Over the years, Paul Krugman has come across his share of Republicans who claim that thanks to right-wing economic policies, the United States is #1 in life expectancy — and the liberal economist and New York Times columnist typically responds that in fact, the U.S. lags behind a long list of developed countries where life expectancy is concerned. Krugman, in his December 2 column for the Times, compares life expectancy rates within the U.S. — demonstrating that the redder the state, the more likely one is to die young.
“Back in the Bush years,” Krugman explains, “I used to encounter people who insisted that the United States had the world’s longest life expectancy. They hadn’t looked at the data, they just assumed that America was No. 1 on everything. Even then, it wasn’t true: U.S. life expectancy has been below that of other advanced countries for a long time.”
Krugman goes on to say, “What I haven’t seen emphasized is the divergence in life expectancy within the United States and its close correlation with political orientation.” And Krugman, drawing on data presented in a 2018 article for the Journal for the American Medical Association, notes that residents of GOP-controlled states are more likely to die younger.
“I looked at states that voted for Donald Trump versus states that voted for Clinton in 2016, and calculated average life expectancy weighted by their 2016 population,” Krugman notes. “In 1990, today’s red and blue states had almost the same life expectancy. Since then, however, life expectancy in Clinton states has risen more or less in line with other advanced countries, compared with almost no gain in Trump country. At this point, blue-state residents can expect to live more than four years longer than their red-state counterparts.”
Krugman attributes this red state/blue state disparity on life expectancy to a variety of factors, including access to health care, obesity rates and education.
“Public policy certainly plays some role, especially in recent years, as blue states expanded Medicaid and drastically reduced the number of uninsured, while most red states didn’t,” Krugman observes. “The growing gap in educational levels has also surely played a role: better-educated people tend to be healthier than the less educated.”
Krugman also notes, “The prevalence of obesity has soared all across America since 1990, but obesity rates are significantly higher in red states.”
Krugman ends his column by noting that Attorney General William Barr has blamed “militant secularists” for suicide rates and substance abuse problems in the U.S., explaining why Barr’s claim is misleading.
“European nations, which are far more secularist than we are, haven’t seen a comparable rise in deaths of despair and an American-style decline in life expectancy,” Krugman stresses. “And even within America, these evils are concentrated in states that voted for Trump and have largely bypassed the more secular blue states. So, something bad is definitely happening to American society. But the conservative diagnosis of that problem is wrong — dead wrong.”
Trump criticized as ‘most cowardly tough guy’ for Twitterstorm while being rushed to protective underground bunker
Twitter couldn't help but notice that President Donald Trump was talking tough while hiding in his underground bunker.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump was rushed to the underground bunker that has only been used during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks when passenger planes were headed to Washington, D.C. Trump, by contrast, didn't experience a terrorist threat, a few hundred protesters surrounded the White House complex, which is blocked off by several fences and surrounded by Secret Service and police.
It was something that many noticed contrasted with former Vice President Joe Biden, who spent Sunday listening to the concerns from protesters on the streets of his hometown.
Why white silence is deafening — and deadly
Most white people I know believe that black lives matter. They will tell you they voted for Obama twice. They cannot stand Donald Trump. They are enraged by police brutality. These are the white people I want to speak to: Your anger and sadness about the big things are meaningless if you choose to do nothing about the small things you have control over.
‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters
As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.
Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw