Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For October 26, 2008

Percentage of the very, very rich (those with a net worth of at least $30 million) who project their spending through the end of 2008 to be on par with or greater than last year, according to Elite Traveler/Prince and Associates research: 70

Percentage of these super-rich consumers who plan to spend an average of $108,100 on jewelry and watches before the end of 2008: 96.4

Percentage of the super-rich who plan to spend an average of $77,300 on apparel and accessories before 2008 ends: 97.6

Percentage who plan to spend an average of $23,400 on the personal consumption of wines and spirits: 94

Source: Elite Traveler.

Percentage of Americans ages 19 to 39 -- members of the so-called generations X and Y -- who said they were very knowledgeable about how to use an iPod, according to survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute: 40

Percentage who said they were very knowledgeable about eliminating or avoiding debt: 32

Percentage who said they were very knowledgeable about buying a home: 21

Percentage who said they were very knowledgeable about how to invest their money outside of the workplace: 15

Source: EBRI.

Estimated buying power of the burgeoning Asian-American market, which offers the most lucrative opportunities in the multicultural consumer market, according to research by Packaged Facts: $600 billion

Percentage of Asian-American households that have an income of at least $100,000: 36

Percentage of American families as a whole that have an income of at least $100,000: 25

Source: Packaged Facts.

Amount American consumers are expected to spend on Halloween this year, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch: $5.77 billion

Amount the average person will spend on costumes: $24.17

Amount the average person will spend on sweets: $20.39

Source: BIGresearch.

Percentage of American workers who would call their boss a "friend" -- more than any other categorization, according to the Adecco USA "Workplace Insights" survey: 29

Percentage who would call him/her a mentor: 21

Percentage who view him/her as a confidant: 6

Source: MWW Group.

Percentage of U.S. energy that is swallowed by buildings, though most Americans believe transportation and industry are the largest offenders, according to the U.S. Department of Energy: 40

Percentage of Americans who correctly identified buildings as the major energy culprit, according to a survey conducted by Owens Corning: 27

Ranks of buildings, industry and transportation as the primary users of energy: 1, 2, 3

Source: Owens Corning.

Percentage of administrative professionals who said having a bad boss would be the most important factor in a decision to leave their job, according to a survey conducted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals: 45

Percentage who indicated they would leave their job because of poor pay: 4

Percentage who would leave because of poor benefits: 2

Source: IAAP.

Percentage of American workers who are happy on the job, up slightly from last year's 61 percent, according to SnagAJob.com's "Labor Happiness" survey: 65

When workers were asked the No. 1 issue facing the nation, percentage who cited the economy: 57

Source: SnagAJob.com.

Ranks of The Joker, Batman and Iron Man/Tony Stark on the list of the top three Halloween costumes for men, based on movies released in 2008, according to a survey by Fandango: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of "The House Bunny" (Anna Faris), Fox (Angelina Jolie) from the movie "Wanted" and Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) on the list of the top three Halloween costumes for women: 1, 2, 3

Source: Fandango.

Estimated annual economic losses in marine fisheries resulting from poor management, inefficiencies and overfishing, according to a World Bank-FAO report: $50 billion

Taken over the last three decades, estimated total losses, a figure roughly equivalent to the GDP of Italy: $2 trillion

Estimated number of people whose livelihoods depend on the fisheries: 200 million

Percentage of these people who live in developing countries: 90

Source: FAO.

Idle Thought

"It is also a victory to know when to retreat." -- Erno Paasilinna, essayist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)

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