Three Charts That Illustrate America’s Political and Economic Malaise – The New York Times

by | Sep 27, 2022 | Financial

Scott Galloway, the entrepreneur, professor and podcaster, has written a book that’s a sort of anti-book.A portrait of America in 100 charts, it tells the story of what Galloway sees as a nation in the throes of a crisis, riven by inequity, economic decline, partisan anger and rising extremism.In “Adrift,” Galloway’s numbers do much to explain our politics, from the rise of the Tea Party and Donald Trump to the growing numbers of young people who espouse left-wing economic views or want to tear down the system altogether.A man who speaks in the sound bites of a practiced TED talker, Galloway chose the graphic-heavy format over pure text, he said in an interview, because “storytelling is key to our species. It’s how you remember stuff.”Despite spending months curating grim data and building an alarming series of charts, Galloway said he came away from the exercise “optimistic” about America’s future.“The problems are enormous,” he said, “but I think the problems are of our own making and can be unmade.”A crisis of inequalityGalloway pinpoints 1973 as the year when economic inequality in America started spiraling out of control.That was when wages began to become decoupled from productivity: As the economy grew more efficient, pay did not keep pace, which hollowed out the middle and working classes.Social scientists have studied this phenomenon for decades and offered multiple explanations. The rise of computing and automation. The decline of unions. The Reagan revolution.Galloway doesn’t dispute any of that, but he chalks up the wage-productivity gap to a few fuzzier factors.Inflation F.A.Q.Card 1 of 5What is inflation? Inflation is a loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.What caus …

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