In 1996 Mancur Olson used a few in his "Big Bill on the Sidewalk" article. Olson asked readers to compare the economic performance of East Germany versus West Germany. Or the economic performance of North Korea versus South Korea. The latter example must be one of the most widely used examples designed to illustrate the benefit of good institutions and rules. Advocates argue that it can't be geography because of the disparities in wealth either side of a political line (although Jeffrey Sachs makes a good case for a geography contribution to the disparity).
The power of outrageous comparisons was a key element in the efforts to get US airline deregulation. Wayne Leighton and Edward Lopez explain it in their book Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers.
"A powerful weapon in these public hearings was the use of real yet outrageous examples, and the committee exploited them to full effect. It showed that a traveller flying between Los Angeles and San Francisco, an interstate market not regulated by the CAB, would pay half as much as a traveller flying between Washington and Boston, or flying between two cities that were roughly as far apart and, importantly, that were regulated by the CAB".
Today, Sky Sports News produced a list of fine comparisons for their viewers. Go compare! Fines for racism are smaller than fines for infractions of kit regulations.