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Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Anne Case Angus Deaton



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Princeton University Pres
01 August 2020
The flaws in capitalism that are fatal for America's working class In America today, deaths of despair'from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism'are on the rise among working-class whites. Life expectancy in the United States as a whole has now fallen for three years in a row, a drastic trend unique among wealthy nations and not seen since the great flu pandemic of 1918. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, known for first sounding the alarm about deaths of despair, shed light on the social and economic forces that make life harder for those without a college degree. They explain why, for those with less education, who used to prosper in America, capitalism is no longer delivering. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For those without a college degree, today's America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a college degree are literally dying from pain and despair. In this critically important book, Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy. Capitalism, which over two centuries lifted countless people out of poverty, is now destroying the lives of America's workers. This book charts a way forward, providing policy solutions that can rein in capitalism's excesses and make it work for everyone.
By:   Anne Case, Angus Deaton
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 155mm, 
ISBN:   9780691207827
ISBN 10:   0691207828
Publication Date:   01 August 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

This book will be an instant classic, applying high quality social science to an urgent national matter of life and death. In exploring the recent epidemic of 'deaths of despair,' the distinguished authors uncover an absorbing historical story that raises basic questions about the future of capitalism. It is hard to imagine a timelier - or in the end, more hopeful - book in this season of our national despair. - Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids In the face of a government that failed to protect ordinary working-class Americans from the greed-fueled opioid epidemic and a media that was slow to notice the problem, Anne Case and Angus Deaton are true sentinels. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism is an urgent and clarion call to rethink pain, inequality, justice, and the business of being human in America. This book explains America to itself. I underlined damn near every sentence. - Beth Macy, author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America In this superb book, Case and Deaton connect the dots to explain the dramatic rise of deaths of despair among working-class white Americans. Totally unexpectedly, they trace the root cause to an exorbitantly expensive health-care system that sucks - and wastes - billions of dollars and so much human talent away from improving lives. - Ezekiel J. Emanuel, University of Pennsylvania With stunning data analysis, close observation, and smoldering urgency, Case and Deaton show why mounting deaths of despair are not only a public health disaster but also an indictment of the metastasizing stratification that is undermining working-class America. - David Autor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology This book explains so many of today's headlines with clear writing, sharp storytelling, and an almost symphonic use of research in economics, public health, and history. What it summons is a powerful analysis of who we are as Americans and what we have become as a country. - Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic America is experiencing a catastrophe. Those without a college degree are not just being left behind; they are dying from deaths of despair. Case and Deaton brilliantly describe and dissect the causes and explain how we can return to a path of rising prosperity and health. All citizens - voters as well as politicians aspiring to office - should read and discuss this book. - Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England Deaths of despair among US whites with low education cannot be attributed to lack of access to health care or ignorance of healthy lifestyles. When two leading economists turn their attention to the social determinants of this modern epidemic, the result is brilliant. - Sir Michael G. Marmot, author of The Health Gap

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