Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For April 17, 2011

Despite a historic real-estate market upheaval that sent foreclosure rates skyrocketing and home values plummeting, percentage of homeowners who say they would buy their homes again, according to poll results announced by The Allstate Corp. and National Journal: 90

Percentage of Americans who say they would advise a friend or family member to buy a home as a long-term asset: 70

Source: The Allstate Corp.

In the U.K., estimated amount of money that women save annually by flirting with shop staff until they get a discount, according to a survey commissioned by the website $245

Ranks of cars, holidays, TVs, houses and clothes on the list of items that people most flirted or haggled for a discount on: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Including vouchers, haggling and flirting, amount of money that Brits say they are saving annually: $941


On average, percentage of their time that managers claim to spend intervening in employee disputes and handling personality conflicts, according to an Accountemps survey: 18

Number of hours a week this represents: 7

Number of 40-hour weeks per year this represents: 9

Source: Accountemps.

Percentage of parents who feel they should have primary responsibility for teaching their kids the basics of personal finance, according to a survey by T. Rowe Price: 86

Percentage of parents who say they are very prepared to discuss basic financial principles such as setting goals, the importance of saving, smart spending, inflation, and diversification with their children: 28

Source: T. Rowe Price.

Projected number of hot dogs that major league ballparks around the country will serve this season, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's 2011 annual report: 22,435,400

If laid end-to-end, that number of hot dogs would stretch from AT&T Park in San Francisco to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, but the real question is: How many times it would round the bases: 31,160

Ranks of Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park on the list forecast as the top hot dog consuming MLB venues in 2011: 1, 2, 3

Source: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Number of single people in the United States -- one-third of the population, according to 150 million

Though women still expect men to make the first move and ask a lady out, percentage who would offer to pick up the check on a first date: 41

Percentage of women who prefer men to make the follow-up call after the first date: 48


Percentage of American adults who are stressed by at least one thing at work, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Everest College: 77

Overall, percentage of adults who ranked low pay as the most stressful aspect of their jobs: 14

Percentage who cited commuting: 11

Percentage who say an unreasonable workload: 9

Source: Everest College.

Estimated number of feet of underground utilities in the United States, according to the Common Ground Alliance: 100 billion

Percentage of Americans planning to dig this year who will put their community's safety at risk by not calling 811 to learn the approximate location of underground utilities: 49

Frequency that an underground utility line is damaged by digging: Every three minutes

Source: Common Ground Alliance.

Percentage of consumers who reported that they worry that the organization they are sharing their personal information with could suffer a data breach, according to the results of the annual tax and identity theft survey by PrivacyGuard: 64

When a data breach occurs, percentage of respondents who are more likely to blame the institution that was breached: 44

Percentage who are more likely to blame the thieves that stole the data: 35

Source: PrivacyGuard.

Despite concerns about a possible nuclear disaster in the U.S., percentage of Americans who think nuclear power plants in the U.S. are safe, according to a Gallup Poll: 58

Percentage who say they are not: 36

Source: Gallup.

Idle Thought

"Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids." -- John Steinbeck

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)