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The U.S. life expectancy is 78.7 years as of 2011

The life expectancy for the U.S. is nearly 80 years old, but a new report indicates this isn't necessarily good news.

According to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the life expectancy of a U.S. resident as of 2011 was 78.7 years. This is about an eight-year improvement over a comparison to the U.S. life expectancy in 1970.


However, OECD says 78.7 years isn't good on the broader scale. Overall, life expectancy for the OECD as a whole has seen a 10-year gain to an average life expectancy of 80.1 years compared to 1970. This means that the U.S. is more than a year below the 80.1 average.

Why is the U.S. below the OECD average? The report cited issues like the fragmented U.S. health system; much of the population is uninsured; there are relatively few resources for public health and primary care; higher calorie consumption per capita and obesity rates; higher consumption of prescription and illegal drugs; higher rates of poverty and income inequality; higher deaths from traffic accidents, and higher homicide rates.

Source: OECD iLibrary





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If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By FITCamaro on 11/21/2013 3:05:43 PM , Rating: 1
Sign me up. I'll gladly trade one less year in diapers for the ability to actually have a chance to become rich and grow from rags to riches. Granted the last 5 years have irreparably harmed that ability.




RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By Bubbacub on 11/21/2013 3:08:35 PM , Rating: 5
thats a nice sentiment but the USA of the past where anyone could do anything doesnt exist anymore.

the USA is one of the worst places in which one could grow from rags to riches - at least compared to similarly wealthy countries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_mobility#Count...


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By ebakke on 11/21/2013 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 4
The studies referenced by the wikipedia article linked discuss intergenerational mobility, yet FIT was describing intragenerational mobility.


By Mint on 11/22/2013 6:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
It's the same thing. If your parents are poor, then that almost guarantees that you started off poor.

The ease of which a youth can get rich without needing rich parents is the very thing measured by those studies.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By Ammohunt on 11/21/2013 3:29:56 PM , Rating: 4
That's why there are so many entrepreneurs and small businesses in countries like Germany! <rolls eyes> try starting a non-union roofing business in Germany see what happens. Socialist economies stifle small business and innovation in general since government destroys any semblance of equal playing field.

I would rather live 78.7 years relatively free in America then 80.7 years anywhere else in the world.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By Bubbacub on 11/21/2013 4:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
no one is asking you to live anywhere else.

you do know that continental europe isn't some kind of socialist totalitarian state!

there are many examples of protectionist businesses that have abused the political system to stifle opposition in the USA and in Europe. Where ever you have politicians that have no shame and can be lobbied this will happen.

west europe and the USA are practically alike (language aside) you can live a nice relatively free life in either place with nice cars, comfy sofas and cable TV etc. etc.

if a metric shows that there is a problem or a potential problem ducking ones head in the sand is often counter-productive.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By Ammohunt on 11/21/2013 7:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you do know that continental europe isn't some kind of socialist totalitarian state!


Yes I do know that I have lived in Europe in the past and have direct family ties to Germany and Switzerland. Sorry just wasn't impressed its a way of life that is devoid of any meaning for me; ever see a lion in a zoo exhibit? that's how life is in Europe to me. I would rather be wild living on the savannah.


By nikon133 on 11/21/2013 10:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
So... out of curiosity... what wild living are you experiencing exclusively in US nowadays?

Sounds almost like you are living in 1880 over there.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By Strunf on 11/22/2013 7:33:17 AM , Rating: 2
Doubt of it... of Germany I can't speak but in Switzerland there are legions of small business, the same in France...


By ShieTar on 11/22/2013 9:26:13 AM , Rating: 2
Not only are there plenty of small business here in Germany as well, but also every single one of them is "non-union". In Germany, an Union is an organization which employees can join of their free will, and which they may name as their representative in any pay raise and other work related negotiations. That does not directly affect the company itself, and in a lot of really small companies the employees will usually refuse to be in an Union anyways, in order to save paying the Union fee.

In conclusion, the original poster has absolutely no Idea what he is talking about.


By Kiffberet on 11/25/2013 7:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
'devoid of any meaning for me'.

I guess you prefer it so that if you get ill and can't work, then getting thrown out onto the street to die keeps things exciting.


By Jeffk464 on 11/22/2013 10:29:24 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I would rather live 78.7 years relatively free in America then 80.7 years anywhere else in the world.


How many other places in the world have you lived? Yeah, when you compare the US to Ethiopia we are doing great.


By Reclaimer77 on 11/21/2013 3:30:08 PM , Rating: 3
America is the nation that a man can become rich by transposing a CGI face onto his thumbs and making crappy movies lol.

"Social Mobility" is one of those metrics that can be altered anyway you want for the argument. It's a very complex issue, and I doubt the Wikipedia is going to do it serious justice.

The President and three quarters of the Executive branch are Keynesian Socialists, so yeah we have some barriers to social mobility, no denying it.


By Bubbacub on 11/21/2013 4:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
i agree stats can often be fiddled with if you have an agenda.

i personally don't think this is the case in this situation but i can understand your position.


By Bubbacub on 11/21/2013 3:08:38 PM , Rating: 1
thats a nice sentiment but the USA of the past where anyone could do anything doesnt exist anymore.

the USA is one of the worst places in which one could grow from rags to riches - at least compared to similarly wealthy countries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_mobility#Count...


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By tayb on 11/21/2013 5:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
The United States really isn't special anymore when it comes to freedom. Maybe you think we're still living in 1950s America?

According to these reports there are anywhere from 7 - 20 countries with more freedom than the United States.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/world-fre...
http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Gl...
http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking
http://www.gfmag.com/component/content/article/119...

And the sad thing is most of these countries don't have the social problems that we have in America. Somehow they have managed to heal their citizens without succumbing to Nazism.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By ebakke on 11/21/2013 5:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Somehow they have managed to heal their citizens without succumbing to Nazism.
Or their citizens have managed to heal themselves without resorting to socialism.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By Mint on 11/22/2013 6:49:17 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, that's precisely his point.

People like FITCamaro use the "socialist" tag on countries like Canada, Denmark, Australia, etc. which rank higher in these freedom metrics. The reality is that they employ social capitalism just like the US does, but they have a different take on how to implement it.


By Jeffk464 on 11/22/2013 10:34:31 AM , Rating: 3
Yup, they spend less on military and so can afford a lot of the socialist programs.


RE: If being free means living to 78 instead of 80
By nafhan on 11/22/2013 4:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need to make a tradeoff.

The average life expectancy for US citizens is going be drastically different than the life expectancy for someone who eats healthy, exercises regularly, and doesn't have any medical problems in their family history.


By Jeffk464 on 11/23/2013 10:24:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah basically, you don't have to fall victim to whatever is causing the unhealthy trends in your society.


By room200 on 11/23/2013 10:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
You don't have that chance like you think you do. The superwealthy have bought and paid for the system and slanted the laws to benefit them and stifle small business growth. What you are talking about doesn't exist anymore; it's nostalgia. Get over it.


By Kiffberet on 11/25/2013 7:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
That's exactly the point. Only the people who are rich can afford to have healthcare that will allow them to live longer.

If you aren't rich, because sweeping the street or cleaning toilets isn't considered as important as working in a bank, then you will be poor and die early.


not surprising
By Bubbacub on 11/21/2013 3:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
given the ever decreasing social mobility in the USA compared to similarly wealthy nations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_mobility#Count...




RE: not surprising
By ebakke on 11/21/2013 3:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
The "Great Gatsby Curve" seems very obvious to me and not very consequential. If everyone in the country has a salary between 30k-50k, then it's fairly obvious that your parents' income will have little impact on your future incomes. Your future income is going to be somewhere between 30k-50k, almost without exception.

But if the country's citizenry has salaries between 10k-200M, it's again fairly obvious that your parent's income impacts your future income. You have a large range of options, and far more variables will affect where you will eventually fall within that range. Certainly your parents have an impact on some of those variables.


RE: not surprising
By ebakke on 11/21/2013 3:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore, I want income inequality. I want the ability to improve my lot in life. I want the ability to pass something onto my children allowing them to start off marginally better than I did. Certainly there's an exponential curve here, where the exceptionally poor will have less to pass on and thus it will take more generations to go from lowest to middle than it would to go from middle to high, or high to highest.

But income inequality is opportunity to me. If you're exceptionally talented, you should be compensated for that.


RE: not surprising
By Bubbacub on 11/21/2013 3:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
completely agree - income inequality is a major driver in human development and as long you dont end up with a medieval feudal system it should be welcomed!

the issue is that of social mobility - i.e. is innate talent and hard work over a lifetime appropriately rewarded?

it is harder for a talented, intelligent hard working poor person to do well now than 50 years ago - and that is a tragedy.

accepting that something is wrong is the first step that society needs to make to correct it


RE: not surprising
By Spuke on 11/22/2013 10:25:15 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
it is harder for a talented, intelligent hard working poor person to do well now than 50 years ago - and that is a tragedy.
IMO, this is a lie told to the poor to keep them there. I was raised in a poor household. Government housing, single mom, multi-generational, welfare poor. But my mother wasn't lazy. She got off welfare as fast as she could. My family has a long history of military service so I joined. Stayed for 10 years, got out and went to school. Got a BS degree and a job (my brother also has a BS degree). I make way more than anyone in my family ever did and my quality of life is MUCH improved. I could've skipped the military (no way but just saying) and went right to college and made even more money.

Fact is, any poor person can do what I did. In reality it's easier for the poor to get an education than it is for anyone else. I'm not especially brilliant nor do I have the greatest drive. I just wanted a better life than my parents and grandparents.


RE: not surprising
By Bubbacub on 11/22/2013 11:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
n=1 is not a proof

i'm sure there were individual stories of people rising up from nothing and doing really well in, for example, cambodia during the times of polpot - what matters is what is happening across the entire nation.

i've presented an opinion backed up with some official figures from OECD countries

your argument appears to be - i've done well in my life therefore there cannot possibly be anything wrong with the system.

show me some evidence for your opinion - something more than simple anecdote.


RE: not surprising
By Spuke on 11/22/2013 12:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
n=1 is not a proof
I gave two examples and those are not the only one's. Besides you missed the entire point. The FACT is most can do just what I did. There's nothing special in how I got here, I'm not the first to go this route and ANYONE can do it. I'm not special, I am not brilliant, just did what other people did. Others can and have "followed my lead". I talk at schools on occasion and give this basic, simple info out.

quote:
your argument appears to be - i've done well in my life therefore there cannot possibly be anything wrong with the system.
I expected this response as persons like yourself are only interested in your ideologies not actually helping people. I don't care about "the system", whatever that is. I'm concerned with getting poor people out of poverty. That takes action not ideologies. Believe what you want, I'll continue to do what I do.


RE: not surprising
By Bubbacub on 11/22/2013 1:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
you know very little about my ideologies - you certainly don't know me!

I've given you data based on hundreds of millions of people living in OECD countries - you've given me a load of hand waving and a couple of anecdotes!

this is currently not a rational discussion - I think i'll leave it at that.


RE: not surprising
By Mint on 11/22/2013 6:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're exceptionally talented, you should be compensated for that.
You're supporting the opposite with your desire to give your kids an advantage rather than letting all kids earn their place on their own merits.

Inequality reduces total opportunity. If the wealthy don't feel like spending, and banks can't lend as fast as they save, then there's less stuff to produce and less business opportunity.


RE: not surprising
By ebakke on 11/23/2013 10:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're supporting the opposite with your desire to give your kids an advantage rather than letting all kids earn their place on their own merits.
No, I'm not. If an individual is exceptionally talented, I wish for them to be compensated accordingly. I do *not* wish for all people of talent level X to have the same quality of life (or whatever other metric of success) by year Y of their lives. I do not wish for equality of outcomes, by any stretch.
quote:
If the wealthy don't feel like spending [...]
If history is our guide, wealthy people a) spend money to improve their quality of life, and b) continue trying to grow their wealth. I'm not worried about wealthy people no longer spending or investing their money. Certainly not because they feel they "have enough".


RE: not surprising
By Jeffk464 on 11/23/2013 10:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If everyone in the country has a salary between 30k-50k, then it's fairly obvious that your parents' income will have little impact on your future incomes.


It also means that everyone has equal education opportunities. You loose less intellectual talent to poverty and crappy schools.


Meh!
By macca007 on 11/21/2013 11:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
Meh..... US, Europe.
STRAYA!
Always has its major cities in top 10 of most liveable, Rather grow old here!




RE: Meh!
By Jeffk464 on 11/22/2013 10:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
You guys also conveniently speak English.


RE: Meh!
By DocScience on 11/22/2013 5:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
Pie and pasty, fair dinkum Aussie tucker.

English you say?


Average of what?
By nafhan on 11/22/2013 3:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
Worth noting for those who are unfamiliar with the OECD: it has 34 member countries most of which are small and wealthy. The US being lower middle of the pack isn't a good thing, but it's not as bad as it sounds if you aren't aware of what the OECD is, either.




RE: Average of what?
By ShieTar on 11/25/2013 3:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
Partially true, but the report gives you the "per-nation" numbers to do your direct comparisons. So you can pick large (by population) like Germany, France and the UK as comparison metrics for the US. We need to get by with a lot less natural ressources than the US, e.g. Germany has six times the population density of the US, very little coast, relatively less sunshine, not too many mineral, ore or oil/gas deposits. So when Germany manages to achieve the same quality of life for its people than the US do, being "small and wealthy" is not the explanation to look for.

Though I still think the main flaw here is to even average over the US as a whole, as there are too many strong differences between states. The same is still true for Germany, where life remains different (on average) between the old (former FRG) and the new (former GDR) federal states.


RE: Average of what?
By nafhan on 11/25/2013 11:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with what you're saying. Still, the US is lower middle of the pack for a group that's made up mostly of the leaders in this category. Life expectancy for a US citizen is actually quite good compared to that for the world at large. That's not something that the original article made clear, and that was my point. Further, I'm also not saying it couldn't be better; it obviously could be.


Welfare State =/= Whole Story
By KPOM1 on 11/21/2013 8:37:39 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The report cited issues like the fragmented U.S. health system; much of the population is uninsured; there are relatively few resources for public health and primary care; higher calorie consumption per capita and obesity rates; higher consumption of prescription and illegal drugs; higher rates of poverty and income inequality; higher deaths from traffic accidents, and higher homicide rates.


But why is Denmark's life expectancy also below the OECD average? They have universal insurance, low rates of poverty and income inequality, low car usage, low homicide rates, and aren't obese.




RE: Welfare State =/= Whole Story
By ShieTar on 11/22/2013 10:12:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, in reality the current life expectancy statistics remain highly affected by WW2 survivors, and are not a perfect representation of modern life in these countries. Also, there is a 7 year difference between States within the US as far as Wikipedia knows ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_b... ), so discussing about the difference between the entire US and other, more homogeneous Nations seems a bit nonsensical to me.


Who writes these headlines?
By Just Tom on 11/21/2013 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
The OECD is not the world.




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