Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Life Expectancy in USA has Always Been about Class: Dec 29, 2018

Life Expectancy in USA has Always Been about Class: Dec 29, 2018

About a year ago, I wrote a post which used public health data from CDC to show that differences in average life-expectancy between whites and blacks in USA were due to intentional public policy rather than any intrinsic genetic differences. In case you are wondering, I wrote the original post to expose the deliberate sophistry of so-called “public intellectuals” in USA who have long claimed that the differences in average life-expectancy between the two groups are based in “genetics” rather than intentional racist public policy. To quickly summarize it, the average life-expectancy for blacks in many affluent coastal states are higher than those of whites who live in poorer (and racist) southern states. In it, I also mentioned that the differences in life-expectancy by race in affluent and mostly coastal states was much smaller than those in the south or midwest.

Well.. it looks there is now a further piece of proof for this theory. According to the latest public-health statistics from Massachusetts, the average life-expectancy of black women and men now exceeds that of their white counterparts. And let us be clear about something else, Massachusetts is already at, or near the top, as far as average life-expectancy among states is concerned. Of course, there is not shortage of racist idiots and certain “public intellectuals” who will spend a lot of time trying to argue that blacks in that state are somehow “genetically different” from those in other states. As some of you might know, the average life-expectancy for blacks in UK (mostly Caribbean descent) crossed their income-matched white counterparts about two decades ago.

The statistics from Massachusetts does however show a very strong and unmistakable correlation between life expectancy and social class. In fact, it is far stronger than what you see in most european countries. Note that death rate for people from the lower social classes is many times higher than those from the upper classes. While part of the difference is due to deaths by Opioid overdose (itself a form of death by despair), it is clear that there are many other factors at work- from higher risk of alcoholism, accidents and delayed treatment of medical conditions. I cannot resist pointing out that for many decades, most whites in USA firmly believed that they would never end up in the same social class as blacks because they were somehow magically “superior” yada yada. Well.. turns out that was not the case- to put it mildly.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Don
    December 29, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    It maybe that both genetics and social class plays a role in life expectancy. Unlike you suggest.

    I am guessing that you cannot read or do not want to read because it upsets you libertarian delusions.

    • January 1, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Genetics undoubtedly set lifespan, but only in an “conditioned upon an individual optimizing health-and-fitness and avoiding all accidents-violence-trauma-and-disease for his/her entire life”. Meaning, actually surviving to the final moment set by that genetic timer would require lifelong practice of and access to what’s necessary (including information) for optimal nutrition, absolute safety, perfect physical and psychological fitness and well-being, and social stability. Directly and indirectly, that optimization requires optimal money and resources. Any fails in any aspect effect stressors which subtract moments, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades from what’s genetically maximally potential.

      Social class affects genetics hypothetically like this:

      One man has a genetic set-point to live 80 years but is born into a poor, severely-dysfunctional family in an impoverished, violent community. He experiences decades of severe under-nutrition, physical abuse, physiological neglect, psychological trauma, and poverty. Those stressors accumulatively take their toll on his body and he dies at age 65.

      Another man has a genetic set-point of 75 years. He’s born into a wealthy, normally-functional family in an upper-middle class community. He has lifelong resources for and access to essential information, superior healthcare, financial comfort, personal safety, and psychological security. He utilizes those his entire life. He dies at age 72.

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