Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 17, 2015

Cost to own and operate a vehicle (includes the cost of fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges associated with driving a typical sedan 15,000 miles annually), according to the American Automobile Association: $8,698

Amount a U.S. driver can expect to spend for each mile driven, nearly $725 per month, to cover the fixed and variable costs: 58 cents

Source: AAA.

Number of smokers in the world, according to the American Cancer Society: 1 billion

Number of cigarettes smoked annually: 5.8 trillion

Annual profits for the top six transnational tobacco companies (accounting for 85 percent of all cigarettes smoked globally): $44.1 billion

Source: American Cancer Society.

Percentage of American workers who report they are currently providing financial support (beyond their immediate household) to a relative or friend, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute: 29

Percentage who provided unpaid care to help with the personal needs or household chores of a relative or friend: 23

Percentage who provide nine to 20 hours of unpaid care a week: 31

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Percentage of CFOs who believe that other than compensation, a better benefits plan would top their employee wish lists, according to a survey by Accountemps: 41

Percentage who said more vacation days: 19

Percentage who said scheduling flexibility: 15

Source: Accountemps.

Percentage of U.S. adults who believe the lower class pays too much in federal income taxes, according to a poll by Gallup: 45

Percentage who said the middle class pays too much tax: 46

Percentage who say corporations pay too little tax: 69

Source: Gallup Organization.

Percentage of U.S. workers who consider themselves overweight, according to CareerBuilder survey: 57

Percentage who say they have gained weight in their current jobs: 42

Percentage of workers with wellness benefits or gym access who say they don't use them: 63

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of worldwide respondents who are willing to order groceries online for delivery to the home, according to a Nielsen survey: 55

Percentage who are willing to order online and pick up at the store: 57

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Percentage of American adults who are considering a trip to Cuba in the next two years, according to a poll completed by Airbnb and YouGov: 30

Percentage who say Cuba is more appealing because of policy changes by the U.S. government: 27

Source: Airbnb.

Percentage of consumers who say they would not buy a car without test-driving it first, according to a survey by auto.trader.com: 88

Percentage of people who say they would be willing to drive farther to visit a great salesperson: 73

Source: Auto Trader.com.

Percentage of teens (13- to 17-year-olds) who say they have (or have access to) a smartphone, according to a Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends: 75

Percentage of teens who say they use Facebook: 71

Percentage who use Instagram: 52

Percentage who use Snapchat: 41

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

Idle Thought

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." -- Michelangelo Buonarroti

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