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Why Is Pennsylvania Outpacing Ohio and West Virginia?
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Screenshot 2015-11-17 18.30.58

West Virginia has long been notorious as the worst white state in the country, and the recent White Death has hit West Virginia whites harder than any other state’s whites, with death rates among whites 45-54 years old increasing 41% from 1999-2013.

Ohio isn’t as badly off as West Virginia, but the middle-aged death rate was up 20%, worse than the national average.

Pennsylvania’s White Death rate, however, was up only 4%.

I get a vague impression that Pennsylvania has been in general pulling ahead of Ohio in this century.

One reason is because Philadelphia, for all its problems, is still a giant east coast city. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh seems to have repositioned itself rather nicely to serve as a regional hub for things like medical care.

Another reason is that Pennsylvania had better mortgage regulations than more laissez-faire Ohio, so it sidestepped the worst of the subprime grift.

Also Pennsylvania has pockets of oil and natural gas that only recently became profitable to pump from again due to innovations in technology.

I’m reading reporter Sam Quinones’ book on the spread of painkillers and heroin, Dreamland, and much of that is set in southern Ohio. I don’t know, however, why this quiet plague doesn’t seem to have hit Pennsylvania all that hard.

Is there a cultural difference with Pennsylvania (more Central European Catholics) and West Virginia (more Scots-Irish)?

But I don’t really know what else is going on.

 
• Tags: White Death 
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  1. PA has better Universities. Penn is in the Ivy League and Carnegie-Mellon is a major STEM school. What does OH have? Case Western Reserve?

    Northern PA is near NYC whereas northern OH is near Detroit.

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    That may be relatable to Toledo, but not really to Northeast Ohio. Its like a better version of upstate New York (Buffalo). Cleveland avoided the Detroit death spiral thanks to the Clinic.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    When comparing universities, it's usually better to compare state universities and throw out the private ones, since they don't accept primarily in-staters and their demographic is not representative of the state. So PA has Penn State and Pitt, which are top tier schools. Ohio has only one top tier school - Ohio State. Ohio's second tier seems to be slightly better, led by Ohio University and U. Of Cincinnati. PA has Temple and not much else.
  2. typo?:
    ” this quiet plague doesn’t seem to have [hit] Pennsylvania all that hard.”

  3. Outpacing or falling behind? Penn’s woodland is pale and stale.

  4. Drug abuse has hit Pennsylvania hard, especially western PA. Just not as bad as West Virginia and Ohio. Drug overdoses have surpassed car accidents.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2015/06/23/Drug-overdoses-surpass-car-accident-deaths-in-Pennsylvania/stories/201506180045

  5. Northeast Pennsylvania is within greater NYC. It’s only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown. Allentown is about as far away as Poughkeepsie.

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can’t be that smart, can they?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time
     
    The Pennsylvania Turnpike is quite well landscaped, at least the east-west stretches in the center of the Commonwealth. I always wondered if the farmers alongside it were encouraged with subsidies or free consultations. Very Potemkin of them, don't you think?
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Scranton is more than 2 hours away from NYC. I live about 10 minutes west of NYC, and last time I drove to Scranton it was more like 3 hours. Anyhow, it's a depressing town. There's a donut place called Curry Donuts or something that looks like it was a Dunkin' Donuts before someone stopped paying the franchise fees. A few old, well-built office buildings, from back when it was a boom town. The rest is sort of gray and sad.
    , @Another Canadian

    States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can’t be that smart, can they?
     
    You're kidding, right? There is a world outside your cubicle walls, maybe your boss will let you go see it someday.
    , @Sparkling Wiggle

    Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can’t be that smart, can they?
     
    My only data point is Louisiana, but this hypothesis has legs IMO.
    , @Lackawanna
    "It’s only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown."

    Utter nonsense. If only that were true.

    Maybe if you drive into the city at 1AM going 100mph the whole way. But you'd probably hit night construction delays at the river crossings and have it take closer to 4 hours than 2.

    Truth is, it can take 2 hours to get into NYC from Morristown, NJ if one is driving at any time during the workday. It can take 2 hours to drive from Newark to NYC during the workday.
  6. Ohio has several metro areas adjacent to rural parts of other states… Perhaps Cincinnati is a common place for Kentuckyans and Hoosiers to die in ERs. The Cleveland Clinic is also a major national cancer treatment destination.

  7. PA has some Gas/Oil fracking, it also has coal I don’t know if gains in one offsets losses in the other.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I think the first oil well ever drilled was in PA.
  8. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing, involving the migration of Appalachian whites from West Virginia to northern industrial areas, including Ohio, along the Hillbilly Highway (cf. Wikipedia). For example, Dwight Yoakam, born in Pikesville WV, migrated to Columbus OH where he grew up (before finding fame and fortune in LA). As a result there are lots of cultural contacts between WV and southern OH. Cf. Yoakam’s “Miner’s Prayer” with Ralph Stanley.

    • Replies: @Galactic Overlord
    Yoakam wasn't born in West Virginia, but rather in Pikeville, Kentucky, the seat of a county that borders on WV. Still the same culture, but a different state.
  9. You hit it perfectly, Steve. White Death tends to be a recent Scots-Irish epidemic. I’m re-reading Albion’s Seed for clues. I’m also wondering about how Romney lost Ohio in 2012. The general consensus was that rural Republicans stayed home and didn’t vote for him like they did for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Maybe they actually just died in the meantime.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    The guy has ice water for blood and absolutely clueless why people stayed home. He had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    The key is "middle-age" these men have no future in our country. A future stolen by WASPs in a effort to make even more money. Too old to be retrained(and for what some crappy service gig or a greeter at wally world?, please that's degrading, no man who worked hard most of his life would shame himself like that, it's more honorable to sell drugs to upper class WASP kids)

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.

    As for the younger ones, they take a look around and see bleakness. STEM is for the cognitive elite so to speak and they aren't cut out for it. And STEM is dying in this country because of off-shoring and importing foreign replacements. Long term it's dead. The service industry is degrading and a soul sucking dead end. It makes a life of drug use and indolence look attractive to a certain percentage.

    The train called the United States is on a line that is a dead end.
    , @EvolutionistX
    The Mormon thing was always really off-putting to rural conservatives.
  10. Minimal stupid gun “laws.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Minimal stupid gun “laws.”
     
    If you're insinuating these 45-54-year-old hill fellows are just shooting each other, you've been listening to too much Johnny Cash. (And not his gospel stuff.)

    Or are they shooting themselves? The kind of people prone to that tend to pass background checks.
  11. The reason is simple. Two major metro areas seem to be doing OK financially in Penn while Ohio has Cleveland. Second reason, Penn has more Amish, Old Protestant Germans (see Steve’s references to Franklin and the “Dutch”) and Good English stock.

    Ohio has a lot of Scot-Irish who came from Kentucky and W.V. and settled in southern Ohio and Cleveland. Import a lot of W.V. types and you get W.V. type problems.

    • Replies: @Paul Lynde for the Win
    Ohio has more Amish than PA. Columbus is bigger than Cleveland, and is considerably nicer than Pittsburgh.
  12. The configuration of Pennsylvania is a little unusual, two thirds of the state (8 out of 12 MM) live in either metro Philly or metro Pittsburgh. Hence, the nickname “Pennsyltucky”, sometimes referred to as “Pitt in the West, Philly in the East, and Alabama in the middle”.

    It should follow that any trend that applies to PA would have to depend on a foothold in one or the other of the big towns.

    Other factors: There’s a large commuter population all along the Eastern edge of the state that works in New Jersey who are solidly middle class. There’s a large number of traditional farmers (including Amish and Mennonite), involved in dairy or crop farming for generations. Some of the remaining towns, like Lockhaven, State College, are also centered on colleges. Erie is the Great Lakes port and has more of that flavor. Those groupings probably account for half, if not more, of the remaining population.

    Most of the state is a series of endless ridgelines with farm valleys in between, and also large amounts of forest, usually marked as game land. The state is about 80% white, but more like 95% or more once you get out of the Pitt/Philly areas. The Appalachians run through the Eastern part of the state but that is tempered by the commuters, the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area, and Harrisburg. My travels through the lower Appalachians is that those areas are much more depressed and contain more isolated communities than in PA. Yes, you will find your mountain men in PA but not that many.

    Basically, the state has too many metro centers and connections to NJ-NY to easily follow the path of Ohio or West Virginia.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Other factors: There’s a large commuter population all along the Eastern edge of the state that works in New Jersey who are solidly middle class.
     
    I once rode the red-eye Amtrak from Philly to Harrisburg, on one of the days it didn't continue to Pittsburgh and points west. At 3:30 it seemed that there were only two other passengers-- not in my car, but on the whole train. I asked myself which powerful politician was keeping this moribund route alive.

    Boy, was that ever a wrong reading of the situation. I fell asleep, and when I woke a couple hours later, my car was nearly full, and still stopping to pick up more. It seems the train was scooping up lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats from the western suburbs to their remunerative jobs in the capital. They could afford gym memberships, and far-flung homes and commutes.

    So not all the commuting is across the Delaware.
    , @Andrew
    SPMoore8

    Metro Philly in Pennsylvania is 4 million people and metro Pittsburgh is 2.25 million.

    The majority of the population of the state is small cities and rural areas.
  13. When I lived in Central PA years ago it was extremely underpopulated. You could drive on Interstate 80 at night and there would be five-ten minute stretches where you did not see a single electric light.

  14. Pennsylvania has participated in the recent fracking boom. Also it’s much bigger and has a more diversified economy.

  15. @Honesthughgrant
    The reason is simple. Two major metro areas seem to be doing OK financially in Penn while Ohio has Cleveland. Second reason, Penn has more Amish, Old Protestant Germans (see Steve's references to Franklin and the "Dutch") and Good English stock.

    Ohio has a lot of Scot-Irish who came from Kentucky and W.V. and settled in southern Ohio and Cleveland. Import a lot of W.V. types and you get W.V. type problems.

    Ohio has more Amish than PA. Columbus is bigger than Cleveland, and is considerably nicer than Pittsburgh.

  16. @anony-mouse
    PA has better Universities. Penn is in the Ivy League and Carnegie-Mellon is a major STEM school. What does OH have? Case Western Reserve?

    Northern PA is near NYC whereas northern OH is near Detroit.

    That may be relatable to Toledo, but not really to Northeast Ohio. Its like a better version of upstate New York (Buffalo). Cleveland avoided the Detroit death spiral thanks to the Clinic.

  17. Don’t know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I’m driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn’t get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Don’t know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I’m driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn’t get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee"

    Seeing a Confederate flag in Ohio is not as strange as seeing a Confederate flag in Arizona. I saw one 10 years ago, when I made a pitstop at a rural Arizona diner/gas station. It was funny seeing Dixie pride in a region of the country that is geographically closer to Los Angeles than it is to Louisiana.

    , @Gunnar von Cowtown
    There's one guy in the entire freakin' state with a rebel flag on his barn, but it faces I-71 between Cincinnati and Columbus so everyone who drives through the state has seen it. It's been there for decades. Yes, our restrooms are filthy, but I refuse to feel bad about "cultivating mass". Ohio is one of the top 5 NFL-player producing states, and we're not heavily black. Offensive linemen don't grow on trees and that defense isn't gonna block itself.
  18. http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/Population_by_State_2013.asp

    PA and OH both have about 65,000 Amish, which is a lot relative to other states, but not enough to move the needle on statewide statistics. Don’t know if those numbers include Amish-like groups, but I don’t see any reason to believe the proportions would be different in the two states.

    I suspect you’re correct that it there are relative few Scots-Irish in PA. Some of those small towns are chock full of Bohunks, which they don’t have in WV.

  19. @Blah
    You hit it perfectly, Steve. White Death tends to be a recent Scots-Irish epidemic. I'm re-reading Albion's Seed for clues. I'm also wondering about how Romney lost Ohio in 2012. The general consensus was that rural Republicans stayed home and didn't vote for him like they did for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Maybe they actually just died in the meantime.

    The guy has ice water for blood and absolutely clueless why people stayed home. He had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    The key is “middle-age” these men have no future in our country. A future stolen by WASPs in a effort to make even more money. Too old to be retrained(and for what some crappy service gig or a greeter at wally world?, please that’s degrading, no man who worked hard most of his life would shame himself like that, it’s more honorable to sell drugs to upper class WASP kids)

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.

    As for the younger ones, they take a look around and see bleakness. STEM is for the cognitive elite so to speak and they aren’t cut out for it. And STEM is dying in this country because of off-shoring and importing foreign replacements. Long term it’s dead. The service industry is degrading and a soul sucking dead end. It makes a life of drug use and indolence look attractive to a certain percentage.

    The train called the United States is on a line that is a dead end.

    • Replies: @JVO
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xa0L_Q567E
    , @Another Canadian

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.
     
    Exactly right. You can see it even up here in Canada. Ontario factory towns like Hamilton, Oshawa and Peterborough look a lot like Youngstown and Akron. Disabled chain-smoking 60-year-old white guys riding around in Rascals begging for change. Tattoo parlours replacing lunch counters. Parts of Ontario look like Ohio and West Virginia. We'll see if the Boy Wonder is going to do anything about it.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "He [Romney] had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    Wow, for two quick sentences, you've really nailed it, with respect to recent Republican political history. And of course, these two sentences also explain the rise of The Trump, albeit if only by implication. Nicely done, sir.
  20. Steve, another commenter (#8) in your MultiBern and Me post gave a link to a CDC site which appears to be the CDC’s take on this white death you are covering. But rather than cite the increasing white death rates, they title their report:

    Leading Causes of Death Contributing to Decrease in Life Expectancy Gap Between Black and White Populations: United States, 1999–2013

    I can’t tell for sure if this report covers the white death because it seems to indicate that there is good news from 1999-2013 in that the gap in the white-black death rate is closing. Note that they attribute this not to the increase in white deaths, but to the decrease in black deaths.

    Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like they are reporting on the white death increase with rose colored glasses.

    Summary
    Life expectancy at birth has increased steadily since 1900 to a record 78.8 years in 2013. But differences in life expectancy between the white and black populations still exist, despite a decrease in the life expectancy gap from 5.9 years in 1999 to 3.6 years in 2013. Differences in the change over time in the leading causes of death for the black and white populations have contributed to this decrease in the gap in life expectancy.

    Between 1999 and 2013, the decrease in the life expectancy gap between the black and white populations was mostly due to greater decreases in mortality from heart disease, cancer, HIV disease, unintentional injuries, and perinatal conditions among the black population. Similarly, the decrease in the gap between black and white male life expectancy was due to greater decreases in death rates for HIV disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, heart disease, and perinatal conditions in black males. For black females, greater decreases in diabetes death rates, combined with decreased rates for heart disease and HIV disease, were the major causes contributing to the decrease in the life expectancy gap with white females.

    The decrease in the gap in life expectancy between the white and black populations would have been larger than 3.6 years if not for increases in death rates for the black population for aortic aneurysm, Alzheimer’s disease, and maternal conditions. For black males, the causes that showed increases in death rates over white males were hypertension, aortic aneurysm, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney disease, while the causes that showed increases in death rates for black females were Alzheimer’s disease, maternal conditions, and atherosclerosis.

    This NCHS Data Brief is the second in a series of data briefs that explore the causes of death contributing to differences in life expectancy between detailed ethnic and racial populations in the United States. The first data brief focused on the racial differences in life expectancy for a single year, 2010 (3).

    • Replies: @jon
    "Leading Causes of Death Contributing to Decrease in Life Expectancy Gap Between Black and White Populations: United States, 1999–2013"

    Because it's all about the gap. Now if we could just get more whites to drop out of high school for a life of crime, all would be right in this world.
  21. Ohio, I believe, has a lower cost of living. No idea how much of an attractant this is to middle aged people with delicate constitutions. But add it to adjacent state residents whose logical place for ER or hospice care is in Ohio and Cleveland Clinic (cancer)/OSU (SARS) “Death Tourism”. Certainly possible, but I hesitate to argue with experts who “drove through it once.”

  22. @Luke Lea
    Don't know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I'm driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn't get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee.

    “Don’t know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I’m driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn’t get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee”

    Seeing a Confederate flag in Ohio is not as strange as seeing a Confederate flag in Arizona. I saw one 10 years ago, when I made a pitstop at a rural Arizona diner/gas station. It was funny seeing Dixie pride in a region of the country that is geographically closer to Los Angeles than it is to Louisiana.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Arizona was settled by Southerners and was solidly democratic until the 1950s, Goldwater was elected to the Senate in 1952.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Seeing a Confederate flag in Ohio is not as strange as seeing a Confederate flag in Arizona. I saw one 10 years ago, when I made a pitstop at a rural Arizona diner/gas station. It was funny seeing Dixie pride in a region of the country that is geographically closer to Los Angeles than it is to Louisiana."

    I saw a Confederate flag in New Mexico, in 1991, inside a BANK. It was in Mesilla, the old capitol of the Confederate Territory of Arizona (the southern halves of what are today, the states of Arizona & New Mexico), but still...A BANK! I'll bet that's not there anymore.
  23. Pennsylvania has two counties without a single traffic light. I don’t know what that means, but it means something.

    I have spent most of my life in Pennsylvania, but unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) I have spent virtually no time in either Ohio or West Virginia, so I can’t compare and contrast. If I had to guess, what PA has that perhaps other nearby states don’t, is de facto segregation. Outside of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Allentown, and a few other places, Pennsylvania is a whitopia. My school district growing up, one of 4 in a county of about 150,000 people, was something like 85% white. If memory serves, Asians were the second biggest group.

    Now, maybe that’s true for most of Ohio and West Virginia too. I honestly don’t know. But, as other commenters here have mentioned, big chunks of Pennsylvania, including mine, had the best of all worlds. New York City and Philadelphia close enough that a day trip was easily doable, i lived in a small town with a still functional downtown (one of the last on the east coast at that time, or so we were told), relatively close-knit communities, and whitopia.

    Sidenote, I don’t know about the mortgage regulations angle, Steve. Around 2006 I was contemplating getting into the housing market, but after going to a couple foreclosure auctions I decided that I wasn’t insane enough to play that game. I saw a a 100 year old house, 4 bedrooms 2 baths, the innards of which had been destroyed by a combination of bad tenants and frozen pipes, sell for a quarter million dollars. Granted, this was in a college town, but we’re talking small town Pennsylvania here. $250k, for a house that needed $100k in work to be livable. Sheesh. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe if it had been Ohio or WV the house would’ve sold for $450k.

    One more thing, and I don’t know if this is a factor in any way, shape, or form, but Pennsylavnia has been heinously gerrymandered for as long as anyone can remember, so, even when Democratic presidential and governor candidates carry the state easily, the state legislature is dominated by Republicans.

    • Replies: @Andrew
    Taco:

    " Pennsylavnia has been heinously gerrymandered"

    Not really true. The Democrats are highly concentrated in inner city Philly, Pittsburgh, Erie, and Scranton. State law requires compact contiguous districts that avoid breaking up towns and townships.

    When you do that, you end up with about 25% of the districts being overwhelmingly Democratic, with vote margins of 70-30 to 95-5. The remaining districts end up mostly being 60-40 Republican (a handful of others are competitive) especially in the State Senate, which usually splits 30-20 for a the Republicans. The State House is typically ~110-90 for the Republicans because there are a number of small Democrat tows with one seat each like Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Reading, Johnstown, Chester, etc. that get overwhelmed in the larger districts.

    The real gerrymandering has been the long time bias of giving Western PA a few more districts by the use of slightly disparate district populations, which for a long time favored Democrats.
  24. There are surely deeper HBD issues in play, but I do know that SSDI (“disability”) culture has been deeply entrenched in West Virginia for decades, particularly in the southern coal counties where work-related injuries have historically been common.

    My hunch is that part of this is due to regional exploitation of qualification reforms (e.g., the “treating physician rule”) implemented under Reagan’s compromise legislation, but whatever set it off, pill mills and disability law offices have become a fixture of the southern West Virginia landscape. Family members help other family members “get on benefits” as a way of life. Painkillers are prescribed, abused, sold; and when the supply is cut by civic-minded reforms, Oxy addicts turn to low-grade heroin. Overdoses are now common.

    There’s a lot more that could be noted about the inhabitants of this moribund, coal-dependent region (who are, I believe, the truest exemplars of Charles Murray’s thesis in Coming Apart), and I don’t doubt that much of their sad plight can be attributed to heritable traits, including time-preference and IQ. But when you live here, you observe a quitting culture rigged by history, abetted by policy, and picked by vultures. And no one cares.

    • Replies: @Bill P

    There are surely deeper HBD issues in play, but I do know that SSDI (“disability”) culture has been deeply entrenched in West Virginia for decades, particularly in the southern coal counties where work-related injuries have historically been common.
     
    Disability is welfare for whites. There is widespread, ignored welfare discrimination against whites throughout the US, and therefore poor counties with lots of unemployed whites are going to lean more on federal disability income to keep people housed and fed. As you note, one of the consequences of this is more painkiller prescriptions.

    What poor whites need is another WPA type program that explicitly sets aside a racial quota for them. It has unfortunately come to this, because without racial quotas affirmative action hires in the federal government will do everything they can to ensure that whites are excluded from any federal largesse.
  25. @iSteveFan
    Steve, another commenter (#8) in your MultiBern and Me post gave a link to a CDC site which appears to be the CDC's take on this white death you are covering. But rather than cite the increasing white death rates, they title their report:

    Leading Causes of Death Contributing to Decrease in Life Expectancy Gap Between Black and White Populations: United States, 1999–2013

    I can't tell for sure if this report covers the white death because it seems to indicate that there is good news from 1999-2013 in that the gap in the white-black death rate is closing. Note that they attribute this not to the increase in white deaths, but to the decrease in black deaths.

    Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like they are reporting on the white death increase with rose colored glasses.

    Summary
    Life expectancy at birth has increased steadily since 1900 to a record 78.8 years in 2013. But differences in life expectancy between the white and black populations still exist, despite a decrease in the life expectancy gap from 5.9 years in 1999 to 3.6 years in 2013. Differences in the change over time in the leading causes of death for the black and white populations have contributed to this decrease in the gap in life expectancy.

    Between 1999 and 2013, the decrease in the life expectancy gap between the black and white populations was mostly due to greater decreases in mortality from heart disease, cancer, HIV disease, unintentional injuries, and perinatal conditions among the black population. Similarly, the decrease in the gap between black and white male life expectancy was due to greater decreases in death rates for HIV disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, heart disease, and perinatal conditions in black males. For black females, greater decreases in diabetes death rates, combined with decreased rates for heart disease and HIV disease, were the major causes contributing to the decrease in the life expectancy gap with white females.

    The decrease in the gap in life expectancy between the white and black populations would have been larger than 3.6 years if not for increases in death rates for the black population for aortic aneurysm, Alzheimer’s disease, and maternal conditions. For black males, the causes that showed increases in death rates over white males were hypertension, aortic aneurysm, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney disease, while the causes that showed increases in death rates for black females were Alzheimer’s disease, maternal conditions, and atherosclerosis.

    This NCHS Data Brief is the second in a series of data briefs that explore the causes of death contributing to differences in life expectancy between detailed ethnic and racial populations in the United States. The first data brief focused on the racial differences in life expectancy for a single year, 2010 (3).
     

    “Leading Causes of Death Contributing to Decrease in Life Expectancy Gap Between Black and White Populations: United States, 1999–2013″

    Because it’s all about the gap. Now if we could just get more whites to drop out of high school for a life of crime, all would be right in this world.

  26. @Cracker
    Minimal stupid gun "laws."

    Minimal stupid gun “laws.”

    If you’re insinuating these 45-54-year-old hill fellows are just shooting each other, you’ve been listening to too much Johnny Cash. (And not his gospel stuff.)

    Or are they shooting themselves? The kind of people prone to that tend to pass background checks.

  27. @markw
    Perhaps it's a cultural thing, involving the migration of Appalachian whites from West Virginia to northern industrial areas, including Ohio, along the Hillbilly Highway (cf. Wikipedia). For example, Dwight Yoakam, born in Pikesville WV, migrated to Columbus OH where he grew up (before finding fame and fortune in LA). As a result there are lots of cultural contacts between WV and southern OH. Cf. Yoakam's "Miner's Prayer" with Ralph Stanley.

    Yoakam wasn’t born in West Virginia, but rather in Pikeville, Kentucky, the seat of a county that borders on WV. Still the same culture, but a different state.

    • Replies: @markw
    Right, my bad, tx.
  28. A sense of fatalism (often with literal consequences) is common among conquered peoples.

    Since Pennsylvania votes so consistently D in presidential elections, the same sort of people can think of themselves as on the winning team there, even if their reality is the same.

  29. @Orthodox
    Northeast Pennsylvania is within greater NYC. It's only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown. Allentown is about as far away as Poughkeepsie.

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can't be that smart, can they?

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike is quite well landscaped, at least the east-west stretches in the center of the Commonwealth. I always wondered if the farmers alongside it were encouraged with subsidies or free consultations. Very Potemkin of them, don’t you think?

    • Replies: @SteveO

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike is quite well landscaped, at least the east-west stretches in the center of the Commonwealth. I always wondered if the farmers alongside it were encouraged with subsidies or free consultations. Very Potemkin of them, don’t you think?
     
    I don't think much encouragement was needed. Pennsylvania farm country is very pretty all on its own. It's mostly rolling, wooded hills and prosperous-looking farms with attractive 19th-century farmhouses. It's not strikingly beautiful, like the Rockies, but rather gently pretty, like a Constable landscape.

    Yes, it can be bleak in winter when there's no snow, but with snow cover the scenes are classic Americana.
  30. Jeez, what comments.

    Pennsylvannia Dutch is a renaming of Pennsylvania Deutch, da Germans. They don’t sell liquor nor beer in either supermarkets or convenience stores. You can see rolling papers and blunts behind sales clerks but you almost never see anyone actually buying them. Bars are very low key, no garish neon beer signs. You almost never see a person pulled over at 2 in the morning on a DUI bust.

    PA is a cooolllllldddd place, winter is serious and severe. Nobody moves to PA. The people there are from there. The men generally have their sh#t together, women need them more than women in some other place. A good bit of “winter-chan” selection has gone on there over the generations. Imagine what it was like for a man before electricity, running water. You don’t have to go back very far for stories of kids walking miles in that weather to get to school. And these people go about their lives with a friendly manner and positive outlook. There is work to be done: roads to keep clear, sidewalks to shovel, etc. This weather adds another level of complexity to life. And these men handle it. It is the best example of “can-do” I have ever seen.

    PA is a place of orderly fields, mended fences, painted houses, mowed yards, shoveled walks. I often think that when people think of the earlier pastoral beauty of the United States, of stacked hay, of pumpkins, neat red painted barns, they were thinking of PA.

    To me PA is the best living example of what is taught and written about by Jayman and HBDchick. There is no magic dirt in PA, just the Pennsylvania Dutch.

    (Disclaimer-I’m Texan)

    • Replies: @Frida K-Lo
    You can find the same tidiness, good work ethic, and positive disposition in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. It's the people.

    (Disclaimer: I'm an Illinoisan)
    , @Phil
    The no beer or liquor in supermarkets or grocery stores is an interesting thing

    I live in PA, and everyone I know regards that as a low level cronyism/state imposed nuisance (drives up the cost of alcohol, mostly enriches politically connected liquor store owners at the inconvenience of everyone else), and always comments on how nice it is to be able to get a bottle of wine at the Trader Joe's in other states

    yet I wonder if that doesn't have a fair amount of explanatory power for the discrepancy in the statistics between WV, OH, and PA
  31. Also, the redneckiesr redneck of them all was born in Ohio: David Allan Coe. Not down south either, in Akron, loke LeBron James.

  32. @SPMoore8
    The configuration of Pennsylvania is a little unusual, two thirds of the state (8 out of 12 MM) live in either metro Philly or metro Pittsburgh. Hence, the nickname "Pennsyltucky", sometimes referred to as "Pitt in the West, Philly in the East, and Alabama in the middle".

    It should follow that any trend that applies to PA would have to depend on a foothold in one or the other of the big towns.

    Other factors: There's a large commuter population all along the Eastern edge of the state that works in New Jersey who are solidly middle class. There's a large number of traditional farmers (including Amish and Mennonite), involved in dairy or crop farming for generations. Some of the remaining towns, like Lockhaven, State College, are also centered on colleges. Erie is the Great Lakes port and has more of that flavor. Those groupings probably account for half, if not more, of the remaining population.

    Most of the state is a series of endless ridgelines with farm valleys in between, and also large amounts of forest, usually marked as game land. The state is about 80% white, but more like 95% or more once you get out of the Pitt/Philly areas. The Appalachians run through the Eastern part of the state but that is tempered by the commuters, the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area, and Harrisburg. My travels through the lower Appalachians is that those areas are much more depressed and contain more isolated communities than in PA. Yes, you will find your mountain men in PA but not that many.

    Basically, the state has too many metro centers and connections to NJ-NY to easily follow the path of Ohio or West Virginia.

    Other factors: There’s a large commuter population all along the Eastern edge of the state that works in New Jersey who are solidly middle class.

    I once rode the red-eye Amtrak from Philly to Harrisburg, on one of the days it didn’t continue to Pittsburgh and points west. At 3:30 it seemed that there were only two other passengers– not in my car, but on the whole train. I asked myself which powerful politician was keeping this moribund route alive.

    Boy, was that ever a wrong reading of the situation. I fell asleep, and when I woke a couple hours later, my car was nearly full, and still stopping to pick up more. It seems the train was scooping up lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats from the western suburbs to their remunerative jobs in the capital. They could afford gym memberships, and far-flung homes and commutes.

    So not all the commuting is across the Delaware.

  33. Pennsylvania has a lot of college towns…some are now up there in the pantheon of the Ivy Leagues because there are now so few seats left at the Ivies since the 90′s…for reasons which we all know. College towns are an economic hub for old industrial states. In fact, I get a lot of junk mail with great retirement developments on golf courses sent to me that brag about whatever college towns they are in. College towns give you the cultural happenings without having to live in a city…and, you can still stay close to where you grew up. I’m going out west, but Pennsylvania is very cheap it you are ready to retire and all your kids are out east/mid-west. Oh, and Pittsburgh is ranked very high; Philly, fougetaboutit.

    The other weird factor of Pennsylvania: horses. It is great horse country.

  34. @rod1963
    The guy has ice water for blood and absolutely clueless why people stayed home. He had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    The key is "middle-age" these men have no future in our country. A future stolen by WASPs in a effort to make even more money. Too old to be retrained(and for what some crappy service gig or a greeter at wally world?, please that's degrading, no man who worked hard most of his life would shame himself like that, it's more honorable to sell drugs to upper class WASP kids)

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.

    As for the younger ones, they take a look around and see bleakness. STEM is for the cognitive elite so to speak and they aren't cut out for it. And STEM is dying in this country because of off-shoring and importing foreign replacements. Long term it's dead. The service industry is degrading and a soul sucking dead end. It makes a life of drug use and indolence look attractive to a certain percentage.

    The train called the United States is on a line that is a dead end.

  35. Maybe Pennsylvania’s high family cohesion makes it more prosperous? What I hear from relatives there is that Pennsylvania is very Catholic and has a very high percentage of senior citizens. Meaning the seniors don’t bug out to Florida and North Carolina but stay for family reasons.
    You could check out the Pennsylvania divorce rates?

    My image of the state is that it trends voting Democrat while the people live conservative lives and like their hunting and gun ownership rights. Amish country is worth visiting but I am glad I visited years ago when it was not as touristy.

  36. When I drove around central PA years ago I was surprised that, even though there were few Blacks, they did not number zero, even in remote towns. I assumed they had been there since the underground railroad days. You wouldn’t see that in New England.

  37. @Mark Minter
    Jeez, what comments.

    Pennsylvannia Dutch is a renaming of Pennsylvania Deutch, da Germans. They don't sell liquor nor beer in either supermarkets or convenience stores. You can see rolling papers and blunts behind sales clerks but you almost never see anyone actually buying them. Bars are very low key, no garish neon beer signs. You almost never see a person pulled over at 2 in the morning on a DUI bust.

    PA is a cooolllllldddd place, winter is serious and severe. Nobody moves to PA. The people there are from there. The men generally have their sh#t together, women need them more than women in some other place. A good bit of "winter-chan" selection has gone on there over the generations. Imagine what it was like for a man before electricity, running water. You don't have to go back very far for stories of kids walking miles in that weather to get to school. And these people go about their lives with a friendly manner and positive outlook. There is work to be done: roads to keep clear, sidewalks to shovel, etc. This weather adds another level of complexity to life. And these men handle it. It is the best example of "can-do" I have ever seen.

    PA is a place of orderly fields, mended fences, painted houses, mowed yards, shoveled walks. I often think that when people think of the earlier pastoral beauty of the United States, of stacked hay, of pumpkins, neat red painted barns, they were thinking of PA.

    To me PA is the best living example of what is taught and written about by Jayman and HBDchick. There is no magic dirt in PA, just the Pennsylvania Dutch.

    (Disclaimer-I'm Texan)

    You can find the same tidiness, good work ethic, and positive disposition in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. It’s the people.

    (Disclaimer: I’m an Illinoisan)

  38. W. Virginia is Virginia’s consolation prize for losing the Civil War. Once a solidly Democratic state(even voting for Stevenson in 52 and Carter in ’80), Karl Rove blanketed the state in 2000 with leaflets about Gun Control. No candidates were mentioned, Rove figured the Hillbillies could figure that out themselves. They did and since have turned a blue state to a red state. I guess it had a lot of red state structure earlier but not so noticeably. For example it is a huge SUCK on the national economy.

  39. The difference between Ohio and Pennsylvania? Not much; there may not two other states more similar to each other in the whole country. Their racial compositions are almost exactly the same, their ethnic and religious compositions are also really close, and they’re very alike culturally. Maybe there are some subtle cultural differences (whether preexisting or more recent) that might account for the growing middle-age white death-rate gap, but diverging economic fortunes does not appear to be the driver.

    Unemployment rate: Ohio 4.5% Pennsylvania 5.3%
    Mean annual wage: Ohio $43,900 Pennsylvania $45,750

    Given the higher cost-of-living in Pennsylvania, I’d say Ohio has a pretty clear edge there, actually.

  40. Lancaster PA is a thriving if too unvibrant little city. The Marriott there is always booked. Everyone I meet in Lancaster seems to be an apostate, often one of a large litter, from a Biblical-litteralist sect, loving their folks but having little interest in following their ways.

    • Replies: @ben tillman

    Lancaster PA is a thriving if too unvibrant little city.
     
    Oh, it's plenty vibrant. I saw people in the Walmart there who looked like they were from another planet, some species of human I had never seen before. In retrospect, I guess they were probably some kind of tri-racial Puerto Ricans. Beautiful old blocks downtown have been transformed into a ghetto.
    , @Dirk Dagger
    Heck yeah, Lancaster is great little city! A glowing write-up of the neighborhood adjacent to the central square on the southern side:

    NOTABLE & UNIQUE: DIVERSITY

    Did you know that the S Prince St / Hazel St neighborhood has more Puerto Rican and Cuban ancestry people living in it than nearly any neighborhood in America? It's true! In fact, 36.6% of this neighborhood's residents have Puerto Rican ancestry and 2.5% have Cuban ancestry.

    NOTABLE & UNIQUE: PEOPLE

    The S Prince St / Hazel St neighborhood is unique for having just 4.1% of adults here having earned a bachelor's degree. This is a lower rate of college graduates than NeighborhoodScout found in 96.9% of America's neighborhoods.

    In addition, single parenting is hard. But you don't have to tell the S Prince St / Hazel St neighborhood about it; they already know. 20.1% of this neighborhood's households are run by single mothers, which is a higher concentration than NeighborhoodScout found in 95.9% of American neighborhoods. Further NeighborhoodScout research showed strong statistical correlations among high rates of children living in single parent households, and neighborhood crime, particularly violent crime, neighborhood poverty, and, importantly, the percentage of low weight births and rates of infant mortality. from www.neighborhoodscout.com
     
    Fun historical note, this neighborhood is where President James Buchanan is buried. Always fun to see foreign tourists checking this out.
  41. @Orthodox
    Northeast Pennsylvania is within greater NYC. It's only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown. Allentown is about as far away as Poughkeepsie.

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can't be that smart, can they?

    Scranton is more than 2 hours away from NYC. I live about 10 minutes west of NYC, and last time I drove to Scranton it was more like 3 hours. Anyhow, it’s a depressing town. There’s a donut place called Curry Donuts or something that looks like it was a Dunkin’ Donuts before someone stopped paying the franchise fees. A few old, well-built office buildings, from back when it was a boom town. The rest is sort of gray and sad.

  42. @Bill Jones
    PA has some Gas/Oil fracking, it also has coal I don't know if gains in one offsets losses in the other.

    I think the first oil well ever drilled was in PA.

  43. Always wondered why Biden dropped his Scranton roots into every stump speech. Made me hate PA.

  44. @rod1963
    The guy has ice water for blood and absolutely clueless why people stayed home. He had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    The key is "middle-age" these men have no future in our country. A future stolen by WASPs in a effort to make even more money. Too old to be retrained(and for what some crappy service gig or a greeter at wally world?, please that's degrading, no man who worked hard most of his life would shame himself like that, it's more honorable to sell drugs to upper class WASP kids)

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.

    As for the younger ones, they take a look around and see bleakness. STEM is for the cognitive elite so to speak and they aren't cut out for it. And STEM is dying in this country because of off-shoring and importing foreign replacements. Long term it's dead. The service industry is degrading and a soul sucking dead end. It makes a life of drug use and indolence look attractive to a certain percentage.

    The train called the United States is on a line that is a dead end.

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.

    Exactly right. You can see it even up here in Canada. Ontario factory towns like Hamilton, Oshawa and Peterborough look a lot like Youngstown and Akron. Disabled chain-smoking 60-year-old white guys riding around in Rascals begging for change. Tattoo parlours replacing lunch counters. Parts of Ontario look like Ohio and West Virginia. We’ll see if the Boy Wonder is going to do anything about it.

  45. @Chip Smith
    There are surely deeper HBD issues in play, but I do know that SSDI ("disability") culture has been deeply entrenched in West Virginia for decades, particularly in the southern coal counties where work-related injuries have historically been common.

    My hunch is that part of this is due to regional exploitation of qualification reforms (e.g., the "treating physician rule") implemented under Reagan's compromise legislation, but whatever set it off, pill mills and disability law offices have become a fixture of the southern West Virginia landscape. Family members help other family members "get on benefits" as a way of life. Painkillers are prescribed, abused, sold; and when the supply is cut by civic-minded reforms, Oxy addicts turn to low-grade heroin. Overdoses are now common.

    There's a lot more that could be noted about the inhabitants of this moribund, coal-dependent region (who are, I believe, the truest exemplars of Charles Murray's thesis in Coming Apart), and I don't doubt that much of their sad plight can be attributed to heritable traits, including time-preference and IQ. But when you live here, you observe a quitting culture rigged by history, abetted by policy, and picked by vultures. And no one cares.

    There are surely deeper HBD issues in play, but I do know that SSDI (“disability”) culture has been deeply entrenched in West Virginia for decades, particularly in the southern coal counties where work-related injuries have historically been common.

    Disability is welfare for whites. There is widespread, ignored welfare discrimination against whites throughout the US, and therefore poor counties with lots of unemployed whites are going to lean more on federal disability income to keep people housed and fed. As you note, one of the consequences of this is more painkiller prescriptions.

    What poor whites need is another WPA type program that explicitly sets aside a racial quota for them. It has unfortunately come to this, because without racial quotas affirmative action hires in the federal government will do everything they can to ensure that whites are excluded from any federal largesse.

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "There is widespread, ignored welfare discrimination against whites throughout the US, and therefore poor counties with lots of unemployed whites are going to lean more on federal disability income to keep people housed and fed."

    While obviously Whites qualify for Section 8 Housing vouchers, pretty much all of HUD's public housing units are conveniently located in places where, as a matter of practical reality, only Blacks benefit from them. If a White family tried to move into one of those buildings, well, they'd basically be killed, or driven off through repeated incidents of criminality (thus making life effectively impossible for them). This constitutes a HUGE degree of de facto racial discrimination against impoverished Whites, but of course, no one in the political Establishment gives a hoot in Hell about that.
  46. Dad’s from Pittsburgh, been there a number of times until a few years ago. Nice place now, all the green hills.

  47. @Jefferson
    "Don’t know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I’m driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn’t get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee"

    Seeing a Confederate flag in Ohio is not as strange as seeing a Confederate flag in Arizona. I saw one 10 years ago, when I made a pitstop at a rural Arizona diner/gas station. It was funny seeing Dixie pride in a region of the country that is geographically closer to Los Angeles than it is to Louisiana.

    Arizona was settled by Southerners and was solidly democratic until the 1950s, Goldwater was elected to the Senate in 1952.

  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I visited western Pennsylvania recently (Pittsburgh suburbs) and was struck by how nice it was. My friend lived in a modest neighborhood – small homes and a few trailers – and even the trailers were well tended and nicely landscaped. The people were fat but super nice and friendly; there was a feeling of orderliness everywhere. My friend, btw, lived out east for a few years but returned because he missed his family.

    We then drove through West Virginia on our way to the Shenendoah valley and as soon as you crossed the border things got considerably more ramshackle. My family is from eastern Kentucky so it was familiar to me…

    Definitely a difference between the WVA scots Irish and the western PA culture, which seemed to be mostly German and Polish in the area we visited. Lots of Polish street and business names, lots of kielbasa in the restaurants, lots of German surnames and Oktoberfests everywhere.

  49. What would be interesting is a comparison of white death rates in Ohio in two areas south of I-80: the Appalachian pale roughly southeast of I-71 and the German pale northwest of it.

    71 bisects Columbus, and the difference between say Dublin on the northwest and Reynoldsburg on the southeast is stark; at least it was when I lived there 15-20 years ago. You could almost place people by their accents.

    (It’s true that there are Germans in Appalachia, but the Scots-Irish pretty much swallowed them up. Come to that it would be interesting to compare the German fraction in Appalachian outmigrants to that in those who stayed. )

  50. @Mark Minter
    Jeez, what comments.

    Pennsylvannia Dutch is a renaming of Pennsylvania Deutch, da Germans. They don't sell liquor nor beer in either supermarkets or convenience stores. You can see rolling papers and blunts behind sales clerks but you almost never see anyone actually buying them. Bars are very low key, no garish neon beer signs. You almost never see a person pulled over at 2 in the morning on a DUI bust.

    PA is a cooolllllldddd place, winter is serious and severe. Nobody moves to PA. The people there are from there. The men generally have their sh#t together, women need them more than women in some other place. A good bit of "winter-chan" selection has gone on there over the generations. Imagine what it was like for a man before electricity, running water. You don't have to go back very far for stories of kids walking miles in that weather to get to school. And these people go about their lives with a friendly manner and positive outlook. There is work to be done: roads to keep clear, sidewalks to shovel, etc. This weather adds another level of complexity to life. And these men handle it. It is the best example of "can-do" I have ever seen.

    PA is a place of orderly fields, mended fences, painted houses, mowed yards, shoveled walks. I often think that when people think of the earlier pastoral beauty of the United States, of stacked hay, of pumpkins, neat red painted barns, they were thinking of PA.

    To me PA is the best living example of what is taught and written about by Jayman and HBDchick. There is no magic dirt in PA, just the Pennsylvania Dutch.

    (Disclaimer-I'm Texan)

    The no beer or liquor in supermarkets or grocery stores is an interesting thing

    I live in PA, and everyone I know regards that as a low level cronyism/state imposed nuisance (drives up the cost of alcohol, mostly enriches politically connected liquor store owners at the inconvenience of everyone else), and always comments on how nice it is to be able to get a bottle of wine at the Trader Joe’s in other states

    yet I wonder if that doesn’t have a fair amount of explanatory power for the discrepancy in the statistics between WV, OH, and PA

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Worth noting that there's no shortage of breweries in PA, including Yuengling, the oldest still-operating brewery in America.
  51. “Is there a cultural difference with Pennsylvania (more Central European Catholics) and West Virginia (more Scots-Irish)?” There is a huge difference between Northern Ohio and Southern Ohio. Northern Ohio is much like the rest of the Upper Midwest. It was populated first by New Englanders and people from New York State followed by Germans, Dutch and Swedes. Southern Ohio was populated mainly by Appalachians straight out of the cast of Deliverance.

  52. NE Ohio here, ten miles from the PA border, about fifty from the WV border.

    You can buy a decent house in a decent neighborhood for $80 thousand, maybe less. At around $150 thousand, you’ll get a house that rivals $1-2 million homes in upmarket ZIP codes (I’ve checked). Big city amenities are 90 minutes away in Cleveland-Akron or Pittsburgh.

    Now, try to make a living here. The few high-end job openings are filled by regional and national recruiting. The state university where I work is readily able to find junior profs with terminal degrees willing to work full-time at adjunct pay for around $30 thousand a year. Some jobs, especially government jobs, are filled by cronyism, nepotism, or kickback (I’m not guessing). The handful of fracking jobs created here were filled by transplanted oil patch workers already skilled in the trade.

    The upshot is we’ve got younger people, say under 35, who are unable to leave their parents’ house because they can’t make a living, plus older people who once made a living are boomeranging to live with family and share expenses.

    At some instinctual level, I can’t understand why the destruction of America’s bourgeois, educated class hasn’t resulted in more political turmoil. Has everyone been pacified, or infantilized, or something?

    • Replies: @notsaying
    You ask some of the questions I ask myself.

    I can't tell you the whys and wherefores of why most people in this country (me included) did nothing over the past 30 or 40 years while things changed for the worse.

    Today's young adults, as you mention, often have back-up support from parents who have some assets, including savings and/or a house.

    Far fewer of today's generation of under-15 kids will have that; their kids will have even less of a family safety net, yet they will have a greater need for such a safety net.

    Bottom line: Many descendants of financially secure Baby Boomers will not be insulated from the downhill course so many will find themselves on. They will have to fight for themselves -- and I think they will.

  53. i visited Altoona back in the 80s. i’ve never seen anything like it. the center of town looked like it had been hit by a neutron bomb. Block after block of empty buildings. The saddest place I’ve ever seen.

  54. @Galactic Overlord
    Yoakam wasn't born in West Virginia, but rather in Pikeville, Kentucky, the seat of a county that borders on WV. Still the same culture, but a different state.

    Right, my bad, tx.

  55. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I was born, raised, and formally educated in Ohio, but have lived since and prospered in West Virginia. Like those of many others in a position to do so, our children attended colleges and then found good jobs out of state. But I would never wish to leave what has become my home. I love the friendliness and humor of the people, the natural beauty, and even the scruffy quality of some (certainly not all) of the towns and cities that have seen better times.

    Drawn to anything addressing WV relative to other states, I’ve noticed over the years the inevitable condescension that one can see here upthread. I suspect some of this arises from a need to numb one’s sense of failure in life by identifying with the place you happen to be, and then demeaning a neighboring tribe. That’s been a root cause for war, genocide, and other state evil throughout history. And although I appreciate Mr. Sailer immensely, it isn’t surprising that his work may be attractive to some of us here for that same reason.

    You can buy yourself a Royals jersey, but that doesn’t mean that you won the World Series.

  56. @anony-mouse
    PA has better Universities. Penn is in the Ivy League and Carnegie-Mellon is a major STEM school. What does OH have? Case Western Reserve?

    Northern PA is near NYC whereas northern OH is near Detroit.

    When comparing universities, it’s usually better to compare state universities and throw out the private ones, since they don’t accept primarily in-staters and their demographic is not representative of the state. So PA has Penn State and Pitt, which are top tier schools. Ohio has only one top tier school – Ohio State. Ohio’s second tier seems to be slightly better, led by Ohio University and U. Of Cincinnati. PA has Temple and not much else.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Are you aware that Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is a state university? Please check its "tierage" and get back to us.

    And, yes, I'm the same Anon as #55.
  57. Urbanization is a brain drain.

    A smart kid who grows up in West Virginia is more likely to end up working in Philadelphia than his home state.

  58. @David
    Lancaster PA is a thriving if too unvibrant little city. The Marriott there is always booked. Everyone I meet in Lancaster seems to be an apostate, often one of a large litter, from a Biblical-litteralist sect, loving their folks but having little interest in following their ways.

    Lancaster PA is a thriving if too unvibrant little city.

    Oh, it’s plenty vibrant. I saw people in the Walmart there who looked like they were from another planet, some species of human I had never seen before. In retrospect, I guess they were probably some kind of tri-racial Puerto Ricans. Beautiful old blocks downtown have been transformed into a ghetto.

    • Replies: @Dirk Dagger
    From the wik:

    As of the 2010 census, the city was 55.2% White, 16.3% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian, and 5.8% were two or more races. 39.3% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
     
    Seems pretty vibrant to me and ...

    In 2009, the LCSC's expansion from a 70 to a 165-camera network attracted national attention, including a front page article in the Los Angeles Times: "Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself". The article quoted city police chief Keith Sadler as saying, "Years ago, there's no way we could do this...It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and 1984. It's just funny how Americans have softened on these issues."
     
    Sounds a little bit, you know, crime-y?
  59. I’m reading reporter Sam Quinones’ book on the spread of painkillers and heroin, Dreamland, and much of that is set in southern Ohio.

    I’d wager that setting is southeastern Ohio, which borders WV and KY. The closest thing to a big city in that area is Athens, which is a suburb of Ohio University (not to be confused with THEE Ohio State University in Columbus). The rest of southeastern Ohio is rural or part of the quarter-million acre Wayne National Forest. It’s a great place to be if you’re a crunchy college kid or an aspiring park ranger. However, if you’re a traditional Scotch-Irish manly-man who likes to manipulate 3-dimensional objects in space for a living…. your opportunities have become very limited. Commenter rod1963 addressed very well that earlier.

    Southwestern Ohio is Cincinnati and the really nice parts of Kentucky right across the river (Newport & Covington). Cincinnati suffered the recent economic unpleasantness fairly well, being home to Proctor & Gamble and a some nice-sized regional banks.

    Columbus is in central Ohio, and based on everything I’ve read that City kicked Cleveland’s ass on every possible metric during the mortgage meltdown (debt, population, unemployment, etc.). Being home to Nationwide Insurance, OSU, and some regional banks probably helped, as Columbus maintained an AAA bond rating the entire time and surpassed Cleveland to become the largest city in Ohio.

    Someone mentioned Pennsylvania having a lot of colleges earlier. Ohio has lots of decent affordable state colleges like OSU and half of the MAC conference. It’s been my experience that a lot of kids from WV and New Jersey come here to go to school. Kenyon, Case Western and Oberlin are the closest we have to Ivy-level universities, with Miami of Ohio getting an honorable mention.

    As far as #whitelivesmatter type deaths, maybe it is a Scotch-Irish vs. Pennsylvania Dutch thing? For the record, West Virginians are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. They’re like more alpha Canadians.

  60. @Luke Lea
    Don't know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I'm driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn't get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee.

    There’s one guy in the entire freakin’ state with a rebel flag on his barn, but it faces I-71 between Cincinnati and Columbus so everyone who drives through the state has seen it. It’s been there for decades. Yes, our restrooms are filthy, but I refuse to feel bad about “cultivating mass”. Ohio is one of the top 5 NFL-player producing states, and we’re not heavily black. Offensive linemen don’t grow on trees and that defense isn’t gonna block itself.

  61. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Interestingly, the ethnic make up of Ohio and Pennsylvania are similar (at least as of the 2000 census). The sites below list the top five ethnicities. Four of the five make up similar proportions of both states populations.

    German 25.4% (#1 in PA) vs. 25.2% (#1 in OH)
    Irish 16.1% (#2 in PA) vs. 12.7% (#2 in OH)
    English 7.9% (#4 in PA) vs. 9.2% (#3 in OH)
    African American 7.4% (#5 in PA) vs. 9.4% (#4 in OH)

    The interesting thing is the groups that are different.

    In PA, Italians are the third largest group, while not ranking in the top five in OH. “Americans” are the fifth largest group in OH but not in the top five in PA. I remember reading somewhere that Scotch Irish have a tendency to consider themselves “American”.

    As a former Pennsylvanian (partly descended from Mennonites) who has traveled across the state many times, I think PA outside of Philadelphia/Pittsburgh remains German in character with some Eastern Europe and Scotch-Irish influences.

    http://names.mongabay.com/ancestry/Ohio.html

    http://names.mongabay.com/ancestry/Pennsylvania.html

  62. @Orthodox
    Northeast Pennsylvania is within greater NYC. It's only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown. Allentown is about as far away as Poughkeepsie.

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can't be that smart, can they?

    States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can’t be that smart, can they?

    You’re kidding, right? There is a world outside your cubicle walls, maybe your boss will let you go see it someday.

  63. Dirk Dagger [AKA "Chico Caldera"] says: • Website
    @ben tillman

    Lancaster PA is a thriving if too unvibrant little city.
     
    Oh, it's plenty vibrant. I saw people in the Walmart there who looked like they were from another planet, some species of human I had never seen before. In retrospect, I guess they were probably some kind of tri-racial Puerto Ricans. Beautiful old blocks downtown have been transformed into a ghetto.

    From the wik:

    As of the 2010 census, the city was 55.2% White, 16.3% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian, and 5.8% were two or more races. 39.3% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

    Seems pretty vibrant to me and …

    In 2009, the LCSC’s expansion from a 70 to a 165-camera network attracted national attention, including a front page article in the Los Angeles Times: “Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself”. The article quoted city police chief Keith Sadler as saying, “Years ago, there’s no way we could do this…It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and 1984. It’s just funny how Americans have softened on these issues.”

    Sounds a little bit, you know, crime-y?

    • Replies: @David
    Thanks for the correction. I sure don't see evidence of that exciting demographic environment downtown but you're obviously right.
  64. I studied demography for a while in Ohio, and it was called “the index state”. If you wanted to know some social or economic stat for the whole US, you looked at Ohio’s and were always close.

    Daniel Elazar craftily divided the US into three political cultures. Ohio, and stretching west to Indiana and Illinois, has all three, like a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich.

    • Replies: @5371
    Let me guess - Southern, Tammany Hall and small-town New England?
  65. Dirk Dagger [AKA "Chico Caldera"] says: • Website
    @David
    Lancaster PA is a thriving if too unvibrant little city. The Marriott there is always booked. Everyone I meet in Lancaster seems to be an apostate, often one of a large litter, from a Biblical-litteralist sect, loving their folks but having little interest in following their ways.

    Heck yeah, Lancaster is great little city! A glowing write-up of the neighborhood adjacent to the central square on the southern side:

    NOTABLE & UNIQUE: DIVERSITY

    Did you know that the S Prince St / Hazel St neighborhood has more Puerto Rican and Cuban ancestry people living in it than nearly any neighborhood in America? It’s true! In fact, 36.6% of this neighborhood’s residents have Puerto Rican ancestry and 2.5% have Cuban ancestry.

    NOTABLE & UNIQUE: PEOPLE

    The S Prince St / Hazel St neighborhood is unique for having just 4.1% of adults here having earned a bachelor’s degree. This is a lower rate of college graduates than NeighborhoodScout found in 96.9% of America’s neighborhoods.

    In addition, single parenting is hard. But you don’t have to tell the S Prince St / Hazel St neighborhood about it; they already know. 20.1% of this neighborhood’s households are run by single mothers, which is a higher concentration than NeighborhoodScout found in 95.9% of American neighborhoods. Further NeighborhoodScout research showed strong statistical correlations among high rates of children living in single parent households, and neighborhood crime, particularly violent crime, neighborhood poverty, and, importantly, the percentage of low weight births and rates of infant mortality. from http://www.neighborhoodscout.com

    Fun historical note, this neighborhood is where President James Buchanan is buried. Always fun to see foreign tourists checking this out.

  66. @rod1963
    The guy has ice water for blood and absolutely clueless why people stayed home. He had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    The key is "middle-age" these men have no future in our country. A future stolen by WASPs in a effort to make even more money. Too old to be retrained(and for what some crappy service gig or a greeter at wally world?, please that's degrading, no man who worked hard most of his life would shame himself like that, it's more honorable to sell drugs to upper class WASP kids)

    Look when NAFTA, GATT and PNTR with China were signed, there was a great sucking of jobs out of the country, 8-12 million jobs went away and it effect 2-3x as many in supporting industries and more are still going. All those men who held those well paying jobs were screwed. Their lives were ended and their self-respect and pride as well, hence the suicides.

    As for the younger ones, they take a look around and see bleakness. STEM is for the cognitive elite so to speak and they aren't cut out for it. And STEM is dying in this country because of off-shoring and importing foreign replacements. Long term it's dead. The service industry is degrading and a soul sucking dead end. It makes a life of drug use and indolence look attractive to a certain percentage.

    The train called the United States is on a line that is a dead end.

    “He [Romney] had nothing to appeal to blue collar whites, nothing, they looked at him and saw a executioner. Bushy was a affable dim witted cipher and he conned them the first time around and used 9/11 to get re-elected the 2nd time.

    Wow, for two quick sentences, you’ve really nailed it, with respect to recent Republican political history. And of course, these two sentences also explain the rise of The Trump, albeit if only by implication. Nicely done, sir.

  67. @Jefferson
    "Don’t know the answer but when I drove from Tennessee up into Ohio a few years ago I felt like I’m driving south. The restrooms got dirtier, the people fatter, there were Confederate flags painted on the sides of barns, etc.. I didn’t get that feeling when I drove up into Pennsylvania. It was more like, well, Tennessee"

    Seeing a Confederate flag in Ohio is not as strange as seeing a Confederate flag in Arizona. I saw one 10 years ago, when I made a pitstop at a rural Arizona diner/gas station. It was funny seeing Dixie pride in a region of the country that is geographically closer to Los Angeles than it is to Louisiana.

    “Seeing a Confederate flag in Ohio is not as strange as seeing a Confederate flag in Arizona. I saw one 10 years ago, when I made a pitstop at a rural Arizona diner/gas station. It was funny seeing Dixie pride in a region of the country that is geographically closer to Los Angeles than it is to Louisiana.”

    I saw a Confederate flag in New Mexico, in 1991, inside a BANK. It was in Mesilla, the old capitol of the Confederate Territory of Arizona (the southern halves of what are today, the states of Arizona & New Mexico), but still…A BANK! I’ll bet that’s not there anymore.

  68. @Bill P

    There are surely deeper HBD issues in play, but I do know that SSDI (“disability”) culture has been deeply entrenched in West Virginia for decades, particularly in the southern coal counties where work-related injuries have historically been common.
     
    Disability is welfare for whites. There is widespread, ignored welfare discrimination against whites throughout the US, and therefore poor counties with lots of unemployed whites are going to lean more on federal disability income to keep people housed and fed. As you note, one of the consequences of this is more painkiller prescriptions.

    What poor whites need is another WPA type program that explicitly sets aside a racial quota for them. It has unfortunately come to this, because without racial quotas affirmative action hires in the federal government will do everything they can to ensure that whites are excluded from any federal largesse.

    “There is widespread, ignored welfare discrimination against whites throughout the US, and therefore poor counties with lots of unemployed whites are going to lean more on federal disability income to keep people housed and fed.”

    While obviously Whites qualify for Section 8 Housing vouchers, pretty much all of HUD’s public housing units are conveniently located in places where, as a matter of practical reality, only Blacks benefit from them. If a White family tried to move into one of those buildings, well, they’d basically be killed, or driven off through repeated incidents of criminality (thus making life effectively impossible for them). This constitutes a HUGE degree of de facto racial discrimination against impoverished Whites, but of course, no one in the political Establishment gives a hoot in Hell about that.

  69. @Reg Cæsar
    I studied demography for a while in Ohio, and it was called "the index state". If you wanted to know some social or economic stat for the whole US, you looked at Ohio's and were always close.

    Daniel Elazar craftily divided the US into three political cultures. Ohio, and stretching west to Indiana and Illinois, has all three, like a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich.

    Let me guess – Southern, Tammany Hall and small-town New England?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    His terms were "moralistic" (northern tier, of the US and of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois), "traditionalistic (southern tier), and "individualistic" (the wide middle).

    Vermont is pure M, Mississippi pure T, Illinois overwhelmingly I, notwithstanding the T and M minorities at the state's extremes.

    A number of states are hybrids, usually M-I (Mass.) or T-I (Missouri), but the occasional M-T (Utah, and I think Hawaii).
  70. I’m sure you’ve read it, Mr. Sailer, but if you haven’t run (do not walk) to find a copy of Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell. The (perhaps over sensationally titled) title essay tells the story.

    A brief, imperfect summary:

    The Scots-Irish/Borderer culture is/was the predominant culture in the south and the Appalachians. It was transmitted to the Blacks, and even as the lowland South becomes more English/German, the Appalachians and the southern Black diaspora in the cities continue in on the self-destructive Borderer culture. (At least as late as WWII, northern Blacks outscored Southern whites). So, while the HBD have some real points, culture could be argued to be more important than genetics.

    To cases: Pennsylvania is the perhaps the most German state, and has traditionally been very stable, either Catholic or Anabaptist. Pittsburgh didn’t get a lot of the Black migration from the South, although Philadelphia itself did. There is a certain amount of Puerto Rican settlement in some cities (such as Lancaster and Reading, but it is only the cities and not the surrounding areas.

    Southern Ohio is Appalachian and there has been strong migration to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland by both Appalachian whites and southern Blacks. So yes, Ohio ends up having a lot more problems.

    • Replies: @Galactic Overlord
    Steve reviewed that book 10 years ago. See, for example,

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/tom-sowells-black-redneck-theory-ingenious-but-insufficient

    He pointed out that Sowell's theory fell short on several grounds—read the piece to see for yourself.

  71. Hello Steve

    With respect to your thesis on the baby boomers and the white death I recommend the Film
    “Ain’t In It For My Health a film about Levon Helm”

    http://levonhelmfilm.com/

    I know of the Chinese malaise and humiliation with their loss of economic dominance.

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

    Followed by the ascendance of the Industrialized British Empire into the dominant world power to be passed by the US in the 1870s and then broken in the world wars.

    I would guess a lot of Brits and UK folk drank, drugged, and straight out killed themselves after they were surpassed. See the between war and post WWII malaise.

    This Is England

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_England#References

    Shameless UK

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shameless_(UK_TV_series)

    Is it fair to make a distinction or break between the UK and the USA or is this all just dominance of the Anglosphere with shift in the weight of power to be likened to the changing Chinese dynasties? Is this the end of the run, or just a new pause between dynasties?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglosphere

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

    New rise of China:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616806/American-dollar-hits-wall-China-prepares-leap-place-worlds-largest-economy-end-year.html

    Shameless US

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shameless_(U.S._TV_series)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_history_of_the_United_Kingdom#Foreign_trade

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/heroin/etc/history.html

  72. @SPMoore8
    The configuration of Pennsylvania is a little unusual, two thirds of the state (8 out of 12 MM) live in either metro Philly or metro Pittsburgh. Hence, the nickname "Pennsyltucky", sometimes referred to as "Pitt in the West, Philly in the East, and Alabama in the middle".

    It should follow that any trend that applies to PA would have to depend on a foothold in one or the other of the big towns.

    Other factors: There's a large commuter population all along the Eastern edge of the state that works in New Jersey who are solidly middle class. There's a large number of traditional farmers (including Amish and Mennonite), involved in dairy or crop farming for generations. Some of the remaining towns, like Lockhaven, State College, are also centered on colleges. Erie is the Great Lakes port and has more of that flavor. Those groupings probably account for half, if not more, of the remaining population.

    Most of the state is a series of endless ridgelines with farm valleys in between, and also large amounts of forest, usually marked as game land. The state is about 80% white, but more like 95% or more once you get out of the Pitt/Philly areas. The Appalachians run through the Eastern part of the state but that is tempered by the commuters, the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area, and Harrisburg. My travels through the lower Appalachians is that those areas are much more depressed and contain more isolated communities than in PA. Yes, you will find your mountain men in PA but not that many.

    Basically, the state has too many metro centers and connections to NJ-NY to easily follow the path of Ohio or West Virginia.

    SPMoore8

    Metro Philly in Pennsylvania is 4 million people and metro Pittsburgh is 2.25 million.

    The majority of the population of the state is small cities and rural areas.

  73. Pennsylvania has double the hispanics than Ohio…mostly Puerto Ricans. and almost twice as many Asians , with 15% less Blacks in PA than Ohio.

    There are definite sociological, economic and geographical differences between western and eastern PA, and history has played a great part. Crossing the Appalachians was not as easy in 1800 as it is today. Because of this, there was almost a 14th colony – Westsylvania, composed of Pittsburgh and the corner, WV and VA –

    most Pennsylvanians live in Eastern PA , 75% of the population. and greater than 100% of the population growth since 1999 has been in Eastern Pennsylvania. The population of Pittsburg fell 9% since 2000 while the population of Philadelphia risen by 2% over the same time period.

  74. @Taco
    Pennsylvania has two counties without a single traffic light. I don't know what that means, but it means something.

    I have spent most of my life in Pennsylvania, but unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) I have spent virtually no time in either Ohio or West Virginia, so I can't compare and contrast. If I had to guess, what PA has that perhaps other nearby states don't, is de facto segregation. Outside of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Allentown, and a few other places, Pennsylvania is a whitopia. My school district growing up, one of 4 in a county of about 150,000 people, was something like 85% white. If memory serves, Asians were the second biggest group.

    Now, maybe that's true for most of Ohio and West Virginia too. I honestly don't know. But, as other commenters here have mentioned, big chunks of Pennsylvania, including mine, had the best of all worlds. New York City and Philadelphia close enough that a day trip was easily doable, i lived in a small town with a still functional downtown (one of the last on the east coast at that time, or so we were told), relatively close-knit communities, and whitopia.

    Sidenote, I don't know about the mortgage regulations angle, Steve. Around 2006 I was contemplating getting into the housing market, but after going to a couple foreclosure auctions I decided that I wasn't insane enough to play that game. I saw a a 100 year old house, 4 bedrooms 2 baths, the innards of which had been destroyed by a combination of bad tenants and frozen pipes, sell for a quarter million dollars. Granted, this was in a college town, but we're talking small town Pennsylvania here. $250k, for a house that needed $100k in work to be livable. Sheesh. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe if it had been Ohio or WV the house would've sold for $450k.

    One more thing, and I don't know if this is a factor in any way, shape, or form, but Pennsylavnia has been heinously gerrymandered for as long as anyone can remember, so, even when Democratic presidential and governor candidates carry the state easily, the state legislature is dominated by Republicans.

    Taco:

    ” Pennsylavnia has been heinously gerrymandered”

    Not really true. The Democrats are highly concentrated in inner city Philly, Pittsburgh, Erie, and Scranton. State law requires compact contiguous districts that avoid breaking up towns and townships.

    When you do that, you end up with about 25% of the districts being overwhelmingly Democratic, with vote margins of 70-30 to 95-5. The remaining districts end up mostly being 60-40 Republican (a handful of others are competitive) especially in the State Senate, which usually splits 30-20 for a the Republicans. The State House is typically ~110-90 for the Republicans because there are a number of small Democrat tows with one seat each like Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Reading, Johnstown, Chester, etc. that get overwhelmed in the larger districts.

    The real gerrymandering has been the long time bias of giving Western PA a few more districts by the use of slightly disparate district populations, which for a long time favored Democrats.

  75. Is there a cultural difference with Pennsylvania (more Central European Catholics) and West Virginia (more Scots-Irish)?

    Hopefully, you are aware that the so-called “Scots-Irish” are not actually Irish but, in reality, British.

    • Replies: @The Only Catholic Unionist
    British is a vague term, especially in historical terms. Great Britain is the island that contains what is now England, Wales, and Scotland. At one time, the Scottish were much less civilized. Scots-Irish refers to the Scottish who were involved in the Ulster Plantation. So, yes, the Scots-Irish are not Irish, but they are not English either.
  76. @Hapalong Cassidy
    When comparing universities, it's usually better to compare state universities and throw out the private ones, since they don't accept primarily in-staters and their demographic is not representative of the state. So PA has Penn State and Pitt, which are top tier schools. Ohio has only one top tier school - Ohio State. Ohio's second tier seems to be slightly better, led by Ohio University and U. Of Cincinnati. PA has Temple and not much else.

    Are you aware that Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is a state university? Please check its “tierage” and get back to us.

    And, yes, I’m the same Anon as #55.

  77. @5371
    Let me guess - Southern, Tammany Hall and small-town New England?

    His terms were “moralistic” (northern tier, of the US and of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois), “traditionalistic (southern tier), and “individualistic” (the wide middle).

    Vermont is pure M, Mississippi pure T, Illinois overwhelmingly I, notwithstanding the T and M minorities at the state’s extremes.

    A number of states are hybrids, usually M-I (Mass.) or T-I (Missouri), but the occasional M-T (Utah, and I think Hawaii).

  78. @Dirk Dagger
    From the wik:

    As of the 2010 census, the city was 55.2% White, 16.3% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian, and 5.8% were two or more races. 39.3% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
     
    Seems pretty vibrant to me and ...

    In 2009, the LCSC's expansion from a 70 to a 165-camera network attracted national attention, including a front page article in the Los Angeles Times: "Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself". The article quoted city police chief Keith Sadler as saying, "Years ago, there's no way we could do this...It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and 1984. It's just funny how Americans have softened on these issues."
     
    Sounds a little bit, you know, crime-y?

    Thanks for the correction. I sure don’t see evidence of that exciting demographic environment downtown but you’re obviously right.

  79. @JackOH
    NE Ohio here, ten miles from the PA border, about fifty from the WV border.

    You can buy a decent house in a decent neighborhood for $80 thousand, maybe less. At around $150 thousand, you'll get a house that rivals $1-2 million homes in upmarket ZIP codes (I've checked). Big city amenities are 90 minutes away in Cleveland-Akron or Pittsburgh.

    Now, try to make a living here. The few high-end job openings are filled by regional and national recruiting. The state university where I work is readily able to find junior profs with terminal degrees willing to work full-time at adjunct pay for around $30 thousand a year. Some jobs, especially government jobs, are filled by cronyism, nepotism, or kickback (I'm not guessing). The handful of fracking jobs created here were filled by transplanted oil patch workers already skilled in the trade.

    The upshot is we've got younger people, say under 35, who are unable to leave their parents' house because they can't make a living, plus older people who once made a living are boomeranging to live with family and share expenses.

    At some instinctual level, I can't understand why the destruction of America's bourgeois, educated class hasn't resulted in more political turmoil. Has everyone been pacified, or infantilized, or something?

    You ask some of the questions I ask myself.

    I can’t tell you the whys and wherefores of why most people in this country (me included) did nothing over the past 30 or 40 years while things changed for the worse.

    Today’s young adults, as you mention, often have back-up support from parents who have some assets, including savings and/or a house.

    Far fewer of today’s generation of under-15 kids will have that; their kids will have even less of a family safety net, yet they will have a greater need for such a safety net.

    Bottom line: Many descendants of financially secure Baby Boomers will not be insulated from the downhill course so many will find themselves on. They will have to fight for themselves — and I think they will.

    • Replies: @The Only Catholic Unionist
    I know it's an (unfortunately too-common) expression, but "wherefore" means "why".


    (So, e.g., in Romeo and Juliet, when she asks "Wherefore art thou Romeo?", she's not asking where he is, but why the man she fell in love with is a member of her family's most bitter rivals...)
    , @JackOH
    I don't disagree. Fighting's hard, though. Like it or not, most all of us are compromised by our relations to government and corporations, which give us preferences, exemptions, and money. Fighting can put you in a really lonely place. See, e. g., Harry Markopolos, the guy who attempted to uncover Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. His "No One Would Listen" is worth a read.

    It's worth noting Markopolos didn't set out to be a crusader. He was trying to save his job. His bosses wanted him to duplicate Madoff's fraudulent returns. He knew he couldn't without criminalizing himself. That's when he started fighting, at a pretty high cost to himself.
  80. Pennsylvania has its share of addicts, big time.

    One rural county is having 100 near-death overdose visits to their hospitals’ emergency rooms a month. Just saw that last week in the newspaper.

    Heroin is a huge problem.

  81. @Phil
    The no beer or liquor in supermarkets or grocery stores is an interesting thing

    I live in PA, and everyone I know regards that as a low level cronyism/state imposed nuisance (drives up the cost of alcohol, mostly enriches politically connected liquor store owners at the inconvenience of everyone else), and always comments on how nice it is to be able to get a bottle of wine at the Trader Joe's in other states

    yet I wonder if that doesn't have a fair amount of explanatory power for the discrepancy in the statistics between WV, OH, and PA

    Worth noting that there’s no shortage of breweries in PA, including Yuengling, the oldest still-operating brewery in America.

  82. @Blah
    You hit it perfectly, Steve. White Death tends to be a recent Scots-Irish epidemic. I'm re-reading Albion's Seed for clues. I'm also wondering about how Romney lost Ohio in 2012. The general consensus was that rural Republicans stayed home and didn't vote for him like they did for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Maybe they actually just died in the meantime.

    The Mormon thing was always really off-putting to rural conservatives.

  83. @Joe Walker
    Is there a cultural difference with Pennsylvania (more Central European Catholics) and West Virginia (more Scots-Irish)?

    Hopefully, you are aware that the so-called "Scots-Irish" are not actually Irish but, in reality, British.

    British is a vague term, especially in historical terms. Great Britain is the island that contains what is now England, Wales, and Scotland. At one time, the Scottish were much less civilized. Scots-Irish refers to the Scottish who were involved in the Ulster Plantation. So, yes, the Scots-Irish are not Irish, but they are not English either.

  84. @notsaying
    You ask some of the questions I ask myself.

    I can't tell you the whys and wherefores of why most people in this country (me included) did nothing over the past 30 or 40 years while things changed for the worse.

    Today's young adults, as you mention, often have back-up support from parents who have some assets, including savings and/or a house.

    Far fewer of today's generation of under-15 kids will have that; their kids will have even less of a family safety net, yet they will have a greater need for such a safety net.

    Bottom line: Many descendants of financially secure Baby Boomers will not be insulated from the downhill course so many will find themselves on. They will have to fight for themselves -- and I think they will.

    I know it’s an (unfortunately too-common) expression, but “wherefore” means “why”.

    (So, e.g., in Romeo and Juliet, when she asks “Wherefore art thou Romeo?”, she’s not asking where he is, but why the man she fell in love with is a member of her family’s most bitter rivals…)

  85. @Orthodox
    Northeast Pennsylvania is within greater NYC. It's only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown. Allentown is about as far away as Poughkeepsie.

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can't be that smart, can they?

    Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can’t be that smart, can they?

    My only data point is Louisiana, but this hypothesis has legs IMO.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    New Jersey has lots of noxious chemical industries and lots of smart people.
  86. @Sparkling Wiggle

    Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can’t be that smart, can they?
     
    My only data point is Louisiana, but this hypothesis has legs IMO.

    New Jersey has lots of noxious chemical industries and lots of smart people.

  87. @Reg Cæsar

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time
     
    The Pennsylvania Turnpike is quite well landscaped, at least the east-west stretches in the center of the Commonwealth. I always wondered if the farmers alongside it were encouraged with subsidies or free consultations. Very Potemkin of them, don't you think?

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike is quite well landscaped, at least the east-west stretches in the center of the Commonwealth. I always wondered if the farmers alongside it were encouraged with subsidies or free consultations. Very Potemkin of them, don’t you think?

    I don’t think much encouragement was needed. Pennsylvania farm country is very pretty all on its own. It’s mostly rolling, wooded hills and prosperous-looking farms with attractive 19th-century farmhouses. It’s not strikingly beautiful, like the Rockies, but rather gently pretty, like a Constable landscape.

    Yes, it can be bleak in winter when there’s no snow, but with snow cover the scenes are classic Americana.

  88. @notsaying
    You ask some of the questions I ask myself.

    I can't tell you the whys and wherefores of why most people in this country (me included) did nothing over the past 30 or 40 years while things changed for the worse.

    Today's young adults, as you mention, often have back-up support from parents who have some assets, including savings and/or a house.

    Far fewer of today's generation of under-15 kids will have that; their kids will have even less of a family safety net, yet they will have a greater need for such a safety net.

    Bottom line: Many descendants of financially secure Baby Boomers will not be insulated from the downhill course so many will find themselves on. They will have to fight for themselves -- and I think they will.

    I don’t disagree. Fighting’s hard, though. Like it or not, most all of us are compromised by our relations to government and corporations, which give us preferences, exemptions, and money. Fighting can put you in a really lonely place. See, e. g., Harry Markopolos, the guy who attempted to uncover Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. His “No One Would Listen” is worth a read.

    It’s worth noting Markopolos didn’t set out to be a crusader. He was trying to save his job. His bosses wanted him to duplicate Madoff’s fraudulent returns. He knew he couldn’t without criminalizing himself. That’s when he started fighting, at a pretty high cost to himself.

    • Replies: @notsaying
    Jack/OH

    What you say about fighting is hard is quite right. I think they are among the reasons the people born from 1950-1990 didn't do it.

    However, going forward, most Americans -- and that includes most American whites -- will not have nearly as much as the post WWII people had. They will not have the inner conflicts and vested interests that kept recent generations of middle and working class Americans quiet.

    They will be mad as the devil and more resentful and angry than I think any of us can imagine today or even begin to contemplate. They will know that if they don't fight they probably won't have anything.

  89. First, Colin Woodard’s map of the American Nations (based on Hackett-Fisher and picked up from JayMan) has the Scots-Irish influence extending north from Appalachia into, roughly, the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, which includes Pittsburgh.

    The Pennsylvania Coroners’ Association recently released a report on 2014 drug deaths in the state. The report includes a map by region, with six regions of the state displayed–three east to west and two north to south. The map is on page 11 of the report:

    http://www.pacoroners.org/Uploads/Pennsylvania_State_Coroners_Association_Drug_Report_2014.pdf

    The southwest “sixth” region of the map roughly corresponds to Woodard’s Scots-Irish area. The drug deaths per capita there are indeed higher than the two adjacent areas to the north and east. The region with the lowest deaths per capita are in the rural north central region, just south of New York’s Southern Tier. Woodward has New Netherlands extending east-west in the state across the center of the state, with Yankeedom extending across the New York border into the far northern part of the state.

    That kind of ties into the Scots-Irish thing, though it is interesting that the other two regions of the state with a high number of deaths are the two easterly regions: one in the south that includes Philadelphia and one in the north that includes places like Scranton and Allentown in addition to tonier areas.

    I don’t doubt the possibly positive influence of getting nearer the NY border–sort of like Moynihan’s Canada Rule. I am also not sure how much weight to put in the Woodard map. The times I have been in central PA–Altoona and the like–it felt more Scots-Irish than New Netherlands to me, but that’s just impression and, well, stereotype.

    You could probably get county data from the report for a more fine-grained view.

    • Replies: @CDR
    I'm from an inner ring suburb of Pittsburgh. Definitely some interesting patterns in there - I was expecting more deaths in Southwest & South Central PA and not as many in Philly.

    For what it's worth, the Delaware Valley (Philly) and Wyoming Valley (Scranton & Wilkes-Barre) are NOT very Scots-Irish (and for that matter, neither is Allegheny County, though the rest of Southwest PA is once you get away from the former steel towns).

    Other things that jumped out at me: Bucks County & Philadelphia's OD death rates are noticeably higher than Allegheny County's. York County has a similar population to Lancaster County but twice as many OD deaths.
  90. @Orthodox
    Northeast Pennsylvania is within greater NYC. It's only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown. Allentown is about as far away as Poughkeepsie.

    Pennsylvania always struck me as nicer. Lots of rural areas, forest. It has a big Amish country. Ohio smelled from the interstate, for a really long time. States that have lots of smelly industries (not naturally occurring) can't be that smart, can they?

    “It’s only 2 hours from Scranton to NYC, less than 2 hrs from Allentown.”

    Utter nonsense. If only that were true.

    Maybe if you drive into the city at 1AM going 100mph the whole way. But you’d probably hit night construction delays at the river crossings and have it take closer to 4 hours than 2.

    Truth is, it can take 2 hours to get into NYC from Morristown, NJ if one is driving at any time during the workday. It can take 2 hours to drive from Newark to NYC during the workday.

  91. A couple of years ago I saved, but then discarded, a Columbus Dispatch article about job losses in Ohio from roughly 2000 through 2010. If memory serves me correctly, Ohio had a net job loss of about 590,000 during that time period which equaled approximately 10% of total employment. Michigan was the only state that was worse during that period as it lost closer to 17% of total employment. The majority of this loss was from factory closings due to the rise of China in the early 2000s and the auto industry downturn in the late 2000s. A substantial chunk of Ohio’s industrial workforce has roots in Appalachia. I say this as a life-long resident of Ohio. I grew up in Cincinnati and have lived in Columbus for over a decade. Painkillers and heroin have become prevalent in many communities in the last fifteen years. This scourge seems to be hitting the rural southeastern part of the state as well as factory towns/neighborhoods the hardest. It should also be noted that Ohio has a very high rate of tobacco usage.

    Pennsylvania had its industrial collapse in the 1970s and 1980s. A lot of people left the state in those years. As a result, the population of PA is older. There are plenty of depressed and gritty towns in the Keystone state. Thus the two part answer to Steve’s question is that Ohio’s industrial collapse was more recent and its industrial workforce more Appalachian.

  92. @fenster
    First, Colin Woodard's map of the American Nations (based on Hackett-Fisher and picked up from JayMan) has the Scots-Irish influence extending north from Appalachia into, roughly, the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, which includes Pittsburgh.

    https://jaymans.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/colinwoodard_americannations_map.jpg

    The Pennsylvania Coroners' Association recently released a report on 2014 drug deaths in the state. The report includes a map by region, with six regions of the state displayed--three east to west and two north to south. The map is on page 11 of the report:

    http://www.pacoroners.org/Uploads/Pennsylvania_State_Coroners_Association_Drug_Report_2014.pdf

    The southwest "sixth" region of the map roughly corresponds to Woodard's Scots-Irish area. The drug deaths per capita there are indeed higher than the two adjacent areas to the north and east. The region with the lowest deaths per capita are in the rural north central region, just south of New York's Southern Tier. Woodward has New Netherlands extending east-west in the state across the center of the state, with Yankeedom extending across the New York border into the far northern part of the state.

    That kind of ties into the Scots-Irish thing, though it is interesting that the other two regions of the state with a high number of deaths are the two easterly regions: one in the south that includes Philadelphia and one in the north that includes places like Scranton and Allentown in addition to tonier areas.

    I don't doubt the possibly positive influence of getting nearer the NY border--sort of like Moynihan's Canada Rule. I am also not sure how much weight to put in the Woodard map. The times I have been in central PA--Altoona and the like--it felt more Scots-Irish than New Netherlands to me, but that's just impression and, well, stereotype.

    You could probably get county data from the report for a more fine-grained view.

    I’m from an inner ring suburb of Pittsburgh. Definitely some interesting patterns in there – I was expecting more deaths in Southwest & South Central PA and not as many in Philly.

    For what it’s worth, the Delaware Valley (Philly) and Wyoming Valley (Scranton & Wilkes-Barre) are NOT very Scots-Irish (and for that matter, neither is Allegheny County, though the rest of Southwest PA is once you get away from the former steel towns).

    Other things that jumped out at me: Bucks County & Philadelphia’s OD death rates are noticeably higher than Allegheny County’s. York County has a similar population to Lancaster County but twice as many OD deaths.

  93. Here’s a link to Census bureau data on PA ancestry; you can play around with the Geographies to get data for the 3 or 4 largest counties (couldn’t share a direct link): http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_1YR_B04006&prodType=table

  94. York County has a similar population to Lancaster County but twice as many OD deaths.

    There’s a big river and a big difference between the two populations.

  95. oh my

    “Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto ripped over plan to accept Syrian refugees

    Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/9468792-74/peduto-pittsburgh-refugees#ixzz3rzwJFk00

  96. You’re being coy with the people who’ve not read the book, Steve.

    Bottom line to me, based on Quinones’ ideas, is that Big Steel in PA died 2 decades before Big Coal in OH died. The economy related to it tanked long before Oxycontin was introduced, while in Portsmouth OH and surrounding hillbilly environs job losses were right in the sweet spot for disability and Oxy/black tar heroin addiction.

    Sometimes timing is more important than location.

  97. @JackOH
    I don't disagree. Fighting's hard, though. Like it or not, most all of us are compromised by our relations to government and corporations, which give us preferences, exemptions, and money. Fighting can put you in a really lonely place. See, e. g., Harry Markopolos, the guy who attempted to uncover Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. His "No One Would Listen" is worth a read.

    It's worth noting Markopolos didn't set out to be a crusader. He was trying to save his job. His bosses wanted him to duplicate Madoff's fraudulent returns. He knew he couldn't without criminalizing himself. That's when he started fighting, at a pretty high cost to himself.

    Jack/OH

    What you say about fighting is hard is quite right. I think they are among the reasons the people born from 1950-1990 didn’t do it.

    However, going forward, most Americans — and that includes most American whites — will not have nearly as much as the post WWII people had. They will not have the inner conflicts and vested interests that kept recent generations of middle and working class Americans quiet.

    They will be mad as the devil and more resentful and angry than I think any of us can imagine today or even begin to contemplate. They will know that if they don’t fight they probably won’t have anything.

  98. @The Only Catholic Unionist
    I'm sure you've read it, Mr. Sailer, but if you haven't run (do not walk) to find a copy of Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell. The (perhaps over sensationally titled) title essay tells the story.

    A brief, imperfect summary:

    The Scots-Irish/Borderer culture is/was the predominant culture in the south and the Appalachians. It was transmitted to the Blacks, and even as the lowland South becomes more English/German, the Appalachians and the southern Black diaspora in the cities continue in on the self-destructive Borderer culture. (At least as late as WWII, northern Blacks outscored Southern whites). So, while the HBD have some real points, culture could be argued to be more important than genetics.

    To cases: Pennsylvania is the perhaps the most German state, and has traditionally been very stable, either Catholic or Anabaptist. Pittsburgh didn't get a lot of the Black migration from the South, although Philadelphia itself did. There is a certain amount of Puerto Rican settlement in some cities (such as Lancaster and Reading, but it is only the cities and not the surrounding areas.

    Southern Ohio is Appalachian and there has been strong migration to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland by both Appalachian whites and southern Blacks. So yes, Ohio ends up having a lot more problems.

    Steve reviewed that book 10 years ago. See, for example,

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/tom-sowells-black-redneck-theory-ingenious-but-insufficient

    He pointed out that Sowell’s theory fell short on several grounds—read the piece to see for yourself.

  99. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’m from West Virginia, and I’d say a big part of the problem here is that a lot of people who are more intelligent and motivated leave the state. Not only does that leave us with a higher percentage of dumber and lazier people, but those dumber and lazier people aren’t shamed anymore by the presence of hardworkers. The hardworking good ol’ boy is in the minority now and doesn’t have as much cultural influence as he used to in WV.

    After our best and brightest leave, we’re mostly stuck with drug addicts, single mothers, and lazy bums on disability. My husband and I moved back here so our kids could be around family, but what will our kids’ future be like? Sometimes I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it.

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