Political Rhetoric, In Graph Form


The above graphic from Organizing for America has been making the rounds. Sargent passes along a video using the same chart. Charles Franklin made another chart of cumulative job losses:


Franklin writes:

One can think of these two charts as data displays that reveal different aspects of data, but also as graphical political rhetoric. The different aspects of data are the sharp reduction in the rate of job loss shown so well in the OfA chart and the terrible cumulative loss to employment in the country that has not yet started to rebound that is shown in my chart. Both of those are "true facts" about the jobs data. They use exactly the same data, so differences are entirely matters of perspective and perception rather than "apples to oranges" comparisons. But while both are true stories, their substantive interpretations are quite different-- one is a story of an administration's success is stemming the tide of recession, the other is the high water mark of that tide, which has yet to begin receding.