US Life Expectancy

Another economist I like reading.  I am forever grateful for Paul Krugmans writings before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis.  While he is an unapologetic leftie, he is also very data oriented, which maybe makes you a liberal these days.  His recent article takes on falling life expectancy in the US, as a red state / blue state phenomenon.

Ok, clearly just voting one way or another shouldn’t change a regions (or an individuals) life expectancy, but there is something going on here.  To his credit Krugman doesn’t dive into the whys and wherefores.  It could be something as simple as lack of hospitals in rural America.  Or just the idea that poverty in America is bad for your health.  I would like to see this correlated maybe to wealth / income rather that chunked into states.

Healthcare Costs in America

An article in Washington Post from Paul, — sorry, Robert Samuelson.  Lots of good facts, but published under “Opinion”, as it probably should be.  I like Samuelson’s articles but I’m not so sure about some of his conclusions.  For instance, expensive healthcare is great for the people that work in that field.  He also doesn’t say much about the causes or possible solutions. I have to add, I used to confuse Robert Samuelson with Nobel prize winning economist Paul Samuelson. I guess I still do sometimes.  Anyway, the upshot is that Americans are spending more and more on healthcare, and that isn’t counted in lots of economic stats.  It would seem to be a very large chunk of middle class decline in the last few decades.  Not then only cause, though.

Yes, Americans are feeling the squeeze. It’s coming from health care.