Category Archives: Trends

Balancing Traits

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Are you ready to achieve work-life balance?  The American Sociological Review has published a study showing that most of us struggle—which is a fancy word for “fail”—in this important endeavor.  But there’s hope.  The study also found that the minority of people who HAVE managed to achieve some form of the work/life holy grail are doing certain things well.

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Taxes Up (but not so much as you might think…)

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If you think taxes are higher than their historical rates, well, it depends on how far back in history you’re comparing them to.  Take a look at the accompanying chart, which shows tax revenue as a percent of total national income for four countries—France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.—since 1868.  The chart ends in 2008, and is taken from research by tax policy analyst Thomas Piketty.

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Communicable Stress

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By all accounts, stress—and its accompanying emotional mix of frustration, anxiety and fear—is bad for your health.  When you experience stress in your body, you release increased amounts of glucose from our liver into your blood, and your body produces cortisone, which is actually toxic to your system.  Your heart rate goes up, sending more enriched blood to your muscles.  Your immune system kicks into high gear, and you stay in this high-alert state which is only designed to help you combat real threats, depleting you physically.

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Good News About Global Warming

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Chances are you’ve felt a bit discouraged by the global warning reports.  On the one hand, they say that our world is in for trouble unless we make significant changes in how our global economy produces the energy it needs to function.  On the other, they tell us that even if we shift totally over to clean energy tomorrow (not likely), the troubling warming trend—and polar ice melts, flooding of coastal areas, and increasing droughts, hurricanes and severe winters—will continue to accelerate for the next 30-50 years.  The damage has already been done.

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The World’s Worst Drivers

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Just over 35,000 Americans were killed in automobile crashes in 2015, a 7% increase over the previous year, which represented the largest annual increase since 1965.  Does that mean Americans are less safe, or more safe, than drivers in other parts of the developed world?

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Medical Empowerment

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How do you become an empowered health care consumer?  A recent blog post on the Forbes magazine website, authored by financial planner/doctor Carolyn McClanahan, suggests that the relationship between doctors and patients is entering a third phase of its long-term evolution.  Phase one was paternalistic, where the doctor told the patient what to do and the patient was expected to do it.  With the rise of the Internet, the relationship has become more informational—the doctor provides the patient with a number of choices, and the patient chooses one of them.

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