Let’s have cleaner debates with our neighbors: Not the facts, just the data.

I am not trying to get entrenched in the political back-and-forth going on. I actually do understand all of the he-said she-said going back-and-forth when it comes to peoples opinions. Opinions are each persons right to have, especially when it comes to social philosophy. Additionally, opinions are hard to “verify”; your beleifs are your prerogative.

However, it is amazing to me how non-opinion based information gets thrown AS opinion. It is even more distressing because it is so easy to find many statistic directly from the source, before they are muddied by political agenda, or distributed in off-the-cuff comments and hearsay.

So, I figured I could help…

The following are just the data & graphs of screen-shots taken from real census data (and yes the URL of where I got the data from is also noted next to each graph.) Feel free to browse the data yourself and make your own observations.

Debate the implications all your want – but below are not news reports or debate notes, they are charts taken from the actual data sources. All I ask, and hope to acheive, is that no matter what side your on, just remember not to include non-sensicle bullet points that just aren’t true and instead try to argue around your beliefs. Do not get caught up in baseless, inflated, skewed, or inaccurate depictions of history as it relates to hard cold metrics.

Important notes on data around first day of office dates

The first day in office for elected presidents is in late January following the election results, coming two months before in November.

George W’s First Day Obama’s First Day
 January 20, 2001  January 20, 2009

The stock market
The stock market shows the amount of money distributed in US corporation. The rich, and anyone investing in the rich wins when this graph goes up. Note 2007 and 2008 were shockingly bad, the worst downswing since the mid 80s. The good news everyone is it has only taken four years to get back from our bubble burst of 2001 which took eight.
http://www.google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX:.DJI (You want this going up)


Unemployment Rate

This one is a often heavy argument point, but the data is all very easy to lookup. When a single percentage is called out it is hard to know its context. Those that scream and point fingers from he top of a mountain often end up implicating everyone – if those at the bottom of the mountain did a little research…. Again 2007 was the beginning of the frenzy. And if you remember there were many sad days and foreclosures making an “america is shutting down” environment. It was the intense swing from just a year before in 2006 that scared people the most. 
http://goo.gl/2O2zl (You want this going down)

  2007-2009 was the sharpest upswing of unemployment we have seen over 30 years.


Here is another amazing story of how politicians program you to just repeat what they shout, programming you to have their debate. Again, the data is there to have your own debates and ones that aren’ skewed by anyone. Debt sucks, and gus, we have had it growing for a long time. And this rate back-and-forth argument is again a graph away. You can see the linear growth of date below.
http://goo.gl/d9Wvz (You want this going down)


Personal Income

This is one that people don’t talk much about, because we like focusing on the negatives. BUT your incomes have been growing fairly steadily for a long time. We had a short blip of our first downward trajectory in 2008, actually the only one in recorded history of the US, but it corrected itself pretty quickly after 2009.
http://goo.gl/2CaIc (You want this going up)




I also found interesting that the following census data shows a steady increase in revenue and income in the US for decades.

Disposable Income per capita

This is also a great graph to be going up. Like the income graph we saw our first real blip ever in 2008, but for the most part we have consistently been getting a linear growth.


This one is a bit less cheerful, but t’s the reality. We had some great years as a country with revenue, but unfortunately the money stopped coming in in 2007 and we have all felt this graph at home.



2 thoughts on “Let’s have cleaner debates with our neighbors: Not the facts, just the data.”

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