Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 02, 2009

Percentage of parents of a child performing at an above average level who say that they tend to use praise rather than tangible rewards to motivate their child to do their homework, according to an Ipsos-Reid survey conducted on behalf of Kumon Math and Reading Centers: 86

Percentage who report that they tend to use punishment, such as the removal of privileges, rather than rewards or praise to encourage their children to get their schoolwork done: 11

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Number of years that executives in America's biggest companies estimate it will take for the collective reputation of CEOs to fully recover, according to a survey conducted by leading global public relations firm Weber Shandwick with KRC Research: 3

Source: Weber Shandwick.

Percentage of advertising and marketing executives who have experienced at least one cringe-inducing moment after they've hit "send" on an e-mail, according to a survey developed by The Creative Group: 78

Source: The Creative Group.

Percentage of travelers who agree that people should not be allowed to "save" beachside or poolside chairs by getting up early and leaving their stuff on the chairs for hours, according to a survey by TripAdvisor: 84

Ranks of blasting loud music, smoking and urinating in the water on the list of the most annoying beach and pool etiquette violations: 1, 2, 3

Source: TripAdvisor.

Estimated number of Americans who lost their jobs in the first three months of the year, with more than 6 million jobs lost since the recession began, according to the American Bankers Association's Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin: 2 million

Rise in bank card delinquencies from 4.52 percent in the previous quarter to 4.75 percent of all accounts: 23 basis points

Rise in the balances on those delinquent accounts to 6.60 percent of the value of all outstanding bank card debt, marking a new record: 108 basis points

Source: American Bankers Association.

Percentage of employed executives with an average annual salary of $206,000 who are satisfied or very satisfied with their current job -- up from 61 percent in 2008 and 53 percent in 2007, according to a survey by ExecuNet: 70

Average percentage of sales, engineering and IT executives who are most likely to be happy at work: 61

Average percentage of marketing, human resource and consulting executives who are most likely to be happy at work: 75

Source: ExecuNet.

Percentage of consumers who have made changes in their lives to manage cash flow more effectively by opting to use cash over other payment options, according to NCR Corp.'s 2009 self-service consumer survey conducted by BuzzBack Market Research: 50

Percentage who are using ATMs more frequently for smaller withdrawals: 30

Percentage who are paying bills just before the due dates: 40

Source: NCR Corp.

In July 1776, estimated number of people living in the United States of America, a newly independent nation, according to statistics quoted by the U.S. Census Bureau: 2.5 million

Estimated population today: 307 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of the active online universe that is made up of children ages 2 to 11, according to Nielsen: 9.5 (equivalent to 16 million people)

Since 2004, percentage increase in the number of kids online -- with a fairly even split between boys and girls: 18

Percentage increase in time spent online among children ages 2 to 11 in the last five years, from nearly seven hours in May 2004 to more than 11 hours online in May 2009: 63

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Percentage of those who belong to loyalty programs who want improvements made to their memberships, according to a survey from 93

Percentage who want fewer restrictions on how they can use their program benefits: 59

Percentage who don't think the value-added bonus is ever really as great as the program wants them to believe: 37


Idle Thought

"A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze." -- Diogenes, philosopher

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)