Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Poverty: Unsettled Social Dilemma of the Philippines

Poverty ranks high among the unsettled social dilemma of the Philippines that exist until today. It is one of the longest recorded predicaments that struck the economy of the Philippine government.

Poverty can be observed in every corner of the Philippine archipelago and it is craving for a sustainable solution.

"Biyaheng Totoo", a documentary program aired on the widely watched television network in the Philippines, GMA-7, featured the poorest provinces of the Philippines. On the report, it can be reflected that there is an absence of quality roads for transportation, security, electricity, good shelter and foods.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo introduced the small and medium enterprise development agenda during her term of office believing that it was a key engine that would help boost the Philippine economy, but the program failed to uplift the means of living for both people residing in the urban areas and in the country side.

What is wrong with the Philippine government that it cannot bring their people to the next ladder of economic gain? Is it because of the uncontrolled practices of corruption in the government offices? Or the blame can be thrown to individual person for not striving hard to earn a quality living? These are just a few questions that continue to bother the minds of an individual.

Populace especially those living in far-flung areas look immune with this kind of social dilemma. The poverty scenario that these people have been experiencing for a long period of time makes them believe that whatever amount of effort they exert to earn a good living does no good to them. There's no denying that it is a reality happening in the Philippine Islands but it seems like the government is deaf and blind to the true situation.

Despite the billion dollar remittances from Filipinos working abroad to the Philippine government, still, the majority of Filipinos persist to suffer from poverty.

Some of the few factors attributed to this pressing problem are the malignant sickness of corruption, the large amount of debt in the World Bank, the lack of political will, improper handling of funds, the no transparency of government transactions and the deficiency of technical support from the government.

This poverty dilemma that hardly lingers in the government of the Philippines really needs attention and in-depth analysis why it continues to devastate the majority of the Filipino people.

Today, the Aquino's administration has been challenged by this social predicament that has been standing ever since in the forefront of the society.

He is a poet and he authored the poetry book: Whisper of Life. He is an avid lover of poetry and born and raised in Surigao City, Philippines. He earned two baccalaureate degrees: Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Criminology. He has also earned 36 academic units in Master of Public Administration. He is a registered criminologist. Please visit his website @
By Cesar Gealogo

Saturday, December 19, 2015

An Early Christmas From Congress?

It was just last year that we wondered what was going on behind closed doors until the Christmas Eve vote was over and the nation had a health care plan. A bill that is 2,300 pages in length. A bill that most people in Congress did not read. A bill that few Americans understand but are fearful of. Now, we face another Christmas deadline that affects everyone: the extension of the tax cuts.

In spite of the results of last month's election and polls that show an overwhelming percentage of respondents believe it is in the nations best interest not to raise taxes for anyone, at least until the economy improves, the politicians don't seem to understand or respect the will of the people. The lame duck Congress must take action before the current tax rates expire on January 1, 2011.

Contrary to what some politicians say, there are no actual tax cuts. By not extending the current tax rate, we avoid reverting to the 2002 taxation level. The President has recently announced a compromise plan is in the works that calls for maintaining the existing tax levels for all Americans for another two years. It also includes a provision to extend unemployment for an additional year, among other things.

The sticking point has been over whether the higher earners, who already pay higher taxes, should be forced to pay even higher rates. Many believe this would adversely affect job creation, since many of these citizens are owners of small businesses. It is these small business operators who are responsible for much of the nation's new jobs.

If this agreement had not been reached, those in the upper income brackets would also have been hit with capital gains tax increases on top of the hikes on ordinary income. This could have resulted in a sizeable falloff in the stock market and have a direct influence on the value of investments held by Americans of all income levels.

New Seniors are often dependent on the financial markets to provide income, over and above Social Security, to help them through their retirement years. So another negative adjustment in the stock market could put retirees in the position of outliving their money, even though they planned and saved for the future long before the future looked so bleak.

Many economists say the government should move aside and allow the private sector to start generating jobs. This will happen only if businesses can plan ahead and see a potential return on their investments. The lower income and capital gains tax rates for investors should provide incentives to move forward.

It is up to Congress to take the necessary actions in December to set the stage so the next session can begin its work starting in January. Let's hope they keep their transactions in the open and not act like the "Grinch who stole Christmas" again this year. All they need to do is extend the tax rates and go home. That will be the best Christmas present for all Americans.

Don Potter, a Philadelphia native, was born in 1936 and is a 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement, frequently writes on marketing issues, and has a blog dedicated to pre-boomers (those born between 1930 and 1945).

Read more articles for and about pre-boomers with thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion, and stimulate debate by logging on to

Friday, December 11, 2015

Could Europe's Financial Problems Come To The US?

The riots in Greece, France, Ireland and most recently the UK are concerning from afar but scary for those in the middle of the ruckus. Imagine how Prince Charles and his wife felt when so-called disgruntled students attacked their car shouting, "Off with their heads." Shades of the French Revolution of 1789. Will this kind of civil unrest make its way across the Atlantic to our shores? What can be done to avert this potential problem?

Economic brush fires continue to plague the European Union. Demonstrations in the streets have spread, with few exceptions, from country to country. Individual nations are in dire financial condition, so they are beginning to cut services and benefits, ranging from slashing government spending to raising the retirement age to boosting college tuition. This caused union workers and students to protest with increasing violence.

Since the end of WWII, European countries have emerged as societies dependent on the government to provide citizen with entitlements throughout their lives. These practices have led them to the brink of bankruptcy. Many economist see Europe's problems as a warning of things to come in the United States if our government continues to increase spending on programs that have resulted in an unstable financial situation.

If the uproar over extending the current tax rate is any indication of what to expect once the new Congress begins its work, America is in for fierce partisan battles in Washington. But the bigger problem may be what happens if the government finally agrees to make the hard decisions such as spending cuts, scrapping existing problems, cutting back on services and reducing the government payroll including worker benefits and pensions.

Public employee unions will fight passage of anything that affects their members at the federal, state and municipal levels. In addition, the unemployed, those receiving other government aid, students and seniors are expected to rise up in varying degrees to rebel against reduction in programs close to their hearts. And, if run-away inflation combined with increased taxes or fees are added to the equation, the entire population will be up-in-arms. It will not be a pretty site.

The administration must monitor the events in Europe and share its analysis with both the Congress and the American people. We must understand the severity of the financial problems this country will experience if the bleeding is not stopped - now. If the US economy is not sound, everyone loses. Extending the current cuts for all taxpayers is the first step. Following that, belt-tightening is needed by all levels of government. Businesses and individuals have already done this. If everyone is in this together, common sense may prevail.

Those 65+, the New Seniors, grew up in households that knew how to sacrifice. We learned how to live through good and bad times. Our parents left us a solid nation and we enjoyed the fruits of their labors. We must do whatever it takes so our grand children and their children can experience the American dream not the European nightmare.

Don Potter is a Philadelphia native and 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement and frequently writes and speaks on marketing issues. Potter is the founder and editor-in-chief of, the first online magazine dedicated to those 65+. articles provide thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion and stimulate debate. The editorial content features general news and information as well as videos of interest to the burgeoning 65+ audience. A touch of nostalgia is also included. Learn more by logging on to

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Christmas Shopping Is Different Today Than In The Past

Thanksgiving, in the not too distant past, was the official start of the holiday shopping. Now, as soon as Halloween is over the Christmas decorations and merchandise are in the stores and the ads and commercials appear even sooner. Radio stations are playing holiday music in mid-November. And some stores opened on Thanksgiving to beat the traditional Friday-after-shopping-day known as "Black Friday."

The name Black Friday sounds ominous rather than creating a feeling of holiday cheer. Does it make you think of the Black Plague? How about Black Tuesday, when the stock market crashed? Or, does it conjure up the image of a black day in history, signifying some terrible event?

Black Friday is based on the notion that retailers have to wait until the last few weeks of the year before they can start making profits. And since the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, this is the time when the stores get in the black rather than continuing to use red ink. This doesn't mean much to us as shoppers, but the retailers and the media sure make it seem like a big deal.

With the shop-early promotions and the growth of holiday Internet buying, Black Friday is more than ever symbolic rather than a reality. A Rasmussen poll conducted before Thanksgiving shows that nearly 4 out of 10 American consumers had already started their holiday shopping and that 64% of respondents plan to do at least some shopping online this year. This is up from 56% making that same claim last holiday season.

Conversely, 35% said they will not buy online versus nearly half that did not plan to go online to purchase Christmas gifts in 2006. Although online marketers should receive a greater percentage of the dollars spent this year, the survey shows that 58% of the consumers will spend less for gifts than they did last year. This number is slightly higher among those 65+, who are also less apt to be Internet purchasers.

Nearly half of all adults consider holiday shopping a fun experience, while just over a third do not. Among those 65+, 39% say it's an unpleasant chore, and 39% consider it fun. Those who have made arrangements to not exchange gifts with family and friends is evenly split with 47% indicating yes and 46% saying no. In spite of this, about two-thirds of shoppers prefer to buy specific gifts for others rather than giving gift cards. Only 45% would rather receive specific gifts as opposed to 42% who prefer gift cards.

Since there is a great deal of uncertainty stemming from the nation's economic condition, many people will wait until Christmas gets closer before deciding how much to spend for gifts. Maybe this will be a year when shoppers consider the wants and needs of the gift recipient and end up buying meaningful gifts rather than costly ones. The retailers and online marketers may not like this, but the person receiving the gift will. Incidentally, nearly 7 in 10 Americans prefer Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays. So, have a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

Don Potter, a Philadelphia native, was born in 1936 and is a 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement, frequently writes on marketing issues, and has a blog dedicated to pre-boomers (those born between 1930 and 1945).

Read more articles for and about pre-boomers with thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion, and stimulate debate by logging on to

Friday, December 04, 2015

The Health of Americans - A Call to Arms

As I write this article, I must begin by telling you that the current medical system of health care in America is failing, and it is failing miserably. You cannot wait until something breaks down before you try to do something to "fix" your health. We treat the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. This is like waiting until your engine seizes or blows up before you check your oil level in your car.

Your health is something that you should have been addressing and protecting since the time you were born. Instead, we wait until we are falling apart before we address the problem. At that point, after something breaks down, our next solution is to take multiple drugs or medications thinking that we are fixing the problem. The trouble is you cannot drug or medicate your way back to your best state of health. The body just doesn't work that way. To prove the point, think about taking a healthy person and putting them on 4-5 medications like the average American is on. What would happen to this person? Yes, that person would get sick. So, what ever made us think that we could take a sick person, put them on drugs, and expect them to get well?

In the United States, we represent 5% of the world's population, and yet we consume almost 70% of the drugs and medications on the planet. The average American under age 40 is on 2 prescription drugs. Over 40, the average individual is on 4-5 medications. Senior citizens in the U.S. take an average of 6-8 different drugs every day, most of which are the result of having not maintained their health while it was still possible when they were younger.

Do you honestly believe that the more medications and drugs that you take in your lifetime, the healthier your body will be? No, of course not! If this system of taking multiple drugs or medications for our illnesses is working, why do we rank 37th in world health out of the 39 industrialized nations? Why are we also last in the world in infant mortality? That means more babies die here than in any other first world country on the globe. We rank last in years of potential life lost, which means that while living under this system of health care, you have the least chance of making it to your God-given life expectancy.

One out of two people will die from heart disease if you continue to do things the way everyone else does them. One out of three will die from cancer. If taking drugs when you get sick is the answer, why is it that 800,000 people every year are dying from the side effects of prescription medication? Another 400,000 a year are dying from medical mistakes. 90,000 people a year are dying from the side effects of antibiotics alone. Another 100,000 reported deaths every year are from infections that people contract in the hospital that they didn't enter with. Over 16,000 people each and every year die from the side effects of Tylenol and Ibuprofen, both being over the counter medications. This is the same number of people who die every year from AIDS. I haven't seen any fund-raising campaigns to do "Tylenol research" or to "raise our awareness of Ibuprofen", have you?

In the last 50 years, untold trillions of dollars have been spent on research to find the magic pill for all sorts of conditions, and they have yet to cure one disease. Not one. Well, it should be blatantly obvious by now that this approach to our health is not working. It's not that medicine doesn't do some good things for people who are in crisis, but it does nothing for your health or for restoring you to a state of wellness. It does nothing to allow you to reach your God-given potential and live out your full life expectancy. You have to be asking the same questions that I asked years ago when I found out about all of this. Is there an alternative? Do I have a choice in the matter? If so, what are my options so that I don't have to end up as a statistic like the rest of the population in this country? How can I restore my health to its greatest potential and then keep it that way?

The good news is you will begin to get the answers to all of these questions in this article. What you do with what you will learn is up to you- all I can do is provide you with the truth and lead you down the path that is provided for you to live in a state of health and wellness without having to turn to drugs and surgery unless they are the last resort. After having expended every natural means available to you to restore your health, there are times that medication and/or surgery is necessary. The key is not to allow yourself to get into a state of crisis that require these most drastic measures. Learn how to keep yourself healthy and prevent problems instead.

Let me explain a couple of things about what this article is and what it is not. This article is not about me proving to you how the body works. I will teach you basic anatomy and physiology to explain how the body is put together and what makes it run on all cylinders. This article is not about me convincing you that you need a different approach to your health. It is not about whether you need to do things differently than everyone else is doing them. It is about whether you are ready to commit to the process.

You have to do things a certain way over time to expect certain changes and I know what those things are. The recommendations that I make in this article are not made to talk you into something that you don't need or don't want. The information is to provide you with what is necessary to make the changes you require if you expect to be healthy. Some of you reading this today are still not ready to commit to this process and that scares me. As much as I would love to see health and healing restored into your life, if you are not ready to make this happen the way it needs to happen, then I can't help you. But if you are ready to make a change, I will do everything in my power to work with you, teach you, and do whatever I can to make all the changes that will ever be possible.

My job is to set you on a new course of life and health. Reaching your full potential and living in a state of health and wellness requires your participation. It does not just happen by itself does it? I'm not writing this article to prove anything to you. The truth stands on its own merit. The problem is we have been raised with a false sense of what health is and what our responsibilities are to maintain it. Here are some of the things about the way the body works that they have proven to be true:

By design, the body provides all healing and health in our physical bodies by the power that is released from the brain through the nerve system. This is how healing occurs in our physical bodies. Healing information from the brain is released through the nervous system and sent to the affected part of the body so that it can work the way it was designed it to work in the first place. The problem lies in the fact that the nerve system signals can be blocked or become disrupted. If we shut off the brain's ability to tell the stomach how to digest the food you just ate, does the stomach know what to do by itself? Can the heart beat on its own without the nerve controlling the process? That is not how the body was designed to work.

If you don't believe this, just cut the nerve to any part of your body and see how long it functions the way that it is supposed to function. Our organs being controlled by the nerve supply is just the way we were designed to work. Our responsibility in this process is to keep the nerve channels wide open and free from as much interference to this communication system as is possible. This can only be provided by protecting the shape of the spinal cord and the alignment of the spine which is what protects the way the nerves work. So how do you know whether or not your nerves are working properly or not? You have to go to a spinal expert like a chiropractor trained in the detection and correction of spinal misalignment and mal-position.

Your very life revolves around the health and integrity of just 3 things:

Your spirit
Your mind and
Your nerve system

Without all three of these being at peak efficiency, you will not live out the life at the level of health that you are capable of living.

You are the product today of all the decisions and choices you have made in your life up to this point. Not all of them have been good choices have they? Many of them have resulted in some of the very health problems that you may be contending with today. Many of the poor choices that you have made have been due to a lack of knowledge, but that can end right now. It is true that we are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it. This can be the beginning of a whole new you. God loves new beginnings and his purpose for the rest of your life is not limited by your past. You can start fresh today and base the decisions on how you live and take care of your life and health and that of your family on fact and on solid principles of healthy living.

What are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose but the sickness and illnesses that plague you. In the next series of articles, I will begin to break down each component of your health. We will discuss diet/nutrition, losing weight, detoxifying your body, exercising effectively, clearing your nerve system from any interference that may exist, and many other factors that, together, make up your current state of health. Remember, it is the decisions that you make today that will determine your level of health tomorrow!

Look for my articles on all of the topics above as well as all the future articles that I will write regarding the HOW of becoming healthier every year that you are alive.

This article was written by Dr. Tom Bolan, a retired chiropractor and health and wellness expert. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado. He spent 30 years in active practice helping thousands of people reach their best state of health. He believes that the body was designed to work at its best by applying specific principles to our lifestyle choices. For further information, read the many other articles that he has published on this site, or contact him at with questions that arise from reading what he has written. He also has a weight loss site and a FREE NEWSLETTER by subscribing with your email address at

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Many Of Those 65+ Need The Help Of Other New Seniors

The "Golden Years" may not be what many expected. As the US population continues to grow older, with the first of the boomers now turning 65, there's a growing concern that many facing their retirement years are unprepared to enter this next phase of life. Will society let them fall through the cracks?

There's plenty of news about the huge number of people swelling the New Seniors' ranks. In addition to the 30 million pre-boomers, those born between 1930 and 1945, boomers are turning 65 at the rate of one every ten seconds for the next nineteen years.

According to the National Council On Aging (NCOA), 16% of those 65+ live in poverty, which is higher than the proportion of all Americans in poverty. The plight is most disturbing among women who live alone, particularly minorities. The council believes the struggles of older poverty are invisible to policymakers and the public, even though millions are living on the edge of financial crisis.

To deal with the strife that comes from those on fixed incomes must endure, such as unanticipated medical expenses, taxes, inflation and other hidden costs, the NCOA has launched a pilot program to educate those 65+ navigate through the financial malaise. However, there are only twelve locations nationwide providing these needed services.

The supply of help may never be able to meet the demand as more and more Americans become New Seniors. Therefore, it is up to those of us with the experience and the inclination to help our fellows in need. Local community and seniors facility can direct interested New Seniors to where their services may be best utilized.

These people are not looking for a hand-out, but they do need a helping hand. Volunteer programs feed and provide services to shut-ins. But more and more people need to be shown how to live on a budget or petition local, state and federal governments for financial aid or tap into existing programs in order to lessen the burden on those struggling to make ends meet.

Bringing people together rather than forcing them to hide because they are having financial troubles can improves self-esteem. This allows individuals to accept the fact they are not the only ones suffering from a lack of money. By hearing how others are dealing with this reality, those experiencing difficulty may make adjustments to improve their situation. And having mentors to teach them can result in them getting their lives back on track.

Many of those 65+ have been blessed with retirement programs and an investment portfolio that should afford them a comfortable way of life for years to come. With this financial peace-of-mind, wouldn't it be nice to donate a little time to work with other New Seniors who are not so fortunate?

Don Potter is a Philadelphia native and 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement and frequently writes and speaks on marketing issues. Potter is the founder and editor-in-chief of, the first online magazine dedicated to those 65+. articles provide thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion and stimulate debate. The editorial content features general news and information as well as videos of interest to the burgeoning 65+ audience. A touch of nostalgia is also included. Learn more by logging on to
By Don Potter

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