The Dow Jones Before, During and After the Glass-Steagall Act

After yesterday’s post about breaking up the banks and The Newsroom’s mention of U.S. economic performance under Glass-Steagall, Ape Con Myth decided to dust off  The Tao Jones data set and take another look at the full history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, from 1896 through last Friday.

This time we’ll look at 31,490 trading days using Glass-Steagall’s tenure as the yardstick…

(click the image to enlarge)

For more exploration of the Dow, check out The Tao Jones.

Meet the Necessities

Food, clothing and shelter don’t really cover it anymore.  It being the necessities, those things we cannot live without.  For many people, survival has been boiled down to one thing.  Actually, it’s two things, but we take one for granted such that it is rarely mentioned.

Death and Taxes might be inevitable, but to stay in the game you’ve got to have a combo more akin to Breath and Cash.  Or, as better put in Ape Con Myth’s first blog post:

Meet The_Necessities_b

There’s the simplified version. Now let’s go the other direction with it…


That’s more like it. Okay, it’s 2010 AD. Civilization has had a few thousand years. How are we doing in fulfilling these needs?


… We’ve got some work to do.

[Yes, we do.  And now in 2012, with the Supreme Court considering the fate of one piece of this puzzle, Ape Con Myth’s live redesign is paving the way to take our study to the next level.  How do we stop wasting our time struggling and find out what happens when we really dedicate some time to living?]

To and Fro, Internationally

Ever thought about getting out of Dodge in a big way?  Looking for ideas?  At, you’ll find a handy world map of information on where your fellow citizens have gone to and the origins of those who took their place…

The data comes from the Global Migrant Origin Database and gives a rough estimate of migrant populations circa 2000.  There were an estimated 175M migrants worldwide as of 2000, up from 75M in 1960.  But that’s only an increase from 2.5% to 2.9% of the total world population, which went from 3 billion-ish to 6 billion-ish in those same 40 years.

Anyway, here’s the list of lines that more than a million people have crossed, with the U.S. starting and finishing it off.

Pulling the full data set and counting up the complete totals for each country, the United States once again tops the list in positive net migration at 32.4M, with Mexico on the negative end of the spectrum at -9.7M.

But the impact of these numbers depend on the total population of each country.  Considering only countries with populations over one million, the United States comes in 15th in terms of migrant population as a percent of total 2000 population.  Meanwhile, Mexico falls just short of the list in regard to percent of population lost against the total population had no one left.

And finally, here’s the stats on all 24 countries with a population over 50M as of the 2000 censuses.

There’s a story behind every number on here.  Hopefully once we get all the numeric data visualized, the next wave of visual representations will work to connect the data to those stories.  We have so much data, but so little reference for it.

The Self-Employed: Same As It Ever Was?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the self-employed consist of “active proprietors or partners who devote a majority of their working hours to their unincorporated businesses.”  Another thing the BEA says is that, despite the civilian labor force tripling during the same period, the number of self-employed persons in the United States has remained fairly constant over the last 80 years.


The only thing that has changed is industry composition…

Where we once had farmers, we now have service providers.  But does that explain why the self-employed went from 21% the size of the labor force down to 6%?  Do we have fewer independent operators in the economy or are more of them  turning to the corporate or LLC structure to protect themselves from the modern consumer?

[Self-Employment data via BEA NIPA Tables 6.7A-D; Civilian Labor Force figures from ERP B-35]

CA State Budget ’07-’12 – Cost and Revs

What’s more exciting than a state budget?  Pretty much everything, but since you’re here and probably funding one, here’s a look at California’s expenditures from the last few years’ proposed and enacted budgets:

California_StateFunds07-12(click any chart to enlarge)

Yep, just what you’d expect: school and health and stuff.  But where do the funds come from?  Funds!


Don’t worry, it’s just taxes.  Why bother with that chart?  Because that’s the terminology, and facing it now might help overcome your inevitable and brutal lack of interest in the “General Fund” on the day you go and look at budget yourself.  For now though, let’s take the bond figures from above with revenue summaries from the individual budgets and move on to the one slightly interesting chart in this set:

So technically, every time there’s a recession, less income will lead to less sales and therefore less tax, which basically guarantees that when the state is hurting, the government will be in no position to help.  …  Or is that not the problem?

We need more input.

[2011-2012 California State Budget, Historical Budgets from CA Dept. of Finance]

1 2 3 4