Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For June 28, 2009

Even in the midst of the current economic recession, percentage of Americans who still believe that they are a people who dream big about accomplishing big ideas or great things, according to a poll conducted on behalf of Carpenter Co.: 85

On an individual level, percentage of Americans who say that they still have big dreams for themselves, despite the current economic uncertainties: 77

Percentage who do not: 21

Source: Carpenter Co.

Percentage of respondents who indicated that their first among several definitions of success is spending quality time with family, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance: 88

Source: Reunions magazine.

Percentage of parents with children under the age of 18 who do not have any savings set aside for their children, according to a survey conducted for ING Direct: 27

Percentage of parents with children who have reduced the contributions they make to their children's savings: 34

Percentage of parents with savings set aside for their children who have taken money from their children's savings to cover bills or pay off debt: 18

Source: ING Direct's Sharebuilder 401(k).

Percentage of Americans who endorse government action to limit executive pay, according to a Gallup Poll: 59

Source: Gallup.

Number of people born between 1978 and 2000 in the U.S., known as the millennials, generation Y or the trophy generation -- a term itself reflecting a trend in competitive sports where nobody loses but everybody is rewarded with a "thank for your participation" trophy -- according to a study by Sibson Consulting: 76 million

Percentage of millennials who are currently in the workplace, though they are arriving in increasing numbers and with higher expectations than any generation before them: 33

Percentage of employers who said that attainment of sales goals by millennials was just as good or better than by non-millennials: 92

Source: Sibson Consulting.

Number of Americans who enjoy hiking each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 31 million

Amount spent on walking shoes annually: $4.5 billion

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

When asked to choose one area in which companies should concentrate most when developing new food products, percentage of North American consumers who cited "providing fresh ingredients," according to a study conducted by Ipsos Marketing for the Consumer Goods Sector: 26

Percentage who said companies should look at "providing additional benefits": 24

Percentage who said that packaging should be made more environmentally friendly: 21

Source: Ipsos Marketing for the Consumer Goods Sector.

Percentage of Americans who agreed that "we should make every effort to improve the position of blacks and minorities, even if it means giving them preferential treatment," according to a Pew Research Center values survey: 31

Percentage of African-Americans who favor preferential treatment to improve the position of blacks and other minorities: 58

Percentage of Hispanics who say the same: 53

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

When asked whether America should "stick with more traditional jobs in manufacturing and other long-standing industries" or "focus on high-tech and jobs in the service industry," percentage of respondents who opted for manufacturing and traditional industries, according to a Zogby poll: 28

Percentage who said they should focus on high-tech and service jobs: 50

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of new car shoppers who said they thought gas prices would go much higher, according to a survey by Kelley Blue Book: 87

Percentage of those who saw gas prices increasing who also said they plan to change their spending habits if gas prices were to go much higher: 73

Source: Kelly Blue Book.

Idle Thought

"Men have slow reflexes. In general it takes several generations later for them to understand." -- Stanislaw J. Lec, poet (1909-1966)

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)