Tuesday, August 04, 2009

5 Sets of 10 Facts

10 Outrageous Facts About the Income Tax, from the Cato Institute:
  • The U.S. "tax army" is bigger than the U.S. army in Iraq.
  • With the number of tax forms going from 402 to 526 in 12 years, there's almost a tax form for each special interest.
  • Double-tax on dividends: 60 years and still not fixed.
  • Congress promotes discrimination through the tax code.
  • Congress' talk without action is to blame for the tax complexity.
  • the alternative minimum tax designed to catch 155 taxpayers 40 years ago will soon catch 37 million.
  • Even though the Treasury calls it "our voluntary tax system", it's clearly not.
  • Congress can't figure out how to measure "income."
  • Family saving shouldn't require an advanced math degree.
  • Income taxes were a bad (unconstitutional) idea that got worse.
The Top 10 Interesting Facts about Dating & Marriage, from a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan
  • The divorce rate among couples where the woman makes more than the man is 50% higher than among couples in which the husband earns more.
  • There are 25,000 to 35,000 polygynous (more than one wife) marriages in the U.S., mostly in western states.
  • The #1 cause of divorce worldwide is infidelity
  • The #2 cause of divorce worldwide is infertility.
  • The #3 cause of divorce worldwide is unkindness.
  • Worldwide, wives who are less than 20 years old are more than twice as likely as women who are more than 20 to be killed by a husband in a jealous rage, regardless of the age of the husband.
  • 33% of women who have extramarital affairs consider their marriages to be happy, while 56% of men do.
  • Worldwide, women prefer to marry men who are older than they are and vice versa.
  • For the lifetime, men on average would like to have 18 sex partners, and women, 4 or 5.
  • Remarriage after death or divorce? In the US, 76% of women aged 14-19 remarry; 56% of women aged 30-39; 32% of women aged 40-49; and 12% of women aged 50-75.
10 Myths in America, from The Futurist Blog:
  • School Teachers are Underpaid in America
  • Women Earn Less than Men in America
  • Whites Prevent 'Minorities' from Achieving Economic Parity
  • Healthy Foods are Expensive, and Unhealthy Foods are Cheap
  • America's Foreign Policy is the Reason for the 9/11 Attacks
  • Leftists are 'Liberal' and 'Progressive'
  • Republicans are Less Intelligent than Democrats
  • Democrats Have a Better Record on Racism than Republicans
  • Houses Always Rise in Value
  • High Oil Prices Will Create Permanent Long-Term Poverty
Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus, from NPR (HT to Justin Scott)
  • The creator of the BMI (200 years ago) said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.
  • It is scientifically nonsensical: There is no reason to square a person's height or ignore waist size.
  • It makes no allowance for the relative proportions of bone, muscle and fat in the body.
  • It gets the logic wrong by assuming its measure is correct.
  • It's bad statistics because averages measure entire populations and often don't apply to individuals.
  • Because the BMI is a single number between 1 and 100 (like a percentage) that comes from a mathematical formula, it carries an air of scientific authority.
  • It suggests there are distinct categories of underweight, ideal, overweight and obese, with sharp boundaries that hinge on a decimal place.
  • Insurance companies sometimes charge higher premiums for people with a high BMI. Among such people are all those fit individuals with good bone and muscle and little fat, who will live long, healthy lives.
  • Reliance on the BMI means doctors don't feel the need to use one of the more scientifically sound methods.
  • It is embarrassing for one of the most advanced nations in the world to base advice on how to prevent one of the leading causes of poor health and premature death on such a bad measure.
Top 10 Amazing Facts About Dreams, from Listverse:
  • People who become blind after birth can see images in their dreams, but those born blind do not.
  • You forget 90% of your dreams
  • Everyone dreams (except in cases of extreme psychological disorder) but men and women have different dreams and different physical reactions.
  • Dreams prevent psychosis
  • We only dream of what we know
  • 12% of people dream exclusively in black and white
  • Dreams are not about what they are about.
  • People who quit smoking have more vivid dreams
  • External stimuli invade our dreams
  • You are paralyzed while you sleep
*I don't necessarily agree with everything said, but found it all very interesting. Also, take into account who created the lists.


  1. Most of the stuff from the Futurist is total crap. Here's a quote: "Those who were truly liberal at one time became the 'neoconservatives' of today, while the fascists of yesteryear became the leftists of today. They are illiberal, intolerant, opposed to free speech, and incapable of defending their claimed beliefs in the face of incisive questions. In the modern era, the Left can best be described as a vehicle through which people can fancy themselves as intelligent without having to put in the effort previously required to become intelligent, simply by believing a set of agreed-upon dogma."

    Seriously? Left-leaning folks are fascist and unintelligent? I guess this includes Warren Buffet and Stephen Hawking. Grow up, dude.

    Besides that though, this was a fascinating post, thanks for sharing! The dream facts were my favorite.

  2. Yeah that quote made me debate about putting those in, but I agree with most of them.

    - School Teachers are Underpaid in America: I'm a teacher and I agree
    - Women Earn Less than Men in America: We've discussed this before, but here's some data: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/08/department-of-labor-recently-released.html
    - Whites Prevent 'Minorities' from Achieving Economic Parity: Definitely true 50 years ago, but I'm not sure how prevalent this belief even is in 2009.
    - Healthy Foods are Expensive, and Unhealthy Foods are Cheap: I don't really know much about this, but I pretty healthy for pretty cheap (thanks to my wife).
    - America's Foreign Policy is the Reason for the 9/11 Attacks: I wouldn't totally discredit this belief, but he had some interesting points.
    - Leftists are 'Liberal' and 'Progressive': I don't like using the words left/liberal/right/conservative because they don't really mean anything anymore.
    - Republicans are Less Intelligent than Democrats: Most people don't think that anyways.
    - Democrats Have a Better Record on Racism than Republicans: I found this to be very interesting because that would have been my initial thought too.
    - Houses Always Rise in Value: Hopefully people don't still believe this.
    - High Oil Prices Will Create Permanent Long-Term Poverty: I truly doubt it, oil prices will stay relatively cheap in my lifetime.

  3. Yea, The Futurist ones are mostly crap. I really liked the dreams ones. I did find some of the other thought provoking too, which was nice. The ones I disagree with though, I do so mostly because I've heard contrary evidence from much more reliable sources :-P


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