Who are the 47 percent? 5 jobs held by people who pay no income tax.

Mitt Romney says 47 percent of Americans don't pay federal income taxes – and he was right. Half of that 47 percent are workers who hold jobs that don't pay enough for them to owe income taxes to Uncle Sam. What kinds of jobs are these?

5. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

Eggland's Best/PRNewsFoto/File
Award-winning fitness trainer Cathe Friedrich leads a session in New York in this 2009 file photo.

An increasing number of Americans want someone to push them when they go the gym and to make sure they are doing their exercises correctly. Enter the fitness trainer.

The exercise gurus need to to demonstrate the proper technique for weightlifting and possibly stretch out their client at the end of a session. Then, there is nothing like a jump rope session.

At the same time, those who want to attend a class can turn to aerobics instructors. They need to keep their classes motivated, perhaps devising harder routines. It’s not unusual in some urban areas for an instructor to teach 10 or 12 classes a week.

But there is not a lot of money in teaching people how to do squats properly. According to the BLS, the 231,500 fitness instructors have a mean income of $36,150 a year.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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