September 4, 2016
A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis By J.D. Vance HarperCollins. 272 pp. $27.99 Reviewed by Dan Simpson J .D. Vance came from a family from Jackson, Ky., where the men worked in the coal mines until there weren't any. Then he moved to Middletown, Ohio, to jobs at Armco Kawasaki Steel, until that went away. Vance got out, serving as a Marine in Iraq and then attending Ohio State University and then Yale Law School before ending up at a Silicon Valley investment firm near San Francisco.
August 25, 2016
By Michael Gerson With defeat now the likely outcome for the Republican presidential nominee, the blame shifting has begun early and in earnest. To some partisans such as Sean Hannity, the responsibility for the expected loss - as well as for Hillary Clinton's Supreme Court picks and "whatever illegal immigrants do" - lies with Never Trump conservatives. Whether or not Hannity is the sharpest knife in the drawer (a matter of recent controversy), he leaves Occam's razor rusty from disuse.
August 15, 2016 |
Would raising the Social Security age fix the system? Not in an equitable manner, says Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, armed with data showing that lower-income folks tend not to live as long, and thus do not collect as much from Social Security. In fact, Social Security favors the "One Percent," who have more income and better health care. As a result, high-income Americans live longer and thus reap more benefits from Social Security. Full benefits begin at 65 or 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954.
April 22, 2016 |
THIS IS AN open letter to the young people of Philadelphia. Specifically the kids growing up in the zip codes - 19132, 19121, 19133, and 19134 - with the lowest life expectancy, the kind normally seen in war zones. But really, this letter is for all the young people who live in poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods from which people have long ago disinvested and disengaged. Where poverty runs so deep that it probably seems there isn't a shovel big enough to dig yourself out, with crime that traps you in your homes and educations so substandard that even under the best circumstances, you'll probably always be playing catch-up.
April 19, 2016 |
Christian O'Hara thinks endlessly about bullets. The 11-year-old says that when he hears gunshots in Fairhill, North Philadelphia, he feels painful pressure in his belly. "And," the soulful, dark-haired boy adds, "I know if a bullet hits me, it will feel worse than my stomach does. "I feel stressed and scared, always. It needs to stop. " His life depends on it. Children born today can expect to live only to an estimated average age of 71 in Fairhill, part of what outsiders call the Badlands, a study released earlier this month predicts.
April 7, 2016
By Thomas Farley The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a map showing shocking differences in health between the rich and the poor in Philadelphia. The map shows that life expectancy at birth in Strawberry Mansion is only 68 years, 20 years shorter than just a few miles away in Society Hill. This 20-year gap isn't right, and it isn't something that we should accept. What's behind these numbers? The biggest killers in Philadelphia are chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
October 19, 2015
How could she say no? The engagement ring was attached to Stella, a carmel-brown boxer - a gift from her then-boyfriend, Randy, in 2010. Fast-forward five years. Married, but childless (for now), Hollie Rothrock refers to Stella and her other dog, 8-year old Rosco - a black Lab-shepherd mix that she's had since he was 6 weeks old - as her "fuzzy kids. " She showers them with treats and toys - including birthday presents and stocking stuffers every year at Christmas. "I take better care of them than I do myself," said the fourth-grade learning-support teacher from Bucks County.
August 28, 2014 |
It's not that the campers, counselors, and therapists who come together every year in Oxford, Chester County, had forgotten the reality of death that is part of living with HIV/AIDS. How could they? The mission of Camp Dreamcatcher is to provide care, services, and a fun seven days for youth affected by the disease. It had been more than a decade since Camp Dreamcatcher lost one of its own. Then, when counselor Evan Jones died three years ago at 22, his death shook the camp. The response was to turn grief into action.
May 12, 2014 |
Can you wait until your 70th birthday? Timing is everything when it comes to Social Security, and the calculus behind it is so complex that even financial planners have trouble. About two-thirds of Americans get more than half their retirement income from Social Security. "It's the single most important decision about your finances," advises Dave Littell, retirement income program director at the American College in Bryn Mawr. "And we don't make it very carefully. " But that decision tree has two stark branches: when to retire from working, versus when to elect taking Social Security.
July 20, 2013 |
ATLANTA - If you're 65 and living in Hawaii, here's some good news: Odds are you'll live another 21 years. And for all but five of those years, you'll likely be in pretty good health. Hawaii tops the charts in the government's first state-by-state look at how long Americans age 65 can expect to live, on average, and how many of the remaining years will be healthy ones. Retirement-age Mississippians fared worst, with about 171/2 more years remaining and nearly seven of them in poorer health.