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-   -   Poor people die younger in the U.S. That skews American politics. (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=96693)

BrianB 03 June 2018 08:36 AM

Poor people die younger in the U.S. That skews American politics.
 
Washington Post 31 May 2018
Quote:

Add to this negative trend the fact that mortality among the poor increases during middle age ó which is when citizens generally get more involved in politics. The premature disappearance of the poor, then, occurs precisely at the moment when they would be expected to reach their "participatory peak" in society. But they donít live long enough to achieve that milestone.
Brian

thorny locust 03 June 2018 02:15 PM

I can't seem to get at the article -- it says I need to stop blocking ads or subscribe, and I tried unblocking, but it still didn't work -- but wouldn't that be an issue in other countries also, not only in the USA?

It is an interesting point. But I suspect that the fact that poor people are often working multiple jobs with hours they have no control over, and otherwise juggling their lives so as to try to cope with lack of money, may have more to do with it. It's in many cases exhausting to be poor. And huge amounts of one's available attention tend to be taken up with things along the lines of 'is there enough in the account to keep both the phone and the lights on? and which one can I get away without paying longer? and how long can I ignore that weird rattle in the car?'

Sue 03 June 2018 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 1979971)
I can't seem to get at the article -- it says I need to stop blocking ads or subscribe, and I tried unblocking, but it still didn't work -- but wouldn't that be an issue in other countries also, not only in the USA?

They address this in the article:

Quote:

Such disparities aren’t as extreme in other developed countries. The U.S. has the highest rates of poverty and wealth inequality among the world’s wealthiest countries, such as Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. At the same time, it has lower rates of economic mobility than Spain. In terms of health, the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate among developed countries as well as the lowest life expectancy overall. While the citizens of other wealthy nations live longer every year, in the U.S., longevity has declined for the second consecutive year — with early mortality concentrated among the poor.

In the U.S., those social groups that might pressure for policies to alleviate these disparities are precisely those who die at higher rates than their wealthier peer groups. As a result, political participation in the U.S. is more skewed toward the rich than in countries with lower inequality (such as Australia, Canada, Germany, the Scandinavian nations or Japan), where fewer people die prematurely because their governments provide better health care for the poor.

thorny locust 03 June 2018 05:20 PM

Thanks, Sue.

I did manage to get at the article using a different browser (it might also have worked if I'd messed with additional settings on the one I started with, I suppose.) You're right, they do address that.

They might or might not have also addressed my issue about poverty making it harder to get politically active even while alive; I can't tell. The article says

Quote:

To further test our theory, we also considered the possibility that the poor are generally less involved in politics ó whether or not their health is good or bad, and whether or not they live a long time. This didnít change what we found.
but I don't know why that didn't change what they found, or what they mean by that -- do they mean that this additional factor is significant even though poor people in the USA are generally less involved in politics, or did they mean that poor people aren't generally less involved? and if the former, do they mean this is significant in addition, or do they mean that it makes an overwhelming amount of difference? and did they look at all as to why people are less involved, if they are less involved?

There's a link to the study itself, but as near as I can tell you have to pay to get at it.


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