A note about graphs

by Shihang

I was just reading Tony Judt’s Ill Fares the Land, and in the first chapter, he makes the point that inequality eats society out from within. To support his point, he presents a series of graphs from Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.

I’m quite convinced that there are substantial societal disbenefits from income inequality, but these graphs are just frustrating. Small samples (8 countries), opaque axes (unclear labelling of variables) and high-low units. The problem of causality is not addressed. They’re just not very convincing.