Tag Archives: Life expectancies

A Wicked Cocktail of Corporate Greed, Social Media and Opioids Is Slashing U.S. Life Expectancy Rates, by Robert Bridges

US life expectancies have declined for three straight years. Why? From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:

Following decades of increased life expectancy rates, Americans have been dying earlier for three consecutive years since 2014, turning the elusive quest for the ‘American Dream’ into a real-life nightmare for many. Corporate America must accept some portion of the blame for the looming disaster.

Something is killing Americans and researchers have yet to find the culprit. But we can risk some intuitive guesses.

According to researchers from the Center on Society and Health, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, American life expectancy has not kept pace with that of other wealthy countries and is now in fact decreasing.

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If Climate Change Is Killing Us, Why Is Life Expectancy Increasing? by Ryan McMaken

The climate may be changing, but you can’t prove its dangers by citing life expectancy figures, which in most of the world continue to rise. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (“Mortality in the United States, 2017“), “Life expectancy for the U.S. population declined to 78.6 years in 2017,” largely due to obesity and drug addiction.

The American life expectancy trend does not reflect global trends, however.

Worldwide, the evidence continues to point toward rising life expectancy in most of the world, with the biggest gains in the poorest countries.

According to data compiled by the World Bank, life expectancy continues to grow fastest in Africa. During the ten-year period from 2007 to 2016, the largest gains were realized in Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa. The gains in years ranged from 13 years over the period in Zimbabwe to nearly 10 years in South Africa. Wealthy and mid-level countries saw gains during this period as well, including Switzerland and Mexico, where life expectancy increased 1.1 years and 1.4 years, respectively.

Indeed, the continued gains should surprise no one who keeps up with global trends in health. Globally, access to sanitation and clean water has improved substantially while extreme poverty, malnourishment, and child mortality have all declined. This has especially been the case in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, where some of the worst poverty can be found.

Why the Climate-Change Panic?

Oddly, however, you won’t hear much about this in the context of the climate change debate.

For years — as life expectancy numbers have continued to rise — pundits and researchers have repeatedly attempted to claim that climate change has led to — or will soon lead to — declines in overall life and health.

For example, The New Republic announced in 2015 that climate change “devastates food security, nutrition, and water safety.” Yet, the data shows that none of these things have been in any way “devastated” over the past decade. In fact, the indicators are all better now than where they were ten years ago.1

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The Unavoidable Pension Crisis, by Lance Roberts

As SLL has been saying for some time, the writing’s on the wall for pensions. Lance Roberts details the numbers and reaches the same conclusion: math is math and pensions are in trouble. From Roberts at realinvestmentadvice.com:

There is a really big crisis coming.

Think about it this way.

After 8 years and a 230% stock market advance the pension funds of Dallas, Chicago, and Houston are in severe trouble. But it isn’t just these municipalities that are in trouble, but also most of the public and private pensions that still operate in the country today.

Currently, many pension funds, like the one in Houston, are scrambling to slightly lower return rates, issue debt, raise taxes or increase contribution limits to fill some of the gaping holes of underfunded liabilities in their plans. The hope is such measures combined with an ongoing bull market, and increased participant contributions, will heal the plans in the future.

This is not likely to be the case.

This problem is not something born of the last “financial crisis,” but rather the culmination of 20-plus years of financial mismanagement.

An April 2016 Moody’s analysis pegged the total 75-year unfunded liability for all state and local pension plans at $3.5 trillion. That’s the amount not covered by current fund assets, future expected contributions, and investment returns at assumed rates ranging from 3.7% to 4.1%. Another calculation from the American Enterprise Institute comes up with $5.2 trillion, presuming that long-term bond yields average 2.6%.

With employee contribution requirements extremely low, averaging about 15% of payroll, the need to stretch for higher rates of return have put pensions in a precarious position and increases the underfunded status of pensions.

With pension funds already wrestling with largely underfunded liabilities, the shifting demographics are further complicating funding problems.

One of the primary problems continues to be the decline in the ratio of workers per retiree as retirees are living longer (increasing the relative number of retirees), and lower birth rates (decreasing the relative number of workers.) However, this “support ratio” is not only declining in the U.S. but also in much of the developed world. This is due to two demographic factors: increased life expectancy coupled with a fixed retirement age, and a decrease in the fertility rate.

To continue reading: The Unavoidable Pension Crisis

Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For The First Time In Decades – “This Is A Big Deal” by Tyler Durden

Declining life expectancy does not generally indicate that things in a society are getting better. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

For the first time in two decades, according to a new study released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the life expectancy of the average American declined in 2015. Of course, with America’s obesity epidemic spiraling out of control it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the occurrence of deaths related to America’s number 1 killer, heart disease, is on the rise (see “FatLivesMatter: At Least 1 Out Of Every 5 People Are Obese In All 50 States”).

While the life expectancy rate ticked down only marginally to 78.8 versus 78.9 in 2014, the fact that it reversed course from a multi-decade rise is “a big deal” according to Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Per NPR:

So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.

“This is a big deal,” says Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill who was not involved in the new analysis.

“There’s not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy,” he says. “The fact that it’s leveling off in the U.S. is a striking finding.”

To continue reading: Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For The First Time In Decades – “This Is A Big Deal”