The picture for females is also not pleasant. all from the excellent Michael Mandel. Those are simple facts, denied by some.
If it’s the margin that’s of interest, a zero x-axis is seldom the correct choice.
SteveB October 28, 2011 at 8:00 am
I’m disappointed you would use a graph where the y-axis is non-zero.
ezra abrams October 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm
read orwell on grammar mistakes: it is better to violate almost any rule of grammar then say something outright barbarous.
or, ignore tufte, overblown windbag, and find the excellent book by the lady from SAS; as she points out, it is a common fallacy to think that a graph has to start at zero.
The point of a graph is to say something; sometimes you need to break the rules to get the right message out
what makes your comment sad is that you missed the 3 or 4 real errors: no comma on the Y axis values; X axis values not aligned to tick markes (excel fail) data given as line with stupid extra shade formatting rather then simple points; no label on x or y axis; the lack of a Y axis label is ok, but the lack of an X axis is not, as one has to guess that the x axis is year of graduation (although this one does better then a lot of econ graphs, at least it is clear, so I’m inclinded, against my better judgement, to give the author a pass on the lack of axis
lables); unit divisions on Y axis are odd – I think by 5,000 dollar increments would have made more sense
PS: I hold myself, in a casual blog post, to a lower std then a graph that is read by a lot of people
celestus October 27, 2011 at 9:51 am
Don’t worry, the government will happily lend you money to go to college as many years as you want and only require you to pay it back if you get a job that pays more than the median.
Eddie October 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm
I dont disagree with your implied sentiment that there is too much government lending to students, but you are incorrect in that it is extremely hard to discharge student loans. It is one of the only types of lending that is impossible to get rid of through bankruptcy. Whether that is good or bad I’m not sure, but it wouldn’t be an issue if students didn’t have those debts in the first place.
Cliff October 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm
They have a program that allows you to pay them back based on your income and have all remaining debt discharged in 25 years. Obama is proposing lowering the amount you have to pay and decreasing the time to automatic discharge of all remaining debt.
Something designed to make it even easier to students to be in hock to their schools sounds like a bad idea.
We need some price pressure on education, not someone propping up the prices.