|trendSCAN October 2005|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 22 April 2009 09:53|
Please Note: The information shared in this version of trendSCAN© is not intended to be less than upbeat, but rather to reflect some of today’s realities. It is just an overview of information that reminds us of the important role that parks and recreation can play in the lives of individuals, communities, and society and to help us better prepare to assume an ever-increasing role of importance in the near future.
In This Version
Expenditure Patterns = Priorities? Cost Benefit Considerations
“Show Me the Money” became a household expression after Tom Cruise repeatedly used the phrase in a movie a few years ago. But, it does have some merit as a way to identify priorities. Consider if you will some of the following expenditures in relationship to national and local priorities, particularly as it relates to quality of life issues.
The Cost of Safety and Justice
In 2001, (latest figures available), the United States spent $167 billion for police, prisons, and court related expenses. The overall expenditures in justice activities jumped 366% since 1982. That’s nearly 400% in just 20 years; although when adjusted for real dollars, the increase is “only” 165%. Where does the money come from? Local governments funded nearly 50% of all direct justice system costs with states kicking in an additional 35%. (Source: Bureau of Justice)
Cost of Health Care
National health care expenses in 2003 (latest available data) was $1.7 trillion or 15.3% of the United States Gross Domestic Product. In that same year, health care spending was 4.3 times as was being expended on national defense. Projections for national health expenditures have the total amount reaching $3.6 trillion by 2014 or 18.7% of the GDP (Centers for Disease Control)
Cost of Refinancing Flood Areas
The recent dramatic hurricane season and the flood waters accompanying such storms raise interest in the cost of such events. Congress established National Flood Insurance in 1968 to protect homeowners living in flood-prone areas when private insurance companies would no longer cover them. This federal program collects $2 billion annually to compensate homeowners for flood damage and operates without a reserve fund. Hurricanes Rita and Katrina are estimated to cost the federal government $10 billion. For some of these low lying coastal areas, homeowners have been compensated repeatedly for damage to the same house. (The Washington Post, October 2005)
During the 1990s, 51 “often deluxe” stadiums were built across the country at a cost of $11 billion. By the end of 2005, 25 new parks and arenas at a cost of an additional $7 billion are projected for completion. In 2002, it cost a family of four on average $145 to attend a major league baseball game; $277 for an NBA game, and $290 for a day out with the NFL
Cost of Treating Diabetics
In 2002, the estimated cost for treating diabetes was $132 billion; that is the equivalent of $1 out of every $10 spent on health care. The cost of health care for people with diabetes averaged $13,243 in contrast to health care costs of $2,560 for people without diabetes. (Centers for Disease Control)
If current patterns continue for various demographic groups, behaviors, and expenditures, the estimates for our future would look something like…
If current patterns continue, the number of Americans in prison or having served prison time would reach 7.7 million or 3.4% of all adults. Continuation of current patterns would mean that a black male would have a 1 in 3 chance of going to prison during his lifetime; a Hispanic male would have a 1 in 6 chance, and a white male would have a 1 in 17 chance (Source: Christian Science Monitor)
One of every 3 children born in the United States in 2000 will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime; the rate is higher for African-American and Hispanic youth who have a 50% chance of developing diabetes in his or her lifetime. (Centers for Disease Control)
Depression and Suicide
Older adults stand a much higher chance of dying by suicide than the rest of the U.S. population; while they currently makeup 13% of the population, they account for 18% of the suicides. The number of older adults in this United States is increasing; by 2011, 10,000 Americans will turn 65 each day. (Centers for Disease Control)
The Rise of Dementia
A recent study from the Rand Corporation projects that 40% of Americans will suffer from some form of dementia, most frequently Alzheimer’s or a disabling stroke, and may suffer from such dementia for up to 20 years. Between now and 2050, the number of people aged 85 and over is anticipated to quadruple which is the same projected rate for the number of people with Alzheimer’s. ( David Brooks, New York Times, October 2005)
School Drop-outs: Social Dynamite
One of every five Los Angeles youths, ages 16-24, are not in school and are not working, creating "social dynamite," according to David Crippens, chairman of UNITE LA and member of Workforce Investment Board. High school dropout rates exceed 30% nationally and approach 50-70% in Los Angeles public high schools. Policy officials present at the 11th Annual Public Policy Breakfast where Crippens made his comments indicated that youth who do not learn work skills by age 19 face a lifetime of unemployment and sporadic employment. (Los Angeles Times).
Approximately 5,000 preschoolers are expelled or asked to leave their preschool programs annually. While that amounts to only 7 out of every 10,000 preschoolers in the United States, it is a rate 3 times higher than expulsion rates for public school students in K through 12 (Yale University Child Study Center reported in USA Today, October 2005)
Debts Are Us!
The amount of debt owed by American households as well as the number of personal bankruptcies continue to set record highs. Total household debt has risen to over 80 percent of the Gross Domestic Product; up from 50% in 1980. (Source: Life and Debt: Why American Families are Borrowing to the Hilt. Alex Baker, Century Foundation: July 2004)
Debts and Healthcare
More recent analysis of the 2003 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance estimates that 77 million Americans ages 19 and over are having difficulty paying medical bills, have accumulated medical debt or some combination of both. That number translates into nearly 2 of every 5 Americans. (Source: Seeing Red: Americans Driven into Debt by Medical Bills. Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D., Jennifer N. Edwards, Dr.P.H., and Alyssa L. Holmgren, The Commonwealth Fund, August 2005)
Million Dollar Homes
While there were only 394,878 homes valued at $1 million in 2000, more recent Census Bureau research found that there are now 1,034,386 home worth $1 million or more (Census Bureau 2004 American Community Survey)
According to the latest (2001) American Housing Survey, the percentage of people living in gated communities is now estimated at 11.1% of the entire population. Los Angeles was home to the first gated developments in the late 1930s. This living arrangement represents a 12% average of the new homes market in Southern California, 21% in Orange county, 31% in San Fernando Valley and 50% in the desert resort area of Palm Springs. (UCLA Institute of International Studies)
Latest Patterns: Discretionary Time and Spending
Halloween = BIG Spending
Halloween continues its increased popularity among adults. Sales of adult costumes have increased 42% over the past four years. All Halloween spending for both children and adults is estimated to reach $3.3 billion this year.
Fantasy Sports Participation
Executive search firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, suggests that America’s obsession with fantasy sports costs the nation’s business community approximately $36.7 million every day. This firm estimates that 14 million people play fantasy football and that each of those players spends 10 minutes of every workday managing his (or her) team.
Growth in Poker
According to a Penn State University study, weekly poker games among male high school and college students increased 84 percent from 2003 to 2004. The study also showed that 11 percent of that same group bet on card games at least once a week during that same time period representing a 6% increase over the previous year.
Total expenditures on cats and dogs in the United States is estimated at $360 billion per year. The American Animal Hospital Association reports that 100% of respondents to their survey of pet owners found pet owners gave gifts to their pets at holiday time; 65% sing or dance for their pets; and 53% take time off from work to care for sick pets.
Trends Into Practice
Take a look at these last two pieces of information; one from 2005 and the other from 1925…
#1: California Opinion Index, Major Issues Facing Californians, March 2005
When residents of California were asked to express their level of concern about 14 issues facing the State of California today, they revealed their priorities through the following preferences:
#2: Quote from Juvenile Judge, Orange County Court, Anaheim, California who noted that after…
“the opening of supervised playgrounds in the public park in the summer of 1924,
The Second Golden Era of Parks and Recreation may well be within our grasp!
|Last Updated on Sunday, 28 June 2009 13:23|