Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Another Reason for the Rebellion of the 'left behind' People

Is Trump's triumph due to rising US death rates? Looks likely.

A study by Nobel-prize winning economist Angus Deaton and Anne Case showed that death rates for white Americans aged 30-64 has have risen significantly since 1999. This is remarkable because death rates for US blacks and hispanics and for all citizens of other developed countries and for US whites before 1999 all fell. And, strikingly, the mortality increase is concentrated amongst the poorly educated.

The main increasing causes of death were suicide, drug and alcohol poisoning and chronic liver disease. “I don’t think there’s any single explanation,” says Angus Deaton who went on to blame booze, drug addiction and financial anxiety. He drew particular attention the the greater availability of heroin to US whites from the 1990s.

I think Deaton is missing the point here for suicide, drug and alcohol poisoning and chronic liver disease have something in common. They are diseases of despair. They reflect the situation of poor whites who have seen their incomes, social standing, political influence and health decline as the USA has become more unequal and more multicultural.

These are just the factors implicated in the rise of UKIP by the authors of Revolt on the Right. So what more natural than that they should find expression in support for the US's answer to Nigel Farrage - Donald Trump.

The US and UK situation are not the same. The NHS and better pension and welfare system provide protection against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But the parallels are real for all that.

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