Asian-American women have a life expectancy of almost 87 years; African-American men, 69 years. We have these facts on the authority of Eight Americas, a 2006 study by number crunchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health. Women in Stearns County, Minnesota, live about 22 years longer than men in southwest South Dakota, and 33 years longer than Native American men in six of that state’s counties. The gap between the highest and lowest life expectancies for U.S. race-county combinations is over 35 years. Some race-sex-county groups typically die in their nineties, others in their fifties. Some are healthier than the norm in Iceland, Europe, and Japan, others sicker than Nicaragua and Uzbekistan.
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And then there’s the boy problem – A&L links to Scientific American.
And do they correlate the priority of education as an integral part of the family culture in each of the “Eight Americas”?
Difference in life expectancy between groups raises the question of whether Social security payouts should be the same. Everyone more or less works and therefor contributes for the same span but all do not live as long past retirement age. In effect, the short lived get a much lower rate of return than do the long lived. Since life expectancy maps onto various ethnic groups or other types of collections, it raises real issues of fairness for one-size-fits-all compulsory government programs.
If Social Security were a Rightist program the Left would call it racist.
Its another good reason to personalize retirement to some degree. That way, at least people who die younger as a group can at least leave something behind for their families. Now a person who pays into Social Security for 45 years and then dies unexpectedly at 64 leaves nothing to his family but someone who saves privately over the same period leaves a great deal.
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