Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Links

  • The chart above shows that life expectancy is actually falling, and pretty rapidly at that, for white US residents without a degree.  Surprising and alarming fact.   It's also surprising that less-educated Hispanics are doing so much better than whites.
  • Background on heat-pump hot-water heaters.  Ours is being installed next week and I imagine I'll have something to say about it at some point later.
  • More on the US wind industry crisis - a mixture of China and Republicans are causing dropping sales and loss of jobs in the industry (not to mention more carbon emissions).
  • David Brooks on the importance of grandiose, ambitious but functional narcissists to society.  I kind of agree with this.  Related book: The Productive Narcissist.
  • Fascinating post on the very small number of voters who are actually undecided in the election.
  • Mostly off-topic (but not quite), fascinating essay by Sharon Astyk on the economics of foster-parenting.


Anonymous said...

Re: Hispanics. To understand the unusual-seeing life expectancy of Hispanics, you need to read up on The Hispanic Paradox.

Stuart Staniford said...

Wow - thanks for the hint - I wasn't aware of that and it is absolutely fascinating:

Aimee said...

Without having clicked on the above link, I can give you a hint about Hispanic life expectancies. Hispanics without degrees are more likely to be recent immigrants, who generally have healthier lifestyles than Americans - lower rates of smoking, drinking, and obesity, as well as enjoying the protective effets of strong family systems- again, in general. Recent immigrants also tend to be self selected young, healthy people who feel up to the rigors of immigrant life.

Anonymous said...

That has nothing to do with hispanics per se but with immigrants, who eventually all get used to the terribel western lifestyles and see declining physical, moral and emotional discipline with worse eating habits and family breakups, etc.

I was wondering if the massive increase in poverty rates since the crsis began will start having a general eefect on life expectancy on all classes. We will see sometime int he next decad I suppose as stats are collected.

Kobayashi said...

Well, about the narcissist, I am not so sure.

How many such stars do you know from Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Luxembourg etc. or even from Germany where GDP/capita, life expectancy, perhaps even happiness is at least comparable to the US figures if not better?

(I did not mention Norway, Sweden and Denmark (Greenland) which rely on substantial domestic raw material sources, similar to Canada or Australia and therefore have 'unfair advantages' over Austria, Switzerland etc.)

Do you really need them? It is sure a problem if educated people leave, but there are countries which seem to be very happy without these hot shots.

Mr. Sunshine said...

Re: Heat pump water heating... the GE unit states it typically uses 1830kWh/year. That's 5kWh/day. With 5.5 hours of "peak sun" per day on average over a year (my area of Colorado)one could is solar PV easily to offset this use and have "solar hot water" for the cost of four 220W PV modules and a small inverter. Which would be about the same as a solar thermal system of the same size.

Emil said...

Charles Murray also has a point, when he talks about the disconnect of white America.

How most white Americans are, actually, doing quite well(within the American context) but that there was more solidarity - as well as mobility within the group.

I see this as a rift within white American life.

You can notice it too if you look at religion. Pew did a study a few months ago where they looked only at religion in America, and I remember a chart graphing the steep decline of religiousity of democratic white Americans while Republicans have seen more(rise of the evanglicals plus spillover effect).

Both parties used to be closer to each other on this issue(as well as on many others), Republicans also used to be much more moderate on social issues in large part because of this.

Another fact that is important to remember is that the average black schoolchild in D.C. gets $38,000 in federal funding per year. Nationwide, it's twice as much as for whites.

For the most part, this makes sense, and in fact, the effects on the first five grades in school(from year 1 to 5) has been very strong.

However, this means that the weakest among whites, those who are likely to drop off entirely from high school or not even begin it, are much more vulnerable.

It isn't very sexy or fashionable to bandy about support for poor whites but we are soon reaching that level.

This cannot only be explained by elaborate social theories(like the 'hispanic paradox). Since you see a slight rise among the poorest of blacks, too.

They may now both be around the same absolute level, but the trend is the important part here.

And this is probably why Democrats will continue to lose the white working class vote. They can't really get around to the fact that whites are not a monolithic group of wall st financiers or upper-middle class doctors.

They've even talked about 'abandoning' the white working class.

Not very clever politics, but what can be done if your entire framework of the world is an unnuanced potpurri of claptrap with eternal villains and eternal victims?

Facts change.

Stuki said...

What Emils said.

Of all the ills progressivism has brought the world, the predilection for treating statistically convenient groups as monolithic entities may well be the worst offender. And that is surely saying something.

Oh, and perhaps the second worst, may be the almost pathological obsession many progressives have with money. As if all of life's intricacies can be, or even should be attempted to be, "explained" by variations in the thickness of peoples wallets.