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11/15/15

US Economy: The decline and fall of America's working people - by Noah Smith

One big piece of news in the past couple of weeks has been the release of a new paper by recent economics Nobel-winner Angus Deaton and his co-author, Anne Case.

The paper highlights a very disturbing trend -- death rates are increasing for white people in America, especially for working-class, middle-aged whites. The increase looks like it has been going on since the late 1990s.

Among other American groups, such as Hispanics and blacks, mortality has fallen across all age and income groups during the past decade and a half.

The trend is concentrated among the less educated. For college-educated whites, mortality fell, much as it did for other racial groups and other nations. For those with some college, mortality was unchanged -- a poor result, but not disastrous. But for white Americans with no college education, deaths have soared.
Something very troubling and very unique is happening to American working-class whites.

The immediate causes of the increase are not hard to identify. Drugs and suicide are the culprits. There is an epidemic of prescription painkiller, alcohol and heroin abuse among American whites. Deaths from alcohol and drug poisoning among middle-class whites have skyrocketed. White suicide rates have also risen dramatically to more than 20 per 100,000 people in the 45-54 age cohort.


One big piece of news in the past couple of weeks has been the release of a new paper by recent economics Nobel-winner Angus Deaton and his co-author, Anne Case. The paper highlights a very disturbing trend -- death rates are increasing for white people in America, especially for working-class, middle-aged whites. The increase looks like it has been going on since the late 1990s.

Among other American groups, such as Hispanics and blacks, mortality has fallen across all age and income groups during the past decade and a half.


The trend is concentrated among the less educated. For college-educated whites, mortality fell, much as it did for other racial groups and other nations. For those with some college, mortality was unchanged -- a poor result, but not disastrous. But for white Americans with no college education, deaths have soared.
Something very troubling and very unique is happening to American working-class whites.

The immediate causes of the increase are not hard to identify. Drugs and suicide are the culprits. There is an epidemic of prescription painkiller, alcohol and heroin abuse among American whites. Deaths from alcohol and drug poisoning among middle-class whites have skyrocketed. White suicide rates have also risen dramatically to more than 20 per 100,000 people in the 45-54 age cohort.

Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_29120350/decline-and-fall-americas-working-people#ixzz3rbX1iQNr


Read more: The decline and fall of America's working people - Lowell Sun Online

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