One-Page Flier (pdf) of "The L-Curve" / Links to L-Curve related sites / Other writings by David Chandler

The L-Curve 2.0

An (Updated) Tour of the U.S. Income Distribution

The red line, in the image seen below, represents a graph of U.S. household income across the population, mostly based on 2014 census data. The height of the curve at any point is the height of a stack of $100 bills equalling that income. The census data leaves out incomes over $250,000, which produces a very misleading sense of the disparity in the income distribution.

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You will not be outraged by outrageous statistics
if you don't comprehend the numbers.

Unfortunately most people don't know how to visualize large numbers.

If you think this describes you, click here.

1-Page Flier Version of The L-Curve in PDF format

Other Related Links

What are the implications of this picture?

I am not an economist, but then again, most likely you aren't either.   On the other hand, the economy affects you and me, so we need to come to grips with these issues to participate intelligently in the political process.  There needs to be a genuine national dialog on these issues at all levels.

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(Data sources: Census Bureau  /  Internal Revenue Service  /  Economic Policy Institute)
Note: these data sources are notably lacking in data within the top 1%. Census data goes up to $250,000 and IRS data goes up to $1 million. Information to plot the vertical spike had to be obtained from news articles and other sources of commentary. If information on the top 1% is not known or easily obtained, statements about the socioeconomics of income and wealth are suspect. Michael Parenti has written an illuminating article on this topic.


* Since I first posted this site, several people have quibbled over various technical points.  Here are a few of the issues raised:

My response to all of these kinds of questions, in short, is that the truth of my central thesis is not dependent on the exact height of the graph or shadings of definitions.  As one correspondent put it, there is a "money spike" and there is a "population spike". There are two classes in this country.  One class derives concentrated power from its concentrated wealth.  The other class has power only in numbers.  That power is effective only to the extent that it can be mobilized through organization.

Until we come to terms with these issues, phrases such as, "We the people...," and, "of the people, by the people, and for the people," are hollow clich├ęs.


Please inform your friends and associates about this site.  I can't carry on lengthy dialogues with everyone who visits the site, but if you have something to say, please feel free to communicate by email.  Please don't be offended if you don't get a personal reply.  I read all responses and will consider your comments.