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“The global economy is full of progress paradoxes. Progress in technological innovation, reducing poverty, and increasing life expectancy around the world continues to increase. Yet there is also persistent poverty in poor and fragile states and increasing inequality and anomie in some of the wealthiest ones. This latter trend is showing up in a resurgence of nativism and anti-establishment voting across many countries. The election of Donald Trump in the U.S. in 2016 soon after British voters’ decision to leave the European Union were stark markers. Subsequent elections of right-wing populists in several other European countries confirmed a rising backlash against globalization in wealthy countries.
These trends have even starker markers. Despite having one of the wealthiest economies in the world, life expectancy in the U.S. is falling due to deaths driven by suicides and drug and alcohol overdose, primarily—although not only—among less than college-educated whites in their middle-aged years. Our research finds that poor whites report much less hope for the future and more stress than do poor African Americans and Hispanics, even though the latter face higher objective disadvantages, and the trends in optimism (or lack thereof) and other markers of well-being match the patterns in deaths of despair.
Central among the drivers of these trends is the decline in the status and wages of low-skilled labor at the same time that those of high-skilled workers increase. A related feature is the increase in prime-aged males (and to a lesser extent women) simply dropping out of the labor force. In the U.S., for example, 15 percent of prime-aged males are out of the labor force and will likely increase to over 20 percent. Males who are out of the labor force are disproportionately represented among opioid users, on disability rolls, and in the deaths of despair. Such men are also more likely to live in counties that voted for Trump in 2016. While the trends may be most notable in the U.S., there is frustration among this same cohort in Europe that is likely reflected in voting trends there as well as in the U.S.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."
"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."
"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"
"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."
"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."
"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."
"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."
"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"
"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."
"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."
""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."
" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."