Perhaps this explains our local elections....

Pessimism raises dementia risk, study finds


Pessimistic, anxious and depressed people may have a higher risk of dementia, U.S. researchers reported Thursday.


Does this sound right...

I get an email every evening from MSNBC that covers the business news of the day. Here are some of today's headlines:

Former AIG CEO takes the Fifth
The former chairman and CEO of embattled insurer AIG Â invoked his constitutional rights against self-incrimination Tuesday, declining to answer questions from securities regulators, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Scrushy perjury counts to be thrown out
A federal judge indicated Tuesday she would throw out three perjury charges against fired HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy but said she would let his corporate fraud trial move ahead on 55 additional counts.

U.S. prosecutors indict NYSE traders
Fifteen specialists who managed trades on the floor of the NYSE were indicted Tuesday, charged with using their inside positions to earn an estimated $20 million in illicit profits for themselves and their firms.

3 out of 10 of the headlines were about criminal charges leveled against business leaders. We need real change in the US business community, and the demand should come from within.


Krugman hits the nail on the head....

...Those of us who accuse the administration of inventing a Social Security crisis are often accused, in return, of do-nothingism, of refusing to face up to the nation's problems. I plead not guilty: America does face a real crisis - but it's in health care, not Social Security.

...A recent survey of chief financial officers at major corporations found that 65 percent regard immediate action on health care costs as "very important." Only 31 percent said the same about Social Security reform.

...America's traditional private health insurance system, in which workers get coverage through their employers, is unraveling. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that in 2004 there were at least five million fewer jobs with health insurance than in 2001.

...the U.S. health care system is wildly inefficient. Americans tend to believe that we have the best health care system in the world. (I've encountered members of the journalistic elite who flatly refuse to believe that France ranks much better on most measures of health care quality than the United States.) But it isn't true. We spend far more per person on health care than any other country - 75 percent more than Canada or France - yet rank near the bottom among industrial countries in indicators from life expectancy to infant mortality.

...medical progress may force us to make a harsh choice: if we don't want to become a society in which the rich get life-saving medical treatment and the rest of us don't

...The fact is that in health care, the private sector is often bloated and bureaucratic, while some government agencies - notably the Veterans Administration system - are lean and efficient. In health care, competition and personal choice can and do lead to higher costs and lower quality. The United States has the most privatized, competitive health system in the advanced world; it also has by far the highest costs, and close to the worst results.