Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:20 am, #44
by Sterling Volunteer
To those of you who support and elected Donald Trump I say, "Come with me if you want to live."
This was more prophetic than originally thought. Life expectancy has now been linked to how people voted in the 2016 election with those living in counties and states voting for Trump dying at an earlier age. Why fear death from the fictional "Terminator" movie character when we have Donald Trump.

Science Daily
Life expectancy trends tied to 2016 voting choices
September 7, 2017
Boston University School of Medicine ... 103616.htm
Now, a new study shows how voting patterns correlated with the nation's growing geographic health divides, with Donald Trump winning more votes in counties that have seen lower gains in life expectancy.
"In the last 30 years, there's been a sharp divergence in life expectancy across US counties," Bor says. "Some counties have gained a full decade of life expectancy. Others have really been left behind, with zero gains or even falling life expectancy in this period."

Bor found counties in which life expectancy rose less than three years saw a nearly 10 percentage point increase in the Republican vote share between 2008 and 2016. In counties where life expectancy rose more than seven years, Democrats saw a 3.5 percentage point increase.
Bor stresses the relationship may not be causal, and does not rule out other explanations for Trump's margins in these counties, namely the roles of race and economic marginalization. "Regardless of the causes of this relationship, the data show that people in counties that voted for Trump are hurting, and not just metaphorically," Bor says. "The findings signal an important opportunity for policymakers to try to address the health needs of these populations."
Paul Krugman picks up on this political longevity divide.

Chattanooga Times Free Press (From an opinion piece in the New York Times)
Krugman: America's red state death trip
December 3rd, 2019 | by Paul Krugman ... ip/509726/
Democratic-leaning areas used to look similar to Republican-leaning areas in terms of productivity, income and education. But they have been rapidly diverging, with blue areas getting more productive, richer and better educated.

The thing is, the red-blue divide isn't just about money. It's also, increasingly, a matter of life and death.
The death gap has widened considerably in recent years as a result of increased mortality among working-age Americans. This rise in mortality has, in turn, been largely a result of rising "deaths of despair": drug overdoses, suicides and alcohol. And the rise in these deaths has led to declining overall life expectancy.

What I haven't seen emphasized is the divergence in life expectancy and political orientation.

A 2018 article in The Journal of the American Medical Association looked at changes in health and life expectancy in U.S. states between 1990 and 2016. The divergence among states is striking.

I looked at states that voted for Donald Trump versus states that voted for Clinton in 2016, and calculated average life expectancy weighted by their 2016 population. In 1990, today's red and blue states had almost the same life expectancy. Since then, however, life expectancy in Clinton states has risen more or less in line with other advanced countries, compared with almost no gain in Trump country. At this point, blue-state residents can expect to live more than four years longer than their red-state counterparts.

Is this all about deaths of despair in the eastern heartland? No.

What explains the divergence? Public policy certainly plays some role, especially in recent years, as blue states expanded Medicaid and drastically reduced the number of uninsured, while most red states didn't. The growing gap in educational levels has also surely played a role: Better-educated people tend to be healthier than the less educated.
One thing that's clear, however, is that the facts are utterly inconsistent with the conservative diagnosis of what ails America.

Conservative figures like William Barr, the attorney general, look at rising mortality in America and attribute it to the collapse of traditional values — a collapse they attribute, in turn, to the evil machinations of "militant secularists." The secularist assault on traditional values, Barr claims, lies behind "soaring suicide rates," rising violence and "a deadly drug epidemic."

But European nations, which are far more secularist than we are, haven't seen a comparable rise in deaths of despair and an American-style decline in life expectancy. And even within America these evils are concentrated in states that voted for Trump, and have largely bypassed the more secular blue states.

So something bad is definitely happening to American society. But the conservative diagnosis of that problem is wrong — dead wrong.