Harper’s Index — From the November 2013 issue

Harper’s Index

Date on which John Kerry called the crisis in Syria “our Munich moment” : 9/7/2013

On which Lyndon Johnson said that what “we learned . . . at Munich” committed us to intervention in Vietnam : 7/28/1965

Number of times the NSA violated court orders or internal rules on surveillance in 2011 : 2,776

Minimum amount venture-capital firms have invested in cybersecurity start-ups in the past two years : $1,600,000,000

Amount raised in March by Endgame, a company developing surveillance technology for private use : $23,000,000

Date on which former NSA director Kenneth Minihan joined Endgame’s board : 3/12/2013

Number of national governments that requested user information from Facebook in the first half of 2013 : 71

Minimum percentage of requests with which Facebook complied : 62

Number of Facebook users who were party to a class-action settlement after the company violated their privacy : 3,663,543

Total amount the class received in the settlement : $39,000

Total amount the plaintiffs’ lawyers received : $2,364,973

Minimum percentage of federal criminal defendants who qualify for court-appointed counsel : 80

Minimum number of furlough days federal public defenders have taken since March as a result of sequestration cuts : 12,500

Estimated percentage by which the cost to the government rises when private attorneys must be appointed : 28.6

Annual budget of the office of New York City’s Public Advocate : $2,300,000

Amount the city is spending on a runoff election to decide the Democratic nominee for the position : $13,000,000

Percentage of public-school teachers who spent their own money on school supplies during the past academic year : 99.5

Average amount they spent : $485

Percentage of all workers earning minimum wage who are adult women : 64 (see page 6)

Chance that a working U.S. woman makes at least $75,000 a year : 1 in 11

That a working U.S. man does : 1 in 5

Percentage of long-term-unemployed Americans not receiving any federal unemployment benefits : 64

Portion of Americans with individual health-insurance plans who will receive subsidies under Obamacare : 1/2

Chance a middle-aged American woman takes antidepressants : 1 in 4

Average number of years an American suffering from depression waits before seeking treatment : 8

Estimated percentage of the general U.S. population that has attempted suicide at least once : 2.5

Of the U.S. transgender population : 41

Factor by which a U.S. military veteran is more likely than a member of the general public to be transgender : 5.3

Chance that a transgender person has experienced homelessness at some point in his or her life : 1 in 5

Estimated portion of homes in Gary, Indiana, that are abandoned and unoccupied : 1/3

Number of these homes the city has been able to sell to qualified buyers for one dollar : 12

Portion of the hundred tallest buildings currently under construction worldwide that are in China : 3/5

Minimum annual revenue of Silk Road, an e-commerce site for illegal drugs : $40,000,000

Estimated factor by which the amount of “Stuf” in a DoubleStuf Oreo exceeds the amount in a regular Oreo : 1.86

Percentage by which the average NFL fan’s saturated-fat consumption goes up the day after a loss by the local team : 16

Rounds of golf Barack Obama has played since becoming president : 145

Percentage of those rounds in which he played with a woman : 2

Number of people Obama has pardoned since becoming president : 39

Number of turkeys : 8


November Index Sources

1,2 Harper’s research
3 National Security Agency (Fort Meade, Md.)
4 Thomson Reuters (N.Y.C.)
5,6 Endgame Systems (Arlington, Va.)
7,8 Facebook Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.)
9–11 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco)
12 Administrative Office of the United States Courts
13,14 Office of the Federal Public Defender (Alexandria, Va.)
15 Office of the Public Advocate (N.Y.C.)
16 New York City Board of Elections
17,18 National School Supply and Equipment Association (Silver Spring, Md.)
19 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
20,21 U.S. Census Bureau (Suitland, Md.)
22 National Employment Law Project (N.Y.C.)
23 Kaiser Family Foundation (Menlo Park, Calif.)
24 National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.)
25 Mark Olfson, Columbia University Medical Center (N.Y.C.)
26 John McIntosh, Indiana University (South Bend)
27 Jack Harrison-Quintana, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (Washington)
28 George Brown, East Tennessee State University (Johnson City)
29 Jack Harrison-Quintana, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (Washington)
30,31 Department of Redevelopment (Gary, Ind.)
32 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (Chicago)
33 Harper’s research
34 Dan Anderson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
35 Pierre Chandon, INSEAD Social Science Research Centre (Fontainebleau, France)
36,37 Mark Knoller, CBS News (Washington)
38 United States Department of Justice
39 The White House (Washington).

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  • Kate

    As a resident of Gary, both of those statistics are depressing. The dollar home program sounds like a great idea, but the requirements of being both an existing resident of Gary AND having a $35,000-$40,000 yearly income precludes most of those in Gary who are in need of homes (if you live here and make $40,000/year, you’re probably already a home owner) AND those from outside who might take the opportunity to improve a community and live affordably.
    As always, the rest of the index is sobering.

  • Lanie

    What is the percentage of Facebook class members who submitted claim forms?

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