The NY Times reports:
"Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling."
Well, that's not good. In the details, the people afflicted are those with a high school education or less, and the means by which death comes are three:
When I see that list, I think depression and despair. It probably isn't simply economics, because black people have reportedly suffered more economically in the aftermath of the financial crisis. I'm thinking spiritual issues, not material issues. I don't necessarily mean religious, although that could be part of it. I mean that sense of having something to believe in - the opposite of nihilism.
The data is a surprise.
My opinion's just a surmise.