Archive for May, 2013

Changes in US Immigration Patterns

May 31, 2013



These immigration graphics show the changing patterns of immigration the past 110 years in the US. The degree to which European immigration has slowed is quite dramatic.

–from the Washington Post

Government Tax Expenditures Mostly Benefit Richest, Poorest Americans

May 30, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office’s tax expenditures report, released today, shows that the richest Americans benefit enormously from tax breaks–including those of low capital gains rates, tax-free investments such as a 401k, and many others. As a percentage of income, the poorest citizens benefit the most, but the richest 20% account for 50% of total government tax expenditures. The middle 60% benefit the least.

–from the Congressional Budget Office

US Home Prices Up 10% over Last Year

May 29, 2013

The composite home price indices have risen dramatically in the past few months. Both the 10 and 20-city are up more than 10% compared to last March. The largest gains are in San Francisco (+3.9%), Las Vegas (+2.7%), and Portland (+2.7%). The composite indices are at their highest since July 2010. For more information, see our Home Price Index report.

–data from St. Louis Federal Reserve

OECD Better Life Index

May 28, 2013

The OECD Better Life Index, out today, had one particularly interesting insight. Although the top 10% of the US have the greatest wealth, the bottom 10% is well below Canada, Sweden and Australia. The large spread is due to the increases of the gini coefficient in the USA.

–from The Economist

Major Shifts in the World’s Economic Center of Gravity

May 28, 2013

Is It Worth the Time?

May 25, 2013

This chart, from excellent comic write Randall Munroe, shows how long you can spend making a task more efficient to save time over the course of five years.

–from xkcd 


Corporate Profits and Corporate Taxes Diverged

May 23, 2013

Corporate profits are at an all-time high. However, the tax revenue from this enormous economic boon are near the all-time lows caused by the recession in the early 1980’s. There are many causes, but the result is a clear divergence.

–from The Economist and The Atlantic

Shipping Containers and Trade Increases

May 17, 2013

The invention of shipping containers had an enormous effect on international trade, apparently much larger than trade agreements. A team of European researchers discovered that adoption of shipping containers resulted in a 320% increase in trade over five years compared to a 45% increase over twenty years resulting from a free trade agreement. In addition to the monetary gains, containers radically reduced theft rates and time required to unpack and pack ships, thus reducing time in port.

–from The Economist

North American Oil Production Is Radically Shifting Global Supply

May 14, 2013

North American oil production, dark green in the chart, has been undergoing explosive supply growth since 2010. Between the new extraction methods used in the US and continued expansion of the Alberta tar sands in Canada, the supply and extraction technology coming from North America will change the global oil market radically over the next five years. Consider the following quote from the International Energy Agency’s press release accompanying this graph:

“The supply shock created by a surge in North American oil production will be as transformative to the market over the next five years as was the rise of Chinese demand over the last 15, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its annual Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) released today.”

–from Business Insider and the International Energy Agency


The Influence of College Sports

May 10, 2013

Is the highest paid employee in your state a college sports coach? The answer is almost certainly yes. The only states with deans or presidents as their highest paid employees are in states whose major state university don’t play in large conferences and, as a result, don’t produce high sports revenue.

–from Deadspin