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The White Death: Deaton V. Gelman on Improving the Analysis
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Yesterday I was walking along and it occurred to me that some of the horrific change in death rates among 45-54 year American whites since the late 1990s relative to other groups in America and abroad may be due to changes over time in the average age of 45-54 year olds.

Screenshot 2015-11-03 21.49.26Back in 1998, 45-54 years olds were born in 1944 to 1953, but there weren’t all that many people in that cohort who were born in 1944 or 1945 because the Baby Boom didn’t start until 1946. So the average age in 1998 of the 45-54 year old cohort was lower than you would guess if you naively assumed that 10% of its members were born in each year.

By 2013, the birth years of 45-54 year olds were 1959-1968. The birthrate declined pretty steadily in the 1960s with the usual final year of the Baby Boom said to be 1964, although that’s fairly arbitrary. But in any case, it was lower in 1968 than in 1959, so the average age of 45-54 year olds was a little older in 2013 than in 1998.

So, in 2013, the average 45-54 year old was slightly older than the average 45-54 year old in 1998, so it’s not surprising, all else being equal, that they tended to die more.

And sure enough, today, both Andrew Gelman and Philip Cohen post helpful calculations estimating that half of the absolute increase in middle-aged white death rates might be due to this increase in average age among 45-54 year olds.

But these estimates just account for half of the absolute rise in death rates, leaving not only the other half of the absolute rise but the entire opportunity cost of the fall in death rates seen among other middle-aged groups in America and abroad.

Moreover, while the Baby Boomer effect as purely a statistical artifact has some explanatory power, my suggestion that The Sixties! rather than the Baby Boom played a role in higher death rates due to the three main growing causes: overdoses, suicides, and liver problems. (Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died at 46 in 2014, would be pretty representative — for a celebrity — of whites taking the express checkout lane.) Obviously, the Baby Boom and The Sixties! of sex, drugs and rock and roll are interrelated, but we can use the fact that drugs didn’t become a broad scale mass phenomenon in America as soon as the first Baby Boomer turned 18 in 1964, but instead took 5 or 10 years longer to move from elite to mass consumption.

Let’s take another look at Deaton and Case’s graph of five-year cohorts measuring the spectacular growth in death rates for three causes: overdoses, suicides, and liver troubles. This is for 1999-2013 (while other work they’ve done looks at 1998-2013):

Screenshot 2015-11-03 22.23.42

When I eyeball the lines, I come up with the following table of five-year cohorts, sorted from oldest to youngest:

Screenshot 2015-11-06 15.30.39

For example, the 60 to 64 year old white cohort (dashed purple line) showed an increase in death rate per year from 1999 to 2013 of 1.7, which is pretty bad, but pretty average for this chart. In 1999, the oldest members of the cohort were born in 1935 and the youngest in 1939, so none of them were Baby Boomers. By 2013, all of the 60 to 64 year olds were Baby Boomers, with the oldest being born in 1949 and the youngest born in 1953. These people in 2013, on rough average, had been 18 in 1969. Drugs were becoming more common but remained more an upscale fashion in 1969, with Woodstock that summer often seen as the last example of the previously upscale drug scene, while Altamont that fall came as a warning that the surly masses were getting out of control.

But the big increases in death rates from 1999 to 2013 were seen in the next two younger cohorts, the Red Dash group of 55-59 year olds and Green line group of 50-54 year olds.

In 1999, the Red Dash 55-59 year olds were born between 1940 and 1944 and were 18 around 1960, while in 2013 they born between 1954-1958 and were 18 around 1974. They had a death rate from the Big 3 new killers that went up 2.9 per year.

Even worse were the Green line 50-54 year olds whose death rate went up 3.1 per year. In 1999, they were mostly but not entirely Baby Boomers born in 1945-1949. On average they were 18 in 1965, when you pretty much had to Brian Wilson to be getting heavy into drugs that early in the Sixties. But in 2013 the cohort was comprised of people born in 1959-1963 who were 18 around 1979.

After that the growth in the death rate falls until the youngest group, the 30-34s (which seems worrisome, but I don’t that much about younger people, so I’ll leave it to somebody else to investigate).

So, some of the growth rate in deaths is purely a statistical artifact, but some of it seems tied to rapidly changing cultural norms about drugs and the like during white Americans’ most famously impressionable years.

It could be that I’m all wrong about my surmise of there being a “generational effect” on the death rate from overdoses etc. in the 2000s. But my theory that white people took a lot of drugs in the late 1960s and 1970s and that’s having some kind of medical or behavioral effect on them in the 21st Century doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

UPDATE: Case & Deaton respond in the NYT to Gelman with a new graph:

Screenshot 2015-11-06 19.15.39

We shared the Gelman critique with the study’s authors, and Mr. Deaton sent a reply to our colleague Gina Kolata, who had written a front-page article about the study. The data you see in the chart here is the essence of his reply: Breaking down the 45-to-54 age group into single years of age, which should avoid Mr. Gelman’s concern, still shows the same pattern.

“If we want to be more precise about the age range involved, we could say that for all single years of age from 47 to 52, mortality rates are increasing,” wrote Mr. Deaton, the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize in economics. “So the overall increase in mortality is not due to failure to age adjust.”

He added that some of the causes of death that were rising, such as drug overdose, “are not things that people age into,” unlike cancer or heart disease.

“We stick by our results,” he said.

Update: Mr. Gelman has responded on his blog. He accepts that mortality rose for middle-aged whites between 1999 and 2013, he said, but notes that the rise was substantially less after adjusting for age.

Based on his reading of the more detailed Case-Deaton numbers, Mr. Gelman wrote, “mortality rates among non-Hispanic whites aged 45-54 increased by an average of about 4% after controlling for age.” The increase was 12 percent without the age adjustment, suggesting that age bias accounted for about two-thirds of the increase — but did not entirely explain the increase.

Ultimately, both sides of the exchange agree on a fundamental fact: The recent mortality trends for middle-aged whites look significantly worse than they do for many other groups. “Their key claim,” Mr. Gelman writes, “is that death rates among middle-aged non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. slightly increased, even while corresponding death rates in other countries declined by about 30%.”

Looking at Case & Deaton’s new graph, the age range with declining mortality rates (age 45-46) who were 45 or 46 in 1999 were born in 1953-1954, and turned 18 in 1971-72. People who were 45 or 46 in 2013 were born in 1967-1968 and turned 18 in 1985-1986.

In contrast, look at age 50, the worst increase in death rates: somebody who was 50 in 1999 was 18 in 1967 while somebody who was 50 in 2013 was 18 in 1981.

But what’s the deal about people who were 18 in 1964?

UP-Update:

Gelman adds his own new graph with an age adjustment:

With Gelman’s age-adjustment, he finds a sharp increase in death rates for 45-54 year old white men from 1999 to 2005, with stabilization after that. (I’m not sure why he looks at white men rather than whites of both sexes).

In other words, this very bad stuff happened roughly 10 to 16 years ago, but nobody much noticed it until 2015, which says a lot about how much our society is looking out in an organized fashion for the interests of whites qua whites.

 
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  1. And if you survived all the heroin, statins are lying in wait for you. Oh lucky guys.

  2. I don’t think the drug use is necessarily limited to what they did in the 60’s. There are a lot of working class Whites abusing pills, meth, and so on.

    In fact, I wonder about the meth effects. Meth tore through rural Whites starting about 20 years ago. That and opiates probably had a significant medical effect, while the divorce rate had an effect on the suicide rate.

  3. Even worse were the Green line 50-54 year olds whose death rate went up 3.1 per year. In 1999, they were mostly but not entirely Baby Boomers born in 1945-1949. On average they were 18 in 1965, when you pretty much had to Brian Wilson to be getting heavy into drugs that early in the Sixties. But in 2013 the cohort was comprised of people born in 1959-1963 who were 18 around 1979.

    Compare it to labor force participation for white males. I remember some years ago going over tables of government statistics about labor force participation by sex and race, and right about 1982 white men decline as everyone else sees gains.

    This is when affirmative action began to really make its mark and pulled the rug out from under the less educated whites. When men have no calling in life, they get sick and die at far higher rates, and consequently the women around them lead harder lives as well. Just look what happened on Indian reservations.

    As in the 90s former USSR, drugs and booze are the symptom rather than the cause.

  4. There is probably no phenomenon whose precise causes are harder to analyse than drug-related deaths. Because most of the drugs in question are illegal, it’s hard to know their exact composition in the first place, or how the impurities and contaminants reacted with the main ingredient and with each other. For that matter, you can’t be too sure of the quality of what you’re ingesting when you buy a legal drug at the pharmacy.

  5. did the baby boom start earlier for Blacks and hispanics ? wonder how they were able to achieve falling fatality rates despite having similar age demographics as white Americans.

    I think the main causes on the rising death rates is worsening economic conditions and the destruction of the family. Tighter family bonds help people get thru the tough economic times.
    The recession of 2000 was followed by a jobless recover, and then the great recession. White men had more to lose in the stock market crash of 2001 and 2008 and the housing bust which began in 2007. NAFTA and massive immigration from third world workers was much harder on working class whites than any other segment of our population.

    The Sixties cultural war on American values certainly a cause, as it left fractured families unable to cope with the economic hardships they faced as they aged. The high divorce rates are one of the results, as were the increase in the number of unwed mothers rising children alone. Losing Ground by Charles Murray certainly does a good job explaining this. After reading his book, I am not surprised to see the whites from Fishtown checking out early.

    • Replies: @Roger Sweeny
    Do you mean Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 (1984), which was one of the causes of the welfare reform of the early Clinton years or Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (2012)? It is the latter that uses the metaphor of successful Belmont, with "middle-class morality" and unsuccessful Fishtown, without.
  6. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “But in 2013 the cohort was comprised of people born in 1959-1963 who were 18 around 1979.”

    The counterculture began in the 60s but many still remained square.

    http://www.amazon.com/What-Really-Happened-Class-65/dp/0394400747

    By the mid 70s, the whole thing had become conventional even among non-‘freaks’.
    Even ‘redneckish’ jocks were smoking dope and stuff. Things had changed since the era of the American Graffiti.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    I notice you reference Dazed And Confused quite a bit. Did you go to high school in the 1970s and the film makes you feel nostalgic?
  7. I haven’t looked at the numbers in any detail here, but the rise in the average age of the 45-54 cohort might explain some significant portion of the overall increase in deaths, but I would expect that it might work in the opposite direction for the causes that have already been pinpointed, namely suicides and substance abuse deaths. I may be wrong, but my sense of these sorts of deaths is that they skew toward younger populations.

  8. being @ the center of ‘gen x’ this doesn’t surprise me there are a lot reasons people have alluded to- entirely right – like the demoralization by elite, the nihilism, the purposelessness…
    but one overlooked factor- the selfishness of the baby boomers- I remember always feeling the baby boomers were intentionally trying to sabotage or destroy anything they didn’t need or grew out of – when i was a kid there were ‘adult only ‘ apartments for baby boomers, children were looked down upon – then baby boomers had kids, and the entire world became a day care center.

    They did more than anyone to make sure white males did not get ahead- touting diversity – at the expense of then young whites while promoting themselves.

    and now that their kids are into career age, we are seeing a second wave of oogling over them and a second wave of hyper-pc and anti white behavior –

    I hate that generation.

    • Replies: @Roger Sweeny
    Since most baby boomers are white and have white kids ...

    I think your theory needs work.
  9. World War II is called that for a reason – it affected most of the world. There was a baby bust in Europe during the depression and the war. And there was a baby boom in Europe after the war. And sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll affected Western Europe from the 1960s on. But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It could be a better social safety net in Europe, as well as closer family networks. In Europe, most people are within a few hours at most by train or car from family, while in the US, it's not uncommon for people to be very far from their families geographically and to be estranged from them.
    , @vinny

    There was a baby bust in Europe during the depression and the war. And there was a baby boom in Europe after the war. And sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll affected Western Europe from the 1960s on. But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?
     
    This, as the kids say. But of course, no white people are having kids anymore anywhere, so deaths among the middle aged are a moot point.

    No one has noticed yet, but white birth rates have collapsed (from already low levels) since the great recession.
  10. I wonder if someone is going to look back on the 20 year olds in 2015 and wonder how legalized Pot and the glamorization of alcohol effected THEIR Health?

  11. The soaring popularity of drugs in my junior high class coincided with the release of this album:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bambu

    Most kids in my neighborhood had all the lines on this record memorized. Suddenly, everybody knew someone who knew someone who knew how to get weed.

  12. It could be that I’m all wrong about my surmise of there being a “generational effect” on the death rate from overdoses etc. in the 2000s. But my theory that white people took a lot of drugs in the late 1960s and 1970s and that’s having some kind of medical or behavioral effect on them in the 21st Century doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

    It could be both and there could be some other cause that explains the cultural upheavals from the mid-to-late 1960’s through the 1970’s. Maybe the upheavals of the “60’s” were an overhang from the intellectual and spiritual upheavals of the past. Public Protestantism went though a great transformation in the last quarter of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th century.

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You might be interested to hear that according to the data Deaton based his study on (I assume it is because the numbers are identical) the same increase in mortality rates (for non-Hispanic whites) could be observed for age groups 25-34 and 35-44, between 1999 and 2013. In fact the data for the age group 25-34 was particularly striking, with mortality rates increasing from 91.3 in 1999 to 110.5 in 2013, representing a relative increase of more than 20%. For other groups like Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and Asian or Pacific Islanders, the mortality rates continued to decrease from 1999-2013 for the age groups 25-34 and 35-44.

    The data comes from http://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd-icd10.html

    The bottom line is that assuming the data is correct (which it should be, or else the data used by Deaton is incorrect as well, as the data for whites aged 45-54 is identical), this trend also extends to a younger generation of whites, and the outlook in general appears to be worse than indicated in his publication.

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Thanks. You pointed out something crucially important - let's look at younger demographic groups and see what that shows. And what it shows is horrible. I hope this starts a huge ball rolling.
  14. David Foster Wallace committed suicide at the age of 46 in 2008. (Interestingly, his much-discussed drug addictions might be more like fables that were slyly disseminated to solidify his reputation as artist as tormented genius struggling with addiction one indulges to go pleasantly numb. That hunch is a long story though.) We know he well-knew that demon that acquaints men with the awful malaise, and he said his magnum opus should be more read as a patent medicine to depression than for addiction, which ring true to me, having read the interminable thing several times cover to cover.

    The story is peopled by a huge circus of characters. Rendered so interestingly, unerringly, it is tempting to say the book is about suspiciously linked personality complexes and pathologies more than mental illness and addiction—which sums up the genius of DFW the craftsman. People are complicated, folks can be odd, and in the hands of a keen word-man, characters will appear strangely humorous, or humorously strange, more or less. Or else they are ever tragic. The most, as Wallace would say, well-adjusted character happens to be horrifically disfigured. Another is so tormented by depression that she begs for more electric shock therapy. (Had anyone ever depicted a person begging to be electrocuted?) Knowing how it ended for David, his suicide ushered in by twelve sessions of that chilling regimen, casts a cringing shiver over that passage of desperate pleading, and recalls Patrick Hemingway’s forward to his father’s A Moveable Feast:

    With memory gone, and knowing that it is gone, is likely to come despair, the sin against the Holy Ghost. Electric shock therapy can destroy memory like dementia or death does, but, unlike dementia or death, you are left aware that it has been destroyed.
    Now that I have tried to prepare you for it, here is the last bit of professional writing by my father, the true forward to A Moveable Feast: “This book contains material from the remises of my memory and of my heart. Even if the one has been tampered with and the other does not exist.”

  15. I’ve never seen data on how common prescription amphetamines were in the 1950’s to early 60’s to confirm the anecdotes that “mother’s little helper” was a mainstream thing. It was used as a general diet pill, antidote for low energy, and for asthma and temporary respiratory issues.

  16. I would be curious to see how much of a factor the GWOT has been. Seem to recall the suicide rate for vets is quite higher than avg. Also casualty ratios are something like 11+ vs KIA. So plenty of wounded ending up on pain killers or with undiagnosed brain trauma from IED attacks. Self medication via alcohol, etc. How many died waiting for VA care?

    The latest wars have seen lots of deployments by Guard and Reserve units, ie old guys, instead of previous wars full of very young men. Lots of white guys in the service, or so I’m told. Someone smarter than I should run the numbers against this data.

    • Replies: @Boomstick
    The suicide rate for veterans is lower than that for the population as a whole. The military enlists a significantly better than average cross section of the population--among other things they can't enlist anyone who scored in the lowest 20% of the acceptance tests.
  17. This website (some of the content is dated, but the facts remain true) places the “baby bust”, or birth decline, as from 1958 to 1968.

    http://www.babybusters.org/

    And these stats show a generation that has had lousy luck:

    http://www.babybusters.org/busterfacts.htm

    • Replies: @oh its just me
    Those stats reflect how I felt growing up - particularly the cut backs and removal of rights.
    I think as boomers start to die off, we'll see more 'f-u' gestures for example - a boomer will retire in a 98% white town but on death , turn his home into a refugee house for somalis, and that sort of thing.

    I hate that generation.

  18. but I don’t that much about younger people

    Don’t what?

  19. Certain types of news coverage sensationalizing suicides can cause the rates to go up. Wonder if that factored into the decision to print vs black hole this news

  20. @Redacted
    I would be curious to see how much of a factor the GWOT has been. Seem to recall the suicide rate for vets is quite higher than avg. Also casualty ratios are something like 11+ vs KIA. So plenty of wounded ending up on pain killers or with undiagnosed brain trauma from IED attacks. Self medication via alcohol, etc. How many died waiting for VA care?

    The latest wars have seen lots of deployments by Guard and Reserve units, ie old guys, instead of previous wars full of very young men. Lots of white guys in the service, or so I'm told. Someone smarter than I should run the numbers against this data.

    The suicide rate for veterans is lower than that for the population as a whole. The military enlists a significantly better than average cross section of the population–among other things they can’t enlist anyone who scored in the lowest 20% of the acceptance tests.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    If you think that ASVAB scores are negatively correlated with suicide rates, there's a good chance you're in that bottom 20%
  21. Because our white privilege has made us soft.

  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    World War II is called that for a reason - it affected most of the world. There was a baby bust in Europe during the depression and the war. And there was a baby boom in Europe after the war. And sex, drugs and rock 'n roll affected Western Europe from the 1960s on. But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    It could be a better social safety net in Europe, as well as closer family networks. In Europe, most people are within a few hours at most by train or car from family, while in the US, it’s not uncommon for people to be very far from their families geographically and to be estranged from them.

  23. I think Gelman ( like Deaton) may be very smart, in the “probably would not have failed Caltech first year math even if he partied two nights a week” sense (but also in the less cool “why does that guy like chess so much” sense), but I have read about 100 of his (Gelman’s) posts and I seem to remember about 30 where he basically said “I decided to apply my statistical skills to an understudied subject and discovered, after doing so, that the contemporary progressive liberal point of view that I espouse is even more right than I thought it was!!!” and I do not remember a single one that even distantly approximates “I decided to apply my statistical skills to an understudied subject and discovered, after doing so, that the contemporary progressive liberal point of view that I espouse is less right than I thought it was!!!”. What are the odds?

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Your reaction to Gelman is exactly the same as my own.

    Really, he's a hack; he manages never to learn anything important. His priors are his posteriors.
    , @Honesthughgrant
    Yeah, that's what I thought. Anything a leftist produces should be looked at skeptically x 10 - they think being intellectually dishonest is a positive when it advances "the cause".
  24. Don’t you mean 1985-1986, not 1995-1996?

  25. @Glossy
    World War II is called that for a reason - it affected most of the world. There was a baby bust in Europe during the depression and the war. And there was a baby boom in Europe after the war. And sex, drugs and rock 'n roll affected Western Europe from the 1960s on. But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    There was a baby bust in Europe during the depression and the war. And there was a baby boom in Europe after the war. And sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll affected Western Europe from the 1960s on. But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    This, as the kids say. But of course, no white people are having kids anymore anywhere, so deaths among the middle aged are a moot point.

    No one has noticed yet, but white birth rates have collapsed (from already low levels) since the great recession.

  26. @middle aged vet
    I think Gelman ( like Deaton) may be very smart, in the "probably would not have failed Caltech first year math even if he partied two nights a week" sense (but also in the less cool "why does that guy like chess so much" sense), but I have read about 100 of his (Gelman's) posts and I seem to remember about 30 where he basically said "I decided to apply my statistical skills to an understudied subject and discovered, after doing so, that the contemporary progressive liberal point of view that I espouse is even more right than I thought it was!!!" and I do not remember a single one that even distantly approximates "I decided to apply my statistical skills to an understudied subject and discovered, after doing so, that the contemporary progressive liberal point of view that I espouse is less right than I thought it was!!!". What are the odds?

    Your reaction to Gelman is exactly the same as my own.

    Really, he’s a hack; he manages never to learn anything important. His priors are his posteriors.

  27. But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in USA. Engineers over about age 35 are too old. If you’re still doing any hands-on work at that age, including hands on a computer, you’re a loser on a permanent career stagnation path. Consider yourself lucky for still having a job. Maybe you’ll soon be asked to train your H1-B replacement.

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans.

    Drug abuse –> more of an effect than a cause.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Age discrimination affects other groups, too, but they can get make-work government jobs. White men can't.
    , @dearieme
    Whereas for e.g. the UK:

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in UK. Yup

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas. Yup.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans. Poles rather than Mexicans.

    Drug abuse –> more of an effect than a cause. Maybe.


    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.
  28. @middle aged vet
    I think Gelman ( like Deaton) may be very smart, in the "probably would not have failed Caltech first year math even if he partied two nights a week" sense (but also in the less cool "why does that guy like chess so much" sense), but I have read about 100 of his (Gelman's) posts and I seem to remember about 30 where he basically said "I decided to apply my statistical skills to an understudied subject and discovered, after doing so, that the contemporary progressive liberal point of view that I espouse is even more right than I thought it was!!!" and I do not remember a single one that even distantly approximates "I decided to apply my statistical skills to an understudied subject and discovered, after doing so, that the contemporary progressive liberal point of view that I espouse is less right than I thought it was!!!". What are the odds?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. Anything a leftist produces should be looked at skeptically x 10 – they think being intellectually dishonest is a positive when it advances “the cause”.

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    So, I take it you're against legalizing drugs. Even weed???

    [I meant this as a main comment, not a reply to Honesthughgrant.]

    , @AndrewR
    That could he said about any sort of ideologue. Dogmatism and intellectual dishonesty know no political bounds. Of course, leftist dogma has a monopoly on all racial matters, so at least for the time being it's worse than rightwing lies.
  29. @Boomstick
    The suicide rate for veterans is lower than that for the population as a whole. The military enlists a significantly better than average cross section of the population--among other things they can't enlist anyone who scored in the lowest 20% of the acceptance tests.

    If you think that ASVAB scores are negatively correlated with suicide rates, there’s a good chance you’re in that bottom 20%

    • Replies: @Boomstick
    It's not quite so clear as you think.

    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2008/01/suicide-and-iq-does-it-take-smarts-to.html

    Among nations of primarily European descent (Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia, in addition to the actual continent), suicide rates and IQ actually correlate inversely, albeit weakly and without statistical significance, at .08. Among this same European club, purchasing power parity and suicide rates inversely correlate at .34. In the West, while IQ doesn't appreciably influence suicide rates, wealth mildly reduces them. Thus, it seems that there are biological and/or cultural differences other than intelligence that play into suicidal tendencies.

     

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/lower-iq-scores-linked-to-higher-su-10-06-05/

    In the largest study of its kind researchers have found a link between IQ scores and attempted suicide in men. The study was published this week in the British Medical Journal.

    The team analyzed medical records of over one million men dating back nearly a quarter century. Of the one million, nearly 18,000 were admitted at least once for attempted suicide. After adjusting for age and socioeconomic status the scientists found that men with low IQ were increasingly more likely to be suicidal than those with higher IQ scores.
     
    It's certainly possible that there are racial or ethnic differences are also at play, and African Americans do have a lower suicide rate than Whites. But within a race, it's likely that higher IQ equates to lower suicide rates.

    The military is also screening for mental illness, drug use, and general mental resilience.
  30. Don’t hate the baby boomers. There was some seriously malicious social engineering going on and it’s going on in the present generations.
    The CIA-MK ULtra was into and still is bringing drugs into the USA along with USA government involvement. A few major USA banks are money laundering for the drug cartels as well.
    The CIA-MK Ultra was responsible for the LSD and drugs in the 60 and 70s and the music-entertainment world was awash in drugs. It was given to the rock stars in particular and the result was Monkey See, Monkey Do.
    Timothy Leary whose mentor he looked up to was Aleister Crowley which is very bad news and the present rap and pop genre still heavily look to Aleister Crowley. Timothy Leary spouted the nonsense of Tune In, Drop Out
    Please check out INside Laurel Canyon and the excellent video that Alex Jones of Prison PLanet.com presented called, Who Killed the Rock Star?

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    MK Ultra has an interesting history. Sirhan Sirhan may have been apart of the program.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwWXsqSE01c
    , @Anonymous
    The CIA promoted the drug trade to finance anti-communist guerrillas in Latin America and Southeast Asia. It had nothing to do with "social engineering".
  31. anon • Disclaimer says:

    joke

    off-shoring

    oh look where US manufacturing takes a huge dip – what a surprise

    And sure enough, today, both Andrew Gelman and Philip Cohen post helpful calculations estimating that half of the absolute increase in middle-aged white death rates might be due to this increase in average age among 45-54 year olds.

    lol

  32. Oh well I tried to pass along some very important info but I guess I’m deleted

  33. @Honesthughgrant
    Yeah, that's what I thought. Anything a leftist produces should be looked at skeptically x 10 - they think being intellectually dishonest is a positive when it advances "the cause".

    So, I take it you’re against legalizing drugs. Even weed???

    [I meant this as a main comment, not a reply to Honesthughgrant.]

  34. @Rex
    Don't hate the baby boomers. There was some seriously malicious social engineering going on and it's going on in the present generations.
    The CIA-MK ULtra was into and still is bringing drugs into the USA along with USA government involvement. A few major USA banks are money laundering for the drug cartels as well.
    The CIA-MK Ultra was responsible for the LSD and drugs in the 60 and 70s and the music-entertainment world was awash in drugs. It was given to the rock stars in particular and the result was Monkey See, Monkey Do.
    Timothy Leary whose mentor he looked up to was Aleister Crowley which is very bad news and the present rap and pop genre still heavily look to Aleister Crowley. Timothy Leary spouted the nonsense of Tune In, Drop Out
    Please check out INside Laurel Canyon and the excellent video that Alex Jones of Prison PLanet.com presented called, Who Killed the Rock Star?

    MK Ultra has an interesting history. Sirhan Sirhan may have been apart of the program.

  35. I’ve stated before my belief that “The Sixties” as we think of it, was a period of time roughly from the middle of 1962 to the middle of 1974, with a somewhat bellish but asymmetrical curve of “sixtyishness”.

    But what is significant is that all through most of that period, most Americans-those not in the entertainment or media industries or part of academia in its more liberal forms, or those on the upper or lower fringes of society-lived just as they did in the previous decades, and particularly from 1946 to 1962. “The Sixties” were the Sixties from what you saw on TV and the movies, but you weren’t living it if you were middle class Middle America.

    It was in the seventies that “the new behavior” became mainstream. A wide section of people were smoking dope and more or less openly having sex outside of marriage. Homosexuals could come out of the closet and not lose their jobs at least in many instances. Divorce was not looked at with profound shame, nor was having an illegitimate child. There were still remnants of the old order here and there: I remember a discussion between my father and a neighbor about a candidate for a regional management job at my father’s employer, and my father having said that he had considered him a good candidate but for the fact that he was living with a woman he wasn’t married to, and he just thought that wasn’t suitable for someone at that level of responsibility.

    So when this all started coming home to roost in the eighties, it wasn’t as long a delay as people often assume.

  36. @njguy73
    This website (some of the content is dated, but the facts remain true) places the "baby bust", or birth decline, as from 1958 to 1968.

    http://www.babybusters.org/

    And these stats show a generation that has had lousy luck:

    http://www.babybusters.org/busterfacts.htm

    Those stats reflect how I felt growing up – particularly the cut backs and removal of rights.
    I think as boomers start to die off, we’ll see more ‘f-u’ gestures for example – a boomer will retire in a 98% white town but on death , turn his home into a refugee house for somalis, and that sort of thing.

    I hate that generation.

  37. It’s as if the Canaanites didn’t wait around to get killed, but killed themselves off.

  38. @David Davenport
    But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in USA. Engineers over about age 35 are too old. If you're still doing any hands-on work at that age, including hands on a computer, you're a loser on a permanent career stagnation path. Consider yourself lucky for still having a job. Maybe you'll soon be asked to train your H1-B replacement.

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans.

    Drug abuse --> more of an effect than a cause.

    Age discrimination affects other groups, too, but they can get make-work government jobs. White men can’t.

  39. @Travis
    did the baby boom start earlier for Blacks and hispanics ? wonder how they were able to achieve falling fatality rates despite having similar age demographics as white Americans.

    I think the main causes on the rising death rates is worsening economic conditions and the destruction of the family. Tighter family bonds help people get thru the tough economic times.
    The recession of 2000 was followed by a jobless recover, and then the great recession. White men had more to lose in the stock market crash of 2001 and 2008 and the housing bust which began in 2007. NAFTA and massive immigration from third world workers was much harder on working class whites than any other segment of our population.

    The Sixties cultural war on American values certainly a cause, as it left fractured families unable to cope with the economic hardships they faced as they aged. The high divorce rates are one of the results, as were the increase in the number of unwed mothers rising children alone. Losing Ground by Charles Murray certainly does a good job explaining this. After reading his book, I am not surprised to see the whites from Fishtown checking out early.

    Do you mean Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 (1984), which was one of the causes of the welfare reform of the early Clinton years or Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (2012)? It is the latter that uses the metaphor of successful Belmont, with “middle-class morality” and unsuccessful Fishtown, without.

  40. @oh its just me
    being @ the center of 'gen x' this doesn't surprise me there are a lot reasons people have alluded to- entirely right - like the demoralization by elite, the nihilism, the purposelessness...
    but one overlooked factor- the selfishness of the baby boomers- I remember always feeling the baby boomers were intentionally trying to sabotage or destroy anything they didn't need or grew out of - when i was a kid there were 'adult only ' apartments for baby boomers, children were looked down upon - then baby boomers had kids, and the entire world became a day care center.

    They did more than anyone to make sure white males did not get ahead- touting diversity - at the expense of then young whites while promoting themselves.

    and now that their kids are into career age, we are seeing a second wave of oogling over them and a second wave of hyper-pc and anti white behavior -

    I hate that generation.

    Since most baby boomers are white and have white kids …

    I think your theory needs work.

  41. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Anonymous
    You might be interested to hear that according to the data Deaton based his study on (I assume it is because the numbers are identical) the same increase in mortality rates (for non-Hispanic whites) could be observed for age groups 25-34 and 35-44, between 1999 and 2013. In fact the data for the age group 25-34 was particularly striking, with mortality rates increasing from 91.3 in 1999 to 110.5 in 2013, representing a relative increase of more than 20%. For other groups like Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and Asian or Pacific Islanders, the mortality rates continued to decrease from 1999-2013 for the age groups 25-34 and 35-44.

    The data comes from http://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd-icd10.html

    The bottom line is that assuming the data is correct (which it should be, or else the data used by Deaton is incorrect as well, as the data for whites aged 45-54 is identical), this trend also extends to a younger generation of whites, and the outlook in general appears to be worse than indicated in his publication.

    Thanks. You pointed out something crucially important – let’s look at younger demographic groups and see what that shows. And what it shows is horrible. I hope this starts a huge ball rolling.

  42. @David Davenport
    But the European male middle-aged death rates went down while the US White middle-aged death rate went up. Why the difference between Europe and the US?

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in USA. Engineers over about age 35 are too old. If you're still doing any hands-on work at that age, including hands on a computer, you're a loser on a permanent career stagnation path. Consider yourself lucky for still having a job. Maybe you'll soon be asked to train your H1-B replacement.

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans.

    Drug abuse --> more of an effect than a cause.

    Whereas for e.g. the UK:

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in UK. Yup

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas. Yup.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans. Poles rather than Mexicans.

    Drug abuse –> more of an effect than a cause. Maybe.

    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.

    • Replies: @anon

    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.
     
    Or just check the UK data.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/19/number-of-suicides-uk-increases-2013-male-rate-highest-2001

    The root problem is *exactly* the same in the UK among the same demographic and has been gradually getting worse for 20-30 years with (guessing) the big difference in total numbers who've topped themselves being the supply of social housing so fewer of them have been faced with being on the streets.

    That'll be the kicker imo - people staring at homelessness.
    , @Travis
    the number of Poles in the UK is much smaller than the number of Latin Americans who immigrated to America. The UK is still 88% white and just 1% Polish.

    he total number of opioid pain relievers prescribed in the United States has skyrocketed in the past 25 years. The number of prescriptions for opioids (like hydrocodone and oxycodone products) have escalated from around 76 million in 1991 to 207 million in 2013, with the United States their biggest consumer globally, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and 81 percent for oxycodone

    the US consumes more prescribed opioids and other drugs than Europe or Canada, plus we have the Mexican cartels now delivering heroin to ones home in most of America.
    , @WhatEvvs
    This is a good point. I also would like to know why the mortality rates for the French and the Germans were so high when these data began to be collected. Why did they go down? The French trend line is particularly weird with that uptick in 2003, and the the plunge downwards.
  43. @Honesthughgrant
    Yeah, that's what I thought. Anything a leftist produces should be looked at skeptically x 10 - they think being intellectually dishonest is a positive when it advances "the cause".

    That could he said about any sort of ideologue. Dogmatism and intellectual dishonesty know no political bounds. Of course, leftist dogma has a monopoly on all racial matters, so at least for the time being it’s worse than rightwing lies.

  44. @Rex
    Don't hate the baby boomers. There was some seriously malicious social engineering going on and it's going on in the present generations.
    The CIA-MK ULtra was into and still is bringing drugs into the USA along with USA government involvement. A few major USA banks are money laundering for the drug cartels as well.
    The CIA-MK Ultra was responsible for the LSD and drugs in the 60 and 70s and the music-entertainment world was awash in drugs. It was given to the rock stars in particular and the result was Monkey See, Monkey Do.
    Timothy Leary whose mentor he looked up to was Aleister Crowley which is very bad news and the present rap and pop genre still heavily look to Aleister Crowley. Timothy Leary spouted the nonsense of Tune In, Drop Out
    Please check out INside Laurel Canyon and the excellent video that Alex Jones of Prison PLanet.com presented called, Who Killed the Rock Star?

    The CIA promoted the drug trade to finance anti-communist guerrillas in Latin America and Southeast Asia. It had nothing to do with “social engineering”.

  45. “But what’s the deal about people who were 18 in 1964?” (Not sure I follow, but perhaps ..) JFK assassination 1963. Cuban Missile Crisis 1962. (Etc.) At age 17 most would have been juniors and seniors in High Schools. Possible generational cohort shared sense of an apocalyptic age developing from class and peer group discussions. Consider life history theory and increased risk-taking.

  46. @AndrewR
    If you think that ASVAB scores are negatively correlated with suicide rates, there's a good chance you're in that bottom 20%

    It’s not quite so clear as you think.

    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2008/01/suicide-and-iq-does-it-take-smarts-to.html

    Among nations of primarily European descent (Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia, in addition to the actual continent), suicide rates and IQ actually correlate inversely, albeit weakly and without statistical significance, at .08. Among this same European club, purchasing power parity and suicide rates inversely correlate at .34. In the West, while IQ doesn’t appreciably influence suicide rates, wealth mildly reduces them. Thus, it seems that there are biological and/or cultural differences other than intelligence that play into suicidal tendencies.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/lower-iq-scores-linked-to-higher-su-10-06-05/

    In the largest study of its kind researchers have found a link between IQ scores and attempted suicide in men. The study was published this week in the British Medical Journal.

    The team analyzed medical records of over one million men dating back nearly a quarter century. Of the one million, nearly 18,000 were admitted at least once for attempted suicide. After adjusting for age and socioeconomic status the scientists found that men with low IQ were increasingly more likely to be suicidal than those with higher IQ scores.

    It’s certainly possible that there are racial or ethnic differences are also at play, and African Americans do have a lower suicide rate than Whites. But within a race, it’s likely that higher IQ equates to lower suicide rates.

    The military is also screening for mental illness, drug use, and general mental resilience.

  47. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme
    Whereas for e.g. the UK:

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in UK. Yup

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas. Yup.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans. Poles rather than Mexicans.

    Drug abuse –> more of an effect than a cause. Maybe.


    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.

    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.

    Or just check the UK data.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/19/number-of-suicides-uk-increases-2013-male-rate-highest-2001

    The root problem is *exactly* the same in the UK among the same demographic and has been gradually getting worse for 20-30 years with (guessing) the big difference in total numbers who’ve topped themselves being the supply of social housing so fewer of them have been faced with being on the streets.

    That’ll be the kicker imo – people staring at homelessness.

  48. @dearieme
    Whereas for e.g. the UK:

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in UK. Yup

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas. Yup.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans. Poles rather than Mexicans.

    Drug abuse –> more of an effect than a cause. Maybe.


    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.

    the number of Poles in the UK is much smaller than the number of Latin Americans who immigrated to America. The UK is still 88% white and just 1% Polish.

    he total number of opioid pain relievers prescribed in the United States has skyrocketed in the past 25 years. The number of prescriptions for opioids (like hydrocodone and oxycodone products) have escalated from around 76 million in 1991 to 207 million in 2013, with the United States their biggest consumer globally, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and 81 percent for oxycodone

    the US consumes more prescribed opioids and other drugs than Europe or Canada, plus we have the Mexican cartels now delivering heroin to ones home in most of America.

  49. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @dearieme
    Whereas for e.g. the UK:

    Widespread age discrimination against white men in UK. Yup

    Manufacturing in general: move it overseas. Yup.

    Blue collar construction trades: replace middle aged whites with young Mexicans. Poles rather than Mexicans.

    Drug abuse –> more of an effect than a cause. Maybe.


    There still needs to be a US-specific explanation.

    This is a good point. I also would like to know why the mortality rates for the French and the Germans were so high when these data began to be collected. Why did they go down? The French trend line is particularly weird with that uptick in 2003, and the the plunge downwards.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "The French trend line is particularly weird with that uptick in 2003, and the the plunge downwards."

    Heat wave in France in 2003 killed a lot of old people?

  50. @WhatEvvs
    This is a good point. I also would like to know why the mortality rates for the French and the Germans were so high when these data began to be collected. Why did they go down? The French trend line is particularly weird with that uptick in 2003, and the the plunge downwards.

    “The French trend line is particularly weird with that uptick in 2003, and the the plunge downwards.”

    Heat wave in France in 2003 killed a lot of old people?

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Joking, right? The fine print says "all cause mortality 45-54."
  51. This http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml has reliable data on prevalence of mental illnesses among various demographics. Whites in 26-49 age group have a much higher mental illness rate. The only demographic worse than this is the Native American/Alaskan/Hawaiian/Pac. Islander. This may partly explain high mortality since mental illness can be a conduit to all the self-destructive behaviors discussed.

    One surprising data is the much larger rate of mental illness among females compared to males (more than 50% higher).

  52. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "The French trend line is particularly weird with that uptick in 2003, and the the plunge downwards."

    Heat wave in France in 2003 killed a lot of old people?

    Joking, right? The fine print says “all cause mortality 45-54.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "In France, 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) occurred during the [2003] heat wave, according to the French National Institute of Health."
  53. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/11/7/9684928/angus-deaton-white-mortality

    But Deaton thinks this new study should change how people think about mortality in America.”

    Snake Plissken, Escape from New York: “Never happen, baby.”

  54. @WhatEvvs
    Joking, right? The fine print says "all cause mortality 45-54."

    “In France, 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) occurred during the [2003] heat wave, according to the French National Institute of Health.”

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Are persons between the ages of 45-54 considered elderly?
    , @WhatEvvs
    PS, my question referred to French and German mortality rates from 1990-2000, not 2003. (And French death rates plummeted in that year.)
  55. The birthrate declined pretty steadily in the 1960s with the usual final year of the Baby Boom said to be 1964, although that’s fairly arbitrary

    Uh, any date is arbitrary. Babies are born every hour of every day.

    Our latest was born last month. What “generation” is she?

  56. But what’s the deal about people who were 18 in 1964?

    Well, they could vote in Georgia– and did, for Goldwater– but in no other state. If the voting age has any effect on people, then Georgia’s Class of ’64 should be an outlier on some measures.

  57. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "In France, 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) occurred during the [2003] heat wave, according to the French National Institute of Health."

    Are persons between the ages of 45-54 considered elderly?

  58. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "In France, 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) occurred during the [2003] heat wave, according to the French National Institute of Health."

    PS, my question referred to French and German mortality rates from 1990-2000, not 2003. (And French death rates plummeted in that year.)

  59. All this death with a tremendous decrease in the number of Americans smoking cigarettes over the past 50 years.

    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/tables/trends/cig_smoking/

  60. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “…the divorce rate had an effect on the suicide rate.”

    It would be interesting to compare the divorce rates of the parents of those who died ‘ahead of their time’ with others.

    Isn’t there some data out there that the life-outcomes of the children of divorce are significantly worse than children of parents who didn’t divorce? Perhaps the start of the period of rapid divorce in the US corresponds to the early adolescence, or somesuch, of children who became those who died early.

    Less family infrastructure, less extended family and family safety-net, less expectation of stability, less paternal investment in getting started out as an early adult, less inheritance of homestead and wealth, probably more hanging with risky peers doing drugs, and so on. How did European divorce rates compare to those in the US in the 60s/70s?

  61. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Is Divorce Bad for Children? The breakup may be painful, but most kids adjust well over time”, Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld, Scientific American, Feb 14, 2013:

    “…in 2000 in a book entitled The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, Judith Wallerstein, then at the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues present detailed case studies suggesting that most adults who were children of divorce experience serious problems such as depression and relationship issues…

    …in a 2002 book, For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered, Hetherington and her co-author, journalist John Kelly, describe a 25-year study in which Hetherington followed children of divorce and children of parents who stayed together. She found that 25 percent of the adults whose parents had divorced experienced serious social, emotional or psychological troubles compared with 10 percent of those whose parents remained together. These findings suggest that only 15 percent of adult children of divorce experience problems over and above those from stable families.”

    Scientific American is a complete MSM PC mouthpiece, so the weasel words here are “only 15 percent”.

    Could that 15 percent explain the observed death rates?

  62. @Anon
    "But in 2013 the cohort was comprised of people born in 1959-1963 who were 18 around 1979."

    The counterculture began in the 60s but many still remained square.

    http://www.amazon.com/What-Really-Happened-Class-65/dp/0394400747

    By the mid 70s, the whole thing had become conventional even among non-'freaks'.
    Even 'redneckish' jocks were smoking dope and stuff. Things had changed since the era of the American Graffiti.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6XIGZ51VMo

    I notice you reference Dazed And Confused quite a bit. Did you go to high school in the 1970s and the film makes you feel nostalgic?

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