November 7, 2019

MELTING SNOWFLAKES:

American optimism, longevity, and the role of lost hope in deaths of despair (Carol Graham, November 7, 2019, Brookings)

We are the only rich country in the world where mortality rates are going up rather than down. And that is driven by preventable deaths due to suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol related disease-so-called deaths of despair.

The first step toward solving this is to understand who is unhappy and why, since we know pessimism shortens lives. As Kelsey O'Connor and I show in a new paper based on historical data for the U.S published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, optimists have longer and better lives. My research with Sergio Pinto, meanwhile, finds that middle aged, less than college-educated white men in the U.S. are the least hopeful cohort, and, not coincidentally, are also the group that is most likely to die of deaths of despair. In contrast, poor Blacks and Hispanics, who are objectively worse off, are much more optimistic and resilient.

UBI is inevitable because white men don't have a work ethic.

Posted by at November 7, 2019 6:08 PM

  

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