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.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

... in a Well-Regulated Militia

That is the gun right protected in the Second Amendment.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Divorce Ideation is Common, But Most Couples Work it Out

Brad Wilcox' National Divorce Decision-Making Project found that most couples have thought about divorce in the early years, and a quarter have thought about it recently.

Nonetheless, most of them work it out because they want to work it out.  And they do it on their own, through patience, taking a broader perspective, and remembering their promises to one another and to their community.

"Divorce ideation" - a wonderful phrase, derived from "suicide ideation" - does not mean you are at high risk for divorce.  In fact, Wilcox and colleagues conclude, in our divorce-prone culture it would be hard not to think about divorce sometimes.

The good news is that most couples do work through these fleeting ideas.  And the great majority of them are happy they did.

Monday, November 30, 2015

In Praise of the Rat Squad

Professions must police themselves in order to remain ethical and effective.

Professions know best what bad actions to look for.

But it is very hard to police your friends and colleagues.  It is easy for us to understand our own kind, and thus make excuses. It is painful to punish the bad, and to lose the those who are sometimes good, or used to be good. And it is embarrassing to the profession to air dirty laundry.

Nonetheless, no one hates a bad cop more than a good cop.