[ExI] Single Payer Healthcare

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 09:32:18 UTC 2017

On 29 March 2017 at 05:41, spike  wrote:
> Hi Stathis, no I get that.  What I don’t get is how to count suicides in an
> evaluation of life expectancy and the medical system.  If a teenager slays
> herself over a sweetheart, that has a crazy high impact on life expectancy
> compared to the medics fumbling about and giving a little old lady the wrong
> medication.  Same with teenage inner city drug warriors: that isn’t anything
> any medical system can fix.
> I will repeat my earlier comment: I am suspicious of rip rap, or hip hop,
> whatever they call that goddam rubbish thinly disguised as entertainment.  I
> partially blame that reprehensible “art form” starting with Cobain and
> getting still worse from there.  Sheesh, even disco is preferable with its
> brainless jiggle-inducing endless repetition of nothingness, and oh dear I
> have become my own grandfather, evolution rest his insightful soul.

No, Spike. It's not bad music that is causing the increase in US white
middle-aged suicides.

The cause is that the part of the US outside the cities has seen their
lives steadily get worse for eight years and they are in despair.


The massive increases in mortality among the non–college-educated
white population has led to the overall white life expectancy at birth
to fall in 2014 and for the overall life expectancy to fall in 2015.

The usual suspects did not cause this turnaround. Deaths from heart
disease and cancer — the two largest killers of the middle-aged— have
fallen. Instead, increases in drug overdoses, suicide, and liver
diseases caused by alcohol have been able to more than offset these
vast improvements in public health.

Money also doesn't explain the divergences. The incomes of black and
white Americans have moved in a similar pattern, and
non–college-educated blacks suffered bigger income falls since 1999 —
and yet their mortality rates declined.

For whites in middle age, however, "there is a strong correlation
between median real household income per person and mortality from
1980 and 2015," Case and Deaton write. What's really happening, they
suggest, is not so much short-run changes in income, but that
"long-run stagnation in wages and in incomes has bred a sense of

The underlying story, Case and Deaton suggest, is economic.

"Cumulative distress, and the failure of life to turn out as expected
is consistent with people compensating through other risky behaviours
such as abuse of alcohol, overeating, or drug use," they wrote.

"Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high
school educated, working class after its heyday in the early 1970s,
and the pathologies that accompany that decline."

That is exactly why the ignored half of the US population voted for
Trump and why so many are giving up the struggle and committing


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