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The Thinking Behind CEO's Move to Pay His Workers $70K a Year

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Dan Price, the CEO of Grav­ity Pay­ments in Seat­tle, has touched off a national debate over his plan to pay all of his work­ers a yearly salary of at least $70,000. But where did that fig­ure come from and what’s behind it?

The num­ber, the CEO said, comes from a 2010 Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity study by econ­o­mist Angus Deaton and Nobel-prize win­ning psy­chol­o­gist Daniel Kah­ne­man and pub­lished in the Pro­ceed­ings of the National Acad­emy of Sci­ences. In the study, the researchers ana­lyzed the answers to ques­tions about income and well-being from more than 450,000 Amer­i­cans polled by Gallup and Healthways.

Money does indeed buy hap­pi­ness but only up to a point, the researchers found. The less some­one made below $75,000, the unhap­pier they reported feel­ing. But mak­ing above that income thresh­old did not lead to increas­ing happiness.

It’s actu­ally a bit more com­pli­cated than that, said study author Kah­ne­man, who is now retired. As he explained it, there are two types of hap­pi­ness: day-to-day mood and long-term well-being.

Mak­ing a higher income doesn’t appear to affect your daily hap­pi­ness after a point but mak­ing more and more money does con­tinue to improve your out­look on life indef­i­nitely,” he explained.

In other words, an annual pay­check higher than $70,000 won’t leave you feel­ing any less grumpy on a daily basis, but the larger your salary, the more suc­cess­ful and secure you feel.

Their research did not detect the limit where bur­geon­ing wages stopped pro­vid­ing a sense of sat­is­fac­tion, Kah­ne­man said. Addi­tion­ally, the same per­cent increase in pay — whether you make a lot or a lit­tle — added to a greater sense of sat­is­fac­tion with life.

Their study didn’t reveal why $70,000 to $75,000 a year appeared to be the cut off for esca­lat­ing hap­pi­ness, Kah­ne­man said, adding that he had no clue why that was the magic num­ber. The num­ber prob­a­bly only applies to large, expen­sive cities and not places where the cost of liv­ing is cheaper, he said.

The num­ber should be revis­ited from time to time to adjust for infla­tion, he said. And the link between money and hap­pi­ness should prob­a­bly be inter­preted as hav­ing less money lead­ing to mis­ery rather than more money bring­ing joy.

Kah­ne­man also said he really can’t com­ment on Price’s grand exper­i­ment which calls for every­one in the 120-person credit card pay­ment com­pany to earn a min­i­mum of $70,000 by Decem­ber 2017. How­ever, he doubted the CEO’s ges­ture will catch on in a big way.

It’s not viable for every com­pany,” he said. “There is not a gen­eral les­son to be learned from this case.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Mom Gives Up Anti-Vax Stance Just Before Seven Children Get Whooping Cough

iStock/Thinkstock(OTTOWA, Ontario) — A mother who didn’t believe in vac­cines for years is now writ­ing about her expe­ri­ence after all seven of her chil­dren became sick with whoop­ing cough and hopes to inspire other par­ents to recon­sider vaccination.

Tara Hills, of Ottawa, Canada, wrote about her deci­sion in a post for the Sci­en­tific Par­ent Blog, titled “Learn­ing the Hard Way.”

Hills said she was writ­ing from “quar­an­tine” after all of her chil­dren became sick from per­tus­sis, com­monly known as whoop­ing cough. Hills said her chil­dren showed symp­toms for a week before she real­ized it wasn’t just the com­mon cold.

My youngest three chil­dren were cough­ing so hard they would gag or vomit. I’d never seen any­thing like this before,” she wrote. “Watch­ing our youngest strug­gle with this chok­ing cough, bring­ing up clear, stringy mucus – I had heard of this before somewhere.”

Hills found out all of her chil­dren had been diag­nosed with whoop­ing cough soon after she had talked to her pedi­a­tri­cian about get­ting them caught up with their vac­ci­na­tions, accord­ing to her post. She wrote that her first three chil­dren were par­tially vac­ci­nated on an alter­na­tive sched­ule and the other four were not vac­ci­nated at all.

We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust,” Hills wrote in her post, cit­ing wor­ries that vac­cines were part of a large con­spir­acy as one rea­son to avoid the shots. “Were we unwit­tingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved chil­dren? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do noth­ing and hope noth­ing bad hap­pens’ position.”

Even­tu­ally after a recent measles out­break in her area, Hills wrote that she was “chilled” to the bone to real­ize her unvac­ci­nated chil­dren could have eas­ily passed the dis­ease to her “sister’s tod­dlers or her 34-week-old son in the NICU,” if they had become infected with the con­ta­gious virus.

After years of fear, Hills said she met with her pedi­a­tri­cian to get her chil­dren caught up. Unfor­tu­nately before they could admin­is­ter the shots on the catch-up plan, all seven chil­dren became ill.

For six years we were frozen in fear from vac­cines, and now we are frozen because of the dis­ease. My old­est two are get­ting bet­ter, the youngest four are get­ting worse and fast,” she wrote. “Tonight, the baby started ‘whoop­ing’. I did the right thing going to the hos­pi­tal when I did. I can only hope this painfully hon­est shar­ing will help others.”

Dr. William Schaffner said sto­ries like Hills’ can reach par­ents who may never lis­ten to the advice of the main­stream med­ical com­mu­nity or their doctors.

In effect [it’s a] mom to mom con­ver­sa­tion. She’s really talk­ing to other moms here,” said Schaffner. “I appre­ci­ate her hon­esty and it is very can­did and self-revealing…I think you ought to respect her and lis­ten care­fully and think care­fully about what she’s saying.”

Schaffner said that par­ents should real­ize that by not vac­ci­nat­ing they are still mak­ing a choice about their child’s health.

She’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive of many young, edu­cated par­ents today, who are out there seek­ing infor­ma­tion and…find them­selves whiplashed and they have infor­ma­tion and it’s con­flict­ing and they can’t resolve it,” said Schaffner. “Their default posi­tion, is ‘Ok I’m not going to do any­thing.’ Which is as seri­ous a choice as doing something.”

Karen Ernst, the founder of the non-profit Voices for Vac­cines that also posted Hills’ story, said Hills deci­sion to talk pub­licly about her expe­ri­ence could encour­age oth­ers to vac­ci­nate as well.

I just feel so much grat­i­tude for par­ents, who not only change their minds and admit they are wrong…but do so pub­licly,” said Ernst. “I think of them as the prodi­gal son [and] that we’re so glad they have decided to vac­ci­nate their chil­dren. that’s a great gift for communities.”

Attempts to reach Tara Hills for com­ment weren’t successful.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


'Skinny Mom' Who Caused Instagram Uproar Gives Birth to Big Baby

sarahstage/Instagram(LOS ANGELES) — Sarah Stage, the slen­der Los Ange­les model who caused an Insta­gram uproar with her pregnant-yet-toned physique, finally gave birth April 14. He’s a whole lot big­ger than expected.

James Hunter was 8 pounds, 6 ounces and 22 inches long at birth, Stage’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive confirmed.

The preg­nant model’s tiny belly caused a huge uproar on social media.

Stage, 30, reg­u­larly posted pics show­ing off her barely-there preg­nancy belly on Insta­gram and other social sites. In her last pic­ture, posted three days ago, her tummy was larger, but her abs seemed to have remained sleek and toned.

Her 1.3 mil­lion Insta­gram fans were vocally divided on whether she looked fit or famished.

Check this out…almost 9months pregie and look at that tummy!!!” one admirer said of a mod­el­ing shot depict­ing Stage in lingerie.

”Hope I look like this when im 8 months preg­nant,” another wrote on a post about a month ago that gar­nered over 10,000 comments.

Stage recently told ABC’s Good Morn­ing Amer­ica a lot goes through her mind when she reads those criticisms.

I don’t know how some­one could say some­thing like that to a preg­nant woman,” she said. “I think that is so rude. My baby is healthy and we are happy.”

Dr. Jen­nifer Ash­ton, ABC News med­ical con­trib­u­tor and a prac­tic­ing obste­tri­cian and gyne­col­o­gist, pre­vi­ously defended Stage’s slight frame, say­ing, “The fact that she looks skinny on Insta­gram does not mean her baby growth is restricted or too small. It has noth­ing to do if you can see her mus­cles, if her uterus is the per­fect size and she has gained an amount of weight that is acceptable.”

The model said she gained about 20 pounds through­out her pregnancy.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch Deaf Minnesota Infant Hear His Mom for the First Time

Photick/Thinkstock(ANDOVER, Minn.) — A 9-week old infant looked sur­prised when he heard his mother’s voice clearly for the first time, thanks to hear­ing aids.

Eli­jah Cook was born pro­foundly deaf in his left ear and able to hear only 75 deci­bels on the right side, accord­ing to a descrip­tion by his mother on her YouTube page.

His mother, Ahavah Cook of Andover, Min­nesota, said in a post for the Children’s Hos­pi­tals and Clin­ics of Min­nesota that she and her hus­band, Jason Cook, knew it was a pos­si­bil­ity that Eli­jah could have hear­ing loss because both of their fathers and moth­ers were deaf. Addi­tion­ally, Jason had no hear­ing in one ear. But they were hop­ing for the best.

When Eli­jah came back [from the first test], we were expect­ing good news because we have almost a dozen nieces and nephews that have no hear­ing issues,” Cook said on the website.

After a series of tests at the Children’s Spe­cialty Cen­ter, which is con­nected to the Children’s Hos­pi­tals and Clin­ics of Min­nesota, doc­tors diag­nosed Eli­jah with severe-profound sen­sorineural hear­ing loss.

One solu­tion for the hear­ing loss would be tiny hear­ing aids that would allow Eli­jah to hear clearly as he grew up. Eli­jah got his first hear­ing aids last month at just 9 weeks old.

In a video, the infant looks slightly sur­prised as his mother says his name, and he starts blink­ing at the noise.

The first time I saw him blink, I had a lot of emo­tions,” she said. “I was try­ing really hard not to cry. I didn’t want him to see me cry. I was try­ing hard to keep it together and just talk to him.”

Jason Cook said after the hear­ing aids were implanted, Eli­jah has even started mak­ing some noise of his own.

The coo­ing is the big thing,” Jason Cook said on the web­site. “He wasn’t very talk­a­tive, but ever since he was fit­ted for his hear­ing aids, he’s coo­ing more, he pays more attention.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


E-Cigarette Flavors Expose Users to Chemicals

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Man­u­fac­tur­ers of e-cigarettes pro­mote the health ben­e­fits of not inhal­ing the harm­ful tar and nico­tine found in tobacco prod­ucts, but new research indi­cates that the fla­vor­ings in e-cigs may expose vapers to more chem­i­cals than they might want to inhale.

Researchers exam­ined 30 dif­fer­ent e-cigarette flu­ids in a vari­ety of fla­vors, includ­ing tobacco, men­thol, vanilla, cherry, cot­ton candy and bub­ble gum, and dis­cov­ered the fla­vor­ings can carry twice the rec­om­mended work­place expo­sure lim­its of two chem­i­cals, ben­zalde­hyde and vanillin. Those chem­i­cals have been known to cause res­pi­ra­tory irritation.

The study points out that while the chem­i­cals may be harm­less when eaten, they may be less safe when inhaled, par­tic­u­larly at the higher tem­per­a­tures present dur­ing vaping.

Med­ical observers not involved in the research note that the study assumed a con­sump­tion of five mL a day, which is based on widely self-reported num­bers on vap­ing online forums.

The research is pub­lished in the jour­nal Tobacco Con­trol.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Mississippi, Alabama Health Officials Concerned About Spike in Spice Overdoses

chromatika/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — State health depart­ments in Mis­sis­sippi and Alabama have reported more than 300 spice over­doses in the past month, stok­ing con­cern about the dan­ger of the syn­thetic marijuana.

The Mis­sis­sippi State Health Depart­ment said that between April 2 and April 15, there had been 227 reports of spice-related emer­gency room vis­its. The Alabama Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health said it was aware of 98 peo­ple who came to hos­pi­tals with drug over­doses sus­pi­cious of being caused by the drug in the past month.

Syn­thetic drugs are toxic to users and pose risks to the pub­lic,” the ADPH said, not­ing that the long-term health effects of spice and other syn­thetic drugs are unknown.

The MSDH notes on its web­site that spice’s effects, “are more pow­er­ful than mar­i­juana, often caus­ing severe ill­ness and some­times death.”

Spice is also known by other names, includ­ing K2.

Of par­tic­u­lar con­cern is the increased fre­quency that health offi­cials are see­ing in spice over­doses. In Alabama, the six reports of expo­sure to syn­thetic cannabi­noids in the first months of 2015 are far higher than the seven cases in all of 2014.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Video Shows What Actually Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles

Jupiterimages/ YORK) — Cana­dian sci­en­tists have finally solved the mys­tery about why our knuck­les crack — though they did not deter­mine whether the action brings any last­ing effects.

The sci­en­tists attached a tube-like “fin­ger trap” to a human fin­ger and applied force until the joint cracked. Using real-time MRI imag­ing, they were able to see a cap­ti­va­tion bub­ble form­ing within the joint cav­ity — con­firm­ing a the­ory that was first described by sci­en­tists in 1947 and refuted in 1971.

The the­ory that the sound of a crack­ing knuckle comes from a pop­ping bub­ble within the joint had been accepted, but was dis­proved by the sci­en­tists’ video.

The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal PLOS One, did not spec­u­late as to the long-term impact of crack­ing one’s knuckles.

Despite warn­ings from grand­par­ents that crack­ing your knuck­les will lead to arthri­tis, Dr. Deb­bie Yi, an Emer­gency Med­i­cine and Neu­rol­ogy physi­cian at the Hos­pi­tal of UPenn, told ABC News ear­lier this year that no such claim has ever been proven.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Snoring Linked to Early Onset of Cognitive Impairment

monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Snor­ing can be a nui­sance when you’re try­ing to get to sleep and your sig­nif­i­cant other is dron­ing like a lawn mower, but a new study indi­cates that it could be linked to some­thing even worse.

Researchers at New York Uni­ver­sity stud­ied nearly 2,500 indi­vid­u­als between the ages of 55 and 90, and found that those with sleep-related breath­ing prob­lems were diag­nosed with mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment about 10 years ear­lier than those with­out breath­ing prob­lems. Mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment is described as hav­ing suf­fi­cient impact as to be notice­able to oth­ers, but not to impair day-to-day function.

Study par­tic­i­pants who treated their prob­lems with a con­tin­u­ous pos­i­tive air­way pres­sure or CPAP machine were diag­nosed with mem­ory prob­lems 10 years later than those who left their breath­ing issues untreated.

The study also uncov­ered a link between sleep breath­ing issues and ear­lier onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Peo­ple who are tak­ing care of older indi­vid­u­als should be cog­nizant of sleep apnea,” Dr. Harneet Walia of the Cleve­land Clinic said. “They should screen these indi­vid­u­als with sleep apnea questions.”

Ninety mil­lion Amer­i­cans are affected by snor­ing — includ­ing 37 mil­lion on a reg­u­lar basis — accord­ing to the National Sleep Foundation.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.