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Saturday, December 24, 2011

More holiday conversation starters


Sale price for five frozen straws of semen from Gladiator’s Hammer, a breeder deer, at a Texas auction last August: $21,000

Good news for Obama?

Amount employees of private-equity firm Bain Capital have donated to the campaign of its co-founder Mitt Romney: $69,500

To the Obama campaign: $119,900

On money and politics:

Amount former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf paid a lobbying firm for access to top U.S. lawmakers: $175,000

Number of U.S. senators he met on a single day within a month of signing the contract: 6

Percentage of Republicans who say the current economic order “favors a very small portion of the rich”: 62

Percentage increase in total congressional net worth since 2008: 24



On the economy and income inequality:

Chance that a member of a U.S. corporation’s compensation committee is someone the CEO considers a “friend”: 1 in 3

Portion of New Yorkers making more than $100,000 a year who support Occupy Wall Street: 3/5

Percentage of Chinese and Americans, respectively, who struggled to pay for food in 2008: 16, 9

In 2011: 6, 19

And all the children are above average:

Percentage of all Americans who consider themselves part of the top 1 percent of U.S. earners: 13

Percentage of Hispanic Americans who do: 28

What's in that syrup?

Maximum years in jail a new bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy proposes for the selling of fake Vermont maple syrup: 5

On public health and health care:

Factor by which a person experiencing long-term unemployment is more likely to report a first instance of mental illness: 3

Percentage of workers with only a high school diploma who received employer-based health insurance in 1979: 70

Percentage of workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher who receive it today: 66

Chance that a U.S. worker is of normal weight and without a chronic health problem: 1 in 7

(All figures are from the January 2012 Harper's Index. Sources listed here.)