Nobel Laureate 'Discovers' Cause Of Opioid Crisis: Complete Economic Destruction Of The "White Working Class"

For several decades now the American Midwest has suffered from unprecedented economic decay courtesy of a persistent outsourcing of manufacturing jobs in the automotive and steel industries, among others. As we've noted frequently, that economic decay has resulted in a devastating surge in opioid overdoses that claim the lives of 100s of people each year.

Of course, many attribute Trump's staggering victories in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania to his efforts to tap into the frustration of the dispossessed Midwest masses by promising a rebirth of the manufacturing economy that once provided them a solid middle-class lifestyle.

That said, no economic crisis is truly "discovered" until an Ivy League, Nobel-prize-winning economist says it is.  As such, we present to you the intriguing findings of Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton who said he was "looking for something else" when he noticed a staggering increase in white mortality rates for people aged 50-54.  Per Market Watch:

That was the case with landmark research undertaken by Nobel Prize winning economist Angus Deaton. The Princeton economist, working with his wife Anne Case, stumbled on the fact that mortality rates were rising for working-age white Americans since 1999.

 

We were really looking for something else and then we discovered that, at least among people between 45-54, and even more between 50-54, a decline in mortality, particularly white mortality that had been established for about 100 years had actually stopped or even reversed itself. Whether it has reversed itself or not depends on a bit on your starting point and end point, but the century-long decline in mortality rates that had gone on since the beginning of the 20th century had just stopped and was starting to rise.

 

For mortality rates to rise instead of fall is extremely rare. It typically takes a war or epidemic for death rates to jump.

Of course, from there it wasn't much of a stretch for Deaton and Case to 'discover' that these deaths are tied to “deaths of despair” from alcohol, suicide and opioids.

Then comes the far more difficult question of 'why' the mortality rates are surging for middle-aged, white men...something Deaton attributes to a bleak job market and stagnant wages...

As to the more difficult question of “why” these deaths are taking pace, Deaton hypothesized that they are tied to a destruction of a way of life for working class Americans that used to exist.

 

“I’ve been using the analogy of the plains Indians, they had had a life which you might have liked or might not have liked before Europeans came to America and that life was destroyed and was never put back together again. I think we’re seeing that for the American working class over the last 40 or 50 years,” he said in a recent speech.

 

So we trace this back sort of a long way, and if you look at birth cohorts it is like each successive birth cohort is doing worse. They are more susceptible to these deaths throughout life, and the deaths rise with age more rapidly for younger cohorts, so we’re attracted by this idea that there is a cumulative process going on which is steadily getting worse over time. And, you know, the destruction of the way of life of the white working class is maybe a good way of thinking about this.

 

One story is just that there has been this slow loss of the white working class life. There has been stagnation in wages for 50 years. If you don’t have a university degree, median wages for those people have actually been going down. So it is just like that model, whereby American capitalism really delivered to people who were not particularly well-educated, seems to be broken.

Of course, pretty much anyone with a grade school education who has lived in Detroit for an extended period of time could have told you everything that Deaton has apparently 'discovered'...but it does sound very official coming from a Princeton economist.

Comments

nuubee cheka Thu, 12/14/2017 - 16:33 Permalink

1) Total destruction of economic opportunities for men
2) Total legalization of divorce for "dissatisfaction"
3) Total legalization of divorce rape, even when a man is old and now unable to work harder
4) Total destruction of the value of the money earned.

Pick any/all and combine, and you've got a good list of causes.

In reply to by cheka

WTFRLY crazzziecanuck Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:14 Permalink

But if you say it about the Black community, no one gives a fuck, right? That is why you have Baltimore and Joo-cago now. Eminem said it best, white kids are turning into little imitation niggers right in your houses. By design. Really, ironically, right along with the rest of the race karma you are getting now, all that racism and oppression white people are catching now. You're welcome.

In reply to by crazzziecanuck

Escrava Isaura bobcatz Fri, 12/15/2017 - 01:32 Permalink

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Cause Of Opioid Crisis: Complete Economic Destruction Of The "White Working Class” Correct. And here is how it went down: 1) The working class ‘80% of the population’ bought into a myth called capitalism. In capitalism the working class is not allowed to develop critical thinking. Capitalism gives the working ‘stupid’ class strict boundaries within their tasks; so, the workers are not allowed to develop skills and network of working independently. Then, when the stupid class is faced with problems ‘anxiety’ they become very judgmental and insecure, not because they were betrayed by the capitalist classes financially, but, because the stupid classes were not allowed to develop the tools to deal and understand complexities. 2) Now on the other ’20 percent’ working class, they know that capitalism is totally unworkable, so they developed the network called government. These 20% work and struggle as a group and not individually. Also, the conservative ‘stupid class’ only knows how to live within a specific class of people. The ones that look like them. Now they are paying the price. And this new tax plan ‘complexity’ will make their lives a lot worse four years from now.   

In reply to by bobcatz

Tarzan Escrava Isaura Fri, 12/15/2017 - 03:59 Permalink

...gives the working ‘stupid’ class strict boundaries within their tasks; so, the workers are not allowed to develop skills and network of working independently. 

Sounds to me, your projecting (Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.)Your describing Communism, which history has thoroughly proven to be an economic disaster.  Now Communism light has crawled into America and destroyed capitalism - handing men fish, while outlawing fishing.Your right, we're paying the price.... of letting people of your mindset run the country into the ground. Bashing Capitalism for that which Socialism and hyper Humanism have destroyed is a simpletons game.

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Memedada Tarzan Fri, 12/15/2017 - 04:47 Permalink

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You’re the one projecting. It is the plebs of US who’ve been fooled to blame the injustice, undemocratic and unequal development of their society on “socialism” (a term that no-one can define in US) and not the obvious culprit capitalism. US are owned by a tine cabal of capitalists (i.e. owners of capital – the original and only relevant meaning of the term “capitalists”). US are in the end-stage of capitalism. Everything is now privately owned by a tiny cabal and they’re going for the rest/total and unrestricted power. They can only succeed as long as the plebs are kept divided and stupid. They’ve had more than 100+ years to groom the population for the totalitarian nightmare ahead (and to a large degree already there). Part of that grooming was destroying language = making it impossible for the plebs to understand their own predicament and formulate alternatives. That is why no-one in US can define any ideologies or know anything about the history of politics and philosophy. You’re an example of that.

In reply to by Tarzan

Tarzan Memedada Fri, 12/15/2017 - 05:13 Permalink

Most of our ills are from Capitalism's decline, not rise.  We've turned a hard working society, into a hardly working society.Day by day they outlaw the free market that Capitalism depends on, destroying the middle class, the engine of any robust society. It is the rise of collectivists, the demise of free markets, the destruction of individualism, the rise of Progressives, the growth of Government, all the useful idiots of Oligarchs, that ail us...

In reply to by Memedada

Memedada Tarzan Fri, 12/15/2017 - 05:33 Permalink

Free markets are not defining of capitalism. You can have – and did have – more free markets in many feudal societies than in many capitalist societies. Capitalism is defined by ownership – who owns the capital and why? In feudal societies capital was owned by the feudal lords and only with the right name/heritage where you allowed owning capital. Capitalism is a form of feudalism (after an initial/brief – if at all – phase of meritocracy) in the sense that the absolute majority of capital is inherited in the same way as in feudalism. Capitalism is defined as an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production = US are a capitalist country. More today than ever since more and more of US’ capital are privately owned (the natural parks are for sale now). Socialism is defined as an economic system based on the public, social and/or common ownership of the means of production = not even China qualifies as a socialist country. Taxes, free markets, the size of government etc. are not defining of either socialism nor capitalism (or feudalism, theocracies, communism, conservatism etc.).   

In reply to by Tarzan

Tarzan Memedada Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:02 Permalink

Regardless, Capitalism depends on Free markets, and the creativity of individualism.   Ownership is being centralized, and incentives for productivity removed.  Whatever we've become, it's not a free market Capitalist system.  So blaming our ills on Capitalism is ignorant!I'm well aware, there is no perfect system, and Capitalism has it's cons.  But the one quality of any robust society is Freedom.  It's time we moved back in that direction!

In reply to by Memedada

Memedada Tarzan Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:27 Permalink

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Capitalism works fine for the capitalists/the owners of the system - they don't depend on "free markets" (only as a propaganda-strategy: look we deserve our fortunes!) The liberalists are “free markets capitalists” and they’ve created the shit-show we’re in today. The Bretton Woods system was created to spread US-style “free market capitalism”: The International Monetary Foundation/IMF and its “structural adjustment programs”/SAPs was created to force third world countries to sell its public resources to capitalists, World Trade Organization was created to force countries to open up markets, remove tariffs and make it possible to make foreign direct investments (i.e. creating the basis for a race to the bottom in relation to wages and working conditions) and the World Bank was created to insure that capital had growing investment opportunities by securing infrastructure, energy and security in developing countries. US have a liberalist right-wing (Democrats) and a conservative right-wing (Republicans), but US doesn’t have a left-wing and haven’t had one (of importance) since the second world war.  Capitalism does only bring freedom to the owners of capital – for everyone else capitalism is just a new word for feudalism. And a “free market” would never prevent the capitalist from taking power over every aspect of society – all competitions have winners and what is to prevent the winners of the first couple of rounds of “free market capitalism” from developing monopolies, cornering markets and accumulating so much capital that no-one can compete against it?

In reply to by Tarzan

John Sixpack Memedada Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:25 Permalink

Tarzan/Memedada,You both bring up very good points. I'd like to interject and see if I can help find a middle ground here.  If we consider time, scale, and setting then both of you are fundamentally correct.  Tarzan is a champion of the "American Dream" that has been cultivated within us since grade school and describes a period of time that was more applicable in the past.  Considering his take on the modern era you will find that "free market capitalism" is alive in pockets of working-class people. Homebuilders, pool cleaners, laundromat owners, restaruanteurs, etc will all fit the model that Tarzan espouses.  The issue is that no middle-class business owner truly owns capital on a scale large enough to influence others through real power.  Yes, a successful business person can afford to consume and live well, but they do not possess the power to mold and shape the world in which they live.Considering time and looking back towards the transformational periods of America's inception, "free markets" allowed the common man to own means for production and capitalize on the combined efforts of labor, asset ownership, and competitive spirit.  The settling of the American wilderness occurred in a fashion described by Tarzan--Free men owned horses, lands, etc. and established operational mechanisms to build wealth.  Fast-forward in time and enter the concept of corporations.  Here you see the combining of resources to enable leverage within the free market.  Partnerships and alliances formed by asset-owning, free individuals enabling faster growth and more control over wealth creation.  The late 1800's saw a heightened period of "capitalism" where the largest, most competitve groups of free men were best positioned to leverage technological advancement and mechanization as rural populations became more urban.  These large groups were essential to the industrial growth that laid the foundations for economic growth for the entire society, as they could invest in R&D to develop new forms of competitive advantages.  Modern "free men" rely on these investments to enjoy a comfortable life today. Corporations grew over time and the most competitive corporations accumulated the most capital--wealth producing assets--to enrich the lives of their founders. Fast-forward agian and understand Memedada's views.  Today "capital" is predominately owned by corporations and defined, protected, and enforced through armies of human capital--attorneys, lobyists, and politicians.  The result of capitalism in the modern era is the predominance of corporately-owned assets that directly influence control over society.  This power is similar to feudal times in which one family owned, controlled, and cared for the workers within its confines.  The rise of the multi-national corporations has led us to today's societal structure--a global feudalism that is controlled by corporations.  These corporations control governments and transcend borders through global trade arrangements, military alliances, and direct control over natrual resources.  Through scale, modern corporations control geopolitical forces that shape our lives.  Competitive development continues, and wealth allocation increasingly becomes more concentrated into the hands of the "few." In reality, these "masters" are not controlled by any single entity and are merely a combination of thousands of competitve managers who seek to "live the American Dream" through hard work, self-sacrifice, and a sense of duty in which they strive for excellence. Corporations have benefited society.  They built railroads and communication systems, built energy-producing utilites, enabled public health systems to enrich well-being, and provide a global means to transport goods and services around the globe. Some men choose to hitch their wagons to "strong horses" and align their futures with "feudal lords"--modern day capitalists (multinational corporations).  Others choose to live the American Dream, and set out to build wealth-creating mechanisms of their own.  The beauty is, we still have this choice and control our own destiny through our own abilities, skills, motivations, and courage.-- John G.

In reply to by Memedada

draego John Sixpack Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:03 Permalink

You nailed it John. Capitalism works great at the beginning and middle of the "poker game", but when one player has all the chips then all other players get excluded from the game. The utility of any economic system to a society is to manage the collection and distribution of resources in a reasonable way that doesn't alienate and enrage too many participants. As long as everyone is OK with the total collapse of civilization on a regular/cyclical basis in order to get back to the good part at the beginning of that civilization, then lets stick with it; but unleashed capitalism will always evolve into what we are seeing now where the .1% have juked the system and now reap all the profits, and the rest of society slowly turns into their slaves. When we are angry enough then we'll bring down the system and the whole cycle will start over again.

In reply to by John Sixpack

bluez Tarzan Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:23 Permalink

Pure tyranny is when the rich own everything. The rich tyrants solemnly address the masses about "regrettable necessities" and "shared sacrifices," then launch more drones and cut school lunch programs yet again. Why merely react to what they are perpetrating?The very concept of rich people (and even of modestly affluent people) would be bleached into meaninglessness if the poor ones ceased to exist. That is, the rich need the poor and oppressed for the sake of their own self-definition. So therefor they "launch more drones and cut school lunch programs yet again." (Really only a neocon subset of the rich and powerful actively promote these pogroms; the others just jet-set and so on.)No one should be allowed to own more that 20 times what they need to make a living and live comfortably. People should be required to register their substantial holdings, and if they exceed the 20 times limit, a random jury should force them to sell off the excess, and reduce their holdings to 15 times what they need. The proceeds should go to the commonwealth. Anything they fail to register should be confiscated, and those who willfully avoid registering assets should be punished. That is the only way to control economic royalism and protect freedom and human rights.Most of our industry has been sold by the rich for profit and shipped down the river to other nations, and there is perhaps only one way to rebuild it. All large industry should be owned and completely controlled by democratic communities and towns. Each community would own an industry, which could only be sold to another community. Some communities would have to be larger than others. For example, an ironmaking operation would require a large community, or consortium of communities. There could be government sponsored research and development communities too. Employees would have to live in the communities, and thus there would be a powerful incentive to minimize pollution. Small businesses would be operated by ordinary companies.There will be no more rich political parties. No more rich to be protected by vicious policing. No more rich capitalists selling our industrial facilities down the river to China. There must be some regulation, unless we want to be utterly ruled by ultra-rich tyrants. Wealth control would bring freedom and prosperity at last!I have known about half a dozen billionaire's kids, due to my unusual background. About 2/3rds of them seem like nice people; they seemed friendly and decent. About 1/3rd seemed like exploitative creeps. Most of their family names appear on products that may be found in an average person's home. They were already rich. To me, rich today is having about $250,000,000.00 of relatively expendable money.I think maybe 30% just live on trust funds and party. Maybe 60% have jobs of some sort, such as sitting in boardrooms from perhaps 10 to 50 hours a week. And maybe about 10% participate in fascistic political "foundations" which do vast harm to our nation and its people. So all in all, the rich screw us over, and thus bestow toxic negative benefits.Average people do not envy these rich ones. "Envy" is universally defined as "resentful desire of something possessed by another or others." Ordinary folks, and activists also, do not possess energy to waste contemplating resentful desires — they are too preoccupied with dealing the latest toxic negative benefits being foisted on them by the fascistic elements among the rich.We would all be happier and safer if the rich went away. For example, if no one was allowed to own more than 20 times what they need to live comfortably and to have a good income.

In reply to by Tarzan

waspwench Memedada Fri, 12/15/2017 - 19:09 Permalink

America is not a capitalist country and has not been so for a very long time. America is an oligarchy. If America were a truly capitalist society we would not be where we are today. True capitalism encourages and supports competition and innovation. Oligarchy suppresses and destroys these in order to preserve and strengthen itself.

You are correct about the destruction of language, but that is only one aspect (although a crucial one)of the dumbing-down of the population through the destruction of the education system. The plebs have been subjected to a very clever programme of indoctrination which has been substituted for education.

In reply to by Memedada

smithcreek Tarzan Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:02 Permalink

You have to give those scumbag motherfuckers credit for having a plan and sticking to it.  Destroy capitalizm by turning into a mix of socialism, communism and fascism, blame the subsequent problems on capialism and call for more socialism, communsism and fascism to solve the problems.  It works because there has been no party to defend against it since shortly after WWII when the spigot of big government was opened up fully.

In reply to by Tarzan

Memedada smithcreek Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:22 Permalink

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Yep, clever you. The capitalists (owners of US) are taking a beating – they don’t have anyone that represents their interests. They don’t own all the media, the political parties, the think tanks/propaganda institutions (that you should thank for your world view/”insights”), the monetary system and everything else…ehm, wait! Yes they do! So your theory is that they somehow don’t want to own everything anymore? They want to have all their property expropriated/capitalism dismantled? But you seem so well-informed that it should be very easy for you to make a list of all the “socialist/communist” policies being pursued by US, right? Or just name one socialist policy? And I am genuinely curious so please respond. PS. A big government is not an anti-thesis to capitalism. A state is just a tool – and right now it is a tool of its capitalists masters. 

In reply to by smithcreek

new game Escrava Isaura Fri, 12/15/2017 - 05:03 Permalink

when idiots have control over smarter people, they don't get to exercise the power of of knowledge over the power of money. i'll loose my job if i don't do what this idiot says; ie the peter principle. and this power comes from bankers and ultimately the fed. the power of the purse. seen it a thousand tymes in my life. if only i could punch that fuker out. but, he is the owners son and is a power hungry fukhead who hasn't done our job. nepotism. add to that jobs of skill replaced by jobs of repetition and lower skills leads to frustration, a slow 8-10 hour burn of the soul. where is the anger, ha, can't act out or that paycheck is gone. slow tamping of the spirit. at the end of a day a few brews will solve it. hey, maybe something more toxic will solve my problem...

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Memedada Cloud9.5 Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:24 Permalink

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There is no free market capitalism – but that is only because the capitalist have leveraged their economic power into political power (taken over the political establishment) and because capitalism automatically destroys free markets (capital accumulates – the rich gets richer/the first million is the hardest to earn/much easier to inherit capital than to create it – and economic power is easily used to create monopolies, corner markets and engage in unfair competition). The US political system is based on legal corruption. All policies in US are pursued for the interests of the capitalists (the ownership class). The fact that you can’t open a lemonade stand has nothing to do with socialism. Socialism would be if the US economic system was turning away from private ownership towards social, common and/or public ownership. The opposite is happening – more and more wealth, capital, land and resources are owned by the same tiny cabal (the 0,01 %). Socialism would be an increase in equality and not an increase in inequality – US are one of the most unequal societies in history.   I know, I keep asking the same question but I am seriously curious: what is it – specifically – that you see as “socialist” in US? What socialist policies do you see pursued or implemented? If it is only the lack of free markets you should look up free market socialism.

In reply to by Cloud9.5

swmnguy Memedada Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:36 Permalink

The analogy to America is the game of Monopoly.  Eventually one kid gets all the money, hotels and property, and nobody else can play, so they go outside and throw the football around.  Before about 1933, the US economy collapsed every 20 years or so and reshuffled.  In the 1930s, the Elites in the US got worried America might go Socialist, so they put in FDR to stabilize the system so they could consolidate and keep their accumulated advantage forever, with pressure-relief valves built in to the economy to keep the lower orders docile.  It's worked pretty well for 80+ years.Professional flatterers of the Oligarchy have picked up on this notion that anything that doesn't feed the greed of the Oligarchs is "Socialism" because Americans have been carefully conditioned to freak out when they hear that word.  And Americans don't read, so they don't know what Socialism is and is not.  Nor do they know what Fascism is, either.The most ironic feature is that there has been one economist who has accurately described how capitalism functions and where, when, how and why it falls apart.  But that same guy was also a truly horseshit political philosopher, taking a ridiculously rosy view of human nature.  So his stupid political daydreams are used to poison the well against his dead-on accurate economics.  Karl Marx, of course.  So now we have true mental midgets like Krugman, Friedman, Von Mises, and even stupider, who can't figure out why things go wrong the way they do.Fortunately for me personally, in my early 20s I had a couple of experiences that opened my eyes to the fact that America is a Feudal system, updated for the times with new terminology and a different approach to the Great Chain of Being.  Once I saw that, and understood where I fit so I could see what paths were and were not open to me, it took me a little while to reposition myself, but now I have a nice life at a level far above what was initially on offer to someone of my background.  And as I'm not too closely identified with any particular noble House, but with a number of them, I'm pretty well-positioned to weather the strife that always roils Feudal systems.

In reply to by Memedada

waspwench Memedada Fri, 12/15/2017 - 19:37 Permalink

Capitalism will always devolve into oligarchy and oligarchs will always terrorize and impoverish the majority so capitalism is not the solution.

Socialism and communism have been tried repeatedly and they, also, have been seen to fail spectacularly as a small elite always emerges to terrorize and impoverish the majority so neither socialism nor communism are the solution. Additionally, the idea of working for some ephemeral common good, as opposed to working for oneself and one's family, is contrary to human nature. We are hard-wired to look after our own.

We need a third way and it does not seem to exist, and do not tell me that some watered down version of socialism will work because we have massive evidence that it will not.

So.......?

In reply to by Memedada

Offthebeach ParticularlySt… Thu, 12/14/2017 - 18:43 Permalink

I was a guest at a uber high dinner party.  I was my third rate Rodney Dangerfield self, and had a good time.  Very nice people.  People with their own private jets.  My host had two.  Armed guards outside.  People  went to prep schools I never heard of.  Nice wives.  Maybe 80% GOP.  Not one person other than me had ever been in a Wal-Mart. France, pyramids of Guatemala,  taking the family on private jet and jet around Europe for 3 weeks, yeah, sure.  But travel right in town through class/economics in their own county?  Too foreign,  too scary.

In reply to by ParticularlySt…

absalom_hicks vato poco Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:06 Permalink

It is called efficiency and efficiency is elegant. Application of means out of proportion to the task is inelegant.If one shoe fits all then efficiency gains are made and your life is simplified. Simplification is also important.The Taliban prove that you can even cross tall mountains in flip-flops. We can all profit greatly from the insights of the resource constrained. 

In reply to by vato poco

Bulgars 847328_3527 Fri, 12/15/2017 - 00:56 Permalink

The white country-side trash complaining that they are stupid and No investor wants to build a business and have them as employees. In what way are they competitive? Their education is garbage, they possess no skills, no critical thinking... The new tax bill is going to give them extra cash, but as the Great George Carlin said: "Garbage in garbage out.!"  As I can see, this trend started with GWBush, Not Obama! Blame your leaders for screwing you over!

In reply to by 847328_3527