Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For October 04, 2015

Percentage of Americans who commute to work in their car, according to Convergex: 85

Percentage who do so alone: 75

Source: Convergex.

Rank of Social Security on the list of the largest government programs in the world, accounting for 26 percent ($906 billion) of total U.S. federal spending in 2014 ($3.5 trillion), according to research by ProCon.org: 1

Percentage of unmarried retirees who relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income: 47

With the Social Security trust fund paying out more in benefits than it collects in employee taxes since 2010, year that the fund is projected to run out of money: 2034.

Source: ProCon.org.

Percentage of all men who tuck in their shirts at least three days a week, according to a Fruit of the Loom survey of men ages 25 to 60: 49

Percentage of tuckers who report being happier on the job: 60

Percentage more likely that tuckers are to report being socially outgoing: 10

Percentage more likely they are to say they're optimistic about the future: 22

Source: Fruit of the Loom.

With 3,130 ultra-wealthy individuals among its alumni, rank of Harvard University on Wealth-X's list of universities with the largest ultra-high net worth alumni population: 1

Ranks of the University of Pennsylvania (1,580), Stanford University (1,240), Columbia University (940), New York University (860) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT (670) on the Wealth-X ranking of universities with the largest ultra-high net worth alumni population: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Source: Wealth-X.

Percentage of employers who believe the minimum wage should be increased in their state, up from 62 percent last year, according to a new CareerBuilder survey: 64

Percentage of employers who said they plan to hire minimum wage workers this year: 26

Percentage of all employers who believe the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) is fair: 6

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Date that a 29-year-old female passenger pigeon named Martha died, marking the extinction of the species that once covered North America in enormous flocks, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: Sept. 1, 1914

Today, estimated number of zoos and botanical gardens in the U.S. devoted to conserving and preserving threatened species: 600

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of millennials (those born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s) who said they have college-related debt, according to a survey conducted by the nonprofit Investor Protection Institute.: 49

Percentage with debts of $1,000 to $20,000: 20

Percentage with debts of $20,000 to $50,000: 16

Source: Investor Protection Institute.

Approximate number of verses there are in the Bible about money -- twice as many as verses about heaven and hell combined, according to Crown Financial Ministries: 2,300

Percentage more likely that parents are to have talked with their children about the importance of good manners than about the value of money: 95

Percentage more likely they are to have talked about the benefit of good eating habits: 87

Percentage more likely they are to have talked about the risks of smoking: 82

Source: Crown Financial Ministries.

By 7 a.m., percentage of new parents with a mobile device who have visited their Facebook page for the first time in the day, according to research provided by Facebook: 56

Percentage of non-parents who have done the same: 45

Source: Nielsen Insights.

Percentage of Americans who agree that racism is a major problem in the U.S., according to a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos: 70

Percentage who say America should deport most or all illegal immigrants: 56

Source: Reuters/Ipsos.

Idle Thought

"Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck." -- Guy de Maupassant, short story writer and novelist

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