Figuratively Speaking for September 27, 2009

The mean answer provided when Americans were asked how many cents of every tax dollar that goes to the federal government in Washington, D.C., is wasted, according to a Gallup Poll: 49.7 cents

The mean answer provided when Americans were asked how many cents of every tax dollar that goes to their state government is wasted: 41.9 cents

The mean answer provided when Americans were asked how many cents of every tax dollar that goes to their local government is wasted: 36.6 cents

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of men who would prefer to be in a relationship with a corporate ladder climber who could significantly contribute financially to the family, according to a survey by date.com: 88.9

Percentage of men who say they would be proud to be married to a woman who is more successful than them: 85.7

Percentage who say they wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a woman who is professionally more successful than they are: 10.3

Source: date.com.

Percentage drop in the average price of a hotel room in the U.S. in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to hotels.com's Hotel Price Index: 17

Average cost of a hotel room in the U.S. (down from $139 in 2008): $115

Ranks of New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Wyoming, (whose ski tourism helped boost hotel prices in the state) on the list of the most expensive U.S. destinations: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: hotels.com.

Percentage of Americans who say their favorite lad from Liverpool is Paul, according to a Zogby poll: 27

Percentage who picked John: 16

Percentage who said George: 10

Percentage who said Ringo: 9

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of workers age 65 and older who say the main reason they work is that they want to, according to a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends: 54

Percentage who say the main reason is that they need the paycheck: 17

Percentage of adults who are working past the median retirement age of 62 who say they have delayed their retirement because of the recession: 40

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

Percentage of online shoppers who invest time to find the lowest price for commodity products, according to the e-tailing group/WinBuyer research study "Comparison Shopping Is a Way of Life": 94

Percentage of consumers who currently visit at least two Web sites before finalizing a purchase: 95

Source: WinBuyer.

Of Americans who are married, percentage who say they would be able to get by on just their spouse's income if they lost their job, according to a survey by Country Financial: 47

Percentage of men who would feel secure in relying on their spouse's income: 39

Percentage of women who would feel secure in relying on their spouse's income: 57

Source: Country Financial.

Year the first death sentence by electrocution was carried out in the United States (William Kemmler of Buffalo was the first person to be electrocuted), according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1890

Since 1930, total number of prisoners who have been executed under civil authority: 4,958

Number of those who were women: 43

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of consumers who think it is more important to find ways to save money today than it was last year, up 5 percent from the same period in 2008, according to the results of Red Plum's coupon and savings survey: 93

Percentage who cited saving as "the intelligent thing to do": 84

Source: RedPlum.

In 2009, percentage of business organizations that offer a performance bonus to recruit and retain top talent, down from 80 percent in 2008, according to research conducted by ExecuNet: 71

Percentage that offer a performance review within the first six months, down from 56 percent in 2008: 42

Source: ExecuNet.

Idle Thought

"In my youth I thought of writing a satire on mankind; but now in my age I think I should write an apology for them." -- Horace Walpole

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

More like Figuratively Speaking