Blue State Views

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“Overparented, Underhappy Kids”

A_whelicopter_1130 Kevin Lewis has a weekly space in the "Ideas" section of the Boston Sunday Globe in which he provides a compendium of recent "surprising insights" from research in the social sciences.  In today's selection, he includes the following:

The phenomenon of helicopter parenting — being over-protective and over-involved in the lives of one’s children — has gotten plenty of attention from talk shows. Nevertheless, there hasn’t been much research on its consequences. Now, we have a study. Several hundred college students were asked how much they agreed with statements like “My parents supervised my every move growing up” and “It was very important to my parents that I never fail in life.” Students who reported more agreement with these kinds of statements also reported significantly less psychological well-being, and reported using significantly more medication for psychological reasons.

LeMoyne, T. & Buchanan, T., “Does ‘Hovering’ Matter? Helicopter Parenting and Its Effect on Well-Being,” Sociological Spectrum (July/August 2011).

Note to parents: back off.  Here's more on that subject. 

 (Photo: by Hugh Kretschmer for TIME).

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Pushing Back at the Greedfest

Inequality-page25_1You have to be comatose to be unaware of the grotesque income inequality that prevails in contemporary America. Take a look at the disturbing data (here and here), documenting  the extent of the inequality and the rate of change over time. 

This insanity was brought home powerfully to those of us in the Boston area this week when Wednesday's Boston Globe carried a front-page article detailing the $8.6 million in compensation that Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Massachusetts paid in 2010 to Cleve Killingsworth, the chief executive officer of the non-profit organization who resigned abruptly in the Spring of 2010 at the urging of the board.  This was after BC/BS posted back-to-back operating losses in 2009 and 2010 totaling $215 million. 

What is wrong with this country?  What is wrong with Blue Cross?  Are we really supposed to believe that it takes compensation at that level to find a competent executive to lead this organization?  That's absurd.  

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Cell Phones: The New Cigarettes?

See Maureen Dowd's column today about the telecommunications industry's irresponsible and grotesque response to a policy initiative in San Francisco to see that purchasers of cell phones are given information about the amount of radiation each model gives off.  She writes, "So now we have Exhibit No. 1,085 illustrating the brazenness of Big Business."  It's like the drug companies, peddling chemicals that do more harm than good; the oil companies, taking horrible risks with natural resources; the tobacco companies, deliberately fortifying cigarettes with more nicotine to make them more addictive.  Now the makers of cell phones want to punish a city that is trying to look out for consumers' interests by informing them about the relative risks of a product. 

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Wealth and Inequality in the U.S.


Moreover, the
gap between the top 1% and everyone else hasn't been this bad since the
Roaring Twenties.

Go to this article in Business Insider, containing this and fourteen other graphs about the dramatically worsening wealth gap in America.

(h/t Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars)

The Onion offers a visual take at the situation.