Baby boomers: Documenting a Generation’s Fall

(Photo by Sam Newman/NYT) George Ross, a former IT project manager in  Livermore, Calif., and his wife, Linda, as seen in the documentary "Set for Life,'' by Susan Sipprelle and Sam Newman.
(Photo by Sam Newman)
George Ross, a former IT project manager in Livermore, Calif., and his wife, Linda, as seen in the documentary “Set for Life,” by Susan Sipprelle and Sam Newman.

By Michael Winerip
New York Times, Jan. 17, 2013

One of the lasting effects of the Great Recession has been the economic spiral downward of the American middle class, and no group has been harder hit than the boomer generation, men and women in the prime of their working lives.

From 2007 to 2009, workers 55 to 64 year old who lost jobs had been making an average of $850 a week; those lucky enough to be re-employed by January 2010 were earning $647 a week, a 23.9 percent drop in income.

Younger boomers, ages 45 to 54, had been averaging $916 a week; the jobs they were able to find after the recession paid $755, a 17.6 percent decline.

That is the story Susan Sipprelle tells in her new documentary, “Set for Life,” about the generation that was so sure that they were — until their lives came undone during the Great Recession.

Read more here.

Science Daily: In U.S. First, Surgeons Implant Brain ‘Pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s Disease

Ed. note: My dad had this surgery for Parkinson’s disease seven years ago. I’m glad they now offer it for Alzheimer’s!

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2012) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine in November surgically implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the first such operation in the United States. The device, which provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease, is seen as a possible means of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline.

Read more in Science Daily.

Paul Ryan and the moral argument for rationing health care

By Charles Camosy of Fordham University:

As a vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) appears to have made our polarized politics even worse. After all, what could be more polarizing than his serious attempt to reform the third rail of politics: entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid? But Ryan actually provides an important opportunity for a real conversation about making hard choices about health care—one that our culture desperately needs to have.

Read more in the Washington Post‘s “She the People” blog here.

Peggy Noonan: ‘We are a big, complicated nation. And we are human beings. We are people.’

Peggy Noonan (a Republican) in the Wall Street Journal on Romney’s recent flubs:

I wrote recently of an imagined rural Ohio woman sitting on her porch, watching the campaign go by. She’s 60, she identifies as conservative, she likes guns, she thinks the culture has gone crazy. She doesn’t like Obama. Romney looks OK. She’s worried about the national debt and what it will mean to her children. But she’s having a hard time, things are tight for her right now, she’s on partial disability, and her husband is a vet and he gets help, and her mother receives Social Security.

“She’s worked hard and paid into the system for years. Her husband fought for his country.

“And she’s watching this whole election and thinking.You can win her vote if you give her faith in your fairness and wisdom. But not if you label her and dismiss her.”

Read more here.