Friday, November 25, 2016
Death rates among white middle-aged Americans have soared 'due to the decline in factory jobs and laid off workers turning to drugs or alcohol or committing suicide'
Free trade is literally killing middle-age white men.
Increasing competition with China for trade has been blamed for soaring death rates among white, middle aged Americans.A silent 'epidemic' of deaths from suicides, drug and alcohol poisoning within that faction was first highlighted last year.But scientists were baffled as to why white, middle aged Americans were bucking the national trend of decreasing death rates. Now two economists believe they have found the answer.Justin Pierce and Peter Schott believe they can trace back the uptick in suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths to 2000, when President Bill Clinton decided to relax the rules on major imports....American factories, which couldn't compete with China's cheap labor force, shut down in droves, while thousands upon thousands of middle-aged white Americans, without college degrees, were laid off.Unable to cope, many turned to drugs, alcohol or even took their own lives, according to the research....The surge in deaths amidst white, middle aged Americans was so significant that Dr Anne Case and Dr Angus Deaton, of Princeton University, compared the 'silent' epidemic to the Aids epidemic in the US.Case and Deaton were the first to highlight the worrying increase in mortality rates last year in separate research.Between 1978 and 1998, the study reveals the mortality rate for US whites aged 45 to 54 fell by an average of two per cent each year. This was reflected in other rich countries, including France, Germany, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Sweden.After 1998, these nations saw mortality rates for this group steadily continue to fall, by two per cent every year.But, in the US, mortality rates rose by half a per cent a year.The authors wrote: 'No other rich country saw a similar turnaround.'They estimate that had the white mortality in the US rate held at its 1998 value, 96,000 lives would have been saved between 1998 and 2013.And had it continued to fall as it had between 1978 and 1998, 488,500 deaths would have been avoided from 1999 to 2013.This figure is comparable to the number of deaths caused by the Aids epidemic in the US.While death rates related to drugs, alcohol and suicides have risen for middle-aged whites across the board, the largest surge are seen among those with the least education.For those with a high school degree or less, deaths caused by drug and alcohol poisoning rose four fold, suicides increased by 81 per cent, and deaths caused by liver disease and cirrhosis jumped 50 per cent.All-cause mortality rose by 22 per cent for this least-educated group.Among those with some college education, researchers noted little change in overall death rates.While among those people who achieved a bachelor's degree or higher, death rates fell.A rise in suicide and drug overdoses in midlife, is a recognised trend across the world.However, the authors note 'that these upward trends were persistent and large enough to drive up all-cause midlife mortality, has, to our knowledge been overlooked'.