Healthy Lives Aren’t Bought With Dollars

If an Internet argument endures long enough someone will be called Hitler and someone else will state that correlation is not causation! And while former may be literally true, the latter isn’t literally precise. In actuality, correlation is not necessarily causation. Often enough, it is. Well, I want to talk about an instance where it is not.

This was inspired by a recent article in the LA Times, which is still being published in English for some reason. There’s no need to quote any passages, as the point being made is that the retirement age for social security should not be raised as that would benefit the rich, who live longer.

That’s true, the rich do live longer than average. And NBA basketball players listen to more rap than average. Is that because they play basketball? Is rapping the legacy of Naismith?

In reality, that being what occurs outside LA Times opinion pieces, it is not the rich who enjoy the benefits of longevity, but the comparatively wise. Having low time preference, discipline, the ability to suppress harmful appetites, and a capacity for prudent risk analysis are actually what produce a long healthy life. These traits having the secondary effect of producing above average wealth accumulation. Thus, opines the simpleton, wealth means life.

Now obviously where wealth can purchase medical services unavailable to the poor, this correlation actually becomes causation. But saying that would require an examination of how many people die in America because they were denied key healthcare available to those able to pay for it. I don’t know the metrics on this subset, but suspect they are quite modest.

In many ways wealth serves as the blanket bete-noir for the liberal worldview. People whose group pathologies are most conspicuous suffer not the results of their own agency, but strictly from want. And white people are guilty of perpetually under-providing. But who provides for whites? Why privilege, naturally: the dark matter of social sciences.

I actually think that rappers and NBA performers provide useful group laboratories for the wealth effect on lifetime health and longevity. Do these cohorts live longer than average, with the benefit of fabulous earnings? Has anyone ever bothered to ask? I don’t know the answer, so maybe they do.

I also don’t know what life would be like in Liberia a decade later if every citizen there were handed a million dollars today. But I think it would look very much as it does right now…with a lot more rusted Bentleys.


10 thoughts on “Healthy Lives Aren’t Bought With Dollars

  1. Pingback: Healthy Lives Aren’t Bought With Dollars | Reaction Times

  2. With logic like that, the LA Times will shortly come out with Part 2 of this op-ed, which will argue for earlier distribution of Social Security. This will have the joyous effect of helping poor people. AND (following their superior logic, not mine), since Social Security income is taxed, it’ll probably pay for itself with those tax revenues. If only somehow whites could be excluded from this expansion, it would truly be a win-win-win.

  3. The answer to the NBA question will be skewed because true giants don’t seem to live that long under any circumstances. (Bill Russell and George Mikan excepted.) I suggest using (c)rappers as your test population.

  4. I don’t know about the NBA and rappers, but I do know the NFL guys don’t last longer with money, nor do they tend to live particularly wealthy lives for very long, despite earning what to most people would be considered a fortune. A guy I went to high school with got drafted out of college (white guy). We weren’t close, he was a couple years ahead of me, but we had a lot of friends in common. He told stories about how guys that were making the league minimum or a little more for a few years drove high end sports cars and lived in penthouses, all of it financed, nothing owned. Made 500k+ for 3-4 years, got dropped for someone better, and wound up unemployed, broke, and in debt in their late 20’s, despite having out earned 99% of their peers. The better guys making a million or two a year didn’t typically fare any better. Can’t say what their life expectancy is based on these stories, but I can tell you that (shocker) handing stupid people a lot of money isn’t going to change their life expectancy. They will just continue making the same bad choices they’d always make.

    As to your ‘giving Liberians a million’ line, I’ve often thought the same thing about what would happen if we actually gave blacks the reparations so many demand. Probably a bumper year for GM stock as sales of Escalades and Denali’s would skyrocket for a while, but in a short time most would be broke, and their caddie’s repossessed. Then, they’d be right back at it, demanding moar. They damn sure wouldn’t live longer.

    • Another cohort who don’t appear to do better in spite of their wealth would be the children of celebrities and those whose parents did well in finance or industry. An interesting study could be be done on lottery winners as this is the probably closest approximation possible to the Liberians experiment.

  5. I’m beginning to wonder if it isn’t time to start voting for Democrats to speed up the collapse. Kamala Harris 2020, anyone?

    • Kamala is like that she-demon from the first episode of Grimm. Since we all know how this will end, I vote we turn the crank a bit harder Francisco d’Anconia-style.

  6. Pingback: Quote April 29, 2018 | Liberae Sunt Nostrae Cogitatiores

  7. “But who provides for whites? Why privilege, naturally: the dark matter of social sciences.”
    Hahaha. What a great line.
    I do believe some odd distortions in the wealth/health causation continuum occur at about the Ruth Bader Ginsburg level though.

  8. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2018/04/29) - Social Matter

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