Here is a post by Paul Krugman in his NY Times blog pointing out that the governance of America is failing its citizens. Life expectancies are falling despite the advances of medicine:
Live Free And DieTo follow up on the original article about life expectancies and the source of the above graphic, read this article by Noam N. Levey for the Los Angeles Times which identifies the proximate cause of the decline in longivity as:
During the Bush years, every time a new estimate of life expectancy came out I would get letters saying “Hah! You say things are terrible, so how come life expectancy is rising, huh?” This was, of course, stupid: medicine continues to progress, the long-term decline in smoking has reduced lung cancer, etc.. Life expectancy is rising just about everywhere in the world; sharing in that trend is no big achievement.
On the other hand, failing to share in that trend IS a big achievement, in a bad way. And via Kevin Drum, we have this:
Click to Enlarge
I guess the geography of the decline speaks for itself.
The grim trend is fueled largely by smoking, high blood pressure and obesity, according to Murray and other population health experts.But I agree with Krugman. The radical right/libertarian cry of "life free or die" implies a basic distrust of government and the institutions that allow humans to share risk (welfare bureaucracies!) and share knowledge (state-funded education!). Worse, libertarianism has fueled the rabid tax cut mentality of the political right that has driven the widening income inequality.
The geographic patterns in the graphic above say to me the problem is not just ideology, it is the consequence of a
Here is the key observation from the LA Times article that confirms this assessment:
The widening gulf between the healthiest and least healthy populations is partly due to wealth. A key finding of the data is that "inequality appears to be growing in the U.S.," said Eileen Crimmins, a gerontologist at USC who also co-chaired the 2011 National Academies panel on life expectancies. "We are different than other countries."Other countries have not seen the same breakdown in social institutions and the same ferocious growth in income inequality. The anglo-saxen countries have trailed the US with growing income inequality, but they haven't yet taken to ideology-driven dismantling of social institutions like the Americans.