Facts & Figures
Posted: August 2, 2013
I have always been a fanatic about statistics, facts and figures. Ever since I was in Little League, I followed Major League baseball stats. As I grew older and acquired businesses, I became more interested in facts and figures about the economy and technology.
I've also thought that columnists were "copping out " when they relied on writing an editorial about something other than their opinion. On the other hand, I've spent a lot of time saving the following bits and pieces of material for this column, so I am hopeful that at least a part of the following information will be educational.
FACT#1: Since the last time the federal tax code was overhauled nearly 25 years ago, the document has grown so complex that it costs individuals and businesses $160 billion each year to comply. That's nearly double what the federal government spends annually on highways, bridges, airports and other transportation projects.
FACT#2: According to The Kiplinger Letter, Vol. 90, No. 21, off-the-chart increases in processing power and memory are in the works for smart phones. In a just a few years, smart phones will have close to five gigahertz of processing power, vastly more than the original iPhone, which had just 412 megahertz of speed. They'll come with about 100 gigabytes of memory - enough for 20,000 songs or 60 movies. That's 25 times the memory as the first iPhone.
FACT#3: According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing's share of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2012 was 11.9 percent. In 1970, it was 22.7 percent.
FACT#4: Worldwide sales of 3-D printers and services in 2012 will total $2.2 billion; in 2012, the projected sales of 3-D printers and services will amount to $10.8 billion.
FACT#5: Apple pays an extreme tax penalty for bringing its foreign profits home to invest in the United States. This is due to both the punitive U.S. tax rate and the fact that the U.S. is virtually alone in refusing to embrace a territorial tax system that applies corporate income taxes only in the jurisdiction where the money is earned. So it's no surprise that Apple chose in April to borrow $17 billion instead of using its $102 billion cashpile overseas to pay its dividend to shareholders.
FACT#6: The four Major League basetball teams that I care about most are: the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. They rank 18th, 19th, 21st and 29th, respectively, in offense this season. As Chicago Cubs' fans have said for years: "Wait 'til next year ".