Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Tchotchke Index

The more Americans are willing to spend on tchotchkes—gift shop items, home decor trinkets, yard sale finds—the greater the economic confidence. Five years ago Demo Memo Blog created the Tchotchke Index to track excess consumer spending (here is the original post). The Tchotchke Index is the amount of money spent by the average household on "decorative items for the home," a detailed category in the Consumer Expenditure Survey

Sadly, the Tchotchke Index has plummeted to the lowest level on record.

More from Demo Memo

Monday, September 29, 2014

The GOP’s Millennial problem runs deep

From the Pew Research Center:

The Republican Party’s struggles in appealing to young people have been well documented. And even those Millennials who do identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP are decidedly less conservative than older Republicans.

Overall, Millennials (currently ages 18-33) are the most liberal age group. In our report on Political Polarization in the American Public, we used a scale based on 10 political values questions about the role of government, the environment, homosexuality and other issues to measure ideological consistency. This survey of more than 10,000 Americans finds that, on this scale, Millennials are considerably more liberal than other generations: About four-in-ten Millennials are mostly (28%) or consistently (13%) liberal in their views, compared with 15% who are mostly (12%) or consistently (3%) conservative (44% are ideologically mixed). Older generations are progressively more conservative.

Friday, September 26, 2014

TV and Media 2014

From Ericsson ConsumerLab

This report looks at changing consumer behaviors and values such as the increase of streaming video as well as growing willingness to pay for anywhere access. The TV landscape is changing. New aggregators are enabling consumers to decide what they want to watch and pick-and-mix their own services. This disruption puts the user at the center. It will be up to brands and service providers to build compelling consumer experiences.

Slideshow presentation.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New census data shows desperate need for health care in red states

Seven of the 11 large metro areas where the uninsured rate was higher than the 14.5 percent national average last year are located in states that refused to expand to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Two are in Florida, three are in Texas, and the others are Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina. The metro area with the highest uninsured rate was Miami, at a staggering 25 percent, compared to the national low of 4 percent in greater Boston...

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, those decisions not to expand the program will leave 4.8 million people uninsured. More than 1 million of them live in Texas, 764,000 are in Florida, 409,000 are Georgia residents and 319,000 live in North Carolina.

More from Daily Kos.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

College Enrollment Declines for Second Year in a Row


School Enrollment
College enrollment declined by close to half a million (463,000) between 2012 and 2013, marking the second year in a row that a drop of this magnitude has occurred. The cumulative two-year drop of 930,000 was larger than any college enrollment drop before the recent recession, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics from the Current Population Survey released today. The Census Bureau began collecting data on college enrollment in this survey in 1966.
      As the nation’s students and teachers return to the classroom, the Census Bureau has published School Enrollment in the United States: 2013, detailing national-level statistics on the characteristics of students, from nursery school to graduate school. The data were collected in the October School Enrollment Supplement to the 2013 Current Population Survey.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Operation ‘Full Disclosure’ Targets More Than 60 National Advertisers

After reviewing numerous national television and print advertisements, staff of the Federal Trade Commission has sent warning letters to more than 60 companies – including 20 of the 100 largest advertisers in the country – that failed to make adequate disclosures in their television and print ads. The initiative – Operation Full Disclosure – is the FTC’s latest effort to ensure that advertisers comply with federal law and do not mislead consumers.

Operation Full Disclosure focused on disclosures that were in fine print or were otherwise easy to miss or hard to read, yet contained important information needed to avoid misleading consumers. In the warning letters, staff identified problematic ads, recommended that advertisers review all of their advertising to ensure that any necessary disclosures are truly “clear and conspicuous,” and asked them to notify the staff of the actions they intended to take with respect to their advertising. The response to staff’s letters has been extremely positive.

More from the Federal Trade Commission.

Monday, September 22, 2014

American Community Survey Provides New State and Local Income, Poverty, Health Insurance Statistics

Income levels and poverty rates were not statistically different for most states from 2012 to 2013, according to statistics released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the nation’s most comprehensive data source on American households.
The state and local income and poverty statistics in the American Community Survey and the local-level health insurance statistics complement the national-level statistics released from the Current Population Survey and American Community Survey. The American Community Survey has included questions about health insurance coverage since 2008, and today’s release provides statistics for all metropolitan areas and places with a population of 65,000 or more. Of metro areas, Pittsfield, Mass., had among the lowest percentage of uninsured at 2.1 percent.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Domestic Abuse / Violence - Get Help


Domestic abuse and violence have been front-page news lately, and a topic of discussion throughout the country. The US Department of Justice defines domestic violence as, “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.”
It can be:
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Economic
  • Psychological

If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there is help out there. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)