Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For November 02, 2008

Estimated value of packaged goods coupons offered annually, according to research from the Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council: $350 billion

Average value per coupon: $1.25

Percentage of all coupons issued that appear in the Sunday newspaper free-standing inserts (FSI): 90

Source: Promotion Marketing Association.

Percentage of business travelers who are more apt to stay at a less-expensive hotel if it offers amenities like free wi-fi and/or continental breakfast, instead of a more luxurious hotel that does not offer these perks, according to a survey by Orbitz for Business and Business Traveler Magazine: 67

Percentage of those surveyed who say their company's per diem spending for meals has decreased in the past year: 17

Source: Orbitz.

Percentage of gays and lesbians who say they have faced some sort of discrimination in the workplace, according to a study by Out and Equal Workplace Advocates and Witeck-Combs Communications: 65

Percentage who have heard anti-gay comments on the job: 47

Percentage who say they remain closeted at work: 36

Source: Out and Equal Workplace Advocates.

Ranks of talking on their cell phones, driving too fast, tailgating, and eating or drinking while driving as the behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters and can lead to road rage, according to a survey by AutoVantage: 1, 2, 3, 4

Percentage of commuters who admit to reacting to bad driving by honking their horn at the offending driver: 43

Percentage who curse at the other driver: 36

Percentage who make an obscene gesture: 9

Source: AutoVantage.

Percentage of all young Americans (18 to 34 years old) who are carrying medical debt, according to research conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Qvisory 2008 Greenberg survey: 28

Percentage of all young people who have gone without health insurance at some point in the past five years, including 75 percent of those who are now carrying medical debt: 50-plus

Source: Qvisory.

Rank of keeping and maintaining current business and sources of revenue as the top priority for entrepreneurs, according to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor research conducted by Echo Research: 1

Percentage of entrepreneurs who find themselves reducing or accepting lower profit margins: 56

Source: American Express.

Percentage of physicians who have formed party and/or candidate preferences based upon the candidate's stand regarding key issues, according to a study from 81.3

When asked how a universal health care system should be funded, percentage who thought it should be funded by the federal government: 10

Percentage who said they preferred some combination of state, federal, employer and individual contributions: 60

Source: .

Percentage of employers who recruit applicants for hard-to-fill positions only when the jobs become open, according to Aon Consulting's "2008 Benefits and Talent Survey": 52

Percentage of employers who recruit continuously: 33

Percentage of respondents who said that over the last two years, when their organizations were not successful in hiring their top recruits it was because these top candidates went elsewhere for pay they perceived as higher: 36

Percentage of respondents who said they did hire the majority of their top recruits: 32

Source: Aon Consulting.

Percentage of Americans who drink spirits that said they've had a bad experience when drinking tequila, according to a survey conducted by Agavero and Ipsos: 38

Percentage of those who said they don't drink tequila anymore because of it: 10

Approximate percentage of all spirit drinkers who said that they make an "I'm never drinking tequila again" face when they merely hear the word tequila: 16

Source: Agavero.

Average corporate health benefit expenditure per employee in 2009 (an increase of 6 percent over 2008 figures), according to the 2009 Towers Perrin Health Care Cost Survey: $9,660

Percentage increase in total health care costs since 2004: 33

Percentage increase in employee share during the same period: 42

Source: Towers Perrin.

Idle Thought

"No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking." -- Voltaire

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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