“Poor people suffer??” Nani!!! Is that news or merely stating the obvious? I do not need a think tank to tell me that.
The study, which appears in the May 3 issue of The Lancet, was prepared by Alan Krueger, a professor of economics at Princeton University, and Arthur Stone, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stony Brook University. The work is the first of its type, according to the authors, to quantify a “pain gap” in American society, with the “have-nots” suffering a disproportionate amount in relation to the “haves.”
Participants with less than a high school degree were found to report twice the average pain rating throughout the day as did college graduates. The researchers also found the average pain rating to be twice as high for those in households with annual incomes below $30,000 as for those in households with incomes above $100,000.
“People in households making less than $30,000 a year spend almost 20 percent of their time in moderate to severe pain, compared with less than 8 percent for those in households with income above $100,000 a year,” Krueger said.
Workers in blue collar jobs reported higher occurrences and more severe pain than did those in white collar jobs. For blue collar workers, pain was lower when they were off work than when they were working. The 13 percent of people who reported a work-related disability experienced very high rates of pain, and accounted for 44 percent of the total amount of time that Americans spent in moderate to severe pain.
Hat tip to Randall Parker:
The second report,The Widening Health Care Gap Between High- and Low-Wage Workers, shows that low-wage workers do not have the same access to health care as high earners.
“This is really a very depressing report,” Glied said. “What it really says is that the good things that are happening in our health-care system are only happening to higher-wage people. Low-wage people really don’t see much gain at all from all the extra good stuff we are spending on health care – they’re just getting shut out of it.”
Because health-care expenditures have not risen as fast as costs, low-wage workers are frozen out of many of the latest medical innovations and new drugs, Glied said. “We are seeing an increasingly two-class, health-care delivery system,” she said.
Glied thinks there need to be more subsidies provided for low-wage workers to allow equal access to health care. “Or we have to reconcile ourselves to the idea that being rich is not only good for your living, but also how long you live and how well you live,” she said. “That’s a kind of frightening thought.”
Hat tip to Daily Kos:
Also the PDF on health care access inequality.
New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.
In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years). By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years), and it continues to grow, he said.
After 20 years, the lowest socioeconomic group lagged further behind the most affluent, Dr. Singh said, noting that “life expectancy was higher for the most affluent in 1980 than for the most deprived group in 2000.”
I also found this on someone’s blog:
The headline unemployment rate in Sweden is only 5-5.5%, but this number is extremely misleading as it only includes a small number of the people who the government pays not to work. Many unemployed are sent to so-called “labor market political activities” who have no meaningful purpose then to reduce the headline unemployment number. Including them, unemployment is 8%. And if you also include the enourmous number of early retirees and people who live of sickness benefits, the real unemployment rate is more like 25% rather than 5%. The number of early retirees are 540,000, more than double the number of officially unemployed.
I do not know if the unemployed are in any real pain in Sweden, but maybe their employment policies will help mitigate the pain on the lower classes. In addition, its low gini coefficient should help. Maybe the “labor market political activities” (I have no idea what that even means) might not involve manual labor that will cause pain later. Well, Sweden has a high standard of living and high life expentancy.
I wonder if wanting to live as long as wealthy people should be deemed as “class warfare” or “class envy.”