More Americans Having Power Shut Off

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More Americans are having their power shut off as the weak economy makes it harder to pay bills.”We see record numbers of households becoming disconnected or in danger of disconnection,” says Mark Bixby, energy director of Rockford, Ill. Five years ago, his office distributed federal funds annually to about 300 households that had their power cut off. Last year, it was 1,834 households, and the number is likely to go up this year, he says: “It’s families that can’t find work.”

 

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People In The US, Canada And Spain Have The Highest Cell Phone Bills

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It’s not the kind of thing you’ll probably want to brag about winning, of course, but, according to new research conducted by the OECD, people in the US, Canada and Spain come out on the top of the heap when it comes to high cellphone bills. The research was conducted by categorizing bills into three usage categories, with the mid-range being 780 minutes per year of voice calls, and 600 SMS per year. For that amount, people in the US of A pay about $635 (the highest rate), while runners-up Spain pay just over $500. The countries with the lowest phone bills include the Netherlands and Sweden, where that same usage runs about $130. Yes, that’s a huge discrepancy, alright, meaning that in the Netherlands you’d pay around $11 a month with that level of usage, while in the US the same amount will run around $53 a month. Then again, they don’t get to watch “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” in the Netherlands, do they?

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New Report: Over 60% of U.S. Bankruptcies From Medical Bills

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The overbearing sickness industry gets scrutinized.

An article in the latest issue of The American Journal of Medicine makes chilling reading, and presents compelling evidence that the US health care system is broken. In 2007, before the current economic downturn even began, an American family filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of illness every 90 seconds; three-quarters of them were insured. Over 60% of all bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were driven by medical incidents. Summarising the results of the first-ever national U.S. random-sample survey of bankruptcy filers, the article shows the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50% between 2001 and 2007. Medical bankruptcy is a unique American phenomenon, which does not occur in countries that have national health insurance…

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