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The History of Money

After stumbling upon this item at the Telegraph with an infographic on the history of money, I went searching for the source, only to find that there are tons of infographics on the subject as shown below:

You’d think the central bank powers that be would have some appreciation for this subject and, more importantly, a recognition of how far we have strayed from whatever might have been considered “normal” for the last few thousand years, but they probably don’t.

Income Inequality Chart of the Year

Via this item from Pavlina Tcherneva comes the graphic below that goes a long way in explaining why there’s been so much fuss about growing income inequality.

Anyone with a good sense for statistics surely realizes the reason this data is so compelling is because it represents incremental change rather income data in absolute terms. It’d be interesting to see this same data broken down by the 1 percent versus the 99 percent.

While both fiscal policy and monetary policy are key drivers behind the trends shown above, one need look no further than this chart to understand just about everything there is to understand about the role of the Federal Reserve in all of this.

Renewed Interest in World Population

The story Climate change isn’t the problem. A population bomb is killing us at Marketwatch that was prompted by a new study in the journal Science that is currently making the rounds (also see The New Population Boom Could Easily Be a Dud at the WSJ) prompted a quick look at world population growth as shown below via this item at worldometers.

Recall that a few decades ago, this was the world’s number one problem, however, the recent flattening of the curve has eased those concerns substantially. The Science report argues that expectations of world population stabilizing during this century are likely wrong and that there could be more than 12 million people on the planet by 2100.

A couple of rather remarkable stats from worldometers:

  • During the 20th century, world population has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.
  • In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.

Seniors and Student Loans

The data in this new General Accounting Office report(.pdf) on seniors and student loans is both fascinating and disturbing, especially when viewed in relationship to the burgeoning for-profit college system (as detailed nicely by John Oliver the other day) and the dim prospects for anyone without a college degree in today’s U.S. economy.

There’s more in this WSJ story that details how a rapidly growing number of senior citizens are having their social security/disability checks garnished as a result.

About the only good news here is that at least college kids are getting better grades, as evidenced by the graphic below from this item at the Economist.

In the words of Walter White during another highly entertaining (and greatly appreciated) repeat of the Breaking Bad Binge on AMC, “So, there’s that”.

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