Trulia has posted a nice Rent vs. Buy graphic for major metropolitan areas around the country. Of course, in New York City it is cheaper to rent than it is to buy while in Phoenix it is just the reverse. Just for kicks, I checked on Honolulu, HI. I would have thought that it would have been overpriced, but by Trulia’s calculations, it is not. Of course, this misses entire states since they are focusing on only 100 cities in the major markets. I am curious as to why they placed Memphis up around St. Louis, MO. Then again, Boston and New York City are located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.
Trulia’s Q1 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index provides guidance to help you make a smart decision on whether it is better to rent or buy in each of America’s 50 largest cities by population. The Rent:Buy Ratio is calculated by using the median list price compared with the median rent on two-bedroom apartments, condos and townhomes listed on Trulia.com.
via : Trulia Rent vs. Buy
There were $130 billion in earmarks in the United States 2011 budget. That is about $1,100 per family household in the U.S. Where did all that money go? Mike Shedlock at the Global Economic Trend Analysis blog has posted some information visualizations using the Tableau software and data from Sunlight Foundation. Surprisingly, at least to me, the state in which I live received a good portion of that money.
While the maps can show which state received the most money, and which congressmen had the most earmarks, it does not tell you what the money was used for. For example, I would not be surprised if in 2006 there was a huge spike in earmarks for Louisiana after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In that case, earmarks would have been a good use of money. Right now I am at a loss as to why Mississippi received so much money in earmarks in fiscal year 2011.
via : Interactive Map Showing Where $130 Billion in Earmarks Went, by State, District, and Politician
Recovery.gov has an animated map (which is much better than the static image above) showing nearly 89,000 recipients of awards funded by
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act between February 17, 2009 and September 30, 2010.
The Lights-On map, designed and created by Edward Tufte, gradually lights up to show the distribution of Recovery awards from February 17, 2009 to September 30, 2010. Each light represents an award.
Edward Tufte is a member of the Recovery Board’s Advisory Panel and is Professor Emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University. He has been referred to as the “da Vinci of data.”
via Lights-On Map.
FlowingData points us to a chart from John Palmer that visualizes the last 100 years of government and economic indicators, containing the national debt, US GDP, house and senate majority parties, voter turnouts, tax collections, and inflation.
We learn from our mistakes. Hindsight is a prompt path to clarity. This historical perspective visualizes economic trends and spending patterns, during good times and bad. Present-day assumptions regarding core party values have had major shifts over time, and the ridiculous extremes in voter alignment, lobbying, and legislative action are due for
revision. As a basis for future shift, this data can educate a presumptive public, empowering citizens to make an informed decision on each and every election day.
Today is Voting Day here in the US, but I don’t know if this chart will impact your decisions at all. It may debunk the theories that any particular party is more responsible for the current state of things, but the most important thing to take away from it is that voting is important. Be it in the US or overseas, get out and vote!
Past century of government and economy.
BillShrink has posted an infographic comparing the economies of the United States and China. For example, the GDP of the United States is $14.6 Trillion while the GDP of China is $4.33 Trillion. While it is an interesting comparison, the data needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the numbers that I have seen coming out of China (and even the U.S.) seem to be less than reliable. Still it makes for an interesting infographic.
The United States and China are two of the largest economies in the world. While remarkably similar in some aspects, there are fundamental differences in many areas. Billshrink breaks down how the US and Chinese economies are alike and how they differ in the infographic below.
You can see the full graphic after the jump.
via Head to Head Economies: The US vs China.
I’m a fan of PhD Comics, and recently the comic strip has been tackling the issue that many PhD students are paid via federal research grants, essentially being paid by the US Taxpayer. Today’s strip breaks down the Research portion of the US Federal Budget.
The text is a bit small, but overall it’s a good breakdown a’la “Death & Taxes” but focused entirely on the R&D portions.
See fullsize after the break.
As the collapse of financial sector became imminent, the US government approved use of $700 Billion dollars under the “Troubled Asset Relief Program” (TARP) to stave off disaster. Time has passed, and now we all want to know “What Happened?” . A new infographic from VisualEconomics tries to answer the question “How does 700 Billion Dollars disappear”?
A Detailed Look At TARP |.
Visual Economics has published a new infographic on the 2010 global economic recovery. The graphic shows which countries have gross domestic products that are increasing, and which ones are decreasing. It also shows how unemployment in the United States compares with other countries around the world. The one thing that is striking to me is that many of the countries apparently have no information on the map. Iceland, for example, suffered a collapse of its economy in 2009 due its banking industry. Yet, the tiny island nation is not colored red for having a -6.3% GDP according to the CIA factbook. Likewise the GDP information is missing for such countries as Greenland (+2.0%), Finland (-6.7%), among others.
via : Finding the Bottom: 2010 Global Economic Recovery
Earlier we posted an infographic about the U.S. trade deficit, and how it has grown over time. There were three things that I did not like about the infographic, so that started me asking the question about how I would improve upon it. The first thing that needed to be done was to get the data on the trade balance. That data is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is not to be confused with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) which provides the start and ending dates of recessions. While they have similar names, they are not the same organization.
As I wrote earlier, a trade deficit occurs when a country imports more goods than it experts. In other words, it is a transfer of wealth from one country to another. Over a short period of time, this is not a problem. However, over many years, or decades in the case of the United States, this can be a problem. One of the real questions in economics is why this has not been more of a problem for the United States than it has been. If you look at the chart below, the trade deficit has ballooned over the past decade.
One observation that you could make from this chart, but not from the previous graphic, is that the trade deficit has actually shrunk since it bottomed in 2006. Why is this? There are two reasons really. The first, and most obvious, is that we have had a recession the past few years. That has put a damper on trade, and especially on imports. The second reason is that is that oil prices have plummeted from a high of $145 to around $75 today. Of course, oil prices are tied into how well an economy is doing.
This chart looks at yearly data, with the data for 2009 being preliminary. If you switched to using monthly data, you would see that the trade deficit is once again increasing.
Slate has taken the Local Area Unemployment Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to create an information visualization showing the jobs lost over the past two years. Blue circles indicate that jobs were gained. Red circles indicate that jobs were lost. The size of the circle indicates the magnitude of change. The visualization is interactive. It allows you to either play through the timeline, or you can click on a certain month to see the data. The problem with such visualizations is that entire states disappear from view under the data. I personally prefer the way Flowing Data used the counties in their visualization instead of using circles. Unfortunately, Flowing Data’s visualization is not interactive like Slate’s.
via Slate: When Did Your County’s Jobs Disappear?