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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
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."