The research found that Mustached Americans earned 8.2 percent more on average than those with beards and 4.3 percent more than the clean-shaven. People of Mustached American descent, however, also tended to spend 11 percent more and save 3 percent less than their collective counterparts.
What research? The press release says there was a survey of “2,000 Mustached Americans along with 2,000 bearded and 2,000 clean-shaven Americans.” But it also says it was conducted by Menjou-Bärtchen Research Consultants. There is no independent evidence that such a firm exists, and Menjou-Bärtchen is what Germans call the thin style of mustache worn by the likes of Adolphe Menjou and John Waters. Also, there’s this:
The study found that the majority of Mustached Americans’ disposable income was spent on toiletries such as cologne, and teeth whitening solutions (10 percent); alcoholic beverages such as beer and Rich & Rare Canadian Whisky (11 percent); 1970s and ‘80s-era music memorabilia, most commonly by Hall & Oates (1 percent); clothing apparel consisting of Speedo swimsuits, leather pants, and tank-top tee-shirts; and DVD movies most commonly starring Billy Dee Williams, Chuck Norris, Richard Roundtree, and Burt Reynolds.
Dubious, I asked AMI kingpin Aaron Perlut if this was for real. “There was a study,” he said. “Of course there was a study.”
Not sure what kind of study, though. The Reuters Shop Talk blog played the news straight, even quoting “Dr. Hans Menjou-Bartchen” (Felix needs to give his colleagues some umlaut instruction). So I’m going to accept the findings as fact and say that mustache-wearers’ higher propensity to spend could be a key to getting the economy moving again. We just need more men with mustaches! Unless of course it’s the higher propensity to spend that drives men to grow mustaches, in which case a national mustache-growth campaign wouldn’t help. But it surely wouldn’t hurt, either.
Update: If you’re hankering for even more fake mustache news (not the same as fake-mustache news), Perlut will be chatting on ESPN.com starting Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern.