• “EVERY HOUR OF TV THAT KIDS WATCH ON AN AVERAGE WEEKNIGHT CAN INCREASE THEIR RISK OF LANDING IN PRISON BY 30%… especially low-income boys who are most at risk of being victims and perpetrators of aggression.” However, a new Seattle Children’s Research Institute study suggests that “what they watch could matter more than how much they watch.” Over six months, 250 kids aged 3 to 5 exposed to “prosocial children’s shows that stress kindness and cooperation” (like Sesame Street) became “demonstrably less aggressive toward others,” versus 250 other kids whose normal routines included violent shows (like Power Rangers). [THE WEEK – Mar 8, 13]
  • THE LANDSCAPE FOR HIGHER-EDUCATION HAS BEGUN A METAMORPHOSIS, as perhaps “hundreds of marginal private colleges & universities… with no discernible academic advantage” over public or community colleges will likely be closing – due to “a deflating wage market that offers little guarantee of a job after graduation, combined with a new work paradigm that is beginning to demand demonstrated knowledge rather than a ‘degree’… As this knowledge base becomes the preferred credential among employers…frustrated with their hires not having the exact pool of knowledge to contribute immediately, …the idea of taking on student debt also becomes more inhibiting” (even when payback isn’t contemplated; nearly a third of the 37 million Americans who currently owe some $76 billion are in default). A 660% increase in tuition and over 800% increase in price of textbooks over the last few decades is also no small factor. This trend “will soon have huge ramifications” including tens of thousands of unemployed instructors & administrators, along with hundreds of idle campuses. Finally and rightfully, “higher education is getting blamed for being out of touch with the marketplace” and the trend away is in full gear. [THE FUTURIST – Mar/Apr 13]
  • “FOR EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS, THERE ARE MORE THAN SEVEN LOBBYISTS working for various parts of the health-care industry,” who have collectively spent some $5.5 billion on lobbying over the past dozen years – over three times what even the military-industrial complex spends. The result is that America’s health care costs are higher than “the next ten biggest spenders combined… some 27% higher per capita as other developed countries.” Congress forces Medicare to pay up to 75% more for medical devices like canes & wheelchairs than it would cost at Walmart; hospital markups on drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) are 10,000%; McKinsey research identifies $750 billion annual U.S. overspending on health care, about two-thirds related to outpatient services. “Hospitals and health care providers offer services at prices that very often bear little relationship to costs. They charge what they want… Health care is a seller’s market where buyers have little knowledge and no ability to negotiate… Hospitals and the executives who run them are gaming the system to maximize revenue and sticking patients and government with the bills… while 62% of personal bankruptcies are related to illness or medical bills.” [TIME – March 4, 13]
  • MEANWHILE, “WITHIN TWO YEARS, THE U.S. WILL HAVE 63,000 FEWER DOCTORS THAN NEEDED, and a shortfall exceeding 100,000 by 2025,” according to the Ass’n of American Medical Colleges. With 30 million more people seeking medical services under the Obamacare Act, “there is little anyone can do to close this gap, since it takes a decade to train a doctor.” Impacts will include “forcing patients to drive long distances languish on waiting lists or even forego care – placing an even greater future burden on what is already a broken system… Instead of repealing regulation that causes sick-care costs to be so dreadfully overpriced, the federal government thought that by writing 900+ pages of new regulations, the problem would go away.” [LIFE EXTENSION – Mar 13]
  • OVER 5% OF ADULT AMERICANS WERE IDENTITY-THEFT VICTIMS LAST YEAR – some 12.6 million people, a quarter of whom “ignored notifications of breach.” Identity thieves, who pocketed over $21 billion, “often begin their scams with the low-tech strategy of dumpster diving” for unshredded financial documents – especially around tax season – with hijacked info then fraudulently useable, on average, for around 48 days. [LIVE SCIENCE.COM – Feb 25, 13]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    “Respect is if you’re having a political argument with someone, just before you call them a retard, you sort of step back with concern about how on earth they’ve ended up at this point of complete ignorance and stupidity.”

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