Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Ominous Rise -- Global Warming -- CO2 Level

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Note: Charles David Keeling was a registered Republican! A quote from the article:

In an interview in La Jolla, Dr. Keeling’s widow, Louise, said that if her husband had lived to see the hardening of the political battle lines over climate change, he would have been dismayed.
“He was a registered Republican,” she said. “He just didn’t think of it as a political issue at all.”

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Percent of Estates Paying Estate Tax

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Budget Cost of Tax and Spending Compromise

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What the President Got and What Republicans Will Get. . .

. . .if/when tax cuts for the rich are extended (over the next 10 years).

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. . .but if the tax cuts are not extended, the situation is as follows:

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Note the scaling of the y-axis is different in the above graphs -- however, in both cases the cuts in blue total $238 billion.

Unemployed Workers per Job Opening

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Number of Lobbyists per Member of Congress

How many lobbyists are there per congressman?
The rate of lobbyists per congressman is currently 25.8, considering there are 432 congressmen (data provided by the Office of the Clerk website) and 11,140 lobbyists in Washington (data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics). In addition, the US House of Representatives is the top lobbying agency, with 10,833 reports filed in 2010 – against 10,727 by the US Senate.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Union Membership: Percent of Nonagricultural Workforce 1930-2004

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Tags: Union Membership: Percent of Nonagricultural Workforce 1930-2004

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Great Compression

From Paul Krugman's blog:

The chart shows the share of the richest 10 percent of the American population in total income – an indicator that closely tracks many other measures of economic inequality – over the past 90 years, as estimated by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

The great divergence: Since the late 1970s the America I knew has unraveled. We’re no longer a middle-class society, in which the benefits of economic growth are widely shared: between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.

Most people assume that this rise in inequality was the result of impersonal forces, like technological change and globalization. But the great reduction of inequality that created middle-class America between 1935 and 1945 was driven by political change; I believe that politics has also played an important role in rising inequality since the 1970s. It’s important to know that no other advanced economy has seen a comparable surge in inequality – even the rising inequality of Thatcherite Britain was a faint echo of trends here.
On the political side, you might have expected rising inequality to produce a populist backlash. Instead, however, the era of rising inequality has also been the era of “movement conservatism,” the term both supporters and opponents use for the highly cohesive set of interlocking institutions that brought Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich to power, and reached its culmination, taking control of all three branches of the federal government, under George W. Bush. (Yes, Virginia, there is a vast right-wing conspiracy.)

Because of movement conservative political dominance, taxes on the rich have fallen, and the holes in the safety net have gotten bigger, even as inequality has soared. And the rise of movement conservatism is also at the heart of the bitter partisanship that characterizes politics today.

Why did this happen? Well, that’s a long story – in fact, I’ve written a whole book about it, and also about why I believe America is ready for a big change in direction.

For now, though, the important thing is to realize that the story of modern America is, in large part, the story of the fall and rise of inequality.

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Top Marginal US Tax Rates (1913 - 2008)

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Effect of Policy Options on Employment in 2010 and 2011

"Policies that could be implemented relatively quickly or targeted toward people whose consumption tends to be restricted by their income, such as reducing payroll taxes for firms that increase payroll or boosting aid to the unemployed, would have the largest effects on output and employment per dollar of budgetary cost in 2010 and 2011. By contrast, policies that temporarily increased the after-tax income of people with relatively high income, such as an across-the-board reduction in income taxes or an increase in the exemption amount for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), would have smaller effects because such tax cuts would probably not affect the recipients’ spending significantly."

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Data Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Deficit Projections 2009-2019 (in trillions of dollars)

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Tags: Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush era tax cuts, TARP, Fannie, Freddie, Economic downturn, Recovery measures.

National Debt as Percentage of Gross National Product

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Budget Deficit / Surplus in Billions of Dollars

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National Debt in Trillions of Dollars

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U.S. Corporate Profits (after tax) -- 2010

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"American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms. 

Corporate profits have been doing extremely well for a while. Since their cyclical low in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history."

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Tags: Corporate profits

Private Payroll Employment: January 2008 -- October 2010

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Tags: Job losses and gains, Unemployment

Manufacturing as percent of GDP by country

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