http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi … as/413971/Since 1998, people all over the world have been living healthier and living longer. But middle-aged, white non-Hispanics in the United States have been getting sicker and dying in greater numbers. The trend is being driven primarily by people with a high-school degree or less.
That's the sobering takeaway from a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published this week.That means “half a million people are dead who should not be dead,” Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics and co-author of the paper, told The Washington Post. “About 40 times the Ebola stats. You’re getting up there with HIV-AIDS.”Between 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for U.S. whites aged 45 to 54 fell by 2 percent per year on average, which matched the average rate of decline in the six countries shown, and the average over all other industrialized countries. After 1998, other rich countries’ mortality rates continued to decline by 2 percent a year. In contrast, U.S. white non-Hispanic mortality rose by half a percent a year. No other rich country saw a similar turnaround.
The reasons for the increased death rate are not the usual things that kill Americans, like diabetes and heart disease. Rather, it’s suicide, alcohol and drug poisonings, and alcohol-related liver disease.
Suicide is already hard to talk about but we need to discuss this. White males of average intelligence have made up the backbone of American society since its inception. They have fought our wars and filled our factories. Their dying at a higher rate than everyone else is a serious social problem.
For centuries white males in the western world have had more opportunities than everyone else but that is no longer the case. Due to mass immigration, globalization, outsourcing, structural shifts in the American household, and mass media, white males have it harder than ever. And some have unfairly internalized their failure. And that leads to self destructive habits and suicide.
What can the government and society do to make sure America's traditional power base do not continue to die at higher rates than their national and global peers? Ending immigration and outsourcing is one immediate solution but there has to be more.