Perhaps their lives are getting measurably worse.
Something is fundamentally broken in our society, as indicated by the fact that U.S. life expectancy declined last year:
For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year — a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States.I would note that at least one of those, "diseases of despair," overdoses is being driven by our regulators allowing Pharma to both misrepresent the benefits and risks of opioids and aggressively promote their dangerous products.
Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. In all, death rates rose for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death.
“I think we should be very concerned,” said Princeton economist Anne Case, who called for thorough research on the increase in deaths from heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States. “This is singular. This doesn’t happen.”
A year ago, research by Case and Angus Deaton, also an economist at Princeton, brought worldwide attention to the unexpected jump in mortality rates among white middle-aged Americans. That trend was blamed on what are sometimes called diseases of despair: overdoses, alcoholism and suicide. The new report raises the possibility that major illnesses may be eroding prospects for an even wider group of Americans.
The number of unintentional injuries — which include overdoses from drugs, alcohol and other chemicals, as well as motor vehicle crashes and other accidents — climbed to more than 146,000 in 2015 from slightly more than 136,000 in 2014. Public health authorities have been grappling with an epidemic of overdoses from prescription narcotics, heroin and fentanyl in recent years. Xu said overdose statistics were not yet ready to be released to the public.
Monopoly rents, and the ability of the powerful to loot our society may be nearing the point where we experience something akin to the destruction of the Soviet Union.
I would also note that Obamacare doesn't seem to help, but that is not surprising: High deductible plans that are beloved of the experts, because it means that people have "skin in the game", have been shown not to produce the desired effect: Consumers shopping for cheaper healthcare.
Instead they lead to people avoiding early, and less expensive, medical interventions.