Our Compliant Doctors, Favorite Founders, Etc.

No wonder prescription-drug ads urge people to “ask your doctor.” According to a poll by MRxHealth, in conjunction with Medical Marketing & Media magazine, 87 percent of people who ask their doctor for a specific drug will get it. But that doesn’t always mean they’ll take a full course of it. The same poll found that 36 percent of respondents “stop taking medications without talking to their doctors.” Of those who’ve done so, 33 percent said it was due to a drug’s side effects, nearly double the 18 percent who cited cost.

There’s an ebb and flow in the prestige of some traditional virtues (think of chastity), but generosity is a perennial favorite. People may not always be generous, of course, but they like to think they are. Americans have their doubts, however, about how generous their compatriots are these days. In Harris Interactive polling conducted for the journal In Character, fewer than half the respondents (44 percent) subscribed to the statement, “Americans in their daily lives tend to be generous people.” The figure sank to 23 percent among those in the 18-34 age bracket, while 64 percent of those age 55-plus agreed that Americans tend to be generous. Do people in the U.S. place less importance on generosity than they did a generation ago? Fifty-five percent of respondents agreed that this is the case. As you can gather from the chart below, public opinion yields a hierarchy of suitable objects for generosity. Corporate sponsors that lavish money on arts organizations may wonder whether they would get more image-building bang for their buck if they handed out dollar bills to needy passers-by.

If there isn’t a trade magazine called Bad News for American Automakers, there easily could be. The latest bit of such news comes from a report by Kelley Blue Book, which analyzed data on searches by consumers visiting the kbb.com Web site in the first half of this year. It ranked the new-vehicle models that generated the most searches on the auto-info site during that period, and just one of the top 10 was an American make (the Chevrolet Tahoe, at No. 9). Just two other American vehicles appeared among the top 20: the Ford Mustang (No. 11) and the Ford Escape (No. 17). The rankings surely suggest that U.S. automakers shouldn’t expect a surge in sales of their wares in the latter half of this year. Top on the list was the Honda Civic, followed by the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Rav4. A couple of minivans made the top 20 (the Honda Odyssey at No. 6 and the Toyota Sienna at No. 15), as did a trio of entry-level luxury vehicles (the BMW 325 at No. 13, the Acura TL at No. 14 and the Infiniti G35 at No. 18).

They must be the weariest people in America. A bulletin from the Census Bureau says 1.4 million grandparents are in the labor force while also being “responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren.” Some 2.4 million grandparents provide the essential necessities for at least one grandchild who lives with them. Even more—5.7 million—live in the same home as a minor grandchild. Looking at the matter another way, 6.1 million grandchildren—or 8 percent of all kids in the U.S.—live in the same home as a grandparent. That includes 4.1 million grandchildren who live in a grandparent’s home.

Men are more purposeful than women when it comes to buying clothes. In a poll by Money and International Communications Research, 70 percent of men said they go into a store knowing what item they want to buy. By contrast, 58 percent of women “typically browse around the store looking for clothing items and buying those they like.” Age is a dividing line: 59 percent of those 35-plus shop with a mission in mind, while 56 percent of those 18-34 go into the store and browse.

Honors for Best Bit of Intentionally Transparent Puffery go this week to an ad campaign for Chipotle, which extols the Mexican-food chain’s napkins—made of paper, just like the Supreme Court’s stationery! “So, the next time you put one of our napkins to your face to dab that guacamole, think about our justice system and the Supreme Court’s dedication to equal justice under law.” Along the way, the ad manages to note that Chipotle works hard to find the best ingredients for the food it serves. Another ad, showing a foil-wrapped burrito, brags, “We use aluminum. A material found on the space shuttle.” Quite so. TDA Advertising & Design of Boulder, Colo., created the oddball campaign.

There aren’t many of them—just about 611,000, says a report by Phoenix Marketing International. But women who serve as the “primary decision makers” in households with $1 million-plus in investable assets are richer than their 3.5 million male counterparts. The female-headed households have an average net worth of $6 million, vs. $5.3 million for male-headed households. And their average income is slightly higher ($165,000 per year vs. $140,000). The women are less likely than the men to be retired (27 percent vs. 43 percent), so we’re not just talking about wealthy widows. As for their investing, the women are more inclined than the men to work through a full-service brokerage firm, and they’re less willing to accept “calculated risks” in the investments they choose. In spending their money, women were more likely than men (42 percent vs. 30 percent) to strongly agree with the statement, “I often spend money on experiences that enrich my life.” (Which leaves the question: For those people who don’t spend it to enrich their lives, what’s the point of having lots of money in the first place?)

First in war, first in peace, and first in a Rasmussen Reports poll. George Washington topped the vote when adults were asked to pick the greatest of the Founding Fathers. His 39 percent of the tally put him well ahead of runner-up Thomas Jefferson (26 percent) and third-place Benjamin Franklin (21 percent).