Posted by Elena del Valle on September 30, 2014
Talkpoverty Map - click to enlarge
Rising stocks lifted household wealth 1.7 percent, according to the Federal Reserve, to $81.5 trillion between April and June of this year (see Household Net Worth Has Rebounded, The New York Times September 19, 2014 and Americans' net worth climbs to record high, Associated Press, September 18, 2014). The numbers don't account for inflation. They were adjusted for the change in the Consumer Price Index.
Household wealth reached a record high, 4 percent above the 2007 figures. The improvement in household wealth is especially evident among the wealthiest households. While the net worth of some Americans reached a record high poverty remains elevated, and there was an increase in new debt, mostly from auto and student loans.
Using data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, TalkPoverty.org, a project of the Center for American Progress’s Half in Ten Education Fund, recently released an interactive state by state map with congressional district level poverty data for 2013 designed to showcase the impact of poverty across the nation. It can be found at http://talkpoverty.org/poverty/
The tool relies on seven key indicators: the total poverty rate; the women in poverty rate; the child poverty rate; and the poverty rate among African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos. It also includes a ranking of states’ total poverty rates and child poverty rates.
Greg Kaufmann, editor, Talkpoverty.org
“We haven’t made nearly enough progress to reduce poverty nationwide, and both low- and middle-income families are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession,” said Greg Kaufmann, editor of TalkPoverty.org and senior fellow with the Half in Ten Education Fund, in a press release. “At the state and local levels, we see the disparate impact of poverty, particularly among women and communities of color. The latest round of Census data sheds light on the reality of poverty in our own backyards, and should be a wake-up call to policymakers that we can and must do more to drastically reduce poverty.”
The Center for American Progress suggestions to reduce poverty, boost economic security, and expand the middle class include raising the minimum wage; increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, for childless workers; supporting equal pay; providing paid leave and paid sick days; investing in affordable, high-quality child care and early education; and expanding Medicaid.
Launched in May 2014, TalkPoverty.org is an online hub dedicated to “providing in-depth analysis and educational resources about poverty in America and what we can do at the local, state, and federal level to dramatically reduce it.”
Posted by Elena del Valle on September 24, 2014
Rintaro Tamaki, deputy secretary general, OECD
Photo, graphic: OECD/Michael Dean
Most major advanced and emerging economies are experiencing a moderate if uneven expansion across regions; and growth is weak in the euro area, which may suffer prolonged stagnation unless something happens to boost demand, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) most recent Interim Economic Assessment.
In the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, the researchers believe growth will be cause unemployment to drop. In Japan, where unemployment is already low, the economy may grow broadly. They believe China will to continue experiencing high yet more sustainable growth rates while India and Brazil rebound from the recession.
“The global economy is expanding unevenly, and at only a moderate rate,” said Rintaro Tamaki, deputy secretary general and acting chief economist, OECD, at the Interim Economic Assessment in Paris, France, according to the OECD website. “Trade growth therefore remains sluggish and labour market conditions in the main advanced economies are improving only gradually, with far too many people still unable to find good jobs worldwide. The continued failure to generate strong, balanced and inclusive growth underlines the urgency of undertaking ambitious reforms.”
OECD Projected GDP Growth 2014-15 - click to enlarge
The OECD projects that in 2014, the United States will grow by 2.1 percent, and by 3.1 per cent in 2015; the United Kingdom will grow by 3.1 percent in 2014 and 2.8 percent in 2015; and Canada will grow 2.3 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2015.
They estimate Japan will grow by 0.9 percent in 2014 and 1.1 percent in 2015; the euro area will grow at a 0.8 percent rate in 2014 and a 1.1 percent pace in 2015.
Growth prospects differ widely among the major euro area economies. The researchers forecast Germany will grow by 1.5 percent in 2014 and 2015, France by 0.4 percent in 2014 and 1 percent in 2015, while Italy will see a -0.4 percent drop in 2014 and a gain of just 0.1 percent in 2015.
Posted by Elena del Valle on September 19, 2014
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Photo: BenBella Books
T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. has spent a lifetime studying nutrition, and Howard Jacobson, Ph.D. is a health educator and ecological gardener. They believe a whole food plant based diet without added fat, salt, or refined carbohydrates (such as sugar and white flour) is the essential foundation for a healthy life. In Whole Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (BenBella Books, $16.95) they explore the evidence to support their conclusions, including their belief that people's eating habits haven't changed despite the availability of information about nutrition to support their arguments.
Whole follows on the heels of the publication of The China Study (see Health, nutrition experts examine comprehensive China nutrition study), a previous book authored by Campbell and his son, which addressed similar issues and conclusions about nutrition. The 328-page softcover book is divided into 19 chapters and four main parts: Enslaved by the System, Paradigm As Prison, Subtle Power and Its Wielders, and Final Thoughts.
The authors examine the concepts of whole versus reductionist biology, where whole biology views the body as more than the sum of its parts while reductionist biology focuses on the individual organs or aspects of the human anatomy. They are convinced reductionism is the primary view today and part of the reason society, medicine and social policy favor reductionist nutrition.
They propose that readers change the way they view nutrition, medicine and health, taking into account the complexity of the human body and expanding their views to encompass reductionist and wholist approaches. The reasons society clings to old reductionist approaches to eating, they say, relate to a long standing belief in the healthy nature of animal proteins, the common view that the body is made up of a set of diverse and separate parts, and a profit oriented reductionist system.
Click to buy Whole
Posted by Elena del Valle on September 8, 2014
Amiel Handelsman, executive coach and author, Practice Greatness
Photo: Amiel Handelsman
A podcast interview with Amiel Handelsman, an executive coach, is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, he discusses how to practice great leadership with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.
Amiel, a change consultant based in Portland, Oregon, is the author of the 2014 book Practice Greatness: Escape Small Thinking, Listen Like A Master, And Lead With Your Best. He has two decades of experience helping leaders and organizations rise to the challenge of complex change.
To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Amiel Handelsman” and click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the September 2014 section of the podcast archive.
Posted by Elena del Valle on August 29, 2014
David and Goliath
Photo: Hachette Book Group
Author photo: Brooke Williams
We are impressed by size and strength, assuming giants, people or companies, should win in an encounter, according to Malcom Gladwell, a journalist and author. He believes that “much of what is beautiful and important in our world comes from adversity and struggle.”
In David and Goliath Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (Little Brown and Company, $29) he discusses how while the giants might be winners most of the time, sometimes the underdog might overcome adversity to vanquish the superpower. The 305-page hardcover book published in 2013 is divided into three main parts and nine chapters in which he explores the general theme of underdogs overcoming the odds to excel.
He explains at the beginning that facing overwhelming circumstances "produces greatness and beauty," and that being disadvantaged in a lopsided conflict changes people, sometimes for the better. The lesson, he concludes, is that the powerful and strong are not always as we perceive them.
Malcolm Gladwell, author, David and Goliath
Throughout the book he uses examples to illustrate the points he wishes to make about how it is possible that a disadvantage such as dyslexia or loosing a parent at a young age may make people stronger than they might otherwise have been in the absence of the hardship. In other words, what doesn't kill us might make us strong and able to beat a difficult situation to our favor.
Many American presidents and British prime ministers suffered the loss of a parent in their youth at a higher rate than the general population, he says. He points out that while such a loss is common among society's losers it is also in evidence among its winners and wonders whether such a situation might become an advantage.
To research the chapter on the Troubles in Northern Ireland he spent a summer in Belfast. He was surprised to discover how small the areas in dispute, that had played a major role in British politics for three decades, were. Goliaths, he says, still win most of the time. The thing to remember is that they don't win all of the time, and perhaps not nearly as often as we might expect them to.
Gladwell, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996, lives in New York. Prior to this book, he wrote What the Dog Saw, Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point.
Click to buy David and Goliath
Posted by Elena del Valle on August 22, 2014
The Web Startup Roadmap
Photos: JP Stonestreet
After selling two websites in 2008, JP Stonestreet wrote The Web Startup Roadmap: Navigate Your Way to a Successful Online Business (Ripen Publishing, $22.95) to share his ideas about building an online business from scratch, marketing, running and preparing it for possible sale.
"The biggest challenge was the actual writing of the book. It's over 300 pages! I had no idea it would be that long when I started writing it. If I had it to do over again, I'd split it up into 3 different books that are much shorter. Readers like smaller books better, too. Especially when the content is challenging," Stonestreet said by email in response to a question about the challenge of writing the book.
An understanding of a small target audience is necessary at the beginning, he says in the book. Once your idea proves successful you can expand your audience. He lists several examples of companies that started targeting a niche audience and grew their audience over time.
When asked who his book audience is he said, "I wrote this book for non-technical people who want to start an online business or expand their current online presence but aren't sure what to do or even where to start. The web is accessible to everyone, but understood by very few in comparison. My goal was to lift the veil and help more business owners understand how they can use it to build and grow their businesses."
A good idea that is well developed is also necessary, as is offering something that sets you apart from competitors, he says, describing traits successful start-ups share.
In the book, he discusses business models he believes work online. The 300-page softcover book, published in 2012, is divided into five sections: Planning for Success, Starting Your Startup, Building Your Website, Marketing Your Website, and Running Your Business. In the third one he outlines his ideas about web business essentials.
JP Stonestreet, author, The Web Startup Roadmap
For him, "The biggest takeaway from publishing the book was to start promoting it before you even start writing it. After I sold my company, I wanted to document all the lessons I learned so I'd remember them. After writing pages and pages of notes, I decided to put them in a book, which led to The Web Startup Roadmap. Unfortunately, I didn't think to promote it until it was written and published so I missed out on a lot of opportunities to raise awareness and attract press coverage. The lesson I share with everyone is to start promoting your book on social media and to your following as soon as you get the idea and the title."
In the final two sections, he discusses marketing strategies such as affiliate marketing, advertising, social media, emails and search engine optimization; and the aspects of growing the business beyond the initial stages toward an eventual sale.
The biggest takeaway for readers? "The first section of the book discusses my long list of failures and the lessons I learned from them. If readers only take one lesson from the book, it should be the value of perseverance. Failure is inevitable if you're a risk taker, but success is inevitable if you don't let failure stop you from trying," the author said.
Click to buy The Web Startup Roadmap
Posted by Elena del Valle on August 13, 2014
Photo: U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office (PIO)
Unsure about your race or ethnicity? You're not alone. Almost 10 million (9.8 million) people varied their ethnicity responses between the 2000 and the 2010 censuses. That represents 6 percent of the population of 168 million who changed their minds about their identity between the two national demographic surveys, according to Preliminary Results from America’s Churning Races: Race and Ethnic Response Changes Between Census 2000 and the 2010 Census.
The shift may be explained at least in part due to questionnaire design changes, the report indicates. Analysts observed a race response change among American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, people who reported multiple races, and Hispanics who reported a race. The researchers found little variation among single race non Hispanic whites, blacks, and Asians.
"Compared to adults, children and adolescents may be more likely to change their race/Hispanic responses for two reasons: childhood and adolescence are times of personal identity development and young people's information was probably reported by their parents in 2000 but may be self-reported in 2010," researchers said.
The most common change in responses was from Some Other Race (SOR) to single race white among those who identified (or were identified by someone in the household) as Hispanic in both the 2000 and the 2010 censuses. The second most common response change was from single race white to SOR for those who reported (or were reported as) Hispanic in the two censuses.
Specifically, 710,019 respondents changed from white to Hispanic white, and 417,855 changed from Hispanic white to white between one census and the next, according to an Associated Press article (10 million switched ethnicity or race ID on census forms by Jesse J. Holland). Races in the Census are white; black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and other for those with more than one race. In addition, there is a Hispanic ethnic category. The article also pointed to people who were children and or living in the West when the 2000 Census took place as the most likely to have modified their responses between the government surveys.
The paper was authored by Sonya Rastogi, PhD, Senior Researcher, Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications (CARRA), Carolyn Liebler, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Leticia Fernandez, PhD, Researcher, CARRA, and James Noon, Researcher, CARR.
Posted by Elena del Valle on August 8, 2014
The China Study
Photos: BenBella Books, Inc.
A good diet is one of the most important ways to achieve and maintain optimum health, say T. Colin Campbel, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II, M.D. In The China Study Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (BenBella Books, $16.95), published in 2006, and the Spanish language edition El Estudio de China Efectos Asombrosos de la Dieta, la Pérdid ade Peso y la Salud a Largo Plazo (BenBella Books, $17.95), published in 2012, the father discusses his reasoning and the data he relied on to reach his conclusions. He points out that despite spending more per person on health care than any other country the United States is struggling with the health of its citizenry.
El Estudio de China
Obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, high cholesterol, and cancer are among the best known signs of trouble. They and other illnesses lead half of Americans to take prescription medications every week, Colin Campbell explains in the Introduction. The 419-page softcover book, (481 pages in the Spanish edition) is divided into four main sections: The China Study, Diseases of Affluence, The Good Nutrition Guide, and Why Haven't You Heard This Before?
As director of a comprehensive study of diet, lifestyle and disease Colin Campbell learned that the people who got the most chronic diseases were the ones who ate the most animal products. He went on to discover that the effects of such diseases could be reversed with a healthy diet. He was surprised to discover the level of confusion that exists due to misinformation.
Based on his many decades of diet and health research he has become convinced that heart disease can be prevented and even reversed without surgery or drugs. Eating the right foods is the secret, he believes.
In Appendix C, he discusses the role of vitamin D in health, pointing out that people living in places with low sunshine are more prone to certain diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and breast, colon and prostate cancer. One quarter of the amount of sunshine needed to produce a slight redness to your skin, two to three times a week, will produce and store the necessary amount of vitamin D, according to the author. An excess of animal protein which create an acidic blood environment can affect the vitamin D process in the body, he points out.
Click to buy El Estudio de China