1. Just added my longtime friend and former Prism colleague Dwight Ozard to the links list on your right. Dwight is celebrating his latest UPEP count, which is lower than it's been in a long time (lower is good). I hope that you will never have to worry about your UPEP count. If I ever do, I hope I will do so with as much grace and courage as Dwight has shown.

2. Mark Schmitt of The Decembrist detects a strange new economic category in the Treasury Department's spinning analysis of John Kerry's tax proposals:

Treasury didn't use the standard categories that would go into a distributional analysis, such as income quintiles or households with income in certain ranges. Instead, they used a category of their own devising: "Hardworking Individuals and Married Couples."

And what's the definition of the new population category called "Hardworking Individuals and Married Couples"? To me, it brings to mind the guy who guts chickens for a living ten hours a day and his wife who works at Wal-Mart. But I must have too bleak a view. Apparently this category refers to people who earn more than $200,000 and get much of their income from dividends and capital gains. I don't want to engage in class warfare, and I'm sure some of these people are very hardworking, but that just doesn't seem like the appropriate term.

3. Did you ever find yourself immersed in a project and wondering exactly how it was you ended up doing this? I felt that way a bit last month at rehearsals for "Step in Time," the spring musical revue at an all-girls Catholic school. If you're putting on a revue, somebody has to write the book that stitches all those songs together through some narrative pretext, however flimsy. In this case, that somebody turned out to be me. It was a privilege — those kids can really sing and dance.

4. My friend Josh — who comments here under the nom de guerre "oh," and blogs at generosity without borders, pointed out this fascinating, interactive graph of world income distribution. Go play with it for a while. Here's hoping they add more countries in future versions. (I'd also like to see a taller graph — a billion people ought to occupy more space on the graph than $100,000.)

5. I forget who pointed to this link (Kevin Drum maybe?), but here is the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' "Comprehensive Assessment of the Bush Administration’s Record on Cutting Taxes." You should read the whole thing, but at least check out the graphs: this one shows the size of the deficit with and without the Bush tax cuts (our grandchildren are going to hate this guy). This one shows actual job growth versus the Bush administration's projections.

6. Via Patrick Nielsen Hayden, here is Clown Staples' lovely musical composition, played entirely with Windows Noises.

7. Speaking of music, Eric Alterman pointed earlier to this growing collection of McSweeney's essays inspired by Nick Hornby's Songbook.

8. Another musical note: I recently installed Flash Player on my newsroom computer, which means tonight when I'm working the late online shift, I can listen to all of Lucinda Williams' World Without Tears at The flip side of this is that I've learned it's probably not best for one's emotional state to listen to lots of Lucinda if you're alone in a newsroom at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night.

9. Via Charles Kuffner I learn that the sage Mark Evanier has a blog. (Yes, that was a Groo reference.)

10. Via rc3, a collection of Dr. Seuss's editorial cartoons from the early 1940s. To say that the good doctor disagreed with isolationists in 1940-41 would be an understatement.

11. Here again is the CBPP's graph charting actual job growth vs. Bush administration projections. It's just such an astonishing graphic display of dishonesty and/or failure that I had to link to it twice.

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  • julia


  • Richard

    Hi. You said, “I’d also like to see a taller graph — a billion people ought to occupy more space on the graph than $100,000.” I don’t know where you can find a proportionate graph for world economic distribution — it would have to be extremely tall. However, we posted a very tall proportionate graph of U.S. wealth distribution (based on 1998 figures) last summer at Living on Less. You can find it in the July archives, here:

  • Bruce Garrett

    There is a book by Richard Minear, “Dr. Seuss Goes to War” that showcases a good many of his World War II political cartoons. I have it on my shelf next to my books on the masterful WWII political cartoons of British cartoonist David Low. I was surprised to learn that Seuss had done political cartoons. I wouldn’t have thought his cartooning style was suited for it. He did some great ones though. No…Seuss was no isolationist.

  • Sour Grapes

    Dr Seuss, political cartoonist

    World income distribution, 1970-2000
    Another interesting site. Some observations:
    * The history of India’s income distribution is the closest to a microcosm of the world’s.
    * China’s income distribution broadens more th…

  • Sour Grapes

    World income distribution, 1970-2000

    Another interesting site. Some observations: The history of India’s income distribution is the closest to a microcosm of the world’s. China’s income distribution broadens more than any other. What happened in Indonesia during 1996-2000? Income goes…

  • Ross Judson

    The statistics that matter are Median Gross Income adjusted for inflation, and aggregate tax burden (ss + federal + state + local), by income quintile or, preferably, fractile.
    This administration gleefully uses averages instead of medians so it can pretend that its policies are helping “the average guy”.
    So why is it so darn hard to find those figures on, say, the IRS site? They’d got all the info. Certainly they HAVE that number, internally. Why not publish it? Hmm.
    Oh, and as a citizen, if you want a copy of the CDROM that has stats on every tax return filed (actually a redacted, statistically equivalent data set), you have to pay the government $4000. This, to get information your tax dollars have already paid for. I called to check on it. All the guy does is pop the source disc in a reader and make a copy of it.
    So it’ll cost you $4000 to do your own analysis of information your tax dollars paid to prepare.