By The Numbers

I’ll take a burrito, hold the GMOs

Tony Wagner Apr 27, 2015
2 days

That’s how much time passed between Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election and GOP media consultant Rick Wilson’s first professional conversation about the 2016 election. In the months leading up to contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, presidential hopefuls compete in “the invisible primary,” trying to gather enough money and media attention to run a viable campaign. 

40 percent

As it stands, servicemembers who serve over 20 years in the military are entitled to 50 percent of their income at retirement. But a new proposal would reduce that number to 40 percent, while adding a 401(k) savings account. The change has brought up strong opinions on both sides of the argument, with some people worrying that it will lessen the incentive to serve those 20-plus years. But others argue that the low percentage of servicemembers who currently make it to that landmark proves that the current deal isn’t working either.

$25 million

That’s how much Comcast spent on lobbying last year, trying to drum up support for its $45 billion merger with rival cable giant Time Warner. Comcast officially abandoned those plans Friday, amid regulatory scrutiny and consumer pushback. The NY Times looked into how such an elaborate and expensive lobbying apparatus could have failed to move lawmakers, when Comcast had been so convincing in its case to acquire NBCUniversal just a few years before. 

$2.4 million

That’s how much someone made by buying up stock options in Altera, just as rumors were flying on social media that the company was about to be acquired by Intel. The deal moved faster than any human could have managed, and it wasn’t a one-time thing. Slate explains how this is different from high frequency trading as we know it, and why traders are rattled. 

68 ingredients

That’s how many total ingredients are used at Chipotle. And starting Monday, the fast food chain announced, it will no longer use genetically engineered foods in any of its restaurants. As the NY Times notes, a similar chain to Chipotle uses 81 ingredients — less ingredients means it’s easier to make the switch. Among the biggest challenges: Chipotle used soy oil to fry its chips, and much of the soy in the U.S. is genetically modified. Opting instead for a slightly more expensive canola oil, and that may show up on the customer’s tab someday soon.

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