Here's a running list of interesting graphs that I've come across. Where possible, I'll embed the iFrame.
Consumer Price Index
Price Changes in Consumer Goods & Services
In this graph, we see price changes over time for a variety of consumer goods from 1997 to 2017. Any line over 0% has gotten more expensive while any line under 0% has become less expensive. What do college tuition, education, childcare, medical care, housing, and public transportation all have in common? I'll leave that as an exercise for anyone reading.
This shows the CPI index from January 1947 to today.
Urban CPI (% change from 1 year ago)
Note: this is not the actual CPI value, but rather the rate of change from a year ago. Each point is generated monthly and it is looking back 12 months and calculating the percent difference between the value today and the value at that point.
Purchasing Power of one US dollar (1635-2020)
M1 – Money Stock
I'm going to have to do some digging to understand a bit more about the May 2020 changes to the definition of M1. But for the definition change, would we still expect to see M1 increase in the wake of the CARES Act which was signed into law on March 27, 2020?
US Federal Debt as % of GDP
Federal Outlays as % of GDP
10-Year Breakeven Inflation Rate
This value backs into the expected inflation rate over the next 10 years using the 10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Securities and the 10-Year Treasury Inflation Indexed Constant Maturity Securities.
Personal Savings Rate
This calculates the personal savings rate as a percentage of disposable personal income on a quarterly basis from 1947 to now. Over the entire time series, this averaged 9.1%. Between 2000 and before COVID this value averaged 5.9% and notably hit 26.1% during the first quarter of COVID.
On April 19, 1965, Gordon Moore published an article in Electronics Magazine in which he analyzed the number of transistors that could be placed on an integrated circuit and predicted that "by 1975, the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000" and that this large circuit would "be built on a single wafer."
[A state of war is similar] to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength, and their own invention, shall furnish them withal. In such condition, there is no place for Industry… and consequently no Culture of the Earth… and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. —Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651
Throughout human history, increasing material prosperity tended to go hand-in-hand with resource utilization. When Thomas Malthus formulated "An Essay on the Principle of Population" he noted that populations went through "oscillations" where the population would grow, outstrip its ability to materially provide for this population growth, and summarily decline.
One framing of modernity is that it began with the Enlightenment which led to the Industrial Revolution. With the Industrial Revolution, we saw technological progress begin to unshackle us from the physical confines of earth. That said, this growth came at an environmental cost. Human population went vertical and we didn't run into a Malthusian Trap, but population and resource utilization continued in lockstep.
Recently, we have seen an interesting phenomena called "dematerialization" which basically means that we've been able to consume more wile taking less (both in relative and absolute numbers) from the planet. In 2015, Jesse Ausubel wrote "The Return of Nature: How Technology Liberates the Environment" which suggested that America's economy had "decoupled" and that our economy "no longer advances in tandem with exploitation of land, forests, water, and minerals" which was expanded on by Andrew McAfee in his book More From Less.
Energy is the bedrock of our civilization and so hopefully these graphs shed some light on on both the supply (energy generation) and demand (energy consumption) side of this equation.