CNN’s Walter Updegrave fielded a question this weekend which, simply, sort of shocked me. A reader wanted to know if he and his wife should temporarily stop paying the full balance on their credit cards in order to build up an emergency fund. Is this really an option that some people are considering?
One of the nice things about the Bureau of Labor Statistics site is the centralized location of employment and labor trends data which inspires interesting articles. Count today as one of those days; the BLS today released figures on the rates of volunteerism in the United States. In the midst of a recession, volunteer rates increased in the United States from September 2008 to September 2009. In fact, the percentage rate of volunteering by citizens in the United States is now .1% higher than it was in September 2006, after a falloff from that point in 2007.
Weekly links and carnivals!
A popular topic in the blogosphere, given new life after comments by Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman, is the relative success of the United States vs. the states that make up the European Union. The European Union is a loose confederation of 27 countries in Europe, ranging from Spain to Estonia. Krugman goes so far to suggest that “[y]ou should always bear in mind that when the question is which to believe — official economic statistics or your own lying eyes — the eyes have it.”
Inspired by Ironman’s Political Calculations post on Many Eyes and a visualization on that site, I decided to try to visualize the 2010 Senate election in Massachusetts. Using the tools at the site and data from the Boston Globe, I present four visualizations (by town): the voter turnout decrease in 2010 from the 2008 Presidential elections, the Republican margin of victory by town in 2008 and 2010, and the Republican vote swing from 2008 to 2010.
The results are counted, and it’s an upset in Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown because the first Republican elected in a Massachusetts Senate seat since 1972. He defeated the state Attorney General, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, 52% to 47% (the remaining 1% went to Independent candidate Joseph Kennedy). A whopping 2,249,026 votes were cast out of a registered voter base of 4,220,488 for a very high (53.3%) special election turnout in the light snow.
Carnivals and links for the week of January 18.
An interesting byproduct of the drive for male-female income equality in the workplace: the increase in the proportion of married couples in which a female earns more than the man. Not only are females earning more, in many cases, but they also are better educated than their male counterparts. The Pew Research Center gives us this interesting report on the new dynamics of married couples.
We’re a week closer to a potential upset in the special Massachusetts senate race (scheduled for voting tomorrow). The last 4 polling companies that have weighed in (according to Real Clear Politics data) come in at +10, +5, +10 and +3 Brown, and were all conducted since 1/14. These polls generally estimate a larger than normal turnout for a special election; only two candidates are on the ballot and there aren’t any initiatives to vote on. They also suggest slightly positive ratings for President Obama among likely voters, although potentially under 50 percent.
Posts I liked, for around the internet and from right here at DQYDJ!