Graphic Clarity: Everyone Does Better Under Democrats

As our own Michael discusses in Finally, Scientific Proof of the Obvious blogger Dani Rodrik has published a thought provoking graph and analysis from Princeton professor Larry Bartel’s upcoming book.

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The basic meaning of this graph is fairly clear: Under Democrats everyone does better while the poor do best of all and under republicans the reverse is true.As mentioned in the comments section of Matthew Yglesias’s blog post this graph is far from perfect. By putting everything onto a line graph a false sense of digression and progression develops. We see that under Democrats everything goes down while under Republicans things go up.

This sense of directionality is an artifact, something to be ignored. The only problem is that unless someone knows ahead of time how to read graphs the first impression is Democrats = Down = Bad. Simplistic, yes, but to put things into a slightly clearer perspective here’s a modified version of the same graph.

Presidential Wage Growth

As you can see, quite clearly, everyone does better under a Democratic president. Sure the poor may improve the most under Democrats, but the key fact is that everyone improves. Not so with Republicans and their “Screw You, I Got Mine” mentality.

As Ben Hyde says:

Don’t every forget this chart. Don’t ever pretend it’s not the single most fundamental issue in American politics. Don’t tolerate diversions, this is it. It’s not about war. It’s not about race. It’s not about religion. It’s about who gets the spoils of economic growth. One side is fighting a class war and the other side is not.

The reason to vote Democratic doesn’t get more striking, or more obvious, than this.

One Response to “Graphic Clarity: Everyone Does Better Under Democrats”

  1. Ken Houghton says:

    Much as I personally love stacked graphs, this one would look MUCH better for comparison purposes if the stacks were side by side. Otherwise, it looks as if you’re adding the Republican and Democratic data.

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