Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The strange phenomenon of white people dying (I)

In trouble

Anna Case and August Deaton, a pair of famous researchers from Princeton, have crunched some remarkable numbers and come up with shocking conclusions. What they've determined is that rates of mortality and morbidity have increased substantially among white people in later middle-age. 

You read that right. Not blacks, not Hispanics. Among minority populations, morbidity and mortality continues, in fact, to decrease. If Case and Deaton are right, then what we're experiencing is, amazingly enough, more sadness and earlier deaths among white people than among people of color. Not only that, but this trend appears to be gaining speed. 

"This change reversed decades of progress in mortality and was unique to the United States; no other rich country saw a similar turnaround," Case and Deaton reported. Amazing, isn't it? Those significantly increasing death rates are "largely accounted for. . .from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis."

Ugly stuff. 

"Self-reported declines in health, mental health, and ability to conduct activities of daily living, and increases in chronic pain and inability to work, as well as clinically measured deteriorations in liver function," their research says, "all point to growing distress in this population."

Why? What's happened in the last 15 years to make so many die earlier? That's a good question.

Last Sunday, Russ Douthat, a conservative columnist for the NY Times, pointed out that such grim figures answer to a conservative view of things. What any of the Republican candidates for President could trumpet is that moral permissiveness and the welfare state has created the dramatic change. Bu if that were true, Douthat says, other permissive, socialist states should be suffering similar horrors--and that's not so. These startling death rates are American's alone.

Liberals could also say "I told you so." Greater despondency and death among older white people in this country, they might well argue, is a result of false religion of trickle-down economics that actually trickles up to the rich and powerful, leaving a wasteland in its wake.

But if that were true, Douthat says, the shocking findings would be the true in our other demographic categories, among African-Americans and Hispanics. But it's not. In fact, death rates among people of color continue to decrease dramatically. 

How else can we explain these sad and awful numbers?

Douthat says that perhaps "working-class white America needs to adapt culturally, in various ways, to this era of relative stagnation, and learn from the resilience of communities that are used to struggling in the shadow of elite neglect."

If you're white, like I am, that sounds particularly draconian. Douthat regularly suffers all kinds of abuse from NY Times readers for being too conservative, but this line seems preposterous for white America, doesn't it?

But think about it. 

When PBS did a historical series of Native America a decade ago, they titled their work, "We Shall Remain." That title resonated with me because in Native American literature and cultural analysis and even in my interviewing I'd begun to hear a testimony from Native people that struck me as unique to them. And it went like this: Given what we've suffered since Europeans came, it's a wonder and a miracle and an indication of our strength that we have survived. "We shall remain."

When white people evaluate their lives, we think and talk about success often in economic terms. A good life achieves something. My father made it clear that I had to go to college because he couldn't. The ethic he bought into was that his children would have a better life--economically speaking--than he did.  

Today, amid our cultural affluence, that ethic is seems a little silly, and largely dead.

What Douthat is suggesting on this very difficult subject is that white folks may have to alter the nature of their dreams and look to other visions to secure happiness, visions that have sustained others.

He may be right.

Success may simply be recorded in survival.

That sounds heretical; but it's not hard to argue that some old myths may well be dying.


Anonymous said...

Orbán is married to jurist Anikó Lévai. The couple has five children.[7] He is a Hungarian Reformed (Calvinist) while his wife is a Roman Catholic.[8]

What comes to my mind is what my older brother said to me when I wore my George McGovern button. He laughed and said,"You may not be interested in the war, but the war going to be interested in you." Members of the white race may not have the stomach for being under siege in a race war with non-whites - orchestrated by the Zionists, but they are on the road to becoming race blind, gender blind debt slaves in spite of their wishful thinking.

Today Kevin MacDonald links to a u-tube video "open gates" which tells all sides of the migrant influx into Germany. I am sure you have seen "open gates."

The link is



oakleyses said...

jordan pas cher, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, air max, uggs on sale, nike free, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, jordan shoes, longchamp pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors pas cher, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses wholesale, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, christian louboutin uk, nike air max, gucci handbags, tory burch outlet, nike air max, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, prada handbags, polo ralph lauren, replica watches, nike free run, ugg boots, prada outlet, polo outlet, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, sac longchamp pas cher, chanel handbags, longchamp outlet, nike roshe, oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

sac vanessa bruno, michael kors, ralph lauren uk, kate spade, nike blazer pas cher, burberry handbags, lululemon canada, nike tn, coach purses, north face, coach outlet, vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, uggs outlet, sac hermes, timberland pas cher, coach outlet store online, converse pas cher, replica handbags, hogan outlet, hollister pas cher, guess pas cher, mulberry uk, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, nike air max, nike air force, true religion jeans, burberry outlet, ray ban pas cher, north face uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, new balance, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, polo lacoste, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike roshe run uk, hollister uk

oakleyses said...

herve leger, lululemon, reebok outlet, ferragamo shoes, wedding dresses, louboutin, longchamp uk, gucci, converse outlet, new balance shoes, mont blanc pens, nike air max, celine handbags, nike roshe run, hollister, nike trainers uk, p90x workout, beats by dre, mcm handbags, converse, nfl jerseys, instyler, nike air max, ralph lauren, valentino shoes, hollister, ghd hair, giuseppe zanotti outlet, abercrombie and fitch, vans, iphone cases, nike huaraches, baseball bats, vans outlet, hermes belt, chi flat iron, hollister clothing, babyliss, asics running shoes, oakley, soccer shoes, north face outlet, ray ban, mac cosmetics, timberland boots, bottega veneta, jimmy choo outlet, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, insanity workout

oakleyses said...

canada goose jackets, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, ugg pas cher, hollister, doudoune moncler, ugg, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, replica watches, moncler outlet, moncler uk, barbour, juicy couture outlet, barbour uk, lancel, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, swarovski crystal, pandora charms, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, moncler outlet, moncler, louis vuitton, swarovski, pandora uk, karen millen uk, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler, ugg uk, montre pas cher, toms shoes, moncler, supra shoes, links of london, canada goose uk, wedding dresses, canada goose, canada goose, thomas sabo, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, coach outlet