The Daily Dose/Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Daily Dose/August 20, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
OH, GOOD GRAVY: Any feature that asks trivia questions about career plate appearances plainly likes figures, so it should be no surprise that some Labor Department statistics we came across on wages in the fourth quarter of 2018 thrilled us no end. 

Now, we are not economists – thank goodness – and some of this was above our head, but we’re not complete idiots, either, and we’ve long had a knack for mining useful figures in these circumstances and here is what we found moderately interesting:

Leading Off: The average weekly wage for an American in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $1,144…This comes out to $59,800 a year, which is not too bad a living, especially if you take care of your money. On the other hand, it’s not going to put you on Easy Street, either. You will probably be obliged to rustle up a living until you are 65 or so. 

Fly In The Ointment: Unfortunately most Americans – a bit more than three-quarters of us – don’t make this amount. 70.23% of Americans earn less than $50,000 a year and the median income – the amount where half make more and half make less –  in America is about $31,000. 

Boring, Broad, Historical Context: Some research we did for something or another a few years ago yielded the tidbit that $31,000 more or less has always been, dollar for dollar, the median income in this country since the first half of the 20th century. 

FunFact: A bit more than 9% of Americans made more than $100,000 a year. 

Dry, Technical Matter: Santa Clara County, California had the highest weekly wage average, $2,760, while Hidalgo County, Texas had the lowest at $680.

Is There A Point To Any Of This?: For the several states, Massachusetts had the highest weekly average at $1,457 while Mississippi had the lowest average weekly wage at $793. 

No, I Guess There Isn’t A Point To Any Of This: The July 2019 unemployment figures are in from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, unemployment was 3.7 percent which is pretty good. Our own experience hiring people is that an unemployment rate of less than 3% generally means that anyone who wants a job and can hold down a job generally has a job. So a figure of 3.7 percent makes for what we like to call a Practical Unemployment Rate of about 1% or so. You are always going to have a small percentage of people who are unwilling or unable to find work. 

Your Not Just Padding This Feature Are You?: Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate of the several states at 2.1%, while Alaska had the highest, 6.3%.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow pretends to give a guest a deal on a room. Today’s Diary. 

Anyway, I told him I couldn’t give him the corporate lodging rate, but I made a big fuss over giving the $129 rate I was going to give him anyway, a time-proven way to make the guest think he is getting a deal.  

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

More drivel! Click on the button to read all of The Diary of a Nobody. 

 $5.99 includes all entries, past, present, and future.

The Bottom Ten/Preseason Q&AAnd so it begins, the dregs of the dregs, the worst of the worst, begin their quests for Bottom Ten glory.

What in the hell is Zero Week?: In the past, early games all featured teams that were scheduled to play at Hawaii later that year. This was to allow them an extra week off later on. (If you go to Hawaii you also get to play an extra game. The extra game was allowed to help schools offset the cost of having to travel to Hawaii.) 

Refreshingly, however, Zero Week has been turned into merely another way for ESPN to make money, as Florida and Miami play Saturday and neither team is playing in Hawaii this season. 

Editor’s Note: The Preseason Q&A and the Week 1 and Week 2 surveys, both NCAA and NFL, are with the compliments of the Bottom Ten pollsters. After that, they will be behind a paywall. 

The good news is there will be a special offer during Week 2.

On This Date
In 1977 – The United States launches Voyager 2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a mission to explore the outer planets. Voyager 2 would reach Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981, Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. Voyager 2 left the Solar System in 2018 – the second spacecraft to do so – and is now 11.2 billion miles away from Earth. Her sister Voyager 1, has also left the Solar System and is 13.6 billion miles away, the farthest man-made object from Earth. Both have sufficient power to continue to send data back to Earth until 2025. 

In 2016 – The United States women’s basketball team wins their sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal, defeating Spain 101-72 in the gold medal game. The last team other than the Americans to win the women’s basketball gold medal was the Unified Team at the 1992 Barcelona Games. The Unified Team/Soviet Union and the US are the only teams to win the gold medal since women’s basketball was introduced to the Olympics at the 1976 Montreal Games. The United States went 8-0 in the tournament, their closest game a 19-point victory over France in the semifinals. 

In 1977 – The Emotions are at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first of five non-consecutive weeks with Best of My Love. It was the second of three Top 40 hits for the Emotions and the song was written by Earth, Wind & Fire members Maurice White and Al McKay. Earlier, the song had spent four non-consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart and was Billboard’s third-biggest song of the year. It also won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Do not trouble your hearts with thought of the road tonight. Maybe the paths that you each shall tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them.
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Yesterday’s trivia question will be answered in another column.  

Today’s Stumper
Who was the head coach of the US women’s basketball team at the 2016 Olympics? – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
This entry was posted in 2019. Bookmark the permalink.