“The thing that staggers me about the Republican hatred of this law [the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare] is its abstract quality. They never address the real problem of our massively inefficient private healthcare market, which is a huge burden on the economy. They never address how to help the millions of uninsured adults get the care all human beings need. They appear to regard a Heritage Foundation, free-market-designed, private healthcare exchange system as some kind of communist plot. They do not seem to believe there is any pressing problem at all. And they have nothing constructive to offer.” – Andrew Sullivan

“Poverty damages children’s dispositions and blunts their brains… poverty in this country is now likely to define many children’s life trajectories in the harshest terms: poor academic achievement, high dropout rates, and health problems from obesity and diabetes to heart disease, substance abuse and mental illness.

Children are now our poorest group, with almost 25 percent of children under 5 living below the federal poverty level.”

Poverty as a Childhood Disease – NYTimes.com

By PERRI KLASS, M.D.
May 13, 2013

Poverty is an exam room familiar. From Bellevue Hospital in New York to the neighborhood health center in Boston where I used to work, poverty has filtered through many of my interactions with parents and their children.

“The evidence is overwhelming. Year after year, actively managed mutual funds fail to beat index funds. Studies have born this out repeatedly over various time periods in bull and bear markets.”

John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard, takes you through an extraordinary example of how an extra 2% fee on your fund can rob you of 2/3 (That’s TWO-THIRDS) of your potential earnings over time because of how compound interest works.

Actively managed funds have higher fees than the index funds they fail to outperform, fees that also reduce your compounded earnings. In other words, you’re being robbed twice.

The Retirement Gamble – FRONTLINE

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/retirement-gamble/

The Retirement Gamble raises troubling questions about how America’s financial institutions protect our retirement savings.

Ugh. It kills me to see how Lumosity has exploded the past few years since I was working on that CMU study – ads all over the place – and know that people are spending hard-earned dollars on things like this. Keep yourself mentally active for sure – as well as physically active and socially engaged – but don’t drop dollars (or let your parents or grandparents drop dollars) on something like this. “The science of picking someone’s pocket through their skull” indeed.

Brain-Training Games Don’t Actually Make You Smarter

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/brain-games-are-bogus.html

All the new research shows that playing learning games makes you better at the games, but not at anything anyone might care about in real life…

Nelson: Hey Simpson, I hear your sister dumped Christianity!
Bart: Who cares?
Dolph: I’ll tell you someone who cares. He’s got long hair, works as a carpenter, has a lot of crazy ideas about love and brotherhood!
Jimbo: His name’s Gunther and he’s dating my mom. Sometimes he buys us beer.
Bart: I thought Kearney was dating your mom.
Kearney: Hey, she came on to me.