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CK 17
11-09-2015, 08:43 PM
Sad.


"Basically, white Americans are, in increasing numbers, killing themselves, directly or indirectly. Suicide is way up, and so are deaths from drug poisoning and the chronic liver disease that excessive drinking can cause. We’ve seen this kind of thing in other times and places – for example, in the plunging life expectancy that afflicted Russia after the fall of Communism. But it’s a shock to see it, even in an attenuated form, in America."

"So what is going on? In a recent interview Mr. Deaton suggested that middle-aged whites have “lost the narrative of their lives.” That is, their economic setbacks have hit hard because they expected better. Or to put it a bit differently, we’re looking at people who were raised to believe in the American Dream, and are coping badly with its failure to come true."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/opinion/despair-american-style.html?_r=0

WszystekPoTrochu
11-09-2015, 09:28 PM
Maybe this time it won't get politicized at instant, no amount of whatever scare or whatever news stand behind those suicides

Arizona Bay
11-09-2015, 09:58 PM
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e6/5c/78/e65c781b166621e72c0cc2548e376711.jpg


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61gTB04%2B5nL._SL500_.jpg

Keith Wilson
11-09-2015, 10:35 PM
I dunno . . . I won't say he's mistaken, but the column is mostly speculation. He's careful to identify it as a only a 'plausible hypothesis', which I think is about right. One might speculate that another contributing cause has been the right's political strategy since the rise of RW talk radio; encouraging outrage, cynicism, and the idea that the country's going all to hell. It would be interesting to see if there are regional variations.

Is this 'politicizing it'? Perhaps. It was a political essay, however; hard not to.

L.W. Baxter
11-09-2015, 11:31 PM
I understand Krugman is a prize-winning economist, but I think I will go elsewhere for my sociology.

skuthorp
11-09-2015, 11:36 PM
How about we concentrate on the figures, not who they vote for? After all they are all Americans who were young men once, maybe served, had jobs and careers and believed in the dream. Dismissing them as just Republicans that get what they voted for is not fair or accurate. But it is a problem here as well. The two big suicide groups are men under say 25, and men over 60. Mostly those that feel they have come to a dead end in their lives. But the obesity and organ failure stats are ahead of us, but by my observation we are fast catching up.

Ted Hoppe
11-09-2015, 11:55 PM
I think there is a correlation of over prescription of uptake inhibitors and unhealthy choices. Doctors give anybody a pill to anyone who anyone who is worried, depressed, has regret, are sad, emotional or physically unhealthy. The doses are unregulated and the follow up is terrible. If you drink, have drops in sugar levels, undergo hormonal shifts or chemical imbalances, they compound the unhappiness and despair. Bad food, lack of physical activity and no outlets, can drive anyone to breaking points. Add that to limited outside friendships and social check ins, many, many men are falling apart and lack afilliation to needed social interaction.

Gerarddm
11-10-2015, 12:39 AM
Note that the coasts are basically immune to this phenomena; lowered life expectancy is more a heartland/southern issue. Sounds cultural to me.

TomF
11-10-2015, 07:30 AM
Just read the NYT article - the thing which shocked me was the little chart at the side showing that this really is an American phenomenon. I thought that Canada's stats, like so many, would mirror America's with a bit of a time lag and a bit less acuity ... not true. Canada, France, Germany, Australia - all showing very different trends for the same demographic. There's something cultural here, which at present at least is unique.

Following an insight by Herself, I've long argued that most of our chronic conditions are actually indications of one or another form of over-used coping strategy. We eat, drink, smoke, or plop on the couch too much as a means of distracting ourselves from stuff we find tough. They're symptoms of a greater and more generalized anomie, and like rats in the Skinner boxes, we'll push whatever lever we can find to just get ourselves to feel better. Even when we also know, consciously, that we oughta be doing something else.

What I haven't worked out is whether this is simply a wired-in species characteristic (really, it's "tragedy of the commons" on a personal scale), or whether it's reflective of situational or cultural despair which actually could be positively affected. I think it's probably part of both things, and may be related to the impulse to religion (in both its "healthy" and "pathological" forms). Paradoxically, the things killing us are maybe the things which as we take our "doses" are what momentarily makes us feel more alive, or at least numbs us from our feelings of interior or emotional death.

Regardless of the proportions of hard wired/situational causes, I figure that the way to address this isn't by treating the modes of death - by treating obesity, or drug abuse, or car crashes, or other modes of dying/distraction, but by trying to affect the situational elements of the despair. Address feelings of meaninglessness, of ineffectiveness, of non-agency.

FWIW, the things driving white middle-aged Americans to die sound to my ears not so different from the things driving the ISIS converts to die - with the exception that more of the ISIS guys seek it actively, and have been convinced that the radical jihadism is itself a cure of the malady. Rather than an expression of it.

I'd be interested to see correlations between political beliefs/behaviour and the death rates too. Something that strikes me as a correlation, though I'm not at all describing causation, is the overlap between this dying group of white middle-aged men and the Base. Particularly the Tea Party faction, and its more militant associated groups.

Paul Pless
11-10-2015, 07:31 AM
I dunno . . . I won't say he's mistaken, but the column is mostly speculation.Thank you Keith, I think his conclusions are specious at best.

WszystekPoTrochu
11-10-2015, 08:10 AM
Sorry, but after reading Krugman's commentary I read the article from the other thread (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/health/death-rates-rising-for-middle-aged-white-americans-study-finds.html) again, and I come to the same conclusion: The Republican base is taking a hit.
I've read it again and see no other reasons for saying "republican" other than Your personal bias. Where did You come to those conclusions?

My proposition: ever heard the term tyranny of optimism?

Dan McCosh
11-10-2015, 10:33 AM
Men tend to kill themselves when they are young and when they are old. Maybe middle age is just catching up.

WszystekPoTrochu
11-10-2015, 11:00 AM
Why is it that these men, these PARTICULAR men, why is it that they have had their optimism crushed to the point of self destruction?
I'd say because they were exposed to the "you can be who you want" and "follow your dreams" lies longer than other groups, were more likely to be exposed to them both in school and at home than other middle-american groups, while - given current times and their location - got the least chances to ever fulfill their ambitions. Stuck in a simple job, failed own expectations and with no understanding that they were raised with hopes not corresponding to perspectives.
I can partly agree with democrat/republican thing though - democrats may be quicker to put the blame all around but themselves (which, in this case, may be a bit justified), while republicans may be quicker to take failures as solely own fault (which, in this case, is not true).


I know you're a right-winger, as witnessed by your remarks regarding WWII (since deleted), so of course you will deny, deny, deny, but the correlation is inescapable.
You can blame it on O'Bama if you want to step into the ludicrous.
You know nothing, and be informed that this remark resulted in audible laughter

bobbys
11-10-2015, 11:18 AM
I'm pretty happy but then I get it almost every night.

slug
11-10-2015, 11:26 AM
Tyranny of optimism (http://tyranny of optimism).

Actually no, I had not.

So what?

This epidemic of self-immolation is being visited upon white, middle aged, low-income males in the states dominated by the systemic evil known as right-wing extremism.

That pretty much defines the Republican base.

Statistically speaking, if you are a white, middle aged, low-income male living in a Red state, you are VERY likely to be a Republican/T-Party guy.

Why is it that these men, these PARTICULAR men, why is it that they have had their optimism crushed to the point of self destruction?

I know you're a right-winger, as witnessed by your remarks regarding WWII (since deleted), so of course you will deny, deny, deny, but the correlation is inescapable.

You can blame it on O'Bama if you want to step into the ludicrous.


alabama. the reddest of red states has a lower suicide rate ( 14.9 ) than Vermont ( 16.77 per 100,000 )..home of the limousine liberals.


Suicide is a mental illness. The majority of citizens who vote liberal have some form of mental illness. Those liberals who are currently free of mental problems will inevetably be struck down in future.

katey
11-10-2015, 11:31 AM
My totally non-scientific sample of mostly white, middle-aged, well-off, liberal friends suggests that we are all starting to drink at alarming rates.

Glen Longino
11-10-2015, 11:36 AM
My totally non-scientific sample of mostly white, middle-aged, well-off, liberal friends suggests that we are all starting to drink at alarming rates.

Care for a shot of Herradura and a lime?;)

slug
11-10-2015, 12:16 PM
Got a cite for either of these assertions, or are you just spewing?

hmm..tell ya' what...

ill fly you over here ...my expense. . Then you can tell me to my face that Im spewing..then you can fly back to your basement and write on woodenboat forum what happened .

bobbys
11-10-2015, 12:24 PM
When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news My Mother would tell me, Look for the helpers, There are always helpers.

fred Rodgers.

WszystekPoTrochu
11-10-2015, 12:29 PM
Got a cite for either of these assertions, or are you just spewing?

denial, denial, denial :cool:

Jim Bow
11-10-2015, 12:36 PM
Alabama: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/09/suicide_on_the_rise_in_alabama.html

Vermont: http://vtdigger.org/2011/11/15/suicide-rate-up-13-percent-in-vermont/

Canoeyawl
11-10-2015, 12:49 PM
Perhaps after having been taught that a male, blonde, blue eyed Jesus is the only true savior, and then facing an Irish president, and now possibly a woman president is enough to drive some to despair.

Canoeyawl
11-10-2015, 12:55 PM
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/m6345qsf.gif

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6345a10.htm

L.W. Baxter
11-10-2015, 01:16 PM
I don't think it has anything to do with politics, socio-economics, or any abnormal amount of "despair" or broken dreams.

This is a statistical symptom of the increasing fetishizing of guns in certain areas of the country. Spend enough time stroking your hammer, eventually lots of things look like nails.

Explains why Oregon, a solid blue state, is well up in the charts. We have a strong gun culture here, even among Democrats.

John of Phoenix
11-10-2015, 01:23 PM
Last I heard 22 veterans die by suicide every DAY. That has to have an impact on those numbers.

Boater14
11-10-2015, 01:35 PM
"Republicans are more likely to see their failure as their own fault than DEMS"....I laughed audibly, woke the dog and sprayed a mouthful of coffee like Ricky used to do on I Love Lucy. do you get Rush Limbaugh in Poland? Yikes...just saw that graph. The reeps are losing voters to despair.

Osborne Russell
11-10-2015, 02:19 PM
I'm seeing a lot of single cause fallacy here. It's not politics, it's mental illness, it's not guns, it's geography . . .

One event may have multiple causes. In fact every event does. Everything put together equals the universe.

The least favored causes are history and culture. Seems odd when speaking of homo sapiens. History and culture are central to identity which is central to psychology which is central to behavior.

Osborne Russell
11-10-2015, 02:23 PM
Suicide is a mental illness. The majority of citizens who vote liberal have some form of mental illness. Those liberals who are currently free of mental problems will inevetably be struck down in future.

If you have no citations, you could at least give some idea of the mental illnesses you have in mind.

Dave Wright
11-10-2015, 02:36 PM
When I saw this chart I immediately thought of Annie Proulx's Wyoming short stories.



http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/m6345qsf.gif

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6345a10.htm

TomF
11-10-2015, 02:41 PM
If you have no citations, you could at least give some idea of the mental illnesses you have in mind.That ain't gonna happen; it was just drive-by snark.

It's good to remember the statistics adage: correlation is not causation. That said, there are a bunch of testable theories that spring to mind, and it would be fascinating to see a multiple-factor regression analysis.

skuthorp
11-10-2015, 02:47 PM
When I was a young man I saw a documentary on Wyoming, a beautiful place. The chart is a very sad piece of information, not for the actual numbers as the US has a large population, but for the comparisons state by state.

Osborne Russell
11-10-2015, 03:17 PM
One might speculate that another contributing cause has been the right's political strategy since the rise of RW talk radio; encouraging outrage, cynicism, and the idea that the country's going all to hell.

If it wasn't effective, they wouldn't do it. Putting on your camo and heading out to the sticks with your guns and your buddies to talk enemy-of-civilization conspiracy is now mainstream. From the end of the spectrum of the true radicals ready to kill and die, you progress through the wanna-be's and wind up with the Republican center, i.e.


America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama.

. . . with no lapse in continuity of world view. Which, as you say, is frustration cultivated to a fever pitch as a commercial enterprise.

WszystekPoTrochu
11-10-2015, 03:25 PM
http://politicalmaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/REDvsBLUE-1.jpg

Say, would You mind sharing a link to that?

Osborne Russell
11-10-2015, 03:32 PM
Review of facts:

Clearly American, Red state, middle-age whites with high school education or less


In that group, death rates rose by 22 percent while they actually fell for those with a college education.

Whites reporting more pain, and again:


Those with the least education reported the most pain and the worst general health.

And so, the fact is that:


Life expectancy is high and rising in the Northeast and California, where social benefits are highest and traditional values weakest. Meanwhile, low and stagnant or
declining life expectancy is concentrated in the Bible Belt.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/opinion/despair-american-style.html?_r=0

Three possibilities:

1. It's the Reds
2. It's the Blues
3. Both

The Red hypothesis is consistent with the most facts.

The Blue hypothesis would imply that less educated middle class white Blues in Red states are killing themselves. Reasonable, for sure, always a certain number, but not in the numbers that are being seen.

The Both hypothesis begs the question, why in Red states? Because in Red states, less-educated Blues and Reds despair of the same things? Then why are they so sharply divided politically?

hokiefan
11-10-2015, 05:42 PM
Say, would You mind sharing a link to that?

Right click on the pic and look at properties. Its from this website.

http://politicalmaps.org/

WszystekPoTrochu
11-10-2015, 05:46 PM
Speaking of suicides only, I always like to try correlating those two:

http://vader.joemonster.org/upload/rsk/1450980b9e31951svg.png

http://vader.joemonster.org/upload/rsk/l_145098102ef91e9largerusasuicides.jpg

Fits for Vermont and Alabama, too

Osborne Russell
11-11-2015, 11:31 AM
Speaking of suicides only, I always like to try correlating those two:


The study suggests the gap is narrowing rapidly. How to account for that?

Osborne Russell
11-11-2015, 11:36 AM
The Reds believe the lies, and despair that they're not true, and the Blues despair that these idiots are helping the Koch brothers destroy the nation.

The Reds would counter that Blues despair of liberal lies and the failure of the liberal state. Trouble with that is, it's false . . . one of the lies you mention; and further, they have the forlorn hope that progressively smaller government will succeed in an increasingly complex world. Pipe dream. It really shows in the givers vs. takers map.