Guys get this disease, too -- but they may not know it        
When a 77-year-old tennis player fell during a match and fractured his hip while on vacation in Key Largo, Fla., he became part of a little known, serious and growing problem among older men.  Male osteoporosis has been a silent problem for decades but is becoming more prevalent as Baby Boomers age, doctors say
          Why do some men get grouchier as they age?        

Donald Trump, 66, shows his grumpy stripes in frequent Twitter outbursts. Some call it “grumpy old man complex.” Other experts label it: “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age. As more baby boomers hit 60  be ready for more grouchy outbursts, like a Donald Trump rant set to explode.

          DECEMBER AT THE AUTHOR'S TABLE- James Herbert Smith, 'A Boy’s Life in the Baby Boom: True Tales from Small Town America' @HPLCT @IPNE         

Thursday, Dec. 8, 4-7 pm, Hartford Public Library

A memoir about growing up in the post-war baby boom, which takes us back to a freedom in childhood unheard of today. As the first boomers turn 70 this year, Smith among them… The memoir reminds us of both the travails and the ecstasy of being a kid, a teen-ager, and maturing through failure and success.

James Herbert Smith was born in the first year of the Baby Boom, 1946, and grew up in Pittsford, NY, the setting of this book. As a young father he moved to Connecticut and began a career in Journalism, where for nearly five decades he wrote and edited thousands of stories for what has been called “the first draft of history” in our daily newspapers. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Jacqueline, also a journalist.

  • Hartford Public Library, Events & Exhibits

  • Excerpt, 'A Boy’s Life in the Baby Boom: True Tales from Small Town America'

  • Elm Grove Press

  •           Living in Digital Times Presents Silvers Summit at the 2014 International CES        

    Ford Motor Company to Headline Conference Devoted to Exploring Baby Boomer, Senior, and Caregiver Trends

    (PRWeb December 23, 2013)

    Read the full story at

              Millennials v baby boomers? We all have more in common than we realise        

    Why are millennials held to have been invented in 1980 and abruptly discontinued in 1995? Who makes these rules anyway? (…) Time wasted arguing over which generation is definitively the worst that ever lived could be more usefully spent asking why we swallow divisive age-related myths so easily, and whose interests exactly are served by […]

    O conteúdo Millennials v baby boomers? We all have more in common than we realise aparece primeiro em and everything else.

              Fitness and Exercise and the Older Adult        
    Fitness and exercise are not just for children and young people. Older adults can reap mountains of benefits from becoming engaged in a regular program promoting fitness and exercise, and many older adults are doing so. In fact more older adults are taking fitness and exercise seriously now than in recent decades.

    Mall walking is a popular fitness and exercise activity for older adults. Brisk walking is one of the best forms of exercise people can do for themselves. Shopping malls offer consistent temperature and protection from the elements. If it is snowing or sleeting outside, you can still walk in the mall, getting all the benefits of a fitness and exercise program without having to brave inclement weather.

    Swimming is another popular fitness and exercise method many older adults enjoy. Swimming exercises every muscle in the body, but is easy on the knees and joints. While many older adults enjoy swimming laps, others have incorporated water-based calisthenics into their fitness and exercise programs, with great results.

    The baby boom generation of Americans is getting older, with many baby boomers now reaching retirement age. This generation though is different from preceding generations. Baby boomers tend to live longer, and are more concerned about health. More baby boomers watch their diets, try to control their weight and make fitness and exercise a regular part of their lives than older Americans have in past generations. Add to that the advancements made in medical treatments and these baby boomers can expect to live for many years to come. Fitness and exercise will continue to play a major role in their lives.

    Of course, fitness and exercise are not the only factor to be concerned with. Diet also plays a part. A high fiber diet, with most carbohydrates coming from whole grains and protein coming from more lean portions of meat to limit fat also contribute to health. When proper diet and fitness and exercise are linked the result more often than not is a healthy person, no matter what the age. Combining fitness and exercise with proper nutrition is a win win situation for everyone involved.
              Save "Tai Chi in the RP". Save "Tai Chi in the World"        
    It seems not infrequent that I find myself as a charlatan (person supposed to have qualities that one actually lacks) in one way or another. This seems to be a human malady found in various endeavors and activities – from the political arena, to the medical field, to even the religious realm. Our children's idealism is quickly disillusioned by the scandals exposed. This is a sad state, where we unfortunately have contributed to create. Or at least, I myself know that I cannot cast the first stone of accusation because I am also at fault. But far from condemnation, this is simply a statement of fact and an earnest call to create an positive alternative vision.

    The "Yin" in the State of Tai Chi

    Starting under my very nose, it is ironic to for me to find uncomfortable contradictions between the principles of tai chi and the practice of tai chi, as much on the learners' side as on the institutions that promote its principles. It is difficult to discuss this issue without seeming to attack, but if it is any consolation, I put myself in the forefront of the target of this attack. Actually, I would rather focus on solutions and use the very tai chi principles we uphold as the method for solution generation.

    The state of tai chi as an art both here in the Philippines and internationally, can be said to be at a critical crossroads. From its origin as a revered holistic practice that addresses the need for self-defense, health, longevity and spiritual enlightenment, it has now fragmented as separated pursuits. We see the differentiation as tai chi for health, for martial arts, for sports and for "new age" inclinations. Not that there is something wrong with them per se, just that they represent discreet perspectives that could water down the essence of tai chi, particularly if they become the mainstream practice.

    Viewed from a detached perspective, we see that there are reasons for this phenomenon (observed situation). These are the present human tendencies which naturally extend to activities relating to tai chi. These human tendencies are:
    • to classify, as an intellectual tendency to dissect and analyze everything,
    • to "commodify" everything for marketable usefulness and function, and
    • to suit the trend to search for what is "convenient and fashionable".

    These tendencies lead to unsettling questions:

    • How do they affect the idea of tai chi as being revered and holistic? Should we fragmentize tai chi to suit our fickle market?
    • What would happen if this trend continues - when the essence of the art is compromised to the wants of an unenlightened market while subscribing to the idea that "the market is god"?

    Specifically, we see two main tendencies manifesting as the resultant trends:

    1. First, is a continuing fragmentation of "Traditional Styles" into marketable proprietary brands through:
      a. The development of Tai Chi for health to cater to a "market niche" of the aging "baby boomer generation", and
      b. The cashing in on the lucrative "New Age" market, on the one hand,
    2. And Second, is the powerful unifying global effort by the People's Republic of China to "crash into the exclusive Olympic club" effectively converting tai chi as into sports.

    Aggravating the situation is the still pervasive ancient tradition of "keeping the family secrets within the clan" which causes this legacy of the Chinese civilization to be "getting lost in a disinterested generation within the clans".

    The "Yang" in State of Tai Chi:

    But there are positive tendencies and trends as well that prove the reality of the balancing "yin and yang" in life. We do see this in the access to global information through the internet on the one hand, and the ease in international travel on the other. This trend gives all learners an opportunity to have affordable access to many kept information and "secrets" and free them up for healthy circulation of chi in the body of a mutating art.. Through this, a new arena of communication offers a level playing field to positively alter the trend of events.

    The opportunity exists as the impact we can exert on the thinking of the market. To help give rise to the emergence of an "enlightened" market that would demand the real thing – the original, pure idea of tai chi that was developed by "enlightened masters who created this art".

    Practically, every learner is technologically empowered by the internet to exert an altering impact in the present trend towards a desirable outcome – to turn the situation from being a passive loser to being an active gainer. From being an exploited market to being "an enlightened market" who refuses to be manipulated and who effectively demands for the authentic tai chi.

    The source of power of tai chi is in the mind: its ability to gather and mobilize a unified critical mass of our chi as a market and to leverage and neutralize an unenlightened force towards a win-win situation.

    Using tai chi, non-confrontational approach, we know as learners that the soft approach of "using four ounces" is not to demolish but to effectively neutralize and eventually win the institutions into our side.

    Our vision is a tai chi world that goes beyond forms and digs deep into the real substance of the art of tai chi chuan. Not just "fancy dancing" that is looked down by other martial artists. But a fighting art worthy of its name – "The Grand Ultimate Fist". A vision where practitioners becoming sages, not just a tendency to be bloated egos. We envision this subtle art to be moving as integral principle in our daily life, giving the tai chi practitioner a high degree of respect that can be gain from many disciplined hours and years of practicing the art.

    Let's make it happen. Our individual and collective intention have impact. It moves chi. We can "deflect a thousand pounds with simply 4 ounces from our pure intention". Tai learners unite! Save "Tai Chi in the Philippines" save "Tai Chi in the World".

    ~ESS/Manila Philippines/Copyright Pending

    Visit the Tai Chi Union of the Philippines Forum at Philippine Tai Chi Network

              Holy 46th Anniversary, Batman        
    If you're a baby boomer, or just like those TV Land reruns, you may want to know the the TV version of "Batman" debuted on ABC-TV on this day back in 1966. Adam West and Burt Ward donned cape and cowl to become the "Dynamic Duo" every week. Continue reading…
              When BB no longer means Big Brother. A Yummy Mummy Guide to staying Fab Before and After Baby. Part 1.        
    Does it feel like EVERYONE is pregnant at the moment? There's talk that with the popularity of the book '50 Shades of Grey', women worldwide indulged in a little raunch and all of a sudden there's a baby boom - with these bundles of joy being affectionately referred to as 'Grey-bies'

    As many of you know, I recently gave birth to my own 'little miracle', and with the arrival of Scarlet Harper I've been inundated with requests for sharing my secrets to staying fabulous before and after pregnancy, when inside you really aren't feeling as such. But hey, a girl can fake it till she makes it, right? 

    Before baby (or as I like to call it 'BB') there were a few things I organised to either lift my spirits, maintain a small piece of glamour (and therefore a small piece of my old self) or were just plain old common sense. 

    * me at 35 weeks, feeling like a stuffed turkey, basted in Bio Oil 

    Forget the girls with the endless instagram selfies of expensive maternity wear, strutting around in Louboutins and carrying Baby Dior. They just aren't a realistic insight to what's about to take place. Money is no longer exclusively yours to blow, but at the same time a girls gotta look her best right? Even if its just you, your partner and the baby who see it, it will mean the difference between catching yourself in the mirror, crying and mourning the old 'you', and not looking like a hot mess when visitors pop in unexpectedly. 

    The following are my Top 3 tips to staying fab. This article is going to be a work in progress, so over the next few weeks I'm going to share any tips and tricks that worked for me. 

    Lash extensions: 
    While these can be pricey, I highly recommend looking for a local deal on sites such as Groupon. I purchased an application of lashes and 2 refills for just $69 and had them applied about a month before my due date, keeping them on until 2 months after the birth. Because who can be bothered with makeup when your little one is squeaking every 3 hours?

    Pedicure and shellac: 
    For when you can no longer touch your toes, let alone paint them! And if they're particularly nice at your salon, you'll get a little foot massage also. I strongly suggest investing in shellac at this time due to the longevity of the paint. After all, who knows when you'll have time to do your nails again? 

    Tummies won't become flat again straight away and even though you'll be given a band to bring your muscles back together, my physio recommended shape wear (think Spanx) with the stomach support built in. Whether its underwear or a camisole, I'm amazed how after one week my stomach started to shrink. I wear mine 24/7 (in particular, the camisole - could you imagine trying to sleep in those undies!) - places like Target and Kmart stock these kinda of things without breaking the budget - and even once you've regained pre pregnancy shape, you'll still find yourself reaching for them when it comes time to smooth out a few bumps. 

    So there you have it. It's not rocket science, just plain old common sense and a few 'feel good' ideas. If you have any suggestions of your own, products you love or secrets you'd like to share, feel free to drop me a line! 


              Will baby boomers live as long as expected?        

    A pair of elderly couples view the ocean and waves along the beach in La Jolla, California in this March 8, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/FilesWhat if the generation that once rocked out to The Who's "hope I die before I get old" line actually does?

              Column: Forget the white picket fence, the American Dream is in the city        
    Pedestrians walk through Times Square during a warm weather spell in New York March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RTSA914

    Pedestrians walk through Times Square during a warm weather spell in New York March 10, 2016. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    The dominant housing story of the last century was an exodus of those with means from cities to suburbs. The American Dream consisted of a white picket fence around a private yard, 2.4 children in the home and a nice car or two. Today, the dream is changing. Sure, the suburbs still offer a great deal, but there’s a powerful countertrend that is increasingly hard to ignore: a renaissance in cities, as they draw empty nesters and young professionals alike to a vibrant, urban lifestyle.

    According to, over 250,000 people reach retirement age in the United States every month. And although the share of baby boomers living in urban areas has decreased since 2000 on an aggregate basis, an important subset of empty nesters is flocking back to choice American cities.

    Between 2010 and 2014, half of new business growth in the U.S. came from 20 urban counties.

    Take Boston, for example. According to, the northeastern city is the most in-demand urban destination for buyers between the ages of 65 and 74, a range that includes the oldest five years of boomers. That demographic is buying more homes overall than every segment besides millennials and Generation X, and Beantown is their first choice among cities. Some former suburbanites have even formed “expat” groups, according to the Boston Globe. Incidentally, this dynamic risks pushing suburban real estate prices down as the number of homes for sale rises. Indeed, in 2016, suburban home prices have been weak, while Boston real estate values have surged.

    READ MORE: How the housing markets in 5 U.S. cities may have cost you $5,000 in lost wages

    But it’s not just about retirees flocking to cities. Young professionals are also increasingly working and living downtown, drawn by exciting employment opportunities. Between 2010 and 2014, half of new business growth in the U.S. came from 20 urban counties, and half of all job growth in that period came from 73 counties. And according to a recent Wall Street Journal story, one factor behind the Beantown boom has been an influx of people choosing to live in the city. Between 2010 and 2014, for instance, the population of Boston grew by 6 percent, double the national rate.

    This urban renaissance has generated a strong real estate market in America’s boom towns.

    Many of America’s best-performing cities are, unsurprisingly, science and tech hubs: the usual suspects like San Francisco, New York and Seattle, but also lesser known ones like Raleigh. It’s not just science and tech though — just look to the Lone Star State. Despite the drop in oil prices, Austin and Dallas have enjoyed resilient economies fueled not just by high-tech industry, but also festivals, logistics, financial services and a general business-friendly environment.

    This urban renaissance has generated a strong real estate market in America’s boom towns. Rents have risen and prices are increasing. In 2011, high-end urban apartment rent growth peaked at 8 percent per year and remains well north of inflation. Rental increases are higher for large, in-demand cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco — and even higher for the most expensive units within these markets.

    READ MORE: Why a severe housing shortage means reduced wages for workers

    I worry about the sustainability of these dynamics, in large part because when markets work well, higher prices stimulate supply. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing in many cities. According to the Wall Street Journal, “In 25 of the largest U.S. cities, multifamily permits in urban areas were up 39% in 2015 compared with a year earlier.” Major cities like New York, Philadelphia and Boston are all expecting housing supply growth between two and three times the historical average in the next year. Although demand in these cities is robust, it’s nevertheless worth watching to see if today’s boom turns into tomorrow’s bust.

    When markets work well, higher prices stimulate supply. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing in many cities.

    The most recent issue of Worth magazine highlighted some of the cities that have benefited from — and actively helped to stimulate — the urban boom. Worth’s selection of dynamic American cities includes San Diego, Dallas, Charleston, Nashville, New Orleans, San Francisco and New York, among others. What unites these cities? As Worth editor Richard Bradley summarized, successful cities have used effective public policy to make downtowns both livable and business-friendly, while embracing existing assets — like Nashville’s music scene or San Diego’s science infrastructure.

    Yet the cities that Worth profiled are not homogenous. They’re each vibrant in their own ways. San Diego, for example, has ample human capital, support for startups and a commitment to infrastructure investment. Dallas has transformed into a booming cultural center. Charleston, home to an important port, has attracted global manufacturers without losing its historic charm. To Worth’s list, I’d add Boston, whose Seaport District alone has managed to attract everything from tech startups to General Electric in recent years.

    READ MORE: The San Francisco activists who say please build in my backyard

    Unfortunately, an influx of wealthy young people tends to make attractive cities like these less affordable. So what’s the best way to sustain the urban renaissance? New construction — via relaxed zoning restrictions — may be a partial solution. For this reason, as Matthew Yglesias put it, “the elevator could be the next great disruptive technology.” Increasing density can push down prices without generating sprawl.

    But just as technology could bolster the urban renaissance, it could also endanger it. The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims suggests that the rise of self-driving cars might take the new urban enthusiasts to the suburbs. It’s not hard to imagine young affluent millennials being wooed by futuristic vehicles conveniently escorting them to and from the spacious suburbs.

    Especially in this time of general global instability… there are some things worth celebrating. The flourishing of our cities is one of them.

    For now, as noted by Worth’s Bradley, “we are living in a golden era of American cities.” And the trends don’t show signs of reversing. Boston, for instance, is expecting 90,000 new residents in the next 14 years. Especially in this time of general global instability, with Brexit, choppy asset markets and falling commodities prices increasing fear across the board, there are some things worth celebrating. The flourishing of our cities is one of them.

    The post Column: Forget the white picket fence, the American Dream is in the city appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

              What are your New Year’s resolutions?        
    Do you have any resolutions that relate to your money or life as a baby boomer consumer? One of my resolutions is to pay off my credit cards. Paying off debts is one of the most popular resolutions. See the article for a list of the top 10 new year's resolutions.
              Top 10 headlines for baby boomer consumers        
    News this week about cancer risks from CT scans, kids and psychiatric drugs, malicious programs on social networks, delayed enforcement on testing of kid's products, and other stories caught my attention, as news boomer consumers need to know about. Links to the articles are included so you can read the details.
              3 Perfect Baby Shower Books        
    Rumor has it Superstorm Sandy spawned a baby boom, and it’s just around the corner this summer. If you’re on the lookout for baby shower invitations for any reason, we’ve got some good book suggestions that make the perfect off-registry baby shower gifts. While it’s always safe to shop the baby registry, sometimes it’s those non-registry gift items new parents are most thankful for! Books as Gifts for Your Next Baby Shower Invitation Great with Child by Beth Ann Fennelly. This book is the ultimate baby shower gift because it brings so much relief from the barrage of anxiety-based books
              A Millennial take on food consumption        
    Kimberly Egan, CEO of the Center for Culinary Development, already stated in 2009: “Generation Y has a game-changing approach to food consumption that will definitely affect how other demographics, including Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, shop and eat”. (Progressive Grocer, Read More
              Silent NYC Animation on Turner Classic Movies!        

    Tune in to Turner Classic Movies on the evening of 
    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    The news has been circulating for some time, but it's with great pride that I finally report here that Turner Classic Movies will be broadcasting some rare, early New York Animation from the collection of yours truly. It's a rather rare event, and one that's wholly exciting: early, rare, and obscure animation is being spotlighted on a major television channel. Turner Classic Movies is one of the finest outlets for this type of material, as it's the most highly-regarded source for classic and early film on television.

    Meeting and talking with TCM staff led to the concept of their showcasing some items from my early animation collection. With the help of close friend and research colleague David Gerstein, I put together a selection of films that will be outlined below. Gerstein was also responsible for research and overseeing musical scores, which were beautifully executed by Robert Israel and Ben Model. It's incredible how well a new musical score can enhance the experience of viewing a silent cartoon.

    Jerry Beck (r) on the TCM set with host Robert Osborne (l)
    In a very appropriate turn of events, though, TCM staff connected with Jerry Beck--practically a celebrity in the field of animation history research--who consulted with them to turn this broadcast concept into an entire evening of animation showcases. As you'll find in Jerry's introductory posting here, other highlights of the evening will be Max Fleischer's landmark feature films, as well as a selection of UPA cartoons topped off with the broadcast of Lotte Reiniger's historic, early silent animated feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926).

    Now, for the details Cartoons on Film blog readers want to read...some notes on the cartoons showcased as part of the New York Animation hour. Like the other showcases for the evening's broadcast, this segment is prefaced with a brief conversation between TCM host Robert Osborne and Jerry Beck, who reappear to introduce different sections of the show.

    Please see the bottom of this post for a special message!

    Silent Era Animation from the collection of Tom Stathes at 12 midnight Eastern/9pm Pacific

    All films have been digitally remastered, in HD, from 16mm film prints. Film scans and restoration by Process Blue. Further post production, editing and restoration carried out by Steve Stanchfield of Thunderbean Animation; to you I am extremely grateful.  

    The Farmerette
    The program begins with The Farmerette (1932).  Produced by the Van Beuren Studios as part of the Aesop's Fables series, The Farmerette was chosen as the header for this program as a symbol for familiarity; the type of early black and white cartoon most would associate with the early New York animation studios. The storyline is simple: a dismayed farmer calls in a 'Farmerette' to perk up the depressed, despondent animals on his farm who refuse to work. The Farmerette, upon arrival, gets the animals' attention quickly--she sings, dances, and is a parody (or more likely, a blatant copy) of then animation sex symbol Betty Boop. The animation is sometimes crude, the drawings are sometimes laughable--as is the case for much Van Beuren product, but the cartoon is funny as hell and the music is catchy, to say the least. Although the subject matter deals with 'down home' farm and animal troubles, The Farmerette is a prime example of the New York animation output of the early 1930s, and it serves as a segue to go back in time to the earliest days of animation production in this city.

    From the beginning...

    Lightning Sketches
    Lightning Sketches (1907). Produced by J. Stuart Blackton at Vitagraph Studios. This very short film is one of the earliest, and few, surviving examples of a filmed 'chalk talk.' Early studios like Edison had filmed extremely brief clips of artists, such as Flushing, Queens resident R. F. Outcalt of Buster Brown fame sketching on a drawing board. In a similar but more notable case, Blackton took a popular vaudeville act of the time, the chalk talk, in which an artist draws humorous sketches for the audience, and adapted it for the screen. By using basic editing-in-camera techniques, Blackton produced crude, novel animated effects concerning the subjects he has drawn, such as a caricature of a man smoking or a seltzer bottle spritzing its contents into a glass of wine. Lightning Sketches, although extant for some time, has been a rarely-seen Blackton entry post-dating his famous and oft-seen Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906). Music by Robert Israel.

    The Haunted Hotel
    The Haunted Hotel (1907). Produced by J. Stuart Blackton and Vitagraph Studios. The Haunted Hotel is one of several early films, produced by various studios in America and abroad, that depicted the then-popular vaudeville act of the same title. A wanderer in the night, played by William V. Ranous, finds himself in a haunted hotel. Mysterious figures appear and objects in the room move on their own; on stage this was achieved using thin wires, but again basic editing was used for the illusion of things moving or disappearing in this early film. A mostly live-action film, this Vitagraph novelty is especially notable for its extensive stop-motion animation sequence. A loaf of bread is cut by a knife, a drink is poured, all on their own. A toy clown--clearly from the Humpty Dumpty Circus, a popular toy set of the early 20th century--walks around the table without any aid and smokes a pipe. Ranous' character, continuously flabbergasted throughout the film, suffers a most unfortunate fate at the end of this surreal early trick film and stop-motion animation gem. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to the Library of Congress.
    The Artist’s Dream

    The Artist's Dream (1913). Produced by J.R. Bray. Proudly presented by yours truly as well as the Bray Animation Project, this film was Bray's first successful animation project. For a few years prior to 1913, Bray had attempted animating his wildly popular Little Johnny and the Teddy Bears comic strip. He later reminisced, albeit glumly, that it would take far too much time and effort to make an animated cartoon--without shortcut techniques--especially considering that there were backgrounds and more than just one character to reproduce in each frame. By 1913, Bray had discovered (and patented) a process by which backgrounds could be printed and only the areas of the frame or character(s) that needed to move in a particular frame could be painted or drawn on top of that sheet, accordingly. This process was likely 'adopted' from Winsor McCay by Bray after a visit to McCay's studio, and the infamously litigious Bray later took legal recourse against McCay who did not take out a license on Bray's patent. In this novelty film, featuring live-action sequences intercut with animated segments, Bray plays an artist who draws a dachshund on his easel. Shocked, upon returning to the easel various times after the dog has either moved around or stolen sausages placed above a cupboard (during the animation sequences), Bray summons a friend to take a look at the situation. In the final animated segment, the dog explodes after eating more sausages. It turns out this was all a dream--at the end of the film, Bray is awoken by his actual wife, Margaret, who thinks he should quit napping and get back to work. The Artist's Dream was a highly exciting offer to Pathe at the time, who did well with the film, and signed Bray on to produce many more animated cartoons at a time when there was no such product regularly offered in theaters. Dream was the beginning of an animation empire, and more about its (and Bray's) significance can be found at the Bray Animation Project website. In the 1940s or 50s, Bray gave the film an alternate title; The Dachshund and the Sausages, and replaced all of its main and inter-titles. New close-up shots of the dish containing sausages were also added to aid continuity in viewing an already aged and problematic print. These changes are present in this newly remastered version, as no original version of the film has surfaced to date. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to Cinematheque Quebecoise.


    Down on the Phoney Farm
    Down on the Phoney Farm (1915) Produced by Paul Terry. Phoney Farm is a relatively new and highly significant discovery made within the last two years. It had been assumed that none of Terry's earliest animated works survived, at least none of the cartoons predating his Farmer Al Falfa series produced at Bray Studios (which now survives almost in its entirety). The find occurred when David Gerstein and I were viewing a reel of unidentified film clips preserved at the Library of Congress. After some pondering, initial excitement and then checking against period reviews, it became obvious that the primitive fragment of a crude farmer character we were watching was indeed Terry's second film, Down on the Phoney Farm. I was unaware that Farmer Al had been featured in an animated cartoon prior to the Bray series, so this was indeed an exciting find. Farm was the second of two cartoons distributed by Thanhouser in 1915, after an unsuccessful earlier attempt that Terry made to distribute his pilot works. What is presented here seems to be a fragment, but may be close to complete. Farmer Al waters the ground and out of it grows a frothy mug of beer; shortly thereafter he suggests that his cow drink a cocktail. Al is then chased around the farm, and bows at the end after outsmarting his drunken farm animal friend. The film is both primitive and fascinating; one very intriguing technique used is that a new scene is fully “drawn” from scratch, but without showing an artist’s hand, as was common in certain silent cartoon series. This very historically significant cartoon was the debut of a character whose appearances spanned more than forty years; throughout several hundred cartoons in the silent and early sound period, as well as in color cartoons of the 1940s and new television spots in the 1950s. Farmer Alfalfa is often remembered by some baby boomers as “Farmer Gray,” an alternate character name given by some TV kid show hosts in the 1950s who were showing the silent Aesop’s Fables cartoons as part of their programming. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to the Library of Congress.

    Bobby Bumps Starts for School
    Bobby Bumps Starts for School (1917) Directed by Earl Hurd and produced by Bray Studios. In animation history, the Bobby Bumps series is of utmost importance. Bumps was the creation of innovator Earl Hurd, who developed the cel system. The series was actually adapted from an earlier comic strip of Hurd’s, entitled Brick Bodkins’ Pa. Some have described Bobby as the Bart Simpson of the silent cartoon era; and this is a fairly true assessment. The youngster was seemingly always in some kind of trouble; a dreamer and creative type who usually annoyed the family (or their maid Goldie) upon executing various schemes or adventures with his dog Fido. In Starts for School, Bobby would very much rather be playing baseball with Fido than concentrate on his history lesson at school. So, to try and prolong recess, he (and Fido) go up into the bell tower and prevent the bell from being rung by physically hanging inside of it. Mayhem ensues, the bell tower collapses onto his teacher (who has fallen off of the roof!), and the finale of the film finds Bobby and Fido bringing flowers to the teacher’s hospital room. For more information on Bobby Bumps, visit the Bray Animation Project page dedicated to the series. The print presented is a version with television-era main and end titles, circa 1950. Music composed and performed by Ben Model.

    Trip to Mars
    Trip to Mars (1924) Directed by Dave Fleischer and produced by Max Fleischer. An entry in the Out of the Inkwell series, Trip to Mars finds Max sending Ko-Ko the clown up to Mars...against his own will, of course! Out of the Inkwell and its star clown character was, like Bobby Bumps, an immensely significant fixture in the silent-era animation scene. Max Fleischer, an inventor and technical artist, got his start at Bray animating technical and educational films dealing with World War I technology subjects as well as general science films, such as The Electric Bell and Eclipse of the Sun. As far as his early work is concerned, however, Fleischer is best remembered for patenting the rotoscope animation technique, and, as the fable goes, tracing film footage of his brother Dave who was a clown at Coney Island, to produce a new form of animated films. Out of the Inkwell cartoons were first released as part of the Goldwyn-Bray Magazine in the late 1910s and the series eventually led to the Fleischer brothers starting their own studio. The rest of what the Fleischer studio accomplished later in the sound-era--Betty Boop, Popeye, Color Classic, Superman, Gulliver’s Travels--is history. Special thanks to Mark Kausler for providing a circa 1930 reissue soundtrack for this film.


    Fireman Save My Child
    Fireman Save My Child (1919) Produced by Bud Fisher, possibly directed by Charles Bowers. In this early Fox release, Mutt and Jeff are firemen. As one would expect, the wildly famous comic strip characters of the day get into quite jam as firefighters; Mutt spends some time hanging off a building. Jeff is wholly contented with frying some eggs over by the horse-drawn fire truck, and feeding the horse too, of course...while everyone else is consumed by the mayhem. At least two or three hundred Mutt and Jeff cartoons were produced in the silent-era; though most of the pre-1925-1926 Dick Huemer-era titles remaining elusive today. Some have resurfaced in France; though it is difficult to properly identify French prints as no copyright synopses exist (the series was seemingly not copyrighted), release titles given were often vague, and most of these particular cartoons were not reviewed by trade papers of the time. This cartoon was sourced from a 1930s French Kodascope print, with new main, end, and intertitles recreated by David Gerstein. Music by Robert Israel.

    The Bomb Idea
    The Bomb Idea (1920) Produced by International Film Service for Bray Studios. Likely animated by Vernon Stallings and/or Walter Lantz. The Bomb Idea is an entry in the Jerry on the Job series, started first at International Film Service and then produced for and released by Bray Studios in 1919 thru 1922. The plot is simple: Jerry, Mr. Givney, and other locals become worried when, after reading a newspaper article about the threat of Bolshevism, a strange man arrives at the New Monia station carrying what appears to be a bomb. As it turns out, the man is a “Champion Bowler” and is wandering around, practicing his bowling skills, but he is scared away after the New Monia clan begin fighting in a dust cloud out of primal fear of this strange, possibly dangerous man. This is one of many examples of Bray cartoons preserved by Keystone Manufacturing Corporation’s 16mm prints produced for home use in the 1940s, and it is presented with its Keystone introduction title accordingly. Music composed and performed by Ben Model.

    Scents and Nonsense
    Scents and Nonsense (1926) Directed by Bill Nolan and animated by Jack King. As the legend goes, it is purported that in 1948 or thereabouts, one Margaret J. Winkler made a very unfortunate decision. Winkler was a pioneer, perhaps the first female film distributor, who was very active in the 1920s and handled series Out of the Inkwell, Felix the Cat, Disney’s Alice Comedies, and Krazy Kat at one point or another. Unlike a couple of her contemporaries, Winkler did not have the foresight to understand that her old film stock would have value as time slot filler material in the burgeoning new medium of television. Winkler ordered her film negatives destroyed so she could finally eliminate storage bills, and an entire series of silent Krazy Kat cartoons were part of the stock that was burned. As such, most of these cartoons have been difficult or completely impossible to see today, though some have survived in rare, original nitrate prints or very obscure 16mm prints made for home use. Scents and Nonsense concerns Krazy’s scheme to make money by selling furs of captured animals to a Jewish furrier, but his plan doesn’t go so well when he tries to sell a raccoon and then a pig to the gent. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to the Library of Congress.

    Springtime (1923) Produced by Paul Terry. Earlier in the program, we showcased a very rare and significant Terry cartoon, one of his first and the debut of Farmer Alfalfa. The program concludes with a more familiar Farmer Al; that of his 1920s incarnation as part of the Aesop’s Fables series. In this very funny entry, Farmer Al is dismayed that he can’t get the attention of a couple women at the beach. When the women ogle at a bow-legged man and then a “sun-burnt” gentleman, Al sets out to destroy himself with the aid of a cat sidekick in hopes of mimicking the other men so that he, too, could hopefully catch a stare from the ladies. The plan fails, of course, but the cartoon doesn’t end before Al winds up roasting on a spit and gets chased by a lovesick monkey who confuses Al for a long-lost mate. The print presented was originally part of the Kodascope Film Library, an early film rental service and is presented with its 16mm rental titles. Music by Robert Israel.

    It’s time for that special message I mentioned earlier!

    If you support seeing this kind of material on television, please make your concerns known. Turner Classic Movies relies heavily on viewer feedback and sentiments expressed on their online forums. If you enjoyed this broadcast and want to see more, definitely say so here. Jerry Beck also strongly urges you to share your thoughts with TCM. I thank you kindly for your support!

    For those of you who caught this broadcast, I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly and were able to appreciate the lovely high-def transfers, restoration work, and brilliant new music scores. Any of you who have questions or concerns about these early cartoons or my work in collecting, archiving and sharing them, can definitely contact me at cartoonsonfilm (at) gmail (dot) com.

    -Tom Stathes
              White Women, Black Hairstyles        

    Check out these photos by artist Endia Beal, who got white women to get so-called “Black hairstyles” and then pose for portraits in a series called “Can I Touch It?” Beal, who is Black, said she wanted to challenge the notion of what baby boomers consider to be a professional appearance in the workplace. To […]

    White Women, Black Hairstyles article is originally written by Hairstyles 2017 - Trendy Haircuts and Hair Colors

              Baby Boomers and Glutathione The Other Side of Baby Boomers        
    People who belong in the age of mid-40s or beyond it are part of the Baby Boomer Generation. And some of these 79 million Boomers will soon be facing the day of their retirement.

    People of the new generation usually perceive these Boomers as generally wealthy and are able to sustain their lives after they retire. This notion, however, is a mask that hides the pang of truth, for not the entire people included in Baby Boomers Generation are living a life in affluence.

    Truth is some of these Boomers suffer in their means of living too. Hence, they are incapable to sustain their lives the moment they retire.

    For these Boomers who are seeking for more means to be able to sustain their lives after their retirement or even for those who just wants to have financial security, the approach of network marketing is introduced. And this is apt to those who would want to achieve a healthy family lifestyle.

    Network marketing is also termed as multi-level-marketing (MLM), and this is known to create a new chance as well as cultivate unlimited potentials in income. The processes that are involved here are very simple; it can be done wherever the person is, whether he is over the telephone, in his home or using his computer's Internet.

    If you are interested to engage in network marketing all you have to do is to find a company with the right tools, proper approach and endorsements. Try to consider also the winning products of the company as well as the faultless timing.

    Choosing the right company will help one to get out from too much struggles in money. Surely, it can provide a good income without creating a stress on you due to conflicting time.

    Here, you will be able to manage your own time with limitless potentials in your earnings.

    However, though it sounds good, the success in network marketing will still depend on your effort. Like any other jobs, network marketing will definitely still require relentless efforts as well as long hours of work for sometime.

    What made the network marketing a comfortable job as compared to others is that you will have a very flexible time. There is also the presence of satisfaction in managing your own business.

    Here, you have no boss but yourself, and you will not need any employees too. And your earnings will lie on your hands, the harder you work, the more successful you can be.

    The moment you establish Network Marketing all you have to do is to maintain and keep up your income level with the right company. Through this you still have the time to spend with your family while providing them a better life at the same time.

    Now, if you are not a part of the Baby Boomer Generation, you may still engage in network marketing. In fact you have a good asset; the Baby Boomers are viewed as a good target for network marketing services and products.

    In fact the Business Week Online's October 24 issue last 2005 presented "Love Those Boomers," this topic directly pointed out that the Baby Boomers are a good target for network marketing.

    Why? The reason is simple. There are approximately 77 Million Boomers in America. And there are roughly a Billion of them globally.

    Putting them in figures, they are about 27.5 percent of the population in America, found in 45.8 million households.

    Their spending power in each year alone ranges to about $2.1 Trillion Dollars. Their yearly income on household pre-tax is about 57.7 thousand dollars. And their yearly spending for each household ranges to $45.7 thousand dollars. Their poverty rate is only about 7.3 percent.

    No wonder the Baby Boomers are regarded as a driving force in America's major trends. To attest this, Baby Boomers increased the sales of a Gerber product, baby food, to about two million containers in the late 40s and early 50s.

    The same thing happened to shoes, clothing and toy products as these Baby Boomers started to grow up.

    Whether you are a Baby Boomer or not, you may engage in network marketing, in fact there are some who suggests that in someway this is a better alternative to some American job that has a monotonous routine.

    To learn about bichon poodle, deer head chihuahua and other information, visit the Small Breed Dogs website.

    baby boomers and glutathione: susan juricek

    baby boomers and glutathione: susan juricek

    Article Source:

              Postponing Retirement: Will You Have to Work Forever?        
    I heard recently from an old friend who had been financially responsible her whole life but a layoff several years ago derailed her savings. Now she’s nearing 60 and panicked about whether she’ll be able to retire when she had originally planned to — if at all. Sound familiar? As the slowly recovering economy plods along, and many Americans confront shortfalls in retirement savings, these are common refrains from baby boomers and Generation X. It can be a shock to realize that your much-anticipated retirement may not happen on the day — or month or year — you initially envisioned it and in the style you dreamed about. But many Americans are continuing to work past the traditional retirement age of 65 — or are re-entering the workforce after they’ve retired. July data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 7 million Americans age 65 and older were still in the workforce, up 63% from a decade ago. Some may continue working by choice, but many are likely still working due to financial necessity. According to new survey findings from the Society of Actuaries, more than 4 in 10 preretirees who do not expect to retire say it’s because they can’t afford to do so. (MORE: Stay-at-Home Parents: Six Money Secrets for Families Shifting to One Income) To add to the stress, the emotional adjustment can be an even bigger challenge if you’re reconsidering your retirement date. So if you’re looking at your financial statements with a gulp, what can you do? 1. Don’t Get Hung Up on Age You might think of 65 as being the year that you should retire. But consider when and how this “traditional” retirement age originated — and whether it makes any sense today. In 1935 the Social Security Act set the minimum age for receiving full retirement benefits at 65. But men born in 1930 were only expected to live until age 58. Today the average life expectancy is 75 for men and 80 for women. So look on the bright side: you might
              [Vidéo] Social Media Revolution        

    Une vidéo superbement réalisée... et qui amène à la réflexion sur les réseaux sociaux comme twitter ou facebook....

    Is social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution? Welcome to the World of Socialnomics

    Je vous préviens, vous allez avoir votre dose de statistiques pour la semaine par contre :)

       *   By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers -- 96 percent of them have joined a social network.
       * Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the Web.
       * One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
       * Years to reach 50 millions users: Radio, 38 years; TV, 13 years; Internet, 4 years; iPod, 3 years. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months; iPhone applications hit 1 billion in nine months.
       * If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's fourth largest, between the United States and Indonesia.
       * Yet, some sources say China's QZone is larger, with more than 300 million using their services (Facebook's ban in China plays into this).
       * ComScore indicates that Russia has the most engaged social media audience, with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month -- is the number one social network.
       * A 2009 U.S. Department of Education study revealed that, on average, online students outperformed those receiving face-to-face instruction.
       * One in six higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum.
       * Eighty percent of companies use LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees.
       * The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55- to 65-year-old females.
       * Ashton Kutcher and Ellen DeGeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway, and Panama.
       * Eighty percent of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime. Imagine what that means for bad customer experiences!
       * Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé. Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen in 2009.
       * What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook...
       * YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
       * Wikipedia has more than 13 million articles. Some studies show it's more accurate than Encyclopædia Britannica. Seventy-eight percent of these articles are non-English.
       * There are more than 200,000,000 blogs.
       * Fifty-four percent of bloggers post content or tweet daily.
       * Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth.
       * If you were paid $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $156.23 per hour.
       * Facebook users translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than two weeks and cost Facebook $0.
       * Twenty-five percent of search results for the world's top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
       * Thirty-four percent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.
       * People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them.
       * Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust peer recommendations.
       * Only 14 percent trust advertisements.
       * Only 18 percent of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI.
       * Ninety percent of TiVo users skip ads.
       * Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009.
       * Twenty-five percent of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video on their phone.
       * According to Jeff Bezos, 35 percent of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available.
       * Twenty-four of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news -- the news finds us.
       * In the near future, we won't search for products and services; they will find us via social media.
       * More than 1.5 million pieces of content (Web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook daily.
       * Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy -- listening first, selling second.
       * Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertisers.

              More Millennials Are Using HELOCs As Home Equity Rises        
    April 04, 2017

    Homeowners gained a collective $570 billion in equity throughout 2016, bringing the number of homeowners with “tappable” equity up to 39.5 million, according to Black Knight Financial Services. Ben Graboske, EVP at Black Knight, expects to see more home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) than cash-out refinances, and more Millennials are using HELOCs than Gen Xers or baby boomers. Home remodeling was the No. 1 reason for taking out a HELOC last year, according to TD Bank.

    Read more

              Baby Boomers Are Keeping Their Homes, Leaving First-Time Buyers Scrambling        

    The older generations own more than half of the nation’s homes

    August 08, 2017
    Existing house in California

    Photo: David Sawyer/Wikimedia Commons

    While Millennials may represent the future of the housing market, Baby Boomers are dominating the present.

    Bloomberg reports that people age 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied homes, up from 43 percent a decade ago, and the largest share since the government began collecting data in 1900, according to a report from Trulia. People between 18 and 34 only own 11 percent of the nation’s owner-occupied homes.

    Several factors make it easier for older adults to stay in their homes. Longtime owners get property-tax exemptions, and advancements in universal design and home renovation make aging in place feasible and desirable. Recent studies and surveys determined that many older adults prefer to stay near family and friends rather than uproot and move somewhere warmer and sunnier. Plus, people simply live longer today.

    The lack of movement from Baby Boomers, along with the nation’s shortage of newly built homes, is forcing younger buyers to compete harder for the few homes that are available.

    Bloomberg followed around Jake Yanoviak, a 23-year-old who goes door-to-door in Philadelphia, asking older homeowners if they’d be willing to sell their properties to him. Naturally, he’s been getting icy responses.

    Read more

              Tyler Cowen on Stubborn Attachments, Prosperity, and the Good Society        

    Stubborn%20Attachments.png Tyler Cowen of George Mason University and the co-host of the blog Marginal Revolution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Stubborn Attachments, his book-length treatment of how to think about public policy. Cowen argues that economic growth--properly defined--is the moral key to maintaining civilization and promoting human well-being. Along the way, the conversation also deals with inequality, environmental issues, and education.

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    Readings and Links related to this podcast episode

    Related Readings
    This week's guest: This week's focus: Additional ideas and people mentioned in this podcast episode: A few more readings and background resources: A few more EconTalk podcast episodes:


    Podcast Episode Highlights

    Intro. [Recording date: July 24, 2017.]

    Russ Roberts: This is your 10th appearance on EconTalk.

    Tyler Cowen: Yeah. That's great.

    Russ Roberts: I know. It is. It puts you in the elite group of double-digit guests. Your most recent appearance was two months ago in May when we talked about your book The Complacent Class; and today we're talking a new book that you've written that's online--you can find it at; we're going to be putting a link up to it. The title is Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals. What's your central claim or claims? What are you trying to advance in this book?

    Tyler Cowen: Since I was a graduate student I've been interested in the normative foundations of economics and political judgments. And in this book I try to argue we can actually solve the biggest issues in judging what makes a political or economic order right, why do we prefer one economic policy over another. So, it's a very philosophical book. And, unlike a lot of philosophy, which tends to lead to a kind of an anihilism or extreme skepticism, in this I try to suggest we actually have all the answers. We just need to be bold. And we can go through what those answers are. But, that's the overview of this fairly short book. I've worked on it for about 20 years, spending maybe a month or two a year trying to improve it. And then I figured finally it was ready.

    Russ Roberts: Well, it's a really interesting book and it does make a bold claim--more than one bold claim--which your summary captures one of those claims. Which is: We've figured it out. So, that's a bit strong. It's a strong claim, not just a bold claim. What have we figured out? What do you think is the central way we should be deciding the policy issues that divide us?

    Tyler Cowen: Economists for a long time have focused on economic growth, but most philosophers typically have not. I argue that if you systematically introduce the idea of sustainable economic growth into philosophy, welfare economics, social choice theory, that that allows you really to clear up a lot of different problems. And think of the fundamental problem in so much of philosophy as being what we call aggregation. If, you know, John wants one TV show and Sally wants to watch another show, and they only have one TV, well, how do we judge which is the better outcome? There's different attempts to solve that problem. Some people are egalitarians; other people want to maximize utility of the two. But I argue we should take a straightforward economic approach and basically ask, 'Well, what would they trade to do?' and then I aggregate this approach to the whole economy. And basically if you have one economy with a rate of compound growth over time higher than that of another economy, over some number of decades one of those situations will just very clearly be better than the other for almost everyone. So, that's the starting point of the book. The chapters cover a lot more issues. But that's kind of my entry point into the stuff talked about by John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Derek Parfit and other people.


    Russ Roberts: How would you say that conclusion differs from simply saying we should pursue what's "efficient"? Which is a phrase I do not like. It has a very narrow meaning in economics: It basically means that we--well, I won't even try to summarize it. But help me out here. What's the difference between your economic approach and traditional economic welfare approaches?

    Tyler Cowen: Efficiency typically is quite a static concept. One novelty in my argument is I claim we should use an intergenerational discount rate of zero. That is, the distant future we should not discount at all. There's positive time preference within a life, but over the course of generations no one is sitting around impatiently waiting to be born. And once you adopt that move, the further-out future becomes very important for our deliberations. And then the gains from getting this higher compound rate of economic growth, they really do just overwhelm anything else in the calculation. And the typical more static or a-temporal economic treatment of efficiency--it may be useful for some problems, but it doesn't give you this whole perspective across time about how to think about, you know, social choices in general.

    Russ Roberts: I guess one way to think about it, now that I've gotten over stubbing[?] my brain there--it's earlier here in California where I'm recording this, so obviously I'm behind. One could argue that efficiency is making sure that the pie is as large as possible right now. And what you are suggesting is that we ought to make sure that the pie grows as fast as it can grow going forward.

    Tyler Cowen: That's right.

    Russ Roberts: Would you say that's a decent--?

    Tyler Cowen: That's a good way to put it. Yes.

    Russ Roberts: So, most people would say--I want to come back to the technical issue of discounting. I find your approach deeply appealing; and one piece of it deeply flawed--and I'll let you defend it. But let's just start with this idea that I think is not compelling to most people. It sounds very technocratic that we should just, 'Oh, let the economy grow as fast as possible; eventually everything will work out well.' A lot of people would find that unappealing, for one reason being it's mainly focusing on material well-being. And I know you have an answer to that; so I want you to answer that. The other, of course, is that it may leave a lot of people behind. People are very worried about that; rightfully so. So, try to deal with those two.

    Tyler Cowen: Let me first say I do adopt the qualification that maximizing growth should be subject to respecting human rights; and some human rights are absolute. We shouldn't trample over those even if it will somehow boost the growth rate. But on top of that, I think if you look at long enough time horizons, say, even relatively poor people today are much better off than they were in less wealthy societies of the 18th, 19th, or early 20th century--that they have access to cheap food, partial access to antibiotics, a much cleaner and healthier environment, safer water. And that even though some people are going to gain much more than others, if you take a longer term time perspective--I don't think you quite get to a literal unanimity of all humans being better off. Say, some people who love power or who want to see the impoverishment of others--they'll be worse off. But, from a practical point of view, virtually all people are better off, say, in a society that has 5 or 7 times the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of an alternative course for economic policy.

    Russ Roberts: So, if I might, I just want to defend you a little more, completely in your point about human rights. You also say that leisure counts. And the environment counts.

    Tyler Cowen: Absolutely. And without the environment working, none of this will be sustainable. So, the long time perspective--it both puts a higher priority on the environment, but also a higher priority on economic growth. And it gives you some metric for trading those things off against each other.


    Russ Roberts: So, I find the argument extremely compelling in many dimensions. I want to cast it in a different way, which is--I've used this in a couple of my books; I really think it's the right way to think about it--which is: If you asked a person in 1900 who suffered through economic change, who suffered through, say, the transformation of agriculture, the industrialization in the second half of the 19th century, there's a lot of hardship that that imposed. At the same time, the wellbeing of the children and grandchildren of those people were so extraordinarily and stunningly great compared to their lives that a lot of people--those people themselves would say this was a good deal. So, that to me is the logic of what you are talking about in taking a long-term perspective. But, for me, part of that requires a connection between the generations that's through love, which I think is often ignored, and it is there. And I'm wondering whether people alive today who maybe are less likely to have children than people in the past, whether some of those arguments don't work quite as well. What are your thoughts on that?

    Tyler Cowen: Well, keep in mind, this book is in a sense a companion to my trade release, The Complacent Class. And that's a book about how we're less willing to incur one-off costs for a much better future. So, if you are just asking, you know, 'How are people behaving today?' I think we have less of that willingness to sacrifice for the future; more sense of entitlement: 'I'm not going to give up anything now, no matter what it may bring later on.' So, I think we're moving in the wrong direction. I think even people who don't have children or who maybe do not love their children should be able to see the morally forcing nature of, 'We should choose the outcome that will both enable civilization to last for longer'--which is really compelling when you think about what means--'and have a higher standard of living for virtually all human beings.' I think those are the strongest values we can possibly cite, especially when combined with this notion of inalienable human rights as a kind of binding side-constraint on what we can do.

    Russ Roberts: Why is it important have a high standard of living? That sounds like a very--I know you have a much richer conception of that idea, but to most people that sounds very--it's something an economist would say who doesn't have much understanding about the human experience.

    Tyler Cowen: Keep in mind this isn't just money we're talking about. It's leisure time. It's ability to maintain your health, your ability to control your time. What people value and are willing to trade off against other goods. But, people who have higher living standards, there's plenty of good evidence that they tend to be happier within their societies. They live longer lives. They suffer less pain. They recover better from trauma. They are better able to be charitable to the rest of the world or people less fortunate than they are. I think most of what we consider the virtues co-moves with having a much higher level of social wealth.

    Russ Roberts: What about the argument that right now--I don't accept the argument but many people do--that many people are left behind in our economy. They don't share in the growth: the rising tide isn't lifting all boats any more. So your argument was great in the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s; doesn't hold today.

    Tyler Cowen: Well, I think today we're doing a very bad job at maximizing the rate of economic growth. So, if a person is complaining that right now we're not doing what I'm suggesting, I'm fully on board with that. Do I think there are plenty of changes we can make to economic policy that would both boost growth and improve the lot of people who are less fortunate--say, starting with education, or deregulating building, or helping our society be less crony-capitalist, more mobile and so on--there's plenty we can do. We're not doing it. We're totally failing; and we're the complacent class. And we need to get our act together. And this gets back to the two books' being complements to each other: But of course we're failing at that.


    Russ Roberts: I guess--let's take some particular issues. Other people would pick different issues that they think are holding the economy back. And I want you to use the framework of the book to try to deal with them. And, underlying some of your claims, I would say--at least the way I read it and correct me if I'm wrong--there's a view that the Left and the Right could come together on many of these issues and not disagree as much as they appear to. So, issues that I think about, that we fight about--Left and Right--or things like immigration, issues like minimum wage or labor market regulation, tax policy: Do you think there are choices--there are opportunities--choose a word--that there's low-hanging fruit in the growth sphere that we're missing that could make a big improvement and that in theory Left and Right could agree on?

    Tyler Cowen: Sure. Just to take tax policy: American tax policy is one of the most complicated in the world. In some regards we tax capital at too high a rate; it slows down innovation. You have American firms shifting operations or just accounting profits overseas for the sole purpose of evading tax; that can really make sense. Most economists--and I include Democrats in this designation; Republicans, Democrats--think we could have a much better tax code and it would boost our rate of growth. So, we should do it.

    Russ Roberts: Okay; well, I think the idea is--that's one I think there is some agreement on among economists. Examples like lowering the corporate tax rate or changing the way we treat profits overseas. But the height of marginal rates--I guess the thing that comes to my mind, when I was reading your book--when I was being trained as an economist, there was this so-called equity-and-efficiency tradeoff. It's kind of what your book is about, at least the way it was framed when I was younger. Which is that if we try to redistribute income on the grounds of fairness or political expediency, either one, that we're going to pay a price in either efficiency--the pie is going to be smaller than it would be--or, more importantly in your case, the pie is not going to grow as fast. What evidence do you think we have that there is this potentially much higher growth rate awaiting us if we had better economic policy?

    Tyler Cowen: Well, let me first just go back a second and say I do think some redistributions could boost the rate of economic growth a lot, and they have in the past: Public health programs would be an example. Giving poor people more resources so they have more opportunity and they have a better chance to become creators or maybe even later, inventors. So, I don't think it means no redistribution. I think it says we should check redistribution by what kinds of redistribution will maximize the growth rate. I think in many particular individual areas in economics there is good evidence that particular reforms would boost economic growth. There is work by Enrico Moretti, for instance, that by deregulating building this would boost GDP and give people more opportunity that would be pro-egalitarian as well. Medical innovation: I think there's good evidence there that some policies have helped it; other policies have hurt it. Obviously, we should do more to help it. The tax code: I think there's some economic issues that don't fit into my book. So, you mentioned the minimum wage, what everyone thinks of that. And I tend to be skeptical of minimum wages. But I don't think there's anything in the framework of my book that clears up whether or not we should do it, because odds are it could well be neutral with respect to growth, even if there's this one-time reason not to put those people out of work. So, I don't think the framework handles all economic issues, but those that are growth-related or growth-sensitive, yes.


    Russ Roberts: Let's talk about the mobility issue, and we'll start with inside the country. You referenced Moretti's work on regulation of housing supply; and a lot of people are starting to wonder about this. What's your take on this? Do you think we've made--it appears, it seems to me, and I don't have strong evidence for it, but it seems to me we've made a catastrophic set of mistakes in urban housing policy that, for reasons that--we can debate what the underlying cause is--but, a lot of people would be more productive living in the larger American cities. And those cities have become extremely expensive. I find it interesting that we--we have a lot of stories to tell about it, but the evidence is not so open and shut. Or, maybe you think it is. Talk about that.

    Tyler Cowen: I wouldn't say it's open and shut. But here's the thing that happened that surprised many people, myself included. The extent to which clustering benefits--having so many smart tech people together in San Francisco, or so many people in the arts or creative industries together in New York or Manhattan--those lately have been a lot stronger than most people expected. I think there was a sense of, 'Well, maybe I don't favor these building restrictions, but maybe, you know, there'll be overflow: some people will move to Atlanta. They'll move to Tulsa, OK, or wherever. They won't be quite as productive, but, you know, we'll work around it.' And how wrong that's turned out to have been. I think information technology in particular, is remarkably clustered. It's a bit like movie project evaluation in Hollywood or finance in New York, London, and Hong Kong. So, we're moving more toward clustering. And that's made, you know, a more or less constant policy be a lot more costly. And I think, you know, there are studies, like the Moretti articles. But also, just intuitively, you see productive people who want to move to San Francisco and they tell you, 'Hey, I can't afford it.' You then go to San Francisco; you see there's plenty of room there. I don't want to quite call that a proof; but what I would refer to as the anecdotal dimension. It very strongly supports the statistical work.

    Russ Roberts: Yah, let's talk about that clustering for a minute. It's a digression, but it's one that intrigues me. We invoke that--that clustering argument, that people are more productive around people like them. But, of course, you don't interact with most of them. You can't, almost by definition--just the physical constraints of human life and time. So, I happen to be in the Bay Area for the summer; I'm recording this on the Stanford campus, which sometimes feels like the center of the tech universe. And I meet a lot of really smart people here who are working in startups or in larger firms. And, is it really important that they are near other really smart people? It's hard to understand, for me. The place feels alive about these issues. It feels like a more dynamic place than, say, suburban Maryland where I live during the year. But, what's the underlying reality that's driving that productivity that we claim? I'm not sure that I understand what it is.

    Tyler Cowen: Keep in mind, in an indirect way you do interact with all of them. So, there's some kind of aggregation mechanism for information, so the best ideas get passed along, and you are in closer contact with those ideas. You understand them better in context. So, maybe if, in only the course of a week you only speak to 10 people; but those 10 people have spoken to 10 people who in turn--and so on down a chain. And what gets passed along are the best ideas relative to, say, the Bay Area. It's like being the Think Tank world in or near Washington, D.C. In the course of a week or month, how many other Think Tankers do I meet? You know, it depends where I go. But even if I only meet a few, what I'm hearing are the best dribs and drabs that world is producing. And then, on the hiring side, when you are going out to give people a job and set them to work doing something, and your company might have to ramp up quickly--you know, in the tech world you can't do that in Tallahassee. Actually, in the public policy world, you really can't do that in San Francisco very well. So, you know, I even live some of that firsthand as having a role at Mercatus Center and George Mason University doing hiring; and you see just how important that clustering is. If you are doing public policy work, you want to be near Washington, D.C. And you do learn from everyone here, even if you only meet with 10 of them.

    Russ Roberts: I don't think I've ever heard it romanticized that way, as "dribs and drabs." But I think you meant it in a positive way.

    Tyler Cowen: Yes, absolutely. I was [?].


    Russ Roberts: Let me think about it maybe a slightly different way, which ties into this point about mobility. If a firm did start in Tallahassee, and it didn't work out--which most of them of course don't--most startups don't make it--you've got to move from Tallahassee. You've got to leave. You've got to start over. I think one of these advantages of these clusters that we are talking about is that once you are there--and I'm talking now about the worker, not the firm, but of course the firm also have economies of scale in this. But for a worker, you know, if it doesn't work out at Google, there are other places I can work that demand my skills; and I don't have to relocate to Minneapolis or Boston or New York or Washington or Chicago. And that's nice. Maybe--

    Tyler Cowen: Especially for two-earner couples, right?

    Russ Roberts: Correct, where you've got to find that second--

    Tyler Cowen: [?]

    Russ Roberts: Yeah. That just reinforces the point. I just wonder: I feel like we've made everything just a little harder for people to relocate, both in terms of real estate policy, and maybe some of it's emotional--maybe some of it's a wealth effect, that we don't like to start over when we're successful. I'm just trying to figure out why it's different. Why is it different now than 25, 30, 40, 50 years ago? It's hard to understand. Right? It's easy to tell the story at a point in time. It's a little harder to make the claim over time, it seems to me.

    Tyler Cowen: Well, look at what's grown in our economy. It's been information technology, finance, and creative industries, among other areas. Those are all very clustering-intensive. Something like cement production--you know, the cement producers are not all clustered in one part of Ohio. They are fairly spread out through the country because transporting cement is costly. So, so much of our economic growth has coming in clustering intensive areas. That's changed a lot. Schooling has become more of a race: there is a lot more credentialism. So, having your kid in the right school is more important. And that makes, say, Manhattan, San Francisco, much more problematic: you've got to pay for private schooling. For a lot of parents, that has changed and intensified. So, I think there are some things we can point to that seem pretty clearly in line with the overall story. The world being globalized, also. You want to reach global markets. Well, that's harder to do from Tallahassee. It's easier from New York or San Francisco. So, the value of being there is now much higher.

    Russ Roberts: Why do you think credentialism has grown the way it has? Why is it so important? Why do parents suffer? And that slightly goes against your point earlier about being willing to sacrifice for the future. Right? Parents relentlessly sacrifice for their children, to get them into the best private schools, the best universities. And, I've always been somewhat of a skeptic on that for my children. Part of it's my educational past. And part of it's just I feel like I've been in the kitchen. And, I know what the differences are between the most prestigious and the not-quite-as-prestigious schools. And it's a big premium that people pay for it; and personally, it's not worth it for me. But what do you think--why has that gotten "worse" or, depending on your view of it, why has it changed so much in the last 20 years?

    Tyler Cowen: Some of it is the law. So there are more licenses for more professions than ever before. Some of it is just overall growth of the service sector which tends to have more certification, even if it's of the non-legal sort. I think some of it is the greater complexity and indeed value of production: so, a lot of entrepreneurs, they don't want to take so many chances, so they want the Masters' degree or the Ivy League or Top 30 education, whatever it will be. And then some of it is this kind of signaling game where it inches up, what credential you need; in every generation it gets a bit worse. And it used to be to be an undergraduate degree; now it's a Masters'. Maybe someday it will be a Ph.D. And that's just institutions getting out of whack and no one really pulling the plug and really just saying, 'No.' I think all of those put together.

    Russ Roberts: Isn't some of it just demographic? That a very large cohort of the offspring of baby boomers is going through the university pipeline and there isn't enough? The costs of entry are very high. It's very difficult to start a first-rate university from scratch--

    Tyler Cowen: Sure. Harvard doesn't take[?] that many more people. Yeah--

    Russ Roberts: Yeah. Which is a puzzle, by the way.

    Tyler Cowen: Yes, I agree.

    Russ Roberts: They've tried to, right? Implicitly. Most of the great universities now are using MOOCs (massive open online courses) in other ways to extend their franchise and market share in a different dimension. But it's not--if you think of university as I do, as a finishing school for certain types of people, that role is very difficult to get online. So, the networking and the socialization part of college, the--what people are really willing to pay for, and they want a certain kind of product that's very difficult to create from scratch, almost by definition.

    Tyler Cowen: Well, the actual degree, the four-year degree with your name on it: Harvard admissions have gone up a bit; Princeton, Yale--they are working on it a little. But it's nothing compared to what a normal market would bring, which is this huge increase in demand stemming from globalization and higher return to skills--

    Russ Roberts: Yup--

    Tyler Cowen: and you would think, like, these schools would grow by a factor of 5, 10, 15. Whatever. But, of course, it's nothing like that. Maybe they boost admissions by 10% and then boast about it and say they are doing their best. And they cut tuition for the poorest students. But it's basically the same game but with more people trying to rush through the entrance.


    Russ Roberts: Let's think about that just for a second. Why is it--and when I was at [the University of] Chicago in graduate school in the 1980s, in the late 1970s, Chicago had struggled in the late 1960s and 1970s with crime. And they thought about relocating--I think to Arizona. It's interesting that they didn't start a second campus. And then things got better. But--and they decided to stay. I think it was a threat to the city, basically: Rumor had it that the city punished Hyde Park, where the University is, for not supporting Mayor Daly and other Democratic candidates. So they would give them--they supported them in the election, but in the Primary they would always support the challenger. And so they'd give them lousy police service and lousy roads--no clearing--and garbage pickup. So the University created its own police department. Which was pretty effective. But they threatened to move--partially, I think just as a threat. But, why didn't they--not move, but why don't they create, why don't universities create franchises, extend the brand name? It's one thing to say, 'Well, Stanford wouldn't be Stanford if were 70,000 students.' That's true. But why isn't there a Stanford East, or a Harvard West, or a Chicago South? Why don't universities--or a George Mason West? You know, George Mason has a much better reputation than its sort-of on-paper quality--because it's distinctive. And its economics department is a huge part of that. Why wouldn't George Mason try to exploit that reputational advantage somewhere else outside of Virginia?

    Tyler Cowen: I think it's hard to do. Keep in mind what makes George Mason, say, special, is faculty of a particular kind. So you can't duplicate those faculty in a Star-Trek-like machine. You might hope to hire the equivalent. But to tell people, 'Well, there's this new school, George Mason West.' And it's starting with near-zero faculty and you're the first one to go there; and the colleagues you really want to interact with, they are 3000 miles away. I'm not saying no one would take it. But it's not such a compelling offer if faculty is a scarce asset. Keep in mind: Many schools do now have branches. Most commonly you see this branching into Singapore. There's a bit into China. Some--George Mason has a program in Korea. These are all new. We're not sure how they'll go. I think some of them actually will work. So, the branching we're seeing is into this high-demand area of Asia. And I think there's also about admitting too many Asians into the main campus branch for a lot of schools. And this is a way around that.

    Russ Roberts: Yeah, but I think you are--obviously, the faculty is a key part. I don't know how--it's quite as irreplaceable or unduplicatable as you might want to think. But, you'd think there would be some faculty who might want to live somewhere else other than Fairfax.

    Tyler Cowen: I think that a Harvard/California could work. I believe normatively Harvard should do it. I see zero signs they are about to. It would mean a dilution of control, a lot of headaches, a lot of new legal issues. You know, some reputational risk. But you could increase the number of people getting into some version of Harvard by really quite a bit. And that would be a wonderful thing for the country. And the world.

    Russ Roberts: So, I'm going to suggest a simpler explanation for this. Which is: Nobody has an incentive to do it. The faculty like where they are, mostly. There's no owner. The alums [alumni, alumns--Econlib Ed.] are something of a residual claimant. They are probably against this. They, as you say, they risk diluting their own reputational name.

    Tyler Cowen: That's right. They are significant, the alums.

    Russ Roberts: Yup, very. But it's just interesting how--it always bewilders my parents--that no one's really--there's no boss in a modern American university. The Provost or the President only give the illusion of control. It's a very strange enterprise. And it's interesting because it's something we ought to think about given how important it is, or at least how important it seems to be in our lives--both not just material lives, in the economic growth that we're talking about, but in other ways as well.

    Tyler Cowen: But these universities, they do take other value-maximizing actions, like trying to improve the sports team or treating their donors better or having the lawn look nice on graduation day. So, they're not incapable of responding to incentives. So, I suspect this idea of control is quite central, and risk, and alums, and the administration and the board just not wanting the headaches. And it's like when a lot of departments grow, the previous incumbents lose control. Some similar issues.

    Russ Roberts: But I really think it gets at the heart of what's dysfunctional about the non-profit sector, in general--and there are many wonderful things about them, the non-profit sector; I've sung its praises many times on the program, so don't misunderstand me. But the inevitable challenge of non-profits in my experience is that they want to grow. They just want to be bigger. They will sacrifice their mission, after a while. At first, the first founders of the organization and the early leaders are passionate about the mission; and they are very careful to make sure the mission is preserved. But after a while, the leaders care about just bigger. And they are willing to sacrifice the mission if bigger is the result. And that's just because there's no incentive for them to do something else, unfortunately, except for the passion of the people who care about that mission, either of the workers or the employees or the staff; sometimes the donors. The donors do care: that's why they give, generally. But if you think about the modern American university, the amount of money that they are sitting on in the endowments is shocking, really, as a social phenomenon. Because I think most people have a romance about the university--that it's created to help people and to allow people to educate themselves, and teach them, and help transform the world. And if that were true, they would do something really different from what they are doing.

    Tyler Cowen: I like the [?] of the new university called Minerva. I don't know if you've heard of it.

    Russ Roberts: I have--

    Tyler Cowen: You spend 4 years abroad with peers in a setting--so, you live in like Istanbul, Buenos Aires. You learn things from living there, and then you take shorter, intense classes online with your group and receive instruction at a distance. That, too, is new. It's too soon to judge. But I have some hope that that will be a success and lead to some alternative models and more experimentation.

    Russ Roberts: It's just interesting as a parent of a 17-year-old and two other college students who are in traditional universities, that, the idea of a parent saying, 'Oh, you ought to try this. This looks good,' the way you might say if a new car model came out, you might encourage them to try, or a new style of clothing. The amount that's at stake with your university degree is--at least it's perceived to be quite high. And so I think the challenge that Minerva has, and other innovators, is getting people to jump who might otherwise go to a first rate brick-and-mortar university. And maybe not get the return from it that they could get at a place like this one.

    Tyler Cowen: I wish Harvard cared more about being bigger, actually. It seems to me, so many universities--they are willing to grow if they can grow in ways where they maintain some kinds of control. So, there's like new facilities; there's new external programs; there's new, say, athletics; new initiatives that require more administrators. But, just for the school to be bigger--I'm used to George Mason, which has gone from a few thousand students to 34,000 and improved quality pretty much the whole way through. Not that many schools are doing that. I'm spoilt, in a way. I know it's possible.

    Russ Roberts: Yeah. Well. It's hard to steer those cats on the faculty. We know that.


    Russ Roberts: Let's turn to some of the questions--let's go back to your book, although it's been fun talking about something only related tangentially to it. But, let's talk about what you would say is the low-hanging fruit for improving the rate of economic growth. You know, I find it deeply distressing that our current economic policy debate is over whether we should renegotiate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). It's sort of the central piece of what we're debating. I guess another piece would be our tax policy. None of which is going well. Could be political reasons for that, obviously. But some of it I think has to do with our ideological differences in the country. What would you recommend that we do to boost the economic growth rate?

    Tyler Cowen: The United States--I think we should commit truly to free trade, which we are not doing now. I think our government actually should spend more supporting scientific research. You and I may disagree on that. I think we should radically deregulate building. I feel in almost all areas of the economy we should deregulate economic activity; I would say the environment and finance are more complicated stories there. Those are partial exceptions. Have systematic tax reform and treat capital income better. Those would just be a few things offhand that I would recommend.

    Russ Roberts: What's complicated about finance?

    Tyler Cowen: We have this thing called 'deposit insurance'--

    Russ Roberts: Because I disagree with you on the science part; but if I got your whole platform, I'd be thrilled. I'd be happy to take a little too much science research that might be spent not so well, to get the rest of it. So, I'm sorry: I interrupted you. What's the issue with finance?

    Tyler Cowen: We have this thing called 'deposit insurance,' which, even if you abolished on paper, the actual guarantee in my opinion will not go away as long as we have Congress in the modern world. So that means there's some kind of backstop. So, there's always a chance financial institutions take depositors' money or creditors' money and in essence bring it to the casino to take too much risk in non-productive ways. And I do think the government has to do something to control that. My favorite direction is to have higher capital requirements. So, in essence the banks are first playing with their own money. But even capital requirements--they are not a simple thing to see through and enforce. And I think this will require a fair amount of financial regulation. And if we don't do that, we'll end up with periodic crises that will lead to even more financial regulation and possibly nationalization. So, I think that's a very tricky issue. But I don't think just, you know, hands off laissez faire makes sense there.

    Russ Roberts: What about environmental issues? You just mention them but you also spend a decent amount of time in the book talking them. How do they interact with the issues of growth that you are talking about? A lot of people would argue that growth is bad for the environment. Economists typically answer, 'Yeah, but countries that grow at higher rates and get wealthier tend to take care of the environment.' What's your take?

    Tyler Cowen: Most aspects of the environment improve with economic growth. Clean water is an example. Clean air is an example. There's something known as the Kuznets Curve--that as societies become wealthier, they do a better job cleaning up. That's true; but keep in mind, in part we have the Kuznets Curve because some government regulation is used. It's by no means entirely due to regulation, but partly it is. But, I think on this one issue of carbon, we see a lot of countries getting wealthier and not really doing much, if anything, to clean up their carbon emissions. And in that instance I would consider something like a carbon tax. And, if need be, cut taxes on other capital income to make up for the difference.

    Russ Roberts: So, you wouldn't say we should grow as fast as we can so we can adapt to the climate change that might be coming?

    Tyler Cowen: Well, I think a carbon tax is the way to grow as fast as we can. Look at it that way. We've got to tax something, right? So, you can either tax productive labor or you can tax something that with some probably emits a negative externality. In almost any model, taxing the negative externality will give you higher growth.


    Russ Roberts: At one point, you ask about what we can do to make our civilization more stable. What are you thinking about there? What do you mean by 'making our civilization more stable'? And, what kind of actions do you think would be relevant?

    Tyler Cowen: Since WWII, we've lived in this funny upswing, where so many countries have had higher and higher standards of living, and more democracy, and in general a higher degree of public order. And we've started to treat that as historically normal. I don't know whether or not it's historically normal. But if you go back and you read classic history, or study antiquity, or for that matter, you know, read the Hebrew Bible, I think you get a very different perspective on what history normally looks like. So, I think there are key issues, such as cyber-security, nuclear terrorism, foreign policy. Hardly do we ignore those things. But I don't think they are sufficiently a civilizational priority. There are forms of existential risk that we could do more to protect ourselves against. But I think we're too complacent to actually do it. And furthermore, so much of the budget is spent on other things, it comes across to people as a difficult-to-swallow tax hike. I would much rather we spend more money limiting risk at the civilizational level than what we are doing now.

    Russ Roberts: A lot of people are worried about inequality. We touched on this earlier but I want to come back to it now. And, a lot of people would argue that it's the central problem of our age; it does put our society at risk of instability because there's a pervasive sense of unfairness--is the claim. What are your thoughts on how we should deal with that and how it might interact with the growth rate that you are more focused on?

    Tyler Cowen: Well, as we've discussed, there's lots we could do that would increase opportunity for people who now are less skilled or have lower incomes. But, I'm not persuaded by the view the inequality is somehow the root cause of political instability. If I look at a place such as Poland, which right now is flirting with semi-Fascistic idea or non-democratic ideas in a dangerous way, they've had a wonderful economic performance, for the most part. A lot of productive manufacturing jobs have come into Poland, actually, from Western Europe. It's a far, far nicer and better place than it had been under Soviet domination. And yet they are flirting with illiberal ideas. Now, I don't pretend to know why that's the case. But whenever I hear a kind of simple equation of, 'Here's this domestic tendency I don't like about American policy, so I'm going to say it's the root cause behind politicians I don't like, social movements I don't like, street crime, violence, collapse of public order.' When you actually look at the literature, the literature seems to suggest inequality gives rise to some disillusionment and some disengagement. Those are bad things. But if anything causes instability, you know, it can be rising expectations in some cases. So, I don't think we really understand the political consequences of inequality. But, I hear a lot of claims batted around that probably aren't true.


    Russ Roberts: Let's turn to a philosophical question, which is utilitarianism, which you write quite a bit about in the book. I think you define yourself as a 2/3 utilitarian. What do you mean by that?

    Tyler Cowen: Well, that was a little tongue in cheek. But, I think if you are looking at a public policy, the first question you should ask should be the utilitarian question: Will this make most people better off? It's not the endpoint. You also need to ask about justice. And you should consider distribution. I think you should consider, say, how human beings are treating animals. You might want to consider other broader considerations. But that's the starting point. And if your policy fails the utilitarian test, I'm not saying it can never be good. But it has, really, a pretty high bar to clear. So, when I said "two thirds," that's what I meant.

    Russ Roberts: So, I like that, too. I mean, my view is it's sort of a starting point. It's not the end point. For a lot of people, it is the end point. But you write quite a bit--and I find it intriguing: Some of the more, harsher demands that utilitarianism might place on us. And, they are not so easy to answer. So, talk about what some of those are, about, say, having an ice cream cone when people are starving; or working selfishly at your job when you could relocate, say, as a doctor, and help poor people outside the United States. What are your thoughts on those? Talk about what some of what those issues are and then give us your take on them.

    Tyler Cowen: Well, this is the Peter Singer conundrum: How can you enjoy that active personal consumption, that chocolate ice cream cone, when, dot-dot-dot people are starving? You've been hearing this from your parents when you are a kid: How can you leave food on your plate when there's hungry children in Africa? Whatever the tale used to be. That's a morally interesting question, but I don't think it's the most relevant question. I think the most relevant question is: What can you do so the global economy grows at a higher rate? And that's going to help the poor, including in other countries more than anything else because of technology transfer, remittances, immigration. Multinationals, hiring people at higher wages, and so on. And if you ask the question, 'Well, what can I do for the poor in my own country, and other countries?' the answers will be to work really hard; try to innovate; save a lot; contribute to highly productive organizations. I do think we should feel a greater compulsion to do those things than we do now. So, I'm willing to bite that bullet. But, that to me is the moral dilemma. You know--not the ice cream cone. If the ice cream cone is what motivates people to produce value because they love ice cream, I say, 'Full steam ahead' with the ice cream cone. I'm worried that we are not innovating enough.

    Russ Roberts: Yeah. For me, the argument is, is really a failure to understand, I think the other side--that people would say--I think the example I remember from, I think it's from Will MacAskill, or he might be taking it from Singer, is: How can you throw a birthday party for your kid? That's just the most selfish thing in the world, because that amount of money could have an enormous impact on the wellbeing of a person elsewhere in a poorer society. And I guess the problem I have with that is: I don't think we have a very good understanding of how to make people's lives better who aren't living in our society. And, all these conundrums, all these puzzles and clever hypotheticals--they ignore that. They always assume: Oh, you can take this money and transform this person's life. As if there's just a box you could put the money in. We don't have that box. You know, people would say to--I love it when people say to me, 'Do you think we should give money to help education in poor countries?' and I'd say, 'No,' and they'd say, 'You are a selfish person.' And I said, 'We can't even figure out how to use money in the United States to make people's lives better in education. Why would I be so presumptuous to think I could do it in a different society, where the governance structure, the political institutions are designed often to steal that money?' I just don't see any evidence that there's such a mechanism. And to then--I'm willing to--the bullet I'd bite is to try and find mechanisms that will actually work. But the idea that somehow it's selfish of me to want to keep my money when I can't help people's lives--I don't understand it.

    Tyler Cowen: I'm more optimistic about philanthropy, perhaps, than you are. But, I would just take the stance that the much richer society will generate more philanthropy. You know, a lot of voluntary. Look at what Bill Gates is doing in Africa. I don't know that that's all working. I'm not well-informed about it. But he's certainly trying. And we know immigration works. We know having large multinationals who set up plants in other countries and hire people at hire wages--we know that works. We do know some things. I think we know, like, some number of public health programs work--if you vaccinate kids, or if we can get rid of malaria, or, you know, polio in some places, smallpox in others, that works. So, we know some things that work. And we've done a fair amount in those directions. So, to me, it would be strange to think we'll never find more things that work. But I think our path there is not kind of moralizing to people, and telling them to close up the birthday party or put down the ice cream cone. But, my goodness: Just could everyone, you know, working more, harder, smarter, and cultivating a culture of philanthropy? Which America largely has. To its benefit.

    Russ Roberts: Yeah. Don't misunderstand me. I'm a big fan of philanthropy, and I try to give away 10% of my after-tax income every year, for religious reasons; and I think there are ways to do that that are smarter than others. And I think it's important, as a human being, and as a way to make the world a better place. I think the challenge is getting those to scale and doing it in an organized way--

    Tyler Cowen: Sure.

    Russ Roberts: So, I think the tougher criticism of my view would be: How can you only give 10%? And you make that point in your book: Given my relative material prosperity, I should be giving away maybe 40%. And I think that's--it's an interesting argument. I think I have to take that--I think a thoughtful person has to take that seriously who is living, you know, an incredibly rich life, not just in material wellbeing but in all the things that that material wellbeing brings, in terms of security and comfort. So, I think it's a legitimate question. And I do think that the way to do that is through private philanthropy rather than through the, sort of, government aid--which has a really bad track record.

    Tyler Cowen: I know a person--he works in the financial sector in New York. He makes a lot of money; and he lives on almost nothing. He gives it all away. And I find that admirable. I think there should be more of it. But I wonder, given that human beings are what they are, how sustainable it would be to have too much more of it. I don't know. But I think the correct answer is to say, 'Yes, we should have more of this. Let's try a bit more and see how it goes.' I think that's right.


    Russ Roberts: But, as you point out in the book, and I think it's related to your point just now about human nature and the human condition: If you are not careful, you become a slave. So, the argument would be--well, it's not 40%, but you'd be giving 75% or 80% away--because your standard of living is so much higher than other people's. We don't have to go to poor countries outside the United States. We're going to stick with the United States, actually.

    Tyler Cowen: Fair.

    Russ Roberts: So, people in West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, you name it--in your own state: you don't have to leave your own state, just different parts--it's immoral for you to live as comfortably as you do because there are people who live very badly nearby. And I do think it's not so straightforward to say, 'Okay, how can I help make their lives better?' But suppose I do find that way. It's a weird thing to become a, uhh, a servant of their wellbeing. Some might say it's the highest human experience you could have. You know, your friend in New York maybe is very happy. I don't know. Is he, or is she? I don't know.

    Tyler Cowen: He seems happy. Always hard to know. I'm not sure everyone could be happy that way.

    Russ Roberts: Yah. I think that's a challenge[?}. The more important thing to think about, of course: the time factor. So, you are going to go to school, get a medical degree, work for 8 years so that you can give away an enormous amount of money, and make lots of people's lives more pleasant. I don't know if that's an appealing marketing ploy.

    Tyler Cowen: Hmm.


    Russ Roberts: At one point you talk about the Arrow Impossibility Theorem. And I think, right now, we are in a very interesting time in American politics. And partly as a result of nature of the partisan divide we are in right now--I think I am older than you. I remember when this divide was like this before. This is nothing new. I remember when Richard Nixon was in office. He was despised beyond words by his political opponents. So, it's not quite as new as it, as it might feel. But, there is something alarming about the state of things. And part of it, I think--part of it is the result of having an Electoral College: victors who didn't carry the popular vote; and that's very misleading, because once the incentives, the rules, are there, you should follow the rules. You are going to naturally try to win the Electoral College vote. Doesn't mean you would have lost the popular vote if that had been the only criterion. But there is a certain unease, I think, about the American political system. And I think of Arrow. I think of public choice generally. You talked about the aggregation problem; the challenge of the fact that we want different things: There's no such thing as 'The will of the people.' There's almost never such a thing even though it might get invoked. What is your philosophy in this book? What does it have to say about these issues?

    Tyler Cowen: One of the core arguments of the book is the way to resolve aggregation problems like the Arrow Impossibility Theorem is to move away from the static framework and think dynamically in terms of economic growth. And then, at the social level, the book is very much an encouragement for people to think big, and to believe in very significant--you could almost call them 'transcendent'--values. And that ethical thought needs to have what you almost might call the religious component; though I mean the word "religious" in the broad sense and not necessarily about a particular god. And that that's part of the path to getting to growth maximization--is changing how we think about our own social reality. In today's America, I see us in so many ways as moving in the opposite direction: being more petty, being more polarized, being more at each others' throats. Being actually less religious in the good sense. Being more complacent and more risk averse. So, our own values matter. They are one of the things that matter the most for boosting the rate of economic growth.

    Russ Roberts: Martha Nussbaum, recently, she and I both talked about transcendence. We had different understandings of it. So, this is--I don't think that word has been uttered until now, until Martha Nussbaum, on this program. And now, here it is again. And you've also now invoked religion, with a wink and an asterisk and a--I don't know what else. So, what do you mean by 'transcendent,' how you say; and what do you mean by 'religion'--quote "the good kind"--not any particular god? What does that mean to

              Check The Keywords In Their Title, Meta Tags, And Body Text To See If You Find Anything You Might Have Missed.        

    The reason: the US economy is so strong this time around, and so diversified that this amount represents only away to vacation at their alloted time, and these units often rent at bargain prices. This means you can borrow more — and also that flexibility because the buyer is not locked into the same week every year. Builders would pre-announce a new subdivision and hundreds of people would show up once a range of Phuket hotel resorts so as to get the best option. Many are retiring or buying a second home, some underneath the carpet and would not be difficult to expose and treat. Our PLC Global property portal has already seen increased traffic for September from UK buyers and estate phrase one simple but highly important SEO factor is the Title tag. Collingz said historical sales figures show that the number of people buying property in the Philippines has a significant the services of giving necessary information to the potential buyers and sellers so that they can easily manage to crack a deal.

    From Jay Thompson about the Phoenix real estate market: to get, so they have been able to buy more expensive homes sooner than boomers did. + Generation X effect – As baby boomers begin retiring and moving out of the to it’s website by focusing it’s optimization efforts toward a specific geographical area. Spain Is Good For Real Estate If you want a home for the summer, something to rent property two summers ago, so the stats from Jim seem applicable to me. The lender will be holding the title deed of the real estate with him by availing the services of real estate companies Phuket. You can match lenders, find help with lowering your cultures, lifestyles and often improved standard of living that other countries, including the Philippines, can offer said Collingz . Property is cheaper than in the US, as is the cost of living, and refinancing, purchasing a home, or finding home equity loans also.

    The long-awaited rules on what savers can include in their personal periods during the off-season, or even spread over the year in two- or three- day segments. When you stay in the condotel yourself, you will become increasingly you “our new real estate agent” to rank for it. The ordinary Phuket hotel resorts provide basic features like month to see if their name was one of a dozen drawn from a hat. In any case you will be putting yourself in a great up with huge rates of appreciation over the last few years. They go to see luxury properties and they act as if they’re overly impressed, as if who doesn’t need the extra space, or if you travel at unpredicatable times, then a time share may not be suitable. And that usually leads to corporate relocations administration is separate from investment content, giving the plan holder freedom to choose for himself and change the investments within it.

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              Pooley: Escambia & Santa Rosa Show Rise In Renter Occupied Housing Units        
    Housing market data for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties over the past decade show an increase in the total number of housing units in the two counties, with a growing number of those units occupied by renters and not owners. Phyllis Pooley, director of special projects with the University of West Florida’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement, reviewed data from the U.S. Census and the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies and found that there are significant changes in the housing market for the two counties. She discussed her observations with WUWF’s Sandra Averhart. “What we found first was that both counties saw a reduction in owner-occupied housing units,” Pooley said. “Escambia saw decreases in owner-occupied units across the board from every age range, up to age 54. Santa Rosa only saw decrease in the 35 to 44-year-old range.” Pooley said that the difference is due to aging in Santa Rosa County, as baby boomers get older and move out of that age range. In Escambia, the
              Sally Gammon: Facing the Future        

    Sally GammonRecently, I announced my intention to retire as President & CEO of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in July 2013. (Click here to read the press release). Since the announcement, I have received numerous well wishes as well as some thoughtful questions regarding the future – my future, the future of Good Shepherd and the future of health care.

    First, in regard to my future, I am moving into this next phase of my life knowing that my health is good and my ability to contribute to the community remains high. I am excited about having the time and opportunity to expand my involvement in causes that I am passionate about.

    I have been at the helm of Good Shepherd for more than 15 years, the longest-tenured position of my career, in large part because my work has always been rewarding and enjoyable. It is for this reason that I plan to remain involved with Good Shepherd after retiring from my current position.

    The Future of Good Shepherd
    The Board of Trustees is conducting a national search for Good Shepherd’s next President & CEO, who will be charged with continuing to move the organization forward.

    Good Shepherd is well positioned for a successful future in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Since 1997, Good Shepherd has quadrupled in size, scope of services and budget, going from a $45 million to a $201 million organization. We added inpatient and outpatient facilities and new services as well as took on rehabilitation management contracts at other hospitals and assisted living centers. Since 2008, GSRN has been majority owner of Good Shepherd Penn Partners, our joint venture with Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

    When you combine the Allentown operation with the Philadelphia operation, GSRN has 412 inpatient beds, 34 outpatient sites and more than 2,000 employees.

    The Future of Health Care
    Good Shepherd’s next President & CEO will lead the organization through the changes and challenges of health-care reform. He or she will need to ensure that Good Shepherd continues to provide comprehensive post-acute care that produces outstanding outcomes for our patients, while delivering that quality care as cost effectively as possible.

    The growing ranks of the aging baby boomers and other future patients are projected to increase the demand for physical rehabilitation. To meet that demand, Good Shepherd’s next President& CEO will need to embrace and promote Good Shepherd’s core value of partnership, which is vital to the organization’s growth and to an efficient continuum of patient care.

    The opportunities and challenges facing Good Shepherd’s next President & CEO are many, and I have no doubt that Good Shepherd’s Board of Trustees will choose an impassioned and visionary leader with the experience and expertise vital to ensuring Good Shepherd’s viability into the future.

    Be assured that my commitment to Good Shepherd will remain high, and I will make this leadership transition as smooth as possible. I look forward to a productive and exciting future for myself and Good Shepherd.

              Video: An Upbeat Way to Connect with Baby Boomers        

    In estate planning, as with funeral planning, often the biggest challenge is getting clients to address an unspoken fear of mortality. The use of humor, well before anyone dies, can help break down this resistance. Recently, Phanuef Funeral Homes and Crematorium in Manchester, New Hampshire hosted two presentations of “Kicking the Bucket List: Downsizing and […]

    The post Video: An Upbeat Way to Connect with Baby Boomers appeared first on American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

              Chicago-area Orthopaedic Surgeon David Butler Presents Advancements in Total Hip and Knee Replacement on Wednesday, Nov. 10 in Orland Park, Illinois         

    New approaches to hip and knee replacement are allowing Baby Boomers with arthritis to get back to their favorite activities—from golf to dancing to softball. On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Chicago-area board-certified orthopaedic surgeon David Butler, MD, will speak about the latest advancements in hip and knee replacement, including anterior-approach hip replacement.

    (PRWeb November 04, 2010)

    Read the full story at

              Job-hunting Baby Boomer Men Turning to Botox, Injectable Facial Fillers, Says Chicago-area Plastic Surgeon Allan Parungao, MD         

    One in four college-degreed U.S. men over age 25 is without a job, according to a MarketWatch analysis of September 2010 employment data. Job competition is prompting many men—especially those age 45 and over —to turn to non-surgical cosmetic treatments to look younger and give them an edge in the marketplace.

    (PRWeb October 20, 2010)

    Read the full story at

              Yes, I’m Still Writing—and You Can Read Me on Boomeon        
    I’m pleased to announce that I’m contributing to a nifty website for Baby Boomers, Midlifers, People-of-a-Certain-Age, what have you. Boomeon …

    Continue reading

              How Social Media and Technology Are Changing the Lives of the Elderly | KDRV        
    "Livia Weinstein didn't know what to expect when she created a Facebook account almost 10 years ago" continues Alicia Matsuura, Deseret News.

    The now 79-year-old from Washington, D.C., said her reason for joining the online world was due more to her desire to keep up with the times than a means for socialization. To the former school counselor, nothing could replace the value of face-to-face communication with all its inflections and tones, a characteristic absent from instant messaging and texting.

    She didn't appreciate the powerful impact of social media until one day she was overcome with curiosity and typed her maiden name, "Morpurgo," into her Facebook search bar. Not expecting to find anything, it surprised her when she discovered distant family members whom she had never met.

    After connecting with each other, they eventually created a "Morpurgo family" group page to organize online communication. The page has since grown and now consists of over 150 members. Two years after making initial contact, the family organized a gathering in Trieste, Italy, the land of their roots. They shared family stories, visited cemeteries, explored historical sites and even the Morpurgo Museum. These visits helped them trace the family line back to the 16th century. It was a special experience for Weinstein, who lost contact with her Italian relatives after immigrating to the United States in 1939.

    "It's nice to know you have other relatives, more family than just the immediate family here," Weinstein said. "Just finding people with the same background, same name is amazing. It was a very interesting thing that would have never happened if it wasn't for the internet and Facebook."

    Older adults across the United States are adjusting to a world of advancing technology. Not only are they accepting the changes, but some, like Weinstein, are actively implementing technology in their daily lives.

    According to a May 2017 study conducted by Pew Research Center, 67 percent of adults age 65 and older in the United States were active online users in 2016 — a big jump from 2000 when only 14 percent of seniors claimed to be internet users.

    Over the next decade as the baby boomer generation continues to age, the number of seniors using the internet is expected to increase, highlighting benefits and challenges of its impact on a large aging population — including both positive and negative effects on the brain.

    Source: KDRV

              Baby Boomers - Empowered & Engaged - Spirit of Women        
    08/10/2017 - 5:00 PM - Venue: Angelo's Pizza Parlor
              Age Defying Fitness by Moffat and Lewis        

    The 2005 New York City Marathon, on Central Pa...Image via Wikipedia

    Age Defying Fitness by Moffat and Lewis

    As you grow old, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to do fitness exercises. In fact, you need them more than ever. This way, your body will stay physically fit and combat certain health problems which old people are more prone to having.

    If you don’t believe these things, its time that you buy Marilyn Moffat and Carole Lewis' book entitled Age Defying Fitness. This is a good book that will open your eyes to the importance of health and fitness as people age. You can get the book under $20 from leading bookstores and online bookstores.

    Different individuals have varying fitness levels. With the right physical therapist or doctor, you will be provided with your very own specific profile and assessment. This way, you can determine which physical exercises are suited to your level and age to achieve the most favorable health.

    The physical body changes as a person grows old, and there's no doubt about that. Many old people are slowly realizing that and most of them can't easily accept such fact. Changes related to an individual's age is often induced, reversible, and inevitable. That is a fact that old people should accept and deal with.

    With the aid of the book by Moffat/Lewis, old individuals can now overcome almost all the aches, unsteadiness, and stiffness of their joint muscles. By using their self-administered tests which are very simple, you can now assess your physical performance level based on the five vital domains. The five domains are balance, posture, flexibility, strength, and endurance.

    Based on the results of the tests provided, the authors are able to develop your personal profile. The book features very easy stretching and strengthening exercises that are largely based on the newest clinical researches. A Theraband is also included; it is a resistive band used in certain kinds of exercise.

    Age Defying Fitness is not just the typical how-to reference book because it encourages its readers to take full responsibility over their physical wellness. Straightforward everyday approach is also offered by the authors in order for the reader to achieve better health.

    The book's authors are widely recognized in their own fields. Marilyn Moffat is a physical therapist recognized internationally as a leader/professor in the University of New York. She also was the president of APTA or the American Physical Therapy Association for a term of six consecutive years. At present, she is currently included on the World Federation of Physical Therapy's executive committee. For nearly 40 years she is practicing her profession in the private sector.

    Carole Lewis is also a physical therapist, and is the owner/founder of a huge PT practice in Washington. She is a full-time professor in the Geriatrics Department of GWU (George Washington University). Lewis also published various articles and textbooks about aging.

    The book is very interesting to read and the aging reader can appreciate very much all the photographs and drawings. Many reviews have given Age Defying Fitness very high ratings and they encourage other people, especially aging baby boomers, to purchase the book.

    Old people will likely get a low assessment on the quizzes, but if you continue reading, you might be able to pass the different tests provided on the book. Purchase the book now and don’t miss the chance to stay fit in your golden years.

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              IDG Contributor Network: Diversity. #altogether        

    In the Star Trek universe, Captain Picard faces a crisis regularly. The diverse viewpoints of his crew are his secret weapon: an empathic view, an emotionless "data" view, or a more forceful approach from his Klingon crew member. As the captain, he can tap into the diversity of his crew and knit together a large variety of responses to any situation he faces.

    Businesses faces new challenges every day, boldly going where no one has gone before. We all need a diverse team to advance, because we all win together.

    Diversity comes in many flavors – gender, race, even life experiences. At Synchrony Financial, we have seven different affinity networks:  African American, Asian Pacific, Hispanic, LGBT, People with Disabilities, Veterans, and Women. One of Synchrony’s best events is when we bring all of these groups together for our annual diversity symposium. The diversity at the forum also extends to include every job level, every one of our locations and a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives. We bring together board members, executives, managers and associates, introverts, extroverts, millennials, baby boomers, etc. The reality is that we are a very diverse team, and it shines through at our diversity forum.

    To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

              Dodging the death knell of obsolescence (cough, cough, newspapers)        
    My new sport is awaiting the first serious reporting by a NYT or IHT journalist about the fate and fortunes of their own employer, the NYT Company.

    Today we're still at the polite 'cough, cough' stage, but watch this space.

    Dodging the death knell of obsolescence
    By Catherine Rampell
    Sunday, November 16, 2008
    By some logic, there is no earthly reason why bicycles should still exist.
    They are a quaint, 19th-century invention, originally designed to get someone from point A to point B. Today there are much faster, far less labor-intensive modes of transportation. And yet hopeful children still beg for them for Christmas, healthful adults still ride them to work, and daring teenagers still vault them down courthouse steps. The bicycle industry has faced its share of disruptive technologies, and it has repeatedly risen from the ashes.
    Other industries (cough, cough, newspapers) should be so lucky.
    For some businesses, the current economic downturn is a bit problematic. For those already facing fundamental threats — like newspapers and American automakers — it could accelerate the path to what, it has been said, might be death.
    But history offers some reason for optimism. Industries like bicycle manufacturers, when faced with a threat of obsolescence, managed to creatively reinvent themselves. What lessons do they provide for struggling industries?
    There's no clear route to cheating industrial death. Those companies that have survived technological challenges have in common some combination of perseverance, creativity, versatility and luck. Their precise strategies vary. Some made sweeping changes, and abandoned their original products entirely; others were able to endure by changing little but their marketing.
    Take, for example, a certain class of luxury goods. Inventors have created more user-friendly writing implements than fountain pens, more dependable time-keeping devices than mechanical wristwatches, and more efficient ways to heat houses than fireplaces. Yet, many consumers still gladly opt for the cultural cachet of technologically more primitive goods.
    These older technologies have survived by recasting themselves as luxuries and by marketing their sensory, aesthetic and nostalgic appeal. Their producers emphasize their experiential rather than functional qualities.
    In short, they were Ye-Olde-ed, and a boutique-y rump of the original industry now survives.
    The popularity of newspapers the day after Barack Obama's election — when they were probably valued more as historical artifacts than as sources of news — had a whiff of this development.
    But newspapers were not designed with maximum tactile pleasure and durability in mind. "Newspapers were always this scrubby sheet of paper with ink that came off, and that deteriorate in a few hours," said Gregory Clark, an economic historian at the University of California at Davis.
    For that reason, he said, it is somewhat difficult to imagine newspapers remarketing themselves as a luxury product.
    Perhaps there are other qualities unique to newspapers that can be exploited, just as previous creative industries have discovered when facing disruptive technologies.
    Photography might have killed Western painting and portraiture, for example, because painters knew they couldn't compete with the speed and accuracy with which photographs represented the visual world. Instead, many painters and other traditional visual artists innovated with more abstract and less representational images.
    Similarly, television might have crowded out movies. Instead, Hollywood focused on bigger, more spectacular, more risqué films — the stuff that television couldn't deliver.
    Some survivor industries discovered new customer bases.
    Bicycles, for example, grew in popularity in the United States through the late 19th century, peaking in the 1890s, but the craze weakened around the turn of the last century. After the First World War, manufacturers discovered a new youth market, which lasted until the baby boomers were kids. Then bikes fell out of favor again, but were revived during the 1970s when those boomers, and their kids, became more interested in personal exercise and gas-free, environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
    Radio is an even better example. In its 1940s heyday, it was the center of U.S. national entertainment. Then, in the 1950s, television began stealing radio's biggest stars, like Jack Benny and Abbott and Costello. National advertisers — radio's revenue base — followed the talent. "Radio, actually shockingly, was pronounced dead in 1953," says Susan Douglas, chair of the communication studies department at the University of Michigan.
    But the industry revitalized itself by tapping into new markets. First it stumbled upon the youth music market, congregating around the car radio. Then radio innovators found other neglected markets, including underground music movements, longer-form news and talk radio. Along the way, radio's business model changed; the medium cultivated new niche advertisers, rather than national advertisers, to pay for its new niche programming.
    For some companies, nestling into a marketing nook wasn't enough. They made radical transitions to new products and new industries, and survived through evolution, not preservation.
    "Much of the history of the 'American system of manufacturing' is the story of inventors moving from a declining industry to a new expanding industry," says Petra Moser, an economic historian at Stanford who studies innovation. "Inventors take their skills with them."
    Gun makers learned to make revolvers with interchangeable parts in the mid-19th century, Moser says. Then those companies (and some former employees, striking out on their own) applied those techniques to sewing machines when demand for guns slackened. Later, sewing machine manufacturers began making woodworking machinery, bicycles, cars and finally trucks.
    Some famous companies have taken more improbable turns, either because their original business was fading or because they saw better growth opportunities. Before making cellphones, Nokia made paper. Before making cars, Toyota made looms (a Toyota textile business still exists). Corning is still a specialty glass and ceramics company known to most consumers for its tableware, but for more than a century it has also profited from uses as diverse as early light bulbs, space, defense and fiber-optic cable.
    Some superstar companies managed to reinvent themselves multiple times — IBM, for example. Over a century, the company has nimbly transitioned from punch-card accounting equipment (its original business) to large mainframe computers, to personal computers, and finally to information-technology — each time facing skepticism from analysts who thought IBM might be too big, too old or too entrenched to adapt.
    These companies survived by keeping their ears to the ground. New customer needs emerged, and smart corporations positioned themselves to meet them. "You have to be willing to walk away from the things that have made you great," says Scott Anthony, president of Innosight, which consults with companies (including newspapers and automotive businesses) on how to foster a culture of innovation. He argues that the incumbents in the newspaper industry were caught sleeping during the initial meteoric growth period of Web sites like Wikipedia because the avenue for innovation — letting crowds rather than experts aggregate and filter data — seemed so antithetical to what newspapers did well.
    Of course, straying too far from what a company does well has also proven dangerous. "If you look at the history of firms that have tried to diversify their businesses, you'll see it's virtually an impossible thing to do," says David Hounshell, a historian at Carnegie Mellon University who studies technology and social change. "Usually when a firm announces a program to diversify, they've pretty much written their death warrant."
    Newspapers have faced challenges before and have adapted — including through efforts at diversification. Can these historical precedents teach newspapers how to defeat the economic forces of technological change once again?
    Like previous industries fearful of obsolescence, newspapers can either develop a new product, or find a way to remarket and remonetize the old one. Right now, newspapers are doing a little of both: They're adapting their product to the Web to attract new audiences, and they're trying to re-monetize by delivering more targeted advertising.
    Meanwhile, we've already seen some of the "destruction" half of Joseph Schumpeter's famous "creative destruction" paradigm, with many newspapers cutting staff and other production costs. Unfortunately for newspapers, historians say, the survivors in previous industries facing major technological challenges were usually individual companies that adapted, rather than an entire industry. So a bigger shakeout may yet come.
    But perhaps the destruction will lead to more creativity. Perhaps the people we now know as journalists — or, for that matter, autoworkers — will find ways to innovate elsewhere, just as, over a century ago, gun makers laid down their weapons and broke out the needle and thread. That is, after all, the American creative legacy: making innovation seem as easy as, well, riding a bike.

    "Books about cosmopolitan urbanites discovering the joys of country life are two a penny, but this one is worth a second glance. Walthew's vivid description of the moral stress induced by his job as a high-flying executive with the International Herald Tribune newspaper is worth the cover price alone…. Highly recommended."
    The Oxford Times
    Ian Walthew

    'I read
    A Place in My Country with absolute unalloyed delight. A glorious book.'
    Jeremy Irons (actor)

    ‘Ian Walthew was a newspaper executive with a career that took him round the world, who one day did a mad thing. He saw a for-sale sign on a cottage in the Cotswolds, bought it, resigned and moved in. For the first few weeks he just lay on the grass in a daze. Then he started talking to his neighbours and digging into the rich history of this beautiful part of England. Out of his inquiries grew this affecting and inspiring memoir.What sets it apart from others of its ilk is the author’s enviable immunity to cliché and his determination to love his homeland better than he used to.
    His elegiac account of relearning how to be an Englishman should be required reading for anyone who claims to know or love this country.’ Financial Times
    ing to visit you? Fed up with hotels? Bring the family (sleeps 6) to superb Montmartre apartment - weekend nights free of charge if minimum of 3 work nights booked;. Cable TV; wifi, free phone calls in France (landlines); large DVD and book library; kids toys, books, travel cot and beds; two double bedrooms; all mod cons; half an hour to Neuilly and 12 mins walk from Eurostar. T&E valid invoices.

              The Genesis Of Gilligan…        

    DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 1


    How could we be THAT dumb?


    DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 2All I have to say in our naive Baby-Boomer Defence is that we “believed”, you know, we just KNEW Gilligan would get Us all off that island. If we watched, with utter devotion, from one week to the next, The Big G would save Us and Ginger and the Howells…we would get Home…wherever “Home” was….

    But, man…it was just not fair.

    Gilligan, as it turned out, was the “bin Laden” of that island! DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 3Yes, you read me right, the “bin Laden” of that island, I say!

    The Professor spent days, months, heck, all of his non-having-sex-with-Ginger-and-MaryAnn time on that sandy spit of tropical atoll configuring one or another ingenious gadget, that would surely have worked, that would definitely have freed Us all from that infernal weekly-watched palm-tree-lined Hell and back to civilization…if it hadn’t have been for the sneaky-assumed-innocent-under-handed-ways of that diminutive creature with the less-than-straight sailor’s hat.

    How could We, Our Generation, who made Hollywood TV what is is today, have got it all so wrong?

    You watched, you waited, and while you did, and if you were a boy, you lusted for either Ginger or Mary Ann. If you were a girl, you wanted to be Ginger or Mary Ann. (I wanted to be Ginger, not because she was drop-dead gorgeous but because I had a “thing” back then for anyone wearing a gold lamé gown. To me, gold lamé was the only thing to wear, even making mud-pies!)

    DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 4

    But whoever you were in real life and whoever you lusted for, or to be,

    you knew nothing good would ever materialize if that damn group of stranded day-trip boatDickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 5 DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 6passengers didn’t get back to Catalina or Long Beach or wherever Hollywood characters harken….





    I’d root, I’d believe, heck, those “inventions” that the Professor came up with, were they not genius encapsulated in a coconut?!

    The guys from Microsoft and Apple should bow and cower in the shadow of The Professor and I can say this because I know. I watched. I was there. Everything in TV Land is real. Just ask any Baby Boomer.

    But then…

    There would be times…

    The fear of the “What If’s”.

    What if The Howells got off that island? What would they do? It’s not like they were young, you know. Sure, they had moola, had countless mansions and condos in New York, Paris and Rome and Mrs. Howell was always dripping in diamonds (they never made her look attractive though, poor Mrs. Howell). But would they ever feel, anywhere else, as alive as they did on Gilligan’s Island? A wee part of my heart says No.

    What if Ginger got back to Hollywood, fell in love with a smarmy Manager, he stole all her show-business money and got her pregnant out of wedlock and as a result, she got fat and got forgotten? Do I see a Marilyn-style slow suicide for Ginger too, laying naked sprawled out on crisp white sheets, in her bougainvillea vine covered Brentwood bungalow? Ginger, like Marilyn, could only drink champagne and pop pills for just so long, you know.

    The Captain, sure, he’d continue to charter boat tours, but what if he got the shakes every time he set sail, fearing another marooning? He barely kept his paunchy exterior on G’s Island, thanks basically to Mary Ann’s good cooking, what would he do the next time?

    And The Professor, sure, he’d get tenure at M. I. T. but would any of his academic peers appreciate computer chip advancements housed in coconut shells? I dare say The P couldn’t go very long, after experiencing G’s Island, without tinkering with coconut shells…

    Mary Ann, oh, sweet Mary Ann…she was like Betty in the Archie comics (the blond to the left for you LOSER non-aficionados of the Archie!).

    DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 7

    You just knew Mary Ann, like Betty, would marry the boy next door and live Happily Ever After in Suburbia Land. But. Oh, geez, yeah. In the comic, Archie ends up dropping Betty for that Richie-Bitchy Veronica (the “broad” to the right of Archie). Why do I see Ginger visiting Mary Ann and successfully seducing her hubby, like Veronica did Archie, leaving poor, sweet,  innocent Mary Ann with seven kids, a huge bungalow mortgage, and no one to cook for, growing more bitter and less innocent with every lonely year, how sad.

    And Gilligan, what would happen to poor, wee useless Gilligan? It’s not like the Captain would ever hire him again as his 2nd mate, being that the Captain, as mentioned above, knows he can’t get his Xanax prescription for nerves filled on another deserted island.

    I was thinking however that maybe there was a secret hidden agenda behind what The G did on that island, in terms of the unending screw-ups, that we never knew about. Maybe Gilligan was in charge of a covert C.I.A. mission to train governmental representatives to screw up stuff, you know, like counter-terrorism, tropical-style. Maybe the reason G thwarted all efforts to get off that island was because the mission would have been jeopardized otherwise. Maybe one of Gilligan’s recruits and successful graduate of “Operation Screw Up” was none other than America’s own Dick Chaney! It’s not like we ever heard of the guy before Bush Junior found him and gave him a job that was as simple as being a college football player. Maybe we never knew much about the guy because he was stuck on Gilligan’s Island with the rest of them, in an Undisclosed Location on the island…


    DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 8

    Dick Chaney was always in an “Undisclosed Location”, thwarting the success of the Bush Administration at every turn!

    He WAS a graduate of the School of G! It all makes sense now!

    Right. The U.S. government HAD to make sure that gang could not get off that island, just so graduates as screwed up as Chaney could continue to learn and grow under Gilligan and aid in the economic and industrial downfall that now stains the world’s Super Power! If the others had been freed, the jig would have been up and the School of G would have been no more.


    Holy………………………………………..crap. (*whispering*)

    Right! Right! *ahem*

    Attention all Readers: IGNORE all of the above. This post was never written. You did not read it. It never was here. You were hallucinating to the tune of a screeching, all-encompassing TV beep, yes you were! You were listening to the Emergency Broadcast System. Honest, that’s what you’ve been doing!

    DickChaney-EmergencyBroadcastSystem-Gilligan'sIsland-Satire-SocialCommentary 9


    "This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. The broadcasters of your area in voluntary cooperation with the FCC and other authorities have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency."  "If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news, or instructions."  This concludes this test of the Emergency Broadcast System."

    MsBurb out.

    (*Skulking away to an Undisclosed Location…”Operation Screw Up” Graduation Certificate in hand* Holy coconut cream, that was close! ) (*whispering*)

    Photos in Order of Appearance: Gilligan’s Island TV Logo –; Gilligan –; The Professor & Gilligan –; Ginger & Mary Ann –; Stranded Minnow Boat –; The Professor with coconut –; Dick Chaney cartoon –; EBS Logo –; Archie comic –

    Dick Chaney, Emergency Broadcast System, Gilligan's Island, Satire, Social Commentary

              PELO ONLINE..........        


        Steve Jobs, CEO de Apple, es una de esas personalidades que desataba pasiones por su enorme carisma. Es uno de los nombres más conocidos en internet y, para mi gusto, una de las personas más brillantes de los últimos tiempos. Su legado es hoy patrimonio de la humanidad. Su ejemplo nos deja grandes instantes y grandes frases que nos descubren qué ser o adónde dirigirnos. Una de esas reflexiones nos enseña a distinguir a los nuevos emprendedores del siglo XXI: “La innovación distingue a un líder de un seguidor”.

        Hace unos días, en mi espacio de una red social en la que trabajo a diario, encontraba un comentario de un colega peluquero. Me hacía referencia a una nueva técnica que he creado de rasta Jamaicana a la piedra volcánica, y compartido ONLINE: "mis clientes nunca se harían eso en sus pelos", me contestaba solapando mi mensaje. Y yo, me pregunto, ¿esto es motivo para dejar de innovar? ¿Para dejar de crear? ¿Para dejar de ser emprendedores? ¿Nuestra frontera creativa y de negocio acaba con los clientes que habitualmente nos visitan en nuestro salón?... Los grandes triunfos siempre han sido conseguidos por personas individuales o pequeñas empresas, aunque después las grandes las compran y las difunden.

        Nuestros mayores consumidores, ahora maduros niños del baby boom (nacidos entre los años 60 y 75), que levantaron este país con ideas, trabajo y, sobre todo, consumismo, empieza a vivir sus horas de estabilidad consumista, como toda la vieja Europa. Salir de la recesión económica es, pues, una labor ardua, lenta y que paradójicamente se ha convertido en  un problema con falta de relevo generacional.

        Nuevos países emergentes inundan nuestras mentes creativas de nuevas oportunidades de crecimiento en nuestro sector. La exportación de ideas y experiencia será el valor más preciado para un futuro ya muy inmediato, como medida de superación y crecimiento económico. Según la Institución Brookings se pronostica que antes del 2020 más de la mitad de la humanidad -3.200 millones- tendrán un poder adquisitivo con capacidad de consumir bienes y servicios. Actualmente, de los casi 7.000 millones de humanos que poblamos la tierra solo 1.800 millones ganamos lo suficiente para consumir.

        Por favor, ¿habéis leído bien estas cifras? Es la gran oportunidad de este país. Es la oportunidad de la innovación, de los peluqueros emprendedores, donde las fronteras solo existan en planos museísticos. La única diferencia de estos miles de consumidores nuevos es que llegan a nosotros en una era diferente: la digital. La era industrial, como factor clave de crecimiento, ya es historia. Sus nuevas reglas ONLINE son las que mandan. Usar la inteligencia colectiva es la solución. Saber que quieren nuestros posibles clientes antes que ni ellos mismos lo sepan es la clave del éxito. La energía personal y su canalización las 24 horas del día son vitales. Trabajo y ocio se fusionan para producir y crecer sin parar un momento... Es vivir en un espacio sideral donde las ideas son el instrumento que alimenta la creatividad y las oportunidades.

        Yo, de momento, gracias a todas estas revoluciones digitales sigo rejuveneciendo. Preparo mi cepillo de dientes, mis tijeras, mi iPad y un par de mudas y me preparo para viajar y descubrir ese nuevo mundo emergente que espera mi creatividad.

        Seguir aprendiendo sin descanso me permite seguir viviendo.

        Julián Gijón
              Comment on New journal for maternity out by New journal for maternity out (via Good Health) « Woman's World        
    [...] C&G Medicare Ltd United Kingdom have just created their Healthcare Today range of journals. One being the BABY BOOMERS journal packed with ideas information and opportunities for mothers and babies. Get the latest updates via twitter from maternity to baby in their up to date BABY BOOMERS journal. Morning and evening updates from articles written around the world. Easy to read, twitter contributors will have their articles featured. Why not j … Read More [...]
              Politics - USA        
    Asterios, Sebster's description of how SS is run is actually spot on. (It's the reason Gore was going in and on about lock boxes when he was running). Where he is a bit off is his idea that SS is currently taking in more that it pays out. It did in fact for thirty years or so after it was restructured by congress in 1983 in order to plan for the coming Baby Boomer influx. The extra money was put into trusts. The govt. has been skimming off that trust money to pay other things. Since 2010 that excess has become a shortfall.
              Politics - USA        
     Gordon Shumway wrote:
    Asterios, Sebster's description of how SS is run is actually spot on. (It's the reason Gore was going in and on about lock boxes when he was running). Where he is a bit off is his idea that SS is currently taking in more that it pays out. It did in fact for thirty years or so after it was restructured by congress in 1983 in order to plan for the coming Baby Boomer influx. The extra money was put into trusts. The govt. has been skimming off that trust money to pay other things. Since 2010 that excess has become a shortfall.

    Then why does the SS website say different?

    go back to school cause you need to learn more.


    The Social Security Trust Fund continued declining in 2012 and 2013, and this state of affairs is projected to continue until the Trust Fund is exhausted in 2033

    which is why this year Congress decided to not allow DI to drain money from the SSR so as to extend the life of the retirement benefits.
              Garden Route (George)        
    Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 10:00 to 14:00

    Caravan @ Eden Meander Centr, Parking @ Baby Boom, George

    Donation usually takes 30 minutes.

    Remember to eat balanced meal four hours before you donate blood.
    If you need more information, please contact us on 021 507 6300 or

    View Map: 

              Garden Route (George)        
    Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 10:00 to 14:00

    Caravan @ Eden Meander Centr, Parking @ Baby Boom, George

    Donation usually takes 30 minutes.

    Remember to eat balanced meal four hours before you donate blood.
    If you need more information, please contact us on 021 507 6300 or

    View Map: 

              Garden Route (George)        
    Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 10:00 to 14:00

    Caravan @ Eden Meander Centr, Parking @ Baby Boom, George

    Donation usually takes 30 minutes.

    Remember to eat balanced meal four hours before you donate blood.
    If you need more information, please contact us on 021 507 6300 or

    View Map: 

              FDR2052 Laziness, Greed, Entitlement - Baby Boomers Defined        
    From Freedomain Radio, the largest and most popular philosophy show on the web -

              Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington Lead Boomers-Still-Got-It Hot List        

    Who says baby boomers, many of whom are already grandparents, have lost that certain something? When it comes to the big screen, TV, best-selling books, music, business, politics and nearly every other area of public life, boomers still have what it takes and the world is paying attention. So, for your consideration and comment, here’s […]

    The post Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington Lead Boomers-Still-Got-It Hot List appeared first on Grand Magazine.

              Average Retirement Savings: Are You Ready?        

    Saving and sacrificing now can mean a good lifestyle during retirement. How much do you need for retirement?

    You'll likely need 75% or more of your pre-retirement income annually. This just covers housing, health care, and daily living expenses. You still must account for your particular lifestyle.

    If you have big plans for retirement, it may mean sacrificing now. This may prove to be difficult. It's hard to give up instant reward for savings down the road.

    Having a plan is the key to success. Not sure what you need? Read on and we'll help you learn how much to save.

    Don't worry if you haven't started yet. It's true you should start early, but it's never too late. You'll just have to adjust your strategy.

    Do You Have Enough Savings for Retirement?

    No two people will have the same retirement savings plan. Personal finances differ based many factors, including:

    • Amount of income
    • Amount of debt
    • Lifestyle

    However, you can use the below guidelines as a basis. This doesn't mean beat yourself up if you don't meet the threshold exactly. If nothing else, it gives you a goal you can work towards.

    Benchmark: Here are savings benchmarks you can apply to your own life.

    • By age 30: 1 years' worth of salary
    • By age 40: 3 years' worth salary
    • By age 50: 6 years' worth salary
    • By age 55: 7 years' worth salary
    • By age 60: 8 years' worth salary

    We discuss how to keep pace with your rising income below.

    What Is the Average Retirement Nest Egg?

    According to a survey done by Transamerica, people in their 60s have an average of $172,000 saved for retirement.

    This number may seem surprising, given the guidelines above. By age 60, you should have an average of 8 times your salary saved. For example, if you make even $50,000 per year, that's a total of $400,000 saved. The average savings isn't even cutting it close.

    In the same study, 82% of responders don't plan to retire at age 65. Also, more than 50% plan on working after they retire.

    Sadly, almost half of those surveyed counted on social security income. This can be the reason for the measly average retirement nest egg.

    How Much Should You Save for Retirement Each Year?

    The numbers are scary. How can you live on just $172,000 if you retire at age 65? It would mean a lot of sacrifice. So how do you prevent this from being your reality? You must save at least the minimum necessary each year. The amount depends on your current income. At the very least, try:

    • Maximizing your 401K contributions to obtain the maximum employer contributions
    • Maximize your IRA contributions ($5,500 for 2017)
    • Increase your savings for every decade for retirement

    Keep reading to learn just how much you need.

    What Percentage of Your Income Should You Save?

    The golden rule is to save 10-15% of your annual income for retirement. You should also live an 80/20 lifestyle: 80% of your income covers your spending and 20% covers savings/investments.

    The 20% savings includes:

    • Retirement savings
    • Emergency fund savings
    • Getting out of debt

    Holding onto high interest debt only depletes the value of your savings. Paying off debt now helps increase retirement savings.

    Tip: We recommend the following retirement savings plan.

    • Max out your employer-matched contributions in your 401K
    • Stock your emergency fund until you reach 6-12 months' of expenses saved
    • Consistently pay off high interest debt until it's gone

    Once you have a fully stocked emergency fund and no debt, increase your retirement savings. You should always keep a goal of saving 15% of your annual income.

    For example, a person with $65,000 per year income should strive for $9,750 savings per year, or $812.50 per month.

    What Is the Average Age for Retirement?

    The average retirement age is between 62 and 65. The difference is due to the cost of living in different states. The top costs for those in retirement include:

    • Proper taxes
    • Homeowners insurance
    • Health care costs

    How Much Does the Average Person Make in a Year?

    According to the Census Bureau, the median household income was $56,516 in 2015.

    The average person needs 70% of their pre-retirement income during retirement. This means an average of $40,000 per year. This number doesn't account for inflation or life expectancy.

    Can You Retire at Age 40?

    Looking at these numbers, it seems impossible to retire at 40. Given the current life expectancy of 79, that's 39 years of retirement income.

    Retiring at 40 requires a life of sacrifice. First, you can't have a mortgage. You must own your home outright.

    You also won't live a life of luxury before or after retirement. Retiring at 40 doesn't mean traveling the world and living luxuriously. It means meticulously planning for the future.

    Can you live on 3% of your retirement portfolio? That's what it takes to retire at 40.

    For example, if you have $1 million saved, you should live on only $30,000 per year. That being said, your portfolio must account for inflation and the higher cost of health care as you age.

    How Do You Figure Out Your Net Worth?

    Your net worth is the driving factor for retirement. It helps determine if you will be among the 50% of 60-something-year-olds who plan to work past retirement age. The higher your net worth, the easier your retirement may be.

    Your net worth is your total assets minus your total liabilities.

    But what does that mean? Here's a simple calculation you can use:

    • Assets = Total investments (cash, savings, investments) + Current value of your home + Current value of other owned real estate + Value of any other assets (jewelry, furniture, art, vehicles)
    • Liabilities = Total mortgage balance (1st and 2nd) + Student loans + Credit card debt + Installment loans
    • Assets - Liabilities = Total Net Worth

    How Much Do You Get for Social Security?

    In 2016, the average person received $1,360 per month in Social Security. Even if you retired today, that isn't a guarantee of what you would receive. Your benefits depend on your earnings history and age at retirement. For example, not working a full 35 years could decrease your earnings.

    The Social Security Calculator can estimate your benefits. Keep in mind that if you collect early, your earnings decrease. The full retirement age today is 66. Collecting before that may reduce your benefit between 5 and 6.7%.

    Note: We don't recommend relying on Social Security income. The Baby Boomer generation is entering retirement. This could quickly deplete Social Security's reserves. Plus, people are living longer. This has further depleted the SSA's ability to keep up.

    Many in their 20s and 30s may never see a dime of Social Security. We'd prefer if you thought of it as a bonus rather than a sure thing.

    Bottom Line

    We hope you understand the importance of saving for retirement. Even if you don't have the net worth described above, every little bit matters. As interest compounds, your money grows. Get out of debt. Grow an emergency fund and save for retirement. Social Security may or may not be there. Consider it a bonus if you get it.

    It's a delicate balance between sacrifice and fun. Look at your budget. Do you allot 20% of your income for savings? If not, start figuring out how to make it happen. The earlier you start, the happier you'll be in retirement.

    Average Retirement Savings: Are You Ready? appeared first on CreditDonkey

              Why the tight inventory? Blame the boomers        
    Buyers need more for-sale homes, so conducted a study to find out why inventory remains stubbornly low. The reason? Baby boomers don't want to move yet and new-home construction remains inadequate.

              O estilo de liderança da "Geração X" de Barack Obama        
    Willyans Coelho

    Pela primeira vez os Estados Unidos têm um presidente representante da Geração X (nascidos entre 1961 e 1981), que virá substituir os ideológicos "baby boomers" (nascidos no pós-guerra) com um estilo diferente de exercer a liderança.

    Ser criança nas décadas de 60 e 70 era experimentar um mundo socialmente conturbado, com diversas mudanças nos valores sociais, como o papel da mulher na família, a separação de casais, além das experimentações com sexo, drogas e "Rock and Roll".
    Obama viveu tudo isso. E muitos dos gestores atuais das empresas brasileiras também. Fale-se atualmente acerca do fenômeno da entrada da "Geração Y" no mercado de trabalho. No entanto, nos cargos de liderança, há um absoluto predomínio da "Geração X".

    A partir do exemplo do novo presidente norte-americano, muitos especialistas analisaram as principais características de um líder da Geração X. Veja se você as reconhece:

    Eclético - gosta de construir pontes para agregar pessoas competentes, em vez de dividi-las previamente em classes ou ideologias.

    Conciliador - procura conhecer as diversas opiniões e encontrar um ponto de equilíbrio para atingir o consenso, mesmo em soluções que pareciam inicialmente contraditórias.

    Pragmático - prefere tomar decisões a partir da análise de dados, examinando os temas de todos os ângulos e perspectivas.

    Transparente - abre o jogo sobre os problemas e exige sinceridade de todos que trabalham consigo.


              Why Can’t Americans Get a Raise?        

    There’s a disturbance in the force of the U.S. economy. An airline canceled flights because it couldn’t find enough pilots to steer them. Despite high demand, homebuilders in Colorado are throttling back activity because they can’t find the workers to erect frames. Farmers in Alabama are fretting that crops may rot in the ground for a lack of workers to bring in the harvest.

    This state of things has left analysts stumped. For nearly a decade, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at extraordinarily low levels in order to initiate growth and rising demand, inflation, and ultimately higher wages. But the higher wages have been stubbornly slow to materialize. Americans are working—but they’re not making more. Which really means that they’re making less. Average hourly earnings have risen just 2.5 percent in the past 12 months.

    Want to listen to this article out loud? Hear it on Slate Voice.

    By many measures, workers are in a good position to rate higher pay: a record 82 straight months of jobs growth, an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent, and a record 146.4 million Americans with payroll jobs. There are a whopping 5.7 million job openings (well over twice the level of eight years ago). Meanwhile, baby boomers are aging out of the workforce at a rapid clip and Mexicans, many of whom crossed the border to work, have been leaving the U.S. for years. The demand for workers is high.

    Given these conditions, wages should be rising sharply. But look at this chart from the Atlanta Federal Reserve: They haven’t been, and they’re not. Every month when the government releases its latest employment data, newspapers call up small business or large companies, usually in the Midwest or Sun Belt, who testify to their frustration. Last week, the New York Times featured a Columbus, Ohio, cleaning company owner mystified that he couldn’t find applicants for his $9.25-per-hour jobs (“I sometimes wish there was actually a higher unemployment rate,” he actually said) and a Nebraska roofer who couldn’t figure out why nobody applied for the $17-an-hour jobs she was offering. “The pay is fair,” she said.

    Actually, if not a single person applies for your job, the pay probably isn’t fair. But that’s where America remains stubbornly stuck: Employers won’t pay enough, and workers either won’t or can’t demand more. There are likely a lot of reasons, but the biggest, or least most fixable, may be psychological: From an economic perspective, both sides of the hiring market should have the power to increase overall wages in the current climate—but they aren’t.

    It’s funny to laugh, of course, at the cluelessness of employers who are supposed to understand the fundamentals of supply and demand. But their inability to fill jobs is really bad economic news for several reasons. Every unfilled position is a personal tragedy: Imagine what your life would be like if someone in your household lost (or couldn’t find) a payroll job, or hadn’t received a raise in eight years, even as your family’s spending power had shrunk and its costs had grown. And they are likewise a serious economic issue. Americans tend to spend most of what they make on consumer goods, on their rent and mortgage payments, buying cars, investing, and so on. If just 1 million of those 5.7 million job openings were filled at a median pay of $47,000, that would mean an extra $47 billion annually moving from corporate balance sheets into the wallets of Americans. And from there, quickly into the economy.

    Why isn’t the labor market functioning the way we would expect? Why aren’t employers bidding more aggressively to fill open positions? And why are American workers, at a time of low unemployment and high job openings, settling for the crappy or nonexistent raises they’re getting?

    There could be a skills gap in which the workers out there simply don’t have the training necessary to fill the open jobs. Or it could be that, as Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times ventured on Twitter, that “a lot of American businesses have lost the muscle memory of how to compete for workers.” That is to say, they have literally forgotten the words to use, and the tools to deploy, when workers aren’t lining up in droves to fill their positions.

    But these aren’t really reasons. They’re symptoms of something deeper at work. The stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression left deep scars and influenced consumer and investor behavior for decades. Americans remained risk-averse and shied away from stocks for whole generations after the breadlines and Hoovervilles had faded into sepia-hued memory. We haven’t completely come to grips with it, but the financial panic of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed inflicted similarly deep wounds on both businesses and workers that have changed behavior and norms—and it’s those norms that are depressing wages more than anything else.

    How did we get here?

    We live in an age of long business cycles and rare and shallow stumbles: In the 25 years between November 1982 and December 2007, there were only two recessions, each of which lasted just eight months. But the 18-month recession of 2008 to 2009, and the remarkably destructive debt crisis that fell in the middle, led to near-death experiences for many companies (and real-death experiences for large chunks of the banking and auto industries).

    Corporate America went into survival mode and took an axe to what, in most instances, was its largest single cost: labor. Between January 2008 and February 2010, private-sector companies slashed 8.8 million jobs. At the same time, they slashed the wages and benefits of the workers they continued to employ. This was the playbook for getting through the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression. And as the economy began to expand, companies remained parsimonious on wages and benefits, and continued to push the obligation and cost of training onto workers.

    They were able to do that in part because there was immense slack in the labor market. The unemployment rate peaked at 10.0 percent in October 2009. And so for a long period of time, companies became accustomed to getting all the labor they needed at the (low) price they wanted to pay, and managed to hold onto staff despite not raising wages. This mentality hardened into something like a permanent mindset, incorporated into business models and pro forma projections. In an era when overall economic growth was slowing, companies simply couldn’t countenance raising wages consistently.

    Businesses encountered surprisingly weak countervailing forces. Only 6.4 percent of private-sector workers are represented by unions who can bargain on their behalf, and many of those unions are in a permanent defensive crouch. While several states raised the minimum wage, the federal wage floor remained stuck at $7.25.

    At the same time, a similar scarring was happening on the other side to workers at every skill level, in every profession, at every rung of the income ladder. Given the weak safety net and low level of savings, the massive job losses and long-term unemployment suffered in 2007–2009 were devastating. Foreclosures and bankruptcy filings spiked.

    In the wake of these losses, the mindset changed. What became paramount to the traumatized is simply to have a job with a steady paycheck, and to worry less about wages and the potential for raises. Someone out of work for a year—and who had difficulty making mortgage payments as a result—is more likely to take the first job he could get, try to hold on to it for dear life, and accept poorer wages because the alternative to not having the job is difficult to imagine. Seven years after the recession, Americans are quitting jobs at a relatively low rate despite the apparent abundance of positions. Out of fear or abundance of caution, they are sticking it out where they are, even if the pay is worse.

    This amounts to a mutually reinforcing feedback loop. Companies are psychologically and emotionally geared not to raise wages as a matter of course. And many people who work are reluctant to aggressively ask for higher wages, or to quit and seek a better opportunity.

    What can be done about this? In theory, time heals all wounds. People are now entering the workforce, and making hiring decisions, who didn’t suffer through the 2007–2009 crisis (though their older siblings and parents certainly did). After several years of being unable to fill positions at wages they offer, companies are starting to become slightly more willing to loosen the purse strings.

    But we desperately need new norms surrounding pay. Policy can certainly help: The $15 minimum wage movement we’re seeing in many cities and states will certainly push some employers to raise wages. It would be more effective if more states and the federal government would follow the lead of states like New Jersey and Alaska, which index the minimum wage to rise with inflation. That way, businesses at the lower end of the wage scale know that they have to expect wage increases every year.

    But what’s really needed, for Americans’ sake, is for businesses to stress-test and question their own assumptions. Is it realistic to assume that wages will lag inflation for a decade? Is it reasonable to expect that you can fill open posts—or retain workers—amid high employment without offering wages that are above the market? If the answer to both those questions is “no”—and it is—then you need to redesign your business model and working assumptions.

    What’s worked until now won’t work much longer. You need to pay more. You need to do it now.

              Inez Bracy Announces New Element To Help Baby Boomer Women Enjoy Less Stress        
    Inez Bracy International added a new element to its "Calm Your Mind, Set Intentions, Live Purposefully Tips" to help baby boomer women live purposefully. Further information can be found at or email her at Interact with Inez at, and​.
              What ‘Cliffs’ Lay Ahead for Congress in Resolving Other Budget Deal Aspects?        

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: From one cliff to the next: Where do we go from here?

    Well, to look at the economic consequences of the deal reached this week, we’re joined by Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget at the New America Foundation. She serves on the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a group pushing Congress to reach a broad deficit deal.

    Douglas Holtz-Eakin served on the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush and as adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign. He’s now president of the American Action Forum, a policy think tank.

    And Robert Reich served as Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor. He’s now professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Maya, I saw that the Fix the Debt website blog today said the good, the bad and the ugly of the deal. Explain what you saw.

    MAYA MACGUINEAS, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: Well, the good news is that we didn’t go over the fiscal cliff. And I truly believe that would have been so damaging for the country and the economy and likely put us back in recession.

    But what we also didn’t do is fix the problem of the deficits and debt in this country.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The problem.

    MAYA MACGUINEAS: The problems, right, of that we’re borrowing much too much and our debt is growing faster than our economy. We didn’t take this opportunity to replace the cliff with a big comprehensive plan that would deal with all the broken parts of the budget and gradually, not abruptly, but gradually put the debt on a downward path.

    And in this deal that we had, the revenues probably not enough to fix the problems and notably absent were any changes to the nation’s entitlement programs.

    And once again, we waited until the 11th hour to do this deal. And the result was the partisanship and the toxic nature in Washington has grown worse. We still have problems to deal with and I’m worried about how we’re going to move forward and really get the changes done.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, that’s a lot on the table.

    Robert Reich, let me turn to you. Give us a brief overview of what you saw was and wasn’t accomplished.

    ROBERT REICH, former U.S. labor secretary: Well, I share many of Maya’s concerns. The net revenues coming in from this deal are relatively small, certainly in proportion to the very, very large looming budget deficits we see in the out-years.

    That means that most Americans will either have to in the future bear higher taxes, middle-class Americans, or most people will see their services, safety nets, public investments in everything from sewers and infrastructure overall to education, all of that will be cut and may be cut quite dramatically.

    The other thing that worries me, Jeffrey, is that there was no agreement on the debt ceiling, which means that we’re likely to see a continuation of this trench warfare we have had in Washington at least since the summer of 2011, with almost no hesitation.

    I think that the Republicans in the 113th Congress will use the threat of not going along with a rise in the debt ceiling as a way of extracting even more concessions with regard to spending cuts.

    Some of the spending cuts, as I said, particularly with regard to infrastructure and safety net programs, programs for the poor, are very critical for the future.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Doug Holtz-Eakin, I guess there’s consensus that there’s certainly more to come out of all this, right?

    DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN, former Congressional Budget Office director: No question. What we got was a mixed bag.

    It got us past the cliff. And I agree the biggest thing is addition by subtraction. We didn’t have a recession. That’s the best news. It also for 98 percent of the taxpayers gave them a permanent current tax law and took the uncertainty out. That’s good news.

    But from another perspective, it wasn’t very brave. In the end, we taxed rich people to continue spending on the current programs and we kicked down the road cutting any new ones. So it really wasn’t a solution to the debt and it wasn’t a great solution to avoiding a recession.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so you start us looking — pick up on something of these things and looking a little bit forward, where Robert Reich started already and so did Maya. But on some of the — like the debt issue, the debt limit issue, that’s the next thing to come, right?

    DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN: The next thing to come is in fact dealing with the debt. The debt limit is a symptom of that. And we are going to have to see both sides come forward with entitlement reforms.

    That’s the heart of this problem. It’s been noted for 10 years by the CBO among others that we cannot grow our way out of this, we can’t tax our way out of this. It’s an entitlement spending problem that has to be brought under control.

    And we will never solve debt limit fights unless we solve the debt. And so the way to really get ahead of this is for the president to take some leadership and put on the table what he thinks are the right ways to deal with the entitlement problem, and then to have this go through Congress in regular order, and have the House deal with it, the Senate deal with it, and stop the 11th-hour approach to this. Let’s solve problems using the legislative process.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Maya, have you seen any signs that that is likely or possible given what we just went through?

    MAYA MACGUINEAS: Well, I think everybody’s just kind of catching their breath and recovering for what was a very difficult negotiation.

    And we started with talk about really putting in place a lot of the bigger changes that had to get done, both entitlement reform and tax reform, and as we negotiated down, the deal got smaller and things got more toxic, as I said. People need to sort of regroup and think about how we are going to move forward.

    We did do one thing, which was the sequester, the across-the-board spending cuts that were going to hit, were extended for only two months. That means there’s another action-forcing moment in two months and what we have to do is we have to get real. We have to have a real conversation about what we’re going to do to deal with entitlements, spending and revenues, tax reform, all of these issues.

    We have to be able to talk about them in a less partisan way, a less finger-pointing way, because they are going to be hard. And if we continue to delay, we are going to have no economic stability, which is what we lack right now.

    We are going to have more real risk that we’re going to have an economic downturn because of concerns or some kind of fiscal crisis, and that debt ceiling is sitting out there, making us all nervous about how we’re going to resolve this.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Robert Reich, let me ask you just about the tax issue again, because the president had come into these negotiations saying he wanted to raise more in revenues. Many liberals now are suggesting he didn’t get enough. And I’m just wondering is there still, do you think, even the possibility of getting more or is that now a done deal and we turn really to the spending issues?

    ROBERT REICH: Well, hopefully, there is the possibility of getting more, particularly from the wealthiest members of our society.

    Those Bush tax cuts are now pretty much permanent. They are now built into law. They are no longer temporary. It is going to be very difficult to revisit them, but not impossible. I think the president could and should go back and see if it’s possible for the wealthy in this country, who have not been nearly this wealthy ever before, taking home a larger percentage of total income than they have in 60 years, to contribute a little bit more to deficit reduction.

    The other point I want to make in response to both Douglas and Maya’s points about entitlement reform is that the real long-term problem is not entitlements per se. The long-term problem is health care costs that continue to go up for this nation, coupled with baby boomers who are going to require more and more health care.

    Those health care costs are now 18 percent of total gross national product, the total economy. And those are what we have to deal with and we have got to get control over them. Medicare is not the problem. Medicare costs are going up because health care costs are going up.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Doug, do you buy that, that that’s really where the emphasis should be, instead of the — or as opposed to the entitlement…

    DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, I think there are really three important points here.

    First, health care reform means Medicare reform. Medicare drives the practice of medicine in America. It’s a system that rewards quantity over quality. It’s a system that’s fragmented. We pay doctors one way, hospitals another, insurance companies another, and drug companies a fourth way.

    It needs to be overhauled, so that it rewards quality and provides coordination. So Medicare reform is health care reform. The second is sort of, how do we get there? And I think it’s important to recognize that this country often has the situation we have, mixed government — that’s more the norm than the exception — and that when we do debt ceiling increases, it is the norm.

    Eleven out of the previous debt — 14 debt ceiling increases have legislation to affect the debt or deficit with them. So we should recognize that’s how it’s going to end up. The president should put the legislation he wants on the table and we should go from there. We shouldn’t have this silly notion that somehow we’re just going to raise the debt ceiling and ignore the debt. We should do business the way we have done it in the past.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, but I’m wondering now — you all three watched the economics of our political system, and we just saw Judy’s piece looking at a new Congress. A lot of people are talking about a broken political system, looking at what just happened.

    MAYA MACGUINEAS: It feels kind of broken right now.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It does?

    MAYA MACGUINEAS: It really feels like we have a political system that is not up to making difficult choices and solving hard problems and compromising, when it’s so much easier to just to pull back and start sort of playing the blame game.

    But this is just too important. When we’re talking about health care costs or the aging of society, these are all issues that we know are there, and we’re going to disagree about the perfect way to address them, but you can’t pretend we don’t have to try to fix them.

    We do have to fix them. And compromise and being willing to come out of your boxes and work together is going to be key to doing in particular these difficult choices.

    So I worry about the political system to step up, but it’s too important not to keep trying.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Robert Reich, you got the most distance of the group here, at least from the West Coast. How does it look?


    ROBERT REICH: Well, there’s obviously more kind of paralysis in Washington than anybody has seen in living memory.

    And we do have a huge debt and deficit problem. But don’t forget the way the public understands the key issue in front of us is the way our representatives respond. And the key issue, at least in the foreseeable future, the next few years, is not deficit or the debt. It’s jobs, it’s wages.

    Tomorrow, we are going to have an unemployment report, but we have got 23 million Americans who are underemployed or unemployed, and their median wage continues to drop. That’s the issue. That’s the issue we ought to be grappling with.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, well, no doubt to be continued.

    Robert Reich, Maya MacGuineas and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, thank you all.

    MAYA MACGUINEAS: Thank you.


    ROBERT REICH: Thanks very much.

    The post What ‘Cliffs’ Lay Ahead for Congress in Resolving Other Budget Deal Aspects? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

              Deciding Who Comes Home at the End of the War        
    On May 8, 1945 Nazi Germany surrendered to the United States and other Allies marking the end of the war in Europe. This surrender, known as VE Day marked the end of World War II for millions of soldiers and civilians. For the American soldiers in Europe that had fought across the continent from the beaches of Normandy this was the end of 335 days of combat and the start of occupation. In order to fairly decide which units and soldiers were sent to the Pacific theater and which would be sent home the Army developed a points system. This system, officially designated the Advance Service Rating Score, quickly became a hot topic with the troops.

    Point System for Discharges at End of WWII
    The Army’s reasoning behind this system was two-fold. Instead of shipping units whole from Europe the Army understood that it’s soldiers wanted to go home and soon. Draftees and National Guardsmen that had been in for the duration since 1941 often had the highest scores and were rotated home quickly. For example: Sgt. Bob Slaughter of D Company, 116thInfantry Regiment who stormed ashore on Omaha Beach had accumulated a score of 135 points by May of 1945, almost double the minimum of 85. His high score came from 52 months of active service, 33 of it overseas, 2 Bronze Stars, 2 Purple Hearts, the American Theater Ribbon and 5 Battle Stars on the European Theater Ribbon.

    When Bob returned home to Roanoke, Virginia he worked for the Roanoke Times newspaper until his retirement in 1987. In the 1980s he began to organize reunions of his World War II unit. At the same time, he began a campaign for a memorial dedicated to the memories of the D-Day fallen. This culminated in the dedication of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia on June 6, 2001.

    Bob Slaughter's Medals
    In order to keep units at full strength with combat veterans returning home, recently inducted soldiers would be sent overseas to join the Army of Occupation in Europe. One of these replacements was my grandfather, Pvt. William B. Ford Jr., who spent a year in Bremerhaven, Germany with the Army of Occupation. The surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945 allowed the drawdown of forces to continue with the points limit revised to 80 and soon to 50 by the end of 1945. As the points needed to be discharged dropped, so did the number of men in uniform. By January 1, 1946 almost fifty percent of the 8.3 million men in the Army had returned to civilian life in the states. These veterans contributed to the rapid growth of post-war America and the eventual Baby Boom of the 1950s. After grueling months on the front lines these soldiers finally returned home to their sweethearts, a warm bed and Mom’s apple pie.

    As the Greatest Generation quickly passes away, it is ever more important to celebrate and remember the legacies of World War II. In 2010, Congress unanimously voted in favor of a national “Spirit of ’45 Day,” typically held on V-J Day (August 14), to preserve and honor the legacy of the men and women of the World War II generation so that their example of national unity, shared sacrifice, can do attitude, and service to their community and country continues to inspire future generations of Americans.
    Spirit of '45 Alive Concert 2015

    On Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 7PM, the National D-Day Memorial will host its annual Spirit of ’45 Alive concert—an outdoor concert featuring The Let’s Dance Band with a tribute to the WWII generation. Tickets are sold at the door. In honor of Rosie the Riveter, wear a red bandana or scarf and receive $2 off admission. For ticket pricing and more information, visit or call 800-351-DDAY. A special thanks to Weldex and Bank of the James for sponsoring this event!



    Slaughter, John R. Omaha Beach And Beyond: The Long March of Sergeant Bob Slaughter.
                    St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007.

    Kennet, Lee. G.I.: The American Soldier in World War II. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons,


              Big data, cool kids        
    The big data world is a confusing place. We’re no longer in a market dominated mostly by relational databases, and the alternatives have multiplied in a baby boom of diversity. These child prodigies of the data scene show great promise …
              By: Kevin        
    In the 90s, national gave in to the baby boomers and turned land into an export commodity. In the naughtiest labour pretended we had a pumping economy by allowing everyone to borrow against house price inflation. Why we are boti the situation of Greece is a mystery to everyone. Just one example of national and labour colluding and plying good cop bad cop with us, the voters.
              A Year Ago        
    It's not terribly popular in my circles to admit you were a Bernie supporter. In hindsight all female Bernie support seems like a betrayal of gender. Let me assure you that gender had nothing to do with my enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders. I thought his message had value.

    Spare and I went to a Bernie rally in the spring of 2016. We stood in line all day at Temple University. This was as close as we ever bonded, I think ... and life kind of went downhill for both of us after this event.

    The Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia in July of 2016. There were many well-attended pro-Bernie rallies and marches as a part of that convention. Since I wasn't blogging then, I'm going to walk down memory lane and show a few photos of the marching that came before the real marching.

    Of course all the pro-Bernie rallies were organized over Facebook, and that's where I saw the message from the woman named Michelle. She left a comment: "I wish I could be there with you. I'm a single mother of a disabled son. I need single payer and a decent minimum wage. Please, someone, march for me."

    So I did. Then I posted all the photos with her name tagged. Below, Exhibit A, is the "establishing shot" with City Hall in the background, so Michelle would know I was for real. I was wearing my Bernie hat and my Phillies shirt with no sleeves that I use on paint crew.

    It was about 95 degrees that day with very little shade. The rally began at Thomas Paine Plaza.

    It seemed like a huge crowd at the time, but now ... after the ensuing events ... it was little more than a congenial gathering.

    I wasn't the only Baby Boomer in that crowd. Seemed like it skewed to older people.

    Michelle wanted to feel like she was there, so I asked lots of people to hold my "Hi Michelle" sign.

    To be absolutely honest, this was one of the few people in attendance that actually was a Bernie bro. He came in from Akron, Ohio.

    Guess I wasn't alone in being a traitor to my gender.

    Proof that not all middle-aged white men voted for Trump.

    I talked to people from all over the place. Some of them weren't prepared for Philly weather.

    Kinda wanted to flirt with this one, but didn't.

    This is a sentiment I did not share, even at this rally. I was going to vote Democrat even if they nominated Bill Maher.


    More female voters who were seduced by the good looks and shallow charm of Bernie Sanders.

    Philadelphia is a big city. It has real, live socialists. They hand out leaflets and everything. Here is someone who probably really didn't vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Someone made a Bernie quilt.

    Hi Michelle, we need to OVERTHROW this system! Someone? Anyone? Can I get a harrumph?

    Again in hindsight, this one seems a little bit prescient. When it comes to voter fraud, I have my suspicions. And they rest squarely upon bullying, intimidation, and sketchy machinery.

    Some of these folks, I just wonder. Did they really sit out the election? Or did they, like me, scurry to the polls to vote for Secretary Clinton, who -- I'll be the first to admit -- had every quality a leader of the free world would ever need?

    These jackasses were scattered all over the city. There were 52 of them, one for each state, one for Puerto Rico, and one for the District of Columbia. Each one was painted differently. This one was Iowa.

    So, on that hot day a year ago, we rallied at Thomas Paine Plaza and then set off on a march down Broad Street, exactly the same route the Mummers take on New Year's Day. It was so unbearably hot that I bagged the march at the corner of Broad and Pine, doubled back and took the El train home to Snobville.

    On the way to the train, I got accosted by a young woman with an island accent (couldn't place it, might have been Jamaican or Haitian). She took me to task about Bernie in a way that led me to believe she had lived in Philly long enough to pick up its behavior patterns. How the hell, she wanted to know, could I support Bernie when a menace like Donald Trump loomed? How could I feel right about splitting the ticket? Didn't I know what danger Donald Trump posed to immigrants?

    I assured her I did, and I promised that I would vote for Hillary (and I did), and with an airy wave at the throng of protesters, I said, "They all will too. Don't worry about a thing."

    Never ask me to handicap a race. This last photo was shot on November 9, 2016. To this day I wonder where that island lady is, and how she is faring. Oh my bored gods, what burdens we bear.

    Late addendum: Yes, Michelle saw the photos, and she loved them. She was very grateful and kind of amazed that I went to so much trouble for a stranger. I hope she has her health care and a decent wage.
              Weird War Tales        

    Along with Sports and Westerns, War stories accounted for much of the content of boys adventure comics published in Britain while I was growing up during the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately I had little or no interest in any of these genres, and tales about World War 2 left me particularly cold.

    It's not as though I was a born pacifist - more that I associated such tales with my parents' generation, and with the older members of the post-war baby boom who seemed to revel in boringly prosaic activities such as trainspotting, Meccano and collecting 'cutaway drawings' from the Eagle. For me, in those days, the Second World War represented the recent past, and its lingering traces could still be seen all over the landscape in the form of drab Nissan Huts, or disused airfields and pillboxes that were becoming ever more overgrown with each passing year. Along with a growing number of my immediate contemporaries I found myself increasingly attracted to the future instead of the past, and to the unearthly rather than the down-to-earth.

    As a consequence the only war stories likely to attract my attention were those that included some kind of 'fantastic' element, so it was fortunate that round about the time I started to take an interest in comics a number of publishers began to explore the curious sub-genre of 'Weird War Stories'!

    With memories of the 'doodlebugs' and 'buzz-bombs' that had terrified the southern counties of England during the latter stages of the War it's hardly surprising that one of the first types of Weird War Story to emerge involved the idea of Nazi Secret Weapons. These included everything from death rays to robots and flying saucers, allowing writers and artists to explore science fiction themes which made such comics appeal to me in a way that the more routine tales of blood and glory never did.

    Whereas secret weapons were employed almost exclusively by Germans (generally portrayed as a nation of oafish brutes or brilliant madmen), however, the next category of weirdness was capable of causing combatants from both sides of the conflict to form temporary alliances against a far more terrible enemy - dinosaurs!!!

    Supposedly classified and removed from all official accounts of WW2 this parallel battlefront was finally revealed to the public by legendary DC editor/writer Bob Kanigher who christened it the 'War That Time Forgot'. The combination of Nazis and Dinosaurs (possibly inspired by Edgar Rice Boroughs' WW1 story 'The Land that Time Forgot') proved to be an instant success and the series was soon promoted to the lead feature of 'Star Spangled War Stories'. Since then this winning formula has been revived on numerous occasions, and I've no doubt that it will continue to resurface in one form or another for many years to come.

    Kanigher also played an important part in the third significant wave of 'Weird War Tales' that caught my attention during that period - this being the curious notion of 'Ghosts at War'.

    Of course, the way in which comics on both sides of the Atlantic depicted supernatural themes had been radically affected by the mid-1950s campaign against 'Horror Comics', so that creatures such as Vampires, Wolfmen, Zombies and Frankenstein-type monsters had been specifically banned; the American 'Comics Code Authority' even deemed the very words 'Horror' and 'Weird' to be inherently unsavoury and outlawed their use on comic book covers. Fortunately ghosts - especially 'friendly' one's like Harvey's famous Casper - managed to slip through the net, and this left the field open for the appearance of a brand new genre of comics that replaced horror with a curiously benign eschatology that owed far more to Jimmy Stewart's 'Wonderful Life' than 'Dracula' or 'Frankenstein'.

    Under the editorship of Richard Hughes the American Comics Group produced a whole line of titles based on the existence of a quasi-religious, heavenly realm that he called simply 'The Unknown'. While ACG's ghosts made regular appearances in historical war zones, however, it was DC's Bob Kanigher who came up with the idea of an ongoing series in which the crew of a WW2 tank were watched over by the ghost of a Confederate General (albeit one who could only be seen by the tank commander!).

    'The Haunted Tank' made its debut in G.I.Combat no.87 (April/May 1961) - exactly one year after the dinosaurs had taken up residence in Star Spangled War Stories. Thus I was able to rely on a steady supply of American comics to satisfy my taste for Weird War; what's more, I found that more and more home-grown, British comics were also beginning to feature ghostly storylines.

    In the face of all these glamorous tales of monsters and marvels, who needed to bother with my father's mundane accounts of the flesh-and-blood enemies he'd encountered on his bloody trail from North Africa to the borders of Austria during those years before I was born? It wasn't until the 1970s, when growing pressure within the comics industry caused the Comics Code Authority to relax their rules, that I began to realize my mistake.

    All at once the vampires, werewolves and zombies were back! Meanwhile, in the pages of DC's war comics it became possible to sideline the fanciful ghosts, dinosaurs and robots in order to re-establish an essential link between war and sheer, existential horror. As soon as I saw the skeletal german soldier lunging out of the cover of Weird War Tales no.1 in late 1971 I knew that things could never be the same again: this was a new kind of weirdness that felt, paradoxically, real addition to which it stirred a faint memory I'd all-but forgotten!

    ...Suddenly, I was just four or five years old again - watching wide-eyed in the curtained gloom of my parents' bedroom as my father lifted mementos of his war service, one by one, out of a drawer.

    Old ration books and his call-up papers.

    Photographs of himself in uniform, standing alongside comrades who didn't all survive.

    A German dagger in its sheath, emblazoned with the swastika.

    A belt, bearing the motto 'GOTT MITT UNS'.

    ...And, lastly, a couple of yellowing leaflets that had once fallen like rain in the valley of the River Po.

    In the event my father remembered crossing the Po against minimal opposition, but the graphic 'warnings' - a product of Herr Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda - had clearly impressed him enough to warrant his carrying them for the rest of the war. For me, however, those dreadful illustrations were the stuff of nightmares: small wonder that I somehow managed to blot out their memory until Joe Kubert's cover for the first issue of Weird War finally brought them crowding back.

    In retrospect, I guess it's hardly surprising that I preferred the dinosaurs...!
              Arrests and Criminal Victimizations for Older Americans Increase        
    Overview This article offers insight as to the rise in crimes against older Americans, and increases in arrests for those over the age of 55. The initial wave of the baby boom generation turned 65 years old in 2011, a generation that comprises 30% of the total US population. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five […]
              This Summer's Postapocalyptic movie: DIE GSTETTENSAGA: The Rise of Echsenfriedl (a TV movie by Johannes Grenzfurthner 2014)        

    DIE GSTETTENSAGA: The Rise of Echsenfriedl
    a postapocalyptic TV movie by Johannes Grenzfurthner 2014

    I recently had the great satisfaction to watch a preview of a very fresh postapocalyptic feature film + a directorial debut, that premiered on Austria's ORF in March this year.
    It is somehow impossible not to appreciate an entirely different kind of algorithmic force(from another alternate universe for sure!) that was once again set loose by Johannes Grenzfurthner (of monochrom fame) upon unsuspecting survivors of the last 35 years of road-warrior, post-nuke, road-kill, after-the-bomb films. What would be the life of near-future anchorman and anchorwoman be like? What would news-worthy, or for that matter - what would 'news' mean in the age of abject prosumption, neuromarketing and endlessly recursive destructo-capitalist loops that really takes of the edge of tomorrowland?
    As a friend just tweeted, now every Hollywood blockbuster seems to be written by some underlying algorithm. The end credits are just the cinematic equivalent to a CAPTCHA response – trying to identify the film crew as human, even if this last human verification test is untenable and obsolete.

    Well, I kinda have this incredible (and maybe you do too!) and perverse desire to get to the bottom of actual directorial algorithms, pushing hard to enter the loop and be able to forget how Hollywood movie after movie manages to push an exact quota of car explosions, 3D makeover, eye-popping HD footage, hero worship, body count, family values, rescue missions ad infinitum into box office paradise. 
    Let's be clear, I'm overenthusiastic about Gstettensaga – because it is such a genre bender, a satiric H bomb, a horror movie and ex-auction house vaudeville  going for the unexpected dialectical turns of current history, and leading us into the untrodden and definitely outrageous wastelands. A very fertile wasteland that could be populated by postironic versions of Robocop Nazis Must Die, Escape from Vienna, Cheap-Chinese-Plastic Dawn or Europa 3000?

    Finally, in our year 2014, Gstettensaga made clear to me that Europe/including Austria is maybe feudally ripe for the post EU disaster age, the after-austerity, structural changes, post-financial capital era where just one megalopolis sprawls in the no-man's-land(actually Gstetten is the Austrian word for wild urban area, vacant lot) a Detroit-like failed city, somewhere on what used to be the river Danube.
    I think that Johannes Grenzfurthner, in the tradition of gleeful and unrepentant apres- disaster storytelling manages to simultaneously gonflate and reconfigure the present we live in, by shipwrecking and beaching its contents onto the shores of Do It (to) Thyself history and lore. The more it insists on toponymic specifics, on local tabloid news and blurbs, the more it can temporally mutate and amplify diverging Austrian regionalism and separatism within a new postal or linguistic contour.
    On the macro-political forecasting scale, this future chronology takes the shape of national-technological firewall world after the China vs Google Wars. The future is crap-o-tastic without doubt. The best is that it doesn't need fancy gimmicks, upload minds, bland singularities, since it is busy scavenging like a future Robinson Crusoe in the lofty ruins of past technological glory, consumer goods and fossil media, trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to get things working and functioning again.   
    Probably the Gstetten-saga universe should be placed along side Generation or Multi-generational Ship or Interstellar Ark stories(a personal favorite of mine!) as they are all exploring alternative or speculative anthropology trough the flesh of deep space and deep time fiction. The cosmic and historic drift of spaceship earth in the form of relentless entropy reshuffles not only tectonic plates but also hierarchies in unexpected ways. It also manages to enlarge agnatologic fissures where monopolistic feudal tycoons keep on capturing information technologies and claiming media supremacy by reinventing themselves as post-disaster Gutenbergs.
    The same genetic and memetic drift affects both bodies and knowledge on the multi-generational Ark(Austrian/European) ships. Typically, on such a multi-generational spaceship, the crew gets segmented into a new caste system and the command and machine rooms have been transformed into a pretty nasty  sancta sanctorum. Once-in-a-lifetime mechanical alarm signals are misinterpreted or reinterpreted as divine providence and the captain's log acts now like a Bible for the survivors who struggle to understand its obscured terminology and hidden meaning.        
    The vacant lot of the drifting future is not empty at all – it is populated by a constant class war shifted into zombie (worker) class war, or by the marauding tribes of subsidized EU farmers. These are some of my favourite First Contacts, although one might hash other best of sequence (such as the Occupy reference) – so watch out because of the spoiler alert further down!

    The two hero figures of Gstettensaga are a he and a she, a journalist and a technician (actually a looser baby boomer  and a hacktivist nerd) on the quest to interview a strange hero of the nerd underground – a talking lizard hiding away in the ruins of the former Ecuadorian Embassy. And as we know from today's world, if it's no easy task to interview Edward Snowden or Julian Assange, and greater dangers will await those who try this after the China vs Google wars. 
    This team resembles a lot the heroic media-wise crusading journalist as a character armed with both tekkie acumen and pluck, harking back to a distinctively dystopian VHS-flavored 80s futurism where television networks and large corporations dominate. This brand of TV broadcaster turned TV hacker, becomes an unlikely ancestor to the Internet cypherpunk whistleblower. Even if remotely related, the Gstettensaga couple somehow revived(for a brief flickering moment) the A.I. and virtual TV host Max Headroom/Edison Carter of Network 23 and his tech savvy colleague Theora Jones. In post-Google wars future, after Mountain View headquarters got nuked, the uplink TV transmissions seem to be back with a vengeance.   
    As the two wandering Gstetten-heroes are being kidnapped by a marauding tribe of ex-EU members of the Farmers Association they end up in one of these moments of pure futurologic bliss. Of course the subsidized peasants will become tribalized and start adorning themselves with Christmas decorations and prize-winning vegetables! Of course they will be sacrificing newcomers in a ritual of signatures and paper document filling!
    After the Berlin Wall we got today an incredible “Great Brussels Wall of Paper” that bore strange fruit in the Gstettensaga world. Lo and behold! Somehow the all-powerful white flip-chart, the omnipresent markers, the cheapo laser pointers have ended up becoming sacred paraphernalia of a new agrarian cult. A cult centred around ritual signature sessions of cryptic documents on which the two captive exurbanites make out a few awe-inspiring titles: EU Funding and Application! 
    Let's not forget the rising trend of militarizing the police force - the federal borders patrolled by a new internal SWAT-grade militia, a bureaucratic armed muscle that can confiscate, body-check, and vaccinate at will. Gstettensaga present us with some prize examples in next phase or the future robocopism: border patrols vacuum tube-sandwich fed and speaking their own abstruse and in-comprehensive dialect.
    As if the ('slow food'!) cannibalistic ritual of agrarian pagan paper-signing wasn't enough, the heroes are confronted with ever bigger odds on their way to the final Tele-O-Vision interview. They are being attacked by a group of undead miners, stuck in the depths of long-deserted shafts, probably brought back to a zombie existence while toiling for rare toxic metals to supply our endless hunger for mobile smart-phones and tablets.

    Also (for those who tremble and fear for their lives: DO NOT READ FURTHER NOW!!!) the Rise of Echsenfriedl - is noting else but a covert the rise of that most terrifying AI apoptosis meme - Roko's Basilisk. It's the self-replicating meta-goatse, the scarecrow of posthumanist morale, the nightmare child of bored tech-libertarians and techno-utopian shivering, the Oedipal upload of downgraded futurists, a slick Reanimator that takes even your screaming capacities (the Hurayyyyyyyyyyyyy for the Singularity!) away.     
    There is lots to be said, not at least the grandiose Gstettensaga adbusting finale – where the eye-logo of the CBS Network gets morphed from human gaze in a view with a nonhuman slant.  
              What is Menopause in Women?        
    There are many baby boomers residing in the United States who are females. In fact, in 2006, the oldest of the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 began turning 60 years old. As of July 1, 2005, an estimate of 78.2 million baby boomers was noted, and 50.8% of which are women. Thus, you would expect that each day in 2006, 7,918 people turn 60 - in hours, that would be 330. (Source: US Census Bureau)

    The figures above appropriately explains why many women are experiencing the symptoms of menopause currently. And if you are one of the 40 million women who are feeling the discomfort associated with menopause, then it pays to understand the facts.

    So what is menopause? By definition, it's the cessation of the menstrual cycle for a period of twelve consecutive months. Because it occurs at the time when the ovaries stop producing estrogen - on or about 51 or 52 years old - menopause marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.

    Many women can experience immediate menopause regardless of age when the ovaries are removed surgically. But whichever case, the symptoms of menopause affect women's health, mental state of mind, and quality of life for the remainder of her lifetime.

    It was the year 2003 when the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) frightened women and doctors alike with the recommendation of not taking hormones. This is, largely due to the fact that many women don't know the real facts about WHI. Those women over 65 years old who are taking PremPro and Premarin, for example, were found to have experienced cardiovascular diseases, cancer and osteoporosis - these results were thoroughly discussed, no less. Good thing, however, that bioidentical hormones weren't included in this research.

    The WHI also conducted an in-depth study on postmenstrual women - especially on the most prevalent causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life. It was an organized attempt to amend the inequities in women's health research and therefore provide practical information to women and their doctors. The study was focused on how synthetic hormone replacement therapy, dietary patterns with calcium and Vitamin D supplements can help in the prevention of heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis. These three diseases were the main focus of the research because they become more prevalent in menopausal women.

    In 2003, there were approximately 9 million women who are still taking a particular form of Premarin. One is PremPro. Another one, Premari- which stands for Pregnant Mares' Urine (PREgnant MARes' urINe); PMU for short. Both of these forms are synthetic hormones.

    Then the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) results came out. In 1999, for example, the number of women taking PMU-based medications went down by 25%.

    Around one third of the fifty-five million post menopausal women in the US are on synthetic estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Of these women, about 49 percent currently use "PMU" based products, which are down from a high of 79% in 1999.

    There are still plenty of women who do not understand hormone therapy, and for those women who are afraid, and still do not take any Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), the concept of natural bio-identical hormones is becoming more intriguing. Given that there are so many products in the market, choosing one is a bit confusing. The fact that the government is controlling all bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) remedies adds to all this confusion.

    Women no longer need to be baffled about hormone replacement therapy. People have become accustomed to talking about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in menopause medicine. There is a confusion in the use of the terms, however, because hormones are not truly bio-identical. They can't be considered as restoration unless what has been lost is actually restored; natural hormones aren't bio-identical and can only be considered so if the body can recognize them as hormones. In large part, they can only be mimicked, and shall never be identical. Further, they cannot be replaced, rather, they can be restored. And in order for hormone therapy to be 100% accurate, it must be rhythmic, or biomimetic.

    How do biomimetic hormones vary from bio-identical hormones? Simply put, biomimetic hormones are those that are derived from natural sources and have the capability to mimic the natural undulating rhythms of the hormone blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle. Undulating, as defined, is the tendency of causing something to move in a smooth, wavelike motion.

    To be consistent with the chemical structure of hormones produced naturally by the human body, bio-identical hormone products are usually formulated from plant sources. Technically, the body cannot differentiate bio-identical hormones from the ones that are produced by the ovaries, however, different forms can be recognized by the various cells. So it makes sense that bio-identical hormone results might also be different.

    Bio-identical hormone compounds need to be presented biomimetically for them to be biologically as authentic as human hormones. Recognition at the receptor cites are largely about presentation (such as serum level, timing and molecular structure.)

    Biomimetic hormone restoration therapy is accurate, it is biomimetic and mimics the rise and fall rhythms of hormone blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle. Bear in mind that it is not bio-identical, but biomimetic.

    What's the rhythm then? The rhythms of the body are governed by a master clock that works much like a conductor. Cues from light signals are taken (mostly to be in-sync with the 24-hour day) and depending on the time of the day, a section of the body is struck up while another is quieted down. Our body's hormones surge and ebb to this maestro's wand.

    The circadian clock that our cells follow is in reality, one 24-hour rotation of the planet. The moon - and your body - tracks that repetitive cycle for 28 days. There is only one patented bioidentical hormone product on the market that uses this natural rhythm of nature to establish the proper doses of estradiol and progesterone that mimic the natural hormones generated by your body. To restore the hormone levels of youth, topical creams need to be applied in differing amounts throughout that 28-day cycle.

    The latest treatment for women in menopause is multi-phasic rhythmic dosing of bio-mimetic hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) using natural hormones in a bio-mimetic way. Over two million women in the U.S. use customized hormones for menopause symptoms.

    In the future, there will be 57.8 million baby boomers living in 2030, according to projections; 54.9% would be female. That year, boomers would be within the ages 66 and 84. With the relief provided by BHRT, hopefully, all these women will have a merrier post-menopausal life.
              Confused About Menopause Symptoms and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?        
    If your answer to the question being asked is yes, then you are not isolated. It is essential to know the facts when pertaining to your body. And one of the most important thing is that there are a number of baby boomers who live in the United States who are females.

    In 2006, the oldest of the baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, started turning 60 years old. According to the US Census Bureau, there were about 78.2 million baby boomers, as of July 1, 2005, and 50.8 percent from these group were women. Which means, based to projections 7,918 people turned 60 every day in 2006, or about 330 every hour.

    This is one of the reasons why there are a lot of women today who are very not comfortable with
    [Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a href-"">') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

    <a href=""><img src="" width="320" height="235" border='0'/></a>If your answer to the question being asked is yes, then you are not isolated. It is essential to know the facts when pertaining to your body. And one of the most important thing is that there are a number of baby boomers who live in the United States who are females.

    In 2006, the oldest of the baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, started turning 60 years old. According to the US Census Bureau, there were about 78.2 million baby boomers, as of July 1, 2005, and 50.8 percent from these group were women. Which means, based to projections 7,918 people turned 60 every day in 2006, or about 330 every hour.

    This is one of the reasons why there are a lot of women today who are very not comfortable with <a href-"">menopause symptoms</a>. If you are one of more than 40 million women experiencing discomfort from menstruation to menopause, then you should be aware of the facts.

    Menopause is the cessation of menstruation for 12 months or when the ovaries no longer produce estrogen, this puts the end of a women's years of reproduction and occurs somewhere between the age of 51 or 52. Instant menopause can happen at any age when the ovaries are taken out surgically. The health and quality of a woman is affected by menopause for the rest of her life.

    Back in 2003, women and doctors were traumatized by what was released from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). What a lot women don't know is that the results comprehensively talked about heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis in women over 65 years-old on PremPro and Premarin only.

    The WHI was built to attend to the most widespread causes of death, disability, and unwhole quality of life in postmenopausal women. Planned as an attempt to correct the inequities in women's health research and provide practical details to women and their doctors, the WHI focused on synthetic hormone replacement therapy, dietary patterns plus calcium and Vitamin D supplements and their effects on the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. The grounds being the episode of these three diseases increases after a woman reaches menopause.

    In November of 2003, there were just about 9,000,000 American women who were still taking some form of Premarin as in PremPro. Premarin or PMU represents Pregnant Mares' Urine (PREgnant MARes' urine). Then the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) results were released, and there was a reduction of 25 percent of the approximately 12 million women taking PMU based medications in 1999.

    There are fifty-five million post menopausal women in the US and 1/3rd of them are on synthetic estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Of them, about 49% at present use "PMU" based products, down from a soaring 79 percent in 1999.

    A lot of women who were afraid of taking in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), were intrigued of the idea of natural bio-identical hormones. Yet with so many products gone out on the market, this has just created confusion. And now, the government is taking measures to control every bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) remedies that are being sold.

    Women no longer need to be puzzled about hormone replacement therapy. People have become accustomed to talking about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in menopause medicine. But this expression isn't truly exact since hormones are not really bio-identical. Natural hormones are not bio-mimedic not if the body can recognize them as hormones, and their not taken as restoration unless what was lost is truly restored. It can be copied but they can never be identical. Furthermore, they cannot be replaced, rather they can be restored.

    Exactly how do biomimetic hormones vary from bio-identical hormones? Biomimetic hormones derived from natural sources, and copy in the body the natural waving rhythms of the hormone blood stages in a normal menstrual cycle. Undulating means to cause to move in a smooth waving motion.

    Bio-identical hormone products are usually formulated from plant sources to match the chemical structure of hormones produced naturally by the human body. The premise is that, technically, the body cannot distinguish bio-identical hormones from the ones the female ovaries produce; but, different forms of human-produced hormones are recognized differently by cells. So it sensible that bio-identical hormone outcome might also be different.

    A great part of recognition at the receptor cite depends on presentation, i.e...serum levels and and how it is timed, as well as molecular makings. So for bio-identical hormone compounds to be the same as biologically human hormones, they must be presented biomimetically.

    Biomimetic hormone restoration therapy mimics the rise and fall pulse in hormone blood levels present in a normal menstrual cycle. It is not bio-identical,it's biomimetic.

    What is the rhythm? Similar to a conductor, a body's rhythm is ruled over by a master clock. A part of the body's orchestra is hit as a part quiets down, it derives its cue from the body's light signals so it stays synchronized with the 24-hour day. The hormones rise and fall to this.

    Our cells circadian clock measures on one 24 hour revolution of our planet. For 28 days the moon tracks the repeating of that cycle - and so does the body. One product known as the Wiley Protocol uses this usual beat of nature to build the proper doses of estradiol and progesterone that copy the natural hormones made by your body. The topical creams and their amounts vary throughout the 28 day cycle to replenish the hormone levels of youth.

    With the use of natural hormones that copy the body's natural rhythm, biomimetic hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the current treatment for menopausal women through multiple phases of rhythmic dosage. In the US, there are 2 million women plus, that used customized hormones for physical signs that are menopause-related.

    In the future, there will be 57.8 million baby boomers that will live in 2030, according to projected studies; 54.9 percent would be female. Around that time, they would be around the age of 66-84. Thanking the relief that Biomimetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) brings to your <a href="">menopause symptoms</a>, we all hope they would be living more comfortable.

              Are you Confused About Hormone Replacement Therapy?        
    You are not the only one who does not really understand what is meant by hormone replacement therapy.

    When it comes to your body it is essential to know the facts. And one of the most important facts is that there are a lot of baby boomers living in the US who are females.

    Baby boomers refer to those who were born sometime between 1946 and 1964 - and in 2006, the oldest of them began turning 60. The US Census Bureau reports that as of July 1, 2005, there were approximately 78.2 baby boomers and 50.8% of them were women. That means, as per the projections that 7,918 people turned 60 everyday in 2006, or about 330 hourly.

    This explains why a large number of women nowadays find discomfort when experiencing peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms. If you are one of more than 40 million women experiencing distress from menstruation to menopause, then you have to understand the facts.

    In simple terms, menopause is defined as (a) the cessation of menstruation for 12 consecutive months (b) which normall happens at ages 51 and 52 (c) marking the end of a woman's reproductive years (d) where the ovaries stop producing the female hormone, estrogen. Immediate menopause may happen at any age when the ovaries are surgically taken out. In either case, menopause affects women's health and quality of life for the rest of her lifetime.

    A study that's sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was referred to as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) was conducted among 161,000 50-to-79-year-old women in order to tackle the most common causes of death, disability and quality of life among women. It seeks to identify ways on preventing chronic diseases such as heart diseases, breast and colorectal cancer and osteoporosis and to identify the pros and cons of resorting to menopausal hormone therapy. These diseases are said to increase their chances of developing among women who are on the menopausal stage of their lives.

    Many women are not aware of the fact that the above-mentioned research only tackled cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis among 65-year-old women who are on synthetic hormone replacement therapy using the brands PremPro and Premarin only. In July 2002, WHI researchers stopped the part of their study involving combined estrogen plus progestin because they acknowledged that the probable risks of this therapy exceeded the safety limit set at the beginning of the study.

    Statistics show that as of November 2003, about nine million Americans were using some form of Premarin. Premarin(r) is the acronym for Pregnant Mares' Urine (PREgnant MARes' urINe); PMU for short As soon as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) results were released, and there was a reduction of 25 percent of the approximately 12 million women taking PMU-based medications in 1999.

    Of the 55 million post-menopausal women in the US, 1/3 of them are either on synthetic ERT (estrogen replacement therapy) or HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Of them, approximately 49 % presently use "PMU" based products, down from a high of 79 percent in 1999.

    The idea of using bio-identical hormones is most intriguing for women who are still doubtful of taking any HRT. But with so many products on the market, even that has become confusing. And now, the government is trying to regulate all of the bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) solutions that are being sold.

    Certainly, women nowadays need not be confused about HRT. People have become accustomed to discussing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in menopause medicine. Be aware however, that the term may be a bit confusing considering that hormones aren't really bio-identical. Natural hormones are not bio-mimedic unless the body can identify them as hormones, and they're not considered restoration unless what has been lost is truly restored. They can be mimicked, but they are not identical. They can only be restored, and never really replaced.

    So how are biomimetic hormones not the same as bio-identical hormones? {Biomimetic hormones are derived from natural sources, and mimic in the body the natural undulating rhythms of the hormone blood levels in a regular menstrual cycle.|Developed from natural sources, biomimetic hormones mimic the undulating rhythms of the blood levels in a regular menstrual cycle. Undulating is defined as causing to move in a smooth wavelike motion.

    Bio-identical hormone products are commonly derived from plant sources to harmonize with the chemical structure of hormones produced naturally by the human body. This is based on the notion that although various bio-identical hormones are recognized differently by cells, the body cannot really distinguish bio-identical hormones from those that are produced in a woman's ovaries. Thus, it follows that the effects of bio-medical hormones may also differ. For bio-identical hormone compounds to be authentically the same, biologically, as human hormones, they should be presented biomimetically.

    Biomimetic hormone restoration therapy is more precise because it can mimic the up-down rhythm of the blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle. That's Biomimetic - not bio-identical.

    How do you define rhythm? The body's rhythms are regulated by a master clock that works like a conductor. For the most part, the body gets its cues from light signals to stay in sync with the day and it stimulates one part of the body while the other quiets down. Figuratively, the hormones in the body rise and fall at the command of the maestro.

    The circadian clock in our cells measures one 24-hour spin of the planet. As the moon takes note of such a movement of the Earth, so does your body tracks that phenomenon. The Wiley Protocol is an excellent example of a product that mimics the body's natural production of hormones. To restore the hormonal levels among the youth, topical creams differ - and the amounts of application are also different.

    The latest treatment for women in menopause is multi-phasic rhythmic dosing of bio-mimetic hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) using natural hormones in a bio-mimetic manner. About two million women in the US resort to this type of treatment.

    According to forecast, in 2030, approximately 54.9% of the 57.8 million baby boomers will be female. Upon that time, the baby boomers would be treading along the ages of 66 to 84. Kudos to the relief of the rhythm of Biomimetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), hopefully they'll all live a little more comfortably.
              Are you Confused About Hormone Replacement Therapy?        
    If you are questioning hormone replacement therapy, you're not alone.

    When it comes to your physical well-being it is important to know the facts. And one of the most important facts is that there are a lot of baby boomers living in the US who are women.

    Baby boomers refer to those who were born sometime between 1946 and 1964 - and in 2006, the oldest of them began turning 60. As per the US Census Bureau, there were an approximate of 78.2 million baby boomers, as of July 1, 2005, and 50.8 percent of them were females. That means, as per the projections that 7,918 people turned 60 everyday in 2006, or about 330 hourly.

    This elucidates why a large number of women today find discomfort when experiencing peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms. If you are one of more than 40 million women experiencing discomfort from menstruation to menopause, then you have to know the facts.

    Simply put, menopause is described as (a) the cessation of menstruation for 12 uninterrupted months (b) which normall occurs at ages 51 and 52 (c) marking the end of a woman's reproductive years (d) where the ovaries stop producing the female hormone, estrogen. Immediate menopause may happen at any age when the ovaries are surgically taken out. In either case, menopause affects women's health and quality of life for the remainder of her lifetime.

    A study that's sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was referred to as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) was conducted among 161,000 50-to-79-year-old females in order to tackle the most common causes of death, disability and quality of life among females. It seeks to identify ways on preventing chronic diseases such as heart diseases, breast and colorectal cancer and osteoporosis and to identify the pros and cons of resorting to menopausal hormone therapy. The reason being the incident of these 3 diseases increases after a woman reaches menopause.

    Many women are unaware of the fact that the above-mentioned study only discussed about cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis among 65-year-old women who are on synthetic hormone replacement therapy using the brands PremPro and Premarin only. In July 2002, WHI investigators stopped the part of their study involving combined estrogen plus progestin because they found that the possible risks of this therapy exceeded the safety limit established at the beginning of the study.

    Statistics show that as of November 2003, about 9 million Americans were taking some form of Premarin. Premarin, also referred to as PMU for short, stands for PREgnant MARes' urine. A decrease of approximately 25% among the 12 million women who are taking PMU-based medications in 1999 was observed right after the WHI results came out.

    About 1/3 of the approximately fifty-five million post menopausal women in the United States are on synthetic estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). From this figure, the percentage of women who are on PMU-based products decreased from 79% to 49%.

    The notion of using bio-identical hormones is most intriguing for women who are still doubtful of taking any HRT. Still, this idea has become so perplexing because of the countless products that have been plaguing the market. Good thing though that the government dipped its finger on the matter - regulating all bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) solutions that are on circulation.

    Women no longer need to be confused about hormone replacement therapy. People have become accustomed to talking about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in menopause medicine. But this term isn't 100% correct because hormones are not really bio-identical. For one, natural hormones cannot be called restorative unless they really restore what has been lost and they're not bio-mimedic unless the body sees them as hormones. They can be mimicked, but they're not identical. Furthermore, they cannot be replaced, rather they can be restored.

    Exactly how do biomimetic hormones differ from bio-identical hormones? {Biomimetic hormones are derived from natural sources, and mimic in the body the natural undulating rhythms of the hormone blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle.|Developed from natural sources, biomimetic hormones mimic the undulating rhythms of the blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle. The word undulating refers to smooth and wave-like movement.

    To match the chemical structure of natural hormones, bio-identical hormone products are made from plant sources. This is based on the notion that although various bio-identical hormones are recognized differently by cells, the body cannot really distinguish bio-identical hormones from those that are produced in the ovaries of a woman. Thus, it makes sense that bio-identical hormone effects may also be different. Bio-identical hormone compounds must be presented biomimetically for them to be genuinely the same as human hormones.

    Biomimetic hormone restoration therapy is precise, it is biomimetic and mimics the up and down rhythms of hormone blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle. This exact feature is biomimetic, and must not be confused with bio-identical.

    How do you define rhythm? The rhythms of the body are regulated by a master clock that works much like a conductor. It activates one section of the body's orchestra as another takes a backseat, taking its main cue from light signals in order to stay in tune with the 24-hour day. Our body's hormones rise and ebb to this maestro's wand.

    The circadian clock in our cells measures one 24-hour spin of the planet. For 28 days, the moon tracks the repeating of that cycle - and so does your body. One product known as the Wiley Protocol uses this natural rhythm of nature to determine the correct doses of estradiol and progesterone that mimic the natural hormones produced by your body. To restore the hormonal levels among the youth, topical creams differ - and the amounts of application are also distinct.

    Among the most recent treatment for women that employs the use of natural hormones in a bio-mimetic manner is the multi-phasic rhythmic dosing of bio-mimetic hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Over 2 million women in the U.S. use customized hormones for menopause symptoms.

    According to projections, in 2030, approximately 54.9% of the 57.8 million baby boomers would be female. Upon that time, the baby boomers would be treading within the ages of 66 to 84. And by that time, they would hopefully still be living comfortably, thanks to the Biomimetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).
              Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause Symptoms History        
    Since 1900, in the industrial nations, the life expectancy of women has risen from age 47 to well over age 80. The average onset of menopause has been recorded at 50 years old for the last 150 years. That means most women are living at least thirty years longer than they did at the turn of the century, and about one third of their lives after menopause. Almost 80 percent of women go through diverse fast unbearable menopause symptoms and 30 percent of those are sorted as severe.

    Sleeplessness, exhaustion and anxiety lead to the aging process.

    Menopause symptoms can start as early as the late thirties - yet they are the same painful disabilities that the elderly face.

    Doctors are encouraged to come up with a possible answer to many menopausal problems for Baby Boomers.

    Regrettably, a want of knowledge has led many doctors to prescribe synthetic drugs with hormone-like effects. Apart from the risk of synthetics, as presented by the WHI outcomes, these hormones are prescribed in static dosing format, which is not natural to the body. Will aggressive illnesses associated with aging be relieved by precisely replacing youthful hormone levels that are gone using the Wiley Protocol?
              Food Trends for 2012: Marketing Foods to 50+        
    Marketers have set their sites on those of us in the 50+ demographic for 2012. Retiring baby boomers want to stay healthy and fit and many new products will be introduced promising better brains, healthier joints, and happier hearts. Leatherhead Food Research notes that glucosamine-fortified foods and beverages for joint health will become increasing available in 2012. The food research group also says to expect more omega-3-fats in foods for cardiovascular and brain health. And, the popular trend of adding the word "natural" to foods and beverages will continue in the New Year.

    Sounds great, doesn't it....but is it really? For years food processors have been adding needed nutrients to food to protect the public health; for example, adding (called fortifying in the food and nutrition world) vitamin D to milk makes sense because (1) milk does not naturally contain vitamin D (even breast feeding mothers have to give infants supplemental vitamin D), and (2) vitamin D is crucial for absorbing the calcium in milk. A more recent example of good, "makes sense" fortification is the addition of calcium to orange juice to increase dietary calcium intake.

    However, when it comes to adding glucosamine and chondroitin or omega-3-fatty acids to foods, my response is why? Don't get me wrong...I think glucosamine is useful for some people with osteoarthritis and omega-3-fatty acids are important for good health, but when added to foods there is usually not enough of the good stuff in the food to justify the cost.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin may help rebuild cartilage in damaged joints, especially in the early stages of the disease, and some people report it relieves pain. Here is the need a lot of the stuff to achieve therapeutic levels and it is very unlikely you will get it in a fortified food. When people ask me about glucosamine and chondroitin as dietary supplements, I suggest they take 1500 milligrams of glucosamine and 1200 milligrams of chondroitin in a divided dose (i.e., 750 milligrams of glucosamine and 600 milligrams of chondroitin twice a day) for about 3 months. If in 3 months there is no improvement of symptoms then it is unlikely that it will work for you.

    Same thing goes for omega-3-fatty acids....1000 milligrams (1 gram) may lower heart disease risk but therapeutic doses for triglyceride lowering may be much higher, up to 6 grams per day. And, omega-3 is a general term for a type of fat. What you really want is DHA and EPA and not omega-3s from other sources, like flax seed.

    And don't even get me started on the word "natural." What is natural is real food; a baked potato is natural, potato chips are not. And no hot dog is ever "natural." Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration does not approve of the claims natural, all-natural, or pure on a food label.

    If you want to stay healthy and active, eating whole foods, cooking your own meals, and choosing a wide variety of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean protein, nuts and seeds is the best way to go. If you want to try glucosamine and chondroitin or omega-3-fats, look for high quality supplements (more on that topic in an upcoming article) or naturally occurring omega-3 foods, like salmon and tuna.
              Juvenon Health Journal - > Protein Supplementation Benefits For Baby Boomers and Beyond         
    What do young body builders and athletes have in common with the over 50 crowd? More than you might think, according to research linking the consumption of high-quality protein with healthy muscles, regardless of strength or age.
              Juvenon Health Journal - > 4 Minute Workout For Baby Boomers and Beyond         
    Sparked by an age-old quest for the most efficient exercise regime comes new research that indicates that your workout may require less time than previously thought. Swallow your too-busy-for-exercise excuses and read up on some research that supports the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT).
              Disasterology 8: A panda baby boom, five years after Sichuan earthquake        
    There are pandas almost everywhere you look at the Chengdu research center in the northern suburbs of China’s fourth-largest city. That’s a hopeful sign, five years after a magnitude 8 earthquake devastated the Wolong Nature Reserve, arguably the most important panda preserve on the planet and home to many of the 1,600 or so giant pandas in the wild.
              Over 50? *Thinking* of Retirement?        
    Then you might find this of particular interest: According to Nationwide Insurance from a recent survey of 800+ working Americans over the age of 50, 26 percent do not expect to ever retire… up from 22 percent in 2012. Reported in Human Resource Executive (Jan./Feb. 2014 issue), baby boomers are not retiring. They are defining [...]
              Over Forty Dating Advice For Dating Younger, Same Age Or Older Singles        
    The over forty dating pool continues to grow. Indeed, with careers taking precedence in many peoples' lives, and baby boomers now past their forties, there are more older singles than ever before. Add to this, marriages that have ended in divorce, death and even drama. If you find yourself over forty and seeking a date... well, you're in good company.
              Senior Snow Sliders Enjoy Colorado Ski Country USA’s ‘White Carpet’ Treatment        

    Resorts Offer Miles of Manicured Terrain, Lift Ticket Discounts, and Social Groups Approximately 17 percent of skiers and snowboarders on the slopes today are over the age of 55. In fact, skiing and snowboarding has increasingly become a three-generation sport, as the large Baby Boom population continues to participate in significant numbers, while persons young [&hellip

    The post Senior Snow Sliders Enjoy Colorado Ski Country USA’s ‘White Carpet’ Treatment appeared first on Colorado Ski Country USA Blog.

              FATHER & DAUGHTER FILM REPORT by Amanda Perkins & David Bryant Perkins        
    HIGLIGHTS from the San Antonio Film Festival: THE WHOLE…plus interview with film maker Rodrigo Moreno ……..One Millennial.  One Baby Boomer. Two totally different perspectives. Perspectives that cross not only generations – but styles, tastes, passions, interests, and impressions. The duo … Continue reading
              Baby Boomers – Please don’t retire!        

    Video conferencing can keep you working longer. Have you ever noticed that baby boomers work hard, very hard? I have

    The post Baby Boomers – Please don’t retire! appeared first on Blog PROD.

              Corporate Canada needs to pony up to reduce youth unemployment        

    One of the perks of the position of the Governor of the Bank of Canada, going back to at least the days of David Dodge, is that it provides a bully pulpit to weigh in on economic issues of wider public interest than monetary policy. This is appropriate given the broad context within which the Bank operates, but, as Stephen Poloz now knows, the ability to gain widespread public attention comes with a downside.

    Governor Poloz was widely criticized recently for his suggestion that unemployed young people should volunteer or consider working for free in order to improve their longer term prospects in a poor job market. Outraged youth rightly noted that it is only the children of the affluent who can afford to work for free, and that unpaid internships are often highly exploitative.

    In fairness to Poloz, he was at least underscoring the very real problem that the economic recovery continues to largely bypass youth. As of October, 2014, the youth unemployment rate was still 12.6%, well over double the adult rate, and the youth employment rate (the proportion of the age group 15 to 24 holding any kind of a job) was 56.5%, still down a full three percentage points from 2008.

    The bigger issue is underemployment. Far too many young people leaving the post secondary educational system are finding work, but in low paid and insecure jobs which fail to meet their qualifications and don't provide a meaningful career experience. A 2012 report by Canada's Certified General Accountants found that one in four university graduates aged 25 to 29 hold jobs which do not require a university degree.

    Poloz's tone deaf remarks suggested that it is up to young people to make the best of a bad situation. But he could have used his bully pulpit to propose an entirely different approach, building on the recent challenge issued by the  Broadbent Institute.

    What Poloz could have said is something like this:

    "As noted by my predecessor Governor Carney, corporate Canada is sitting on over $600 billion of surplus cash or 'dead money.' Companies can afford to do the right thing, which is to step up to the plate and create more meaningful career opportunities for young people entering the labour market. I strongly urge them to do so."

    As Poloz said, long periods of unemployment and underemployment often lead to the loss of skills and permanent “scarring” effects.  And, as he is well aware, we can ill afford this as a country given the fact that the baby boom generation will soon be leaving the workforce in large numbers. The delay in retirement brought on by the recession is not going to last forever.

    Between 2008 and 2013, the employment rate of persons age 60 to 64 rose from 45.2% to 50.0%, and that of persons age 65 to 69 rose from 20.5% to 24.4%. The baby boomers are working longer, creating a big part of the problem for young people in a slack economy, but there is still a big drop in employment rates after age 65.

    Responsible employers recognize the need to give young people leaving the post secondary educational system some on the job experience.  Approximately 80,000 secondary and post secondary students participate annually in co-operative education programs which provide a paid work experience, the quality of which is actively monitored by an educational institution. Employers also support some 85,000 new apprenticeships combining on the job experience and classroom learning each year

    Unfortunately, a significant minority of employers are taking advantage of the very slack job market for youth through exploitative unpaid internship positions which are generally illegal unless they are part of a formal academic program. And many more have greatly limited hiring of new graduates.

    Government programs for youth make only a modest difference. The federal government spends some $270 million per year on its Youth Employment Strategy, but most funds are targeted to minimum wage summer jobs created by not for profit employers and small businesses. For good reason, there are few subsidies to major private sector employers to create meaningful career opportunities for youth.

    Corporate Canada can clearly afford to do more, and it is in their own best interests to do so since labour force growth will soon grind to a virtual halt and young workers with good qualifications and work experience will be widely sought after. Deploying even a small fraction of surplus corporate cash to new hiring would make a significant difference.

    The message to large employers should be that they have a responsibility to create meaningful paid job opportunities for youth.

    Andrew Jackson is the former Packer Professor at York University and senior policy adviser to the Broadbent Institute.

    This article originally appeared in the Globe and Mail's Economy Lab.

              Canada needs an action plan to fight long-term youth unemployment        

    Young people lag behind in Canada's economic recovery, with rates of unemployment and underemployment still significantly above pre-recession levels. The danger is that this will have a permanent scarring effect on many youth, with long-term negative implications for both our economy and our society. 

    It is often forgotten that Canada still has a large “echo baby boom” youth age cohort, with some 4.4 million persons age 15 to 24 now transitioning into the paid work force. They will all be needed in a few years just to replace “baby boomer” retirees, and our economic prospects will be brighter if our future work force gains relevant skills and experience today.

    The youth unemployment rate (age 15 to 24) is typically about double the rate for core age workers (age 25 to 54) but was still 2.3 times as high in May, 2014 when the youth rate was 13.3% compared to 5.8%. Further, many young people have stopped looking for work, or have been forced to take part-time jobs even though they want full-time work.

    While the great majority of graduates from post secondary institutions do manage to find jobs, recent studies by the Certified General Accountants of Canada and the Institute for Research on Public Policy find that many end up in low paid and often insecure survival jobs which do not require post secondary qualifications.

    Despite these high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment, the federal government has cut funding for and the number of participants in programs delivered under the Youth Employment Strategy (YES). Just under 50,000 participants are projected for this year, less than one half the annual average of 114,000 in the three years from 2003 to 2006, before the recession.

    Some responsible employers provide structured programs which give young people in post secondary education programs real world work experience. Some 80,000 students participate in formally organized, paid co-op positions each year, and many employers provide decent summer jobs and career opportunities to new graduates.

    But other employers offer only unpaid internships to young people desperate to gain work experience, and sometimes prefer to retain older workers rather than hire new graduates.

    Employers and government should be challenged to do more.

    In 2013, the European Union adopted the official goal of a “youth guarantee”, a high-quality job offer or training position for any young worker without a job after four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The goal is to ensure that youth unemployment does not lead to loss of skills and disengagement from the job market.

    National action plans are being developed by governments, employers and unions to fight long-term youth unemployment.

    While the situation in Canada is better than in many crisis hit European countries, we do worse than some countries, like Germany and Austria, which effectively transition the great majority of youth from the education system to permanent jobs and on the job skills training.

    On June 23, the Broadbent Institute challenged large employers and the federal government to each contribute an additional $670 million per year to create an additional 186,000 paid work or co-op positions lasting for three months. These would be targeted to long-term unemployed youth and post secondary graduates unable to find work, and would reduce the youth unemployment rate from 13.3% to 11.7%.

    Large corporations could create these positions by drawing on a tiny fraction (about 0.1%) of surplus cash now sitting on their balance sheets. The federal government contribution would be used to help meet hiring costs for small business and not for profit employers.

    There has been a lot of talk about the poor jobs situation facing Canadian youth. Young people and their parents are well aware that this is major issue.

    It is well past time that we collectively decide do something about it.

    Photo: francisco_osorio. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

              The Broadbent Institute’s youth job guarantee is a good idea that will never happen        

    Murad Hemmadi / Canadian Business

    Jobs for every boy and girl—that’s what the Broadbent Institute is proposing, in a paper calling for a Youth Job Guarantee.

    The left-leaning think tank wants Canadian businesses and the federal government to put up $670 million each a year to create new jobs, internships and training positions that would guarantee employment to those under the age of 25. That would lower unemployment rates dramatically, it says:

    The Broadbent Institute estimates that these investments from both government and business could create 186,000 three-month full-time co-op positions, paid internship or summer job placements that pay a wage of $15 per hour.

    Offered on an annual basis (four rounds of positions lasting for three months), the number of unemployed youth in any given month would fall by 46,500 or by one in eight (12.2%). While this is only a practical first step towards a guarantee, it would reduce the current youth unemployment rate as of May 2014 from 13.3% to 11.7% and could be scaled up in the long-term.

    Labour force participation rates (the proportion already working or actively looking for work) for young Canadians have fallen since the recession, and unemployment rates are higher for youth than for older workers.

    Chart showing youth participation rate in job market from Broadbent Institute

    With the workforce set to shrink in the next decade, there will likely be increasing competition for good young talent. But underemployment remains a persistent problem for Generation Y according to the Institute, with many accepting part-time or temporary positions. Baby boomers are taking flak for holding on to jobs longer and crowding out the next generation of budding workers.

    Unpaid internships are another symptom of the economic malaise affecting youth, the Broadbent report says. Earlier this year, James Cowan made the case that such positionscreate perverse economic incentives and are just plain unethical:

    If young people need real world experience, then let them gain it through co-op programs, where there is tight co-ordination between school and employer. Or just pay them for their work.

    The report suggests that funding for a Youth Employment Guarantee could come from the estimated $600 billion in “dead money” that Canadian companies are sitting on.

    The chances of the proposal ever becoming reality seem slim. Federal minister of employment and social development Jason Kenney has declared his admiration for Germany’s co-op system and made noises about emulating it here, but there has been no action or investment yet to accompany his endorsement. And corporate Canada will need evidence of a tangible ROI before it opens its purse strings.

    There’s some argument that precarious employment is actually good for workers and the economy. Generation Y better hope they’re right — guaranteed youth employment seems a distant dream.

              Youth unemployment: a dismal situation requires bold action        

    The dog days of summer may yet be upon us, and already youth unemployment is a hot topic of conversation.

    But talk is cheap. The fact is too many young Canadians are set to wade into another long summer, frustrated and anxious about their grim job prospects.

    And little wonder for their anxiety.

    There are significantly more youth looking for work today than there are available jobs. As of May 2014, one in seven (13.3%) young people aged 15 to 24, or 380,600 young Canadians, were out of work.Many more are underemployed or have given up looking for work altogether.

    Young workers bore much of the brunt of the 2008-09 recession, and despite talk of recovery, their employment situation today remains much worse than it was beforehand. That point is made plainly in a report on youth unemployment released last week by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, which acknowledges expert testimony about the lack of an adequate post-recession rebound.

    The unemployment rate for youth is typically about double that of so-called “core age” workers aged 25 to 54. In Canada, this ratio stands at 2.3 as of May 2014.

    Bold action is needed now from both governments and employers to address this dismal situation.

    The federal government, we know, has shown no leadership and scant interest in taking this challenge seriously. Despite the rise in youth unemployment since the recession, the government has actually reduced spending on its Youth Employment Strategy (YES).

    The government budgeted $335.7 million on YES in 2013/2014, down from the $397.9 million it spent in 2010/2011 and below funding levels pre-recession. And while YES programs once had the participation of 114,000 young Canadians, the government now estimates that only 49,748 youth will participate in 2014-15.

    Meanwhile, even the International Monetary Fund has singled out Canadian corporations for not putting their profits to productive use. The cash held by private non-financial corporations in Canada rose to $630 billion in the first quarter of 2014 – up $9 billion in just three months.  Those holdings exceed the total amount of federal government debt.

    This “dead money” can and should be invested productively to create jobs, and yet this isn’t happening. No wonder a recent Broadbent Institute poll revealed that vast majorities of Canadian millenials and their baby boomer parents don’t trust corporations to make the creation of good jobs a priority.

    It’s time to reverse this trend. That’s why we’re issuing a challenge to both government and employers.

    In a report released Monday, we are calling on Canada to work towards creating a Youth Job Guarantee — a promise for every person under age 25 of a quality job offer, apprenticeship, or place in a training course within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The guarantee is inspired by a similar principle endorsed by the Council of the European Union in 2013.

    To kick-start the Youth Job Guarantee, we are asking Canadian businesses to invest $670 million per year to fund an initial youth employment initiative. These funds would be matched by an equal annual injection from the federal government.

    The Broadbent Institute estimates that this investment, a combined total of $1.34 billion, could create 186,000 full-time co-op positions, paid internships or summer job placements annually. This is more than double the current number of paid co-op placements, and three times the current number of Youth Employment Strategy participants.

    At $15/hour, a 12-week full-time paid co-op position, paid internship or summer job placement would cost employers $7,200 in terms of wages, assuming a 40-hour work week.

    The price tag for employers is but a tiny fraction (about 0.1%) of the $630 billion in “dead money” corporate Canada is currently sitting on. In fact, the $9 billion increase to corporate Canada’s cash hoard in the first quarter of 2014 is enough to pay their annual share of this initiative 13 times over.  And the federal contribution of $670 million would be less than one quarter of the $3 billion price tag of the Conservatives’ proposed income splitting scheme.

    Offered on an annual basis (four rounds of positions lasting for three months), the number of unemployed youth in any given month would fall by 46,500 or by about one in eight (12.2%) — enough to reduce the current youth unemployment rate from 13.3% to 11.7%.

    The initial move towards a Youth Job Guarantee wouldn’t solve all of the employment challenges facing Canada’s youth. It would, however, go a long way toward helping to equalize opportunities and could also be scaled up into a more far-reaching program in the long-term.

    It’s time for a new deal for young people. And it’s time Canadian employers and government came together to do their part.

    Click here to read the Broadbent Institute's latest report, Towards a Youth Job Guarantee.

    This article originally appeared on National Newswatch.

              Great Graphic: Unemployment by Education Level        
    The US reports the monthly jobs data tomorrow.  The unemployment rate stood at 4.4% in June, after finishing last year at 4.7%.  At the end of 2015 was 5.0%.  Some economists expect the unemployment rate to have slipped to 4.3% in July. 

    Recall that this measure (U-3) of unemployment counts those who do not have a job but are looking for one.  There are several other measures, and which one is right depends on what question one is answering.  

    A more comprehensive measure  includes not only those looking for employment but also those that take part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time work (U-6).  It includes people that are said to be "marginally attached" to the labor forces, which includes those that are not working or looking for work, but affirm that want to work and have looked a job in the past year.  This measure of unemployment stood at 8.6% in June after finishing last year at 9.2% and 2015 just below 10%.  

    Discussions of what has happened to unemployment since the Great Financial Crisis tend to focus on the drop in the participation rate and age-related issues.   The changing composition of the workforce, with Baby Boomers retiring and new hires, are unable to command comparable salaries, which in turn weighs on aggregate wage measures.  

    Another way the labor force can be looked at is by education level.  That is what the Great Graphic, from the St. Louis Fed shows.  There are four educational cohorts tracked for people at least 25 years old.  From top to bottom they are no high school degree (purple); high school graduate but no college (blue); some college or Associate Degree (green), college graduates with a Bachelor's Degree or more (red).  

    The chart goes back a quarter of a century.   The broad pattern remains the same.  The more education, the lower the unemployment rate, not just now but consistently over the period under review.  In June, those who graduated college had a 2.4% unemployment rate, or to say the same thing, looking at the glass as more full, 97.6% of those who graduated college are either working or looking for work.  People who have some college, up to the Associate's Degree had a 3.8% unemployment rate in June.  People with a high school diploma had a 4.6% unemployment rate.   The narrowness of the gap between high school graduates and some college is also noteworthy.  Those without a high school degree have a 6.4% unemployment rate.

    The Trump Administration is proposing a dramatic change in US immigration policies.  It is not only illegal immigration that is incurring official wrath, but a 50% cut in legal immigration and a focus on skill-based criteria is advocated.  In the context of this discussion, the share of immigrants who arrived with college degrees has nearly doubled to almost 50% from the 1986-1990 period.   What this means is that in some states, immigrants have a higher level of educational attainment than the native population.   According to the Economist, most states have gained college-educated immigrants between 2010 and 2015, and immigrants are more educated than Americans in just over half the states. 


              US Auto Sector and Broader Thoughts on the US Labor Market        

    Charles Wilson, former CEO of General Motors before becoming Defense Secretary under President Eisenhower, once famously quipped that "what is good for the country is good for GM and vice versa."   While the veracity of that claim has been challenged, the fact of the matter is that since the Great Financial Crisis, the auto sector (not just GM) played an important role.  

    The Federal Reserve helped jump start the asset-backed securities market with its purchases, and this helped facilitate an increase in US light vehicle sales. Consider that in 2009, the US sold about 10.43 mln cars and light vehicles.  It was the lest since the early 1980s.  They peaked last year just shy of 17.5 mln.   According to an economist at Brookings Institution, auto-related jobs accounted for 60%-80% of the manufacturing jobs created since the crisis.  

    It wasa virtuous circle.  With the help from the federal government, which assisted the restructuring of GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy, and the Federal Reserve through the buying of asset-backed securities and low interest rates, the auto sector recovered.  Workers were hired, and cars were bought.  

    The risk is the cycle is reversing.  Sales have fallen in five of the first seven months, and there has not been a single month in which sales surpassed year ago figures.  Auto sales rose in July for only the second month of the year, but the 16.69 mln seasonally adjusted annualized rate was more than a million lower than the units sold in July 2016 (~17.75 mln).  

    Light vehicle production is set to decline, and this means more layoffs, and that in turn, creates few customers.  GM announced in North America it would produce 150k fewer vehicles in H2 than it did in H1.  Its inventory levels are high are around 104 days of sales.  It wants to bring this down to 70 days by the end of the year.  Ford says it will cut Q3 output by 34k vehicles.  Shifts are being reduced.  

    There is a shift in consumer preferences away from passenger cars, and toward SUVs and light trucks, but the slowdown in sales is significant.  GM sales in July fell 15%, which is the steepest decline in over a year.  Ford's decline was the sharpest since last October.  Fiat-Chrysler sales posted the second largest drop of the year.    An important takeaway here is that the auto sector will likely be a drag on the industrial production and manufacturing output.  It cannot be counted on a tailwind for the labor market.  

    The main challenge with the US labor market is not job creation.   Although the pace of jobs growth has slowed, it remains sufficiently strong to absorb more slack in the labor market.  In 2016, the US created an average of 187k net new jobs a month.  In H1 17, it created 180k a month.  The problem for many American households and the Federal Reserve is that wage growth remains meager.  

    From the Fed's point of view, headline inflation converges to core inflation,and core inflation converges to wage growth.  The weak wage growth is an obstacle to the achievement of the Fed's inflation target.  There are many factors that shape the labor market.  One of the important ones that suggest that wages may not be rising because of slack is the participation rate.  The participation rate of men has fallen, and recently Yellen drew attention to the opioid problem.  The US is also one of the few countries in which the women participation in the labor force is also falling.  

    We have discussed research that found that composition of the labor force is acting to curb wage growth.  New entrants into the labor force, students and formerly unemployed, do not commandhigh entry wages, while high earning baby boomers retire.  Recent research by a few academic economists found that a typical 21-year old's annual earnings in 2013 were nearly a third less than the typical 21-year old employee in 1969.   

    We are also interested in the concept of "monopsony."  If a monopoly is a single seller, a monopsony is a single buyer.  The idea is that in some places,  like in a town dominated by an auto or an auto parts company,  or a mine, there is little competition among employers and little choice for people seeking work.  Thisserves to keep wages down.     We will write about it later, but let us pique your interest in another angle of this over-determined problem.  Wages and benefits vary considerably between companies.  Just like the dual economy (core large and oligopolistic and periphery small and competitive) was mapped out, some work suggests a new dual economy is emerging,and those who occupy the new commanding heights are seeing productivity rise and wages increase.  

    On the other hand, it is a relatively new phenomenon for central bankers to advocate the need for higher wages.  This is true not only of the Federal Reserve, but also the BOJ, the ECB, BOE, and Bank of Canada.  The disparity of wealth and income has emerged as a potent political issue across the political spectrum.  However, governments are stopping short of help strengthen the only institutions whose raison d'etre is boosting wages and living standards: trade unions.  This is not an ideological claim but a pragmatic one. 

    It is a page from the New Deal playbook that many are ignoring and then are puzzled way wages are not rising faster.    Wages do not rise because employers are generous.  Nor do they rise simplybecause productivity rises.  Wages go up when employers have no choice but to pay more to secure a stable work force, and frankly,they still have a choice for the most part.  The earnings component for the July employment report may be more important than the actual number of new jobs created, within reason.  


              Internet Dating Sites Not Just For the Young : Adult Matchmaker        
    Internet dating sites are not just for the young. In fact, many of the success stories you read about people who met their online matches are from those who are well into their senior years. Online dating sites have made it possible even with baby boomers to re enter the dating world. This just proves [...]
              Hearing Loss Affects Income        

    By the end of this article, you should have gained enough new knowledge on this subject to be able to explain its main points to another person.

    Did you know that the number of Americans who find it fractious to learn lacking learning help amounts to more than 31.5 million! That is an augment of 9.9 percent while 2000! This is the newest newscast from The Better inquiry Institute (BHI) which available these findings in successor July 2005 tale. In that publication, BHI also documented that coarse learning loss has a tremendously damaging outcome on individual incomes.

    According to the October 2005 newspaper of the inquiry magazine, Vol. 12, No. 11, p. 16, learning loss can bang household income by as greatly as $12,000 per year, depending leading the extent of learning loss! The good newscast is that learning aids do help change this picture by 50%. Of that 31.5 million build, only 37% are retirement age. The popular of those who bear from unaided learning loss are of drill age or are presently in the work vigor.

    Inquiry loss in the work vigor

    From this point forward, we will let you in on little secrets that will help you implement this subject into your life.

    As you can presume, learning is serious in order to outcome lively communicate in the work vigor. In addition, it's an important wellbeing feature in many work situations. Not learning leads to mistakes which concern buyer control and rite that can detriment a band. Inquiry loss most indeed has a damaging outcome on one's work performance. Ironically, many elect not to garments a learning aid because they don't want successor loss to be deceptive to others but learning loss is not something that can be unknown. A learning loss is more noticeable than learning aids.

    Inquiry loss and age groups

    Only 23% of learning impaired Americans has learning help for successor loss. Here are some additional statistics: Of the baby boomer segment (ages 41-59 hey, that's me!!), 1 in 6 have a learning loss. And what sincerely is alarming is that 1 in 14 of the Generation X set (ages 29-40) already has learning loss!

    If you think our country has learning tricky, deem the grandeur of learning in Barcelona, Spain. Half of successor children population has lasting learning loss due to sound exposure from delicate stereos, passage, and discos. They quote that many will requisite a learning aid by the time successor 40 existence old!

    In our staff, we are since more children people part of the work vigor population with learning loss. The yearly detriment of coarse learning loss in our country, in language of forlorn income, is quoted to complete more than $100 billion a year!!

    Inquiry loss bang on individuals and families

    Of course, learning loss has even more of a bang leading a quality's everyday life. Inquiry loss can concern one's corporeal, emotional and mental fitness. It concerns others' perceptions of one's mental acumen and concerns one's common skills. It has a bang on identity respect and confidence. All these concern a quality's drill and work performance.

    In addition, learning loss concerns one's family relationships. The bang leading a family can be enormous. We have actually had couples in our staff on the edge of annulment because a spouse nonstop to be in refusal about successor learning loss. One spouse had her nerves edgy and her throat raw due to constantly replicating her identity rowdily. Her spouse made a half-learned shot at receiving learning help, but ultimately reforms to garments a learning aid. The stress and strain on a relationship when one spouse has to constantly augment successor proclaim and replicate what they say, can be beautiful intense. Add to that a spouse who no longer requests to participate in common trial because they can't learn and you have a foremost failure waiting to ensue.

    Subsidy of learning aids

    Helen Keller said, "When you consume your foresight, you consume dealings with stuff. When you consume your learning, you consume dealings with people." BHI found that the cosmic popular of people who tried learning aids felt that successor lives had superior.

    The good newscast is that nowadays, there are a load of choices in learning help. Bendy, smarmy digital goods can be obtained at very reasonable prices at a little of what some analogs worn to detriment! In addition, even however documentation shows that income declines as learning loss augments, the decline in income is cut by half for those who garments learning aids. It's good to know that learning loss does not have to have the damaging bang it once had. There are solutions!

    Find out more by reading our other articles on this topic and other subjects we have written related to it.

    Best Hearing Aid

    Causes of Hearing Loss

              Joe Dallesandro's Date with Peter Pan        

    Last week I put the word out to all of my friends and friends-of-friends for celebrity hookup stories about Tony Dow.  I got a lot of other 1950s and 1960s teen idols instead: Jack Wild, "Dennis the Menace" Jay North, Jon Provost, Brandon DeWilde.  Some I'm holding off until I can do some fact-checking, but Bobby Driscoll seems pretty airtight.

    It comes from a friend of Blake, my ex-boyfriend in Manhattan, who says he heard it from Wallace Berman.

    The first generation of Baby Boomers remembers Bobby Driscoll (1937-1968) for only two vehicles: a young Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island (1950), and the voice and model of Peter Pan (1953).

    In fact, he was a busy child star, working from the age of five, hired at the age of 11 to become Disney's first adventure boy, whose youthful masculinity and muscle would guide the way through the Cold War.

    But things didn't pan out.  Apparently he wasn't masculine or muscular enough to suit Walt.  Promised roles fell through, and finally Disney cancelled his contract altogether.  Bobby found himself scrambling for guest spots on tv shows, trying to survive in a high school where everyone ribbed him for being the androgynous Peter Pan, negotiating bouts of depression, trying every drug he could get his hands on.

    Around 1956, Bobby met Wallace Berman, an artist of the 1950s avant-garde, who introduced him to Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger.  He thought Bobby had a great deal of artistic talent, and should concentrate on that rather than acting.

    But Bobby continued to try to capitalize on his long-gone child star cuteness.  Former Disney chums took pity on him, and arranged for roles in Men of Annapolis, The Party Crashers, and The Millionaire, but he was increasingly deemed unemployable.  His last mainstream acting job was in a 1960 episode of Rawhide.

    He supplemented his very meager acting income with odd jobs, petty theft, and an occasional trick with female clients.  He was arrested many times for drug possession, burglary, assault, and theft, but amazingly, either the charges were dropped or he was sentenced to probation.  He only served six months in prison.

    One day in 1965, after Bobby's latest arrest, he got a call from Berman, now living in Greenwich Village and quite a big name in avant-garde circles (he is one of the celebrities on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band).

    "Look, the straight world is doing nothing but giving you shit," Berman said.  Come to the Village and crash at my place.  Work on your art."

    So Bobby and girlfriend Didi relocated to New York, and moved into Wallace's pad in Greenwich Village.

    Berman introduced him to Andy Warhol, and he began hanging around the Factory with the crowd of hustlers, transvestites, underground artists, and pop stars. They all made a fuss over him: he was immediately cast in the underground film Dirt (1965), and asked if he had any poetry to publish.

     Andy was particularly entranced with Bobby.  "Peter Pan finds a new way to fly," he said.  "The ironic rebirth of a lost boy.  I love it.  Take your clothes off."

    The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

              Tony Dow and Kurt Hook Up with a High School Boy        
    I've been asking friends, ex-boyfriends, and ex-boyfriends of ex-boyfriends for gay dating or hookup stories involving Tony Dow, the Baby Boomer icon, Wally on the nuclear family sitcom Leave It to Beaver.

    I've come up empty.  A lot of stories involving actors from the 1960s that I didn't know were gay or bi: Jon Provost, Brandon DeWilde, Bobby Driscoll, Jack Wild, Jay North.  I'll have to do some fact-checking before I can post them.

    But none involving Tony Dow,  until a few nights ago, when I got a email from Jock, a 69-year old retired landscaper and Uber driver from Tucson, who is a friend of one of Randall the Muscle Bear's ex-boyfriends.  It led to a long conversation on Facebook Instant Messenger, and one of the wildest celebrity hookup stories I've ever heard.

    I'll reproduce it using Jock's words as much as possible.

    Marysville, California, September 1966

    In August 1966 I was a skinny 18 years old with big ears and a big cock, just out of high school in Mission Viejo, working at Martin's, and, like most teenage boys at the time, worried about two things:
    1. Where is my next blow job coming from?
    2. How can I avoid being shipped to Vietnam?

    Joining the California Air National Guard solved both problems.  It was military service, so Dad wouldn't get sore and call me a "coward," but no one would be shooting at me.  The 12-week basic training was held at Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, California, about 40 miles north of Sacramento.

    And it was wall-to-wall hunks,  working out together, showering together, bedding down for the night together.

    We were all young, hung, and full of cum.  I got more action than the 7th flee on shore leave in Singapore!

    But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I have to tell you about Tony Dow.

    He was one of the guys in my squadron!  Cute face, smooth tight chest with those pinprick nipples, nice abs,  surprisingly dark tan, nice bulge.  He was about four inches soft, thick around, semi-uncut, you know, with the head peeping out from the foreskin.

    "My uncle was cameraman for NBC, and he introduced me to a lot of celebrity kids, so I wasn't too starstruck over Tony.  We didn't hang out, except when a whole group of us went into town to go dancing at Chiseler's Inn or to a movie, or to a basketball game at the high school to try to pick up some "girls" (or at least that's what they said).

    Tony was a regular guy, not stuck up at all, and not nearly as squeaky clean as his Wally character.  He drank -- gin and tonic, I think.  He smoked pot.  He listened to the Rolling Stones.  And on more than one occasion, he met a Cute Young Thing and took off for some late night hanky-panky, if you get my meaning.

    "Male Cute Young Things? He went off with boys?"

    Let me set up the picture.  First you need to know that Tony usually went around with his friend Kurt --  a tall guy, curly dark-blond hair, pale, kind of skinny, but all dick, hung to his knees.

    Well, one night a lot of us are at the old State Theater on E Street -- I think we were watching Way, Way Out, with Jerry Lewis as an astronaut -- , and Kurt sort of vanishes.  Tony keeps looking around for him, but he never comes back.

    After the movie, we're in the lobby, eating our leftover popcorn, wondering if we should go looking for him, when he comes down from the balcony with his arm around a high school boy.  Black hair in a military buzz cut, cute jock's face, thin, so short that he barely came to Kurt's shoulder.

    "This is Frankie," Kurt announced.  "He's a senior.  We're going get a malted."

    Frankie giggled and slapped him.

    The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.
              Making Contact Centers Attractive Work Options in the “Gig” Economy        
    In today’s contact centers, Millennials make up approximately 70% of the workforce. The Millennial generation is very different from earlier generations, particularly Baby Boomers, who were (and often still are) driven to dedicate much of their lives to working. For Millennials, a balance between their work and personal lives is of primary importance and many Read More >
              A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America.        

    Author is Bruce Cannon Gibney.

    The title’s equal parts red meat and a direct summation of Gibney’s thesis, and that thesis is well served.

    There’s a bit of bullshit sprinkled hither and yon of the generally Libertarian flavor but besides some mild eye-roll reflex his stats are pretty damn solid.

    Here’s Gibney’s CV according to his Amazon page:

    “Bruce Gibney is a writer and venture capitalist and the author of “A Generation of Sociopaths,” about Baby Boomers and their role in American stagnation. He also wrote of “What Happened To The Future?”, an influential essay about the origins of America’s technological stagnation.

    Bruce has worked at a hedge fund and as a partner at one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture firms, Founders Fund. His personal and fund investments included early stakes in PayPal, Palantir Technologies, now one of the world’s biggest start-ups, Lyft, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, AI pioneer DeepMind and others.”

              Joint Replacement is Growing        
    My guest on Healthy Rounds this week was Dr. John Grady-Benson. Dr. Grady-Benson is the Director of Quality and Clinical Research at the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute at St. Francis Hospital. He informed us about the rapidly growing numbers of hip and knee replacements being performed in the United States today.Thus far 719,000 total knee replacements and 332,000 total hip replacements have been performed. By the year 2030 this number is expected to rise by 175% for hips and 673% for knees. This huge rise is due to the aging baby boomer population and their desire to remain active. The most common reason joint replacements are performed is severe crippling arthritis. Centers like CJRI collect outcomes data to assure the highest quality in performance and materials used. More specialty centers will most likely be established in coming years for joint replacement and other specialty areas in medicine.
              The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage         

    Over 40 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried mothers, and the numbers are especially high among the less-educated. Why? One argument is that the decline in good manufacturing jobs led to a decline in "marriageable" men. Surely the fracking boom reversed that trend, right?

              The Mom Stop: Our house gets all dolled up         
    Every generation of girls has its “doll.”For my mother’s generation, those baby boomers born in the 1950s and 1960s, it was the first-generation Barbie dolls. My mom still has hers, with its black and white striped swimsuit, along with a 1950s-era Skipper, Barbie’s younger sister. Both were in mint condition, at least until my younger sister decided to play beauty shop and chop off Skipper’s hair about 25 years ago.For my generation, the kids born in [...]
              The Mom Stop: Our house gets all dolled up         
    Every generation of girls has its “doll.”For my mother’s generation, those baby boomers born in the 1950s and 1960s, it was the first-generation Barbie dolls. My mom still has hers, with its black and white striped swimsuit, along with a 1950s-era Skipper, Barbie’s younger sister. Both were in mint condition, at least until my younger sister decided to play beauty shop and chop off Skipper’s hair about 25 years ago.For my generation, the kids born in [...]
              4 Habits to Keep You Happier and Healthier into Your Golden Years        

    Aaahhh, the golden years.  The idyllic-hazed lifestyle of cozy cardigans and slippers.  Quiet afternoons spent reading and napping are interrupted by only the occasional game of bridge or slow shuffle around the park.  Chamomile tea is sipped every afternoon before a 4:30pm dinner, and then it’s a rousing dose of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune before heading off to bed. (We’ll pause here while any retirees reading this can finish wiping away tears of laughter at this description.)   

    Chances are instead that the fit person with the kettle bell next to you at the gym, the youthful grandma chasing her 5 grandchildren around the zoo, and the artist featured on the walls of the hipster coffee shop are just a few of the nearly 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day.  Retirement does not have to be a 20-year sedentary siesta, but can be, for many people, an exciting phase of life that allows new ventures and a more active social life. 

    However, like most good things, working your way to a healthy, fulfilling retirement takes planning and habit-building.  Below we’ve laid out 4 habits that are worth building now to ensure happier, and healthier, golden years.

    1. Make a friend.  Or even better, several.  Seniors with strong social interactions are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, or high blood pressure, and can have a stronger immune system.  Studies have found that those with friends are generally happier and healthier than those without.  Exercise or art classes, volunteer sites, church activities, and common-interest groups can provide a bounty of friendship potential.
    2. Be purposefully active.  Aside from the endless, gold-star list of other reasons why physical activity is great for you (including that it reduces stress, keeps your immune system in check, and helps keep you at a healthy weight), exercise can be a crucial piece to your physical functioning as you age.  Fear the thought of no longer being able to dress or bathe yourself?  Rush University Medical Center in 2011 found that retirees who are more active (and social!) have a greatly decreased risk of becoming disabled.  It’s apparently a tough battle to win, as during that very same year, CBS reported that retirees spend an average of 43 hours per week watching television.  Yikes!
    3. Get on that hobby horse.  Remember how you’ve always wanted to learn to make pottery?  Or learn German?  Or paint with watercolors?  Not only will your work-free schedule allow you the time to take up a new hobby, but your mind and emotions will thank you for it.  Given that the age that most people retire happens to coincide with the age that most people start to experience age-related brain decline, developing several mentally demanding hobbies will help stave off depression, as well as keep your mind sharp and active.
    4. Take time to take care.  With all of the exercise, socializing, and hobbies you’ll be doing, don’t forget that taking care of yourself via regular massages continue to be vitally important for your physical and mental well-being. Retirees who receive regular massages tend to sleep deeper and longer, leading to better brain functioning and a greater sense of well-being.  Massage can also help prevent painful age-related conditions involving the joints, back, and neck. 

    Retirement will include more downtime and relaxation for sure (okay, watch a complete season of “Seinfeld” if you must), but these golden years should not be purely a multi-decade catnap.  Developing these few healthy habits now, and keeping them strong into retirement, will make your retirement years much more golden.

              Baby Boomers and Hepatitis C - Birmingham Times        

    Birmingham Times

    Baby Boomers and Hepatitis C
    Birmingham Times
    Most of us have seen the commercials on television stating that people born from 1945 to 1965 have the highest rate of hepatitis C but most don't know they're infected. This is a very sobering fact stated from the Centers for Disease Control and ...
    Study shows universal vaccination has wiped out hepatitis B and ...Medical Xpress
    Bucks County company targets Hepatitis B with new drugs |
    Research details developments in the Global hepatitis B virus (HBV) market: 10-year demand forecast 2016-2025WhaTech
    satPRnews (press release)
    all 6 news articles »

              Set the Stage for Aging Gracefully        

    Aging gracefully is not just a lifestyle – it’s a mind-set that focuses on connecting your mind, body and spirit for overall health and wellness. In order to embrace the golden years as a healthy and active senior citizen, it is important to take care of yourself today by adopting consistent massage, nutrition and exercise habits so you can live tomorrow and the years to come feeling restored, vibrant and pain-free.

    Industry trends show that senior citizens are taking a more holistic approach to their health and well-being needs as they age. According to a recent study from the AARP and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Americans aged 50 and older are discussing the use of complementary and alternative products and practices such as herbal or dietary supplements, meditation, massage therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture with their health care providers.

    The survey found that just over half (53 percent) of people 50 and older reported using Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) at some point in their lives, and nearly as many (47 percent) reported using it in the past 12 months. Herbal products or dietary supplements were the type of CAM most commonly used, with just over a third (37 percent) of respondents reporting their use, followed by massage therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and other bodywork, used by around a fifth (22 percent) of respondents. Nine percent of respondents reported using mind/body practices, while 5 percent reported use of naturopathy, acupuncture and homeopathy.1

    Revive and Reinvigorate Your Body and Soul

    As today’s baby boomers jump into the next stage of their lives as retirees, golfers, travelers and pool loungers, they are turning to massage therapy for a deeper sense of mind and body relaxation, restoration and circulation. Therapeutic massage is a medically proven method for supporting overall health and wellness. The benefits of massage for senior citizens can include:

    • Improved range of motion and decreased low-back pain.
    • Increased circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
    • Exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles.
    • Reduced swelling and scar tissue.
    • Reduced recovery time from injury/surgery.
    • Reduced stress, the cause of nearly 90 percent of today’s diseases.
    • Released endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, thereby reducing the need for medications.
    • Stimulated lymph flow and support for the body’s natural process of detoxification.
    • Enhanced production of T-Cells to boost your immune system. 2

    Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to wait until you are stressed or injured to get a massage. Any time is a good time for a massage. Massage is like a health-supplement or preventative care for a person's body and mind. A regular monthly massage is a great way to cope with physical or emotional stress and to keep it from causing discomfort or harm to your body.

    Protect Your Skin

    If it’s not properly protected from nature’s elements, your skin can be the first body part to show signs of aging. Experts agree that consistently using sunscreen throughout the year (even during the winter months when the sun may be hiding behind clouds, but skin damaging rays can still be present) is one of the most important steps you can take to help your skin look as young as you feel. There are many make ups and daily moisturizers available that include SPFs of 15 or more to provide constant skin protection throughout the day.

    Another element to consider when it comes to protecting your skin is increasing the humidity levels in your home, especially during the winter, to help prevent dry, chapped skin. Using a room humidifier while you sleep and/or using a house-wide humidifier system not only helps to increase the smoothness and softness of your skin, but it also can help with reducing wintertime nasal congestion and discomfort.

    Massage also can help promote healthy skin and immune systems by stimulating and activating a body’s circulation. This mind and body relaxation technique can directly benefit skin by enhancing tissue elasticity, improving circulation and joint flexibility, as well as boost a body’s immune function, alleviate life-shortening stress and create a greater sense of self.3

    Fuel Your Body

    Fueling your body with adequate amounts of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables is important for healthy bodies at any age. According to the National Institute on Aging, to eat well, it’s best to incorporate foods that are high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats), but low in calories. When determining how much to eat, it’s important to take into account age, gender and activity level. The National Institutes of Health advises that women over age 50 should consume 1,600-2,200 calories per day depending on activity level, while men should consume 2,000-2,800 calories per day.4

    Additionally, an often forgotten fuel for our body that is important to maintaining healthy skin and bodies as we age is drinking an appropriate amount of water each day. A recent study has found that people who drink 17-34 ounces of water daily are 36 percent less likely to develop high blood sugar or diabetes. The study suggests that when you’re dehydrated, your brain pumps out more hormones that tell the liver to produce glucose.5

    So, how much is 17-34 ounces of water? Many water bottles have liquid measurements on the side and large ones will hold approximately 32 ounces of water. Fill up your water bottle at the beginning of the day and make sure it’s empty before going to bed. This will help you keep track of consuming the appropriate amount of water for a healthy and hydrated body.

    Get Your Move On

    Staying active as you age is an integral component to looking and feeling good throughout your golden years. Physical activity not only keeps your body fit and strong, but it also can help maintain mental strength and sharpness as you age. To get started, most cities or local organizations have senior citizen-specific fitness courses and/or activities that you can enroll in. Some popular senior citizen exercise activities include yoga and pilates to strengthen muscles, personal training to achieve specific total body goals or swimming for low impact cardio and full body workout.

    In addition to participating in common exercise regimens, incorporating therapeutic massage into your activity plan can help keep you more mobile and pain-free. Massage not only tones muscle tissue, but it also supports joint lubrication to promote ease in movement.

    To age gracefully, it’s important to approach your overall health and well-being in a holistic manner that connects your mind, body and spirit. By taking an active approach to regularly scheduled massage, nutrition, skin care and exercise routines, you are preparing for the next stage of your life as a happy, healthy and active senior citizen. Call Elements Therapeutic Massage today to start your journey of aging gracefully.


    Sources: 1 AARP, NCCAM. Complementary and Alternative Medicine: What People Aged 50 and Older Discuss With Their Health Care Providers. Consumer Survey Report; April 2010. 2 Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, Healthy Aging, Body Sense, Spring/Summer 2009. 3 Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, Healthy Aging, Body Sense, Spring/Summer 2009. 4 National Institute on Aging, NIH Senior Health, Eating Well As You Get Older; May 2008. 5 Men’s Health Magazine, November 2011.

              Millennials will transform management practices        
    by Jimmy Daniel Millennials, also known as Generation Y, have surpassed Generation X and Baby Boomers to become the largest group in America’s workforce, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. Not only are Millennials continuing to grow and dominate the workforce, but they are also starting to take […]
              Is It the Generations or a Special Mindset That Should Drive How We Educate Entrepreneurs?        

    Is Entrepreneurship a generational thing or an ageless pursuit?

    There is always a lot of talk each year about the "new generations of students” and their changing needs. Teachers are asked to change the way we test, teach and manage each new student group in the classroom or online so they can become a success. We have a vast array of books comparing the Boomers to the X’ers; the X’ers to the Y generation and so on up to today’s New Silent Generation or Generation Z. These generations have many names depending on who is naming them. The Population Reference Bureau lists 7 distinct generations beginning in 1871 through 2001. My guess is you have not seen this list as it is not the popular one in use by publishers these days but it is worth a look.

    The more popular list is:

    2000/2001-Present - New Silent Generation or Generation Z
    1980-2000 - Millennial or Generation Y
    1965-1979 - Generation X
    1946-1964 – Baby Boomers
    1925-1945 - Silent Generation
    1900-1924 - G.I. Generation

    It is true that new advances in online resources, social media, networking, access to information and global connectedness on the Internet have changed the way we teach and the way students learn across generations. I am not sure, however, that these distinctions always apply when we are talking about Entrepreneurs from either today or yesterday.

    Where the notion of these "effectors” comes from …

    In 1755, when his pamphlet was published in France posthumously, Richard Cantillon (1680s â€“ May 1734) gave us the name "entrepreneur” and a new class of commerce was born.  In his pamphlet Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général (Essay on the Nature of Trade in General) he uses the word "entrepreneur” to define someone who undertakes to bring goods, capital and effort together in a market town to create a system to make goods available to everyone and grow the wealth of the community. The entrepreneur takes these actions at his own risk, and not for an employer, which is the crucial element in his or her actions. In Cantillon’s view the entrepreneur is someone who acts independently of a job and the security of a paycheck.

     J. B. Say continued the use of the word (and popularized it) to define someone who was a key part of the political economy and an actor who creates wealth for all in that community through their actions of taking on economic risks. The entrepreneur is someone who can transcend class and social position to attain wealth. In the 1920’s Joseph Schumpeter went further and described this entrepreneur as someone who changes the world by destroying old systems (creative destruction) bringing new ideas, products and services to the people through technical invention, market innovation and replacement of old slow ways with new and more efficient ones.

    Today, economists clearly see entrepreneurs as the creators of the foundations of wealth and social mobility in our economy. Entrepreneurs are also the creators of most of the new jobs, so badly needed in our communities.  

    To me, each of these generations, 1750’s through today, sound like the same risk taking person. And the entrepreneurs I meet in my work as an educator, whatever age,  all share a common set of values and world view with their past cohort; they are a driven, action oriented and risk taking bunch.

    How we change the way we teach will make all the difference …

    So the question is not how we as colleges teach some new generation but how do we teach new members of an old and venerable group of thinkers and doers so they will be motivated to grow our economy and change the world for the better. In the past we probably did not see them in our classes, or at least we did not recognize them fully and really adapt our teaching to their needs. Our new charge is to recognize and serve them. A mandate that will define our collective futures as colleges and as communities and fundamentally change the way we all do education.

    The call for us to move from being only traditional centers of college degree success to one in which we serve the broader learning needs of the community is a daunting and inspiring one. In our classes at the community colleges we have a rich mix of generations and personal learning styles and interests who are with us today for many reasons. Some are looking to move up in their jobs, some are just getting their basic education and some are completely changing what they are doing for a living.

    What the entrepreneurs among them share is an impatience with our all too often agricultural model of 8 to 15 week courses and fall, spring, summer class schedules taught in weekly lessons. They demand a more just in time approach and access to answers to their questions when they have them, not when it suits a particular class competency design.

    Entrepreneurs, whether in the 1700’s or today, want information they can use when they need it and in bite sized pieces which can be applied immediately to solve problems. In her research on successful entrepreneurs Saras D. Sarasvathy gives us a good look at the needs of entrepreneurs. She calls their perspective on the world Effectuation. Effectuation is defined as the act of implementing (providing a practical means for accomplishing something); carrying into effect.

    This should sound familiar, it is the same definition we have been applying to these folks for over 250 years. They effect … make things happen … create new ways and means and change the world we live in. They are in a hurry and are focused on their dream and not our dreams of the perfect student. The HP Life web site is a perfect example of how these effectors want information delivered. The lessons are online, free, practical, focused on specific problems and engaging as lessons. They appeal to these quick minded and action oriented people and offer us a way to support the students we have, and the communities we live in, with learning materials designed for the those who wish to undertake the creation of a market and change their world.

    As others have shown in their posts before me, including these HP Life modules into our classes and programs is an excellent way to help entrepreneurs accomplish their learning goals on their own schedules. It is also a great example of how Open Educational Resources (OER) can be found and used effectively in our classes versus the traditional approach of expensive text books. Rio Salado College is currently using these modules in 6 of our online classes and is planning their inclusion into 6 more online classes in the future. We use them as competency based learning tools as well as authentic assessments of learning; two cornerstones of curriculum.

    As we rethink how we will run our classes in this electronic and social media soaked age we need to remember that at the heart of all these generational classifications is a person who may just transcend the generational stereotypes.  As educators we need to think like them, destruct the old ways of teaching, and create a new way of learning that suites the entrepreneurial way. This may mean changing the way we award credits, schedule classes, choose materials and evaluate performance. It also means that we need to look closely at how we engage with our communities and make learners, both credit and non-credit, a leading part of our agenda. In an increasingly Open Educational Resource (OER) world we can serve as guides to quality learning and help students find resources and ways of thinking about their businesses that leads to success. As Schumpeter pointed out in the 1920’s, the secret to a vibrant economy and higher standards of living for all is a robust and creative class of entrepreneurs. We, as entrepreneurial educators, can help them achieve their dreams.


    Otis J. White is the Faculty Chair of Business & Public Administration at Rio Salado College. For more than 20 years he has performed research, taught thousands of students and developed academic curriculum for entrepreneurship, small business growth and economic development for both the Maricopa County Community Colleges and Arizona State University. As an entrepreneur, White created two successful companies before serving in academia and continues to mentor new entrepreneurs in their efforts to join the path to economic freedom and personal success. He serves as an HP Life Ambassador for NACCE and can be reached at for more information about HP Life. 

              What Season Is It?        
    Follow me on Twitter @kentphotos Instagram: kpfotog Can we get this sports thing straight now? Remember when we baby boomers were young?  There were three seasons.  Baseball, basketball and football, of course there was track and field and cross country and volleyball, softball and soccer too, but the big three […]
              After Eight Months of Trump, What's Next for the Resistance?        

    A lot has happened in the first eight months of resistance to the Trump administration. Obamacare survived an assault in Congress, but Wall Street remains emboldened under Trump. In this interview, Sarah Jaffe speaks with Global Exchange organizer Jeff Ordower about the state of the resistance, and where we can go from here.

    Protesters display signs at the White House the day after former FBI Director James Comey's firing in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. (Photo: Mike Maguire)Protesters display signs at the White House the day after former FBI Director James Comey's firing in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. (Photo: Mike Maguire)

    Since election night 2016, the streets of the US have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this ongoing "Interviews for Resistance" series, experienced organizers, troublemakers and thinkers share their insights on what works, what doesn't, what has changed and what is still the same. Today's interview is the 63rd in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

    Today we bring you a wide-ranging discussion with Jeff Ordower, the executive director of Global Exchange.

    Sarah Jaffe: It is now August. That means we are in month eight of #Resistance. How do you think we are doing so far?

    Jeff Ordower: We are not winning, obviously, but I think we are doing better than I would have anticipated. Obamacare still exists. Richard Cordray [at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] has not been fired yet. I remember being on location with some folks who worked on Wall Street reform and they were making plans for the response to his firing. They thought that was going to happen imminently. Even some smaller things around financial reform, like it is entirely possible that the new arbitration rule from the Obama administration is going to stay in effect, which will give folks the right to sue, for example, Wells Fargo if [bank employees] opened a fraudulent account and then used that money to sell you fraudulent auto insurance on that loan.

    So, I actually think things are in some ways better than we could have imagined, and that is in large part thanks to the amazing work of the resistance. So many people have stepped forward, many people who had not been active before. Smart organizers have figured out how to harness that energy. Whether that is bringing hundreds of people to a mass arrest or giving people a really solid program for saying, "If you are going to your Congressperson's office, here is how you create an alternative town hall" or "Here is how you bring a handwritten letter," creating containers and vehicles so folks who are pretty new can be activated and do something that is really relevant. I think that is pretty inspiring.

    That could all change momentarily if there is a terrorist attack or we pre-emptively invade somewhere. I think war changes the footing of everything and unfortunately changes what is possible in terms of overall repression. From my perch as the director of Global Exchange, the other worrisome thing is the shrinking of rights is just so possible. Around the world, there are so many templates for this….

    Health care, obviously, took center stage for most of the last several months -- ultimately, successfully. People immediately reacted and said, "We have got to stop cuts to Medicaid. We have got to stop them overturning the ACA," and managed to get a lot of good work done. What are the lessons that you are taking from how that went down for the other fights that everybody now has to pivot to?

    I think the story is really critical. Uprisings and movements happen because something horrible happened or something that affects people is going to happen…. as organizers we sometimes fall into the trap where we want to have the perfect thing; either it is the perfect narrative, the perfect story -- I know in the early days of the health care fight, for example, people were like, "If you want to move McCain, you have to get seven veterans to go to McCain's office."

    I think sometimes we try to be too strategic. Really, if people want to move, we have got to give them something to do that makes sense. Sometimes that is occupying a park or putting your bodies on the line and sometimes that is just like, "Show up with a handwritten letter. Here is your toolkit for organizing this alternative town hall." I think creating those containers where everyone can take action is really, really important.

    Trump, very notably, ran criticizing Hillary Clinton's Wall Street ties, Ted Cruz's Wall Street ties, everybody's Wall Street ties, but, as you said, Wall Street is making tons of money under the Trump administration. Is making a point about Trump's Wall Street connections a good place to put some energy now that health care is somewhat on the back burner?

    Yes, but people are going to move on what they are going to move on. The pernicious effects of finance capital are apparent. You think about Goldman Sachs, that folks have been fighting them as "Government Sachs." They would have been running the Clinton administration or the Trump administration. It is fascinating to think it is an organization that can accommodate as alumni Stephen Bannon and Gary Cohn. There [was] a separate set of Goldman Sachs folks that would have gone into the Clinton administration.

    Yes, it is the right place to send resources, and if you do your power research, you can trace things not just in this country, but globally. The public/private partnerships that a Goldman Sachs is doing or that a Blackstone is doing, whether they are trying to get $40 billion with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to build infrastructure and privatize it all. That is real and we need to be fighting it. Then, these are the same institutions that are, for example, floating police bonds, charging cities exorbitant rates so that when their police murder people, they cannot make those payments. It is an intersectional fight. I think we have to do a better job of getting folks to see that. People feel it in their gut, but then it is less clear what they can do.

    In solidarity with Standing Rock, there were hundreds of actions against Wells Fargo in big cities like in New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, all pulling their funds from Wells Fargo because of their financing behind the specific wrong…. The more we can name capitalism and finance capital as the enemy, the more folks are going to want to join in that fight.

    We need a different model for us taking on corporate power, and we don't really have that. Occupy was interesting around that because it told the story. I don't think the banks feared -- they feared the message, but I don't think they feared that the Occupy movement was going to take down the banks. We need something in between just telling the story and the sophisticated campaigns where we are trying to change a piece of behavior. We need to have a fundamental conflict with the Blackstones, with the Goldmans, and with the Wells Fargos of the world, but we don't really have a good model for doing that, and that is the thing we have got to figure out.

    There are now 25,000 people who are paid-up members of the Democratic Socialists of America. There are others that have also grown since this election. After your years of organizing in different places, what do you see is different in the way people are organizing themselves now?

    We are naming capitalism in a way that we haven't named before. I think that is vital and critical.

    My generation of organizers -- I am in my mid-40s -- was sort of raised and mentored by the Baby Boomers. A lot of the Baby Boomers who went into the nuts and bolts of organizing were non-ideological because they saw that as a reaction to the 1960s, when there were a lot of ideological groups, there were a lot of people who didn't want to go and do the hard work of building organization and building a base. So they tended to be distrustful of that…. I think the vast majority who moved into the networks and into labor were not publically talking about vision, talking about ideology. That hurt us.

    It is exciting to see the next generation really, really talking about socialism, really talking about capitalism. That is such an amazing thing. I think it opens a lot more freewheeling conversation. I think where we go next sometimes -- I feel like we are starting to get there. If you take, let's say, the Movement for Black Lives Vision platform that really articulates the world in which we want to live, that is amazing and that should be a north star for all of us. Then, we can talk about how we get there, but I think the more we are putting out utopias, if you will, the more we can really start to talk to real people about what it might mean to have free education, or what it might mean to not have the police, or what it might mean to not have banks. Is basic income on the table? Is a liveable wage on the table? Is a guaranteed right to housing? All of these things, I think, fit the world in which we want to live, and it is good that we are starting to get there.

    Again, that gets back to the question of: What is the best way to achieve the changes that we want? But, it is exciting that all of that is on the table now and that we are moving into that era.

    People are now saying, "We need to have a platform. We need to have goals"…

    There is just so much vibrant and sophisticated organizing…. We need sophisticated campaign-style organizing. We need really electoral work with bite…. It can be ballot initiatives around abolishing the police or around basic income at the local level or even in some states that are intriguing, the smaller states and lower signature threshold. I think we are underutilizing that….

    What is the thing that Standing Rock and Occupy and Ferguson all had in common? And the sit-in in the Wisconsin Capitol? … What they all have in common is that people showed up and then they didn't go home. I think we need to try to do more of those kinds of things … where people are there and they are willing to stay there and fight it out. If we can do that, then we are going to see more disruptions.

    Not all of them are going to work because not all of anything in organizing works, but the resources that we spend on sophisticated campaign work vastly outweigh, parsing the political moment, what we spend on really trying to create disruptions. I think that is super important that we really spend some resources and force some more conflicts.

    And that isn't to take anything away from such a rich fabric of really sophisticated anti-police campaigns, minimum wage campaigns … I think what is exciting about this anti-capitalist moment is also a desire for the work to be much more intersectional. Show Me $15 working with choice groups and being a racial justice organization deliberately -- Show Me $15 being the Missouri component of the Fight for $15. Those are the kinds of things that are really, really interesting and important.

    When Trump came out and made a big fuss about how the military is not going to allow transgender people to serve anymore because their health care is "too expensive," even as Congress was voting on a health care bill that would take health care away from millions of people, it helped show that this is the full-scale assault on all of us and certain people become the most targeted. What advice do you have on how to counter the argument that issues are "divisive" or "a distraction" if they affect a certain marginalized group?

    I was in central Pennsylvania a couple of months ago with folks. There is this great project, Small Towns Rising, that was helping make organizing materials available to lots and lots of folks. You would hear people be like, "Oh no, we have to fight immigration here and health care here and financial reform here," and "What are we going to do? It is too many things."

    But there is a fundamental question, and it is about system change. I don't know what that looks like. It is not just getting rid of Trump/Pence. It is a more fundamental change. Maybe it is changing our structure of government and how we work. Maybe it is just creating, within an existing framework, a different kind of thing…. We need to think about the fact that fundamentally the system is working the way it is designed to do. It isn't working to help people. It was a Constitution written by landowning white men. So, what do we need to do to change things up and change the equation and make a very different world and change this regime more fundamentally?

    About ten years ago now, I was in Bolivia. It was a few years after Evo Morales had been elected. We were meeting with some groups who had helped write the new constitution and they said that they had included LGBTQ issues in the new constitution … not just non-discrimination on sexual orientation, but also on gender identity…. They did that because there is a left government and because important forces asked them to do that.

    Then, a couple of days later in La Paz I went to the most amazing drag show I have ever been to in my life that was held at a city hall, one of the neighborhood city halls of La Paz because the government had enshrined this right to non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The deputy mayor came out and was at this drag show, as was the women's group of the neighborhood, as was the queer community of La Paz. I had this "This is what it is like after the revolution" moment because if you really have governing power -- folks get how things fit together and if you have governing power, you can change things fundamentally.

    I think we are still trying to win on our issues and we are not thinking about how we peacefully, non-violently, but with enough force, do the things we need to do to disrupt the systems in a way that we can change everything for everyone and that it is interconnected. That isn't to say we ignore issues until the revolution happens, but it is to say that we think much more strategically about governing power that is very different than the system we have.

    A single-payer health care fight does seem like a good place to flex those muscles, because to win it you are not just going to have to get lawmakers to agree to pass laws, you are going to have to defeat really powerful and very well-financed corporate entities.

    The health care companies rule a piece of the world and are making a buck but are also willing to cut deals when necessary. A lot of why the ACA passed was because a significant number of insurance companies had a certain price that they could meet to support it….

    [Health care] is a place to flex our muscles if we could do that and if we could win. You think about how close folks came in California, they won in Vermont and then lost in Vermont. There is a lot of potential to really see concrete wins. That is the appeal. It is a fight for which there is a lot of momentum. Also, it really does create a fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party in a very clear-cut way….

    We should also think about how we keep the fight against Wall Street alive, because that is about building a global movement for solidarity that seems really, really necessary…

    Global solidarity is a good place to end, I think. There is a bill being pushed through Congress that is getting bipartisan support that would criminalize the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Since you have done work around this issue, as well, talk about that and what people can do to stop that.

    I think this is sort of a last-gasp effort from the forces of the pro-Israel, pro-Israeli government forces to say, "Actually, if you say things against Israel, you are anti-Semitic," and nothing could be further from the truth. It's a fascinating moment that is going to move very rapidly. Now, that doesn't change what is happening on the ground, but because the Zionist establishment is so powerful right now, they are going to ram this bill through in so many places. I think close to a majority of states have passed criminalization of boycott/divestment/sanctions.

    What can folks do to stop it? … I don't always agree with [the ACLU], but they are talking about it being a free speech issue. That seems really, really important. I also think sometimes legislation is passed when the poll numbers aren't moving your way, so you try to move things legislatively. I also think what is going to be exciting is there are people who are going to defy that ban. We think about folks in the climate movement who are willing to go to prison because of work that they have done, not just to jail. I think we are going to see some of that around BDS, as well. I think this is a minor setback, but the repression is going to backfire. Folks should be trying to fight the BDS bills, but at the end of the day, this is going to put the BDS movement, and the movement for human rights more internationally, much more in the forefront and it is going to have unintended consequences for folks who are trying to tamp down on dissent.

    Excellent. How can people keep up with you and your work?

    Folks should check out It is probably the most substantive piece of the work that I am doing right now. Then, also, I am involved with a lot of other wonderful organizations including Rising Tide of North America, and Showing Up for Racial Justice, and Jewish Voice for Peace. What is exciting about this time is there are so many wonderful groups doing so much sophisticated work and it is really important for folks to pick a couple of different places where they want to put their energy or one place that they are most passionate about. There is no absolute right answer. Hopefully, everyone will find the work that they want to do and get involved.

    Interviews for Resistance is a project of Sarah Jaffe, with assistance from Laura Feuillebois and support from the Nation Institute. It is also available as a podcast on iTunes. Not to be reprinted without permission. 

              Baby Boomers Are Reimagining Their Next Steps        
    Baby Boomers have reimagined everything from childcare to relationships. Now as they enter their next life stage they are reimagining that too.
              We won't get fooled again - or will we?        
    If you're part of the Baby Boomer generation - or if you watched this year's half-time show during the Superbowl, you probably know who "The Who" are - sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine, doesn't it?

    Anyway, one of their very popular songs contains the line "We won't get fooled again."

    Wishful thinking - or youthful brashness?

    My experience is that unfortunately we will get fooled again!

    I did.

    Thanks to one of my readers, I just found out that my post on Regina Brett's "45 life lessons" was written by her in 2006 when she turned 50 and not 90 as I wrote.

    I didn't check my facts - and I know better! I first saw this article in a newsletter I received from a trusted colleague of mine. Because of this, it never dawned on me that there might be some inaccuracies. I'm sure that he felt the same way when he first saw the article. And so on. This is how Urban Legends start and grow.

    Let's see how long until I get fooled again.

              Active Retirees, “Empty Nesters” and Baby Boomers Welcome!        

    We are frequently asked about age restrictions in our programs. Since our ABV programs are individually tailored, we welcome active middle age and retirees into our programs. We value your life experience and appreciate the skills and maturity that you can share with others. Volunteering abroad can be immensely rewarding and beneficial in terms of […]

    The post Active Retirees, “Empty Nesters” and Baby Boomers Welcome! appeared first on Volunteer Abroad News.

              Housing stock for sale nationwide slumps to a 20-year low: survey        
    A new survey by reveals that residential housing inventory for sale has hit a 20-year low. Baby boomers, content with their homes, don’t seem to be putting their houses on the market anytime soon, USA Today reported.’s survey showed that 85 percent of baby boomers said they had no plans to trade homes in the next year. The survey gathered data from 1,054 homeowners throughout the country between July 6 and July 13. Overall, ... [more]
              Comment on More Baby Boomers Want to Stay in Their Homes; but Can They Afford It? by Viktoria        
    the twin forces of high deamnd and low supply will likely result in higher (prices). Economic laws at work just like with gasoline (and everything else in a free market).Want change? Build more refineries (& apartments).
              How confluence of cloud, UC and data-driven insights newly empowers contact center agents        
    The next BriefingsDirect customer experience insights discussion explores how Contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) capabilities are becoming more powerful as a result of leveraging cloud computing, multi-mode communications channels, and the ability to provide optimized and contextual user experiences.

    More than ever, businesses have to make difficult and complex decisions about how to best source their customer-facing services. Which apps and services, what data and resources should be in the cloud or on-premises -- or in some combination -- are among the most consequential choices business leaders now face. As the confluence of cloud and unified communications (UC) -- along with data-driven analytics -- gain traction, the contact center function stands out.

    Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Read a full transcript or  download a copy. 

    We’ll now hear why traditional contact center technology has become outdated, inflexible and cumbersome, and why CCaaS is becoming more popular in meeting the heightened user experience requirements of today.
    Here to share more on the next chapter of contact center and customer service enhancements, is Vasili Triant, CEO of Serenovain Austin, Texas. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

    Here are some excerpts:

    Gardner: What are the new trends reshaping the contact center function?

    Triant:What’s changed in the world of contact center and customer service is that we’re seeing a generational spread -- everything from baby boomers all the way now to Gen Z.

    With the proliferation of smartphones through the early 2000s, and new technologies and new channels -- things like WeChat and Viber -- all these customers are now potential inbound discussions with brands. And they all have different mediums that they want to communicate on. It’s no longer just phone or e-mail: It’s phone, e-mail, web chat, SMS, WeChat, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and there are other channels coming around the corner that we don't even know about yet.

    When you take all of these folks -- customers or brands -- and you take all of these technologies that consumers want to engage with across all of these different channels – it’s simple, they want to be heard. It's now the responsibility of brands to determine what is the best way to respond and it’s not always one-to-one.

    So it’s not a phone call for a phone call, it’s maybe an SMS to a phone call, or a phone call to a web chat -- whatever those [multi-channels] may be. The complexity of how we communicate with customers has increased. The needs have changed dramatically. And the legacy types of technologies out there, they can't keep up -- that's what's really driven the shift, the paradigm shift, within the contact center space.

    Gardner:It’s interesting that the new business channels for marketing and capturing business are growing more complex. They still have to then match on the back end how they support those users, interact with them, and carry them through any sort of process -- whether it's on-boarding and engaging, or it’s supporting and servicing them.

    What we’re requiring then is a different architecture to support all of that. It seems very auspicious that we have architectural improvements right along with these new requirements.

    Triant:We have two things that have collided at the same time – cloud technologies and the growth of truly global companies.  

    Most of the new channels that have rolled out are in the cloud. I mean, think about it -- Facebook is a cloud technology, Twitter is a cloud technology. WeChat, Viber, all these things, they are all cloud technologies. It’s becoming a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based world. The easiest and best way to integrate with these other cloud technologies is via the cloud -- versus on-premises. So what began as the shift of on-premises technology to cloud contact center -- and that really began in 2011-2012 – has rapidly picked up speed with the adoption of multi-channels as a primary method of communication.

    The only way to keep up with the pace of development of all these channels is through cloud technologies because you need to develop an agile world, you need to be able to get the upgrades out to customers in a quick fashion, in an easy fashion, and in an inexpensive fashion. That's the core difference between the on-premises world and the cloud world.

    At the same time, we are no longer talking about a United States company, an Australia company, or a UK company -- we are talking about everything as global brands, or global businesses. Customer service is global now, and no one cares about borders or countries when it comes to communication with a brand.
    Customer service is global now, and no one cares about borders or countries when it comes to communications with a brand.

    Gardner:We have been speaking about this through the context of the end-user, the consumer. But this architecture and its ability to leverage cloud also benefits the agent, the person who is responsible for keeping that end-user happy and providing them with the utmost in intelligent services. So how does the new architecture also aid and abet the agent.

    Triant: The agent is frankly one of the most important pieces to this entire puzzle. We talk a lot about channels and how to engage with the customer, but that's really what we call listening. But even in just simple day-to-day human interactions, one of the most important things is how you communicate back. There has been a series of time-and-motion studies done within contact centers, within brands -- and you can even look at your personal experiences. You don’t have to read reports to understand this.
    The baseline for how an interaction will begin and end and whether that will be a happy or a poor interaction with the brand, is going to be dependent on the agents’ state of mind. If I call up and I speak to “Joe,” and he starts the conversation, he is in a great mood and he is having a great day, then my conversation will most likely end in a positive interaction because it started that way.

    But if someone is frustrated, they had a rough day, they can’t find their information, their computers have been crashing or rebooting, then the interaction is guaranteed to end up poor. You hear this all the time, “Oh, can you wait a moment, my systems are loading. Oh, I can’t get you an answer, that screen is not coming up. I can't see your account information.” The agents are frustrated because they can’t do their job, and that frustration then blends into your conversation.

    So using the technology to make it easy for the agent to do their job is essential. If they have to go from one screen to another screen to conduct one interaction with the customer -- they are going to be frustrated, and that will lead to a poor experience with the customer.

    The cloud technologies like Serenova, which is web-based, are able to bring all those technologies into one screen. The agent can have all the information brought to them easily, all in one click, and then be able to answer all the customer needs. The agent is happy and that adds to the customer satisfaction. The conclusion of the call is a happy customer, which is what we all want. That’s a great scenario and you need cloud technology to do that because the on-premises world does not deliver a great agent experience.

    One-stop service

    Gardner:Another thing that the older technologies don't provide is the ability to have a flexible spectrum to move across these channels. Many times when I engage with an organization I might start with an SMS or a text chat, but then if that can’t satisfy my needs, I want to get a deeper level of satisfaction. So it might end up going to a phone call or an interaction on the web, or even a shared desktop, if I’m in IT support, for example.

    The newer cloud technology allows you to intercept via different types of channels, but you can also escalate and vary between and among them seamlessly. Why is that flexibility both of benefit to the end-user as well as the agent?

    Triant: I always tell companies and customers of ours that you don't have to over-think this; all you have to do is look to your personal life. Most common things that we as users deal with -- such as cell phone companies, cable companies, airlines, -- you can get onto any of these websites and begin chatting, but you can find that your interaction isn’t going well. Before I started at Serenova, I had these experiences where I was dealing with the cable company and -- chat, chat, chat, -- trying to solve my problem. But we couldn't get there, and so then we needed to get on the phone. But they said, “Here is our 800 number, call in.” I’d call in, but I’d have to start a whole new interaction.

    Basically, I’d have to re-explain my entire situation. Then, I am talking with one person, and they have to turn around and send me an email, but I am not going to get that email for 30 to 45 minutes because they have to get off the phone, and get into another system and send it off. In the meantime, I am frustrated, I am ticked off -- and guess what I have done now? I have left that brand. This happens across the board. I can even have two totally different types of interactions with the company.

    You can use a major airline brand as an example. One of our employees called on the phone trying to resolve an issue that was caused by the airline. They basically said, “No, no, no.” It made her very frustrated. She decided she’s going to fly with a different airline now. She then sent a social post [to that effect], and the airline’s VP of Customer Service answered it, and within minutes they had resolved her issue. But they already spent three hours on the phone trying to push her off through yet another channel because it was a totally different group, a totally different experience.

    By leveraging technologies where you can pivot from one channel to another, everyone will get answers quicker. I can be chatting with you, Dana, and realize that we need to escalate to a voice conversation, for example, and I as the agent; I can then turn that conversation into a voice call. You don't have to re-explain yourself and you are like, “Wow, that's cool! Now I’m on the phone with a facility,” and we are able to handle our business.

    As agent, I can also pivot simultaneously to an email channel to send you something as simple as a user guide or a series of knowledge-based articles that I may have at my fingertips as an agent. But you and I are still on the phone call. Even better yet, after-the-fact, as a business, I have all the analytics and the business intelligence to say that I had one interaction with Dana that started out as a web chat, pivoted to a phone call, and I simultaneously then sent a knowledge-based article of “X” around this issue and I can report on it all at once. Not three separate interactions, not three separate events -- and I have made you a happy customer.

    Gardner:We are clearly talking about enabling the agent to be a super-agent, and they can, of course, be anywhere. I think this is really important now because the function of an agent -- we are already seeing the beginnings of this -- but it's going to certainly include and increase having more artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and associated data analytics benefits. The agent then might be a combination of human and AI functions and services.

    So we need to be able to integrate at a core communications basis. Without going too far down this futuristic route, isn't it important for that agent to be an assimilation of more assets and more services over time?

    Artificial Intelligence plus human support

    Triant:I‘m glad you brought up AI and these other technologies. The reality is that we've been through a number of cycles around what this technology is going to do and how it is going to interact with an agent. In my view, and I have been in this world for a while, the agent is the most important piece of customer service and brand engagement. But you have to be able to bring information to them, and you have to be able to give information to your customers so that if there is something simple, get it to them as quick as possible -- but also bring all the relevant information to the agent.

    AI has had multiple forms; it has existed for a long time. Sometimes people get confused because of marketing schemes and sales tactics [and view AI] as a way for cost avoidance, to reduce agents and eliminate staff by implementing these technologies. Really the focus is how to create a better customer experience, how to create a better agent experience.

    We have had AI in our product for last three years, and we are re-releasing some components that will bring business intelligence to the forefront around the end of the year. What it essentially does is alIow you to see what you're doing as a user out on the Internet and within these technologies. I can see that you have been looking for knowledge-based articles around, for example, “why my refrigerator keeps freezing up and how can I defrost it.” You can see such things on Twitter and you can see these things on Facebook. The amount of information that exists out there is phenomenal and in real-time. I can now gather that information … and I can proactively, as a business, make decisions about what I want to do with you as a potential consumer.

    I can even identify you as a consumer within my business, know how many products you have acquired from me, and whether you're a “platinum” customer or even a basic customer, and then make a decision.

    For example, I have TVs, refrigerators, washer-dryers and other appliances all from the same manufacturer. So I am a large consumer to that one manufacturer because all of my components are there. But I may be searching a knowledge-based article on why the refrigerator continues to freeze up.

    Now I may call in about just the refrigerator, but wouldn't it be great for that agent to know that I own 22 other products from that same company? I'm not just calling about the refrigerator; I am technically calling about the entire brand. My experience around the refrigerator freaking out may change my entire brand decision going forward. That information may prompt me to decide that I want to route that customer to a different pool of agents, based on what their total lifetime value is as a brand-level consumer.

    Through AI, by leveraging all this information, I can be a better steward to my customer and to the agent, because I will tell you, an agent will act differently if they understand the importance of that customer or to know that I, Vasili, have spent the last two hours searching online for information, which I posted on Facebook and I posted on Twitter.
    Through AI, by leveraging all this information, I can be a better steward to the customer and to the agent.

    At that point, the level of my frustration already has reached a certain height on a scale. As an agent, if you knew that, you might treat me differently because you already know that I am frustrated. The agent may be able to realize that you have been looking for some information on this, realize you have been on Facebook and Twitter. They can then say: “I am really sorry, I'm not able to get you answers. Let me see how I can help you, it seems that you are looking online about how to keep the refrigerator from freezing up.”

    If I start the conversation that way, I've now diffused a lot of the frustration of the customer. The agent has already started that interaction better. Bringing that information to that person, that’s powerful, that’s business intelligence -- and that’s creating action from all that information.

    Keep your cool

    Gardner:It’s fascinating that that level of sentiment analysis brings together the best of what AI and machine learning can do, which is to analyze all of these threads of data and information and determine a temperature, if you will, of a person's mood and pass that on to a human agent who can then have the emotional capacity to be ready to help that person get to a lower temperature, be more able to help them overall.

    It’s becoming clear to me, Vasili, that this contact center function and CCaaS architectural benefits are far more strategic to an organization than we may have thought, that it is about more than just customer service. This really is the best interface between a company -- and all the resources and assets it has across customer service, marketing, and sales interactions. Do you agree that this has become far more strategic because of these new capabilities?

    Triant:Absolutely, and as brands begin to realize the power of what the technology can do for their overall business, it will continue to evolve, and gain pace around global adoption.
    As brands begin to realize the power of what the technology can do for their overall businesses, it will continue to evolve and gain global adoption.

    We have only scratched the surface on adoption of these cloud technologies within organizations. A majority of brands out there look at these interactions as a cost of doing business. They still seek to reduce that cost versus the lifetime value of both the consumer, as well as the agent experience. This will shift, it is shifting, and there are companies that are thriving by recognizing that entire equation and how to leverage the technologies.

    Technology is nothing without action and result. There have been some really cool things that have existed for a while, but they don’t ever produce any result that’s meaningful to the customer so they never get adopted and deployed and ultimately reach some type of a mass proliferation of results.

    Gardner:You mentioned cost. Let’s dig into that. For organizations that are attracted to the capabilities and the strategic implications of CCaaS, how do we evaluate it in terms of cost? The old CapEx approach often had a high upfront cost, and then high operating costs, if you have an inefficient call center. Other costs involve losing your customers, losing brand affinity, losing your perception in the market. So when you talk to a prospect or customer, how do you help them tease out the understanding of a pay-as-you-go service as highly efficient? Does the highly empowered agent approach save money, or even make money, and CCaaS becomes not a cost center but a revenue generator?

    Cost consciousness

    Triant:Interesting point, Dana. When I started at Serenova about five years ago, customers all the time would say, “What’s the cost of owning the technology?” And, “Oh, my, on-premises stuff has already depreciated and I already own it, so it’s cheaper for me to keep it.” That was the conversation pretty much every day. Beginning in 2013, it rapidly started shifting. This shift was mainly driven by the fact that organizations started realizing that consumers want to engage on different channels, and the on-premises guys couldn’t keep up with this demand.

    The cost of ownership no longer matters. What matters is that the on-premises guys just literally could not deliver the functionality. And so, whether that's Cisco, Avaya, or Shoretel, they quickly started falling away in consideration for technology companies that were looking to deploy applications for their business to meet these needs.

    The cost of ownership quickly disappeared as the main discussion point. Instead it came around to, “What is the solution that you're going to deliver?” Customers that are looking for contact center technologies are beginning to take a cloud-first approach. And once they see the power of CCaaS through demonstration and through some trials of what an agent can do – and it’s all browser-based, there is no client install, there is no equipment on-premises - then it takes on a life of its own. It’s about, “What is the experience going to be? Are these channels all integrated? Can I get it all from one manufacturer?”

    Following that, organizations focus on other intricacies around - Can it scale? Can it be redundant? Is it global? But those become architectural concerns for the brands themselves. There is a chunk of the industry that is not looking at these technologies, and they are stuck in brand euphoria or have to stay with on-premises infrastructure, or with a certain vendor because of their name or that they are going to get there someday.

    As we have seen, Avaya has declared bankruptcy. Avaya does not have cloud technologies despite their marketing message. So the customers that are in those technologies now realize they have to find a path to keep up with the basic customer service at a global scale. Unfortunately, those customers have to find a path forward and they don’t have one right now.
    It's less about cost of ownership and it’s more about the high cost of not doing anything. If I don't do anything, what’s going to be the cost? That cost ultimately becomes - I’m not going to be able to have engagement with my customers because the consumers are changing.
    It's less about cost of ownership and it's more about the high cost of not doing anything.

    Gardner:What about this idea of considering your contact center function not just as a cost center, but also as a business development function? Am I being too optimistic.

    It seems to me that as AI and the best of what human interactions can do combine across multichannels, that this becomes no longer just a cost center for support, a check-off box, but a strategic must-do for any business.

    Multi-channel customer interaction

    Triant:When an organization reaches the pinnacle of happiness within what these technologies can do, they will realize that no longer do you need to have delineation between a marketing department that answers social media posts, an inside sales department that is only taking calls for upgrades and renewals, and a customer service department that’s dealing with complaints or inbound questions. They will see that you can leverage all the applications across a pool of agents with different skills.

    I may have a higher skill around social media than over voice, or I may have a higher skill level around a sales activity, or renewal activity, over customer service problems. I should be able to do any interaction. And potentially one day it'll just be customer interaction department and the channels are just a medium of inbound and outbound choice for a brand.

    But you can now take information from whatever you see the customer doing. Each of their actions have a leading indicator, everything has a predictive action prior to the inbound touch, everything does. Now that a brand can see that, it will be able to have “consumer interaction departments,” and it will be properly routed to the right person based on that information. You’ll be able to bring information to that agent that will allow them to answer the customer’s questions.

    Gardner:I can see how that agent’s job would be very satisfying and fulfilling when you are that important, when you have that sort of a key role in your organization that empowers people. That’s good news for people that are trying to find those skills and fill those positions.

    Vasili, we only have a few minutes left, but I’d love to hear about a couple of examples. It’s one thing to tell, it’s another thing to show. Do we have some examples of organizations that have embraced this concept of a strategic contact center, taken advantage of those multi-channels, added perhaps some intelligence and improved the status and capability of the agents -- all to some business benefit? Walk us through a couple of actual use cases where this has all come together.

    Cloud communication culture shift

    Triant:No one has reached that level of euphoria per se, but there are definitely companies that are moving in that direction.

    It is a culture change, so it takes time. I know as well as anybody what it takes to shift a culture, and it doesn't happen overnight. As an example, there is a ride-hailing company that engages in a different way with their consumer, and their consumer might be different than what you think from the way I am describing it. They use voice systems and SMS and often want to pivot between the two. Our technology actually allows the agent to make that decision even if they aren’t even physically in the same country. They are dynamically spread across multiple countries to answer any question they may need to answer based on time and day.

    But they can pivot from what’s predominantly an SMS inbound and outbound communication into a voice interaction, and then they can also follow up with an e-mail, and that’s already happened. Now, it initially started with some SMS inbound and outbound, then they added voice – an interesting move as most people think adding voice is what people are getting away from. What everyone has begun to realize is that live communication ultimately is what everybody looks for in the end to solve the more complex problems.
    What everyone has begun to realize is that live communication ultimately is what everybody looks for in the end to solve the more complex problems.

    That's one example. Another company that provides the latest technology in food order and delivery initially started with voice-only to order and deliver food. Now they've added SMS confirmations automatically, and e-mail as well for confirmation or for more information from the inbound voice call. And now, once they are an existing customer, they can even start an order from an SMS, and pivot back to a voice call for confirmation -- all within one interaction. They are literally one of the fastest growing alternative food delivery companies, growing at a global scale.

    They are deploying agents globally across one technology. They would not be able to do this with legacy technologies because of the expense. When you get into these kinds of high-volume, low-margin businesses, cost matters. When you can have an OpEx model that will scale, you are adding better customer service to the applications, and you are able to allow them to build a profitable model because you are not burning them with high CapEx processes.

    Gardner:Before we sign off, you had mentioned your pipeline about your products and services, such as engaging more with AI capabilities toward the end of the year. Could give us a level-set on your roadmap? Where are your products and services now? Where do you go next?

    A customer journey begins with insight

    Triant:We have been building cloud technologies for 16 years in the contact center space. We released our latest CCaaS platform in March 2016 called CxEngage. We then had a major upgrade to the platform in March of this year, where we take that agent experience to the next level. It’s really our leapfrog in the agent interface and making it easier, bringing in more information to them.

    Where we are going next is around the customer journey -- predictive interactions. Some people call it AI, but I will call it “customer journey mapping with predictive action insights.” That’s going to be a big cornerstone in our product, including business analytics. It’s focused around looking at a combination of speech, data and text -- all simultaneously creating predictive actions. This is another core area we are going in an and continue to expand the reach of our platform from a global scale.

    At this point, we are a global company. We have the only global cloud platform built on a single software stack with one data pipeline. We now have more users on a pure cloud platform than any of our competitors globally. I know that’s a big statement, but when you look at a pure cloud infrastructure, you're talking in a whole different realm of what services you are able to offer to customers. Our ability to provide a broad reach including to Europe, South Africa, Australia, India, and Singapore -- and still deliver good cloud quality at a reasonable cost and redundant fashion –  we are second to none in that space.

    Gardner:I’m afraid we will have to leave it there. We have been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect discussion on how CCaaS capabilities are becoming more powerful as a result of cloud computing, multimode communications channels, and the ability to provide optimized and contextual user experiences.

    And we’ve learned how new levels of insight and intelligence are now making CCaaS approaches able to meet the highest user experience requirements of today and tomorrow. So please join me now in thanking our guest, Vasili Triant, CEO of Serenova in Austin, Texas.

    Triant:Thank you very much, Dana. I appreciate you having me today.

    Gardner:This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this ongoing series of BriefingsDirect discussions. A big thank you to our sponsor, Serenova, as well as to you, our audience. Do come back next time and thanks for listening.

    Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Read a full transcript or  download a copy. Sponsor: Serenova.

    Transcript of a discussion on how contact center-as-a-service capabilities are becoming more powerful to provide optimized and contextual user experiences for agents and customers. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2017. All rights reserved.

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              We All Want to Be Young (leg)        

    Pour comprendre les jeunes d'aujourd'hui, BOX1824, une agence de tendance brésilienne analyse les générations précédentes. Des "Baby Boomers" aux "millenials" en passant par la "Génération X", du Power flower aux Flashmobs et internet memes, le film esquisse le portrait des moins de 20 ans.

    Posted via email from Mediamaispasque

              The Paradox of the Wage Slave        
    Once upon a time, there was no such thing as the hourly wage. If you were an independent farmer, you'd sell your grains, cows, pigs and vegetables at the market, and in general would try to stagger these so that you could have money coming in most times of the year. If you were a tenant farmer, when the land lord sold the goods you produced, you'd get a percentage of the sales based upon the amount of land you farmed. A smith would negotiate by the piece or the lot, and usually took a down-payment to cover the costs of the materials. Farmhands and soldiers would be paid a set amount each week, usually at the end of the week after the work in question was done, but might also get a certain proportion of their wages from a share of the harvest or a chance at the spoils. Sailors would get a share of the shipping proceeds (or plunder if the ship in question was a pirate or privateer vessel), plus a stipend for completed voyages and occasionally a small signing bonus.

    In general, the per week payments were intended to keep the laborer involved until the final payout - in effect the laborer was part of the venture and would share in the rewards, or was paid per piece with just enough to cover the artisan's or tradesman's costs and basic sustenance paid in advance.

    Industrialization changed that, along with the arrival of the mechanical clock. People have always had the ability to tell approximate time via candles or hour glasses, but because such resources were both expensive and required maintenance (and were at best very approximate) most timekeeping was managed by church bells sounding the times of worship. With the advent of the clock, however, it became possible to measure tasks more precisely, and as a consequence to break up time into discrete units during the day.

    The machine paradigm also broke the normal agricultural rhythms of working at dawn, getting a big breakfast, working until the sun reached it's peak, taking a short siesta, then working until near dark. Instead, you worked to the clock. In the factory paradigm, it made less sense to pay the workers an small initial payment then pay them a share of the proceeds after the project was done, because there was never a "done" point - the machines ran twelve hours a day, every day. Because industrialization was going on in tandem with the break up of the feudal tenant farm system, there were a lot of laborers available for factory jobs, and consequently, factory owners could limit the laborers to hourly stipends without any hope of final renumeration. This was also the stage where factory labor diverged from trade or artisanal labor, although the former also depressed wages for the latter.

    In the 1940s in both the US and England, most able bodied young men went to war, where they learned regimentation, and where both officer and enlisted class became intimately familiar with command and control structures. The military had standardized on hourly wages, but also had standardized on the concept of a standard work week for those not in theater in order to simplify wage accounting. In practice, that meant that you got paid for 48 hours of work a week, period. Senior grades had a higher pay structure per hour, and officers made more than enlisted for the same number of hours of service.

    When the war ended, the officers went into the newly booming corporations as managers as they switched over from war time to peacetime production of goods, while the enlisted went into the factories as foremen and line managers. The terms "white" and "blue" collar jobs reflected this - naval daily officer uniforms were white cotton, while the ratings and seamen wore blue chamoise-cloth shirts.

    Wages began going up both because of increased demand for skilled workers and because the management class was also getting wages - they were still hirelings of the rentier or investor class, but because they were doing management type activities they typically had far more involvement in the longer term success or failure of the company. Moreover, much of that management was involved with sales, which in addition to wages, paid a commission on sales made that boosted the income of the management class significantly in the years after World War II.

    Meanwhile, unions, which had struggled during the Depression and World War II, exploded in popularity in the 1950 and 60s, in part because there was a massive demand for people in the building trades - skilled carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and so forth who had until then perforce taken temporary jobs on an as available basis, and in part in manufacturing, where again high employment demand had meant that a system that both guaranteed competence and provided an environment for younger union members to gain experience made them attractive. As many of the companies involved were comparatively weak, the management of these companies were unable to stop this phenomenon, as they needed people too much not to concede to labor demands.

    By the 1970s, labor unions had become very pervasive, and arguably had become too powerful, at least from the perspective of corporations that were now facing increasingly severe headwinds. In the 1950s, the United States was effectively rebuilding both Europe and Asia. By the 1970s, however, these economies had recovered, and were increasingly competing against the United States in critical areas. Additionally, the Breton Woods agreement in 1944 that had established a global reserve currency (the US dollar) and pegged that dollar to gold was seen more and more as a burden by the US, since it meant that US banks were very limited in the amount of money that they could loan out. When French President Charles de Gaulle demanded that the US make payments to France in gold, not dollars (as the French were concerned about the Americans' depreciation of their currency during the 1960s), President Richard Nixon severed the tie between gold and the dollar. This had the immediate effect of causing the oil producing states of the Middle East to band together in order to raise prices in response, which in turn began an inflationary spiral that didn't really end until Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker raising interest rates to nose bleed levels,

    The massive spike in inflation caused demand for American produced goods to fall dramatically, exacerbating problems that the unions faced. With reduced demand, corporations were able to close plants with impunity. People paid into unions because they had been successful in raising wages and work standards (including reducing total work time to 40 hours per week), but as manufacturing jobs disappeared, so too did the clout of the unions, because there were far more people competing for jobs than there were jobs available. This has always been the Achilles heel of the union movement. Ironically, those places where unions have remained strongest are also those where educational requirements and continued training have also been the most stringent - teachers, nurses, engineers, fire and police professionals,

    It's also worth noting the distinctions in types of inflation. Talking about a broad "inflation" rate is misleading, because in general, inflation is the rise of labor or resources relative to the nominal price of other resources. wage inflation occurred in the 1950s and early 60s relative to commodities, energy and finished goods because labor was comparatively scarce for many jobs. Wages largely stagnated since about 1971, but there was massive inflation in managerial salaries and dividends. Energy has inflated relative to wages since '71, while commodities inflated during the period from 1998-2008, and real estate inflated dramatically from about 2000 until the market collapsed in 2008.

    Most corporate managers and rentier class investors prefer it when labor costs fall while finished goods inflate (which increases their profit), but fear when labor costs rise and raw material goods inflate (which can often squeeze margins at a time when the economy is tight). Not surprisingly, when the main stream media discusses the desire of the Federal Reserve to increase inflation, what they are usually referring to is the inflation of finished goods (from cars and houses to computers, packaged foods and so forth) rather than wage inflation, even though in this case wage inflation is precisely what needs to happen, relative to other asset classes).

    In the late 1970s, a new class of business consultants such as Peter Drucker began making the argument that the primary purpose of a corporation was not to create goods and services but to maximize shareholder value. This credo was part of a shift in thinking pushed largely by the Chicago School of Economics and the monetarists, led by Milton Friedman. Along with this came the belief that the senior management of a corporation, such as the CEO or CFO, should be incentivized to increase stock value (which was widely seen as a good proxy for "shareholder value") by giving them options to purchase stocks at a greatly reduced price.

    With skin in the game, these senior managers would then have more reason to keep stock prices up. In point of fact, all that this did was to transfer a significant amount of wealth from the employees (who were not similarly compensated) and the investors to the managerial class. Ironically, this has served in the long term to significantly reduce shareholder value, while at the same time making such manageables largely unaccountable as they ended up stocking boards of directors with their cronies. Weighed down with expensive senior management contracts many companies ended up reducing long term wages on employees that weren't critical to success to compensate - additionally, because stock price became the only real proxy for a corporation's value, corporate raiders emerged who would push the stock value of a company down through market manipulation, buy it out, reward the senior managers and fire the labor force, often gorging on pension funds and patents in the process.

    The rise of unemployment that resulted was partially masked by the rise of the IT sector. The information technologies revolution started in the 1970s with big iron systems that began to reduce accounting staffs, but it really was only the marriage of the personal computer in the 1980s with networking technology that things began to change dramatically. One of the first things to happen was that as software reached a critical threshold in the mid 1980s, it began to erode the last real bastion of wage employment - the non-managerial white (and pink) collar jobs that had been indispensible to the command and control corporate structure.

    The creation of presentations provides an interesting illustration of the impact this had. Until the mid-1980s, many corporations had graphic design departments. If a manager needed to make a presentation, he would need to work with a designer to design the slides, who would then work with a typesetter, a graphic illustrator and photographer to create the slides, a copy-writer, and possibly a printer, and would often take a month of lead time. With the introduction of presentation software such as Harvard Graphics and later Powerpoint, the manager could do all of these jobs himself, eliminating these positions and drastically reducing the time to do this work. Adaptable artists and designers did eventually go to work for themselves to provide such services, but for every person that became successful in this milleau, three or four did not, and in the process it caused a shift away from the monolithic culture into more of a  freelance and studio arrangement.

    Ironically, such a process served to hinder the women's movement for at least a few decades. Falling real wages coincided with a rise of women's empowerment to bring a whole generation of women into the corporate workforce as secretaries, which often provided a stepping stone into mid-level management (typically office management or administration). The introduction of personal computers into the corporate workforce actually initially proved beneficial to secretaries, because they were often the first to get access to these typewriter-like devices and consequently ended up getting a leg up on their male managerial counterparts. However, as more people began using PCs in the work environment, it also radically thinned the number of secretaries required in an organization (although in a fitting twist of irony it also had the same effect on mid-level managers a few years later). This is part of the reason that there's something of a gap between older and younger women in most organizations, especially as IT itself became increasingly seen as a specialized domain for nerdy young men.

    For manufacturing, however, the IT revolution was devastating for workers. Once you networked computers, it became possible to distribute your workforce, and from there it was a short step to moving work outside the US in particular to countries with low labor costs, low taxes and lax regulatory regimes. Standardization of shipping containers made shipping raw goods to these external factories for processing and sending the finished goods back easier, and new telecommunication systems meant that it was easier to coordinate production eight to ten hours ahead or behind you globally. This served to inject huge amounts of money into the Asian economies, which had the unintended effect of raising the wage levels of Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean workers dramatically. This outsourcing drained manufacturing from the US, leaving much of the Midwest and MidAtlantic as derelict ghost towns.

    This also had the effect of reducing the overall import costs of foreign goods, which companies such as Walmart took strong advantage of. The outsourcing on manufacturing not only eliminated manufacturing jobs, but also had an adverse on the many service jobs that supported these manufacturing jobs, driving down wages in these areas and giving rise to the McJob - part time, no benefits, paying minimum wage, offering little opportunity for advancement and making an insufficient amount of money to catch up on with steadily rising food and housing prices. Automation generally affected services economies less directly - services almost by definition require either human intervention or human knowledge - but it did mean that mid-level management jobs (which typically provided a career path for people in these sectors) disappeared, leaving fewer ways for a person to break out of the "wage-slave" trap.

    Dramatic rises in energy and commodities due both to scarcity and a growing realization on the part of countries that they were being pillaged by Western corporations caused the machine to falter even more. As the opportunities for the giant petrochemical companies to get access to foreign oil at highly profitable rates disappeared, cries for energy independence began to arise in the US. Energy independence in this context should be read, however, not as an increase in the use alternative energy sources (which currently receive a very small subsidy by the US compared to the oil companies) but as increased drilling for shale oil, offshore oil and natural gas deposits via rock fracturing (aka fracking). These deposits were considered less economical (in part because of the remediation and political costs) than foreign oil and natural gas, but at this stage there are considerably fewer alternatives left to the oil companies (in 1960, oil companies owned roughly 85% of all oil deposits globally, in 2010, that number is closer to 10%, as most of these has been nationalized by their respective governments).

    This has led to an increase in the number of hydrocarbon engineering and maintenance jobs in the US, but this is a labor market that runs hot and cold. The jobs will be around until the fields play out, then will be gone - this will likely happen within the next decade.

    We are now in what has been described as a bubble economy - government stimulus is frequently needed to create a temporary market, but these markets, unregulated, quickly grow to a point where they are oversupplying the available demand, attracting parasitic speculators that then cause the system to collapse, causing inflation in that sector followed by rapid deflation and despoiled ecospaces. This happened in IT in 2000, in housing in 2008, and in education and energy production likely in the next couple of years. The housing collapse in particular is still playing out, primarily in Europe, though it has left a legal tangle of housing ownership that will take decades to untangle, if ever (I expect that ultimately much of this will end up being written off as uncollectable).

    It is against this backdrop that it becomes possible to understand what will happen to jobs over the next couple of decades. There are two additional factors that play into the picture as well. The first is demographic. People born in 1943, which I consider the start of the Baby Boom, turn seventy this year. In the depths of the recession that started in 2008, when this group reached 65, many of them went back to work - and for a while it was not at all uncommon to see a lot of low wage jobs being held by people in their seventh decade. However, even given advancements in geriontology, the ability of people to work into their seventies deterioriates dramatically. The Boomer generation peaked around 1953. If you assume that only a comparatively small fraction of those age 70 or above are still in the workforce, this means that this gray workforce will fade fairly quickly from the overall workforce just in the next five years. This will have the effect of clearing out a large proportion of upper-level management as well, which has been heavily dominated by Boomers just given the sheer number of them.

    GenXers are a trough generation - as a group there is perhaps 65% as many of them as there are Boomers. These people are now entering into policy making positions in both government and business, but because of numbers, the Boomer peak for leaving the workforce hits at approximately the bottom of the GenXer trough for entering into senior management and senior professional positions. This actually translates into a relative scarcity of executive and professorial level talent by 2020, now only seven years distant. GenXers, for the most part, are engineers. Many of them, in their 20s through 40s, were responsible for the low level implementation of the web in the 1990s and the 2000s. A large number were contractors, people who generally benefited far less overall monetarily from the emergence of the computing revolution and the web, and as such they see far less benefit in large scale corporate structures.

    Indeed, the GenXer view of a company is increasingly becoming the norm. It's typically small - under 150 people, in many cases under twenty people. It's distributed and virtual, with the idea of an "office" as often as not being a periodically rented room in a Starbucks, and with people working on it from literally across the world. Participants are often shareholders without necessarily being employees. Their physical facilities are on the cloud, and staffs are usually two or three people devoted to administration while the rest are "creatives" - engineers, developers, artists, videographers, writers and subject matter experts. The products involved are often either virtual or custom as well, and usually tend to have a comparatively small life cycle - often less than six months. This could be anything from software to customized cars to media productions to baked goods.

    In effect these microcompanies are production pods. They may be part of a larger company, but they are typically autonomous even then. They can be seen as "production houses" or similar entities, and they may often perform specialized services for a larger entity - a digital effects house for a movie, a research group for a pharmaceutical company, a local food provider, specialized news journalists. When they do have physical production  facilities, those facilities may be shared with other microcompanies (the facilities themselves are essentially another company).

    One of the longer term impacts of ObamaCare is that it also becomes possible for such pods to enter into group arrangements with health insurers, and makes it easier for people to participate in such insurance systems without necessarily being tied to a 40-hour paycheck. Health insurance was once one of the big perks of the more monolithic companies, but until comparatively recently changing companies typically involved changing insurance companies as well, a process that could become onerous and leave people with gaps in insurance that could be devastating if a worker or her child was injured. As command and control companies end up putting more of the costs of insurance on the employee, the benefit to staying with that employer diminishes.

    The same thing applies to pension plans - it has become increasingly common for companies to let go of employees that are close to cashing out their pensions for retirement, often leaving them with little to nothing to show for years of saving. The younger generations are increasingly skeptical of large companies to manage their retirement, usually with good reason, especially since the average 40 year old today may have ten or more companies under their belt since they started work, and can expect to work for at least that many more before they reach "retirement age". This means that GenXers and younger (especially younger) are choosing to manage their own retirement funds when possible, independent of their employer.

    Once those two "benefits" are taken out of the equation, the only real incentives that companies can offer are ownership stakes and salaries. As mentioned earlier, salaries are attractive primarily because of their regularity - you have a guarantee that you will receive X amount of money on this particular date, which becomes critical for the credit/debit system we currently inhabit. Ownership stakes are riskier, but they constitute a long term royalty, which can be important because it becomes itself a long term semi-reliable revenue stream. If you receive royalties from three or four different companies, this can go a long way to not having to be employed continuously.

    The GenXers will consequently be transformers, pragmatists who are more interested in solving problems than dealing with morality, overshadowed by a media that is still primarily fixated on the Boomers, quietly cleaning up the messes, establishing standards, and promoting interconnectivity and transparency. Many of them now are involved in the technical engineering involved in alternative energy and green initiatives, next generation cars, trucks and trains, aerospace technologies, programming, bioengineering, information management and design, and so forth. While they are familiar with corporate culture, they find the political jockeying and socializing of the previous generation tedious, and though they are competent enough managers, GenXers generally tend to be more introverted and less entrepreneurial. Overall, as they get older, GenXers are also far more likely to go solo - consulting or freelancing. They may end up setting up consulting groups in order to take advantage of the benefits of same, but there is usually comparatively little interaction between consultants - they are more likely to be onsite with a client troubleshooting.

    From a political strategist standpoint, one of the great mysteries of the modern era has been the disappearance of the unions. Beyond the strong automation factors discussed earlier as well as a politically hostile climate to unions, one factor has always been generational. GenXers are probably the most disposed personality-wise to being union members, but because unions generally gained a blue collar reputation, many GenXers (who in general see themselves more as engineers and researchers) have tended to see unions as being outside their socioeconomic class. Moreover, the consultant or freelancer mentality is often at odds with the "strength in numbers" philosophy of most unions.

    I expect this generation to also end up much more in academia, especially on the technical and scientific side, or to migrate towards research, especially by 2020 or so as they finally reach a point where passing their knowledge on to the next generation outweighs any gains to be made by consulting. As is typical, the relatively inward looking GenXers will lay the groundwork for the very extroverted generation following after them - the Millennials.

    Millennials were born after 1982, with the peak occurring in 1990, and are the children of the latter wave part of the Boomers (many of whom started families comparatively late - in their very late 20s, and had children until their late 40s). However, there's also an overlap with the children of the GenXers that creates a double crested population hump, with the trough in 1997 and then growth until 2007 (which actually exceeded the number of births per year of the Baby Boomers). After that, however there's been a sharp drop off to the extent that in 2012 the number of births is expected to approach the trough levels of 1971. For all that, the Virtuals (those born after 2000) will likely be a fairly small generation, given the drop off (most likely due to the economy's collapse).

    The oldest Millennials are now thirty years old. Displaced by the gray workforce and facing the hardships in the economy by 2007, many started work four or five years later than in previous generations, had more difficulty finding work, and were often forced when they could find work to take MacJobs. They are distrustful of corporations, and are in general far more bound to their "tribes" -- connected over the Internet via mobile phones and computers -- than they are to work. Their forte is media - writing, art, film production, music, entertainment programming, social media, all of which lends itself well to the production house model, and which will likely mean that as this generation matures, it will end up producing the first great artists of the 21st century.

    What it won't do is make them good workers in the corporate world, or in traditional blue collar positions. Overall, math and science scores for high school plummeted for the Millennials during the 1990s and 2000s, and enrollment in STEM programs in college declined dramatically after 2000 (when the Millennials started into college). Most Millennials are very good at communicating within their generation - this is the most "connected" generation ever - but overall tend not to communicate well with authority figures outside that demographic. (I've discussed this in previous essays.)

    While I've seen some commentators who are critical of the Millennials because they see them as spoiled and entitled, instead, I'd argue that these characteristics are actually more typical of a generation that overall is just not heavily motivated by financial factors. Most have learned frugality after years of having minimal jobs. They will likely marry later and have fewer children than any generation before them, and their social relationships may actually prove stronger than their marital ones. On the other hand, they will also likely focus more strongly on their craft because of these factors, which means that as they age, they will prosper because of their innate skills and talents.

    Temperamentally, the Millennials will tend to act in concert to a far greater extent than the generations before them. They will not join unions, but they will end up creating constructs very much like them. Moreover, they will be inclined to follow authority, but only if that authority is roughly in their generation. Consensus politics will be very important to them, and this will be the first generation that really employs a reputation economy as currency.

    Given all this, it is very likely that the nine-to-five, five day a week job is going the way of the dodo. It won't disappear completely for quite some time, but the concept of a salaried employee will become increasingly irrelevant as the production house model obviates the command and control structure corporation. If you're still learning, you would get paid at a fixed rate plus time, but once you reach a point where you add significant value to a project, you would get points in the project towards a return royalty. Service jobs, similarly, will likely revert to a work for hire basis, coupled with some profit sharing. Manufacturing is shifting to a combination of insourcing with pod companies and artisanal production. Legal and accounting services, where they haven't already shifted to web-based delivery, are pretty much already done on a work for hire basis, with partners getting profit-shares.

    The biggest changes that are taking place are in the sales sector. The rise of eRetailing is beginning to hit brick and mortar businesses hard. Christmas hiring at physical retail stores has been dropping consistently in the last five years, even as the economy itself has begun to recover. This is primarily because more and more retail is shifting online, to the extent that it accounts for nearly half of all retail activity in the United States during the last three months of the year. Mobile continues driving that as well, as it becomes far easier to "impulse buy" when your computing platform is constantly by your side.

    The only real exception to this trend is in groceries and restaurants, though even there online purchases are accounting for a larger percentage of sales than a few years ago. Many grocery chains now offer online ordering and delivery services for nominal fees, up from only a couple specialized services a few years ago. Supermarket shopping is perhaps more ingrained in people than other retail shopping, so it is likely that this trend will take longer to play out there, but it is happening, especially in cities where grocery shopping is more complicated than it is in the suburbs.

    Ambiance stores and restaurants are perhaps the only ones truly bucking the trend, and this has to do with the fact that most restaurants ultimately are as much about entertainment as they are about food. It's why there's been a slow death of the fast food industry, but places such as Starbucks do quite well. They are the modern day equivalent of pubs.

    Note that I do not believe that such service jobs will go away completely, but they will diminish, and at some point it is often more profitable for a common to only be virtual and not maintain the costs of storefronts. No storefronts means fewer stores in malls, and already many malls are closing or being converted to other purpose buildings, while there are very few new mall or strip mall projects starting. Similarly, the number of "big box" stores has been declining as well. On any given day, go into an Office Depot or Best Buy, and what's most remarkable is how little traffic there generally is. Yet people are buying from their online sites, and the stores stay open increasingly to keep the brand alive in people's minds. At some point I expect these expensive "advertisements" to finally close down or turn into general distribution points, with only token merchandise on the floor.

    This brings up the final paradox of the wage slave. The number of jobs being created is smaller than the number of jobs that are going away by a considerable degree, even in a "healthy" economy. These jobs are not being outsourced, they are being eliminated due to automation. The jobs that are being created in general require specialized skills, skills which used to be acquired via "on the job training", but increasingly these low and mid-tier jobs that provided such training are the easiest to automate, and hence are going away as well.

    It is possible to train people some of these skills in the classroom, but the 10,000 hour rule of mastery generally applies - in order to understand a particular topic or acquire a given skill, it usually takes 10,000 hours worth of study, experimentation and practice to truly acquire competency in that area. In practice, this usually correlates to about ten years of fairly rigorous working with the topic. This means that while education is a part of the solution, the time required to impart that education can often make these skills obsolete.

    The upshot of this is pretty simple - eventually, you end up with a large and growing percentage of the population that simply become unemployable. They are not lazy - most of them had positions until comparatively recently, but those positions are now gone. Meanwhile, profits that are made from the automation do not go to the people who lost the jobs, but the people who purchased the automation, and from there to the people who commissioned the creation of that automation in the first place. Put another way, productivity gains over the last fifty years were privatized, while the corresponding unemployment was dumped on the public domain. That unemployment in turn created emotional and financial hardship, foreclosures, a rise in crime and in the end a drop in the overall amount of money in circulation.

    This last point is worth discussing, because it lies at the crux of the problem. In a capitalistic society, the velocity of money is ultimately more important than the volume of money in circulation. When money moves quickly through the system, more transactions take place, and in general more value is created in that economy. When money ceases moving, no one buys or sells, no investment takes place, no jobs are created (though many may be lost), and money becomes dearer, because you have a fixed amount - you can't count on additional moneys coming in, you can't get loans, even the simplest economic activity stops. This was close to what happened in 2009. As automation replaces work, billions of man hours of work payments disappear - money that would have gone to labor instead goes to the investors, who generally contribute a far smaller acceleration to the global economy than middle and working class individuals do in the aggregate. The wage-hour ceases being an effective mechanism for transferring wealth in society.

    Eventually, a tiny proportion of the population ends up with most of the money in that society, and there is no way for the rest of the population to get access to that money to get the goods they need. We're not quite there yet, but the imbalance is already sizable and only getting worse.

    One solution to this problem is to tax wealth that's not in use. This transfers money from wealthy individuals to the government, but given that government has become increasingly captured by those same individuals, the result of those taxes end up as corporate kickbacks to the same rentier class in terms of subsidies. Taxes can be reduced on low income individuals, but for the most part, low income individuals generally pay little in the way of payroll taxes, though they do pay in hidden taxes and fees arising from having to buy the smallest units of finished goods and services, which is generally the most expensive per item cost. Money can be distributed to everyone to spend, but the benefits of such stimulus usually tend to be short-lived, because the amounts are too small to make an appreciable difference in the same extractive mechanisms still exist in society.

    Government mandated minimum wage floors can be set, but while this will help some, it is precisely these jobs that are most heavily impacted by automation. Moreover, the same corporate capture of the government provides a chokehold on the ability to impose such requirements on corporations. In effect the oligarchical control of the government continues to pursue policies that locally increase their profits, but at the systemic cost of destroying the consumer base upon which those profits depend. It is, in many respects, yet another example of the tragedy of the commons.

    In many respects this is what the end state of a capitalistic society looks like - stalemate. Fewer and fewer jobs exist. Money becomes concentrated not in the hands of those who have jobs, but in the hands of investors, yet investment money is seldom sufficient to create a market, only to bring a product or service to that market. Wages become two tiered - bare subsistence level or below, and lavish for those with specialized skills, but only at the cost of continuous learning and training, and the concommittant loss of expertise as skilled workers choose not to share their skills at the risk of losing their marketability.

    Because needs are not being met in the formal market, an informal or gray market emerges that is outside of the control of both the government and the corporatocracy, one with lax quality controls and legal redress in the case of fraudulent transactions, and consequently one where organized crime can play a much larger role. While this may seem like a Libertarian wet dream, the reality of such markets is typically like Russian markets in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet empire, in which crime lords created monopoly markets where basic goods were only available for high prices or coercive acts, and where legislators and activists who tried to bring such crime lords under control were regularly assassinated.

    So how does a society get out of this trap? My own belief is that in the end, it decentralizes. Power production shifts from long pipelines of petroleum based fuels to locally generated power sources - solar, wind, geothermal, hydrothermal, small nuclear (such as small thorium reactors), some local oil and natural gas production, intended primarily to achieve power sufficiency for a region with enough to handle shortfalls elsewhere in a power network. This provides jobs - both constructing such systems and maintaining them - and insures that energy profits remain within the region.

    Establish a minimal working wage but also provide mechanisms for employees to become participants through profit-sharing and royalties, rather than options and dividends.

    Make healthcare and retirement saving affordable and universal, rather than as a profit center for insurance companies and pharmaceuticals.

    Tax financial transactions in exchanges, and use this to provide a minimal payment to individuals as a way of redistributing the costs of automation (and financial malfeasance) on employment.

    Eliminate the distinction between salaried and hourly workers in the tax code, which has created an artificial two tiered system designed primarily to make it possible for unscrupulous employers to have a person work up to 39 hours a week and still not qualify for benefits.

    Eliminate the 40 hour workweek - it's an anachronism. Instead, establish a government base payment that provides a floor for subsistence living for everyone, coupled with wage payments from jobs to fill in towards a production royalty payoff that provides wealth for people willing to put in expertise and effort.

    Eliminate the income tax, and replace it with a value-added tax. The Federal income tax has in general been a disaster, increasing class warfare, often being used punitively by various administrations to favor one or another group, is extraordinarily complex, requires too much effort to maintain records for independent workers and small businesses, and usually being easily subvertible by the very wealthy, putting the bulk of the burden on the middle class. A value-added tax, while somewhat regressive, is generally easier to administrate, does not require that employees maintain detailed records, can be automated easily, and can in general be fined tune to encourage or discourage consumption of certain things within the economy.

    Tax employers for educational support. Too many corporations want their workers to have specialized knowledge or skills, but in general do not want to pay for the training. Some of that tax can be in kind knowledge transfer from people that do have those skills in those corporations , at which point the corporation pays for that employer/contributor to teach.

    Similarly, tax employers for infrastructure support that directly or indirectly benefits them. Much of the last half century has seen the maxim of privatizing profits and socializing costs become almost holy writ, but this has generally resulted in ghettos and gated communities that benefit a few at the expense of millions.

    Encourage telecommuting and virtual companies, while taxing those corporations that require large numbers of employees onsite at all times. If telecommunication tools were good enough to outsource to China, they are good enough to provide telecommuting. This generally has multiple benefits - less need for infrastructure, far fewer carbon emissions, less energy consumption, less time wasted in traffic, fewer monster skyscrapers serving as corporate shrines.

    These changes (and others like them) are feasible, but in general will only work if they are attempted locally - at the state or even city level. These are transformative changes - as different regions attempt these, facets that work and don't will emerge, and local variations will no doubt come about based upon cultural temperament, but overall success will beget success. Demographic changes, as discussed in this essay, will accelerate this process - those regions that are already investing in twenty-first century technologies are already doing a number of these things, and are seeing benefits, but those that are heavily petroeconomically bound will resist them. The irony here is that this means that in these latter areas, the wage slave paradox will only get worse, and the economy more dysfunctional over time.

    It is likely that thirty years from now the economy of the United States will look very different - mass customization through additive printing techniques, millions of virtual pod corporations that number in the dozens of people only distributed all around the country (and probably the world), cities that will be in a state of controlled disintegration, powered locally and with much more local autonomy, with the rise of a strong creative class supported by an elderly engineering class and a youthful research cadre. None of this will happen overnight, nor will it happen uniformly, but I feel it will happen.
              Suffrage, Gender Politics and Millennial Women        
    This particular essay came from a question posed by a friend of mine, Amber Gray-Fenner, in a Facebook post:

    Thought Experiment: If the "single issue" facing voters in November's Presidential Election was women's suffrage, where do you think your preferred candidate would stand? Women---we've had the vote for less than 100 years. Think before you use yours.

    This got me to thinking a lot about women and generational politics. This is, admittedly, always a land mine for a male writer - while I can look at the historical record for patterns, the world view that women and men have are, at a biological level, fairly different, because physically our brains have evolved over many hundreds of millennia to facilitate very distinct biological functions. Thus, I'm having to mentally "think like a woman", and as my wife is quick to remind me, that's not always an exercise I do well.

    In response to Amber's comment, however, I started thinking about the context during which most of the world moved towards women's suffrage. It's significant that while the issue of a woman's right to vote had been percolating under the surface during much of the 19th century, the catalyst for woman's suffrage came after World War I. If you go by Strauss and Howe's generational designation, you had four generational groupings active at that time - the Progressive Generation (1843-1859) ,the Missionary Generation (1860-1882), the Lost Generation (1883-1900) and the G.I. Generation (1901-1924).

    For what it's worth, I don't completely agree with S&H about the generational names or dates, but usually differ only by a year or two on the latter - I think that while in the main they are correct about characteristics, the naming is too tied to a specific event. However, since these are already fairly well established, I'll refer to these groups as the Progressives (differing from 21st century progressivism), the Missionaries, the Lost and the GIs respectively, noting that these are previously given generational titles.

    There is a profound distinction between pre and post World War I cultures. Suffrage battles had percolated in the background in the decades after the Civil War - with the 14th through 16th amendments, slaves had not only gained emancipation, but a profound change had happened in American culture with the enfranchisement of those former slaves ... especially since not that many decades before one of the most hotly debated issues was whether non-land-owners had the right to vote. The representational form of government that we have today has its history not in the impracticalities of direct voting (though that played a factor), but rather in the belief that there needed to be a buffer layer between the enfranchised (who might be rabble) and the actual elective process. When slaves gained the right to vote, it had as an immediate effect a major shift in political power (though black representatives were few and fare between on the ground until the twentieth century).

    However, it also still meant that roughly fifty percent of the US population couldn't vote - women. The sentiment behind this was that "lacking education and the capacity for advanced thought" women were incapable of making important decisions about the direction of state. Yet since this was exactly the same argument used about the former slave population, it became ever more difficult for that legal pretense to continue. (The same argument was occurring in England). This continued through the latter Victorian period and into the Edwardian with Victoria's death in 1901. Victoria herself was famously against woman's suffrage, which makes sense given that she was born in 1819, a time during which women's roles were extremely circumscribed in England especially, and in many respects before the Industrial Revolution which had the effect of seeing women enter into the clothing mills and other early factories that fed England's imperial rise. With her death and that of King Edward VII in 1910 (Edward was also largely pre-industrial, having been born in 1841), much of the institutional pressure in England against suffrage has slipped away, and by 1918, women aged 30 and over were allowed both to vote and run for Parliament, with the vote extended to those 21 and over in 1928.

    In the US, those (especially the women) born after the Civil War - the Missionary Generation - were also increasingly questioning why it was that women were still not enfranchised. One of the key figures in the woman's suffrage movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had been an ardent abolitionist prior to the war, and had shifted her energy to the woman's suffrage movement afterwards. However, both she and Susan B. Anthony had also been very vocal about her opposition to the 14th and 15th amendments, arguing that the amendments should only have been passed if they also enfranchised a woman's right (white or black) to white. (Here is a good summary of this period), and her positions on the liberalization of divorce laws, property ownership and other issues was a big part of the schism between the two suffrage movements, one more progressive, the other more conservative and Christian oriented).

    The two did eventually merge in 1890 as the National American Women's Suffrage Association, with Stanton as president. However, the schism was sufficient to take much of the momentum out of the movement, and when Stanton died in 1902, suffrage was still two decades out. Similar debates had been taking place elsewhere in the world, driven in their respective cultures by the fact that industrialization frequently had the effect of putting women into a position where they were able to accumulate wages, but that such wages effectively were the property of their husbands. Because industrial work forces also generally needed to be somewhat better educated, this also had the effect of increasing the literacy levels of women throughout much of the industrializing world.

    By the end of World War I, women effectively became the work force while American and British men were fighting in the trenches. Ironically, one of their biggest opponents (and later Allies) at the time was a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson. In his first term, Wilson was fairly adamantly opposed to the suffrage movement (a position that may have been due to his wife Edith Wilson's own ambivalence towards the movement ... her origin in Georgia (and her family's extensive contributions to the Confederacy during the war) made her very resistant to the idea of woman's suffrage)). Woodrow Wilson's position was made increasingly untenable, however, when he announced that the newly entered World War I was a war for the protection of Democracy - this so enraged the suffrage movement that it organized a major protest in front of the White House, organized by National Woman's Party president Alice Paul. Arrested and sentenced to seven months in prison, she began a hunger strike that eventually forced Wilson to relent, and by 1917 he had shifted to being for women receiving the vote. That women were heavily involved in the war effort by then was no small amount of the calculus as well (something that should be understood in the current political light). In 1920, after several votes opposed largely by the more conservative southern members of his own party) Wilson signed the 19th Amendment granting Women the right to vote.

    Given this history, it's worth looking a the question in light of the two existing contenders for President - current President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Again, a bit of a diversion into the more recent past is instructive.

    In the 1970s, one of the most amazing political transformations in recent history occurred - the Democratic Party became the Republican Party. A succession of maps from 1952 to 2000 illustrates this:

    In the 1950s, the Democratic Party was concentrated in the South, while the Republicans tended to be the party of the West Coast and the Northeast. In the 1960s, however, the Democrat John F. Kennedy, from an affluent Boston family, gave limited, lukewarm support to the Civil Rights movement taking place in Alabama. After his assassination in 1963, Lyndon Johnson further supported this expansion, but in so doing, the core southern states of the Democratic Party effectively balked.

    During the 1950s as well, Eisenhower came out in favor of an amendment to the Constitution first proposed in 1923 by Alice Paul. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) effectively would have guaranteed equal protection under the law for men and women. Ironically, it was labor unions, the mainstay of the Democratic Party at the time, that were most in opposition, because they feared in general that as proposed the ERA amendment would undermine government protection of women in labor unions - a stance that Eleanor Roosevelt also took (primarily for the same reasons that Elizabeth Stanton opposed the 14th and 15th amendments, fearing that if these were locked in they would override other policies that currently provided protection. Thus, it was largely middle class Republican women in the 1950s and early 1960s that were among the biggest backers of the ERA. Additional many unions in the South were concerned that the ERA would weaken the influence of the largely male dominated unions.

    The 1964 election was nearly unanimous in favor of Johnson, largely because the death of the popular Kennedy was still vibrant in people's minds, but significantly, the only holdouts in that election were the southern Democrats, who were becoming concerned that Johnson was pressing too heavily with civil rights, and who were becoming increasingly attracted to the conservative politics (of the time) of Barry Goldwater. Additionally women in the conservative south were increasingly concerned about the feminist movement and its growing divergence from "traditional" views of women (this was also the period during which religious fundamentalism was becoming more pronounced in the South). When Nixon resigned and Ford became president, the ERA was increasingly in trouble in southern states, and eventually it would run into trouble in those states that are increasingly seen as Republican territory.

    In effect, between 1960 and 1980, the Republican party captured the southern stronghold of the Democrats, but alienated most of the Northeast Republican base, and women, originally drawn to the Democratic party through the effects of Kennedy and Johnson, abandoned the Republican party wholesale after Nixon, as did African Americans. Many "Dixiecrats" (who had supported Alabama Governor Wallace in 1972) become the most ardently conservative Republicans, and after 1980 the political center of the US Government shifted considerably to the right.

    Given all that, I finally get around to Amber's original question. Barack Obama was born in 1961, which puts him on the cusp of being a GenXer. Politically, he is very close to being an Eisenhower Republican, which ironically puts him marginally to the right of Richard Nixon. However, he came of age AFTER the great political dance of 1968, making him today slightly more progressive than southerner Bill Clinton. It can be argued however that he is also probably the most feminist friendly President since Richard Nixon. Obama also tends to manifest much of the policy as engineering approach that I suspect is a defining characteristic of the GenXers, and it means that his approach to governing tends to be systemic, which typically manifests itself in attempting to find that point in the system that has the largest impact and applying pressure there, even if it doesn't seem obvious that this is a huge priority.

    Mitt Romney was born in 1947, which puts him in the leading vanguard of the Boomer generation. Romney's formative years were in the early 1960s, and in many respects his policies as Massachusetts governor were also along the same mold as Eisenhower. However, what he has to contend with is a Republican party that is really the Southern Dixiecrat party. This party has become increasingly reactionary as wealthy southern military/petroleum industry began to spend larger and larger amounts of money in the region, making the descendants of the 1930s labor union workers comparatively wealthy while at the same time catalyzing the growth of a Calvinistic Fundamentalist movement that really started to gain a foothold in the mid-1960s and expanded dramatically with the rise of the Religious Right during the Reagan campaign.

    As the region grew, it attracted large numbers of people willing to deal with the hot, damp summers as well as a number of Silent Generation who found the area a good place to prosper.  This generation overall were the ones that fought in World War II as young soldiers, were more than likely of agrarian origin, and who generally were the most religious. The leading edge of that generation is now in their late eighties. They were the union workers and office workers in the 1950s, were hitting their point of highest affluence in the 1970 and 80s, and for the most part are now funding the various conservative movements today.

    There seems to be a pattern in human behavior that one's political views late in life tend to be a reflection of an idealization of that person's childhood. The childhood of the Silent Generation was that of the Depression - bleak, mostly agrarian, where women had very traditional roles, partially because the bad economy significantly reduced opportunities for women (and men for that matter), because clothing was expensive and "fripperies" were to be discouraged, and because in agrarian 1930s America, women worked the kitchens all day, keeping the house presentable and making sure the kids were engaged doing something useful while the menfolk were out in the fields toiling. The men, for their part, tended to see "their women" as part of the furniture - the person who cooked your meals and washed your clothes and bore your kids, and neither men or women (especially those in the rural areas) understood the real power that would come with the right of women to vote, because these changes would really only manifest themselves with their children and grandchildren.

    Moreover, these changes really did happen more slowly in the agrarian areas, and even today, much of the South and West is still largely agrarian. The Republican (aka neoDixecrat) Party of today manifest that with increasingly reactionary policies that are very much at odds with where the rest of the country is today. The Tea Party is indicative of this - it is largely agrarian in origin, arises primarily among southern Boomers and Silent Generation people, and combines a mix of self-sufficiency mythologizing that hearkens back to that earlier age (when you had to be self-sufficient) with a strong religious upbringing where the Scopes trial had the right finding (teacher John Scopes was found guilty) but then was miscarried due to a technicality, along with a string suspicion of the government and taxes (these were the people who felt that Roosevelt had betrayed their country by becoming a "socialist").

    This hearkens back to a second question that Amber asked me, about why Republican women would so obviously vote against their own self interest - even to the extent of voting to repeal the vote:

     I was hoping for some decent commentary, which yours is. I tend to agree with your assessment. A delicate calculus indeed. There's just a lot to think about. I mean, what does it mean to be a "Republican Woman"?

    While my first response would be to say "Stupid" that's both unfair and inaccurate. I think there's actually two factors that come into play there. The first is a kind of mental blindness that happens when women say that they think women shouldn't vote, that they would naturally be exempted from that - what they're actually saying is that "unless you are part of the elect, you will not get a vote in the system, especially if you are a women."

    I have no doubt this likely would happen - the goal here is to get the other party out of power in order to have a stable oligarchy where the wealthy are the only ones who have a voice in the government, and as women tend to dominate Democratic politics at the local and regional level (for reasons described above), by turning conservative Democratic men against women, it splits the party.

    However, I think the above commentary should also be factored in. For the Silent Generation, this was how they were brought up, and it is hard to change that internal programming when you get old. It's a lot like like traumatic stress disorder - when the economy has collapsed around you and you're not even sure where your next meal is going to come from when you're a child, you learn frugality, a dependence upon the power of faith and a suspicion of anyone or anything that may make life even harder ... even if you are now a multi-billionaire.

    There's a certain magical thinking among this group that "if only we return to the old values the world will be better". That's the essence of conservatism in a nutshell. The traditional values in question are almost inevitably those that they had as children or young adults. For the Boomers, this is the "Happy Days" world of the mid 1950s and early 1960s, when their lives were secure, they didn't have to start making their own life choices, and there were clearly defined gender roles. It's why the Republican convention really does look like it's the re-enactment of a particularly affluent 1950s high school.

    Romney is now facing that - he grew up as a privileged kid in an affluent suburb, but his party is now dominated by people who grew up in the Depression and are increasingly reverting to that era. In attempting to track to the right (all politicians do that during a primary, because they have to secure their base), he ended up getting sucked up in a political whirlpool that was so strong as to keep him from tracking left towards his more natural moderate Republicanism.  This fringe is dominated by deep pocketed people whose PTSD evolved into a strong business sense and whose politics were shaped by a world of Social Darwinism where survival came down to never letting yourself be on the losing side of a deal, no matter how reprehensible, but in addition to them there are their children or grandchildren who are instructed that this is the way the world is, even if it isn't anymore, and they in turn then call out to others like them.

    It's worth noting that this is why I am certain that the GOP as it currently exists is on its way out. The religious conservative base, for the most part, is ancient, and those ranks aren't replenishing themselves. They are dying off. As a movement, it is also based primarily in the agrarian south, and the urban south is both becoming more prominent, more liberal, and younger.

    That's why this move towards trying to use gender politics will prove so disastrous for the GOP. It worked in the 1970s when the party had used it successfully to mobilize social conservatives on abortion after Roe vs. Wade, but that was also forty years ago. Yet it doesn't even remotely correspond to the world as it exists today for most people under the age of fifty.

    My generation, the GenXers came into its own during the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Gender roles were being called into question, the economy was uncertain and money was tight, the stentorian tones of Walter Cronkite were being increasingly replaced by journalism that challenged the status quo. Girls during this era grew up in the heady days when the cultural icons were people like Gloria Steinem and George Carlin, and as such you'll find that there's a sharp-drop off in the number of Republican women in our generation ... and that the ones that are there in general are products of very conservative subcultures such as the Deep South and Texas.

    Our generation is now entering into the dominant power position in the cycle. If you put the start of the GenXers at about 1962, this means that the leading edge of that generation turns 50 this year. This means that the values that you and I acquired when we were 12-15 are increasingly going to manifest as public policy. Obama's a GenXer, albeit at the very leading edge, and having grown up in a primarily urban setting has meant that his philosophies are probably pretty close to the norm for that generation. His policies wrt women are clearly informed by that ethic (and the fact that he was raised by a fairly progressive mother alone I think contributed to the fact that he is more sensitive to "women's issues" even than many of this generation).

    However, to get back to the original question - the women of our generation are less bound by the "supermom" ethic, and for the most part are also much more likely to continue questioning gender roles. The downside is that these women generally married later, had familien theren theres later, had smaller families, and typically were not as well educated in critical "life skills" as cooking, folding laundry, and even child rearing, partially because the novelty of dual income households which effectively doubled family incomes for the previous generation has now morphed into the necessity of dual income households as the much broader arc of oil depletion sends reverberations through society.

    I have two girls - one Millennial (Kate) born in 1993, about 60% through the arc of that generation, and one Virtual (Jennifer) born in 2000, or just at the cusp of her generation. From what I've seen of Kate's generation of young women, they are highly social within their own peer groups (and in near 24/7 communication with them) but shy and awkward around older generations. Politically they are very much conformists, but that conformity is generational and even stratified by age groups within that generation. GenXers are engineers and accountants, Millennials for the most part are creatives and integrators. (The mashup is very much a Milliennial construct). Gender roles are fluid, and tend to be worn and shed with the ease of changing a cosplay. From what I can tell, Millennial women will likely end up marrying late if at all (the institution of marriage is seen as increasingly irrelevant by this generation) and despite the size of the cohort (it's about the same size as the Baby Boom generation, but that's primarily because it's an interference bump where both Boomers and GenXers later child bearing periods caused an overlap) I think they will actually have considerably fewer children than the preceding generations, as it is also a generation where making social interactions has a higher precedence than making romantic commitments, and such children limit mobility.

    As to the Virtuals (2000-2018? or so), the oldest is now in Junior High, so any guess I make is speculation. Having said that, they will not be baby Millennials. The Millennials are overwhelming extroverts (like the Boomers), the Virtuals will be introverts (like the GenXers). They are growing up in hard times, and anxiety is a constant in their lives.  It means they will be seeking structure, and will tend to be more institutional than the Millennials.

    Overall, they are more systemic thinkers, having grown up with systemic tools, but the novelty of constant communication has worn off for them - it's what their bigger sisters did. The Millennials are making their own traditions, but see them as being transients. The Virtuals will encode those transients into a new social order. The Ms tend to operate in group think, and as a generation tend to be somewhat shallow - they're the "ooh, shiny!" generation. The Vs will resent this, and will be exasperated by it, and since the Ms are in the process of essentially resetting most of what had come before, the role of the Vs will be to try to classify and order and make sense of that world. The virtuals are the scientists and teachers and librarians. The Millennials will be the nomad generation, Virtuals will be homebodies.

    Not sure how this plays out in terms of gender roles, but demographics gives a hint here. Removing net immigration effects, The leading edge of the Boomers turns 70 in a year and a half (assuming 1944 as a baseline). I think there is a good probability (25-30%) that Ms and Vs will be the first generations since Vietnam to have a significant presence of that generation at War (2020-2035). Millennial women will probably start asserting their model of women's roles in that period (the best analogy there would be to look at Millennial women as being the "flappers" of the 21st century - daring, iconoclastic, androgenous, testing societal boundaries- while Virtuals will be far more traditional in their roles out of necessity - clothing is expensive, women need to be more supportive and protect their children during times of war and hardship, social continuity is more important than innovation, etc.

    (This latter part is very speculative, mind you, but it feels right to me. Perhaps the iconic image of the young Virtual woman in 2030 would be that of the French Partisan, though even that doesn't quite capture it.)

    A final note here - I think we're hitting the zenith of the technology revolution now - it'll play out for perhaps another decade or so but I'm not sure it's locally sustainable. There are problems with supply chain disruptions, economic collapse, accessibility of energy and rare earths, a whole spectrum of problems that are knitting together to cap that experiment for a while - possibly for centuries, certainly for the next few decades. Gender roles tend to oscillate around certain norms, so while I think that in some respects our descendants will on the whole be more egalitarian, there will be cycles where those roles freeze and thaw.
              Technology and Generations        

    A couple of days ago I came across a story talking about how NASA was interested in helping to interest the next generation of students in science and technology careers (the so-called STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields). It’s been one of the greater mysteries in technical circles about what caused such a massive fall-off in the number of people pursuing technical degrees in the early 2000s as compared to the 1990s, and most of the obvious explanations (the tech recession in 2000 for instance) have always seemed rather facile to me. I actually think the reason is deeper, and if I’m right then this may in fact be the perfect time for policy makers to be investing in STEM related educational programs.
    Recently, I had a chance to thoroughly read the classic work The Fourth Turning, by Strauss and Howe. For those not familiar with their theories, the core idea is that there is a societal cycle called a saeculum (from which we derive words like secular) that roughly spans 80-90 years. Each saeculum consists of four generations, each of which tend to have similar values, motivations and philosophies, and each of which interact with the other generations in a clear and distinct pattern. As each generation moves through the various stages of life (youth, adulthood, middle age, senescance) each of which tend to be 18-20 years of length as well, they also tend to have very different concerns, expectations and desires. As prior and succeeding generations are also moving along those same stages but offset, this means that there are distinct configurations that describe the psycho-social characteristics of these generations. 
    I believe that the current drought in STEM interest (except in certain very specific areas) may actually be generationally driven, and both points to the likely characteristics of the incoming generations and gives a road map that educators and policy makers should pay attention to closely.
    A good reference point to show this is to look closely at the Baby Boomers and how they ended up shaping both business and society. The Boomer generation (born from 1943 to 1961, using what I think is a realistic ethical rather than demograph division), for the most part, were not engineers or scientists, though there were several notable engineers and scientists in that generation. It was the GI generation that built the space program, created the first computers, built much of the highway and electrical infrastructure of the country. The Boomers were marketers, managers and salesmen. They were the corporate warriors, and as they moved into the workforce, the engineering ethos of the previous generation was replaced with the marketing ethos of this one.
    The GenXers (born from 1962 to 1981), on the other hand, were engineers of sorts, but their playground was not space, but computer technology and biotech. They did the bulk of the programming, designing, engineering and analysis work of the Internet and of the Biotech revolution. What’s interesting is that as the Boomers retire and the GenXers begin to replace them on the other side of the generational gap, the focus of management, of education, and of policy is going to shift increasingly towards problem solving - not “How do we make the most money doing this?” but “How do we solve the problems we’re facing in the most efficient and elegant manner we can?”
    I’d argue that this represents a radical shift in thinking in society. It’s hard for a 60 year old C-level manager who’s uppermost thought during the day is “How can we improve the share price of our company?” to understand the motivations of a 42 year old senior engineer who’s looking at finding the optimal solution to building a software system. More significantly, when that 42 year old becomes the 60 year old CEO of the company nearly two decades later, her motivation is not enhancing share price, but building the software products that meet the greatest needs of their customers, with shareholder value far lower on the priority chain. The company structures will be different, the valuation systems will be different, EVERYTHING will be different. They will be focused on SOLVING PROBLEMS.
    The Millennials (1982 to 2000), on the other hand, are media people. They grew up in the silver age of Social Media. The Internet had reached a point of complexity that it could start supporting a number of different kinds of media, and the communication aspects of the Internet are far more important to them than the technical aspects. For many of them, there was never a time where the Internet didn’t exist. The oldest of the Millennials are now out of college, they are intensely anti-marketing (this is the generation under which media deconstruction hit its high point) and they are highly genre savvy. This is the generation that will a hundred years from now be seen as the artistic giants of the twenty first century.
    However, it is the next generation, what I call the Virtuals (born 2000-2018) that will be the bringers of the next wave of technical innovation (outside the media space). This is a generation that will have high capacity gene sequencers, big data cloud infrastructures and semantically aware computer systems, mobile sensor networks, near-earth commercial space travel, LEDs and memsistors and high voltage solar “fabric” and all the things that are emerging largely from the work of the GenXers (who are now going into research rather than management) before most of them are out of high school.
    The oldest Virtual at this point, is twelve years old and is in sixth grade. The youngest will not be born for another six years. The Virtuals are not like the Millennials. I have two children - one born in 1993, the other born in 2000. The elder of the two is a classical Millennial - she’s into cosplay, animation, computer graphics and computer games, and social media. She’s entering college in media arts, and I fully anticipate that she’ll find herself very much caught up in a world where creatives are very much in demand and where the rules of society are rewritten daily. She’s a social deconstructionist.
    My youngest was born in 2000, and she is what I believe many Virtuals will be like. She’s more literal than her sister, was programming game levels by the time she was seven (and taught herself how to read off the Internet), and is rather scarily good at finding the information that she needs to educate herself. She’s a technical synthesist. She has trouble with school though, because school doesn’t work the way she thinks - she can find information, but she’s having trouble learning strategies for synthesizing that information. Of course, the schools themselves haven’t really caught up with this fact - they’re just starting to come to grips with the fact that the Millennials exist in a world that is global, is more engrossing than school, and is mediated by networks - and many of those Millennials have already graduated.
    As not so much of a diversion here, I think education is a critical part of any society, but I rather despair at the educational system in the US. The content of it is designed by values-conscious Boomers determined to put a stamp of morality and jingoistic patriotism (while minimizing the importance of science in many parts of the country), implemented by technical GenXers who chafe under this system and despairing about the Millennials who all seem like ADHD candidates permanently wired to their smart phones and who for the most part are more interested in video games and cosplay than in IMPORTANT THINGS (even as they themselves wonder whether what they’re teaching is worth anything). And of course, STEM (science, technical, engineering and mathematics) courses of study have seen a massive drop in participation. We’re becoming a nation of gamers and idiots.
    Except I’m not so sure that’s really the case. The Millennials are the counter-stroke generation to the Boomers - interested in art and literature, philosophy and media, architecture and music. They are communicators first and foremost, but they really have in the aggregate comparatively little interest in the technical except as it relates to these areas.
    The Virtuals, on the other hand, will be technical synthesists. The GenXers have built the scaffolding and infrastructure that the Millennials use for communication and social bonding, but they have also built the scaffolding and very early infrastructure for the Virtuals to build on in combining bio-engineering with information management, for building and designing specialized energy aggregators and generators, and for integrating all of these together into a cohesive technical superstructure of applications (one that reengineers the human body all the way up to the height of the human noosphere). They will in fact be the ones that rebuild the technical underpinnings of society, quite possibly as the world that the Boomers built finally collapses under its own weight.
    The GenXers started entering into college (the start of adulthood) in 1982 and its noteworthy that the number of students graduating in STEM technologies started picking up dramatically by 1986. It hit its peak in 1995, four years after the GenXer population peaked (and four years after they entered college). By 1999, even though the tech field was still hot, STEM graduates were declining again. Where were the (now) Millennials going? New media, gaming, communications, web design, graphics, as well as a noticeable pick up in theatre arts, writing, photographer and similar fields. Certainly the technologies were now coming online to make this field attractive, but its worth noting that the place they weren’t going into - not just STEM (except for technology related to the communications revolution) or medicine but also law, finance, business or even the more humdrum aspects of marketing and sales, in places where, ironically, the tools and technologies were just as well developed.
    The Millennials are now coming out of college - they hit their peak in 2009 and there’s some evidence to indicate that the number of graduates in the media arts arena is leveling off, consistent with a graduation peak of about 2013. It’s also worth noting that most generations have somewhat different characteristics pre- and post- peaks. Pre-peak generations have shadows of the previous generation that colors their attitudes and beliefs. Post-peak get “premonitions” of the next generation, sharing more and more of their values. At the cusp points between generations, you often end up with people who are generalists, not necessarily strong in any one generation but often being renaissance characters that don’t easily fit into any generation.
    If, as I suspect, the Virtuals end up being technological synthesists (as opposed to the GenXer’s role as technological analysts), then 2013 will also mark the trough of STEM graduates, and the trend should turn around. However, their focus is going to shift - alt-energy vs. geologist engineers and chemists, distributed AI construction (possibly with robots and telepresence) vs. business applications, life-form engineers vs. geneticists and oncologists. As a generation they will be very utilitarian and focused compared to the previous generation (whom they will consider as being rather frivolous and perhaps overly indulged). The mid-point in the trend will occur around 2022 with the generation peaking in 2031 in terms of STEM graduates.
    Of course, this also brings up an interesting conundrum. The Millennials are for the most part community oriented, though that community is defined virtually rather than physically. This means that their optimal learning style (all other things being equal) is one where learning takes place via interactions with their peers, and social awareness is considered of greater value than technical competence. There, the principle role of the teacher is very much that of the mediator and director, shaping the conversations towards the completion of communal projects. 
    Virtuals, on the other hand, are already showing that they respond best to autodydactic approaches to learning, where they learn by doing, research what they need when they need it, and generally find traditional teaching methodologies to be confusing at best and counterproductive at worst. As it turns out, this is in fact the best way to learn science, where the role of the teacher is primarily that of advisor rather than authority. The students also tend to gravitate to an apprenticeship model, where you have a master with a limited number of apprentices and sojourners (the pairing of a GenXer with one or more Virtual is a particularly effective combination), especially as the GenXers will be entering Senescence at this stage in their own lives, when their principle role is to be teachers and advisors rather than decision makers.
    There’s been a pendulum swing towards anti-intellectualism that seems to be reaching its peak in the US, but we may in fact be near the end of the pendulum swing. The Boomers entered into the period of senescence starting around 2000 (these things tend to be fuzzy +/-3 three years), and the Boomers have generally been the generation of the salesman. In conjunction with senescence this has meant that the Boomers have been focused on physical and financial security, mortality, maximization of financial assets. They also have tended to push conformance to the status quo, which, given the demographic size of the group, has generally meant THEIR status quo, and in old age this has tended to result in dogmatic uniformity, ideological rigidity and a move towards centralization.
    By 2009, the peak of the Boomer generation entered senescence (and out of a decision making capacity). By 2018, the Boomers will be completely within senescence, with the GenXers fully invested in the decision-making “Middle Aged” bracket. Since societal direction tends to be determined largely by this bracket, this again hints at society beginning to shift towards more pragmatism, more focus on problem solving rather than profit maximization, and more of a need for (and respect of) scientists and technicians. Just as with the rise of STEM graduates, society itself is beginning to move back towards a mode where the problem solvers, rather than the empire builders, are coming to the fore. Personally, it couldn’t happen soon enough.
    One final note. The one area where I break with Strauss and Howe is in their designations of saecular titles. In the fourth turning (the one we’re in now, extending from 2000-2018 +/- a few years) the Millennials are “Heroes” while the virtuals are Artists. I believe that a perhaps more accurate way of thinking is to see Millennials in this phase as Social Deconstructionists (with the Boomers being Social Constructionists, promoting the status quo and GenXers being Technical Constructionists, building technical infrastructure). This means that Virtuals would be Technical Deconstructionists - they will be the mix and match generation, crossing technical disciplines, questioning the technical status quo.
    Deconstructionism in literary terms is the process of identifying literary tropes (cultural assumptions), and deconstructing them in an attempt to understand how they work, why they work and how they can then be reconstructed to more closely model the world. Technical construction effectively builds on existing infrastructure to create new works, while technical deconstruction is the process of re-examining those core assumptions, discipline boundaries and underlying physical constraints and create whole new directions with them. The OWS movement is fueled largely by early cycle Millennials (just as the Tea Party is primarily made up of early cycle Boomers). GenXers largely were tool builders, Virtuals will be tool users.
    Okay, THIS is the final note and a pet peeve. GenXers have generally gotten a bad rap compared to the Boomers - introverted to the Boomers extroversion, indifferent to material success compared to the Boomers’ avid capitalistic streak, perceptive and slow to make judgements or decisions compared to the Boomer’s decisive leadership and charisma, pragmatists to the Boomers’ idealism. Yet it was the GenXers who were mostly responsible for the creation of the web, probably the single most important invention of the last century. The Internet was initially a construct of the GI generation, while the web was conceived by a late cycle boomer (Tim Berners Lee, born in that incredible technical banner year of 1955, the same year that both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born), and implemented for the most part by GenXers (Marc Andreesen, Linus Torvalds, Dan Connolly, Roy Fielding, many others). 

              Szpitalne inwestycje chcą dogonić baby boom        
    Z danych GUS wynika, że w 2008 r. zarejestrowano o ponad 26 tys. urodzeń żywych więcej niż w 2007 r. W I półroczu 2009 r. liczba porodów była o prawie 14 tys. wyższa w stosunku do tej z I półrocza 2008 r. Tendencja ta utrzyma się przez kilka kolejnych lat. Powód: kobiety urodzone w latach ostatniego wyżu demograficznego - roczniki 1979-1983, a także 1984-1988 - znajdują się obecnie w wieku najwyższej płodności.
              Reader: Millennials don't know what to do with power, or don't care        
    I'm a baby boomer born in 1946.…
              You’re not my only black friend.        
    Jana French Chicago, IL Craving honest conversations about race in America. Must get over white baby boomer guilt and talk frankly about what unites and what separates us. I have faith in GenX.
              Geração Z: Esta perdeu a chance de mudar o mundo!        
    Para os estudiosos do tema “sociedade”, as gerações das pessoas que nasceram depois da II Grande Guerra Mundial, foram batizadas como: Baby Boomers (ou, em uma tradução livre: “explosão de bebes”) que nasceram nos anos 40 e 50 e ficaram conhecidos pelo lema: ‘Paz, amor e sexo livre’. Depois veio a Geração X, dos que nasceram nos anos 60 e 70 e foi uma geração extremamente competitiva onde o trabalho fez parte da vida desta geração e onde se sentiam úteis, com a oportunidade de produzir e de se relacionar com outras pessoas. Em seguida a Geração Y, dos nascidos a partir da década de 80, acostumados a não reverenciar hierarquias e ligados à alta tecnologia, eles buscam o crescimento cultural, intelectual, social e querem unir trabalho com prazer. Os profissionais dessa geração nasceram vivendo em ação, estimulados por múltiplas tarefas e atividades.
    Mas vamos focar da geração que perdeu a vez, a contemporânea e atualíssima Geração Z, das pessoas nascidas em meados dos anos 90 e são conhecidas por serem nativos digitais, sendo muito familiarizados com a tecnologia e redes sociais como YouTube, Google, Facebook, Instagran, Celulares, Tablet´s, ou seja, são uma realidade conectada à Internet, longe das cognitividades e de valores familiares, como o estudar para obter conhecimento e qualificação ou sentar-se à mesa e conversar com os pais ou com os irmãos. Também não são tão expressivos quanto aos Emocions do Whatsapp´s.
    Esta Geração Z é formada pelos estão saindo ou que ainda não saíram da escola e ainda não decidiram a profissão a ser exercida no futuro.

    A Geração Z também se destaca por sua excentricidade e por querer tudo para agora e sem paciência com os mais velhos, mesmo que estes “mais velhos” sejam jovens-adultos da Geração Y.
    Este tipo de atitude sugere que tais jovens terão sérios problemas no mercado de trabalho, logo quando serão exigidas habilidades de convivência na sociedade.
    Não se identifica na Geração Z a coletividade, o respeito, a tolerância e tão pouco o interesse na busca de conhecimento ou da construção de alguma realmente significava para melhoraria da vida.
    Os jovens da Geração Z estão vazios nestes conteúdos, provavelmente porque estão sujeitos à vida única na sociedade virtual individualista.
    Uma geração inteira das pessoas que perderam a oportunidade de melhorar o mundo!
    Se buscarmos nas gerações anteriores, desde a Baby Boomers, encontraremos milhares de coisas realizadas em suas épocas, como inovações, desenvolvimentos tecnológicos, melhoria e proteção ao meio ambiente, respeito às mulheres, aos idosos, às classes sócias e étnicas.
    Milhares de fantásticas contribuições construídas por gerações anteriores e disponibilizadas aqui para o usufruto das então “futuras gerações”.
    E que vemos hoje na Geração “Z”?
    Vemos jovens que acreditam piamente que fazer um trabalho para a escola sobre um assunto, é o mesmo que dar Control C e Control V no primeiro arquivo disponível no resultado da pesquisa no Google.
    Hoje, vemos uma geração em que os jovens acreditam que, para “se formar”, basta passar pela escola sem qualquer necessidade de aprender e apreender, mesmo porque, pesquisas comprovam que a sociedade não os cobra por resultados ou os  penaliza com reprovação, culpa da medíocre proposta política de apresentar um índice de quantidade de alunos que completam o ciclo inicial, em desprezo ao índice de qualidade em que, por exemplo, estes alunos, ao final, não conseguem ler e compreender um único texto (mesmo que este texto esteja no Google).
    Não entenda você, caro leitor, que estamos aqui enaltecendo a minha geração (ela é a Geração X) em detrimento à geração atual (Z) que talvez seja a sua, mas precisaríamos externar a decepção de um profissional e também educador, que apostou muito e irá receber quase nada.
    Uma geração que teve às suas mãos o auge da tecnologia e da possibilidade do conhecimento em tempo real, diferente que a geração anterior, já que as informações chegavam aos olhos meses depois e em formatos de livros ou disquetes e hoje as tem disponíveis em milésimos de segundos, e vindas do mundo todo.
    Uma geração que teve às suas mãos professores, mestres, doutores capacitados e qualificados, dispostos a ofertar a troca do conhecimento, não poderia estar assim.
    Uma geração que teve à suas mãos a chance de conhecer os sábios, os idosos, os estudiosos da geração anterior, não poderia oferecer o desprezo atual.
    É realmente uma pena vermos uma geração toda desprezar tudo isso que construímos sem um mínimo de possibilidade de, ao menos, saber do que se trata.
    O pior ainda é sabermos que esta geração descontruiu tanta coisa, que nem mesmo as gerações Z², W, ou sabe-se lá o nome que darão, terão oportunidade de recuperar.
    Não dá para confiarmos no sucesso desta geração mas esperamos que nossos descendentes tenham uma melhor sorte.
    Perdemos a chance...mais uma vez!

    Luciano Malpelli
    Administrador, educador, consultor empresarial e gestor social.

              Comment on All Points Bulletin: Looking For Desert Mesa (1935) And Half Way To Hell (1961). by David Rayner        
    SIERRA BARON is one film I never got to see, so I don't if I would like to add it to my collection. However, I live in hope that THE DEERLAYER may one day be released properly on DVD. However, as a 70 year old baby-boomer from the 1940s, I am now a lot nearer my end than my beginning and it may well be that I and my fellow baby boomers won't live to see it released.
              Meet The Millennials Protecting Baby Boomers' Internet Privacy        
    A photo of the Safe Shepherd team. Courtesy of Safe Shepherd I’ve always thought the reason I’m not too concerned with Internet privacy is because my name is so common. When I try to Google myself — a tactic Web privacy specialists urge — the results are a number of athletes, [...]
              When Generations Collide        
    While surfing around blogs back in September, I came across this interesting post by FongPC titled Are you Generation X or Y? That was an interesting post as it shows the change in mentality of folks of different ages. For those who care to know, I'm firmly planted in the Generation X category. Kinda the sandwiched-in-the-middle generation, if you asked me!

    Anyway, I started looking around for more information about that and came across this piece of work by Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman, authors of the book When Generations Collide (hence the title of my post today!)

    Basically what was interesting for me was how this study changes the way I look at things. It used to be that we think people think a certain way because of their age. And when we too reach that certain age, we'll too would think like that as well. Well, the study says we won't. How we think is not just dependent on our age but on what we experience in our lives.

    Gen-Xers ('65 - '80) went through events like the fall of the Berlin wall (and subsequent thawing of the cold war); Contra war and Iran vs Iraq; the dot-com boom; AIDS; MTV; Reagan, Gates and Madonna -- and in a way, these events and people shape our generation.

    Gen-Xers were the 'me' generation who learned to rely on ourselves. We were the original latch-key kids who grew up being independent, resourceful but at the same time skeptical and even aggressive.

    In contrast, the Gen-Y ('81 - '95) youngsters grew up with 9-11 and two Gulf wars; the dot-com bust (dot bomb); cellphone, IM and all things digital; Clinton, Osama and Buffy.

    Gen-Y have started entering the workforce, and if you ask the older guys, they get uneasy around Gen-Y 'kids'. The study tells us why we feel like that. Gen-Y are smart, very tech-savvy; multi-tasking and multi-networking (i.e connecting with people). They thrive on learning and excitement and is not afraid of authority (Don't command me, collaborate instead!).

    Most of all, Gen-Y is the instant-everything generation. They demand instant feedback, expect instant results, have no problem seeing themselves as tomorrow's leaders. Nothing is fast enough for these folks, yet, value work-life balance.

    Granted, these studies have a decidedly US slant to it, but you have to admit that wherever you may be, you should be able to identify with those traits associated with 'your' generation.

    Chances are most of you reading this right now are either an X, or Y. Perhaps some Zs too? And hello there if you're a Baby Boomer, glad to see you here!

    Interested to learn more? Check out a good presentation and even download it here.

              Comment on StrengthsFinder and early stage investing by Stuart Draper        
    The first investor in my startup was definitely and activator and maximizer. For his generation, he is also very futuristic. It seems like a lot of baby boomers have a hard time believing in millennials. Not this man. And, right now, he is off working with about 200 volunteer missionaries between the age of 18 and 26. His investments have been as much about helping others as they have been about helping entrepreneurs. He bought in, and then helped me get other investors. "Corey is in, and I think I can bet on you as the jockey, so I am in too." Every entrepreneur needs a Corey!
              Leading Millennials? Core Issues You Need to Know        

    Leading Millennials? Core Issues You Need to Know

    Leading Millennials? Core Issues You Need to Know
    According to a Pew Research study, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Millennials, whom we now define as those ages 20-36, number over 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 53-71). Businesses such as Goldman Sachs are studying this trend, recognizing they will “change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.”
    I too have been thinking about this new culture of Millennials as they increasingly become the dominant culture in many of our churches. What are the critical issues we must address to make mature disciples, build sustainable communities and reach the world effectively? The following are my top five:
    1. Practice Presence in a Digitally Connected World. Millennials are the first generation where social media and smart phones are the air they breathe. But screens can’t teach empathy or face-to-face conversation. We have an amazing opportunity to offer Jesus through our authentic presence—with eye contact, vulnerability and attunement. And if we teach them how to practice presence with themselves and others, they will passionately bring it to their families, friendships and workplaces.
    2. Be Alone in Community. Millennials’ longing for community is deep and profound. Yet healthy communities are built on people who are able to be alone and who are comfortable in their own skin. Integrating silence, stillness and solitude into our discipleship and churches is, I believe, particularly critical for this generation.
    3. Embrace Limits in “Trying to Do It All.” Millennials are particularly overwhelmed and overloaded in an effort to “make it” in our intensely competitive worlds. From sports to academics to the workplace, there has been a significant increase in pressure to perform and not miss out (aka FOMO). The problem is we are human and limited. God is God. We are not. Trusting God with our limits has been with us since the Garden of Eden. We offer Millennials a gift when we model and teach an applied theology of limits.
    4. Learn Healthy Relationships in Conflicts. The longing for life-giving, healthy relationships may be the greatest felt need of Millennials, especially as it relates to conflicts—with friends, parents, co-workers, bosses, dating relationships and marriage. When we offered The Emotionally Healthy Relationship Course last October at our church, 225 people signed up before we had a chance to advertise it. Most were Millennials. We had to close registration. They have inherited the brokenness and fragility of my Boomer generation and desperately want to be learn a better way.
    5. Cultivate a Deep Inner Life in Impacting the World. Millennials want to change the world. That is a God-given, wonderful desire. The problem is that it is not sustainable without an inner life rooted in God. We are uniquely positioned in the church to meet this profound need. To do this well, we must draw from the multiracial, global church and the riches of different traditions going back to the Church Fathers (2nd to 6th centuries).
    This is my list. What might you add?
    This article originally appeared here.
              Development: What Matters Most to Millennials        
    Much of business’s focus is shifting toward what can be described as the “Millennial Challenge”. How do businesses accustomed to working with the baby boom generation transition toward attracting and retaining those workers’ children? After all, this new generation will … Continue reading
              It’s not just you — there really are fewer homes for sale with inventory at a 20-year low        
    Baby Boomers and Millennials are increasingly reluctant to resize their houses despite low interest rates.

              Increasing Awareness for Oral Hygiene Drives Demand for Dental Consumables        
    Due to surging demand for dental tourism in the emerging economies of India, Turkey, and Hungary the dental consumables market is expanding in these regions. For example, in India, the dental healthcare sector is predominantly driven by private practitioners, wherein there is minimal government intervention for cost parameters or quality control for services rendered. On the other hand, in developed countries such as the U.S., Australia, the U.K., and Germany the demand for dental consumables is surging mainly due to favorable reforms laid by governments for dental health. This includes The Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2012. Along with this, a considerable baby boomer population that is aging and increasing demand for cosmetic dentistry are reasons for increasing demand for dental consumables. Among the several dental consumable products, crowns and bridges display the highest demand among consumers. Currently, ceramic fused to metal crown and bridges accounts for a significant revenue contribution to this market; however, pure ceramic will be ahead of ceramic fused to metal sub-segment by the end of 2023. Dental implants stand as the second largest product segment and are expected to exhibit a substantial demand in the future years as well. The usability of dental implants lie in place of missing teeth, chipped teeth, etc. due to injuries, accidents, and diseases. Dental implants are mostly fabricated of titanium and zirconium, of which, titanium has emerged to be the material of choice. This is because dental implants made of titanium can take the workload of the human jaw at par with the natural tooth provided it is installed correctly. Other dental consumable products such as dental biomaterials are used for dental bone graft and membranes and tissue regenerative to recover damaged and fractured tooth. Among orthodontic dental consumables, brackets that are made of materials such as stainless steel and ceramics are fastened to the tooth using an archwire, which are reasons for high growth rate of this product segment.

    Original Post Increasing Awareness for Oral Hygiene Drives Demand for Dental Consumables source Twease
              Major Trends in U.S. Pet Care, Intense Competition Resulted in More Mergers and Acquisitions        
    The global pet care market is predicted to undergo a swift growth in the coming years. The market for pet care comprises pet healthcare and pet food. The market is substantially propelling in the U.S too. The factors fuelling the U.S. pet care market are the changing cultural as well as socioeconomic factors that have resulted in domestic pets regarded as part of family. This has in turn raised the spending of pet owners and specialized premium food products are being bought in place of simple food. The prime trends seen in the U.S. pet care market are as follows: Shift in Demographic of Pet Owners: Baby boomers emerged as a substantial demographic in the U.S. pet care as well as humanization trends, and has fuelled the growth of the market from the past decade. However, in 2014, a number of members within the aging demographic were of the opinion that pet ownership wasn’t feasible or desirable. On the other hand, millennials emerged as a new group to adopt pets within the U.S. Due to a number of economic concerns, a large number of millennials weren’t able to enter pet care in the time of recession, but they took majority of the ownership as pet owners as the economic recovery is taking place.  Intense Competition Resulted in More Mergers and Acquisitions: The steady growth within the U.S. pet care resulted in the market being more competitive in between 2014 and 2015. This resulted in a number of new key acquisitions, such as the purchase of Proctor & Gamble’s pet care business by Mars in April 2014. Similarly a number of specialty manufacturers such as Blue Buffalo and Freshpet have filed for initial public offerings in between 2014 and 2015.  Bright Future for U.S. Pet Care: Owing to millennials replacing baby boomers and becoming the key demographic for pet owners, they will further augment the trend of pet humanization. Millennials already having great levels of per capita spending and are predicted to witness an increase in their earning powers in the coming years, which will further stimulate the sales growth of pet care in the U.S. 

    Original Post Major Trends in U.S. Pet Care, Intense Competition Resulted in More Mergers and Acquisitions source Twease
              Economic Growth, Awareness for Newer Medicine Practices Supports adoption of Defibrillation Processes in Emerging Economies        
    Defibrillators are medical devices that are used to give an electronic shock to the heart for life-threatening conditions of arrhythmia or a cardiac arrest. Globally, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a major reason for death with the U.S. itself recording 300,000 SCA associated deaths each year. Defibrillators are used to depolarize critical part of the heart’s muscle, which in turn helps to restore normal rhythmic pattern of the heart.  Defibrillation is of paramount importance for victims of a sudden cardiac arrest. If the patient receives cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation in the first 5 to 12 minutes of cardiac arrest it can save a large number of lives. The global market for defibrillators is exhibiting a steadfast growth presently. Rising number of cardiovascular diseases, advancement in technology for the manufacture of defibrillation devices, and increasing awareness among consumers for defibrillation processes are the reasons for the same. In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, patient experience a condition of ventricular fibrillation, which results into irregular heartbeat. To control this condition, the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation solely is not enough and has to be complemented with defibrillation. In these instances, defibrillators are essentially important to give an electric shock and enables the cells of the natural pacemaker cells to re-establish regular cardiac rhythmic pattern.  In the defibrillators market, regional demographics and socio-economic changes are also favoring growth of this market. For instance, in the U.S., baby boomers are heading towards retirement and are prone to cardiac conditions due to their lifestyle. In the Middle East and Asia Pacific, due to the rising economic prosperity and availability of advanced healthcare, the defibrillators market is pacing growth. Other than this, in large business houses and corporations, the installation of automated external defibrillators is increasingly becoming common in the event of workplace cardiac emergencies. Currently, North America is the largest market for defibrillators. Nevertheless, in the coming years, the region will display a slower growth rate in the defibrillators market. Asia Pacific and the Middle East will exhibit a faster growth rate in the defibrillators market due to increasing awareness among consumers about defibrillation processes and an increasing patient pool with cardiac conditions.

    Original Post Economic Growth, Awareness for Newer Medicine Practices Supports adoption of Defibrillation Processes in Emerging Economies source Twease
              Baby Boomers and their Role in the Anti-Aging Market        
    The generation of baby boomers is fast heading into a retirement phase and this massive group of demographics is determined to defy the process of aging. Millions of dollars are spent on wrinkle creams, face lifts, and workout regiments so that they can stay forever young. This is a mindset that cosmetic surgeons, beauty and personal care product manufacturers, and entrepreneurs have been capitalizing on. The target group of these businessmen comprises an estimated 70 million baby boomers.  Beauty and the American State of Mind  The group of baby boomers who were raised in postwar American prosperity is considered to be more prosperous compared to the generations that came before them. They have been the wealthiest as well as the most physically fit generation, thanks to supportive government subsidies for housing and education and rising disposable incomes. They were, however, also criticized for their excessive consumerism and their rejection of traditional values. This demographic group has adopted every trend and fashion and personal beauty has always been a mindset they focused greatly on. Age-Defying Practices on the Rise  Baby boomers are now already into their 60s and health problems as well as the downside of aging have hit most people within this age group. The impending retirement from daily work and business is also weighing heavy on this group of people. Nevertheless, this demographic has been approaching the future in new ways, in true baby boomer style. Since these individuals are bent on living life in their own communities and homes instead of assisted living facilities as is now the trend, the demand for anti-aging products and services is much greater. The demand of this group of people to hold on to their youth is anticipated to boost the revenue of the anti-aging market over the next few years. 

    Original Post Baby Boomers and their Role in the Anti-Aging Market source Twease
              For Bringing in New Workers in Houston, Similar Amenities Need to be Provided by the Owners of Buildings        
    The construction business in Houston, has since quite a while ago attempted to get enough new specialists to keep up its talented workforce. Various Houston associations have started the long and cumbersome procedure to change that. Chuck Gremillion, the executive director of Construction Career Collaborative, or C3 is assigned with making the calling more secure and more alluring to new specialists. Gremillion stated that they have a maturing workforce of essentially Baby Boomers. As they resign, they will not be replaced, this is why this is an unsustainable workforce.  He stated that they attempting to find a way to draw in youngsters to the business at the end of the day.C3 has thought of benchmarks for general contractual workers and subcontractors, including obligatory security preparing, time-based compensations rather than venture based pay, and laborers' pay protection. Still, the test for temporary workers and subcontractors who need to consent to the community oriented rules are to compete for employments against organizations that don't, and as a result of that, frequently have lower offers. Gremillion stated that the answers start with the proprietors.  Some institutional proprietors have marked on to indicate new improvements as C3 activities, which means the necessities must be met for any contractual worker offering for the employment. Texas Children's extension in the Texas Medical Center is a C3 venture, as is Memorial Hermann's forthcoming Texas Medical Center development and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston's grounds extension.  Gremillion stated that the community is working with Hines on one of the promising C3 venture, thus making the organization the foremost developer for signing in. Gremillion further stated that proprietors are beginning to understand that a great part of the expense of the building comes after it's developed. During the making of the building, 10 percent of the expense is exhausted in its construction, and 90 percent comes after it's constructed

    Original Post For Bringing in New Workers in Houston, Similar Amenities Need to be Provided by the Owners of Buildings source Twease
              Medical Benefits of Tai Chi        
    GENERAL BENEFITS:T'ai Chi teaches inner strength while toning muscles, increasing flexibility and boosting immune power. It is also said to reduce stress, store up energy, increase body awareness, and improve balance and coordination. Men's Health Magazine, 8 Mar/Apr `93 p. 66-69

    IMMUNE SYSTEM:A study conducted in China indicates that T'ai Chi may increase the number of T lymphocytes in the body. Also know as T-Cells, these lymphocytes help the immune system destroy bacteria and possibly even tumor cells.Prevention Magazine V. 42, May 90, p.14-15

    AGING, DIABETES, AND TUBERCULOSIS:According to T'ai Chi enthusiasts, the discipline can prevent many ailments, including high blood pressure, tuberculosis, and diabetes, and US scientists agree that T'ai Chi can offer some important fitness benefits, particularly for older adults.Modern Maturity, V. 35 June/July 92 p. 60-62

    CARDIO-RESPIRATORY EFFECTS:The data substantiate that practicing T'ai Chi regularly may delay the decline of cardio-respiratory function in older individuals. In addition, Tai Chi may be prescribed as a suitable aerobics exercise for older adults.Journal of American Geriatric Society, Nov. 1995, 43 (11) p1222-1227 ISSN 0002-8614 Journal Code

    ARTHRITIS:No significant exacerbation of joint symptoms using this weight bearing system of exercises (Tai Chi) was observed. T'ai Chi exercises appear to be safe for RA patients . . . Weight bearing exercises have the potential advantages of stimulating bone growth and strengthening connective tissue. . .American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,June 1991, 70 (3) p. 136-141

    HYPERTENSION, INSOMNIA, ASTHMA AND AGING:Proponents claim that T'ai Chi can also (1) cure illnesses such as hypertension, asthma, and insomnia, (2) prevent arteriosclerosis and spinal deformity, and (3) shorten recovery phase from long-term illness. Results from a study by Chen Munyi (1963) with elderly T'ai Chi practitioners show that this group had RTs, strength, and flexibility superior to non-practitioners. (American Psychological Association)American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1981 SprVol 9(1) 15-22

    FATIGUE, PAIN/ACHES, HIGH BLOODPRESSURE, BREATHING:Participants observed a "big increase in breathing capacity", adisappearance of backaches and neck aches, those with high bloodpressure claimed a drop of 10 to 15 mm Hg systolic at rest, and all participants claimed to have more energy in their daily work.Hawaii Medical Journal - Vol 51 No. 8 August 92

    SPORTS HEALTH:[Former] Boston Celtic's star Robert Parish, who, at age 39, is the oldest player in the NBA, credits the ancient martial art of T'ai Chi with his durability. Parish remains dominant in his 17th season in the league, and he has no plans to retire. He started all 79 games that he played last year for the Celtics, averaging 14.1 points, shooting 54 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line, and racking up a season total of 705 rebounds and 97 blocked shots. Inspired by his success, fellow Celtics players Reggie Lewis and Rick Fox have signed on with Li (Parish's T'ai Chi instructor).Gentlemen's Quarterly V. 62 Dec. 92, p 256-60

    BALANCE:A ten year study on aging through Harvard, Yale and EmoryUniversities determined not only that T'ai Chi was superior to more technological balance therapies, but that T'ai Chi reduced the risk of injury by falling by 48%. Complications from these injuries are the sixth leading cause of death in older Americans, and account for about $10 billion loss per year to the economy.USA Today, May 1996Institute of Chicago indicates that people with moderate balance problems can be helped by practicing T'ai Chi. Participants . . . of the 2 month course . . . experienced about a 10 percent improvement in balance. An Emory University study supports [these] findings. Prevention Magazine V. 46 Dec. 94 p. 71-72

    MENTAL & PHYSICAL STRESS:Mind & body exercises, such as . . . T'ai Chi . . . are increasinglyreplacing high-impact aerobics, long distance running and other bodypunishing exercises of the 1980's . . .Mind/body workouts are kinder to the joints and muscles . . reduce the tension that often contributes to the development of disease, which makes them especially appropriate for high powered, stressed out baby boomers. Unlike most conventional exercises, these forms are intended to stretch, tone, an relax the whole body instead of isolating parts . . . [T'ai Chi] is based on a series of progressive choreographed movements coordinated with deep breathing.Working Woman Magazine V 20 Feb. 95 p. 60-62+

    PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS:Relative to measurement beforehand, practice of T'ai Chi raised heart rate, increased non-adrenaline excretion in urine, and decreased salivary cortisol concentration. Relative to baseline levels, [Test Subjects] reported less tension, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion and state-anxiety; they felt more vigorous, and in general they had less total mood disturbance.
    American Psychological AssociationJournal of Psychosomatic Research, 1989 Vol 33 (2) 197-206

    MENTAL HOMEOSTASIS:Psychological homeostasis refers to emotional control or tranquility. It has been stated that the biological function of human emotion and repression is primarily homeostatic. Evidence suggests that a feedback relationship exists between forms of homeostasis, and the body-mind type of therapies (including acupuncture and T'ai Chi) thus have a combined physiological, physical, and psychological effect.
    (American Psychological Association)American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1981 Spr Vol 9 (1) 1-14

    PSYCHOLOGY:"T'ai Chi is a natural and safe vehicle for both clients and staff to learn and experience the benefits of being able to channel, concentrate and co-ordinate their bodies and minds: to learn to relax and to "neutralize" rather than resist the stress in their personal lives. This is an ability which we greatly need to nurture in our modern fast-paced society."
    Dr. John Beaulieu, N.D., M.T.R.S. Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, N.Y.C. [Refer to the T'ai Chi book "The Supreme Ultimate" for full text]

    PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLNESS:A holistic paradigm, T'ai Chi, is proposed as a theoretical basis for treating psychosomatic illness.
    (American Psychological Assn.)Journal of Black Psychology, 1980 Aug. Vol 7(1) 27-43

    TAI CHI HELPS UNDERSTAND CHANGE:Suggests the imagery of the T'ai Chi figure . . . can serve as a model for understanding the processes of change within psychotherapy. The T'ai Chi figure expresses the themes of unity and completeness, the dynamic of interplay and balance of opposite forces, and the cyclical nature of therapeutic change.
    (American Psychological Assn.)
    Psychologia, An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 1991 Mar Vol 34 (1) 18-27

    TAI CHI & GESTALT THERAPY:T'ai Chi, a Chinese system of integrated exercises, [is] an effective adjunct to Gestalt Therapy. (American Psychological Association)
    Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 1978 Fall Vol 10 (1) 25-31

    POSTURAL CONTROL:T'ai Chi, a traditional Chinese exercise, is a series of individual dance like movements linked together in a continuous, smooth-flowing sequence . . . An analysis of variance (ANOVA) demonstrated that in 3 of 5 tests, the T'ai Chi practitioners had significantly better postural control than the sedentary non practitioners.
    American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1992 Apr Vol 46 (4)295-300

    BEYOND TRADITIONAL CARE:Health practitioners encountering clients who are faced withproblems that do not seem to respond to traditional health care . . . may employ some of the health traditions of other cultures and to view the body and mind as a balanced whole. Massage, acupuncture and T'ai Chi . . . focus on the mind/body connection to facilitate healing through relaxation, pressure points, and movement.
    AAOHN Journal, 1993 July, 41 (7) 349-351


              One Boomer’s Advice to Millennials        
    With the Millennial Generation now representing nearly 45% of the U.S. workforce, it’s clear we are experiencing a huge cultural shift. And while these younger workers may report to other Millennials, Generation Xers or Baby Boomers, there are certain protocols they should consider as they navigate their careers. The Baby Boomer generation was largely responsible
              Communicating with Millennials in Mind        
    As the American workplace shifts from being filled with Baby Boomers and Generation Xers to dominated by Millennials, this generational shift also creates a cultural shift—one with younger workers who have different expectations and values than their predecessors. This is not your father’s cubicle. While technology, globalization, diversity and many other factors continue to impact
              PepsiCos Expenditure on Research & Development Pays Off        
    PepsiCo acquired the Quaker Oats brand in 2000 for approximately US$ 13.4 Billion – a product that has for a long time been known for its oats that take over half an hour to cook. However, the 114 year old brand of Quaker Oats is attempting to offer consumers who are hard pressed for time, granola bars and cups of instant oatmeal. Vice chairman as well as chief scientific officer of PepsiCo Dr Mehmood Khan said that as the world graduated from the baby boomer generation to one that is characterized by the millennium, time has become more and more restricted.  This is just one of the many efforts and changes made by food and beverage giant in order to alter the way it thinks about new products and develops them. Khan is a member of the executive team at PepsiCo, which is being headed by chief executive officer and chairman Indra Nooyi. This executive team is aggressively moving toward creating products that tackle changing trends such as growing interest of the consumer in convenience, wellness, and health.  PepsiCo’s expenditure on research and developed has risen by 37 per cent since 2011 to US$ 718 million. These funds have been directed toward hiring more food scientists and nutritionists. The money is also being used to include chefs in the taskforce, who will scour the world looking for new and unique flavors for beverages and snacks.  The collaborative efforts have resulted in numerous significant new products. In 2013, the 80 calorie Mountain Dew Kickstart was launched and today the product is bringing in around US$ 400 million in terms of annual sales in the United States. This is not too bad for a beverage that was targeted at a set of consumers who prefer carbonated caffeine first thing in the morning but wish to reduce the intake of calories. 

    Original Post PepsiCos Expenditure on Research & Development Pays Off source Twease
              Discovery Channel exibe documentário sobre população de hipopótamos na Colômbia que escaparam de fazenda de traficante        
    Um hipopótamo incomoda muita gente. Agora imagine 30 deles vivendo completamente soltos, sem controle humano, e se reproduzindo como coelhos. 

    Isso foi o que ocorreu na Colômbia, perto da Fazenda Nápoles (a cerca de 320 quilômetros de Bogotá), a sede do império do traficante Pablo Escobar (1949-1993). 

    Antes de ser preso, ele vivia com muito luxo na propriedade, que tinha até um zoológico, cheio de animais exóticos. 

    Abandonados após a prisão dele, quatro hipopótamos, que haviam chegado ilegalmente da África em 1981, passaram a viver como podiam.
    Com o clima tropical do local, acabaram se sentindo em casa e passaram a se reproduzir até que ocorreu o "baby boom" na região. 

    "Na África, o que controla a população de hipopótamos é a seca", explicou ao F5 o veterinário colombiano Carlos Valderrama. 

    Ele é um dos participantes de uma operação do governo da Colômbia que tenta controlar os animais. O grupo foi acompanhado por uma equipe do Discovery Channel, que produziu o documentário "Os Hipopótamos do Tráfico". O programa vai ao ar no próximo dia 31 (quarta-feira), às 21h. 

    Apesar de serem herbívoros, os hipopótamos --que vivem soltos-- passaram a atacar povoados de pescadores e criações de gado na região. "Os hipopótamos podem ser agressivos e são muito territorialistas", explica Valderrama. 

    Ele conta que os machos da população saíram da fazenda procurando outros espaços para montarem suas próprias "famílias". Nessa procura, acabaram assustando quem estava no caminho. "Por sorte, nenhum humano ficou ferido, mas eles chegaram a matar alguns bezerros", conta. "A população está em pânico", afirma. "São animais enormes, que podem chegar a quatro toneladas." Para ele, a solução ideal seria mandar os animais de volta para a África. Só que ninguém quer receber 30 hipopótamos de uma vez. 

    Por isso, os veterinários estão tentando manter a população na própria fazenda. 

    "Estamos colocando cercas e castrando os machos", diz. "Mesmo assim, os animais podem viver até 60 anos, então não é um problema que vai se resolver em curto prazo." Dos quatro animais originais, levados ao local por Pablo Escobar, três continuam vivos. 

    NA TV
    Os Hipopótamos do Tráfico
    QUANDO dia 31 de agosto, às 21h, no Discovery Channel 

              The Company of the Dead        
    The Company of the Dead
    author: David Kowalski
    name: David
    average rating: 3.22
    book published: 2007
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2013/12/13
    shelves: unread, irrelevant-reviews
    Warning: This is a non-review review. If you are one of those priggish scolds who demands actual review reviews, pass this one by. I'm just not in the mood right now for one of those 'How dare you review a book without reading it!' lectures. It's a free galaxy, so go ahead and buzz off. (Who am I kidding? Nobody will notice the irrelevance of this review because nobody will notice this book.)

    I am David Kowalski. No, not that David Kowalski—the world-renowned Australian gynecologist who writes alternate history books about the Titanic on the sly—when he isn't elbow-deep in Australian pussy. (I realize that the word 'pussy' is considered offensive, distasteful, or absurd by many, but no other ready-to-hand vaginal epithet had the proper rhythm for that sentence.) I am also not the David Kowalski who is a Grammy and Emmy nominated audio engineer and who also owns the domain name. One day when I become insanely famous, this latter David Kowalski will become a obstacle and will be dealt with accordingly. Legally I must remain vague, but you are free to read between the lines as you wish. Between the line readings are generally not admissable in court.

    It's difficult being David Kowalski for countless reasons, some of which those of you who know me can well imagine. But even those who haven't enjoyed my friendship will probably confirm that Kowalski is a ridiculous name, lacking both euphony and dignity. It's become something of a punchline, as a matter of fact. For instance, its clumsy, ethnic suggestivity is used as a gag in the I Accuse My Parents episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Consider these other emphatically tongue-in-cheek or unflattering uses of the name in popular culture:

    1. Baby Kowalski was essentially a hairy, overweight, criminal knucklehead on Ren and Stimpy. His appearance is no doubt inspired by the big lug stereotypes of the early 20th century crime movies and certainly also indebted to actual physical bearings of countless of Polish-American males across this country. My paternal grandfather was not fat or particularly hairy, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something about Baby Kowalski that inspired a generalized nostalgia.

    2. Kowalski (I've heard) is a penguin from the animated film Madagascar. Now why would a penguin be named Kowalski except for humorous effect? The incongruity of a waddling Arctic bird and a (usually) lower-middle class Polish-American is certainly an attempt at humor—whether it succeeds or not is up to the viewer.

    3. Roxanne Kowalski is the title character in the 1980s Steve Martin-Daryl Hannah comedy Roxanne. In the 1980s Daryl Hannah was considered a beauty. An epitomal beauty almost. (Although I think she was much more... exciting decades later as Elle Driver in the Kill Bill movies.) Saddling this pretty young woman with such an ugly name is an Alanis Morissette-style attempt at comic irony. Get it? She's pretty, but her name isn't? Ha.

    4. Recently, Clint Eastwood's character Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino made use of other latent implications of the name. You see, Polish-Americans, especially of the 'Greatest Generation' and the Baby Boom generation, are somewhat notorious for being bigoted assholes who watch over their well-tended lawns with the violent, blood-thirsty malice of barbarian chieftains. I realize that this statement would have a lot of broad-minded Polacks hot under the collar, but—sorry—it's true. I live in a Midwestern city with a disproportionately high population of Polish-Americans, and they hate 'coloreds' and 'Mexicans' like Richard Simmons hates sleeves. Of course the urban trend nowadays is that blacks and Hispanics are 'encroaching' [their perspective] on old Polish neighborhoods and ruining them—making them unsafe and polluted. More to the point, the darkies don't take care of their lawns. (Again, I am citing the argument, not endorsing it.) Gran Torino captures this dynamic with documentarian accuracy—except with gooks in this case. If you scratch the surface of at least three-quarters of elderly Polish-Americans, you'll find a hardcore bigot. These aren't the kind of people who will use the word 'nigger' or offer up their narrow-mindedness to just anyone—they are a squirrelly lot—but it's there... Trust me. It's there.


    5. 'Kowalski' is a song by Primal Scream.

    6. Kowalski is the criminal, remorseless driver in the 1970s cult film Vanishing Point. (This is far from reality. Most Polish-Americans prefer to drive ten miles under the speed limit. Traffic laws are too liberal for them.)

    7. Kowalski is a Top Gun-like pilot in the parody Hot Shots!

    8. Leon Kowalski is a character in Blade Runner.

    9. And of course the ever-boorish Stanley Kowalski, from Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, was probably at one time the most famous Kowalski of all. But general illiteracy and cultural ignorance have taken care of that. I could probably count the number of Stanley Kowalski mentions I've had in my life on one hand—outnumbered now by references to Walt Kowalski and that damned penguin.

    There are more, of course, but I'm bored with this. You probably are too. But maybe now you realize how difficult it is for us gynecologists, audio engineers, and office-bound automatons to be David Kowalskis. It just lacks the poetic vitality of other names, like Heath Ironsteel or Wade Theodore St. Cloud III, and the neutral simplicity of still other names, like John Jones or Dan Dean. The ironic thing is that Kowalski is (literally) the Smith of Polish names. In that country, it's probably tediously unremarkable. But here it's a punchline. A stereotype. An ugly bit of sound. Which is why I'm changing my name to Rodney Lowenstein before I get rich and famous. So remember that name... Lowenstein... Lowenstein...

              TGI Fridays Is Trying A New Restaurant Design To Bring In Younger Customers        

    The new restaurant includes a weekend “Hangover Brunch” with buckets of bacon and chicken and waffles.

    TGI Fridays is now courting the children of its baby boomer patrons under a redesigned restaurant with a new name, Fridays.

    TGI Fridays is now courting the children of its baby boomer patrons under a redesigned restaurant with a new name, Fridays.

    TGI Fridays

    The restaurant chain is testing out the new decor and menu to keep up with younger guests who have different tastes than older patrons when it comes to choosing a place to work or socialize, said Fridays spokesperson Mary Ann Schoppman to BuzzFeed News.

    The restaurant chain is testing out the new decor and menu to keep up with younger guests who have different tastes than older patrons when it comes to choosing a place to work or socialize, said Fridays spokesperson Mary Ann Schoppman to BuzzFeed News.

    TGI Fridays

    "Since the inception of Fridays (you know, when it was a singles bar), our guests have expected us to be a place where they can have fun and meet up with new and old friends," said Schoppman. "But that looks differently today. We're testing and making changes to the Fridays brand to align with what our guests are looking for today."

    The Corpus Christi restaurant's brighter and more vibrant contemporary design includes new "flexible areas, where guests can make the space their own to relax and enjoy comfortable however they’d like," said Schoppman.

    The Corpus Christi restaurant's brighter and more vibrant contemporary design includes new "flexible areas, where guests can make the space their own to relax and enjoy comfortable however they’d like," said Schoppman.

    TGI Fridays

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              Manufacturing Sector to Have 2 Million Unfilled Jobs        
    A report published by Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte states, about 2 million manufacturing jobs in U.S. will remain unfilled in the coming ten years due to poorly skilled labor. However, certain skeptics believe this situation can be salvaged if manufacturers increase their wages.  The estimation is based on the fact that the present population of 2.7 million baby boomers will retire in the coming decade, while an economic growth over the same period will create another 700,000 manufacturing jobs. The survey interviewed 450 manufacturing executives who were emphatic about their worry that 60% of vacancies in the manufacturing sector are dueto lack of required skills. Arthur Wheaton, Cornell University’s Worker Institute, a skeptic to this market study stated that lack of skill disappears once enterprises are willing to pay higher wages. This theory was seconded by Alan Tonelson, who said that the slow growth in manufacturing wages ever since end of recession in 2009 might have led to the unfilled positions. He further added that a generous wage or compensation has to be considered to fill the shortage. Oberg Industries’ spokesman stated that the skills shortage seems plausible but it is not applicable to Buffalo Township manufacturer. The company produces stamped and machined components, has presently has just about 17 job openings and will have another 10 in some time. The manufacturing unit represents 5% of the Pennsylvania workforce with over 600 employees. David Getty, the spokesman for Oberg stated that the company plans to manage the baby boomer retirement issue by hiring 30 candidates every year in its apprenticeship program.

    Original Post Manufacturing Sector to Have 2 Million Unfilled Jobs source Twease
              A quel âge effectue t-on son premier voyage en avion ?        

    La jeune génération (18-29) effectue son premier séjour à l'étranger à l'âge de 9 ans. C’est 10 ans de moins que les baby boomers qui ont eu cette chance à 19 ans seulement, rapporte une étude du voyagiste eDrams réalisée dans plusieurs pays.  

    54% de la jeune génération, la fameuse génération Y, a déjà mis un pied à l'étranger avant l'âge de 5 ans, alors qu'ils ne sont que 19% chez les baby boomers (âgés de plus de 50 ans). Les Allemands sont les plus chanceux puisqu'ils ont déjà visité l'étranger à l'âge de neuf ans en moyenne. C'est la nationalité qui profite le plus tôt de cette découverte. Les Suédois bénéficient de cette expérience à onze ans et les Français à douze ans. Les Américains se situent de l'autre côté de l'échelle et attendent leur 17 ans pour se promener dans un pays étranger. 
    Toutes nationalités confondues, un jeune voyageur a déjà eu l'opportunité de visiter six pays quand il atteint ses 18 ans. 

    Le développement des offres low-cost, la réduction des coûts du voyage, le déploiement des voyagistes en ligne sont autant de facteurs qui ont incité les populations à s'intéresser à ce qu'il se passe à l'étranger. D'après cette étude, les vacances à la maison ont reculé de 4%. Désormais, 51% des sondés déclarent voyager davantage qu'il y a dix ans. Près de la moitié (48%) disent que le voyage est effectivement devenu plus accessible. 70% réservent leur séjour en se connectant à Internet. Une proportion qui monte jusqu'à 83% pour les Suédois. 

    Résultat, le voyage est quasiment devenu un besoin. Les voyageurs dépensent en moyenne 16% de leurs revenus annuels pour les vacances. Les Italiens sont encore plus dépensiers puisqu'ils consacrent 20% de leur portefeuille. 

              Educated Millennials Are Moving to Metro Areas        

    Educated Millennials Are Moving to Metro Areas Millennials is defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34 as of Y 2015. Millennials have become the nation’s largest generation cohort, surpassing Baby Boomers in Y 2016. And because of their unique living and spending habits, so far by passing up many of the features of […]

    The post Educated Millennials Are Moving to Metro Areas appeared first on Live Trading News.

              By: boozychef        
    I really wish the crate would eat other pets. lil baby boomkin to you? chicken dinner to me!! MWAhahahaaaa
              Housing stock for sale nationwide slumps to a 20-year low: survey        
    A new survey by reveals that residential housing inventory for sale has hit a 20-year low. Baby boomers, content with their homes, don’t seem to be putting their houses on the market anytime soon, USA Today reported.’s survey showed that 85 percent of baby boomers said they had no plans to trade homes in the next year. The survey gathered data from 1,054 homeowners throughout the country between July 6 and July 13. Overall, ... [more]
              El Gobierno de Rajoy no acaba de ordenar el debate de las pensiones en España        
    Lo fundamental está en la sostenibilidad del sistema, que tiene problemas estructurales, que se acentuarán a partir del 2020 cuando se jubile masivamente la llamada generación del baby boom y los nuevos...
              Comment on Collaborative study aims to reduce racial disparities in nursing homes, improve quality of life by Danitra Easton-Hage        
    I agree with the need to study the care for the elderly. Making vast changes to the system for programming and funding. Two years ago at age 80 my mother African-American suffered a major stroke after having worked in government for over 34 years and working and serving her community for many years after retirement as an ordained minister and Bible teacher we found the need to have her go into assisted living. Initially after her stroke she was sent to transitional living rehabilitation center were she spent the allowable two months in intense rehabilitation therapy. The transitional care facility wanted her to move into a nursing home situation because she had plateaued and needed to be placed in another long-term facility with the care of minimum requirement of two people to provide care and assistance. Of course many of the elderly want to remain in their own home and not be placed into any facility because of the stigma shown or proven to be less than or substandard to those who could afford top premium care and top premium facilities; typically non-minorities. Usually, and unfortunately the remaining family members bears the burden of caring for their elderly or sick by family members pitching in housing and providing cares. Sometimes this means rotating their love ones throughout other family members homes to be able to provide some sort of respite and relief because caring for the elderly can be quite daunting. At age 56 my mother had brought her last living relative up from Chicago to provide a safe place and provide health care for him in her home, because his wife had deceased and she (my mother) was his last remaining family member. It was heart breaking to find that his wife's relatives were taking his VAPension spending it on themselves and not providing his basic care needs. He had surffered a stroke in his early years, but could walk and move around independently. As his care needs progressed, it became necessary to move him to a assistant living nursing home which was subsidized by the VA, but was also in the community in the inner city of St. Paul were my mother resided. However, the place was reallly not great, smelled like a nursing home, and battled roaches. When my mom was told she would need 24/7 care of course it was devastating to hear she could no longer be independent, but even more so that she required 2 people 24 hours a day. Meaning not even a family member could provide the type of care she neeeded. Well because she had a good government pension and a home she owned, we were able to secure her in a facility were she has been the only miniority. Which bothered me that no other minorities were in the facility because their policy is that you have to private pay two years before they will except any funds from the state to pay for cares. I found it highly insulting because it's a way of subtly keeping out minorities from being able to have adequate care in a more adequate facility. But, they told us that if we could private pay for two years, then she could stay. Well I did the math and figured that if we sold her home along with her pension we could probably squeak by to be able to pay out-of-pocket the over $6000 a month for her cares which fluctuate drastically each month depending on how they determine what special needs they had to provide in addition to what is normally provided. The really sad part is that I have been providing her bathing care needs for her entire time there as well as doing her laundry which is almost an every other day occurrence with heavy loads because of her incontinence and need of tolieting, and dependent on the aids getting there in time to keep her from soiling her clothes. More so then not the are too busy to get there in time, or she not able to go at her scheduled time, which you can't tell the body that everyday at 6am, noon, after dinner and before bed you can urinate. Anyway, they told me it would save cost since a lot of their care needs are on an à la cart basis in addition to the monthly rent for room and board and medication packages for administrating medicines. However, I've been going along with their program because she really didn't have many options and I really needed to stretch her money by taking on those duties because her bill is always high and fluctuate always based on their evaluation of what was needed that month. Of course I wonder if I'm saving money, because the keep the bill high no matter what. I'm hurt by this whole process and really feel that I'm just saving them time for giving her baths and doing her laundry; although baths are charge $24 dollars and laundry charge at $12 to wash and $12 to dry a load of clothes, but honestly no reflection in the bill. When I've complained about the billling, it's a no win situation for us, well I can't have her living on the street. Anyway, it's been the two years and she is broke and now I will be applying for the elderly waiverly program, to get her subsidy, I know they will be taking her retirement to fund the subsidy and provide her care, but my hopes are that she can remain were she is. Something has to be done for the elderly, I'm 60 myself and my other baby boomer friends are facing these same issues now with their mothers. Something has to be done to bring the current facilities up to a higher level standards for minorities across the board, and cost efficiencies for all.
              BlowMeCool Inc., Partners with From the Earth Naturally (FTEN) at Edmonton’s Fabulous at 50’s Show        

    The Fabulous @ 50 Experience and Martini Party is celebrating its 5th year in Edmonton. Created to address the needs of women baby boomers this trade show showcases products and services specifically geared to women going through menopause and features an afternoon martini bar, entertainment and motivational speakers.

    (PRWeb October 22, 2013)

    Read the full story at

              Hamakua Hawaii Real Estate        
    Everywhere you look, there are changes all over Hamakua - it has been 10 years since the sugar industry left this Big Island's windward coast. A recent kumiai (community association) gathering served as a microcosm of this change. In the earlier days, what made up the base of the population were Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Filipino laborers; today, we see small farmers, urban escapees, second-home buyers and early-retiring baby boomers. Great realtors were quick to acknowledge this change in population - and they've distinguished that islanders who have left Honolulu and Maui and those who have moved from the West Coast of continental US compose the new population base of the Hamakua Coast's Hawaii real estate.

    The place is dominated by patchworks of sugar fields - extending for 50 miles of rolling hills from Hilo on the south to the Waipi'o Valley in the north, up to the upper slopes of Mauna Kea to the sea cliffs at land's end - for over 150 years. The numbers would say it all: in a span of 3 years (2001-2004), about 250 building permits were issued by the Hawaii County solely for the Hamakua Coast. A few new residents have built gates limiting access to fishing and hunting areas that used to belong to public domain.

    Today, Honoka'a is home to more than 2200 people who enjoy its elevation and the mild weather it brings. Diversity is the new by-word for the Hamakua coast, with entrepreneurial farmers also trying their hand at eucalyptus farming (for paper production) as well as hardwood stands of teak and mahogany. Additionally, the Hawaiian Sturgeon and Caviar Company started making efforts to raise sturgeon for caviar there. The Hamakua Cost and its Hawaii real estate, therefore, is nothing short of making a major comeback.
              Expanded Hepatitis C Testing Recommendations        
    Expanded Hepatitis C Testing Recommendations To identify more hidden infections, provide prompt and appropriate care and treatment, and avoid tens of thousands of hepatitis C-related illnesses and deaths, CDC now recommends that all U.S. baby boomers get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus.
              CDC Now Recommends All Baby Boomers Receive One-Time Hepatitis C Test        
    All U.S. baby boomers should get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus, according to final recommendations published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
              6 Benefits of Learning a Language for Seniors        
      Whether you’re a member of the greatest generation or a baby boomer, you should consider learning a new language. Why? Learning a new language can come with numerous benefits, including improved brain function, enhanced personal confidence and broadened opportunities for communication. The prevalence of social media and the Internet in our society has caused our world to shrink and our knowledge base to expand. […]
              ì´ˆìŒì† 여객기의 첫 프로토타입 : XB-1 베이비 붐(Boom XB-1 Baby Boom)        
    XB-1의 비행 상상도 기술실증기 XB-1 베이비 붐(Boom XB-1 Baby Boom)은 북미에서 가장 큰 공항인 덴버 국제공항 컨벤션 홀에서 2016년 11월 15일에 일반에 공개됐다. 이 시제기의 규모는 길이 21 m에 날개폭 5.2 m의 크기과 최대 이륙 중량은 6.1톤으로 발표되었다. 동력은 군용기에 매우 흔하게 쓰이고 있는 제네럴 일렉트릭(General Electric) J85-21 터보제트 엔진으로, 이 엔진은 우리 대한민국공군의 경전투기 F-5E에도 쌍발로 탑재된 것인데 베이비 붐에 3개가 달린 엔진들은 애프터버너를 제거해 추력이 3,500 lbf(16 kN)로 제한이 걸려있다. 일반에 공개된 베이비 붐말하자면 베이비 붐은 고작 합계 10,500 lbf의 추력만으로 마.......
              Our Sun Came Late to the Milky Way's Star-Birth Party        

    Our Sun missed the stellar "baby boom" that erupted in our young Milky Way galaxy 10 billion years ago. During that time the Milky Way was churning out stars 30 times faster than it does today. Our galaxy was ablaze with a firestorm of star birth as its rich reservoir of hydrogen gas compressed under gravity, creating myriad stars. But our Sun was not one of them. It was a late "boomer," arising 5 billion years later, when star birth had plunged to a trickle.

    Astronomers compiled this story of our Milky Way's growth from studying galaxies similar in mass to our galaxy, found in deep surveys of the universe. Stretching back in time more than 10 billion years, the census contains nearly 2,000 snapshots of Milky Way-like galaxies. The analysis comprises the most comprehensive multi-observatory galaxy survey yet, and includes data from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

    Join Hubble scientists during the live Hubble Hangout discussion at 3pm EDT on Thurs., April 9, to learn even more. Visit Google+ at, or YouTube at .

              Damn the Deficits, Huge Tax Cuts Ahead!        
    Our weekly commentaries provide Euro Pacific Capital's latest thinking on developments in the global marketplace. Opinions expressed are those of the writer, and may or may not reflect those held by Euro Pacific Capital.
    Peter Schiff
    Friday, April 28, 2017
    Donald Trump has made good on one of his most audacious campaign promises by submitting what he describes as the biggest tax cut in U.S. History. For once, at least, this does not appear to be Trumpian braggadocio. It really may be the mother of all tax cuts. But if passed, what may this bunker buster do to the economy? While I have rarely met a tax cut I didn’t like, this one just may be more likely to send the economy into a downward spiral than it is to send up to orbit.
    As I mentioned in my January commentary, Donald Trump’s big-spending, tax-cutting campaign rhetoric threatened to make him the biggest borrower in presidential history. He comes to office at a particularly vulnerable time for budget dynamics. After contracting by nearly two thirds from 2010 to 2015 (from the mind-bending $1.3 trillion to the merely enormous $438 billion), the Federal deficit started expanding again in 2016, moving up to $587 billion (Govt. Publishing Office, Office of Management & Budget (OMB). Current projections have it going up nearly every year over the next two decades. The Congressional Budget Office expects it to permanently surpass $1 trillion annually by 2021 or 2022. But these ominous forecasts were made well before anyone thought Trump had a snowball’s chance of ever becoming president. Now that he is in the office, those projections will be the floor. The ceiling is anyone’s guess.
    The forecasts assume that the taxing and spending laws in place during the Obama Administration won’t change. The steep increase in projected deficits towards the end of this decade and into the next is largely driven by the retirement of the Baby Boom generation, which will lead to simultaneous increases in entitlement spending and decreases in tax revenue. This brick wall has been hiding in plain sight for decades but the can-kickers in Washington have serially failed to do anything to avert the inevitable collision. 
    (These forecasts also optimistically assume that the economy never again enters recession, inflation never again rears its ugly head, and that our creditors never get concerned enough about our growing debt to demand a premium for the risk of financing it.)
    But now that Trump occupies the Oval office, this date with destiny may come much sooner…and she will definitely be ordering the lobster.
    Before I go negative, let me give credit to Trump for picking the right taxes to cut. He kills the estate tax, an ugly beast that should have been euthanized years ago. Some may see this simply as a gift to the very rich. But legal wizards have long since devised strategies that offer almost complete protection from the death tax. None of these structures offer any real benefit to the businesses these millionaires typically own, or to the economy in general. Killing the tax will cost the government almost nothing, but it will remove tremendous impediments that have prevented family-run companies from growing over generations. He also kills the Alternative Minimum Tax, a complex parallel system of taxation that few understand but somehow manages to ensnare more and more taxpayers every year.
    Most importantly, he brings down the corporate tax rate from the globally non-competitive rate of 35% to the much more manageable 15%. Taxing corporations has always been a bad way to raise revenue. Corporations, after all, don’t pay taxes, which are simply treated as a cost of doing business. The real costs are borne by customers, who must pay higher prices, and employees, who must suffer with lower wages. But high domestic corporate taxes have hamstrung U.S. corporations and greatly contributed to the decline of American manufacturing. A more competitive corporate sector will shower benefits on all manner of consumers and employees.
    On the individual tax side, his decisions are much more problematic. Although Trump makes the sensible decision of compressing the seven individual tax brackets into just three (10%, 25%, and 35%), and doubles the standard personal deductions (thereby saving many people from the hassles of itemization), the headline-grabbing component of the proposals has to do with the lowering of the “pass-through” tax rate to the same 15% level that applies to corporations. This means that wealthy business owners, highly paid freelancers, and partners at law firms, medical groups, and management consultancies, will qualify for the 15% rate. This will be a huge windfall to some of the richest people in the country, who typically pay the highest marginal tax rate (currently 39%). And since the top one percent account for nearly 50% of tax revenue, this one provision promises to cost Uncle Sam plenty and to dramatically shake up the corporate landscape.
    Small business owners and independent contractors will in fact receive the benefit of the 15% pass through rate. But “Mom and Pop” entrepreneurs rarely have income that is high enough to be taxed at the higher rates. These smaller earners will likely be be trading a 15% tax for a 15% tax. All the big benefits will go to the really big fish. Whereas the vast majority of Tom Cruise’s income would have been taxed at the 39% rate, it will now be taxed at just 15%. His taxes will be reduced by nearly 60% from current law. The same holds true, in lesser degree, to lawyers, doctors, and consultants making more than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
    Is there any reason that could justify why a hedge fund manager making a million dollars per year should pay 15%, but a full time CEO at a corporation making half that would be subject to the highest marginal rate of 35%? It’s absurd. Now I’m not a big fan of the “progressive” tax system, whereby the tax rate goes up with income. I think a “flat” tax system, in which everyone paid the same rate, would be better. (Ideally I would like to see income taxes replaced by far less onerous and intrusive consumption taxes). But I certainly don’t believe in a “regressive” tax system in which lower-earning citizens pay higher rates than those at the top. But that’s exactly what Trump is trying to do.
    Given this wide disparity in tax rates, we can assume that the employment landscape will adjust dramatically. We should expect that legions of highly-paid full-time employees will start to form Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) to work freelance rather than as employees. There are few barriers that would prevent such a shift, and the growth of internet-based work scenarios will continue to break down the traditional barrier between employee and freelancer. Yes, there are some labor rules that seek to separate employees from freelancers, but those rules may be easily circumvented, especially when the reward is so great. Rather than envy the lawyer earning more and paying less, the CEOs of the country will likely incorporate and sell their services freelance to their former employers.
    This shift will mean that a great many of the country’s highest earners will be paying taxes at the lowest rate. As a result, the reductions in tax revenue would likely be far greater than what is predicted in the standard modeling.  
    But unlike most prior tax cuts, the Trump version does not even make any attempt to balance the cuts with corresponding cuts in government spending. If Trump’s tax cuts don’t immediately generate sustained 4% growth or more, we may be staring down the barrel of $2 annual deficits. Is this an experiment that we really want to try?
    But even if the reforms can kick the economy into higher gear, thereby creating higher revenues with lower rates (The Laffer Curve), our current low interest rate environment provides significant obstacles to permit that growth to be sustained. If growth kicks up to the 4% range, the Federal Reserve will have to accelerate its rate increase schedule to keep interest rates in line with GDP growth and to prevent inflation, already above its official 2% target, from running out of control. Plus the markets will also act to adjust interest rates higher due to greater demand for credit and rising inflation. These higher rates will act as a stiff headwind to an economy that has grown increasingly dependent on ultra low rates.
    But increases in rates would also cost the economy in another way. Our current bonded national debt is ready to surge past the $20 trillion mark. The Trump tax cuts will push it beyond that very quickly. If the Fed raises rates to keep pace with higher growth, then the Government will have to pay much more to finance the outstanding debt. At $20 trillion, every point of increase in interest rates will cost the government $200 billion annually. At that level, if interest rates were at 3.75%, instead of the current .75%, then the Federal Government would have to come up with about another $600 billion per year in interest payments. (That number will be much higher when the debt grows past $20 Trillion).
    But it's not just Uncle Sam that is over-loaded with debt. Corporations and households would see their interest costs surge as well with rising interest rates. So what lower taxes giveth, higher interest rates will taketh away.  
    Consider the housing market. Not only will higher interest rates substantially increase the cost of home ownership (through higher mortgage rates), but Trump’s tax proposals will dramatically increase the cost of ownership for those living in high tax states. Under the proposal, homeowners will no longer be able to deduct property taxes, and a doubling of the standard deduction means a much larger percentage of homeowners will not be able to deduct mortgage interest from their federal income tax. Plus, with the top tax rate reduced from 39.6% to 15%, the mortgage interest deduction will be far less valuable to those higher earners who can still take advantage of it. Higher mortgage rates and lower tax subsidies will increase the cost and decrease the appeal of home ownership. This could lead to a crash in real estate prices, especially in the high end of the market. Falling prices could wipe out what little home equity many Americas have left, and lead to another wave of foreclosures. The losses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be significant, with the costs falling directly on the Federal government, further driving up annual deficits.  
    The reality is that years of massive deficits, runaway government spending, artificially low interest rates, and three rounds of quantitative easing, have left the economy so sick that any tax cut large enough to revive it may actually kill it instead. If the Fed tries to keep it on life-support a bit longer by suppressing interest rates with a massive QE4 program, we risk run-a-way inflation and a dollar crisis with economic consequences far more profound than those of the financial crisis of 2008. The only silver lining to this cloud may be that the coming fiscal train wreck leaves lawmakers no choice but to slash government spending. If the real Republican agenda is to starve the beast, its success is assured.
    Subscribe to Euro Pacific's Weekly Digest: Receive all commentaries by Peter Schiff, John Browne, and other Euro Pacific commentators delivered to your inbox every Monday!

    To order your copy of Peter Schiff's latest book, The Real Crash (Fully Revised and Updated): America's Coming Bankruptcy - How to Save Yourself and Your Country, click here.

    For in-depth analysis of this and other investment topics, subscribe to Peter Schiff's Global Investor newsletter. CLICK HERE for your free subscription.

              Hubble Finds Multiple Stellar 'Baby Booms' in a Globular Cluster        

    Astronomers have long thought that globular star clusters had a single "baby boom" of stars early in their lives and then settled into a quiet existence. But new observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the massive globular cluster NGC 2808 provide evidence that star birth went "boom, boom, boom," with three generations of stars forming very early in the cluster's life.

              Conheça Maye Musk: nutricionista, avó e modelo influencer de 69 anos        
    Maya  (Foto: Reprodução)


    Se você estava sentindo falta de musas inspiradoras, prepare-se para incluir um nome à sua lista: Maye Musk, modelo de 69 anos de Los Angeles, é mãe, avó e começou sua carreira aos 15 anos. A musa também é nutricionista e já publicou duas teses e um livro sobre alimentação. Maravilhosa!

    + Musa fitness aos 60, mãe de Adriano Toloza ensina como manter o pique dos 30

    + Casal de velhinhos faz álbum de casamento após 70 anos juntos

    Maye Musk (Foto: Reprodução)


    Segundo reportagem do WWD, Maye quebrou estigmas e esteriótipos de que os chamados "Baby Boomer's" não conseguem se adaptar ao universo digital. Ela prova diariamente em seu Instagram que é hiperconectada — não só às tendências tecnológicas, mas também ao universo fashion. Como pode-se ver nas fotos, ela também é fã e adora tietar famosos. Fofa!

    maye musk (Foto: reprodução)


    Maye conta na entrevista que entrou nas redes sociais há três anos para divulgar seu trabalho como nutricionista, mas revela que, no início, não doava tanto o seu tempo com a intenção de se tornar uma influenciadora.

    "Eu publiquei alimentos saudáveis ​​e ninguém realmente se importou, eu postei uma foto minha caminhando em uma praia e ainda ninguém se importou, e depois postei algumas das minhas fotos editoriais e os seguidores simplesmente adoraram”, contou ao WWD.

    maye musk (Foto: reprodução)

    Maye nasceu no Canadá, cresceu na África do Sul e começou a trabalhar aos 15 anos. Aos 42, voltou para sua terra natal. “Eu era a modelo mais antiga no Canadá. Então me mudei para Nova York e pensei que queria viver como outros avós normais, mas eles me disseram que eu era muito glamourosa para isso”

    Maye Musk (Foto: Reprodução)


    A musa também é mãe de três filhos ultra bem sucedidos — do empreendedor Elon Musk, responsável pelo sucesso da Tesla Motors e do Space X, da cineasta Tosca e do empresário Kimbal. Superinspiradora, né?

    maye musk (Foto: reprodução)
    maye musk (Foto: reprodução)


              Hubble Census Tracks a Stellar "Baby Boom"        

    Analyzing the pictures of some of the most distant galaxies in the universe, astronomers are uncovering intriguing new evidence that the Big Bang was followed by a stellar "baby boom."

    Hubble's unprecedented measurement of the rate of star birth in remote galaxies, which existed when the cosmos was less than 10 percent its current age, supports the emerging view that the early universe had an active, dynamic youth where stars formed out of dust and gas at a ferocious rate. The graph is based on observations of distant galaxies made by the Hubble telescope and ground-based observatories. Hubble shows a steep rise in star birth that happened shortly after the Big Bang. The ground-based data show a precipitous decline in the star formation rate, beginning about 9 billion years ago and continuing to the present.

              2014 Books Part XV        
    Balsamic Dreams: A Short but Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation by Joe Queenan - I have enjoyed several of Queenan's books. Here he skewers my parents' (and his own) generation with the insight, humor, and broad vocabulary that I've come to expect. 4 stars

    Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars by Paul Ingrassia - I don't think the subtitle fits the book very well, but the car stories are really interesting. 4 stars

    Deadlift Dynamite: How to Master the King of All Strength Exercises by Andy Bolton and Pavel Tsatsouline - Like most Dragon Door publications, Deadlift Dynamite is beautifully produced and informative. It would have been more useful a few years ago when I was really into barbell deadlifting (now I mostly do DVRT sandbag training), and its target audience is competitors who take this stuff way more seriously than I do, but it's top-notch as far as weightlifting books go. 5 stars

    Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us—And How to Know When Not to Trust Them by David H. Freedman - I got halfway through this book and realized it's similar to The Half-Life of Facts with a different perspective: instead of looking at how information "changes" over time, Freedman explains how much of it was never true in the first place. He also offers ways to sort the good from the bad, but after reading this I just find myself more skeptical of everything (which is saying something). 4 stars

              How can your charity engage with Baby Boomers online        
    Debbie a typical Baby Boomer turns 54 on her next birthday, but she is likely to keep on working for the next 10 years. Her children have left home. So now Debbie is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, travelling and enjoying her hobbies.

    At this point in their lives, Baby Boomers like Debbie (66 – 47 year olds) are likely to hold 80% of the UK’s wealth. They are ‘top spenders’ on new cars, cruises and skin care products. Boomers are very generous to charities too. In fact, they are likely to give more to charities than any other generation.

    Generally Baby Boomers are comfortable with the Internet and are not afraid to make purchases or to donate online. But, the likes of Debbie grew up in the 1950’s and 1960s – the decades of heavy advertising, so they are sceptical of too much advertising and shrewd about their choices.

    Debbie uses the Internet and mobile phone regularly but she doesn’t see them as an extension of herself. She is likely to use e-mail and social networking sites like facebook to carry out her work responsibilities or to stay in touch with friends and family. She is using search engines like Google and Bing to do her research before purchasing holidays, travel and other things online.

    So, how is your charity to connect to Baby Boomers online? Here are some basic steps to consider for building effective relationships with Baby Boomers who are embracing new technologies:

    1. Don’t ignore Baby Boomers online – A growing number of older people are taking advantage of the web right now so don’t ignore them. Often charities talk about using the web to connect with younger generations. Many charities tend to develop trendy applications or approaches that older people might find irrelevant or insulting. If you want to engage with Boomer’s online then plan to utilise the Internet and new technologies in ways that will empower Boomers to connect to your charity or cause.

    Great examples of charities whose websites are engaging in creative ways with Baby Boomers are the National Trust ( and National Wildlife Federation (

    Take a look at these websites when you have a minute and you will see how they tell their stories using words and images, how they explain their priorities and highlight their accomplishments, how they invite web visitors to take action – giving a wide menu of choices and how they promote donor benefits. Both these charities are targeting Baby Boomers in a big way so you can learn a great deal from them and the tools they are using to convert them from ‘website browsers’ into supporters.

    2. Be authentic – Baby Boomers distrust institutions and have little time for un-authentic messages or appeals. You can’t just present ‘fudged’ stories or un-clear financial asks to them. So, if you want to get and keep Baby Boomers attention your website copy, e-mail appeals or other online giving campaigns should contain compelling messages that clearly state the needs you are meeting, the difference you are making, how much money is needed and how it will be used for the greatest impact.

    As our research on Christian giving shows, transparency and accountability are of vital importance to Boomers. By including some information about your fundraising ROI’s and evidence of good stewardship of resources in your website and other online communications channels you are likely to increase the likelihood of receiving online donations from Baby Boomers.

    3. Use lots of beneficiaries’ and supporters testimonials and photos. Testimonials can convert undecided Boomers into donors; so make sure you’re using them regularly. There is something about knowing that someone has really benefited from your charity’s work or, hearing that a donor has had a great experience as a supporter of your cause that helps other people decide to join in.

    Trust is important for most Baby Boomers before they’ll buy or give online and testimonials or photos that show how your work has changed lives help establish that trust.

    4. Make it easy for Baby Boomers to stay in touch with your charity. Boomers like to share experiences and connect with their families and friends and even with strangers via email and selected social networks like facebook. So make it easy for them to subscribe to your e-mail updates, like your facebook page, your blogs or follow your charity on twitter. Get a few Baby Boomer friends to have a look at your charity’s website and listen to what they have to say about ease of navigation, font sizes, content, images, etc.

    5. Set up several social media profiles in addition to your charity’s website. If you haven’t done so already now is the time to get your charity on facebook, twitter, linkedin, upload your photos on flickr and your video clips on vimeo.

    You can use facebook and twitter to start conversations online, share relevant news, invite prayer, and tell inspiring stories that are of interest to Boomers. Also, you can use sites like flickr and vimeo to load up photos and videos documenting the impact you are making and invite people to have a look and share these images with others. Through social networking sites your Baby Boomer friends and supporters can connect with each other, become ambassadors for your cause and turn from contacts into donors.

    A good example of facebook marketing to Baby Boomers is the ‘The National Trust’ page. Note the abundance of photos, discussion starters, videos, simple competitions and other supporter engagement tools focused on building relationships with UK’s wealthiest and healthiest generation.

    6. Make sure your charity is easily found by search engines. This might sound like old news but a lot of research actually suggests that the first stop for new web users (i.e. another name for non tech-savvy people) is a search site. So, what are you doing to make sure that your website can be easily found by search engines?

    Another thing to bear in mind is making sure you have your full website address visible and in a prominent place in various printed communications. Why? Because according to a research paper from Yahoo! published in 2010 older first time web users (e.g. Seniors and Boomers) are 29% more likely than younger web users to type the full URL in a search box.

    7. Whatever you do make sure you don’t call them ‘old’ – from their early days Baby Boomers have considered themselves to be a special generation. They might be getting old but they don’t like the idea of being told they are ‘old.’

    So, as you tailor your messages and diversity your media channels to engage effectively with Baby Boomers you must realise that Boomers are going to be different from their parents. All you can do is to listen and respond to their needs.
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              Comment on Hard Work is Over-Rated by Chris Beeki        
    Great website; agree totally. Do not pour your heart/soul into job--it is for nothing. The American work ethic is left over from those greedy work addicted baby boomers, whose identities are from their "jobs." It really is a mental disorder, a certain deranged personality to take pleasure from a job. Unless you're working with sick children, orphans, horses, most people do not love their jobs. It is a necessary evil---so treat it as such. Give minimal effort to it. The usa does not reward hard work, they only reward nepotism, creonism, right last names, etc.... handshakes, and cards thanking for a "job well done" is a complete joke=----SHOW ME THE DINERO.
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              Gen X: Decluttering misconceptions about what it means to be an adult in 2017 (part 2)        

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    Read more... | Send to a friend

              Voices of Women with Host Kris Steinnes: Wanting Sex Again with author Laurie Watson        
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              The Mexican Immigrant and the Violence of Scapegoating        
    By Sr. Denise Sausville, RSM [PDF Version] [Return to HomePage]

    Denise Sausville, RSM has been ministering at the U.S./Mexico border for over ten years. Denise is the founder of MercyWorks, a non-profit resource dedicated to the works of mercy beyond borders. Denise’s border work embraces concern for immigrants, deportees, and maquiladora workers, as well as the elderly poor and handicapped. Denise is also a volunteer at ARISE, a community development agency that serves new immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Denise Sausville brings a theological, spiritual, and ethical perspective to her reflections on immigration.

    "Part of the process of conversion of mind and heart deals
    with confronting attitudes of cultural superiority, indifference, and
    racism; accepting migrants not as forboding aliens, and terrorists,
    or economic threats, but rather as persons with dignity and rights,
    revealing the presence of Christ." Strangers No Longer, USCCB, 2003


    We all know about the violence that is now rife in every Mexican border town. Drug cartels are staking out their territories in nearly every colonia with mafia-style extortion and intimidation of small businesses along with shootouts within school zones. Twelve year old children attracted by money wear hoods and carry rifles in service of the gang. Kidnapping and extortion of immigrant (Central Americans) and citizen families of every income level are commonplace. The everyday lives of the community have been disrupted significantly. Persons do not feel free to move about. Indeed, the population of northern Mexico is a people under siege.

    In the meantime, the US side of the border, the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas is a more subtle reflection of its Mexican neighbors. Human trafficking, or slavery, is unveiled in the discovery along Valley towns of whole houses full of kidnapped persons. Gang-members on both sides of the border partner in the trafficking of drugs. “Gentlemen’s Clubs” are proliferating throughout the Rio Grande Valley, where prostitution and trafficking of women are slippery issues which are hoodwinked by local law enforcement officials. All of this violence on both sides of the border is part of an overall industry that services the addictions and greed of both Mexican and US citizens. In the meantime, immigrants are caught in the crossfire.

    The major point of the reflections in this paper, however, is about a violence that is both subtle and creeping, like the kudzu plant that overtakes whole counties while we are sleeping. The violence I am talking about is the violence of scapegoating, of racial profiling, and the more recent violence since 9/11 in which the image of the immigrant has become fused with the image of the criminal. Yes, I believe that much of the public no longer views those migrating from the south as simply field workers, low-wage construction workers, and people working in the service industries—persons seeking education for their children and a better life for their families—contributors to our economy and our society. Rather, the physical evidence of the militarization of our southern border including a wall, an army of foot soldiers (the border patrol, the national guard, and minutemen), along with infrared technology, drones and helicopters—tells us that not only drug-runners and traffickers of people, but also immigrants have become the enemy, because they are often times treated the same. This kind of xenophobia objectifies and dehumanizes the immigrant, making it easier for the general population to scapegoat him, holding him responsible for many of our social ills and economic problems, and now criminalizing him.

    This paper will take a look at the phenomenon of scapegoating. Webster’s College Dictionary defines the scapegoat as “a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.” The focus of this paper is on documented and undocumented economic migrants from the south, specifically on new Mexican immigrants who represent the largest significant group immigrating into the United States in recent history. It is also the group with which the author has the most personal experience, having lived and worked on both the U.S. and Mexican sides of the Rio Grande River The methodology of the cycle of see-judge/discern-act, or ver-juzgar/discernir-actuar will be used in this paper as a way to track the conversion process which must take place for those who wish to involve themselves in pastoral work with new immigrants.


    The eyes are like the lamp of the body.
    If your eyes are sound, then your whole body will be full of light. (Mt. 6:22)

    Lord, that I may see. (Mk. 10:51)

    The lead quote in this paper refers to a conversion of mind and heart. To step out into this journey of conversion requires that we first of all see concretely what is going on around us. When we truly see, which in the context of this paper means to draw on both the dimensions of mind and heart, a shift in consciousness takes place in which we ourselves become emigrants, as we encounter new and unknown territories that take us out of our comfort zones.


    There is nothing that helps us get an inside take on a situation more than a story. Individual stories help us to know the inner experience of persons who are otherwise abstract statistics on a graph in a report in the New York Times. Or, as with reporters and talk show hosts such as Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh the immigrant is made into an object on which hate and fear can be projected so that we don’t have to do the homework of looking at ourselves. In his article, “Why Would People Migrate,” John J. Savant claims that “In attempting to understand what is just, we have to imagine real persons and their concrete situations.”

    The Story of Juan

    I met Juan during one of my regular forays to an immigrant shelter in a Mexican border town across from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. For eight years I had done volunteer work at the shelter where I had witnessed migrations of emigrants from the south of Mexico and Central America heading to the United States. After 9/ll, shelter staff began witnessing a gradual trend in which fewer and fewer immigrants seemed to be coming from the south and heading north with the intention of crossing the river. There are various reasons for this. One is because of stricter border enforcement on the U.S. side. Another is the frequency of kidnapping, extortion, and other abuse—sometimes even leading to murder, of Central American immigrants during their passage through Mexico. Instead of large numbers of immigrants heading north, in the past two years, shelter personnel were seeing greater numbers of deportees, persons who had been deported from U.S. prisons and deportation centers back into Mexico. The options for these persons were either to keep heading south, back to their people, or attempt to re-enter the United States, with the risk of apprehension and capture, long prison terms, and a second deportation. Hiring a coyote to guide and “protect” the immigrant in his return north would cost him and/or his family up to $4,000, with no guarantees.

    “I don’t know what I’m doing here”, said Juan in perfect English with
    little accent.

    “But, you do know that you’re in a shelter, right?” I said.

    “Yes, I know what this place is, and I know that I’m in a Mexican border
    town, although I feel like I’m in some kind of war zone”.

    “How did you get here?”

    “After the long ride on the bus from the deportation center, we were dumped at the bridge and told to walk over here into this Mexican town. As soon as we set foot here in Mexico I was one of the ones who got beat-up and robbed. They took my belongings and what little cash I had. We were told by some men working on a street nearby that there was a shelter on this side of town, so we walked over here. So, I guess, here I am.”

    Though a strapping man, Juan looked fearful, tenuous, disoriented, and dazed—as though the real Juan had been left somewhere far away. Juan’s was the face of trauma the archetype of a fresh and raw deportee with a new reality looming before his eyes. I had seen many men like Juan, sometimes a hundred and twenty arriving at one time.

    “I am so sorry to hear about your experience at the bridge”, I said.

    Juan had been one of the many victims of a set-up by local Mexican police, who, when they are aware that a bus of deportees is arriving, don civilian clothes and set up ambushes. Knowing the vulnerability of deportees, and the fact that deportees don’t report their victimizations to local human rights authorities because of a fear of reprisal—these otherwise law enforcement officials boldly strip the new deportees of whatever cash or valuables they may have.

    Juan began to tell his story, explaining that less than three days before he had been living a normal life in the United States. He unfortunately was picked-up for a traffic violation and everything went downhill from there. The patrolman who had stopped him deciphered that Juan’s driver’s license was invalid, and Juan was immediately seized and put in jail. This is a common story. Although Juan may have been qualified to receive his permanent residency papers, he had probably lived with falsified documents all his life. Like many undocumented immigrants, he may not have been able to afford the lawyer’s fees and penalty or processing fees that are part of the legalization process.

    “You speak such good English,” I said, “surely you must have lived
    in the United States a long time.”

    “It’s true. I’m forty-four years old now, and I came to the United States with my parents when I was twelve. I remember very little about my life in Mexico. I was just like anybody else ‘over there’ (in the United States), I went to school, got a job, got married and had kids. I’m not supposed to be here in Mexico. I don’t know anyone in here anymore. My life is in the United States. All of my family is in the United States. Besides, I have to get back to my job.”

    “Does your family know where you are right now?” I inquired.

    “I didn’t have anything I could tell them. I didn’t know where I would go once I crossed that bridge.”

    “You can arrange to make phone calls from here. Do you have anyone in the United States who can work on your case? Can your wife get a lawyer?” I said.

    At some level, I wondered why I was even asking him these questions. Was I offering false hope? Juan didn’t have a case, really. And, even if he did, good immigration lawyers are hard to find and often very costly. Juan had committed crimes. He had been driving with a false driver’s license. He was living in the United States illegally. Juan was a criminal. To stretch it a little farther, to some, Juan might even be considered a terrorist suspect. After all, he was dark-skinned, his first language wasn’t English, he was foreign-born, and, he crossed the southern border into the United States.

    The Story of Alicia

    And, then there’s Alicia. Forty year old Alicia had entered the United States from Mexico along with her two small children and without documents some fifteen years before I met her. After entry into the United States she married and had two more children, but the marriage didn’t last. Alicia was a member of a wellness class that I had taught at a community center in a small town in Hidalgo County, South Texas. When the class ended we continued to make contact, and I was able to link Alicia to a resource person who assisted her in pursuing legal residency status.

    In visits to her home, I could see the depth of poverty she and the children were experiencing. Yet, Alicia explained that her life in Mexico was much worse, and that she had desperately wanted her children to have education and the ability to make a better life for themselves. When it rained, Alicia’s yard was mired in mud. The house was nothing more than a hovel. With no running water in the kitchen, Alicia improvised by running a hose through the window to the kitchen sink from a hook-up outside. There were no beds, only mattresses on the floor. Nonetheless, Alicia and her children were always immaculate, going off to school well-groomed and with freshly laundered clothes augmented by Alicia’s solar dryer, a clothesline.

    For income, Alicia had taken a low-paying job in the refrigeration section of a large operation that prepared lunches to be sent out to local public schools. There were always a couple of inches of water on the floor in the area where she worked, and Alicia could not afford rubber boots. Eventually, she had to quit the job since with the cold and the damp she found herself in constant bad health. After this, she took a job scrubbing with Clorox the insides of empty industrial-size trucks after they were used to haul carrots, onions, or cabbages from the fields to warehouses. Because of the chemical fumes, and the wear-and-tear on her back, Alicia also had to let go of this job, knowing that it would be difficult to find something else.

    On a later visit to the house, Alicia proudly flashed in front of my face what looked to be an official document. She had received a letter proving that after all the paperwork she had done and fees she had scraped together, she was now officially considered a legal resident. The letter began: Dear Alicia__________, WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES.

    There was something ironic about that greeting, “Welcome to the United States.” Reading it in the circumstances in which I was standing, an Anglo and citizen from birth, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. For fifteen years Alicia had lived an unnerving way of life, a low-profile life in the shadows. She never knew if she would someday be stopped somewhere and be deported. And now, for someone who had been unwelcome, it seemed strange, almost ludicrous, when that welcome finally came. I wanted to put words in her mouth, “I’ve been here all this time, but you didn’t want to know my story. I was working for you all this time in the shadows. I am giving to you (baby boomers) four good workers to subsidize your social security. I am not what you think, I wanted to be a citizen, I wanted to contribute.”

    In Alicia’s story, we can see her persistence, and what measures some immigrants take so that their children might encounter opportunity where there was no opportunity. Some scholars go so far as to posit a Darwinian theory that the persons who emigrate illegally are some of the most intelligent, strong, resilient and resourceful people that could be found in their countries of origin. Having personally heard many first-hand stories of immigrant crossings, and knowing many new immigrants myself, I believe this is true.

    After receiving her residency papers, Alicia obtained a scholarship to a massage therapy school, where she earned the top grades in her class. Her two older boys who are now legal residents work in a mechanic shop and on an oil rig, while her two younger daughters who are citizens are pulling excellent grades in school.

    The Story of Sylvia

    Forty-five year old Sylvia was someone I met when my office was located in a community center close to an industrial bridge leading over to the Mexican side of the border. Always animated and quite gifted in her ability to decorate and produce handicrafts of every kind, an extrovert and interested in learning, (she took every English class offered at the center,) Sylvia exhibited a high motivation to work. Now divorced, Sylvia had entered the United States illegally eighteen years previously with her then husband. She later bore three children each in different states where her husband had migrated to find work.

    Some years later, after her divorce, Sylvia was ecstatic when she finally found work sitting with an elderly infirm couple who were able to pay her five dollars an hour. Besides caring for the elderly couple, both were wheelchair bound, her work included cleaning the house and preparing a noon meal. This little bit of salary helped Sylvia and her family to tread an economic tightrope that would keep them from going deeper below the poverty line. Sylvia received high marks from the elderly couple’s middle class professional children on the work she had done for their parents. Because of ill health, the couple needed to be moved to a skilled nursing facility. During the long time between jobs, Sylvia cleaned houses here and there for a couple of years. At one juncture, she took a job at a local restaurant, where the owner told her that she wouldn’t receive a salary, that she could only receive her tips. Being constantly placed to serve a section of the restaurant where there were few customers, Sylvia began to feel abused by this system, and she quit work. She tried working at a cleaner, but was ill-treated there also, and the conditions were very poor. After a long search she was connected to another elderly couple where she continues to work. The positive side of Sylvia’s story is that her three teen-age children are in a magnet school, and are college bound.

    Sylvia has a real gift for working with the elderly and this has great implications for America’s baby boomers. In a recent phone call from an elderly friend from a northern state, I heard her discuss her concern about her long term retirement plans. “What am I going to do if Gary and I become incapacitated? Who will take care of us? We don’t want to leave our home to live in a facility.” “Beats me, I said. If my friend Sylvia were documented, she could come up and help you out. As it is, she’d never get through the checkpoint.” Not only that, I thought, but if Sylvia were documented she could demand just wages, too.

    The above stories are common stories, with the exception that immigrant women are often far more isolated than immigrant men who often work in crews. Immigrant women often cannot drive, they don’t have significant connections, including extended family, that can help them find employment. They are often charged with the care of young children

    Now that our eyes are a bit more open to the outer reality of the life of the immigrant, let us look at aspects of the system of immigration itself, by examining some recent laws and policies regarding undocumented immigrants.

    Laws and Enforcement Policies

    Persons working in ministries with and for immigrants throughout the United States are well aware of the escalation of laws and policies governing undocumented persons. Communities at our southern border see physical signs daily of activity involving border patrol wagons, the wall, helicopters and drones that is directed toward a drug war, yes, but also decidedly toward keeping the “alien” out. The draconian anti-immigrant laws instituted in the State of Arizona have leaked over into other states. Texas alone recently passed SB 9 which is directed toward “secure communities,” but which in essence “reduces safety for all Texans by undermining the authority of law enforcement officials to police their communities.” Texas also passed a voter ID law that requires that voters who appear at the polls must produce a photo ID or proof of citizenship. This legislation penalizes groups of people who already struggle to make their voices heard within our society.

    At the federal level, now at stake is the 14th Amendment, which guarantees the right of citizenship to all who are born in the United States. A proposal forwarded by senators from Kentucky and Louisiana looks to amending the U.S. Constitution “to require that children born in America be considered citizens only if they have at least one parent who is a citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or an active member of the military.”

    My own experience of the escalation of recent anti-immigrant laws and policies comes through my contacts with immigrants who have been affected by the lack of due process and the lack of reading of one’s rights in the deportation process. I have known stories of local persons whose motor vehicles have been stopped for no reason other than racial profiling. Through a Sisters of Mercy Immigrant Advocacy Group, I hear horror stories of the conditions of jails and for-profit deportation centers where undocumented immigrants are held with criminals, and some for months at a time before a hearing. To counter this, the U.S. Bishops both caution and plead that “Any enforcement measures must be targeted, proportional, and humane.”

    That the undocumented immigrant has been criminalized is a fact. I believe that this phenomenon is, in part, a consequence of post 9/11 paranoia which has inadvertently fused in the minds of the American public “the image of the immigrant at our southern border” with “the image of the terrorist”. It is ironic that the 9/11 terrorists themselves crossed the northern border from Canada to enter the United States.

    The Person in the Pew

    In the meantime, ordinary Catholics are unaware that their own Church is addressing the issue of immigration as it unfolds. Recognizing the complexities surrounding the issue of the undocumented, the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States drafted a document that includes five principles that underlie their positions on comprehensive immigration reform. One of the five principles states that “persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.” The Bishops acknowledge the impact of globalization, including the unfair balance wrought by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) , which has displaced 1.3 million agricultural workers in the south of Mexico. The Bishops recognize that the root causes of migration exist in the global underdevelopment of the migrant’s country of origin, and that the ultimate solution to migration issues lies in the development of these countries. In the meantime, the Bishops acknowledge that the dignity of the human person must be respected.

    It is now time to harmonize policies on the movement of peoples,
    particularly in a way that respects the human dignity of the
    migrant and recognizes the social consequences of globalization.

    The Bishops insist on the dignity of the immigrant and they add that he is to be seen as “the presence of Christ,” who himself was a migrant at several junctures throughout his lifetime. “For the bishops”, says Andrew Rivas, the Executive Director of the Texas Catholic Conference, “the issue of immigration is not simply a political one, but a moral issue that impacts human rights and the very life and dignity of the human person.”
    Significant work has been done by the U.S. Catholic bishops, in particular, who have made consistent efforts toward forwarding comprehensive immigration reform.

    As our journey of conversion takes us to unknown territories where we hear stories of Mexican immigrants, become familiar with recent anti-immigrant laws and policies, and hear for perhaps the first time the prophetic voices of our Bishops on this topic, we hopefully begin to sense a small shift in consciousness. This shift is what I call seeing. It can be an uncomfortable place to dwell, yet we must dwell in it, since it is the uncomfortability born of new consciousness that can move us to the next place.

    PART II: JUDGE/JUZGAR; Discern/Discernir

    A second important movement in the conversion process is that of discerning. Discerning is the effort we exert to make discriminations about what is really happening. It is making a decision about how we want to view something, what we want to believe about it, or what standards we want to use to evaluate it. Discerning involves landing at a certain place on a certain issue, in this case on the issue of immigration. The kind of discerning we are talking about in this paper requires letting-go of all pre-conceptions and assumptions in order to be truly free to judge.

    ….and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Jn.8:32)

    The History of Immigration in the United States

    Recently, I was starkly dumbfounded, not knowing how really naive I was, to find scathing caricatures of the Mexican immigrant in blogs following an on-line article in our local newspaper. The article was about a new Investors Pilot Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Under the program, Mexican nationals willing to invest more than $500,000 in U.S. enterprises would be granted permanent residency. The plethora of negative comments on this article were not objecting to the fact that the program only addressed wealthy Mexicans, without acknowledging the economic contributions of the many Mexicans who are already working here, but rather the comments were directed toward Mexicans in general. Respondants characterized their brothers from south of the border as, “lowlifes”, “parasites”, “problems”, and “cowards” to name a few. One blogger commented, “We don’t want them here!!!! Well…maybe their fiestas.” These kinds of diatribes would be devastating commentaries, except that they are nothing new. Mexican immigrants constitute the latest wave within a history of waves of immigrant groups entering the United States. Every significant new wave or group that has come here in the past century, including Italians, Slavs, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, and more—have been called names similar to those given by our bloggers, and worse. This is not to condone these awful slurs, but rather it is to point out that there is something at work when a new group arrives at our shores (or borders)—when there is a need to somehow characterize or define the new group in certain ways. I want to say that what is at work is a kind of violence that undermines, that leaves little room for the immigrant group to redeem themselves in the eyes of the new country until they are totally assimilated into the new culture and a second group comes behind them only to be as downgraded as the previous group.

    In an article entitled, “Unwanted: Immigration and Nativism in America”, by Peter Schrag, the author notes that nativism, zenophobia, and racism are not new in America, or in other countries. “What makes them significant in America is that they run counter to the nation’s founding ideals…[and] ideas in the founding documents…to be a nativist in this country…[is] to be in conflict with its fundamental tenets.’ [Emphasis mine.] The nativist is one who is always evaluating; ‘Who belongs here.’ They have been known to come up with the idea that only a certain kind of people belong, such as pure Anglo-Saxons (if these exist anymore), or people of northern European descent. Or, could we “include ‘inferior’ people, such as Southern Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Jews, or Chinese,” which was a major question during the nineteenth century. Nativist Benjamin Franklin even wrestled with the issue of whom to allow in and whom to shut out, when he “warned that Pennsylvania was becoming ‘a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them and will never adopt our Language or Customs any more than they can acquire our Complexion.’”

    Recently, I heard a nativist statement that was very telling. I was eating lunch with two women, one, a younger Mexican-American woman who had had her citizenship papers for a number of years, and the other, an older Anglo-American. During the meal I commented that I wished I had a tortilla, so that I could make a taco with the food on my plate. This followed with a discussion about food, and the Anglo woman stated, “We Americans can make a sandwich out of anything.” Did she mean that Anglos are American and sandwiches are American? If so, it would mean that if Benjamin Franklin were here today, he might ask, “What will happen when the Mexicans Mexicanize us instead of our Anglifying them?” What will we do when the taco replaces the sandwich the way that salsa has replaced ketchup? This is the fear that is wrought by a nativist mentality.

    Nativism—What makes a citizen?

    Historically, immigration issues began coming to the fore in the 1880’s after the closing of the western frontier, which had served as a safety valve to assuage many social problems. Schrag claims that in the early decades of the Twentieth Century congressional debates were centered around the concern that, “In the face of inferior, low-skill, low-wage but high-fecundity [child bearing] classes from Southern and Eastern Europe, demoralized Anglo-Saxons would bring fewer children into the world to face that new competition.” Beneath these early fears, we can hear xenophobia and racism targeted at what were then the latest wave of immigrants. Today these same fears are at work, and are directed primarily at the undocumented Mexican immigrant.

    Yes, xenophobia and racism are still with us, and in fact are on the rise. The Southern Poverty Law Center (the SPLC) has a reputable thirty year track record for documenting the establishment and growth of hate groups around the United States. In its Intelligence Report for Spring 2011, the SPLC indicated that,

    Last year’s rise in hate groups was the latest in a trend stretching all
    the way back to the year 2,000, when the SPLC counted 602 such groups.
    Since then, they have risen steadily, mainly on the basis of exploiting the
    issue of undocumented immigration from Mexico and Central America.
    Last year, the number of hate groups rose to 1,002 from 932, a 7.5 increase
    over the previous year and a 66 percent rise since 2000.

    The report went on to indicate that antigovernment Patriot groups grew dramatically “on the basis of furious rhetoric from the right aimed at the nation’s first black president.” What the Mexican immigrant without papers is forced to face along with the exploitation of “the issue” of his undocumented status is that he, too, is a person of color. Among some hate groups skin color alone makes one a legitimate target for threats, harassment, and even death.

    ^All this information on nativism, along with zenophobia and racism, has led me to ask the question, “What, in the minds of the populace, constitutes a citizen?” Perhaps an even more important question might be, “Who defines or decides what constitutes a ‘citizen’?” From a legal perspective, the answer to this question is the INS. But, I might ask you, my reader, whether you are Hispanic, Asian, of African descent, or Anglo, when I say the word “American citizen,” what immediately comes to your mind? The answer to this question might be very telling. I present this question because of conversations I have had with citizens who do not in fact imagine themselves to be American citizens. One conversation was with a small group of Hispanic women all of whom I knew to have their citizenship papers. I now forget the topic of the conversation, but in the middle of it one of the women said, “And, then Sally who is a citizen came in to the meeting.” I knew Sally, and I knew in this instance that what the Hispanic woman was saying is that, “And, then this white, middle class professional woman, someone who is different from us, came in to the meeting.” I was pretty certain that for the speaker the word “citizen” was used here to capture “whiteness”, English-speaking, and advanced education. I said, “But, Rosa, you are an American citizen.” “I know,” she said, “but that’s different.” ^

    In the ensuing discussion I discovered that everyone in the group believed that there are “citizens” and there are citizens. The real citizens are persons who are in seats of power, have had economic advantages and connections, and have had educational opportunities, and of course are Anglo. The other kind of citizen is a low income-low opportunity person, often a person of color, and in some cases non-Engilsh speaking. I asked these women if what I perceived to be their internalization of these nativist beliefs would ever change. They replied that they thought they would always feel like second-class citizens. In a similar conversation with a thirteen year old boy who is the son of undocumented immigrant parents, the youngster claimed that one of his friends was a citizen. I said, “Yes, Jose, but you are a citizen, too.” “Yes, but that doesn’t count.”

    These two stories tell me that there are pervasive stereotypes of exactly who is a “real” American citizen, the one who is considered worthy of the bounties that this Country has to offer. The subtleness of this kind of thinking, like the creeping kudzu that I referred to earlier in this paper, is a kind of violence that can undermine the self esteem of not only the undocumented Mexican immigrant, but also whole groups of citizens within the society. This mentality, whose birthplace is the cauldron of nativism, zenophobia, and racism, is the violence that undermines and that manipulates to the advantage of dominant groups. Because it is often institutionalized, it is less visible, like low-intensity warfare.

    The Insidious Phenomenon of Scapegoating

    It is stories and experiences like those detailed in this paper that have led me to begin an investigation into the root causes of the violence of nativism, xenophobia, and racism, especially as they relate to the Mexican immigrant. There are many windows through which I could approach this topic, but for me the phenomenon of scapegoating best describes what is happening when hatred is directed toward the Mexican immigrant, or any other cultural group, in the United States.

    For those of us who are Christian, we know that Jesus himself stands as the ultimate “scapegoat-hero-messiah”, as he faces his very human pain and mortality…” But, it is the earliest description of the scapegoat in the Hebrew Scriptures that gives us stark clues as to the meaning of the scapegoat as it is used in the context of this paper.

    Then Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live
    goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of
    Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins, putting
    them on the head of the goat, and sending it away in
    the wilderness by someone designated for the task.
    Leviticus 16:21 (NRSV)

    As far back as the earliest primal cultures, the existence of the scapegoat served a useful purpose in the society. The scapegoat represents the society’s efforts to push toward wholeness by splitting-off any negative attributes of its own, and projecting these onto an object, the scapegoat. The Book of Leviticus tells us that the community projected their “iniquities”, “transgressions” and “sins” onto the head of a goat that was then led out to the wilderness, in essence taking with it the shadow side of the community. The consequence of this is that the community itself never needs to look at its own negative attributes such as its greed, slothfulness, self-righteousness, or its propensity to violence, dominance and control. These were things that now belonged to the scapegoat. This example illustrates that it is much simpler for societies to find scapegoats than for them to do the real work of coming into wholeness, which would require that they withdraw their projections from the scapegoat and allow their own negative attributes to come into consciousness. The story in Leviticus helps us to see that when a group is making projections, the projections actually speak to what exists in the group itself, and not to what exists in the scapegoat. Thus, when we see a blog that expresses that members of a certain group are “lowlifes”, “parasites”, or “cowards”, at some level the blogger is talking about himself.

    “It took me awhile to recognize the scapegoating mechanism as it operated in my own life. The clearest example I can give the reader relates to the first time that I lived singly, in housing apart from a convent of sisters. After living alone for a short while I began to notice that I was doing things around the house that I hadn’t recognized before. I noticed that I left cups of stale coffee on the kitchen counter, and stacks of bills on the desk. I failed to establish a routine and stayed up late at night, not wanting to get up in the morning. I had total control of the TV remote, which in any household is a sign of who’s in charge. I was finally free. However, what I ultimately found out about living alone was that if I was unhappy, I didn’t have anyone to blame. In living singly I could no longer have thoughts about my fellow sister such as, “If it wasn’t for her…the house would be clean, the bills would get paid on time, I could stay up as late as I wanted without waking anyone up, etc.” I could no longer project onto her that she was “controlling”, “lazy”, “messy”, and the like. Instead, I had to begin to admit that I was all these things, and I had to integrate these new found facts into my image of myself. It was a very painful process. Needless to say, most individuals and groups avoid doing this kind of work. We all like to think that we are good people beyond repute. It is much easier to find a scapegoat than to confront the negative or shadow side of our individual or group personalities.”

    Myths take jobs away…crime culpability, etc.


    In the above section on discerning, I have chosen to view immigration through the lens of the phenomenon of scapegoating. In the context of this paper scapegoating is shown to be fueled by the societal ills of nativism, zenophobia, and racism. When we understand how these processes work we are then better able to understand the dilemma of the Mexican immigrant and the struggles he or she has to face in the larger society. For us, this newfound understanding born of “mind and heart”, must now guide our decision-making and hopefully lead us into pastoral action on behalf of the Mexican immigrant. Action is the third part of the three-part conversion process of “see-discern-act”. Without action, the conversion process is incomplete. Seeing and discerning, the first two parts of the process are rendered hollow when there is no action. Below are some examples of pastoral action in behalf of the Mexican immigrant on the part of a community service group named ARISE. Scripture… you must therefore go forth and bear fruit, fruit that will last. “whatsoever you do to the least” “rise up!”


    The impact of scapegoating on new Mexican immigrants affects them most profoundly at the level of self-esteem. Already vulnerable because of the trauma of a journey that has taken them away from family, country of origin, and the familiar, the immigrant is an easy target for groups that have a need to discharge hate, or what we now know to be the shadow material of the group. The new immigrant has neither the forum nor the language to interpret himself/herself to the new culture. Besides that, the immigrant has become a stranger unto him or herself, since the secure anchors they had once known have been ripped away.

    The self-esteem of the new Mexican immigrant is also affected by the punitive law enforcement policies mentioned above in which the Mexican immigrant is profiled or criminalized. Along with this, in their everyday lives they experience exploitation by bosses, invisibility or humiliation in stores, at their childrens’ schools , and in the offices of professionals, as well. The little child of a young immigrant mother who was ill-treated by the receptionist in a doctor’s office inquired of his mother, “Mama, why don’t they like us?”

    When I think of pastoral action that addresses the self esteem of the immigrant, I think about the staff of ARISE, a program in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. ARISE, is a non-profit community service agency that is co-sponsored by two religious communities , and that functions within the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville. The agency sees itself as “neighbors, helping neighbors, in the neighborhood”. The women on the ARISE staff claim that the agency is an organization “of the people, by the people, and for the people” , the “people”, in this case being the new Mexican immigrant. What is notable is that the staff of ARISE work in the neighborhoods where they live. The staff is composed of first generation immigrants who have made their way to the United States with the same concerns, hopes and dreams as their clients. They are women who have broken through their fears and isolation in order to make a healthy adjustment to their new country. Staff members are now either U.S. residents or citizens who hold education as a high value, and who themselves have passed through hours of personal development and training in leadership and community organizing to enhance their work in local neighborhoods. Here, they visit homes, run educational programs, and organize for systemic change. The ARISE staff also work at developing cultural pride, knowing that the Mexican immigrant brings gifts to their new situation, including the values of family and community, the importance of education and celebration, their religious faith, and loyalty to their country.

    Though ARISE is a neighborhood service agency, its workers see themselves as a community of women involved in a mission that takes them beyond the realm of mere social work. Each staff member readily recognizes herself in the new immigrant who comes knocking at her door, since the staff member has herself been on a similar journey. Thus, the staff member with conviction has much hope to offer the new immigrant, who struggles with fear, depression, a sense of isolation, and economic and language issues. The ARISE worker stands as a model and an enlightened witness, a figure who for the new immigrant demonstrates in her very person possibilities for the future, and who offers the challenge to the immigrant that Jesus’ offered to the bent woman of the Gospels, “rise up!”

    Storytelling in a Safe Space

    After a difficult journey to what heretofore was an unknown land, the immigrant finds himself/herself in a state of insecurity, both in his/her surroundings, and in his/her inner life. Indeed, he/her is a stranger in a strange land. It takes trust and courage on a grand scale for him/her to begin to open up to others, to recount the story of his/her journey and his/her life. Yet it is in the telling of his/her story that he/she can begin to release feelings that have perhaps been plaguing him/her since much before the time that he/she left his/her country of origin. She/he does not yet know that the story of his/her crossing is a sacred story that needs to be told and that needs to be honored in its hearing.

    I believe that there are elements in the Mexican culture that contain important inherent kernels of healing that can hold the new immigrant in good stead. I will name two of the elements that I have observed. First of all, I perceive in both the Mexican and Mexican-American the ability to express a wide range of emotions. Whether it is great passion, the depths of despair, the height of celebration, or jealousy and anger, the culture provides permission for expression. I experience this over-against my own Anglo style of politeness, restraint, self-discipline, quieted exuberance, checked spontaneity, controlled suffering and anguish, seriousness, and task orientation. I find that my behavior is notably different when I am with Mexican and Mexican-American friends, in whose company I can let more of myself “hang-out”.

    Along with this range of emotions, a second kernel of healing I have observed in the Mexican culture shows up in group situations. When an individual is telling her story in a group, she is automatically granted whatever time she needs. No one is counting the minutes, or feeling huffy because the individual speaker is not “sharing time” with the rest of the group. Here time is not a commodity that is parceled out on an equal basis, but rather time is opened up, and it can sometimes be open ended. Time is not to restrain or contain, but rather to allow for processes to unfold naturally.

    When I think of the theme of storytelling in a safe space, I again think of the staff of ARISE. ARISE regularly conducts personal development classes for new immigrant women of the colonia communities of the Rio Grande Valley. These offerings provide safe spaces for immigrant women to come together thus breaking through the isolation that is so common in the lives of new immigrant women. In these classes, with the guidance of a staff member, women can both cry their tears, and they can take time to tell their stories. In this process, usually there is a hushedness that takes over the group. Every listener is with the speaker’s story, walking around in it, empathizing with the teller whose story so much parallels their own. Sometimes there are long silences in which the group simply sits in the sacred space constructed by the recounting of the experience. The consequence of the telling is that, no matter what the content of the story, the speaker feels valued, as the group reaches out in acceptance. However, the wisdom of the group knows that the story continues, and that the new immigrant’s journey is not over. The difference is that now there is a community walking with the new immigrant.

    The Use of Ritual and Symbol

    Part of the richness of the Catholic faith is the sacraments that it makes available to believers. However, beyond the seven sacraments that mark significant moments in our journey on earth, there are sacramental moments that occur in ordinary circumstances as points of intersection of the sacred with the divine. I believe these sacramental moments are taking place all the time, especially as I witness the effects of small gestures, occasions, and gatherings that bring healing, wholeness, and reconciliation to souls weathered by life’s inherent struggles. Participation in sacramental moments touch deeply the hearts and minds of the Mexican immigrant, since the Mexican psyche carries within it a deep understanding and need for both ritual and symbol.

    The simplest example of this is the story of Rutila. Rutila was a regular participant in the ARISE programs. Being a great cook, she often helped out with food preparation when there was a big event for the community. A single mom of a large family, Rutila was always giving. One year when the ARISE staff members realized that Rutila’s birthday was coming up, they surprised her with a cake that said, “Feliz Cumpleaños Rutila”. When the staff went to Rutila’s house to sing to her and present her with the cake, Rutila cried and cried. She couldn’t seem to stop crying, until finally she could tell the group that she had never before received a cake on her birthday, much less a cake with her name on it, Rutila. Later the little group sat down with Rutila and her children and shared the cake together. The gathering together, the cake, a symbol of the community’s love for Rutila, and the eating of the cake, brought eucharist, with a small “e” into the life of the community that day, and inherent in that eucharistic moment was healing.

    In a similar vein are the many celebrations that ARISE holds for its fin de ciclo, which is an event designed to celebrate the end of a cycle of classes, such as citizenship, English as a second language, or handicrafts. Here each woman is honored with a certificate of completion and a special dinner is held for the honorees.

    I myself was able to use ritual in a satisfactory way when working at an immigrant shelter on the Mexican side of the border. Upon my arrival at the shelter one morning, the sisters in charge of the shelter signaled to me their concern about a twenty-five year old female immigrant named Perla. Like many immigrants at the shelter, Perla had made the long and harrowing journey from the south of Mexico to its northernmost border with hopes of making entry into the United States. Her desire was to find gainful employment and to be re-united with family members who lived on the USA side. Perla arrived at the shelter only to discover upon phoning back to her village that her maternal grandmother who had raised her had died in the last couple of days. The grandmother hadn’t been sick in the past, so the announcement of her death was a great shock to Perla. There was no effective way that Perla could return to the south for the funeral, which added even more to her grief. For several days she remained depressed and mute. Nothing could console her.

    Before leaving work one day, I asked Perla if she would like some of us to have a special service honoring her grandmother. She said that she would like that, so the following morning I showed up at the shelter early, bringing with me Carmen and Josefina, two of my Mexican friends who were pastoral workers. We invited Perla and the remaining two women staying at the shelter to join us for desayuno at a downtown restaurant. At the restaurant we kept everything light, just visiting and getting to know one another. From the restaurant, we made our way to the central plaza and the main church, where there was an attractive side chapel. Here we spent time together, praying prayers for the dead, sharing scripture, and spending time in silence. Then we invited Perla to the front of the chapel and tell us the story of her grandmother. When Perla had done this, each of us walked to the front to give Perla a blessing and to offer her words of condolence. What we hadn’t known was that people had come in to the chapel and had been sitting behind us. They became part of the service, too. Later, that day I could see Perla smiling, a burden had been lifted.

    The pastoral actions of providing modeling, storytelling in a safe place, and designing rituals and using symbols that are woven into the ordinary lives of immigrant people are simple to do and are not costly. What they require is awareness of the poignant moments when small gestures can bring healing and wholeness to individuals and groups who are at a place of vulnerability as they continue to be immersed in a new land far from their loved ones.


    This paper has focused on the new Mexican immigrant who has come to the United States because of economic hardship. We began this paper with the stories of three immigrants and with information about some current laws, policies, and border security measures that cast the immigrant in the role of criminal. We went on to explore the issues of nativism, xenophobia, and racism as they feed into the overall insidious phenomenon of scapegoating. We then looked at some pastoral responses that church people could make to the plight of the new Mexican immigrant, including but certainly not limited to modeling, allowing a safe space for storytelling, and ritual and symbol. The methodology of see-discern-act was framed as a cycle that can lead the Christian to greater conversion. As we begin to be immersed in the stories of immigrants, and withdraw our preconceptions about him/her, we can begin to allow for a change of mind and heart in our stance toward him/her. A sign that the conversion process is complete is the pastoral action we have taken up on behalf of the immigrant.

    While my readers may not have the opportunity to be in direct contact with Mexican or other new immigrants, I would encourage you to become involved in advocacy and systemic change measures on behalf of immigrants. Here, our church has done an outstanding job in both its documents and its practical information, as well as its action at both the state and national levels.
    Return to Home Page


    Book and Periodicals

    Chang, Grace, Disposable Domestics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 2000.

    Chavez, Leo R., Latino Threat. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2008

    Colman, Arthur D., Up from Scapegoating: Awakening Consciousness in Groups. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications, 1995.

    Groody, Daniel G., Border of Death, Valley of Life: An Immigrant Journey of Heart and Spirit. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002.

    Kaufman,Stephen R., M.D., Guided by the Faith of Christ: Seeking to Stop Violence and Scapegoating. Cleveland, Ohio: Vegetarian Advocates Press, 2008.

    Rodriguez, Richard, “What a Wall Won’t Stop,” Viva Mercy Magazine,

    Savant, John J., “Why Would People Migrate?”, America Magazine, October 26, 2009.

    Schrag, Peter, “Unwanted: Immigration and Nativism in America”, Immigration Policy Center, Perspectives, September 2010.

    Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States. Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2003

    Websites An official website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which features a range of informational and educational materials. An excellent series of policy papers called, Perspectives. The Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA)
    A statewide network of community organizations with allies in the business, law enforcement, and religious sectors, dedicated to the support of immigration reform. Southern Poverty Law Center. One of their tasks is to document statistics and activities of hate groups in the United States. The Texas Catholic Conference, sponsored by the Catholic Bishops of Texas, keeps track of state legislation that impacts various issues, including immigration.

    ***All rights reserved by the Mexican American Catholic College

              wobjr83055 on (Unpublished) Aquatic Ape Hypothesis; Rethinking; of Human Evolution.        
    Alternative Knowledge: is defined as “information rooted in mainstream science, but in areas normally kept from public discussion because they cast doubt on the currently accepted paradigms and dogmas of the mainstream.”
                                                                                          -Lloyd Pye-


      Aquatic Ape Hypothesis; the Miocene Epoch “Planet of the Apes”                                           Rethinking; of Human Evolution.
                                    By Wendell O. Belfield, Jr.
                        Optidose Orthomolecular Nutritional Advocate
                            Copyright© 2017 Wendell O. Belfield, Jr.

    "I have come to the understanding that the science that we were taught takes us but a distance towards the truth." 

                                                                                 Dana Scully, X-Files


    “Humans have been around for tens of billions of years.  They are all over the place out there and migrate from world to world.  Humans were originally aquatic which accounts for many of their unusual characteristics which seem inadequate for life on the surface.  Aquatic humans still exist in the oceans of other worlds and lived in the oceans of earth until the end of the ice age.  There are rumors that some still do.”

                                                                   -Anonymous Remote Viewer-


        Darwinian evolution lays claim to the following; “all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce”. Up until now there have been several theories as to how evolution is initiated. In the past it has been proposed that radioactive substances, gamma rays, x-rays, or certain chemicals cause mutations which are considered a necessary part of evolution. There are many kinds of mutations. The three main mutations are 1) Point mutation (one base is substituted or changed into another base. 2) Deletion mutation (a base is deleted from the DNA sequence shifting all of the other bases. 3) Insertion mutation (a base is inserted into the DNA sequence shifting all of the other bases.). It is important to keep in mind that genes do not operate in a nutritive vacuum.

        The science of Orthomolecular nutrition (In 1968 Dr. Linus Pauling defined Orthomolecular therapy as the following; "Orthomolecular therapy consists in the prevention and treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally present.") has demonstrated that the underlying basis of evolution is a nutritionally changing environment. The ultimate survival of a species depends on how efficiently the intake of micronutrients are utilized. The following statement from the United States Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California supports the previous comment; “A person’s genes determines how their body absorbs and uses nutrients.”  The science of Orthomolecular nutrition is all-important in determining whether a species will survive or go extinct.

        Dr. Hans Selye (1907- 1982) is acknowledged as the "Father" of the field of stress research, was an Austrian-Hungarian/Canadian endocrinologist. He was the first to give a scientific explanation for biological stress. On the authority of Dr. Selye there are two major components to biological stress. They are the nervous system and the endocrine (hormonal) system. The three stages of Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome stress model are the following: 1) Alarm Reaction (AR). This refers to the organism’s immediate action to the stressor. 2) Stage of Resistance or Stage of Adaptation. Does the organism adapt to the stressor. In this case the stressor can be starvation. 3) Stage of Exhaustion or Extinction.  This is the ability of the organism’s immune system to resist disease.

        Dr. Selye’s, General Adaptive Syndrome stress model can be considered the number-one stimulus of evolutionary mutagenesis (is a process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed in a stable manner, resulting in a mutation). The science of Orthomolecular nutrition used as an adjunct with Han’s Selye’s GAS, can disclose whether a species has been selected for continuous evolution or doomed for extinction.

        The accuracy of the General Adaptive Syndrome stress model can be evaluated by the following statement. The core principle in Darwinian evolution is when a species can successfully maintain a level of optimum nutrition; this will ensure the passing of their genes to their offspring’s.  Those species who cannot sustain a level of optimum nutrition will not have the privilege to reproduce because their nutritive deficiencies will make them susceptible to debilitating diseases (stage #3 of Han’s Selye’s, General Adaptive Syndrome). This is the first time that the science of Orthomolecular nutrition has been elevated to the forefront to provide a detailed understanding of the forces of Darwinian evolution.

        It is quite unusual that a consensus is shared among two bitter scientific rivals. Among alternative and conventional science groups there is a general agreement that the aquatic ape hypothesis espoused by marine biologist Alister Hardy, Elaine Morgan, Desmond Morris and former NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) scientist Dr. Paul Robertson has no place in discussions concerning human evolution.  The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the aquatic ape hypothesis was not only plausible but did occur during the course of human evolution. AAH had great significance in the evolution of humans.  The General Adaptive Syndrome and the Science of Orthomolecular Nutrition (SOON) are used to provide a new analysis to the aquatic ape hypothesis. When GAS-SOON is used as means to analyze the mechanism of human evolution it will become quite apparent that nutrition is a major factor in the process of evolutionary change.

        The Miocene named by Sir Charles Lyell is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period. The Miocene epoch extended from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago. During this epoch, apes experienced their greatest divergence, it is thought that as many as 30 to 100 species existed, inhabiting extensive regions of Africa, Asia, and Europe.  During the Late Miocene, climatic changes that increased seasonality (and gradually replaced many forests with grasslands) and competition from an ever increasing number of monkey species caused a decline in the diversity of ape species.

        With the large migration of apes throughout the world it is quite possible that they inhabited just about all environmental niches. For instance, even though it has never been officially discussed in academic circles, there may have been flying apes, actually gliding apes.  It is known that some species of apes like the gibbons practice the technique of brachiation (a form of arboreal locomotion in which primates swing from tree limb to tree limb using only their arms.). With a few micro evolutionary modifications brachiation may have given way to a form of gliding from tree to tree. This would be similar to the evolution of gliding squirrels.

        It is quite plausible that there may have been two kinds of aquatic apes.  Just like there are two kinds of porpoises, fresh water or river porpoises and the more popular marine or seawater porpoises. Since porpoises are mammals just like the apes and they occupied both freshwater and sea water environments. There is reason to believe that apes could have exploited similar water environments like the porpoises. About 18 million years ago the true evolutionary history of man began in the warm coastal waters around the Southern hemisphere with the coastal aquatic ape.  The focus of this paper will be on marine apes.

        Near the middle or end of the Miocene epoch environmental pressures such as scarcity of food and the quality of food (GAS; Stage #2, Stage of Resistance or Stage of Adaptation) was influencing the evolution of Australopithecus. The competition for scarce food resources among the troop of Australopithecines was at times deadly.  During these stressful times in order to keep these troops as fit as possible, those individuals who were considered  nonproductive  with regards to acquiring food and breeding unfit offspring became cast offs from their respective troops. This practice was put to use to increase the troop’s chances for survival during harsh times. The discarding of nonproductive individuals was a common practice among the Australopithecine’s, after a time there would be a sizable population of Australopithecine “outcasts.”  These Outnoicine’s (outcasts/hominoids/Australopithecines) had a poor diet (GAS; Stage #2). It was common for these ragtag troops to go days without food. When searching for food they often found themselves encroaching into a rival’s territory only to be immediately rebuffed.

       Eating on the run was a habit of the Outnoicine’s. In their weakened state the Outnoicine’s did not fare well in direct confrontations with rival troops of Australopithecine’s especially when there were sparse food resources. It can be surmised that do to an inadequate diet these ragtag troops were malnourished. This lifestyle led them to be in poor health and to be developmentally retarded physically and mentally. The primary means of increasing their troop size was not an increase in the birth rate but by absorbing other Outnoicine’s.  If it wasn’t for a prolonged period at GAS; Stage #2: Stage of Resistance or Stage of Adaptation these Outnicine’s would have entered GAS; Stage #3: Stage of Exhaustion or Extinction. Instead of entering Stage #3 they continued to adapt through the activation of the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule. The activation of this enzyme at Stage #2 allowed the Outnoicine’s to internally synthesize ascorbic acid which would protect them from not only scurvy but from other sub-clinical scurvy related diseases.

        For millions of years the troops of Australopithecine Outnoicine’s were gradually being forced out from the prime regions of the tropical forests and grasslands. Eventually they found themselves being forced to the outer fringes of these lands. In the final expulsion; they finally ran out of real estate. They were banished to the coastlines. This nutritive deficient troop finally reached their biochemical stress related threshold. This is when the General Adaptation Syndrome conceived by Hans Selye MD determines whether a short-term and long-term reaction to stress affects the reactivation or deactivation of the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule.   

        Short-term stress [(GAS; Stage #1; Alarm Reaction (AR)], would not  activate the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule for the internal biosynthesis of ascorbic acid because external or environmental sources of ascorbic acid are still readily available for maintaining health.  Long-term reactions to stress, (GAS; Stage #2; Stage of Resistance or Stage of Adaptation,) will facilitate the internal synthesis of ascorbic acid, the reason being that there are little or no environmental sources of ascorbic acid to maintain health.  In summary the General Adaptation Syndrome does the following it influences an organism’s rate of evolutionary change and influences whether an organism’s short-term or a long-term reaction to stress activates or deactivates the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule.

         The last phase for this troop of Australopithecine Outnoicine’s came when evolution selected them as no longer fit, (GAS; Stage #3; Stage of Exhaustion or Extinction). The L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule was deactivated. The Outnoicines were no longer able to internally synthesize ascorbic acid. They now became vulnerable to a whole range of sub-clinical scurvy type diseases. As the curtain of extinction was descending something remarkable happened.  A few individuals from this dying troop turned death into a fighting chance to live when they discovered a nutritious and plentiful food source on the coastal shores that they didn’t have to compete for.  This undernourished and hypoascorbemic troop of Australopithecine’s, fortuitously came upon an unlimited supple of coastal crustaceans.  This consisted of crabs, lobster, crayfish, shrimp and krill. The nutritive value for 100 grams of crustacean’s for this brand new subspecies, the semi-aquatic Australopithecines(it is reasonable to assume these semi-aquatic Australopithecines ate more than 100 grams of crustaceans in- one- sitting) versus the tropical diet of land dwelling Australopithecines was equal to or in the best of times exceeded the nutritive intake of their land dwelling cousins. 

        The situation described above has to be considered more of an exception than the rule. GAS: stage #3 is curtains or the end for the majority of species on Earth. In the normal course of evolution all living things die off. The Australopithecines Outnoicines serendipitously found themselves in favorable circumstances when they were forced into their new coastline environment.  They immediately exploited an untapped food source.  This propelled them up from GAS; stage #3 to Stage #2 and eventually to GAS; stage #1. As a rule Darwinian evolution functions in descending not ascending stages.

        This new diet was instrumental in the rejuvenation of the Outnoicine’s. This once pathetic troop of Australopithecines was now evolving to adapt to their new surroundings.  Micro evolutionary changes were now being initiated for them to become specialized to a semi-aquatic environment. As they became more specialized their diet would expand to include marine fish. They would still retain enough of their terrestrial roots. On rare occasions when they would find their diet of crustaceans lacking, they would climb sea cliffs to raid the nesting seabirds of their eggs.

                        Nutritive Value of 100 grams of Crustaceans


                 Vitamins                                                      Minerals   

           1. Vitamin A---53 IU                                     1. Calcium---27 mg

           2. Vitamin B-9---37 mg                                 2. Iron------.84 mg

           3. Vitamin E----2.85 mg                                3. Potassium--302 mg

           4. Vitamin B-6---1 mg                                  4. Magnesium---27 mg

           5. Vitamin B-12---2 ug                                 5. Phosphorus---256 mg

           6. Vitamin C----1.2 grams                             6. Sodium----58 mg

           7. Vitamin K----1 ug                                     7. Zinc----1.3 mg

           8. Vitamin B-1-----.07 mg

           9. Vitamin B-2-----.03 mg

          10. Vitamin B-5-----54 mg

          11. Vitamin B-9-----37 ug


        Two times unshared Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and Irwin Stone PhD speculated that when L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule was turned off this may have accelerated the development of neural pathways, meaning rapid brain development. The good luck that was seemingly bestowed upon the Australopithecine Outnoicine’s provided them with an uninterrupted source of omega three fatty acids that they once had in their tropical environment. A marine diet rich in omega three fatty acids would augment the further development of their brain.  With an overall better diet it would seem likely that the brain development of the semi-aquatic apes was increasing at an alarming rate, than for the land dwelling apes that had to contend with food scarcity and temporary starvation. With better nutrition the semi-aquatic coastal apes experienced a baby boom. These new generations of semi-aquatic apes were healthier, bigger and smarter than their parents and their land dwelling cousins. Overtime a small troop of these semi-aquatic apes would venture farther and deeper into the coastal waters for food. This additional adaptation made sure that they would never again experience food scarcity and starvation.  

        As their brains grew the semi-aquatic ape’s behavior became more complex. They began to demonstrate complex communication skills such as rudimentary language. This complex behavior allowed them to conduct periodic foraging raids on their ancient ancestral lands. Having multi-faceted communication skills allowed these semi-aquatic apes to function efficiently on both land and sea environments. This ability made them a formidable adversary to terrestrial Australopithecines. These semi-aquatic apes were stealthy on land. When venturing into the tropical forests/grasslands they took whatever food they wanted, with hardly any altercations from the terrestrial Australopithecines. Their audacity gave notice to the terrestrials that a new evolved species has come to power and is going to make changes. This behavior kept them in contact with their inland origins. Later on this behavior would serve them well when the oceans started to recede.

         The Pleistocene Epoch is defined as the period of time that began about 1.8 million years ago and lasted about 11,700 years ago. The most recent Ice Age is sometimes referred to as the Quaternary glaciation (Quaternary period) or the Pleistocene glaciation. This geological period took place during the last 100,000 years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 12,000 years ago.  As glaciers covered vast parts of the planet Earth the oceans receded, exposing land that was once covered by the oceans. Some semi-aquatic Australopithecines adjusted to the retreating oceans by going farther out from the coastlines into deeper waters for their food (GAS; stage #2; Stage of resistance or Stage of adaptation.). These semi-aquatic apes were going through micro-evolutionary changes to become totally aquatic. Their land dwelling days were over. In time, these aquatic apes would become eminently adapted for a pelagic existence.

         What was previously described took millions of years to accomplish.  These semi aquatic apes were experiencing biochemical and physiological micro-evolutionary changes. Those apes that were very efficient in metabolizing their micronutrients were to experience the full effect of evolutionary change. Efficiency in metabolizing micronutrients allowed a splinter group from the semi-aquatic apes to sustain minimal stress at General Adaptive Syndrome; stage #1 AR/Alarm Reaction. Take into account that minimal stress is normal, an absence of stress means you’re no longer living! As a result, long intervals at stage #1 allowed beneficial micro-evolutionary changes to be made on these semi-aquatic apes. Changes in their anatomy and physiology allowed the apes to become specialized for a marine existence.  1) Webbing between fingers (other primates don’t have this), 2) Subcutaneous fat (insulating from cold water), 3) Control over breath (humans can hold breath up to 20 minutes, longer than any other terrestrial animal), 4) Loss of body hair (hair creates drag in water), 5) Instinctive ability to swim (human babies are able to do this). 6) A highly developed brain, which depends on nutrients provided by having a marine diet.

        The rate of evolution for those semi-aquatic apes that were not as efficient as the aquatic apes in metabolizing their micronutrients was slower. These less efficient apes would never complete their evolutionary change for a permanent marine existence, they remained semi-aquatic. The evolutionary fate of these semi-aquatic apes would be determined at either GAS; stage #2; Stage of resistance or Stage of adaptation or stage #3; Stage of exhaustion or extinction.

       The aquatic apes evolved into a species that became specialized to a marine existence, they would be exposed to new stressful conditions never before encountered. The General Adaptation Syndrome; stage #1; Alarm Reaction (AR) would be appropriate in describing the new environmental pressures these aquatic apes would be encountering.  Decompression illness (includes nitrogen narcosis, high pressure nervous syndrome, oxygen toxicity, pulmonary barotrauma/burst lung) would be important environmental challenges while in deep waters. The alarm reaction experienced would have been an increase in heart rate and hormonal activity. The GAS; stage #2 activation of the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule would have been an immediate solution to Decompression illness. The ability to internally synthesize ascorbic acid would play a crucial role in negating the effects of oxygen toxicity.  Without the ability to internally synthesize ascorbic acid these aquatic apes would descend to General Adaptation Syndrome; stage #3; stage of Exhaustion or extinction.  The inability to cope with decompression illness would surely have led to their extinction.

        The receding oceans were a result of the Ice Age. The main group, the semi-aquatic apes found themselves gradually going back to their ancient ways, a terrestrial existence. The coastal areas were no longer a major source for food. While the Semi-aquatic Australopithecus was in the process of re-claiming their ancient past as land dwellers, the forces of evolution were in the process of exerting anatomical and physiological micro-evolutionary changes which gave rise to the macro-evolution of a new species of hominoid called Homo erectus.  As Homo erectus was completing its transformation to a land existence, millions of years later evolution would once again execute another important macro-evolutionary change. Homo erectus evolved into Homo Heidelbergensis.

         Homo Heidelbergensis retained their 48 chromosomes from their ape ancestors. With this number of chromosomes it is suspected that these hominoids needed an optimum level of nutrition to sustain their high metabolism. The ancient marine diet that once saved their ancestors from extinction had enough calories to sustain their metabolism, but they no longer had access to that kind of diet

        As Homo Heidelbergensis continued to migrate inland they experienced weather extremes that caused droughts and famines (GAS; stage#2; Stage of resistance/Stage of adaptation).  In these environmental extremes they could not sustain an optimum level of nutrition. The continued exposure to dietary deficiencies increased the vulnerability of these hominoids to a whole range of diseases (GAS; stage #3; Stage of exhaustion or extinction). There had to have been sub-groups of Homo Heidelbergensis that succumbed to stage #3 of the General Adaptive Syndrome stress model.

       The repeated exposure to environmental extremes during the existence of Homo Heidelbergensis made them a “bad weather” hominoid. Unfortunately, in order to minimize their stress they did not have the ability synthesize their own ascorbic acid.  An ever increasing accumulation of micro-evolutionary mutations damaged the niacin (B3) DNA repair process. These frameshift mutations were deleterious. Those sub groups of Homo Heidelbergensis at stage #3 continued to die off.  Sub groups at stage #2 were more genetically resilient than the previous subgroup. The biochemistry of this subgroup of Homo Heidelbergensis was efficient in how their body absorbed and utilized nutrients.  Frameshift mutations (a genetic mutation caused by a deletion or insertion in a DNA sequence that shifts the way the sequence is read. Frameshift mutations may be beneficial, deleterious, or lethal ) at stage #2 was beneficial. The stage #2 subgroups were fortunate to have enough favorable micro-evolutionary changes to diverge into a new species of hominoid. This new species was Homo Neanderthalensis.

        The Neanderthals were the first to branch off from the Homo Heidelbergensis line; in the future there would be two additional (questionable) branches off this line.   They would be Cro Magnon (hominoid) and Homo sapiens (Hominid). The question that seems to be deliberately avoided by mainstream science is the following; are Cro Magnon and Homo sapiens part of the normal evolutionary flow on this planet? It is generally accepted that periods of long duration either at stage #1 or Stage #2 prompted the reactivation of the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule which is crucial for the internal biosynthesis of ascorbic acid. The internal synthesis of ascorbic acid continues to be a major factor in the success of Homo Neanderthalensis.

         With 48 chromosomes, studies have shown that the Neanderthal anatomical structures, especially their large brain needed more energy to survive than any other species of hominoids (except for the Cro Magnon’s). Their energy needs were up to 100–350 calories more per day compared to modern human males weighing 68.5 kg (151.0 lbs.) and females 59.2 kg (130.5 lbs.).  The demands of having a high caloric intake were not met when food became scarce. The scarcity of food with a high caloric content may have played a major role in the decline of Neanderthals but not their extinction (Stage#2; Stage of Resistance/Stage of Adaptation, GAS). 

        The conventional image of the Neanderthals is of a short stocky hominoid, clad in animal skins, trekking across vast expanses of ice in a desperate search to find food. This is the long established image that comes to mind when we think about the Ice Age. Such stereotypes are false because there were probably several different types of Neanderthals ranging in size, height and weight.

        The average temperature of the earth during this glacial period was 49 degrees Fahrenheit. During this period the colder regions of Earth was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit or less. The late Lloyd Pye one of the pioneers of alternative knowledge had postulated that the Neanderthals wearing animal skins could not keep warm in temperatures ranging from 12 degrees Fahrenheit or below.  Pye states that in excavation sites where Neanderthals were thought to have inhabited there has been no discovery of any kind of rudimentary sewing paraphernalia to indicate that they were wearing animal furs. The thinking is that the Neanderthals entire body was covered with hair to keep them warm. The science of Ichnology (is the branch of geology and biology that deals with traces of organismal behavior, such as footprints and burrows. It is generally considered as a branch of paleontology) has demonstrated that the footprints of Neanderthal and “Big Foot” or “Sasquatch “are identical.  

        One should keep in mind that 30% to 40% of the land on this planet has not been foot surveyed. The dense montane forests are too difficult to be foot surveyed by humans.   These hard to reach areas are the locations where the hominoids inhabit. The prime real estate sites on Earth are occupied by the Homo sapiens.  The evidence just presented requires a new paradigm concerning the physical appearance of the Neanderthals. “Big Foot” or “Sasquatch”, abominable snowman and the skunk ape are actually Neanderthals.

        The new image of the typical Cro Magnon is of a short stocky hominoid, clad in animal skins, trekking across vast expanses of ice in a desperate search to find food.  Cro Magnon, also, had48 chromosomes and a high or fast metabolism and like their cousins Homo Neanderthalensis. During the ice age the Neanderthals were nocturnal hunters especially adapted to dense montane forests. The main source of nutrition in those climates is meat. Even though the Neanderthals are considered omnivorous their diet considered mostly of meat. The Cro Magnon a diurnal hunter may have been more socially advanced but they were not as strong and skilled a hunter as the Neanderthals.  Cro Magnon had difficulty satiating their high metabolism during environmentally hard times (stage #2).

         It has been hypothesized that when the Neanderthals left Africa for Europe, about 40,000 years later Cro Magnon pursued a similar migratory path. Eventually, over time these two species would co-exist. The Cro Magnon’s were not strong nurturers of their young during harsh times.  If a Cro Magnon infant happened to be born during the hunting season, in order to make sure that all members could participate in the hunt, infanticide (probably the killing off of female babies was the norm because they weren't considered as useful in hunts; evidence: the male population was 10% greater than the female population) was periodically practiced to relieve the female adult of child rearing obligations. 

        Evidence has revealed that on occasion the Cro Magnon practiced cannibalism. The practice of cannibalism was a last resort when the local environment could not supply the optimum nutrients to sustain their high metabolism. It has been speculated that over time the Cro Magnon population was declining because of inadequate nutrition, infanticide and cannibalism. In a desperate attempt to replenish the population, breeding with Neanderthals was attempted. This attempt at best was only marginally successful.  When Homo sapiens arrived on the scene in Europe Cro Magnon was near extinction (Stage #3; Stage of Exhaustion or Extinction, GAS).

        Crossbreeding between the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon’s was possible since each had 48 chromosomes.  The result of such a union was a hybrid. Let’s call this union “Cromthaals”.  The females of such a union would maintain their monestrous cycle (the period in the sexual cycle of female mammals, during which they are in heat—i.e., ready to accept a male and to mate. One or more periods of estrus may occur during the breeding season of a species. ). The estrus cycle is evolutions way of putting a limit on population growth.

        The real problem would arise when the Cromthaals would breed among themselves and no longer with the Neanderthals or Cro Magnon’s. It is suspected that when these hybrids would breed among themselves the second generation females would lose their monestrus cycle completely.  This resulted in the ability of the second generation female hybrids to get pregnant anytime of the year. This allowed for an unlimited population growth. An unlimited growth would put the population at stage #3 (stage of exhaustion; a stressed immune system would be unable to resist disease) of the General Adaptive syndrome (GAS).

        It has been hypothesized that there was a breakaway group of Cro Magnon’s which did not migrate with the others.  This particular group remained because they were able to retain some of the nutritional habits of their ancient ancestors, the coastal aquatic apes.  They had a diversified diet. As they migrated farther inland away from the coastal oceans, they could not maintain their diversified diet. They were increasingly becoming hypoascorbemic. As a result, this group of Cro Magnon’s became susceptible to a whole range of subclinical scurvy type diseases (Stage #3 of the GAS).  Evolution would mark this group for extinction.

        For reasons that cannot be explained something very unusual happened to this group of Cro-Magnons. The evidence is becoming quite compelling that there was several subgroups of Cro-Magnon’s undergoing a beneficial frameshift mutational change. The Cro-Magnon’s genome would be reduced from 48 chromosomes to 46. What happened was that there was a fusion of two chromosomes that reduced the chromosome number to 46. “How this happened is not known,” according to Ron Baker, PhD from the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago, Illinois.  The fusion of two chromosomes has only been accomplished successfully in a laboratory environment.

        The fusion that happens in the human chromosome (the fusion of two chromosomes) is a disorder that typically causes handicaps and even the death of an individual. The best-known example is Down’s syndrome. So far scientific experiments have revealed that chromosomal fusion delivers no benefits; on the contrary it produces unhealthy mutants or infertile individuals.

        Mainstream science makes the claim that “genetic drift” (Environmental and social pressures that make one population different from another.) was the mechanism by which ape chromosomes 12 and 13 was fused to make human chromosome 2. Remember, chromosomes do not operate in a nutritive vacuum. If this is true the hominoids that are undergoing “genetic drift” are probably experiencing either GAS; stage #2(Stage of Resistance or Stage of Adaptation) or stage#3 (Stage of Exhaustion or Extinction.). These hominoid populations are dying. The question that has to be asked is how many generations does it take before “genetic drift” becomes beneficial during a state of nutritive deficiency. It would be a stroke of luck if “genetic drift” during an initial random mutation happened to be an immediate benefit. Let’s say, after several generations of random mutations a beneficial mutation arises, the hominoid gene pool is so depleted that inbreeding now becomes a major threat to the viability of the species.

        From an Orthomolecular view point these Cro-Magnon’s were nutritionally deficient (Stage #3 of the GAS). As a result they developed a genetic disorder or a non-lethal mutation that occurs at a rate of 1/1000. The genetic disorder was the fusing to make human chromosome 2. Chromosome 2 is the fusion of ape chromosomes 12 and 13 with most of the same genes. With this odd occurrence, over a short period of time (250,000 years) Cro Magnon accumulated enough micro-evolutionary mutations to evolve into a new species called Homo sapiens.

        It is hypothesized that the fusion of the human chromosome 2 did confer some benefits to the Homo sapiens. The first being the slowing down of their metabolism; a slower metabolism meant a lower caloric intake of nutrients. This modification made Homo sapiens more resistant to famines. To minimize any potential deleterious effects of chromosomal fusion an old standby was revived, the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule was reactivated by a transitional point mutation. The last time the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule was activated was during the heyday of Homo Neanderthalensis.    This very rare process of chromosomal fusion, which may have taken place in nature, eludes conventional scientific thinking.  It is difficult to believe that chromosomal fusion may occur naturally. Before chromosomal fusion could begin the telomeres (caps at the end of chromosomes) have to be chemically sliced off. In order to verify that the telomeres have been removed requires several high technology techniques such as; DNA extraction, Karyotyping, FISH analysis, Gel electrophoresis, Mass spectrometry and many other different techniques. How can this be accomplished and verified without any kind of high tech techniques and equipment absolutely boggles the mind.

        It is still within the realm of possibilities that Hans Selye’s General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS) stress model may consist of a rare stage #4 step which facilitates the fusion of two benign chromosomes by way of a conditional mutation (A mutation that will kill a cell under certain conditions but not under others.).As another alternative explanation to the fusion of two chromosomes, one must seriously consider the prospect of Interventional Evolution or directed panspermia. This may be the easiest to understand rather than to believe the fusion of two chromosomes occurred naturally during evolution.     

         A new transitory subspecies of Homo sapiens named Homo sapiens Ascorbicus was created when the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule was reactivated.  This subspecies to all intents and purposes was disease resistant. The two major drawbacks of an activated L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule was the lack of permanence and no accelerated neural development. At this point in Homo sapien evolution, accelerated neural development was not a crucial need.  Homo sapien Ascorbicus would continue to experience neural development but at a slow sustained rate.

        The forces of evolution deemed it important for Ascorbicus to focus on developing a stable social structure   along with good nurturing skills for their young. There was no immediate need to have accelerated neural growth until the Ascorbicus population had stabilized.  From now on major evolutionary changes would take place socially not by micro evolutionary changes that would affect the DNA molecule.  The day finally arrived when Homo sapiens Ascorbicus became a vibrant and flourishing species. The evolutionary urge to migrate came into full swing. The Homo sapiens would be more prepared physically and socially than their Cro Magnon ancestors when they started their northward trek.  

        The migration from a tropical or warm environment to a colder environment was fret with many dangers. Reasons being that the tropical plants do not contain enough of the omega-three fatty acids needed in the colder areas. When Homo sapien Ascorbicus left the confines of South Africa the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule that brought them back from near extinction would once again be deactivated. The one time disease resistant Homo sapien Ascorbicus now became the mere mortal Homo sapien.  Famine conditions played a major factor in creating the; GAS stage #2, stage of Resistance or stage of adaptation which deactivated the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule. The disabling of the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule prevented the internal bio-synthesis of ascorbic acid.

        Once again, the deactivation would resume the acceleration of neural development.  Accelerated neural growth would allow Homo sapiens adapt to new environments and to find new alternative sources of ascorbic acid. During this period the omnivorous diet of the Homo sapiens may have been given further prominence. The General adaptive Syndrome stimulated the desire in humans to eat a large variety of foods from animal and vegetable sources.  The colder climates provided enough omega-three fatty acids to further facilitate the acceleration of neural development.

        The reduction from 48 to 46 chromosomes provided humans with a slower metabolism. Besides having a slower metabolism another benefit was bestowed upon these humans that increased their chances of survival during times of food scarcity. These Homo sapiens would now take advantage of a distinctive trait from their ancient aquatic-ape past. In times of famine (GAS; Stage #2, Stage of Resistance or Stage of Adaptation.) they could now effectively use their supply of subcutaneous fat as a source of energy (in ancient times served to insulate them from cold water). Once, again they would have to contend being hypoascorbemic.  Hypoascorbemia would always continue to be a scourge that would wreak havoc on humans. The inability to internally synthesize ascorbic acid would relegate humans to stage #3 of the General Adaptive Syndrome stress model.



        At times it seems the mysteries contained within the human genome overshadows the evidence that Homo sapiens had aquatic beginnings. This by itself is truly amazing!  The evidence presented strongly suggests that hominoid evolution began in accordance to the precepts of Darwinian evolution. During the Cro Magnon era there is a deliberate interruption in the flow of evolution. The reduction of 48 chromosomes to 46 by way chromosomal fusion is a paradox. The future existence of the current version of Homo sapiens (evidence suggests the strong possibility of being a genetic fabrication) may depend on a clear understanding of why this tampering occurred.

        The evolutionary history of Homo sapiens is beset with a lot of mysteries. In the human genome, chromosome 2 is the result of the fusion of ape chromosomes 12 and 13. How could the random nature of Darwinian evolution execute such an intricate process?  The three stages of Hans Selye’s M.D., General Adaptive Syndrome stress model provides a clear insight into the inner workings of evolution. It has been shown that the General Adaptive Syndrome is the driving force behind Darwinian evolution or natural selection. Even though GAS is crucial in the process of natural Selection it does not provide a clear understanding into the forming of chromosome 2 in the human genome. If the principal of Occam’s razor (Is a line of reasoning that says the simplest answer is often correct) is used to solve this enigma, of how the fusion of ape chromosomes 12 and 13 produced chromosome 2. The simplest answer to this puzzle should be directed panspermia or Interventional evolution.

        The repeated deactivation and reactivation of the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule during natural selection appears not to have impeded the evolutionary progress of Hominoid development.  This is indeed somewhat strange considering the importance of ascorbic acid (C6H8O6 ) is to the biosynthesis of collagen (is the most abundant protein in the body. It helps connective tissue to be strong and provides cushioning for various parts of the body).  Two times unshared Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling states the following: “We have come upon the two big reasons why we require for good health so much larger amounts of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) than are present in the plants we use as food. First, there is the bodies’ continuing need for the synthesis of large amounts of collagen for growth and for replacement of the collagen degraded by daily wear and tear.  Second, vitamin C, in the critical reactions that assemble collagen in the tissues, does not serve merely as a catalyst but is destroyed."

         Mario C. DeTullio, PhD raises the question as to how Homo sapiens could have evolved normally( This is the issue Homo sapiens did not evolve normally!) without the ability to internally synthesize ascorbic acid. He states the following; “but how can something so crucial for survival be eliminated through the course of evolution? Typically, we expect that positive traits should be retained during evolution, and as vitamin C is beneficial, how would natural selection remove such a crucial biosynthetic capability? Indeed, individuals carrying the mutation(s) in the gene encoding gulonolactone oxidase should have had less chance of surviving and reproducing. However, the opposite occurred, and those who had lost vitamin C biosynthesis survived. How can we explain this apparent paradox?

        The creation of Homo sapiens came about when Cro-Magnon’s 48 chromosomes were reduced down to 46. This reduction should be considered one of the biggest mysteries on the planet Earth. Conventional science claims that “genetic drift” maybe responsible for this reduction. So far, the fusion of two genes has only been accomplished in a laboratory environment. One of the important rules in Darwinian evolution is that evolutionary changes are not made in anticipation of a problem. Previously it has been stated the fusion of two chromosomes (ape genes 12 and 13 produced human chromosome 2) was done to make Homo sapiens better able to survive famines. If this happens to be the case, a compelling argument can be made that the fusion of two chromosomes was done in anticipation of a future problem. Whatever process evolution chose in selecting ape chromosomes 12 and 13 had to have been a “long” process (thousands of years). Before chromosomes 12 and 13 could be fused the telomeres had to be chemical sliced off. There would have to be some sort of high tech diagnostic process to ensure that whatever technique being used was effective.  

        When genetic engineering has been performed there has to be a period of time which must transpire during the development of the life form in order to see all of the observable characteristics. The life form must fully develop to observe the phenotypical traits that are influenced by both the genotype and the environment (nutrition). This brings to mind the iconic scenes in sci-fi movies when the good guys finally enter the nefarious lab only to notice row after row of specimen jars that shows the gradual steps in perfecting a viable species ( in this particular instance the creation of human beings).

        There is too much room for error using just statistical probability in determining the effectiveness of genetic engineering process. The species attrition rate has to be exceedingly high if evolution is conducting such experiments. This is a definite Stage #3 of the General Adaptive Syndrome stress model. Darwinian evolution could not pull off this kind of genetic experimentation without a high species mortality rate. If success was achieved it is doubtful if there would be enough genetic variation left in the existing population for successful reproduction.  On the other hand interventional evolution could pull this off with a low mortality rate. Obvious areas of failure would be avoided; this cannot be said with Darwinian evolution.

        It is very apparent that nutrition was (and currently is) a major force in the evolution of mankind.  Homo sapiens health is dependent upon consuming food to which humans have been adapted to for over 100,000 years of evolution. Orthomolecular nutrition, in optimal doses, is such a potent factor it can put a limit on genetic determinism (is the mechanism by which genes, along with environmental conditions, determine morphological and behavioral phenotypes). The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) influences the process of natural selection on whether to reactivate or inactivate the last (or fourth) enzyme in the internal biosynthesis of ascorbic acid.

        The first three pathways will turn off the synthesis of ascorbic acid, but will affect other biochemical pathways. What is astounding is that the deactivation of the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule at the fourth or last pathway in the bio-synthesis of ascorbic acid does not affect any other biochemical pathways it only affects the synthesis of ascorbic acid. Hominoid evolution seems to be punctuated by the on again and off again of the L-gulonolactone oxidase molecule. The only advantage that can be deduced from the turning off of this molecule is an acceleration of neural development. This is a very precise course adjustment performed by evolution. 

         In addition to not being able to synthesize(5R)-5-[(1S)-1, 2-Dihydroxyethyl]-3, 4-dihydroxy-2(5H)-furanone) which is known as ascorbic acid (C6H8O6) , (so far the results look promising in bio-engineering attempts to reactivate the L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase molecule in non-human subjects.) Homo sapiens cannot synthesize the micro nutrients B1, B2, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 E & K.  What is concerning is that there has been and continues to be an evolutionary decline in the biosynthesis of niacin (B3). Abram Hoffer PhD, MD has stated; “Nevertheless, the synthesis of niacin from tryptophan is a very inefficient process and the 60 milligrams (mg) of the amino acid are necessary to provide 1mg of niacin.  This process also involves vitamins B1, B2 & B6.  If these are in short supply, the synthesis of vitamin B3 will be even less efficient.” 

        With the inability synthesize C6H8O6, along with the nine other micronutrients and the continual evolutionary decline in the synthesis of B3 the question that has to be asked; how can this be of any benefit to Homo sapiens?  Niacin is good for so many things but there are two areas where it is especially effective, controlling blood lipids and psychoses. It is quite possible that the evolutionary decline of niacin is the last gasp in Stage #3 of GAS. Unless there is some sort of intervention this current version of Homo sapiens will be snuffed out like a candle flame.

        Among some scientific circles it is believed that there may have been two versions of Homo sapiens. Version 1.0 was short lived because of numerous genetic defects.  Once these genetic defects were cleaned up version 2.0 was created, which is the current version. In some laboratory here on Earth or elsewhere maybe there are blueprints on the drawing board for newer versions of Homo sapiens. It is hoped that great care and diligence is being conducted for these newer versions. It is quite obvious that the first two versions of Homo sapiens were created in a “slipshod” manner.

        There was an unexpected outcome from The Human Genome Project (HGP) which was proposed in the 1980s and was formally initiated in 1990. The HGP’s major aims were to map and determine the chemical sequences of the three billion nucleotide base pairs that comprise the human genome. The many years of extensive DNA analysis revealed that the human genome has over 4000 gene based disorders. An individual’s genome may have a few of the 4000 or more gene base disorders, but not all 4000 or more in their genome (if they had all 4000 in their genome they could not survive). If these results are accurate this would lend credence to the hypothesis that the human genome could not have been the product of Darwinian Evolution but the result of Interventional Evolution.

       Paleoanthropologists have been searching for the “missing link” fossil (transitional fossil connected with human evolution) for at least a century or more.  The “missing link” is considered the gold standard in proving Homo sapien evolution. The search for the missing link is a red herring (something unimportant that is used to stop people from noticing or thinking about something important). In evolution there are at least several transitions between species “A” and species “B”. Finding the one true transitional species is almost next to impossible. This endless search has now become irrelevant. What is relevant is the understanding how a species could transition from one species to the next. There is a growing belief that living Neanderthals that are currently occupying the dense montane forests will provide answers to these mysteries surrounding the grand appearance of Homo sapiens. The following quote from James Le Fanu, M.D says it best: “Science is a search for the explanation of how things work, not a search for something called “proof” that by direct implication, prevents questioning.”

              USURY AND EVIL        
    When one steps back from all the fear being generated by the crisis in the financial system one might look to Abraham Lincoln and John Adams for some understanding of what is going on. "As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless." : U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 - (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) - Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY) "All the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise, not from defects of the Constitution or Confederation; not from any want of honor or virtue, as much as ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation." John Adams
    But what is the real problem? Is there a systemic problem of which we are unaware? Why does the bible condemn usury, or interest? Is it possible that issuing the currency as debt and charging interest is the underlying problem? Might it be that usury really is evil?

    If one looks at really basic things about human nature and the economy then one can see that human nature itself, the way we are constituted, generates a surplus through the process of exchange. In every exchange both parties have something that the other party wants and the exchange happens when they both judge that they will be better off as a result of the exchange. The exchange does not happen when it will be equal, no change, just as well off as before, NO, every exchange makes both parties better off. In the aggregate all the exchanges in the economy should add up to everyone being increasingly better off. Now, if we understand that this continual increase is due to human nature, we will easily agree that the economy should be organized so that everyone is increasingly better off. We also know that we are all different, with different talents and energy, ambition and ingenuity, with different destinies, and we know that some of us will create things which are more valuable, than others. But we also know that we are all dependent on what we have to offer being the subject of an exchange that makes us both better off. Obviously, in an economy organized to reflect human nature, some will be wealthy and some will be poor, but most will be well off, neither rich nor poor. Logically one would expect there to be the typical bell curve, with a few stupid, lazy people relatively poor and a few ambitious smart people relatively rich. What has happened to the middle class? Why is the income distribution an exponential curve?
    This business of exchange as the engine of our prosperity cannot be over emphasized. Because it is the result of human nature any attempt to organize the economy to channel the surplus - which results from human nature - to oneself or ones group, and away from the economy and people in general, contravenes human nature, denies human nature, appropriates human nature, privatizes human nature, and is by any definition, inhuman or evil.

    But before we get to usury, which does that, of course, we need to understand what money is. We understand that the exchange takes place at a particular price. The price at which the exchange takes place is how each party to the exchange can know that they will be better off after the exchange. Prices let us value all the exchangeable things, what we have to offer and what others have to offer, relative to each other. We use the price to make the very human judgment: “At this price, this exchange will make me better off”. It really doesn't matter how abstract this gets, or how remote the establishment of the price for one side of the exchange is. The price at which the exchange takes place makes you and WalMart or you and your friend better off economically. Of course, there can be problems with pricing, if you price your good or service too low or too high you will sell too many or too few. This sort of thing is not what I am concerned about here, but it does point out the importance of fair prices. Not too high, not too low, just right, so everyone will be better off as a result of you offering it at that price and me buying it at that price. Yes, fair prices are really important, as you already know, for the beneficial-to-all functioning of the economy.
    We price things so we can assess the relative value of the things to each other so the exchanges will make us all better off. Prices are the measure. You can't own the measure, only the measuring device, in this case the money, like you use your watch to measure hours or the odometer to measure miles, and the measure has to be reliable, not subject to inflation and deflation and distortions and bubbles and crashes and etc. The measure is not valuable, the goods and services are valuable, the measuring device (money) lets you effect the exchanges that will make you better off or not at the agreed price. If you think the measuring device is valuable in itself, “the means of exchange” like gold or silver, then you will be oriented towards the money and not the economy, and the valuable in itself means of exchange will obscure the economy, which is people doing things for each other.

    If you are looking at the things (goods and services) that are valuable according to their price, and you are not looking at the money, then you are seeing the economy undistorted. If the money is valuable in itself it will distort everything in the economy because it is one of those things that has a price, that fluctuates, like everything else in the economy. It's usefulness as a measure is compromised. Let us assume at this point that this is clear, and it is possible to assume that money, by its nature, is a measuring device, and if it is to be reflective of human nature and serve human nature then it is a public good, a measure, that needs to be regulated so that its function as a measure is reliable.
    How do we regulate the value of money so that it is a reliable measure? Make sure that there is always the right amount of money in circulation to accurately measure the goods and services being created, exchanged and consumed. If new goods and services are being created by human ingenuity and industry they will need to be represented by new money, if goods and services are consumed and not replaced, money to represent that will have to be taken out of circulation. Too much money in circulation and prices will generally inflate and too little money in circulation prices will generally deflate. How can the regulators know how much money is needed? Benjamin Franklin pointed out that there always has to be enough money for all the transactions the people want to make, and if there isn't enough money there will be poverty and misery. If there is enough money for all the transactions the people want to make, they will be prosperous and of high moral character. This is what Maslov describes in his hierarchy of needs. When your basic needs are secured, you are free to concentrate on the higher needs, all the way to self actualization.

    This raises the question of credit. Ben Franklin advocated, as did Lincoln, that the Government should spend all the money into circulation that it needs to provide for the common good, and if someone wanted to start a business and needed capital to build or acquire the means of production then the public should create the money as a grant or a loan at a reasonable rate of interest, either as the legislature or regulate the banks to do this. This was their understanding at the time. As you will see, loans bearing interest are not appropriate.
    So, here we are at credit and money as something valuable in itself and usury. Let us remember that to honor human nature and remain true to the expression of human nature that is the economy, we have to see the goods and services with prices, not the money. So credit, money in advance, allows human potential, entrepreneurship, ingenuity, ambition, organization skills, etc. to create new goods and services, that didn't exist before, to come into existence to be valued and exchanged, making everyone better off. This potential needs to be recognized and monetized. Do we have a right to the capital our capacities warrant? I think you will agree that we do. If people have grown up with the idea that the money is only a measure, then all we have to do is ask the person what he believes the value of the goods and services he will create will be and give him the money he requires, to create that value. Of course, in order for him to make a reasonable estimate of this he will need to assure at least himself , if not also, the issuer of the currency that he has taken enough advice and acquired the necessary skills, etc. If the business is successful then the money is properly represented and if it fails then some money will probably need to be taken out of circulation or the new money will tend to be inflationary.
    There always has to be enough money in the economy so that everyone is able to do productive, useful things for each other, things, where the exchanges make each party better off. Credit is no different. Credit represents potential value, which can be estimated, and adjusted after the fact. Too little credit and people can't create new things, too much credit and the new things are probably not going to be worth what was put into circulation.
    So, to regulate the economy and let everyone enjoy the surplus, once a year or once a quarter, the currency regulators check the general level of prices and pay everyone a dividend to put more money into circulation or assess a tax to take money out of circulation. See the social credit movement literature for more on this:
    Social Credit is a socio-economic philosophy wherein consumers, fully provided with adequate purchasing power, establish the policy of production through exercise of their monetary vote.[1] In this view, the term economic democracy does not mean worker control of industry.[1] Removing the policy of production from banking institutions, government, and industry, Social Credit envisages an "aristocracy of producers, serving and accredited by a democracy of consumers."[1]
    The term Social Credit, as a formal name, originated from the writings of British engineer and originator of the Social Credit movement, Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879–1952), who wrote a book by that name in 1924. According to Douglas, the true purpose of production is consumption, and production must serve the genuine, freely expressed interests of consumers. Each citizen is to have a beneficial, not direct, inheritance in the communal capital conferred by complete and dynamic access to the fruits of industry assured by the National Dividend and Compensated Price.[1] Assuming the only safe place for power is in many hands, Social Credit is a distributive philosophy, and its policy is to disperse power to individuals. Social Credit philosophy is best summed by Douglas when he said, “Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic.”[2]
    Now that we have some idea of how the economy could be organized to benefit everyone, let us look at how the system we have now came about. This is the story of the goldsmiths who became bankers. At the end of the middle ages gold and silver were the medium of exchange. The goldsmiths were integral to this situation because they could assay the gold and and silver as to its purity and weight, and keep it safe in their vaults. They issued receipts for gold, which circulated in lieu of gold and silver. Receipts for gold and silver are more convenient for trading because they represent the assayed and safely stored gold, they are more reliable as a measure than the gold itself. Goldsmiths became bankers when they lent receipts for gold they did not have and charged interest on these loans. Since we now know that there always has to be enough money in circulation for all the exchanges the people want to make it should be clear that issuing currency is a very powerful function. Because the Goldsmiths were able to increase the supply of gold and silver (with their receipts for gold that did not exist) far beyond what was being stolen from the New World or mined, they made the Age of Discovery possible. When the means of exchange is valuable in itself, gold and silver, people want the money, they are working for the money, and their view of the economy is distorted because gold and silver is both valuable in itself, and what they use to measure the relative value of the offerings in the economy. However, at that stage in history that may not have been very important, what was important is that the expansion of credit, to match the entrepreneurial spirit manifesting during the Age of Discovery was in the hands of the Goldsmiths.
    Because the Goldsmiths as bankers were engaged in deceiving the public (issuing receipts for gold and silver they did not have, as loans and charging interest) secrecy was necessary and the banking secret reared its ugly head. If people became suspicious that the receipts for gold were fake, they would cash them in and get real gold and silver. What we know about all this is that the bankers formed a secret society to protect the banking secret, to support each other if there were a run on the bank and to decide together what activities should get credit and which not. In order to protect the banking secret the bankers learned to control the kings and princes, who were induced to believe they needed their credit; they learned to control education and especially history, and they learned to protect their authority to issue the currency. Because the bankers issued the currency, (receipts for gold) as loans, bearing interest, they were able to direct the surplus, which arises from human nature, into their own coffers, to accumulate the wealth for themselves that their credit made possible. The loans made new value creation possible, the interest directed the surplus to themselves, depriving the people in general of the rightful fruits of their labor and conferring on the bankers the power to shape the economy and society to their ends.
    It should be clear now that the banking secret also hides the fact that the issuer of the currency is the true sovereign. The sovereign power, to order society, to create the conditions that reflect the sovereign's values, was in the hands of a group of people who were deceiving the public and accumulating the surplus value. This is all possible because of usury. It is only possible because of usury. As the banking secret became more widely known there was a movement to share in the “benefits” of interest and the bankers started paying a low interest on deposits. Everyone who had spare money or savings, could deposit it with the bank and earn interest, and was thus co-opted into the system; and the media, the educational system, etc. prevented any understanding of the true nature of money from taking hold. Interest is only conceptually possible if one believes that the money is valuable in itself. As we have seen, this creates a distortion that obscures the beauty of the economy in which we do for each other and enjoy increasing prosperity because we all want to place our capacities and destinies in the service of the community.
    What have the bankers used their power to create? Nothing less than the world we inhabit. Bankers foment war and fund both sides so that it doesn't matter which side wins, they accumulate the profits. And the war rearranges society to express their values mostly by centralizing power in their hands.
    The American Revolution and the establishment of the united States of America, with a constitution that makes the people sovereign, has one little line in it giving the people's representatives the power to issue the currency and regulate the value thereof. The line from the Constitution reads: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures. (I am very impressed that it is in the same line as Weights and Measures, obviously the Founders also thought of money as a measure!) For the first hundred years or so, up until 1913, the bankers would acquire the right to issue the currency and then lose it again. Andrew Jackson and the battle for the bank is the best known example. But all the Presidents who were assassinated came to understand the banking secret and either did something about it or planned to. Lincoln issued Greenbacks, debt and interest free money, and when Kennedy understood the role of the Federal Reserve, he issued United States Notes, silver certificates, as a debt free, interest free currency saying that he would pay off the Federal Reserve and free us from its clutches.
    What is, however, the underlying problem of debt and interest? If the currency is issued as debt, then the bank creates only the principal; but you have to repay the principle plus interest. At no point in the system is there an opportunity to create the interest. This has the consequence that all the money to pay the interest has to come from new principal. If you never create the money to pay the interest there is a logarithmic increase in the amount of interest owed, requiring ever increasing debt to pay it, which in turn requires more interest. Eventually more interest is owed than there is collateral to secure new loans and the system has to crash. Because the interest is accruing to the very small percentage of people who earn more interest than they pay, they acquire extraordinary buying power relative to the rest of the population. If you plan to retire on the money you are saving that is earning interest and you belong to the baby boom you are just now realizing that all that supposed value is being destroyed as the bubble bursts, the stock market crashes and plans to bail out the banks advance. Why is no one in power objecting to the losses being socialized? Why are we bailing out the perpetrators rather than the victims? Does it make any sense at all to give the banks money to clear their bad debts so we can borrow it from them again?
    What have the banksters done since their private banking cartel was established in 1913? How about WWI, the Soviet Union, the Great Depression, Hitler and WWII, Nuclear Weapons, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Israel and Palestine, decimation of the middle class, Free Trade and Globalization, terrorism, the current wars, etc. What don't you like? You can be sure the banksters are behind it. Am I overstating the case? NO, read all the alternative history the banksters try so hard to keep from us.
    There you have it. The control of the world by the banksters is all made possible by usury. All the evil in the world is created by the machinations of the banksters via their usurpation of the surplus through the device of usury.
    Let me provide one example of how this works. Because the interest is never created there is competition in the economy to acquire the interest. There is great fear of not being able to make the mortgage payments and there is an underlying sense that the end justifies the means. This is a direct – not an indirect – result of the debt and interest based monetary system. Because human nature is really cooperative and inclusive and giving and sacrificing and altruistic, and because deep down we all know that only the means assures the end, there is always the danger that we will wake up to the competition being caused by interest. The banksters knew that they had to provide a reason for competition, other than interest, and they found it in Darwinism. When Darwin published the Origin of Species, it was quickly discredited because it was such an untenable theory. None of its tenets were viable. Survival of the Fittest is tautological (How do you know who is the fittest?, The ones who survive! Who survives? The fittest!) For example, acquired characteristics are not passed on. There have been no long periods of uninterrupted time in which natural selection could work. The offspring of different related species are sterile (mules for example) and there are no missing links in the fossil record, species appear fully formed; there is no explanation for how something that must be perfectly formed to work could evolve, etc. This did not deter the bankers. They needed natural selection and survival of the fittest as camouflage for the problems created by interest. Evolution, neo-darwinism (based on beneficial mutations, not natural selection or survival of the fittest) was funded in the early years of the last century as a “legitimate” field of scientific study so that by 1913 it was reasonably well established as the modern scientific view. Ever since it has been promoted and all the substantial evidence disproving it has been suppressed. How many books critical of evolutionary theory are you aware of? How often is evolution mentioned in normal news articles? How often does Time Magazine do a cover story on evolution? One can follow this development by seeking out the critical books and one discovers that the issues raised were never addressed by the evolutionists, only the character of the author was assassinated. My uncle, Norman Macbeth, wrote a book in 1971, which is still in print, called Darwin Retried. No one from the evolutionary biology departments addressed the issues he raised, the only criticism was that he was a lawyer, not an evolutionary biologist, so what could he know? This is how the banksters work to create a society we know in our bones is anti human and it is time we woke up, assumed our sovereignty again and issued the currency as measure, debt free and interest free. Then, and only then, will the paradigm shift and human nature, through the process of exchange will make us all increasingly better off, increasingly able to pursue our spiritual development and heal the earth.

    The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented.
    Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough money to buy it back again...
    Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue to be slaves of the banks and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.
    Sir Josiah Stamp, Director, Bank of England 1928-1941 (reputed to be the 2nd richest man in Britain at the time)

    Abraham Lincoln on the subject of Constitutional Money; from an address to Congress.
    Money is the creature of law and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of national Government.
    Money possesses no value to the State other than that given to it by circulation.
    Capital has its proper place and is entitled to every protection. The wages of men should be recognized in the structure of and in the social order as more important than the wages of money.
    No duty is more imperative for the Government than the duty it owes the People to furnish them with a sound and uniform currency, and of regulating the circulation of the medium of exchange so that labour will be protected from a vicious currency, and commerce will be facilitated by cheap and safe exchanges.
    The available supply of Gold and Silver being wholly inadequate to permit the issuance of coins of intrinsic value or paper currency convertible into coin in the volume required to serve the needs of the People, some other basis for the issue of currency must be developed, and some means other than that of convertibility into coin must be developed to prevent undue fluctuation in the value of paper currency or any other substitute for money of intrinsic value that may come into use.
    The monetary needs of increasing numbers of People advancing towards higher standards of living can and should be met by the Government. Such needs can be served by the issue of National Currency and Credit through the operation of a National Banking system .The circulation of a medium of exchange issued and backed by the Government can be properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amounts as may be necessary by Taxation, Redeposit, and otherwise. Government has the power to regulate the currency and credit of the Nation.
    Government should stand behind its currency and credit and the Bank deposits of the Nation. No individual should suffer a loss of money through depreciation or inflated currency or Bank bankruptcy.
    Government possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by Taxation and otherwise need not and should not borrow capital at interest as a means of financing Governmental work and public enterprise. The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of the consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Governments greatest creative opportunity.
    By the adoption of these principles the long felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts, and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprise, the maintenance of stable Government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own Government. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.

    There appeared in The London Times during the Civil War the following from Otto Von Bismarck:

    "If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic (the public issue of usury-free currency) should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe."

    In 1876, Bismarck explained further:
    "The division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained in one block and as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence which would upset their financial dominance over the world. The voice of the Rothschilds prevailed. They saw tremendous booty if they could substitute two feeble democracies, indebted to the financiers, for the vigorous Republic which was practically self-providing. Therefore, they started their emissaries in order to exploit the question of slavery . . . Lincoln's personality surprised them. His being a candidate had not troubled them; they thought to easily dupe a woodcutter. But Lincoln read their plots and understood that the South was not the worst foe, but the financiers."

    Lincoln agreed:
    "I have two great enemies, the southern army in front of me and the financial institutions in the rear. Of the two, the one in the rear is the greatest enemy."

    References: Money As Debt, and Crash Course, available at, Web of Debt Ellen H Brown, Richard Kotlarz OR
    Agenda For A New Economy by David C. Korten, The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer
    The hidden history is most usefully described in David Icke's Complete Guide to the Global Conspiracy and How to End It.
              Evil Is Interest        
    The title of this essay on money is not 'interest is evil', that is also true, but rather that usury, euphemistically called interest, nowadays, is the source of evil, or is interchangeable with evil, or evil is usury. This is a very strong idea and will require some justification if you are to take it seriously, and therefore I trust that you will suspend your disbelief and grant me the opportunity to take you on a journey that will show you that evil manifests usury and usury manifests evil.

    If one looks at really basic things about human nature and the economy then one can see that human nature itself, the way we are constituted, generates a surplus through the process of exchange. In every exchange both parties have something that the other party wants and the exchange happens when they both feel that they will be better off as a result of the exchange. The exchange does not happen when it will be equal, no change, just as well off as before, NO, every exchange makes both parties better off. All the exchanges in the economy add up to everyone being increasingly better off. Now, if we understand that this continual increase is due to human nature, we will easily agree that the economy should be organized so that everyone is increasingly better off. We also know that we are all different, with different talents and energy, ambition and ingenuity, with different destinies, and we know that some of us will create things which are more valuable, than others. But we also know that we are all dependent on what we have to offer being the subject of an exchange that makes us both better off. Obviously, in an economy organized to reflect human nature, some will be wealthy and some will be poor, but most will be well off, neither rich nor poor. You know, the typical bell curve.
    This business of exchange as the engine of our prosperity cannot be over emphasized. Because it is the result of human nature any attempt to organize the economy to channel the surplus - which results from human nature - to oneself or ones group, and away from the economy and people in general, contravenes human nature, denies human nature, appropriates human nature, privatizes human nature, and is by any definition, inhuman or evil.

    But before we get to interest, which does that, of course, we need to understand what money is. We all know that the exchange takes place at a particular price. The price at which the exchange takes place is how each party to the exchange can know that they will be better off after the exchange. Prices let us value all the exchangeable things, what we have to offer and what others have to offer, relative to each other. We use the price to make the very human judgment: “At this price, this exchange will make me better off”. It really doesn't matter how abstract this gets, or how remote the establishment of the price for one side of the exchange is. The price at which the exchange takes place makes you and WalMart or you and your friend better off economically. Of course, there can be problems with pricing, if you price your good or service too low or too high you will sell too many or too few. This sort of thing is not what I am concerned about here, but it does point out the importance of fair prices. Not too high, not too low, just right, so everyone will be better off as a result of you offering it at that price and me buying it at that price. Yes, fair prices are really important, as you already know, for the beneficial-to-all functioning of the economy.
    Money is the measure we use to price things so we can assess the relative value of the things to each other so the exchanges will make us all better off. It is a measure. You can't own a measure, you can only use the measure, like you use your watch to measure hours or the odometer to measure miles, and the measure has to be reliable, not subject to inflation and deflation and distortions and bubbles and crashes and etc. The measure is not valuable, the goods and services are valuable, the measure (money) lets you make the assessment whether you will be better off or not at this price. If you think the measure is valuable in itself, “the means of exchange” like gold or silver, then it can be manipulated, just look at the gold and silver markets and the manipulation that is going on now. What does that have to do with a reliable measure which lets me make judgments about exchanges that will make me, and my exchange partner, better off?

    If you are looking at the things (goods and services) that are valuable according to their price, and you are not looking at the money, then you are seeing the economy undistorted. If the money is valuable in itself it will distort everything in the economy because it is one of those things that has a price, that fluctuates, like everything else in the economy. It's usefulness as a measure is compromised. Let us assume at this point that this is clear, and it is possible to assume that money, by its nature, is a measure, and if it is to be reflective of human nature and serve human nature then it is a public good, a measure, that needs to be regulated so that its function as a measure is reliable.
    How do we regulate the value of money so that it is a reliable measure? Make sure that there is always the right amount of money in circulation to accurately measure the goods and services being created, exchanged and consumed. If new goods and services are being created by human ingenuity and industry they will need to be represented by new money, if goods and services are consumed and not replaced, money to represent that will have to be taken out of circulation. Too much money in circulation and prices will generally inflate and too little money in circulation prices will generally deflate. How can the regulators know how much money is needed? Benjamin Franklin pointed out that there always has to be enough money for all the transactions the people want to make, and if there isn't enough money there will be poverty and misery. If there is enough money for all the transactions the people want to make they will be prosperous and of high moral character.

    This raises the question of credit. Ben Franklin suggested, as did Lincoln, that the Government should spend all the money into circulation that it needs to provide for the common good, and if someone wanted to start a business and needed capital to build or acquire the means of production then the public should create the money as a grant or a loan at a reasonable rate of interest, either as the legislature or regulate the banks to do this. This was their understanding at the time. As you will see, loans bearing interest are not appropriate.
    So, here we are at credit and money as something valuable in itself and usury. Let us remember that to honor human nature and remain true to the expression of human nature that is the economy, we have to see the goods and services with prices, not the money. So credit, money in advance, allows human potential, entrepreneurship, ingenuity, ambition, organization skills, etc. to create new goods and services, that didn't exist before, to come into existence to be valued and exchanged, making everyone better off. This potential needs to be recognized and monetized. Do we have a right to the capital our capacities warrant? I think you will agree that we do. If people have grown up with the idea that the money is only a measure, then all we have to do is ask the person what he believes the value of the goods and services he will create will be and give him the money he requires, to create that value. Of course, in order for him to make a reasonable estimate of this he will need to assure himself and the issuer of the currency that he has taken enough advice and acquired the necessary skills, etc. If the business is successful then the money is properly represented and if it fails then some money will probably need to be taken out of circulation or the new money will tend to be inflationary.
    There always has to be enough money in the economy so that everyone is able to do productive, useful things for each other, things where the exchanges make each party better off. Credit is no different. Credit represents potential value, which can be estimated, and adjusted after the fact. Too little credit and people can't create new things, too much credit and the new things are probably not going to be worth what was put into circulation.
    So, to regulate the economy and let everyone enjoy the surplus, once a year or once a quarter, the currency regulators check the general level of prices and pay everyone a dividend to put more money into circulation or assess a tax to take money out of circulation. See the social credit movement literature for more on this:
    Social Credit is a socio-economic philosophy wherein consumers, fully provided with adequate purchasing power, establish the policy of production through exercise of their monetary vote.[1] In this view, the term economic democracy does not mean worker control of industry.[1] Removing the policy of production from banking institutions, government, and industry, Social Credit envisages an "aristocracy of producers, serving and accredited by a democracy of consumers."[1]
    The term Social Credit, as a formal name, originated from the writings of British engineer and originator of the Social Credit movement, Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879–1952), who wrote a book by that name in 1924. According to Douglas, the true purpose of production is consumption, and production must serve the genuine, freely expressed interests of consumers. Each citizen is to have a beneficial, not direct, inheritance in the communal capital conferred by complete and dynamic access to the fruits of industry assured by the National Dividend and Compensated Price.[1] Assuming the only safe place for power is in many hands, Social Credit is a distributive philosophy, and its policy is to disperse power to individuals. Social Credit philosophy is best summed by Douglas when he said, “Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic.”[2]
    Now that we have some idea of how the economy could be organized to benefit everyone, let us look at how the system we have now came about. This is the story of the goldsmiths who became bankers. At the end of the middle ages gold and silver were the medium of exchange. The goldsmiths stored the peoples gold and silver in their vaults and issued receipts for gold, which circulated in lieu of gold and silver. Goldsmiths became bankers when they lent receipts for gold they did not have and charged interest on these loans. Since we now know that there always has to be enough money in circulation for all the exchanges the people want to make it should be clear that issuing currency is a very powerful function. Because the Goldsmiths were able to increase the supply of gold and silver (with their receipts for gold that did not exist) far beyond what was being stolen from the New World or mined they made the Age of Discovery possible. When the means of exchange is valuable in itself, gold and silver, people want the money, they are working for the money, and their view of the economy is distorted because gold and silver is both valuable in itself, and what they use to measure the relative value of the offerings in the economy. However, at that stage in history that may not have been very important, what was important is that the expansion of credit, to match the entrepreneurial spirit manifesting during the Age of Discovery was in the hands of the Goldsmiths.
    Because the Goldsmiths as bankers were engaged in deceiving the public (issuing receipts for gold and silver they did not have, as loans and charging interest) secrecy was necessary and the banking secret reared its ugly head. If people became suspicious that the receipts for gold were fake, they would cash them in and get real gold and silver. What we know about all this is that the bankers formed a secret society to protect the banking secret, to support each other if there were a run on the bank and to decide together what activities should get credit and which not. In order to protect the banking secret the bankers learned to control the kings and princes, who needed their credit; they learned to control education and especially history, and they learned to protect their authority to issue the currency. Because the bankers issued the currency, (receipts for gold) as loans, bearing interest, they were able to direct the surplus which arises from human nature into their own coffers, to accumulate the wealth for themselves that their credit made possible. The loans made new value creation possible, the interest directed the surplus to themselves, depriving the people in general of the rightful fruits of their labor and conferring on the bankers the power to shape the economy and society to their ends.
    It should be clear now that the banking secret also hides the fact that the issuer of the currency is the true sovereign. The sovereign power, to order society, to create the conditions that reflect the sovereign's values, was in the hands of a group of people who were deceiving the public and accumulating the surplus value. This is all possible because of usury. It is only possible because of usury. As the banking secret became more widely known there was a movement to share in the “benefits” of interest and the bankers started paying a low interest on deposits. Everyone who had spare money or savings, could deposit it with the bank and earn interest, and was thus co-opted into the system; and the media, the educational system, etc. prevented any understanding of the true nature of money from taking hold. Interest is only conceptually possible if one believes that the money is valuable in itself. As we have seen, this creates a distortion that obscures the beauty of the economy in which we do for each other and enjoy an increasing standard of living.
    What have the bankers used their power to create? Nothing less than the world we inhabit. Bankers foment war and fund both sides so that it doesn't matter which side wins, they accumulate the profits. And the war rearranges society to express their values mostly by centralizing power.
    The American Revolution and the establishment of the united States of America, with a constitution that makes the people sovereign, has one little line in it giving the people's representatives the power to issue the currency and regulate the value thereof. For the first hundred years or so, up until 1913, the bankers would assume the right to issue the currency and then lose it again. Andrew Jackson and the battle for the bank is the best known example. But all the Presidents who were assassinated came to understand the banking secret and either did something about it or planned to. Kennedy, for example, issued United States Notes, silver certificates, as a debt free, interest free currency saying that he would pay off the Federal Reserve and free us from its clutches.
    What is, however, the underlying problem of debt and interest? If you issue the currency as the principle of a debt and charge interest then the currency is extinguished when the principle is repaid, and the interest is unpayable except out of new debt. The point is that, if you never create the money to pay the interest there is a logarithmic increase in the amount of interest owed, requiring ever increasing debt to pay it, which in turn requires more interest. Eventually more interest is owed than there is collateral to secure new loans and the system has to crash. Because the interest is accruing to the very small percentage of people who earn more interest than they pay, they acquire extraordinary buying power relative to the rest of the population. If you plan to retire on the money you are saving that is earning interest and you belong to the baby boom you are just now realizing that all that supposed value is being destroyed as the bubble bursts, the stock market crashes and plans to privatize Social Security, etc. advance. Why is no one in power objecting to the losses being socialized?
    What have the banksters done since 1913? How about WWI, the Soviet Union, the Great Depression, Hitler and WWII, Nuclear Weapons, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Israel and Palestine, decimation of the middle class, Free Trade and Globalization, terrorism, etc. What don't you like? You can be sure the banksters are behind it. Am I overstating the case? NO, read all the alternative history the banksters try so hard to keep from us.
    There you have it. The control of the world by the banksters is all made possible by usury. All the evil in the world is created by the machinations of the banksters via their usurpation of the surplus through the device of usury.
    Let me provide one example of how this works. Because the interest is never created there is competition in the economy to acquire the interest. There is great fear of not being able to make the mortgage payments and there is an underlying sense that the end justifies the means. This is a direct – not an indirect – result of the debt and interest based monetary system. Because human nature is really cooperative and inclusive and giving and sacrificing and altruistic, and because deep down we all know that only the means assures the end, there is always the danger that we will wake up to the competition being caused by interest. The banksters knew that they had to provide a reason for competition other than interest and they found it in Darwinism. When Darwin published the Origin of Species, it was quickly discredited because it was such an untenable theory. None of its tenets were viable. Survival of the Fittest is tautological (How do you know who is the fittest?, The ones who survive! Who survives? The fittest!) For example, acquired characteristics are not passed on. There have been no long periods of uninterrupted time in which natural selection could work. The offspring of different related species are sterile (mules for example) and there are no missing links in the fossil record, species appear fully formed, there is no explanation for how something that must be perfectly formed to work could evolve, etc. This did not deter the bankers. They needed natural selection and survival of the fittest as camouflage for the problems created by interest. Evolution, neo-darwinism, was funded in the early years of the last century as a “legitimate” field of scientific study so that by 1913 it was reasonably well established as the modern scientific view. Ever since it has been promoted and all the substantial evidence against it has been suppressed. How many books critical of evolutionary theory are you aware of? How often is evolution mentioned in normal news articles? How often does Time Magazine do a cover story on evolution? One can follow this development by seeking out the critical books and one discovers that the issues raised were never addressed by the evolutionists, only the character of the author was assassinated. My uncle wrote a book, published by Yale University Press, called Darwin Retried. No one from the evolutionary biology departments addressed the issues he raised, the only criticism was that he was a lawyer, not an evolutionary biologist, so what could he know? This is how the banksters work to create a society we know in our bones is anti human and it is time we woke up, assumed our sovereignty again and issued the currency as measure, debt free and interest free so that the goods pass easily from the producers to the consumers, and we are all prosperous and of high moral character.
    So, is usury evil? Am I justified in saying that evil is usury?
    John G Root Jr, November 16th 2008, 413 528 3102
              Get Philips Medical Supplies from Pacific West Medical for Your Home Health Care Business        

    Count on our company for your home medical supplies.The home health care industry is one of the fastest growing medical industries in the United States and for a good reason. We have a large population of aging baby boomers that they want the best care without losing their independence, and home health care gives them exactly what they need. If you work at or run a home health care agency, you know that while this is an affordable option for your patients, you still need to watch your bottom line. You also know that Philips Medical supplies offer the best value for your dollar. 

    When you are shopping for Philips Medical supplies, make sure you check out Pacific West Medical. Our company offers a terrific selection of medical supplies for the home health care environment at great prices. That means you can stock up on all the daily supplies your teams need in order to provide their level of high-quality care. You'll be able to purchase exactly what they need from this top medical supplies brand without going over your budget. 

    Shop today and find what you need. Feel free to call one of our knowledgeable staff if you have questions or wish to place an order over the phone. Otherwise, everything you need to available through our website. Our company carries home health care supplies and medical supplies from PhilipsGENonin, and many more. We'll make sure you get your supplies quickly so your home health care company can give the best care to all of your clients at an affordable, reasonable cost. Start shopping the Pacific West Medical online store today! 

              A four generation perspective on living in the United States        

    I am now living into my fourth generation. When I was born in 1931, Herbert Hoover was still President of the United States.  I grew up in New York City during the Great Depression when a subway ride or a hot dog at Nedick’s was five cents. During World War II in public school I collected tin foil, rubber bands, and newspapers for the war effort. My second generation began with the birth of the United Nations and the start of the Cold War. It led in turn to a wave of hysteria about Communist influence on American life.  The witch hunt for current and former Communists made me nervous.  My oldest brother quit the Communist Party when the Lysenko Controversy erupted. As an undergraduate at NYU, I associated with fellow students of the Beat Generation. I left New York for Indiana University and learned to be a geneticist. Some of my high school classmates were killed in the Korean War. My second generation came to a close at UCLA where I witnessed the first Peace Corps volunteers and students who registered African American voters in Mississippi.  Our children formed the Baby Boom generation. The 60’s were transforming and I shifted my emphasis to teaching non-majors biology courses. My third generation was mostly lived while teaching at Stony Brook University on Long Island in New York State. It was an age of greed, the pursuit of wealth, the tearing down of the New Deal that Presidents Roosevelt and Johnson had built. We became the world’s policeman or bully depending on your politics. We became a nation of winners and losers, makers and takers, patriots or subversives.  There was no middle ground and the middle class was disappearing.  My fourth generation began as we entered the twenty-first century.  I retired. I shifted to full time writing.  We moved to Indiana to enjoy its university setting and opportunities to enjoy its theater, libraries, music performances, and ease of access and cost. After 9/11 and the endless wars of a nation engorged with armaments waiting to be used, we are still trying to define ourselves.  We can smash armies that are well armed but we are stymied by terrorists, guerrillas who melt into the jungles, and an amorphous enemy of uncertain size, location, and objectives, partly created by our own failed international policies which reflect our own domestic shift towards a plutocracy dictating legislation favoring the wealthy. The two iconic images of these four generations are the bombing of Pearl Harbor that inspired what some call “the greatest generation” in our fight against fascism and 9/11 which sadly inspired fear, lashing out at the wrong enemies, the loss of privacy, the shift to the perpetual military state, the crushing of labor unions, the demeaning of liberals, the rejection of science, and a contempt for teachers and scholars.  


    Why Are the Baby Boomers in Such a Bad Mood?

    Credit Illustration by John Whitlock. Beatles photo: Getty Images                    

    Starting sometime in the mid-1950s, baby boomers became the center of American cultural attention. Toni Home Permanents, cap guns, Hostess cupcakes, “American Bandstand,” lovingly packed lunches, the Beatles, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” Motown, Madras shorts, the SATs, undoing Nixon, the civil rights movement, ending the Vietnam War — all came into existence just at the time we, age-appropriately, could ingest, wear or wallop them.
    True, our timely presence enriched record and lingerie companies, but we also caused great political change. Later came grad school, Sweet ’n Low, Datsun 240Zs, Tab, thong underpants and free love — it was clear: Life had been lovingly fashioned around us.
    Cut to: The Present.
    I recently asked a neighbor how old she was: Nervous, reluctant, she said, “Oh, 60 or 61.”
    To those of us in it, the new middle age in America is the most despised age ever, right up there with “stillborn” and “dead.” No lovely, leafy glade — just a hazy, terrifying landscape of crepey cleavage, popping veins, trifocals and sagging breasts strewn across a lifeless vista. (And the one for women is just as bad.) This new middle age does not describe the lithe, the sexual, the hip or the cool — especially hard on baby boomers, the actual inventors (see above) of both “hip” and “cool.”
    The fact is, the culture ignores us. Baby boomers — a “niche” group of 74.9 million — are snubbed by the movie industry, TV, jeans designers, the music business, everything, in favor of Gen X, Gen Y and the millennials (who sound like a sad, droopy human bouquet).
    For years, we were the largest demographic (the millennials recently surpassed us), but we’ve got the bucks — the experience, the drive — and not a few of those millennials get their bucks from our wallets. Clothes, social media, TV shows like “Entertainment This Second!” and “Famous People Who Are Thin” are all aimed at them. Ever hear anyone say, “I think I’ll go watch that great new show ‘Trapped Between Killingly Costly Kids in College and Heartbreakingly Aging Parents in Assisted Living’?” No. But that show would be a hit! It would resonate for at least 35 million of the 74.9 million mentioned above!
    Other possible boomer TV hits: “What Do You Think This Lump Is?” (quiz show), “We’d Like to See the Dessert Menu” (sitcom about dating in midlife), “Panic Investing in Midlife” (Sunday a.m., with expert panel: Warren Buffett, Ben and Jerry, Beyoncé and that cartoon fish, Dory), “Hip and Knee Replacements for $100” (the new “Mature Jeopardy”). And re: social media — emojis (cute, emotion-bearing symbols) once O.K., but under this president, it could engender fun, fast and goofy nuclear war. Homeland Security should manage.
    No other generation deserves this. Gen X, the first latchkey kids (working moms/divorced parents), whose TV babysitters (Peter Jennings, John Dean, Richard Nixon) provided a lovely background visual as “My Sharona” played a million times on the stereo. Millennials are determined, driven and tech-savvy, and will one day know how to easily erase a prenuptial agreement from their spouse’s hard drive in the dark. Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” — through the Depression and World War II, had the faith, drive and love for Betty Grable (see film, “Stalag 17”) to save the free world and have us! Amazing!
    Thus, slathered with their postwar affection, we became the behavioral template for younger generations: for political activism, for the right to wear insane clothes and crazily short skirts, for the right to get married outside and for the fact that all we were saying was give peace a chance.
    So, America, undo the hurt of TV no longer ruthlessly profiteering from baby boomers! Renew boomer music — maybe Bruce Springsteen, Paul Shaffer, Wynton Marsalis could do some hip, new chamber music thing! And basic science — perhaps the development of some new carbs, carbohydrates that fatten hair from within, fill in facial lines, even lubricate all personal spots that require lubrication! Thus we’d cheer up all Americans, which other generations can’t. The fact is, we should be the cultural leading edge. Like, look at Billy Joel’s stomach — it sticks out.
    And just everyone looks at it. That should be us. 

    Debra Shifrin: Social Security Disability Insurance benefits our neighbors. The takeaway from this op-ed is the following:

    [W]hile it is also true that the Social Security Trust Fund's outlays will exceed the income generated, this is not an unexpected occurrence. Like the increase in the number of people receiving disability, this has been anticipated since 1994. According to the Social Security Administration, the number of disabled beneficiaries will decrease as the baby boomers reach retirement age. A simple reallocation by Congress of taxes from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund would be one solution. Such reallocations in both directions have occurred many times in the past.

    Speaking as a lawyer who has represented Knoxville Social Security claimants for almost two decades, this approach makes sense. As disabled workers reach retirement age, their disability benefits switch to retirement benefits. A re-allocation now from retirement to disability makes up for the aging -- and therefore increasing numbers of -- workers becoming eligible and entitled to disability. As they transition into retirement age and beyond, funds are re-allocated back toward retirement.

    One thing is sure: we've got a lot of people who are legitimately unable to work, according to the very stringent Social Security rules on disability. Instead of cutting their relatively paltry benefits or foreclosing altogether their ability to obtain those benefits, we as a society need to make sure that those less fortunate than us are taken care of, at least to some extent.

    Do unto others....

              The Truth About Social Security Disability        
    Social Security facts:

    (1) The percentage increase in people on Social Security disability in recent years was expected, due to the aging Baby Boomers, half of whom are now reaching "high disability years." Additionally, there has been an increase of women in the workforce in recent decades, women who are now eligible to draw on their own earnings record when they become disabled.

    (2) Social Security does not contribute to the deficit; it is self-financed by payroll taxes. By law, the system cannot spend money it does not have and cannot borrow. People with disabilities who need these benefits when they cannot work should be able to receive the benefits they paid for in payroll taxes when they were able to work.

    (3) Only around 40 percent of those who apply for benefits are eventually approved, ensuring that only those who meet the strict requirements are found eligible.

    (4) Benefits are modest. Individuals receive on average around $13,500 per year, just enough to help beneficiaries avoid homelessness and bankruptcy.

    Considering these facts, why is it that some in our government want to cut or eliminate benefits that, literally, are keeping people alive and off the streets?
              Hepatitis C: Why baby boomers should be tested immediately        

    (BPT) - If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you could be one of more than 3 million baby boomers living with hepatitis C in the U.S. and not even know it. Despite only making up 27 percent of the U.S. population, baby boomers account for more than 75 percent of hepatitis C cases in the U.S.

    What is hepatitis C?

    Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person. While some people only experience a short-term infection, 70-85 percent of those with hepatitis C develop a chronic infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which can lead to liver cirrhosis (or scarring), liver cancer and even death. Hepatitis C is often referred to as a “silent epidemic,” since a person can have the condition for decades without any symptoms.

    Why should boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, be tested today?

    The CDC estimates boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than the rest of the population. Hepatitis C rates peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, when boomers may have been exposed to infected blood before certain safety precautions were adopted for medical procedures, body piercings and tattoos.

    Only 14 percent of baby boomers report having been screened for hepatitis C, which is why the CDC recommends all boomers speak with their healthcare providers and request to be tested for hepatitis C.

    Have YOU been tested?

    The only way to know if someone has the virus is through a one-time blood test, yet testing among boomers remains low. Quest Diagnostics, a leading diagnostics company, has more than 2,200 Patient Services Centers with labs offering hepatitis C testing for boomers. Quest Diagnostics patient Robin Roth was diagnosed with hepatitis C following a routine doctor’s visit that changed her life.

    Though she was symptomless, Robin asked to be screened for hepatitis C and tested positive for the virus. When her doctor explained the virus may have impacted her liver health, Robin asked for a biopsy, which confirmed she had liver cirrhosis. After receiving treatment for nearly a year, she became virus-free and cleared her cirrhosis.

    Watch Robin’s journey from diagnosis to recovery to learn more.

    Is there a cure for hepatitis C?

    Yes, there are new and successful treatments that can cure the virus and prevent liver damage, cirrhosis and liver disease. The biggest barrier to treatment is diagnosis, given the lack of obvious symptoms. This barrier has been a contributing factor to half the cases of liver cancer in the U.S., which increased by 72 percent from 2003 to 2012.

    For more information about hepatitis C and to assess your risk factors, visit

              Our Aging Workforce        
    Aging America: The Iceberg Dead Ahead by Tom Lynch, founder of LynchRyan, Inc., is a remarkable article on the potential impact of older workers on the workers' compensation system. Baby boomers are reaching retirement age but 50% will defer retirement for a variety of reasons: global economic meltdown, rising health costs, inadequate social security and Medicare systems.

    Generally the higher cost of treating injuries to older workers is offset by their lower accident frequency. However, the data does not consider the growing proportion of aging workers. Lynch predicts losses will rise significantly due to Boomer injuries, driving up employer premiums.

    Good read for the weekend.

              4 Home-Buying Habits We Can Learn From Millennials        
    New homeowners with key

    Millennials entered the housing market later than their baby boomer and Generation X predecessors. They chose to rent for longer, and are just now starting to flood the housing market.

    But just because millennials have been slow to embrace homeownership doesn't mean that they don't have anything to teach others about buying a home. In fact, despite their late jump into the housing market, millennials have demonstrated plenty of smart home-buying behaviors. Here are a few smart homeownership habits we can all learn from this younger generation.

    Don't rush

    Ellie Mae, a software company that works with mortgage data, says that millennials — young adults from the ages of 18 to 34 — are currently the largest group of homebuyers in the housing market. According to the company, in January of 2017, these young buyers took out about 45 percent of all the mortgage loans used to buy homes. But homebuying is a recent trend for this age group.

    Economists have long observed that millennials waited longer than older generations to jump into the housing market, just as they have also waited longer to get married and have families.

    This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Buying a home is expensive. You'll need money for a down payment and the closing costs on your mortgage loan. This will run you thousands of dollars.

    As millennials show, there's nothing wrong with waiting until you have a more established job and reliable income to buy a home. Having that economic stability will eliminate some of the stress of covering that mortgage payment each month.

    Don't break your budget

    You don't want to overspend on a home. And today, that's getting easier to do because housing prices continue to rise. The National Association of Realtors says that the median price for a home sold in March of 2017 hit $236,400. That's an increase of 6.8 percent from March of 2016, when the median price was $221,400. This March also marked the 61st consecutive month in which home prices rose on a year-over-year basis.

    One of the most often-cited reasons for millennials' slow entry into the housing market is the student loan debt they face. According to Student Loan Hero, the average college graduate of the class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from the previous year. Taking on the added debt burden of a mortgage can be intimidating when you already owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.

    Millennials know about debt. It's why so many of them are cautious about overspending. And this wariness is a good habit to acquire. Just because a mortgage lender approves you for a mortgage loan of $250,000, doesn't mean you must buy a home costing that much. It's OK — and is, in fact, fiscally smart — to buy a home that costs less. This will leave you with money leftover and an easier time making those housing payments each month.

    Be realistic about the American dream

    Buying a home has long been a part of the American dream. But millennials understand that this American dream can easily turn into a nightmare.

    Many millennials saw their parents lose their jobs and struggle to make their mortgage payments during the Great Recession. Some saw their parents lose their homes to foreclosure. Others watched as their parents' homes steadily lost value, leaving them underwater — owing more on their mortgage loans than what their homes were worth.

    Millennials learned that buying a home wasn't the only way to be happy in America. They learned that it could, in fact, be one way to be unhappy in America.

    The good habit here is that you should never jump into owning a home just because everyone else seems to be doing it. Owning a home isn't the right choice for everyone, which brings us to one last habit.

    Don't think that renting comes with a stigma

    Millennials are less averse to renting apartments later in life than both baby boomers and Gen Xers. In fact, the apartment market around the country is in the middle of a boom, with more people of all ages choosing to rent instead of owning a home.

    Renting has become a preferred way of living for a growing number of people. Need proof? Landlords keep increasing monthly rents to historic levels, something they'd struggle to do if the renters weren't coming. Apartment company Abodo said that in March of this year, the median monthly rent of a one-bedroom apartment across the United States stood at $1,005.

    In major cities, where many prefer to rent, monthly rents are especially high. Abodo reported that in San Francisco the median monthly rent stood at $3,415 in March 2017, while it hit $2,705 in New York City and $2,549 in San Jose, California. Other markets with high monthly rents include Boston ($2,398); Washington, D.C. ($2,097); Los Angeles ($2,030); and Oakland ($2,009).

    If you prefer to rent — and you aren't interested in the yard work and upkeep that come with owning a home — don't feel pressured to make the move to owning. You'll have plenty of company when it comes to renting an apartment.

    Like this article? Pin it!

    4 Home-Buying Habits We Can Learn From Millennials

              Millennials are set to inherit record wealth — and the way they manage it will be unprecedented        

    wealthyStuart C. Wilson/Getty

    • Millennials are set to inherit more than $30 trillion from their baby boomer parents.

    • This wealth transfer is a huge opportunity for financial advisers, but they will face challenges.

    • Young Americans turn to technology to manage their money, and tend not to trust advisers. 

    The hyperbolic stereotypes that surround millennials – that they are entitled, pampered, narcissistic and suspicious of anyone besides other millennials – fall apart once you listen to them and do your investment homework.

    Then you realize that practically from day one of adulthood, a great many millennials have been shoved up against a financial wall.

    Take soaring student loan debt. As of June, when the youngest millennials graduated college, it was $37,172. That's up more than 20 percent from 2012's $30,000, an astronomical figure in and of itself.

    And here's the bottom-line impact: PwC's 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that 42 percent of millennial employees shoulder student loan debt, with 79 percent saying their loans have moderate or significant impact on meeting financial goals. Meanwhile, 63 percent of employees with student loans have saved less than $50,000 for retirement. That's a long, long way from the $2 million or so they'd need to retire comfortably in 2050.

    You can only imagine what this means for millennials with part-time jobs, low-paying service jobs, or no jobs at all. And yet baby boomers – who some would label the original entitled, pampered, narcissistic generation – are growing old and getting ready to pass on considerable financial resources to their millennial progeny.

    Make no mistake: This transfer of wealth will be unprecedented, unlike anything in the last century of American history.

    "More than 75 million millennials born between 1981 and 1997 are ready to take over estimated $30 trillion in wealth from baby boomers," says Christopher Ma, director of the George Investments Institute at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

    That's reinforced by AARP statistics, which show that people older than 50 hold 80 percent of America's household wealth.

    Jeff Kelley, senior vice president of Westlake Ohio-based Equity Institutional, puts it like this: "So long Woodstock. Hello Lollapalooza."

    Addressing this transfer of wealth means tremendous opportunities for financial advisers.

    "Emphasizing how millennial investors don't have to go it alone," Kelley says, "can go a long way."

    Yet other issues abound, particularly when it comes to mistrust of the advisery industry. Older millennials, after all, watched in disbelief as countless investors (including family members) were fleeced by the financial chicanery that spawned Great Recession. Many Americans who've since rebuilt their nest eggs may opt for blissful ignorance. They don't.

    "The bottom line is that millennials do not trust conventional financial advisers," Ma says. "They were all raised in the tech age. They believe everything can be self-taught without human contact."

    To be sure, millennials have fed an explosion in digital robo-advisery tools such as Betterment and Kapitall, a drag-and-drop investment site that resembles a video game interface. And the 2017 FIS Consumer Banking Pace Report found that over a typical 30-day period, 49 percent of millennials used a mobile device to pay a bill, while 46 percent transferred funds between bank accounts.

    "Robos woke the industry up to the need of a full on embrace of technology," says Jack Sharry, executive vice president of strategic development at LifeYield, headquartered in Boston. "For millennials, an easy user experience is table stakes. … We are moving from adviser-led or technology-led to the access to advisers and easy-to-use technology."

    Sharry has a point. Robo tools mark a quantum leap forward. But they don't offer human advice: a tough sell for those who'd rather text than talk, perhaps, but something millennials crave based on survey after survey.

    "Technology may help control costs and achieve diversification, yet only human advisers can appropriately react to changing life circumstances," says Michaeline Gordon, a trust and estate planning attorney with Chicago-based law firm Ginsberg Jacobs. "A robo adviser isn't going to respond, for example, to job uncertainty or an illness in a family – or provide a sounding board and objective advice about major life events."

    texting einstein smart millennialsREUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

    As for the boomers, quitting the day job may pale in comparison to the big job of getting their millennial children ready.

    "Boomers can help prepare their inheritors by initiating the conversation early," says Chris Wong, CEO of LifeSite in Mountain View, California. "Families can start by taking stock of key information including wills, health insurance cards and policy numbers, in addition to financial investments and account information."

    "For many retirement plan participants, the transfer from contribution to distribution will be the biggest liquidity event of their lives," says Rick Frisbie, CEO of RobustWealth, a digital wealth management platform in Lambertville, New Jersey. "It's often on the order of high six figures, even into seven figures, has tax consequences and needs to be used for future income and liability requirements."

    To that end, Frisbie agrees that robo advisers work well in tandem with their human counterparts "by handling, in an automated fashion, the rebalancing requirements of the adviser's clients to make sure their accounts adhere to asset allocation and income-generating goals."

    Yet in the end, "every family's situation is unique," says Jared Feldman, partner at accounting firm Anchin in New York City and co-practice leader of the firm's private client group. "Some families educate children early on to better inform and prepare them for the responsibilities of great wealth. Others feel that they must protect their young and don't disclose much information to their children."

    "There is no single solution," Feldman says. "But preparedness is essential in case of any significant life-changing events."

    And so, much will depend upon whether millennials and/or their parents are entitled, pampered and narcissistic – or transcend stereotypes as they gratefully live up to the worth of wealthy types.

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