Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For September 21, 2008

Percentage of singles who feel that the financial stability of their suitor is more important now than one year ago, according to a pop culture and relationship survey by 36

Percentage who would pay for a dating site if they had more discretionary cash: 14


Percentage of workers who say they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck, according a nationwide survey by 47

Percentage of workers with salaries of $100,000 or more who report that they, too, live paycheck to paycheck: 21

Percentage of workers who say they don't put any money aside for savings each month: 25


Percentage of Americans with a New York accent who are happy with how their particular regional accent sounds in comparison with other American accents, according to a poll commissioned by SpinVox and conducted by Harris Interactive: 52

Rank of the New Jersey/New York dialect (as exemplified by James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano) as the accent Americans would least like to have themselves: 1

Percentage of U.S. adults who reported they would like to speak like the queen of England: 36

Source: Harris Interactive.

By increasing graduation rates by 10 percentage points, the estimated number of murders that could be prevented every year, according to The Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members' report called "School or the Streets": 3,000

Estimated number of aggravated assaults that could be prevented annually: 175,000

If graduation rates were raised 10 percent among males nationwide, estimated total amount of money that could be saved every year through reducing costs associated with crime: $15 billion

Source: Fight Crime.

Percentage of the overall population who report that they use coupons when shopping for grocery, household and health care items at supermarkets, according to research from the Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council: 89

Percentage of primary shoppers who report that they use coupons at supermarkets: 97

Average percentage savings reported by coupon users on their grocery bill with coupons: 7

Source: Promotion Marketing Association.

Percentage of employers nationwide who are experiencing a leadership shortage that is impeding their organization's performance, according to Aon Consulting's "2008 Benefits and Talent" survey: 56

Percentage who expect to have a leadership shortage that will impede performance in the next one to four years: 31

Ranks of health care (62 percent), professional services (58 percent) and manufacturing (57 percent) as the industries that are hit hardest by the impact of this leadership shortage: 1, 2, 3

Source: Aon Consulting.

Percentage of employers who allow flexible work schedules in order to prevent good workers from leaving their organizations, according to a survey conducted for Robert Half International: 63

Percentage who provide funding for additional training/certification in order to keep their workers: 62

Source: Robert Half International.

Percentage of U.S. adults who are satisfied with the quality of primary and secondary education in the country, according to a survey by Gallup: 44

Percentage of parents of school-aged youth who say they are satisfied with their own children's education: 77

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of companies that reported that creating employee ownership through an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) was "a good business decision that has helped the company," according to a survey by the Employee Ownership: 92.4

Percentage of companies that indicated a better performance in 2007 when compared to 2006: 66

Source: Employee Ownership Foundation.

Percentage of executives who believe procurement issues are a high priority in their companies, according to a survey of global procurement and C-level executives by KPMG LLP: 74

Percentage who say that the procurement function in their companies focuses too much on cost reduction instead of value creation: 49

Source: KPMG LLP.

Idle Thought

"Tear man out of his outward circumstances; and what he then is -- that only is he." -- Johann Gottfried Seume, author

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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