Deaths of Despair: Why America’s Medical Industry Explains Working-Class Suicides


From The Guardian: “The US healthcare system is helping to kill people in staggering numbers. And when it isn’t driving Americans to an early grave, the medical industry is bleeding the rest of the country of resources at the expense of decent jobs, crucial infrastructure and schools, according to a new [2020] book by two of the country’s leading economists.

As America’s health system faces its greatest challenge of recent times in the coronavirus, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who won the 2015 Nobel prize for economics, say the pursuit of profit by medical corporations has played a leading role in the surge of ‘deaths of despair’ since the 1990s, led by opioid overdoses, alcoholism and suicide.

The Princeton economists were the first to reveal the phenomenon which by 2017 was claiming the lives of 158,000 Americans every year – a number they liken to three 737s’ worth of passengers falling out of the sky every day. Case and Deaton, who are married, also discovered that the surge in deaths of despair was overwhelmingly among white working-class Americans without a university degree, and that it was forcing down life expectancy in the US.

Now their new book, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, explores why this tragedy is an unusually American phenomenon and concludes that the greed of the US’s medical corporations was both an important driver in creating the conditions for the rise in deaths of despair and in providing the means for many to kill themselves.”



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  1. Yup pretty much (for those interested in the question of states and municipalities struggling with funding I encourage you to explore the idea of public banks–movements exist in Philadelphia, New York, Oakland, Santa Fee, etc.–instead of paying high fees to out-of-state private banks they are able to essentially borrow from themselves and give out low-interest loans to small businesses which keeps the money circulating in the community (loans which aren’t worth the time of big private banks to make). They are vetted through a public-private partnership to ensure economic viability and transparency.

    North Dakota has had one for a hundred years and it works fantastically–we have to get past the old dichotomy of capitalism vs. socialism and create something which is profitable for the masses (USPS used to offer postal banking, this is a smaller version of this).

    (If people feel empowered in their communities they will be less likely to die deaths of despair.)

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  2. “It’s not a free market at all. It’s a swamp. It’s a giant swamp that’s killing people in large numbers ….”

    Well, of course a medical system that has a faction of its workers (including the so called “social workers”) forcing neurotoxins onto healthy, well insured young mommies and children – under the guise of scientifically “invalid” “mental illnesses” – for profit, and nefarious reasons, isn’t remotely a “free market.”

    “Force” and “free market” are mutually exclusive concepts.

    We need to get those who medically unnecessarily force drug people for profit – the omni-potent moral busy bodies of the scientific fraud based “mental health” system – out of the medical system.

    “’This is a system that was designed by an immensely clever team of devils who programmed it in a way that is self-protecting and really difficult to change,’ he said.”

    I’m not certain how “clever” those “devils” are, given the fact that they designed the medical system with the common sense knowledge that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    Leaving most psychiatrists, doctors, and other DSM “bible” billers, being incapable of understanding that the psych drugs are neurotoxins.

    But I do agree, the system is “self-protecting and really difficult to change.”

    “One fact is that they unleashed these extremely powerful opioids on to the general public as if they were jelly beans at an Easter parade and that has not happened in Europe,”

    Gosh, a repeating of the worst of history, Brits? But I do agree, any doctor who has delusions that the opioids are “safe pain meds,” as my doctors did, really are too stupid to be doctors.

    But since a lot of American lawyers and courts do seem to be in bed with the doctors – and don’t take well documented malpractice cases. (Hum, and those lawyers and judges all took the BAR, pledging allegiance to Great Britain, instead of the people of America, right?)

    Are we looking at how the British are actively working to destroy freedom and justice in America, with their “devilish” systems and mind altering drugs?

    But, of course, it all leads to those “devish” globalist banksters, whose fraud based, non-“free market,” Ponzi scheme of a banking system, that we in America call the Federal Reserve – a private banking system whose money all the medical and “mental health” system, legal and educational systems, et al worship – is ultimately the real problem.

    Of course, the fraud goes infinitely deeper, when one researches into the fraud of US birth certificates, the legal definition of “person,” maritime courts, etc., etc.

    The bottom line is we do have criminal “devils,” who have set up a lot of bad systems in America. And ‘criminal’ is not quite the same thing as ‘clever.’

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