What If American Life Expectancy Declined Again And The Elite Cared More About Trump’s Tweets?
David French, National Review
Too many of our nation’s citizens live in the depths of hopelessness and despair.
The news came and went so fast that you might have missed it. American life expectancy has declined. Again. In 2015 and 2016, in fact, the average American life span declined for two years in a row for the first time in more than 50 years. The preliminary numbers for 2017 are looking grim as well. Multi-year declines are typically attributable to war or disease outbreaks. In America? Our decline is based largely on our capacity for self-harm, as the Washington Post explained:
The 2016 data shows that just three major causes of death are responsible: unintentional injuries, Alzheimer’s disease and suicides, with the bulk of the difference attributable to the 63,632 people who died of overdoses. That total was an increase of more than 11,000 over the 52,404 who died of the same cause in 2015.
To put that overdose number in perspective, in one year more Americans died of overdoses than were killed during the entire course of the Vietnam War. The toll dwarfs the number of homicides. It’s almost double the number who were killed in car accidents. It’s a stunning number, and it’s supplemented by a terrifying surge in suicides. The rate hit a 30-year high in 2014 and just kept on climbing.