To The Daily Sun,
In a recent letter headlined "Capitalism Works," Don Ewing argues about how capitalism benefits Americans. There is some recent research which contradicts Mr. Ewing's premises.
David Cay Johnston published an article based on this research. Who is he? He is an investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues. He won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting and he is a distinguished visiting lecturer who teaches tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law. Among other books, he has authored: "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the super rich-and cheat everybody else."
In his recently published article titled: "Is Capitalism Killing White Middle-Aged Americans" he notes the following: "The death rate among white middle-aged Americans is rising at an alarming rate ... according to two Princeton University scholars, one of whom was just awarded the Nobel in economics."
By analyzing published mortality data, the two researchers found "declines in self-reported health, mental health and ability to work, increased reports of pain, and deteriorating measures of liver function all point to increasing midlife distress", according to their paper published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
They found higher death rates of white middle-aged Americans through the, "Use of prescription painkillers...to tamp down emotional pain." The death rate is higher for people who are poorly educated. More alcohol dependence is higher among the unemployed or people with less than a college education. These particular stats are based on CDC data.
"Median wages, adjusted for inflation, have been stuck at about $550 a week since 1999." It goes without saying that the largest "income gains were among the top one percent." According to the Congressional Research Service who studied people "who have been out of work for two years or in 2013', 'long-term unemployment rates were essentially the same for those with a high school diploma...."
"Through those we elect, we have chosen to create a society in which there are not enough jobs and many of those in middle age find themselves forced into lower status and uncertain employment or are unable to find any work, even with advanced degrees."
These various statistics beg the question: "...will we be so disturbed that we will choose to change, electing politicians who will jettison our failed policies for the rich at the expense of everyone else so that, among other benefits, far fewer of us die prematurely because life is too miserable to carry on?"