The widening health gap between America's rich and poor is the result of worse health for the poor, not better health for the rich

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tRump can fix it, just ask any Trumpanzie.


Big deal, nothing another tax cut for the wealthy and corporations can’t cure.


Rodgers’ compelling argument for the strong relationship between income inequality and lowered population life expectancy bears (re)reading. If the following two premises are true:

  1. Ceteris paribus, if an individual with higher income has a longer life expectancy than an individual with lower income; and

  2. There is a diminishing effect of income on life expectancy (e.g., an additional $10,000 per year makes a much larger difference to the life expectancy of someone making $20,000 a year, as compared with someone making $200,000 a year)

then it must be true that a population with a less egalitarian distribution of income (i.e. a wider income gap) has a lower life expectancy than a population with a more egalitarian distribution of income.

Policies that affect the distribution of income by increasing or decreasing the income gap are health policies.


So those transfusions of millennial blood I’ve been ponying up for won’t help?


I am rogering that right now!

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The rising tide would be lifting all boats, but the people responsible for those tides – the wealthy – were rising higher than the rest of us.

Yet another variation on:

I’m afraid not, Mr. Thiel.



Seems like some guillotines would narrow that gap. Revenge is good for you, right?


Read Robert M. Sapolsky’s Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (3rd edition in 2004).

Wikipedia has a good one-sentence summation: “[The book] explains how social phenomena such as child abuse and the chronic stress of poverty affect biological stress, leading to increased risk of disease and disability.”

Basically, he posits that people lower down on the social class and income scales are, unknowingly, constantly in fight-or-flight mode due to the stress of being poor. While the hormones momentarily activated in this mode are useful, for example, to a zebra running from a lion, they can be devastating to your health when continuously active.

The book is a good (and sobering) read with a lot more information than can be conveyed here. Sapolsky’s ideas were based upon about 20 years of observing the same baboon troop every summer, keeping track of the changing social hierarchy, and periodically drawing blood to test for the hormones he was focusing on.


Also, as the wealth gap increases, the wealthy will experience a sharp decline in life expectancy when the poors get hungry enough to eat them.


The gap is only made worse when those with wealth and power pursue policies and programs to lower the life expectancy of working class and poor people. Health care costs, pseudo-science/anti-vax movements, and loosening of health/safety standards have all been on the rise. The wealthy profit from all of it, while it impoverishes the rest. If TPTB make it impossible for the sick and/or poor to survive, and then make sure there are more people in those positions, they see that as a win-win.


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