Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For June 29, 2014

Ranks of jewelry, event tickets and electronics on the list of what consumers categorize as "splurge" purchases, according to a survey by RetailMeNot: 1, 2, 3

Percentage of consumers who consider cars to be splurges: 39

Percentage who consider purses/briefcases to be splurges: 34

Source: RetailMeNot.com.

Percentage of consumers who continue to "feel" overcharged in the auto repair process and rank the experience of going to the repair shop/dealership to get their car repaired on a par with going to the dentist (with women preferring the dentist), according to a consumer survey from AutoMD.com: 83

Percentage of women who have a negative view of the auto service center/repair shop experience, with only 12 percent viewing it positively: 44

Source: AutoMD.com.

Percentage of consumers who check to see if the products they are buying are "natural," despite there being no federal or third-party verified definition for this term, according to a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center: 59

Percentage of consumers who believe that packaged foods carrying the "natural" label should not include artificial ingredients: 87

Source: Consumer Reports.

Despite a recent study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) that found two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, percentage of Americans who say they are neither overweight nor are they trying to lose weight, according to data aggregated from Gallup's Health and Healthcare surveys from 2011 through 2013: 55

Percentage of Americans who describe themselves as being overweight: 40

Source: Gallup.

Among the 36 million people who moved between 2012 and 2013, percentage who said the most important reason for moving was to be closer to work or for an easier commute (up from 3 percent in 1999), according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau: 5

Percentage who cited the desire for cheaper housing (up from 6 percent in 1999): 8

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who will be packing a bag and hitting the road this summer when they take at least one summer road trip, according to a survey by Bridgestone Americas: 83

Percentage of respondents who choose road travel over air because it gives them greater flexibility: 58

Percentage of summer road travelers who choose to travel by vehicle rather than plane because their destination is too close to fly: 44

Percentage who say they just enjoy driving: 38

Source: Bridgestone Americas Inc.

Percentage of Americans who support the idea of a bride's father "giving her away," according to a Harris Poll: 84

Percentage who also agree with the tradition of having a women-only bridal shower: 74

Percentage who agree that the bride and groom should spend the night before their wedding apart: 71

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of Americans who would support legislation similar to a European law -- the "right to be forgotten" -- that allows citizens to request that links to "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" information be removed from search engines, according to a survey by YouGov: 55

Percentage of Americans who are most interested in removing financial information, including bankruptcy judgments: 35

Percentage who would erase links to ex-partners or friends: 29

Source: YouGov.

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup underway, rank of Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal's forward and captain, on the list of the wealthiest footballers competing in this year's tournament in Brazil, according to Wealth-X: 1

Ronaldo's estimated net worth -- accounting for nearly one-quarter of the combined net worth of the 10 players in the Wealth-X World Cup Rich List, beating other high-profile soccer players such as Lionel Messi from Argentina and England's Wayne Rooney: $250 million

Source: Wealth-X.

Percentage of job hunters who look for an employer that is -- first and foremost -- honest, according to a 2014 Employer Branding Study released by Randstad-USA: 78

Ranks of reliable, secure and well-respected on the list of personality traits significant to job hunters: 2, 3, 4

Source: Randstad-USA.

Idle Thought

"There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do." -- Anais Nin, writer

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