Thursday, December 03, 2015
Rising Death Rates Among Low-Status Whites is Due to Despair at Their Declining Privilege
Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, has a good take on the important Cole-Deaton study on why death rates among less educated white people have been going up - while every other group is living longer.
The causes of death are self-inflicted: suicide, booze, drugs, and sheer reckless living.
Marshall's educated guess is that the relative value of white privilege is declining, which leads some white people to despair that they are losing their place in society. The anti-government Tea Party politics was rooted in this demographic group. Today's even more aggressive white nativist populism is almost entirely a movement of angry, low-status white people. Marshall cites a re-study of Cole-Deaton which finds that this increasing death rate is most pronounced in the South, which makes sense as the place where low-status whites have lost the most relative privilege.