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You know, that truly is a terrible graphic but there is one oddball twisted way in which it could be construed to make sense -- or rather, a poor representation of something that could have made sense: if the graphic was supposed to be some sort of state-space plot. In that case, the axes don't represent dependent and independent variables. The dot that we see then shows the state of the quarter and the state of one's personal life.

Here's an example that shows the path of defense and non-defense discretionary spending over time:

Here's another example that shows revenues and outlays:

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Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
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