For the same time period, 19 percent of boomers said they were liberal, dropping to 18 percent.
For the same time period, 19 percent of boomers said they were liberal, dropping to 18 percent.
With spring finally in full bloom, baby boomer bloggers are writing about memories, life lessons, discrimination, wisdom, and generational differences.
Sightings Over Sixty
Tom Sightings of Sightings Over Sixty is dipping into a bit of nostalgia this week – remember summer jobs, friends at work, and a minimum wage of $1.25 an hour? And, in “A Mustard and Ketchup Fight,” Sightings recalls a few of the lessons he learned in the summer of '66.
Of the 15 carriers rated for performance in 2012 and 2013, eight airlines improved, six airlines declined, and one is new to the rankings, according to the 24th annual Airline Quality Rating released Monday.
The industry improved in two of the four categories of the Air Quality Rating: involuntary denied boardings and customer complaints. However, performance declined in on-time performance and baggage handling.
"While airline operational performance is at an all-time record high, this does not translate to customers being happy,” said Brent Bowen, dean of College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "Because airlines are solving operational issues and advancing in AQR elements, it is time to begin a new focus on serving travelers and expanding customer service.
Federal protections to keep potentially unsafe chemicals out of the nation’s foods are inadequate and may be putting the health of Americans at risk, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental action organization.
The food safety protection system is minimal supervised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has conflicts of interest in safety evaluations, and is ineffective due to a gaping loophole that allows companies to declare as safe hundreds of chemicals added to foods – without any notification to the FDA or the public, the council’s report released Monday said.
“Americans should expect that their food is safe to eat, but sadly today there’s no guarantee because safety oversight from federal agencies and food manufacturers is shockingly weak and hidden from public scrutiny,” said Tom Neltner, the council’s health scientist and report co-author.
About three out of four older Americans have more than one chronic health condition, and more than 20 percent of them are being treated with drugs that work at odds with each other – the medication being used for one condition can make the other condition worse.
Treating conditions “one at a time” even if the treatments might conflict is often used by health care providers, because little information exists to help them consider this problem, weigh alternatives, and identify options.
Ads during Sunday’s Super Bowl cost $4 million for a 30-second spot, up from last year's $3.5 million. The game drew 111.5 million viewers.
I’m not a football fan, but since I live in the Seattle area, I enjoyed seeing the Seahawks playing and winning… big.
However, I wasn’t impressed – yet again – with the Super Bowl ads.
Advertisers seemed to have gotten the message that the majority of people who watch the Super Bowl are women. There were far fewer ads with scantily clad women. However, David Beckman was shown in his H&M underpants, getting locked out of a photo shoot then needing to do stunts to get to it. Is this progress?
And, in an Oikos ad for Greek yogurt, John Stamos drips some yogurt on his thigh and invites a woman to lick it off.
In the Sodastream ad, Scarlett Johansson rips off a robe to strut around and sexify the ad.
One improvement. Godaddy.com gave up scantily clad women this year, but one of its ads did feature buff guys – and a buff woman – running to a support a small entrepreneur, a tanning salon. Go Daddy.com’s other ad, showed a real woman named Gwen, who quit her job as an engineer to start her own business in puppetry design and performance.
Although the 2014 offerings didn’t have ads where people were slapped or knocked down, the display again was marred by violent images.
Ad after ad of commercials for TV programs and movies made me wonder – yet again – how these ads can be shown to children. The promos for shows such as “The Following,” in which a serial killer exerts mind control on masses of people, were terrible.
These violent ads came up again and again: “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Pompeii,” and “Three Days to Kill.”
Along with all these violent images is the violence of the football game itself. At least, it’s finally being uncovered how dangerous the game is and how hundreds of players have suffered concussions and debilitating traumatic brain injuries.
Then there’s a violent ad to sell M&Ms, to whom? Kids? A mobster opens the trunk of his car and threatens and threatens and threatens the inhabitant of the back, a peanut M&M. The M&M doesn’t understand the language and agrees to be eaten.
Steven Colbert is featured in a pistachio ad, then appears a short time later in another ad when sales for the nut haven’t gone up right away. In the second ad, Colbert’s head is transformed into the center of a cracked open pistachio. His green skull doesn’t look appetizing to me. Yuck.
The Scientology ad had vague promises of betterment. The organizations negatives are so well known, I found it surprising that it chose the Super Bowl to try to improve its image and gain recruits.
Tim Tebow’s ads about not having a contract like T-Mobile weren’t convincing to me.
Heinz offers an ageist ketchup ad. When a grandmother empties the Heinz squeeze-bottle, it makes a fart sound. Ha, ha.
I don’t believe that using cute puppies and patriotism to sell something or improve a company’s image is in the best interest of consumers. I’d rather see the price of consumer items reduced.
The Coca-Cola ad that featured a diverse group of people singing the national anthem in different languages such as English, French, and Hindi? Bob Dylan’s “tribute” to America for Chrysler? Budweiser welcoming a soldier home with a parade in his hometown? Budweiser’s Clydesdales and a puppy sidekick? I don’t think so.
See “After Watching the Super Bowl, Why Do I Always Feel Like I Need to Take a Shower” for more information.
I’m the host for this week’s Best of Boomer Blogs #344.
Testosterone replacement therapy is becoming a craze. Unfortunately it’s not without the possibility of severe health side effects. Martin Rice takes a look at some of these dangers in his Fifty2Ninety blog.
The 2014 Winter Olympics have officially begun, which means that Amy Blitchok from Modern Senior will be camped out on her couch for the next few weeks watching the competition and plotting ways to earn her own gold medal. If you are also interested reigniting your competitive spirit and finding an outlet for your athletic abilities, read her article “Channeling the Olympic Spirit of Sochi 2014” for ideas and stories about inspiring senior athletes.
On my blog, I write about how consumers rated Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet as the leading brands overall, according to Consumer Reports’ annual Car-Brand Perception Survey. Tesla and Subaru are moving up the rankings.
The Midlife Crisis Queen Laura Lee Carter says a few key technological developments created the boomer music scene. Go learn what these are.
Bart Drolenga from The Highway Is My Home has invited five inspiring 50-plus people to share their favorite local spot. From pin-up photographer Allen Freeman to vintage hunter Lizzie Bramlett to bluesman Rev KM Williams, in "five inspiring places selected by five inspiring people" you can find out where they love to hang out.
In his latest post Tom Sightings of Sightings From Sixty investigates an important issue, a problem that surpasses all others, a fundamental question in kitchen politics that especially affects all people on the better side of 50: "Honey, Can You Open This for Me?"
Be sure to visit the blogs of these fabulous boomer bloggers. And, be sure to tune in again to see what boomer bloggers are writing about.
Consumers continue to rank Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet as the leading brands overall, but several others, including Tesla and Subaru, are moving up the rankings, according to Consumer Reports’ annual Car-Brand Perception Survey.
Toyota has a 25-point advantage over second-place Ford, reflecting a five-point gain over the year prior for Toyota and a three-point improvement for Ford. It could be that the safety concerns that saw the Toyota score stumble a few years ago have faded, returning the brand to its position as the perceived industry leader.
Consumer Reports brand perception scores reflect how consumers perceive each brand in seven important buying factors, ranked here in order of the importance to consumers: quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation.
Combining those factors gives the total brand-perception score. While the scores reflect a brand’s image, they don’t reflect the actual qualities of any brand’s vehicles.
“The key word is ‘perception,’ said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor. “Consumers are influenced by word of mouth, marketing, and hands-on experience. Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media,” said.
After five years of dealing with Republicans who want only to block his every action, Pres. Barack Obama strongly reaffirmed in his State of the Union speech his commitment to equality, job creation, a livable wage, immigration reform, veterans, and affordable health care.
His promise to increase use of executive power is welcome in light of years of turmoil from a “do nothing” Congress, which even shut down the federal government and caused great harm to consumers.
Obama praised the growing economy and an increase in energy interdependence by the production of more energy in the United States. He was positive about the growth of the natural gas industry in America.
However, while he said natural gas production should continue to grow if it can be extracted safety, I think he skipped over the fact that many are critical about fracking and the damage it’s doing to the environment.
Obama said he’ll cut red tape to help states get almost a hundred billion dollars in new factories built that use natural gas.
I’m concerned that the Obama administration won’t protect the environment adequately in its quest to improve the economy.
On job creation and education, he called for decent jobs for everyone and training programs.
He said women should be paid more for because when women succeed, America succeeds.
Obama also scolded Congress for failing to enact his pre-K program, pointing out that research shows its effectiveness in helping children rise out of poverty. He complimented 30 states that have enhanced their pre-K programs, and urged others to do so, too, pointing out they shouldn’t wait for Congress to act.
When he called on Congress to restore cuts to basic research made last year, Obama said America needs to have the next discovery. As an example he said there are entire industries to be built based on vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria.
I’ve written many times about inadequate public policies on the overuse of antibiotics, especially in food for animals, which cause drug-resistance pathogens. What’s needed are regulations to curb antibiotic use, not continuing to use them then hoping a vaccine can be developed against the pathogen. (See my article “FDA Issues Voluntary Rule to Phase Out Antibiotic Use in Animals That Aren’t Sick, But Consumer Groups Say It Does Little to Protect Human Health.”)
On the minimum wage, Obama called on Congress to raise it so that people who work full time don’t have to raise a family in poverty. He said he is raising the minimum wage in federal contracts to $10.10 saying people who cook for American troops shouldn’t live in poverty.
Additional positives for consumers in Obama’s address:
In closing, Obama said no one does what America does:
On every issue, the world turns to us, not simply because of the size of our economy or our military might but because of the ideals we stand for and the burdens we bear to advance them.
While it’s all good rhetoric, my concern for consumers is that in achieving the goals to continue economic growth and job creation, the Obama administration will neglect consumer and environmental regulations.
I’ve written dozens of articles in the last year about million dollar fines against banks, pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations. These are “slaps on the wrist” for these prosperous companies.
Government regulators always seem to be a step behind corporations. For example, Obama didn’t mention home foreclosures and how the government programs that he promised would help in last year’s State of the Union address are largely unsuccessful in helping homeowners in trouble. Meanwhile, banks and other financial institutions are walking away after paying their fines.
Posted at 11:09 PM in Consumer Protection, Consumers, Economy, Education, Employment, Finances, Government, Health Care, Housing, Investments, Personalities, Politics, Research | Permalink | Comments (0)
When I started a blog in 2008, I wasn’t sure exactly how it would work, but I knew I wanted to bring consumer information to baby boomer consumers.
Being a blogger is like having your own newspaper. I write about current consumer news, how to buy items and live better, and safety information.
I’ve written 1,778 articles for this blog and 1,245 on my other blog for boomer consumers. In total, that’s just over 3,000 articles.
Through my blogs, I’ve reached nearly 1 million readers. That’s a staggering amount, which is only possible because of the Internet and a blogging system that allows writers like me to easily get information to readers.
Some of my favorite articles this past year are:
My readers liked:
So, keep reading during 2014 and let me know what consumer issues are important to you.
Posted at 11:35 PM in Banks, Blogging, Boomers, Companies, Consumer Protection, Consumers, Finances, Food, Fraud, Government, Health, Housing, Internet, Investments, Nutrition, Research, Services | Permalink | Comments (2)