Early on, our team decided on young children as our audience for telling the story of growing wealth inequality in the U.S. Being that charts and graphs can be difficult for even adults to understand, we spent a lot of time discussing what kind of metaphor we wanted to use, and then lastly, how that metaphor would aid our message.
The story is relatively simple: If the kind of animal you could afford was a direct correlation to how well off you were, then this is how that wealth has been changing over time. While in a child’s grandparents’ time, they were able to afford relatively decent pets in all walks of life, the disparity has greatly increased in a child’s parents time in the present day. Furthermore, when said children came of age, that difference would be even more apparent where most everybody would only be able to have an ant as a pet save the top 20% of the wealthiest people who could own a whale, which is indisputably way more awesome.
While these are not the most scientifically sound metrics, it speaks to the inequality in a way that actual numbers cannot.