Friday, February 24, 2017

The political pie chart. Sad. So abused. Time to burst the bubble and extend the radius.

Pity the poor pie chart. Misused, manipulated, removed from geometry, squeezed into ideology, and its once-helpful fruit now a poisonous tree. And all because people refuse to extend the radius. The what? The line from center to ring. Make that line longer. Now look at the circle. Wow. Need a picture? See https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-seventh-grade-math/cc-7th-geometry/cc-7th-area-circ-challenge/v/radius-change-impact

To illustrate:

1.  Meet the silliest, most misleading pie chart in the world, courtesy of a common background drama, Morning Java. There is Java himself, writing upside down, circle on paper, and there is a big, huge mega-slice, looks like well over 3/4, for social security and medicare (I think he also meant to put medicaid in there, fine). Watch him use a marker, still upside down, to scribble so its size of the big wedge shows up better, with angry swoops back and forth. Highlight that teeny, teeny area left for everything else.

Nuts. Abuse by pie chart.

2.  There is geometry, Java. You have just illustrated the equitable solution to the problem you see with too much going to help people left out of the big income bubble.

a.  First, pie charts are easily manipulated by what the drawer chooses to label -- see an example at http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/aug/17/facebook-posts/pie-chart-federal-spending-circulating-internet-mi/. Label the social medical slice, for example, to show subheadings, social medical, military component. The more the analysis, the more helpful the chart. See where savings can be made without jeopardizing basic sustenance, mobility, education, health, choice, autonomy of real people. Arts, quality of life, there is indeed room for all -- if the contribution is equitable. Do the same for all categories. Educate the people (us).

b. Second, for argument's sake, assume the Java pie chart is correct in the basic idea that lots goes to human needs. That means government is efficient, to some of us. The private sector is not likely to step in:  1)  the poor are always with us so who cares; and  2) I got mine.



To address the issue of what is available, and equitably can  be, visit geometry.

  • The area of a circle expands with expansion of circumference, and a circumference is expanded by increasing the radius, diameter, whatever. See above. An expanded area means more money available. Geometry leads Morning Java to a more accurate presentation of the issue.

3.  So, add to the money.  Swallow, hard.

You add to government money with taxes, people, logical, equitable taxes. Equitable. We have more than enough room there because of past inequities, advancement patterns based too much on on heredity, elitism, barring others from the starting gate, and not individual merit. Can we agree?

Method:

a.  Remove cap on social security tax, tax up to $200,000 for example. Include not just payroll, but other income, especially investment income earned from sources outside the US.  See babysteps at  http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/SocialSecurity/Documents/ArticleID/1466/Raising-the-Social-Security-Tax-Cap.

Uncle Bernie agrees to strengthen and expand, see https://berniesanders.com/issues/strengthen-and-expand-social-security/

b.  Increase taxes on the 1%. See https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/17/business/putting-numbers-to-a-tax-increase-for-the-rich.html

So, you can lift the human services portion, even as is (and even with some wiggle expansion room), into that now larger circle, and there is more for the other things now bemoaned.

Morning Java. Abuse by pie chart. We may be sleepy, but we are not dead.

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