I am actually pretty floored by what I just read.
Feminism’s checks are starting to bounce in ways that even some on the left are beginning to acknowledge.
Makes me wanna be post-mil.
I can’t tell if a lightbulb has cut on for Yang or if he’s just playing a game.
His advocacy for universal basic income and the like is completely counterproductive to the ends he says he wants to achieve.
Yang never played the establishment Dem game. The DNC would have shivved him as fast as they did Bernie if they’d needed to.
My hot take on the article: Whoa. This is unprecedented.
No-fault divorce remains, however, the elephant in the room. Government-subsidized marriage counseling won’t fix it. If we fixed no-fault divorce, frankly a lot of other things would fall into place.
“The devil finds work for idle hands”. My guess is that working-class men and boys have been more affected by this than in the middle classes, and that the wages stagnation referred to in the article is particularly pronounced amongst lower-skilled jobs; less-so amongst middle class ones. The real challenge is not poverty or even fatherlessness, but the lethal combination of the two.
This is OCR’d from screenshots, but this article made me think of this section from Age of Entitlement, by Christopher Caldwell:
Then, after decades in which life expectancy had risen steadily in most Western countries, in 2014 it began falling year-on-year in the United States. The statistics masked a continuing rise in life expectancy for all non-white groups and a sharp drop for whites, whose life expectancies had lagged behind those of Asians and Hispanics to start with. Increases in white mortality were con- centrated among those aged 25 to 54, the period that used to be called the “prime of life.” The 2015 study by the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton that first brought these trends to public attention noted, too, that whites were regressing in their ability to carry out ordinary daily tasks. White people were in more pain, less able to work, less competent, and less able to face other people than they had been a generation before.
Case and Deaton offered an explanation: The increase in white mortality was “largely accounted for by increasing death rates from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver dis- eases and cirrhosis.” After 1996, the legalization and mass marketing of new forms of pharma- ceutical opioids, notably Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin, had led to the most destructive epidemic of addiction in the country’s history. Opioid addicts who could not (or could no longer) afford the pills turned to shooting heroin. Drug dealers began substituting for heroin a cheap Chinese syn- thetic, fentanyl–powerful, hard to dose correctly, and deadly. In 2016, 63,600 people died of over- doses. This was not a slum problem. It hit hardest the whites living in what fifty years before would have been called the “wholesome” suburbs and countryside.
Given that the country’s leaders had spent fifty years crying wolf about one drug epidemic or another, the twenty-first-century one must be put in perspective. At the end of the Vietnam War, the return of heroin-addicted soldiers from the combat zones coincided with a scourge of drug pushing in America’s housing projects, bringing the rate of overdose deaths to 1.5 per 100,000. Neil Young released his falsetto folk dirge “The Needle and the Damage Done” in 1972, Curtis Mayfeld his soul ballad “Freddie’s Dead” in 1973, Steely Dan its hypnotic piano song “Charlie Freak” in 1974. It was not just a crisis but a cultural event and a moral outrage. There was a sense that middle-class Americans were ignoring the problem and denying the humanity of those living in the “ghetto.”
During the epidemic of concentrated, smokable “crack” cocaine in the 1980s, George H. W. Bush addressed the nation about the prevalence of drugs. To say that that crisis, too, produced some memorable songs would be to commit a gross understatement. It give birth to an entire new world-spanning genre: “gangsta” rap, which would echo through the banlieues of Paris and the dusty villages of West Africa; turn Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls into symbols of the inner city’s violence but also its romance, wisdom, and swagger; and vie with rock ‘n’ roll for a while before rap (more generally understood) supplanted rock as the music of American youth of all races. The crack epidemic was at least as serious a problem as the 19os heroin spike, with a death-by- over-dose rate reaching almost 2 per 100,000.
By the time of the 2016 election, which it did much to decide, the opioid epidemic that had begun with OxyContin was killing not 1.5 or 2 but 20 Americans per 100,000. In New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania it was killing almost 40 per 100,000, and in West Virginia it was killing 50. Yet until the Republican candidate began to mention it, the airwaves were nearly silent about it. So were the newspapers. Case and Deaton noted that there had been only “limited comment” in scientific circles about rising white mortality more generally.
This was a health emergency of maximum gravity, comparable to the outbreak of AIDS in the early 1980s. The tepid response had to do with how drugs were tied up with race and class. Since to be alarmed about heroin was to be alarmed on behalf of poor white people, Americans were hesitant-~-perhaps “frightened” would be a better word-to be seen to take account of it. Unlike blacks in the decades after the Vietnam War, twenty-first-century suburban and rural whites were not protagonists of the nation’s official moral narrative. Indeed, they barely figured in it.
And certain familiar tools developed to deal with drugs back when drugs had been a black problem had been discredited. The so-called War on Drugs had begun in September 1986, when Nancy Reagan urged youths to “just say no” to them. Stepped-up federal and state drug laws brought a vast increase in the American prison population, to the point where the United States,