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September 25th, 2018

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Leading Economic Indicators

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published May 8, 2017

Leading Economic Indicators

The British think tank High Pay Centre reported in January that the average CEO among the U.K.'s top 100 companies (in the Financial Times Stock Exchange index) earns the equivalent of around $1,600 an hour -- meaning that a 12-hour-a-day boss will earn, by mid-day Jan. 4, as much money as the typical worker at his firm will earn the entire year. (Around the same time, the anti-poverty organization Oxfam reported, to an astonished press, that eight men -- six Americans, headed by Bill Gates -- have the same total "net worth" as the 3.6 billion people who comprise the poorest half of the planet.) [The Guardian, 1-3-2017] [New York Times, 1-16-2017]

An organization that tracks "high net worth" investors (Spectrem Group of Lake Forest, Illinois) reported recently that, of Americans worth $25 million or more, only about two-thirds donate $10,000 or more yearly to charity. And then there is Charles Feeney, 85, of New York City, who in December made his final gift to charity ($7 million to Cornell University), completing his pledge to give away almost everything he had -- $8 billion. (He left his wife and himself $2 million to live on, in their rental apartment in San Francisco.) A January New York Times profile noted that nothing is "named" for Feeney, that the gifts were mostly anonymous, and that Feeney assiduously cultivated his low profile. [Harper's Index (February 2017)] [New York Times, 1-6-2017]

A "disturbingly large" (according to one report) number of smartphone apps are available devoted to calculating how much the user has "earned" per day and per year during restroom breaks answering nature's calls while at work. Australia's News Limited's rough calculation estimated $1,227 for someone making $55,000 a year, but results might vary since there are so many apps: Poop Salary, ToiletPay, Log-Log, Paid 2 Poo, Pricy Poop, Poop Break and perhaps others. [News.com.au via New York Post, 12-9-2016]

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