- November 22, 2011
XKCD‘s Randall Munroe has created another ingenious & huge chart, this time focusing on money – where it is and what it can do. You can download a complete data source list in CSV format here (almost all come from governmental or scholarly sources). All values are presented in 2011 dollars (adjusted for inflation accordingly).
It’s an interesting and insightful infographic to browse though. Here are some points we found particularly striking.
Change in Income Disparity: In 1965, the average production worker average hourly wage was $19.61 and today, it has risen to just $19.71 (remember, everything is adjusted for 2011 dollars). However, CEO hourly wages have skyrocketed from $490.31 to $5419.97 over the same period.
The Price of Vice: A daily pack of cigarettes for one year will cost $3050 (in New Jersey). You can save $650 by just getting a waist deep half-room filled with ball pit balls instead. Munroe also points out that according to his research, we spend approximately as much on cancer treatment as we do on cigarettes.
Megaprojects vs. College Education: Remember our post about the cost of Princeton versus prison? Munroe’s chart shows that cost of giving every US 18 year-old a free degree from a community college is less than half the cost of our national missile defense shield cost through 2013. This is not to argue the merits of national defense versus education, but it is worthwhile thinking critically about where our money goes.