Tuesday evening links, all charts

1. Chart of the Day I (above) displays the US annual “Balance of Payments” from 1983 to 2020. It illustrates graphically a frequently overlooked economic reality that the “balance” of US payments (cash in/cash out) has to balance because Americans’ cash outflows to purchase foreign assets and foreign goods and services must necessarily be equal to the cash inflows back into the US to purchase US assets and American goods and services. Over the last 38 years, the US has experienced a Net $12.5T Inflow of Foreign Investment and a Net $12.5T Inflow of Goods/Services, and yet many Americans and politicians like Trump complain about that outcome? As if a net outflow of investment capital and a net outflow of goods and services would be somehow better? Hmmm……

2. Chart of the Day II (above). Following a long-term historical reality, high school boys have greater math aptitude and out-perform high school girls on the Math SAT, especially for the highest test scores. In 2021, 153 boys scored 700-800 for every 100 girls. Not. Even. Close.

This statistically significant gender math difference suggests, that despite the ongoing efforts and diversion of millions of dollars in funding, it may be impossible to ever “close the gender gap” for degrees in engineering and computer science as so many universities seemed determined to futilely achieve. Sorry for exposing the statistical falsehood that “there just aren’t any gender differences anymore in math aptitude.”

3. Venn Diagram of the Day I (above) inspired by the WSJ editorial “Green Welfare for the Rich:”

An electric vehicle costs between $10,000 and $15,000 more than a similar gas-powered model, which is why they remain a luxury item purchased mainly by coastal dwellers who have cash to burn. Democrats are effectively conceding this in their bill.

The bill in the House Ways and Means Committee would extend the existing $7,500 EV tax credit through 2031 and remove the 200,000 car per-manufacturer cap, which both GM and Tesla have hit. Currently there’s no vehicle price-limit on the credit, so people can use it to buy electric Porsches. Anyone who can afford a Porsche doesn’t need government help to buy one.

The $12,500 EV tax credit exposes a central contradiction of the vast spending bill. Democrats want to raise taxes on the affluent while at the same time subsidizing them to embrace their green priorities. The bill will be paid by middle-class workers and families.

4. Chart of the Day III (above) shows how steeply progressive US federal income taxes are. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki today, “A lot of high-income individuals pay lower tax rates than nurses and teachers. No one thinks that’s fair.” And no one with half-a-brain thinks that’s an accurate statement. While there could be some “high-income individuals” who pay lower tax rates than nurses and teachers, that’s far from the reality for the typical “high-income American” and the typical nurse or teacher. The typical American in the top 1% (income of $540,000 or more in 2018) pays an average tax rate of 25.4%. With average incomes of $77,000 for nurses and $63,000 for teachers, neither of those occupations make it into the top 25% of taxpayers with incomes of $87,000 or more, who paid an average tax rate of 16.8% in 2018. Nurses and teachers would certainly fall into the top 50% of US taxpayers with incomes above $43,000 who paid an average tax rate of 14.6% in the most recent year. But because the top 50% includes “high-income Americans” it’s likely that nurses and teachers paid an average tax rate of less than 14.6%, which would maybe be about half of the 25.4% average tax rate paid by “high-income Americans.” A good time to remind Jen Psaki of the aphorism that the plural of anecdote is not data.

5. Chart of the Day IV (above). There were 208,887 Southern Border Encounters in August bringing the total this year to 1.32M encounters (and much higher counting the crossings that weren’t classified as “encounters”), which is equal to the population of Maine (1.34M) and greater than the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Montana. And greater than the city populations of Dallas, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Boston, and Atlanta. The encounters in August were a whopping 6,738 crossings per day, 281 per hour, and almost 5 every minute of the day!

6. Chart of the Day V (above) displays some striking COVID data you’ll never hear about – the significant COVID gender death gap favoring women. For every 100 women who have died from COVID, there have been 122 male COVID deaths. #FemalePrivilege?

7. Chart of the Day VI (above) shows an inconvenient fact: The average annual number of US landfall hurricanes has decreased slightly over time, see downward trend line above.

8. Chart of the Day VII (above) shows the statistically significant downward trend over time in the US for strong to violent tornadoes (F3, F4, F5). #InconvenientFact

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