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Baby Boomers and Unemployment Straining Disability Funds

Finance

The last of the Baby Boomers turns 50 this year, and if they want to cry into their beer about getting older, at least they can now buy it at a discount. The first of the so-called senior discounts kick in at age 50, generally along with an AARP card

By Jazelle Hunt
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Another partisan battle is brewing on Capitol Hill as Social Security in general, and disability insurance in particular, nears a budget squeeze.

“Any of us could suffer an accident or illness we’re not expecting,” said Rebecca Vallas, associate director of Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The Center hosted a press conference last week to release a reported she co-authored titled, “Social Security Disability Insurance: A Bedrock of Security for American Workers.”

Vallas explained, “We have this amazing program there for us if that happened. Very few people have enough savings to deal with that, and without [disability insurance] most of us would fall into poverty.”

Two separate funds feed the two types of social insurance: Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), and Disability Insurance (DI). Collectively they’re called OASDI, or Social Security. Income taxes, and interest from bonds bought with these taxes, anchor these trust funds.

Disability Insurance benefits Americans who cannot earn a living because of physical or mental injuries, illnesses, or disabilities, as well as their dependents, spouses, and caregivers. For many, it is the difference between getting by and abject poverty.

Close to 2 million African Americans are receiving DI benefits. The Social Security Administration reports that as of December 2010, 28 percent of African American recipients were under the poverty line. Without disability insurance, that figure would rise to 57 percent.

Approximately 31 percent of Black disability recipients also receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks, which provides additional assistance for low-income families of Americans with disabilities.

DI also serves nearly 2 million children, 1 million veterans, 4.5 million women, and 154,000 spouses of Americans with disabilities.

But the system is poised to be stretched beyond capacity as millions of Baby Boomers enter high-disability and retirement years. In addition to this population bubble of aging workers, there’s the fact that women have entered the workforce and become eligible for benefits, on par with men. Additionally, the recession has resulted in lower taxes from fewer workers who have to support a sizable population of aging beneficiaries.

With the convergence of these factors, Social Security funds are already plateauing and in danger of declining into inadequacy.

Read More: http://www.blackpressusa.com/2014/07/baby-boomers-and-unemployment-straining-disability-funds/#sthash.gwQLc0IP.dpbs

 

Attorney General Eric Holder Says He and President Obama Are Victims of "Racial Animus"

Politics

Added by Yvette on July 14, 2014.

Black News

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday that both he and President Obama have been victims of “racial animus” where political adversaries are concerned.

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said, according to The Hill. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”

Still, Holder was quick to acknowledge the progress that’s been made for blacks over the last 50 years.

“We’ve made lots of progress,” he observed. “I sit here as the first African-American attorney general, serving the first African-American president of the United States. And that has to show that we have made a great deal of progress….But there’s still more we have to travel along this road so we get to the place that is consistent with our founding ideals,” he added.

Holder also says he still believes the U.S. is a nation of cowards when it comes to race and stands by his initial comments.

“I wouldn’t walk away from that speech,” Holder said. “I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues.”

Then Holder expressed how the GOP is attempting to mute the voices of minorities and young people by restricting access to the ballot.

“Who is disproportionately impacted by them? Young people, African Americans, Hispanics, older people, people who, for whatever reason, aren’t necessarily supportive of the Republican Party,” Holder said, adding: “this notion that there is widespread in-person voter fraud is simply belied by the facts.”

   

11 Foods That Make You Look Younger

Health

BlackDoctor.org

What’s an anti-aging food?

Did you know that the foods you eat have the power to not only affect your health, but how old or young you look, as well as the quality and beauty of your skin?

Dark Chocolate. Not only is dark chocolate a treat for your sweet tooth, it’s a treat for your skin, too. Cacao contains high levels of polyphenol antioxidants, but any old chocolate won’t do. Look for high cacao concentrations (high quality chocolates will give a % on the label) because these have less sugar, which can actually be bad for your skin.

Pineapple. Pineapple contains enzymes that help break down the purple pigment in bruises. A herbal pill called Bromelain that is used to treat bruising is actually a pineapple extract that many surgeons suggest using after cosmetic surgery. If you bruise a lot, eating pineapple may make them clear sooner.

Salmon. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have been found to have positive effects on inflammation, depression, heart disease and more, salmon has beauty benefits for your skin as well. Our bodies don’t have the ability to produce some essential fatty acids, so including them in your diet helps reinforce your skin’s barrier and keep moisture in and irritants out. Omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease inflammation, so salmon is a great choice for those who suffer from rosacea or eczema.

Watermelon. Though it may sound counterintuitive, the high concentration of water in watermelon can actually reduce the water retention that leads to puffiness around the eyes. And because watermelon is low in sugar (as compared to many other fruits), you don’t have to worry about glycation, the chemical reaction that compromises collagen and leads to lines and wrinkles.

Read More: http://blackdoctor.org/10054/anti-aging-foods/

   

It's Never Too late

Lifestyles

Even in your 50s, 60s and beyond--even if you are seriously overweight, have already developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes; even if you've indulged in a steady diet of bad habits or have never set foot in a gym or walked further than necessary to get to where you parked your car, it's not too late.

With regular exercise, such as dancing, swimming or hitting th gym, you can still become stronger, healthier and more energetic while slowing the effects of aging.

Sharon Conte of Chicago is living proof that it's never too late to change. At the age of 58, she was overweight, had high cholesterol and hypertension, and had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and Graves' disease.

"I did not know how out of shape I had become," she said. "I was depressed and always hurting somewhere." In March of 2013, she decided to change all that. But like many who are new to physical activity, it was hard to know where to start.

Knowing Where to Start

Knowing where to start is a common problem, according to Chris Hylton, a certified personal trainer and owner of River West Family Fitness in Batavia, Ill.

"I think the hardest part as you get older is that you're so used to doing nothing that it seems insurmountable," he said. "The best thing you can do is try something out of the norm and get out of your comfort zone."

Conte's first step was to simply dance to her favorite music for an hour before work each day. Three months later, she felt a little better, enough to that she was able to stop taking pain pills.

This tracks with results of research by Rebecca Ann Lorenze, PhD, RN, and colleagues examining the effect of dance on joint pain and stiffness, and on the use of pain medication. They found that study participants experienced a reduction in pain and stiffness, and the reduction was most pronounced among those who attended more dance sessions during the study. The dancers reduced their use of pain medication by 39 percent; in the control group that did not dance, medication use increased by 21 percent.

As Conte continued to feel better, she was able to exercise more, and added moderate weight training to her regimen. She also adopted a more healthful eating plan and added foods that helped reduce her inflammation.

"By the end of the year, I knew I needed to do more than dance and use dumbbells and leg weights," she said. She joined an online fitness group that provides challenging at-home workouts, coaching and peer support.

The Payoff?

The support of others can be invaluable to those who are putting a new, active lifestyle in place. Hylton said for those who have good intentions but can't seem to get an at-home exercise program off the ground, it helps a little to work with others.

"It's harder to do it on your own," he said. If you're not sure where to begin, getting out of the house and taking advantage of fitness activities in your community, whether at a local gym, YMCA, park district or senior center, might get you started.

"On most days now, I have my workouts to look forward to," Conte said. "I challenge my eating and physical movement daily."

The payoff for all this effort? As of this spring, Conte has lost 39 pounds and her cholesterol is back to normal. With her physician's blessing, she's on track to lose another 39 pounds before the end of the year and may no longer need blood pressure medication.

"I'm not yet where I plan to be," she said, "but I could not be where I am without starting somewhere."
And that, perhaps, is one of the biggest obstacles people face when they make the decision to become more fit. It's one thing to understand that exercise is the key to improving numerous life-threatening conditions and improving your quality of life. It's quite another to know where to begin.

It may take some effort to get started, but according to Conte, the effort is richly rewarded, along the way and in the future.

"By the end of this year," she said, "there will be a toner, lighter, stronger me. Exercise has saved my life."

Dawn Williams wrote this story for Senior News 50 and Better with support from the MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowships, a program of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.

   

One Nation - What We Can All Do To Save America's Future

Book Reviews

By Dr. Ben Carson and Candy Carson

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

 

"In February 2013, I gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast... I warned my fellow citizens of the dangers facing our country, and called for a return to the principles that made America great... but our nation's decline has continued.

 

Our growing debt and deteriorating morals have driven us far from the founders' intent... Worst of all, we seem to have lost our ability to discuss important issues calmly and respectfully... We have to come together to solve our problems.

 

Knowing that the future of my grandchildren is in jeopardy because of reckless spending, godless government, and mean-spirited attempts to silence critics left me no choice but to write this book... a road [map] out of our decline, appealing to every American's decency and common sense."

 

- Excerpted from Book Jacket

 

 

 

Ever since Barack Obama jumpstarted his historic presidential campaign with "The Audacity of Hope," it seems that writing a book has become a prerequisite for anyone with eyes on the White House. In recent weeks, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton ("Hard Choices"), potential spoiler Elizabeth Warren ("A Fighting Chance") and Republican Rick Santorum ("Blue Collar Conservatives") have all published position papers.

 

Now, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has written his prescription for what's ailing the U.S., namely, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future, a clarion call for an end of the dysfunctional partisan politics which has left Washington, D.C. utterly gridlocked. While the outspoken independent hasn't officially aligned himself with either the Democrats or Republicans, his tough love philosophy has resonated more with right-wing conservatives, leading to regular appearances on the Fox News Network.

 

Dr. Carson has been a media darling since leveling criticism at President Obama while delivering the keynote speech at last year's National Prayer Breakfast. In this frank opus, he fleshes out his positions on a variety of issues, ranging from faith to healthcare to bigotry to morality to education.

 

For example, in terms of the welfare state, he argues that "Giving able-bodied people handouts rather than requiring they work for pay is every bit as cruel as the activities practiced by racists in the past." As for gay rights, he states, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman" because humans have no right to change the Biblical definition. A devout Christian, he cites Scripture before concluding that "Condoning homosexual behavior goes directly against God's commands."

 

Obviously no fan of political correctness, Dr. Carson feels that, "If we are to survive as a united nation, we must learn how to engage in civil discussion of our differences without becoming bitter enemies. And as far as presidential plans, he says he will only run, if called upon by God.

 

An old-fashioned, family values candidate awaiting a sign from the Lord to that his moment to lead the nation out of the wilderness has indeed arrived.

   

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