Monday, October 4, 2010

Some more strange facts and figures.

Post 566 - Some more strange facts and figures…….

Shawn Tully has been trying to popularize his acronym: HENRYs, for “high earners, not rich yet.” Only about 2% of American households take in more than $250,000 a year in taxable income, so while there are many words that can be used to describe this income group, "middle" clearly isn’t one of them. Somewhere in the top 1% (those making more than $410,000 in adjusted gross income as of 2007) things start to turn regressive because the top federal income tax bracket of 35% kicks in at an adjusted gross income of $373,650. So if you make $20 million a year, you probably pay out a smaller percentage of your income in taxes than if you make $500,000. This is because investment income - capital gains and dividends - is taxed at lower rates than earned income. If you want an up-to-date rundown of effective federal tax rates at the top end of the income distribution scale, check out:

Several private universities have endowments that would be the envy of many national treasuries. Harvard, has the largest with $27.4 billion. Last year, it lost more than the entire endowment of Cambridge University, Britain’s largest at $1.5 billion. The current return for Harvard is 11 percent, while Cambridge reports it made 19 percent on it’s investments.

Dr. Tom Hill reports that based on the percentage of citizens who are overweight, the U.S. ranks number one out of the 33 most advanced countries in the world. The next four are Mexico, Chile, New Zealand and the U.K. Who are the healthiest based on the same criteria? The least overweight of course - Japan followed by Korea, Switzerland, and Norway.

Marriage rates among young adults have been dropping for decades. But data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau show that for the first time the proportion of people between the ages of 25 and 34 who’ve never been married exceeded those who were married in 2009 - 46.3 percent versus 44.9 percent, according to Mark Mather, at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington DC. The long-term slide in marriage rates has pushed the proportion of married adults of all ages to 52 percent in 2009, according to the Census, the lowest share in history. In 1963, when I came to America, 72.2 percent of adults over 18 were married. I remember being very surprised at how difficult it was to meet single women in Los Angeles. However, as marriage rates have fallen, the number of adults living together has skyrocketed, according to Mr. Mather's analysis. Men and women are living together as an alternative or a first step towards marriage. The probability of getting married at some point in life still remains at about 90 percent.

The worsening economy in Ireland has again raised the specter of emigration with workers fleeing to the UK, Australia, USA and Canada in search of a new life. Excluding non-nationals who moved into Ireland during the boom years and who are now returning home, the number of Irish citizens leaving has risen dramatically to over 27,000 annually, up by 42% since 2008.

Five things alone are necessary for the sustenance and comfort of the children of the earth according to Zuni belief:
The Sun, who is the Father of all
The Earth, who is the Mother of men
The Water, who is the Grandfather
The Fire, who is the Grandmother
Our Brothers and Sisters, the Corn and Seeds of growing things.

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