beginning of separation of national currency valuation from a gold standard.


There's an interesting although complex story here, about the real effect of escaping the gold standard and allowing currencies to find their own value, as well as the effect of inflation - not always bad. On average, they have been very beneficial for the annual income of Americans. As your graph shows, however, the distribution of that income has recently been less than equitable.

Maybe someone with real economics training would be interested in discussing this apparent anomaly; if not, I'll eventually put something up at the risk of considerable ridicule for my technical deficiencies.