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Economic bits and pieces worth knowing before voting

By Dian Vujovich

Every week Princor Financial Services Corporation publishes the Weekly Market Review, an email newsletter Principal registered reps may send to their audience of prospective and existing clients.


Given that our presidential election is days away, knowing the facts about what’s what with respect to things like our population, military spending, taxes, economic truths and opportunities is paramount for everyone who knows how import being an educated voter is.


In the four October issues of the Weekly Market Review published thus far, there were a variety of factoids I found noteworthy. Here are a few of them:


• From the Oct. 22  issue:

On military spending: “Department of Defense spending in fiscal year 2012 was +124% higher than it was in fiscal year 2001, or $651 billion compared to $291 billion (source: Treasury Department).”


On population and economic opportunity: “The U.S. has only 314.6 million citizens in a worldwide population of 7.05 billion people, which means that 95.5% of the world’s potential consumers for U.S. businesses are not Americans (source: Census Bureau).”


On retail sales: “Retail sales nationwide were $413 billion during September 2012, up from $340 billion from September 2009. That’s an increase of +21.6% or +6.7% per year (source: Commerce Department).”


• From the Oct. 15  issue:

On payroll taxes: “Payroll taxes are levied on an individual’s income up to a cap of $110,100 during 2012. 11.9% of all taxpayer income escaped payroll taxes in 1984 (because of income above that year’s cap), rising to 16.1% of income not taxed in 2010. Income not subject to payroll taxes is estimated to reach 17.5% of taxpayer income in 2021. Payroll taxes fund Social Security benefits (source: Social Security).”


On working for Uncle Sam: “The number of federal government workers has decreased by 286,000 over the last 25 years (9/30/87 to 9/30/12), but the number of state and local workers (excluding teachers) has increased by +2.7 million over the same period (source: Department of Labor).”


•From the Oct. 8 issue:

On the economy across the pond and ours: ” The U.S. economy is worth $15.6 trillion. The 17-nations that use the euro as their common currency have a collective economy worth $13.1 trillion (source: Commerce Department, Eurostat).”


•From the Oct 1 issue:

On the market: ” Over the last 20 years (1962-2011), the final 3 months of the year have turned in an average gain of +4.9%, representing a surprising 62% of the index’s result over the last 2 decades2 (source: BTN Research).”


On union employees: “Private sector employers of union workers pay 3 1⁄2 times as much money for retirement benefits (per employee hour worked) compared to private sector employers of non-union workers (source: Department of Labor).”


On exporting: “Through the first 7 months of 2012, U.S. exporters sold $17.55 billion of goods and services to Mexico, double the $8.55 billion exported to China (source: Commerce Department).”


Hope you’ve learned something.

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