How do you capture a country with 300 million independently minded and moving pieces?
That’s the question that this TIME magazine article tries to answer with great information and data illustrations. In a nation becoming increasingly polarized by categorization into blue and red states, TIME thinks that the overall view of the nation is actually purple — a mix of both “red” and “blue” ideals.
The very idea of redistributing wealth can feel un-American in the land of Horatio Alger, until you look closely at how it’s spread now. Half of us earn less than $30,000 a year, 90% less than $100,000. To get an idea of how we value our values, Howard Stern earns every 24 seconds what takes a cop or a teacher about a week. Parents hoping to persuade their children to buckle down in school might try this: as an adult, the more you know the less you’ll have to work. Those with a high school degree or less spend far more of their time on the job than those with a college degree or beyond.
Check out the infographics that accompany the article.
In terms of broad generalizations, you can’t get much more clear and concise than those graphics.