Spog’s pictures

I was recently sent this correspondence by occasional Troppo poster, and person of considerable knowledge about the tax and transfer system, Spog. Here’s what he wrote.

Hello Nick,

I haven’t bothered you in a while, so I thought it was time to send you something out of left field.

Two relatively recent discussions on Troppo seem to have come together in an unusual way. One is the tax-transfer system, and the other is the new version of Microsoft Office.

I have been looking at Average Effective Tax Rates (yawn) for couples and was interested in ways to display the interaction of two incomes on household AETRs. I gave the new Excel its head: chose a chart type, put all settings to auto (bar one), and ended up with something that is both difficult to comprehend (at first glance), yet oddly beautiful. An art form, rather than an analytical tool, perhaps?

I’ve attached three charts, in a powerpoint show, so you can see what I mean. Do look at them as a slideshow, for the full effect.

I may have to reassess my voting intentions on 24 November in terms of how pretty each party makes the tax-transfer system look using this presentation method.

And the pictures? They’re below the fold.

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spog
spog
14 years ago

If no-one comments on these my plans for an exhibition at the local art show are in tatters.

JohnZ
JohnZ
14 years ago

Spog, if you’re looking for an elegant tax system visualised, I graphed the LDP tax policy Reform 30/30 which was published by the CIS.

Note that Tax Reform 30/30 is actually a negative income tax which replaces Centrelink, but to avoid comparing welfare systems I’ve treated “negative taxation” as 0% taxation.

Couple, no children

Couple, two children

I also did a 3d visualisation which I think is easy to understand.

No children, 3d visualisation

Two children, 3d visualisation

JohnZ
JohnZ
14 years ago

Jacques – email me his address and I’ll do that.

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
14 years ago

These images rendered in silk would make for a lovely tie.

spog
spog
14 years ago

JohnZ – not sure that an elegant tax system gives rise to nice pictures. And if you had included the NIT component, it would have been even duller (assuming I understand it). My pics include welfare (hence the high AETR numbers) and that is, at least in part, what gives the tasty colours.

James Hamilton – Hadn’t thought of ties. I was thinking of Xmas in July presents – a new tax year starts, and you get one of these customised to your family type. Who could resist such a personal gift?