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The big upturn in death rates among middle-aged whites was right around the turn of the 21st Century, say 1999-2002. So why so little publicity until this week?

From the Washington Post:

Prestigious medical journals rejected stunning study on deaths among middle-aged whites

By Joel Achenbach and Lenny Bernstein November 3

A startling new study that shows a big spike in the death rate for a large group of middle-aged whites in the United States was rejected by two prestigious medical journals, the study’s co-author, Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, said Tuesday.

Deaton and Anne Case, both Princeton economists, received international media attention for the paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). But before they submitted it there, they tried to get it published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Deaton said.

“We got it back almost instantaneously. It was almost like the e-mail had bounced. We got it back within hours,” said Deaton, who was interviewed in Dublin, where he was attending a conference on the Ebola crisis and global public health sponsored by Princeton University.

Deaton and Case then tried the New England Journal of Medicine, putting their work in the form of a two-page “Perspective” that summarized the alarming trend they’d discovered in government mortality statistics. Again they were rejected.

Deaton said the journal noted that their work does not explain why the historically anomalous surge in mortality occurred.

He compared the response to calling the fire department to report that your house is on fire: “And they say, ‘Well, what caused the fire?’ and you say, ‘I don’t know,’ and they say, ‘Well, we can’t send the fire brigade until you tell us what caused the fire.’ ”…

The two economists subsequently prepared their work for PNAS, and went through the laborious process of peer review and revision. “We were very concerned that we’d be scooped by someone else,” Deaton said.

In the meantime, Deaton won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

The research showed that the mortality rate for whites between the ages of 45 and 54 with a high school education or less rose dramatically between 1999 and 2013, after falling even more sharply for two decades before that.

That reversal, almost unknown for any large demographic group in an advanced nation, has not been seen in blacks or Hispanics or among Europeans, government data show. The report points to a surge in overdoses from opioid medication and heroin, liver disease and other problems that stem from alcohol abuse, and suicides.

 
• Tags: White Death 
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  1. Not worth a single fingernail.

    • Replies: @Bob Smith of Suburbia
    Eskimo fingernails are worth more, by weight, than platinum.

    Or so I've been led to believe.
  2. There’s quite a few startling similarities to Russia’s post-1991 (or post-1965, by some counts) mortality crisis. I’ll have that post published today.

    • Agree: Clyde
    • Replies: @E. Harding
    Great. I was the first to point out the analogy to Russia in the 1960s-1980s in the Marginal Revolution comments, as Steve can attest.
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    http://www.alternet.org/story/155588/how_shameless_oligarchs_plunder_our_world%3A_from_1990s_russia_to_present-day_oklahoma

    Right. At the end of the 1990s, after the total collapse of the mass-privatization experiment in Boris Yeltin’s Russia, some of the more earnest free-market proselytizers tried making sense of it all. The unprecedented collapse of Russia’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Russians from the shock and destitution (Russian male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56 years)—the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers.

    Of all the disastrous results of that experiment, what troubled many Western free-market true-believers most wasn’t so much the mass poverty and population collapse, but rather, the way things turned out so badly in Russia’s newly-privatized companies and industries. That was the one thing that was supposed to go right. According to the operative theory—developed by the founding fathers of libertarianism/neoliberalism, Friedrich von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and the rest—a privately-owned company will always outperform a state-run company because private ownership and the profit-motive incentivize the owners to make their companies stronger, more efficient, more competitive, and so on. The theory promises that everyone benefits except for the bad old state and the lazy.

    That was the dominant libertarian theory framing the whole “shock doctrine” privatization experiment in Russia and elsewhere. In reality, as everyone was forced to admit by 1999, Russia’s privatized companies were stripped and plundered as fast as their new private owners could loot them, leaving millions of workers without salaries, and most of Russia’s industry in far worse shape than the Communists left it.

    Most of the free-market proselytizers—ranging from Clinton neoliberal Michael McFaul (currently Obama’s ambassador to Moscow) to libertarian Pinochet fanboy Andrei Illarionov (currently with the Cato Institute)– blamed everything but free-market experiments for Russia’s collapse.

    But some of the more earnest believers whose libertarian faith was shaken by what happened to Corporate Russia needed something more sophisticated than a crude historical whitewash.
     
  3. As Ron Unz mentioned, life expectancy declined in Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) due to the fall in the standard of living. At the time, oligarchs took control of much of the private sector economy and pauperized much of the Russian population through exploitative business practices. The oligarchs controlled not just many of the country’s largest companies, but also much of the media and even the govt. Boris Yeltsin, who was a weak leader, was highly susceptible to their control. A large segment of the Russian population saw their net worth collapse and their purchasing power diminish, leading to an explosion in drug use and alcoholism.

    Working/lower class whites in America have been economically decimated by deindustrialisation, free trade, declining wages, competition from immigrant labor, and the weakening of unions. They also live in a country with a weak social safety net and a culture that praises success and scorns failure. So there are parallels between Yeltsin-era Russia and today’s America.

    • Replies: @E. Harding
    All these have happened to Canada, too (except for the lack of safety net).
    , @antipater_1
    "Yeltsin-era Russia and today’s America."

    That is a real good insight. We have a Yeltsin era oligarchic economy but we are still stuck with a Brezhnev era Washington DC / NYC bureaucracy. As the years go by, this bureaucracy is becoming ever more brazen and oppressive.

    This bureaucracy will have to be reformed or eliminated for real change to happen.
    , @tbraton
    About 15 to 20 years ago, there was a Russian who worked at the building I was living in, as part of the maintenance crew. I know nothing about his background, except that he was a Russian immigrant. We would talk occasionally, and he corrected me on the proper pronunciation of "Crimea." Not the way we Americans generally pronounce it, but more like "Cream." I knew enough from reading about Russia to realize that a handful of gangsters had managed to steal most of the wealth that all the Russian people had essentially slaved to build up in the years of Communist rule. My Russian acquaintance was quite bitter about what had transpired in Russia. They should have found a method to see that that wealth was distributed to the Russian people through distribution of shares in privatized companies, since it was the Russian people as a whole who had built up that wealth that was owned by the Russian state. It was criminal what happened to the Russian people, and it was orchestrated by Americans, including Harvard professors. The dire health consequences are hardly surprising.
    , @Bettega
    Can we say here that the Russian oligarchs were all Jews, that their friends in the America were all Jews and that the smokescreen around this issue is erected by Jews afraid of people noticing what was going on?
  4. @Anatoly Karlin
    There's quite a few startling similarities to Russia's post-1991 (or post-1965, by some counts) mortality crisis. I'll have that post published today.

    Great. I was the first to point out the analogy to Russia in the 1960s-1980s in the Marginal Revolution comments, as Steve can attest.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What's the point of even pointing that out? Do you want recognition or something?
  5. @Anatoly Karlin
    There's quite a few startling similarities to Russia's post-1991 (or post-1965, by some counts) mortality crisis. I'll have that post published today.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/155588/how_shameless_oligarchs_plunder_our_world%3A_from_1990s_russia_to_present-day_oklahoma

    Right. At the end of the 1990s, after the total collapse of the mass-privatization experiment in Boris Yeltin’s Russia, some of the more earnest free-market proselytizers tried making sense of it all. The unprecedented collapse of Russia’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Russians from the shock and destitution (Russian male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56 years)—the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers.

    Of all the disastrous results of that experiment, what troubled many Western free-market true-believers most wasn’t so much the mass poverty and population collapse, but rather, the way things turned out so badly in Russia’s newly-privatized companies and industries. That was the one thing that was supposed to go right. According to the operative theory—developed by the founding fathers of libertarianism/neoliberalism, Friedrich von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and the rest—a privately-owned company will always outperform a state-run company because private ownership and the profit-motive incentivize the owners to make their companies stronger, more efficient, more competitive, and so on. The theory promises that everyone benefits except for the bad old state and the lazy.

    That was the dominant libertarian theory framing the whole “shock doctrine” privatization experiment in Russia and elsewhere. In reality, as everyone was forced to admit by 1999, Russia’s privatized companies were stripped and plundered as fast as their new private owners could loot them, leaving millions of workers without salaries, and most of Russia’s industry in far worse shape than the Communists left it.

    Most of the free-market proselytizers—ranging from Clinton neoliberal Michael McFaul (currently Obama’s ambassador to Moscow) to libertarian Pinochet fanboy Andrei Illarionov (currently with the Cato Institute)– blamed everything but free-market experiments for Russia’s collapse.

    But some of the more earnest believers whose libertarian faith was shaken by what happened to Corporate Russia needed something more sophisticated than a crude historical whitewash.

    • Replies: @E. Harding
    Because Mises and Friedman, and not, say, New Keynesian Democrat-leaning economists and former mid-level Soviet functionaries were the architects of the Russian privatizations. Riiiiiight. Totally factual, not at all trying to associate two discrepant groups that totally don't stick together at all. Last time I heard, at no point was Russia even close to a libertarian country.

    Also, unlike in the Communist era, the Russian government couldn't afford to prop up every firm that became a zombie, leading the market to gradually become much more efficient.

    And life expectancy skyrocketed in Chile during the early years of Pinochet. So it's not free market reforms in and of themselves, even ones in economic crises, that cause massive social disaster. Estonia and Poland, having higher-trust and more civilized cultures than Russia, did rather well in the 1990s.

    , @Threecranes
    They were looted because the Oligarchs were handed fully formed monopolies. Their wealth was not derived from a virtuous competitive struggle during which a group of innovative inventors/entrepreneurs engaged in back and forth improvements on one another's technological advancement with each stage bringing a new level of efficiency and wealth to workers and consumers.

    The free-market economists are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. The driver of progress is invention. Invention yields greater productivity which enables one person's labor to accomplish what had formerly employed a dozen. Every one becomes wealthier because one hour of work accomplishes more. Those who stole Soviet industry were not builders in this sense. They were money men, not innovators. And, like all money-oriented men, they performed a cost/benefit analysis of the peak inflection in the curve of profits versus effort and chose to scale back their efforts to the sweet spot in that curve. They weren't interested in working hard to grow an industry. They just wanted to get the most they could with the least effort.
    , @scrivener3
    You seem to think the choice is between capitalism with private property, freedom of contract and rule of law; and, benevolent control of the economy by a disinterested elite with a monopoly on the use of force, who never allow companies to close and keep wages high. It is not.

    Human nature makes people favor themselves. There are lots of people who generally wish you good will, but when faced with the choice of a little more on their plate or a little more on your plate, everyone will favor themselves. Giving any group power and a monopoly on violence will lead to better for them and worse for you.

    The initial distribution of private property is always unjust. Every capitalistic system has a date before which you may not challenge good title. Otherwise you have infinite clouds on all title. Do certain Indians get Arizona? Perhaps they dispossessed earlier tribes? New evidence may arise at any time of historical thefts. Do modern Greeks own the real property of Greece or was there an earlier civilization that never granted title? That's why Marx's "all property is theft" has a grain of truth.

    I'm sure the Russian exercise was particularly nasty, but all the land in England was stolen by Germanic invaders who owned and ruled by sword. If I am looking to purchase a nice flat in Soho I don't have much guilt about that.

    Mostly this article reminds me of how much the elite and the left despise freedom for ordinary people. The constantly blame capitalism, which is really the freedom to order your preferences in purchases limited by your productivity in meeting other people's preferences and needs.
  6. This study begs questions about the role of the medical-industrial complex in these deaths. I’m not surprised it was rejected by establishment medical journals.

    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @E. Harding
    Why only in America?
  7. @JohnnyWalker123
    As Ron Unz mentioned, life expectancy declined in Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) due to the fall in the standard of living. At the time, oligarchs took control of much of the private sector economy and pauperized much of the Russian population through exploitative business practices. The oligarchs controlled not just many of the country's largest companies, but also much of the media and even the govt. Boris Yeltsin, who was a weak leader, was highly susceptible to their control. A large segment of the Russian population saw their net worth collapse and their purchasing power diminish, leading to an explosion in drug use and alcoholism.

    Working/lower class whites in America have been economically decimated by deindustrialisation, free trade, declining wages, competition from immigrant labor, and the weakening of unions. They also live in a country with a weak social safety net and a culture that praises success and scorns failure. So there are parallels between Yeltsin-era Russia and today's America.

    All these have happened to Canada, too (except for the lack of safety net).

    • Replies: @Das
    Is there a huge prescription drug, heroin, and meth epidemic among working class white Canadians? I think that's the leading factor in this trend.

    The social safety net probably makes a big difference. If you know that you can muddle along as a long-term unemployed person but not end up homeless on the streets, you're less likely to turn to self-destructive behavior or suicide.
    , @Another Canadian

    All these have happened to Canada, too
     
    America lashed out by electing Obama in 2008. I know a lot of voters expected him to give the Wall Street banksters a dramatic perp walk. It didn't happen.

    Canada just lashed out by electing Justin Trudeau...
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    Then the safety net might be the difference.

    Canadian whites are typically much less prole than US whites, so perhaps that's why there's less of drugs&alcohol culture among them.
  8. @JohnnyWalker123
    http://www.alternet.org/story/155588/how_shameless_oligarchs_plunder_our_world%3A_from_1990s_russia_to_present-day_oklahoma

    Right. At the end of the 1990s, after the total collapse of the mass-privatization experiment in Boris Yeltin’s Russia, some of the more earnest free-market proselytizers tried making sense of it all. The unprecedented collapse of Russia’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Russians from the shock and destitution (Russian male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56 years)—the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers.

    Of all the disastrous results of that experiment, what troubled many Western free-market true-believers most wasn’t so much the mass poverty and population collapse, but rather, the way things turned out so badly in Russia’s newly-privatized companies and industries. That was the one thing that was supposed to go right. According to the operative theory—developed by the founding fathers of libertarianism/neoliberalism, Friedrich von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and the rest—a privately-owned company will always outperform a state-run company because private ownership and the profit-motive incentivize the owners to make their companies stronger, more efficient, more competitive, and so on. The theory promises that everyone benefits except for the bad old state and the lazy.

    That was the dominant libertarian theory framing the whole “shock doctrine” privatization experiment in Russia and elsewhere. In reality, as everyone was forced to admit by 1999, Russia’s privatized companies were stripped and plundered as fast as their new private owners could loot them, leaving millions of workers without salaries, and most of Russia’s industry in far worse shape than the Communists left it.

    Most of the free-market proselytizers—ranging from Clinton neoliberal Michael McFaul (currently Obama’s ambassador to Moscow) to libertarian Pinochet fanboy Andrei Illarionov (currently with the Cato Institute)– blamed everything but free-market experiments for Russia’s collapse.

    But some of the more earnest believers whose libertarian faith was shaken by what happened to Corporate Russia needed something more sophisticated than a crude historical whitewash.
     

    Because Mises and Friedman, and not, say, New Keynesian Democrat-leaning economists and former mid-level Soviet functionaries were the architects of the Russian privatizations. Riiiiiight. Totally factual, not at all trying to associate two discrepant groups that totally don’t stick together at all. Last time I heard, at no point was Russia even close to a libertarian country.

    Also, unlike in the Communist era, the Russian government couldn’t afford to prop up every firm that became a zombie, leading the market to gradually become much more efficient.

    And life expectancy skyrocketed in Chile during the early years of Pinochet. So it’s not free market reforms in and of themselves, even ones in economic crises, that cause massive social disaster. Estonia and Poland, having higher-trust and more civilized cultures than Russia, did rather well in the 1990s.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    The point I was making was that the system was rigged by the oligarchs, much like our current system is rigged. I'd argue the solution isn't deregulation or small government, but a strongman leader like Putin.

    Free market reforms would've worked better in Russia if there was competition, rather than a monopolization of state-owned assets by a small number of oligarchs.
  9. Yeah, well, it’s like the joke about men wanting to die before their wives because they are married. I really don’t want to live much longer. I am 53, life in the US inner cities has become so uncivilized and my stress levels are so high that I just don’t see the point in continuing on for much longer. I know that compared to people who live in war torn countries and third world countries, I have it good, but… The US is going down hill and letting the inmates run the asylums. I don’t see any reason to be an old person in the US.

  10. @Another Canadian
    This study begs questions about the role of the medical-industrial complex in these deaths. I'm not surprised it was rejected by establishment medical journals.

    Why only in America?

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    Doctors in America are more free to be mercenary.
  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The key difference between liberals and leftists is homicidal ideation as a pathway to solving problems.

    Death is a fix all for a Leninist, a Stalinist. Mass death of a demographic is always welcomed by leftist regimes and never regretted.

    Our elites are no longer liberals. So watch life get cheaper and cheaper in America. They took interest on savings away from the elderly in 2009 with ZIRP. So what if grandma is eating cat food? So what if her middle age children are suicidal?

    Leftist regimes are impervious to appeals for decency. In Obama’s mind the whole world has got it coming. The medical journals are filled with his minions.

    You scream in agony. They yawn.

  12. C’mon, is it really all that obvious that this development is a subject for a medical journal? What was the medical community supposed to do with the information, subject all middle-aged white men who arrived in 15-year old cars to questioning about whether they intended suicide? Were the doctors going to reverse the employment decisions that led to the crisis in the first place? This is sad, but it’s sociology, not medicine.

    • Replies: @jackson
    Are you a troll? What do you think about these NEJM "Perspective" articles published in just the past several weeks?

    "Caring for the Wave of Refugees in Munich"
    "Civil Rights and Health — Beyond Same-Sex Marriage"
    "Caring for Our Transgender Troops — The Negligible Cost of Transition-Related Care"

    Obviously all on topics that are extremely critical to our health.
    , @Gilbert Ratchet
    Last time I was at the doctor, she asked if I "had any guns in the house." A Center allegedly devoted to Disease Control loves to investigate the topic. So the medical profession will certainly indulge in sociology if it wants to.
    , @dearieme
    "This is sad, but it’s sociology, not medicine." Much of the stuff passed off as "public health medicine" is just sociology too, but with less in the way of facts and more in the way of zealotry.
  13. @E. Harding
    Why only in America?

    Doctors in America are more free to be mercenary.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Doctors in America are more free to be mercenary.
     
    Chinese birth tourism story:
    Chinese mom's death at Garden Grove Hospital ruled negligence; family gets $5.2 million.


    Nie and Hong, who met in junior high school, lived apart in China; he is an architect and she was a financial executive. They decided she should come to Orange County after searching the Internet for the best places to give birth in the U.S.
    ...
    After the verdict, obstetrician Long-Dei Liu denied doing anything wrong.
     
    The U.S. is finished.
    , @SFG
    This is more true than anyone wants to admit--these guys get paid by procedure, and get in trouble with their departments (if salaried) for not driving volume up. This is one of the areas the free market does *not* do a good job.
  14. If my memory serves me well both George Soros and Jeffrey Sachs were intimately involved in the rape of Russia. They are not libertarians.

    The Eye of S#ro$ got its first taste of blood there, and hasn’t looked back since.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Look up Renaissance Capital and how Soros is involved. Zbig Brzezinski's nephew Andrew Brzezinski wrote a great book on the plundering of Russia in the 1990s called "Casino Moscow".
  15. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s possible that this won’t be confined to one or two generations but that everyone, millennials, Gen-Xers, everyone else, will start kicking off sooner for one reason or another. Life expectancies may have reached a peak some time ago and are now declining. After all, why was it expected that living to 85 and beyond was going to continue forever and that boundaries were going to continually be pushed? Maybe the longer life spans were the fluke, not the other way around.

    • Replies: @Das
    Because people naively assumed that life in the US would keep getting better for most people, and that medical advances would extend people's lives?

    This decline in life expectancy isn't a natural occurrence. It's only happening to white people in the US.
    , @silviosilver
    Don't be silly. There was (and is) much better to reason to expect life-expectancy to keep rising rather than to expect it to stall out at 85.
  16. #WhiteMaleLivesDon’tMatter

    I wrote about this before, particularly on some articles that came out about the rise in female middle age suicides, which are still about 1/3 of male suicides. But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense. But almost no mention of the fact, the male suicide rates were growing and dwarfed that of females.

    But hands down, the issue for men is one of divorce. And it affects lower income males far more than upper. Hypergamy says, “maybe don’t dump this guy” if his income is hard to replace. In the top income brackets divorce resembles that of the 50s; while down in the bottom 40% of income, the divorce rate is well over 50%. And then factor in child support, loss of marital assets. I could search more for more data about percent of re-marriage by income, percent of divorce in second marriages by income. Yes, other western European countries also have high rates of divorce, but the US has something they don’t have. And it’s the big buzz word in the alt-right the past couple of weeks: Scale. That word connotes stuff like mobility, population density, atomization of individuals, anonymity.

    Steve talks about the generational effects of the boomers and the 70s as this big party decade. But those decades also had enornous increases in the rates of divorce. Also in the age groups born 1965-1975, those men faced an enormous disparity in the sex ratio. The birthrates from 1965 until 1985 were a cliff on a graph, an almost vertical slope. For every 5 year cohort of men, there were far fewer women in the cohort born 5 fives later, meaning the appropriate age groups for those men. This not only aggravated the divorce rates for those men as the women all had an abundance of options, but also caused getting into another relationship to be far more difficult, especially for a lower income guy hamstrung with child support.

    I’ve been there, divorce, job loss in 2002, 2008, alone, having to move away to find work, depressed, insomniac, pills to sleep, box of wine for a kicker, looking at a dismal future, heavy child support, crappy place to live in, a beater car. And you start looking at rafters wondering if it will hold your weight, how long will you kick while hanging before you pass out. Someplace I read where many of the “poisonings” are actually suicides, but were listed as accidental overdoses for various reasons. Since the high point of divorce in the 80s, the divorce rate has fallen, but only because the marriage rate has fallen.

    What I see in that data, since 2000, is a tale of men who have been pushed out because their economic contribution and worth to women has been lost. Liquor, pills, depression, are all part of that life. The manosphere exists as testimony. A good day with a hot number of posts on an iSteve post gives may 150 comments. Rollo Tomassi, in my mind the number 1 site for angry divorced men that can’t seem to put it behind them, easy gets 500 comments, rants actually. And the cohort that suffered the most is probably men today aged 45-55. And that’s the group I see banged around the most in this data. Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other.

    A good marriage is very good for your health, but a bad divorce is worse than if you never ever married at all.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    I guess the real question is whether the decline in religiosity and theoretical subsequent loss of monasteries in the west has contributed to suicide.
    , @WhatEvvs

    But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense.

     

    Really? I don't remember anyone paying attention to the rise in white HS grad female suicides anywhere, except websites like this. I'm not even sure that Steve treated it. I supplied a link to a NY Times article about it in another comment. With your expertise on the matter I'm sure you can supply it as well, as well as back up your "wailing and gnashing" charges. Honestly I'd be happy to be corrected, but IMO, if it's black it leads, and no one much cares about dead white people, male or female.
    , @Bleuteaux
    "Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other."

    I can 100% confirm as a millennial that this is driving more white men to be single into their 30's. I live on a fraction of my income and save a ton, because I remember what it was like to be an unemployed new college graduate with mountains of student debt. I do not want to be put back in that situation with alimony, child support payments.
    , @Formerly CARealist
    The divorce revolution is worse than anybody will admit. Some of the victims (and perps) get re-married and are happy and productive. But mostly people wind up bitter and cynical, going through subsequent miserable relationships that may or may not involve actual marriage. The trouble brought to children of this mess is always heartbreaking and traumatic. I'm watching a divorced couple right now try to parent their young children from two households and it's constant conflict and chaos.

    George HW Bush, of all people, correctly identified this as the biggest problem in America back in 1991 or so during a debate. Does anybody else remember the details? It was the one time I thought he had some honest wits about him.

    The late Tony Snow said once, and may have been quoting someone else, "surrender to marriage". I like that. No more fighting what's bigger and more important than our own selfishness. Probably I'm just a part of a small contingent that still values life-long marriage with all it's blessings and burdens. But I'll teach it to whoever will listen and learn.

    Sigh. Perhaps we need to go back to making divorces really difficult to get.
  17. @E. Harding
    All these have happened to Canada, too (except for the lack of safety net).

    Is there a huge prescription drug, heroin, and meth epidemic among working class white Canadians? I think that’s the leading factor in this trend.

    The social safety net probably makes a big difference. If you know that you can muddle along as a long-term unemployed person but not end up homeless on the streets, you’re less likely to turn to self-destructive behavior or suicide.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    If my past 58 years of observation is any indication, we have a bigger safety net in the US than at any time in its history or my life.

    Thing is, it is specifically designed with white-male-shaped holes.
    , @unpc downunder
    Generally speaking, doctors in other western countries are a a bit more conservative about handing out prescription painkillers, antidepressants, stimulants etc. Ironically this is often due to ignorance - British doctors for example, tend to be a bit lazy in terms of keeping up with the latest drugs and research. Americans doctors in contrast, tend to be more prone to falling for the latest fads and are often overly confident about the benefits of the latest drugs.
  18. @anonymous
    It's possible that this won't be confined to one or two generations but that everyone, millennials, Gen-Xers, everyone else, will start kicking off sooner for one reason or another. Life expectancies may have reached a peak some time ago and are now declining. After all, why was it expected that living to 85 and beyond was going to continue forever and that boundaries were going to continually be pushed? Maybe the longer life spans were the fluke, not the other way around.

    Because people naively assumed that life in the US would keep getting better for most people, and that medical advances would extend people’s lives?

    This decline in life expectancy isn’t a natural occurrence. It’s only happening to white people in the US.

  19. I wonder what would happen to a medical journal that refused to even consider publishing evidence of a major health problem among a certain segment of black americans.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    That's "wonder" in the sense of 'know bloody well'.
    , @Kylie
    I wonder if you wonder.
  20. Why is this subject the province of economists and not, say, epidemiologists? It seems like a lot of what economists study today isn’t really central to economics.

  21. @Chuck
    Not worth a single fingernail.

    Eskimo fingernails are worth more, by weight, than platinum.

    Or so I’ve been led to believe.

  22. @Das
    Is there a huge prescription drug, heroin, and meth epidemic among working class white Canadians? I think that's the leading factor in this trend.

    The social safety net probably makes a big difference. If you know that you can muddle along as a long-term unemployed person but not end up homeless on the streets, you're less likely to turn to self-destructive behavior or suicide.

    If my past 58 years of observation is any indication, we have a bigger safety net in the US than at any time in its history or my life.

    Thing is, it is specifically designed with white-male-shaped holes.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Considering the kings of welfare intake are in West Virginia the welfare system is ready to exploit for white males as long as there is the desire and lack of integrity.
    , @Bleuteaux
    This is correct. Think about it. If you're a 45 year old unemployed blue collar male who has never received any government assistance other than public education, you have very little idea how to begin living on the dole. I mean really, how many blue collar construction workers do you know that know how to sign up for energy assistance?

    Compare this with NAM's... in the major metro area where I went to college, every time there was a major storm, the inner city welfare offices near campus would have people lining up at 4:30 am for blocks to get duplicate food stamps after claiming that their energy went out, despite the fact that the inner city was always the highest ground in the area, least prone to flooding or energy outages.
  23. @Das
    Is there a huge prescription drug, heroin, and meth epidemic among working class white Canadians? I think that's the leading factor in this trend.

    The social safety net probably makes a big difference. If you know that you can muddle along as a long-term unemployed person but not end up homeless on the streets, you're less likely to turn to self-destructive behavior or suicide.

    Generally speaking, doctors in other western countries are a a bit more conservative about handing out prescription painkillers, antidepressants, stimulants etc. Ironically this is often due to ignorance – British doctors for example, tend to be a bit lazy in terms of keeping up with the latest drugs and research. Americans doctors in contrast, tend to be more prone to falling for the latest fads and are often overly confident about the benefits of the latest drugs.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    Are you sure? I understood that on the contrary British doctors are better at handing out opioids for pain relief than American ones. Certainly they've given me such stuff on the two occasions I've needed it.
  24. @Marty
    C'mon, is it really all that obvious that this development is a subject for a medical journal? What was the medical community supposed to do with the information, subject all middle-aged white men who arrived in 15-year old cars to questioning about whether they intended suicide? Were the doctors going to reverse the employment decisions that led to the crisis in the first place? This is sad, but it's sociology, not medicine.

    Are you a troll? What do you think about these NEJM “Perspective” articles published in just the past several weeks?

    “Caring for the Wave of Refugees in Munich”
    “Civil Rights and Health — Beyond Same-Sex Marriage”
    “Caring for Our Transgender Troops — The Negligible Cost of Transition-Related Care”

    Obviously all on topics that are extremely critical to our health.

  25. @JohnnyWalker123
    As Ron Unz mentioned, life expectancy declined in Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) due to the fall in the standard of living. At the time, oligarchs took control of much of the private sector economy and pauperized much of the Russian population through exploitative business practices. The oligarchs controlled not just many of the country's largest companies, but also much of the media and even the govt. Boris Yeltsin, who was a weak leader, was highly susceptible to their control. A large segment of the Russian population saw their net worth collapse and their purchasing power diminish, leading to an explosion in drug use and alcoholism.

    Working/lower class whites in America have been economically decimated by deindustrialisation, free trade, declining wages, competition from immigrant labor, and the weakening of unions. They also live in a country with a weak social safety net and a culture that praises success and scorns failure. So there are parallels between Yeltsin-era Russia and today's America.

    “Yeltsin-era Russia and today’s America.”

    That is a real good insight. We have a Yeltsin era oligarchic economy but we are still stuck with a Brezhnev era Washington DC / NYC bureaucracy. As the years go by, this bureaucracy is becoming ever more brazen and oppressive.

    This bureaucracy will have to be reformed or eliminated for real change to happen.

  26. It’s diversityitis that’s killing them. And they are dying with a guilty conscience, knowing they were racist beneficiaries of ‘white privilege’. And America 2.0 has a final parting message for them: RIP and good riddance.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    "And they are dying with a guilty conscience, knowing they were racist beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.'"

    So you think it's the poor whites who have been oppressing minorities? It's that sort of densely concentrated stupidity that makes it so easy for you to be manipulated by the wealthy elite - the people who actually are oppressing everyone who lacks their financial clout. But not to worry, I'm sure that once your cooperation is no longer required they'll be so grateful to you that they'll shower you with their benevolence.
  27. @Mark Minter
    #WhiteMaleLivesDon'tMatter

    I wrote about this before, particularly on some articles that came out about the rise in female middle age suicides, which are still about 1/3 of male suicides. But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense. But almost no mention of the fact, the male suicide rates were growing and dwarfed that of females.

    But hands down, the issue for men is one of divorce. And it affects lower income males far more than upper. Hypergamy says, "maybe don't dump this guy" if his income is hard to replace. In the top income brackets divorce resembles that of the 50s; while down in the bottom 40% of income, the divorce rate is well over 50%. And then factor in child support, loss of marital assets. I could search more for more data about percent of re-marriage by income, percent of divorce in second marriages by income. Yes, other western European countries also have high rates of divorce, but the US has something they don't have. And it's the big buzz word in the alt-right the past couple of weeks: Scale. That word connotes stuff like mobility, population density, atomization of individuals, anonymity.

    Steve talks about the generational effects of the boomers and the 70s as this big party decade. But those decades also had enornous increases in the rates of divorce. Also in the age groups born 1965-1975, those men faced an enormous disparity in the sex ratio. The birthrates from 1965 until 1985 were a cliff on a graph, an almost vertical slope. For every 5 year cohort of men, there were far fewer women in the cohort born 5 fives later, meaning the appropriate age groups for those men. This not only aggravated the divorce rates for those men as the women all had an abundance of options, but also caused getting into another relationship to be far more difficult, especially for a lower income guy hamstrung with child support.

    I've been there, divorce, job loss in 2002, 2008, alone, having to move away to find work, depressed, insomniac, pills to sleep, box of wine for a kicker, looking at a dismal future, heavy child support, crappy place to live in, a beater car. And you start looking at rafters wondering if it will hold your weight, how long will you kick while hanging before you pass out. Someplace I read where many of the "poisonings" are actually suicides, but were listed as accidental overdoses for various reasons. Since the high point of divorce in the 80s, the divorce rate has fallen, but only because the marriage rate has fallen.

    What I see in that data, since 2000, is a tale of men who have been pushed out because their economic contribution and worth to women has been lost. Liquor, pills, depression, are all part of that life. The manosphere exists as testimony. A good day with a hot number of posts on an iSteve post gives may 150 comments. Rollo Tomassi, in my mind the number 1 site for angry divorced men that can't seem to put it behind them, easy gets 500 comments, rants actually. And the cohort that suffered the most is probably men today aged 45-55. And that's the group I see banged around the most in this data. Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other.

    A good marriage is very good for your health, but a bad divorce is worse than if you never ever married at all.

    I guess the real question is whether the decline in religiosity and theoretical subsequent loss of monasteries in the west has contributed to suicide.

  28. @JohnnyWalker123
    As Ron Unz mentioned, life expectancy declined in Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) due to the fall in the standard of living. At the time, oligarchs took control of much of the private sector economy and pauperized much of the Russian population through exploitative business practices. The oligarchs controlled not just many of the country's largest companies, but also much of the media and even the govt. Boris Yeltsin, who was a weak leader, was highly susceptible to their control. A large segment of the Russian population saw their net worth collapse and their purchasing power diminish, leading to an explosion in drug use and alcoholism.

    Working/lower class whites in America have been economically decimated by deindustrialisation, free trade, declining wages, competition from immigrant labor, and the weakening of unions. They also live in a country with a weak social safety net and a culture that praises success and scorns failure. So there are parallels between Yeltsin-era Russia and today's America.

    About 15 to 20 years ago, there was a Russian who worked at the building I was living in, as part of the maintenance crew. I know nothing about his background, except that he was a Russian immigrant. We would talk occasionally, and he corrected me on the proper pronunciation of “Crimea.” Not the way we Americans generally pronounce it, but more like “Cream.” I knew enough from reading about Russia to realize that a handful of gangsters had managed to steal most of the wealth that all the Russian people had essentially slaved to build up in the years of Communist rule. My Russian acquaintance was quite bitter about what had transpired in Russia. They should have found a method to see that that wealth was distributed to the Russian people through distribution of shares in privatized companies, since it was the Russian people as a whole who had built up that wealth that was owned by the Russian state. It was criminal what happened to the Russian people, and it was orchestrated by Americans, including Harvard professors. The dire health consequences are hardly surprising.

    • Agree: JohnnyWalker123
  29. Why was the study rejected several times? I can see several possibilities:

    - Anything which is contrary to the “while male privilege” narrative is un-PC. The idea is: whether the while male privilege narrative is true or not, it is important that it exists, to gain support for feminist / minority issues. The end justifies the means: sacrificing white males to help everyone else have a large portion of the cake.

    - Denial. The people who rejected the study were, probably, white males themselves. They don’t want to even consider the idea that they, too, could live shorter lives than their fathers. Being in the medical field, they know that such phenomena begin among the low income and uneducated, then spread upwards. Besides, they adhere to the narrative as well.

    - The people who do the initial screening of what can be published are feminists / minorities. Anything which is contrary to the white male privilege narrative is a hatefact and must be banished.

    - The study, being about white males being not-so-privileged, has a white populist undertone. The people in charge of the journals were afraid of losing funding or their liberal reputations if they published it.

    • Replies: @SFG
    You can sum up 3 of your 4 in one word: politics. (Nice job laying out the fine points though.)

    And I'm sure that was it.
  30. @anonymous
    It's possible that this won't be confined to one or two generations but that everyone, millennials, Gen-Xers, everyone else, will start kicking off sooner for one reason or another. Life expectancies may have reached a peak some time ago and are now declining. After all, why was it expected that living to 85 and beyond was going to continue forever and that boundaries were going to continually be pushed? Maybe the longer life spans were the fluke, not the other way around.

    Don’t be silly. There was (and is) much better to reason to expect life-expectancy to keep rising rather than to expect it to stall out at 85.

  31. This new generation of dead white males is becoming as notorious as the first.

  32. Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    “Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner … trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can’t do it. Don’t care”

    • Replies: @SFG
    *If* it won't hurt your livelihood, how about posting:

    "So you don't care about people dying because of their race? Isn't that racist?"
    , @Anonymous
    This person should not be any sort of friend of yours.
    , @Anonymous

    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    “Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner … trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can’t do it. Don’t care”
     
    Yeah, poorly educated, white middle-aged men is just the class of people who keep the infrastructure going. Taken for granted by some liberal white females with professional (glorified administrative) jobs until the death and dearth of these poorly educated, white middle-aged men starts affecting their lives. A lot. But I'm sure all the replacements from the third world should keep things in good shape. If not, I'm sure all the omega male professionals with high-paying jobs shifting and skimming money will be able jump right in to do this work, like keeping electrical power transmission infrastructure running in towns and neighborhoods.
    , @silviosilver
    I don't care about other people - Sinner

    I don't care about other white people - Saint
    , @Wilkey
    Take a nice screen cap of that and post it on *your* Facebook page and/or email it to Steve, Instapundit, etc. Make that asshole famous.
  33. @Marty
    C'mon, is it really all that obvious that this development is a subject for a medical journal? What was the medical community supposed to do with the information, subject all middle-aged white men who arrived in 15-year old cars to questioning about whether they intended suicide? Were the doctors going to reverse the employment decisions that led to the crisis in the first place? This is sad, but it's sociology, not medicine.

    Last time I was at the doctor, she asked if I “had any guns in the house.” A Center allegedly devoted to Disease Control loves to investigate the topic. So the medical profession will certainly indulge in sociology if it wants to.

    • Replies: @elmer t. jones
    Took my wife for her colonoscopy. Of course they always ask if she feels safe in her house etc and to sign the form for that. She hesitated. I bellowed gruffly "Sign it!!!". The nurse laughed.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Last time I was at the doctor, she asked if I “had any guns in the house.”"

    Tread lightly. Any answer you give might have consequences.

    I believe it might be possible under current federal law for a federal prosecutor to charge you with a felony for lying to your doctor under some circumstances. This business of the CDC trying to enroll doctors in their war on the 2nd amendment might be a trial run for a new tactic to administratively deny people thier right to be armed.
  34. @E. Harding
    All these have happened to Canada, too (except for the lack of safety net).

    All these have happened to Canada, too

    America lashed out by electing Obama in 2008. I know a lot of voters expected him to give the Wall Street banksters a dramatic perp walk. It didn’t happen.

    Canada just lashed out by electing Justin Trudeau…

  35. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond
    Doctors in America are more free to be mercenary.

    Doctors in America are more free to be mercenary.

    Chinese birth tourism story:
    Chinese mom’s death at Garden Grove Hospital ruled negligence; family gets $5.2 million.

    Nie and Hong, who met in junior high school, lived apart in China; he is an architect and she was a financial executive. They decided she should come to Orange County after searching the Internet for the best places to give birth in the U.S.

    After the verdict, obstetrician Long-Dei Liu denied doing anything wrong.

    The U.S. is finished.

  36. @JohnnyWalker123
    http://www.alternet.org/story/155588/how_shameless_oligarchs_plunder_our_world%3A_from_1990s_russia_to_present-day_oklahoma

    Right. At the end of the 1990s, after the total collapse of the mass-privatization experiment in Boris Yeltin’s Russia, some of the more earnest free-market proselytizers tried making sense of it all. The unprecedented collapse of Russia’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Russians from the shock and destitution (Russian male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56 years)—the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers.

    Of all the disastrous results of that experiment, what troubled many Western free-market true-believers most wasn’t so much the mass poverty and population collapse, but rather, the way things turned out so badly in Russia’s newly-privatized companies and industries. That was the one thing that was supposed to go right. According to the operative theory—developed by the founding fathers of libertarianism/neoliberalism, Friedrich von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and the rest—a privately-owned company will always outperform a state-run company because private ownership and the profit-motive incentivize the owners to make their companies stronger, more efficient, more competitive, and so on. The theory promises that everyone benefits except for the bad old state and the lazy.

    That was the dominant libertarian theory framing the whole “shock doctrine” privatization experiment in Russia and elsewhere. In reality, as everyone was forced to admit by 1999, Russia’s privatized companies were stripped and plundered as fast as their new private owners could loot them, leaving millions of workers without salaries, and most of Russia’s industry in far worse shape than the Communists left it.

    Most of the free-market proselytizers—ranging from Clinton neoliberal Michael McFaul (currently Obama’s ambassador to Moscow) to libertarian Pinochet fanboy Andrei Illarionov (currently with the Cato Institute)– blamed everything but free-market experiments for Russia’s collapse.

    But some of the more earnest believers whose libertarian faith was shaken by what happened to Corporate Russia needed something more sophisticated than a crude historical whitewash.
     

    They were looted because the Oligarchs were handed fully formed monopolies. Their wealth was not derived from a virtuous competitive struggle during which a group of innovative inventors/entrepreneurs engaged in back and forth improvements on one another’s technological advancement with each stage bringing a new level of efficiency and wealth to workers and consumers.

    The free-market economists are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. The driver of progress is invention. Invention yields greater productivity which enables one person’s labor to accomplish what had formerly employed a dozen. Every one becomes wealthier because one hour of work accomplishes more. Those who stole Soviet industry were not builders in this sense. They were money men, not innovators. And, like all money-oriented men, they performed a cost/benefit analysis of the peak inflection in the curve of profits versus effort and chose to scale back their efforts to the sweet spot in that curve. They weren’t interested in working hard to grow an industry. They just wanted to get the most they could with the least effort.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    The issue is financialization. A small number of individuals ended up owning assets and transferring value, rather than creating value. The US economy today is highly financialized, rewarding investors/financiers instead more than actual value creators. We need to move towards an economic model that rewards value creation and distributes income more equitably. Pre-1980s America offers a good example.
  37. @Stephen R. Diamond
    Doctors in America are more free to be mercenary.

    This is more true than anyone wants to admit–these guys get paid by procedure, and get in trouble with their departments (if salaried) for not driving volume up. This is one of the areas the free market does *not* do a good job.

  38. @Horzabky
    Why was the study rejected several times? I can see several possibilities:

    - Anything which is contrary to the "while male privilege" narrative is un-PC. The idea is: whether the while male privilege narrative is true or not, it is important that it exists, to gain support for feminist / minority issues. The end justifies the means: sacrificing white males to help everyone else have a large portion of the cake.

    - Denial. The people who rejected the study were, probably, white males themselves. They don't want to even consider the idea that they, too, could live shorter lives than their fathers. Being in the medical field, they know that such phenomena begin among the low income and uneducated, then spread upwards. Besides, they adhere to the narrative as well.

    - The people who do the initial screening of what can be published are feminists / minorities. Anything which is contrary to the white male privilege narrative is a hatefact and must be banished.

    - The study, being about white males being not-so-privileged, has a white populist undertone. The people in charge of the journals were afraid of losing funding or their liberal reputations if they published it.

    You can sum up 3 of your 4 in one word: politics. (Nice job laying out the fine points though.)

    And I’m sure that was it.

  39. @Gilbert Ratchet
    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    "Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner ... trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can't do it. Don't care"

    *If* it won’t hurt your livelihood, how about posting:

    “So you don’t care about people dying because of their race? Isn’t that racist?”

  40. @Gilbert Ratchet
    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    "Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner ... trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can't do it. Don't care"

    This person should not be any sort of friend of yours.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    But what if she is attractive?
  41. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Gilbert Ratchet
    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    "Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner ... trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can't do it. Don't care"

    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    “Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner … trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can’t do it. Don’t care”

    Yeah, poorly educated, white middle-aged men is just the class of people who keep the infrastructure going. Taken for granted by some liberal white females with professional (glorified administrative) jobs until the death and dearth of these poorly educated, white middle-aged men starts affecting their lives. A lot. But I’m sure all the replacements from the third world should keep things in good shape. If not, I’m sure all the omega male professionals with high-paying jobs shifting and skimming money will be able jump right in to do this work, like keeping electrical power transmission infrastructure running in towns and neighborhoods.

  42. @Anonymous
    This person should not be any sort of friend of yours.

    But what if she is attractive?

    • Replies: @Anonym
    Don't be such a beta. This is your opportunity to pass a shit test.
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    Hit it and quit it.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Hit+it+and+Quit+it
  43. @Marty
    C'mon, is it really all that obvious that this development is a subject for a medical journal? What was the medical community supposed to do with the information, subject all middle-aged white men who arrived in 15-year old cars to questioning about whether they intended suicide? Were the doctors going to reverse the employment decisions that led to the crisis in the first place? This is sad, but it's sociology, not medicine.

    “This is sad, but it’s sociology, not medicine.” Much of the stuff passed off as “public health medicine” is just sociology too, but with less in the way of facts and more in the way of zealotry.

  44. @Nbdy
    I wonder what would happen to a medical journal that refused to even consider publishing evidence of a major health problem among a certain segment of black americans.

    That’s “wonder” in the sense of ‘know bloody well’.

  45. @unpc downunder
    Generally speaking, doctors in other western countries are a a bit more conservative about handing out prescription painkillers, antidepressants, stimulants etc. Ironically this is often due to ignorance - British doctors for example, tend to be a bit lazy in terms of keeping up with the latest drugs and research. Americans doctors in contrast, tend to be more prone to falling for the latest fads and are often overly confident about the benefits of the latest drugs.

    Are you sure? I understood that on the contrary British doctors are better at handing out opioids for pain relief than American ones. Certainly they’ve given me such stuff on the two occasions I’ve needed it.

  46. @eah
    It's diversityitis that's killing them. And they are dying with a guilty conscience, knowing they were racist beneficiaries of 'white privilege'. And America 2.0 has a final parting message for them: RIP and good riddance.

    “And they are dying with a guilty conscience, knowing they were racist beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.’”

    So you think it’s the poor whites who have been oppressing minorities? It’s that sort of densely concentrated stupidity that makes it so easy for you to be manipulated by the wealthy elite – the people who actually are oppressing everyone who lacks their financial clout. But not to worry, I’m sure that once your cooperation is no longer required they’ll be so grateful to you that they’ll shower you with their benevolence.

    • Replies: @eah
    I thank you for your insight on this.

    densely concentrated stupidity

    Yes, that's me -- a regular black hole/singularity of stupidity.

    One suggestion: find a dictionary, and look up the word 'irony' -- or 'ironic', as you choose. After that, try 'sarcasm'. Then read my comment again.
  47. @Olorin
    If my past 58 years of observation is any indication, we have a bigger safety net in the US than at any time in its history or my life.

    Thing is, it is specifically designed with white-male-shaped holes.

    Considering the kings of welfare intake are in West Virginia the welfare system is ready to exploit for white males as long as there is the desire and lack of integrity.

  48. @E. Harding
    Great. I was the first to point out the analogy to Russia in the 1960s-1980s in the Marginal Revolution comments, as Steve can attest.

    What’s the point of even pointing that out? Do you want recognition or something?

    • Replies: @E. Harding
    Who doesn't?
  49. @Gilbert Ratchet
    Last time I was at the doctor, she asked if I "had any guns in the house." A Center allegedly devoted to Disease Control loves to investigate the topic. So the medical profession will certainly indulge in sociology if it wants to.

    Took my wife for her colonoscopy. Of course they always ask if she feels safe in her house etc and to sign the form for that. She hesitated. I bellowed gruffly “Sign it!!!”. The nurse laughed.

  50. @JohnnyWalker123
    As Ron Unz mentioned, life expectancy declined in Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) due to the fall in the standard of living. At the time, oligarchs took control of much of the private sector economy and pauperized much of the Russian population through exploitative business practices. The oligarchs controlled not just many of the country's largest companies, but also much of the media and even the govt. Boris Yeltsin, who was a weak leader, was highly susceptible to their control. A large segment of the Russian population saw their net worth collapse and their purchasing power diminish, leading to an explosion in drug use and alcoholism.

    Working/lower class whites in America have been economically decimated by deindustrialisation, free trade, declining wages, competition from immigrant labor, and the weakening of unions. They also live in a country with a weak social safety net and a culture that praises success and scorns failure. So there are parallels between Yeltsin-era Russia and today's America.

    Can we say here that the Russian oligarchs were all Jews, that their friends in the America were all Jews and that the smokescreen around this issue is erected by Jews afraid of people noticing what was going on?

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Of the 7 wealthiest Russian oligarchs, 6 were Jewish.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jul/02/russia.lukeharding1

    of the seven oligarchs who controlled 50% of Russia's economy during the 1990s, six were Jewish: Berezovsky, Vladimir Guzinsky, Alexander Smolensky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Friedman and Valery Malkin.
     
  51. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Mark Minter
    #WhiteMaleLivesDon'tMatter

    I wrote about this before, particularly on some articles that came out about the rise in female middle age suicides, which are still about 1/3 of male suicides. But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense. But almost no mention of the fact, the male suicide rates were growing and dwarfed that of females.

    But hands down, the issue for men is one of divorce. And it affects lower income males far more than upper. Hypergamy says, "maybe don't dump this guy" if his income is hard to replace. In the top income brackets divorce resembles that of the 50s; while down in the bottom 40% of income, the divorce rate is well over 50%. And then factor in child support, loss of marital assets. I could search more for more data about percent of re-marriage by income, percent of divorce in second marriages by income. Yes, other western European countries also have high rates of divorce, but the US has something they don't have. And it's the big buzz word in the alt-right the past couple of weeks: Scale. That word connotes stuff like mobility, population density, atomization of individuals, anonymity.

    Steve talks about the generational effects of the boomers and the 70s as this big party decade. But those decades also had enornous increases in the rates of divorce. Also in the age groups born 1965-1975, those men faced an enormous disparity in the sex ratio. The birthrates from 1965 until 1985 were a cliff on a graph, an almost vertical slope. For every 5 year cohort of men, there were far fewer women in the cohort born 5 fives later, meaning the appropriate age groups for those men. This not only aggravated the divorce rates for those men as the women all had an abundance of options, but also caused getting into another relationship to be far more difficult, especially for a lower income guy hamstrung with child support.

    I've been there, divorce, job loss in 2002, 2008, alone, having to move away to find work, depressed, insomniac, pills to sleep, box of wine for a kicker, looking at a dismal future, heavy child support, crappy place to live in, a beater car. And you start looking at rafters wondering if it will hold your weight, how long will you kick while hanging before you pass out. Someplace I read where many of the "poisonings" are actually suicides, but were listed as accidental overdoses for various reasons. Since the high point of divorce in the 80s, the divorce rate has fallen, but only because the marriage rate has fallen.

    What I see in that data, since 2000, is a tale of men who have been pushed out because their economic contribution and worth to women has been lost. Liquor, pills, depression, are all part of that life. The manosphere exists as testimony. A good day with a hot number of posts on an iSteve post gives may 150 comments. Rollo Tomassi, in my mind the number 1 site for angry divorced men that can't seem to put it behind them, easy gets 500 comments, rants actually. And the cohort that suffered the most is probably men today aged 45-55. And that's the group I see banged around the most in this data. Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other.

    A good marriage is very good for your health, but a bad divorce is worse than if you never ever married at all.

    But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense.

    Really? I don’t remember anyone paying attention to the rise in white HS grad female suicides anywhere, except websites like this. I’m not even sure that Steve treated it. I supplied a link to a NY Times article about it in another comment. With your expertise on the matter I’m sure you can supply it as well, as well as back up your “wailing and gnashing” charges. Honestly I’d be happy to be corrected, but IMO, if it’s black it leads, and no one much cares about dead white people, male or female.

  52. @Mark Minter
    #WhiteMaleLivesDon'tMatter

    I wrote about this before, particularly on some articles that came out about the rise in female middle age suicides, which are still about 1/3 of male suicides. But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense. But almost no mention of the fact, the male suicide rates were growing and dwarfed that of females.

    But hands down, the issue for men is one of divorce. And it affects lower income males far more than upper. Hypergamy says, "maybe don't dump this guy" if his income is hard to replace. In the top income brackets divorce resembles that of the 50s; while down in the bottom 40% of income, the divorce rate is well over 50%. And then factor in child support, loss of marital assets. I could search more for more data about percent of re-marriage by income, percent of divorce in second marriages by income. Yes, other western European countries also have high rates of divorce, but the US has something they don't have. And it's the big buzz word in the alt-right the past couple of weeks: Scale. That word connotes stuff like mobility, population density, atomization of individuals, anonymity.

    Steve talks about the generational effects of the boomers and the 70s as this big party decade. But those decades also had enornous increases in the rates of divorce. Also in the age groups born 1965-1975, those men faced an enormous disparity in the sex ratio. The birthrates from 1965 until 1985 were a cliff on a graph, an almost vertical slope. For every 5 year cohort of men, there were far fewer women in the cohort born 5 fives later, meaning the appropriate age groups for those men. This not only aggravated the divorce rates for those men as the women all had an abundance of options, but also caused getting into another relationship to be far more difficult, especially for a lower income guy hamstrung with child support.

    I've been there, divorce, job loss in 2002, 2008, alone, having to move away to find work, depressed, insomniac, pills to sleep, box of wine for a kicker, looking at a dismal future, heavy child support, crappy place to live in, a beater car. And you start looking at rafters wondering if it will hold your weight, how long will you kick while hanging before you pass out. Someplace I read where many of the "poisonings" are actually suicides, but were listed as accidental overdoses for various reasons. Since the high point of divorce in the 80s, the divorce rate has fallen, but only because the marriage rate has fallen.

    What I see in that data, since 2000, is a tale of men who have been pushed out because their economic contribution and worth to women has been lost. Liquor, pills, depression, are all part of that life. The manosphere exists as testimony. A good day with a hot number of posts on an iSteve post gives may 150 comments. Rollo Tomassi, in my mind the number 1 site for angry divorced men that can't seem to put it behind them, easy gets 500 comments, rants actually. And the cohort that suffered the most is probably men today aged 45-55. And that's the group I see banged around the most in this data. Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other.

    A good marriage is very good for your health, but a bad divorce is worse than if you never ever married at all.

    “Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other.”

    I can 100% confirm as a millennial that this is driving more white men to be single into their 30′s. I live on a fraction of my income and save a ton, because I remember what it was like to be an unemployed new college graduate with mountains of student debt. I do not want to be put back in that situation with alimony, child support payments.

  53. @Olorin
    If my past 58 years of observation is any indication, we have a bigger safety net in the US than at any time in its history or my life.

    Thing is, it is specifically designed with white-male-shaped holes.

    This is correct. Think about it. If you’re a 45 year old unemployed blue collar male who has never received any government assistance other than public education, you have very little idea how to begin living on the dole. I mean really, how many blue collar construction workers do you know that know how to sign up for energy assistance?

    Compare this with NAM’s… in the major metro area where I went to college, every time there was a major storm, the inner city welfare offices near campus would have people lining up at 4:30 am for blocks to get duplicate food stamps after claiming that their energy went out, despite the fact that the inner city was always the highest ground in the area, least prone to flooding or energy outages.

  54. @Gilbert Ratchet
    Last time I was at the doctor, she asked if I "had any guns in the house." A Center allegedly devoted to Disease Control loves to investigate the topic. So the medical profession will certainly indulge in sociology if it wants to.

    “Last time I was at the doctor, she asked if I “had any guns in the house.””

    Tread lightly. Any answer you give might have consequences.

    I believe it might be possible under current federal law for a federal prosecutor to charge you with a felony for lying to your doctor under some circumstances. This business of the CDC trying to enroll doctors in their war on the 2nd amendment might be a trial run for a new tactic to administratively deny people thier right to be armed.

  55. @Gilbert Ratchet
    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    "Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner ... trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can't do it. Don't care"

    I don’t care about other people – Sinner

    I don’t care about other white people – Saint

  56. On the general topic of gut-wrenching depression, try going into an office at probably any Fortune 500 these days, which, if mine is any example, are now 25% Indian. The people with grown children paying high four figures every year in local property taxes on top of everything else are paying for the education of the H1-B’s, L-1′s, and Green Card holders’ children, whose parents are taking their jobs and promotions.

  57. @Hugh
    If my memory serves me well both George Soros and Jeffrey Sachs were intimately involved in the rape of Russia. They are not libertarians.

    The Eye of S#ro$ got its first taste of blood there, and hasn't looked back since.

    Look up Renaissance Capital and how Soros is involved. Zbig Brzezinski’s nephew Andrew Brzezinski wrote a great book on the plundering of Russia in the 1990s called “Casino Moscow”.

  58. @Ozymandias
    "And they are dying with a guilty conscience, knowing they were racist beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.'"

    So you think it's the poor whites who have been oppressing minorities? It's that sort of densely concentrated stupidity that makes it so easy for you to be manipulated by the wealthy elite - the people who actually are oppressing everyone who lacks their financial clout. But not to worry, I'm sure that once your cooperation is no longer required they'll be so grateful to you that they'll shower you with their benevolence.

    I thank you for your insight on this.

    densely concentrated stupidity

    Yes, that’s me — a regular black hole/singularity of stupidity.

    One suggestion: find a dictionary, and look up the word ‘irony’ — or ‘ironic’, as you choose. After that, try ‘sarcasm’. Then read my comment again.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    It was the name that fooled me. The regularly scheduled trolls here go with random letters.
  59. The women are on Prozac. The men on booze.

  60. @Mark Minter
    #WhiteMaleLivesDon'tMatter

    I wrote about this before, particularly on some articles that came out about the rise in female middle age suicides, which are still about 1/3 of male suicides. But my god, the wailing and gnashing was intense. But almost no mention of the fact, the male suicide rates were growing and dwarfed that of females.

    But hands down, the issue for men is one of divorce. And it affects lower income males far more than upper. Hypergamy says, "maybe don't dump this guy" if his income is hard to replace. In the top income brackets divorce resembles that of the 50s; while down in the bottom 40% of income, the divorce rate is well over 50%. And then factor in child support, loss of marital assets. I could search more for more data about percent of re-marriage by income, percent of divorce in second marriages by income. Yes, other western European countries also have high rates of divorce, but the US has something they don't have. And it's the big buzz word in the alt-right the past couple of weeks: Scale. That word connotes stuff like mobility, population density, atomization of individuals, anonymity.

    Steve talks about the generational effects of the boomers and the 70s as this big party decade. But those decades also had enornous increases in the rates of divorce. Also in the age groups born 1965-1975, those men faced an enormous disparity in the sex ratio. The birthrates from 1965 until 1985 were a cliff on a graph, an almost vertical slope. For every 5 year cohort of men, there were far fewer women in the cohort born 5 fives later, meaning the appropriate age groups for those men. This not only aggravated the divorce rates for those men as the women all had an abundance of options, but also caused getting into another relationship to be far more difficult, especially for a lower income guy hamstrung with child support.

    I've been there, divorce, job loss in 2002, 2008, alone, having to move away to find work, depressed, insomniac, pills to sleep, box of wine for a kicker, looking at a dismal future, heavy child support, crappy place to live in, a beater car. And you start looking at rafters wondering if it will hold your weight, how long will you kick while hanging before you pass out. Someplace I read where many of the "poisonings" are actually suicides, but were listed as accidental overdoses for various reasons. Since the high point of divorce in the 80s, the divorce rate has fallen, but only because the marriage rate has fallen.

    What I see in that data, since 2000, is a tale of men who have been pushed out because their economic contribution and worth to women has been lost. Liquor, pills, depression, are all part of that life. The manosphere exists as testimony. A good day with a hot number of posts on an iSteve post gives may 150 comments. Rollo Tomassi, in my mind the number 1 site for angry divorced men that can't seem to put it behind them, easy gets 500 comments, rants actually. And the cohort that suffered the most is probably men today aged 45-55. And that's the group I see banged around the most in this data. Younger guys have learned from them and are steering clear of marriage or marriage is steering clear of them, one or the other.

    A good marriage is very good for your health, but a bad divorce is worse than if you never ever married at all.

    The divorce revolution is worse than anybody will admit. Some of the victims (and perps) get re-married and are happy and productive. But mostly people wind up bitter and cynical, going through subsequent miserable relationships that may or may not involve actual marriage. The trouble brought to children of this mess is always heartbreaking and traumatic. I’m watching a divorced couple right now try to parent their young children from two households and it’s constant conflict and chaos.

    George HW Bush, of all people, correctly identified this as the biggest problem in America back in 1991 or so during a debate. Does anybody else remember the details? It was the one time I thought he had some honest wits about him.

    The late Tony Snow said once, and may have been quoting someone else, “surrender to marriage”. I like that. No more fighting what’s bigger and more important than our own selfishness. Probably I’m just a part of a small contingent that still values life-long marriage with all it’s blessings and burdens. But I’ll teach it to whoever will listen and learn.

    Sigh. Perhaps we need to go back to making divorces really difficult to get.

    • Replies: @John W.
    One evening a few years ago I went to an open house at my son's school. In one of the classes students each made ten statements about themselves on posterboard. One of my son's friends, whose parents divorced some years earlier, had as his #1 statement: "My parents are divorced, and have been since I was 6." I have to think there was a lot of pain that led to that statement.
  61. @Gilbert Ratchet
    Here is what a Facebook friend posted:

    "Poorly educated, white middle-aged men are dying sooner ... trying, trying, trying, trying to care. No, can't do it. Don't care"

    Take a nice screen cap of that and post it on *your* Facebook page and/or email it to Steve, Instapundit, etc. Make that asshole famous.

  62. For those who think my application of medical ethics and scientific integrity in my indictment of the Federal Government is “extremist”, note that, at best, the Feds look to social science theories for the cause of, hence how to redress, social ills even as it treats attempts to set up control experiments (necessary infer causation from mere correlation) as existential threats to the general welfare.

    Moreover, as we now see, these “social sciences” are finding themselves rejected for submitting, to MEDICAL journals, mere observations of correlations. The reason: Because the MEDICAL journals are demanding the impossible: Tell us the cause even though the Feds will burn women and children alive to stop anyone from setting up a voluntary control group to experimentally test a social theory that the Feds don’t like. The theocratic disease afflicting the social sciences has infected even The New England Journal of Medicine!

    Until otherwise established, there is only one reasonably hypothesized cause of social ills: The Federal Government’s vicious opposition to sorting proponents of social theories into governments that test them. ANYONE with a shred of human compassion and rationality — medical professional, social scientist, military patriot, civil servant, philanthropist, human rights activist, religious leader — must redirect their energies to sortocracy’s compassion if they are to be taken seriously.

  63. @Anonymous
    But what if she is attractive?

    Don’t be such a beta. This is your opportunity to pass a shit test.

  64. @Nbdy
    I wonder what would happen to a medical journal that refused to even consider publishing evidence of a major health problem among a certain segment of black americans.

    I wonder if you wonder.

  65. All this talk about Russia in the 90s and no mention of Jeffrey Sachs and the Harvard Institute for International Development?

    Then I went to Sachs’ Wiki page and saw his crimes have been memory-holed.

  66. @JohnnyWalker123
    http://www.alternet.org/story/155588/how_shameless_oligarchs_plunder_our_world%3A_from_1990s_russia_to_present-day_oklahoma

    Right. At the end of the 1990s, after the total collapse of the mass-privatization experiment in Boris Yeltin’s Russia, some of the more earnest free-market proselytizers tried making sense of it all. The unprecedented collapse of Russia’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Russians from the shock and destitution (Russian male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56 years)—the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers.

    Of all the disastrous results of that experiment, what troubled many Western free-market true-believers most wasn’t so much the mass poverty and population collapse, but rather, the way things turned out so badly in Russia’s newly-privatized companies and industries. That was the one thing that was supposed to go right. According to the operative theory—developed by the founding fathers of libertarianism/neoliberalism, Friedrich von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and the rest—a privately-owned company will always outperform a state-run company because private ownership and the profit-motive incentivize the owners to make their companies stronger, more efficient, more competitive, and so on. The theory promises that everyone benefits except for the bad old state and the lazy.

    That was the dominant libertarian theory framing the whole “shock doctrine” privatization experiment in Russia and elsewhere. In reality, as everyone was forced to admit by 1999, Russia’s privatized companies were stripped and plundered as fast as their new private owners could loot them, leaving millions of workers without salaries, and most of Russia’s industry in far worse shape than the Communists left it.

    Most of the free-market proselytizers—ranging from Clinton neoliberal Michael McFaul (currently Obama’s ambassador to Moscow) to libertarian Pinochet fanboy Andrei Illarionov (currently with the Cato Institute)– blamed everything but free-market experiments for Russia’s collapse.

    But some of the more earnest believers whose libertarian faith was shaken by what happened to Corporate Russia needed something more sophisticated than a crude historical whitewash.
     

    You seem to think the choice is between capitalism with private property, freedom of contract and rule of law; and, benevolent control of the economy by a disinterested elite with a monopoly on the use of force, who never allow companies to close and keep wages high. It is not.

    Human nature makes people favor themselves. There are lots of people who generally wish you good will, but when faced with the choice of a little more on their plate or a little more on your plate, everyone will favor themselves. Giving any group power and a monopoly on violence will lead to better for them and worse for you.

    The initial distribution of private property is always unjust. Every capitalistic system has a date before which you may not challenge good title. Otherwise you have infinite clouds on all title. Do certain Indians get Arizona? Perhaps they dispossessed earlier tribes? New evidence may arise at any time of historical thefts. Do modern Greeks own the real property of Greece or was there an earlier civilization that never granted title? That’s why Marx’s “all property is theft” has a grain of truth.

    I’m sure the Russian exercise was particularly nasty, but all the land in England was stolen by Germanic invaders who owned and ruled by sword. If I am looking to purchase a nice flat in Soho I don’t have much guilt about that.

    Mostly this article reminds me of how much the elite and the left despise freedom for ordinary people. The constantly blame capitalism, which is really the freedom to order your preferences in purchases limited by your productivity in meeting other people’s preferences and needs.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    The people of Russia built up those state-owned companies. Their wealth was stolen by them by a few well-connected gangster-financiers who rigged the system to their advantage. Call that crony capitalism, but it's a corrupt system. The Russian people had a right to be angry about what happened. To his credit, Putin brought the oligarchs under his heel. We need our own American version of Putin.
  67. Perhaps I should just let this drop, but now I actually do wonder. I know it would be unpopular, and accompanied by much clutching of pearls, but what specifically?

    Would such a journal be harangued, or two-minutes-hated, or merely prosecuted? Would an investigation be needed (and if so, would it look into past issues, or seek out racism in the organization, or just focus on current procedures), or is summary judgement sufficient? What reparations: fire and blame someone, or pledge more space for racial topics in future issues, or have their subsidies cut off, or lose support from universities and charities? Would blogs, or social media, or the justice dept, or some other format lead the charge? Would the US president mention it, or ignore it?

  68. @Formerly CARealist
    The divorce revolution is worse than anybody will admit. Some of the victims (and perps) get re-married and are happy and productive. But mostly people wind up bitter and cynical, going through subsequent miserable relationships that may or may not involve actual marriage. The trouble brought to children of this mess is always heartbreaking and traumatic. I'm watching a divorced couple right now try to parent their young children from two households and it's constant conflict and chaos.

    George HW Bush, of all people, correctly identified this as the biggest problem in America back in 1991 or so during a debate. Does anybody else remember the details? It was the one time I thought he had some honest wits about him.

    The late Tony Snow said once, and may have been quoting someone else, "surrender to marriage". I like that. No more fighting what's bigger and more important than our own selfishness. Probably I'm just a part of a small contingent that still values life-long marriage with all it's blessings and burdens. But I'll teach it to whoever will listen and learn.

    Sigh. Perhaps we need to go back to making divorces really difficult to get.

    One evening a few years ago I went to an open house at my son’s school. In one of the classes students each made ten statements about themselves on posterboard. One of my son’s friends, whose parents divorced some years earlier, had as his #1 statement: “My parents are divorced, and have been since I was 6.” I have to think there was a lot of pain that led to that statement.

  69. @Bettega
    Can we say here that the Russian oligarchs were all Jews, that their friends in the America were all Jews and that the smokescreen around this issue is erected by Jews afraid of people noticing what was going on?

    Of the 7 wealthiest Russian oligarchs, 6 were Jewish.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jul/02/russia.lukeharding1

    of the seven oligarchs who controlled 50% of Russia’s economy during the 1990s, six were Jewish: Berezovsky, Vladimir Guzinsky, Alexander Smolensky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Friedman and Valery Malkin.

  70. @E. Harding
    All these have happened to Canada, too (except for the lack of safety net).

    Then the safety net might be the difference.

    Canadian whites are typically much less prole than US whites, so perhaps that’s why there’s less of drugs&alcohol culture among them.

  71. @E. Harding
    Because Mises and Friedman, and not, say, New Keynesian Democrat-leaning economists and former mid-level Soviet functionaries were the architects of the Russian privatizations. Riiiiiight. Totally factual, not at all trying to associate two discrepant groups that totally don't stick together at all. Last time I heard, at no point was Russia even close to a libertarian country.

    Also, unlike in the Communist era, the Russian government couldn't afford to prop up every firm that became a zombie, leading the market to gradually become much more efficient.

    And life expectancy skyrocketed in Chile during the early years of Pinochet. So it's not free market reforms in and of themselves, even ones in economic crises, that cause massive social disaster. Estonia and Poland, having higher-trust and more civilized cultures than Russia, did rather well in the 1990s.

    The point I was making was that the system was rigged by the oligarchs, much like our current system is rigged. I’d argue the solution isn’t deregulation or small government, but a strongman leader like Putin.

    Free market reforms would’ve worked better in Russia if there was competition, rather than a monopolization of state-owned assets by a small number of oligarchs.

  72. @Anonymous
    What's the point of even pointing that out? Do you want recognition or something?

    Who doesn’t?

  73. @Threecranes
    They were looted because the Oligarchs were handed fully formed monopolies. Their wealth was not derived from a virtuous competitive struggle during which a group of innovative inventors/entrepreneurs engaged in back and forth improvements on one another's technological advancement with each stage bringing a new level of efficiency and wealth to workers and consumers.

    The free-market economists are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. The driver of progress is invention. Invention yields greater productivity which enables one person's labor to accomplish what had formerly employed a dozen. Every one becomes wealthier because one hour of work accomplishes more. Those who stole Soviet industry were not builders in this sense. They were money men, not innovators. And, like all money-oriented men, they performed a cost/benefit analysis of the peak inflection in the curve of profits versus effort and chose to scale back their efforts to the sweet spot in that curve. They weren't interested in working hard to grow an industry. They just wanted to get the most they could with the least effort.

    The issue is financialization. A small number of individuals ended up owning assets and transferring value, rather than creating value. The US economy today is highly financialized, rewarding investors/financiers instead more than actual value creators. We need to move towards an economic model that rewards value creation and distributes income more equitably. Pre-1980s America offers a good example.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    This is completely incorrect. Finance is intimately linked to value-creation. The reduction of risk enabled by innovative financial practices contributes to value-creation, it is not parasitic on it.
  74. @scrivener3
    You seem to think the choice is between capitalism with private property, freedom of contract and rule of law; and, benevolent control of the economy by a disinterested elite with a monopoly on the use of force, who never allow companies to close and keep wages high. It is not.

    Human nature makes people favor themselves. There are lots of people who generally wish you good will, but when faced with the choice of a little more on their plate or a little more on your plate, everyone will favor themselves. Giving any group power and a monopoly on violence will lead to better for them and worse for you.

    The initial distribution of private property is always unjust. Every capitalistic system has a date before which you may not challenge good title. Otherwise you have infinite clouds on all title. Do certain Indians get Arizona? Perhaps they dispossessed earlier tribes? New evidence may arise at any time of historical thefts. Do modern Greeks own the real property of Greece or was there an earlier civilization that never granted title? That's why Marx's "all property is theft" has a grain of truth.

    I'm sure the Russian exercise was particularly nasty, but all the land in England was stolen by Germanic invaders who owned and ruled by sword. If I am looking to purchase a nice flat in Soho I don't have much guilt about that.

    Mostly this article reminds me of how much the elite and the left despise freedom for ordinary people. The constantly blame capitalism, which is really the freedom to order your preferences in purchases limited by your productivity in meeting other people's preferences and needs.

    The people of Russia built up those state-owned companies. Their wealth was stolen by them by a few well-connected gangster-financiers who rigged the system to their advantage. Call that crony capitalism, but it’s a corrupt system. The Russian people had a right to be angry about what happened. To his credit, Putin brought the oligarchs under his heel. We need our own American version of Putin.

  75. @JohnnyWalker123
    The issue is financialization. A small number of individuals ended up owning assets and transferring value, rather than creating value. The US economy today is highly financialized, rewarding investors/financiers instead more than actual value creators. We need to move towards an economic model that rewards value creation and distributes income more equitably. Pre-1980s America offers a good example.

    This is completely incorrect. Finance is intimately linked to value-creation. The reduction of risk enabled by innovative financial practices contributes to value-creation, it is not parasitic on it.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Rampant financial speculation isn't to the advantage of the average worker. From the 1930s through the early 1980s, finance was heavily regulated. During that time, workers saw their wages rise significantly. There was financial deregulation in the 1980s and further deregulation in the late 90s (Glass-Steagal repeal), which has coincided with a period of falling wages for workers.
    Financialization isn't the only factor behind falling wages, but it's a major part.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWnB9FGmWE
  76. @silviosilver
    This is completely incorrect. Finance is intimately linked to value-creation. The reduction of risk enabled by innovative financial practices contributes to value-creation, it is not parasitic on it.

    Rampant financial speculation isn’t to the advantage of the average worker. From the 1930s through the early 1980s, finance was heavily regulated. During that time, workers saw their wages rise significantly. There was financial deregulation in the 1980s and further deregulation in the late 90s (Glass-Steagal repeal), which has coincided with a period of falling wages for workers.
    Financialization isn’t the only factor behind falling wages, but it’s a major part.

  77. @eah
    I thank you for your insight on this.

    densely concentrated stupidity

    Yes, that's me -- a regular black hole/singularity of stupidity.

    One suggestion: find a dictionary, and look up the word 'irony' -- or 'ironic', as you choose. After that, try 'sarcasm'. Then read my comment again.

    It was the name that fooled me. The regularly scheduled trolls here go with random letters.

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