Civics & Policy Basics for the Busy Majority (TM)
Connect the Dots (TM) USA


I am delighted that so many of you are enjoying, sharing and learning from Connect The Dots USA. Who says charts and graphs can’t be fun and exciting? I appreciate all your kind words, suggestions and links. Currently this is a one-person, self-financed little operation, so unfortunately I do not have the time or bandwidth to respond individually to every email. I do, however, try to read them all. Please join the discussion on my Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. And here are some helpful answers to FAQs:

1. Where can I find more in-depth data about a particular chart or graph?

First, check out the relevant passage in the “Read Script” PDF. Next, check out the websites of the sources listed in the black horizontal bar at the bottom of each slide. Finally, conduct your own Internet searches on the particular information. Because the goal of these presentations is to simplify lots of complex information so regular, busy folks can understand the basics, I try not to overwhelm with too much detail. Kudos to all you fellow wonks out there hungering for more. Use these presentations and source websites as a launch pad for your own quest. Bon voyage!

2. On a few of the graphs, why does it look like some information is missing?

When I combine several graphs from different sources to illustrate an important connection, one source may go back further in time than another. Or one data source may break out certain information (like the Top 1%) but only goes back to 1979; another data source may cover earlier decades, but does not break out the Top 1% separately. In those particular cases, I will fill in the missing information if I come across another data source in the future.

3. How can I customize the presentations? What if I want a different format?

I have tried to make Connect The Dots USA very user-friendly, visual, and easy to navigate. I hope it
is a welcome relief in this world of complicated, confusing and text-heavy websites. The PDFs are all viewable and printable with free Acrobat Reader. To view like a slide show, under the View menu of Acrobat Reader (not PDF web viewer), set your Page Display on “Single Page,” choose “Full Screen Mode” and use the arrow keys to advance. If you have full Acrobat, you can delete slides or add in your own. Most images are also available in “Single Slide JPGs” (click on link in lower left corner of website). These are perfect for posting on Facebook and Twitter or using for your own presentations or small signs. As a lover of print, I designed everything to print easily on 8.5×11. For large poster sizes, it is best to print from the desired page in the Slide PDF and instruct your vendor to enlarge through the printer. To preserve the design integrity of the images and respect copyrights, extracting individual elements from the slides is not allowed.

4. What do I do if I am having trouble accessing a link?

Because of the graphic-intensive nature of these presentations, some of the PDF files are several megabytes in size so allow 15 to 30 seconds to load depending on your Internet connection. If you are having trouble on a handheld mobile device, try viewing on a laptop or desktop computer. If you are getting a “Not Found” error code, please let me know the specific item so I can get that broken link fixed.

5. What if I have information or ideas for Connect the Dots USA?

I receive many emails from people who want to engage in discussion about these presentations. As a one person shop, I can’t respond to everyone and still have time to develop new content. I welcome your suggestions and information and will try to incorporate those that fit best. You are also welcome to join the discussion on my FacebookTwitter and YouTube pages.

6. When will other topics be available?

I am continually working on more topics and will post them to the website when completed. I updated the Single JPGs more quickly than the full presentation PDFs. Stay tuned and keep connecting those dots.

I hope you find these presentations engaging and informative. Please consider making a donation of $5 or more so I can continue to research, design and write new topics and update current topics. Donations are NOT tax deductible. Thank you for your support. — The Connect The Dots Lady

The Antidote to Bumper-Sticker PoliticsTM