Five Things You Probably Did Not Know About Latinos in the US

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The Latino population in the United States is growing rapidly and currently accounts for 50.5 million individuals. Yet it remains one of the few cultures that others know very little about or make the most erroneous assumptions of. Also, as Juana Bordas points out in her latest book, Latinio leadership culture is often overlooked in much the same way.

Here are five facts about Latinos in the US that you probably didn't know:

1. Latinos Are Highly Educated. Almost one-third of all Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 24 are enrolled in college in undergraduate, professional certification, or graduate programs -- the largest minority group in such programs in the nation.

2. The Majority of Latinos Are Not Immigrants. Over 64% of Hispanics in the United States were born here (and no, the remaining 36% are not here illegally; the majority of them immigrated to the US through legal channels). It should be noted that 1 of 3 non-Latino Americans believes the majority of Latinos are undocumented.

3. Latinos Have the Fastest Growing Purchasing Power of All Ethnic Groups in the Country. The Hispanic community's purchasing power was estimated at $1.2 trillion in 2012 and is predicted to rise to $1.5 trillion in 2015, making it faster than growth of buying power within the African-American, White, and Asian populations.

4. Latinos Grow the Economy in Leaps and Bounds. US Latinos accounted for $2.2 billion worth of e-commerce purchases in the first quarter of 2012 alone, accounting for 34.8% of the growth in technology and telecommunications industries in the same time period.

5. The Majority of Latinos Vote. Latinos make up 16% of the US's population. In 2012, 10% of all voters were Latinos. Keep in mind that the remaining 6% also consist of those who are either too young to vote or have residency but not citizenship and you can get an idea of the tremendous voting base here.

All information is based on data from the Selig Center for Economic Growth, AHAA Adspend Research, and the Pew Hispanic Center.


Four Ways That Diseases Over "There" Impact Us Over "Here"

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A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that poverty and disease in other nations is not our problem, after all, how can what is happening over there impact us over here? It seems that the only reason for aid and assistance in diseased and blighted areas globally is a humanitarian or ethical one.

However, there are some very pragmatic reasons (and not just ethical ones) why we should work to eradicate disease and improve healthcare globally -- because not doing so directly impacts us in the West. Here are just four such reasons:

1. Disease Knows No Borders. Diseases do not keep to geographical borders nor limit themselves to particular locales. This has always been the case -- remember that the Bubonic Plague started with a flood in China, and SARS (which is back in the news) has also traveled across continents to arrive on our shores. Treating diseases at their points of origin protects all of us in the long run.

2. Disease Impacts Economies. Consider that a lot of the factory and production work as well as crops and food products come from different parts of the globe. A simple outbreak of just the flu could be deadly in communities with no access to basic antibiotics, resulting in a hefty chunk of the workforce becoming ill and bringing production and harvesting to a standstill. This directly impacts our supply of goods and the prices escalate accordingly. Everyone (including us) loses.

3. Diseases Mutate. Diseases often mutate into hardier strains that are more resistant to medications. It is important to counter potential diseases in their infancy before they have a chance to mutate. A disease that may not pose a threat to anyone in the West is often ignored, but that disease can, if left untreated, mutate into different strains that are resistant even to modern medicine. A lack of attention to early incidents of AIDS led to a mutation and strain that to this day eludes successful treatment.

4. Disease Causes Political Chaos. The rampant spread of a disease promotes instability in many regions. Blame is thrown about and inevitably sides start blaming one another while claiming they each have access to treatment or a cure (often a false promise). The resulting political unrest can be deadly and violent in many cases. In this day and age, instability in one nation promotes to instability in many given how we are all economically connected.