Thursday, September 30, 2010

If We're So Great, Why Are We So Unhappy?

First, the numbers . . .

We're getting more depressed in the United States.

"Major depression is a common and treatable mental disorder; a study conducted during 2001--2002 estimated that 6.6% of the U.S. adult population had experienced a major depressive disorder during the preceding 12 months. Among the 235,067 adult respondents in the sample for survey years 2006 and 2008, 9.0% met criteria for current depression, including 3.4% who met criteria for major depression.

The prevalence of major depression increased with age, from 2.8% among persons aged 18--24 years to 4.6% among persons aged 45--64 years, but declined to 1.6% among those aged ≥65 years. Women were significantly more likely than men to report major depression (4.0% versus 2.7%), as were persons without health insurance coverage compared with those with coverage (5.9% versus 2.9%), persons previously married (6.6%) or never married (4.1%) compared with those currently married (2.2%), and persons unable to work (22.2%) or unemployed (9.8%) compared with homemakers and students (3.0%), persons employed (2.0%), and retired persons (1.6%)."

- From Current Depression Among Adults --- United States, 2006 and 2008

The connection? The connections within the spreading unhappiness in America is the absence of connections -- credible connections. Whether it is the absence of a spouse, i.e., single/divorced/widowed, the absence of co-workers, i.e., unemployed, or the absence of friends, all studies seem to point in the same direction: in order to be happy, satisfied, and content, people need other people and the connections to those people need to be credible, that is, believable and dependable.

Such is the message of Credible Connections(tm) and its approach to creating them in the workplace.

More info available at:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Congress Passes Still Another Bailout - This One For The Teachers' Unions

Before moving to the serious topic of the impending and altogether purposeful bankruptcy of the United States, a little humor . . .

The Kentucky Department of Labor claimed a small Nelson County farmer was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate him.

Department of Labor Employee: "I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them."

Farmer: "Well, there's my farm hand who's been with me for 3 years. I pay him $ 400 a week plus free room and board."

"Then there's the mentally challenged worker. He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally."

Department of Labor Employee: "That's the guy I want to talk to...the mentally challenged one."

Farmer: "That would be me."

Little too close to home? Well, this should add insult to injury . . .

Nancy Pelosi got her $26 billion teachers' union bailout passed in the House today.

Pelosi and the gang are up to it again -- rewarding bad behavior. State governments spend too much money. So when they run out of money the "solution" is to give them more money, e.g., banks, automakers.

Cutting spending is not in the cards.

Government at all levels is addicted to spending and we, those who elect our government representatives, seem hell-bent on feeding that addiction by continuing to bow to those who spend profligately, including States via public unions who make demands resulting in getting what they want, and then waiting for the Fed to come to the rescue with freshly printed money backed by nothing.

I am tempted to engage in wild comparative hyperbole here but nothing I could say would trump the pathetic truth.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

EFCA: Coming Up In the Lame Duck?

Harry Reid has promised a lame duck session between the upcoming Congressional elections in November and the seating of a new Congress early next year.

The lame-duck session could give retiring and defeated lawmakers a sense of feeling more free to vote for legislation they might not have otherwise supported, especially if Republicans will take over the House and maybe the Senate early next year.

Democrats have not been specific about what they might pursue during the lame-duck session, but it is anticipated it will include an aggressive energy and climate bill and the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, or "card check").

In short, there are a lot of Democrats in both the House and Senate who are for EFCA but have failed to support it fearing a backlash from their electorate. Those who are defeated in November have nothing to lose and may vote for EFCA and other legislation they feared supporting publicly when reelection was still a possibility.

We're not out of the woods yet.

More to come . . .