|If “truth in advertising” held, this ditty should be the United States’ national anthem.|
If America is such a great place, then why do so many Americans want to end their lives faster? The numbers don’t lie: for a second consecutive year in 2016, US life expectancy has decreased. All this is happening in the face of medical advances and is due primarily to two things. First are “unintentional injuries,” a euphemism for the aforementioned high-risk drug abuse. Second are increased numbers of suicides. Yes, deaths of despair are real Stateside and are occurring at an an increased rate just as other countries are still experiences rises in life expectancy.
The United States has not seen two years of declining life expectancy since 1962 and 1963, when influenza caused an inordinate number of deaths. In 1993, there was a one-year drop during the worst of the AIDS epidemic.
“I think we should take it very seriously,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the CDC. “If you look at the other developed countries in the world, they’re not seeing this kind of thing. Life expectancy is going up.” The development is a dismal sign for the United States, which boasts some of the world’s highest spending on medical care, and more evidence of the toll the nation’s opioid crisis is exacting on younger and middle-aged Americans, experts said.
The truth is that life in America is such an unattractive proposition for so many that they’d rather end it all by suicide or largely risk the same result by abusing drugs. My question for all the USA # 1 cheerleaders, Trumpists, and assorted American exceptionalists is, how do you explain away these facts? For the US population as a whole, life is getting worse. We have the numbers to prove it since so many would rather not live. Nowhere else in the developed world are you seeing such declines.
“We should take it very seriously,” Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics, told my colleagues Lenny Bernstein and Christopher Ingraham. “If you look at the other developed countries in the world, they’re not seeing this kind of thing. Life expectancy is going up.”
In other words: In no other developed country are people taking and dying from opioids at the rates they are in the United States. We have about 4 percent of the world’s population but about 27 percent of the world’s drug-overdose deaths.
WaPo asks why other developed (OECD) countries are not suffering as high rates of drug-related fatalities and suicides or plunging life expectancies. The answer to me is very simple here as well: maybe the United States is not as wonderful a place as the USA#1 cheerleaders make it out to be. in fact, it’s rather miserable for more than should be the case.
It seems to me that the first requirement for having a “great” country is having people who are actually glad to live (in it). The United States circa year-end 2017 is obviously failing by this measure. With 2017 overdoses expected to rise even more, what reason do we have not to believe life expectancies will get even worse going forward?
America is in obvious decline. Its declining life expectancy is due to the misery borne of living there by far too many. If your own people give up on life, then you have no business claiming to be the shining city on the hill and all that jazz.