Friday, January 12, 2018


For obvious reasons.

•   You want to know why they're hopeless? At National Review David French is upset because America has seen its life expectancy decline yet again. The Washington Post reports:
The data a year ago set off alarms when they showed that in 2015 the United States experienced its first decline in life expectancy since that 1993 dip. Experts pointed then to the “diseases of despair” — drug overdoses, suicides and alcoholism — as well as small increases in deaths from heart disease, strokes and diabetes. 
The 2016 data shows that just three major causes of death are responsible: unintentional injuries, Alzheimer’s disease and suicides, with the bulk of the difference attributable to the 63,632 people who died of overdoses. That total was an increase of more than 11,000 over the 52,404 who died of the same cause in 2015.
Many of those "unintentional injuries" are drug overdoes. Now, you and I might look at this and think: Let's work harder on a cure for Alzheimer's, and on getting people more care for all those other diseases; above all let's make a society where everyone feels like valuable and cared for instead of just suckers whose only value is as prey in a vicious, winner-take-all society, because that's the kind of society from which people are inclined to seek an early exit. But French looks at this and thinks:
Government and the media are simply not up to the task. Think, for example, of the intensity of last month’s debate over the size of the child tax credit in the Republican tax bill. I shared the disappointment of a number of conservatives that the tax benefits for families weren’t larger, but I was under no illusion that even hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks would make a material difference in family outcomes. Yes, people respond to incentives, and positive tax changes help more than they hurt, but no reasonable person thinks that any single policy or series of policies in Washington will put the fractured family back together again.
French is a evangelical Christian (although -- and you'll love this -- he's talked about renouncing the term because his fellow holy rollers have gotten so depraved they're making him look bad). So it's a cinch that when he says government can't do anything for the vulnerable -- even though, in terms of child care policy, government has been effectively doing plenty for millions of children -- he expects Jesus to fill the gap, possibly through the reintroduction of the faith-based grifts of yore. In other words: pie in the sky and pass the collection plate. So I'm telling you: If you want a more just society, you can't just freeze out the obvious Trumpian crooks, you also have to get rid of the God-botherers who would tell you helping is futile and that the Lord will provide. In fact maybe get rid of them first.

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