Fun Election Factoids

Election year factoids can be fun to weave into cocktail party conversation—or can stop the conversation. Pick your group!

Election year factoids can be fun to weave into cocktail party conversation—or can stop the conversation. Pick your group!

• A recent study of election cycle stock market performance shows about a 7% gain, on average, in most years. But the third year of a presidential term yields a jump of 16% on average.

• When watching our candidates speak, we might recall what Baltimore homicide detective, Bryn Joyce, tells us to look for when a person is lying. At least it works for him with perps: 1) Liars fidget, they touch their nose or ear, like a poker “tell;” 2) Liars talk very fast, likely so that you can’t; 3) Liars try to change the subject, to deflect, to control, to evade; 4) Liars repeat the question, to stall as they try to come up with a plausible response; and 5) liars do not look you in the eye, unless it is their usual habit not to. Do these remind you of anyone?

• As for claims that the US economy is “in the tank,” Time reports that the Fed says American’s total wealth has reached a new high, $88 trillion. That includes $500 billion up from real estate and $150 billion down from the latest stock market blip. Sadly, for many of us, much of that gain has disproportionately gone to the upper 1%.

• Two interesting things about The Donald: 1) His Twitter habit runs counter to the average CEO; only 5% of them do it, according to the Social CEO Report. And 2) the fact-checking group PolitiFact.com has found that only 2% of what Trump has said during his campaign has checked out as true. The rest: 6% were “mostly true,” 15% were “mostly false,” 43% were “false,” and 18% were “pants on fire” lies. “His 76% false rating far exceeds that of all the other candidates who ran for president.” But “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!” is apparently enough for some of the electorate in this cycle.

• Speaking of rich versus poor, repeated studies cited in NYMag.com have shown that the rich are more likely to behave unethically than the poor. But it seems that there is more to it than that. “The rich do wrong to help themselves while the poor do wrong to help others.” The “Robin Hood” myth in action, it would seem.

• And lest you think that you are falling behind the get-rich-quick startup crowd, please take comfort in the Harvard Business School study that showed that three-quarters of these companies fail and investors end up losing all of their money about one-third of the time. If you still have your heart set on such a commitment, do your homework and read the fine print. Many do not, it seems.

• Also note that although some 1,000 new apps are released every day (!), fewer than 25% of those that are actually downloaded will ever be opened again after the first day. That figure drops to only 11% after the first week, both numbers according to Appboy. Doesn’t this show that so many of these high-tech innovations represent solutions in search of a problem in the average person’s life?