Storytelling Lab: Showing Unfairness Taxation for the Rich from 1965 to 2007

The Richest 1% Pays Less and Less Taxes

Team: Charles Wang, Sonny Vernard, Sonali Sharma, Seema Puthyapurayil

Our objective was to show the unfairness of the richest 1% in America paying decreasing amount of taxes while their income had increased by 240% from 1965 to 2007. We applied a 3-step approach in our narrative. In step 1, a cash sack was drawn to illustrate the total $54 trillion national income. The richest 1% was highlighted as our target group. In step 2, we used a line chart to show the income distribution from 1960’s to 2007. We observed dramatic increases of income for the richest 1%, whereas the average income for low-wage earners had pretty much remained constant. In step 3, we applied a unique visualization that indicates not only the wealthy had become richer over time in absolute dollars, but also captured the story of America’s richest paying a lesser share of taxes as their incomes increased. Furthermore, two arrow indicators beside the bar chart expressed the obvious opposite trends of taxes paid by the richest and the income they made. The decreasing amount of taxes paid by the 1%, our biggest concern, was emphasized with red color.