Home

The rising annual death rates are being driven by despair, as reported by the scientists Drs. Deaton and Case. The demographics for their study were white men between 45 to 54 years old with only a high school education. The mortality rates for those with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.

Deaton and Case concluded the group they analyzed did not die by the big killers like heart disease and cancer but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.

Source: MIDDLE-AGED WHITE AMERICAN MEN WITH HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION ARE DYING FROM DESPAIR

Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  I highly recommend reading this insightful article for it indirectly explains the unexpected outcome of the 2016 presidential election.  Here’s my answer to the question posed at the end of the post:

>>> “However, this doesn’t completely explain why the surge in deaths occurred only among white men and not black or Hispanic males, who also faced serious economic problems during the same time period.”

I’m just speculating here, but until more psychological research is done on this somewhat surprising trend, it will have to suffice.

1) The economic impacts of the Great Recession, globalization, automation, and the other factors which have hit the American middle class very hard, were disproportionately felt by white males in this age group because it was they who had benefited most from the post-WW2 prosperity boom.  The unionized blue-collar manufacturing jobs which symbolized the American Dream and which were predominately held by high school-educated white males are now all but gone.

2) As America has become more politically polarized in recent years, it has created cultural schisms within the population.  White middle-age males tend to be more conservative while females and ethnic minorities tend to be more liberal.  This appears, at least anecdotally, to be negatively affecting marital relationships in white families.  I have seen this happen repeatedly in my community.  The stress of separation, divorce, child support, and isolation, coupled with the financial hardship detailed in my first point, may be too much to bear for many men in such circumstances.  They often resort to drug and alcohol abuse, destructive behavior, and even suicide.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “MIDDLE-AGED WHITE AMERICAN MEN WITH HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION ARE DYING FROM DESPAIR

    • Me neither. Not that long ago in America, it was common to see successful marriages between Democrats and Republicans. Cultural polarization wasn’t as intense, and disagreements over politics or religion were more academic than visceral. Today, societal stresses are reaching the breaking point.

  1. Definitely. Part of the reason is the fact that people on the conservative side of the divide have gone so far over the line of acceptable behavior it’s virtually impossible to have intellectual discourse. They deny truth, ignore facts and hold stubbornly to irrational half truths as if their lives depend on it. Possibly, the tenuous grasp they have on their “reality” does depend on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s