Monday, March 5, 2012

A tale of two graphs

I was going to write a longer article on this subject, but I decided to be brief this time.  (And #$!#$ Blogger swallowed my post).  Here are two graphs showing the historical costs, over the past forty years, for two things which Americans buy a lot of:

Here's gasoline (per gallon, in 2012 dollars--image courtesy zFacts).

And here's per capita healthcare costs, also in today's dollars (image courtesy Media Matters):
The fluctuating costs of one of these things are treated as a Grave Political Crisis by the vast majority of the US polity, including political actors who normally prefer to leave such matters to the Hidden Hand™--even though, in real dollars, prices are only about double what they were before supply shocks started to hit.  The other is frequently regarded as something that we dare not do something else, lest we start down the Slippery Slope to Socialism--even though the price that Americans pay for it has increased by a couple orders of magnitude.

Which is which, and why, is left as an exercise for the reader.


  1. Free Public Transit. Available now, low-tech, proven. Addresses both problems at once.

    (It was IRAQ that invaded Kuwait, with U.S. permission)


Keep it clean, please