Figuratively Speaking for February 15, 2009

Percentage of men and women who say a successful relationship with a significant other is more important than a successful career in order to achieve a happy life, according to a SnagAJob Valentine's Day survey: 75

Percentage of Americans who say that they have either sacrificed their own career for the benefit of a significant other's or would be willing to do so: 66

Source: SnagAJob.com.

When the International Association of Administrative Professionals asked its members what makes a good boss, the percentage who said that being a good communicator is essential in a manager: 37

When asked how a boss could foster better office communications, percentage who said that being clear when assigning tasks: 30

Source: International Association of Administrative Professionals.

Percentage of voters who said they believed in the American Dream immediately after the presidential election, according to Zogby interactive polls: 67

By the second week of January, percentage who said they believed in the American Dream: 56

Percentage who believe because America is the land of opportunity: 52

Source: Zogby International.

Estimated percentage increase in the U.S. market share of world international travel that it would take to add $15 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Travel Association: 1

As a result of the 1 percent increase, number of new jobs created: 153,000

Amount of new federal tax revenue included in the $15 billion: $1.3 billion

Source: U.S. Travel Association.

Ranks of Budweiser horse circus (interest score 77.02), Budweiser horse fetch (74.61), Coca-Cola nature (72.53), Bridgestone potato head (71.73) and Budweiser horse coming to America (71.48) on the list of top Super Bowl commercials, according to HCD Research and mediacurves.com: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: HCD Research Inc.

Percentage of U.S. households that are still unprepared for the switch to digital television, according to the Nielsen Co.: 5.8

Number of homes this represents: 5.1 million

Source: Nielsen -- NetRatings.

Percentage of alpha females -- defined as "articulate, outspoken super-consumers who have a lot to say about marketing, life and the universe" -- who agree that "making do with less across the board" is now more of a priority, according to results from the 2009 Ginger's Alpha Panel Survey: 62

Percentage of alpha females who plan to have fewer nice dinners out: 65

Though alphas still plan to shop, percentage who are now "buying on sale": 60

Source: Ginger.

Number of years that clothier Eton has been in business (started in the small village of Ganghester, Sweden), according to Katrin Tijburg, brand manager for North America: 81

Price of the world's most expensive shirt, the Eton Diamond Shirt, woven from the finest Egyptian cotton and detailed with natural-colored diamond studs and presented to celebrate the opening of Eton's flagship store in the Plaza Hotel in New York City: $40,000

Source: Eton.

Percentage of financial advisers and financial planners across the country who thought President Obama's $819 billion bailout plan was a bad idea, according to the results of the exclusive online InvestmentNews survey: 45.6

Percentage of advisers who do not have much confidence in Obama's ability to fix the economy: 36.4

Source: InvestmentNews.

Percentage of people in the United States who say the morality of U.S. foreign policy is superior: 24

Among Russians, percentage who say their morality is superior: 27

In China, percentage of respondents who say their foreign policy is morally superior: 38

Source: PIPA/WorldPublicOpinion.org.

Idle Thought

"Let us enrich ourselves with our mutual differences." -- Paul Valery, poet and philosopher

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

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