Poor White Women Dying Early

Something really sad is happening in America. White women who never graduated high school are seeing their life expectancy shrink dramatically.

The reasons for the decline remain unclear, but researchers offered possible explanations, including a spike in prescription drug overdoses among young whites, higher rates of smoking among less educated white women, rising obesity, and a steady increase in the number of the least educated Americans who lack health insurance.

The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008, said S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the lead investigator on the study, published last month in Health Affairs. By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had surpassed that of white women of the same education level, the study found.

The unmentioned problem is Methamphetamine which is a plague in the heart of Red State America.

NBC News has reported that the usage among pregnant women in the midwest is so bad that a new kind of Meth Baby is being born way too frequently.

What is going on in the heartland?

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17 Responses to Poor White Women Dying Early

  1. Rick Turner says:

    Well, what are you going to do when crack or meth are the most exciting things for poor and underemployed people to look forward to? Drugs, dumb TV, violent video games, booze, and the lottery are what pass for creativity among the masses of under or poorly educated people whose jobs have been outsourced and whose social life consists of trips to WalMart. Clockwork Orange anyone?

  2. len says:

    Cruel angels beguile innocents who walk the shady paths down to Summerland.

  3. Alex Bowles says:

    It turns out that there was real depth to the “clinging to guns and bibles” remark. Start with the original remark:

    ou go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, a lot like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy towards people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    Follow it with this, and keep in mind that the minimal-government ethos tends to run deeper in these spots (even if the actual transfer of payments favors them).

    Lately there has been a little typical sort of political flare up because I said something that everybody knows is true which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois who are bitter. They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they’re going through. So I said well you know when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country or they get frustrated about you know how things are changing. That’s a natural response. And now I didn’t say it as well as I should have because you know the truth is is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation those are important. That’s what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don’t feel like they are being listened to. And so they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families. You know this in your own lives and what we need is a government that is actually paying attention. Government that is fighting for working people day in and day out making sure that we are trying to allow them to live out the American dream. And that’s what this campaign is about. We’ve got to get past the divisions. We’ve got to get past the distractions of our politics and fight for each other. That is why I am running for president of the United States. And I think we’ve got an opportunity to bring about that change right here and right now. But I’m gonna need your help Indiana. I’m gonna need your help.

    Take the GOP mantra that “We’re all in this alone”, and put a face to it. What you get is someone who looks good while lying about how much help he really got, or someone who is truly on their own and ends up looking like this.

  4. JTMcPhee says:

    The Cavil-eer once again is stung to speech:

    What’s wrong with this little selection?

    Government that is fighting for working people day in and day out making sure that we are trying to allow them to live out the American dream. And that’s what this campaign is about. We’ve got to get past the divisions. We’ve got to get past the distractions of our politics and fight for each other.

    Maybe for most people, nothing at all. Because that notion that everything is “fight,” and the way to bring Hope and Change and the way you show you want to either “Keep America American” or that you “Believe in America” is to declare “WAR” on something. War on Poverty, War on Drugs, Global War on Terror, War on Chastity (oops!). When all the imagery involves doing the stuff humans do when they commit WAR on each other, it’s kind of hard to find nouns or verbs or adjectives that can connect up with the receptors in our brains that lead to effective cooperative action, amelioration of problems, anodynes for pain, all that kind of stuff. We are all sold the idea that it’s all competition and violence and all that, not community, or commensality, or symbiosis.

    But of course the other meme is repeated and expanded upon and linked and expressed so often and so deeply embedded in the culture and up our asses that there’s not a snowball’s chance in your American Range Stainless $14,000 oven that kindness and cooperation could become the operative norm… Besides, ask anyone who plays “Call of Duty”: the other way is so much fun, so exciting, so fucking PROFITable…

    And Obama’s “TRYING to LET [them] live the American dream”? Really? (in the new catch phrase, “SRSLY?”)

  5. T Bone Burnett says:

    People are having to work three jobs. Meth is how they stay awake. For one thing.

    Have you read Methland? http://www.methlandbook.com

    Tom Arnold’s sister is a, or the, Meth Queen of the Midwest. She has made two or three fortunes with a couple of prison stretches added in.

  6. Alex Bowles says:

    Good lord. And talk about unflinching. After reading the first chapter on the site, I started broswing the reviews on Amazon. This one jumped out.

    After reading Methland I can feel the pain of what it is like to have nothing to look forward to, no means of gaining decent employment, no hope for a better future and, add to that mix, the very human desire to “feel good”. Then one can see that the problem is more societal than individual.

    The drug itself seems like a spark in dry tinder.

  7. debra says:

    Maybe you should look at these lawsuit malpractice tort reforms. I will give you Texas Tort Reform. If you get any free treatment; then you can’t sue. If you are not working at the time; you are worthless. If it’s a possiblity you can’t win; you will countersued for the cost. Cap on what you can collect normally will not out weight the cost. So, if you try to go through the Texas Medical Board of Examiners, have a very strong case. The Physicians and Surgeons Association sued Texas Medical Board of Examiners for harrassment and won. So, they are on pins and needles when they investigate them. Out of 6000 complaints; there was about 250 strong enough to investigate. Since we have Texas Tort Reform, the lawsuits have dropped 85% and the deaths in hospitals, among the poor, nursing homes have been overwhelming at a all time high escalating. Other states are really looking at Texas to implement this tort reform because it works so well on keeping the healthcare cost down. The malpractice insurance is much lower. Yet, everyone is complaining about the lazy people on social security disability since Pres. Obama has been in office.

  8. JTMcPhee says:

    @Alex Bowles
    You can watch the movie, too — it’s under the title “Robocop,” I and II. Except Peter Weller’s fleshly body parts have gotten too damn old to drive the rest of the borgbody, so we’re on our own against OCP and Cain…

    It’s not like humans don’t keep trying one Armageddonism after another, still hoping to get it right…

    And looking around, I don’t see what Papola was so exercised about, with his proselytizing for the Libertarian Future — we be pretty much on track to that self-seeking all-against-all with desperation and despair at the one end, the bottom end of a pyramid that from a distance looks like an enormous flat surface with a glittering Dali floating city above it and a large suction hose leading up to it, and peel-me-a-grape, a-few-more-of-those-hummingbird-tongue-canapes, lift-that-cup-of-cat-shat-luxury-coffee-to-my-jaded-lip at the other. http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/fooddrink/a/kopi_luak.htm

  9. len says:

    Meth is even more insidious than coke. I watched both destroy two of my best bands and some of my best friends. They were not people who were desperate, without work or victims of a corrupt system. They were addicts and addicted to many things that have no analogs to wealth and political power. They wanted to feel more, do more, be more and the coke and the meth made them feel they could have those and be those.

    It isn’t a simple political problem. It is a deeply personal problem. Find a cure for that and you might be moving toward a solution, but as JTMc says, that requires a spiritual solution, a way to live in this world with dreams of Summerland.

  10. JTMcPhee says:

    Innovation is G_d. It will fix everything. As some of us learn more and more about how the Cosmos assembled us, get a better fix on where the receptors are located and their exact stereoisometry and how to assemble and tweak organics to the exact shapes to fix onto the axons or insinuate into them pleasure structures, to stimulate that maximum “WOW” thing. http://www.nanoscienceworks.org/publications/books/3/self-assembly-the-science-of-things-that-put-themselves-together

    Innovation. Who noted that our host says practically nothing here about the Really Cool Stuff he gets to observe and play with day to day? This cynic wonders if maybe he and others similarly situated can start to perceive an endpoint to all of this, and are now doing like the banksters and the senior execs at the Soylent Corporation, living for the personal good stuff and consoling themselves that It’s All Too Big and they aren’t responsible for It All… Asymptotic functions in nature always result in a Crash.

  11. Alex Bowles says:

    @JTM Weasle poo coffee, for what it’s worth, is absolutely delicious. At one point I was given a pound of the stuff and it damn near ruined me for life. It has an inexplicable creaminess that no amount of actual cream can duplicate. At the same time, the price is absurd. Actually spending that on coffee would be scandalous. And yet, the memory lingers…

    Now a lot of people feel that cost is the least of it. They think that weasle poo coffee itself is inherently bad and wrong. You may agree. Should you find yourself with a bag of the stuff I strongly advise against letting curiosity get the better of you. Instead, ship it to me and I’ll dispose of it properly.

    Seriously, it’s dangerous stuff. Let my sad fate be a warning. Just say no to weasels.

  12. Alex Bowles says:


    Speaking if scandals, you’re absolutely right. What’s happened in Texas is criminal, and I don’t mean that figuratively. People are actually dying.

    The doctors may have had a point about defensive medicine driving up the cost of care. But the lawers have a point in saying that the alternative is worse. Presently it’s a lose-lose situation unless you’re rich, in which case you pay cash for surgery done out of state.

    Presently, insurance companies are the de facto regulators. If the state removes a central reason for them to focus on outcomes, they ensure that a bad situation will get worse—which is precisely what’s happened.

    The terrible thing about Obamacare Is that we’ve backed into the kind of economically and morally necessary situation (everyone pays, no one gets excluded) that characterizes functions that ought to be underwritten by the state and paid for via taxation. Instead, we farm out this function to private insurance companies that do the same thing, only with a profit margin attached.

    This is a perfect example of the kind of predatory and economically unproductive rent-seeking that our friend JTMcPhee cited in an earlier post. It’s possible that the law, a passed, will make these business unsustainable, making single payer–at least at the state level—inevitable. Indeed, some of the more gimlet-eye commentary I’ve seen has suggested that was the plan. Knowing that political reality made a direct assault on the cartels an impossibility, the theory holds that Obamacare was intended to undermine them fatally by making their implosion inevitable.

    It’s crafty if true, but the downside is that thing will get worse before they get better. I imagine the i

  13. Alex Bowles says:

    …insurers anticipate winning that fight when push comes to shove, so we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, pardon any typos in the above. I hit publish inadvertently, cutting off the paragraph early. Thankfully this isn’t surgery.

  14. JTMcPhee says:

    @Alex Bowles
    What we’ll do, and not do, for pleasurable sensations. I guess a Presbyterian upbringing fails to fit me out for openness to enjoyable experiences, since I took all that stuff seriously and didn’t get the part about how it was all hypocrisy to cover up the real soap-opera stuff that made up life in the “bedroom community” I grew up in.

    In local news, another pedophile was nabbed by a police sting. His preference, what got him off, was apparently very young children.

    Yessir, you can bet that if I happen to come into a quantity of Kopi Luwak, I will think first of you. And if anyone ever offers me a bowl of birds’ nest soup.

    Like len says, love is the answer.
    …What was the question, again?

  15. len says:

    “Another pleasant valley sunday….”

    The question is one of how to cope with the dysfunctioning, greedy SOBs who are ruining the planet and trying to turn our lives into their ideas of how we should live: find people who aren’t and love them. Then you’ll be fine.

    Ask yourself honestly, did you make the mess? If you did and can’t clean it up, you’re fraked. If you didn’t and you won’t help but could, ‘you’re fraked. If you didn’t and you will, someone else won’t be as fraked.

    The tragedy is to not notice a beautiful day when you have it. Then you may not be fraked but it makes no difference how good the coffee is. God loved you and helped you and you didn’t let that change you. Love changes you. Let that happen.

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