Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mental Health Care or Carelessness?

Denial around the seriousness of addressing mental health problems impacts all facets of America.  Investing in the front end of the health care network could save valuable tax dollars by both preventative and proactive measures.  The mind is very tied to our body.  When one fails the other usually is not too far behind. 

Today the United States spends 5.6 percent of the national healthcare spending, or $113 billion, on mental health treatment.  Most of this goes toward prescription drugs and outpatient treatment. Our country had 156,300 mental health counselors in 2010, and access to mental healthcare is pathetic compared to other types of medical services.

Healthcare spending is forecast to account for nearly 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or one-fifth of the U.S. economy, by 2021.  It’s been estimated that wasteful spending may account for between one-third and one-half of all U.S. healthcare spending.  The largest area of waste is ‘defensive medicine’, including redundant, inappropriate or unnecessary tests and procedures. Other factors that contribute to this excessive spending include non-adherence to medical advice and prescriptions, alcohol abuse, smoking and obesity.   We must address the psychological factors of we wish to lessen health care costs.

Presently our economy totals 15 trillion dollars.  U.S. total healthcare expenditure is $2.7 trillion or 18 percent of GDP. Multiple chronic illness cases that are just one percent of healthcare expenditure consume 21 percent of this total amount.  The last tier of 50 percent of patients accounted for 2.8 percent of spending last year.  Contrary to popular opinion only 10 percent of healthcare dollars are spent in the last year of life. While there is increased spending in the last few months approaching death, it is not the massive percentage of medical care dollars that is widely believed.

It is difficult to find any peace of mind with our mental healthcare system. For examplehow depression, anxiety and other ailments directly affect our bottom-line can only be speculated.  Also, the degree to which such mind states related to obesity and other major diseases today is difficult to track.  Loss of worker productivity and other indirect costs for mental treatment, therapy and other associated facets of mental illness are difficult to fully measure. Mental healthcare is expensive, with 45 percent of the untreated citing cost as a barrier. A quarter of the 15.7 million Americans who received mental healthcare listed themselves as the main payer for the services.

For last 20 years I have learned to better address my anxiety.  I have been fortunate to be able to cope with a more and more demanding world. I have been reluctant to share my plight with my HMO and spent out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars of my own money to manage my own mental health.  This exploration has been my most valuable financial investment since I have become more mindful as to how to keep appearances up and costs down. However, stress and increasing global tensions continue to augment as our population and social conditions evolve. It is wise to question how we going to fix our health care system so as to prosper in years to come.

The sooner we Americans face this opportunity the better.  All Americans are mutually tied in what happens in healthcare.  Our very well-being and future prospects forces us to courageously agree to transform this hidden crisis—into a new frontier of opportunities.  If only we can collectively care together this country will greatly benefit, mind, body and spirit.
For more info check out the link below;

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Efficient Governance

Creating a more efficient government is a win/win situation. A new form of saving in our decision making will return us to a more ingenious nation. Creating a better American way requires us to explore optimal resource management. Simple economic and environmental conditions leads me to such a conclusion. Increased people, prices and problems necessitates frugal and wise actions.

Government productivity and performance comes down to its output over input.  Once the public sector best accounts for what we use and where it goes then this life cycle tracking will stimulate new prosperity.  Critical to such a national policy will be a public and private campaign to sustain efficiency.

Increasing productivity can result when such a change is reached. Our output and inputs must be balance with increased financial, environmental and social considerations as we improve business. Once we become fully accountable a national policy of new performance measurements will enhance our welfare. Such improvements will form partnerships and improve all types of ingenious management. 

All Americans can learn how to become better resource managers. We can learn to be more skillful to use not abuse our people, air, water, land and other materials. Both we and the Feds must awaken to efficient ways to improve the economy. For example more effective federal policies to amend "Use or Lose It," (wasting money at the end of the year so to keep or increase next years funding) would be a great start.  As we explore opportunities to better streamline, and consolidate programs we will improve Fed productivity. We have the opportunity to better weed out programs that are outdated, ineffective, and unsustainable.

A national dialogue is required to best fine tune government by we, the people. By deploying a variety of tools and, stimulating participation of many organizations, such a reprioritization of what the federal government does, how it does it, and in some cases, who does the government's business, will change our budgetary future. Important as safeguarding funds from fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement is to pursue widespread opportunities to improve existing federal system.

In conclusion good oversight is essential. We must lessen duplication and or even working at cross purpose. More efficient  streamlining processes will restructure organizational roles and responsibilities We will only prosper once our nation champions greater government efficiency measures.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Being Cool with a Warming World

As our planet heats up being cool or conserving helps you find a peace of mind due to this climate craziness. Increased population, pollution, resource loss (water, soil, trees, etc) and other forms of depletion do have a serious consequences. For example, according to a major study in the journal, Nature, Greenland since 1900 has lost 9,103 gigaton of ice (a gigaton is a billion metric tons). More alarming is that this loss doubled from 2003-2010, compared with the loss from previous years. Such information can fever the mind. Keeping cool is about mindful resource use of using more with less. We as humans will pay a greater price if we do it respond to this accelerated environmental damage. The more we prevent the greater we profit. Increased emissions is not just a national but an international security issue. The better we mimic our natural cycles the greater we invest in our future prospects. If one looks at how carbon dioxide (CO2) impacts our eco-system then there will be not question what have to be done. Observing the last 1000 years of emissions then we would be more sensitive how long it take for CO2 to removed by the natural processes. In the next 45 years it is expected we cross the 2-degree Celsius rise in mean global temperature. How we address our energy, and resource issues will have a future effect. Yes we are on a larger Easter Island except our now it's a bigger spaceship. For example, the more trees we cut down the greater we accelerate not just resource loss but the probable human one. Preventing such a disaster is paramount. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the new CO2 rules to address climate change will cost between $5-8.4 billion in 2030. Simply take away of all the federal subsidies to industries that create this carbon will offset the cost to clean it up. Presently our national economy is $17 trillion dollars. Creating a cool comes down to each of us to find how we can keep the temperature and emissions down. Using more with less and making other ingenious choices has a ripple effect. Years in the future we may look back and see how huge this is as a national security issue. Already numerous military experts and most world leaders have identified climate change as major defense priority. Let's discern fact from fiction and create a legacy of hope that humans will unite to insure our very existence. Being cool with a warming world is our first line of defense.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Woman's Future Environmental Leadership

Woman's leadership role on this planet is vital to balancing today's resource, economic and environmental demands. The female voice in this planet's future before has been modest. Woman's environmental leadership has in the past been ignored, neglected and discouraged even though they are on the front lines in dealing with water, agriculture, energy and natural resource management. Also it is woman who bring new life to this planet. However the times are changing from just what is happening here in the United States. In July, Melinda Gates donated $4.3 billion dollars for those 120 million woman who want but can not afford contraception. This is one great example of investing in a better quality of life for future generations. Woman in the U.S. have an enormous economic presence. In the U.S., women control $11 trillion dollars of wealth or close to 40% of the total personal wealth. This is projected to rise almost 60% by 2020. Nearly two-thirds of women are the primary financial decision-makers in their households. Women account for 57% of bachelor’s degrees, 60% of master’s degrees, and 52% of doctoral degrees. Women earning over $100,000 grew by 17% between 2007 and 2010, compared to 2.3% growth for men. Nearly 4 out of 10 working women out-earn their husbands. Woman are both planners and savers and they focus on long-term goals, not short-term performance. They are Inquisitive, collaborative, and decisive Open to taking professional advice. Putting the needs of others first. Letting emotions drive decisions and Being too conservative with investments, Not communicating needs and objectives to loved ones. In the U.S., women control $11 trillion dollars of wealth. ●Nearly 40% of the total personal wealth ●Will rise to almost 60% by 2020 ●Nearly two-thirds of women are the primary financial decision-makers in their households Women account for 57% of bachelor’s degrees, 60% of master’s degrees, and 52% of doctoral degrees ●Women earning over $100,000 grew by 17% between 2007 and 2010, compared to 2.3% growth for men ●Nearly 4 out of 10 working women out-earn their husbands. Other Distinctions of Woman are: ●Good planners and savers ●Focus on long-term goals, not short-term performance ●Inquisitive, collaborative, and decisive ●Open to taking professional advice. ●Putting the needs of others first ●Letting emotions drive decisions ●Being too conservative with investments ●Not communicating needs and objectives to loved ones. From these recent economic changes here in the U.S. suggest that woman's role in decision-making is increasing. Melinda Gates is just one of many woman stimulating our female leadership revolution. Woman will be having a greater role in addressing and determining our environmental future.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Creating a New Cool

In Paris this week once again the international community attempted to developed cooperative measures to better this planet. Almost every week there are new findings proving human's impact upon our climate. Add to this our polarized Congress and it safe to assume things are heating up on many fronts. People’s passions, fears, despairs and frustrations are running high. Fittingly change is needed to temper our climate situation. These weather changes are highly correlated with temperature rises. All these factors are connected. Global warming is leading to increased biomass factors that adds to more melting of ice changing surface of ocean impacting major circulation patterns. 8,000 years ago-humans’ first impacted this planet with great deforestation. European heat wave used to be 1 in every 500 year event, now there is the potential for this to happen every other year. The rapid rate of climate change threatens not just our energy and food but our very quality of life. We need local, state, national and world-wide action to buffer against global warming. We know enough to act now, to put us on a path to slow, and if science permits, stop global warming. However, we lack an American will to agree that climate change is a serious and long-term crisis with potential to affect every part of the globe. What can one person do? First getting heated about the problem does not help. Next cool down and become part of the solution not emotional problem. Since our very future is dependent on profiting from climate stabilization. How can we stimulate public participating in preventative measures when our current economic system does not adequately reward such endeavors? Public demand and bipartisan support are fundamental to changing our stuffy climate with a new awareness, ingenuity! Lessening our impact on the planet, people, and fragile emotional health is road to now travel. Simple planning, to save more and pollute less is an art form that already millions of Americans share in. Our entire world culture must adapt its ways to survive. First, human population growth must be moderated. Our entire consumption society must shift to one of conservation. We can adapt ourselves as a well rounded society without extremes of poverty, and wealth. Also we can find prosperity when we juggle the shortages of water, accumulation of wastes and the damage to biodiversity to show respect for all things in this world. Conserving root comes from two words. Con which can mean to examine carefully, persuade, and steer or even an opposing view. Serve means to work for, prepare, and offer and to complete. Together conserving means to protect from loss and harm: to prevent from waste, injury; to economize. When people conserve, they wake up to how we all are connected. Our prosperity has a ripple effect. Conservation creates a new cool!

Monday, November 23, 2015

George Washington, American Pioneer in Composting

A knowing farmer, who, Midas like, can convert
everything he touches into manure,
as the first transmutation towards gold.

For 45 years George Washington was the master of Mount Vernon, and he viewed his occupation as farmer very seriously. Beginning as a tobacco planter like his father and older brother before him, Washington devoted himself to producing bounteous crops of the weed for export to England. He realized early on, however, that this plant was ruinous to the fertility of his soil. Therefore, he soon stopped growing tobacco and took up the cultivation of wheat as his primary money maker, complemented by corn and a variety of lesser crops aimed at sustaining his family and slaves. The quest to improve his yields led Washington to explore a wide range of agricultural experiments, including composting as a means of restoring soil nutrients.

In 1794 Washington sadly noted in his diary that, "Unless some practice prevails, my fields will be growing worse every year, until the crops will not defray the expense of the culture of them." Unfortunately for his successors who attempted to farm Mount Vernon after the death of the great man in 1799, this gloomy prediction was all too true. For Mount Vernon's soils were simply too poor to be a good producer no matter what innovative measures were employed. Thin topsoil overlying a dense, impermeable clay foundation was the main culprit, exacerbated by severe erosion caused by the poor practices of the day.

Washington never gave up the challenge to improve his soils, however, and he undertook numerous experiments to find the best form of fertilizer. He subscribed to John Spurrier's The Practical Farmer, which advocated the wise use of agricultural by-products and adding organic matter to improve the soil. Washington revealed an experiment in composting in his diary on April 14, 1760, when he "Mixed my compost in box" with different types in the various apartments. He planted the same number of seeds in each compartment and systematically recorded the results. After many trials, Washington applied manure, river and creek mud, fish heads, and plaster of paris to his fields with some success.

As evidence of George Washington's devotion to composting, he erected a highly unusual building specifically designed to compost "manure" and to facilitate its "curing" into usable fertilizer. Mount Vernon archaeologists have excavated the site of this building, called the "dung repository" or the "stercorary", to gain more insight into Washington's farming activities and to provide the information necessary to reconstruct this interesting structure.
Washington's typically detailed directions for constructing the repository provide several important clues to building details. In a letter to his farm manager in May 1787 he lectured:

When you go about the repository for the compost ... if the bottom should not be of good clay, put the clay there and ram it well before you pave it, to prevent the liquid manure from sinking, and thereby being lost.

*This was co-written with Dennis Pogue,

Monday, November 09, 2015

Less People More Possibilities

No greater threat to this planet than more humans.   Not only has our population more than doubled since, 1990 our collective planetary impact is exponential.  Everyday 220,000 people are born while 45,000 just die from starvation.  

Steven Hawkins estimated if the population continues every 40 years to double by 2600 there will be only standing room here. Just in the United States births increased in 2014 (1 percent) for first time since 2007.  In the next few decades we are expected to reach 9 billion.

Since 2000, humans have cut down more than 2.3 million km2 of primary forest.  Also we have converted one-third of the ice-free and desert-free land surface of the planet to pasture and cropland.  In southeast Asia, almost half of the natural habitat has been converted.

In 2008 Jared Diamond noted that people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world.  

Now we are at 7 billion people on this planet, and that number may grow to around 3 billion within several decades. Presently 5.5 billion people of the developing world are growing in numbers while we in the industrialized countries consume 32 times more than the rest of the world.

How many more people can the world sustain? Our developing countries make an increase in living standards a primary political goal to become industrialized. How can we in the rich countries lessen our material consumption since the poor wish to enjoy the American Dream of a high-consumption lifestyle? As millions of people in the developing world wish enjoy the first-world lifestyle how much carrying capacity can this planet take unless we humans use less? There is not enough pie to go around now to if humans are going to survive here

Just look at China as the leading developing country.  Now it has a two-child policy increasing its per capita consumption rates at home. China is one of the world’s fastest growing economy with 1.3 billion Chinese, or four times the United States population. Yes, our world is already running out of resources rapidly since China is quickly reaching American level consumption rates. 

India as well as China were to reach our US rate, world consumption would triple. Finally, if the whole developing world were suddenly to catch up to the US rate it would be as if the world population ballooned to 72 billion people or world rates would increase elevenfold.

Without some human population or birth controls we as a species may implode. Over 10,000 years ago there were just two of us. 

There is no greater environmental, economic, social, or other need then to insure we do not mass over reproduce.