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By Tom Cushing

The State of Things Quiz, 2013

Uploaded: Jan 4, 2014

A recent news article depicted what its author thought were pithy observations about the current state of us all, illustrated by charts. He may be right. Some of his findings surprised me, and I haven't inflicted an exam on Anyone in almost a month. So: to provide a bit of diversion for you, and to settle my nerves, I've drawn this quiz from that article.

The answers, and a link to the article. are at the end – please feel free to post your score, and to argue over the meaning, or the conclusions, or the ultimate fact that the ol' perfesser sucks – like that ever happens. Here we go:

1 – Using 2007 as your base, rank the appreciation in the following areas: Housing, S&P 500, incomes, Public Company Profits.

2 – How much more have Profits appreciated than incomes, since 2007?
A) 1.53 X
B) 5.65 X
C) 8.19 X
D) 11.46 X

3 – Which grew faster in 2013: gross domestic product (GDP), or federal government spending?

4 – At the current rate of job creation (200,000/month), how long will it be before the economy returns to pre-recession employment levels (including both new and existing job seekers)?
A) trick question – we're already there
B) Third Quarter, 2016
C) First Quarter, 2019
D) Never – the lines just won't ever cross

5 – In 2010, the median annual wage for all US jobs was:
A) $30,460
B) $51,892
C) $71,319
D) $87,835

6 – Averaging the top 10 job categories expected to hire the most new workers in the next decade, how will those jobs pay, compared to the 2010 median?
A) More than 10% better
B) Within 10%, above or below
C) More than 10% below
D) More than 30% below

7 – Climb in the way-back machine for this one: since 1948, the relationship between productivity increases and wage increases is as follows:
A) Wages have grown faster than productivity by 37%
B) Wages and productivity have consistently grown together, within small variations
C) Productivity has grown more than twice as fast as wages
D) Wages have grown more than twice as fast as productivity

8 – Of the 24 million Americans projected to get health care insurance from the ACA exchanges, what % will receive subsidies that reduce their premiums?
A) 100%
B) 80%
C) 50%
D) 20%

9 – Rank the following institutions, in terms of the confidence that Americans place in them:
Big business, Small business, Banks, Unions

10 -- Rank the following institutions, in terms of the confidence that Americans place in them:
Supreme Court, Congress, President, Military, Public Schools

11 -- Rank the following institutions, in terms of the confidence that Americans place in them:
Police, TV news/newspapers, Organized religion, Medical system, Bloggers

12 – In the decade from 2008-17, how will federal government spending on education, infrastructure and research & development change (inflation adjusted terms):
A) Fall by 10%+
B) Fall by 5%
C) Rise by 5%
D) Rise by 10%+

13 – Which of the following caused at least a 10% drop in consumer confidence?
A) US Credit Rating Lowered after 2011 debt ceiling debacle
B) 2012 Fiscal Cliff debacle
C) 2013 government shutdown And Obamacare roll-out debacles
D) None of the above – consumers are immune to such shenanigans
E) A, B and C above – ouch!

14 – At least we have SiliValley: which of the following companies had the biggest % gap between its annual revenue and its market value at the time of its IPO:
A) Facebook, 2012
B) Twitter, 2013
C) Google, 2004

Article is here.

1 -- profits, S&P, incomes, housing
2 – D, 11.46 X
3 – GDP rose, government spending fell, by similar %s
4 – C, 1Q, 2019
5 – B, $51,892
6 – D, > 30% below the median
7 – C, Productivity > 2X as fast as wages
8 – B, 80% will receive subsidies
9 – Small biz, Banks, Big biz, Unions
10 – Military, Prez, Supremes, Schools, (then swindlers, ax murderers, pedophiles), then Congress
11 – Bloggers (at 100% confidence -- thanks!), Police, Religion, Medical system, News
12 – B, fall by 5% in real terms
13 – E, A, B and C above
14 – B, Twitter, at 28.4X revenue, and zee-ro profits

How'd you do? Braggin' rights ensue!