The inequality that matters is doing quite well

Analysts who have concluded that inequality in life expectancy is increasing have generally focused on life expectancy at age 40 to 50. However, we show that among infants, children, and young adults, mortality has been falling more quickly in poorer areas with the result that inequality in mortality has fallen substantially over time. This is an important result given the growing literature showing that good health in childhood predicts better health in adulthood and suggests that today’s children are likely to face considerably less inequality in mortality as they age than current adults.

We also show that there have been stunning declines in mortality rates for African-Americans between 1990 and 2010, especially for black men.

That is from Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt.


Certainly on an important level that's great news. However, if the lower strada of the economy are also not getting improved oportunities for succeeding and getting an increasing slice of the pie that result can simply mean that people suffer a longer period of time and are in a position of dependancy for a longer period of time. These will cause increased social tention and possible accellerate the income and wealth skew in society.

I suppose on the bright side one might think that the long life and improved health might allow a slightly rgeated accumulation of weath for the next generation which might counter the possible negatives suggested above.

Wow, just wow.

Sing with me now: "Always look on the bright side of death."

That makes a lot of sense. Our 1% owned media never mentions that great men like Stalin and Mao utilized gulags and starvation precisely to avoid the possible acceleration of the income and wealth skews in their societies.

"...can simply mean that people suffer a longer period of time and are in a position of dependancy for a longer period of time."

Yes, just think of how many poor Ukranians were saved a lifetime full of suffering by Papa Joe. /sarcasm

In other words +7.5 million to Scott H's sarcsm.

agree with "JWatts"

Silly me, I used to think the mortality rate of all living beings is 100%. I think the researchers are thinking about people's expiration dates being moved out.

Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

I prefer "life expectancy" to "expiration dates". Expiration dates tell us when to throw out milk, break, fruit, etc., or at least that the time is getting close.

"We also show that there have been stunning declines in mortality rates for African-Americans between 1990 and 2010, especially for black men." Don't worry. Obamacare fixed that.

Mass incarceration stifled the crack wars.

Why is that the inequality that matters? What moral framework did you discover, and where did you find it, that made this clear to you?

Serfdom is fine because the serfs are living longer.

To expand: why would anyone risk drastically decreasing his/her life in social revolution if life expectancy was the only kind of equality that mattered?

Some people care about their children

Sounds like the proletariat has a false consciousness. We must liberate them from their delusions.

Bottom of page 21 and top of page 22 of the Currie and Schwandt research paper: "Given that there is so much dispute about the nature of the trends in inequality in mortality rates, perhaps it is unsurprising that there is so little research seeking to establish the causes of the trends. Aizer and Currie (2014) document the fall in mortality inequality among infants and cite many possible explanations including increases in maternal education, expansions of health insurance for pregnant women, the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, and expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Other than Currie and Schwandt (2016), we are not aware of any research that has looked systematically at the causes of reductions in mortality among older children. Some possibilities include expansion of public health insurance (Brown, Kowlaski and Lurie 2015; Cahodes et al. 2014; Currie, Decker, and Lin, 2008; Miller and Wherry 2015; Wherry and Meyer 2015; Wherry, et al. 2015), other social safety net programs such as Head Start (Ludwig and Miller 2007; Almond, Hoynes, Schanzenbach, forthcoming), and reductions in pollution (Isen et al. 2015)."

Does this matter?

I imagine that children do poorly when one of their parents is in prison.

Risky behavior is maladaptive. Society measures and reacts against risky behavior better than at any time in history. Allele frequencies are changing rapidly as genes for risky behavior are purged from the gene pool. This will only accelerate if current trends continue.

I have to disagree, Keith. Risky behavior can be adaptive or maladaptive depending upon the environment. At present, the Lords and Ladies of Washington DC have determined that people should be rewarded for risky behavior, (e.g. Obamacare), so expect more of it.

What ever happened to "no risk no reward"? Isn't that linked to one of the bedrock principles of capitalism?

Where would the engines of (various views on) growth be if everyone always played it safe, whether in business, technology, arts, media, etc.?

It's hard to believe that much has changed since 1990 for African Americans. That's not that long ago, about a generation.

In 1990, blacks were shooting each other over crack dealing turf and giving each other AIDS in large numbers. There are a lot of stats pointing to roughly 1991 as the nadir of young black behavior.

Within a few years, fortunately, the crack wars were snuffed out and HIV became less of a death sentence.

I don't know how to test this theory, but I'd bet that the invention of gangsta rap with NWA's 1988 Straight Outta Compton album was a contributory disaster for adolescent blacks, propagating catchy but self-destructive memes of how a young man ought to behave. Fortunately, after a bad half dozen years of roughly 1988-1994, black kids wised up to the fact that you don't have to live out the fantasies your favorite hip hop artists.

But what about the gender life gap? We need a federal statute that lets trial lawyers file class action lawsuits against doctors and insurance companies whose male patients die earlier.

The sex life expectancy gap is somewhat narrower than it used to be in the middle of the 20th Century, when childbirth had finally been made safe. Men don't get killed on the job as much anymore, and women took up bad habits like smoking that used to be somewhat more common among men.

If we truly believe in sex equality, then women need to be encouraged to take on even more bad habits to eliminate the remaining disparity.

Indeed, if Tyler actually believes that this is the "inequality that matters," he should lead the charge to eliminate the gender gap in life expectancy. Lawsuits are always a good start, but really we need a full-on assault on the Death Culture that the Matriarchy foists onto men.

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