A Positive Attitude Might Improve Your Health, LongevityWomen who are optimistic about life live longer and are healthier than those who are pessimistic, according to a new study presented last week at the American Psychosomatic Society's annual meeting. And women who tend to be more trusting of others live longer than those who are more cynical, according to the Boston Globe's report on the study. These new findings come from the Women's Health Initiative, a clinical trial of more than 97,000 healthy women ages 50 to 74 that is widely known for its research into hormone therapy. Optimistic women had a 14 percent lower risk of death from any cause after eight years than those who were more pessimistic. More cynical women had a 16 percent higher risk of dying than more trusting women. The study does not prove that attitudes affect health or cause illness, but the association is worth further research, according to the Globe .This isn't the first time that research has linked having a positive attitude to longer life span. Happier people are less likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and pain from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. If the recession has you feeling down, consider these 5 ways to be happy during bad economic times.
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http://mediamatters.org/items/200903090007 - complete
Joe Biden Speech
exerpts. Please feel free to make comment to Twitter @pete4doc
…… the fact of the matter is as President Obama said -- and he means it -- you can't have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement. And you heard what we said, what I said independently and what we said together: We will judge the success or failure of our administration at the end of our four years based on whether or not the standard of living of the middle class has increased, or not. That's the bottom line measure. And guess what. Neither one of us believe it can get better without you getting stronger. (Applause.)
2.. Even when our economy felt like it was on solid footing over the last -- you know, during the '80s and '90s and through the first part of 2000, even when we were on solid -- when the economy was growing, the middle class was slipping -- the middle class was slipping.
Remember there used to be a very -- and some of you who know me well have heard me say this for the last 10 years -- there used to be a basic bargain in this country, and sometimes I think we even forget it. You know, sometimes the way we talk about this is we talk about it like we're trying to gain some new advantage. We're trying to change the social contract in a way that somehow alters our position in the system. All we're trying to do is get it back to where we were, talking about what basic rights and responsibilities we have.
Because, look, folks, when productivity went up, the people who were responsible for that productivity were supposed to benefit. I mean, that was the deal. That's the idea here. We don't want chief executives and wealthy people not to get wealthy. That's okay by us. Every one of us hope our kids end up there some day. All the deal was, is, look, you come up with the idea -- it may be ideas we didn't have -- you're the entrepreneur, you're the management of a company, you come up with it, and we go out there and we help make it happen and we actually increase productivity, we do things faster and better and cheaper for you so the profit margin increases -- the deal was we get a piece of that. We get a piece of it -- a fair piece. That's the bargain. That was the bargain.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, productivity increased almost 20 percent from 2000 to 2007, just in those seven years. Now, who increased the productivity? You all increased the productivity. You're the reason why we produce more, and why it was produced for less -- same unit cost lowered. During that period, instead of middle-class incomes going up 20 percent, they actually -- during that seven-year period -- lost $2,000. That wasn't the bargain. It wasn't if productivity was up 20 percent, we get 80 percent; it was get our fair share. Instead, wages actually went down $2,000 over that period. For too long the middle class has been dealt out. I'm here to tell you in this administration it is dealt in. It is the first card on the table. (Applause.)
3 But we believe -- we believe without a new health care system we're never going to get out of this hole. It's the one way to save the American taxpayers money. And we're going to pay for it -- we're going to pay for that $630 billion, and we lay out how we're going to pay for it. We're going to pay for it by going line by line through this budget, cutting unnecessary spending, cracking down on fraud and the waste that exists in Medicare and Medicaid; by extending -- by ending the tax breaks for corporations and -- U.S. corporations that ship jobs overseas -- (applause) -- by getting rid of no-bid contracts; making the tax code more balanced; asking the wealthiest, those making more than $250,000, to do a little more.
4 But we know how to get there. And that's why we've laid this out. That's why the President -- in addition to that, we have a system here where our work doesn't end with this effort of dealing with the Recovery Act and our budget, it only begins there. That's why the President has asked me to lead our administration's Middle Class Task Force. And that's why I've already asked some of you -- Leo was there in Philadelphia with me -- I've asked all of you to participate with me in that task force. Over the next year we're going to be holding these hearings all over the United States of America.
5 So, folks, there's no such job that's inherently a good job -- inherently a good job. They become good jobs when workers have an opportunity to insist that they get paid a fair wage, they get treated fairly, and they will benefit from the productivity that results from that industry. The union movement made them good jobs. (Applause.) Well, that's why, by the middle of the last century, you not only saw unions growing, you saw wages growing, benefits growing; you also saw cities and communities growing. In the post year -- the postwar years, productivity doubled after World War II. It doubled. And guess what happened. Middle-class income doubled when productivity doubled.
But then, in the early '70s, some parts of the business community decided that labor was the enemy. They supported politicians who felt the same way, and they began to fix the game, so that the refs -- the NLRB, to name one -- weren't calling things -- being square and fair. They started wearing black shirts instead of striped shirts. Well, you saw the result -- companies delaying elections, intimidating and firing organizers, stalling on the first contract.
Well, in this country today, legal industry -- excuse me -- the legal industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars exclusively in an effort to block workers from pursuing their legal rights, from unions being able to get collective bargaining agreements.
I mentioned the productivity increased by almost 20 percent from 2000 to 2007, but wages fell by $2,000. If our basic bargain had been intact, if paychecks rose with productivity growth, as they did from World War II to the early '70s, families would have gained $10,000 over that period, instead of losing $2,000. (Applause.)
6. the loss of a job is more than the loss of an income; it's loss of pride, it's emotionally devastating. It's about having to take that longest of walks up a short flight of stairs to your child's bedroom and say, "Honey, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, you got to switch schools. Daddy or mommy lost their job; we can't stay, we can't stay here, honey. You know, the school you're in, I know you love it, but I can't afford to send you back next semester. The situation, the team you play on, I know -- I know how much it matters to you. But there will be another good team we can find."
That's the longest walk a man or a woman will ever make -- other than you have to tell someone they've got a serious health problem, a life-threatening problem. Why do you know about that walk? Some of you, maybe like me, had your fathers or mothers make that walk up to your bedroom. My dad made it up to my bedroom a long time ago. I remember when he said, "Honey, I know you love it here in Scranton, and we'll come back a lot, but Dad is going to leave and go to Wilmington. I'll be home every weekend. We're going to find a really good place down there. We're going to find a good place down there." It's not the end of the world, but let me tell you something, to many people it looks like the end of the road.
7 So, folks, I want to end by saying to you that it ain't just because I'm Irish -- (laughter) -- it's not bad, though. At least if you're -- (applause) -- at least if you're smart enough to marry an Italian -- he's going "hey, hey" -- you know. (Laughter.) I married a Sicilian -- oh, boy. (Laughter.) But all kidding aside, folks, look, I am really optimistic. I'm genuinely optimistic. It's going to be a rough year. It's going to be rough until we climb out of this. But I think we've got a ladder long enough, and I think when we climb out of this hole, if we do this right, it's going to be -- we climb onto a platform that's clearer, sturdier, better, more competitive for America, and put us in a position where we're able to do in the 21st century what we did in the 20th century. I really, genuinely believe that.