First, I have to admit being a “snow bird.” Along with my wife, we spent four months at our condo on the West Coast of Florida right next to Punta Gorda. At first, I was nervous about being away so long. But, the anxiety soon disappeared as we got into all kinds of activities.
Like it or not, we really do live in a global society – not just the economy, but in every aspect from the Internet to worldwide instantaneous news. Another extremely important element of the global reality is the education of our children.
As I did research for this piece, I was appalled by the poor ranking of our 15-year-olds in math, reading, and science. And their poor rankings have been achieved even though we spend one of the highest dollars per student in our public schools. The only country close to our student spending is Switzerland.
A simple fact. The United States leads the world in charitable contributions and with regard to the number of people who volunteer for good causes, we are second. While the statistics are not fully current, it is safe to say that some $260 billion was donated in 2008 to charities across the nation. The leading recipients were religious organizations, receiving around $90 billion.
Taking a look at charitable giving, by country, as a percent of GDP, the results are interesting. The United States gives almost 1.8 percent of our GDP each year. Canada and England are second with around 0.7 percent of GDP. France is close to the bottom with charitable contributions around 0.15 percent of its GDP.
Today, there is a great deal to complain about! From the economy to loss of jobs and from high real estate taxes to LIRR fares. The question, about these issues and so many other challenges in today’s society, is what do you do about them?
With television, the Internet and emails, it is easy to complain and stay at home. Thirty years ago, more people were attending meetings at every level. Whatever your political party, Republican and Democratic clubs had high attendance. Now, even with important speakers, few people take the time to participate. They would rather stay at home and complain.
In your life, everything can seem to be going well until one day the bottom suddenly drops out. In this case, the couple was in their 90s, and until several months ago had led fairly active lives – even driving back and forth from upstate New York to a second home in Florida.
Most people seeing the videos felt that the results were not totally unfavorable to former President Nixon. In spite of beads of sweat, digressions and clear agony, in the actual interview, the interview received tremendous viewer attention getting very large audience shares. But, the videos were much different than the movie. I felt the movie was not fair to Nixon.
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