Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 27, 2008

Percentage of affluent men (incomes of $150,000 or higher) who classify themselves as happy and successful, according to a Best Life magazine and Platinum Card from American Express survey: 10

Percentage of successful and happy men who feel more successful than the people they grew up with: 66

Percentage of men who point to fulfilling personal relationships as one of the top factors of success: 84

Percentage of men who believe that personal accomplishment, such as having a happy family or being able to retire early, is a more significant cue of success than having a lot of power (16 percent), owning a large home (15 percent), having an impressive job title (8 percent) or spending a lot of money (4 percent): 64


In a survey of more than 130 countries, ranks of Denmark, New Zealand and Canada as the countries that report the highest level of well-being, according to a Gallup Poll: 1 (tie), 3

Rank of the U.S. behind Venezuela and Australia (tied for 4th): 6

Number of countries in mainland Asia or Africa that make the top 10: 0

Source: Gallup Inc.

Estimated number of trendy and hyper-brand-aware teens (ages 12 to 17) in the U.S. -- representing a total yearly income of $80 billion -- who are prime targets for plastic (debit, credit and gift cards), according to a report from Packaged Facts: 24.8 million

Percentage of teens ages 12 to 17 who have a savings account: 47.4

Percentage who have a checking account: 11.6

Percentage who have an ATM card: 15

Percentage who have a credit card in their own name: 3.5

Source: Packaged Facts.

Percentage of Chinese consumers who say fashion is less important than value and comfort, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch: 70.9

Percentage of Americans who say the same: 37.3

Source: BIGresearch.

Year that International Women's Day (March 8) was first observed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1909

Number of females in the U.S. as of Oct. 1, 2007: 153.6 million

Median annual earnings of women 16 or older who worked year-round, full-time, in 2006: $32,649

For every $1 earned by men, amount earned by women: 77 cents

Median earnings of women working in computer and mathematical jobs, the highest for women among the 22 major occupational groups: $61,081

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Ranks of Johnny Depp, Will Smith, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Denzel Washington on the list of top money-making stars of 2007, according to the Quigley Publishing Co.'s 76th annual poll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Quigley Publishing Co.

Estimated corporate research and development spending on clean energy technologies in 2006, according to Worldwatch Institute in State of the World 2008: $9.1 billion

Total estimated investment in renewable energy in 2006: $52 billion

Percentage rise from 2005: 33

Source: WorldWatch Institute.

Percentage of Americans who say they feel less secure about their financial situation compared to last year, according to the results of a Harris Poll: 38

Percentage who believe the economy will get worse in the coming year: 45

Percentage who believe the economy will improve in the coming year: 15

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of U.S. senior executives who said baby boomer retirements will be the trend that most significantly alters the workforce in the next decade, according to a survey by Robert Half International: 47

Percentage who cited global business interactions as the trend that most significantly alters the workforce in the next decade: 31

Percentage who said outsourcing: 11

Source: Robert Half International.

Percentage of tour operators who say that adventure travel is on the rise, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Tour Operators Association: 66

Percentage of operators who said that independent arrangements -- where a tour operator custom designs separate elements into an individual package -- scored the greatest gain: 80

Source: Kundell Communications.

Idle Thought

"How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves." -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, writer

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600