The New American Divide – Reasons for Inequality

first_imgThe Wall Street Journal 21 January 2012America is coming apart. For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. …But there’s a problem: It’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s.People are starting to notice the great’s what happened to America’s common culture between 1960 and 2010.Marriage: In 1960, extremely high proportions of whites in both Belmont (higher – middle income) and Fishtown (lower income) were married—94% in Belmont and 84% in Fishtown. In the 1970s, those percentages declined about equally in both places. Then came the great divergence. In Belmont, marriage stabilized during the mid-1980s, standing at 83% in 2010. In Fishtown, however, marriage continued to slide; as of 2010, a minority (just 48%) were married. The gap in marriage between Belmont and Fishtown grew to 35 percentage points, from just 10.Single parenthood: Another aspect of marriage—the percentage of children born to unmarried women—showed just as great a divergence. Though politicians and media eminences are too frightened to say so, nonmarital births are problematic. On just about any measure of development you can think of, children who are born to unmarried women fare worse than the children of divorce and far worse than children raised in intact families. This unwelcome reality persists even after controlling for the income and education of the parents. In 1960, just 2% of all white births were nonmarital. When we first started recording the education level of mothers in 1970, 6% of births to white women with no more than a high-school education—women, that is, with a Fishtown education—were out of wedlock. By 2008, 44% were nonmarital. Among the college-educated women of Belmont, less than 6% of all births were out of wedlock as of 2008, up from 1% in 1970. Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His new book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010” (Crown Forum) will be published on Jan. 31.last_img read more

Bendtner focused on taking chance

first_img Arsenal went on to win the match 2-0 and stay four points clear of Chelsea as Arsene Wenger’s men continued to lay down a marker for a long overdue sustained assault on the Premier League crown. Wenger feels Bendtner, who was close to leaving in the summer, has the attributes to produce consistent performances if he is fully focused, and the 6ft 3in forward intends to do just that as Arsenal get set for a testing run of fixtures. “It was a fantastic feeling, I think my celebration for the goal was a show of that,” Bendtner told Arsenal Player. “It was my first Premier League game this season, so I am pleased to have scored and that we won. “It has been difficult for the players who have not been in the team because we have had such good form and the players who have played have been magnificent. “With the way people play now, it looks like whoever comes in takes it in his stride and goes with it, that showed again because there were a couple of changes and everybody played well.” There is little respite ahead for Arsenal who host Everton on Sunday, then travel to Napoli for their final Champions League group match before a crunch clash at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime. Bendtner said: “We are very much looking forward to it because we know this is a very hard period coming up and we need everybody to be focused and sharp, but we will take just one game at a time and try to put the points on the table.” Nicklas Bendtner admits it has been tough watching from the bench as Arsenal stormed to the top of the Barclays Premier League, but remains ready for when his next chance will come. Press Associationcenter_img The 25-year-old Denmark international was recalled to the Gunners’ starting XI against Hull on Wednesday night to give leading forward Olivier Giroud a rest – and headed the hosts in front inside two minutes. It was Bendtner’s first goal for Arsenal since March 2011, following when he had several unsuccessful loan spells and hit the headlines with his off-field behaviour last month following a Police caution for causing damage to an apartment building where he lives. last_img read more

Pharmacy school hosts health fair

first_imgThe USC School of Pharmacy helped host a health fair Saturday in Alhambra to provide medical services to the community free of charge.The school, along with the Rotary Club of Alhambra and the Alhambra Hospital Medical Center, held the fair at the Alhambra First Baptist Chuch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Several USC medical schools joined together to provide the resources.“There was a lot of coordination that went into this. We set out to make this an interdisciplinary health fair, so we contacted all the various professional schools at USC,” said Co-Director Elect of the PharmSC Clinic Richard Dang, a graduate student studying pharmacy. “We have different schools coming out and coming together for one health fair so as to provide interdisciplinary services for the population.”Pharmacy students, along with students in the physician assistant program at the Keck School of Medicine, gave hypertension screenings to check for high blood pressure, blood sugar tests and foot screenings to check for diabetes, scoliosis screenings, pulse oximetry screenings and free flu shots.Students from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC gave oral cancer screenings and hosted a dental hygiene education booth. Students from the USC Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy program helped run other educational booths.The Doheney Eye Institute gave eye exams for children in a mobile vision van, and the Alhambra Hospital Medical Center also screened patients to check for high cholesterol and risk of stroke.Raymond Poon, a 1971 pharmacy graduate and adviser of PharmSC, said a health fair was held last year at the Alhambra YMCA in coordination with the School of Pharmacy but did not have as many different schools involved.“This is the first time the School of Pharmacy is in collaboration with the School of Dentistry and the School of Physical Therapy. It makes our service spectrum a lot wider,” Poon said. “Before we only concentrated on diabetes, cholesterol, but now we can concentrate on physical therapy and other services.”PharmSC Co-Director Elect Raymond Chao, a graduate student studying pharmacy, said that the collaboration reflects the larger goals in healthcare.“As a whole, we’re trying to push the idea that we need a collaborative effort for the healthcare profession because healthcare isn’t just one provider; it’s a bunch of people coming together,” Chao said.The current economic climate also makes having different health services available in one place convenient for the community.“A lot of people are unemployed and probably lost their insurance and probably don’t realize how important preventive health and good health is to the family and to themselves,” Poon said.Dang also said that “the fact that it’s more accessible and free is what helps draw out the community members.”“We’ve always been doing this — as far as outreach in the community,” said Melissa Durham, a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy. “[But] with rising healthcare costs and the number of uninsured reaching record highs, we’ve seen a larger response from the community population who are seeing the value in these clinics.”Durham said that service, in addition to instilling a sense of value, helps students practice communication skills as well as clinical skills.“Our pharmacy students are at the forefront of community outreach out of all of our health professional schools,” she said. “In the fall semester, our students are out doing health fairs every other week in all different areas of Southern California. This is the first time we’ve been at this particular site having this one event because we’re always establishing new events everywhere.”The event also included information booths regarding nutrition, osteoporosis, immunization, cancer, poison prevention, geriatric care, pain management, heartburn awareness and body fat.“Health fairs are great opportunities to reach members of the community that don’t have access to routine healthcare,” Dang said. “It’s been a great experience just to be able to come out to the Alahambra community and help the community members.”last_img read more

UX Can Usability Be Sticky Too

first_imgA couple days ago, an entrepreneur and academic named Nir Eyal wrote a guest post for TechCrunch on UX and usability that pretty much blew my mind. Nir is an expert in the intersection of software design and psychology, and his premise was simple yet radical: the greater the investment a user makes into a product, the more committed they’ll be to it. What he stopped short of saying, but I interpreted anyway, is that the harder it is to learn your product, the more loyal your customers will be. Could that really be true?Sure, it meshes perfectly with behavioral economics, which generally concludes that people behave irrationally in the face of sunk costs. It also matches up with my experience in software consulting. One of our portfolio companies, Prognosis, competes in the EHR space with number of cold-war era competitors whose usability, by most accounts, is inferior. Yet one of the main challenges in getting hospitals to switch is convincing them to write off the years of experience they have with their existing system.But where Nir’s idea doesn’t fit, at all, is with the existing paradigm of user experience. Software is supposed to rely on existing conventions and human nature to require as little learning as possible. Like Steve Krug’s book, it isn’t supposed to make you think. There is no talk in UX circles about a tradeoff between stickiness and usability — usability is better, and therefore stickier. But isn’t an intuitive product mutually exclusive with requiring substantial investment? If it is, doesn’t that mean that a ‘good’ piece of software can’t also be sticky?In my opinion, there is an innate tension between usability and stickiness. The same cumbersome qualities that make me hate a product in a free trial keep me unnaturally tethered to it, once I’ve actually taken the time to learn and become accustomed to it. I’ve worked hard to get where I am, feel a sense of accomplishment about it, and don’t want to go through the experience again. It’s annoying, but it works. When B2B companies come to the proverbial fork in the UX road and have to choose usability or stickiness for their own software needs, they often choose the stickier option, whether they know it or not.But then it struck me. By making your product’s sophistication match your user’s as they move along the learning curve, you can win newcomers and keep old-timers from churning, too. There IS a way to have your UX cake and eat it, too, and here’s how:Keep the introductory product simple. Follow standard usability conventions for beginning or sporadic users. Keep it simple and intuitive. But…Provide a return on investment for power users. Advanced features don’t have to be front and center to appeal to power users — as long as they know they exist, they’ll seek them out. Either provide ample documentation, or let them know via an opt-in newsletter or blog.Customization. Your product needs to work great out of the box, but allowing advanced users configuration options will allow them to productively invest time into your product.Cultivate Stored Value. One of the key points in Nir’s post was that data-accumulating software can be especially addictive. I couldn’t agree more. It also has the effect of requiring escalating expertise to manipulate and visualize as the volume of data increases, mirroring the user’s learning curve.Build a relationship. While actual personal relationships are nice, manufactured digital relationships — where a customer support or sales rep has all of the necessary information about who they’re communicating with directly at their fingertips — can amplify the effect. Getting a customer to view their relationship with your firm as an asset will help you keep them.The key to a sticky product, like Nir said, is to make your user invest time and brainpower into learning it. But your entry-level product doesn’t have to be outrageously complicated to achieve this. A simple base product, combined with layers of optional power features, can lock in existing users but maintain the accessibility to win new ones. The key is to give the user a choice: between sticking with a perfectly usable product, or investing the time and energy into learning a power one that gets them hooked.If they’re both the same product, you can’t lose.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more