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Medicine Stats United States Science

US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World 1063

Hugh Pickens writes "Louise Radnofsky reports that a study by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine has found U.S. life expectancy ranks near the bottom of 17 affluent countries. The U.S. is at or near the bottom in nine key areas of health: infant mortality and low birth weight; injuries and homicides; teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections; prevalence of HIV and AIDS; drug-related deaths; obesity and diabetes; heart disease; chronic lung disease; and disability. Americans fare worse than people in other countries even when the analysis is limited to non-Hispanic whites and people with relatively high incomes and health insurance, nonsmokers, or people who are not obese. The report notes that average life expectancy for American men, at 75.6 years, was the lowest among the 17 countries and almost four years shorter than for Switzerland, the best-performing nation. American women's average life expectancy is 80.8 years, the second-lowest among the countries and five years shorter than Japan's, which had the highest expectancy. 'The [U.S.] health disadvantage is pervasive — it affects all age groups up to age 75 and is observed for multiple diseases, biological and behavioral risk factors, and injuries,' say the report's authors. The authors offered a range of possible explanations for Americans' worse health and mortality, including social inequality, limited availability of contraception for teenagers, community designs that discourage physical activity such as walking, air pollution as well as individual behaviors such as high calorie consumption. The report's authors were particularly critical of the availability of guns. 'One behavior that probably explains the excess lethality of violence and unintentional injuries in the United States is the widespread possession of firearms and the common practice of storing them (often unlocked) at home,' reads the report. 'The statistics are dramatic.'"
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US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World

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  • inequality (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @09:56AM (#42556857)

    It's the high inequality stupid, having a bigger bigger portion of the population being poor will do this...

  • Switzerland (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @09:58AM (#42556865)

    Switzerland tops the list, yet the authors criticize gun availability in the US?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:01AM (#42556901)

    For fucks sake, read the fucking summary:

    Americans fare worse than people in other countries even when the analysis is limited to non-Hispanic whites and people with relatively high incomes and health insurance, nonsmokers, or people who are not obese.

  • Gun? *facepalm* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:02AM (#42556905)

    Switzerland is at the top and has tremendous amounts of gun ownership. Our life expectancy is due to our crappy healthcare system and even worse access to it, high infant mortality, rampant poverty, lack of safety nets, etc. Oh and our obsession with fast food doesn't help either.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GaryOlson ( 737642 ) <slashdot.garyolson@org> on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:04AM (#42556937) Journal
    The state of medical research today in the USA:
    publishing a report where the conclusions are known in advance, and the conclusions are provided by your financial sponsors, and the conclusions meet with a pre-approved social agenda.
  • by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:06AM (#42556955) Homepage
    This is the kind of analysis I have been wondering about. Since most of the previous studies done in this area don't seem to try to factor thing like the large number of American fat asses or smokers or other choice items. While it appears to do a better job of trying to factor out some of the issues it doesn't look like it manages to do all of them or I might need to read it in more detail. But it looks like there is some good evidence that our health care system does really kind of suck unless you can afford the Mayo Clinic or other premier hospitals.
  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:07AM (#42556961)

    Only assuming that this US-based study completely failed to account for the differing definitions of those measures in different countries.

  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:10AM (#42556985) Journal

    18,735 - suicide by firearm
    11,493 - murder by firearm
    554 - killed from accidental firearm discharge

    31,578 - accidental death from poisoning

    All of these numbers pale in comparison to this:
    108,000 - killed from adverse prescription drug reactions.

    Clearly the firearms angle is over stated.We should be banning doctors.

  • by MrSome ( 2587847 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:11AM (#42556993)

    Yo AC,
    Read his post again. I think you're the one who's missing something here.

    Crazyjj is making a point that the problem is the stress caused by having to WORK way more than our fellow affluent countries. While I don't know if this is accurate, I do seem to recall articles stating the more relaxed work atmospheres and the large amount of vacation available in some European countries.

    Most people in the US are lucky to get 2 weeks of paid vacation per year... INCLUDING THE HIGH INCOME PEOPLE. And if they do, they're too scared to take it because their employers make it seem like if you do, you're not a "dedicated employee".

    Before everyone else starts in on the "Well he should just find another job..." Quit yellin that BS. If you have a job now, you're lucky. So you take what you can get and do the best you can. It doesn't mean you're not allowed to complain if it's difficult to change your current position.

    I get 3 weeks of vacation, and 5 sick days. The 3 weeks of vacation, I had to work here for 10 years to get.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:11AM (#42556995)

    You seem to imply the EU countries are fiddling the books on the issue...

    Wouldn't this report be grossly neglgent to to normalise its data before publishing?

    It's an interesting angle but let's credit them with a little intelligence unless you have actual evidence they've failed to take this into account.


    citation needed.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:12AM (#42556997) Journal

    #3 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.

    Is that a bad thing? It's good for people to bail rather than stick out something crap for the long haul.

    #4 The United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

    I'd be willing to bet we have more black and white TVs, too []

    #15 More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe. Eighty nine percent is made in the U.S.A. and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world.

    Not sure if you're putting this forward as a pro or con. Please clarify.

    #20 The U.S. has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse.

    It's also the largest economy, and many economies run at a defecit. The result that it hsa the largest debt is therefore not surprising.

  • It's probably (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:12AM (#42557005)

    not because of guns since everyone seems to jump on the gun issue lately. 11,000 murders might seem like a lot but that's out of 300,000,000+ people.

    It's probably these:
    1) Lots of immigrants in this country - legal and not legal - especially compared with the rest of the developed world which tends to shun them. These immigrants are probably not the epitome of health like the Swiss. They're more likely to be from the poor regions of Mexico or Central/Southern America. So that averages it down. Yes I read the non-Hispanic whites, read on...
    2) Fast food. I think it's more frowned upon in Europe to go out and especially to go out and eat not-really-food that you get from McD's, Burger King, etc, but people in this country probably go at least once a week if not more. Lots of poor people go to these places and don't need to be Hispanic to eat there.
    3) Obesity. We're "leading" on that bulging front so it's no surprise.
    4) Poor healthcare. People can't afford good healthcare and good doctors especially in the last few years. There are also issues with high levels of stress (scrounging up to save for the latest iCrap vs. buying real food).
    5) Income disparity. I don't really care if rich people make a lot more money but the average American salary isn't enough to live properly and I'm not talking about unnecessary purchases, I'm talking about making sure you eat healthy food and that your live is good enough to exercise instead of sitting on the couch after a hard day of doing work you hate and having some pizza because you don't care about anything.
    6) Cars rule. Europe is more of a bike nation because it's so relatively tiny and I've seen people here take a car for a store a mile away. This contributes to obesity. There are similar factors about smoking, drugs, etc.

    Summary: lots of poor people in poor health, lots of immigrants, lots of idle fat people, lots of drugged up people (legal drugs or not).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:16AM (#42557041)


    European stats are compiled by Eurostat.

    Honestly, to think they would use different definitions for each country. Why, you must be american.

  • Apples to oranges (Score:2, Insightful)

    by llZENll ( 545605 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:19AM (#42557073)

    How can you compare the USA with a population of 350M to Switzerland of 8M, we have CITIES with more people! Now maybe if you compared US states vs Switzerland I guarantee you things would shake out quite differently. Also its very amusing the number one reason they cite is gun violence, this is propaganda pumping the public full of bullshit to pass gun control. Perhaps they should ban clubs and hammers, since more people die every year due them as one report recently found. And then there's the other study that found any time you ban or limit guns violent crimes increase.

  • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:20AM (#42557091)

    For those unaware with the size of the US.

    0.006% suicide by firearm
    0.0037% murder by firearm
    0.000179% death by firearm accident

    0.0102% accidental poisoning
    0.0348% prescription drug reactions

    But murder = murder. What are the murder rates by any weapon/methodology? I care if I lose my life, not by what mechanism.

  • by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:21AM (#42557099)

    Yeah right. Amurricans are the best people in the world and if anybody else is simply doing things better, this is clearly just a figment of people's imagination, because the USA is the best country in the world.

    Living in Eastern Germany, this sounds oddly familiar.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:23AM (#42557117)

    The country's owners are the corporations. The citizens are clueless sheep who will do what the corporations tell them to do on fox nes.

  • by comp.sci ( 557773 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:25AM (#42557139)
    While statistics do show that the US is uniquely productive, it certainly comes at a cost. You present this as a binary choice (Greek lifestyle VS US) whereas there are plenty of highly successful countries (think Germany or Switzerland) that work less. Most people likely can relate to this but for many white-collar jobs the number of hours worked dont correlate perfectly with productivity either.
  • Re:Switzerland (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:25AM (#42557147)
    Divide the number of switzerland sized areas in the US and you will find plenty that have had less mass shootings than Switzerland. These things don't happen every day. At least, not when it isn't convenient to the agendas of politicians. A coincidence I find quite disturbing, honestly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:30AM (#42557195)

    That's the most retarded thing I've ever seen.

    The Yanks butchered Jap soldiers by the fucking shipload and nuked their fucking civilians. Japanese people are healthier and live longer then Americans.

    The western Allies killed a whole lot of healthy able-bodied Jerries and firebombed the fuck out of their cities, which is NOTHING compared to what the Russians did to the Germans. German people are healthier and live longer then Americans.

    The fucking Brits were in WW2 for years before the US got off their asses and involved themselves, how many of their able bodied Brits were thinned out over WW2? The UK is in a similar health situation to the US, better in some aspects and about the same in others.

  • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:33AM (#42557215)

    All that is missing is the chant USA USA USA!!!

    I happen to come and live from the number one country, Switzerland. WE work for a living. You guys think you work, but you socialize quite a bit, as my many tell me that English speaker meetings run on, and on and on, and on! Our work week is 42.5 hours a week! We do not have the job protections like other European countries, though we are not quite as willy nilly in terms of firing as the US. Our's is a fine balance between the worker and the employee. Simply put to fire somebody you need a reason, other than "I don't like your face." We have private health care, but everyone is required to pay for it, and we have month long vacations. We have guns like the US, but we control them and try for the most part to make sure that bad people do not get them. Granted not always successful, but we have one the safest societies on this planet.

    So stop whining, complaining, and chanting USA, USA, USA, poking fun at others and instead figure out how to improve your own country. Simply put MIND YOUR OWN BEESWAX!

  • Pornography ain't a disease, but it is a symptom of sickness. If people were getting laid regularly they wouldn't need so much porno and if society were healthier people would be able to have more sex. Mother Teresa described Americans as "sad, lonely people" and I think that's highly accurate. We're sad because we're lonely and we're lonely because we've permitted a wedge to be driven between us. And wow, my display looks really pink right now, thanks redshift! I thought for a second Slashdot had received a My Little Pony-inspired retheme.

  • Re:Well... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:44AM (#42557367)

    The statement about gun violence is particularly ridiculous. Gun violence may be [i]relatively[/i] high compared to other countries, but there's no possible way it affects average life expectancy in a country of 300 million people.

    I bet when they talked about their numbers that gave them their "conclusions" about guns, they didn't control for non-hispanic whites in that instance.

    Toss out gang activity, illegal drug use, and well, being black and the numbers of gun violence are much more in line (as to not be significant) with other countries. Add knife violence in there, and Britain comes out way ahead of the US for the rate of victims of violent crime.

    Black on black violence (black male on black male over drug issues) is what causes the numbers to look bad. Of those, MOST of them are illegally possessed guns already.

    Here's a hint, if you want your point of view treated seriously, DONT LIE when you support your position. The guys that wrote this are nothing more than fancy schmancy gun grabbing retards.

  • by ArturoBandini77 ( 2610501 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:45AM (#42557375)

    ... when you have to pay for health service ...

  • by Pascal Sartoretti ( 454385 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:47AM (#42557401)

    #7 There are more reported rapes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

    But what if you add the number of unreported rapes ? Countries like India or South Africa are probably even worse than the US.

  • Re:Switzerland (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:47AM (#42557407) Homepage Journal

    I agree, the rules for storage is where the US should introduce new legislation ASAP. Make it mandatory to keep your guns locked away, unloaded, and set up a program where for one year the government covers half the cost for anyone buying a gun locker (reasonably priced and conforming to some specification). I'd bet that the total benefit of such a program to society would be larger than the costs in a year or two.

    Any "locker" that is not a safe is a complete waste of time and money. A worthwhile one for a pistol begins around four hundred bucks. We have already shot down bans on cheap guns (i.e. "Saturday Night Specials") as being unconstitutional as they unfairly penalize the poor. This is no different.

    You know what else they have in countries with lots of guns and low gun crime? National health, a minimum wage two or more times ours, an education system which is intended to educate rather than to indoctrinate, and greater equality of wealth. Focusing on storage requirements is rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

  • Re:inequality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:50AM (#42557421)
  • Re:Well... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:54AM (#42557475)

    Wow... this is a dumb comment. Guns are really good tools for killing people. A lot of people killed by someone using guns are young. Your murder rates in the US are much higher than any of the other countries on the list (by almost a factor of two or more in many cases - many of those murders in the US involving guns). If every year you lose 8 or more people / 100000 it will have an impact on life expectancy. Especially when you are simply talking about a difference of 4 years out of 80 or so...

  • by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:55AM (#42557491) Homepage Journal

    It would be just as valid to say that the Eurozone has the biggest debt the world has ever seen.

    US has about 35% more debt per person then Greece. []

    So yes US of A is in a big heap of trouble. Something need to be done. The fiscal clip was not a joke.
    USA really need to get its act together and fix the economy. And that means higher taxes to pay of the

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:56AM (#42557509) Homepage Journal

    And citizens influence the government in proportion to their campaign contributions.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @10:58AM (#42557523) Homepage

    There are some life-shortening choices we don't get to make. I would prefer stevia, an all natural sweetener in my drinks which have a long history of use in Japan, in my low-calorie drinks... somehow it's still not allowed.

    And the presence and prevalence of cereal fillers in just about everything imaginable is a pretty tough thing to get around too.

    And the current price of healthcare? Well, let's just say I live with a lot more [fear] than I would prefer. I simply don't think I could afford it if anything serious were to happen.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:13AM (#42557699) Homepage Journal

    And the presence and prevalence of cereal fillers in just about everything imaginable is a pretty tough thing to get around too.

    Well, only if you only eat prepared foods really....

    Easy way around time in the grocery store, show ONLY around the outside edges of the store...where you buy fresh vegetables, meat, dairy....

    For the most part, you avoid all the corn/wheat products within all the heavily processed foods.

    Yes, I know...meats, and all are corn fed...and you do have to really go out of your way to get rid of all the cereal in your foods, but shopping the edges of the stores *IS* a good start. local and what is in season, you'll get healthier, fresher food products to cook with that way.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:14AM (#42557703)

    Maybe there is a god. Maybe it actually is Allah. Maybe he actually is punishing us for our infidelity..

    Maybe. Or maybe it's because Americans on average eat too much, get too little exercise, and have a healthcare system that's setup only to treat the rich.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:15AM (#42557727) Homepage Journal

    The US is top 10 per-capita GDP in the world. This of course includes the massive rural areas that our country has in the average. Whatever point you were trying to make, "we're not making much money" is baloney.

    We are not making much money. Corporations are.
    Look at the median income for US Americans and compare it to the rest of the Western countries.

    According to the US Census Bureau [], the median income for US households in 2011 was $50,054.
    Since you mentioned Norway, according to the Norwegian Central Bureau of Statistics, the median post-tax income for Norwegian households in 2010 was ~$74,000. []

    Yes, we're making much money - for others, not ourselves.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:20AM (#42557791) Homepage Journal

    let's get real: for the government, the insurance companies, the health care providers, etc, etc, etc, ad eternum...that's a good thing.

    How is it a good thing when someone who gives you their money dies??? Every one of those entities has every reason to try to keep the cash flowing.

    But of those entities, the one that is dragging down our life expectancy is the insurance industry. They are nothing but corporate leeches. They add no value, but probably half of your health care dolars go to them while they do nothing for your actual health. Countries with higher life expectancies have government-run single-payer systems that don't have to pay millions per year each to the CxOs, boards of directors, and stockholders.

  • Re:junk science (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:21AM (#42557803)

    Doesn't the fact that the Swiss have a very high rate of gun ownership and the highest life expectancies negate their (idiotic) hypothesis that guns might account for the lowered life expectancies in the US?

    No, deaths by firearm are measurable and are included in the report according to TFS.

    No one is claiming that gun ownership is shortening average life expectancy. That gun *use* against humans (murder, suicide, and accident) shortens average life expectancy is not a matter of opinion, it's a statistical fact.

    The only speculation involved is that there's a causal relation between the level of gun ownership and the level of gun fatalities.

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:26AM (#42557863)

    Also keep in mind the US had an interesting thing about 70ish years ago. They had WW2. In Europe people hid from the guns and tried not to fight the germans as they were pretty much taken over by 'blitzkrieg'. In the US however we sifted thru all of our able bodied men and sent them off to fight leaving behind a less healthy group.

    Either you went to an American school or got the Hollywood version of events.

    The truth was much more messy.

  • by terec ( 2797475 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:30AM (#42557911)

    In the US, sports like off-road biking, flying small airplanes etc. are common. Many people can commit suicide easily with guns. Here in, Germany it's a lot harder to engage in those activities. Committing suicide requires a lot more effort than simply putting a gun in my mouth. Even getting a motorcycle license is much more involved and costly (it costs many thousands of Euros). If you know German food, it's not surprising obesity rates are a bit lower too. And Germans generally seem a bit verklemmt when it comes to sex, so STD rates are lower too. If you look at US causes of deaths, that does explain a lot of the difference in life expectancy. Does that make life in Germany "better" than in the US? I don't think so. Having fun carries a certain amount of risk, and I'd rather have more fun instead of living a couple years longer in my 80s.

  • OUTRAGE!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by microbox ( 704317 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:31AM (#42557929)
    Any research that doesn't reach the conclusions you want must be biased. That is the cognitive bubble, right there.
  • by FhnuZoag ( 875558 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:33AM (#42557955)

    Greece should really be a poster child for how austerity *DOESN'T WORK*. Greece has tried year after year to cut its debt by cutting spending, but doing so has only sent it into a worse and worse recession that has seen tax revenues shrink. Result? Mass unemployment and social disorder of the likes not seen since the end of Weimar Germany, and financially absolutely ZERO progress.

    And no, the greeks are not, in fact, lazy. Prior to this crisis, they were working many more hours than Germany. The problem is that greek industries just aren't the sectors that make a lot of profit. []

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:39AM (#42558031)

    Yes, and yet, if you try to tell them american's that their health care system (or lack thereof) sucks and that Obama is trying to take a step into the right direction, they'll yell at you:

    Our health care system is the BEST IN THE WORLD!!!!

    I've given up on trying to discuss with Americans about the problems in their society. It's aggravating just how clueless most of them are.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:48AM (#42558127) Journal

    "Well I believe the puppet on the left has MY interests at heart, well I believe the puppet on the right shares MY beliefs...hey wait a minute, there is one guy working both puppets!" Bill Hicks.

    ANY of you that believe that left/right bullshit is anything more than kayfabe put on by the rulers of this country to keep the peasants too busy arguing to notice they are ALL getting fucked should really try this little game i have, its called three card monty and I'm sure you'll find the lady!

    Even though I'm a socialist and never cared for libertarians I recognize truth when I see it and urge all to watch the truth about voting [] and just remember you cannot change a corrupted system by working within that system, anymore than playing a game of three card monty a million times is gonna make you a winner. The game is rigged folks, you are given 2 pre-approved shills who'll make a LOT of noise about this program or that program that "the other side" is sure to hate when in reality the same power brokers that have been leeching off this country for decades still get to have their way. Why do you think that Mr "hope and change" kept or extended every single thing the left hated about dubya's watch? Because just like the wrestler he does what he's told and reads from the cue card.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @11:56AM (#42558243)

    When people are overworked, they get far less productive. Having worked at many locations in both the US and Europe (Netherlands, Germany, the UK and France) I find that American workers work too much hours-wise but are not as productive overall. In Europe people work less, but when they are at work, they are much more productive and healthy. When I lived in Holland, I rode a bicycle to work every day. When I lived in San Jose California, I was stopped by the police for trying to walk to work. They told me it was illegal to walk along the side of the road. Total insanity. I have also found that in Europe, you are surrounded by history and stimulating architecture everywhere that focuses on humanity. In America, Shopping is a religion, and town after town has all the same soul-deadening strip malls and consumer wasteland landscapes that grind you down and make you feel like just another cog in the machine. Try shopping in a typical town in France or Germany and you'll see what I mean. People are nowhere near as materialistic. I remember an American telling me once that he was a "Ford man", meaning that he would only drive Ford vehicles. This kind of thinking, where people's identities are rooted in how they consume and what brands they use is almost unheard of in Europe. People know about brands, but they don't base their identities on their consumption. I think that consumer culture and the Walmatization of America is a divisive, alienating, soul-destroying sickness in and of itself.

  • by cupantae ( 1304123 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <llienoram>> on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:10PM (#42558443)

    Americans remind me of my sister with regards to talking about work: when it's useful in the conversation to be the hardest worker, that's who you are; when it's useful to talk about how little work you do, that's what you talk about.

    In actual fact, I believe both. Americans definitely do work more than most Europeans (except eastern Europeans). The holidays are shorter and usually involve some contact with the workplace, employer or clients. However, I have noticed that, outside of the best and worst jobs, lack of productivity seems to be a serious problem in America. Your average office worker spends a sizable portion of the day browsing the internet (correct me if I'm wrong!). Believe it or not, this does not happen in many European countries. Still, though:

    3-hour lunches or month-long vacations


    On the whole, the problems you describe:

    making $7.25/hr
    no job security or benefits
    couldn't afford a hospital stay
    afraid you would get laid off if you took a vacation

    Are a result of the lack of socialism in America. Haters can fucking deal with that, because it's true. Socialist policies are generally good for 99% of the population. It's good for society, doncha know.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:11PM (#42558453)

    If there were one type of vehicle that accounted for the vast majority of all the traffic deaths then this would make sense. Gang violence is a statistical outlier in that 99% of the people are unlikely to encounter it. And that 1% who do and perpetrate it are racking up huge numbers that influence the over all results.

    If you took Europe and included the Balkans back during the Bosnian conflict, their rate would likely dwarf ours. Not because Europe as a whole was violent, but because the one part was extremely violent.

    Same thing here and the report ignores it.

  • Re:inequality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:17PM (#42558531)

    It's all socioeconomic and Darwinism.

    In today's first-World countries, having money means having access to nutrition, shelter, clothes, quality healthcare, education, and hence a greater chance to survive childhood and reproduce, and also a greater chance to end up with health habits that result in longer life. Young people don't have money, meaning that they are too reliant on the generosity of their parents. It is a sad truth that a large majority of teen pregnancies are in situations where the parents have no money either, and the neo-con approach to social responsibility and education would be laughably ridiculous if it weren't so horrific in its effects. Don't have sex, mkay? Abortions bad, why didn't those girls just shut that whole thing down? We shouldn't be supporting those lazy women who just stay home pumping out kids. Let's repeal Obamacare.

    WTF do they think will happen with those policies? That all the poorly educated -lucky to get any mininum-wage job at all- members of society are going to refrain from sex until their thirties, when somehow they'll magically find themselves living the American Dream in a nice suburb, decorating the Christmas trees with their spouse whilst dressed in their best Mr Roger's sweaters, with money and ready to start a family? Like fuck.

    Everyone should read Freakonomics.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:18PM (#42558547)

    If I live in a suburb in a mid-sized city in the Midwest that does not have a gang problem, then the fact that people in LA are slaughtering each other is not relevant to me.

    The vast majority of gun crime in the U.S is drug/gang related and occurs in urban centers. The vast majority of U.S. is peaceful and pretty much least as safe as is your average European country.

    When the Bosnian conflict was happening and people by the thousands were being killed, no one put out a report saying that Europe had a high death rate. Same thing here. You just can't sum up all the deaths and then make a general statement about the nation when the majority of the deaths are localized and do not affect the majority of the nation.

  • by FhnuZoag ( 875558 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:28PM (#42558665)

    Read better.

    The distinction here is between a count, and an estimate. The CDC figure is a count. Because we are counting, we should consider the values as a fairly accurate underestimate of the true number. I can argue with you all day over the specific size of the uncounted portion (given that over 600k people are reported to be missing, let alone unreported missing people, I would not discount the contribution of that), but it scarcely matters to the point I am trying to make.

    In comparison, the adverse drug reactions is an estimate. It's based on a very small number of experiments, that the researchers have extrapolated out. And yes, with an estimate, and indeed, it's possible that the number of overall adverse drug reactions is far higher than 108k (Or 106k). This is not dishonest.

    What is dishonest is to put the two in the same table and pretend they come from the same source. This is not comparing apples to oranges, this is comparing fruit pastiles to orchards. If we want a fair comparison, we must compare the gun deaths numbers to the drugs deaths, looking at values made *using the same, fair, methodology*.

    The significance that 'accidental poisonings' consists of both legal and illegal drugs is that we affirm that poisonings, as counted by the CDC, is a *superset of adverse prescription drug reactions*. In other words, even if nobody died from illegal drugs or any other type of poisoning, the CDC estimate of adverse drug effects must be some value less than 31k. The quoted estimate, which we have already accepted to be inaccurate, is fundamentally inconsistent with the CDC estimate.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dthx1138 ( 833363 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:30PM (#42558707) []

    We all know America has a wide range of problems. But so help me, if anybody starts questioning the United States' position as the #1 consumer of artificial sweeteners in the world, then by God sir, THAT IS THE LAST STRAW!
  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @01:46PM (#42559615)

    "Well I believe the puppet on the left has MY interests at heart, well I believe the puppet on the right shares MY beliefs...hey wait a minute, there is one guy working both puppets!" Bill Hicks.

    ANY of you that believe that left/right bullshit is anything more than kayfabe put on by the rulers of this country to keep the peasants too busy arguing to notice they are ALL getting fucked should really try this little game i have, its called three card monty and I'm sure you'll find the lady!

    I propose a slightly different twist. The peasants ARE noticing they're getting fucked, but the divisive us-vs-them tribalism mentality keeps people thinking it's the other guy that's screwing them.

    Last time the citizenry was getting fucked from every which way and had only ONE source to blame, it resulted in the American Revolution. Even if the general public isn't learning from history, TPTB certainly are.

    Because just like the wrestler he does what he's told and reads from the cue card.

    I love your choice of words, because former governor Jesse Ventura often described politics as pro wrestling, where everyone pretends to hate each other during performance but then they go out drinking together afterwords.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @02:14PM (#42559891)

    Parent didn't say they didn't care. They just said it wasn't relevant.

    Besides, patriotism is pride over your arbitrary location on a single, tiny blue planet divided by imaginary lines. In other words, it's completely shallow and nothing anyone should aspire to have.

  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @02:30PM (#42560035) Homepage

    And published in NAS does not necessarily mean peer review

    Sorry, but you are wrong.

    The NAS FAQ [] states:

    Are report authors employees?

    No, reports are authored by a committee of experts and subjected to peer review by another group of experts, which remains anonymous until the report is published. All are volunteers who work pro bono in service to the nation. Paid staff scientists and administrators facilitate the work of the committee. For more on the study process, visit our policies and proceedures page [].

    How are committees balanced, and how is conflict of interest evaluated?

    For the National Research Council's policy on committee composition and conflicts of interest, see our conflict of interest page [].

    Are your reports peer reviewed?

    Yes, all of the institution's reports - whether products of studies, summaries of workshop proceedings, or abbreviated documents - must undergo an independent review by anonymous experts who were not involved in the report's preparation. This process is overseen by the Report Review Committee, whose responsibilities are to ensure that the report addresses the approved study charge and does not go beyond it; the findings are supported by the evidence and arguments presented; and the exposition and organization are effective.

    So, yes, the fact that it's a report published by the National Academies of Sciences does mean peer review.

    , or a good study.

    First, the statement I was taking issue with was the statement "appears to not be peer-reviewed," which is incorrect.

    The question as to whether it's a "good" study is a much harder one. Obviously, the purpose of peer review is to try to make sure that it is a good study, but peer review is not perfect. However National Academy of Sciences reports are quite meticulous; for the most part they are good studies. There are sometimes people who disagree with NAS reports for political reasons, and hence people trying to make a case that the studies are not good because they have an interest in discrediting them. These people, for the most part, are wrong.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @03:28PM (#42560745)

    This country's owners are the citizens.

    That hasn't been the case for a while now, IMO. The US is effectively an oligarchy at this point.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN