As the US Congress is debating entering another conflict, one factor may sway their decision: the cost of veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the government body responsible for healthcare claims as well as other post-conflict benefits for veterans, projected their budget to balloon too around $153 billion dollars which is about double the budget it received in 2005. In comparison, the VA office spent $87 billion in 1947, right after World War II, and $77 billion in 1976 after the Vietnam war. There are around 1,800 VA facilities around the country.
Record-high malpractice suits, rising number of veterans coming back, a mis-match between the Defense Department health records and VA records, a confusing policy regarding same-sex couples and a massive backlog plague the government institution. Despite all this, leadership of the VA department are still $5.5 million dollars worth bonuses even though half a million veterans waiting more than 125 days for their claims to be acknowledged. There are literally such a backlog that the papers cause a safety risk to VA employees.
Sounds like an audit should be in order.
Takeaway: For a soldier, dealing with bureaucracy of the Veteran Affairs department can be as complicated as conflicts abroad.
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via Expert Vagabond
Yesterday I was lucky enough to get some tickets to go see “The Book of Mormon”, the hit-Broadway show that has a satirical take on the practices of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Besides having a reputation for being really funny
, they’re also known to be really expensive.
Normally, the ticket prices are really expensive hovering around $300 (fig 1, source: Seat Geek
) leading to a number of ways
you can get tickets, including ticket lotteries and lining up to get standing room seats.
Takeaway: Paul and Chloe getting lucky Book of Mormon tickets and talking about how fantastic it was feeds back into the ticket-price-complex because it drives up demand.
The future of tech?
One of the biggest reasons I wanted to move from my first college in New York is because of variety; I felt that the students I met in my first school were too focused on a singular track (med school) and wanted to be in a place where I’d be exposed to people who chose a variety of paths.
Same can be said about opportunities in New York; within the city there are clusters of industries. Wall Street has finance. Madison Avenue has advertising
. Garment District has…well, garments but the same can’t be said about technology, at least just yet.
New York City’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.4%
in July from June which is lower than comparable cities like Chicago (10.4%) and Los Angeles (10.3%) but higher than San Francisco (5.4%).
Takeaway: Rising Brooklyn office prices is just one of many indications of New York’s tech industry stimulus.
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Happy Tuesday everybody!
Usually, being fifth place in anything is not a good thing but in the case for the small, Spanish-language movie “Instructions not Included”, it’s pretty remarkable.
The movie follows Eugenio Derbez, Mexico’s “Jim Carrey”
, as an aging playboy learning to reconcile with his daughter.
As the U.S. population becomes increasingly more diversified
, with Hispanics as 16.9% of the overall U.S. population and growing, “Instructions not Included” success follows increasing trends in the United States that language
is not necessarily a barrier to mainstream success; Univision
, a Spanish-language broadcast channel, beat out FOX and ABC to be the most viewed network for adults 18-34 which has traditionally been the most coveted demographic.
Furthermore, there are some theories that speculate Hollywood has already recognized this trend and have adapted to simpler dialogue
, sequels, and racially-diverse
cast to adapt to racially diverse audiences.
Takeaway: “Instructions not Included”‘s box-office surprise shouldn’t be all that surprising given demographic shifts.
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