ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Although the exact causes vary, life expectancy is declining for multiple groups of Americans.

For Hispanics, overdoses and suicides are the leading causes of death.
For non-Hispanic whites, both men and women, overdoses and alcohol-related diseases appear to drive increased mortality.
For non-Hispanic black women, diabetes-related mortality is increasing.
For non-Hispanic black men, leading causes are cancer, alcohol-related diseases and external causes, such as traffic accidents
.

All of those, with the probable exception of "external causes," can be caused or exacerbated by poverty, social insecurity, and other problems indicative of a dysfunctional society.  All of the substance-abuse problems, and cancer to the extent it is caused by substances such as tobacco, relate to self-medicating to endure a miserable life.  Diabetes and cancer are much deadlier when preventive and maintenance care are difficult or impossible to obtain, and they occur disproportionately in populations with poor environmental health (e.g. next to a toxic waste dump) and diet (e.g. commodity foods, which are harmful to the point of genocide).  Suicide is the most unmistakable and irrevocable "I SAID NO" that a former citizen can give to society, and it is rising not only in oppressed groups but also seemingly "good" lives that are so stressful as to be unendurable.

A couple of groups not mentioned: Native Americans have a ruinously high death rate due to things like suicide, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and substance abuse.  Maternal and infant perinatal deaths are skyrocketing, thank you Texas and the rest of the South.  None of which is an accident.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-15 02:10 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
We’re killing ourselves AND still expanding in population and in per capital environmental impact. Great ducking job, kleptocracy, we’ve stolen life-years from ourselves and each other by even attempting to live in this system ... or thrown it away to opt out.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-18 08:45 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Which is why a lot of us here are in favour, if a good way can be found, of opting out of the kleptocracy as much as possible without opting out of our current life-forms. Off the grid, barter system, etc... Long-distance communication becomes a problem, but if one could get a whole bunch of one's people in one place?

*dreams*

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-15 06:36 am (UTC)
rivulet027: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rivulet027
Thank you for the link!

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-17 06:16 am (UTC)
catalenamara: (Marigold)
From: [personal profile] catalenamara
About ten years ago, I was griping to a friend that the age of Social Security retirement kept receding into the future. She said, “That’s because we’re living longer”. I said, “No. We’re not. That may be true of our parents’ generation, but not of us.”

I’d already noticed even before the Great Recession hit that a large number of baby boomers were dying significantly younger than the “Greatest Generation”. Due, in part, I believe to the fact we baby boomers were the post WWII “lab rat” generation, the first exposed to massive quantities of chemicals and artificial ingredients of all kind.

My friend? She died of metastatic cancer in 2016 at the age of 67. In a four month time period that year I lost four friends and one relative, all between the ages of 60 and 70, four of cancer. The fifth – I never heard cause of death, but she had multiple medical issues.

Also re my friend: In 2010 the company she worked for eliminated health insurance for all employees – while she was being treated for breast cancer. She paid for the treatment herself, went into remission, and then basically worked herself to death trying to pay an impossible bill. I urged her to declare bankruptcy, but she didn’t do it. A friend of a friend died of complications of diabetes – she lost her job, she lost her health care, she skimped on her medications, went into a coma, and died. She was in her mid 50s.

Those four weren’t the only ones – I can name a good dozen other people I know, between the ages of 45 and 70 (most prior to the age of 60), in the past 20 years, of various diseases. People whose parents outlived them. Just last month, a woman I know in her late 70s lost her late 40s daughter. Cancer again.

The Great Recession tore a wound in our society that hasn’t healed. So many people lost everything – including any hope of getting other opportunities ever again. Many never came even close to recovering economically. And income inequality keeps getting more and more extreme. And people keep dying at younger ages, with the deaths of despair adding to already a huge toll.

There’s an old folk song: “If living were a thing that money could buy, then the rich would live and the poor would die.”

Tragically, money can buy healthcare and economic security and access to healthy food and clean environments, while everyone else gets the poisoned dregs.

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