increase in deaths among middle-aged white folks in recent years. I happen to be middle-aged white folks. This made me really all kinds of concerned--am I gonna die like right now? Because I have such a to-do list it's...probably contributing to my ultimate demise.
I have reasons for thinking this related to the class war--the middle class is eroding, and a lot of middle class people are a major purchase away from being broke or in debt, or a major health crisis away from being poor. When people like Ben Carson or Tom Cotton opine about how poor folks, disabled or lazy folks or people lulled by political correctness turn to addiction, I feel disturbed by how out of touch they really are.
Why wouldn't some hurting people turn to opioids if they hit the spot they needed hit? Contra Sen. Cotton, disabled people like my father are actually people who have been observed by a doctor to not be able to work because their bodies can't do the things they were supposed to do. My father worked hurt for years. If he wants to blame disabled people accepting benefits they are entitled to for quite other people going on drugs, I'll fucking wrestle that pencil-neck. Because I don't think illicit drugs use and qualified disability has so much overlap anyway, and also, what about actually giving a shit about people who either have addiction issues, which is a disease in itself, or addressing how legitimately disabled people gains access to the medication they need to function properly?
As a vet, Tom Cotton should know that vets have a lot of issues sometimes with getting adequate maintenance meds for their pain or psychological symptoms. It is tacky, at minimum, to blame sick people for the social situation they find themselves in. It would be far more useful to try and sort out how they can best access legitimate care.
But not all middle-class whites are getting done in by drugs. Some are killing themselves. It could be speculated that middle-class whites are more likely to be unchurched. Is that a reason? But I say--nay nay! I don't think lack of religion on it's own is to blame. Paul Krugman discussed this problem as one of existential discontent.
Do we fail in the quality of happiness? K-Drum says not. I think it isn't that simple either. But maybe we do need to rethink what ever it is we consider happiness. But maybe not confuse it with morality.