Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rich people live longer. Didn't we know that already?

By Richard Mellor
Afscme local 444, retired

Well the Wall Street Journal reports that the richer you are the longer you will live.  Barry Bosworth, an economist at the Brookings Institution compiled the data and not only do rich people live longer but the gap is also getting wider.  All men are actually living longer the report explains but “While the wealthiest women from the 1940s are living longer, the poorest 40% are seeing life expectancy decline from the
previous generation.” the Journal adds.

This is not news to working class people but for the idea that money brings better health care, diet, living conditions, education etc. to get any credibility it must come from someone with letters after their name.

One of the reasons suggested for the declining life expectancy of lower income women is smoking, Mr. Bosworth suggests, as smoking is more common among low income or poor
Source of graphics: Wall Street Journal
women apparently.

I always say that rich people have socialism they just don’t want it for the rest of us. They have the best health care, they eat higher quality food, have access to all of society’s benefits.  They have healthier working conditions if you can call trading currencies or managing money and living off the profit of capital work.

Papers like the Journal always write about how hard the billionaires work and that they get up at 5 in the morning blah blah blah, But if life was so hard for the hedge fund managers and other coupon clippers they’d all be trying to get our jobs.   The super rich are forever justifying their wealth on the basis that they work hard.  But when you think about it they should live longer, they don’t do their own gardening, they don’t care for their own kids, and they normally have working class women do that on top of caring for their own.  They don’t do their own home repair, car maintenance or even walk their own dogs in most cases; they’re really some lazy bastards with good benefits.

“It’s really hard to come up with some effective means of trying to equalize this,” said Mr. Bosworth, “and that’s a serious concern.”  Well I can come up with some ideas that would improve people’s mental and physical health, it's not complicated:

Increase social services
health care for all on demand
Federally funded education at all levels
reduce the workweek to 25 hours and retirement age to 50
Take the dominant industries under workers control and management
Production for need not profit; a rational plan of production so working people can participate in the planning and administration of the labor process
Most importantly take the profit motive out of all agricultural production
Take profits out of sports, human entertainment and social life
End all wars and occupations and reach out to the workers of the world on the basis of solidarity and cooperation and a rational, planned system of production to replace the insanity of the market.

Here’s another suggestion.  With workers’ control and ownership of the mass media, not only can we participate in the generation and sharing of knowledge and ideas, culture and human activity, we can eliminate ads and the never-ending sales pitch that we have to endure every minute of every day. Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt will no longer be so prominent, we don’t have to live our lives through them. We can have one channel that we can go to for details about consumption and where we can find what we need.  But we can go to it, not it force itself on us, come in to our homes every three minutes. We can get rid of being told to call our doctor to see if we need Viagra for erectile dysfunction at 30, Rogaine for excessive baldness or, whatever pill they have for restless leg Syndrome, or Excessive Shyness Syndrome. This will also enable theater and other cultural arts flourish as actors won’t have to sell things for a living which is what most of them do today.
So these are just a few quick thoughts about why we get sick and how the gap between the health and longevity of the rich (those who do no productive labor but live off the profit of capital), and workers that produce wealth, can be eliminated. 

No comments: