Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For October 21, 2012

Percentage of Americans who believe that having a secure job is by far the most important requirement for being in the middle class, easily trumping homeownership and a college education, according to a Pew Research poll: 86

Percentage of respondents who say health insurance is an essential ticket to a middle-class life: 66

Percentage who say the same about owning a home: 45

In 1991, ranks of homeownership (70 percent), two or more cars (48 percent), a college education (46 percent), stocks, bonds or other investments (41 percent), and a white-collar job (33 percent) on the list of what Americans thought it took it to be in the middle class: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends.

Estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2011 -- children ages 5 to 14 -- across the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 41 million

Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2011 -- all potential stops for trick-or-treaters: 115 million

Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2010: 1,634

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of millennials who agree with the statement "If taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire," according to a survey of adults ages 18 to 29 for Generation Opportunity by the polling company Inc./WomanTrend: 69

Percentage of millennials who agree with the statement "the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference": 65

Percentage of millennials who prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget: 65

Source: Generation Opportunity.

As the "bring your own device" (BYOD) trend sweeps across the business world, percentage of employees who consider the ability to be "tracked" through a number of technologies built into most of the popular smartphones an invasion of their privacy, according to the results of a survey for Fiberlink: 82

Percentage of respondents who would not give their employer access to view what applications are installed on their personal device, considering it to be private information: 76

Percentage who are concerned to extremely concerned about their employers tracking websites they browse on personal devices during non-work time: 82

Source: Fiberlink.

Ranks of Wenzai Huang of China ($1 billion net wealth, and gifting 5.97 percent of net wealth), Hans-Werner Hector of Germany ($1.8 billion net wealth, and gifting 3.53 percent), and Terrence Pegula of the U.S. ($3.3 billion net wealth and gifting 3.03 percent), on the list of the top 20 emerging mega donors, according to Wealth-X: 1, 2, 3

Percentage of this list of emerging mega donors who are American: 20

Number of the top 20 next mega donors who come from India and China: 7

Source: Wealth-X.

Percentage of U.S. adults who agree that renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, should be a bigger part of America's energy supply in the future, according to a poll conducted on behalf of Sungevity: 89

Percentage of respondents who expect their elected officials to support solar energy initiatives: 80

Percentage who believe, regardless of who is in office, the White House and other official federal and state residences should use solar energy: 81

Source: Sungevity.

Percentage of Americans who will hand out candy this Halloween, according a survey by the National Retail Federation: 72.2

Percentage of respondents who will carve a pumpkin: 46.3

Percentage who will visit a haunted house: 20.8

Source: National Retail Federation.

Percentage of consumers who are planning to spend the same or more on holiday shopping this year than in 2011, according to the results of PriceGrabber's first holiday shopping survey: 62

Percentage of consumers who planned to start their holiday shopping in September: 17


Number of U.S. adults (32 percent) who believe homeowners should be able to strategically default on their mortgages without any consequences, according to a survey conducted online by JZ Analytics on behalf of ID Analytics: 68 million

Number of Americans (13 percent) who would likely strategically default on a mortgage: 28 million

Number who know someone who has strategically defaulted on a mortgage: 36 million

Source: ID Analytics Inc.

Percentage increase in the total acreage owned by the 100 largest private landowners in the past five years, up from 27.2 million acres in 2007 to 32.3 million in 2012, according to a survey published by the The Land Report: 18.6

Source: Land Report.

Idle Thought

"Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work." -- Robert Orben

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)