Sam Pizzigati co-edits Inequality.org. His most recent books are: The Case for a Maximum Wage and The Rich Don't Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970. At OtherWords, he writes—Again and again, studies show that the richer wealthy Americans become, the shorter the rest of us live:
Rising inequality, this federal study makes clear, is killing us. Literally.
The disturbing new GAO research tracks how life has played out for Americans who happened to be between the ages of 51 and 61 in 1992. That cohort’s wealthiest 20 percent turned out to do fairly well. Over three-quarters of them — 75.5 percent — went on to find themselves still alive and kicking in 2014, the most recent year with full stats available.
At the other end of the economic spectrum, it’s a different story.
Among Americans in the poorest 20 percent of this age group, under half — 47.6 percent — were still waking up every morning in 2014. In other words, the poorest of the Americans the GAO studied had just a 50-50 chance of living into 2014. The most affluent had a three-in-four chance.
“The inequality of life expectancy,” as economist Gabriel Zucman puts it, “is exploding in the U.S.”
The new GAO numbers ought to surprise no one. Over recent decades, a steady stream of studies have shown consistent links between rising inequality and shorter lifespans. [...]
"When I was a kid we'd rent Indiana Jones movies on VHS tapes. It inspired a whole generation of scholars because we saw the excitement, and the passion, and the drama. What's amazing to me about archaeology is the stories are even better than what you see in a Hollywood movie."
~~Sarah Parcak, space archaeologist
At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—Scott Brown takes a hard-right turn in Senate debate:
What a refreshing Massachusetts Senate debate. From the beginning, when moderator Jim Madigan (thank you WGBY and public television), announced that the questions would be from and based on what the public had sent in, there was hope. When the first question was not about Elizabeth Warren's heritage, but instead about unemployment and job creation, you knew we were in for a debate of substance.
Without that initial attack on Warren to set Brown up, he came off a little discombobulated. Brown was often scattered, incoherent, and thrown off by the time clock, resorting to mixing all his talking points on "bipartisan" and "job creators" into a mish-mash of word salad when he found himself with extra time. That was regardless of the question asked of him. He also failed in controlling the nasty, taking several cheap shots at "Professor" Warren, including blaming her salary and benefits as a Harvard professor for the spiraling costs of higher education.
This debate featured a far more Republican-sounding Brown that any of the previous debates. He railed about tax hikes, on his fealty to Grover Norquist, on the job-killing Obamacare. It was a bizarre juxtaposition to see the guy the tea party was so excited to get elected in 2010 and the "second-most bipartisan senator" fighting for the same brain. The results were bad for Brown.