Monday, May 15, 2017

France Shares the Problem

You've probably seen various articles that observe life expectancy for white working class (non-college) Americans has declined. We've commented on it here and here.

I'll wager you're under the impression the phenomenon is unique to the U.S., or as I noted some months ago, perhaps shared with Russia. Now comes an article in the New Statesman (U.K.) which points out the same "deaths of despair" are happening in France (scroll down).
Three years after finishing their studies, three-quarters of French university graduates are living on their own; by contrast, three-quarters of their contemporaries without university degrees still live with their parents. And they’re dying early.

In January 2016, the national statistical institute Insee announced that life expectancy had fallen for both sexes in France for the first time since the Second World War, and it’s the native French working class that is likely driving the decline. The French outsiders are failing not just in income and longevity but also in family formation, mental health and education.
The villain is globalization, which has shipped the good jobs for working class people to the third world where they can be done more cheaply. It has also brought hordes of immigrants to developed countries to do the no-skill jobs, also more cheaply.

Lacking opportunity and purpose, priced out of the job market, the native working class engages in unhealthy pursuits with life-shortening consequences. Globalization's victims, it appears, exist throughout the developed world.