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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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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!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Studious, a resident of another community,
on Jan 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Seriously? Who cares!

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jan 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

And dear pontificator and blogger with 100% credibility (yeah, right), tell us what does all this mean?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Jan 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

Ah, grasshoppers, "the truth knocks on the door and you say, 'Go away, I'm looking for the truth,' and so it goes away."

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 8, 2014 at 8:40 am

Does stop ever stop replying "in circles" ??? One can only wonder...

Posted by Ms.bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 8, 2014 at 8:41 am

Oops...Left out YOUR name Tom, sorry...I think your circle of language does nothing more than confuse readers because you have no real reply.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jan 8, 2014 at 9:57 am

Bunns: your original comment did seem a bit, well, circular. It's remarkable how often complainers are guilty of the very perceived sins about which they complain.

I've given you and everybody else the link to the article from which these Qs were drawn. Read it -- and then, if you really don't get the point of one of the Qs, ask about it (nicely would be appreciated, but I realize that's asking a very great deal under these anonymous circumstances). Or disagree on.the.merits. I'll be pleased -- hell, thrilled -- to respond to something that's honestly inquisitive, or that thoughtfully takes issue with a conclusion.

Your isolated, ill-humored scolding, however, is so 2013 (and 2012) -- and a waste of time. Tell you what -- we all know how you feel, over and over. It will be worth your commenting here if ever you find something of value in my columns, or how they're written. I'll look forward to that, with no expectation of ever seeing it. 'Til then you're more Troll than Thumper.

Posted by jake, a resident of Alamo,
on Jan 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm

At the risk of upsetting the natives, Thank You Tom. Very good quiz and useful article. Why do people want someone else\\\'s interpretation of data? While "expert" opinions are of interest, one should at least try to make sense of the data for oneself. Experts are NOT always right. Ok, I am ready for insults now.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jan 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Thanks Jake, I appreciate it. And you're a brave man. ;-)

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 9, 2014 at 8:48 am

I believe you've had three articles of true worth in 2013 where you actually DIDN'T "go off" like a verbose buffoon in manuscript form (-as opposed to truly listening to the thoughts and ideas of your readers responses and replying accordingly and WITHOUT your chest thumping know-it-all rhetoric) I don't expect it to get any better in 2014, but? There is always HOPE.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Jan 9, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Forget it, Bunns, it's ChinaBlog. Please abandon all hope, and proceed accordingly.

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 10, 2014 at 9:39 am

Sigh. Hard to believe you consider yourself a journalist to any degree. Indeed, there is no HOPE (once again?) You have intentions of improvement in your attitude and response to posters here. BTW? It's not "Bunns" or your other trite names that contribute to your feeling like a man apparently, when you respond to me, it's Ms. Bunny. Professional and journalist? Indeed...

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jan 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

Sorry. Web Link All out. Web Link

Posted by Dallas , a resident of another community,
on Jan 12, 2014 at 10:29 pm

No credibility in the truth department Tom when you comment in a different name. Ouch.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Jan 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

Hi Dallas: you'll need a mighty long pole to stir that old privy.

Was there a particular question in the quiz that you wanted to ask about, or doubt?

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