The 2016 election has highlighted deep social and political divisions in the United States, and related unhappiness. The starkest marker of desperation is the trend of increasing mortality rates – driven by preventable deaths – among middle aged, uneducated whites. That stands in sharp contrast to gradual improvements in health and well-being of blacks and Hispanics over the past decades, and high levels of optimism about the future among these same groups. The trends among poor whites – and the frustrations that they are generating – have complex causes that we do not fully understand. Yet they constitute a social crisis that the next president will have to face. There are no magic bullets. We highlight the importance of documenting the extent of the crisis and exploring its causes as a first step towards finding solutions in the safety net, health, and well-being arenas.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Poor Whites in 2016
Carol Graham and Sergio Pinto write at Brookings: