Seniors and debt…

    May 6, 2015

Canadian Press
Seniors in Ontario make up 30% of bankruptcies – Retiring with debt a recipe for tight cash flow and future insolvency

A report from Doug Hoyes, co-founder of bankruptcy trustee firm Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., is suggesting significant increases in the amount of debt for those over 50 and a problem when seniors move into retirement with debt that reduced income cannot service.  Both the 50+ and the 60+ pre-retirement group had 30% of their numbers with average debt above $68,000 in unsecured loans.  Rising interest rates could make matters much worse.

 N.Y. Times – Op Ed – Daily Kos
Conservative Economics and Income Inequality Are Literally Killing Us

Kos lists significant social and economic changes from 35 years ago and then looks at causes.  He says blaming globalization is too easy because the same deterioration is not everywhere.  Instead he suggests the real cause is indifference to the economics of the lower 50% of the US population.  Though the long-time popular myth was that the welfare state was too large, says Kos, but in fact when the safety net broker we discovered how threadbare the actual welfare state was.   Related article: Open   – Donna Smith   Brutality is Our Society’s Trademark — From the Justice System to Healthcare

 The Denton Record Chronicle (Texas) – Matt Stroud and Joshua Brustein (Bloomberg News)
Jail video chats a growing industry

What’s the impact of the internet on prisons and inmates?  A private prison company, Securus, is now offering training videos to the local jails on how to conduct a video visit with relatives of the inmates.  To help promote the process, Securus, acquired the largest phone service to prisons JPay, a company that started offering money transfers to inmates and then branched into video visiting.  A second company, Global Tel-Link, acquired another provider of prison video chats, Renovo and is the largest competitor for Securus.  Services are already available in about 650 jails and many others are experimenting.  Critics argue that the video could in fact eliminate personal and face-to-face visiting and create considerable costs for the families of the inmates who have to pay.

Baltimore’s economy in black and white 

CNN looks at the economy and income levels for an average Marylander, a white family in Baltimore and a Black family.  Equally shocking is the discrepancy in employment among young Black men.  US Politicians are beginning to talk about “an opportunity gap.”   Related article – Deseret News  – JJ Fienauer The role of poverty in Baltimore’s unrest   Related article: US News and World Report – Ken Walsh’s Washington  Crime Returns as a Political Issue

 National Newswatch – Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press
Conservatives seek replacement for hard-hitting federal corrections investigator  

Howard Sapers has been a vocal spokesperson for the rights of those incarcerated, perhaps too much so in the eyes of the Federal Justice Minister Blaney, who has inform Sapers that he is on short term one year maximum contract until a replacement can be found.  The Ministry offered no rationale except to thank Sapers for his 10 years in the position.  Sapers has been vocal about mental health issues, the use of solitary confinement and the arbitrariness around the changes in sentencing and the parole system.

 CTV News
Omar Khadr remains behind bars  

CTV interviews Catherine Latimer of John Howard Society Canada on the impact of imprisonment from age 15 on Omar Khadr.  Khadr has applied for bail pending an appeal of his US conviction.  An Alberta judge agreed to the bail and was about to set conditions when the federal government intervened by appealing to a superior court for a stay of the bail.  Thursday should see the matter resolved.