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The day before he was shot and killed 46 years ago today on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a 45-minute speech on city’s sanitation strike. It was about labor rights, racial justice and non-violence but, in the end, it became personal and transcendent in a way that has made it haunting and famous.
The last ten minutes build in a defiant way that now seems foreboding. He talks about an early failed attempt on his life in Manhattan, where he was stabbed in the chest while signing books. He was rushed to Harlem Hospital. He says the stab wound was close to his aorta and he would have died if he had so much has sneezed — “drowned in his own blood.” He says that would have been terrible because he would have missed the later great moments of the civil rights struggle. No ride for freedom. No activism in Georgia. No Birmingham. No “I have a Dream” speech on the National Mall. No Selma… “I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.”
“But it doesn’t matter now,” he then says. It seems an odd note. He talks about the extra security procedures airport personnel took on his flight to Memphis the day before. When they landed, he heard rumors about threats being made on his life.
“Well I don’t know what will happen now,” he says. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do god’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
In the past few years, economists and other social scientists have made great strides in developing measures to assess subjective well-being (or, more colloquially, happiness), which has deepened our understanding of well-being beyond the traditional income dimensions. There are remarkably consistent patterns in the determinants of subjective well-being across people within and across countries and cultures around the world. One of the most striking of these is the relationship between age and happiness (which is good news for those of us who are already on the “back-nine”). There is a U-shaped curve, with the low point in happiness being at roughly age 40 around the world, with some modest differences across countries. It seems that our veneration of (or for some of us, nostalgia, for) youth as the happiest times of our lives is overblown, the middle age years are, well, as expected, and then things get better as we age, as long as we are reasonably healthy (age-adjusted) and in a stable partnership.
There are other consistent patterns. Income matters to individual happiness in every context we have studied this relationship. Yet after basic needs are met, other things like how your income compares to that of your peers also start to matter. Moreover, married people (and those in a civil union) are typically happier than their non-married counterparts (there is a direction-of-causality-issue here, though, as happier people are more likely to marry each other); healthier people are happier; and women are, in most places, happier than men (as long as gender rights are not severely compromised).
Another variable that is absolutely critical for subjective well-being is employment status. The unemployed are less happy than the employed worldwide. And both psychologists and economists find that long-term unemployment has psychological scarring effects. Long-term unemployment and under-employment, and the youth’s delayed entrance into employment, coupled with the over-burdened pension systems, are major problems in the U.S. and Europe. At a time when these issues have risen to the fore, it is perhaps worth considering more flexible labor market arrangements. While several solutions have been proposed, we are left wondering whether there would be public receptivity to changing labor market arrangements. While this is hard to predict, what we can measure – and did in our new paper – is the well-being costs and benefits of different work arrangements. As we argue in the study, different employment and retirement arrangements may be appropriate for people at different stages of their lives, depending on their career goals or innate well-being levels. Understanding how employment, retirement, and late-life work relate to well-being can contribute to ongoing public policy discussions.
In an analysis of Europe and the U.S., based on Gallup World Poll data, we discovered that voluntary part-time workers were happier, experienced less stress and anger, and had higher job satisfaction than other employees. We also found a “happiness premium” among older workers working full-time or voluntarily employed part-time. And late-life workers (i.e., those working past retirement age) working full-time or voluntarily employed part-time were typically happier and more satisfied with their health than their retired counterparts. The positive effects were greatest, meanwhile, in those countries where more flexible labor market arrangements were more common (and thus publicly acceptable).
Of course, not everyone has the luxury of choosing to work part-time, and many of those workers who choose to work beyond the retirement age do so precisely because they like their work. Still, our findings provide some food for thought. Perhaps we can imagine a future where over-burdened middle- aged workers with children have more flexibility to work part-time, with late-life workers taking up some of the slack. . The latter would help ease the burdens posed by fiscally unsustainable pension systems. And more flexible labor market arrangements might also provide more opportunities (full or part-time) for youth to enter the labor market on a training basis as a first step. Our results cannot resolve issues of political feasibility and firm-level receptivity, among others. Yet as a first step, they tell us that there is a “happiness premium” for workers in more flexible arrangements.
The right Idea!
What do People around the world eat on an average day? Photographer Peter Menzel and his wife Faith traveled to 30 countries, with camera and notebook in hand to shop, cook, and eat with a strikingly diverse range of people.
His Book “What i Eat: Around the world in 80 Diets” contains Portraits and essays of 80 individuals and the food that fuels them over the course of a single day. Including an Egyptian camel broker, a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Sudanese refugee in Chad, a Tibetan yak herder, a Bangladeshi factory seamstress, an Arctic hunter, an Indian Hindu sadhu, a Namibian diamond polisher, and a wounded Iraq war veteran.
Here is a small selection from his book..
Camel broker Saleh Abdul Fadlallah with his day’s worth of food at the Birqash Camel Market outside Cairo, Egypt. The caloric value of his day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of April was 3200 kcals. He is 40 years of age; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; and 165 pounds
Robina Weiser-Linnartz, a master baker and confectioner with her typical day’s worth of food in her parent’s bakery in Cologne, Germany. The caloric value of her day’s worth of food in March was 3700 kcals. She is 28 years of age; 5 feet, 6 inches tall; and 144 pounds. She’s wearing her Bread Queen sash and crown, which she dons whenever she appears at festivals, trade shows, and educational events, representing the baker’s guild of Germany’s greater Cologne region.
Shashi Kanth, a call center worker, with his day’s worth of food in his office at the AOL call center in Bangalore, India. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) He is 23 years of age; 5 feet, 7 inches; and 123 pounds. Like many of the thousands of call center workers in India, he relies on fast-food meals, candy bars, and coffee to sustain him through the long nights spent talking to Westerners about various technical questions and billing problems.
Tersius “Teri” Bezuidenhout, a long-haul trucker delayed by paperwork at the Botswana-Namibia border stands next to his truck with his typical day’s worth of road food. The caloric value of his day’s worth of food is 8400 kcals. He is 25 years of age.
Oscar Higares, a professional bullfighter, with his typical day’s worth of food in the bullring in Miraflores De La Sierra, Spain, on a training day. The caloric value of his typical day’s worth of food in the month of April was 4,200 kcals. He is 34 years old.
Curtis Newcomer, a U.S. Army soldier, with his typical day’s worth of food at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in California’s Mojave Desert. The caloric value of his day’s worth of food in the month of September was 4,000 kcals. He is 20 years old.
The Long Haul Trucker Conrad Tolby, an American long-distance truck driver, photographed with a typical day’s worth of food on the cab hood of his semi tractor trailer at the Flying J truck stop in Effingham, Illinois.
Mariel Booth, a professional model and New York University student, at the Ten Ton Studio in Brooklyn with her typical day’s worth of food. The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a day in the month of October was 2400 kcals. She is 23 years of age.
Katherine Navas, a high school student, on the roof of her family’s home in a barrio in Caracas, Venezuela with her typical day’s worth of food. The caloric value of her typical day’s worth of food in the month of November was 4,000 kcals. She is 18 years of age; 5 feet, 7 inches tall; and 157 pounds
Oswaldo Gutierrez, Chief of the PDVSA Oil Platform GP 19 in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela with his typical day’s worth of food. The caloric value of his day’s worth of food on a day in December was 6000 kcals. He is 52 years of age; 5 feet, 7 inches tall; and 220 pounds. Gutierrez works on the platform for seven days then is off at home for seven days.
Nguyên Van Thuan, a war veteran, with his wife in their studio apartment with his typical day’s worth of food.
Saada Haidar, a housewife, with her typical day’s worth of food at her home in the city of Sanaa, Yemen. The caloric value of her day’s worth of food in the month of April was 2700 kcals. She is 27 years of age; 4 feet, 11 inches tall; and 98 pounds. In public, Saada and most Yemeni women cover themselves for modesty, in accordance with tradition.
Bruce Hopkins, a Bondi Beach lifeguard, with his typical day’s worth of food in Sydney, New South Whales, Australia. The caloric value of his day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of February was 3700 kcals. He is 35 years of age; 6 feet tall, and 180 pounds. Hopkins eats moderately – rarely, if ever – eats fast food, and drinks alcohol only when he and his wife go to dinner with friends.
Shahnaz Begum, a mother of four, outside her home with her microloan-financed cows and her typical day’s worth of food outside her home in the village of Bari Majlish, an hour outside Dhaka.
Solange Da Silva Correia, a rancher’s wife, with family members in their house overlooking the Solimoes River, with her typical day’s worth of food. The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of November was 3400 kcals. She is 49 years of age
Xu Zhipeng, a freelance computer graphics artist and Internet gamer, with his typical day’s worth of food in his rented chair at the Ming Wang Internet Café in Shanghai, China. The caloric value of his day’s worth of food in June was 1600 kcals. He is 23 years of age
Chen Zhen, a university student, with her typical day’s worth of food on Nanjing East Road in Shanghai, China. The caloric value of her typical day’s worth of food in June was 2600 kcals. She is 20 years of age
Maria Ermelinda Ayme Sichigalo, a farmer and mother of eight with her typical day’s worth of food in her adobe kitchen house in Tingo village, central Andes, Ecuador. The caloric value of her typical day’s worth of food in the month of September was 3800 kcals. She is 37 years of age
image credits: MenzelPhoto
i never, EVER want to see this much of this man again!
|Crunchy outside, chewy inside, gluten-free vegan chocolate cookies.|
John, this is not OK!
this is not true
This is saddening!
Morehouse College and Spelman College of Georgia teamed up for Pride Week 2014 in order to bring awareness of the LGBT communities to students on their respective campuses. After the Monday night kickoff, students tweeted pictures of anti-gay sidewalk chalkings that had been scrawled in response, reading "Homo Sex is a Sin…” and “He loves YOU! He Hates Sin. Jesus Saves.”
This prompted Shane Windmeyer, the Executive Director of Campus Pride to call on the school President and administrators to step in to ensure the safety of campus students.
Religion-based bigotry of this kind is a harsh reminder of the hard work still to do on college campuses, especially at HBCUs [Historically black colleges and universities]. Campus Pride stands with the students at Spelman College and Morehouse College in working to change the campus climate — but, let’s be clear, it is not the responsibility of the students to accommodate their own inclusion and safety. It is the job of the President and administrators to ensure a safe, welcoming learning environment for all its students. Now is the time during SpelHouse Pride Week to step up.
The American public is getting used to seeing gay characters proliferate on their television and movie screens. Most of us would agree, however, that these portrayals leave a lot to be desired, and that "getting used to" is not the most desirable result. A new study from UCLA's Williams Institute suggests that one way in which representation in media, continued into modern day with Looking even, has failed is in its singularly affluent understanding of gay life (How did Jonathan Groff afford that apartment all on his own the whole season? Dom may be a waiter, but he sure has a nice pad!).
The reality? Gay Americans are more likely to grow up homeless, live an impoverished adult life, and require assistance in receiving necessities like food.
The Atlantic looked to understand "The Myth of Gay Affluence," both in terms of inaccurate representation and economic disparity. The results are a work in progress:
A new report released by UCLA’s Williams Institute found that 29 percent of LGBT adults, approximately 2.4 million people, experienced food insecurity—a time when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family—in the past year. In contrast, 16 percent of Americans nationwide reported being food insecure in 2012. One in 5 gays and lesbians aged 18-44 received food stamps in the last year, compared with just over 1 in 4 same sex couples raising children. The LGBT community has made huge political strides over the past decade, but in economic matters they still lag far behind the rest of the country.
The researchers suppose that those political strides have encouraged people across the country, not just in wealthier urban centers, to come out, increasing the amount of respondents who would identify as LGBT and impoverished in some way. "Alabama...is poorer than Seattle," or San Francisco, or New York. Thus a widening economic disparity. Why then is the public perception skewed toward wealth?
“Corporate America was one of the first targets in terms of trying to improve policies around LGBT issues,” says [Gary] Gates [author of the study], “and part of it was this idea that they needed to focus on the LGBT community as a consumer market that mattered.”
Marketing firms conducted surveys to try to show not just affluence, but disproportionate levels of brand loyalty were a hallmark of gays and lesbians...In 2012, Experian, a national marketing firm, released a business report claiming that the average household income of a married or partnered gay man is nearly 20 percent more than a straight married or partnered man ($116,000 compared to $94,500).
The Atlantic cited a 2010 study, however, that showed gay men to have a poverty rate of 20.5% compared to 15.3% for straight men. The Williams Institute points to a higher amount of lower paying jobs (such as nursing and teaching) taken by gay people, a very real disparity in hiring practices, and the realities of workplace discrimination, but nothing has conclusively shown why the economic difference exists. One thing is for certain:
...equality can’t and won’t be achieved as long as myths and stereotypes about LGBT people continue to be perpetuated and believed.
|Celebrate love with these fabulous gluten-free chocolate recipes.|
“As an educator, I’m always looking for ways to make scholarly ideas come alive for my students,” says public health lecturer Zuzana Bic. “‘The Walking Dead’ provides many poignant case studies related to the scholarly areas covered in the course, and it helps that it’s one of TV’s most popular shows. There will be something for everyone in this course, which will explore concepts as varied as post- disaster nutrition, the foundations of human survival and stereotypes in a Darwinian environment.”
We need one for Rufus!