Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 07, 2010

Percentage of parents of teens who describe teenagers today as "generous," according to study commissioned by World Vision: 9

Percentage of parents who describe teenagers as "lazy": 58

Percentage who describe teens as "selfish": 53

Percentage of those teens themselves who say the current economic climate has made them more aware of the needs of others: 53

Source: World Vision.

Estimated annual percentage of U.S. employment accounted for by private-sector business startups over the period of 1980 to 2005, according to the Business Dynamics Statistics data released by the U.S. Census Bureau: 3

Average annual net employment growth of the U.S. private sector for the same period, which implies that excluding the jobs from new firms, the U.S. net employment growth rate is, on average, negative: 1.8

Source: Kaufman Foundation.

Percentage of all U.S. children born outside marriage in 1960, according to Population Reference Bureau: 6

Percentage of all U.S. children born outside marriage today: 40

Source: Population Reference Bureau.

When asked "What are the one or two strengths of the United States that make you most optimistic about the future of the country over the next 20 years?", percentage of respondents who said strength/will of the American people, according to a Gallup Poll: 35

Percentage who cited military/defense/homeland security: 14

Percentage who said technology/innovation/inventions: 6

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of consumers who prefer that free online content remain free, according to a Nielsen survey across 52 countries: 85

Percentage who believe that if they already subscribe to a newspaper, magazine, radio or television service, they should be able to use its online content for free: 78

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Ranks of Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and Israel on the list of countries with the most favorable image in the eyes of the U.S., according to a Gallup Poll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Authority and Yemen on the list of the least favorable: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Gallup.

Ranks of chili, meatloaf, cheesecake, banana bread and pancakes on the list of the top-10 most Googled recipes in 2009, according to Restaurants and Institutions magazine: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Percentage of Americans who say they are losing their appetite for celebrity antics, according to a survey commissioned by Euro RSCG Worldwide: 48.2

Percentage of Americans who say they are more interested in general news than they used to be: 46.2

Source: Euro RSCG.

Number of times more likely that workers age 18 to 29 are to have symptoms of winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that will affect their ability to concentrate at work, according to a survey commissioned by Workplace Options: 3.5

To counter the effects of the winter blues, percentage of women who are willing to discuss their symptoms with others: 67

Percentage of men who are willing to do the same: 33

Source: Workplace Options.

Percentage of seniors who are receiving a smaller Social Security check this year than in 2009, according to a survey of elderly Americans, released by The Senior Citizens League: 51

Percentage of seniors who have cut back on visits to the doctor or hospital outpatient services: 45

Percentage who have had trouble covering their heating, cooling or electric bills: 47

Source: Senior Citizens League.

Idle Thought

"A beautiful thing is never perfect." -- Egyptian proverb

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)