The Quest For Purity, Working Retirees, Etc.

In these tawdry times, does purity still count as a cardinal virtue? It does when folks are choosing a vodka. In a poll commissioned by Skyy vodka, 50 percent of adults who’ve had vodka in the past six months said purity is “extremely” or “very” important to them in picking a brand. That still left purity ranking behind such traits as “smooth taste” (cited by 69 percent), “clean” (59 percent) and “no aftertaste” (57 percent). People age 21-34 were almost twice as likely as those 45-plus (41 percent vs. 21 percent) to have consumed vodka in the previous six months. (One wonders how many young adults derive most of their fruit intake from the juice they mix with vodka.) In a breakdown by region, vodka drinkers were more plentiful in the Northeast (35 percent) than the West (28 percent), South (26 percent) or Midwest (25 percent).

America may be an “ownership society” in the making, but that doesn’t stop Americans from taking a dim view of corporate profits. In a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 39 percent of respondents agreed that “corporations make a fair and reasonable amount of profit.” But they were outnumbered by the 53 percent who think “corporations make too much profit.” The latter cohort should bear their opinion in mind next time they complain about how poorly their 401(k) accounts are faring.

Never take candy data from strangers. But you can take it from us. As you can see from the chart below, which draws on polling by Opinion Research Corp., kids are less apt than their elders to crave chocolate above all other sweets. The poll also found a gender gap among adults, with 71 percent of women picking chocolate as their favorite genre of candy, vs. 56 percent of men.

Young adults routinely express doubt that Social Security will be solvent when they need it. So, how do they expect to fund their retirement? In a poll by Rasmussen Reports, 63 percent of people age 18-29 said personal savings will account for the biggest share of their retirement income. Sixteen percent said company pensions will fill that role, while 14 percent cited Social Security payouts. The pattern was similar among the 30-39s: 58 percent said personal savings will yield the biggest share of their retirement income, vs. 19 percent from company pensions and 17 percent from Social Security. Young workers are less likely than their elders to say they’ll keep working during the standard retirement years. Among those age 50-64, 12 percent said they won’t work at all, vs. 16 percent of the 18-29s and 18 percent of the 30-39s. On the other hand, young workers are more likely to think they’ll achieve the American dream of becoming consultants: 17 percent of the 18-29s and 15 percent of the 30-39s believe they’ll do some consulting work during their retirement years, vs. 9 percent of the 50-64s.