Saturday, June 27, 2015

How Your Hometown Affects Your Chances of Marriage

The place where you grow up doesn’t affect only your future income. It also affects your odds of marrying, a large new data set shows.

The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado.

These conclusions — based on an Upshot analysis of data compiled by a team of Harvard economists studying upward mobility, housing and tax policy — are not simply observations about correlation. The economists instead believe that they have identified a causal role that geography plays in people’s lives. The data, which covers more than five million people who moved as children in the 1980s and 1990s, suggests that children who move from, say, Idaho to Chicago really do become less likely to marry, even if the numbers can’t explain exactly why these patterns exist.

More from the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Assembly Expenses Topped $1M in Latest Period

The Assembly paid $1.1 million to 130 members for costs related to "legislative duties" performed in Albany between April and September 2014, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center's transparency website. The data was released more than eight months after the end of the reporting period, an unusually long delay.
Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj of the Bronx collected the most in Albany legislative duty reimbursements, receiving $17,940 in the six-month period. Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper of Nassau County was reimbursed $14,135, the second most. The reimbursements include travel to and from Albany as well as "per diem" payments for food and lodging.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

America's CEOs Now Make 303 Times More Than Their Workers

From Mother Jones:

"Those at the top of the income distribution, including many CEOs, are seeing a strong recovery, while the typical worker is still experiencing the detrimental effects of a stagnant labor market," the study's authors, Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis, found.

The pay gap between CEOs and the typical worker has widened since 2009, with CEOs now making more than 303 times the earnings of workers in their industries. CEOs have made at least 120 times the earnings of typical workers since 1995.

Read the EPI report HERE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reverse Mortgages are not Risk-Free

The reverse mortgage ads you may have read or seen on TV sound like great solutions to older homeowners’ financial strain, but can you trust them?

Not entirely, warns the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many of these ads lead seniors to believe reverse mortgages are risk-free. If you’re thinking of getting a reverse mortgage, learn what the ads don’t tell you and what the risks are first.

If you or a loved one already has a reverse mortgage, take these three steps to protect yourself and make a plan for the future.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Father’s Day: June 21, 2015

Father's Day: June 21, 2015
June 12, 2015 — The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration, June 17, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth.
The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
How Many Fathers?
70.1 million

Monday, June 15, 2015

Using music in political campaigns: what you should know

From Daily Kos:

The union of politics and music has a long history. It works on a multiple levels too. Associating a campaign with a popular song is the equivalent of having a good jingle for a product, and it helps to get the crowds going.


Can a candidate use a song at a campaign event in front of the crowd before the candidate arrives?

• When music is played in public, such as at a campaign event, it is typically necessary to obtain a license for the musical composition (words and music). It is not necessary to obtain a license from the owner of the sound recording (usually a record label).
• The musical composition license is usually issued by a performing rights organization (“PRO” – such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC).
• The license can be obtained by either the campaign or the venue (e.g., hotel, restaurant, stadium).

From Future of Music

Cases get less clear cut when political campaigns use songs in a context that could be interpreted as an endorsement of particular ideas or candidates on the part of the artist. ASCAP offers this guide for music use by political campaigns [PDF], which outlines the process of clearing a song, and also explains how licensing a song may not protect a campaign from being sued by an artist who does not want them to use their music.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

American Housing Survey Emergency Preparedness Infographic

To better understand the needs of first responders and other emergency workers, the 2013 American Housing Survey asked U.S. residents how prepared they are for disasters. A new infographic released this week displays a wide range of the resulting statistics on topics such as having an emergency water supply and emergency evacuation kit.
The American Housing Survey is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is the most comprehensive housing survey in the United States. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Celebrate Flag Day by Learning About Its History and Display

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. Since then, the Stars and Stripes has become our most famous symbol. Few things have witnessed American history as up-close as the flag. From the birth of the nation, to the darkest and brightest moments over time, the flag has been there. Learn more about its 238 years of history and this observance.

Whether you are displaying a flag at home, work or in a public setting, learn how to do it correctly using these guidelines(PDF).