That sounds like a silly question. Isn't the answer self-evident? Am I suggesting that we banish the discipline of charting?
Maybe I won't go so far. But it's difficult not to have such a destructive thought when one stares at charts like this:
Now, compare the above with this version shown on the right ... and it's clear all the squares and bubbles and colors gave us nothing. Readers have to read the fine print in order to take in the unequal distribution of income. This chart violates the notion of self-sufficiency we often speak about.
Peering back at the original chart, we find that the entire square grid edifice only serves to explain that 0.01% is one-tenth of 0.1%, which is one-tenth of 1%, etc. On the other hand, the part that has a chance of conveying the main message -- the relative size of the biggest bubble versus the smallest bubble -- is shoved off the screen. The gigantic yellow bubble being mostly off the chart, readers are essentially asked to read the data labels.
The same article (via Yahoo!) contains other charts that are well executed.
This one, for instance, shows the increasing inequality very well. (The legend is on the left panel which I did not include here: the top red line is the top 1%, the other five lines are the quintiles or 20% buckets). At least four-fifths of the country is worse-off now than in 1980 in terms of their share of after-tax income.